Robert Desisto

A member of the Gartner Blog Network

Robert P. Desisto
VP Distinguished Analyst
14 years at Gartner
24 years IT industry

Robert Desisto is a Vice President and Distinguished Analyst in Gartner Research. He is responsible for managing the software as a service (SaaS) research agenda. His research focuses primarily on the use of SaaS as a delivery model for applications. Read Full Bio

Optimizing Budget and Contract Terms for

by Robert Desisto  |  January 7, 2015  |  Comments Off

Gartner has recently published two important research best practice frameworks that will help procurement professionals, and IT supporting sales and service professionals negotiate contracts, and select the most cost effective services to meet their company’s needs. The first research framework, Key Terms to Negotiate in Your Master Subscription Agreement, focuses on specific terms and conditions Gartner has seen clients neogitate with  The second research framework, Navigate Salesforce Pricing and Packaging to Optimize and Effectively Budget Cost, helps clients navigate the mutliple cloud application editions and potential add-ons to insure you are not overbuying capabilities that are outside the scope of your requirements.  As we enter the end of’s fiscal year both of these research notes addresses a number of key challenges Gartner has found our clients are faced with when negotiating their contact.

The following are key challenges Gartner has identified and addressed in these research frameworks:

  • Buyers of Salesforce subscriptions struggle to calculate the correct capacity (for example, storage, objects and tabs) requirements to determine the most appropriate Salesforce cloud edition. If your estimate is too low, you could get billed for exceeding capacity; if too high, you have overbought, and it will be very difficult to downgrade your edition on a renewal.
  • Negotiators struggle to determine the required level of customer support before signing, which can cost as much as 15% to 25% to an Enterprise Edition subscription when added later.
  • The lack of industry-specific process functionality in the Service Cloud offering can lead to an additional 25% or more in costs above the software subscription costs to achieve the desired software capabilities.
  • Buyers of subscriptions who do not negotiate renewal price protections, descriptions of the editions with rebundling protections, and the ability to do at least one renewal using the same pricing metric will see significant increases in costs before the second renewal.
  • Buyers of services struggle to negotiate key terms, such as SLAs, with meaningful remedies if these are missed.
  • IT procurement professionals are not always involved in negotiations, and without T&Cs or negotiation checklists, business executives may not be aware of the specifics in order to negotiate well to protect the organization.

If your company is the middle of negotiating a contact with this is must read research!

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Category: CRM salesforce automation Vendor Contracts     Tags: , , ,

Gartner Releases 2015 CRM Sales Predicts

by Robert Desisto  |  December 9, 2014  |  1 Comment

Gartner just released its CRM Sales predictions for 2015.  The predicts report provides insight into how IT leaders can boost the adoption of sales force automation through mobility and gain a competitive advantage through predictive analytics. Prioritize mobility first in SFA deployments, leverage predictive analytics for sales managers and salespeople, and apply crowdsourcing to sales compensation.  The report also included a number of key findings in each of these areas.

Key Findings

  • IT leaders for sales are leveraging smartphones to improve salesperson adoption and data quality for sales force automation.
  • Predictive sales analytics are emerging as important tools for sales leaders and managers who are responsible for forecast and pipeline accuracy.
  • IT leaders involved with sales should evaluate nontraditional techniques, such as crowdsourcing, to help sales leaders implement better sales compensation plans.

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Category: CRM mobile sales salesforce automation     Tags: , ,

Gartner Releases 2015 Mobile App and Development Predicts

by Robert Desisto  |  December 5, 2014  |  3 Comments

Gartner has released 2015 Mobile App and Development Predicts. The report looks at key market forces that will have a significant impact mobile app development processes.  The report finds that mobile apps will continue to undergo a high rate of change over the next few years with short development cycles, the emergence of rapid development tools and improved interactions with voice.

