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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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    The annual Dreamforce event is upon us - so before things get crazy - let's sort our some thoughts before the event, not in a long post, but a video.



    So let's take a peak:



    If you didn't have a chance to watch - some key thoughts in good old writing:

    • Will the message change from 'Customer Success Platform'?
    • Salesforce announced the Salesforce App Cloud, time to dig a little deeper.
    • Let's see what is next for Lightning - and a follow up on Shield, all announced in the last 12 months.
    • Along the same line let's see what is going on in "Analytics" with Wave - is more real time coming? Will it become 'true' analytics - read more here.  
    • A chance to checkin the ecosystem - always good to check the pulse on the showfloor.
    • Salesforce has been very successful but its core architecture is getting 15+ years old - is it now time to re-platform (my guess) and it is time to share that?

    More on Salesforce:
    • News Analysis - Salesforce Announces Salesforce App Cloud - A Unified Platform for Building Connected  Apps, Fast - It’s all coming together, across the clouds - read here
    • News Analysis - alesforce Delivers Salesforce1 Lightning Components and App Builder […] - More productivity for Admins and Developers - read here
    • News Analysis - News Analysis - Salesforce Launches Salesforce Shield - More PaaS capabilities coming to Salesforce1 Platform - read here
    • News Analysis - Salesforce Transforms Big Data Into Customer Success with the Salesforce Analytics Cloud - Read here
    • News Analysis - Market Move - Salesforce (re) enters HCM - will it rypple the market this time? - Read here
    • Event Report - Salesforce Dreamforce - A Customer Succes Platform, Analytics and Lightning - but really Salesforce is re-platforming - read here
    • 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.
    Find more coverage on the Constellation Research website here and checkout my magazine on Flipboard.

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    This morning Salesforce announced the latest progress on their analytics platform - as part of the Salesforce Analytics Cloud. It is an important area to watch as Salesforce for a long time has not been competitive on the reporting, data exploration side.



    The press release can be found here - let's take a peak on my takeaways:




    In case you don't have a chance to watch the video, let's go with these few bullets
    • Salesforce brings consistent visualization between OLAP and OLTP  - a good move
    • Salesforce brings integration of insight and action, all the way into the OLTP apps - a good move
    • ISVs are endorsing Salesforce Analytics Cloud - mentioned are Apptus, FinancialForce, Steelbrick and Vlocity - a good sign of value that Salesforce has created with Analytics Cloud

    MyPOV

    It's good to see Salesforce addressing the analytics and overall reporting / data visualization space on its platform. For a long time Salesforce has lacked adequate, modern reporting and visualization capabilities, even leaving this area explicitly to (partner) ISVs in the past. So more value for Salesforce customers.

    On the concern side Salesforce Analytics Cloud is far from real time - with hourly updates to the platform. And while that is good enough and an improvement for Salesforce users, it is not best practice in 2015 anymore, where users need and demand more and faster information. Moreover Salesforce does not have the capability to tap into Hadoop scale BigData, where more and  more business relevant and critical (think IoT) information reside.

    So a step forward for Salesforce users, still work to be done to catch up with the best of breed platforms. Stay tuned, we will be watching. 

    More on Salesforce:
    • Event Preview - What I would like Salesforce to address this Dreamforce 2015 - read / watch here
    • News Analysis - Salesforce Announces Salesforce App Cloud - A Unified Platform for Building Connected  Apps, Fast - It’s all coming together, across the clouds - read here
    • News Analysis - alesforce Delivers Salesforce1 Lightning Components and App Builder […] - More productivity for Admins and Developers - read here
    • News Analysis - News Analysis - Salesforce Launches Salesforce Shield - More PaaS capabilities coming to Salesforce1 Platform - read here
    • News Analysis - Salesforce Transforms Big Data Into Customer Success with the Salesforce Analytics Cloud - Read here
    • News Analysis - Market Move - Salesforce (re) enters HCM - will it rypple the market this time? - Read here
    • Event Report - Salesforce Dreamforce - A Customer Succes Platform, Analytics and Lightning - but really Salesforce is re-platforming - read here
    • 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.
    Find more coverage on the Constellation Research website here and checkout my magazine on Flipboard.

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    This morning Salesforce released information on what is likely going to be the most important announcement of this year’s Dreamforce user conference, currently taking place in San Francisco. 




    So let’s dissect the press release in our customary style, it can be found here:

    SAN FRANCISCO—DREAMFORCE 2015 —Sept. 15, 2015—Salesforce (NYSE: CRM), the Customer Success Platform and world’s #1 CRM company, today announced Salesforce IoT Cloud. Powered by Thunder, a massively scalable, real-time event processing engine, IoT Cloud connects billions of events with Salesforce, unlocking insights from the connected world that empower anyone to take the right action, for the right customer, at the right time.
    MyPOV – So we learn Salesforce Thunder is a real time event processing engine that connect things with Salesforce applications. It seems to be smart about doing the right thing at the right time.


