Mentor & board director for market-leading technology companies, including Workspot—the Cloud PC Company
When we look back at traditional, on-premises virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI), we can understand why IT organizations adopted it. VDI centralized the delivery and management of Windows desktops and apps from data center servers, providing anywhere access over a LAN or internet connection. It improved security while supporting a workforce that worked largely within reasonable proximity of an enterprise-operated data center. However, VDI was time-consuming, capital-intensive, complex and hard to scale. With the introduction of Cloud PCs—an enterprise desktop experience delivered from the cloud—it's now possible to modernize legacy VDI.
VDI Has Run Its Course
Over the last few years, increased security threats, the mainstreaming of hybrid work and a more globally distributed workforce have driven a greater need for virtual desktops to support hybrid work styles. Digital natives are expected to comprise as much as 75% of the workforce, increasing demands for virtual workplace technology that provides a high-performance, consumer-like user experience; seamless transitions between personal and work-related online experiences; and simple, flexible ways to collaborate from anywhere.
Unfortunately, legacy VDI has created some real challenges for IT teams.
• Limited scalability: At a time when organizations need the greatest agility, VDI usually binds them to a single data center. When deployment is needed across multiple data centers, VDI gets exponentially more complex—leading to increased ownership costs, system complexity and management overhead.
• Chronic over-provisioning: Because expensive VDI infrastructure can sit idle for long periods of the day, over-provisioning of server, storage and networking capacity is needed to accommodate peak usage. Thus, on-premise VDI lacks the capabilities of scaling up or down that Cloud PC services can offer.
• Architectural and operational complexity: On-premise VDI requires complex integration of servers, networking, storage and software components to create a successful deployment. As a result, it's notorious for long projects that require expensive consultants, systems architects and third-party add-ons to design, procure and integrate.
• Poor user experience: Legacy VDI systems have been designed and improved incrementally over many years, so they lack the kind of built-in telemetry needed for end-to-end observability. This means the ability to proactively monitor user experience, security and availability is nearly impossible—falling severely short of what IT departments need to deliver a quality user experience and cloud-native service levels.
Time and again, major enterprise software categories have transformed from on-premises software models to software-as-a-service (SaaS) solutions—Siebel gave way to Salesforce, Peoplesoft was disrupted by Workday and BMC was replaced by ServiceNow. Now, VDI is no different as it can inhibit today’s needs for business growth, efficiency and resilience. The solution to its shortcomings is switching to SaaS Cloud PCs, where system availability, monitoring and user experience are vendor-guaranteed.
What Cloud PC Can Do For Business
The Covid era made everyone acutely aware of how quickly massive business disruption can happen and how destructive its consequences can be. Moreover, it’s increasingly clear that a work-from-anywhere experience is a competitive differentiator for reaching and retaining talent. With that in mind, Cloud PCs can offer modern workforces what they need, whether it's in-office, completely remote or a hybrid model.
• SaaS delivered: Cloud PCs delivered as a service shifts heavy architectural, deployment and operational tasks to the vendor, allowing customers to simply consume the software rather than deal with complex VDI projects. IT resources are precious, and their work can be more beneficial if organizations allocate these valuable people to projects aimed at corporate growth and efficiency.
• Workforce flexibility: Cloud PCs untether people from rigid, office-based workstyles, allowing fully secure access to every enterprise workflow from anywhere. Even power users can replace their expensive, liquid-cooled PCs with a GPU-accelerated Cloud PC Workstation. This frees them to be creative and productive from any device without sacrificing performance.
• Desktop, app and data security: Securing thousands of distributed physical PCs is challenging. Strengthening security is why most organizations adopted VDI in the first place. While on-prem VDI in your datacenter may be pretty secure, when you move those enterprise desktops to the cloud, you gain the massive security investments of the major public cloud players that your organization cannot possibly replicate.
4 Tips For Creating Your Cloud PC Action Plan
Here are some suggestions for modernizing VDI with Cloud PCs.
• Start your Cloud PC evaluation with your most demanding use case: engineers and designers who use compute- and storage-intense applications like CAD. This helps you determine how performance will be for users of less-demanding applications in your portfolio.
• For maximum agility and business continuity protection, look for Cloud PC vendors that support multiple public clouds. Oftentimes, hyper-scale cloud vendors that offer SaaS-delivered Cloud PCs only support their own cloud, limiting your location choices.
• Look to Cloud PC vendors that practice the Principle of Least Privilege, meaning their control and data planes are separated. With this practice in place, you’re assured to receive the level of security and availability you’ll want.
• Look for guaranteed availability. You’ll want a complete Cloud PC service level agreement (SLA) that is industry-leading in its uptime—around 99.95% or higher. Your users’ productivity depends on it.
Modernizing VDI doesn’t have to be painful, and the benefits are transformational. For maximum business agility and a focus on IT systems that drive business growth, SaaS-delivered Cloud PCs and Workstations are the way forward.
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UK – Customer experience management company Merkle, part of media firm Dentsu, has expanded its Salesforce practice for Europe, the Middle East and Africa (Emea) with three hires, including Xavier Bocken as vice-president Emea Salesforce practice lead.
