dell

OpenText Strengthens EIM Portfolio with Completion of ECD Acquisition

In September, OpenText entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Dell EMC’s Enterprise Content Division (ECD), including Documentum. I am delighted to announce that as of today this acquisition is complete. The addition of ECD’s 25+ years of leadership in Enterprise Content Management (ECM) further strengthens the OpenText product portfolio and our commitment to delivering the most functionally complete Enterprise Information Management (EIM) platform in the market. This acquisition provides exciting opportunities for current and future OpenText customers. Existing customers will benefit from a more functionally complete EIM platform while the ECD customer base will benefit from integration into OpenText technology, as well as gaining access to the number-one EIM Cloud and OpenText SaaS applications via flexible, on-premises, cloud, or hybrid deployment options. Specifically, the addition of Dell EMC’s offerings from the Documentum, InfoArchive, and LEAP product families will help to fulfill our strategic vision of growth and leadership in all sub-segments of the EIM market. Our EIM offerings will be enriched by industry-packaged solutions and deep customer relationships across the globe. Along with product enhancements and a worldwide customer base of more than 5,600, the acquisition brings 2,000 talented ECD employees to the OpenText family. Together, we will be over 10,000 professionals strong, focused on customer success in EIM and enabling the digital world. Investing in innovation and development is a key objective at OpenText. As we continue to grow and expand into new markets in meaningful ways, I’d like to welcome ECD customers and employees to OpenText, a focused and dedicated software company that lives, breathes, and sleeps EIM software. Given the importance of the announcement, the ECM Community will be gathering together for a candid discussion of the marketplace and how the acquisition fits into the future of content management. Attend the roundtable session. For more information about this acquisition, read the press release.

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OpenText erweitert das Angebot im Bereich ECM und EIM durch die Übernahme der Enterprise Content Division (Documentum, InfoArchive, LEAP) von Dell EMC

Dell Übernahme

OpenText ist auf Wachstumskurs, und wir bauen unsere Angebote kontinuierlich aus. Unser erklärtes Ziel: Wir wollen unseren Kunden stets die für sie beste Lösung bieten. Jedes Land und jede Region stellen spezifische Anforderungen an unsere Produkte. Dieses Know-how auszubauen und laufend zu verbessern gehört zu unseren Unternehmenszielen. Durch die Übernahme der Enterprise Content Division (ECD) Sparte von Dell EMC erweitern wir unser Portfolio im Bereich Content Management und erschließen weitere vertikale Märkte. Wir freuen uns sehr, dass die endgültige Vereinbarung zur Übernahme der ECD (darunter Documentum) von Dell EMC steht. Damit ist ein weiterer Meilenstein auf unserem Weg zur Neudefinition von Enterprise Software erreicht. Die aktuelle Übernahme gehört zu den wichtigsten unserer Unternehmensgeschichte im Bereich Enterprise Content Management (ECM). Übernahme der Produktfamilien Documentum, InfoArchive und LEAP aus der Dell EMC ECD-Sparte Im Rahmen der jetzt getroffenen Vereinbarung übernehmen wir die Produktfamilien Documentum, InfoArchive und LEAP aus der Dell EMC ECD-Sparte. In Kombination mit den bestehenden OpenText-Produkten eröffnen sich unseren Kunden neue Möglichkeiten ihren Content im gesamten Unternehmen sicher und richtlinienkonform zu verwalten, Altsysteme abzulösen, durch bessere Verfügbarkeit von Informationen umfassende Analysen und Ergebnisse zu erstellen und mit allen Arten von Endgeräten zu arbeiten. Selbstverständlich bleiben wir bei der Implementierung auch weiterhin flexibel. Die neuen Lösungen werden daher stationär, in der Cloud oder als hybride Systeme zur Verfügung stehen. OpenText unterstützt Unternehmen über den gesamten EIM (Enterprise Information Management)-Prozess hinweg durch eine vollständige EIM-Automatisierung – vom Kundenkontakt bis zur Auswertung von Daten zur Gewinnung von geschäftsrelevanten Erkenntnissen. Von der Datenerfassung bis zur Archivierung Das erweiterte Angebot stärkt zentrale Bestandteile unserer Vision – von der Datenerfassung bis zur Archivierung. Das Kern-Portfolio von OpenText wird durch die Übernahme um Kompetenzen im Bereich Information Lifecycle Management, ECM, Archivierung und Zusammenarbeit ergänzt. Darüber hinaus gewinnen wir Marktanteile in wichtigen vertikalen Märkten wie dem Gesundheitswesen, Life Sciences und der öffentlichen Hand. Im Finanzsektor, der Energiewirtschaft und der Technologiebranche können wir unsere bereits starke Marktpräsenz durch die Akquisition weiter ausbauen. OpenText profitiert von der über 25-jährige ECM-Erfahrung von ECD. Die Übernahme stärkt unsere Marktposition; das OpenText EIM-Angebot wird um zusätzliche Kompetenzen, die Präsenz in den diversen Vertriebskanälen und tieferen Kundenbeziehungen weltweit erweitert. OpenText wird mit der Übernahme von ECD zum Partner der Wahl für alle Organisationen, die sich durch die effektive Nutzung ihrer Unternehmensdaten weiterentwickeln möchten. Ich freue mich darauf, nach erfolgreicher Abwicklung der Übernahme unsere neuen Kunden, Geschäftspartner und Mitarbeiter in der OpenText-Familie begrüßen zu dürfen. Weitere Informationen entnehmen Sie bitte unserer Pressemitteilung (Englisch). Dieser Artikel wurde aus dem Englischen übersetzt.

