Friday, February 25, 2011

SAP positioned for explosive growth in channels - that means SME

In 2010 SAP got very serious about channels, setting out to make profound transformational change. Not satisfied with incremental progress, SAP was looking to change the very DNA of its channel programs. A year ago, there were 5 different channel programs. Today there is one. Recruiting from the outside and shuffling the deck internally resulted in a 90% change in the management team. According to Kevin Gilroy, SVP Ecosystem and Channels, the current team is fired up “to make history.”
What’s happened in the past year? First of all… a lot of training. No longer is the channel just about the P&L, it is also about the balance sheet. There was a concentration on speeding the time to revenue and understanding the value of having an off-payroll sales force. But to keep those off-payroll channel sales partners interested and engaged, SAP needed to become more predictable. In August, SAP Business ByDesign, and SME in general went 100% channel. Since then only 2 or 3 exceptions have been made for direct sales.
Secondly, the new management team challenged existing processes. Here there was a definite advantage in having new eyes taking a fresh look at the old ways of doing business. They ripped out non-value added steps and sought to reduce disruption for the customer. They went so far as to remove the operational flavor of the team and replace it with a focus on the experience. The directive from management – if you aren’t improving the experience of the employee, partner or customer, either re-engineer the process or don’t do it. One example, the “experience” team took a 20 page leasing document and reduced it to 2 pages, reducing the turnaround from two weeks down to one day. The goal is one page, one minute turnaround. They have also simplified contracts so as to simplify the conversation and not to scare away customers.
The focus in 2011 is on meeting the needs of the SME. This means:
·         Delivering more choice and more packages tailored to the SME
·         Increased sales capability and capacity through channels and inside sales
·         Building a volume-based marketing engine. Marketing dollars will not be distributed evenly across the channel. SAP will pour more money in to fuel those with marketing engines.  
·         Continue to work on the” experience”. Optimize operations and processes around the needs of the SME users and partners.

But probably most important of all is to work on market perception. The ultimate objective of course is to turn the channel into a real volume business and this means selling more to smaller companies. SAP still is viewed as the 800lb gorilla in the market and many SMEs simply assume it is not for them – either it is too complicated or too expensive. Over the past year in talking with both Business ByDesign and Business One customers, it was not unusual for them to say to me, “I never thought I would be here. Who would have thought SAP had a solution for me that I could afford?” They don’t realize that 79% of SAP’s 109,000 customers are SME. That translates to 86,000 SMEs running SAP.

I think that Business ByDesign is going to play a very significant role in changing the market perception. ByDesign has the advantage of being a brand new product, engineered for the SME to reduce complexity. In fact SAP is finding it to be a real door opener that may lead either to a SaaS ERP (ByDesign) sale or an on-premise sale of All-in-One or Business One. Once that door is open, many are finding the price tag of the on-premise solutions is far more affordable than they assumed.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Green and environmental reporting gets attention from ERP vendors

I read today (  that Oracle has acquired the IP for environmental reporting software created by Ndevr, a software firm based in Melbourne Australia. The software adds greenhouse gas and environmental reporting capabilities to Oracle's E-Business Suite and JD Edwards Enterprise One. Ndevr has been a JD Edwards/Oracle certified partner for over 10 years.
This announcement comes just days after IFS announced the results of its Green Supply Chain survey ( IFS revealed in the announcement that almost 77% of manufacturers participating in the survey said they are currently required by their customers to report on their environmental impact and that of their products or require their vendors to do so. IFS went on to say, “…respondents indicated that their IT infrastructure, including enterprise resources planning (ERP) software, was not keeping up with their changing green supply chain needs, with 87 percent reporting that this data was handled at least in part through hard copy. Only five percent rated their ERP software as ‘excellent’ in its handling of green supply chain data while 54 percent rated their ERP solution as ‘poor’ or ‘not at all helpful’ in this regard. “
IFS addresses this apparent disconnect through IFS Eco-footprint Management which enables environmental impact to be traced along the entire value chain, from raw-material procurement and production to distribution and even through to the use of products post-shipment.
In addition, SAP has been particularly vocal about these issues and has been promoting its efforts in striving to be both an exemplar and an enabler. In fact Peter Graf, appointed as SAP’s Chief Sustainability Officer (CSO),  leads both the corporate sustainability strategy as well as product development in the area of sustainability, thereby lending cohesiveness to both efforts. SAP BusinessObjects Sustainability Performance Management, SAP EH&S Management and SAP Carbon Impact are all part of the SAP offering to address these issues.
Infor has a series of "green software solutions" including Infor Green EAM, Infor Green ERP, Infor Green, PLM, Infor Green PM and Infor Green SCM. You can also read how see how Bentley University and Mohawk Fine Papers are using Infor EAM to reduce their energy consumption and about Infor’s Green solutions at .
These are just 4 examples of how the major ERP vendors are jumping on the sustainability band wagon for environmental protection.