Bocken (pictured) will be tasked with collaborating with senior growth and operations leaders to help expand the Salesforce practice at Merkle, as well as driving collaboration across Salesforce practices in Emea.
Before joining Merkle this year, Bocken, who is based in Geneva, worked at Isobar Switzerland for more than three years and has also worked at Blue-infinity.
Merkle has also appointed Jean-Marie Voegeli as Salesforce practice operation vice-president, where he will develop common delivery practices and shared resources management processes across regional practices to support Merkle’s clients.
Voegeli was previously client delivery director at Valtech, and has also worked at Isobar Switzerland.
Nisrine Danaf has also been promoted to Emea lead Salesforce practice development, having previously been Salesforce training and education manager.
Danaf will retain her position within the Merkle Dach (Germany, Austria and Switzerland) region and will help to accelerate certification-training-enablement initiatives across the region.
Merkle has a long-standing relationship with Salesforce dating back to 2004, with more than 3,000 Salesforce-trained staff globally.
Michel Mayor, global practice lead at Merkle, said: “I am extremely proud and honoured to welcome Xavier, Jean-Marie, and Nisrine as members of our regional Salesforce platform.
“Individually, each of them will bring a unique set of competencies, a proven track record and a unique personality which will help advance our global practice ambitions.
“Collectively, their efforts will offer Salesforce talents across Emea an exciting environment to work, a practice built of talented and diverse trailblazers jointly collaborating on some of the world most iconic brands’ Salesforce projects.”
Nick McCarthy, senior vice-president, Emea alliances director at Merkle, said: “We are constantly looking to promote, hire and support staff in order to continue delivering excellent results for our clients.
“Salesforce supports brands to create more personal customer experiences, and we will be continuing to invest in our Salesforce proposition to further establish Merkle as the leading agency within the digital transformation space.”
Virtual event in October will allow leading Salesforce architects to discuss ideas, opportunities, and strategies to maximize the value of Salesforce data
SAN FRANCISCO – JULY 21, 2022 – Odaseva, leading enterprise data platform for Salesforce, has announced the date for its two-day Data Innovation Forum, to be held on October 26-27, 2022. The stakes for Salesforce data are surging ever higher as Salesforce rises to larger, more complex challenges.
Data Innovation Forum for Salesforce Architects
“Data protection, privacy, and agility of Salesforce data is a complex matter. It’s a problem that we can collectively simplify,” said Olivier Rachon, Distinguished Architect and General Manager for Australia, Odaseva. “The Data Innovation Forum is a platform to share implementation best practices. And, to create and engage with a community of expert architects.”
“Organisations that neglect to build in data agility from the start will leave themselves vulnerable to performance issues down the road,” explained Rachon. “We’re helping architects ensure good practice during their enterprise-grade Salesforce implementations, when the project’s resources are available and solid architectural decisions can be made. Our global forum of CTAs brings unique real-world knowledge about how to make that happen.”
More details about the event
Odaseva’s Data Innovation Forum provides a platform for Salesforce Certified Technical Architects (CTAs) to discover new and exciting ways to think about the future of data management. The event connects leading experts to provide and consider their experiences and new perspectives around today’s Salesforce data architecture.
Last year’s inaugural Data innovation Forum hosted more than 30 speakers including more than 20 CTAs, many whom have already signed on to return this year, with 2,600+ session registrations. Feedback highlighted the success of the event in delivering an impressive depth of content and knowledge from CTAs across a unique range of topics.
“I'm excited. I’ve never seen an event where so many CTAs and experts are coming together and talking about the most important factors and pain points in large-scale Salesforce implementations." - IBM CTA
Rather than giving a broad overview on topics, the Data Innovation Forum delivers deep technical insights. The event is tailored to Salesforce architects interested in improving their data management skills, as well as technical Salesforce professionals interested in going deep on data. The event is an opportunity to lift the lid on personal insights, ideas, and stories from CTAs who’ve worked on the world’s most sophisticated Salesforce implementations.
The Data Innovation Forum is part of a wider strategy by Odaseva to build a global forum of CTAs. Key to this strategy is a new free Learning Management System (LMS) offered by Odaseva that provides masterclasses, learning modules and instructor-led training in courses including data agility, security in the cloud, future-proofed architecture, finding a balance between functionality and performance with data protection, and more.
Interested attendees can follow the event webpage here: https://www.odaseva.com/data-innovation-forum-for-salesforce-architects/ and interested speakers can submit a proposal here: https://go.odaseva.com/forum-speaking-submission-22
More than 93 million users rely on Odaseva to keep their Salesforce data protected, compliant, and agile. Industry leaders like Schneider Electric and Manulife depend on Odaseva to ensure business continuity, satisfy customers and regulators, and move Salesforce data to any system. A leading Salesforce partner since 2012, with funding from Salesforce Ventures, Odaseva delivers unmatched security, performance, and expertise to large enterprise Salesforce customers.
