Vendor events are great opportunities to catch up on developments, talk with leaders, and listen to partners and customers. It is always an intense environment, but also a great means of developing a better understanding of the vendor, its market(s), and its customer base(s).
Intacct Advantage 2015 this week in Las Vegas was no exception. The impetus for Saugatuck’s participation was the opportunity to participate in a challenging and interactive panel on the future of Cloud ERP chaired by Intacct BoD member and Jackson Square Ventures managing director Bob Spinner. Insights from that session are being published for clients of Saugatuck’s CRS subscription research service, and will also be excerpted for our Lens360 blog.
The event also included very candid 1-on-1 time with Intacct CEO Rob Reid, insights from CTO Aaron Harris and product management VP Dan Miller, and sharing market insights and research ideas with Marketing VP Clark Newby.
The net result is a clear view of where Intacct is today and why, what it plans to be, and how it plans to get there. Intacct is, and will be, a Finance-first Cloud ERP provider focused on helping the midmarket CFO manage rapid business change and growth. Saugatuck sees this positioning as not only refreshing but also healthy in a marketplace where many, if not most, Finance/ERP providers are confusing themselves by simultaneously trying to move up- or down-stream while trying to address a core mid-market customer and partner base.
Why is it Happening?
Intacct’s focus on midmarket firms builds on a legacy of being the “next step” Finance management software as smaller firms outgrew traditional SMB applications like QuickBooks. Over the past few years, the company has focused much more intently on moving up into the mainstream midmarket (100-1,000 employees), and has enjoyed great success there. In fact, Saugatuck estimates that more than 2/3rds of its new business over the past three years have come from customers in this segment.
It is CEO Reid’s fervent belief that the midmarket is where the best opportunities lie. Large enterprises require more customization for more complex environments, with an exceptionally powerful established base of ERP, DBMS, HR and Finance software providers from Oracle and SAP through to Workday. The millions of potential customers at the “S” end of the SMB market tend to be Continue reading Intacct Advantage 2015 – Midmarket and Loving It→
On June 9, 2014, Docker Inc. – the corporate entity stewarding and commercializing the Linux-based, open source Docker software container and application packaging system – announced general availability of Release 1.0 of its application-container software
An open-source project that automates the deployment of applications inside software
containers, and originally created by Cloud platform provider dotCloud, Docker has been developed and brought to GA in only 15 months. Docker is designed to provide easy portability of an application across Linux operating environments, including on-premises servers, public and private Cloud infrastructures, even on so-called bare metal.
Saugatuck views the general availability of Docker as a milestone signifying that the software industry is extremely close to satisfying critical, fast-growing, widely-held requirements for ease-of-use and independence across Cloud and on-premises infrastructures. The release also promises to catalyze and help manage the growth of cost-efficient, and secure, hybridized IT and business environments. Continue reading Docker GA Signals Hybrid-Cloud Independence for Applications→
So far, focus at Microsoft’s Build developer event on the audio-driven Cortana PDA has garnered tremendous publicity. Saugatuck believes that Cortana right now provides a sexy sideshow distracting from what Saugatuck considers to be a public acknowledgement by Microsoft concerning its core strategic positioning.
In Saugatuck’s opinion, the Microsoft news this week with the greatest impact on Microsoft and IT markets was announcement of free Windows licensing on smaller mobile devices.This announcement puts clear and massive Microsoft internal and ecosystem emphasis on Cloud; it positions Cloud as keystone in Microsoft’s strategic business. That’s an excellent move, and at in business terms, it is much more sexy than the Cortana PDA. The move helps to push developers and users away from traditional computing devices, and reduces (and over time removes) the company’s opportunity for massive, volume-driven revenue growth in smaller, more numerous devices.
On September 25, 2013, Saugatuck held its 3rd annual Cloud Business Summit at the Westin Times Square in New York City. As with prior Summits, our event brought together more than 100 large-enterprise CIOs, CTOs and senior business and finance leaders – to explore how they can and are realizing value from the Cloud. This year’s conference theme was “Rethinking Business Innovation.”
In this opening Keynote presentation, Saugatuck’s founder and CEO Bill McNee kicks off the conference with some opening remarks focusing on some key trends framing business computing today. As the longer-term impact of the Cloud becomes clearer, the role and mission of IT is quickly evolving. Progressive CIOs are realizing that the Cloud is often not only about saving money and internal process improvement, but provides an opportunity for IT to become infused into the product itself, and central to the customer experience – especially with Continue reading The Cloud and Business Innovation (CBS2013)→
The theme of organizational and operational re-invention is an increasingly recurring theme among providers of the entire “SMAC stack” of Social, Mobile, Analytics and Cloud services. IBM’s Connect 2014 event in Orlando made it clear that IBM firmly believes in the concept and benefits of business re-invention as a result of the adoption and sue of Social IT.