Monday, February 21, 2011

IFS promotes Lean methodologies in complex environments

I just finished reading an interesting white paper written by IFS (an ERP solution provider that specializes in addressing the needs of complex manufacturing). The title – Lean Enterprise in Complex ETO (Engineer to Order). Drawing from works by Lean experts such as James Womack and Jerry Kilpatrick, the paper does a great job of educating the reader on the principles and benefits of Lean methodologies.
The paper rightfully identifies Lean’s heritage in more high volume, repetitive manufacturing. After all it was pioneered by Toyota. But it also makes a case for Lean in a low volume, highly complex environment. Seems like some of these low volume manufacturers have been listening. According to data collected by The MPI Group for its 2010/2011 Manufacturers Data Report on manufacturing metrics and best practices, low-volume/high-mix manufacturers are actually more likely to have adopted Lean Manufacturing methodologies than an average of all plants surveyed (66.1% of low-volume/high-mix versus 60.8% of all plants) and are also more likely to use the Toyota Production System (TPS) (13.3% of low-volume/high-mix versus 10.5% of all plants). They are also more likely to use pull systems with kanban signals and one-piece flow techniques to manage inventory. As a result, they were able to shave an average of 26% off manufacturing cycle times (versus an average of 14% across all plants) over the past three years and more than half (53%) were also able to increase inventory turns, with 8.8% increasing them by more than 20%.
So if you happen to be one of those complex manufacturers dealing with the challenges of a engineer to order environment and have not embraced Lean methodologies thinking they only pertain to a more simple, repetitive environment… think again.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Sage X3 Launches in Russia and Austria. Sage who?

Actually Sage X3 launched in these two markets back in November 2010, but recent wins and partnerships underscore the global nature of the offering. If you travel around the major cities in Europe you will find Sage to be quite well-known. Not so much in North America. At Sage’s recent North American Analyst Day, all of the top execs that were present lamented this anonymity, most specifically Pascal Houillon, CEO Designate selected to replace Sue Swenson, current President and CEO of Sage North America when she retires later this year. In moving from France to California, he has been constantly reminded of this challenge of awareness both personally and professionally. His goal – make sure those that see him in the grocery store know who and what Sage does.
The stats from the most recent launch of Sage ERP X3 v6 in January 2010 signal X3 is indeed gaining traction. In the last twelve months Sage reports:
  • 300 new customers have adopted Sage ERP X3
  • the total number of X3 customers worldwide numbers in excess of 3,000
  • Sage ERP X3 is now available in 53 countries
So why do so few people know who Sage (a $2.24 billion company) is? Why don’t they think of Sage when they think of the top ERP players? First of all, Sage is not just an ERP company. The company also sells accounting, CRM, Payment Solutions, Healthcare EHR and practice management and more. So that $2.24 billion is not all ERP sales. But it does have 3 different ERP solutions including MAS, X3 and Accpac with more than 165,000 users worldwide.
Part of this identity crisis results from Sage having grown largely through acquisition and having preserved many of the brands along the way. In fact, Sage ERP X3, until the last couple of years, was known as Adonix X3. Whenever I talk with a company that is acquiring another company, one of the first questions I ask is about preserving the brand. Changing names is hard, especially when there is a significant amount of brand equity in the name.
I went through those same decisions back in the mid-90’s when CA bought ASK. The CA management wanted to lose the MANMAN name. The problem was, everyone “knew” MANMAN even though hardly anyone “knew” ASK. So my advice to CA management was, you can change the name, but people will always call it MANMAN (today MANMAN is Infor ERP MANMAN). Sage had a similar situation with MAS and Accpac (acquired from CA, by the way) and therefore the prefixing of MAS and Accpac with Sage ERP is the logical solution to introduce the Sage brand while preserving the brand equity of these two solutions. But getting staff and customers to call them anything but Accpac and MAS is a constant struggle. Old habits die hard. But Sage had the opposite situation with X3. Adonix was more well-known than X3 and Sage allowed Adonix to operate as a subsidiary, preserving the Adonix name, for several years.
So I am afraid Mr. Houillon is going to have to continue to work very hard to get the same level of name recognition here in North America that he enjoyed in Europe. But in a market where name recognition is paramount to market awareness, it is certainly worth the effort.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 Arrives On-Premise Early

