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... blogging on what is happening in enterprise software, with a focus on Future of Work and Next Generation Applications, sparkled with occasional musings on the the state of the industry and outlooks where we are heading.

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    Listen to Natalie, Guy, Holger & Ray on their takeaways of Oracle OpenWorld. 


    It was both a technology challenged (Holger lost network as moderator and could not rejoin in video & audio, Ray did a good jop roping him in via chat) and a bad hair day as Guy did not turn on his camera... 

    Enjoy and let us know what your Oracle OpenWorld Takeaways have been!

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    So here is the video recap of the week ending October 3rd - enjoy:



    Here is what I am talking about in the recap:
    • My takeaways form the Oracle HCM Analyst Meeting (read here)
    • My takeaways from the Oracle Database and Fusion Middleware Analyst meeting (read here)
    • 5 tips for Oracle HCM and Oracle Technology customers when dealing with Oracle
    • Constellation Takeaways from Oracle OpenWorld with Natalie, Guy, Ray and me (watch here).
    Other key news / events of the week - I have missed to blog about

    • Tibco goes private, acquired by Vista Equity Partners - read here
    • IBM launches Kenexa Talent Insights - read here

    I forgot (sorry) the some of the news coverage of the press colleagues who talked to me:
    • Gigaom - Oracle launches upgraded cloud platform with its database and Java available as a Service - read here
    • Australian TechWorld - Tibco goes to private US equity firm for US$ 4.3B - read here
    • Vegas to New York for $19,422? Read here
    Next week I will be mostly in Las Vegas with IBM's Enterprise conference, short trip to San Francisco to Couchbase Connect and then back for 3 'crazy' days of HR Tech Conference. 

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    We had the opportunity to attend the IBM Enterprise conference in Las Vegas, the event that is attracting users of IBM’s STG (Server and Technology Group) products. Attendance rose by 30+% to over 3600 professionals, also drawn to the event by a large number of training and certification sessions. It was good to see a more global audience than what I have seen at other IBM events for other parts of its large software portfolio.
     


    Here are my Top 3 takeaways by the three STG areas - Power, mainframe and storage:

    1. IBM keeps creating value for the mainframe - The often pronounced dead mainframe is doing well and contrary to many reports, is not going away anytime soon. Too many critical workloads run on mainframes today, one often used example at the conference is that it is pretty much impossible to withdraw money from an ATM anywhere in the world without interacting with a mainframe. IBM claims that about 55% of worldwide enterprise transactions need a mainframe to fulfill them.
     
    Slide from Rosamilia keynote
    Back at the STG analyst meeting we blogged about interesting and surprising use cases (mobile for instance) – so let’s look what IBM announced at Enterprise: The addition of BigData and analytical capabilities for the mainframe. This enables use cases like social media analysis and fraud, detection and prevention. We will need to check in with IBM in a few months for use cases. Equally interesting is the announcement of IBM Cloud Manager with OpenStack for System z- providing heterogeneous cloud management across System z, Power and x86 environments, allowing users to run the mainframe like any other OpenStack resource, from one pane of glass.
     
    Slide from Balog keynote

    2. New Power Systems - IBM is not standing still with Power and fresh off the sales of its x86 server business to Lenovo even labels the Enterprise press release of Power as a replacement for x86 servers - well that was quick. IBM stressed the expansion of the OpenPOWER Foundation that during the conference reached 60+ members (the press release still had 59) – which underlines a dynamic community. I expect OpenPOWER getting even more traction as Power is now the only platform for many other vendors to partner with IBM. And no surprise IBM is stressing the Power architecture’s ability to handle BigData well. IBM said that Power now offers up to 20% better price performance than Intel Xeon based systems, based on September 2014 SPEC Benchmark.

    And for a moment we are reminded we are at hardware conference -
    Rosamilia and Balog unveil a new Power Server


    3. Storage becomes software defined– As previewed earlier at the STG analyst summit, IBM offers a number of new software defined storage options. The vendor did not get tired to stress that IBM was recently proclaimed the leader in flash storage by our colleagues at Gartner. The interesting observation for me was, that IBM is practically forced into software defined storage. As IBM has System Z and Power as remaining architecture and as well wants to support a variety of existing customer system architectures, while not building storage systems for each platform - it pretty much needs to find a software defined solution to get storage done on its new storage machines. It was interesting to see such a system, offering 1 petabyte in flash storage. And let’s not forget the Software defined Storage as a service on SoftLayer option, where IBM announced backup to the cloud. For customers operating on these platforms, these are good forces to align with.
     
    Benefits of Software Defined Storage - from Thomas' keynote

    MyPOV

    A good event for IBM customers using System Z and Power Servers. Mainframe customer were able to clearly see that IBM is not leaving them behind, but keeps offering new options to bring new load to the mainframe. Power customers can be assured that IBM invests into Power, one of the main interests (relatively absent at the event, but there was a parallel event in New York) of IBM is Watson, and that alone will give Power a significant market share. Getting more software to run on Power will be crucial for IBM, new announcements like e.g. the one of SUSE help, but more still needs to be done in my view. 

    On the storage side my key realization at the event was, that IBM needs to make software defined storage a success. Offering the new flash based systems for System Z, Power etc. on the respective platforms will not scale so IBM needs (and wants) to provide a single (Flash based ideally) storage server and direct the storage needs from different platform to it. Given IBM customers have a similar and likely even more heterogeneous system landscape – a good goal alignment.

    Overall IBM is focused on creating value for its platforms – if this will be enough to create brand new usage and sales for System Z and Power based server’s remains to be seen. Watson is a great potential growth driver for Power, but mainly created by IBM’s own decision. The big news would be net new System Z customers not only here and there but consistently buying the mainframe for a 21st century use case. We will see if 2015 will have that in store – or not.


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    More on IBM :
    • Progress Report - The Mainframe is alive and kicking - but there is more in IBM STG - read here
    • News Analysis - IBM and Intel partner to make the cloud more secure - read here
    • Progress Report - IBM BigData an Analytics have a lot of potential - time to show it - read here
    • Event Report - What a difference a year makes - and off to a good start - read here
    • First Take - 3 Key Takeaways from IBM's Impact Conference - Day 1 Keynote - read here
    • Another week and another Billion - this week it's a BlueMix Paas - read here
    • First take - IBM makes Connection - introduces the TalentSuite at IBM Connect - read here
    • IBM kicks of cloud data center race in 2014 - read here
    • First Take - IBM Software Group's Analyst Insights - read here
    • Are we witnessing one of the largest cloud moves - so far? Read here
    • Why IBM acquired Softlayer - read here
    Find more coverage on the Constellation Research website here.

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    Here is my weekly video recap of the week ending October 10th 2014 - enjoy:



    Here is what I am talking about in the recap:
    • HP splits in two - Enterprise and PCs & Printer
    • My Event Report of IBM's Enterprise conference (read here)
    • Attending Couchbase Connect and presenting about the future of Enterprise Application Development
    • Cornerstone acquires Evolv
    • Briefings at HR Tech Conference
    • The panel we had with Brian Sommer (TechVantive), Narinder Singh (Appirio) and Mike Krupa (Mercer) - where we unfortunately missed Naomi Bloom
    • Lumesse decides to develop on Salesforce1 for its next generation applications
    • Ray's Friday keynote at HR Tech Conference

    Other key events / I have missed to attend / blog about:
    • HP splits into two - Enterprise and PCs & Printers 
    • Progress Software user conference in Orlando
    And two press clippings
    • IBM debuts Watson powered apps in the cloud - read here
    • HP Enterprise - what to watch - read here

    Next week I will be in San Francisco for Salesforce.com Dreamforce 2014. Stay tuned for interesting announcements beyond this event - in the cloud and BigData space. 

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    A lot is being called analytics today – so it’s time to remind ourselves what ‘true’ analytics really are – and with that calling out the abusers of the term analytics to consider using their offerings something else.

     

    So let’s remind ourselves what analytics is
    • Analytics take an action for the user.
       
    • In a business application context – analytics may also recommend (but force ranked) a number of actions.
     

    ‘True’ Analytics exist


    Here are some examples of older and more recent ‘true’ analytics in action

    • When your ABS system in your car decides to kick in for you.
       
    • When the auto pilot in a plane takes action on course because of a deviation.
       
    • When Google Now decides to wake you up earlier because traffic is bad.
       
    • When FICO’s Falcon declines or approves a credit card transaction.
       
    • When a recruiting application force ranks which applicants to talk to for higher hiring success
       

    Why do we see ‘true’ analytics so seldom?

    ‘True’ analytics are hard as they must use a predictive model to come to the action or at least to the recommendation. And the result of that model must be a better outcome for the user (e.g. the ABS breaking for you) or reasonable (the list of recommendations is trusted and followed). To find, validate and have the business user trust these result of these predictive models is a significant challenge for any software provider. Intrinsically business users – rightfully or not – think they know better than the ‘machine’ – so it needs some trust building before a business user will unleash a model.
     

    Easy and tougher use cases

    It’s easy to trust the model when humans don’t have a chance to make the call. Take the FICO Falcon fraud use case, the 0.2 seconds to make the call between fraud and not fraud cannot be done by a human, so if the analytical software works correctly – it saves big bucks.

    It’s trickier when there is more time, more latitude and the user may be replaced by the model. Take recruiters who pride themselves to find the best candidates out of a sea of potential recruits like needles in the haystack. So for a recruiter to trust a model to the point of e.g. Google Now moving your wakeup call up – which would be inviting the candidates for calls – takes a big step.
     

    There is value in other stuff

    Analytics is not everything. Visualizations, Modelling, interactive data exploration – all have their place and benefits in the world of business. But let’s call them on what they are and not confuse them with analytics.
     

    How to find out it’s not ‘true’ analytics

    Here are some easy guidelines even for a non-technical business user to see what not analytics is:
    • If you can see colors and a chart – it’s not analytics. (Think your car asking you – do you want a bar chart of a pie chart on the reasons why the ABS should kick in).
       
    • If you hear talk of ‘actionable insights’ – it’s likely not analytics. Because if the vendor was sure what the right action would be – the software should take them – and then we would have ‘true’ analytics.
       
    • If you hear ‘what if analysis’ – it’s likely not analytics. There is a place for ‘what if analyses – but it does not take an action.
       
    • If you hear talk about ‘insights’ – it’s likely not analytics. Yes insights are important – but insight without action is useless. When a system helps business users to find insights – its fine – but not analytics. 
     

    YourPOV

    Do you agree? Time to call out the ‘false’ or ‘faux’ analytics.

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    Earlier today IBM and SAP announced a partnership to move the SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud onto IBM’s cloud, powered by SoftLayer.
     

