14 items tagged "Software"

  • Business Intelligence software comparison: Looker versus Power BI

    Business Intelligence software comparison: Looker versus Power BI

    Looker and Microsoft Power BI are two popular business intelligence software solutions. Each software has robust features so companies can make better decisions based on their data.

    Here, we compare Looker and Power BI on several factors.

    What is the difference between Looker and Power BI?

    • ​While both software solutions are deployed in the cloud, Power BI is only available in the Microsoft Azure environment. Looker, on the other hand, can be deployed in multiple cloud environments (e.g., Azure, Google Cloud, AWS).
    • Looker requires a custom price quote, but Power BI’s pricing is displayed on its website.
    • Both vendors offer similar customer support features. However, Looker has built-in live chat, while Power BI doesn’t.

    Product Overviews

    The following excerpts from our Looker and Power BI reviews summarize each software solution:


    Google Cloud’s Looker Data Platform is a data-discovery platform that helps companies make better business decisions through real-time access to data. Data, no matter the size, can be analyzed within Looker’s 100% in-database and 100% browser-based platform. Looker analytics integrate with any SQL database or data warehouse, such as Amazon Athena, Greenplum and Microsoft Azure SQL Data Warehouse.

    The platform is accessible on any browser as well as on mobile devices  – reports and data can be shared via email or URLs. Data can be integrated into different applications such as Google Docs, Excel, and even customer and third-party applications. It can also be manually exported in .csv or text files.

    Power BI

    Microsoft Power BI is a cloud-based business intelligence and analytics service that provides users with a full overview of your most critical data. Connecting to all of your data sources, Power BI simplifies data evaluation and sharing with scalable dashboards, interactive reports, embedded visuals and more.

    There are several versions. Power BI Desktop is an on-premise solution that connects to a cloud-based service to easily upload and share data and information across the company. Power BI Mobile has the same capabilities, but in an app, so you can have a 360-degree view of your company anytime, anywhere.

    Power BI has two additional versions with advanced features: Power BI Pro and Power BI Premium. Power BI Pro allows users to share insights with collaborators. They can analyze data by using conversational language (the Q&A feature) and get insights from pre-built visualization and reporting templates. Users can share data in other Microsoft platforms like Teams or Dynamics 365. Power BI Premium allows an organization’s internal or external users (e.g., clients) to view Power BI reports without a license. It also empowers users to prepare and transform big datasets.

    Features Comparisons

    Data Preparation


    Looker connects with over 50 SQL-compliant databases (e.g., Google BigQuery, Amazon RedShift, Snowflake). Its proprietary LookML data modeling tool lets users develop custom data models. After connecting with a SQL database, Looker automatically creates a basic LookML model. Users can then build on that model by adding in their own code or by selecting from over 100 pre-built Looker Blocks, as well as customizing the model with unique metrics. The LookML model can be saved for future use, so users won’t need to write SQL queries each time. LookML can also perform any data transformations at the time of the query, so users won’t need to manually store the data elsewhere.

    Power BI

    Power BI connects with over 100 cloud-based and on-premise data sources (e.g., Excel, Salesforce, Azure SQL database). It includes automated daily refreshes, so data stays up to date. Note that the amount of daily refreshes depends on the tier: Power BI Pro performs up to eight refreshes per day, while Power BI Premium refreshes data up to 48 times daily. Users can prepare their data with the Power Query tool. Power Query has prebuilt transformation functions (e.g., removing columns, filtering rows) that users can simply select from within the interface. If a user needs to add a new transformation function, Power Query automatically adds in an M code, so the user doesn’t need to write any new code.

    Bottom Line

    Both software solutions connect with a variety of data sources. However, their data transformation features are different. Users won’t need to perform any data transformation within Looker as the software handles that automatically. But there’s minimal data transformation work that Power BI users will need to perform manually.

    Data Visualizations and Dashboards


    Looker has interactive visualizations and dashboards that let users drill down into the data at row-level detail. It includes a library of visualization templates in different formats (e.g., timelines, funnel, combined charts, treemaps), but users can build their own visualizations, too. It also includes a drag-and-drop functionality for users to explore and ask questions in their data. Users can also take action or complete a task directly in their data, such as sending an email or a Slack chat, with the Actions feature that has prebuilt integrations for third-party software systems.

    Power BI

    Users can create visualizations using the drag-and-drop tool by choosing from many templates from Microsoft and third-party providers or by creating their own. They can create mobile-optimized reports by selecting the Phone Layout button, and then adjusting the chart or graph. The Power BI Pro tier lets users share the reports with their external or internal colleagues. Those colleagues can add comments to the visualization, as well as subscribe for updates or alerts.

    Bottom Line

    Both software solutions have robust visualization and dashboard options, but Looker currently doesn’t offer the ability for other users to add their comments to the visualization, while Power BI does. We do want to note that due to its Actions features, Looker users can perform tasks in their data without logging onto their third-party system account, while Power BI doesn’t have this functionality.

    Embedded Analytics


    Companies can offer their clients and employees the opportunity to analyze data within their existing third-party application. Developers can build their app with Looker’s native integrations and public APIs, and they can also collaborate using Git version-control and workflow features. Companies can grow their revenue streams by offering product tiers that feature customization, ad hoc analysis, data granularity and admin reporting functionalities.

    Power BI

    With Power BI Embedded on Azure, developers and software vendors can insert Power BI into their software application using JavaScript SDK, and monitor performance and automations with REST APIs. Some of its features include custom-built visuals, the ability for end users to create and edit dashboards, and single- and multi-tenant deployment with row-level security.

    Bottom Line

    Looker has a multi-cloud data platform, but Power BI can only be deployed in the Microsoft Azure environment.



    Looker provides custom pricing that’s tailored to each organization based on deployment scale, number of users and other factors. Prospects will need to contact the vendor directly for a quote. Looker does offer discounts to nonprofits and schools.

    Power BI

    Power BI Desktop is free to individual users. Here’s the pricing for Power BI Pro and Power BI Premium:

    • Pro – The Pro version costs $9.99 per user, per month and includes a mobile app, the ability to publish and share reports, a 1 GB model size limit, eight data refreshes daily, the ability to connect to over 100 data sources, embedded APIs and controls, AI visuals, data security and encryption, metrics for content creation and publishing and up to 10 GB per user maximum storage. Pro is available for free for companies that have the Microsoft 365 E5 solution.
    • Premium (per user) – The Premium per user plan costs $20 per user, per month. It includes all of the features of the Pro plan, plus paginated reports, a 100 GB model size limit, 48 data refreshes daily, advanced AI features, XMLA endpoint read/write connectivity, data flows, the ability to analyze data stored in Azure Data Lake Storage, application lifecycle management and up to 100 TB of maximum storage.
    • Premium (per capacity) – This version starts at $4,995 per month, per dedicated cloud compute and storage resource. It includes all of the features of the Premium per user plan, plus on-premise reporting, a 400 GB model limit, multi-location deployment management, Bring Your Own Key (BYOK) and autoscale add-on.

    Bottom Line

    Looker prefers to provide custom quotes to prospective clients, while Microsoft displays its pricing up front, which may be preferable to some customers.

    Customer Support


    Users can access Looker’s Help Center to:

    • Browse articles
    • Submit a support request

    In addition, the Looker Community allows users to network with other users and receive troubleshooting tips, ideas and best practices.

    Users can also email the support team or contact them via live chat directly from the Looker platform. Looker has the following response times based on severity (during normal business hours):

    • Severity 1 (critical) – Up to one hour
    • Severity 2 (urgent) – Up to four hours
    • Severity 3 (tolerable) and Severity 4 (non-critical) – Up to one business day

    Finally, Looker offers guided learning paths via its Looker Connect solution for users to grow their BI skills.