Salesforce AppExchange Mavericks: New Episode Features Odaseva CEO Sovan Bin
SUGAR LAND, Texas, Aug. 3, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- AdvoLogix®, a leading provider of cloud-based enterprise legal management solutions for Law Firms, Legal Departments, and Government Agencies, today announced the availability of a new integration between iManage and the Salesforce platform, which allows users at law firms, corporate legal departments and public sector organizations, to access their iManage workspaces, folders, documents and emails – right from within their Salesforce platform – eliminating the friction of switching between two different environments.
"The iManage – to Salesforce integration, powered by AdvoLogix, supports our goal of meeting users where they work and transforming how they get work done," said Clint Crosier, General Counsel at iManage. "The ability to manage and browse iManage content from the context of a Salesforce record is a gamechanger for professionals who spend large portions of their day within Salesforce, but need quick, secure access to content in iManage, such as contracts, legal agreements, and other key work products."
Through its research and development division, AdvoLogix, a technology partner of iManage, developed this integration with Salesforce Sales Cloud for global availability. Fully compliant with all Salesforce security and compliance requirements, the app is available for purchase on the Salesforce AppExchange, as well as directly from iManage.
"iManage is a leading knowledge work platform and AdvoLogix is a leading cloud-based enterprise legal management platform for legal entities," said Dan Bellopede, Chief Revenue Officer at AdvoLogix. "It only made sense to create a way for the benefits of one to extend to the other, which is what the iManage – Salesforce integration has achieved. It's an example of strength building on strength." The integration can be added to any record within Salesforce and then mapped to an iManage workspace. Previously, users had to exit their Salesforce workflow to manage documents. Now, they can upload, download, or view documents through the integrated solution.
"iManage is a valuable addition to AppExchange, putting valuable documents at professionals' fingertips, helping to transform how business development, marketing, and other departments within law firms and organizations interact with lawyers and legal teams on the critical documents they manage," said Woodson Martin, GM of Salesforce AppExchange. "AppExchange is constantly evolving to connect customers with the right apps and experts for their business needs."
For more information about iManage, powered by AdvoLogix, and the benefits it can bring to your organization please contact your account representative or visit: www.advologix.com In addition, both iManage and AdvoLogix will be exhibiting vendors at the International Legal Technology Conference from August 21-25 in National Harbor, Maryland. To learn more about the integration please visit iManage at Booth #421 and AdvoLogix at Booth #807.About AdvoLogix®
Founded in 2006, AdvoLogix is a leading enterprise legal management solution that helps law firms, general counsel and state and local governments automate processes and simplify legal matter management. The AdvoLogix cloud-based enterprise solution centralizes matter management, conforms to unique workflows and practice standards, and provides industry-leading security and reliability. AdvoLogix offers comprehensive configuration and integration with thousands of add-on applications to extend the solution to meet specific business needs. For more information, visit www.advologix.com and follow AdvoLogix on Twitter @AdvoLogix.About Salesforce AppExchange
Salesforce AppExchange, the world's leading enterprise cloud marketplace, empowers companies, developers and entrepreneurs to build, market and grow in entirely new ways. With more than 7,000 listings, 10 million customer installs and 117,000 peer reviews, AppExchange connects customers of all sizes and across industries to ready-to-install or customizable apps and Salesforce-certified consultants to solve any business challenge.
Salesforce, AppExchange and others are among the trademarks of salesforce.com, inc.
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The big shareholder groups in Salesforce, Inc. (NYSE:CRM) have power over the company. Insiders often own a large chunk of younger, smaller, companies while huge companies tend to have institutions as shareholders. Companies that have been privatized tend to have low insider ownership.
Salesforce has a market capitalization of US$170b, so it's too big to fly under the radar. We'd expect to see both institutions and retail investors owning a portion of the company. In the chart below, we can see that institutions are noticeable on the share registry. Let's delve deeper into each type of owner, to discover more about Salesforce.
See our latest analysis for Salesforce
Institutional investors commonly compare their own returns to the returns of a commonly followed index. So they generally do consider buying larger companies that are included in the relevant benchmark index.
We can see that Salesforce does have institutional investors; and they hold a good portion of the company's stock. This suggests some credibility amongst professional investors. But we can't rely on that fact alone since institutions make bad investments sometimes, just like everyone does. If multiple institutions change their view on a stock at the same time, you could see the share price drop fast. It's therefore worth looking at Salesforce's earnings history below. Of course, the future is what really matters.
Since institutional investors own more than half the issued stock, the board will likely have to pay attention to their preferences. We note that hedge funds don't have a meaningful investment in Salesforce. Our data shows that The Vanguard Group, Inc. is the largest shareholder with 7.8% of shares outstanding. With 6.9% and 5.9% of the shares outstanding respectively, BlackRock, Inc. and FMR LLC are the second and third largest shareholders. In addition, we found that Marc Benioff, the CEO has 2.8% of the shares allocated to their name.
A deeper look at our ownership data shows that the top 25 shareholders collectively hold less than half of the register, suggesting a large group of small holders where no single shareholder has a majority.
