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Alan Pelz-Sharpe
Research Director, Social Business

Alan Pelz-Sharpe is the Research Director for Social Business at 451 Research. Alan has overall responsibility for the coverage of Social Business technology and trends, including social/collaboration, compliance and legal, marketing and sales automation and integration. Alan's own primary area of focus is on the emergence of next generation collaborative business applications that leverage the power of the crowd and cloud.

Alan has over 25 years of experience in the IT industry, working with a wide variety of end-user organisations and suppliers around the world. Alan was formerly a Partner at The Real Story Group, ECM Consulting Director at Indian Services firm Wipro, and VP for North America at industry analyst firm Ovum. He is regularly quoted in the press including the Wall Street Journal and The Guardian and has appeared on the BBC, CNBC, ABC as an expert guest.

Reports by this Analyst

Lexmark's $1bn pickup of Kofax doubles its software business
TDM Deal Analysis - March, 2015
Lexmark's highly acquisitive Perceptive division has added Kofax to its ever-bulging portfolio. This is the most significant acquisition to date for the firm, doubling not only the size of its software business but also its M&A spending.
AvePoint leverages Microsoft investments in building out public-sector platforms
MIS Impact Report - March, 2015
Despite its prominence in global government departments, Microsoft was late to the game when it came to offering integrated offerings to meet public-sector needs. Now, in partnership with AvePoint, it hopes to close the gap on the earlier movers.
Cloudfind: one more app to bind them all
MIS Impact Report - March, 2015
Cloud file storage was supposed to solve the problem of accessing clunky on-premises file stores, but it has created its own problems, with users struggling to locate critical information stored in multiple and poorly organized locations. Cloudfind is an application that aims to fix that problem.
Capgemini focused on transforming legacy business processes into the digital world
MIS Impact Report - March, 2015
The big money in digital is not in the customer experience, it is in transforming the underlying business processes and supply chain, and that is just what Capgemini is focusing all its efforts on doing in North America.
Facebook is getting ready for Work
MIS Impact Report - February, 2015
Despite all the noise, Facebook is not quite ready to launch an 'At Work' version of its popular social network, but it is certainly working on it. Over the next six months, it will look at feedback and input from trial users and figure out where to take the product.
Growth in digital assets should cause some DAM M&A
TDM Sector IQ - February, 2015
As more organizations take on the challenges of a dynamic supply chain, digital asset management is finally being pulled toward the mainstream. This could lead to more acquisitions in the category.
Box bolsters security credibility with customer-managed encryption key offering
MIS Impact Report - February, 2015
The company's Enterprise Key Management gives customers the ability to store and manage their own encryption keys. Box is looking to increase its wallet share with security-conscious enterprises and those that need to maintain control of keys to meet strict compliance requirements.
Knowledge management makes an automated comeback with Kaybus
MIS Impact Report - February, 2015
Kaybus has solid funding and an interesting take on the labeling and identification of information. For a startup, it has a surprisingly sophisticated technology set that may fit in the broader jigsaw puzzle of next-generation applications, as well as the current content chaos era.
EPiServer and Ektron: Sum of parts greater than the whole for Accel-KKR?
TDM Post-Merger IQ - February, 2015
In December 2014, private equity firm Accel-KKR acquired two Web content management providers in less than a week. As it looks to combine them, perhaps the totality of its vision is greater than it first appeared.
Unifyle: one app to bind them all
MIS Impact Report - February, 2015
What if you could leave all your file stores where they are and provide secure mobile cloud-like access to their contents? That is Primadesk's pitch for Unifyle, an on-premises enterprise-grade cloudlike portal.
SAP unveils its next-generation business suite, S/4HANA
MIS Impact Report - February, 2015
After fielding customer complaints regarding performance, user experience and TCO, SAP has built the new version of its business applications suite on the HANA in-memory platform. It has also been redesigned using the SAP Fiori user experience as the design principle, in order to ensure a dynamic user experience, and also a 'run anywhere' philosophy.
Intuit QuickBase: Under the radar but growing fast
MIS Impact Report - January, 2015