    “Salesforce is turning the Internet of Things into the Internet of Customers,” said Marc Benioff, chairman and chief executive officer, Salesforce.“The IoT Cloud will allow businesses to create real-time 1:1, proactive actions for sales, service, marketing or any other business process, delivering a new kind of customer success.”
    MyPOV – Benioff explains more what is mentioned above, connect things data with customer data, of course for customer success, which seems to stay as the leitmotiv for Salesforce at this Dreamforce (which is good news – see my blog posts on too many pivots below).
    Connected World, Disconnected Data
    The combination of mobile, social, sensor, wearable and cloud technologies has triggered a deluge of data. More than 90 percent of the world’s data has been generated over the last two years. And, with the number of connected devices projected to reach 75 billion by 2020, the volume of data available is expected to grow exponentially.
    MyPOV – Good point to raise the data volume and deluge, will be interesting how Salesforce plans to scale for it.
    This world of connected devices and digital content presents an enormous opportunity for companies to take advantage of the new data. In a June 2015 report, the McKinsey Global Institute estimates that IoT applications may have a potential economic impact of as much as $11.1 trillion per year by 2025. However, businesses have been unable to capitalize on the vast volume of data from the Internet of Things.
    MyPOV – We know it’s a big next generation application example, and agree that enterprises must have an IoT strategy going forward.
    Salesforce IoT Cloud, Powered by Thunder—Connecting to the Internet of Customers
    IoT Cloud empowers businesses to connect data from the Internet of Things, as well as any digital content, with customer information, giving context to data and making it actionable—all in real-time. Thunder, built on a massively scalable, modern architecture, can "listen" to the connected world, ingesting billions of events a day, from any source. IoT Cloud’s capabilities include:

    • Listen to the World at IoT Scale: IoT Cloud connects everything to Salesforce. In addition to the Internet of Things, connecting to phones, wearables, windmills and industrial turbines and other devices, IoT Cloud connects data from websites, social interactions and more to Salesforce. By connecting the billions of real-time events and digital content with Salesforce, the IoT Cloud brings customer context to transactional data.
    MyPOV – We learn that the Salesforce IoT Cloud has listening capabilities to IoT data and connectivity capabilities not only to the things, but also website, social and more data. So it looks like Salesforce is leveraging some of its social listening and monitoring capabilities (all the way back to the Radian6 acquisition).

    • Trigger Actions with Real-time Rules: With IoT Cloud, business users can use intuitive, point- and-click tools to define, modify and set rules and logic for events that can trigger actions across Salesforce. A global fleet management company, for example, can enforce passenger safety standards by setting filters for “hard brakes” or “hard accelerations” and defining rules that trigger in-car sensors to log service cases reporting possible instances of erratic driving. Or, a national retailer holding a holiday sale can set rules based on loyalty program status, inventory or sales performance, triggering retail beacons to send discount offers to in-store shoppers in real-time.
    MyPOV – So next to listening Salesforce is deploying ‘triggers’ based on rules. Good news they seem to be able to be even user defined. It looks like Salesforce is leveraging more of the Analytics Cloud (aka Wave) capabilities here (see below for our take on its announcement). Good to see Salesforce making tangible examples.
    • 1:1 Proactive Engagement through Salesforce: IoT Cloud seamlessly works across the Salesforce Customer Success Platform to surface insights and trigger real-time 1:1, personalized actions for sales, service, marketing or any other business process. For example, a thermostat provider can parse through billions of events gathered from weather forecasts, sensors and temperature settings to proactively alert customers on how to manage their HVAC usage within their predefined budget. Or, a vehicle assistance service partnering with an auto brand can send personalized offers on behalf of local dealers based on sensor data that tracks fluid levels and mileage.
    MyPOV – Well that was a table stake – of course an IoT initiative by an application vendor… should work with the applications of that vendor. No surprise, but expected.
    Comments on the News
    • “Emerson is reinventing customer service,” said Todd Finders, CIO of Emerson Climate Technologies. “By integrating our connected comfort products and services with customer data in Salesforce in real-time, we will be able to address our customers’ needs in a proactive, personalized way.” […]
    MyPOV – Always good see customer quotes endorsing the new capabilities in press release.

    Salesforce Ecosystem Expands with IoT Partners
    Salesforce is accelerating the adoption of IoT Cloud with initial launch partners ARM, Etherios, Informatica, PTC ThingWorx and Xively LogMeln that provide connectivity between devices and the Internet. The company will continue to expand its ecosystem of IoT partners to enable businesses to connect with their customers in a whole new way.
    MyPOV – Good to see partners on the press release right away. It looks like partners will provide Salesforce with data (ARM, see the recent ‘chip to cloud announcement with IBM on my blog, too), Informatica, Xively LogMeIn and PTC ThingWorx for connectivity and Ehterios on an application side.
    Salesforce App Cloud—the Unified Platform for Delivering Connected Apps Fast
    Thunder is part of the Salesforce App Cloud, an integrated set of platform services that enable businesses to develop connected apps fast. With services for rapid app development, modern user experiences, integration, mobile app dev, identity management, compliance, governance and more, App Cloud is the most comprehensive and agile platform available to CIOs to deliver their app portfolio. App Cloud also includes an ecosystem of 2.3 million developers, who have built 5.5 million apps, and the AppExchange, the world’s largest enterprise app marketplace, which features more than 2,800 ISV apps and and 40 Lightning Components. All of this runs on the industry’s most trusted enterprise infrastructure that delivers approximately 3.7 billion transactions every business day.
    MyPOV – Good to see that this is not ‘another’ cloud, but Salesforce Thunder is part of Salesforce App Cloud (the IoT Cloud is part of it, too then?), always good to see software vendors re-suing assets and creating synergies (see below my take on the Salesforce App Cloud).
    Pricing and Availability
    • IoT Cloud will be in pilot the first half of 2016 with generally availability later in the year. Pricing will be announced at the time of general availability.