Yesterday Microsoft announced the availability of the on-premise version of Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011. A month ago, on January 17th the cloud-based online version made its debut. It was the first time Microsoft ever announced an on-demand version before making the on-premise version available. Now, as they release the on-premise version we spot another rarity in the software world… bringing a product to market early. Back in January Microsoft had said they would release the on-premise version on February 28th, but  lo and behold, it is already here.
In a way it is not surprising. The online and on-premise versions are really the same. While in the initial launch event Kirill Tatarinov (head of the Dynamics business) noted the symmetry between the two versions and touted this as something nobody had ever done before, I would respectfully disagree. In the past year we have seen several major enterprise applications vendors do the same, pointing to the value of giving customers choice and allowing them to move, uninhibited between the cloud and on-premise and back again. I suppose if you narrow the conditions down enough it might be unique, but instead I would point to it as a growing trend, particularly among those traditionally on-premise only software solution providers.
I am actually just now catching up on all this news. When I was recently with Aberdeen I was not the primary analyst covering CRM. But with a broad coverage area of Enterprise Applications, the center point being ERP, it was pretty hard to avoid. As ERP vendors continued to expand their solution footprints, the front office was one of the first targets. Very often I would see CRM modules being added to the core of ERP. Originally they were CRM Lite, but no more. These fully integrated or even embedded versions were becoming more feature-rich and fully functional. So it is not unusual for me to see CRM sold as a feature of ERP.
This made perfect sense to me because for almost 2 decades CRM vendors have been using the phrase, “a 360o view of the customer.” But I failed to see how they could pull that off without ERP, or minimally an accounting system. After all, it is not a CRM system that invoices the customer or manages the receivables and seldom does it manage inventory where field service is an integral part of servicing the customer.
But not only is Microsoft Dynamics selling the compatibility and integration with ERP, you could almost say they are selling it as a feature of Outlook. I see this as a rather ingenious way of getting CRM infiltrated into the organization. It is human nature to resist change (and new software indeed represents  change) and the sales organization is no exception. In addition, how often have you seen a sales rep resist using the sales force automation “leg” of CRM for fear of big brother looking over his or her shoulder? End users of enterprise applications are less likely to ask for an additional software applications (to implement and learn) than they are to ask for more functionality in the solutions they already have.   And what application does a sales rep, particularly an inside rep, practically live in? Microsoft Outlook.
Of course, adding this functionality to Outlook does represent some change. But I have just recently migrated from Office 2003/Outlook 2007 to the 2010 versions of both. Talk about change! Of course it presented a bit of difficulty in finding the features I was accustomed to, but even after several weeks, it is a constant series of discovery of new features and functions. Based on the demo I saw of Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011, the experience appears to be similar. Where I now click on Mail, Calendar, Contacts or Tasks, I would have an additional choice to go directly to CRM. But for the most part I don’t often have to leave the comfort of Outlook. I get new buttons on my tool bars with what Microsoft calls an Office-like ribbon. I get new personalization features. For example I can have any opportunity over a certain dollar value or forecast percentage highlighted with red, bolded font. With one click I can turn those opportunities into a chart, or I can have predefined charts. Or I could just stick to the raw data if I weren’t such a “visual” person.
Those are changes I could easily get used to!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Epicor ERP customer gets great mileage from change

Many industry observers focus on failed ERP implementations. Of course while understanding the possible pitfalls has some value in warning other companies to avoid them, I prefer to highlight the successes and the potential business benefits of doing it right. Epicor Software is one of the ERP solution providers I follow closely and was pleased to see this article by Matt Danforth (Modern Machine Shop) on Bley LLC, an Epicor ERP customer, a small international contract manufacturer that serves a “diverse array of markets, including heavy transportation, mining, oil and gas, alternative energy, aerospace and defense.”
It is apparent from the article that Bley has effectively used ERP to “streamline operations and boost efficiency, productivity and operational visibility”, but it is also clear that the ERP solution alone can’t produce those results. With no disrespect intended, I am sure there are other Epicor ERP implementations that have not been equally successful. In fact Bley was one of these until manager Krishna Rajagopal took over. Up until then, manual processes were still largely in place in spite of the ERP solution being available.
So what happened when Mr. Rajagopal took over? From the article it is clear that customizing the solution for a better fit and integrating it with other software applications (HMI/SCADA, Quality Management, CAD, etc.) were two of the major differences. Epicor ERP’s service-oriented architecture, modular structure and the ability to tailor the solution without major surgery were all factors.
But it seems that Mr. Rajagopal also took advantage of being the “new guy” to make things happen as well. Any company can either get a lot of mileage out of change or it can get mired in the change. Seems like Bley, LLC is taking full advantage of change and its ERP solution, and they aren’t done yet. I hope I continue to hear more great things about their progress. In the meantime, take a moment to read the full story.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Plex Systems grows while others stall

