Enterprise App Stores Driving Free-Market ERP

By Jeremy Roche, president and CEO, FinancialForce.com

Cloud computing is the business software industry’s response to delivering business applications that end users can access and use in a convenient way using the Web as a platform, in the same way consumers download apps for the iPhone. Enterprise App Stores are growing in number and size, for example salesforce.com’s AppExchange, Google Apps Marketplace and IBM’s Smart Market. But are companies really going to download apps the way they download Angry Birds?

In the early 1990s, companies were forced to choose between the best application in a particular class versus buying a suite of applications from a single vendor. ERP vendors eventually won that battle by providing an integrated suite of applications – some of which were nowhere near best-of-class in terms of functionality – which companies preferred rather than integrating disparate application elements from many different vendors based on different platforms and programming languages.

However, the big application platforms are very slow to react to new technologies and functions whereas new apps spring up all the time on a cloud platform – it is a richer, more agile alternative. Cloud platforms offer a common UI, single sign-on and a palette of dev tools, reporting tools, shared objects, collaboration tools, mobile computing support etc. that users, IT staff and app developers can collectively leverage. Apps don’t just speak the same language; they can share the same culture. More importantly, the best cloud platforms are built for the “App Store” world. They are designed for extensibility by mere mortals and the ability to push add-ins into the environment akin to the iPhone. It is a refreshing change from the inward facing ERP platforms that are built to dominate – not to cohabitate. Force.com is perhaps the leading example of a cloud platform. From the start, it has provided an open architecture to move beyond the Frankenstein-like app environments that helped spur the No Software movement to begin with.

This is carving out a new trend that we are calling free-market ERP – a fairly radical idea based on a common cloud infrastructure that means enterprises are no longer locked in or beholden to their ERP provider. This will create a dynamic that most every company has always preferred but could not do with on-premise software – a free market approach to acquiring software where enterprises select the ideal applications for their business based on a single platform to assemble their own free market ERP in the cloud.

With Free Market ERP, forum ratings such as the AppExchange give buyers unfettered access to the market. This keeps suppliers on their toes to ultimately deliver better apps and services. Companies want to work with vendors that are focused on business functionality, not the technology stack that underpins it. They want suppliers with expertise in their application domains and true cloud applications that are functionally rich. It’s about choice in the end: a free market approach to ERP that has not been possible before.

SIIA announces the 2011 CODiE Awards winners for digital content

Congratulations to the following CODiE Awards winners! 

  • Best Business Information Resource-InfoDesk Solutions (InfoDesk)
  • Best Content Aggregation Solution- Newsdesk 4 (Moreover Technologies)
  • Best Directory & Business Leads Service- ZoomInfo Pro (Zoom Information Inc.)
  • Best Financial/Market Data Information Service- PitchBook (PitchBook Data, Inc.)
  • Best News Service- Wall Street Journal Professional (Dow Jones & Company)
  • Best Solution Integrating Content into Workflow- Alacra Compliance (Alacra, Inc.)

 Congratulations to the winners of our new supercategories! 

  • Best Information Solution- Newsdesk 4 (Moreover Technologies)
  • Best Vertical Market Business Content Solution- Pitchbook (PitchBook Data, Inc.)

Featured digital content category: Best Solution Integrating Content into Workflow

Our final category in the 2011 CODiE Awards is Best Solution Integrating Content into Workflow. This category awards the best product, service, or application integrating content into a workflow application such as CRM, legal, scientific, financial planning and analysis, etc.

Finalists are:

  • Alacra Compliance (Alacra, Inc.) is a modular workflow tool in which users can view regulatory and risk requirements with a consistent process for Credit Investigation, Onboarding, EDD, KYC, and Remediation. Date-stamped audit reports of clients’ business rules and logic are created through searching regulatory watch lists, premium data, and news and web resources.
  • Cicero XM (Cicero, Inc.) simplifies workflow, automates tasks, and automatically share data between existing applications, data sources, and web services. By using a toolset, users can create a modular, customizable interface as well as user scripts, screen pops, and new composite applications.
  • Dow Jones Advisor (Dow Jones Enterprise Media Group) allows financial advisers to create fluid workflows by combining news and information from Dow Jones Newswires, The Wall Street Journal, Barron’s and Smart Money with editorial analysis and fundamental data.
  • InsideView for Sales (InsideView) gives users accurate, up-to-date sales intelligence and content by bringing in information from more than 20,000 sources, including Twitter and Thomas Reuters.
  • Lexis for Microsoft Office (LexisNexis Group) integrates legal content and services from LexisNexis, the Web, and an organization’s own database within Microsoft Office Outlook, Word, and SharePoint.
  • LexisNexis Dossier Publishing Manager (LexisNexis Group) gives company, industry, and executive reports. General HTML links to favorite reports or selected components can be generated to include in internal sites.
  • BeGlobal (SDL Language Weaver) is a platform for real-time automated translation. Users can access it through a central, consumer-grade, web application (or API). Organization business users can publish multilingual content and communicate with global customers.