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The Opportunity Ahead

Dell EMC agreement with OpenText

Dell EMC agreement with OpenText – today, we are excited to share that we have reached a definitive agreement with OpenText, a global leader in Enterprise Information Management, to combine the Dell EMC Enterprise Content Division (ECD) portfolio (including the Documentum, InfoArchive and LEAP families of products) with OpenText’s existing portfolio of products. The transaction is expected to close in 90 to 120 days. You can read about the terms of the agreement, in the press release. In determining the best long-term future for ECD, we wanted to create a business with a leading position in Enterprise Information Management, so we looked for a partner that shares our vision for the transformation to digital business, our passion for the role of information in the digital world, and the breadth of capabilities to help our customers realize that vision. We also looked for a partner that shares our commitment to deliver a world-class total customer experience. And, we sought a partner that valued the industry knowledge, innovative mindset and unique skillsets of our team. I am very pleased to say that we found all of that in OpenText, an industry leader with 9,200 professionals worldwide. Today’s announcement, therefore, presents a compelling opportunity for ECD’s loyal customers and partners, as well as our talented people. Our complementary strengths will produce a leader in both ECM and EIM: an organization with the financial strength, talent base, and global go-to-market scale to serve a marquee customer base. As we work toward the close of the transaction, I assure you that we will continue to provide the world-class care our customers have come to expect. To underscore our joint commitment, OpenText and Dell EMC have also announced their intent to enter into a strategic commercial partnership to expand customer offerings and better serve customer needs. Customers and partners can continue to realize value from their ECD investments and gain additional value from a richer portfolio of ECM and EIM solutions. Today’s news is great for all stakeholders, and we hope you are as energized as we are about the opportunity ahead.

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Digital-First Fridays: Operating at the Speed of Digital

