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451 Research - Biography

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

Jive Software should now be able to find a new home
TDM Target IQ - April, 2014
The company has borne the brunt of the backlash against enterprise social technology, but the market has shifted in new directions, and Jive should now make for a solid acquisition candidate.
Box and Dropbox: squaring off (sort of) in the enterprise
MIS Spotlight - April, 2014
Despite sharing similar routes and names, and long being considered rivals, Dropbox and Box have different business approaches, with sometimes overlapping but fundamentally different objectives.
Finnish ECM vendor M-Files works to continue growth, move into bigger markets
MIS Impact Report - April, 2014
M-Files has been working hard over the past year or so to give its products higher visibility, and its name is now popping up more often in the ECM industry, even though the firm has been around for a decade.
Adobe swims against the tide in digital marketing
MIS Impact Report - March, 2014
Adobe has come to digital marketing with a very different strategy, as well as unique strengths (and weaknesses), compared with its competitors in the space.
Box unwraps its IPO docs
TDM Debut IQ - March, 2014
Box is one of the best-known players in file sync/share, so many will be watching its IPO as a bellwether for others to follow. An investment or acquisition by a larger enterprise-focused vendor could still be in the cards.
WatchDox wants to capitalize on the Snowden effect
MIS Impact Report - March, 2014
The secure-collaboration vendor hopes the revelations of universal spying by Edward Snowden will drive customers its way, and in turn make them doubt the reliability and trustworthiness of its larger competitors.
It's time for EMC and Documentum to go their separate ways
MIS Impact Report - February, 2014
The Information Intelligence Group within EMC, which includes the Documentum assets, is doing a lot of things right, but it's time to spin this division off so it can truly achieve its potential.
451 Data: Information governance falls flat despite the hype
MIS Spotlight - February, 2014
Our annual survey on information governance tells us many business leaders couldn't care less about it, despite the hype and interest from lawyers and software vendors alike.
kiteworks flies high as Accellion looks toward an IPO
MIS Impact Report - February, 2014
Accellion recently released a major upgrade to kiteworks, its secure collaboration system, and announced plans to go public in 2015. The challenge is to balance the high expectations of its existing customers while growing enough to boost its IPO chances.
SDL launches into the cloud, plots a fundamental business turnaround
MIS Impact Report - February, 2014
Following a bumpy few years, SDL is not just joining the cloud club; it's essentially in the process of restructuring the entire company.
Social Business – Research Agenda 2014
MIS Spotlight - February, 2014
'Social business' is becoming the new norm, with folk expecting to be able to work anywhere, on anything, at any time. Our research looks at how new and old business-application vendors are adapting to these changing times.
WCM in 2014: the search for new markets
MIS Spotlight - January, 2014
WCM vendors need to look for new markets as original use cases dry up. If not, 2014 could be make or break. For those that make it, the future offers big opportunities.
Six acquisitions make newcomer Upland Software a player in workforce management
MIS Impact Report - January, 2014
The company has appeared out of nowhere with a portfolio of quickly acquired assets it claims makes it the leader in the work management space.
Conversant collaboration from newcomer Glip
MIS Impact Report - January, 2014
There are plenty of collaboration products around, but as an enterprise issue, collaboration is far from solved. Newcomer Glip has come up with an interesting twist – conversation-centric collaboration.
2014 M&A Outlook – Software
TDM Others - January, 2014
As part of our end-of-year series of M&A analysis, we look at the deals that mattered in 2013 and assess the prospects for the next 12 months in the software sector. Where will we see acquisitions, and who might be involved?
Cisco reaches for Collaborate.com to boost its social business credentials
TDM Deal Analysis - December, 2013
Cisco was once considered a leader in enterprise collaboration, and the acquisition of Collaborate.com should help it get back up to speed in a fast-changing sector.
Teambox tools up for battle in 2014
MIS Impact Report - December, 2013
The firm has had a busy year moving its HQ to the US and raising funding, but the tides are shifting rapidly and Teambox needs to pick a wave to ride.
