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Julie Hunt
Austin, TX
Strategies for B2B Software Solutions -- Working from the Customer Perspective -- Attaining Right-Fit Solutions
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Part 1 of a multi-part series on the "New Age of Master Data Management" The 'New Age' of Master Data Management It's about time that master data management (MDM) enjoyed a 'new age'. The creation and use of master data for business purposes has always been a good idea. The goal has been to make sense of all data that touches the organization: clean it up, add context, enrich it, and put it to work strategically as well as operationally. Unfortunately, MDM has been plagued with certain problems from the very start. This stems mostly from the fact that MDM... Continue reading
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Final article of a six-part series on the essential interwoven nature of Business and Modern Data Integration When we're talking about diverse categories of users for data management software solutions such as data and application integration, it's essential to understand the perspective of each group of users and their needs and abilities, in order to develop the most suitable user interface and the right capabilities for each category. The future of cloud integration platforms may belong to vendors that step up to truly understand diverse users and then deliver what they require to be successful. Today cloud-based integration platforms are... Continue reading
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Part 5 of a multi-part series on the essential interwoven nature of Business and Modern Data Integration As a ubiquitous partner for Modern Data Integration, Master Data Management continues to amplify its focus on transforming data into the crucial game-changing business asset that it should be. MDM has been evolving from older approaches that take too long to make an impact on the organization, to an agile platform that responds to what organizations need and want from master data: reliable data that reflects how organizations need to work to achieve successful outcomes for themselves and their customers. … Master Data... Continue reading
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Part 4 of a multi-part series on the essential interwoven nature of Business and Modern Data Integration The notion of self-service data integration has been around for a while, somewhat hand-in-hand with self-service BI – both primarily coming from the perspective of power business users like data and business analysts. But a door also opened for less-technical LOB business users to participate in data integration activities. SaaS and cloud services introduced self-service data integration where SaaS providers or third-party vendors supply wizard-like UIs for basic pre-defined integrations or data synchs between specific applications. This version of self-service DI gained impetus... Continue reading
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Part 3 of a multi-part series on the essential interwoven nature of Business and Modern Data Integration Data integration has always faced complex technical issues. Obviously the technically savvy will always be needed for many aspects of data integration, and require solutions that can handle complex problems. But this approach isn't enough for what businesses need and want today from Modern Data Integration. Making room for business ubiquity – business user participation and input – continues to be a challenge. SaaS and cloud services are important technologies for modern data integration. SaaS in particular has brought into play ease-of-use and... Continue reading
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Part 2 of a multi-part series on the essential interwoven nature of Business and Modern Data Integration From the business perspective, modern data integration has become instrumental simply because a lot of data that can be useful to organizations has a very short shelf life. Business processes, initiatives and other activities must be able to tap into data as soon as possible. Companies need to develop data management strategies that focus on generating business-ready and business-usable data. To do this, organizations need a new mindset where silos of all kinds are broken down, and where business and IT teams continue... Continue reading
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Part 1 of a multi-part series on the essential interwoven nature of Business and Modern Data Integration Business and Data Transformations Forward-moving businesses and their data needs comprise a whole new world that is constantly changing. This new data-smart world is built on expanded approaches to data integration that have become known collectively as Modern Data Integration. If businesses want the right kind of data to underpin advanced analytics processes or to create multi-dimensional views of customers, data integration must be pursued as a strategic function that aligns with business objectives. Most organizations have entered the digital realm, where various... Continue reading
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"Knocking down silos" to ensure the critical role of data strategies and solutions -- from the perspectives of business needs, buyers and users, and software vendors. A Passion for Software Technology I have two great passions when it comes to software technology. My tech career and first source of passion for software began many years ago as a developer in the IT group of Texas Instruments, working on systems that supported the semiconductor division. From the very beginning, end users (or customers) were always in the back of my mind, both for the work I did in software development and... Continue reading