It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change. – Charles Darwin We live in a time of unprecedented change. In every sector, digital technologies are changing the rules of business by enabling new business models. Startups are reshaping entire industries, combining technologies like cloud, social, mobile, and analytics to deliver more targeted customer products and services. These technologies are empowering organizations to bypass the traditional costs associated with barriers to entry and connect directly with consumers to meet their needs. Startups are disintermediating the market leaders. Over the next five years, executives expect digital disruption to displace four out of ten incumbents—or 40 percent of established market leaders.[1] This is a startling prediction. Part of the reason why this will happen is because startups are able to operate and scale at a very fast pace, innovating very quickly—a pace that larger incumbent organizations (with their legacy systems) can’t match. This is the speed of digital and its potential is uncharted. With more people connecting and sharing ideas in a global, digitized marketplace, the pace of innovation will only increase exponentially. The formula is ten times the innovators at one-tenth of the cost and 100 times the power. Digital Disruption is Stronger and Faster[2] In a Digital World, the development of new products will evolve from sprints to hyper-connected dashes. Product features will be crowdsourced and collective. Feedback about consumer experience will be collected to upgrade features, improve delivery, and serve niche markets—in real time—removing the developer “safety net”. Every single disgruntled consumer will tell 1,000 potential customers about a bad customer experience. Brands will be built up and destroyed on social networks. Product ideas will be shared across yottabytes (one trillion terabytes) of data and millions of people, as innovation cycles are faster, compressed, and even approach the spontaneous. Business Models are Advancing Disruptive technologies are fueling a subscription-based economy. As business moves to the Cloud and mobile access becomes pervasive, the requirements for on-demand services are deposing the mainframe in enterprise infrastructure. Digital innovators are focused on creating exceptional experiences for the digital consumer and benefiting from a lifetime of customer value. As product experiences move to new platforms, companies are measuring their value based on recurring metrics over one-time metrics. In a Digital World, organizations will have to embrace digital disruption or they face the risk of losing market share or becoming obsolete. They will have to disrupt or die. To keep pace, organizations will have to reinvent themselves. They’ll have to digitize their information and operations. They’ll have to innovate at the front end to capture the mindshare of digital consumers and modernize their back offices to integrate their operations more efficiently across the supply chain. And they’ll have to restructure their IT departments to support a digital workforce. They’ll have to operate at the speed of digital. All of our customers have embarked on this journey of digital transformation. Here are a few examples of how they are disrupting their business using the Cloud, analytics, process automation, and mobile computing to simplify their volumes of information, digitize their operations, and accelerate opportunities for success: Mitsubishi Motors is outsourcing its B2B e-commerce capabilities to the Cloud and achieves stronger integration with its suppliers in Europe, without making additional investments in headcount or software. Dell Services is setting new standards of excellence within the IT services industry. Using analytics has helped them drive positive change, increase value, and improve engagement with organizations worldwide. First United Bank is using a BPM solution to help it achieve its goal of going paperless. To date, the Company has digitized over 200 processes and converted over 2.5 million documents and images into digital format for considerable business improvements, including overall growth and customer satisfaction. The City of Barcelona has a comprehensive digital strategy that embraces delivering more targeted and mobile services to its constituents, based on the innovative mobile identification system called “mobileID”. Find out how you can capitalize on digital disruption. In my next post in this series, I’ll explore what it means to function as a digital business. Read my book, Digital: Disrupt or Die. [1] “Executives Expect Digital Disruption to Displace 4 in 10 Incumbents by Industry within Next Five Years,” Webwire, June 24, 2015, http://www.webwire.com/ViewPressRel.asp?aId=198501 (accessed July 2015). [2] James McQuivey, “Digital Disruption: Unleashing the Next Wave of Innovation,” Forrester Research, Inc., 2013.

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3 Questions: John Johnson of Dell Services Discusses Analytics and Reporting for IT Services