While studying institutional ownership for a company can add value to your research, it is also a good practice to research analyst recommendations to get a deeper understand of a stock's expected performance. Quite a few analysts cover the stock, so you could look into forecast growth quite easily.
While the precise definition of an insider can be subjective, almost everyone considers board members to be insiders. Company management run the business, but the CEO will answer to the board, even if he or she is a member of it.
I generally consider insider ownership to be a good thing. However, on some occasions it makes it more difficult for other shareholders to hold the board accountable for decisions.
Shareholders would probably be interested to learn that insiders own shares in Salesforce, Inc.. It is a very large company, and board members collectively own US$5.3b worth of shares (at current prices). It is good to see this level of investment. You can check here to see if those insiders have been buying recently.
The general public-- including retail investors -- own 18% stake in the company, and hence can't easily be ignored. This size of ownership, while considerable, may not be enough to change company policy if the decision is not in sync with other large shareholders.
I find it very interesting to look at who exactly owns a company. But to truly gain insight, we need to consider other information, too. Be aware that Salesforce is showing 4 warning signs in our investment analysis , you should know about...
But ultimately it is the future, not the past, that will determine how well the owners of this business will do. Therefore we think it advisable to take a look at this free report showing whether analysts are predicting a brighter future.
NB: Figures in this article are calculated using data from the last twelve months, which refer to the 12-month period ending on the last date of the month the financial statement is dated. This may not be consistent with full year annual report figures.
Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team (at) simplywallst.com.
This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. We provide commentary based on historical data and analyst forecasts only using an unbiased methodology and our articles are not intended to be financial advice. It does not constitute a recommendation to buy or sell any stock, and does not take account of your objectives, or your financial situation. We aim to bring you long-term focused analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material. Simply Wall St has no position in any stocks mentioned.
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The UK Government’s Crown Commercial Service (CCS) procurement body has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Salesforce to make it easier and cheaper for public sector organizations to buy from the supplier.
According to Philip Orumwense, Commercial Director and Chief Technology Procurement Officer at CCS:
The agreement will further ensure increased collaboration and aggregation of government and wider public sector spend to achieve increased automation, forecasting, reporting and customer engagement management tools.
The main items on the Salesforce MoU are:
Salesforce has a number of UK public sector customers, including the Health Service Executive, Department for Works & Pensions, various local authorities and CCS itself.
CCS has signed a number of such MoUs in accurate years with cloud suppliers, including the likes of Oracle, Google and Microsoft. Oracle’s agreement was first signed as far back as 2012 with an updated and expanded deal signed last year. At that time, Orumwense commented:
This enhanced Memorandum of Understanding will continue to deliver savings and benefits for new and existing public sector customers using Oracle's cloud based technologies. It will continue delivering value for money whilst supporting public sector customers' journey to the cloud.
Expanding the list of suppliers offering cloud services has become a political agenda item in the UK as legislators have queried the amount of business that has gone to Amazon Web Services (AWS). As of February last year, some £75 million of contracts had been awarded in the previous 12 months.
Lord Maude, who previously ran the UK Cabinet Office where he waged a war on excessively priced tech contracts and essentially began the MoU process in earnest as part of his reforms, was quoted as warning:
When it comes to hosting, we've regressed into allowing a small group, and one vendor, in particular, to dominate. If you take a view of the government as simply as a customer, it makes absolutely no sense for the government to be overly dependent on one supplier. No one would sensibly do that.
The Salesforce MoU looks well-timed as CCS recently launched a tender for a range of cloud services in a set of deals that could be worth up to £5 billion in total. Procurement notices have been issued under the G-Cloud 13 framework, covering cloud hosting, cloud software and cloud support, with a further lot for migration and set-up services to follow. Contracts can last for 3 years with an option to extend by a further year.
Eligible suppliers must be able to offer services in the following capabilities:
Having a wider range of potential providers operating under such MoUs is crucial for government to deliver value for taxpayers money.
Those of us who lived through the crusading days of Maude insisting that tech vendors - mostly large US systems houses and consultancies - come back to the negotiating table, tear up their existing contracts and start from scratch, have been dismayed, but not surprised, that the so-called ‘oligopoly’ simply had to sit it out and wait for a change of government/minister to get things back to ‘normal’.
There were successes that linger. The UK’s G-Cloud framework was a triumph when set up and continues to do good work. As an aside, and given this article has been triggered by a Salesforce announcement, I do remember talking to CEO Marc Benioff in London prior to the formal announcement of G-Cloud and how it would work.
At the time there was a heavy push from certain quarters to make G-Cloud all about virtualization and private cloud rather than the public cloud push it was to become. I asked Benioff if he thought this was the right direction of travel and got a very firm rebuttal as he told me:
The UK government is way behind in this, and way too much into virtualization…Government needs to stop hiding behind the private cloud.
I was in good company - Benioff had been in at the Cabinet Office the previous day and given Maude the same message. Thirteen years on, the Public Cloud First policy that was shaped later that year still stands, but progress hasn’t been made at the rate that was promised back in those heady launch days and which needs to be achieved.