    Power BI

    Microsoft offers several resources:

    • FAQs
    • In-depth documentation on tools and features
    • Guided learning courses
    • A community forum
    • Samples of Power BI reports and dashboards

    In addition, Power BI Pro users can submit a support ticket.

    Bottom Line

    While both vendors provide customers with a help center and community forum, Looker has live in-app chat, and Power BI doesn’t offer this feature at all.

    Author: Melissa Pardo-Bunte

    Source: BetterBuys

  • Comparing BI software to reporting software: which tool is right for you?

    Comparing BI software to reporting software: which tool is right for you?

    In this report, we define and compare business intelligence software and reporting software to help you decide which one suits your business needs.

    Both business intelligence software and reporting software help businesses analyze their performance based on data-driven insights. But despite overlapping features and functionality, the two tools belong to distinct software categories. This report will identify the similarities and differences between the two software tools to help you understand which one is better suited for your requirements.

    What is business intelligence software?

    Business intelligence (BI) software helps organizations make operational decisions by analyzing historical performance data and other data sources. A BI tool collects raw data from internal and external sources and analyzes it via queries to get actionable insight. It uses interactive dashboards and other forms of visualization to present the data.

    BI tools allow performance management teams to use descriptive analytics and convert complex data into easily understandable visuals such as charts, graphs, infographics, and animations. BI reporting helps analyze data from various categories, including customers, finance, production, human resources, and contacts.

    What is reporting software?

    Reporting software allows real-time access to administrative and operational data to help build multidimensional reports, such as financial statements, operational reports, and progress reports, from diverse data sources. It assists in tracking the success of sales strategies, monitoring responsiveness to regulatory compliance concerns, and managing internal controls or security audits.

    Reporting software also supports the creation of custom reports per a business’s reporting needs. It allows managers and business leaders to measure and track performance metrics from departments such as sales, finance, human resources, and marketing. The software integrates with apps such as customer relationship management (CRM), enterprise resource planning (ERP), and business intelligence to create data summaries, dashboards, and data visualizations.

    What do they have in common?

    There are a few similarities between a business intelligence tool and a reporting tool. Both help operational teams create ad hoc reports, visualize data, and forecast business performance for strategic planning. The data reports generated by business intelligence and reporting tools include various similar elements such as charts, tables, key performance indicators (KPIs), images, hyperlinks, and drilldowns.

    Business intelligence and reporting software shared features:

    • Ad hoc reporting: Create business reports, which meet information requirements, on an as-needed basis.
    • Customizable dashboard: Alter the layout and content of dashboard graphs and charts to strategically track statistics and metrics.
    • Data visualization: Graphically represent data using elements such as charts, graphs and maps.

    Business intelligence features:

    • Collaboration tools: Provide a channel for team members to share media files, communicate, and work together.
    • Data connectors: Connect to big data sources. 
    • Key performance indicators: Evaluate company performance based on business metrics. 
    • Metadata management: Manage and track reference data of files (i.e., tags, title, comments, date of creation, file size). 
    • Performance metrics: Use a set of indicators to track how well an organization, a division, or a particular project is performing. 
    • Predictive analytics: Predict future data based on historical data sets. 
    • Publishing/sharing: Share and publish business intelligence data reports with the organization. 
    • Self-service data preparation: Access, combine, transform, and store data without the help of an IT department. 
    • Strategic planning: Visualize a preferred outcome at a high level, define goals, and identify specific steps to achieve them.

    Reporting software features:

    • Data import/export: Import and export information and reports to and from the program.
    • Drag and drop: Assemble applications and processes by dragging over and arranging pre-built components.
    • Forecasting: Form predictions based on past and present data/trends.
    • Search/filter: Search available resources to locate required information.

    Which tool is right for you?

    If your business needs to collect, track, publish, and share performance metrics, real-time updates, benchmarking, and visual data analytics, then a business intelligence platform is a better option. BI tools offer advanced insights for analyzing data, benchmarking, and analyzing business performance, thus facilitating data-driven decisions.

    A reporting tool, on the other hand, is a good option for micro-reporting requirements, such as reports on how many candidates appeared for an interview or how much revenue your business generated last month. Reporting tools can handle standard volumes of data and can draw limited data streams to produce the final reports.

    A BI platform is commonly used by teams that influence business decisions. Therefore, it might have a more targeted end-user base than reporting software, for which the audience is more general.

    Once you decide which software to use, head to our business intelligence software and reporting software category pages where you can find a sortable list of products, software reviews from verified users, and comprehensive buyers guides.

    If you wish to narrow down your search to only the most popular and highest-rated solutions, visit Capterra’s Shortlist reports for the top business intelligence software and reporting software tools—our reports are based on an analysis of thousands of user reviews.

    Author: Barkha Bali

    Source: Capterra

  • Contracten BI software leveranciers leiden tot onvrede bij CIO's

    Contracten BI software leveranciers leiden tot onvrede bij CIO's

    CIO's van Nederlandse bedrijven klagen over 'wurgcontracten' met grote softwareleveranciers, waardoor bedrijven naar eigen zeggen steeds meer moeten betalen voor hetzelfde product doordat de leveranciers eenzijdig de spelregels veranderen.

    De onvrede blijkt uit een enquête van het CIO Platform onder 125 CIO's van grote Nederlandse bedrijven als ABN Amro, KLM, de Belastingdienst en Akzo Nobel. Er wordt vooral geklaagd over tussentijdse eenzijdige aanpassingen in de licentieovereenkomsten. Het rumoer is niet nieuw: CIO.nl schrijft al jarenlang over de problemen met licentieovereenkomsten van grote softwarebedrijven. Met name Oracle wordt vaak genoemd als boosdoener.

    De uitkomsten van het onderzoek van het CIO Platform was voor het Financieele Dagblad aanleiding om dieper in de zaak te duiken. Veel van de betrokken CIO's wilden alleen anoniem hun verhaal doen aan het FD, zo blijkt. Wel wordt Raimond Voermans, de CIO van slachtmachinebouwer Marel, geciteerd. Hij zegt dat IT-bedrijven hun positie misbruiken door elk jaar wel 'iets' te vinden dat de prijs omhoog brengt.

    Richard Spithoven, tegenwoordig werkzaam bij licentie-adviseur B-Lay, die wel vaker aan het woord komt bij CIO.nl, doet als ex-manager van Oracle een boekje open over de licentiepraktijken bij zijn vroegere werkgever. Hij noemt het 'een verdienmodel'; de inkomsten uit software-audits en navolgende naheffingen maken soms tot 70% van de omzet uit, stelt hij.

    De wurggreep van de softwarebedrijven is zo groot, dat het haast ondoenlijk is de software de deur uit te werken. 'De meeste bedrijven zouden van dit soort leveranciers af willen, maar je afhankelijkheid is doorgaans zo groot dat het in de praktijk onmogelijk is', zo citeert de krant voorzitter Arthur Govaert van het CIO Platform.

    De CIO's komen nu in de openbaarheid omdat jarenlange gesprekken met de softwareleveranciers niets opleveren. Het CIO Platform heeft zich met een klacht gemeld bij de Eurocommissaris voor Mededinging Margrethe Vestager.

    Auteur: René Schoemaker

    Bron: CIO

  • Democratized software: a tool for all parts of a business

    Democratized software: a tool for all parts of a business

    We are witnessing the next wave of software: one that democratizes its use and allows all parts of a business to participate in making it work.

