When does the relationship between two tech vendors look like a merger but is not actually a merger? For all intents and purposes, that’s exactly what just happened with two players in the enterprise resource planning (ERP) industry, Acumatica and IFS. This post outlines the deal and what it means for buyers and customers of Acumatica and IFS.
The Use and Misuse of Platform as a Service
One of the key advantages of modern cloud systems is that they often come with rapid development platforms (Platform as a Service, or PaaS) that allow the vendor, partners, and even customers to build extensions and customizations to the system without affecting the underlying code or architecture of the base system. However, as with so many good things in life, PaaS can be used and abused. This post outlines the risk in overreliance on a SaaS vendor’s PaaS.
Time for a Declaration of Independence from Software Vendors?
The traditional advice given to companies is that it is best to standardize on a commercial software vendor for the core of the applications portfolio. Nevertheless, we are now seeing some clients push back against this advice and developing more of their own software in-house.
In this post, we trace the history of the commercial software industry and why the buyers in some cases are rebelling. We conclude by offering new guidelines on when to choose custom development over packaged solutions.
Microsoft Centralizes Dynamics 365 Functions into New Hub for SMBs
Microsoft is attempting an ambitious plan to converge a wide swath of business tools under one unified umbrella called Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central, a platform that serves as the successor to its Dynamics NAV ERP system. According to Microsoft, it will be offered in the cloud, on-premises, and in hybrid deployments. This post provides an overview of what to expect–and not expect–with the release of Business Central in October 2018.
NetSuite on Oracle Cloud Infrastructure: What It Means for Customers
Oracle currently lags behind Amazon and Microsoft as a cloud infrastructure service provider. But Oracle is about to get a big boost as its NetSuite unit begins a three-phase transition from its own data centers to Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) worldwide. This post outlines the benefits, not only to Oracle, but to NetSuite and ultimately to NetSuite’s customers, making it a true win-win-win.
AI Coming Soon to a Business System Near You
Just as social networking and smartphones took hold first in the consumer world and then moved into business, we can also expect artificial intelligence to begin to move into business applications in a natural way. Nearly every large, and many of the smaller, business software providers are moving in this direction. This post provides three examples of enterprise software providers embedding artificial intelligence in their products, giving organizations a way to benefit without having to invest large sums to develop their own AI systems
New Customer-Facing Systems Extend the Reach of Small, Midsize Businesses
Small business doesn’t always mean simple business. Like larger companies, small and midsize businesses (SMBs) need to reach new markets, develop new products, satisfy customers, and control costs. The main difference is that SMBs need to do these things with fewer resources. In recent years, software vendors have announced new products to address the challenges facing small businesses. This post outlines two of them.
Big Data Analytics Not Just for the Big Guys
Big data analytics can be a highly technical subject, but as consumers we come face to face with it every day. Based on our experience as consumers, it is evident that the “big guys” know how to use big data. But what about small to midsize companies? The good news is that business analytics and even big data are becoming more readily available to smaller businesses. This is the result of three big enablers.
Microsoft Unbundles Its Dynamics Business Unit
In a letter to Microsoft employees today, CEO Satya Nadella announced a major restructuring of its business, including the unbundling of Microsoft Business Solutions, the group responsible for the Dynamics line of business systems. This post outlines why this is a positive move for Dynamics and the greater Microsoft.
Beyond Business Systems to Business Transformation
Over the past several years, we’ve been seeing a subtle shift in our consulting work at Strativa. Years ago, clients would ask us to facilitate an ERP or CRM vendor selection, a business process improvement project, or various types of IT assessments. Our consultants still do those types of projects. But today, increasingly, clients are asking us to help them in a more holistic way.