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... As the use of SaaS and cloud services has grown, the API (Application Programming Interface) has come to the forefront as an important technology component in this web-enabled world. APIs are points of entry or connectivity methods, for integrations between different services, systems or applications. Extensive documentation is made available to assist developers, to quickly and effectively work with an API. Actually APIs have been around a long time, and have been used in data integration processes when other connectivity was unavailable. Both APIs and data integration have come a long way since then. Pre-built connectors for innumerable data... Continue reading
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Most SaaS offerings started with a business user focus, providing applications that zero in on solving specific business problems. It's become an everyday occurrence for businesses of all sizes to migrate many of their needs to SaaS. There are also SaaS applications that serve as components of a comprehensive IT landscape. But when we look at creating and maintaining the overall technology infrastructure in an organization, a single SaaS application really isn't able to provide full-on IT services. So IT has been finding more usefulness in the world of cloud services that have their roots in supporting IT and developers.... Continue reading
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... When intelligent transportation systems are discussed, the focus is usually on mega-cities (populations of 10 million or more). But midsized cities (anywhere from 250,000 to 1 million people) face many of the same issues as larger cities, especially regarding forward-thinking planning for transportation systems. In fact, midsized cities are still a significant untapped market for intelligent transportation systems. Right now transportation system technologies are evolving faster than overall management strategies. Adding to the management 'chaos': the proliferation of massive amounts of data related to transportation systems, including machine-generated big data. For midsized cities, data is a key asset for... Continue reading
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Most organizations are well aware that mobile devices and applications are changing how they do business with customers and partners, and how their employees accomplish their work. Mobile business apps are developed to provide useful services that are designed specifically for mobile devices, focusing only on the most relevant streamlined capabilities. Well-designed apps also reflect an in-depth understanding of how different people use mobile devices. The effectiveness of business mobile apps is ultimately about connecting users to the information and data that they need anywhere, anytime. Business data is frequently stored on multiple platforms, inside and outside the firewall, with... Continue reading
Hi Dylan - thanks for adding your thoughts to the conversation. Data integration and data management are due for some major overhauls, that are becoming more possible both through new technologies and through new "business models" for better utilizing data for business needs. You provide some very interesting possibilities for the near future of data management. Best, Julie
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Cloud platforms and SaaS solutions have opened the door to service-oriented strategies for the day-to-day infrastructure and applications needs of organizations. These "off premises" approaches to business functions have helped reduce costs and improve workplace access and productivity. But, as a side effect, managed services providers are losing some of their traditional services domains as companies continue to migrate systems and work activities to cloud services. There is increasing pressure on MSPs to innovate services in new areas to sustain their businesses, particularly to contribute to real business outcomes (and not just IT infrastructure) and provide more direct business user... Continue reading
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With the increased usage of data analytics to help solve business problems and improve strategies, data integration has come more to the forefront as a critical component of overall technologies for data-savvy organizations. New approaches and technologies for data integration are coming into play to better meet what organizations need, especially to support increased business user access to data management itself. Over the past several years, data integration services have continued to grow and evolve, thanks largely to the cloud. Tapping into SaaS approaches, the early entrants were data integration as a service and purpose-built or pre-built data integrations. Data... Continue reading
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A master data initiative is meant to deliver a unified and well-integrated source of cross-organizational data that is reliable and up-to-date, while eliminating silos and redundancies across the organization. Master data management (MDM) software solutions comprise an essential piece for trustworthy analytics that lead to better decision-making. Master data is also a much-needed accompaniment for big data analytics, providing critical context for big data, and as a means to connect big data analytics to business objectives and value. We're seeing more offerings for MDM services from IT and solutions consultants, managed services providers, and software vendors – with cloud platforms... Continue reading
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I often advise my clients (B2B software vendors and professional services firms) to seriously consider well-targeted markets that require extensive expertise that will set the vendor apart. These markets might be a specific industry focus or niche services for distinct industry or business problems. Such specialized offerings provide an important way that vendors can competitively differentiate on real performance that benefits their clients. MSPs are no different in this respect, particularly as traditional IT managed services have become highly commoditized, with an overflowing field of competitors. Distinctive Expertise Means Big Value for Clients and for MSPs To provide niche or... Continue reading