    My background in consulting gave me the opportunity to work with many unique businesses in diverse industries and geographies. Despite their differences, they all wanted to solve the same challenge: how to serve customers and accelerate growth?

    Today I lead one of those companies, and not surprisingly I find myself with the same needs my clients had years ago. I, too, want to serve our customers better and grow our business faster and am looking for the smartest and most innovative ways to do so.

    My time in consulting coincided with the rapid rise of application software and I lived through the transition from on-premise to cloud-based software. While the hosting mechanics changed, the software was similar. In both worlds, CIO shops and large consulting organizations configured application software and designed best-practice business processes to drive adherence to internal process and policy. Process design decisions were controlled centrally and rolled out to business users. A focus on the customer was often secondary to consistency, efficiency and adherence.

    Democratized software, by contrast, allows more people, especially those on the front-line with customers, to own and solve their customers’ needs. Business users can adapt and extend the core business processes without disrupting business and IT integrity. Using low-code (or 'average-joe code') applications, businesspeople can create workflows and business processes without depending on their IT organizations. Problem solving is placed in the hands of the people who identified and live with their customers’ needs and empowers them to act faster.

    We saw this transition happen over the past decade with websites. IT teams grew tired of managing the dynamic nature of websites and put the power to change them in the hands of marketing teams. The technology shift from (for example) Java scripting to WordPress accelerated this change. We now see the opportunity to achieve this same dynamic with other business functions. Whether the software is labeled low-code, forms management, workflow automation, robotics process automation (RPA), or any other number of things, business users can essentially build applications to manage their work without negotiating for, and consuming, precious IT resources.

    As a result, enterprise software is changing and becoming more powerful and flexible for its end-users. At the same time, CIOs and their teams are more comfortable empowering business users to solve for themselves while maintaining the controls and governance to protect the enterprise. Luckily, this flatter and more dynamic environment is one embraced (and even insisted upon) by the new generation of employees and leaders.

    There is another aspect of traditional application software that’s being challenged. For as long as I have worked with CIOs and business leaders, there has been a debate between choosing best-of-breed point solutions vs. fully integrated packages. People often want the advanced functionality associated with best-of-breed, but they don’t want the headaches associated with building and maintaining the integration of these solutions.

    In the old days, larger enterprises moved toward integrated ERP packages to avoid these integration challenges. This left them with less flexible software designed primarily to drive process adherence and control with its users. ERP is about managing the transactions and data associated with core business processes. These core processes don’t embrace the constantly changing needs of customers. They aren’t inherently customer centric. It’s all about consistency, efficiency and process adherence. Today, businesses need to adapt to the needs of their customers, and to connect these core business processes more directly to their customers.

    There is great consumer parallel from the media industry, where customers have subscribed to Comcast or DirectTV for their content needs. These companies assume the challenge of aggregating access and content. The advancement of technology (specifically network wireless access and bandwidth) now allows consumers to curate their own content interests across a broader network. Consumers can subscribe to the content that matters to them, such as ESPN, HBO, Disney+, and Netflix, and often pay less than their current subscription contracts. The same is possible with today’s flexible SaaS software. CIOs can buy multiple packages and allow business owners to solve customer needs in the field. The advancement in technology makes integrations and information security much easier than before while providing this flexibility.

    We are witnessing the next wave of software: one that democratizes its use and allows all parts of a business to participate in making it work. As this happens, we will witness software segment convergence that brings many software categories together to engage customers more completely, and that allows enterprises to adapt and flex to a dynamic customer experience.

    Author: David T. Roberts

    Source: Informationweek

  • FreePint Releases Product Review of Competitive Intelligence Software, Intelligence Plaza

    FreePint, the international research and consulting service for information and knowledge professionals, released an independent product review of Intelligence Plaza today. The Intelligence Plaza is a comprehensive web-based market and competitive intelligence software tool developed by Global Intelligence Alliance (GIA), which is used by over 40,000 business managers worldwide.

    Chicago, IL, January 07, 2015 --(PR.com)-- FreePint, the international research and consulting service for information and knowledge professionals, released an independent product review of Intelligence Plaza today. The Intelligence Plaza is a comprehensive web-based market and competitive intelligence software tool developed by Global Intelligence Alliance (GIA), which is used by over 40,000 business managers worldwide.

    The Product Review of Intelligence Plaza by FreePint takes a look at Intelligence Plaza in terms of:

    1. Sources, Content and Coverage - How Intelligence Plaza provides users with a comprehensive web-based market and competitive intelligence software tool.

    2. Technology – What are the search functions of Intelligence Plaza, how the interface works and how it can benefit any organization.

    3. Purchasing and Value – What are the cost and the value that Intelligence Plaza would bring to any organization.

    FreePint’s in-depth Product Reviews are often used by information managers when evaluating tools and as a key part of their purchasing decision.

    In an excerpt, the Review explains, “Intelligence Plaza is a great choice for organisations already using Microsoft SharePoint as it is strongly integrated within a SharePoint Interface. The stand out strengths of Intelligence Plaza are the options to set up feeds from internal and external feeds of your choosing, making each company’s view unique and tailored to their information needs and wants. The package also enables each user to tag chosen stories and you can choose a variety of delivery options. Intelligence Plaza is fully operational on all platforms from PC to tablet and smartphone. The Intelligence Plaza “Market Intelligence Team” are fully committed to ensuring that every customer gets the most from that data available. The typical company size that uses Intelligence Plaza can be from 100 to thousands of employees.”

    “We have seen a trend in the marketplace where more and more companies are moving towards Microsoft SharePoint, and it is of utmost importance for our clients to have a choice. With GIA, they can choose between SharePoint products and non-SharePoint products, thus avoiding the need to build something internally, when a world-class off-the-shelf market intelligence software solution for SharePoint already exists. Intelligence Plaza for SharePoint is an outcome of collaboration between intelligence advisors, intelligence software experts and SharePoint specialists. It is an actual SharePoint software product that is fully compatible with the corporate intranet platform, and meets internal IT requirements and offers all the features of a proven intelligence software for market intelligence practitioners. Business users in their turn, benefit from all the built-in functionalities. These include for instance, personal email alerts and dashboards, that are all packaged in a user-friendly interface,” said Petteri Verronen, Vice President of Technology at GIA.




  • Hoe gestructureerd inwerken jouw bedrijf naar een hoger niveau kan tillen

    Hoe gestructureerd inwerken jouw bedrijf naar een hoger niveau kan tillen

    Heb jij het ook zo druk en hou je op het einde van de werkdag vaak nog wat werk over? Eigenlijk zou je wel een collega erbij willen hebben. Maar als die zich aandient, heb je dan wel tijd om hem of haar met voldoende aandacht in te werken? Je wil dat nieuwe collega’s snel zijn ingewerkt, zonder dat dit ten koste van de productiviteit van andere collega’s gaat. Hoe doe je dat? Met de hulp van dit stappenplan en regelmatig een kop koffie.

    Goed personeel is schaars en daarom kun je er maar beter zuinig op zijn. De methode ‘in het diepe gooien en wachten tot je help! hoort’ is dus bij het inwerken van collega’s niet heel handig. Toch zien we dit vaak terug. Het is meestal een kwestie van tijdgebrek en gebrek aan inwerkplan voor nieuwe medewerkers. Uit onderzoek blijkt dat na een slechte inwerkperiode 60% van de nieuwkomers vertrek overweegt. Nieuwe werknemers begrijpen vaak hun nieuwe baan niet goed. Dit onderzoek becijfert dat het niet begrijpen van de nieuwe baan bedrijven in de VS en Groot-Brittannië jaarlijks 37 miljard dollar kost.

