Robert Kugel's Analyst Perspectives

Today’s Companies Need Action-Oriented Information Technology Systems

Posted by Robert Kugel on Dec 29, 2011 11:08:57 AM

Management decision-making typically involves a three-step process of inform, analyze and act. In the earliest days of what came to be known as business intelligence, developers created decision support systems that provided information and analytics to help executives and high-level managers choose the best course of action. Working with numbers rather than gut instinct still is viewed as a best practice. After all, a pilot who doesn’t trust his or her instruments is heading for an accident.

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Topics: Big Data, Performance Management, Planning, Modeling, Operational Performance Management (OPM), Budgeting, closed loop, contingency planning, driver-based, driver-based planning, Analytics, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Mobility, Cloud Computing, In-memory, Business Performance Management (BPM), Customer Performance Management (CPM), Financial Performance Management (FPM), Sales Performance Management (SPM), Supply Chain Performance Management (SCPM), Workforce Performance Management (WPM), Applications, best pracices, business value, cash flow, challenge, financial planning, spreadsheet

SAP Must Translate Technology Advances into Business Use

Posted by Robert Kugel on Dec 20, 2011 10:14:52 AM

At its annual Influencer’s Summit in Boston, SAP offered multiple perspectives on where the company’s strategy and products are heading. Overall, I was struck by the essential similarities to its message on its strategic direction a decade ago. The overarching objective in its roadmap now, as then, is to have information technology increasingly adapt to the needs of individual users and how they choose to execute established/repetitive or ad-hoc processes,  rather than forcing them to adapt to the limitations of the technologies they are using. Back then the idea was to create a comprehensive process framework – a closely coupled approach. Today, it’s essentially the opposite, as SAP products run on an architecture that enables flexibility – a loosely coupled approach – both in how the computing infrastructure is organized and how people execute their tasks. It seems to me that this reflects the impact of having choices between cloud-based software as a service (SaaS) and on-premises systems and the need to enable access through a variety of devices (from desktops to mobile handhelds and tablets). Mobility is important both for people whose roles take them beyond the firewall (in sales, service and logistics, for example) and executives and managers who often find themselves managing by walking around. Tablets, smartphones and similar devices are attractive also because people consider them personal items and associate them with fun, whereas desktops and notebooks are corporate and work-related.

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Topics: Performance Management, Planning, Predictive Analytics, SAP, ERP, GRC, Operational Performance Management (OPM), Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Mobility, Cloud Computing, Enterprise Software, In-memory, Mobility, Business Performance Management (BPM), finance, Financial Performance Management (FPM), Risk, risk management, Sales Performance Management (SPM), Supply Chain Performance Management (SCPM), Workforce Performance Management (WPM), Financial Performance Management

Users Should Apply ERP To Manage End-to-End Processes

Posted by Robert Kugel on Dec 12, 2011 9:28:02 AM

ERP systems not only collect information about transactions, they also automate processes. The latter includes managing the handoffs between roles and enabling electronic document creation and management associated with that. Indeed, it was the promise of improving process management and process execution that spurred companies to adopt ERP in the 1990s.

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Topics: ERP, Operational Performance Management (OPM), end-to-end, process, procure-to-pay, Business Performance Management (BPM), Business Process Management, CFO, Financial Performance Management (FPM), business process execution, order-to-cash

Contingency Planning and the Euro’s Collapse

Posted by Robert Kugel on Dec 5, 2011 12:48:36 PM

I thought of writing a note on this topic when multinational corporations started to withdraw their deposits from eurozone banks, but the pessimism that event engendered was short-lived. Now, as the monetary crisis deepens in Europe, it’s perhaps time to ask what your company would do if parts of its financial system implodes. You may think that your company will not be affected because it doesn’t do business with the eurozone. Or you may believe that it’s unlikely to happen and therefore not worth spending the time to consider the implications. I think both assumptions are mistaken.

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Topics: Performance Management, Planning, Social Media, Modeling, Operational Performance Management (OPM), Budgeting, contingency planning, crisis, driver-based, Analytics, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Mobility, Cloud Computing, Business Performance Management (BPM), Customer Performance Management (CPM), Financial Performance Management (FPM), Sales Performance Management (SPM), Supply Chain Performance Management (SCPM), Workforce Performance Management (WPM), Applications, best pracices, business value, cash flow, challenge, financial planning, spreadsheet