Dell Services, the global system integrator and IT outsourcing arm at Dell, provides support, application, cloud, consulting, and many other mission-critical IT services to hundreds of organizations worldwide across many sectors. The company collects and manages massive amounts of data concerning customer infrastructures from simple, high-frequency metrics (such as CPU, memory, and disk utilization) to helpdesk tickets and service requests, including hardware and software asset information. Using this data to understand and respond to customer needs before they become a problem falls to John M. Johnson, Manager, Capacity Management at Dell Services. Johnson recently spoke with OpenText about the type of data Dell Services collects, and the evolving ways his customers consume that data. He also spoke about how he uses this data to plan for the future. OpenText: You have a 12-terabyte data warehouse of performance metrics on your customers’ systems and applications. Tell us about that data and how you use it. Johnson: Our infrastructure reporting data warehouse has been around for seven-plus years. It collects aggregated information about more than a hundred customers, which is just a segment of our base. Originally we started the data warehouse to meet legal retention requirements, and it evolved to become the repository for ticketing data, service request data, and SLA performance data. Now it’s an open warehouse where we continually add information related to our services delivery. It’s fantastic data, and a fantastic amount of data, but we lacked two things: an automated way to present it, and a consistent process behind its presentation. My twenty capacity planners were spending too much of their valuable time churning out Excel reports to present the data to our clients, and far too little time understanding the data. A little less than two years ago we started using open source BIRT for report automation and to eliminate manual errors, consistency issues, and remove the “personal analysis methods” that each engineer was introducing to the process. The next maturing of the process was to leverage iHub to further automate report generation, delivery and presentation. OpenText: Some of your customers and users get dynamic dashboards, while others get static reports. How do you decide who gets what? Johnson: That’s an easy answer: It begins with contract requirements. Those expectations are drawn out and agreed upon by legal counsel on both sides. Once those fundamental requirements are met, the question of, “Who gets what?” is very simply based on how they need and want the data. I have three customer bases: my services customers, and my delivery teams, and peer technical teams who have reporting requirements. And everybody wants a different mix of data. DBAs want to see what’s going on with their infrastructure – their top databases, hardware configurations, software versions and patch level, clusters performance, and replication stats. Other teams, such as service delivery managers, and the account teams, want to see pictures more on a financial level. They need answers to standard questions like, “What has the customer purchased, and is that service meeting the customer’s expectations?” In some cases we handle customer applications in addition to their infrastructure. In those cases, the customer needs reports on uptime, availability, performance, user-response time, outstanding trouble tickets, number of users on each system, and various other application metrics married with the infrastructure data. Those are all static reports we typically deliver on a monthly schedule, but we’re looking to make that particular reporting a daily process with iHub Dashboards. Dashboards will serve three major groups: 1. Application owners, who will see what’s going on with their infrastructure and applications in real-time 2. Our service managers, who coordinate the daily delivery of our services around the world 3. Senior leaders at the director, VP and CxO levels. That last group has much less interest in a single trouble ticket or server performance, but they do care about service levels and want to know how the infrastructure looks on a daily basis. I think the executive-level dashboards will be big consumers of data in the future, so we’re evolving and maturing our offering from a technical level – where we have traditionally been engaged – to the business level. Because that’s where people buy. OpenText: That is an ambitious plan to extend your reporting platform. How do you prioritize your projects, and what advice would you give to peers with similar plans? Johnson: There’s one overall strategy I try to employ with all my applications: Apply modern, agile software development methodologies to them. You have to stay up-to-date on software patches and capabilities. You have to keep your platform relevant. We keep updates coming rapidly enough that our customers don’t have to create workarounds or manual processes. Fortunately, iHub works well with how we manage upgrades. We manage reports as a unit of work inside of iHub, so I don’t have to make monolithic changes. When I’m prioritizing projects, I first ask, “Who is my most willing customer?” The customer who’s going to work with you provides the quickest path to success, and that success is the foundation upon which you build. Second is to expect to get your hands dirty and do a lot of the lifting. Most customers are always going to have trouble verbalizing what they need and how they want data to look. So you have to just get that first visualization done and ask, “Does this data presented this way answer your needs?” Don’t be afraid of responses such as, “That is not what I wanted at all. I told you I wanted a report,” and that’s one of the most frustrating things about the job. You have to accept that you are a statistical artist and visual presentation is something you own, and then embrace and drive it. Fortunately, the ease of developing and managing data with iHub means we can respond to these inputs rapidly.  

