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And the replacements — Envision for business decision-makers, Ignite for the techies, and Inspire for partners — did nothing to provide Dynamics customers and partners with a home to call their own. Add me to the weekly newsletter. No real details to go on. Bill McDermott made one tiny-teeny comment about integrating with non-SAP apps, but this has to be shouted to the rooftops, not buried as a single line in a minute keynote. SAP knows how to do customer centric policy in a way that no other vendor does, and the company needs to extend that know-how as broadly as possible. This made their choice of mascot a total no brai- wait, Woody Woodpecker?! Change is hard, and going back to the status quo is nearly impossible.
Enterprise Applications Consulting – Josh Greenbaum
Fridays from the Frontline: Applied at Yale SOM via portal. Applied at Harvard Business School via portal. View or Submit Results. View or Submit Entries. View or submit decisions. In-depth profiles of leading MBA programs in the U.
Step-by-step guides for the entire application process. Resources covering school-specific interview information, questions and strategy. Then, amazingly, hordes of almost millionaires politely responded "Oh, that's OK, we understand! Just kidding -- the Philippines went absolutely apeshit. Rioters threw bombs and Molotov cocktails at Pepsi bottling plants while drinking Coke , overturned and set fire to Pepsi delivery trucks while drinking 7UP , and sent troves of Pepsi executives hightailing it out of the country.
Pepsi was slapped with thousands of lawsuits. Amid the chaos, the best solution Pepsi could come up with was to toss a cushy 20 bucks at those with winning caps. That's a good way to calm down a riot, right? In , Italian car company Fiat tried to put a creative new spin on direct-mail advertising -- otherwise known as the junk mail that most people toss directly into the trash. To market their new Cinquecento hatchbacks, Fiat decided to mail out some love letters. So they typed up a few of them 50,, to be exact on pink paper and sent them out to "independent, modern working women" in Spain.
Now, you may be thinking that these "love letters" contained cute anecdotes about similar women "falling in love" with their Fiat hatchbacks because they easily accommodated gaggles of kids for family soccer games and other stereotypical womanly ad copy. But no, Fiat took a different route: These love letters contained realistic romantic musings from an anonymous author admiring the recipient from afar.
And when we say "romantic musings," we mean " borderline stalker speak. The letters used phrases like "We met again on the street yesterday and I noticed how you glanced interestedly in my direction," and asked the befuddled reader to join the author for "a little adventure. To make matters worse, each letter was personally addressed, was completely anonymous, and contained no indication whatsoever that it was all just a promotional stunt from Fiat.
Unsurprisingly, women freaked out. Spanish newspapers reported instances of women being unwilling to leave their homes alone or cowering behind their locked doors in fear of being attacked by a stalker. In some cases, the love letters even sparked bouts of jealous fighting between couples. Social advocates and consumer protection groups condemned Fiat's scheme, and the campaign was hastily cut short.
Fiat defended themselves, explaining that the love letters were the first installment of a series in which the second would reveal that it was all just a gimmick -- presumably via a postcard reading "JK, no rapes.
Buy our cars, K? This is every advertiser's worst nightmare -- coming up with a campaign after a tragedy that either A inadvertently reminds everyone of the tragedy or, even worse, B looks like you're making fun of the tragedy. Now, it's one thing if you can look at the ad and see where people are being too sensitive "How dare you run this ad for pecan sandies so soon after Hurricane Sandy?!?! Starbucks "Well I don't see what the big d- ohhh.
This seemingly innocuous image soon garnered the attention of customers who thought that something just wasn't quite right about it. And the more they studied the image, the more wrong it seemed -- the two drinks standing side by side just like the former World Trade Center towers had , towering over the oddly square, building-like blades of grass, the cute little dragonfly angling for a direct collision course with one of the drinks All of that could have been ignored but seriously, why the firefly?
The real kicker was the tagline: The whole thing is just so Adam Smith It beat their last tagline, "Seizure into Sublime! After complaints came in, Starbucks kicked into full-on backpedal mode, aborting the release of any more of the posters and instructing the 3, stores where the posters had already been displayed to "rip that shit down forthwith" official wording from the internal Starbucks memo. And by "never again," we mean "until about nine years later," when they decided to declare September 11, Free Coffee Day.
Through a combination of B-list celebrity spokespeople and a points system so ridiculously complicated that it works by causing you to just give up on eating altogether, Weight Watchers has succeeded in becoming nearly synonymous with weight loss.
But that's not to say they haven't made some marketing blunders along the way -- perhaps the most notable of which being a gruesome coincidence in that had to make them feel like they'd been cursed by a vengeful god. John Phelan "But we sacrificed so many goats. The ad featured a beaming Fergie touting the benefits of Weight Watchers -- namely, its ability to help you watch your weight -- under the bold declaration that losing weight was " harder than outrunning the paparazzi.
