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.

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Taking Stock – Eloqua, HostingCon, ClickSoftware, Meridian Associates

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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-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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Big Data, and Volume, Velocity, and Variety

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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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How To Use a Technology Analyst Firm

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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

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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 Smallbiztechnology.com 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

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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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SMB Research’s Watch List for Oracle OpenWorld 2011

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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

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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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Sustainability Strategies for the SMB / SME

MangoLogo
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 Mango NetworksLisa Lillelund provided a timely and engaging presentation at the North Shore Technology Council‘s (NSTC) North Shore Technology Council  first Wednesday of the month Sustainability Forum at the Cleantech InnoVenture Center in Lynn.  Mango Networks describes itself as “a Sustainability, Clean Energy, and Environmental Communications Company..[who] advises companies, universities, schools, clean tech start-ups, and resorts…[and advocates] for environmentally friendlier business and living practices through our consulting projects, articles, Mango Networkspresentations, and educational events.’   Ms. Lillelund’s message to the assembled audience reflected Mango’s mission to educate on what sustainability is, and what we can all be doing about sustainability in our businesses and our lives.

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Everest Software and Versata – Software Vendors or Portfolio Companies?

Versata
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SMB Research has been hearing some interesting things from the Everest Software end-user community.  So we decided it was time to take a closer look.  What we find is a software company that seems to like to do things its own way – and perhaps a bit differently than some of the software and technology companies you are more familiar with.  Everest Software has been around for quite a long time, and continues to make an impression on customers – either quite positive or very negative.

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SMB Research – Taking Stock: Microsoft SharePoint, Plex Systems, Salesorder.com

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SMB Research attended SPTechCon Boston 2011 this week, and the highlight (as you might infer if you are keeping up the SMB Research Blog) were the exhibitors.  We diligently trolled the booths looking for SMB and midmarket stories, and vendors and service providers servicing same.

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SMB Research – Taking Stock: SYSPRO, Lawson Software, Interprise Solutions

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SYSPRO, the long-time private ERP vendor will be presenting on June 8, 2011 in New York City at the Atlantic Design and Manufacturing Show.   SYSPRO has been around for more than 30 years, and continually showing up on the evaluation lists of midsize companies, particularly in the food, medical devices, electronics, machinery/equipment and distribution industries, looking for a cost-effective full-featured system. [Read more...]

Infor Global Solutions Acquires Lawson Software

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Lawson Software‘s signing, in the past few days, of the definitive agreement to be acquired by Golden Gate Capital and Infor Global Solutions promises to vault the combined entity to the #3 slot of ERP vendors. This is a notable achievement for Infor. [Read more...]

SMB Research – Taking Stock – April 20, 2011

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It was great to get an update this week from Lawson Software (there’s a lot to be said for a briefing after a conference, btw).  More to come!…. [Read more...]