Enterprise System Spectator blog: ERP and enterprise system vendor evaluation, selection, and implementation.

The Enterprise System Spectator

Monday, February 27, 2006

Salesforce.com publishing real-time system status

Reacting to complaints about service outages, Salesforce.com has set up a new website, trust.salesforce.com, that reports real-time system availability for each instance of its systems worldwide.

The site reports historical information for the past month. For example, in North America, on February 16, the status reads,
Time: 6:28pm PST

Category: Service Disruption

Detail: The NA1 system experienced a disruption in service due to the failure of a hardware server in our cluster. a manual restart restored availability.

Root Cause: At 6:28pm PST, a primary hardware server in our cluster failed and one of our North American (NA1) servers did not automatically recover. This required a manual restart of the NA1 database, which completed at 7:30pm PST.
Although not a substitute for maintaining expected service levels, broadcasting the current system availability can go a long way toward satisfying customer demands for information. Salesforce.com's move to make this information publicly available, even to non-subscribers, is to be applauded, and I believe this sets a precedent for other on-demand providers. If on-demand computing is to take hold, this level of transparency is needed.

Related posts
Yet more outages at Salesforce.com
Another service outage at Salesforce.com
Salesforce.com's credibility suffering from service outages

by Frank Scavo, 2/27/2006 08:42:00 AM | permalink | e-mail this!

Read/post comments!

Sunday, February 19, 2006

How to cost-justify an IT investment

I'll be speaking on the subject, "How to Cost-Justify an IT Investment," at AFCOM's spring Data Center World conference in March. The presentation will explain how IT managers can use the concept of economic value added (EVA) to build the business case for IT infrastructure and data center investments.

Business executives aren't writing any blank checks to IT these days. Therefore, data center managers and other IT executives need to be able to present the cost and benefits for each IT project in terms that executives outside of IT can appreciate.

Too often an IT manager will present a new project in terms of why it is important. But, every project is important to somebody. With limits on funding, business executives think in terms of which project delivers more value to the organization.

For example, it may be obvious to the IT group that server upgrades are necessary. But when the request gets to the executive committee, it is competing with a new plant in Idaho, or a new warehouse in Buffalo, which are also important. So the IT group needs to find a way to show that those server upgrades either make money or save money. It's not always easy.

Part of the presentation will focus on application of economic value added (EVA) as a tool for IT investment analysis.

AFCOM's Data Center World conference is being held March 19-23, 2006, at the Georgia Word Congress Center in Atlanta, Georgia. To request a free conference brochure or to register for the conference, visit AFCOM's website at www.afcom.com

AFCOM is the premier association representing the needs of enterprise and Internet data center executives and vendors around the globe. Established in 1981, AFCOM has become a forum for data center professionals, where they can share best practices and disseminate education on key management issues through the media, trade shows and conferences. The Data Center Institute--AFCOM's think-tank--provides the industry's most comprehensive insight and analysis on key issues affecting all data-intensive organizations. The association's members include data center managers, CIOs and other IS professionals from Fortune 1000 companies.

Related posts
Using Economic Value Added (EVA) to justify IT investments

by Frank Scavo, 2/19/2006 08:07:00 PM | permalink | e-mail this!

Read/post comments!

Friday, February 17, 2006

IT security: large firms lag behind

At Computer Economics, we've just released our new IT Security Study. There are some interesting results regarding who's leading and who's lagging when it comes to IT security.

By nearly every measure, large firms lag behind mid-size organizations in IT security spending, staffing, technology, and management best practices.

IT securityAccording to our recently released 2006 IT Security Study: The Current State of IT Security Budgets, Management Practices, and Security Incidents, companies with over $750 million in annual revenues lag behind mid-size firms in relative spending for IT security, adoption rates for security technologies, and deployment of best practices for IT security management.

In addition, many companies of all sizes fail to implement a number of basic security management best practices. For example, 65% of all organizations do not provide periodic IT security training for their employees, and 67% do not conduct periodic software audits of desktop computers to ensure that unauthorized programs or content are not present. A number of other statistics from the study confirm this finding.

The study also found that, in spite of these deficiencies, most companies are not authorizing more money for IT security. The median company in our study had zero increase in IT security spending last year, and the budget increases that did occur were mainly among small and mid-size firms.

IT security may be a hot topic, but that doesn't mean that management is willing to spend more money on it.

The budget squeeze is most evident among small firms and large firms, where roughly half of the respondents said that their security budgets are not adequate to provide the level of IT security needed. In mid-size firms, only about a fifth of the respondents felt that way.

The study, based on a survey of North American IT security managers, analyzes information security spending, staffing, incidents, the rate of technology adoption, and the deployment of security best practices for large, medium, and small organizations.

The full IT Security Study, of 186 pages with over 150 charts, is available for instant online purchase from the Computer Economics website. An executive summary with key findings and trends is also available.

by Frank Scavo, 2/17/2006 09:54:00 AM | permalink | e-mail this!

Read/post comments!

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

NetSuite scoops Microsoft resellers

A strong reseller channel is a key success factor for selling enterprise systems to the small and midsize business market. As I've noted in the past, the population of such resellers is limited, and its not easy to build a reseller organization from scratch. The reseller has to make a significant investment in hiring experienced salespeople and implementation consultants, then they must be trained specifically in the vendor's product. Sales cycles are long, and implementation projects can be risky, stretching out collections.

So, the easiest way for a vendor to build the reseller channel is to steal resellers from another vendor. This has been going on for years.