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Data Driven Summit in New York City [Video]

Live from New York, it’s Data Driven Summit 2014! Actuate customers and partners shared the latest and greatest news in embedded analytics and the apps of tomorrow. The New York City event capped off a seven-city tour that explored the development of the Next Big App, and covered topics such as strategy, architecture, visualization, customer experience, embedding and mobility.   Presentations included a keynote by Actuate President and CEO Pete Cittadini, Actuate’s Senior VP of Marketing Nobby Akiha moderating a panel of customers, and live demonstrations of BIRT iHub and BIRT Analytics with Allen Bonde (@abonde), Mark Gamble (@heygamble) and Pierre Tessier (@puckpuck).   Customers interviewed in this video include: Heather Fraser, NY Central Mutual Fire Insurance Company (@nycminsurance) Anthony Cramer, NYC Transit Authority (@mta) Kevin Larnach, Elcom International (@elcomusa) John M. Johnson, Dell Services (@DellServices)   Here are the highlights of the NYC event at the Marriott Marquis in Times Square: Find out more about Data Driven Summit at Actuate’s Customer Events page. Download your FREE copy of BIRT iHub F-Type (including Live Training sessions) at the F-Type page. We’ll be posting more of the Data Driven Summit 2014 video series here, including the other demonstrations, BIRT data visualization insights and panel discussions with industry insiders. Subscribe (at left) to be informed when new videos are posted.

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Data Driven Summit – Excellence Awards and Customer Panel [Video]

Customers are the lifeblood of Actuate and we’re proud of the ones that joined us at Data Driven Summit 2014. What we love are their success stories. We love to hear about their experience and perspective on building the next big app – and how they are using Actuate to reach and engage their customers with embedded analytics. To acknowledge their contributions, we created the Actuate Excellence Awards program to recognize innovative embedded analytics implementations and impressive return on investment among Actuate customers and open source BIRT developers. The Excellence Awards were presented during Data Driven Summit 2014 – Actuate’s annual series of customer events. Actuate’s Senior VP of Marketing Nobby Akiha handed out the awards, then moderated a panel of Actuate customers on stage. In Santa Clara, attendees got to hear from Laverne Williams with Canadian telecom SaskTel (@SaskTel) and Sean Christian with Sanitation Districts of Los Angeles County, a California public utility, about their travels with BIRT. Increasing Insight, Reducing Costs SaskTel’s Williams said the telecom started with Actuate’s Metrics Management option for BIRT iHub and expanded its relationship to include BIRT iHub Enterprise with data visualization dashboards. SaskTel’s use of BIRT iHub helped the company improve productivity and efficiency through data loading and scheduling. For example, SaskTel’s sales department attained better information and insights for management, account managers and key account primes. SaskTel’s support and service divisions gained self-service access to role-specific, personalized customer metrics by using BIRT iHub. Likewise, the Sanitation Districts of Los Angeles County looked to BIRT iHub to facilitate decision making at many levels. The organization embedded BIRT into its Oracle Asset Management middleware to drive its bottom line. As a result, engineers have a tool that lets them look at the data in an intelligent way.  BIRT iHub helped the organization reduce overtime costs by 40 percent. Here’s that discussion at the Data Driven Summit in Santa Clara, Calif. Winners all around the globe Santa Clara was just the beginning of this year’s Actuate Excellence Awards Program. Fifteen Excellence Awards winners were recognized around the globe. The customer winners and award categories for this year’s Excellence Awards are as follows: Santa Clara – November 6, 2014 SaskTel: BIRT Implementation Singapore – November 11, 2014 Optimum Response Pty Ltd: BIRT Analytics Implementation Paris – November 18, 2014 Centreon: BIRT Implementation MGStream: BIRT Embedded Analytics Toute la Téléphonie Industrielle (TLTI): BIRT Implementation London – November 19, 2014 Diginius: BIRT Customer Facing Application NHS England: BIRT Data Driven Application Frankfurt – November 20, 2014 BVI Bundesverband Investment und Asset Management: Statistical Self-Service Member Portal Endress+Hauser InfoServe GmbH: Interactive Automation Solutions European IT Consultancy EITCO GmbH: System Integrator iTAC Software AG: Manufacturing Execution System – Embedded BI SWM – Stadtwerke München: BI Competence Center New York – December 3, 2014 Dell Services: Return on BIRT New York City Transit: BIRT Implementation Odyssey Logistics & Technology Corporation: BIRT Embedded Analytics “Our customers consistently set new standards of excellence within their industries that drive positive change, increased value and better engagement for organizations worldwide,” said Pete Cittadini, president and CEO of Actuate. “Congratulations to this year’s winners – customers that have contributed great technological advancements through their use of BIRT, thus introducing a new level of innovation to the field of embedded analytics.” We’ll be posting more of the Data Driven Summit 2014 video series here, including the demonstrations, BIRT data visualization insights and panel discussions with industry insiders. Subscribe (at left) to be informed when new videos are posted.