In 2022, there’s the risk of a different sort of oligopoly, as the concern around AWS' grip on government contracts suggests - and not just in the UK - but unfortunately there’s no sign of a Maude to take charge this time and bang the negotiating table.
Instead the Secretary of State with responsibility for digital thinks the internet has been around for ten years and retweets memes of politicians being stabbed. Meanwhile a putative, unelected new Prime Minster has just announced that she (somehow) intends to redesign the internet into adults-only and kid-friendly versions. Sigh.
PwC India acquires Venerate Solutions Pvt Ltd
“We’re happy to have completed the acquisition as planned. This will go on to strengthen our consulting practice with significant end-to-end capabilities in the areas of platform engineering, and cloud and managed services, thereby delivering better value and sustained outcomes to our clients,” said Sanjeev Krishan, chairman, PwC India.
“We look forward to the prospect of building a new future for PwC India and Venerate as well as for all of our clients. As the world recovers from the global pandemic, we know that enterprises are looking to transform their business keeping their customers at the centre of their vision,” said Arnab Basu, leader--advisory at PwC India.
Pawan Kumar, leader-technology consulting at PwC India, said Venerate’s technical expertise will enhance and complement existing Salesforce consulting capabilities. "This acquisition is in line with our global strategy, The New Equation, which is to solve clients' most important problems by delivering solutions which are human-led and tech-powered,” he said.
Despite fears of an economic downturn, KPMG executives say business is booming and the firm has more than 800 consultancy positions available right now.
These open positions with the firm's advisory team are for a wide variety of roles, ranging from associate to partner, said Sandy Torchia, the vice chair of talent and culture and the former national managing partner for KPMG's advisory practice.
KPMG's advisory branch booked $4.3 billion in revenue last year and is one of the four-largest US accounting firms in terms of revenue. The firm also has 36,000 US-based employees and pays its accountants and consultants competitive six-figure salaries, with employees at the senior-associate level — only one level above the entry-level associate position — making up to $109,555 annually.
"The war for talent's real, and it is a very hot labor market," Torchia told Insider in May. "So making sure that we're doing everything we can to attract, retain, and develop our people is the focus that I'm going to have over the next several years."
Torchia explains how job candidates can stand out throughout the firm's "robust but straightforward" hiring process.
KPMG's advisory-practice hires can be broken down into three categories: university talent acquisition, experienced, and senior talent, Torchia told Insider. Experienced-hire positions range from associate- to director-level roles, and are typically filled by those with prior consulting or industry experience.
Candidates can apply via KPMG's careers website or by reaching out to a current employee, Torchia said. Job seekers can use LinkedIn or go through alumni organizations to identify and contact current workers.
While everyone will go through the same recruiting process, Torchia said, "connecting with someone from KPMG can help introduce you to what the firm needs and how you can get involved."
"You'll have one, maybe two, interviews that focus on certain areas of your skill sets along with these situational, behavioral, and simulation questions," Torchia said.
At the company-wide level, KPMG's values are integrity, excellence, and courage — all traits the company hopes to see in job candidates, Torchia said.
Interviewees should be mindful to share examples of experiences where they have demonstrated these qualities, Torchia said. Another way to let the interviewer know what's important to you is to ask them questions at the end of the conversation.
"When you start asking, 'What is the culture at KPMG? What do you value?' That can bring you into a conversation where those values will come up as well."
For the advisory practice, KPMG US hires need to have strong communication and presentation skills, Torchia said.
"We also want people that have a collaborative mindset," she said. "So being able to work with each other across the firm and with our clients to solve problems is important."
To solve the problems that KPMG consultants regularly tackle, employees need to be innovative and know how to use available technology to solve challenges, she added. "The world is changing quickly, and the types of things that are important to our clients tomorrow are different than what was important to our clients yesterday," she said.
An element of KPMG's culture that is emphasized in the firm's hiring process is the company's desire to enable people to be their authentic selves, Torchia said. This starts with the interview process.
"We value diversity," Torchia said. And not just when it comes to identity — diversity in terms of thoughts and experiences is also valued.
"So making sure that you're staying true to the experiences that you have and bringing those into the interview is a great way to bring your true, authentic self to the interview," she said.
This is especially true for those who don't come from a consulting background. Having prior consulting experience when applying to KPMG is a "major plus," but the firm is also looking for people with relevant industry experience — such as those with cybersecurity, cloud, Salesforce, Oracle, Workday, and engineering experience, she said.
"All of those types of skills are really hot right now," she added. "And either having consulting experience or having the specific technical experience or industry experience is important."
SAP has been beating the drum for some time now with its “RISE with SAP”. We were particularly curious to see whether that message is getting through to customers and what SAP now exactly means with RISE. The goal of RISE is that you can grow your organization by using SAP solutions, where S/4HANA is the best of suite platform. But can the company deliver on that promise?
We spent a week at SAP Sapphire in Orlando, where we immersed ourselves in the world of SAP, doing multiple interviews with SAP executives, talking to customers, talking to partners and doing the research to find out where SAP is moving with RISE with SAP.