I’ve been watching Plex Systems now for about 5 years. It is one of the bigger small ERP solution providers. Not being one of “the big guys” you might not have heard of them. But if you are a manufacturing company in search of an ERP solution, the company is one you might want to get to know – that is if you are either in active search for or are at least willing to consider SaaS ERP. Because that is all they offer. Unlike some of the new entrants into the SaaS ERP market, “as a service” is the only way Plex delivers its solution. But also unlike these new entrants, Plex has been serving up SaaS ERP for more than 10 years.
How and why they began offering a SaaS deployment model for ERP long before it was “hot” is an interesting aside. Plex’s founder didn’t go looking for SaaS. He was an advocate and a pioneer of rapid application development and he was looking for a way to deliver new enhancements at an equally rapid pace. SaaS was his answer. But SaaS presented an obstacle to selling in its early days, particularly in selling ERP. When I was at Aberdeen and first started following the SaaS ERP market I called ERP “the last bastion of resistance” to SaaS and openly questioned whether it was a chicken or egg kind of problem. Were companies unwilling to consider SaaS ERP because there weren’t many options back then or were there not many options because people weren’t willing to consider it?
That’s a moot point today because the barriers are starting to break down and there are more options to choose from. But interestingly enough, one of the reasons software vendors were unwilling to offer SaaS models was because of the subscription-based pricing that now seems so appealing to both software suppliers and consumers of software. In an era when budgets were cut and credit was tight, accounting for the purchase as an operating expense instead of a capital expense was (and still is) very appealing.
However, making a move from selling on-premise solutions to SaaS has some immediate impact on fiscal reporting. When you sell an on-premise license, you get a bunch of money up front. The on-going maintenance is of course a recurring revenue stream, but that nice chunk up front was pretty hard to give up and if the software supplier gave up too much of that too quickly, revenues would also take a hit. If you were a public company that could very well be a hit you couldn’t afford to take.
You might think that Plex System dodged that bullet by offering a SaaS solution throughout the last 10 years. But in reality, the company didn’t always price their solution as SaaS. In the early days, prospects bought Plex in spite of its being SaaS, not because of it. In order to counter this and remove one obstacle, Plex priced it just like an on-premise solution. In fact it was quite a creative answer to a problem, but it did leave money on the table. That revenue leakage was something they knew they would eventually have to plug up. And they did. Several years ago they made the switch to more traditional (for SaaS) subscription-based pricing but they were smart enough to do it while they were (and are) still a private company and didn’t have Wall Street breathing down their necks.
They not only survived and thrived through that transition, but they are now very actively growing. During a year when most ERP solution providers struggled with a downturn during the first half of the year (some started to see growth in the second half), Plex saw substantial growth. They not only added 54 new employees (they now have 175 so the percentage growth is even more impressive) but they grew revenues by 27% and software sales subscriptions by 26%.
How did they do that? While they may still be a relatively small ERP solution provider, their solution is anything BUT small. I lost count of the number of modules they offered long ago – suffice to say it is a lot and quite complete. It also dives deeper into the shop floor than the typical ERP solution and they have particular strength in automotive. Not surprising because in their early days much of their selling was done locally in and around Auburn Hills, Michigan.  But today their strength pushes well beyond automotive to food processing, medical devices, aerospace/defense, industrial and consumer products. Part of the reason for the impressive footprint is the approach to rapid application development that drove them to SaaS in the first place.
The other significant factor is their very engaged installed base of customers. Enhancement of the product is driven entirely by customer and prospect requests and innovation is delivered every day. So in one way, everything is customized. But in another way, nothing is customized, because all enhancements are added to the product in such a way that the customer opts in to turning them on.
Mark Symonds, CEO of Plex Systems sees this growth continuing through 2011, with specific opportunity arising within the food-and-beverage industry because of the new federal food safety laws. Compliance and traceability has been part of the Plex DNA from the beginning and should position the company well in this new era of requirements and regulations.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Sage launches new version of Sage ERP Accpac