According to the Channel Insider, the latest example is Netsuite, an ERP on-demand vendor that appears to have picked up five former resellers of Microsoft Dynamics (formerly, Microsoft Business Solutions, MBS). The five are Altico Advisors (Marlboro, MA), Roux Business Systems (Baton Rouge, LA), VAR2 (Beaverton, OR), Premier Computing Technologies (Salt Lake City, UT), and Nolan Computers (UK).

The need for resellers is so important, that NetSuite, like other vendors, offers incentives to jump ship.
The NetSuite program offers Microsoft Dynamics VARs selling products such as Great Plains, Solomon, Navision, and CRM a 35 percent margin, a 50 percent discount on NetSuite for internal use, and free sales training for up to five people if they switch to its hosted ERP (enterprise resource planning) solution.
Not that Microsoft isn't also trying to poach resellers from other vendors.
Microsoft has announced its own program to grab Sage resellers for its Dynamics family. VARs selling Peachtree will receive a $200-per-seat discount up to $1,000 on Great Plains, Navision and Solomon products. VARs selling MAS90, MAS200, MAS500 can receive a $500-per-seat discount, up to a maximum of $10,000, on Dynamics Professional version.
eWeek has the story.

Related posts
Reorg highlights troubles at Microsoft Business Solutions
Microsoft Business Solutions is setting the stage for big-time channel conflict among resellers
Oracle reassures JDE resellers
Oracle's new reseller strategy and speculation on the future of JDE

by Frank Scavo, 2/01/2006 11:09:00 AM | permalink | e-mail this!

Read/post comments!

Powered by Blogger

(c) 2002-2018, Frank Scavo.

Independent analysis of issues and trends in enterprise applications software and the strengths, weaknesses, advantages, and disadvantages of the vendors that provide them.

About the Enterprise System Spectator.

Frank Scavo Send tips, rumors, gossip, and feedback to Frank Scavo, at .

I'm interested in hearing about best practices, lessons learned, horror stories, and case studies of success or failure.

Selecting a new enterprise system can be a difficult decision. My consulting firm, Strativa, offers assistance that is independent and unbiased. For information on how we can help your organization make and carry out these decisions, write to me.

My IT research firm, Computer Economics provides metrics for IT management, such as IT spending and staffing benchmarks, technology adoption and investment trends, IT management best practices, IT salaries, outsourcing statistics, and more.

Go to latest postings

Search the Spectator!
Join over 1,700 subscribers on the Spectator email list!
Max. 1-2 times/month.
Easy one-click to unsubscribe anytime.

Follow me on Twitter
My RSS feed RSS News Feed

Computer Economics
IT Spending Ratios by Industry and Company Size
IT Spending as a Percentage of Revenue by Industry, Company Size, and Region
Outsourcing Statistics
IT Spending and Staffing Benchmarks
IT Staffing Ratios
IT Management Best Practices
Worldwide Technology Trends
IT Salary Report


2014 Best Independent ERP Blog - Winner 2013 Best ERP Writer - Winner Constant Contact 2010 All Star Technobabble Top 100 Analyst Blogs

Key References
Strativa: Business strategy consulting, strategic planning
Strativa: IT strategy consulting
Strativa: Business process improvement, process mapping, consultants
Strativa: IT due diligence
Strativa: ERP software selection consulting and vendor evaluation
Strativa: CRM software selection consulting and vendor evaluation
Strativa: Project management consulting, change management
StreetWolf: Digital creative studio specializing in web, mobile and social applications
Enterprise IT News: diginomica

Spectator Archives
May 2002
June 2002
July 2002
August 2002
September 2002
October 2002
November 2002
December 2002
January 2003
February 2003
March 2003
April 2003
May 2003
June 2003
July 2003
August 2003
September 2003
October 2003
November 2003
December 2003
January 2004
February 2004
March 2004
April 2004
May 2004
June 2004
July 2004
August 2004
September 2004
October 2004
November 2004
December 2004
January 2005
February 2005
March 2005
April 2005
May 2005
June 2005
July 2005
August 2005
September 2005
October 2005
November 2005
December 2005
January 2006
February 2006
March 2006
April 2006
May 2006
June 2006
July 2006
August 2006
September 2006
October 2006
November 2006
December 2006
January 2007
February 2007
March 2007
April 2007
May 2007
June 2007
July 2007
August 2007
September 2007
October 2007
November 2007
December 2007
January 2008
February 2008
March 2008
April 2008
May 2008
June 2008
July 2008
August 2008
September 2008
October 2008
November 2008
December 2008
January 2009
February 2009
March 2009
April 2009
May 2009
June 2009
July 2009
August 2009
September 2009
October 2009
November 2009
December 2009
January 2010
February 2010
March 2010
April 2010
June 2010
July 2010
August 2010
September 2010
October 2010
November 2010
December 2010
January 2011
February 2011
March 2011
April 2011
May 2011
July 2011
August 2011
September 2011
October 2011
November 2011
December 2011
January 2012
February 2012
March 2012
April 2012
May 2012
June 2012
July 2012
September 2012
October 2012
December 2012
January 2013
February 2013
March 2013
May 2013
June 2013
July 2013
September 2013
October 2013
December 2013
January 2014
February 2014
March 2014
April 2014
May 2014
June 2014
July 2014
August 2014
September 2014
October 2014
November 2014
December 2014
February 2015
March 2015
April 2015
May 2015
June 2015
July 2015
September 2015
October 2015
November 2015
February 2016
May 2016
June 2016
July 2016
August 2016
September 2016
October 2016
January 2017
February 2017
May 2017
June 2017
October 2017
January 2018
April 2018
May 2018
January 2019
February 2019
Latest postings