This Microsoft customer spotlight demonstrates how effective SharePoint and Excel have driven efficiency into the Kimberly-Clark inventory and manufacturing processes. This has led to more accurate forecasting, avoiding out-of-stock scenarios, and realizing an additional $10 million in revenue. This is yet another example of how visibility into analytics can drive major value into the supply chain.
Just when we got through getting Finance and Procurement together it seems as though there is another couple needing a little poke from Cupid's arrow. Yes it appears Marketing and IT would make a stunning couple. The article below discusses how SAS and IBM are going head to head to provide data driven solutions for marketing departments. The article cites the increasing need for chief marketing officers to provide more quantifiable measures for advertising efforts, yet less than 4% of marketing professionals say they are ready. It would appear now is the ideal time for a Marketing/IT courtship and marriage.
It turns out that Netflix Instant, their movie streaming service, now accounts 20% of peak U.S. bandwidth usage. More shockingly (or maybe not so) is 43% of prime time bandwidth (8:00-10:00 pm) consumption in the U.S. is streaming media. If this trend continues, and there is no reason to think it won't, then this will have a dramatic impact on traditional media outlets. More importantly it will affect both traditional and Internet broadcast marketing spend. Now advertisers will have to be more strategic with where they buy their advertisements (marketing analytics anyone). Meanwhile, online operators like Netflix, Hulu, iTunes, and others will need to ensure their business models are financially solid while not alienating customers.
The mobile BI market has been on fire as of late. Adding fuel to that fire is the development partnership between SAP and Samsung to deliver The Samsung Mobile Business Intelligence Dashboard. This is part of a long term plan to extend the SAP platform through mobile devices. This will be a very interesting partnership to follow as most enterprise software companies do not align so closely with individual hardware makers.
Apple's iPad has been the undisputed champion of the tablet world for the better part of a year now, which is not surprising because they basically created it (the previous tablet market isn't worth acknowledging). Now Apple has a competitor, the Motorola Xoom. The Xoom is based on the Android OS and is the first real iPad competitor. This article does a thorough comparison of the two devices using the iPad2 and the Xoom. The results are as expected, the Xoom makes a strong play, but the iPad2 comes out ahead. Ultimately, as with the mobile market, this will come down to individual preference and cost.
The legalization of Marijuana in California and 15 other states opens a new market for suppliers of pot-making equipment and materials. From special drains, lights, and humidifiers to an iPhone App for monitoring growing conditions, a burgeoning market surrounds the legal cultivation and production of pot. Until recently, much of this commerce has been underground, but legitimacy has prompted the launch of several IPOs, the focus of the article below. As with any new supply market, the technology crucial to its survival underground provides the strong foundation for its legal success. For example, the article describes weedmap.com, which tracks pot dispensaries across the nation. So grab a bag of Doritos and read the article.
We all know the iPad is the best technological invention since...well ever. Okay maybe not ever, but certainly since the advent of electricity, telephone, and the Internet. Anyway, the list of features is impressive (long battery life, large display, ease of use, etc, etc, and thousands of Apps). However, the knock is that the iPad is only popular with the consumer market. That myth is about to be debunked, and quickly. This article discusses how enterprise Apps for the iPad (and eventually Droid) will become extremely popular and valuable to Enterprise IT by the end of 2011. The article cites examples of remote desktop (Citrix and GoToMyPC) and collaboration (Salesforce.com) Apps. Combine that with the BI Apps (previously noted here) and it is clear that the iPad is a game changer. Welcome to the future.
In case you missed this Spend Matters blog posting, Jason Busch talks about the potential advanced analytics can (will) have on the supply chain. Specifically, he notes that advanced analytics has the potential to impact the business operation as a whole, as well as increase visibility and understanding across value chain partners. Now the question is not if advanced analytics is going to become a game changer, but rather who is going to take advantage of this?
In this social media and information explosion, it can be difficult for companies to measure customer opinions of their products. However, a new BI tool called Mass Opinion Business Intelligence (MOBI) helps solve that problem in near real-time. According to the article, MOBI scours blogs, Twitter postings, Facebook, and other relevant information and pulls them together into a sentiment analysis. Currently Kia Motors, Viacom, and Best Buy use this tool to see what consumers really think of their brands. The really interesting thing is how much sentiment analysis is becoming automated.
Savings, savings, savings - that's all we hear from Finance; it's as if they have a one-track mind. But over here in Procurement, we like to smell the blossoms of stakeholder feedback, risk management, and supplier performance among a variety of other performance management flowers. In other words, the Procurement garden is full of sights and smells that should be attractive to any finance organizations, but instead they can only see the savings. The article below points out these communication difficulties, which more often than not lead to hurt feelings, tension, and even the silent treatment. Fortunately, our ROSMA solution provides a safe environment conducive to effective communication so these two lovers can see the true benefits of partnership.
The hottest topic in procurement these days is...Procurement Performance Management (PPM). Here at ATKPS its hard to go anywhere without hearing about our PPM solution ROSMA. Here is an article by Supply Chain News that talks about getting finance to measure procurement financial contributions. The framework described is more simplistic than our ROSMA, it is still a good primer on the PPM concept.
Two things we love around here are Apps and Analytics (okay we love chocolate and peanut butter too). Since the unveiling of the first iPad, analytics vendors have been moving at warp speed to take advantage of this new platform. This article describes the SAS Institute's partnership with App vendor Mellmo (makers of Roambi) to bring SAP to Apple's iPad and iPhone. Mellmo already has done work for IBM, SAP, Salesforce.com, Microsoft, and Oracle. Basically there are (were) two barriers to wide-scale adoption of mobile BI, usability and security. The iPad, and to a lesser degree the iPhone, eliminated the usability issues. No doubt the security issues will work themselves out in due course. Net, net it is time to jump on the mobile BI train because it is leaving the station.
Taking kickbacks from a supplier is both against the law and a party foul. This article describes how Paul Shin Devine a global supply manager at Apple pleaded criminals charges of fraud and selling company secrets to suppliers. What is more shocking about this story is the stupidity of Mr. Devine. Of all the companies to steal secrets from, Apple is the last company one would want to do that to. Apple regularly sues its most ardent customers (you read that right, suing its own customers) for revealing secrets. Or maybe Mr. Devine forgot the iPhone 4 incident last year in which Apple used police officers to a Gizmodo (online tech journal) editor's home to retrieve a stolen iPhone 4 prototype. Taking kickbacks in procurement is bad, doing it while working at just stupid.
While social media continues to be all the rage (or overhyped if you prefer) this article demonstrates the power of successful social media. See how Ford used social media to quickly build brand recognition for the launch of its new Fiesta car. The key takeaway from this article is the idea of influencing the "right 100 people, digital influencers." The article also reports on Kodak and Dell's use of social media.
With all the hubbub around tablets lately, namely Apple's announcement of its new iPad 2 and Motorola's announcement of a Droid tablet, it comes as a little bit of a surprise to see that 3D tablets could be a reality in the not so distant future. Graphics hardware maker NVIDIA apparently has support for 3D devices on its future roadmap. One has to wonder if this is even necessary...hasn't to flop of 3D TV proven that the market is not ready for this?
My name is Hugo Evans. You can also find me on twitter @TechPAScode. I am the CIO for A.T. Kearney Procurement & Analytic Solutions (www.atkearneypas.com). I love how technology is reshaping our world. However, I am not a fan of technology for technology's sake and loath over-hyped technology. Effective technology, I believe, combines a balanced mix of people, process, and tools. My goal is to share stories about these types of technologies infused with my dry sense of humor. Hope you find them informative and applicable to your life and/or career.