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WebFOCUS market other than USA
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Hi Everyone,

I am working on WebFOCUS from past 7.5 years and I loved working on it. But I feel even after having so many great features and flexibility, it is still not able to make a good position in BI area. I was expecting after version 8 release, it will grow as many companies will start using it. But I feel marketing team has to put more effort to make it popular not only in USA but in other countries like India, Canada etc. I am not seeing it in India. Little bit disappointed with it's growth in India. There is no growth at all in last 1 year.

Please share your thoughts on the same...

Thanks,
Pravin Singh


WebFOCUS 7703
Windows, All Outputs
pravinsinghwebfocus.blogspot.com
 
Posts: 51 | Location: WebFOCUS 7.7.03 | Registered: June 19, 2014Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I am an Indian national living in the US and I have been working on WebFOCUS since 2006. Market is OK here but not great when compared to other BI tools. If I belong to St.Louis, its not like I can live in that city and work on WebFOCUS contract jobs all the time. With WebFOCUS, I need to move between cities. And I haven't seen WebFOCUS having many new clients in these years. Most clients are those who had WebFOCUS since long. I don't think WebFOCUS 8 will make a difference in increasing the client base. It may help in retaining the existing client base. Many clients think of buying all tools as a package from a single vendor like Microsoft, Oracle etc. Even if not, WebFOCUS is not in top tier. Though the tool has great flexibility to build applications, its very weak on UI side and requires hand coding a report. This is plus for few developers but clients don't expect it from a typical reporting TOOL. They expect drag and drop and quick settings to build a stylish good looking report which is not possible with WebFOCUS. But the same is possible with handcoding though. One of the clients I worked questioned me on my 2nd day of work asking why I am not working with Report Assistant to build the report and why I am hand coding it. I tried to explain the complexities involved but he told that sales people built a report easily with Report Assistant. Sales people show a report from a sample database which is very simple. But those scenarios don't exist in real time.

Also, I am not very sure how good marketing from IBI is. WebFOCUS is almost non-existent on the West coast barring few clients.
Its like, if there is a WebFOCUS job posted in a city, there is a good chance to guess who the client is. For example, Jackson,MS means BCBS...Phoenix,AZ means AmEx...Dearborn,MI means Ford...Fort Worth, TX means BNSF...Plano,TX means At Home...St.Louis,MO means Master Card or US Bank...Minneapolis,MN means Target or US Bank...Columbus,OH means Nationwide or Wendys...Omaha,NE means West Corp...Melville,NY means First Data...OKC means Hertz or Choctaw Nation...Milwaukee,WI means Nortwestern Mutual...Denver,CO means Centurylink...Nashville,TN means Dollar General...San Antonio,TX means Valero...Houston,TX means Baker Hughes or a logistics company...Rochester,NY means some client of Cognizant and list goes on. And I don't think this is expected from a very good reporting tool. As the number of WebFOCUS Developers is less compared to other tools, we are able to have jobs. And I hope it stays like this atleast.

Most WebFOCUS jobs in India are those outsourced from US and I believe there is no future for WebFOCUS in India.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: BI_Developer,


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Posts: 129 | Registered: July 21, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I don't know about job market for WebFOCUS in India. But I have noticed a lot of difference here in US.

Lot of consulting companies came in and have created layers between clients and implementation partners.
All they do is take some % of the rate and get us to implementation partner. This is a worst practice that decreased the rates to consultants.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: Enigma006,


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Posts: 484 | Registered: February 03, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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BI_Developer:

At the recent IBI Summit in Orlando (well, near Orlando) it was very clear that the company is moving exactly in the direction that you are advocating - making WF a tool for business analysts and power users, rather than coders. Everything is GUI-centric these days. The role of the developer in future will be to produce a series of pre-populated tables that a person without programming experience can use to get reliable data.

I agree that IBI has fallen down in one respect, namely popularizing their software. The list of companies you provided shows that they have since the beginning concentrated on large corporations as their clients. But now there are quite a number of much lower-cost reporting options (Tableau, for example) that are moving into the space once reserved for IBI, Cignos, and a few others.