Rometti has somehow eschewed playing this role. I think Charles Phillips could definitely cash in on this opportunity: Charles is more the careful, thoughtful type like Satya. He just needs to be known as well to outsiders too. The Koch Industries investment and partnership is also huge. The only problem I foresee is that Infor needs its Koch implementations to be hugely successful so that they can serve as reference customers on the keynote stage and in more closed-door customer meetings.
And therein lies a problem: Implementation culture across the enterprise software market is historically a culture of mediocrity , and that culture is only getting more mediocre as the move to the cloud strains the talent pool of partners and internal consultants alike. As it should be. I think Infor should do more to highlight the migration stories of its legacy customers: These 70, legacy customers will one day soon, if not already, need digital transformation and a move to the cloud.
Finally, I think Infor has a gem in its GT Nexus logistics network acquisition that could really bring it some much needed recognition, provided the company focuses on the different buying audiences for this solution.
In the meantime, focusing on what GTN can do for supply chain planning and execution, spend analysis, warehouse management and logistics by looking at the different LOBs that could benefit from this kind of interconnected view could be itself an important differentiator.
I also love the finance angle: And that means stepping up to the big leagues and putting a little marketing swagger into the message. The timing ought to be propitious: The time is nigh, Infor, market leadership is there for you to win or lose.
So get in the game already. I was flying home from a meeting last week watching this old, tired media thing called television when an advertising spot caught my eye. Storytelling for the good of the company…. Enterprise software desperately needs to connect to real people — business people, Not-C-Anything-O people, people who do something other than manage tech and sit in a corner office with their feet on the desk. That connection to the rest of us has to be radically different than what used to pass for how software companies have traditionally connected to people.
Complexity — give me more. Customization to the nth degree — bring it on. In other words, it turns out that answering the question Why is my software important, and how can I make the people who use it important too?
Why do we care about heroes and stories? Companies and concepts that fail at that challenge are all over the place. Techy selling is a definitely an important reason why that too many companies still revert to that outdated model. Today the stakes are entirely different. Tech is increasingly less differentiating by itself, particularly to a line of business user.
They really have customer CEOs who really run their business — or least key parts of it — from their phone using information served up by Domo. Why is Domo doing so well? Heroes take purpose and turn it into accolades and laurel wreaths, they get respect, maybe even a promotion, and they clearly get job satisfaction.
If we want a world full of heroes to worship and emulate, we need stories. But some of the key stages relate very closely to what needs to happen in enterprise software marketing, and what Domo and its customers were so good at articulating.
Some of speakers on stage were themselves big, inspirational heroes, more along the lines of C-Something-O people. We heard from Simone Knight, the VP of marketing strategy and intelligence at Univision, who not only talked about the opportunities for driving new business at Univision but also chaired a customer panel moderated by a fellow customer.
When was the last time you saw that? Both great, inspirational speakers. At Dreamforce last fall Sarah Franklin, who runs the Trailhead program, was given a standing ovation at the first-ever Trailhead keynote.
How often do you see that? BI tools are techy tools, and are generally the domain of the IT department, which has basically made a virtue out of not meeting the real needs of business users in their quest for intelligence and action. Is this all it takes, just tell some good stories? No, Domo has some work to do, particularly in continuing to expand beyond its core marketing LOB base into other lines of business.
These issues will be a lot tougher to crack than they may seem on surface, but that just means the call to adventure is even more compelling and achieving the quest is even more rewarding. Some of the most contentious issues between customer and vendor in the enterprise software market center around software licensing. What to do about the increasing need to provide access to the data and processes in core back office systems to external users and devices has become a major problem for customers and a major headache for vendors and partners.
Each stakeholder has made a passionate case for their perspective, which for the record did not include anyone suggesting that suing customers is a way to resolve these issues.
Also for the record the folks at SAP have made it clear lawsuits are not in the plan going forward either. My research accelerated last fall as it became clear that while the greatest noise about the issue came from the SAP ecosystem, more and more conversations entailed discussions about what is happening in the ecosystems of other vendors, among them IBM, Infor, Microsoft, Oracle, and Salesforce.
Early this year, SAP offered me a confidential briefing on its plans to remediate these problems, the culmination of an internal effort at SAP that had started before the publicity about the lawsuit. This became the jumping off point for a research effort to publish a report on industry-wide practices and what vendors intend to do about them.
My original plan for a single, industry-wide report was thwarted by the initial reluctance of certain vendors to be interviewed for a report: While I had plenty of research on what their customers and partners were thinking and doing, it was clear that an objective analysis would be difficult without direct input from the vendors. I have high hopes that the other holdouts will soon come to the table and help complete the research. Because confusion about licensing and predatory audit practices are a wrong that desperately needed righting, and the sooner the industry as a whole owns up to the problem and starts to fix it the better.
That balance must take into account the enormous changes in how technology is consumed today: The other reason I hope other vendors step up and participate in my research is that, as of this writing, SAP is the only vendor trying to actively remediate these problems by working closely with users and user organizations like its American user group, ASUG, its German user group, DSAG, and an international user community flying the SUGEN flag. Are there other vendors working this hard on the problem?