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How to Bring the Power of Big Data to Mobile Customers

One of the earliest promises of mobile computing was that you could potentially run your business from the luxury of a beach resort. While the goal has always been to deliver the right data to the right device at the right time, customers in the past have compromised this promise with some type of tradeoff. Perhaps the problem was the inadequate mobile device. Maybe a report could not scale beyond one or two databases, or the analytics were insufficient. Or maybe the issue was that no one had yet built a tool to help create apps that deliver Big Data to smaller, mobile form factors including smartwatches. We are very proud to announce enhancements to our embedded analytics solution with new versions of our iHub server and BIRT Analytics engine that’s enhanced. The improvements take advantage of the latest software trends such as REST and Hadoop. Our new versions take advantage of improvements in mobile computing that allow for interactive data to be sent to wearables (like smartwatches) and smartphones. We recognize that wireless networks and ubiquitous connectivity allow all these devices to receive data at near instantaneous speeds. Here’s how our engineers have improved our tools to help organizations build better data driven apps: iHub 3.1 now includes advanced visualization tools that can push Big Data to any mobile device. Developers can embed BIRT content using a REST API. They can also tap into third-party libraries of charts and graphs to increase productivity and reduce the time it takes to code an app by hand from days to hours. Analytics 5.0 allows even non-data scientists to analyze billions of rows of data in seconds, and generate actionable and real-time results running as a server on Windows, Linux and Mac OS X. The software also can help organizations discover hidden insights and patterns for forecasts and predictions for future success. This all comes at a time when we are circling the globe with our Data Driven Summit 2014. touting the successes. Our team of experts is showing off the features of iHub 3.1, including a demonstration of reports generated using data from a car’s onboard sensors and sent to a cell phone. We are also showing the advancements of Analytics 5.0 from the perspective of a marketing executive. Here is a compilation video of what we are showing.  

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Mapping the Corporate Genome

