News & Views

News & Views is published monthly by 180 Systems. Our objective is to provide recent articles to our readers on business technology topics. In some cases, our blog contains a title with a hyperlink to a source article, a quote from the article and our comments. In other cases, we have provided a blog without a hyperlink for original content by 180 Systems. We encourage you to post your own comments. You can also access our blog by topic.

CRM survey 2013


June 2013 from CAmagazine and written by Michael Burns “…Although CRM has been around for some time now, new mobile functionality and social networking are fueling adoption of the technology. In fact, IT research firm Gartner expects CRM to become a top priority for IT spending on enterprise applications, even more so than ERP…”


Microsoft Dynamics Move Up-Market: What’s Missing?


March 27, 2013 from The Enterprise System Spectator – “In recent years, Microsoft has had several implementations of its Dynamics AX and Dynamics CRM systems in large enterprises…

Another key success factor for the large enterprise market is the ability to provide direct support. In this regard, Microsoft’s reliance on its partner channel is often not sufficient for large companies. To address this need, Microsoft has been building up its Microsoft Services unit, which provides consulting and premier support not only for its Dynamics business applications but also for Microsoft’s entire portfolio of offerings. The Microsoft Consulting Services (MCS) Dynamics unit has reportedly doubled its headcount over the past year, and it can provide everything from high level program and partner management services to hardware support in conjunction with its large OEM partners, such as IBM and HP. For large customers, Microsoft can even take responsibility for service levels of the deployed applications…”

180 View - Our advice to Microsoft is not to bite the hand that feeds. Rather, Microsoft should support their business partners for the larger implementations if needed rather than compete with them.


13 Tips to Get Business Teams to Use Your CRM System


March 27, 2013 from CIO – “Congratulations on that purchase of a new customer relationship management (CRM) system. Now if only the people on the sales, marketing and customer service teams would use it…”

180 View – The article does provide good tips but misses the elephants in the room when it comes to reasons for not using CRM systems. Employees often don’t see any value in using it. In fact, there are disincentives. They spend time entering information with no value to themselves and they give away information that they consider useful in establishing their importance to the organization. Unfortunately, no tricks will solve this problem other than senior management demanding it by stick or by carrot.


Breaking through the Cloud Adoption Barriers

Cloud Computing

February 2013 from KPMG – “…The rapid growth of cloud shows no sign of abating. Estimates by Gartner suggest the worldwide market will exceed US$109 billion in 2012,1 while a separate forecast by IDC predicts global spending on public cloud services alone will approach US$100 billion in 2016…

To increase the understanding of the impact of cloud on service and technology providers, KPMG surveyed 179 cloud providers globally. The purpose of the survey was to provide insight in the following areas:

  1. Cloud adoption patterns
  2. Perceived barriers to customer adoption of cloud
  3. Customer decision-making process
  4. Service level agreements
  5. Cloud deployment ecosystems…”

180 View – We recommend reading KPMG’s research insights. One of them that struck us was “The executives involved in the survey say their customers’ single biggest reason for using cloud services is to reduce costs …” This is interesting in that Cloud vendors often promote their solutions because of cost savings but it turns out that the reality is often different. Sure there are savings at the beginning of a project but that can change in a few years. That’s not to say that there are not other compelling reasons to break through the clouds.


Microsoft Dynamics Apps Hit Azure Cloud

Cloud Computing, ERP

June 19, 2013 from InformationWeek – “Microsoft announced Tuesday that it’s finally offering its Dynamics GP and Dynamics NAV ERP applications on the Windows Azure cloud. The offering comes six months later than originally promised, but it gives customers a “secure, enterprise-class cloud infrastructure [option] from a trusted provider,” according to Paul White, senior director, Microsoft Dynamics ERP…

In the case of Dynamics GP and Dynamics NAV, Microsoft’s ERP products aimed at small and midsized organizations, Azure hosting is strictly offered through Microsoft partners (and not directly through Microsoft), as the company wants to continue to work through its network of regional and domain-expert resellers…

The technical and sales model will be different for Dynamics AX, Microsoft’s flagship ERP system, which is expected to become available on Azure sometime next year (if Microsoft’s schedule holds). That’s because AX will be delivered as a multi-tenant, public-cloud application (like, or Microsoft’s own Dynamics CRM Online), and there will be direct selling by Microsoft…”

180 View – Our perception is that the SaaS model should offer simpler infrastructure and support as one instance of the software will be shared by multiple organizations leading to better pricing to customers. It’s not yet clear why the different models for Microsoft’s ERP systems. And as mentioned in the above article, “Microsoft Dynamics Move Up-Market: What’s Missing?”, we think that Microsoft is headed for trouble in competing with their business partners over AX turf.


CIO of the future: Innovator or ERP baby sitter?

IT Strategy

May 23, 2013 from CIO – “As infrastructure and applications continue to migrate to outsourcers and into the cloud, IT should be taking the lead in business process innovation…  ”Before you know it you’ll be babysitting the ERP system — until someone figures out how to lift it from you,” Joe says…”

180 View – The article is about IT people wanting to become involved with business process improvement and not wanting to be baby sitters for ERP systems. The author of the article fails to recognize that ERP systems offer great opportunities to improve business process. IT should be lined-up to take responsibility of ERP systems if they want to take a lead in business process innovation.


How Five Hot Trends Are Shaping the Future of Business Analytics

Business Intelligence

2012 White Paper from Information Builders – “For decades, companies have made decisions based on instinct, hunches, and intuition. Then came business intelligence (BI), which made decision-making more scientific…Companies would review the data they had collected and make decisions about the future based on what had happened in the past… That kind of thinking was good – once. Nowadays, it’s like fighting with one hand ties behind your back….”

180 View – Although there is a clear bias in the white paper as Information Builders provides the much hyped tools, there is still value in understanding the potential of the tools discussed including predictive analytics and big data.


11 signs your IT project is doomed

Project Management

May 6, 2013 from InfoWorld – “The IT world is no stranger to projects that go down in flames. In fact, anyone who has had the unenviable pleasure of participating in a failed IT effort likely sensed its demise well before the go-live date…

We have gathered 11 red flags to look for in assessing IT project health. Be proactive whenever you encounter one — or if you can, simply walk away. You career depends on it…”

180 View – The signs are not limited to just IT projects. Although the article is useful regarding the red flags, I don’t agree with the advice of walking away. Most people don’t have that option. And even if you do have that option, you should reduce the risks of project failure rather than take a CYA (cover your ass) perspective.


How the internet works


180 View – Amazing

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