I count it as a big positive for the market that the former Lost Colony of Dynamics has been found again. But while the overall picture of Microsoft as a cloud and desktop juggernaut that also sells enterprise software looks enticing to customers and threatening to competitors, the fact remains that the daylight finally shed on the Dynamics part of the business shows a number of homegrown challenges that are still to be surmounted.
The homegrown challenges are familiar to enterprise software watchers, and those of you who read this blog with some frequency. The basic issues that Microsoft faces are story-telling issues: And, conversely, how to give existing and prospective customers a way to connect to the Dynamics story that is both compelling and heads off attempts by competitors to build similar communities of users, developers, and partners, all targeting the same customers? In the recent past, this looked relatively easy: That became a little hard when Dynamics was relegated to sitting on the sidelines as Microsoft invested in other, arguably more profitable lines of business, and rejiggered its conferences in order to, in theory, appeal to its different, constituent audiences.
The conference changes were perhaps the most troublesome for Dynamics — the end of the Dynamics-only Convergence conference left this community without a home. And the replacements — Envision for business decision-makers, Ignite for the techies, and Inspire for partners — did nothing to provide Dynamics customers and partners with a home to call their own.
I went to one in Chicago last year, and, while I was a little disappointed that Dr. Oz was the featured celebrity speaker seriously? But not good enough to solve the problem of who and what Dynamics is and will be moving forward. The need is even more compelling in the wake of the enormous brain-drain that has seen many of the top Dynamics execs that helped create and maintain this community leave for greener pastures — Salesforce.
Those who remain have some catching up to do, and they need a place where they can do that catching up. This is why I called out the conference problem above. Oh, and, by the way, Salesforce also sells stuff…just like Microsoft Dynamics.
But selling stuff is only part of what Salesforce does, they know it, and they take that knowledge to the bank every quarter. I liked what I saw about LinkedIn integration — there are still major issues about how to make sure people keep their LI profiles up to date, because otherwise the data that LinkedIn Sales Navigator wants to leverage may not be as valuable as it could be.
Which is not why my friend and colleague Paul Greenberg has some serious antipathy towards Sales Navigator. His excellent look at the Lost Colony refound can be seen here. With the added bonus that PowerApps are usable by pretty much anyone with a decent Excel background or a basic inclination towards data and enterprise apps.
And there are pieces of the story, like the Microsoft Graph, that looks like it might be a good thing for Dynamics, if only someone would talk about it.
I will say for the record, in public, that I have been asking for a briefing on this topic for months and months and months. The above, including the parentheticals, highlight the real problem for the former Lost Colony: The good news for Dynamics is that they have some great coattails to ride in the form of Azure and Office And they have to cut through the advantage that their competitors have in the lines of business where the decision makers work.
This means stepping away from talking tech to the traditional techy Microsoft audience and begin talking business to the business decision maker.
And, to be fair, this audience issue bedevils everyone. The audience challenges are everywhere, and they effect everyone. Microsoft is, of course, further challenged by having depended forever on its channel to talk this business talk.
While Microsoft has made huge changes to its sales model, including a massive reorg last year that was intended to position its direct sales efforts at LOBs and industries, this is a work in progress that will take years to bear fruit — DNA transplants from selling tech to selling business solutions are painful, take time, and are often rife with casualties.
Emblematic of this is the email sent to be me by a partner when she found out I was going to the first-in-a-long-time analyst event: In summary, the analyst summit was a good one, and a good start on what needs to be a long term process of education, community building, and branding. Based on what I saw, Dynamics has a solid future as a member of the Microsoft family, if Microsoft can keep up its side of the bargain.
If only I felt that there was a solid commit from the top: In fact this on-again-off-again relationship has been the norm since the initial acquisition of Great Plains in The result is that Dynamics is still perceived as the baby brother everyone kept forgetting at the mall when they headed for the car, even though little brother is actually both grown up and fully capable of taking a Lyft home instead.
Would it be better off outside Microsoft than inside? Which is what I worry will happen next to Dynamics — a digression.
What was truly missing at the analyst event was the faintest nod by Satya Nadella or Scott Guthrie that they personally believe in the future of Dynamics. Even a little welcoming video would have been nice. And so the saga of Dynamics continues. Until the next time…. This is a goal that I think is the sincere belief of most analyst relations teams — whether it is shared by their executive spokespeople is another issue all together.
While the overall sense was that the Salesforce. Which would be my preferred take-away from an analyst event every time. One clear goal of any analyst event is to provide us with information we either have troubling getting a hold of or are potentially misinformed about. In this regard Salesforce missed out on three key issues: In this regard Salesforce.
A good start, but only a small corner of the overall partner story. They lack the skills and experience needed to do lots of impeccable implementations, and as such the partners are responsible for an increasing number of escalations and poorly running implementations.
Is this also the case with Salesforce. Or am I misinformed about this one? The above partner issues are part of this: A SaaS vendor no longer gets to make the sale, recognize its full value, and walk away like in the old on-premise days.