     


    So let’s dissect the press releases in our typical new analysis and implications style:

    ARMONK, N.Y. and WALLDORF, Germany— Oct. 14, 2014: SAP SE (NYSE: SAP) and IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced that SAP has selected IBM as a premier strategic provider of Cloud infrastructure services for its business critical applications – accelerating customers’ ability to run core business in the cloud. The SAP® HANA Enterprise Cloud offering is now available through IBM’s highly scalable, open and secure cloud. SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud will expand to major markets with the addition of the IBM cloud data centers. This is expected to enable customers to deploy their SAP software around the globe in a faster and more secure environment that is backed by IBM's proven cloud capabilities.

    MyPOV - So IBM gets the first mover advantage becoming a 'premier strategic provider' for SAP cloud infrastructure. In early 2014 IBM announced to move to 40 data center locations over the next quarters, an investment that is well under way for IBM (our take here). Given traditional cloud players like e.g. Amazon, Microsoft and Google have not responded formally with an announcement to move to 40 locations, too – if SAP really cared for global coverage then there was not better option than IBM’s cloud infrastructure that is powered by SoftLayer (our take on the acquisition here). And SAP is probably one of the enterprise vendors more sensitive to data location and data privacy laws, giving global experience, coverage and customer demand. 

    "We look forward to extending one of the longest and most successful partnerships in the IT industry,” said Bill McDermott, CEO of SAP. “The demand for SAP HANA and the SAP Business Suite on SAP HANA in the cloud is tremendous and this global agreement with IBM heralds a new era of cloud collaboration. We anticipate customers will benefit from this collaboration and expansion of SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud."

    MyPOV – Interesting that McDermott refers to HANA and Business Suite on HANA only – SAP runs  more than these two products in the SAP Cloud, which is also the home of the acquired SAP applications, Ariba, SuccessFactors, Hybris and probably (not announced and confirmed) Concur soon. So we will need to learn more which applications (and with that related load) SAP is bringing to the IBM cloud. If it’s only Business Suite on HANA that would be certainly a lot of potential, but a lot of future and not current load. But as almost all acquired products have a roadmap to be 'ported' to HANA - 2015 should see the full potential of the partnership.
    “This announcement is a significant milestone in the deployment of enterprise cloud,” said IBM Chairman, President and CEO Ginni Rometty. “It builds on our two companies’ long history of bringing innovation to business, and extends IBM’s position as the premier global cloud platform. Our secure, open, hybrid enterprise cloud platform will enable SAP clients to support new ways to work in an era shaped by Big Data, mobile and social." 
     

    MyPOV – Similar to the Apple announcement, it’s again not ‘Ladies First’. So we may speculate that IBM wanted this partnership more than SAP, or that SAP is senior partner here. Unrelated Rometty is surely right that this is a significant milestone for both vendors. IBM gets load, and SAP gets data center access around the globe.
      

    Together, IBM and SAP have the expertise, solutions and cloud infrastructure to deliver SAP business solutions on the IBM Cloud. SAP brings the power of realtime through in-memory computing capabilities of SAP HANA combined with the ability to run mission-critical business applications, like SAP Business Suite, in a cloud environment. IBM brings enterprise depth and the open architecture of IBM Cloud Managed Services and SoftLayer — enabling customers to securely manage SAP workloads from trial to production on a consistent infrastructure, with transparency and control over where data resides. In addition, customers will benefit from the technology and services from both companies that offer industry-specific best practices, enabling customers to transform their organizations. SAP and IBM customers of all sizes will benefit from this joint collaboration of two of the most trusted companies in the industry.

    MyPOV – Some reading between the lines: The SAP scope got extended in comparison to the above quote from McDermott, leaving room to other applications 'like' the SAP Business Suite. Good and makes sense. Interesting enough the section also refers to ‘trial’ – something that traditionally does not happen for SAP applications – but something this partnership could enable more efficiently. And then IBM stresses its large consultant force knowledgeable of SAP. But if this partnership is gated to the IBM services on the consulting side, then I think it will not reach its potential. We will have to see if SAP / IBM can attract additional customers beyond existing IBM consulting customers. It remains one of my concerns for IBM cloud that it is run out of the services division, with the risk of too much focus of consulting centric services.
      

    Key Benefits to Enterprises of All Sizes

    · Customers can take advantage of the SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud with the global footprint of IBM Cloud. This enables customers to put data to work with SAP HANA and business applications in the IBM Cloud built for speed, transparency and control.


    MyPOV – Location matters both for regulatory compliance and performance of cloud deployments. IBM Cloud does very well here.

    · SAP HANA will run on IBM Cloud to provide an open-standards-based approach that will help create the foundation to more easily integrate existing technology investments with new workloads.

    MyPOV – We will have to understand in more details on what machines HANA will run in the IBM Cloud.

    · IBM and SAP are committed to security for enterprise customers in the cloud. The IBM Cloud provides visibility and control to enable enterprises to apply and extend their security best practices into a cloud environment.

    MyPOV – Both the bare metal capabilities and recent Intel TXT partnership (read more here) will help in the aspect of security.

    · Companies will now have additional reach and scale to more easily start locally and scale globally with cloud capabilities and also comply with data residency and other regulatory mandates.

     
    MyPOV – Data residency and regulatory mandates are what IBM Cloud does well amongst the cloud provider competitor field.
     

    In one of the briefings on the topic I also learnt from Kevin Ichhpurani, that SAP will offer a single SLA to customers, with SAP being the first  line of support - also for running and administering the pieces that run on IBM's cloud infrastructure. 

    Analysis points

    • The Enterprise Cloud is coming– Enterprises have run applications on the cloud before, but so far there has not been a combined offering of enterprise applications (brought here by SAP) and infrastructure services (brought here by IBM) – that offers a global cloud capability why addressing security concerns (bare metal and e.g. Intel TXT) with numerous global locations, and a provider commitment to continue to 40 worldwide locations (as previously made by IBM). Enterprises will appreciate this combined offering.

    • Locality matters for cloud– In an ironic twist the location of data centers not only matters from as statutory, data privacy and emotional level, but it also increases performance and accessibility of cloud services. If you doubt it – speak to Southern hemisphere users in e.g. Australia, South Africa or Argentina, trying to access Northern hemisphere services. Latency is and remains an issue.

    • Getting share matters– It will be interesting to see how much market share IBM can get from SAP – both in terms of application portfolio and then with customers running on different hardware vendors infrastructure. There is nothing in the agreement pointing to a exclusivity. If IBM can pitch the advantages of the IBM cloud to SAP customers running on premise in e.g. HP, Dell etc. and move them to the IBM cloud, that would be big points in the overall battle for compute load in the cloud. On the flipside if IBM can only win deals where IBM Global Services is in charge anyway, that would be a suboptimal outcome for the vendor, given its lead with the IBM Cloud powered by SoftLayer over known competitors on the hardware side like IBM, Dell etc. and provider side like e.g. VMWare, Cisco et al.
       
    • Service Level Agreements (SLA) matter - Enterprise customers look for a single 'throat to choke' when it comes to strategic projects. Moving to the cloud is certainly one of these projects and with SAP offering a single SLA across SAP and IBM data center locations, customers and prospects will certainly take note.
       
    • Hardware matters - At the moment IBM can only run HANA on x86, something giving the recent disvestiture of that business to Lenovo maybe suboptimal for IBM. So it's not a surprise that IBM is certainly working with SAP on certifying the POWER plattform for HANA. 
     

    Implications, Implications

    So what does this mean for SAP, IBM customers and for their partners and competitors?
     

    Implications for SAP customers

    SAP customers so far worried about SAP’s expertise to build out data centers can now rely on a proven vendor with more than the SAP load. Concerns about SAP not having local data centers maybe addressed by the IBM existing and planned data center locations. Enterprise loads that may not have moved to the cloud because of data residency and privacy concerns may now be moved, if IBM Cloud can provide in country or economic region based data centers. Existing HEC customers should compare rates and compare performance and then make decisions on where to run their HEC based applications going forward.
     

    Implications for IBM customers

    Existing IBM Cloud customers that also use SAP now have more load that can be brought to their cloud infrastructure of choice. Negotiate SLAs and discounts hard with IBM. Also, before going ‘all in’ with IBM (as with any other cloud provider), customers need to think twice, both from a contractual and commercial tie in with a single vendor. If the SLA may transfer to SAP, look at the fine print. And inquire on the timelines of the HANA on POWER certification project, as this may offer better price / performance ratio and will certainly see IBM being motivated to promote its POWER platform.
     

    Implications for IBM and SAP partners

    There is nothing exclusive in the announcement. IBM has first mover advantage and probably global build out advantages over other cloud service providers that want to run SAP load (e.g. we don’t see Google as one of these providers). Other SAP partners that provide cloud services need to see if data center locality matters to enterprise – or not – and then react accordingly. We expect e.g. Microsoft and VMware having a significant interest. Microsoft does not have a platform for running HANA applications in production (the HANA developer edition runs on SUSE in Azure). VMware does a lot of revenue with virtualization of on premise SAP deployments, which are at risk when moving to the public cloud.
     

    Implications for IBM and SAP competitors

    IBM competitors will try to get their SAP partnerships in place asap. SAP is the largest single vendor for potential enterprise software load, and a too big target not to compete for. But IBM is the first out of the gate and if data center locality matters, has an advantage in terms of earlier investments. We expect both VMware and other cloud services providers (e.g. Deutsche Telekom) to ramp up SLA level and guarantees, using partner data centers. The promise has always been the one of consistent SLAs across all data centers, but naturally enterprises have been skeptical in regards of a partner based SLA vs a single vendor SLA. Amazon remains a formidable competitor and surely will look at SAP load, too.

    For SAP competitors we expect to see either similar strategies or an accelerated build out of data centers. Oracle is likely to accelerate data center rollouts (it has 22 already) and not partner with e.g. IBM. Infor, enterprise vendor #3, has already partnered with Amazon AWS, leading the market decision wise in March of this year (read our analysis here). It’s clear that Microsoft business applications have no other place to go than Azure. Earlier in May Epicor made already a decision to use Microsoft Azure. We expect Salesforce and Workday to remain on their existing paths, with Workday notably adopting more of OpenStack (our analysis here).


    MyPOV

    A good move by IBM to secure a piece of the SAP enterprise load. Compared with e.g. Oracle and Microsoft, IBM brings the least in house enterprise load to the cloud game, based on its 100+ SaaS products. That has forced IBM to look for load outside of IBM, and this is the first partnership IBM has signed. I would not expect it to stop here for IBM.

    And a good move by SAP, following the moniker of ‘friends don’t let friends build data centers’. Building out HEC is a significant IP and capital investment. Having IBM pay for that is a good move for SAP’s CAPEX budget planning, which hopefully it will invest into more application development. But then SAP will not give up and close any data centers in the near future.