Better known for its SMB tax-related products, Intuit is making a decent play in the emerging business collaboration sector. QuickBase is not a new product, but has seen renewed growth and interest as business users jump on its ability to easily build small task-focused applications.
OpenText reaches for image viewer Informative Graphics
TDM Deal Analysis - January, 2015
OpenText has announced the acquisition of file and image viewing software vendor Informative Graphics for an undisclosed amount. The target developed Brava, a tool that allows users to annotate and read any files, including complex CAD and image files.
Accel-KKR's WCM shopping spree continues with reach for EPiServer
TDM Deal Analysis - December, 2014
Immediately following its acquisition of the remaining 80% of Ektron that it didn't already own, Accel-KKR has purchased another Web content management vendor, EPiServer, from private equity firm IK Investment Partners.
After an initial nibble, Accel-KKR gobbles up WCM vendor Ektron
TDM Deal Analysis - December, 2014
Previously a family-founded and -run firm, Ektron is now fully owned by a buyout shop. It's a move that illustrates well the challenges of the Web content management sector. The price Accel-KKR paid is in line with other WCM deals over the past couple of years.
OpenText makes an analytical move with Actuate buy
TDM Deal Analysis - December, 2014
OpenText has smartly added analytics to its large portfolio of information products with the acquisition of BI champion Actuate. While many of its prior deals have brought little more than a stream of maintenance revenue, this transaction has more strategic implications for the company.
451 survey data identifies EFSS winners, losers and big changes
MIS Spotlight - November, 2014
Based on the results of our recent in-depth survey, it's still early on for EFSS in the enterprise, but things are formulating, and some surprising trends are beginning to emerge.
Changes abound at Jive Software with new leadership, go-to-market strategy
MIS Impact Report - November, 2014
Jive Software has certainly had an eventful year with changes aplenty. Not only is the firm fine-tuning its product and go-to-market strategies, but it has also been making changes to the leadership team, including the appointment of a new president.
Bloomfire has a new CEO and an updated approach to the market
MIS Impact Report - October, 2014
The collaboration vendor has been through some big changes in the past 12 months, as have many of its competitors. Bloomfire now thinks it has come up with a good recipe for sustainable growth. is no longer a rebel
MIS Impact Report - October, 2014
The company's huge Dreamforce event in San Francisco told a powerful story of a firm with much to offer, yet potentially a hill to climb to fulfill its promise.
Box goes vertical, picks up MedXT for healthcare offering
TDM Deal Analysis - October, 2014
Box has inked another small acquisition, this time to both boost its healthcare vertical credibility and better handle large image files. Though tiny in terms of employees, what MedXT brings is significant to Box's technology portfolio.
Alfresco: new money, new message, new areas of focus
MIS Impact Report - October, 2014
The firm has long been a hero of the open source tech community, but with growth a priority, a pivot to the enterprise and user simplicity were in order. Alfresco has released many incremental upgrades to the core ECM platform, but what really caught our attention were three technology changes.
With new software strategy, HP finally retires Autonomy brand
MIS Impact Report - September, 2014
It has taken three years to do it, but for all intents and purposes HP has finally dumped the Autonomy brand and come up with a go-to-market strategy that makes the best use of the acquired products and resonates with the company as a whole.
Hightail halves its workforce – a taste of things to come in the file-sync sector
MIS Impact Report - September, 2014
The company has slashed its workforce and parted ways with its CEO, but these drastic moves may just be the first of many. We examine whether the issues facing Hightail are specific to the company, or indicative of a bigger reversal of market forces across the file sync and share market.
Redbooth transitions to the enterprise with alternative to traditional UC tools
MIS Impact Report - September, 2014
Collaboration vendor Redbooth is shifting lanes to emphasize its communications and collaborative roots. It's a timely move that others may want – or even need – to follow soon. It has started the process of growing up from me-too startup to a more mature enterprise-ready player.
What are enterprises really doing with file sync and share systems?
MIS Spotlight - September, 2014
EFSS is one of the most visible and hyped technologies of the past decade, but what are enterprises really doing with it, if, indeed, anything at all? This report aims to offer a relevant answer to that question. The research for this report comes from our own survey data of end users and buyers of technology, incoming inquiry calls and conversations with many users of EFSS.
