February 2011


cross posted on my Gartner blog.

At Gartner, we have a regular cycle of changing the lead analyst role every 2 –3 years, so it is time for me to hand the SAP lead baton. 

It has been fun and challenging, I have learnt a tremendous amount about SAP, even though I’d worked there for ages. It has given me insight into Gartner too. I couldn’t  have wished for a better start at Gartner.

SAP has changed a lot in the two years, and it has probably been SAP’s most challenging period in its history. Coordinating the efforts of over 100 analysts that cover SAP has been eye opening.  Gartner’s breath and depth of SAP coverage is without peer, and has been a privilege to lead that effort.

Donald Feinberg will be taking over from me. He knows more about Database theory, DBMS and Data Warehousing than anyone I have ever met, and this is rather appropriate with SAP’s strategic plans for ICE, the in-memory computing engine, aka newDB, the juicy inside bit of HANA. He brings wealth of experience to the role. With Donald our SAP research agenda is in good hands.

I’ll not move away from SAP entirely, as I still cover them as part of my ERP / HCM agenda. I’ll be working closely with Don as he gets to know SAP’s inner workings. I’ll still take client inquiry on SAP, and I’ll be part of our SAP research community. However, I’ll now have more time to focus on other research interests such as social software in the enterprise, workforce analytics,  data protection law, design/hybrid thinking, usability and pattern based strategy. There is a world beyond SAP and I need to broaden my focus. 

I’ll take this opportunity to thank our clients, all the folks at SAP, Gartner, the SAP ecosystem, press and broader analyst community that I’ve worked with in the role. I’ll see some of you at CEBIT this week.

(Cross posted on my Gartner blog).

Atlassian is an Australian software vendor, active in the social software and developer tools space. I’ll leave the product evaluations to folks like Nikos Drakos, Tom Austin and Jeff Mann but I would like to call them out for something else.

I have been watching the company from afar for a number of years. I’ve been consistently impressed with how they manage recruitment, and I think a lot of IT departments and larger software companies could learn from what they do.

1. consistent use of twitter, youtube, flickr and blogs to position Atlassian as a cool employer.

2. Posts and video from current employees about working there. No complicated HR speak.

3. Engaging and dynamic careers page. with a strong graduate offering, including international placement, coding festivals etc.

4. Vigorous referral program

6. Executive focus on recruitment as being vital to company strategy

7. Excellent alignment of marketing and employer brand.

8. Effective use of their own software to help manage the process.

I’ve done a bit of research over the last couple of years on employer branding, and I plan to step it up in 2011.  I’ll be on the look out for more examples like this.

Dan Pink picked up on Atlassian’s “Fed-ex” days in a recent TED talk. You should watch the whole talk. It raises some important challenges for HR and HR technology. What are you doing to attract and motivate your employees?

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