At Summit I challenged them to come up with a financially-affordable solution for small businesses, whose needs are often similar to those of the larger enterprises, but whose pockets are not nearly so deep. My question is: Would IBI rather have 1000 customers who each contribute $50,000 on average to the company per year, or a million customers who each contribute $5000 per year. The anwer at Summit was that IBI provides in-depth tech support and customer communications, and the mass-market approach isn't feasible in that culture - and have to agree with that sentiment.

My suggestion to them was to offer WF at a low price point with a number of restrictions built in for smaller businesses. Restrictions could be anything like limiting the number or rows that could be printed, the number of adapters used, the size of database accessed, number of joins allowed etc. And, of course, no tech support except on an hourly or ticket basis.

My feeling is that this would increase the popularity of the product and by doing so provide an entry point into many small and medium sized businesses who shy away from products that aren't household names.

I work for a small company and WF maintenance is by far our largest annual IT expense, even though we also use software from IBM and others. The only reason we use WF is that I came from the Ontario government, where Focus is widespread, and I knew the product. In the absence of that, we would certainly be using a less expensive - and less capable - reporting tool. I believe there are millions of other small businesses out there who would jump at the chance to use WF if only it were priced within their range.


WebFOCUS 7.7.05 Windows, Linux, DB2, IBM Lotus Notes, Firebird, Lotus Symphony/OpenOffice. Outputs PDF, Excel 2007 (for OpenOffice integration), WP
 
Posts: 674 | Location: Guelph, Ontario, Canada ... In Focus since 1985 | Registered: September 28, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by George Patton:
BI_Developer:

At the recent IBI Summit in Orlando (well, near Orlando) it was very clear that the company is moving exactly in the direction that you are advocating - making WF a tool for business analysts and power users, rather than coders. Everything is GUI-centric these days. The role of the developer in future will be to produce a series of pre-populated tables that a person without programming experience can use to get reliable data.



I totally agree with you. I asked a sales guy from IBI the same question a few years ago. But they didn't seem to care about small business at all.


7.66 and 7.704
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Posts: 147 | Location: Toronto (GTA) | Registered: May 25, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Please remember what Jerry stated during his talks. He is very excited to have TCS (Tata Consultancy Services) as a partner/implementer both here in the states and in India.

What does this mean to a US base consultant:
1) stagnate wage growth at first then lower
2) more vendors between the consultant and the end-client
3) mentoring off-shore individuals until they have a knowledge base

These are just off the top of my head.
 
Posts: 116 | Location: US | Registered: February 09, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by David Sibert:
Please remember what Jerry stated during his talks. He is very excited to have TCS (Tata Consultancy Services) as a partner/implementer both here in the states and in India.

What does this mean to a US base consultant:
1) stagnate wage growth at first then lower
2) more vendors between the consultant and the end-client
3) mentoring off-shore individuals until they have a knowledge base

These are just off the top of my head.


Exactly. Having TCS as partner is not any advantage. All jobs will go offshore and even less pay rates for consultants here.
If TCS is a vendor for a client here in US, they will hire an experienced consultant initially, get people trained offshore and then they take the consultant off the project. And TCS won't advertise the job directly, they give to their sub vendors there by increasing the layers.


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Posts: 129 | Registered: July 21, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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It kind of makes me glad that I am getting close to retirement age.


WF 7.6.11
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Posts: 398 | Registered: February 04, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Haha .... I'm already past retirement age - but still grinding away. Something of a masochist I guess.

Interestingly, I just had a long phone conversation yesterday with Rena Bond who seems to wear a number of hats at IBI. I brought up the subject of small business users once again and she was quite enthusiastic at the idea that they should have a small business unit - although whether it will ever happen is problematic of course. The maintenance charges for WF are killing our small company and we may become one of those who simply choose not to upgrade if something isn't done to make it less painful to own the product.


WebFOCUS 7.7.05 Windows, Linux, DB2, IBM Lotus Notes, Firebird, Lotus Symphony/OpenOffice. Outputs PDF, Excel 2007 (for OpenOffice integration), WP
 
Posts: 674 | Location: Guelph, Ontario, Canada ... In Focus since 1985 | Registered: September 28, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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