    Stap 1: Breng informatie bij elkaar

    Het is op de eerste werkdag zoeken geblazen naar allerlei informatie. Waar declareer ik kosten, noteer ik uren, met welke tools moet ik aan de slag en zijn daarvoor handleidingen? Maar aan wie moet de nieuweling deze vragen stellen? Zeker nu veel collega’s thuiswerken, kan een vraag snel in een zoektocht veranderen. Daarom is het handig om alle belangrijke informatie per type werknemer bij elkaar te brengen. Zo’n plan maken is even een klusje, maar scheelt later een heleboel dubbele acties en heel veel tijd.

    Stap 2: Zet chatbots in voor automatische onboarding

    Chatbots duiken steeds vaker op en niet voor niets. Deze hulpvaardige robots staan dag en nacht voor je klaar. We zien ze niet alleen terug als digitale klantenservice, maar ook voor de interne informatievoorziening bij bedrijven. Deze bots vertellen werknemers bijvoorbeeld waar ze hun auto moeten neerzetten, waar de koffieautomaat is of bij welke collega je moet zijn voor budgetaanvraag voor een nieuw project.

    Stap 3: Start met service management software

    De chatbot stuurt je bij een vraag over digitale tools richting de IT-afdeling. Wil je je ziekmelden dan verwijst de digitale assistent naar HR, en voor declaraties ga je naar finance. Al deze afdelingen zijn anders, maar hebben één ding gemeen: ze hebben het druk en besteden veel tijd aan het beantwoorden van steeds dezelfde vragen. Je kunt deze vragen en antwoorden natuurlijk in een tekstdocument stoppen, maar dat kost veel tijd. Bovendien is de informatie snel achterhaald en het communiceert niet persoonlijk. Veel handiger is een selfservice portaal op basis van service management software. Hierin vinden nieuwe collega’s razendsnel hun informatie en kunnen ze alle tools en software die ze nodig hebben zelf downloaden. Scheelt jouw collega’s op de IT-afdeling ook weer wat werk bij het inrichten van hun laptop.

    Stap 4: vergeet niet koffie te drinken

    Allemaal leuk en aardig; service management software, automatische onboarding en pratende computers, maar inwerken is veel meer dan informatiedistributie automatiseren en laptops klaarzetten. Iedereen zit tegenwoordig in zijn eigen thuiskantoor, gefocust op zijn KPI’s keihard te werken. Hierbij gaan we snel voorbij aan een van de allerbelangrijkste zaken van inwerken en samenwerken: het gevoel ergens bij te horen en te werken met een doel. Betrek daarom vanaf dag één die nieuwe collega bij je afdeling bij het terugkerende (virtuele) koffiedrinkmoment.

    Investeer in je medewerkers

    Het is veel goedkoper om collega’s te behouden dan steeds weer gaten op te vullen met nieuwe krachten. Maak daarom werk van het inwerken van nieuwe kandidaten. Een investering in hen betaalt zich razendsnel terug. Daarom is het de hoogste tijd om je onboarding zo in te richten dat je nieuwe collega’s voor een groot gedeelte zichzelf inwerken, via selfservice zelf de juiste software veilig installeren en in geen tijd automatisch toegang krijgen tot alle systemen.

    Auteur: Ivanti

    Bron: Managementbase

  • How big data can drive employee engagement

    iPadBig data has reshaped businesses in many ways, and now it's even changing the way HR monitors employee engagement to improve both retention and customer satisfaction.

    What if your HR department could use data to not only predict employee engagement, but also know when an employee might be looking to jump ship? That's what Vip Sandhir, founder and CEO at HighGround, aims to do with his company's latest employee engagement products. By creating systems that mine data directly from employees, the goal is to provide business leaders with better -- and ongoing -- insights into the weaknesses and strengths within the organization.

    Using big data for performance evaluation allows companies to look at real-time data, rather than just annual reviews. This way, it's easier to get an idea of the larger picture of how happy and engaged employees are across the organization. Sandhir says that annual reviews are often watered down, because the employee might not want to offend anyone or the person they're unhappy with might be the same person conducting their review.

    "We think the voice of the employee is missing in the workplace today," says Sandhir. By offering a more interactive, streamlined daily process that measures employee's happiness and unhappiness, businesses can get better insights into where problems lie to avoid high turnover.

    "We put the platform in everyone's hands, and we allow managers and employees to interact in a more continuous manner. On a daily basis, you might get a question asking how you feel at work today. So what our application does, is it starts to create a continuous dialogue with the employee," says Sandhir.

    Minimizing flight risks

    Retaining talent is difficult, and it becomes even more difficult if that talent becomes resentful or unhappy in a negative working environment. Unhappy employees can lead to high turnover, which affects the business from every angle. For one company, Echo Global Logistics, HighGround's service made a significant difference in its "flight risk," minimizing turnover by 5 percent, which lead to increased productivity, customer retention and overall cost savings, Sandhir says.

    "As companies add new leaders, people, techniques and different reactions, the system will learn as you go," says Sandhir, "It becomes a method of two-way communication between manager and employee, which is key to gain insights into the overall success of the company from every employee." He points to the increased two way communication this type of software can encourage, which can give business leaders and executives the overall picture of the company.

    For example, some clients have installed this software across every retail store to take daily data on employee moods. "We've seen circumstances where stores have had very stable moods, and then over a very small period of time you'll see that mood sort of drop, and we've seen companies investigate and tie that back -- in some cases -- to a particular new leader that was installed in that location."

    Echo Global Logistics says the service encourages employees and management to recognize the hard work they do. The company notes that this engagement has been important because the company grew quickly. To avoid any fallout from fast growth, the leaders wanted to retain the sense of community and culture within the organization.

    "HighGround, which internally we refer to as Echo Engage, allows employees to recognize their colleagues for doing great work or helping them out. It also allows managers to make sure their employees do actually appreciate the work that they do by making it easy to give quick shout outs for just about anything," says Cheryl Johnson, senior vice president of talent at Echo Global Logistics.

    Customer feedback drives training

    However, it's not just employees who can go into the system to leave kudos and recognition. Customers also have the opportunity to leave feedback. In turn, says Johnson, that customer feedback helps drive employee training, engagement and allows leaders to find what the business is doing right and areas it might need to improve.

    While engagement is great when it's about positive recognition, the software can also unveil weak spots. For companies that can pinpoint the exact cause of unhappiness within a department or office location, it's possible to save money by keeping employees from quitting just to get away from one person. That problem can be addressed on an individual level, saving time, energy and money in the long run.

    Ultimately, employee engagement not only affects a company internally, it can seep out and negatively affect business outside of the organization. Sandhir points out that employee engagement is connected to customer satisfaction. If you have happy employees, you'll have happier customers as a result. And getting a watered down picture of employee satisfaction just once a year through performance reviews won't be enough to find problems before they start.

    While implementing new technology like engagement software sounds great in theory, companies need to ensure employees actually adopt and use the software. Johnson says the company found success with getting employees on board with HighGround's software by making it as easy to use and accessible as possible for employees. Workers can simply install a mobile app on their phone that Johnson says is as simple as using the mobile Facebook app. It's allowed employees to quickly adopt the system and see the benefits of this type of personal reporting.

    While Echo Global Logistics has seen improvements in expected areas such as engagement and establishing a cohesive company culture, the benefits have extended beyond that, says Johnson. She says that two surprising areas where they saw improvement through HighGround included visibility into "hidden talent within our organization," as well as "rich customer feedback."