SAP has a broad product portfolio, from cloud ERP (S/4HANA), HCM and CRM to supply chain management and procurement. However, the fact is that ERP is still the most important SAP product, which also holds the most potential. To strengthen S/4HANA, SAP has built or purchased various solutions around it. The RISE with SAP story focuses entirely on S/4HANA supplemented with additional tools.
During Sapphire, we couldn’t ignore that SAP is moving towards a platform strategy, creating a “best of suite” offering around S/4HANA. In doing so, SAP is moving in the same direction as Microsoft, Salesforce and ServiceNow. It doesn’t seem to want to communicate this yet, or it simply doesn’t dare. Instead, they keep shouting “RISE with SAP”. That doesn’t help customers get a clear picture. memorizing between the lines, it is clear that people at SAP also have trouble with this slogan. We heard comments from various corners that say that SAP should call it by its name: “Cloud ERP as a service”, or if you want to position it more broadly, “Cloud ERP platform as a service”. “RISE with SAP” comes across to us as a somewhat bloated meaningless slogan, which SAP should not continue to use for too long. It doesn’t add anything and ultimately creates more confusion than clarity.
If we zoom in deeper on that “best of suite” approach. Then we see that SAP is putting the S/4HANA ERP solution at the center. To strengthen the suite offering, SAP has purchased two solutions that add value. These are a Business Process Intelligence solution and a solution for no-code development.
The Process Intelligence solution is provided by SAP Signavio, a company that SAP acquired in early 2021. With Signavio, you can do process mining, among other things, to get visibility and make your business processes transparent, but also to automate them and make them more efficient. For companies that have a lot of business processes, this can be very useful. Process mining can save a lot of money, but it also helps to meet governance and compliance requirements better because you have better insight into your processes, making everything more transparent.
We mentioned it earlier, a form of no-code development; this falls under the SAP Business Technology Platform at SAP. For this purpose, SAP has acquired the company AppGyver. AppGyver allows the creation of simple applications via a drag-and-drop interface. For example, forms for quickly modifying or adding data. Or to display data from an ERP system in a slightly different way. SAP has already presented the first integrations of AppGyver in S/4HANA.
For companies that want to go a step further, SAP also has a low-code solution, this is the SAP Business Application Studio. The Business Application Studio allows you to build SAP applications and extensions that use the SAP Cloud Application Programming Model. In other words, you can use it to build extensions on top of existing SAP applications.
Of course, based on available documentation, you can also build integrations with SAP in any programming language of your choice. The fact is, however, that low-code and no-code increase the speed of application development and firmly lower the threshold for building something. In that respect, investing in no-code and low-code is a good strategy.
To make this best of suite even more attractive, SAP is now paying more attention to its ISV partners (independent software vendors). They develop applications on top of S/4HANA, for example. They add valuable functionality, which can be in the form of features, but also complete solutions that use the reliable HANA database and back-end. Examples are the integration with Icertis for contract management, which delivers a complete contract management solution. Or what about PriceFX, they provide a feature to price your product more accurately.
However, this focus on ISVs has been developed in the last three years. In the meantime, SAP has signed up some 1,800 partners for the SAP Store, but at the same time, there is still a long way to go. SAP wants 8 out of 10 applications to come from partners rather than SAP itself. To make the SAP Store more attractive, it has decided to adjust the revenue distribution. Previously SAP wanted 50 percent of the revenue generated in the SAP Store, now SAP takes 15 percent for the Integration Tier and 25 percent for the Platform Tier. In theory, anyone can become an ISV partner of SAP, but the company still applies an extensive approval process.
To Strengthen the offering, SAP has now divided some 80 people into industry teams, whose task is to enhance the offering in the SAP Store for their specific industry. SAP has a lot of specific industry knowledge in-house because it has been in business for many years. The company should therefore be able to make the overall package more attractive for specific industries quickly. Whether it will succeed in doing so remains to be seen.
If you look at what is happening in enterprise IT, you see that one trend is precisely to do a lot of collaborating. Your worst enemy can become your best friend. All solutions must be able to work well together. At SAP, however, we still see some traditional thinking that gets in the way of this. The company has invested heavily in the SAP Store offering to enable better collaboration with, for example, Microsoft Teams and other Microsoft products. An integration with Slack, on the other hand, is out of the question, as Salesforce currently owns it. During an interview at Sapphire, we noted the following quote: “Slack is not an option, due to Salesforce acquisition”.
From this perspective, SAP will not encourage integrations with Salesforce or Tableau in the SAP Store. Salesforce is seen as a major competitor. That’s a traditional mindset that SAP needs to eradicate because it doesn’t benefit the customer. Suppose a customer has decided to choose Slack as an internal communication and collaboration tool. In that case, it should be able to work together with SAP just as well as Microsoft Teams can.