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Organizations can run into various detours when making decisions to partner with managed services providers, ranging from security concerns to internal politics. However, trust is frequently the main stumbling block for the adoption of managed services. To win business, MSPs must listen to any and all concerns expressed by potential customers, and be well prepared to help customers work through those concerns. To keep the business, MSPs must do everything they can to earn trust from their customers. Services that Make a Difference for Customers One important way to build trust is to demonstrate expertise and reliability through specialized services... Continue reading
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As with other data management and analytics processes, Chief Financial Officers are increasingly becoming an integral part of the management of cybersecurity initiatives. This is primarily due to the huge financial impact that cyber attacks and data breaches can have, seriously threatening the financial health of the organization. CFOs are also beginning to align their oversight of risk and compliance with the proliferation of cyber threats, providing an added imperative for CFO involvement in cybersecurity strategies. A broad range of organizational information underlies everything that the CFO and his team do on a daily basis, and much of that information... Continue reading
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The managed security services market has been in play for more than a decade. Not surprisingly, it continues to show vibrant growth, fueled in part by cloud-related factors. Research and Markets, in a January 2015 report, estimated that market growth will run from $14.3 billion in 2014 to $31.9 billion by 2019 (with a CAGR of 17.3%). Growth for security services touches just about every industry, and all sizes of organizations. Managed services providers are tasked with marrying expertise in cybersecurity and cloud with big data analytics to deliver comprehensive protection and proactive measures to their clients. Proactive cybersecurity services... Continue reading
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Cybersecurity continues to encompass the pressing need for detailed, broad and varied solution capabilities. Implementing, maintaining and updating comprehensive cybersecurity solutions frequently seem to be daunting tasks for organizations of all sizes. Simplifying cybersecurity solutions is appealing as a beneficial goal -- but the more useful approach right now is to streamline integrated services to handle a broad range of capabilities. Often different industries require specialized security solutions; customization requirements are often part of the mix for many organizations. Managed services providers can cost-effectively handle these sorts of individualized needs as 'business as usual'. Cybersecurity and the Cloud Like data... Continue reading
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For most organizations, business today has a fast pace, is global in nature and relies more and more on virtual networks of employees, partners, supply chains, and outside consultants. Mobile has a critical role here. Mobile is no longer just about devices, it's a catalyst for changing corporate culture that must evolve to ensure the competitive survival of the organization. Mobile is becoming a critical path for providing the workforce with streamlined and secure access to the right data, tools, and applications to do their jobs effectively - anytime anywhere. Managed services providers have long had expertise for optimizing technology... Continue reading
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Image source: cisco.com Vendors and services providers for mobility management solutions can overly fixate on the vast array of software platforms and services for "corralling" mobile devices and ensuring secure computing. While these are vital areas, ultimately to enable successful organizations it can be far more important to provide services to amplify the value of what employees are doing with mobile devices. Particularly as businesses have become more mobile, the never-ending ebb and flow of data has made comprehensive data management a mission critical element both for business agility and for guaranteeing trustworthy, useable data. Mobility adds a distinct flavor... Continue reading
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Managed services providers are finding extensive opportunities in newer technologies that hold great promise for improving business competitiveness and employee productivity. And managed services providers have many of the same challenges as vendors to find success with these new technologies: They must reframe the business approach to focus strongly on customers They must prove real value to their customers' businesses They have to present differentiated advantage to customers They have to understand that One Size does not Fit All An exciting yet perplexing area for both organizations and technology solution providers is mobility. The opportunities – and the stumbling blocks... Continue reading
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As mobile technologies grow in importance for all businesses, managed mobility services can fill a critical role to help many of those businesses manage, support – and most importantly – leverage mobility for business advantage. Mobile technologies and services will continue rapid change and variation, making it difficult for many businesses just to keep up – let alone figure out how to use mobile in different aspects of the business. The tight relationship of mobile and cloud has helped the cost-effective deployment of managed services that should be attractive to businesses. Mobility challenges for organizations include strategically connecting mobile endeavors... Continue reading