But any provider emphasizing change and re-invention is less likely to find a willing and welcoming audience if and when the concepts of “change” and “re-invention” are the leads in the sales pitch.
We believe that IBM and its competitors have the right idea, but that the wrong articulation and emphasis regarding the idea of business change and re-invention. Re-invention certainly occurs in the course of IT adoption and use – but it typically occurs as a matter of time and experience with new technologies, not prior to adopting and using them. Continue reading Re-invention Happens – But is Not Required→
The advent of a new Microsoft CEO has much of the IT industry wondering aloud about how this will, or should, affect the company’s direction, strategy, and plans.
Most of the speculation and opinion centers on how to “turn around” Microsoft, and how to make Microsoft “relevant” to the overall IT market again, especially to the traditional enterprise IT/software marketplace. Even new CEO Nadella has come out of the gate emphasizing a need to innovate, and to become more of a front-line IT leader.
The underlying theme to most of this conversation is that the company has somehow failed or is failing, is on the precipice of business and/or technological disaster, and must change direction, increase speed, and charge to the front of the pack in order to be considered a leader.
Saugatuck believes that, while Microsoft certainly makes its share of mistakes, and does have some significant challenges to address and overcome, the company is in no danger of losing relevancy or influence, is as innovative as any similarly market-dominating IT provider, and does not need to be “turned around” in order to achieve or maintain its position in a changing IT marketplace. Continue reading Microsoft’s Same Old New Direction?→
Adoption of Cloud offerings is expanding rapidly. Based on on-going discussions with Cloud users, Saugatuck has identified that the focus of IT organizations is evolving which, in turn, causes a shift in customer requirements for Cloud-based infrastructure offerings and services. Saugatuck recently published a Strategic Perspective that details the changes in requirements by defining 3 phases of focus for the IT organization:
Conventional – Infrastructure deployment. This focus is where almost all adoptions of Cloud-based offerings begin. This focus is directly linked to the widely-held perception that a key benefit of Cloud offerings is the potential reduction in the costs of the infrastructure associated with the delivery of many IT workloads. Continue reading Shifting Shapes of Cloud Requirements→
During IBM’s Connect user conference in Orlando this week, the company released the results of its latest global user survey regarding adoption and use of Cloud-based software-as-a-service (SaaS). IBM classed each of the 879 IT and LOB survey participants into one of three enterprise user profiles: Pacesetters (self-characterized as having relatively high rate and pace of SaaS adoption), Challengers (self-characterized as having significant, but not widespread adoption and use of SaaS), and Chasers (self-characterized as having relatively low rates and paces of SaaS adoption and use).
While IBM has begun using the survey results overall to help position and promote SaaS as enabling powerful competitive advantages, Saugatuck sees some key aspects of the survey data as more important – and as critical elements in understanding why some firms are more advanced and successful users of SaaS (and other Cloud-based IT).
The key aspects noted: the most aggressive adopters and beneficiaries of SaaS / Cloud share some important characteristics regarding the function and relationship of IT and LOB leaders. IBM’s data and findings complement and support a position that Saugatuck has long espoused, to wit: the role(s) and attitudes/approaches of IT leaders and groups would change as SaaS / Cloud becomes more mainstream, and as it becomes more important to business success. Continue reading IT Takes the Lead With SaaS / Cloud Going Mainstream→
As January 2014 rapidly approaches, Saugatuck analysts have taken a look back at some of the most significant trends of 2013 – with an eye toward those that will have important long-term impacts. A companion Research Alert will be issued next week, when we identify key emerging trends that we believe will have broad and significant impact on enterprise IT in 2014.
Why is it Happening?
Earlier this December, Saugatuck held a series of Research Meetings that focused on the key trends and events that have and will help shape business computing going forward. This included reviewing myriad research that we published earlier this year, as well as key trends that are influencing the evolution of enterprise IT. We grouped these 2013 trends into the following three overarching themes:
At the end of October, Saugatuck published a guidance report for clients that identifies, and provides critical management guidance regarding, key business challenges faced by ISVs as they transition over time to become more Cloud-enabling, and typically more Cloud-centric, in their technology and business. That report (1282SSR, Managing Challenges and Transitions: Best Practices for ISVs on Cloud Journeys, 31Oct2013) is available to Saugatuck subscription research clients by clicking here: http://bit.ly/1gReKvb