    If you look at how business operations have changed thanks to technology, it makes sense that it would also change the way HR oversees employee engagement. Sandhir also points out that the traditional performance review process is somewhat of a feedback loop. Most of the conversation becomes filtered through the lens of the manager or leader. Any potential bias that is there is going to become part of the overall review. "The key here is you have to set up a safe place for employees where their voice is heard and the organization can understand the impact of that sentiment."

    Source: CIO

  • How to Do Big Data on a Budget?

    2016-02-11-1455188997-848612-shutterstock 274038974-thumbTo really make the most of big data, most businesses need to invest in some tools or services - software, hardware, maybe even new staff - and there's no doubt that the costs can add up. The good news is that big data doesn't have to cost the Earth and a small budget needn't prevent companies from stepping into the world of big data. Here are some tips and ideas to help keep costs down:

    Think about your business objectives
    Too many businesses focus on collecting as much data as possible which, in my view, misses the whole point of big data. The objective should be to focus on the data that helps you achieve your strategic objectives. The whole point of big data should be to learn something from your data, take action based on what you've learned and grow your business as a result. Limiting the scope of your data projects so they tightly match your business goals should help keep costs down, as you can focus only on the data you really need.

    Make use of the resources you already have
    Before you splash out on any new technology, it's worth looking at what you're already using in your business. Some of your existing infrastructure could have a role to play. Go through each of the four key infrastructure elements (data sources, data storage, data analysis and data output) and note what related technology or skills you already have in-house that could prove useful. For example, you may already be collecting useful customer data through your website or customer service department. Or you very likely have a wealth of financial and sales data that could provide insights. Just be aware that you may already have some very useful data that could help you achieve your business objectives, saving you time and money.

    Look for savings on software
    Open source (free) software, like Hadoop, exists for most of the essential big data tasks. And distributed storage systems are designed to run on cheap, off-the-shelf hardware. The popularity of Hadoop has really opened big data up to the masses - it allows anyone to use cheap off-the-shelf hardware and open source software to analyse data, providing they invest time in learning how. That's the trade-off: it will take some time and technical skill to get free software set up and working the way you want. So unless you have the expertise (or are willing to spend time developing it) it might be worth paying for professional technical help, or 'enterprise' versions of the software. These are generally customised versions of the free packages, designed to be easier to use, or specifically targeted at various industries.

    Take advantage of big data as a service (BDaaS)
    In the last few years many businesses have sprung up offering cloud-based big data services to help other companies and organisations solve their data dilemmas. This makes big data a possibility for even the smallest company, allowing them to harness external resources and skills very easily. At the moment, BDaaS is a somewhat vague term often used to describe a wide variety of outsourcing of various big data functions to the cloud. This can range from the supply of data, to the supply of analytical tools which interrogate the data (often through a web dashboard or control panel) to carrying out the actual analysis and providing reports. Some BDaaS providers also include consulting and advisory services within their BDaaS packages.

    BDaaS removes many of the hurdles associated with implementing a big data strategy and vastly lowers the barrier of entry. When you use BDaaS, all of the techy 'nuts and bolts' are, in theory, out of sight and out of mind, leaving you free to concentrate on business issues. BDaaS providers generally take this on for the customer - they have everything set up and ready to go - and you simply rent the use of their cloud-based storage and analytics engines and pay either for the time you use them or the amount of data crunched. Another great advantage is that BDaaS providers often take on the cost of compliance and data protection - something which can be a real burden for small businesses. When the data is stored on the BDaaS provider's servers, they are (generally) responsible for it.

    It's not just new BDaaS companies which are getting in on the act; some of the big corporations like IBM and HP are also offering their own versions of BDaaS. HP have made their big data analytics platform, Haven, available entirely through the cloud. This means that everything from storage to analytics and reporting is handled on HP systems which are leased to the customer via a monthly subscription - entirely eliminating infrastructure costs. And IBM's Analytics for Twitter service provides businesses with access to data and analytics on Twitter's 500 million tweets per day and 280 million monthly active users. The service provides analytical tools and applications for making sense of that messy, unstructured data and has trained 4,000 consultants to help businesses put plans into action to profit from them.

    As more and more companies realise the value of big data, more services will emerge to support them. And competition between suppliers should help keep subscription prices low, which is another advantage for those on a tight budget. I've already seen that BDaaS is making big data projects viable for many businesses that previously would have considered them out of reach - and I think it's something we'll see and hear a lot more about in the near future.

    Source: HuffPost

  • Inergy en Frontin slaan de handen in één

    Inergy en Frontin slaan de handen in één

    Inergy, een software company actief in performance management en data analytics en Frontin, een leverancier van budgeting software voor gemeenten, hebben op 5 juni 2020 de handen ineengeslagen. De twee bedrijven gaan samen verder onder de naam Inergy. De productnamen PAUW, BUIG en INFO blijven bestaan in de markt.

    Mathijs van Houweninge, CEO van Inergy: “De combinatie van Frontin met Inergy is een grote stap voorwaarts in het realiseren van onze ambities in de overheidsmarkt. De combinatie met Frontin past goed in ons portfolio en onze strategie voor (semi-) overheid. Die is er onder meer op gericht om gemeenten te ondersteunen, meer data gedreven te werken en over betere stuurinformatie te beschikken op belangrijke domeinen als bedrijfsvoering, sociaal domein en buitenruimte.

    Met de LIAS productsuite is Inergy marktleider op het gebied van planning en control bij gemeenten. PAUW en BUIG sluiten daar goed op aan en worden door vrijwel alle Nederlandse gemeenten gebruikt. Ik ben verheugd dat Dirk Jans, het boegbeeld van Frontin, na de transactie bij Inergy betrokken blijft. Hij wordt immers landelijk erkend als dé expert van het Gemeentefonds.”

    Dirk Jans: “Ik ben trots op onze producten en blij met deze stap. Deze samenwerking zorgt voor verbreding van de dienstverlening aan onze klanten. Ik kan niet wachten om de meerwaarde te gaan uitleggen in het land.”


    Frontin heeft drie online producten. In 2001 werd het Product Algemene Uitkering op het Web, kortweg PAUW, gelanceerd. Deze internettoepassing ondersteunt gemeenten bij het vaststellen van de bijdragen uit het Gemeentefonds. Vanuit het Gemeentefonds, met een omvang van om en nabij 31 miljard euro, ontvangen de 355 Nederlandse gemeenten geld van de Rijksoverheid.

    Gemeenten ontvangen van het Rijk een gebundelde uitkering (BUIG) voor het bekostigen van uitkeringen en voor de inzet van loonkostensubsidie. Frontin BUIG is hét product waarmee gemeenten inzicht krijgen in de opbouw van hun BUIG-budgetten en in hun financiële perspectieven voor de komende jaren.

    INFO is een kennisplatform voor gemeenten op het vakgebied 'financiële verhouding tussen overheden'. Kennisexperts uit de markt becommentariëren die berichtgeving. Vervolgens wordt de informatie op een gebruiksvriendelijke manier toegankelijk gemaakt via een app, nieuwsbrief en website.


    De LIAS productsuite biedt een brede functionaliteit op het gebied van planning en control voor lokale overheden, provincies, waterschappen en onderwijs. Met LIAS is Inergy marktleider bij de Nederlandse gemeenten. LIAS helpt gemeenten doelen te stellen, resultaten te analyseren en rapportages online inzichtelijk te maken voor een grote groep stakeholders – van beleidsmedewerkers tot raadsleden en burgers.