    Both development are good news for customers, as IBM gets more load and SAP gets a strong cloud partner and renewed focus on enterprise product development.

    Overall a win / win / win for customers, IBM and SAP. How much business will be able to get captured is the real interesting future that only future will be able to answer. And some more analyst insights – so stay tuned.


    ---------


    More on IBM :
    • Event Report - IBM Enterprise - A lot of value for existing customers, but can IBM attract net new customers? Read here
    • Progress Report - The Mainframe is alive and kicking - but there is more in IBM STG - read here
    • News Analysis - IBM and Intel partner to make the cloud more secure - read here
    • Progress Report - IBM BigData an Analytics have a lot of potential - time to show it - read here
    • Event Report - What a difference a year makes - and off to a good start - read here
    • First Take - 3 Key Takeaways from IBM's Impact Conference - Day 1 Keynote - read here
    • Another week and another Billion - this week it's a BlueMix Paas - read here
    • First take - IBM makes Connection - introduces the TalentSuite at IBM Connect - read here
    • IBM kicks of cloud data center race in 2014 - read here
    • First Take - IBM Software Group's Analyst Insights - read here
    • Are we witnessing one of the largest cloud moves - so far? Read here
    • Why IBM acquired Softlayer - read here

    And more on overall SAP strategy and products:

    • Market Move - SAP strikes again - this time it is Concur and the spend into spend management - read here
    • Event Report - SAP SuccessFactors picks up speed - but there remains work to be done - read here
    • First Take - SAP SuccessFactors SuccessConnect - Top 3 Takeaways Day 1 Keynote - read here.
    • Event Report - Sapphire - SAP finds its (unique) path to cloud - read here
    • What I would like SAP to address this Sapphire - read here
    • News Analysis - SAP becomes more about applications - again - read here
    • Market Move - SAP acquires Fieldglass - off to the contingent workforce - early move or reaction? Read here.
    • SAP's startup program keep rolling – read here.
    • Why SAP acquired KXEN? Getting serious about Analytics – read here.
    • SAP steamlines organization further – the Danes are leaving – read here.
    • Reading between the lines… SAP Q2 Earnings – cloudy with potential structural changes – read here.
    • SAP wants to be a technology company, really – read here
    • Why SAP acquired hybris software – read here.
    • SAP gets serious about the cloud – organizationally – read here.
    • Taking stock – what SAP answered and it didn’t answer this Sapphire [2013] – read here.
    • Act III & Final Day – A tale of two conference – Sapphire & SuiteWorld13 – read here.
    • The middle day – 2 keynotes and press releases – Sapphire & SuiteWorld – read here.
    • A tale of 2 keynotes and press releases – Sapphire & SuiteWorld – read here.
    • What I would like SAP to address this Sapphire – read here.
    • Why 3rd party maintenance is key to SAP’s and Oracle’s success – read here.
    • Why SAP acquired Camillion – read here.
    • Why SAP acquired SmartOps – read here.
    • Next in your mall – SAP and Oracle? Read here.


    And more about SAP technology:
    • HANA Cloud Platform - Revisited - Improvements ahead and turning into a real PaaS - read here
    • News Analysis - SAP commits to CloudFoundry and OpenSource - key steps - but what is the direction? - Read here.
    • News Analysis - SAP moves Ariba Spend Visibility to HANA - Interesting first step in a long journey - read here
    • Launch Report - When BW 7.4 meets HANA it is like 2 + 2 = 5 - but is 5 enough - read here
    • Event Report - BI 2014 and HANA 2014 takeaways - it is all about HANA and Lumira - but is that enough? Read here.
    • News Analysis – SAP slices and dices into more Cloud, and of course more HANA – read here.
    • SAP gets serious about open source and courts developers – about time – read here.
    • My top 3 takeaways from the SAP TechEd keynote – read here.
    • SAP discovers elasticity for HANA – kind of – read here.
    • Can HANA Cloud be elastic? Tough – read here.
    • SAP’s Cloud plans get more cloudy – read here.
    • HANA Enterprise Cloud helps SAP discover the cloud (benefits) – read here.

    Find more coverage on the Constellation Research website here.

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    Listen to Natalie, Alan & Holger on  their takeaways of Salesforce.com Dreamforce 2014  


    We are talking about the new announcements
    • Analytics cloud powered by Wave (read press release here)
    • Lightning development tool (read press release here)
    • What is the customer success platform all about
    • End User Tips from Natalie, Alan and me for Salesforce customers

    End User Advice

    • Evaluate Analytics Cloud - Make sure that the value proposition is right - with a list price of $125$ for regular and $250 for a power user there is a steep price tag on Salesforce Analytics Cloud. Evaluate cost vs benefit before jumping into new technology with a DreamForce hype.
       
    • Look at the future of Intelligence - Most enterprises have an Intelligence strategy where they bring enterprise systems data together. Can Salesforce Analytics Cloud provide value here and can it be a potential replacement candidate?
       
    • Start planning for 2015 - Look at what enterprise applications and processes you have already, how do they fit, what do you want to do, determine the gaps, find software for the gaps, but don't forget, software is not everything - there is training and other skills, too as part of the equation - and then get ready for 2015.
       
    • Put Collaboration in Business Context - Don't implement technology as a self purpose, it is valid for social and collaboration, too. Don't implement e.g. Chatter stand alone - but bring Chatter into the context of your business processes, determine how Chatter can complement and enhance business processes across sales, marketing and engineering and more. 

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    We had the opportunity to attend the Dreamforce conference in San Francisco this week. The conference has only gotten bigger, and probably better. There are more Salesforce customers, developers and partners than ever before and the force multiplier was visible and palpable all across the conference.
     


    So let’s take a look at the top 3 takeaways, which was not a too difficult a task as Salesforce did not announce too much, but more about that later.


    1. The Customer Success Platform – Slogan or Credo?– The leitmotiv of this year’s Dreamforce is (the conference is not over as I blog this) and was all about Salesforce positioning its offerings as a Customer Success Platform. Last year it was the customer customer pitch. Some time ago it was Social Business. So every year Benioff and team need to come out with something new (and ideally bigger) – but as an analyst covering next generation applications – platform matters. And Salesforce thinks that with its 6 clouds (Sales, Marketing, Service, Communities, Apps and Analytics (new see below) it has all the ingredients to ensure customer success from a platform perspective. And certainly Salesforce has a formidable collection and market share of CRM capabilities, I leave it to my colleague Alan Lepovsky to comment on the attractiveness of the Community cloud, and I will comment below on the (new) Analytics cloud.

    As far as the vehicle of a customer success platform I’d say there are many more business functions that need to fall in place to make a customer successful, notably the ‘back office’ functions that Salesforce does not have but partners for. And more importantly, in my view, people make the difference – they are part of the equation of customer success, too. But let’s give Salesforce the benefit of the doubt, it would be great to see one of the yearly leitmotivs stick more than 12 months for the vendor, and platform should be to a certain point timeless and always matter.



    The Customer Success Platform - Intro Video of Dreamforce 2014


    2. The Analytics Cloud – This is the 6th cloud that Salesforce has added – and was the most substantial product announcement of the conference. From a minimalist point of view one could say that this is the next generation of the existing reporting capabilities of Salesforce. And these were by no means bad, did the job, were included in the license and were (and are) good enough to power millions of users in their reporting needs every day. But one key challenge for Salesforce’s existing reporting has been the addition of 3rd party data and most of CRM information becomes only meaningful when put into context of all information the enterprise produces and uses (incl. the ‘back office’ – see above). 


    The Wave technology that powers the Analytics Cloud puts that concern away, it’s easy now to import 3rd party data, put it into context and visualize it. For the latter, visualization, Salesforce has done a superb job – the graphical rendering of data is fast, smooth, responsive and almost dazzling. Not sure how much of that performance was demo – especially on the mobile devices (yes it was again build mobile first – what else) – but if performance will be only half as good in real life than what it was a Dreamforce – then kudos to the Salesforce engineering team behind the Analytics cloud.

    On the flipside, the Analytics cloud is not ‘true’ analytics, those class of software that takes actions or at least recommends them in a priority sequence (more here). As a matter of fact – following that definition – it is not analytics at all, but visualizations and reporting. Nothing wrong with that and it certainly creates value for Salesforce customers. Critical is the high list price of $125 for a regular and $250 for a power user per month – that is a lot of money for a first version product, but we all understand it’s before discount. 


    Salesforce was also very uptight on the technology behind Analytics Cloud, the versions going from open source (Cassandra, Riak, HBase), to existing platform (Oracle) all the way to proprietary (a row format store with flexible pointers). Not sure why Salesforce has been so secretive in this area – the product launch is imminent and the cat fill be out of the bag soon. It’s a first version, and by default capabilities will only be upgraded. Talk about dimension tables wakes up good old Data Warehouse memories – and the product is not ready to handle large amounts of non-SQL data. Equally predictive analytics capabilities are missing, but I was repeatedly was assured they are on the roadmap.

    Finally Salesforce is leaving all the ‘heavy’ lifting to partners, and with that I mean the ETL functions to get data from 3rd party systems. Using the OData protocol opens the Analytics Cloud well for SAP and Microsoft applications, not so much for Oracle applications, but it’s a good start. Involving all these partners make the Analytics Cloud powerful and allows to move it to market fast, but in day to day life it will make it hard to purchase license wise and operate complexity wise. But then Salesforce realistically did not have a chance to build 3rd party interfaces themselves – so partnering is a good and smart (short to medium term) strategy.



    The Salesforce Analytics Demo


    3. The Lightning framework – Once you have a new platform like Salesforce has with Salesforce1 – then you need to work on getting developers more productive. Enters Lighting, which allows to easily build mobile, tablet and desktop applications on Salesforce1. As a matter of fact it is so easy, that Salesforce has probably empowered business users and system administrators to build some Salesforce applications. If Salesforce can really make this user community productive building applications, it has achieved a breakthrough in the industry and re-invented how (simple) business applications can be build. And though the demos have that potential and Salesforce has realized that – we will have to see in real life how many non-programmers are up to the task. But certainly there is a lot of potential here.

     
    The Lightning Frameowork Overview 

    On the flipside out of briefings with the relevant development execs – it has become clear, that Salesforce has not thought (yet) about layering access in Lightning. Usually you see vendor proprietary, vendor vertical, ISV and then customer customization layers. In this version one, users will copy components, which quickly can become an oversight and code maintenance problem. But it is early days, first version and Lighting starts out with a lot of promise.