I’ve recently spent some time getting reacquainted with Sage ERP solutions. I spent yesterday in Boston at the Sage North American Analyst day and earlier today watched the virtual launch of Sage Accpac V6.0, which was officially released last week. I have to admit that I was pleasantly surprised to find how far Accpac had come since my CA days (1994-2002) when the product was owned by CA.
During the latter part of my stint at CA, I was VP of Product Strategy for interBiz, which was the independent business unit that was the home of all CA’s business applications. Correction…  all but one. Accpac was not part of interBiz. There were commercial reasons for this. Accpac operated as a subsidiary which later went on the block to be sold. But interestingly enough it was interBiz that was divested first, sold to SSA Global in 2002. It wasn’t until 2004 when Sage bought Accpac.
But beyond the commercial aspects, interBiz was the home of all the ERP solutions CA owned and back then I wouldn’t have called Accpac an ERP solution. I would have simply called it an accounting package for smaller businesses. Had that continued to be the case, Accpac today would belong with Sage’s other “accounting” solutions… Sage Peachtree and Sage Simply Accounting.
I define ERP as an integrated suite of modules that forms the operational system of record of the transactions that run a business. In this context Sage Accpac qualifies as an ERP solution targeting small to lower midmarket multinational businesses in several specific but quite diverse verticals: Finance, Service, Mining and Hospitality. Without the underlying base of MRP it is not really a fit for manufacturers, but Sage has other products that target manufacturing (Sage X3 and Sage MAS). Sage also distinguishes between “global” and “multi-national”. While Sage Accpac can deal with multi-currency and multi-language environments, it is assumed each legal entity in each country will run its own instance of the software, rather than running a global centralized, single instance.
The latest version has made some strides in terms of the underlying technology platform. While the product has been available via the web for the past 10 years, until the latest version it was based on ActiveX controls. Scott Zandbergen, VP of product management for the Sage Accpac line, refers to the technology improvements as “next generation” and “real web-based delivery.”  This is most evident in its new portal. The new Sage ERP Accpac 6.0 web Portal is built on the Google Web Toolkit platform, providing the first step towards releasing a full Web based Sage ERP Accpac solution as well as mobile access from iPhone, iPad and Android™ devices.
Sage Accpac’s strength still lies in the accounting functions, and therefore some of the new features are for the accountants. Like the new fiscal period management (which Sage says was a top requested feature by its users) allowing the locking of fiscal periods by module. But beyond accounting, the new release also includes embedded Business Intelligence (BI) functionality and built-in CRM.
Embedded BI functionality includes Sage ERP Accpac Snapshots that allow easy access to operational metrics in a graphical presentation with drilldown capabilities to underlying financial reports. User-configurable snapshots include balance sheet, income statement, and aged receivables. Sage ERP Accpac Inquiry allows users to easily and intuitively create personalized query lists on the fly, without the knowledge of databases or programming.
SageCRM is included as part of the Sage ERP Accpac solution at no additional charge. Over the past several years, as ERP footprints have expanded,  it has become harder and harder to tell where ERP ends and other applications begin. This is actually good news for the corporate practitioner. Connecting the front office (CRM) and the back office (typically ERP) is a logical place to blur these lines and in doing so, add value for the users of both. A good example of how this can be useful: sales reps can add a sales order without ever leaving  SageCRM, but they are actually using a function in Sage Accpac.
More on some of the general plans across the entire line of Sage ERP products, including Sage Advisor Technology, SData and more in posts to come.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

SAP announces release of SAP Business ByDesign FP 2.6

Yesterday SAP announced a major update to SAP Business ByDesign, the centerpiece of its portfolio of on-demand solutions. Feature pack 2.6 has been generally available since February 1, 2011, offering several news-worthy new features and capabilities. On-demand computing itself is one of SAP’s three pillars for growth… the other two being mobility and in memory computing. FP 2.6 touches on all three and more.

So what’s new? First of all there is a brand new SDK (Software Developer’s Kit) that plays two roles in making ByDesign more appealing. It provides some added incentives to its ecosystem of partners not only to jump on board but also to add their own value. And secondly, it begins to allay the fears of those resistant to a SaaS delivery model which is often viewed (sometimes erroneously) as “configurable” but not ”customizable.”