Alfresco targets new markets and says a slow farewell to ECM
MIS Impact Report - December, 2013
The company is tacking sharply into the broader business-application market, a bold and sensible move away from the increasingly isolated ECM sector.
Startup VoloMetrix exposes social inefficiencies within the enterprise
MIS Impact Report - December, 2013
Whether it's a tool for managerial snooping or to provide organizational insights is open to debate. Either way, analysis into how an organization's employees are truly working together is valuable stuff; that's what VoloMetrix tries to provide.
Box gets some cool security technology with dLoop acquisition
TDM Deal Analysis - December, 2013
Box continues its small shopping spree with its third acquisition of the year and fourth overall, buying dLoop to expand its security and control features.
Sitecore resurrects Microsoft Commerce Server with acquisition
TDM Deal Analysis - November, 2013
Sitecore has added an e-commerce element to its portfolio, further building out what is now the dominant .Net digital experience system. It's a timely move and places the company as the key Microsoft-centric alternative in a rapidly evolving market.
Enterprise content management – a mature market in a state of flux
MIS Spotlight - November, 2013
The ECM market is quickly being turned on its head by upstarts and irreversible trends; there may be causalities along the way, but overall it should be a good thing for enterprises.
OpenText sets new course with GXS acquisition
TDM Deal Analysis - November, 2013
The company has reached for GXS in a $1.17bn deal that could further its entry into the electronic-data-integration market, and expand its cloud revenue.
Beneath the complexity, SAP has a sound strategy for social business
MIS Impact Report - November, 2013
The company will likely never shrug off its ability to over-complicate the simplest of things. But dig beneath the complexity, and the firm has a sobering, honest and realistic strategy to transform and revitalize its legacy application business.
nCrypted Cloud locks down on Dropbox
MIS Impact Report - November, 2013
With the average enterprise still on the fence about allowing services like Dropbox, nCrypted Cloud seizes the opportunity to convince enterprises to take the plunge.
Abandoning the EDRM assembly line: a legal-regulatory technology market ripe for change
MIS Spotlight - October, 2013
The legal and regulatory technology marketplace is ripe for upheaval and chock full of opportunity for new entrants, startups and legacy vendors alike.
The repositioning of enterprise social networks
MIS Spotlight - October, 2013
The theory of 'social for social's sake' has been royally debunked, but social networks have value, and enterprises can take advantage by adopting them as an integration layer across the business, rather than just another channel to broadcast on.
Dropbox for Business is no longer a contradiction in terms
MIS Impact Report - October, 2013
Rivals have cast the company as an enterprise nemesis, but a closer look at Dropbox's business ambitions reveals a canny, if highly ambitious, strategy.
Clarizen has a distinctive take on the tasks of social business
MIS Impact Report - October, 2013
The work collaboration company believes that its task-centric approach to enterprise collaboration and project management can deliver measurable business benefits.
Oracle is adjusting its social ambitions to find the sweet spots
MIS Impact Report - October, 2013
Social tools for the enterprise may still be hot with vendors, but it's a topic that is cooling rapidly with buyers. Oracle is now tempering its original ambitions and plotting a more sustainable path.
Box doubles down on its enterprise platform strategy
MIS Impact Report - September, 2013
Although still a startup, Box is growing at a fast pace and this year's corporate event set out to put the final nail in the 'Box is for consumers' coffin.
Intralinks' strategy is to grow VIA the enterprise
MIS Impact Report - September, 2013
The company believes that its general collaboration offering, VIA, will have broad appeal and help it grow beyond its core highly secure collaboration business.
The enterprise challenge of secure document collaboration
MIS Spotlight - September, 2013
All enterprise collaboration systems should be secure, but the reality of the situation is more complex and nuanced, and securing enterprise document collaboration is a difficult and often thankless task.
HP aims high with new information-governance strategy and products
MIS Impact Report - September, 2013
Autonomy IDOL plays a central role in HP's information-governance ambitions; it's a bold approach, but one that may split the audience.
Flow Corporation brings context to enterprise collaboration
MIS Impact Report - September, 2013
Channeling contextual flows within a collaborative enterprise is esoteric stuff right now, but Flow is banking on it becoming a mainstream concern.