    The Salesforce Industries Vision Video

    Tidbits

    • Industries – Salesforce has launched a common industry product group under the leadership of enterprise software veteran John Wookey. We attended a briefing on the new effort and Wookey and team can hit all the vertical messages well (we heard healthcare, finance and government) but it is not clear how all will be build (consider the layering concern from above) but a roadmap will come soon.

    • Europe – It is clear that Salesforce needs to grow beyond North America and Europe seems to be the prime target, with European customers being show cased in the keynotes and even executives from the German Coca-Cola bottler on main stage. And we heard that the UK data center is coming very soon, the German one later, all good moves to overcome the European cloud angst. 

    • Developers – Developers were central users Salesforce needs to woo in 2013, but that was less a topic this year. Nonetheless the developer zone in Moscone West is vibrant, developers are excited, another hackathon is under way and I had a chance to see Adam Seligman launching the new Trailhead know how transfer tool. As with any new platform - training and education are crucial. 
     
    More platform innovation that helps attract developers 

    • Work.com – With Wookey off in charge of verticals, work.com has become part of the ‘platform’ which is managed by Linda Crawford. We had the chance to meet with Crawford and it is clear that if Salesforce ever had any larger Talent Management ambitions, they are gone by now. The focus now is to improve CRM user performance, natively embedded into their transactional applications. The quid pro quo argument would be, that Salesforce needs to build or acquire learning capabilities – something to be seen. And it is certainly a worthy and valuable cause to improve sales performance while not reducing sales active time for CRM users. 


    MyPOV 

    It all fits well where Salesforce is right now, as we have seen it many times in enterprise software history: First you need the platform (Salesforce1), then you build reporting on it (Analytics Cloud) and then (or in parallel) you think of developer productivity (Lightning), next comes horizontal product (in 2015) and verticals (roadmap coming soon, see above). 

    The cookie cutter approach of re-platforming, something Salesforce (and most other vendors) does not talk about publicly, but that’s what is happening behind the scenes at Salesforce in my view. As such Salesforce is going through a building year with little new and additional business functionality to show, but that should change in 2015 and 2016. As usual roadmaps would be good to have, once the cat is out of the bag (it almost is). And a little more transparency how things are build would also be good, being in the ‘cloud’ is not a good enough answer for technical architecture details anymore. 

    It’s 2014 by now, not 2004 anymore.


    Earlier today Alan, Nathalie and me recorded our takeaways in a hangout - watch it here:




    More on Salesforce.com:

    • Constellation Research Summary of Salesforce Dreamforce 2014 - read here
    • Research Summary - An in depth look at Salesforce1 - Better packaging or new offerng? Read here.
    • Dreamforce 2013 Platform Takeaways - All about the mobile platform - or more? Read here
    • Platform ecosystems are hard - Salesforce grows it - FinancialForce shrinks it - read here.
    • Our take on Salesforce.com Identity Connect - from three angles - Identity, CRM and PaaS - read here.
    • Takeaways from the Salesforce and Workday Strategic Partnership - read here.
    • Act II - The Cloud changes everything - Oracle and Salesforce.com - read here.
    • How many Pivots make a Pirouette? Salesforce's last Pivot - read here.

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    Natalie, Alan and me recorded a hangout on Day #3 of Dreamforce, sharing our takeaways:


    Here is what we talk about:
    • Salesforce positions as the Customer Success Platform
    • Salesforce launches its 6th cloud (after Sales, Marketing, Service, Communities and Apps) - it is the Analytics Cloud
    • Salesforce announces the Lightning framework to build applications faster. 


    Takeaways for end users:
    • Look at Analytics Cloud value proposition - The Analytics cloud with $125 for a regular user and $250 for a professional user comes with a steep (list) price. What is the value / cost realtionship for your enterprise, start from here.
       
    • Consider (existing) alternatives - It is very likely your enterprise has already a place where 3rd party information is brought together for insights, so have a look at that and compare it with Salesforce's Analytics Cloud.
       
    • Take stock and plan for 2015 - Look at what systems you have, but also look larger and include people and training and then start planning for 2015.
       
    • Revisit Collaboration - Don't look at Chatter and Collaboration as stand alone, but bring them into business processes across sales, marketing and engineering (and more) to make them more efficient. 

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    I attended this year's HR Tech Conference in Las Vegas - and as usual the show was massive, tons of vendors, too many announcements to keep the overview, etc. And a lot of briefings - so instead of typing it all up, I tried to sum it all up in a video / webcast.


    The vendors  I cover in the video are (in alphabetical order):
    • Achievers,
    • ADP (Progress Report - here)
    • Cloudpay
    • Equifax (Equifax Workforce Solutions Event Report - here)
    • FinancialForce 
    • Findly
    • FurstPerson
    • Halogen
    • HireVue (HireVue Digital Disruption First Take - here)
    • Hireology
    • IBM (Connections First Take - here)
    • Infor (Infor Inforum Event Report - here)
    • Jabra
    • Jobvite
    • Kronos (KronosWorld (2013) Event Report - here)
    • Lumesse
    • Mercer
    • NGA HR (Analyst Summit Progress Report - here)
    • onesource VIRTUAL
    • Paychex
    • Qualtrics
    • Sentric
    • Skillsoft (the acquisition of SumTotal Market Move blog post is here)
    • Smashfly
    • Randstad Sourceright
    • Technomedia
    • Towers Watson
    • Haufe Umantis
    • Visier
    And then I mention my recent blog posts of the major, major players (again in alphabetical order)
    • Oracle (HCM Analyst Summit Progress Report - here)
    • SAP (SuccessConnect Event Report - here)
    • Worday (Tech Summit Progress Report - here)
    Hope you enjoyed that video, I shared my quick takeaways, now it's your turn to share yours, please comment.

    And should you care - my HR Tech Conference of 2013 can be found here

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    Here is my weekly video recap of the week ending October 17th 2014 - enjoy:




    Here is what I am talking about in the recap:
    • Time to look what analytics really means - a manifesto - read here
    • Alan Lepofsky's (@alanlepo) presentation at Dreamforce - see it on slideshare here
    • IBM and SAP partner, put the HANA Enterprise Cloud (HEC) on top of IBM Cloud (CMS & SoftLayer) - read here
    • My event report of Salesforce's Dreamforce conference, all about customer success, Analytics (no real ones - see above) Cloud and Lighting framework - read here
    • The Dreamforce Takeaways Hangout with Natalie Petouhoff (@drnatalie), Alan Lepofsky and Ray Wang (@rwang0 - via email) - see it here
    • My HR Tech 2014 takeaways Hangout - see it here (with my highlights of 29 vendor briefings + reminders on where I see Oracle, SAP & Workday).
     
    Other key events / I have missed to attend / blog about:
    • EMC acquires Cloudscaling by Ben Kepes (@benkepes) (and congrats to 100 half marathons in 2014!)

    And a few press clippings
    • Wall Street Journal - IBM, SAP Team up to deliver SaaS over the internet - read here
    • New York Times - IBM and SAP: A cloud pact that solves problems and holds promise - read here
    • CIO - Expect more 'mega partnerships' among technology vendors - read here
    • firstbiz - SAP and IBM join hands to take on Oracle and Amazon - read here
    • Business Spectator - SAP turns to IBM to expand cloud reach - read here
    • HR Executive Online - Predictitve Analytics dominates my first HR Tech Conference - read here

    Fashion Observation of the week
    • Brian Sommer in Jeans (again!), and more remarkably no tie (!) 

    Next week I will be Las Vegas for SAP Teched && dCode and then in Amsterdam for HR Tech Europe, it will be a busy but fun week. 

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    There can be no question that the ‘cloud’ is transforming the way enterprise applications are created, operated and consumed. It affects the results of established players - see e.g. IBM CEO Rometty talking about 'unprecedented path in our industry' (see here).


    Due to the innovative nature of cloud computing, smaller, often simpler applications have found their realization as cloud applications earlier than traditional enterprise apps. It is for instance very hard to find a mobile application that does NOT have a cloud backend. Or find a Talent Management product that was recently built and does NOT run in the cloud (only).

    The story is different in the enterprise software space, where vendors that existed before the cloud computing era, had to find ways to leverage their existing investments into millions of lines of code and make them available in reasonable cloud architectures. ‘Born in the cloud’ vendors like e.g. Salesforce.com and Workday had a considerable time to market advantage over the vendors that ran their application portfolio on the previously en vogue internet architecture. But being a pioneer has its costs, too – and both mentioned companies had to build their own, proprietary cloud architectures. There was no off the shelf cloud architecture and infrastructure to use back when Salesforce.com started in 1999 and Workday in 2004.


    Fast forward to 2014 and we see a number of cloud infrastructures than can and could be used, starting with Amazon’s AWS, Microsoft’s Azure, Google’s Google Cloud Platform, IBM’s SoftLayer, Rackspace, VMWare, CenturyLink  etc. etc. not all of them will have the following qualities that in my view will define an enterprise cloud.


    So here are the seven characteristics that define an enterprise cloud:



    • Notice Period - Short term notice periods, the longest acceptable being 3 months.
       
    • Data Ownership – Enterprises own their data and can use and retrieve it as they wish, with no penalties.
       
    • Glocal Coverage– both the ability to deploy global and local capabilities – depending on data governance requirements and enterprise preference.
       
    • Server Physicality– Enterprises may abstract resources, and maybe fine with a certain degree of virtualization, but there must be also the option for certain loads to see, touch, run the servers the application runs on (aka knows as bare metal).
       
    • Physical Separation– As required enterprise cloud providers may have to offer the physical separation of network, storage and compute resources (managed cage).
       
    • SLAs & Optional Services– The vendors must be ready to support the service levels that enterprises use today for their on premise loads and be able to support a premium on top of that in order to motivate the switch to cloud and dissolve the concerns around loss of control when moving to the cloud. Optional Services help enterprises to move, run, monitor and operate the cloud environment.
       
    • Cost Transparency– Enterprises need to pay their bills and they do that through budget allocation. If they cannot plan budgets, analyze consumption, cross charge for services – they will look for cloud vendors that enable that.

    I am still pondering on the need of an enterprise cloud to support hybrid cloud. It will certainly help enterprise cloud vendors to support hybrid deployment. Enterprises usually have large on premise computing and facility capabilities. They are unlikely to give these up quickly, but wait for them to be written down. So in the transition period of computing into public clouds, enterprise cloud vendors that can help use local capabilities and transition to the public cloud, will have an advantage over those vendors that cannot (or don’t want to – e.g. Amazon AWS and Google Cloud Platform). Longer term the verdict is still out how much enterprises will run their loads between the public and private (local, on premise) cloud infrastructures. Again vendors with hybrid capabilities will have an advantage, as long as they can create large enough public cloud capacities, and their public cloud efforts are seen as genuine (and not as a stop gap or selection tick mark for selling more on premise cloud infrastructure and services).


