5 items tagged "Software"

  • 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.

    http://www.pr.com/

     

     

  • 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

  • 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:

    Alteryx
    Birst
    GoodData
    IBM
    INFOR
    Information Builders
    Microsoft Corporation
    Microstrategy Incorporated
    Oracle Corporation
    QLIK Technologies, Inc.
    SAP SE
    SAS Institute, Inc.
    Salesforce
    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

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