We also see this mindset when looking at opportunities to roll out SAP S/4HANA. You can roll out SAP S/4HANA cloud to your own data centre, AWS, Azure, Google Cloud or Alibaba. However, if your organization has chosen Oracle Cloud or IBM Cloud, SAP will block your deployment. This is absolutely not allowed and will never be an option, so we were told. We understand that the Oracle Cloud is at the bottom of the list if you’re SAP, but as long as you support S/4HANA on-premise, you better tell customers that any location is possible, including the Oracle Cloud.
SAP currently has over 19,000 S/4HANA customers, of which over 1,600 have been added through the RISE with SAP program since the beginning of 2021. Those customers also have access to Signavio, Appgyver and other tools. SAP already manages around 56,000 workloads in the cloud with an uptime of 99.98%. SAP has established a good track record as an “as a service” provider.
It also became clear that SAP is signing up most S/4HANA customers through ECC migrations. These customers are running an old version of SAP ECC and have to migrate before 2027. Official support for SAP ECC expires in 2027, although customers can extend it for years for an additional fee. At least until 2030, possibly even 2035.
SAP ECC is SAP’s legacy on-premises ERP product. With SAP ECC, the trend was to build modifications in the source code to make the ERP system better fit the customer’s needs. A huge disadvantage of this practice is that you cannot upgrade to newer versions easily because you will lose those customizations. The market has solved this with the so-called fit-to-standard principle. Companies must let their business processes run via standard procedures that the ERP system supports. Additional customization also remains possible through extensions and modular software that can be built on top of the ERP system and that hooks up to the APIs of an ERP system. S/4HANA has been developed according to this principle. You have the S/4HANA ERP system, and you have separate applications that interact with it or modular blocks that become accessible within the ERP package. This is possible by using the available APIs and SDKs.
So the key to success for SAP’s strategy with this best of suite platform approach lies in its ability to extend, link and integrate S/4HANA with other applications and solutions. To do this well, you need APIs, an application programming interface, which is a way for applications to communicate with each other in the background. With APIs, third-party applications can communicate with the SAP platform and exchange data. Of course, after permission and authentication have taken place first.
At the time of writing, S/4HANA has 585 APIs, and the SAP Business platform has over 450. So there are plenty of opportunities to link with SAP software. SAP customers have told us many times that it is complex to integrate with SAP because the data model and the APIs are pretty complicated. This was a big hurdle for potential ISVs. Our discussions with SAP made it clear that they also received this signal and developed the SAP BTP, the SAP Business Technology Platform. This includes the low-code and no-code solutions but also an iPaaS solution, SAP BTP Integration Suite. This has made it much easier to integrate your own software with SAP.
In addition, SAP has introduced a so-called One Domain Model. The One Domain Model allows you to use APIs to communicate with SAP uniformly, where data can be exchanged with different SAP applications using the same model. You no longer need to have a separate API set for each application. The integration between SAP applications is also a lot easier.
For companies that especially want a lot of access to data in SAP, but do not need to modify it so much, there is now the possibility to use the SAP Data Warehouse Cloud. In the SAP Data Warehouse Cloud you can bring together data from SAP solutions and data from third parties. So that you can then make it available for data science models, think machine learning and AI or analytics solutions to create better insights.
SAP’s strategy is clear if you can read between the lines or just got to this article. If you’ve been walking around on SAP Sapphire, then, unfortunately, it’s a lot less clear. As far as we are concerned, SAP should clearly outline which direction it is moving in and stop using slogans that cause confusion.
SAP is more or less reinventing itself. For years it has been pushing S/4HANA, now more as-a-service with all kinds of additional services, so it is starting to become a large platform with all kinds of applications around it and on top of it. As a result, it’s beginning to look more and more like a best-of-suite approach. However, some things could be better or are still challenging for SAP.
To start with, the offer in the SAP Store. That still leaves something to be desired, the adoption of the applications falls short. We hope that the 80 people who are now working on adding industry-specific applications or persuading partners to add them will be very successful. This is where SAP really lags behind the competition.
Furthermore, SAP would do well to invest heavily in low-code and no-code capabilities so that customers will make a greater contribution to building modular extensions. For this, SAP will also need to rig up more training courses and events to educate customers in no-code and low-code development.
Finally, SAP must abandon traditional competitive thinking and embrace anything and everything. If you want to play a central role as a platform, you cannot ignore top-rated solutions because a competitor owns them.
If SAP wants to offer the largest and most complete best-of-suite platform, it will need to add more SAP solutions. Also, SAP Ariba, SAP Concur, SAP SuccessFactors, and SAP CRM should all become part of that suite. With a complete best-of-suite platform, customers can do a broad SAP platform integration.
You also see this at Salesforce and Microsoft; many products are included by default within the subscription. Of course, there are still options to further scale up specific solutions at extra cost, but the primary offering should be broader and more solid.
The trend today in IT is also simplicity. A product can be very advanced, but the interface the user is presented with must be simple. As far as we are concerned, this also applies to the product portfolio. It must be clear, and customers must be able to quickly see what they are getting. As far as we are concerned, SAP could still be a bit clearer about the SAP Business Technology Platform and the SAP Business Process Intelligence package. What does it includes, and what can customers do with it?
