A Love Affair – Nimble Smart Contacts for Outlook

A Love Affair – Nimble Smart Contacts for Outlook

Social Selling pioneer Nimble has an awesome start into 2017. First it got number 1 in CRM satisfaction by G2Crowd earlier in January, then friend and CRM godfather Paul Greenberg named Nimble a winner of the 2017 CRM Watchlist awards, and now Nimble announces the Smart Contacts add-in for Outlook, a deep integration into Outlook for iOS, with an integration into Outlook for Android coming soon. The Nimble Smart Contacts add-in brings the power of Nimble’s view on contacts to Outlook for mobile users, after the widget and Outlook add-on already offered this functionality for the web- and Outlook clients. The add-on follows the philosophy that for most companies the e-mail account is still their CRM system; given this, this is a straightforward enhancement. Nimble acknowledges that there are two main email systems used in businesses: Gmail and Office365, and now fully supports them both. This integration delivers the profiling data that the Nimble back end gathers practically at any place. The browser add-in already today allows to get profiling information about contacts in other CRM systems, e.g. Salesforce or MS Dynamics and works seamlessly in Google Apps and Office365. “The biggest cause of communication failure is lack of knowledge of who someone is or what their business is about,” says Jon Ferrara, CEO of Nimble. This add-on is closing one missing link in the chain by making it part of Outlook and reducing the need for having yet another app. Relevant business insight about people in a mail conversation and their companies is now directly available in the email client. The add-on, along with the above-mentioned Outlook Add-in,...
Another Strong Year for SAP

Another Strong Year for SAP

On January 24, 2017 SAP released its results of their fiscal year 2016 – and the fourth quarter thereof. In a nutshell SAP: Delivered to its increased 2020 guidance Had an increase of 31 per cent in cloud subscription and support revenue, while still being able to increase the software license and support revenue. Cloud revenue increased especially in Q4 and promises to stay at a high level with a very healthy backlog Increased its full year operating profit by 20 per cent to 5.12 Billion Euro (IFRS) Has a strong backlog of cloud bookings This success has a slightly negative effect on the company profitability while it negotiates the shift from license revenue to subscription revenue while being in an investment mode. It, however, seems to be driven by an increasing adoption of S/4HANA, a strong increase of the Hybris set of CEC solutions, including e-commerce and increasing traction in the HCM space. So it is broad. Based upon the strong delivery of 2016 SAP expects the cloud business to increase by up to 34 per cent in 2017 (all numbers of course at constant currencies) and increases its guidance of revenue and profit for 2017. In line with this the company is also bullish in its mid term outlook to 2020, which it increases, too. My Take Of course the big increase in revenues, expressed as a percentage, is partly owed to the fairly low number. In comparison Salesforce reported 2.14 Billion dollar for their third quarter alone, as opposed to 2.99 Billion Euro for SAP’s fiscal year. Oracle reported 798 million dollars in their FY Q1...
IoT becomes Outcome Orientated with SAP Leonardo – Finally

IoT becomes Outcome Orientated with SAP Leonardo – Finally

On January 10, 2017, SAP announced a bundling of their IoT portfolio of initiatives to focus on business outcomes instead of technology while combining the set of emerging products and solutions under the brand name Leonardo – as in Leonardo Da Vinci, one of the most forward looking artists and innovators ever. This announcement substantiates SAPs commitment to invest two billion Euro in IoT over the next 5 years. The new portfolio will combine adaptive applications, big data and connectivity as packaged line-of-business solutions, covering a range of topics. It bases upon a rebranded – and repackaged(?) HANA Cloud Platform, enhanced by the micro services for machine learning that were announced earlier and which I covered here. This enhanced platform is now called SAP Cloud Platform. As per a blog post accompanying the Leonardo announcement, the high level architecture of SAPs new offering looks like below and covers, besides a set of existing applications an IoT adapter – SAP Leonardo for Edge Computing – which serves as a device independent data input layer, essentially a kind of middleware, probably built on or using HCI. a foundational layer – SAP Leonardo Foundation – which includes the IoT business services that are to be exposed, enabling rapid development of applications. This makes up the functional core. and a ‘bus’ layer – SAP Leonardo Bridge – which enables the combination of real time data with applications and processes Leonardo is accompanied by a jump-start enablement program to accompany this initiative. This program includes introductory pricing and is intended to help organizations identify and validate IoT pilots and use cases, including expert staffing...
Freshdesk acquires Pipemonk – A Snap Analysis