Secondly there is added support for additional mobile devices (the iPad and RIM BlackBerry smartphones).
Mobility came to the forefront of SAP’s strategy last May with its announcement that it would acquire Sybase and its mobility platform.  The goals and objectives of implementing an integrated suite such as Business ByDesign always include efficiency, productivity and visibility. Yet few exec’s today, whether sitting behind their desks, traveling around the world or attending a child’s soccer game, have easy and direct access to the data needed to make decisions, keeping all three goals just out of their reach. Sure, they may get an urgent email on their smart phone at any hour of the day or night, but then what do they do? Most likely they will use that same device to place a phone call or multiple calls, searching for more information.

SAP’s goal instead is to turn that device into a real tool to manage the business. Of course much of the technology needed to do this has been around for more than a decade, but full visibility and direct access anytime, anywhere has still been an elusive goal for the vast majority. I’ve been predicting for a while that this level of alerting and investigation is going to skip the laptop and go directly to these mobile devices. As more and better devices become available, this could finally be a reality in 2011.

The third new capability gets at what SAP calls “orchestration” across any number of delivery platforms (on demand, on device, on-premise) and also the reality of distributed enterprises and the need for consolidation and communication between headquarters and business units or subsidiaries. With Feature Pack 2.6, SAP offers an integration scenario for financial consolidation to help companies deal with the diversity of global financial reporting standards such as GAAP and IFRS, multiple currencies particularly at the subsidiary and transaction currency level, as well as different tax jurisdictions. Further integration scenarios for sales and distribution are planned for the next release.
SAP is not alone in promoting a two tier strategy for large corporations and their subsidiaries, recognizing the complexities of a solution like SAP Business Suite may be out of reach or overkill for satellite or subsidiary business units. Other ERP solution vendors talk about the same, sometimes calling it hub and spoke, sometimes two tier or even distinguishing between administrative and operational ERP. But often they are also talking about interoperability with SAP – either the Business Suite or R/3.

One element of supporting any kind of multinational scenario is making ByDesign available all over the world. Up until now it was available in 6 countries, which together presented tremendous opportunity for SAP (US, UK, China, France, India and Germany). So far they have about 250 customers and now are expanding to include Canada, Austria and Switzerland.

And finally… the in-memory connection. FP 2.6 adds sales and financial planning scenarios powered by in-memory technology, providing added speed and the ability to process huge data volumes in real time. There is also a dashboard app so ByDesign customers can access and consume complete analytical business information. Within the dashboard app users can arrange worksheets and organize reports annotations, notes, e-mail and voice notes for collaboration with partners and coworkers. The dashboard app will be free to download from the Apple iTunes store and available in demo mode for non-SAP Business ByDesign customers.
And Sap is not done yet. Peter Lorenz, executive vice president, On Demand, and corporate officer, SAP AG said,  “As we have now moved to a cycle of delivering a new feature pack every six months, the next big step in our SAP Business ByDesign roadmap will be the general availability of feature pack 3.0 in August.”

Inaugural Blog

Consider this my inaugural blog post as I embark on my new venture as Mint Jutras, LLC. When you think of Mint Jutras, feel free to use the “sounds like mint julep” to help you remember my name, but I am much too much a true New Englander to ever be confused with a southern belle. And besides, mint juleps are definitely a seasonal drink and the kind of research and analyst insights you will be seeing from Mint Jutras are for all seasons. So when you think of Mint Jutras, think of “mint” as in minting coins (creating money), or maybe “mint condition.” And I didn’t have to agonize over a color scheme!
 Over the next few weeks, you’ll see a formal website ( but in the meantime, I just couldn’t stop writing about how Enterprise Solution Providers and their products can help companies achieve the kind of operational excellence they seek. While others might dwell on failed implementations and horror stories, I prefer to focus on the business benefits of enterprise applications, particularly when you select a good product and do it right.
For those of you who know me as VP and Research Fellow from the Aberdeen Group… I still intend to do some work with Aberdeen, so you might still see my name on new research documents as a Distinguished Research Fellow. But I am also working on a partnership with a research firm that will allow me to continue to conduct survey-based research that will help me add insight and substance to blogs, papers, webcasts and podcasts and more. More on that later.
So, welcome to my blog! Feel free to comment or email me at
Cindy Jutras, Principal, Mint Jutras, LLC