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        Robert Kugel's Analyst Perspectives

        Doing one’s homework is vital in buying business software. However, unless you’re replacing a relatively simple application, it’s hard to know exactly what to evaluate. Indeed, if people in a company given this task don’t have experience in using a specific type of business application or don’t understand how new or improved functionality will help execute business processes better, they may do a poor job of assessing the available alternatives. Third-party consultants may be helpful, but their...

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        Topics: Performance Management, Sales, Human Capital Management, Office of Finance, Operational Performance Management (OPM), Zilliant, Model N, Navetti, Nomis Solutions, PROS Pricing, Servigistics, Signal Demand, Analytics, Business Analytics, Oracle, Business Performance Management (BPM), Customer Performance Management (CPM), Financial Performance Management (FPM), Sales Performance Management (SPM), Vendavo, Price Optimization, Profitability, Software, Vistaar Technologies

        As Workday continues to expand and the likelihood of its IPO becomes a more frequent topic of discussion, so does the movement of ERP systems to the cloud. Thus far, only a minority of companies have chosen to put their ERP and accounting systems in the cloud, but the numbers are growing and there’s evidence of success. NetSuite, for example, reported a 26 percent increase in its revenues to $145 million in the nine months up to Sept. 30, 2011. To be sure, this is not close to Salesforce.com’s...

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        Topics: Microsoft, Sales, ERP, NetSuite, Office of Finance, Operational Performance Management (OPM), Dynamics, Epicor, Lawson, QAD, Cloud Computing, IBM, Oracle, Business Performance Management (BPM), Financial Performance Management (FPM), Infor, Supply Chain Performance Management (SCPM), Workforce Performance Management (WPM), financial software, Intacct, PeopleSoft, Software

        As its name suggests, demand-based pricing is a method that uses the buyer’s demand, based on an estimate of a good’s or service’s perceived value to the buyer, as the central element in setting price. Pricing strategies are most important because they can have a disproportionate impact (positive and negative) on a company’s bottom line. Managing prices has always been an activity of keen interest, but it has become even more so over the past decade as a result of the constrained pricing...

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        Topics: Performance Management, Sales, Human Capital Management, Office of Finance, Operational Performance Management (OPM), Analytics, Business Analytics, Business Performance Management (BPM), Financial Performance Management (FPM), Sales Performance Management (SPM), Price Optimization, Profitability, Software

        I recently attended Kinaxis’ users’ group meeting and learned some interesting things. The company, which has been around since 1995, provides software for large corporations with complex supply chains. Over the past decade its product has evolved well past its roots as a material requirements planning (MRP) support tool. It is now an analytics suite that facilitates supply and demand planning, analysis and optimization with a focus on sales and operations planning (S&OP). This is a discipline...

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        Topics: Planning, Sales, Office of Finance, Operational Performance Management (OPM), Budgeting, Kinaxis, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Cloud Computing, Business Performance Management (BPM), Financial Performance Management (FPM), Sales Performance Management (SPM), Supply Chain, Supply Chain Performance Management (SCPM), demand management, Integrated Business Planning, S&OP

        I read a blog post by Ben Lamorte, VP of marketing and sales at Alight Planning who delivers business and financial planning applications, who askswhy financial reporting tools deliver no business value. This led me to think that there are more than a few ways to waste money buying software, but I want to focus on one of the most common ones: assuming that having a new application will automatically improve your business (or believing a vendor who tells you that it will).

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        Topics: Planning, Sales, Operational Performance Management (OPM), Reporting, Budgeting, Business Collaboration, Business Performance Management (BPM), Financial Performance Management (FPM), Workforce Performance Management (WPM)

        Many companies have automated their sales and use tax processes to cut the effort required to execute them and to reduce the number of errors and their cost in dealing with a fiendishly complex set of rules and rates. This is one step in bringing tax into the mainstream of finance, which we advocate. Most people are familiar with sales tax; a “use tax” is a form of excise tax assessed on otherwise tax-free goods purchased by a resident of the assessing state regardless of where it was...

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        Topics: Sales, Office of Finance, Tax, Business Performance Management (BPM), Financial Performance Management (FPM)

        Two software applications I follow, price and revenue optimization (PRO) and sales compensation and incentives, can be highly complementary when used together. Unfortunately, since they typically are developed and sold by different kinds of software vendors, scant attention has been paid to the value of using them in tandem. I advise companies that have adopted a PRO strategy to use an incentive management application also to support and reinforce their optimization efforts. It is also part of...

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        Topics: Predictive Analytics, Sales, Human Capital Management, Office of Finance, Operational Performance Management (OPM), Business Analytics, Business Performance Management (BPM), Financial Performance Management (FPM), Sales Performance Management (SPM), Workforce Performance Management (WPM), Price Optimization, Profitability

        I think one of best epigrams attributed to Mark Twain is, “Everyone talks about the weather but nobody ever does something about it.” This also has relevance to the situation with corporate planning and budgeting. Bemoaning its lack of value and calling for some sort of change goes back a long way, but few companies have matured their process. In the 1970s something called “zero-based budgeting” was all the rage in business and accounting periodicals. It was energetically advocated by President...

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        Topics: Planning, Predictive Analytics, Sales, Office of Finance, Operational Performance Management (OPM), Budgeting, contingency planning, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Performance Management (BPM), CFO, finance, Financial Performance Management (FPM), Sales Performance Management (SPM), Supply Chain Performance Management (SCPM), Financial Performance Management, Integrated Business Planning

        Companies (especially in high technology) that sell through an indirect channel face a difficult challenge because global sales channels are complex, fragmented and changeable, with different business practices and customs than direct channels. Keeping track of which products have sold in and sold through which partners can be a difficult task. Unless a company is working with only a handful of channel partners, just collecting the data is time-consuming. Not only is the data complex, much of...

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        Topics: Sales, Salesforce.com, Human Capital Management, Operational Performance Management (OPM), Zyme Solutions, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Governance, Risk & Compliance (GRC), channel, CRM, Financial Performance Management (FPM), Sales Performance Management (SPM), Supply Chain Performance Management (SCPM)
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        • Ventana Research’s Analyst Perspectives are fact-based analysis and guidance on business, industry and technology vendor trends. Each Analyst Perspective presents the view of the analyst who is an established subject matter expert on new developments, business and technology trends, findings from our research, or best practice insights.

          Each is prepared and reviewed in accordance with Ventana Research’s strict standards for accuracy and objectivity and reviewed to ensure it delivers reliable and actionable insights. It is reviewed and edited by research management and is approved by the Chief Research Officer; no individual or organization outside of Ventana Research reviews any Analyst Perspective before it is published. If you have any issue with an Analyst Perspective, please email them to ChiefResearchOfficer@ventanaresearch.com

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