    Your POV

    Do we see the rise of the enterprise cloud? What are key enterprise cloud capabilities that are needed? Please comment – thanks!



    ----------
    More Musings
    • Musings - What are 'true' analytics? A manifesto - read here
    • Musings - Is Transboarding the future of People Talent Management - read here
    • Musings - How technology innovation fuels recruiting and disrupts the laggards - read here
    • Musings - The era of the No Design Database - read here
    • Musings - What is the future of Recruiting? Read here
    • Musings - Future of Work - is Voice part of it? Post Cortana debut reflections - read here
    • Musings - Can a HANA cloud be elastic? Tough - read here


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    Earlier this week I had the chance to attend SAP’s developer conference in Las Vegas, SAP TechEd && dcode (SAPtd). It was a larger event than last year with over 6000 attendees - and it was more importantly the first developer event in the post Sikka era of SAP.


    Here are my top three takeaways from the event

    1. Platform matters. For the longest time SAP has not been talking much, giving much room to HANA Cloud Platform (HCP). We will never know if this was because the product was not ready (the product has made remarkable progress in the last 12 months - see here) or it was a learning curve of executives, PaaS messaging and positioning was badly missed at last year’s TechEd and at SapphireNow. It was good to see that in the opening keynote of Steve Lucas the HCP message was more prominent than the HANA database message, of which we had an over-abundance at previous TechEd editions. It looks like SAP has (finally) realized in its keynote content that HANA adoption goes through HCP, at least for the majority of its installed base customers and developers (who are here at SAPtd). 



    Lucas on what SAP stands for - Apps, Network and Platform 
    A platform also attracts partner interest, and with e.g. the MongoDB (last event report here, and both vendors have partnered earlier) partnership it was made clear, that SAP can attract technology vendors. An attractive platform should also attract partial / potential competitors and the partnership with Birst (developing / supporting HANA) was a good showcase of that. ‘Battling’ cranes and giving away Super Bowl tickets and a Ford Mustang while offering drinks certainly helped the Lucas keynote for a good start of SAPtd. 
     
    Goerke shows HCP front and center

    For comparison - the TechEd 2013 marketecture

    And the next day keynote of Goerke rallied around one single platform with good value propositions for developers around ease of development, mobile development and some previews of API management (see below). It was great to see the return of ‘demo veteran’ Ian Kimball for the all-encompassing keynote demo - and equally impressive Goerke showing the audience he is technical enough to run the demo himself. The only major miss in the keynotes was pricing - but SAP is working on that. 
     
    Finally - SAP at One Platform
    It's not too long ago when SAP had three+ go forward platforms - SAP HANA, NetWeaver, the 'lean Java Server' [My bad, it's not light but lean as Matthias pointed out below, corrected.], the Frictionless platform and the Coghead platform. Both Frictionless and Coghead went a few years ago in one shape or another. The 'lean' Java Server' is now what powers HCP and HCP and HANA have merged, with gifts from NetWeaver. Must have felt good for SAP to come down to one platform - but even more for customers and developers in the ecosystem. Let's keep fingers crossed it will remain at one for a long time going forward. 


    2. HANA SPS09 - This end of November shipping latest HANA release is taking care of a lot of concerns customers, developers and partner have had. Some of the most prominent ones are the new dynamic Tiering that along with the introduction of database multitenancy (see here what that means) will help reduce TCO. Streaming is a key new capability for IoT projects. SAP missed the opportunity - ok SPS09 ships only in November - to show what TCO reductions developers and enterprises using HANA can and should expect.




    The ability to run Hadoop user defined functions is a key step, too - given how much BigData next generation data exploration and insight chasing is done these days. Still I would like SAP to allow native map reduce processes on HANA - if customers want to use (or must) use in memory for their application - let them. In the next weeks we need to dwell down a lot more into the new announcements of SPS09 - so stay tuned. 


    3. API management - On the heels of the partner announcement with Apigee, a noticeable piece of the keynote was dedicated to API management. The approach makes a lot of sense for SAP, given the diverse systems SAP needs to make available for its customers, starting with good old R/3 that customers are using, the new HANA based products, all the different architecture that SAP has acquired (SuccessFactors, Ariba, Hybris, Fieldglass) or is acquiring (Concur) or will be acquiring (your bet is a good as mine). IBM has ploughed the path here with its BlueMix based PaaS (more here) - in the sense of the vision of an API economy going forward. 

    Goerke introduces API Management 
    The difference is that IBM has been straight forward in regards of ‘OEMing’ CloudFoundry - versus SAP building its own platform and having an at least two dimensional relationship with CloudFoundry: One is the one of the technology vendor, the use case being to make e.g. CloudFoundry work with HANA, the other is the one of the PaaS ‘OEMer’ (like IBM) that SAP seems to be doing for its new hybris architecture, but has been less forth coming to explain that relationship. Not surprisingly as it would create some confusion and will clearer positioning. And then equally to the HCP pricing, the API pricing story is a totally different one. As much as the API economy will help the Bill McDermott vision and mantra of a ‘simple’ SAP - as high is the potential of SAP making the API licensing ueber complex.  

    TidBits


    • Social / Jam - It was good to see that the Jam platform is now reaching out to developers, after the delivery of the first work packages. As little as SAP executives mentioned PaaS, as little they talk social today, a stark contrast to e.g. Oracle executives. Getting Jam in to HCP and exposing it more with keynote airtime and prominent keynotes should only help SAP customers, developers and the vendor themselves. 

    • Partnering - Equally good to see partner interest, not only on the traditional (hardware side for) HANA - but also e.g. with MongoDB partnering with Lumira, and even more competitive than complementary Birst with HANA. SAP will have to attract even more cooeptitive partnerships like that - but it’s a good start.
        
    • Ecosystem - The HANA ecosystem is doing good progress with 1700+ startups, 130+ validated solutions, 4100+ customers and 3000+ partners. It remains impressive how SAP has been able to get that setup in very short time. 
    • River - Unfortunately I only spent 24 or so hours at SAPtd - so I may have well missed River related news. It certainly was not part of the keynote. And as much as I hold the engineers in the SAP Israel lab in very high esteem, I think that is good news. The world does not need another programming language, especially when it takes close to 12 months to explain why River is needed (or the value proposition has not reached me). So I see that as good news - as it is good news when SAP stresses Java, Javascript, Scala, Docker and other popular development languages and vehicles. 
    • A new SAP logo - Oh yes - SAP has a new logo - I think long, long time ago it was black, but SAP has been blue forever… I am sure the team around Jonathan Becher has spent plenty of time (and money?) in the new color change - but it will take some time to refer to SAP as the ‘Yellow’ vendor (or wait is golden?).
    Where SAP is heading - Globas Business Networks in the Cloud 

    MyPOV

    A good SAPtd - with a very different setup. Last year’s TechEd in the very setup felt like a ‘man and his team’ setup, versus this year came over as a team effort, which was well received. SAP has come a long way with HCP and HANA - it now needs to come up with a longer term roadmap for HCP, as it certainly has reached critical functionality mass for building a next generation application. Now SAP needs to work on getting the confidence of developers considering to build on HCP (and HANA) that it remains the right platform for years to come. Both developers and the executives making decision about next generation projects are looking for roadmaps, fast release iterations, proof points and success stories as the deliverables to convince them.

    Overall my impression is that SAP is becoming more like Oracle and IBM, and that’s a good thing. SAP’s very data centric view of cloud computing puts it into a unique spot that bears both risks and potential benefits (see here). But by doing more things that both IBM and Oracle do, SAP hits a familiarity tone and true north alignment that technology professionals want to see across the vendor landscape to be comfortable to make investment decisions. What are the similarities - well all three vendors talk about PaaS now. SAP and IBM talk about API management and partner for cloud provisioning, given a proof point for bare metal delivery. And SAP and Oracle agree on database driven multi-tenancy and benefits of in-memory computing.


    ----------


    And more on overall SAP strategy and products:

    • New Analysis - SAP and IBM partner for cloud success - good news - read here
    • Market Move - SAP strikes again - this time it is Concur and the spend into spend management - read here
    • Event Report - SAP SuccessFactors picks up speed - but there remains work to be done - read here
    • First Take - SAP SuccessFactors SuccessConnect - Top 3 Takeaways Day 1 Keynote - read here.
    • Event Report - Sapphire - SAP finds its (unique) path to cloud - read here
    • What I would like SAP to address this Sapphire - read here
    • News Analysis - SAP becomes more about applications - again - read here
    • Market Move - SAP acquires Fieldglass - off to the contingent workforce - early move or reaction? Read here.
    • SAP's startup program keep rolling – read here.
    • Why SAP acquired KXEN? Getting serious about Analytics – read here.
    • SAP steamlines organization further – the Danes are leaving – read here.
    • Reading between the lines… SAP Q2 Earnings – cloudy with potential structural changes – read here.
    • SAP wants to be a technology company, really – read here
    • Why SAP acquired hybris software – read here.
    • SAP gets serious about the cloud – organizationally – read here.
    • Taking stock – what SAP answered and it didn’t answer this Sapphire [2013] – read here.
    • Act III & Final Day – A tale of two conference – Sapphire & SuiteWorld13 – read here.
    • The middle day – 2 keynotes and press releases – Sapphire & SuiteWorld – read here.
    • A tale of 2 keynotes and press releases – Sapphire & SuiteWorld – read here.
    • What I would like SAP to address this Sapphire – read here.
    • Why 3rd party maintenance is key to SAP’s and Oracle’s success – read here.
    • Why SAP acquired Camillion – read here.
    • Why SAP acquired SmartOps – read here.
    • Next in your mall – SAP and Oracle? Read here.


    And more about SAP technology:
    • HANA Cloud Platform - Revisited - Improvements ahead and turning into a real PaaS - read here
    • News Analysis - SAP commits to CloudFoundry and OpenSource - key steps - but what is the direction? - Read here.
    • News Analysis - SAP moves Ariba Spend Visibility to HANA - Interesting first step in a long journey - read here
    • Launch Report - When BW 7.4 meets HANA it is like 2 + 2 = 5 - but is 5 enough - read here
    • Event Report - BI 2014 and HANA 2014 takeaways - it is all about HANA and Lumira - but is that enough? Read here.
    • News Analysis – SAP slices and dices into more Cloud, and of course more HANA – read here.
    • SAP gets serious about open source and courts developers – about time – read here.
    • My top 3 takeaways from the SAP TechEd keynote – read here.
    • SAP discovers elasticity for HANA – kind of – read here.
    • Can HANA Cloud be elastic? Tough – read here.
    • SAP’s Cloud plans get more cloudy – read here.
    • HANA Enterprise Cloud helps SAP discover the cloud (benefits) – read here.

