The Corrupting Influence of Metrics

There is, every year, it seems, a bigger focus and greater reliance upon metrics.  Metrics can, of course, provide a much-needed focal point for management objectives, and provide valuable performance feedback.  One of the continuing issues with metrics is the  ’gaming” behavior that metrics can drive.  Metrics inadvertently become the end, rather than a measure of the means.   Stories abound of unintended consequences.   What we see time and time again is a corrupting effect of metrics on what the metrics are purporting to measure.  Has our mad rush to quantify and measure everything resulted in the unintended consequences becoming the rule rather than the exception?

Continue reading “The Corrupting Influence of Metrics” on Bob Eastman’s blog, Netting it Out.

Manufacturing in Massachusetts

Massachusetts Manufacturing Employment

Manufacturing has been on its heels, in Massachusetts and elsewhere.  There can be no argument about this.   The reasons for this (as well as the reasons, pro and con, for manufacturing itself) have been discussed to exhaustion elsewhere.  Massachusetts is taking some welcome fresh steps to revitalize the manufacturing sector.  Only time will tell if these new programs mean that we are finally going “on offense” with some strategic long-term solutions that signal a genuine new-found respect for a sector that is the source of so much innovation and vitality.

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Taking Stock – Eloqua, HostingCon, ClickSoftware, Meridian Associates


SMB Research is overdue in producing another one of our occasional, but irregular, “round-the-horn” Taking Stock pieces.   The waiting is over, and the summer be damned: there is stuff going on.  We can’t bring ourselves to watch the Red Sox every night, or Olympics‘ synchronized diving or synchronized swimming any night.  It’s raining too much to go to the beach.  So SMB Research is out of excuses.   Read, enjoy, and comment.   This Taking Stock talks about Eloqua, HostingCon, SoftLayer, ClickSoftware, Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce‘s 2012 Small Business of the Year, and New England Network Associates.  For a Taking Stock primer, see “SMB Research debuts…’Taking Stock’
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Web Hosting Just One of Many Technologies on Display at HostingCon 2012


HostingCon came to Boston this week, and SMB Research was there to take the temperature of the hosting industry.  What we learned is that there is a lot more going on than meets the eye.  Exhibitors that we talked to were enthusiastic about the conference and foot traffic – feeling that it was at least equal to, if not up by 10-15% over past years.

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Big Data, and Volume, Velocity, and Variety

The terms “volume”, “velocity”, and “variety” turn up often – very often – in discussions about “Big Data”.  Gartner’s Doug Laney has laid claim to the original collective use of these terms, in a then-META Group article in February 2001 (“3D Data Management: Controlling Data Volume, Veocity, and Variety“).

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Enterprise 2.0 Boston 2012 Keynotes, Part 1: Social Media and Mobility

Nathan Bricklin, Wells Fargo

Enterprise 2.0 Boston 2012 Day 2 kicked off with a series of very strong social media keynotes: Wells Fargo‘s Nathan Bricklin, Nike‘s Richard Foo, American Airlines’ Phillip Easter, FedEx’s Bryan Barringer, and Lithium Technologies’ Michael Wu.

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The Cloud – Catching You Up

Cloud Computing is about as hyped up a market as SMB Research can ever recall seeing.  This is good for the software and technology vendors (and us Analysts); not so good for the end-user.  This article will try to make some sense out of the flurry of recent Cloud-related activity, focusing principally on the major  Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IAAS) players, but with brief discussion also of the PAAS and SAAS spaces.    There continues to be lot of (and perhaps even an increase in)    jockeying for position.  As always, I would enjoy hearing from you to hear your sense of the cloud market, the vendor positioning, or your experience with the cloud technologies.

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A Conversation with Calyptus Consulting’s George Harris

Cross-posted from the Calyptus Consulting Group (CCG) Blog, with permission:

The Calyptus Consulting team has been deployed far and wide over the past several months, during which time new members have joined the Calyptus team. So when we recently had a chance to sit down as a team and catch our collective breaths, we took the opportunity to have a conversation with George Harris, C.P.M., CPCM, Calyptus Consulting’s President, and to pose some questions that we thought would be of interest.