    Inergy biedt daarnaast full service, non-stop data en analytics op basis van de meest effectieve technologieën van dit moment. Inergy levert alle relevante diensten voor het realiseren en onderhouden van data analytics oplossingen en streeft naar langdurige en succesvolle klantrelaties op basis van een partnershipvisie en cocreatie. Beter presteren door slim met data om te gaan, is daarbij het motto.

    Kijk hier ook de aankondiging van Mathijs van Houweninge en Dirk Jans.


    Bron: Inergy

  • Keeping your data safe in an era of cloud computing

    Keeping your data safe in an era of cloud computing

    These cloud security practices for 2020 are absolutely essential to keep your data safe and secure in this new decade. 

    In recent years, cloud computing has gained increasing popularity and proved its effectiveness. There is no doubt that cloud services are changing the business environment. Small companies value the ability to store documents in the cloud and conveniently manage them. Large business players appreciate the opportunity to save money on the acquisition and maintenance of their own data storage infrastructure. The movement towards cloud technologies is perceived as an undoubtedly positive trend that facilitates all aspects of human interaction with information systems.

    Despite the obvious benefits of cloud technologies, there is a set of problematic issues that pose a significant threat to cloud users, such as:

    • The degree of trust to the cloud service provider;
    • Ensuring confidentiality, integrity, relevance, and incontrovertibility of information at all levels;
    • Loss of data control and data leaks;
    • Protection against unauthorized access;
    • Malicious insiders;
    • Saving personal data of users transmitted and processed in the cloud.

    Although cloud computing today is no longer a new technology, issues of ensuring data security represents a relevant point for users worldwide. Security concerns remain to be the main obstacle to the widespread adoption of cloud technologies. What are the main threats to cloud security today? How will they affect the industry? What measures are essential to keep your sensitive data confidential? Read on to figure it out!

    Risks associated with cloud computing

    As you can guess, cloud computing servers have become a very attractive target for hackers. A virtual threat is associated with the possibility of remote penetration due to the vulnerable infrastructure. Cybercriminal groups often steal users’ data for the purposes of blackmailing and committing various frauds. As a rule, cybercriminals focus on small business networks because they are easier to breach. At the same time, the cases of data leakages among large corporation still take place. Fraudsters often go after larger companies because of the allure of larger payouts.

    In November 2018, Marriott International announced that cyber thieves stole data on 500 million customers. The attackers’ targets were contact info, passport number, Starwood Preferred Guest numbers, travel information, credit card numbers and expiration dates of more than 100 million customers. Moreover, police officials have noted that the 'human factor' was directly related to the problem. Employees did not follow all security rules, which made the system vulnerable to hacker attacks.

    Security threats

    When a cloud service vendor supplies your business and stores your corporate data, you place your business in the partner’s hands. According to Risk Based Security research published in the 2019 MidYear QuickView Data Breach Report, during the first six months of 2019, there were more than 3,800 publicly disclosed breaches exposing 4.1 billion compromised records.

    In case you entrust your data to the cloud provider, you should be confident about the reliability of the cloud server. Thus, it is essential to be aware of the existing risk to prevent disclosure of your sensitive information.

    The cloud computing system can be exposed to several types of security threats, which can be divided into the following groups:

    • Threats to the integrity;
    • Threats to confidentiality;
    • Accessibility risks;
    • Authorization risks;
    • Browser vulnerabilities.

    Data security

    Nobody wants their personal information to be disclosed to the broad audience. However, according to Forbes research, unsecured Facebook databases leakages affected more than 419 million users.The principles of virtual technology pose potential threats to the information security of cloud computing associated with the use of shared data warehouses. When the data is transmitted from one VM to another, there is a risk of disclosure from a third party.

    Threats related to the functioning of virtual machines

    Virtual machines are dynamic. They are cloned and can move between physical servers. This variability affects the development of the integrity of the security system. However, vulnerabilities of the OS or applications in a virtual environment spread unchecked and often manifest after an arbitrary period of time (for example, when restoring from a backup). In a cloud computing environment, it is important to securely record the security status of the system, regardless of its location.

    Vulnerability of virtual environment

    Another major risk you may face is vulnerability within the virtual environment. Cloud computing servers and on-premises servers use the same OS and applications. For cloud systems, the risk of remote hacking or malware infection is high. An intrusion detection and prevention systems are installed to detect malicious activity at the virtual machine level, regardless of their location in the cloud.

    Blurring of network perimeter

    When you sign in your cloud, the network perimeter is blurred or disappears. This leads to the fact that the protection of the less secure part of the network determines the overall level of security. To distinguish between segments with different levels of trust in the cloud, virtual machines must be provided with protection by moving the network perimeter to the virtual machine itself. A corporate firewall is the main component for implementing IT security policies and delimiting network segments that will protect your business from undesired disclosure.

    Attacks on hypervisor

    The hypervisor is one of the key elements of a virtual system. Its main function lies in the sharing of resources across virtual machines. An attack on a hypervisor can help one virtual machine (usually installed on the fraudsters’ side) to gain access to the memory and resources of another. To secure your data, it is recommended to use specialized products for virtual environments, integrate host servers with the Active Directory service, use high password complexity and expiration policies, standardize procedures for accessing host server management tools, and use the built-in virtualization host firewall. It is also possible to disable frequently unused services such as web access to the virtualization server.

    Solutions to decrease cloud computing risks


    As you already know, most of the problems related to cloud technologies can be solved with the help of cryptographic information protection. Encryption is one of the most effective ways to protect data. The provider must encrypt the client’s information stored in the data center and also permanently delete it after it is removed from the server. Encryption makes users’ data useless for any person who does not have the keys to decrypt it. The owner of the encryption keys maintains data security and decides to whom, and to what degree their access should be provided.

    Encrypted data is available after authentication only. This data cannot be read or changed, even in cases of access through untrusted nodes. Such technologies are well known, and algorithms and reliable protocols AES, TLS, IPsec have long been used by providers.


    Authentication is an approach to ensure data security. In simple terms, it can be defined as a reliable password protection method. Certification and tokens can also be used to gain a higher level of reliability. For instance, such protocols as LDAP (Lightweight Directory Access Protocol) and SAML (Security Assertion Markup Language) can ensure your sensitive data is stored securely on the cloud server.


    In these times, data security is more important than ever. Be sure to enact key cloud security measures as we head into 2020.

    Author: Ryan Kh

    Source: Smart Data Collective

  • Research and Markets: Global Business Intelligence and Analytics Software Market Analysis & Trends - Industry Forecast to 2020

    The Global Business Intelligence and Analytics Software Market is poised to grow at a CAGR of around 7.7% in the next 5 years to reach approximately $24 billion by 2020.

    This industry report analyzes the global markets for Business Intelligence and Analytics Software across all the given segments in the research scope. It presents historical market data for 2012, 2013, 2014 revenue estimations are presented for 2015 and forecasts till 2020.

    The study focuses on market trends, leading players, supply chain trends, technological innovations, key developments, and future strategies. The report provides comprehensive market analysis across four major geographies such as North America, Europe, Asia Pacific and Other parts of the world.

    Report Highlights:

    • The report provides a detailed analysis with current and future market trends to identify the investment opportunities
    • Market forecasts till 2020, using estimated market values as the base numbers
    • Key market trends across the business segments, Regions and countries
    • Key developments and strategies observed in the market
    • In-depth company profiles of key players and upcoming prominent players
    • Market opportunities and recommendations for new investments

    Key Topics Covered:

    1 Market Outline

    2 Executive Summary

    3 Market Overview

    4 Business Intelligence and Analytics Software market by Deployment type

    5 Business Intelligence and Analytics Software market by Application

    6 Business Intelligence and Analytics Software market by Platform

    7 Business Intelligence and Analytics Software market by End User

    8 Business Intelligence and Analytics Software market by Service

    9 Business Intelligence and Analytics Software market by Geography

    10 Leading Companies:

    Information Builders
    Microsoft Corporation
    Microstrategy Incorporated
    Oracle Corporation
    QLIK Technologies, Inc.
    SAP SE
    SAS Institute, Inc.
    Tableau Software, Inc.
    Tibco Software, Inc.

