Archive for July 2009

NetSuite’s Acquisition of QuickArrow Creates Leading Marketshare for PSA

July 28, 2009

As I just wrote about in a recent post, according to the results of my TPSA 2009 Member Technology Survey, a surprisingly large percentage of members, 16%, have approved budget for professional services automation (PSA) software in 2009. As for what product they will buy with that budget, the PSA market took an interesting turn last week with the announcement that NetSuite, owner of popular PSA tool OpenAir, was acquiring PSA competitor QuickArrow.

This was especially interesting to me because I recently completed co-authored white paper with both PSA vendors, who are longtime partners and supporters of the TPSA. Here’s a link to the QuickArrow white paper: The Unique Challenges of Professional Services for Small and Medium Sized Businesses. (Sorry, registration required) The OpenAir white paper, “What Keeps PS Executives Up at Night? The Role of Professional Services Automation in Achieving Business Goals,” was just completed and has yet to be posted–stay tuned.

I had a quick call with the new combined team of OpenAir and QuickArrow folks today and asked about marketshare. According to my survey, the new combined entity has a 32% marketshare for TPSA members–a huge lead within high tech PS.  They confirmed this, saying that according to 2 outside sources they now have 20-25% marketshare for PSA in North America.

How did these two relatively new entrants into the PSA space achieve such marketshare so quickly, especially battling big brands like Oracle, SAP and Compuware?  I point to 3 primary reasons: (more…)

NTRglobal Targets Remote Support for SMBs with NTRsupport Pro

July 23, 2009

The SSPA has a large percentage of members from smaller companies–45% of members completing our benchmark are under $500 million in revenue–and these small and medium sized businesses (SMBs) have the same needs for innovative technology as larger firms.  What they don’t need, as I have learned, is enterprise-sized pricing or complexity. So it is gratifying to see more vendors now creating products specifically for SMBs, with smaller price tags and lower complexity, allowing faster time-to-money.

Yesterday’s announcement from NTRglobal created another offering in the remote support market geared toward SMBs: the launch of NTRsupport PRO, which allows an indivudal to support 8 simultaneous remote control sessions. With OnDemand or OnPremise deployment options, NTRsupport PRO does more than just remote control: additional machines can be monitored in “unattended mode” by the StayConnected™ agent (a popular Value-Added Support offering for tech support operations) which is downloaded onto the end user machine. Multiple StayConnected machines can be managed from the simple operator user interface with no limit to the total numbers of machines supported.

With a price tag of less than $600 a year, small firms, or even individuals doing tech support in their spare time from home, can easily afford ‘best of breed’ remote support functionality.

Adoption of remote support technology by SMBs is on the rise.  In my 2008 Member Technology Survey, 71.4% of members with under $500M in revenue were using a remote support solution, and that number rose to 75.6% in the 2009 survey. With solutions such as NTRsupport PRO now available, I suspect this number will continue to rise.

If you have any questions about NTRglobal or remote support technology, please drop me an email or post a comment. And as always, thanks for reading!

Despite economy, strong spending planned for PSA

July 15, 2009

I just sent a research report to editing detailing the results of the TPSA 2009 Member Technology Survey, and thought I was share a couple of highlights here as a preview. I have written previously about the results of the SSPA survey, which showed several areas (especially Web collaboration) with strong planned spending.  The results from the TPSA survey are even more interesting: though 90% of survey respondents already have some sort of professional services automation (PSA) solution in place, a significant number have budget for additional PSA purchases in 2009 and 2010.

A whopping 16% of respondents said they had approved budget for a PSA purchase in 2009; an additional percentage have budget for a 2010 purchase.  If the economy hadn’t tanked, the numbers would be higher:  an additional 19% said they had planned to invest but their budget was now at risk.

As you can see in this chart, PSA is no longer just a ‘big company’ product, with companies of all sizes planning investments.  It is great to see more solutions targeting smaller firms, such as QuickArrow’s recently launched Small Business Edition.

Members with PSA Budget in 2009 by Company Size

Members with PSA Budget in 2009 by Company Size

(more…)

Forrester’s “An Enterprise Software Licensee’s Bill Of Rights”

July 9, 2009

My former colleague at Forrester, Ray Wang, just published version 2 of his An Enterprise Software Licensee’s Bill Of Rights, based on interviews with 71 enterprise software vendors and an online poll of 101 end user companies. Ray has become one of the most quoted analysts on the globe on issues related to licensing and software maintenance, and with the wide readership this report will receive, I thought it would be worth mentioning some of the implications to service and support.

Ray has been very outspoken in the past about the cost vs. value received from maintenance contracts (check out his ‘five tips to lower software maintenance fees‘ article), so I was a bit apprehensive when I saw the new report. But I find the Bill of Rights to be a very rational and balanced take on lowering risk and ensuring value for both vendors and users.  It is especially interesting to see some “Web 2.0” thinking entering the picture, and some of the Rights will definitely raise the hackles of some very “Web 1.0” companies.

Here are some highlights, along with my take-aways: (more…)

KANA 10: Service Experience Management Platform Released

July 1, 2009

Back in the late 90s, I was working in product design for a software vendor. The product marketing/product management team was way ahead of the curve with object oriented design, and I was tasked with rolling out a new business object-based design tool to the rest of the team.  I loved the concept of modeling use cases and building out attribution lists for business objects, and it really made the product design process much faster and easier.  The problem came, of course, when the final design was turned over to our not-even-close-to-object oriented developers, who had no idea what to do with the cool business objects since they were still coding in C++.

This background was perfect preparation for a big “ah-ha moment” I had recently when KANA gave me a demo of their new KANA 10 release, which debuted yesterday.  When I saw them dragging and dropping objects to create complex business flows and support processes, it was amazing to see that object oriented design has made it through development and is now in the hands of business users.

When KANA first announced they were rearchitecting their popular customer management suite to take advantage of IBM’s service oriented architecture (SOA) and Information Management foundation (see this post for background) early last year, the big question was how long would it take? As any company who has done such a rewrite knows, you risk losing visibility during that time because companies are weary of investing in a platform that is about to be replaced.  In hindsight, the timing was pretty good. Who knew in March 2008 how much economic gloom and doom lay ahead?  Turns out, it wasn’t a bad time to take a breather. (more…)