Key Findings

  • According to a recent Gartner survey study, the average number of custom apps per company that have been developed so far is less than 10.
  • The current generation of mobile voice offers vast improvements in the natural user interface for better speech recognition and learning of different accents.
  • According to a recent Gartner survey study, 19% of respondents stated that improving customer engagement interactions was a key driver for mobile app development efforts.
  • New rapid mobile development tools are emerging both in stand-alone fashion and as part of business application vendors’ development and configuration platforms.

Check out the report to see the specific strategic planning assumptions that will be sure to impact your mobile app develop efforts over the next 3-5 years.


Category: mobile Mobile app     Tags:

Survey Shows High Importance of Mobility for Sales Organizations

by Robert Desisto  |  September 29, 2014  |  Comments Off

At a July 2014 Webinar on Mobile Selling attended by more than 80 IT and sales force automation (SFA) application managers, Gartner asked several questions about the use of smartphones and tablets with sales organizations. The questions involved device adoption, mobile OS preferences and business results achieved through mobility. The questions polled are among the “top of mind” concerns of sales application managers who are trying to determine the role of mobile devices for SFA projects as well as the timing of initiatives. In a just published research note, Assess the Importance and Value of Mobility for Sales Force Automation, we provide analysis of the poll responses, as well as data received through Gartner client inquiries for each question, and discuss the potential impacts on SFA mobile strategies.

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Category: mobile mobile sales salesforce automation     Tags: ,

Off the Grid … Much Harder Than You Think

by Robert Desisto  |  September 4, 2014  |  Comments Off

Many of us wonder what it is like to be without our mobile smartphone for an extended period of time. Recently on a trip to the Bahamas I had the experience with my family and it was much harder than we expected. We did not want to pay international rates on the phones so we were basically off the grid for most of the vacation unless we were in a wifi hot spot. We talked about it before we went on vacation and we all thought it wouldn’t be that bad.  I found out within the first few of hours of the vacation being off the grid was going to be harder than expected.

My first encounter was going for a run. Normally I use an App on my phone that provides real-time information on mile pace, miles run, etc.  This obviously would not work so I had to log my run the old fashion way. This meant remembering the streets I ran on (including on the right and left turns), use my watch to measure the time and then log my information later.

I also found family meetings were not that easy to coordinate.  We had to carefully set meeting places and times. Of course, in a family of four someone would be late then you start thinking did I tell them the right place or time to meet.  My first impulse was to text, but texting was not an option.

Then once we do meet we want to figure out where to eat.  I would like to just look up restaurant menus on the web and call for a reservation. Again not an option when you are off the grid. So we just walked around seeing what was not crowded and looked at menus posted on the outside of restaurants.  Once we found a restaurant as we waited to be seated, we were forced to actually talk to each other not check are phones for latest tweet or Facebook post . Actually I considered that a more of a positive development.

On way home from the restaurant, I wanted to check the Redsox score (they were actuallly still in the race when we went on vacation).  Usually I would get the nice alerts to give me realtime updates during the game. Now I had to actually wait to go back to the room and find out the score on the TV. Not a huge deal, but something I had to explain to my sons that when I was their age that was  the way it was done all time.

Overall, the vacation was great. However, there is no doubt being off the grid for a week really shows how much smartphones are really so much  a part of our everyday life. Something we all know, but until you actually go a week without it you don’t realize how much smartphones impact your life and why mobile applications will continue to gain in importance.

If you interested on the impact of mobility on customer enagement processes come see my presentation at US Symposium in October, How Mobility Will Transform Customer Engagement Processes. 



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Category: mobile     Tags: ,

2014 Gartner CRM Sales Magic Quadrant Published

by Robert Desisto  |  July 18, 2014  |  2 Comments

The 2014 Gartner CRM Sales Magic Quadrant is now pubished.  Sales application managers will find that improvements in the viability of SAP and Oracle cloud offerings underscore the evolution of traditional on-premises vendors to SaaS, but still leads the market. The magic quadrant evaluates vendors based on their ability to deliver Sales force automation (SFA) applications. SFA applications  support the automation of sales activities, processes and administrative responsibilities for B2B organizations’ sales professionals. Core functionalities include account, contact and opportunity management. Additional add-on capabilities focus on improving the sales effectiveness of salespeople. Among those capabilities are sales configuration, guided selling, proposal generation and content management, and sales performance management support, including incentive compensation, quota, sales coaching and territory management.