    Find more coverage on the Constellation Research website here.

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    Not as a big surprise – it was rumored for some time – Amazon AWS today announced that it has opened another AWS region, based in Frankfurt, Germany.


    So let’s digest the press release in our typical style:

    SEATTLE--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Oct. 23, 2014-- (NASDAQ:AMZN) — Amazon Web Services, Inc. (AWS, Inc.), an Amazon.com company, today announced the launch of its new AWS EU (Frankfurt) region, which is the 11th technology infrastructure region globally for AWS and the second region in the European Union (EU), joining the AWS EU (Ireland) region. All customers can now leverage AWS to build their businesses and run applications on infrastructure located in Germany. As with every AWS region, customers can do this knowing that their content will stay within the region they choose. The newly launched AWS EU (Frankfurt) region comes as a result of the rapid growth AWS has been experiencing and is available now for any business, organization or software developer to sign up and get started at: http://aws.amazon.com.

    MyPOV – Good move by Amazon, another continental European region was more than overdue. Ireland was a good start, but does not have the network capability like e.g. Frankfurt, which hosts one of the largest internet exchange points with DE-CIX. And that probably beat out Amsterdam, another popular European cloud data center location. Kudos to Amazon not just to announce the region to come at date xyz – but have it available for business today.

    All AWS infrastructure regions around the world are designed, built, and regularly audited to meet rigorous compliance standards, including ISO 27001, SOC 1 (Formerly SAS 70), PCI DSS Level 1, and many more, providing high levels of security for all AWS customers. AWS is fully compliant with all applicable EU Data Protection laws, and for customers that require it, AWS provides data processing agreements to help customers comply with EU data protection requirements. More information on how customers using AWS can meet EU data protection requirements can be found on the AWS Data Protection webpage at: aws.amazon.com/de/data-protection. A full list of compliance certifications, and a whitepaper on how customers using AWS can meet BSI IT Grundschutz, can be found on the AWS compliance webpage at: http://aws.amazon.com/de/compliance/.

    MyPOV – As usual AWS does a great job around security and data privacy concerns – which are always important – but even more sensitive in Europe and there Germany. Not surprisingly – the very first question to Andy Jassy came in regards of data security: What if the US government wants the data? Jassy responded that first of all customer need to encrypt, and only in the ‘rare’ case of a court order AWS will take action. Jassy says it has not been an issue today… Europeans will revisit and test that, I am sure. (See the link to the video below, Q&A starts at 15 minutes).

    The new AWS EU (Frankfurt) region consists of two separate Availability Zones at launch. Availability Zones refer to datacenters in separate, distinct locations within a single region that are engineered to be operationally independent of other Availability Zones, with independent power, cooling, and physical security, and are connected via a low latency network. AWS customers focused on high availability can architect their applications to run in multiple Availability Zones to achieve even higher fault-tolerance. For customers looking for inter-region redundancy, the new AWS EU (Frankfurt) region, in conjunction with the AWS EU (Ireland) region, gives them flexibility to architect across multiple AWS regions within the EU.

    MyPOV – A key move by AWS to right away start with two availability zones, taking away the potential next concern not to move load to the public cloud. By having two zones in Germany, AWS becomes right away viable for new (local) customers.

    “Our European business continues to grow dramatically,” said Andy Jassy, Senior Vice President, Amazon Web Services. “By opening a second European region, and situating it in Germany, we’re enabling German customers to move more workloads to AWS, allowing European customers to architect across multiple EU regions, and better balancing our substantial European growth.”

    Many German customers are already using AWS including Talanx, in the highly regulated insurance sector. Talanx is one of the top three largest insurers in Germany and one of the largest insurance companies in the world with over €28 billion in premium income in 2013. “For Talanx, like many companies that hold sensitive customer data, data privacy is paramount,” says Achim Heidebrecht, Head of Group IT, Talanx AG. “Using AWS we are already seeing a 75% reduction in calculation time, and €8 million in annual savings, when running our Solvency II simulations while still complying with our very strict data policies. With the launch of the AWS region on German soil, we will now move even more of our sensitive and mission critical workloads to AWS.”

    Hubert Burda Media is one of the largest media companies in Europe with over 400 brands and revenues in excess of $3.6 billion. JP Schmetz, Chief Scientist of Hubert Burda Media, said of the announcement, "Now that AWS is available in Germany it gives our subsidiaries the option to move certain assets to the cloud. We have long had policies preventing data to be hosted outside of German soil and this new German region gives us the option to use AWS more meaningfully."


    MyPOV – Always good if you can hit the ground running and having two known local customers and brand names as early customers. Will be great to see how fast existing German AWS clients will move to the German AWS region.

    Academics in Germany were also quick to welcome the new region, “The arrival of an Amazon Web Services Region in Germany marks an important occasion for the German business and technology community,” said Prof. Dr Helmut Krcmar, Vice Dean of the Computer Science Faculty, and Chair of Information Systems at the Technical University of Munich. “We work with a number of DAX listed companies in Germany. Many have been holding off moving sensitive workloads to the cloud until they had computing and service facilities on German soil as this could help them comply with their internal processes. This new region from AWS answers this and we expect to see innovation amongstGermany, and Europe’s, companies flourish as a result.”

    MyPOV – Always good to have academic endorsement in Europe, particularly Germany. If the professor says it…

    More than eight years of growth

    For more than eight years AWS has changed the way organisations acquire technology infrastructure. AWS customers are not required to make any up-front financial or long-term commitment. They can turn capital expense into variable operating expense, scale quickly and seamlessly by adding or shedding resources at any time, get to market much more quickly with new and critical ideas, and free up scarce engineering resources from the undifferentiated heavy lifting of running backend infrastructure—all without sacrificing operational performance, reliability, or security. This has led to many customers adopting the AWS platform in Europe and around the world.

    As AWS has grown, the company has continued to focus on delivering cloud technologies to customers in an environmentally friendly way. The new AWS EU (Frankfurt) region enables customers to run on carbon-neutral power. This is AWS’ third carbon-neutral powered region.


    MyPOV – Amazon has the know how to run carbon neutral, Frankfurt will be the 3rd carbon neutral location. Good move for the ‘tree huggers’ in Germany and raises the game vs. local competitors. Getting a carbon neutral stamp for cloud sites and ISVs is already a trend Europeans are looking for on web sites.

    The new region adds to AWS’ existing cloud computing investments in Europe. The AWS business is supported by teams of Account Managers, Solutions Architects, Technical Support Engineers, and various other functions, helping customers in Germany, and across Europe use the cloud. Amazon also has Development Centers in Germany, Romania, and The Netherlands developing next generation technologies to support the AWS business.

    >> MyPOV – Good presence by AWS, but it will need to do even more in terms of short term outreach, similar like the recently opened AWS Loft in San Francisco (I had the opportunity to attend the opening) and longer term with academic outreach. 



    Recent AWS Loft Opening in San Francisco

    Developers and businesses can access AWS from the new Frankfurt region beginning today, including Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2), Amazon Elastic Block Store (Amazon EBS), Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3), Amazon Glacier, Amazon Relational Database Service (Amazon RDS), Amazon Redshift, AWS OpsWorks, Amazon DynamoDB, Amazon Kinesis, AWS CloudHSM, Amazon Elastic MapReduce (Amazon EMR), Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (Amazon VPC), AWS Direct Connect, Amazon CloudSearch, Amazon CloudWatch, AWS Elastic Beanstalk, AWS CloudFormation, AWS CloudTrail, AWS Storage Gateway, AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM), Amazon Simple Queue Service (Amazon SQS), Amazon Simple Notification Service (Amazon SNS), Amazon Simple Workflow (SWF), Auto Scaling, and Elastic Load Balancing. More details on each of these services and specific pricing for each is available at: http://aws.amazon.com/products/.

    MyPOV – Could head start on services – someone needs and will dig down into what is missing and why. And AWS will have to address when the service will be available in Germany.

    A number of ISV technologies are also available to customers today from the new AWS EU Frankfurt region including: Canonical, Red Hat, SUSE, Trend Micro, Twilio, Acquia, Apigee, Bitnami, Esri, Infor, SAP, and Siemens. More details on running each of these technologies on AWS can be found at: https://aws.amazon.com/marketplace.

    MyPOV – Very good point, as AWS enables ISVs to address the European / German market now and allows these partners to solve data residency, privacy and performance concerns.



    Jassy and Geier at the launch webcast


    Analysis Points


    • Germany is popular – There have been a number of announcements to open data centers in Germany – see e.g. Salesforce.com this summer (why is always Munich the location of the announcements?). It will be interesting to see if it is competitive pressure, a slowing growth in North America or a readiness by European / German companies to put their load to the cloud – or a combination of al of them.
       
    • Amazon AWS has moved the bar– With the entrance of AWS in the core European markets, there will be a increased pressure on the local providers to up services and lower prices. Germans love low general retail prices (and e.g. Walmart never was successful in Germany) – so let’s see if that can be transported to the cloud pricing, too. Amazon is expected to cater to that (compatible) mind set.
       
    • The enterprise cloud is coming– As recently blogged, services for enterprises and concerns of cloud usage are being more and better addressed by providers. In the Amazon AWS context the recently announced AWS Directory Services is another proof point towards this trend. 


      So will AWS a sweet cookie for Europe / Germany?
       
      Implications, Implications

      Implications for AWS Customers

      This is very good news for AWS customers who get an AWS region in the center of the largest world economic region. Come to that, we have not seen prices for the region, but given AWS nature, they will be competitive. AWS customers running other regions have now more addressable market and will help AWS sell capacity in the region for similar reasons.

      Implications for AWS partners

      Very good news for ISVs, too – they are now viable in central Europe and in Europe’s largest market. From an enterprise perspective I am sure some execs at e.g. Infor will be ramping up growth projections in Germany.

      Implications for AWS competitors

      It’s time to get a central European, and maybe even German data center. Locality matters for the cloud both from statutory, regulatory, privacy and pure performance concerns. German enterprises will push prices and AWS will help, so the ‘good times’ for local providers with rich margins are likely counted. Amazon has done the (usual) good job on security, so additional local security certifications will not be a (temporary) barrier to entry or justification to keep prices up.

      A service AWS missed in Germany (surprisingly) ;-)
      [From AWS Loft launch in San Francisco]

      Overall MyPOV

      A good move by AWS to open a region in Germany. Amazon will get some great load already by moving its own retail platform to the region. Not surprisingly (from the little we know), all product dependencies of Amazon running Amazon on AWS are addressed from its products available in the Frankfurt region right now. This could have performance advantages that Amazon may exploit, all the way to its Prime streaming offerings. So let’s not forget this is not only Amazon bringing AWS to cloud customers, but also bringing Amazon directly in the largest European market. I would not be surprised if Amazon will explore new products, services and best practices in Germany before the US, exploiting high internet penetration, very good network infrastructure and the affluent Germany buyer, who enjoys a lot of free time at their hands.

