Corporate Performance Management (CPM)

  • September 30, 2006
  • News

Corporate Performance Management (CPM) solutions today focus on finance: Financial Consolidation, Budgeting and Planning, and Scorecards and Dashboards. This is understandable. Finance Departments need to handle the pressures for better and faster business performance numbers for regulatory compliance, transparency with stakeholders, and for business management. However, the CPM world is all set for radical change.

Enlightened CPM suppliers are re-positioning their offerings away from "only finance" and are embracing "enterprise performance management". These solutions model and measure not only the effects of actions across all enterprise departments, but also the underlying root causes and drivers using management methodologies like Balanced Scorecard. Performance Management software is set to become a means to provide business agility, alignment and accountability, not just finance metrics alone. OK, the vendors have talked about this for sometime - but the reality is that customers did not "buy into" the promise. Now the time is right as the business drivers and the technology readiness are aligned.

Bloor Research's "Corporate Performance Management" introduces a fresh new way of looking at emerging customer requirements for CPM and profiles the solutions of the top 21 CPM technology providers. Using the graphic visualisation of our unique Bullseye™ diagrams, Bloor provides insight into how the vendors position their products and services in the marketplace - and how they compare in 10 different areas - be they implementation, support, or value for money for example. This report will prove to be an invaluable guide for end users evaluating suppliers' CPM offerings. The CPM report complements the recent Bloor Research report on Business Intelligence.

Business Intelligence (BI)

  • September 30, 2006
  • News

In one of the most influential books ever written on software marketing - Crossing The Chasm - the author Geoffrey Moore talks about "Main Street". This is when a market has reached a level of maturity and a low enough price point that the technology is ready for wholesale adoption by corporate enterprises. When the likes of Microsoft, Oracle and SAP announce strong interest in the BI market you know Main Street is here—the market is now large enough to support the massive investments required for these large players to prosper on a worldwide commodity market basis.

The Business Intelligence (BI) marketplace is now at that point. If you need any more convincing of this point, visit the Business Objects web site, which promises: "Attend any training course in July or August and you'll save 10%. We'll also enter you into our prize draw to win a weekend in Spain!" The technology is now largely irrelevant—every credible vendor can extract data from heterogeneous databases, load that data into cubes, run some "what if" questions and output the results of those queries into professional report formats. The key question is: "which vendor(s) can you trust?"

Some vendors have been involved in unscrupulous profit-taking on the path to Main Street. Others have technology and a level of available resource that is questionable for the support of a complete enterprise deployment. Others have shown worrying inconsistencies and a lack of continuity. Regular changes of account representative are not a good sign. Nor are yo-yo financial results or scandals involving the company.

The message is clear. The time to flirt with half a dozen vendors is over—it is time to choose your long-term partner (or two) and get rid of the rest. The Business Intelligence report complements the Bloor Research report on Corporate Performance Management (CPM).

New Bloor means business

  • September 11, 2006
  • News

The all-new Bloor website and rebranding is the clearest indication that Bloor has continued to invest in business developments in 2006, adding significant value and making us even more customer-centric. We've been busy building on our range and breadth of services and innovative solutions, enhancing our team with new people and new partnerships - all aimed at helping your organisation succeed.

The Bloor web-site provides details of the new products and services now available. Here is a quick snapshot of some of these:

  • The highly acclaimed Bloor Events have been boosted through our partnership with Chill Out for management of the Events - see our Events schedule to book your place at any of our upcoming events.
  • Among our new solutions is BloorAnswers, Bloor's umbrella name covering a range of new online research and knowledge transfer solutions, including:
    • MAFocus - software that provides primary vertical industry research, describing the sectors' key drivers, issues and trends and updated by our industry-focused analysts,
    • 118Software's search engine on competitive technology and suppliers - an on-line "Yellow Pages" for accessing technology and channel partner
    • DecisionSupport - which provides competitive product analysis and a low-cost, budget-sensitive service for accessing our publications library, allowing you flexibility in what you spend your budget on.
  • By joining forces with other leading independent analysis firms, Bloor now offers the entire breadth of services normally only available from the largest analyst firms - yet retains the specialisation and domain excellence of Bloor and our partner companies.
  • Bloor's À la Carte service to gain you more value from your research and analysis budget; instead of selecting specific Bloor products, you can allocate your available budget with total flexibility as to how you will use it and with whom you will spend it
  • IT-Analysis.com, spun off by Bloor last year, is set to become among the most important independent information sources globally for IT decision makers, with contributions from industry experts from a range of analyst companies including Bloor.

Explore our new website to find out more about the new products and services now available from Bloor Research. To receive regular updates on Bloor people, services, products, reports and events, sign up for a free subscription to our new Bloor Bytes newsletter. Welcome to the refreshed and re-energised Bloor Research!

Nigel Stanley joins Bloor Research

  • July 31, 2006
  • News

Bloor Research is pleased to announce that Nigel Stanley has recently joined the team to head up the Bloor security practice.

Nigel has worked in IT for many years both for vendors and end user clients so he has an excellent understanding of making IT work for real.

For a number of years Nigel was Technical Director of a leading UK Microsoft partner where he lead a team of consultants and engineers providing secure business IT solutions. From 1995 until 2003 Nigel was appointed as a Microsoft Regional Director, an advisory role to Microsoft Corporation in Redmond.

Nigel has previously worked for Microsoft as a systems engineer and product manager specialising in databases and developer technologies. He has written three books on IT related topics and continues to write for a number of publications and web sites. He also speaks at various industry events through out the year.

Nigel's first publication for Bloor Research will be published shortly and introduces the Assured Business, an approach to put IT security higher up the CEO's agenda.

Justin Speake, Chief Executive of Bloor Research said, "It is great to have Nigel on board as this will really push our security practice forward. We already have a security event planned for the autumn and Nigel will be working with vendors and clients to make that a terrific event"

Enterprise-wide Search

  • June 10, 2006
  • News

Organisations invest billions of dollars each year in application software and the databases it runs on. They also pour time and effort into developing business intelligence software that extracts information from the resulting data. Yet, while they do this, an even greater amount of valuable information goes largely untouched and unused. This is the unstructured, mainly textual, data that every organisation accumulates as letters, forms, legal documents, e-mails and Web pages.

Thanks to search engines on the Web, users are increasingly aware of the value to be gained from such data. Despite this, few enterprises have invested significantly to enable their employees to get the full benefit of this information. Without the right tools, it is increasingly difficult to find relevant information within this untapped resource as its volume grows.

Software makers now provide those tools. Their products can search unstructured data in its three main repositories – corporate servers, desktop computers and the Web.

The Enterprise-wide Search report looks at what types of data can be searched and the wide variety of methods employed to do so. It evaluates the relevant vendors and products, including their ability to search across the three zones.

The report assesses nearly 40 products in the context of organisations' different needs. These include using unstructured data for business intelligence, compliance with regulatory requirements or simply improving internal communications and business efficiency. Technical demands can involve searching rapidly changing data, imposing structure on specialised data or extracting information from multimedia sources.

Product and supplier comparisons are presented using easily understood Bullseye™ charts. These cover all aspects of the software and vendors’ abilities, including fitness for purpose, performance, support and ease of implementation.

This report provides a definitive guide to current technology and suppliers and how they can benefit your organization. If your organization has significant amounts of unstructured data, it should consult this report for guidance.

Bloor says hello to Sageza as Tony Lock bids fond farewell

  • June 10, 2006
  • News
Here is some good news tinged with sadness. Long-time Bloor specialist and latterly chief analyst Tony Lock has left the company to become a research director at the US-based Sageza Group where he will be focusing on the advisory and consu...