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How To Use a Technology Analyst Firm

SMB Research has intended for some time to provide some ideas around how to use a technology analyst firm.  This is a difficult task because the analyst firm industry has many flavors, business and revenue models, services, and deliverables.  Analysts are often lumped in with consultants and consulting, and, for many, even the lines between analysts, consultants and resellers, VARS and MSPs (managed service providers) are blurry.  There are many streams of discussions on the internet and elsewhere about the different analyst firm models, business and revenue models, and the issues around bias and transparency, among other things.  We will not make even a pretense of trying to sort all of this out for you here.  (You can give us a call, if you like.)   What we can do for you as a start is offer some insights on what a technology analyst firm is, and how to use a technology analyst firm like SMB Research.

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Small Business Technology Tour, 2011

The Small Business Technology Tour, hosted by the energetic and engaging Ramon Ray came to Boston this week, and SMB Research had an opportunity to sit in to hear what the experts and small businesses are talking about.   This Boston event was the 3rd of 5 stops for the 2011 tour, and, like the agendas in the other tour stops (with some minor variations) the Small Business Technology Tour focuses on addressing how small businesses can strategically use technology to grow their businesses.  There are technology references and insights mixed in, but the primary focus is on strategies and best practices in the establishing an on-site presence, and then leveraging that with the right marketing, sales and content strategies.  Ramon Ray and Laura Leites of brought an engaging mix of speakers who in general provided some valuable insights to the enthusiastic audience.

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CRM and How SMBs Can Utilize It

Larger enterprises have deployed CRM suites for years. As the focus of SMB Research LLC represents companies with less than 1, 000 employees we wanted to see exactly how these SMBs were using CRM. Over the last few weeks we spoke to some CRM vendors including SugarCRM, Sage Software, Results Software. These are just 3 of hundreds of vendors and they serve as a few examples of what is available and has been deployed at hundreds of SMBs.

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Day 2 at Interop New York 2011

Another day at Interop under our belts, and more opportunities to wander through the exhibit floor and talk to quite a few vendors.  This Interop conference has been, perhaps not surprisingly, all about the data center, cloud computing, network management and security, desktop and server virtualization, unified communications,  and wireless / mobile strategy, with more minor focuses on WANs and WAN optimization, social media, voice and video, backup and storage.   This diversity is seen on the exhibit floor as well,  and is both Interop’s attraction as well as a challenge.

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Day “1″ of Interop New York 2011

On our Day 1 at Interop New York 2011 (actually the 3rd day of the conference), SMB Research arrived to find the event well in swing, with a lot of enthusiastic attendees, and the exhibit hall of more than 150 exhibitors very full, and very busy.

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SMB Research’s Watch List for Oracle OpenWorld 2011

SMB Research is monitoring developments from Oracle OpenWorld 2011 with great interest.  Are you a Mid-market or SMB headed to Oracle OpenWorld? Are you evaluating Oracle for the first time, or further integrating an Oracle solution or technology into your enterprise?  Let us know what you think of Oracle’s strategy and technology and what questions/concerns you have.   Here below are a few of the things we are watching, with plans to refresh our assessment of Oracle for you in the near future.

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SMB Research – Taking Stock: Interop, TIBCO, HP, Facebook, Thomson Reuters


TIBCO‘s  TUCON® 2011 which started this morning in Las Vegas should be fun to watch.  TIBCO likes to call itself the platform for events, with a value proposition is all around mining data with an event-driven approach, to enable a company to  “do the exact right thing at the exact right moment in time”.  In its 3rd quarter results call (transcript courtesy of Seeking Alpha) TIBCO is reporting their 7th consecutive quarter of revenue growth of more than 20%, and earnings per share growth exceeding 30% – and are reporting a 60-70% increase in attendance at this year’s TUCON event.

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