Category Archives: Professional Services

Four Key Metrics To Hold Outsourced Suppliers Accountable

Whether you are establishing a new outsourced delivery model for your integration services or getting ready for the next round of contract negotiations with your existing supplier, you need a way to hold the supplier accountable – especially when it is an exclusive arrangement. Here are four key metrics that should be included in the multi-year agreement. (more…)

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Posted in CIO, Customer Services, Data Governance, Data Integration, Enterprise Data Management, Integration Competency Centers, Professional Services | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

You Don’t Need A World-Class Team To Have A World-Class Competency Center

If your goal is to implement a world class Integration Competency Center (ICC) or COE, the best people you could find to make up the team already work for you. If you don’t currently have technical superstars on your team, you can still have a leading-edge world-class ICC that will “wow” your internal customers every time. You don’t need a world-class team to have a world-class competency center……you need a world-class management system. (more…)

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Posted in Business/IT Collaboration, CIO, Data Integration, Governance, Risk and Compliance, Integration Competency Centers, Professional Services | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Change Leadership

They say people are resistant to change. I disagree. People are resistant to uncertainty. Once people are certain that a change is to their benefit, they will change so fast it will make your head spin. It would be a mistake however to underestimate the challenges of changing an organization from one where integration is a collaboration between two project silos to one where integration is a sustainable strategy with a common infrastructure based on strict standards and shared by everyone. (more…)

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Posted in Data Integration, Governance, Risk and Compliance, Integration Competency Centers, Professional Services | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Is Your Center of Excellence Excellent?

A CIO told me “After five years with an integration Center of Excellence, I expect them to be excellent. They aren’t.”  But so what? The IT organization has lots of things to focus on. Is integration excellence really essential? (more…)

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Posted in CIO, Data Governance, Data Integration, Enterprise Data Management, Integration Competency Centers, Professional Services | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Process Re-Engineering Reborn

The cover of the September 10 issue of ComputerWorld caught my attention; the headline was Rebirth of Re-Engineering. I was intrigued how the analysts and pundits would spin Business Process Reengineering since I hadn’t seen the BPR acronym much since it fell out of favor around the turn of the century. As it turns out, the NEW BPR is all about Lean and Agile and is being led by IT.  Wow! (more…)

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Posted in Application Retirement, Business Impact / Benefits, Business/IT Collaboration, Enterprise Data Management, Integration Competency Centers, Professional Services | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

When It Comes to Data Quality Delivery, the Soft Stuff is the Hard Stuff (Part 3 of 6)

In my previous post I discussed effective stakeholder management and communications as a key enabler of successful data quality delivery. In this blog, I will discuss the importance of demonstrated project management fundamentals.

Large-scale, complex enterprise Data Quality and Data Management efforts are characterized by numerous activities and tasks being performed iteratively by multiple resources, across multiple work streams, with high volume units of work (i.e. dozens of source systems and data objects, hundreds of tables, thousands of data elements, hundreds of thousands of data defects and millions of records). Without the means to effectively define, plan and manage these efforts, success is nearly impossible. (more…)

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Posted in Big Data, Business Impact / Benefits, Data Governance, Data Quality, Enterprise Data Management, Master Data Management, Professional Services | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Convergence: Customer Success aligns Sales, Marketing and Enablement

This week we had the privilege of participating in two significant conferences taking place in San Francisco.  I was on a CMO panel at the B2B Digital Edge Live conference (#DELiveSF), while my colleague Daniel West presented at the Forrester Annual Enablement Forum (#tse12).  I found it intriguing how both conferences focused on the same end-result … the “Customer”.

In some respects this is quite surprising given one normally associates Enablement with the process of training sales on how to sell, while marketing always talks about promoting thought leadership into the social network or generating leads from prospects. So why the change?