Freshdesk acquires Pipemonk – A Snap Analysis

Last week Freshdesk announced the acquisition of Bengaluru based SaaS data integration company Pipemonk, the seventh acquisition since mid of 2015. Pipemonk has been launched in 2014 and since has implemented integrations between many leading e-commerce-, accounting-, CRM-, Marketing-, and Billing applications, including Amazon, Shopify, Salesforce, Zoho, Hubspot, Mailchimp, and Stripe. So far Freshdesk was not on their list. Pipemonk’s promise and objective is to deliver easy-to-setup, pre-built bi-directional integrations between SaaS applications. On their web site they reported to have more than 2,000 customers acquired in the short life span, with a seed capital of only 2 million dollar. So one can say that they delivered successfully. Freshdesk itself has its roots in customer service and since increased its portfolio to include help desk (hotline), a sales application (Freshsales), chat (Freshchat) and social testimonials using acquisitions and own developments. My Take I think that this was an important step for Freshdesk. It enables Freshdesk to easily expand its reach to integrate with a raft of SaaS applications in different business domains, prebuilt or custom. Further, I was wondering for a while whether and how Freshdesk would go on integrating their own application stack, which as per my understanding so far consists of different, only lightly (if at all) integrated applications – although my understanding may be wrong. Assuming that Freshdesk intends to continue their aggressive growth trajectory with this acquisition the team also has the foundation to integrate new and newly acquired functionality fast, based upon an established architecture. Overall, congratulations to both...
Kustomer – A New Kid on the Customer Service Block

Kustomer – A New Kid on the Customer Service Block

Sparked by an article by Bob Thompson, titled You had me at “Treat Customers as People” about Kustomer, a new kid on the customer service block, I ventured to reach out to founder Brad Birnbaum and his team to get some more information. After all the customer quadrant of software is quite crowded, and a new company needs to offer good ideas to keep up and go beyond the incumbents, most of them being young companies as well. One of the basic questions that I had was: Do we need another customer service solution? After all, G2Crowd already lists 19 in their Help Desk grid; and these are only the ones that made it into the grid. Overall G2Crowd counts 78 solutions, excluding Kustomer. And quite some of them are quite strong. Figure 1: G2Crowd Grid for Help Desks as of December 2016 Brad and his team certainly seem to be of the opinion that there is an unmet need; as are their investors who brought in $ 12.5 million into seed- and series A funding in less than a year. The founders bring experience that dates back to 1996 and includes the success of Assistly, now desk.com, which is part of Salesforce. Another question is: How does Kustomer want to differentiate itself or, which issue do they solve that the other companies do not yet solve. Quite simply put, Kustomer claims that there are too many unconnected point solutions that customers – and hence employees – need to deal with. This issue gets addressed by the Kustomer platform that acts as an integration hub and connects customer service...
Forrester Wave CRM Suites for Mid-Sized Businesses – What it Means

Forrester Wave CRM Suites for Mid-Sized Businesses – What it Means

Finally, the much-anticipated Forrester Wave on CRM Suites for Mid-Sized Businesses Q4/2016 has been published by Kate Leggett and her team at Forrester Research. Besides the usual suspects Oracle, Microsoft, Salesforce, and SAP it covers 7 more vendors that fulfil Forrester’s definition of a CRM suite for mid-sized businesses. This definition roughly is To be considered a suite the software covers at least three of the CRM disciplines Marketing Sales Force Automation Customer Service Field Service E-Commerce Customer Analytics There needs to be prebuilt integration between the products, if they are not within the same system; integration shall be via open standards to allow for integrating other applications. The software needs to be targeted at organizations between 250 and 999 employees. Multiple industries need to be targeted. Of course, the solutions need to be in active use and there need to be customer references. The Forrester Wave has some interesting results, some confirming what other people see, too, others somewhat surprising. Let me start with the confirmations, continue with bits that surprised me, and close with an SAP specific view. The Confirmations Of course, we are talking cloud – cloud and nothing else. As can be expected all vendors strive to deliver a toolset that helps their customers to deliver consistent customer experiences. Now I, and others, would argue that the experience is largely in the realm of the end customer and the users and that there is nothing like a ‘system of experience’. Delivering consistent experiences encompasses far more than a CRM suite. But then it is far easier (and sexier) to talk about delivering experiences than about...