    Source: Business Wire

  • SAP: how DevOps can improve your business performance

    SAP: how DevOps can improve your business performance

    Software is vital to the success of businesses today. Quite simply, the speed at which you can change your software is the speed at which your business can innovate and compete. If you can’t change as fast as your peers, you’re giving them an opportunity to steal market share and competitive edge. This means there’s enormous pressure on IT teams to deliver applications, infrastructure, and services quicker than ever before.

    However, an accelerated pace of delivery brings significant risk if your existing tools and processes don’t adapt at the same speed. In that case outcomes like unplanned downtime, critical application failure and a higher cost of delivery may be just as likely as greater business agility. For many organizations, agile development and/or DevOps (Development Operations) are a solution to this problem. These new approaches provide the means to automatically deliver change at high speed (potentially thousands of times per day for some applications) and crucially, to do so with less risk than traditional processes.

    So if that’s the case, you might well ask, why isn’t every firm already doing DevOps? Well, aside from the fact that changing the way you operate can be a very sensitive topic when you’re talking about business-critical systems like SAP, in part it’s simply because change is hard. It’s never easy to shift mindsets that have been entrenched over decades, not least because while the ‘downside’ of change is often relatively clear (particularly in terms of cost), the benefits are not always as clear before you begin.

    With that in mind, a solid business case may be essential if you’re going to get the management buy-in and investment you need for the adoption of DevOps for SAP. It might be the difference between adopting a new approach and continuing with the status quo, so here are some key steps that can help you to build a compelling business case and win you the support you need to modernize the way you manage SAP.

    1. It's not all about numbers

    Qualitative descriptions can be useful in framing your proposal in a way that resonates with the stakeholders involved. DevOps is about modernization. It’s about optimization of resources, de-risking of change and increasing efficiency by employing automation and the principles of lean manufacturing. These terms might seem vague and perhaps irrelevant to the task at hand, but using positive, forward-looking language to position your proposal can help to set the right tone and bring people with you from the very start.

    2. Define what you're asking for

    Realistically, adopting DevOps in your SAP environments will require some level of investment. That might be a direct cost, like automation software designed to enable DevOps for SAP is essential for success for example, or like training team members in new ways of working – but it could also be the ‘opportunity cost’ of reallocating people away from their normal daily work. Either way, being clear exactly what you are asking for will avoid difficult situations at a later stage and gives a starting point for any calculation of ROI.

    3. Identify quantifiable outcomes


    The broad principles of DevOps help to set the scene, but they won’t be enough to justify the investment you’re asking for. You need to define some tangible outcomes that you believe are relevant to your business and in particular your SAP landscapes, such as:

    • Reducing the cost of downtime. DevOps for SAP can provide more rigorous processes and improve quality, stability, and risk controls, all of which combine to reduce production downtime by up to 70%. This has significant business impact – IDC estimate that critical application failure costs up to $1 million per hour, while Gartner use $5,600 per minute as a benchmark cost for ‘network downtime’.
    • Delivering business value early. DevOps can decrease development cycles and enable you to deliver solutions faster, which increases revenue and strengthens your competitive edge. If you can estimate the potential value of a change (e.g. a new feature) then you’ll be able to indicate the additional income (or cost saving) that earlier delivery could generate.
    • Eliminating expensive manual effort. DevOps helps to automate the end-to-end development and delivery process. In some cases firms have automated 90% of the SAP development lifecycle cycle. That adds value in numerous ways, such as by reducing errors, increasing volume of change and freeing team members to do additional value-add work.
    • Removing rework and waste. Endless loops of QA and development occur when solutions are deployed incorrectly or incompletely, or the requirements are ambiguous. DevOps shifts quality left and massively increases collaboration between teams to increase development and testing efficiency. Unnecessary Work In Progress may also fall into the category of ‘waste’. Do you know how many transports have been created in your SAP landscape but never deployed?

    4. Add some data

    To really cement your case, supplement these general outcomes with examples of what they might mean for your business. To do so you’ll need to identify appropriate KPIs that contribute to the cost and/or efficiency of your development and delivery processes. This may not be easy. Some data might be available in the tools you use today but much of it probably will be a ‘best estimate’ based on discussion with members of the team. That’s OK. It’s important to remember that this process is not a science. It’s unlikely that anyone is expecting an amazingly precise cost calculation. The goal is to create a credible, understandable view of the outcomes that DevOps could deliver.

    Important metrics might include:

    • What’s the volume and frequency of deployment (how many changes do you deliver, and how often)?
    • What’s your cycle time (how long does it take to deliver a change from requirement to production)?
    • How many cycles of rework does a typical change go through (how many loops from dev to QA to dev?)
    • How long do approvals take on average?
    • What percentage of deployments fail?
    • How many critical production issues occur in a typical month/quarter/year?
    • How quickly can you recover if something goes wrong?

    Once you have this information you can start to quantify the improvement that DevOps may bring, e.g. how many developer hours does a 90% decrease in manual effort actually make available? Ultimately you may even be able to create an estimate of the cost of an ‘average’ change and therefore the overall financial savings that DevOps for SAP can deliver.

    5. Be clear on scope and approach

    It’s important to set expectations effectively regarding the scope of the project you are proposing. If your intention is to start small and evolve as you prove out the method, make sure that’s clear – you’ll be more likely to secure the approval you need. On the other hand if you’re starting with a large project or making a wholesale change in your team’s approach it’s important to make sure the implications are transparent, including short-term risks that may lead to long-term gains. It’s also worth looking beyond SAP. If there are DevOps initiatives in progress in other parts of your organization, you may benefit from aligning your proposal with those programmes to leverage positive sentiment and maybe even budget and resources that are already available.

    Automating your way to success

    Following this outline will help you to put together a story that justifies the adoption of DevOps for SAP in terms of business outcomes rather than purely technical benefits. But remember – the amount of work you need to put into your business case will vary. For example if you’re asking to start a small trial project in a company that has already adopted DevOps, maybe you won’t need all that detailed cost analysis to get management buy-in. Tailor your proposal to the people and circumstances you’re dealing with. Once the business case is approved, you’ll be ready to start implementing the new tools and processes that will help you to successfully bring DevOps into your SAP environments.

    Author: James Roberts

    Source: SAP

  • Should You Use an AI Writer?

    Should You Use an AI Writer?

    When it comes to writing, there are many different types of writers. Some write for pleasure, some write to inform, and some write to sell. But what happens when the work needs to be done, and there just isn’t enough time or freelance writers to go around?

    This is where AI writers come in. They can help take on some of the workloads, leaving the human writers free to focus on more important things.

    The power of artificial intelligence has grown exponentially in recent years, to the point where anyone can now use AI writing software to extend their own writing. These tools are very easy-to-use and generate excellent writing. AI writers also help with error-free writing by running automated grammar checking while writing.

    Another field that has benefited from the current AI advancement is the text-to-speech industry. Modern AI voice generators can clone a human voice by listening to a sample input! Anyone can clone their voice and then use the software to turn any text into their voice. Pretty amazing!