I think the answer here relates to how both disciplines are moving forward in this modern era driven by social networking.  No longer is it just a one-way dialog between vendor and customer – you know, where the vendor promotes products & services via a web-site, or advertises in a magazine.  It is now imperative that there is a two-way dialog. Customers are no longer silent! They talk, and they discuss - both good and bad.  Vendors need to focus on ensuring their customers are successful.  This means focusing on “listening” to their customers and understanding what total customer success means to them – whether it is online, in user groups, at events or in one-to-one meetings.  Interestingly, this is one of the fundamental tenents of cloud computing through which service is paramount in order to drive repeatable subscription revenues.

Hence  the focus of enablement must shift from simply training sales, and move to enabling sales to foster relationships with customers in order to deliver solutions that really deliver on key business imperatives. The entire value delivery chain (from first contact through to sale, implementation and ongoing success) must be aligned and working for customer success - because vendors are now visibly under the microscope and increasingly being compared and discussed in public.  Several comments jumped out at me from the live conference twitter stream (#tse12):

  • Certify sales people on talking to buyers, not talking about products.
  • 86% of business buyers engage in web research independent of sales cycle.
  • 8 months ago, enablement was nice to have, now it is recognized as a must have
  • Sales Enablement = Make your customer a hero. That’s why I use “future advocate” and NOT “prospect”.

Strong words indeed which then align with the role of modern marketing teams – Engaging with customers through their chosen social networks to discuss their needs and help position solutions for their success. The role of marketing then becomes increasingly focused on finding the early stage researchers as they engage on social networks and leverage online assets.  The role of marketing has now moved to that of engaging online, embracing customers and engaging in ongoing dialog.  Again, several topics jumped out from the live conference twitter stream (#DELiveSF):

  • Enable B2B salespeople to do what they do best, with digital at the core: data, content, mobile, social, CRM.
  • B2B marketing: Start with audience design. Target the influencers of the influencers & create content in places they seek it.
  • Marketing direction for digital: brands need to become publishers. Content is king!
  • Digital Edge Live: Control social mess before it controls you.

That last point is key - a significant problem is that this modern world of online proactive marketing has become complicated.  At the B2B Digital marketing conference, we were asked by the moderator, Kate Maddox, on what our greatest challenges were in digital marketing.  Three topics that interested me:

  1. Joining the dots between out-bound email marketing with social media to nurture customers and prospects efficiently.
  2. The cultural change associated with evolving from an old-fashioned traditional organization to a leading social enterprise.
  3. Understanding where user groups now exist – on traditional web-sites – or beyond in the social network of linkedIn, Facebook and other networks.

Marketing and Enablement are evolving rapidly into adjacent displines linked with a common goal of embracing the customer and ensuring that the entire value delivery chain is focused on their success – because without their success we are simply fooling ourselves into believing we are building a sustainable and successful business model.

What do you think?

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Posted in Customer Acquisition & Retention, Customer Services, Customers, Informatica University, Professional Services | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

Agile Data Integration and Business Intelligence Practices

This article explores Agile Data Integration  and Business Intelligence practices and contrasts leading practices and technologies.  First some definitions.

Agile DI is the application of agile techniques (iterative/incremental development, cross-functional self-organizing teams,  rapid/flexible response to change, etc.) to address data integration challenges such as migrating data between systems or consolidating data from multiple systems. Agile BI is the application of agile techniques to address business intelligence challenges such as identifying and analyzing data to support better business decision-making. These two disciplines sometimes overlap or support each other. For example, you might use Agile DI to move data into a data warehouse and Agile BI to get it out of the warehouse in a useful form. (more…)

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Posted in Business/IT Collaboration, Data Governance, Data Integration, Integration Competency Centers, Professional Services | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Making Collaborative Learning Sustainable and Creating Best Practices

Last week I wrote about the role of collaborative learning in achieving a transformation to Lean Value Streams. To make it more challenging and take it to the next level, let’s assume that all the people involved in the learning scenario all work for the same company, but they are in different functional groups and may never work together as a team again. In other words, how can the lessons learned by the integration project team be communicated to other project teams?  How can we make organizational learning sustainable? (more…)

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Posted in Business/IT Collaboration, Data Integration, Integration Competency Centers, Professional Services | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment