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Beyond Sales Operations Analytics and LucidEra

Monday, June 29, 2009

The past couple of weeks have been abuzz about LucidEra’s announcement regarding closing down and what that means for its customers, the SaaS market, and business intelligence in general. In addition, vendors such as Birst with their offer of priority on-boarding and a 25% discount, and Panorama have made announcements offering solutions/services to LucidEra customers to help them with the transition and to expand their analytics use beyond sales operations. Which vendor(s) will be successful with securing the most LucidEra customers remains to be seen. 

Aside form the opportunity to gain more market share, there has been much speculation about why the company decided to close up shop.  One reason that resonates is the fact that despite LucidEra’s strong offerings, their solutions were only one-faceted.  In a recent blog post, Wayne Morris, President and CEO of myDIALS, stated that he “absolutely believes that there is significant demand for optimizing operational performance and that it delivers tremendous business value.  However, we need to look at operational performance holistically across a value stream or business process. Analyzing performance metrics contained within Salesforce.com only provides part of the picture.”  

Although this one reason alone does not provide full insight into LucidEra’s decision, (as others cited include technology, an inability to get extra funding, etc.) it offers a general understanding of the expansion of the analytics market towards a broader look at how analytics can and should be applied within the organization.  It no longer seems beneficial to only be able to take one dataset or to only analyze one set of business processes.  In order to get the most accurate and broad view of how an organization is performing, it becomes essential to integrate data from different sources.  This goes beyond only using Salesforce.com data towards integrating this data with financial and customer data sets to gain a broader understanding of performance, gaps, and how to best plan for the future.

As analytics become embedded within operational solutions, organizations look for ways to increase their visibility into their day-to-day operations.  Consequently, the ability to move beyond sales operations analytics towards a more holistic approach to BI is generating more general interest and becoming more valuable to organizations on the whole.  What does this mean for other solution providers that target niche areas?  That still remains to be seen, but overall it seems obvious that although the BI marketplace is broad, targeted niche analytics solutions are not well poised to capture a large enough part of the market share to make their long-term success a reality.

About the Author

Lyndsay Wise is an industry analyst for business intelligence. For over seven years, she has assisted clients in business systems analysis, software selection and implementation of enterprise applications. Lyndsay is the channel expert for BI for the Mid-Market at B-eye-Network and conducts research of leading technologies, products and vendors in business intelligence, marketing performance management, master data management, and unstructured data. She can be reached at lwise@wiseanalytics.com. And please visit Lyndsay's blog at myblog.wiseanalytics.com.

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