      On the AWS side this is a key move for Amazon to position AWS into a similar market leading position like in the US. The next quarters will show how well AWS will capture European and German businesses – as the German AWS MD Marin Geier said ‘die Wolke ist in Deutschland angekommen’ (= the cloud has arrived to Germany). But it is one thing for the cloud to be in Germany, the next one is to get German / European enterprise load on it. But one step at the time, in the meantime a key date for the adoption of cloud in Europe / Germany.




      Jassy on the launch with Geier

      ------------
      More on AWS
      • Market Move - Infor runs CloudSuite on AWS - Inflection Point or hot air balloon? Read here
      • Event Report - AWS Summit in SFO - AWS keeps doing what has been working in the last 8 years - read here
      • AWS  moves the yardstick - Day 2 reinvent takeaways - read here.
      • AWS powers on, into new markets - Day 1 reinvent takeaways - read here.
      • The Cloud is growing up - three signs in the News - read here.
      • Amazon AWS powers on - read here.
      Other cloud related:
      • Musings - Are we witnessing the rise of the enterprise cloud? Read here
      Find more coverage on the Constellation Research website here.

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      Here is my weekly recap of the week of October 24th:


      • My 'True Analytics' post has gotten some attention, my attention is merely to share my view on what analytics are all about - and it's good to see the resulting discussion, e.g. here in a video with Diginomica's Dennis Howlett. 
      • My Musings report seeing the Rising of the Enteprise Cloud - see it here
      • My attendance and observation of SAP TechEd && dCode
      • A video with ASUG CEO Geoffrey Scott and Thomas Wailgum on our reactions on Bjoern Goerke's keynote 
      • Event report of SAP TechED && dCode - see it here
      • My Executive Workshop in the great HRMS / Talent Management Overhaul
      • The Talking Head panel at HR Tech Europe
      • Ray' Wang's Friday Morning Keynote at HR Tech Europe
      • My 15 minute talk on the importance of BigData for HR - as part of the HR Disrupt event
      • News Analysis - Amazon AWS spricht jetzt Deutsch - read it here

      Other key events / I have missed to attend / blog about:
      • Progress Software announces intent to acquire Tekelec - see it here
      • Pivotal publishes Foundation Bylaws - see it here
      • IBM announced the first SoftLayer datacenter in France - see it here

      Fashion Observation of the Week
      • Lego cufflings as worn by IBM's Adrichem Boogaert 

      Catch me next week at IBM's Insight conference in Las Vegas and then at the Constellation Research yearly conference, Constellllation Connected Enterprise in Half Moon Bay.


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      We have the opportunity to attend IBM Insight currently happening in Las Vegas, with over 12k+ attendees, Insight is the largest IBM conference, centering on BigData, Analytics, Content and of course Watson.



      Here are my Top 3 takeaways of the Day 1 Keynote, lead by Bob Picciano, in a good mix of announcements, customer testimonials (Pratt & Whitney) and product demos.
      • Data Services for developers - Picciano announced a whole set of data services, available through BlueMix for developers. No surprise - it is running on SoftLayer. Even so not much time was spend on the topic, this to me was the key announcement as IBM needs developers to build next generation applications with its services, not only data services, but for the Insight audience it starts here. With DataWorks and dashDB IBM has two more new offerings for developer and business users. The developer services are key to enable the overall IBM vision of the API company.
      • Content Management - Enterprise Content Management is also part of the IBM portfolio at Insight and with Navigator IBM now has a content management option that is cloud based (of course SoftLayer - no surprise) and available across devices. 
       
      • Glue - A lot of integration and synergistic work is happening at IBM. Products are taking advantage of SoftLayer, integrate with Watson, acquisitions like Cloudant get expanded etc. Glue is probably to negative a term for the significant work that is happening behind the scenes, but its a good metaphor of the work that IBM needs to perform to achieve synergies across the vast and ever expanding product portfolio.

      MyPOV

      A good start of IBM Insight, giving a glimpse at all the work IBM is doing (and has to do) to create synergistic values across its product portfolio. The additions of ‘systems of insight’ to systems of record and systems of engagement is a clever marketing move, we will be interested to hear and see what is going on for the rest of the event.


      More on IBM :
      • IBM and SAP partner for cloud - good move - read here
      • Event Report - IBM Enterprise - A lot of value for existing customers, but can IBM attract net new customers? Read here
      • Progress Report - The Mainframe is alive and kicking - but there is more in IBM STG - read here
      • News Analysis - IBM and Intel partner to make the cloud more secure - read here
      • Progress Report - IBM BigData an Analytics have a lot of potential - time to show it - read here
      • Event Report - What a difference a year makes - and off to a good start - read here
      • First Take - 3 Key Takeaways from IBM's Impact Conference - Day 1 Keynote - read here
      • Another week and another Billion - this week it's a BlueMix Paas - read here
      • First take - IBM makes Connection - introduces the TalentSuite at IBM Connect - read here
      • IBM kicks of cloud data center race in 2014 - read here
      • First Take - IBM Software Group's Analyst Insights - read here
      • Are we witnessing one of the largest cloud moves - so far? Read here
      • Why IBM acquired Softlayer - read here

      Find more coverage on the Constellation Research website here.

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      Once a year - at the yearly Constellation Connected Enterprise conference, we award innovative executives in each of our research areas. It was my honor this year to award the winner in our research area of 'Consumerization of IT / The new C-Suite'.


      This research area focuses on the force field created by the desire to bring modern technology, influenced by what is available for consumers, to the workplace, while balancing the need of enterprise IT to provide scale and secure computing environments.


      This year''s winner, Robin Jenkins (@RobinJenkins) of RMH Franchise Corp. balanced these two forces perfectly. 

      I had the pleasure to do a short video interview with Jenkins, that you can watch here:


      Highlights in the video are
      • RMH Franchise operates over 130 Applebee's franchises in 15 states across the Midwest
      • Faced with 120% employee attrition RMH decided to use the power of gamification to increase employee engagement and ultimately retention
      • Previous system were back to managers abilities and not being successful. 
      • Jenkins researched the topic and stumbled across a game called 'Dino Dash' - which created the idea to use gamification as an instrument to increase employee engagement
      • RMH Franchise ultimately selected Bunchball as the vendor showed more commitment than its competitors. visiting locations, making best practice suggestions and helping the small RMH Franchise IT team.
      • RMH Franchise went live in June 2014, it's too early to see formal results but overall employee engagement is already up 
      • With the industry average being 92%, RMH Franchise will see significant savings reducing attrition. The company has calculated that a 10 percentage point reduction will equate to 1M US$ in savings, paying fully for the project.
      • Jenkins recommends other practitioners to look into gamification as a tool to get employees more engaged. The value is not in the software, tools and leadership boards, but in the change of the thought process and shift in values of employees facing customers.
      • The biggest challenge Jenkins sees is the change management to get executives, managers and employees on board to use the system.  

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      We had the chance to attend IBM Insight, which was attended by well over 12000 attendees at the Mandalay Bay convention center in Las Vegas. I already blogged my Day 1 takeaways here.
       


      After many IBM events this year (Connect, Impact, Pulse, Enterprise, analyst summits on BigData & Analytics, the STG products) etc. – it became clear to me with Insight, that maybe everything is coming together for IBM in 2015.

      Fresh off the abandonment of 20 cent EPS goal – here are the three strongest arguments for IBM that it all is coming together, and the three strongest arguments why maybe not:
       

      Top 3 positive signs


      • Partner Power - IBM has the gravitas in the IT space to make deals and partnerships that no one else has done and may not get done. I see the Apple as well as the SAP and Twitter partnerships in that category. Wondering why these partnership happened now is one question, but the dynamic and sequencing gives reason for optimism that more will be coming. If IBM can monetize these early partnerships, IBM will do well. But first you have to have them in place and here IBM has a leg up in the competition.
      • Product Synergies - The synergies between the SoftLayer powered IBM Cloud, the march to 40 data center locations (that is formally un-answered in the cloud industry), the addition of Power to these data centers and the ability to run Watson on Power and the dynamics around BlueMix form a powerful and compelling combination for enterprise who want to run their next generation applications in the cloud (and move some older loads there, too). IBM can play both the ‘bread and butter’ cloud game on x86 as well as the high end game with e.g. cognitive and analytical applications running on Power. In either case both data residency and performance requirements ask for ‘as local as possible’ data centers, which IBM is rolling out more and more right now.
      • Watson the Big Differentiator - Watson remains a strong differentiator for IBM – and with Insight it has become clear to me that IBM is pushing the envelope with enabling business end users, through normal sentence questioning to find the right (true) analytical insights (more on ‘true’ analytics here). So it is the combination of Watson linguistic capabilities and then (true) analytic offerings (e.g. built on Catalyst) that are the real power of the Watson platform. If IBM manages to bring (true) analytics in the hands of business users – this could then quickly become the strongest selling product for IBM.


        Top 3 remaining concerns


        • Service Business and Dependency - IBM has a strong service arm with GBS, which for the longest time was an area of growth for IBM. But with the disinvestment of the x86 servers the question is going to be – what are the low margin product / services in the IBM portfolio and my guess is that more and more services find themselves in the bottom third of profitability assessments. Not because IBM is running them badly, but because it has stopped selling or disinvested other products and services. However a certain amount of professional services is key to help customers with adoption, change management and to keep a pulse on innovative business best practices. But IBM is operating services at a far too large scale for that ‘tiger team’ approach and with that is faced with competition and margin erosion, triggered by ‘me too’ service offerings by the competition.
        • API Economy (too) unique? - The API economy vision is a toss-up and could be turned into a positive sign over the next years. It makes sense for IBM to push this and it has a maturing platform with BlueMix to deliver on it. But it remains a unique vision and hand in hand with that goes significant risks. In the past enterprises ultimately always selected integrated offerings over products they had to integrate themselves. There is no guarantee this will not change going forward, and IBM makes plausible arguments of that decision criteria to change. But until we see a shift in buying / investment decision it remains a risk and IBM is not hedging the decision by building a (massive) 21st century enterprise suite. Then again – IBM can of course well buy one of these suites in case executives realize they need to get a hedge in the next generation application game. 
        • A huge engineering quality challenge - IBM is facing a massive engineering challenge to make the whole product portfolio work together. In the industry only Oracle is trying to do something similar (see my latest here), and there I am equally concerned that it will be a huge challenge to make it all work. It’s not even 7 years ago when IBM divisions like WebSphere, DB2 and Rational were being ‘integrated at the customer’, and sound end customer advice was to best to treat these product areas as if they were separate vendors. Today’s IBM scope is significantly larger and the delivery cycles are faster, both not friendly forces to deliver end to end quality. But that said, IBM has senior management team on this and profound quality experience – so it may well overcome these challenges.