Enterprise IT Spotlight: social collaboration
MIS Spotlight - September, 2014
Social collaboration tools of every variety are spreading rapidly in your organization. Don't mandate specific IT-friendly solutions until you've done a lot of homework. If the users don't like the choices you've made, they just won't use them, and that's a lose-lose for everyone.
BoxWorks in 2014 – a time challenge
MIS Impact Report - September, 2014
Although questions remain about the form Box's future will take, with 5,000 attendees at this year's BoxWorks event, there was some real-world validation of the firm's impressive growth over the past few years.
OpenText adds some Tempo to the EFSS market's weak performance
MIS Impact Report - August, 2014
Tying enterprise file sync and share to key business processes is common sense, but surprisingly, it's not that common. Providing Tempo as an unlimited free extension to all its current customers is OpenText's logical approach to EFSS and one that no doubt others in this market will watch with interest.
Infor boosts its vertical strategy for CRM with SalesLogix acquisition
TDM Deal Analysis - August, 2014
Infor has bought nearly 30 companies in the last decade, so on the surface, the purchase of SalesLogix appears simply to follow the pattern, adding yet another CRM system to Infor's bulging portfolio. But this particular deal provides some insight into not just where Infor wants to go, but where the whole business application sector is heading.
Why Sitecore is breaking away from the pack in Web content management
MIS Impact Report - August, 2014
The Web content management market is in a difficult place for many, but Sitecore seems to be bucking the trend and continues to grow and invest – in contrast to a general battening down of the hatches at similar firms. The company has been moving away from pure WCM, and into online/digital marketing and commerce.
Jive Software dances toward a brighter future
MIS Impact Report - August, 2014
The company has seen something of a comeback in 2014, or at least the start of one, from taking on new and experienced leadership, growth in true enterprise customers, revenue growth, and an important partnership inked with Cisco.
Zombie accounts and 'freemium' business models
MIS Spotlight - July, 2014
Over the past five years, offering free versions of enterprise applications has become commonplace. But as the current startups prepare for potential exit points, the value of free versions is starting to come under renewed scrutiny.
EMC Syncplicity marches to the beat of a different EFSS drum
MIS Impact Report - July, 2014
The success of EMC Syncplicity has come as a surprise to many in the EFSS space. Since being acquired by EMC, it has had something of a meteoric rise up the EMC totem pole. But much has changed at a core technical level, moving the product from a consumer-oriented platform to a true enterprise offering.
'Frenemies': Amazon Web Services launches its own version of Dropbox
MIS Impact Report - July, 2014
The company has finally entered the enterprise file-sync and -share market, but whether it will it disrupt, compete or have much impact at all on this volatile space is open to debate.
Social Business Applications: Research agenda 2014-2015
MIS Spotlight - July, 2014
Social business applications can mean many things to many people, but at 451 Research we see the traditional world of business applications coming under pressure to adapt to new working environments.
nooQ offers new twist on enterprise collaboration tools
MIS Impact Report - July, 2014
The tiny Glasgow-based startup has come up with a novel and interesting twist on visual collaboration that may have broad appeal. nooQ offers human-centric tools that provide users a simple approach to task prioritization.
SpringCM bounces back with new strategy
MIS Impact Report - July, 2014
The cloud ECM veteran seems to finally be on the right track. With a simplified go-to-market strategy and corporate restructure, it is focusing on its strong relationship.
OpenText moving from a maintenance mindset to innovation
MIS Impact Report - June, 2014
The company recently held an industry-analyst summit event in Boston, where senior executives set out the current state of the firm and its future strategy. We look at the changes made and vision laid out by CEO Mark Barrenechea, and how these might play out over the coming few years.
Google Drives straight into the file-sync applecart
MIS Impact Report - June, 2014
The company has announced a major upgrade to its Drive and Apps services, offering unlimited storage and an impressive bundling of productivity functionality at a very low cost. It is taking this element of its overall business more seriously, and is now supporting Mac, Windows and iOS, and not just Chrome.


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