Enterprise collaboration and social business – state of the market
MIS Spotlight - September, 2013
The enterprise collaboration market is far from mature, and the market dynamics of 2011-12 are now forcing many vendors to reassess the future – not only in terms of how to market technology, but also in terms of what value it brings to an enterprise.
Lexmark's buying spree continues with Saperion AG
TDM Deal Analysis - August, 2013
The company's Perceptive division has added German ECM vendor Saperion to its ever-expanding portfolio. The drive behind this latest buy is an effort to boost its EMEA growth potential.
Getting SAP out of its social and collaborative Jam
MIS Impact Report - August, 2013
SAP Jam is a late entrant to the enterprise collaboration market; we examine whether the company is disposed to embrace and fully leverage Jam's potential.
Video instant messaging: a growth catalyst for enterprise collaboration
MIS Spotlight - July, 2013
Despite its proliferation, video has yet to really set the enterprise world alight. But video IM could prove to be the catalyst for unleashing the true potential of collaborative business applications.
CrowdComputing Systems brings machine learning to enterprise crowdsourcing
MIS Impact Report - July, 2013
The company claims to do for the world of human resources and staffing what Amazon Web Services does for computing infrastructure. It's a bold claim, but not without some foundation.
Infor delivers Infor Ming.le – a collaboration game changer
MIS Impact Report - July, 2013
As a provider of a plethora of legacy business applications, Infor is about as traditional as one can get, but Infor Ming.le and its radical approach to enterprise collaboration shows that innovation can come from the least likely of places.
Open-Xchange plans to shake up the productivity app marketplace
MIS Impact Report - July, 2013
The veteran open source email provider hopes to challenge the hegemony of Microsoft and Google by providing a file-format-agnostic productivity suite alternative.
YouSendIt is now Hightail, a rebrand to shed its file-transfer persona
MIS Impact Report - July, 2013
The Hightail rebranding heralds a full corporate repositioning exercise following its acquisition of cloud-agnostic search firm Found earlier this year.
Soonr offers enterprise-grade file collaboration to SMBs
MIS Impact Report - July, 2013
White-labeling software and services is tough, and few can pull it off. Although it's taken a little while, file-sharing pioneer Soonr seems to be doing just that – licensing its services through major telcos for the SMB market.
ownCloud: one file sync platform to rule them all?
MIS Impact Report - July, 2013
The vendor has released v5 of its file sync platform. It's now attempting to provide connectors to common cloud file stores such as Dropbox and Google Drive, giving users a single interface for all their files, regardless of where they are stored.
salesforce.com and Oracle – a not-so-surprising partnership
MIS Impact Report - June, 2013
Oracle has announced a strategic partnership with its supposed nemesis salesforce.com. The partnership is extensive and involves everything from apps to infrastructure, ultimately resulting in a single shared cloud.
Marketing automation is suffocating the WCM industry
MIS Spotlight - June, 2013
We explore where this technology needs to go, the challenges it faces, and the realistic prospects the existing players in this space have of reorienting their products and marketing toward more positive waters.
Sales enablement: CRM's forgotten sibling attempts a comeback
MIS Spotlight - June, 2013
As CRM and its revenue-generation cohort, marketing automation, dominate the thinking around digital marketing, the focus on providing tools to enable sales staff to convert leads has remained sidelined. That's a situation that may start to change.
TIBCO's Tibbr needs to integrate the complex social enterprise
MIS Impact Report - June, 2013
Although Tibbr is picking up a lot of paying customers right now, TIBCO will have its work cut out for it to maintain that momentum as application goliaths begin to roll out their own social layers.
Open source ECM pioneer Nuxeo reinvents itself as a PaaS
MIS Impact Report - June, 2013
Repositioning itself as a PaaS and moving away from its traditional on-premises, consulting-heavy ECM roots, Nuxeo has seen its fortunes improve. Since rethinking its go-to-market strategy a couple of years ago, the company has a new lease on life.

 

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