If SAP can do all that, then Europe’s largest tech company can compete even more effectively with its mostly American competitors.
CONWAY, Ark.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Jul 20, 2022--
Acxiom, the customer intelligence company whose data-driven solutions create business growth by enabling better customer experiences, today announced that Acxiom is now part of the expanded Marketing Cloud Customer Data Platform ecosystem and has created a dedicated, global Salesforce practice.
The practice will provide high-performing marketing solutions to the enterprise, bringing Acxiom’s data management, digital campaign management, and identity capabilities to the Salesforce technology stack. With Acxiom’s heritage in privacy-compliant data services and expertise in platform services, there has never been a better time for Acxiom to collaborate with Salesforce and truly help clients extract the maximum value from their technology.
Acxiom has a longstanding relationship with Heathrow airport, having designed, built, integrated, and currently operating a large proportion of their marketing technology stack. Heathrow’s vision is to give passengers the best airport service in the world. Marketing technology plays a key role in delivering the best passenger experience across both physical and digital environments.
“Salesforce Marketing Cloud, a long-established product, is a technology leader in Gartner’s CRM Customer Engagement suite. Acxiom’s expertise in bringing business value and performance to marketing technology is now being deployed and scaled with Salesforce. We’re thrilled to be expanding our relationship with Heathrow and look forward to supporting their transformation to deliver on today’s customer needs,” said David Skinner, Chief Strategy Officer at Acxiom.
Heathrow were utilizing a CRM/Marketing Cloud from a major competitor and wanted to create a new MarTech stack that could help to Strengthen customer satisfaction, acquisition of customers to the CRM database, and revenue growth for Heathrow and its retailers. Heathrow were looking for ways to capture rich customer data insights, shopping habits, and travel interests whilst reducing the number of moving parts within their technology stack, in line with Heathrow’s Digital Transformation strategy.
"Salesforce is thrilled Acxiom is joining the expansion of the Marketing Cloud Customer Data Platform ecosystem,” said Woodson Martin, EVP and GM of AppExchange . “A data-first approach and a single-source-of-truth has never been more important for brands to deliver on customer expectations in today’s digital world. We can’t wait to see howAcxiom will help customers to achieve success in an increasingly competitive environment and accelerate their digital transformation journeys.”
Heathrow invited Acxiom to support with identifying the best technical solutions that could enable the successful delivery of Heathrow’s future marketing objectives. Acxiom consulted with Heathrow to adopt new data sources, and to leverage their existing Digital Transformation Strategy and Platform technology approach. In July 2021, following a capability assessment of market leading technologies in June 2021, Acxiom consultancy services and Heathrow brought in Salesforce Marketing Cloud (SFMC) and Salesforce Customer Data Platform (CDP) technologies to help unlock further benefits from the Salesforce e-commerce and Salesforce Service Cloud products already in place. This approach has enabled Heathrow to design a framework to drive internal change, help gain greater value from their CRM marketing assets, and develop more informed decisions (automated or human).
“We’re excited about enhancing and optimizing our MarTech stack, developing our technology to enable and accelerate the maturity of our CRM marketing strategy. Without the right data, personalization is only an ambition. Working with Acxiom and Salesforce, Heathrow now has greater control of our data, which can be used to Strengthen business processes and deliver personalized passenger experiences,” said Meenal Varsani, Head of Marketing & Customer Engagement, Heathrow
Acxiom is a customer intelligence company that provides data-driven solutions to enable the world’s best marketers to better understand their customers to create better experiences and business growth. A leader in customer data management, identity, and the ethical use of data for more than 50 years, Acxiom now helps thousands of clients and partners around the globe work together to create millions of better customer experiences, every day. Acxiom is a registered trademark of Acxiom LLC and is part of The Interpublic Group of Companies, Inc. (IPG). For more information, visit Acxiom.com.
Salesforce, the global CRM leader, empowers companies of every size and industry to digitally transform and create a 360° view of their customers. For more information about Salesforce (NYSE: CRM), visit: www.salesforce.com. Any unreleased services or features referenced in this or other press releases or public statements are not currently available and may not be delivered on time or at all. Customers who purchase Salesforce applications should make their purchase decisions based upon features that are currently available. Salesforce has headquarters in San Francisco, with offices in Europe and Asia, and trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol "CRM." For more information please visit https://www.salesforce.com, or call 1-800-NO-SOFTWARE. Salesforce, Marketing Cloud, Service Cloud and others are among the trademarks of Salesforce, Inc.
View source version on businesswire.com:https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20220720005031/en/
CONTACT: Erin Tomaski, Senior PR Specialist, Acxiom
KEYWORD: UNITED STATES NORTH AMERICA ARKANSAS
INDUSTRY KEYWORD: SOFTWARE INTERNET MARKETING DATA MANAGEMENT COMMUNICATIONS TECHNOLOGY AIR TRANSPORT
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PUB: 07/20/2022 07:00 AM/DISC: 07/20/2022 07:02 AM