Scientists around the world have been working collaboratively over the past few years to map the human genome.  Understanding the full genome and more about our genetic code might prove to unlock valuable information about the treatment and prevention of diseases.  Much like humans have a genetic code that defines their gender, eye color, hair color and skin color, corporations also have a similar type of genetic code.  Most CEOs attempt to define their genetic code by the core values, mission and vision they define and preach to their employees.  But there is much more to corporate genome than just those beliefs.  A corporate genome defines how a company does business including everything from the types of employees they hire to the way they interact with their suppliers. Corporate genetics are important to a variety of stakeholders.  CEOs often want to emulate or replicate the DNA of their most successful rivals.  As a result, there are numerous analysts, consultants and business school professors who have researched the genetics of great companies.  In recent years there has been a great deal of focus on understanding the qualities that have made Apple, Facebook, Google and Amazon.com so successful.  Looking back over a 20-year period companies such as Dell, Walmart, Toyota and Disney have been focal points for this type of analysis. Corporate genetics are important to stockholders as well.  Professional investment managers who are attempting to put together portfolios of stocks which will yield the highest returns.  These investment managers will study the “fundamentals” of a company’s balance sheet, income statement and cash flow statements as well as other qualitative information reported in public filings.  The goal of many of these research efforts is to identify characteristics that differentiate the winners from the losers.  Investment managers can then make decisions on which securities to purchase based upon the genetic makeup of the various firms. Image Source: www.genome.gov Prospective employees seek to understand corporate genetics as well.  Prospective employees want to understand the company’s culture, beliefs and operating procedures before deciding whether the company is a good match for their own work style and philosophy.  Executive recruiters seeking to fill critical management positions would also benefit from understanding corporate DNA.  These search professionals often spend significant time trying to understand the culture and personality of a company in order to place the best candidates in new roles. Human resource departments also invest time trying to understand what profiles drive the top performers within their organizations.  They trend data on educational background and prior work experience to identify the common success characteristics of over-achievers on their teams. Last, but not least, corporate genetics are important to suppliers attempting to sell their goods and services to buyers within the organization.  The better a sales representative at a vendor can understand their prospect the better they can position their solutions to meet the buyer’s needs.  A buyer’s needs include not only the requirements for the products for they want to purchase, but also how they want to do business. So who is mapping the corporate genome you might ask?  There are a number of companies devoted to understanding and documenting corporate genetics.  These firms aggregate information about companies then resell the packaged information to third parties.  Examples include Dun & Bradstreet and Experian which started with profiling the creditworthiness of firms, then expanded into a wider array of business information services related to marketing and supply chain.  Moodys, Fitch and S&P are the primary ratings agencies that study the financial profiles of companies to assess their ability to repay debt.  Hoovers and SalesQuest gather executive contact data useful for sales and marketing efforts.  LinkedIn has begun to collect information on the common characteristics of registered employees for each company.  And there are many more. The data and insights gleaned from each of these organizations could be aggregated to start to map a corporate genome.  But ideally you would gather much more information: What is the attitude towards customer experience?  How does the company manage its multiple support channels? What are the personality traits and management philosophies of their executive leadership? How does the company deliver innovation?  What role do its suppliers play in product development? What types of employees does the company hire?  How do its compensation and benefit programs work towards retaining talent? What approach does the company take to its supply chain?  How extensively does it collaborate with customers and suppliers? In my next post I will propose some ideas on how we can map the supply chain aspects of the corporate genome using the information available in B2B e-commerce technologies.

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All the Technology Giants are Investing in B2B Integration

SAP announced this morning that it plans to fully acquire Crossgate.  This is good news for the B2B integration sector as it acknowledges I trend that I have been discussing on the EDInomics blog for several years now.  B2B integration is becoming increasingly strategic to large corporations.  As more and more specialization and outsourcing occur in the value chain there is a stronger need for companies to gather information from their extended ecosystem of business partners (think contract manufacturers, 3rd party logistics providers, component suppliers, channel distributors and freight forwarders).  And SAP is not the only one making strategic investments in B2B.  In fact, most of the large software and technology powerhouses already have invested in B2B.

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Dell reboots their supply chain. Again.

The sight must have raised eyebrows. A dozen geeks marching conga-line-style through the cubes at Dell, placing a mass of network cables on an exec’s desk as a trophy to a major milestone. OK, conga line might be a stretch, but you get the picture. The occasion was to celebrate a milestone in Dell’s massive B2B platform transformation in 2009, supporting the switch from in-house manufacturing to third-party providers (eg., ODMs, like Foxconn) and the expansion of their retail customer connections (eg., Best Buy).  The numbers? 1,900 trading partners migrated across 30 countries. Three legacy B2B platforms consolidated into one integration cloud platform.  200 servers decommissioned, along with 20 networks, 20 datacenter racks, 10 databases and 6 TB of storage. Partner onboarding times dropped from months to days. While this was written up a while back, a couple of recent items bring it back to the surface. First, this week Dell announced they’d doubled quarterly earnings. They “crushed it” as Gary V would say. This is good news not only for shareholders but also could be seen as a sign of a rebounding economy (disclosure: GXS is a Dell customer. We use Poweredge servers in Trading Grid, our integration cloud platform). Second, the world of B2B managed services is going through a renaissance, as cloud computing helps blur the lines between traditional B2B e-commerce and any-to-any (A2A) integration.  This “Integration Brokerage” market (coined by Gartner) is growing at 18-20% and describes an IT managed service that delivers people, methodologies and cloud-based integration, such as integration platform-as-a-service (iPaaS), for B2B e-commerce and cloud services integration projects. What about you? Will an ERP project spur the need for modernizing your B2B platform? Will there be conga lines in your future? http://vimeo.com/11313961

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