Winners in each category will be announced at the Information Industry Summit on Tuesday, January 25th.

Featured digital content category: Best News Service

Today’s featured CODiE Awards digital content category is Best News Service. This category awards the best online service focused on current awareness, as opposed to breaking news. The service may be from original publishers or distributors, and must clearly be focused on the delivery of news.

Finalists are:

  • Wall Street Journal Professional (Dow Jones & Company) combines news coverage and analysis of The Wall Street Journal with Factiva SmartSearch into one product.
  • LexisNexis Publisher (LexisNexis Group) allows users to publish or distribute current news and legal information through the platform of their choice including Internet, intranet, portal, extranet, email, newsletter, RSS reader, or mobile device.
  • NexisDirect (LexisNexis Group) is an enterprise search solution that searches content from LN’s collection of news sources, industry intelligence reports, company intelligence reports, biographical profiles, and retrieve reports from Company Dossier.

Featured Digital Content Category: Best Financial/Market Data Information Service

Today’s featured CODiE Awards category is Best Financial/Market Data Information Service. This category recognizes the best online service for providing financial and market data, information or news for professional markets. It includes real-time data services, financial news services, market analysis, credit services, merger and acquisition information, as well as accounting, banking, and regulatory information.

Finalists are:

  • Passport (Euromonitor International) is a syndicated global database focused on industries, and country and consumer market intelligence that is sold to educational institutions and multinational companies worldwide.
  • Mergent Online (Mergent, Inc.) delivers access to a historical financial database with intuitive search capabilities. It also has an easy to use interface, access to risk, ratings, credit information and recommendations.
  • PitchBook (PitchBook Data, Inc.) provides clients with information and analysis on thousands of private equity deals, investors/corporate acquirers, funds, service providers, limited partners, and industry professionals.
  • ProQuest Entrepreneurship (ProQuest) offers a central access point to a collection of scholarly and traditional resources along with multimedia tools. It combines full text and A&I resources with the integration of multimedia and new format content.

Winners for all digital content categories will be announced at the Information Industry Summit on January 25th in New York City.

Featured Content Category: Best Directory & Business Leads Service

Congratulations to the finalists in this 2011 CODiE Awards category!

Best Directory & Business Leads Service recognizes the best online service for accessing contact information for businesses and professionals in specific industries, areas of expertise, or geographic locations; or as part of a collection of prospective buyers in a certain market.

Finalists are:

  • Cvent Supplier Network (Cvent) allows meeting and event planners to search a free-web-based database containing over 100,000 worldwide venue profiles. Users can also send Requests for Proposals and compare bids through side-by-side reports.
  • Jigsaw.com (Jigsaw) is the world’s largest database containing company information. The directory contains over 22 million business contacts with a contact’s phone number, position, company, mailing address, and business email.
  • Leadership State-Muni Premium (Leadership Directories, Inc.) allows users to access contact and biographical information for over 140,000 government positions including city council members, state legislators and their aides, law enforcement personnel, and department and agency directors. Available information includes names, titles, phone/fax numbers, addresses, and emails.
  • ZoomInfo Pro (Zoom Information Inc.) is a SaaS application geared toward B2B sales, marketing, business development and recruiting professionals. Users can find up-to-date information on businesses and employees by searching any combination of more than 20 criteria.

Featured Digital Content Category: Best Content Aggregation Solution

Today’s featured CODiEs category is Best Content Aggregation Solution which recognizes the best product that gathers or collects information or applications from disparate online sources for reuse, resale, or distribution from, a single platform. Products may be developed for the broader market or customized based on user needs.

Finalists are:

  • Factiva.com (Dow Jones & Company) is a compilation of more than 28,000 leading news and business sources from more than 200 countries and in 23 languages. It provides a complete landscape of the information you need by giving both a global and local perspective.
  • Expert Profiling (Elsevier) provides institutions with an overview of their research experts. Each researcher’s entire research record is available through a Fingerprint profile. The information is updated daily so the institution has complete records.
  • Mobile Library (Infotrieve, Inc.) provides users with secure access to all corporate licensed electronic content and document repositories. Users can also access the world’s largest collection of STM content.
  • InsideView for Sales (SalesView) (InsideView) gives users accurate, up-to-date sales intelligence and content by bringing in information from more than 20,000 sources, including Twitter and Thomas Reuters.
  • Verdict & Settlement Analyzer (LexisNexis Group) is a tool attorneys can use to research and evaluate the level of risk or opportunity associated with a case by aggregating data from previous cases into a consolidated report.
  • All-New Newsdesk 4 (Moreover Technologies) is a Business Intelligence SaaS application for intuitive mining, and finding and sharing real-time relevant information. Information is pulled from daily news, social media and industry publications.