    This blog post is all about the benefits of AI writing software. Here’s the outline for this post:

    • What is AI Writer?
    • Who Can Benefit from AI Writers
      • Businesses 
      • Marketers 
      • Students 
      • Teachers 
      • Writers 
    • What are Popular AI Writers?
    • Conclusion

    What is AI Writer?

    AI writer is a tool that uses artificial intelligence to generate content. It can be used to create articles, blog posts, and even marketing copy. AI writer is designed to save you time by quickly creating high-quality content.

    There are several benefits of using AI Writer including:

    Time savings: AI Writer can generate content quickly, which can save you time.

    Cost savings: AI Writer can help you create content at a fraction of the cost of traditional methods.

    High quality: AI Writer produces high-quality content that is error-free and engaging.

    Increased productivity: AI Writer can help you be more productive by freeing up your time to focus on other tasks.

    Greater creativity: AI Writer can help you generate new ideas and concepts that you may not have thought of on your own.

    Who Can Benefit from AI Writers


    Businesses can benefit from AI writers in several ways. First, AI writers can help to create content that is more accurate and error-free than content created by humans. This is because AI writers are not susceptible to the same biases and errors that humans are. AI writers can also create content faster than human writers.

    Businesses can use AI writers to create any type of textual content for their needs. This can save the business time and money, as they will not have to hire a human writer to create the content. The content created by AI writers can be of high quality, as they can mimic the style of a human writer.

    According to Jasper, their AI writer is used by large companies like Airbnb, Hubspot, and IBM.


    Marketers can use AI writers to create marketing materials such as email newsletters, social media posts, and website content. AI writers can help create targeted content that is personalized for each customer and segment. AI writers can also help optimize campaigns by helping in A/B testing different versions of content.

    AI writers can also help with lead generation by creating targeted content designed to attract and engage potential customers. AI writers can help create custom content for each stage of the sales funnel, from top of the funnel (ToFu) content that raises awareness to middle of the funnel (MoFu) content that helps prospects learn more about your product or service, to the bottom of the funnel (BoFu) content that helps convert prospects into customers.


    Students can use AI writers to help them with their schoolwork. For example, if a student needs to write an essay, they can use an AI writing program to generate a rough draft of the essay. This can save the student time, as they will not have to write the entire essay themselves.

    However, the topic of using AI writing for school work is in debate. Some believe that AI writers can help students to improve their writing skills. Others believe that AI writers will make students lazy and they will not learn how to write properly. Latter may be closer to the truth, but it will be a big challenge to monitor the use of AI writers among students.


    Teachers can use AI writers to create lesson plans or worksheets for their students. This can save the teacher time, as they can concentrate on other aspects like coming up with topic ideas.

    Teachers can also use AI to proofread students’ papers. This can help the teacher identify errors the student might have missed. AI can also be used to create tests and quizzes for students. This can help the student to learn the material better and prepare for exams.

    Overall, AI writing is great for teachers as it allows them to develop new and exciting lessons that teachers wouldn’t have thought otherwise.


    Content writers can use AI writers to help them with their writing projects. For example, if a writer is having trouble coming up with ideas for their next book, they could use an AI writing program to generate ideas for them. This could save the writer a great deal of time and help them to produce a higher-quality book.

    Freelance writers can benefit from AI writers in several ways. AI writers can help them to save time on research and writing. AI writers can also help to improve the quality of their writing. It also allows them to find new ideas for their writing projects.

    AI writers can also be used for copywriting projects by using templates like PAS and AIDA. For example, suppose a company wants to create an effective sales letter. In that case, the writer could use an AI writing program to generate ideas and content for the letter if they are unfamiliar with copywriting techniques.

    What are Popular AI Writers?

    Based on the popular and trusted review platform G2, the top 5 most used AI writing software are:

    • Writesonic
    • Grammarly
    • Jasper
    • Rytr
    • Peppertype


    There are many benefits to using AI writing software. Businesses, marketers, students, teachers, and content writers will all have unique use cases for the software.

    Overall, it can help anyone become a better writer and save time on writing tasks. These tools are constantly improving, so it’s important to keep an eye on the latest developments to get the most out of them.

    Author: Mats-Peter Forss

    Source: Data Science Central

  • The current state of the B2B software buying process

    The current state of the B2B software buying process

    The B2B software buying process is becoming increasingly complex due to challenges such as changes in buying teams and increasing use of software marketplaces.

    Ease of implementation and return on investment (ROI), combined with ease of use, continue to dominate the business to business (B2B) software buying process, according to a report from software marketplace G2.

    The report, which is based on a survey of 1,002 global decision-makers with responsibility for, or influence over, purchase decisions for departments, multiple departments, operating units, or entire businesses, showed that at least 93% of respondents indicate the quality of the implementation process is very important when deciding whether to renew a software product.

    The respondents said they are looking for the least amount of friction while adding a new solution or software to their technology stack and that ease of implementation can add to the frictionless experience, according to the report.

    In fact, 77% of respondents indicated they have either worked with a vendor’s implementation team or have worked with a third-party vendor for implementation, as opposed to 34% of respondents indicating that they handle implementation with their internal teams.

    These implementation teams play a pivotal role as they shape an opinion about vendors and can help make contract renewals easier, the report noted.

    Pricing no longer an effective sales tool

    Pricing, according to the respondents, was the second-least favored factor in the buying process. The survey showed that sticker price is no longer a sales tool and has been replaced by proof of return in investment.

    The decision makers ranked ease of implementation as the top important factor while ROI within six months and ease of use were the second and third most important factors among 12 other considerations, including price, as part of the buying process.

    The survey data showed that these decision makers want to achieve ROI quickly and believe that an easy implementation process combined with an easy-to-use product may help them generate returns faster.

    Lower switching costs affect renewal rates

    At least 53% of respondents surveyed said they conduct research and consider alternatives when a product is up for renewal as opposed to 45% claiming they renew the software they already use without considering other options. This phenomenon can be attributed to increasing options and lower switching costs, the report showed.

    However, the group of decision makers that renews a product without considering options is growing slowly. There has been a 3% increase year-on-year for the same category, according to the report.

    Vendors must make information such as proof of ROI available in early stages of adoption in places where these decision makers frequent for researching new products, as a majority of decision makers are still looking for alternative products, the report said.

    At least 76% of respondents said product and service review websites are trustworthy and transparency in the validation of the reviews is key. More than 33% of decision-makers surveyed said transparent validation of reviews is the most helpful feature when using online software or service review sites.

    The report also shows that most enterprises have a six-month contract period, which leaves limited time for vendors to make an impression on the buyer. At least 57% of respondents said they have a six-month period compared to just 11% stating that they have two-year or multiyear contracts in place.

    Buying directly from vendors is slowing down

    Buyers are slowly shying away from buying directly from vendors, the report highlighted. Only 60% of respondents said they bought directly from vendors, a 9% decrease from the previous year.

    Alternatively, buyers are increasingly purchasing software from third-party marketplaces and value-added resellers (VARs), according to the report.

    At least 28% of respondents said they were buying software from third-party marketplaces, an increase of 6% from the previous year’s survey. Further, 11% of respondents said they were buying software from VARs, a 4% increase year-on-year.

    Buying committee changes complicate purchase process

    The B2B buying journey, according to the report, is becoming increasingly complex due to changes in buying committees. At least 80% of respondents said their enterprises or organizations have such committees in place.

    More than 67% of respondents said buying-decision makers are changed frequently or nearly always during the software buying process, up by 15% from previous year’s survey.

    Another challenge is that the buying committee is more likely to have changed at the time of renewal from when the product was originally purchased, the report showed.

    Author: Anirban Ghoshal

    Source: CIO

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