The Corrupting Influence of Metrics

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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
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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.

[Read more...]

Web Hosting Just One of Many Technologies on Display at HostingCon 2012

HostingCon-med
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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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A Conversation with Calyptus Consulting’s George Harris

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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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Epicor Software and Activant Solutions to be Acquired and Merged into….Epicor Software

Epicor logo
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In an announcement following by barely 3 weeks the disclosure that Lawson Software had received an unsolicited bid from Infor Global Solutions, private equity firm Apax Partners has announced plans to acquire and merge Activant Solutions and Epicor Software into a new privately-held company, to be called Epicor Software. The new entity will have some 30,000 customers and $825M in revenues.  This clearly indicates continuing interest by the investment community in the lucrative ERP marketplace, and an opportunity for larger players in the marketplace other than the two giants, SAP and Oracle.

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The Fortune 500, Inc. 500 and the Use of Social Media

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The always insightful Bill Ives over at the FASTforward Blog has alerted me to a study from the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth‘s Center for Marketing Research (CMR) study on the use of social media by the Fortune 500 and Inc. 500.

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SMB Research’s Top 20 Favorite Reads of 2010

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What was the best SMB or technology-related piece you read this past year?

When we at SMB Research started talking a few weeks ago about what we thought were some of the most interesting and valuable articles from 2010, we realized that once again this year there has been a great deal of very good (however you define this) research and writing.  If you struggle to find the time to read to read everything that deserves your attention, we share your pain.

To help you out, SMB Research decided to take a look back at some of what has been written and published this past year, and to identify some of our favorite reads.

SMB Research’s Top 20 Favorite Reads, 2010:
(in chronological order)

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Great Learnings from Boston’s Small Business of the Year Awards

Joe Harold - Sagamore Plumbing & Heating
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SMB Research was very pleased to be able to attend the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce’s 26th Annual Small Business of the Year Awards yesterday (Oct 14, 2010) at the Colonnade Hotel.  Emceed by WBZ Radio’s co-Anchor of “WBZ Morning News” Ed Walsh, the event itself was flawlessly put together and efficiently executed, for a very enjoyable event. [Read more...]

Vendors: Are You Trying to Hide from Prospects and Industry Influencers?

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In our research work at SMB Research, LLC we are continually researching, analyzing, profiling and/or reaching out to software, hardware, technology, and professional service vendors.  People, you are often not making this as easy as it could be!  You are putting unnecessary speed bumps in the way. [Read more...]

Technology Start-ups in Boston

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There are some fascinating facts and figures in this presentation by Jeff Bussgang of FlyBridge Capital Partners, “What Makes Boston’s Technology Start-Up Scene Special?“  Watch and Enjoy. [Read more...]

Sizing up Small-to-Medium Business (SMB) – A Follow-up

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In the process of writing my blog post, “Sizing up Small-to-Medium Business (SMB)“, I initiated a lively discussion on LinkedIn’s SMB IT Forum.

My thanks to the following people for participating in one of the longer discussions I have seen or been involved in on LinkedIn:

Here are some take-aways from this discussion: [Read more...]

Sizing up Small-to-Medium Business (SMB)

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As we enter 2010, and we here at SMB Research begin to focus on the technology advisory needs of the small and small-to-medium business, it is worth taking a fresh look at “small business”, and “SMB” (or “SME”) – and, indeed, what these terms even mean.

The confusion around these terms have been addressed before elsewhere before, most notably by Anita Campbell Editor in Chief of the terrific Small Business Trends website, but by others as well. (You will find below references to several other discussions about the challenge of defining SMB and small business.) [Read more...]

Welcome to The SMB Research Blog

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Welcome to SMB Research’s blog, a new blog by Miles Prescott and Bob Eastman. The goal of this blog will be to offer some ideas and insights from our combined 25 years worth of experience, and continuing work, advising enterprises large and small on matters relating to enterprise IT and technology, as well as to highlight ideas, trends, insights that we find particularly interesting and relevant for the small-medium (sub-$1B revenues) market.

This blog holds no ambitions as a news portal.  The SMB Research Blog will instead report on and discuss ideas, trends, advice, and yes, some news,  that we think you should take a closer look at.  Consider this blog to be a journal of sorts of the work that we are doing as SMB Research.  Needless to say, our rigorous observance of any nondisclosures that we work under, and our trusted client relationships are paramount, and so there will be much that we are not at liberty to write about.

Great insights and ideas, however, comes from many places, and if there is one thing that we have learned, it is that there is no limit to the great things that can happen, the great value and ideas that can be created, from the value chain of our network of end-users, software and technology providers, service providers, analysts, research firms, and our network-at-large.

We will strive to create value for you in this blog, and we would appreciate any opportunity to work with you as a client to create value for you. Please visit SMB Research.  Please visit here often.  Please contribute to the discussion here.  Let us know how we are doing.