Thursday, August 23, 2007

Hyperion is Back at Oracle

New Flair: Hyperion site update. The brand new red and white Oracle signage was applied yesterday on the former Hyperion (and Palm before that) buildings yesterday. It turns out news of Hyperion's removal was premature, and the new PLM addition to the family, Agile, is about to join with some of the Hyperion team in their former office space at Santa Clara. Either way, people are moving around and things are happening. While it is still not clear which version of BI the field sales teams are selling at Oracle, they are clearly selling the Hyperion financial applications and all the ERP reps have the opportunity to sell PLM. This may or may not be Office Space recut as a horror movie, but certainly a lot of new people making the "Oh" face.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Hyperion Bites the Dust

Finally, the end of an era. The Hyperion logo has now been officially removed from the building and street signage at the former Hyperion mothership on Great America Parkway in Santa Clara. The building and parking lot has looked empty for a while, and maybe that is the reason it took so long to finally remove the signage.

The logo was part of the marketing makeover spearheaded by the arrival of Heidi Melin as CMO. As the logo was fairly new, it likely does not invoke the same nostalgia of the PeopleSoft logo, or PeopleSoft the company. There are many people who still speak very fondly of their time at PeopleSoft and it is not uncommon to see one of the old PeopleSoft dark backpacks with the red and blue logo which were standard issue for the entire organization on the street or in an airport. Team PeopleSoft positioned themselves as the people people in technology. Maybe that is why it still doesn't look right when you drive east on 580 and see the old PeopleSoft campus and sign with the big bold colors of Oracle. It would be interesting to hear Melin's take on this since she was group VP and brand czar at PSFT before coming to Hyperion. What looks great in the bank may feel a little less great. At least one version of Hyperion's logo still lives on in the Oracle website. As for the Hyperion BI product, it remains to be seen.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

LucidEra Takes Better Visibility to the Bank

Proving once again that SaaS is not only a great delivery model, but a great way to the bank, LucidEra, an on-demand BI play, recently closed a new round of funding. LucidEra closed a Series B round to the tune of $15.6 million. There must be much rejoicing in the marketing department as the stated reason was investment in sales and marketing and innovation with their analytic solutions. This actually means more sales people, more development resources and some lead gen help. All good things and congrats to the team clearly carving out a pure play disruptor role as a leader in on-demand BI solutions. Let's hope that some of the new marketing dollars translate into Darren getting his own blog link so that he doesn't have to continue his multi-tenet situation squatting in CEO Ken Rudin's blog.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

It's Shark Week

I hope all of you are tuning into the discovery channel for Shark Week this week, this performance guy certainly is. There was one segment I was watching where researchers were tagging great white sharks in the Pacific ocean to learn more about their migration habits and ultimately track where the sharks move to feed. From the tracking device the researchers could get details into the water depth, water temperature, and location of the great whites. They were able to map the migration patterns of 80 sharks and link the data back to a central data source where they could do more analysis. One of their next steps was to take shark attack data from the past 100 years and overlay it with the data they had compiled from the shark tagging. Now that’s some performance management that can help everyone “Shark Performance Management”, especially those performance guys that enjoy to surf… Good on ya mates! Maybe I can get them to build me a dashboard for Great White feeding patterns in the pacific north west so I know when to send one of my buddies just a little further out on the water than me.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Microsoft Product Fair Insights

I wanted to share some interesting observations from a recent internal product fair on the Microsoft campus. Product fair was a chance for the product teams at Microsoft to showcase the latest and greatest to the rest of the company. We’re not just talking Office and Vista here… we’re talking everything from Zune to Forefront Systems management. There was 16 tents that featured over 100 products, they even had popcorn and snowcones to munch on while getting the down low on the latest bits and bytes. I could go on talking about the enormity of the product fair but I’ll get to the point of this post, which is around PerformancePoint and organizational needs for performance management. With over 70,000 employees Microsoft is a pretty good example of a large enterprise with complexity and overlap, you name it they got it. While speaking with colleagues from different parts of the organization about the plans for PerformancePoint, I was surprised to learn about all the various BI/performance management projects occurring internally within Microsoft. Across, IT, HR, operations, and finance I had a constant line of people wanting to discuss new features of Microsoft’s performance management solution and how it could help their teams internally monitor and analyze their business. Very neat to see a strong “eat your own dogfood” mentality, brings me back to the Crystal Decisions days where it was like the Seinfeld soup Nazi, Crystal Reports or no soup for you! This experience really opened my eyes to the power of bringing BI to the masses, in a span of 3 hours nearly 60 people came up and asked me an internally focused performance management question about how they could better track and understand their particular business. Needless to say, this performance guy was pumped, it’s nice to have some real world validation from time to time.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

The Performance Management IceBerg

While on a flight to Vegas I was browsing through some of Wayne Eckerson's book Performance Dashboards. I know what you are thinking, what kind of dork reads a performance management book on a flight to Vegas, shouldn’t you be playing video poker and getting your drink on? To that I respond, ever heard of thing called detox, and besides, how can you ever get enough Eckerson, come on, that guy is the man!

What I wanted to point out, or rather revisit is an old visual analogy of the performance management iceberg, a great visual tool for understanding how BI and performance management relate to each other, dashboards and scorecards being just the tip of a much larger beast lurking beneath. Looking back the my time spent analyzing the data warehousing market and speaking with customers about the value of performance management there was always a gap between ETL and overall information management best practices with the sex and sizzle of a cool executive dashboard. It’s always good to go back to the basics, especially when dealing with sales people (did I write that out loud?) and a good visual model is a good as gold, or in this case as good as an iceberg!

Eckerson, Icebergs, time for some vodka, later ya’ll