        MyPOV

        As product cycles get faster and enterprises need to accelerate, the IBM product portfolio is nicely coming together, assuming a mildly optimistic approach to art of future telling. The integrated portfolio, engineered from the hardware up (e.g. Watson on Power) and combined with attractive services (e.g. SoftLayer) and coupled with the right mix of open source vs. proprietary (e.g. BlueMix) are certainly coming together. But it remains a massive undertaking that needs to be more integrated and better working together than any other IBM product offering before.

        The strong services arm, while an advantage in the past, could become a hindrance, as IBM needs to partner with other service providers to gain market share for its products and cannot accept an ‘ok’ outcome if its products would remain to services intensive. To a certain point IBM product leadership needs to engineer products that make services more and more obsolete, or at least fundamentally change them, to service the 21st century business user, who no longer wants, accepts and can afford (more from a time, less from a budget perspective) lengthy service engagements.

        An important year for IBM ahead, which as a last observation has noticeably slowed down the acquisition machine in the last quarters. But then you need to slow down, even stop acquisitions, when you need to bring all things together, which IBM is certainly in the midst of doing right now. (Much) more than a penny for Steve Mills’ thoughts and plans. 


        ----------

        More on IBM :
        • First Take - Top 3 Takeaways from IBM Insight Day 1 Keynote - read here
        • IBM and SAP partner for cloud - good move - read here
        • Event Report - IBM Enterprise - A lot of value for existing customers, but can IBM attract net new customers? Read here
        • Progress Report - The Mainframe is alive and kicking - but there is more in IBM STG - read here
        • News Analysis - IBM and Intel partner to make the cloud more secure - read here
        • Progress Report - IBM BigData an Analytics have a lot of potential - time to show it - read here
        • Event Report - What a difference a year makes - and off to a good start - read here
        • First Take - 3 Key Takeaways from IBM's Impact Conference - Day 1 Keynote - read here
        • Another week and another Billion - this week it's a BlueMix Paas - read here
        • First take - IBM makes Connection - introduces the TalentSuite at IBM Connect - read here
        • IBM kicks of cloud data center race in 2014 - read here
        • First Take - IBM Software Group's Analyst Insights - read here
        • Are we witnessing one of the largest cloud moves - so far? Read here
        • Why IBM acquired Softlayer - read here

        Find more coverage on the Constellation Research website here.


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        Here is my weekly recap of the week of October 31st:



        • First Take about IBM Insight Day 1 Keynote - read here
        • Constellation Research Connected Enterprise event at the Ritz Carlton on Half Moon Bay
        • The winner of the Constellation SuperNova Award in the category 'Consumerization of IT & The new C-Suite' - Robin Jenkins of RMH Franchise, see the video here
        • The webinar about 'Globalization, HR and Business Model Change' - see here 
        • My Event report of IBM Insight - read here

        Fashion Observation of the Week

        • My colleague Terence Vaughan wins the sock challenge - no socks at all!
        Catch me next week at Workday Rising in San Francisco, Infosys Analyst Summit in Orlando and then off to a (private) trip to London.

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        We had the opportunity to attend Workday’s Rising conference held at Moscone Center in San Francisco this year. It was good to see that the conference is growing - we are lacking official attendee numbers - but it is the first time that Workday needs both Moscone North and South - in previous years Moscone South sufficed for expo area, food and keynote area. Always a good sign for customers, partners and prospects when conferences grow.



        Here are my Top 3 takeaways of the Day 1 Keynote:


        • It’s all about Analytics - Back in January Workday acquired Identified (my blog post is here), which was largely seen as an acquihire. 10 months later we see the biggest pitch for Analytics delivered by a major (non analytical per se) vendor this year. Aneel Bhusri expanded the so far cloud and mobile DNA picture of Workday with the addition of (analytical) Insights. And these analytics products were part of both Dave Duffield’s and Bhusri’s keynote parts, had a lot of stage time with Dan Beck and Adeyemi Ajao and were prominent in the respective product areas of both Leighanne Levensaler (HCM) and Betsy Bland (Finance). Workday showed analytical capabilities to predict retention risk, enable better Succession Management and likely Expense Deviations.
          Given the audience was mixed technical and business it was no surprise that Workday did not go down
            more into the details than mentioning Identified’s SYMAN, and the power of ‘data science and machine learning’. It would have been good to open the ‘Pandora Box’ a little more in regards of the analytical algorithms Workday plans to use - while Workday gave ample room to data ontologies around the by now ‘famous’ nurse example.
          The six Workday Insight Applications coming in Workday 24 and 25
          But kudos go to Workday to frame analytical applications first in the industry in a major keynote - a good move. But the road seems to be long with the Insight Applications (as Workday calls them) almost a year out, slated for Workday 24 (March 2015) and Workday 25 (September 2015). And Analytics was so prominent, other new functionality took a backseat in the HCM and Financials areas. But then I did not have a chance to attend follow up sessions due to travel schedules and my impressions and takeaways are strictly limited to the keynote.
        The Career Path Recommendations Insight App demo


        • Student Roadmap - Duffield updated the audience on the Workday Student roadmap, and credit goes to Workday to share a long running roadmap all the way to 2017 with Workday 28. In a nutshell 2015 will see Admissions and Curriculum Management, 2016 will see the launch of more Financial centered offerings with Financial Aid, Student Records and Academic Advising and finally 2017 will see Student Financials. Offering longer term roadmap is something we generally applaud at Constellation Research, as it gives customers and prospects the opportunity to align roll out priorities and plans, so a good move that we would like to see in the Financials and HCM areas as well. And finally we will need to check with Workday for similar roadmaps for the other key verticals of Workday.
         
        The Workday Student Roadmap

        • UI innovation remains in full swing - It’s less than a year ago that Workday released a brand new user interface. With the current innovation rate happening in the user interface space, time is flying (as we noted in our takeaways of Workday Tech Summit here) - so it is good to see that Workday not only keeps improving the overall UI, but release innovations continuously and in this case immediately. The new Org Chart UI mechanics, always a tricky area of user interface design, will ship immediately to the customer’s sandboxes. A powerful proof point for the cloud delivery and it is good to see that Workday - probably enabled also by the one code line release model - can deliver innovations continuously. I didn’t have a chance to play with the new org chart control, but the first impression of how it was demoed in the keynote was that it may be too scroll intensive. But then a lot of web (site) design becomes pretty scroll intensive these days and Workday maybe walking the walk of time. The other major change is coming in the Notifications area, an equally tricky user interface area.
        The new Org Chart

        Tidbits

        • Good Housekeeping on the HR side - A lot of ‘Tools for you’ got announced by Leighanne Levensaler, like Mass Changes, Mass Actions, Data Purging etc. - which are a sign of Workday looking at customer productivity beyond the individual user, so for the HR professional. Not a surprise, but a typical priority a few quarters after a user interface upgrade. On the functional side it’s also no surprise that aiding the new Recruiting module (launch covered here) is a new Insight App for the HCM area. The other three Insights Apps for HR are Retention Risk (there is a need to de-dupe how that works with the existing flight risk functionality), Career Path Recommendations (demoed) and Workforce Scorecards. Equally very well received - applause by audience - was the commitment to support local, state, province tax elections and an effective change stack for payroll integration. Definitively an area we need to learn more about given Workday’s dependency on partners for many payroll implementations.
        Employee Retention Insight App
        • Finance goes global and more - On the Financials side Workday is doing a good job and listening to customers with the addition of Document Sequencing (Workday 24) and pre-packaged Localizations (Workday 25). And on the Insight Applications side there will be analytical applications for Financial Scorecards, Customer Collections and Employee Expense Deviation.
        Expense Deviation Insight App

        • Inventory Management !? - To my surprise we saw Workday announcing Inventory Management. We can imagine that e.g. Healthcare customers may be demanding functionality in this area - but it is a first move by Workday outside the so far declared functional realm of Financials and HR (adopting to the sequence switch that Workday has undertaken). Certainly an area to watch, and as certain is that Workday executives will staunchly deny any move into Supply Chain Management.


        MyPOV

        A good start for Workday’s Rising conference. Tapping into the potential of analytical applications early is a very good move, now Workday needs to deliver tangible benefits fast. Equally Workday will need to do a lot of explaining and evangelism around analytical applications - but that’s something Workday has done well in the past, most prominently shouldering most of the load to make cloud an acceptable delivery platform for sensitive HR data.


        On the flipside Workday is slowing down on the HR functionality side, the ecosystem e.g. waiting for a statement of direction in the Learning area will - barring any surprises - not see a Workday Learning module in 2015. On the major building block side we can only track the UK Payroll and now the newly announced Insight Applications. Innovation happening in HR best practices like it the combination of Talent Management functions (we e.g. suggested Transboarding here) is at least not on the publicly shared roadmap. And then again Workday has added the above mentioned 6 Analytical Applications to the roadmap for 2015. So not the traditional large 'chunks' of automation that make up the HCM automation puzzle, but certainly deliverables of substance. 


        Overall it’s impressive to see how Workday is thriving in the market, the show floor saw pretty much every HR vendor partnering with Workday both on the Learning, Workforce Management and Payroll side. The only absentees being - again no surprise - SAP, Oracle and Infor. Customers of these vendors will (and have been) the likely replacement targets for Workday, so 2015 will be another interesting year as enterprises revisit and renew their commitments to HCM automation.


        The move to (true) analytics is a bold move by Workday - now as every vendor making bold moves - it needs to deliver. A much better start than last year's Rising announcement of BigData Analytics, which was not enough of both, much improved this year as most of the show cased analytical applications are 'true' analytics applications (based on my tough grading, more here). You bet we will be watching closely the next quarters. 




        ---------


        More on Workday
        • Progress Report - Workday supports more cloud standard - but work remains - read here
        • Workday 22 - Recruiting and rich Workday 22 are here - read here
        • First Take - Why Workday acquired Identified - (real) Analytics matter - read here
        • Workday Update 21 - All about the user experience and some more - read here
        • Workday Update 20 - Mostly a technology release - read here
        • Takeaways from the Salesforce.com and Workday parnership - read here
        • Workday powers on - adds more to its plate - read here
        • What I would like Workday to address this Rising - read here
        • Workday Update 19 - you need to slow down to hurry up - read here
        • I am worried about... Workday - read here
        Find more coverage on the Constellation Research website here.

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