Category: CRM salesforce automation     Tags:

The Future of Enterprise Applications is Mobility

by Robert Desisto  |  July 14, 2014  |  2 Comments

The digital enterprise is increasingly a mobile enterprise. Business users and customers are showing a sharp interest in mobile devices and mobile applications. The future of enterprise applications, both for enterprise workers and consumers, is mobility. We have brought together IT perspectives regarding mobile from across Gartner Research in this comprehensive special report, The Future of Enteprise Applications in Mobility.


Category: Applications CRM ERP mobile     Tags: ,

Come See My Mobile Webinar on Using Mobility as a Strategic Selling Weapon

by Robert Desisto  |  July 9, 2014  |  1 Comment

Mobile technology will have the greatest impact on sales organizations since the introduction of the laptop more than 25 years ago. Mobile devices will increase sales force automation adoption and enable new value-added selling processes to improve sales effectiveness. The result will be an easier pathway for sales leaders to achieve revenue and business targets.

On Thursday, July 9th, at 9:00 AM EDT and 12:00 PM EDT, I will be conducting a webinar,  Mobile Sales: Strategic Weapon for Meeting Sales Targets. 

Key Discussion Topics Include:

  • How mobile technology will impact sales force automation over the next three years
  • How sales organizations will maximize the business value of mobility
  • How mobility will drive sales force automation project planning and implementation

If you have interest in how mobility can reshape your selling organization this is a must see Webinar. Looking forward to seeing you there.

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Category: CRM mobile sales     Tags:

Has SaaS become the next Client/Server?

by Robert Desisto  |  June 23, 2014  |  2 Comments

I am not saying that  SaaS or cloud computing resembles client/server technically but as it relates to maturity, SaaS is not a big deal anymore. Just like client/server, SaaS has gotten to the point where you can find multiple vendors in almost every application category . The cloud is no longer the “great” differentiator vendors would like you to believe it is, because it has become pervasive everywhere. I am not saying there are not business or architectural vendor variations, some of which may have real implications but generally those differences are very difficult for a customer to understand and evaluate.  I even thought about not doing the SaaS Hype Cycle this year simply because it has gotten to the point where there are so many technology profiles that could qualify.

There are still some obvious cases such as large scale ERP deployments that are likely not good candidates for SaaS but generally speaking on premises only applications have become more the exception than the rule. This does not imply on premises is a dead delivery model. Issues such as data location, privacy, long-term TCO, and real-time integration performance all still lead many companies to on premises delivery. However, it is a fact that the shininess or glow of SaaS is fading as becomes more ubiquitous as an application delivery model.


Category: Cloud SaaS Software as a Service     Tags:

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 Offers Improved Usability, Some Mobility

by Robert Desisto  |  March 4, 2014  |  3 Comments

Microsoft released its latest core CRM offering, Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013, in September 2013. After discussions with customers who have now had a few months to absorb the release  the most impactful elements of the release are:

  • Improved user experience
  • The addition of more process capabilities
  • The launch of the first Microsoft Dynamics CRM mobile application
  • New pricing structures

Other updates include improved visualization of reports; platform improvements to improve extensibility, such as real-time workflow and actions designed to extend business process flows; announced server-side integration with Microsoft Exchange (available on-premises to on-premises only; online syncing to Microsoft Exchange is targeted for 2Q14).   Microsoft announced new pricing with this release, moving from a flat $44 per user per month to a tiered pricing model ranging from $15 to $65 users per month dependent on usage type (e.g., full read-write access to all objects, read-only access for a subset of CRM-related objects, etc.).

I just published Gartner research, Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 Offers Improved Usability, Some Mobility, we analyze the most impactful parts of the Microsoft Dyanamics CRM core 2013 release including the new pricing structures for both on premises and SaaS.


Category: Cloud CRM Microsoft Dynamics CRM SaaS salesforce automation     Tags: ,