    MyPOV – Kudos to Salesforce for sharing ETA and at least give a date for pricing.


    Overall MyPOV

    It’s good to see Salesforce finding an IoT story, starting with event processing and ‘trigger’ like actions related to events and trends derived from the Things data. Was it 2 (or even 3) years ago when Marc Benioff pulled out his toothbrush doing a keynote, talking about his dentist knowing how well he used the brush? Well, we seem to be closer to realizing this now with Salesforce products and technology, always good for vendors to deliver. It also looks like Salesforce is re-using assets from Salesforce App and Analytics Cloud – which is always a good best practice for software vendors.

    On the concern side the announcement is vague from a technical perspective. It is not clear how the event listener works, how the actions work and how they scale. Salesforce will have to shed more light on this – hopefully soon. Moreover any complete IoT strategy needs to offer Hadoop scale data management, storage and analytics usage, something this announcement does not mention. It looks like Salesforce sees its IoT strategy (for now) as connectivity issue, but this is not a long term IoT strategy (though a typical one for application vendors). Instead of bringing IoT data to the enterprise applications, we see it much more that enterprise application data has to come to the IoT data.

    Overall a good first step by Salesforce, creating value for existing customers, but much more needs to follow to make Salesforce an IoT contender, and Salesforce App Cloud a veritable IoT platform contender. Maybe something Salesforce does not want to become. We will learn more at Dreamforce, stay tuned.



    And if ready for some watching - checkout my video what I would like Salesforce to address this Dreamforce:





    More on Salesforce:
    • News Analysis - Salesforce Unveils the Next Wave of Salesforce Analytics Cloud—Delivering Actionable Insights Across the Customer Success Platform - Glass half full - and half empty! Read / watch here
    • Event Preview - What I would like Salesforce to address this Dreamforce 2015 - read / watch here
    • News Analysis - Salesforce Announces Salesforce App Cloud - A Unified Platform for Building Connected  Apps, Fast - It’s all coming together, across the clouds - read here
    • News Analysis - alesforce Delivers Salesforce1 Lightning Components and App Builder […] - More productivity for Admins and Developers - read here
    • News Analysis - News Analysis - Salesforce Launches Salesforce Shield - More PaaS capabilities coming to Salesforce1 Platform - read here
    • News Analysis - Salesforce Transforms Big Data Into Customer Success with the Salesforce Analytics Cloud - Read here
    • News Analysis - Market Move - Salesforce (re) enters HCM - will it rypple the market this time? - Read here
    • Event Report - Salesforce Dreamforce - A Customer Succes Platform, Analytics and Lightning - but really Salesforce is re-platforming - read here
    • 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.
    Find more coverage on the Constellation Research website here and checkout my magazine on Flipboard.

    0 0

    With Dreamforce in full swing in San Francisco, many of the key players in the Salesforce ecosystem have major announcements coming, too – one of them is Informatica, who updated us on new cloud capabilities. 

    So let’s dissect the press release in our customary style (it can be found here):
    […] Informatica, the world’s number one independent software provider focused on delivering transformative innovation for the future of all things data, today announced new Informatica Cloud capabilities and offerings that help power multiple key Salesforce initiatives, including: Internet of Things (IoT), analytics connectors and vertical solutions.
    MyPOV – Good to follow the lead of the day, Salesforce’s Thunder where Informatica was mentioned as one of the partners.
    Informatica is a leading Salesforce ISV partner providing pre-built native cloud integration and data management capabilities for Salesforce Clouds – including: Sales Cloud, Service Cloud, Marketing Cloud, Analytics Cloud and App Cloud – as well as vertical and role-based analytics connectors for the Salesforce Wave Analytics Platform.

    MyPOV – Key is the ‘pre-built’ part – Informatica has gone a long way and invested a lot on the pre-built aspect, building native integrators on the platforms it supports. Informatica has early pushed to be a key player in the Salesforce ecosystem and is now seeing the advantages of that investment.

    “Because Informatica supports every Salesforce offering, customers can leverage Informatica Cloud as a unified cloud integration solution across their Salesforce investments as they expand from one Salesforce org to multiple orgs, clouds and apps,” said Ronen Schwartz, vice president and general manager, Informatica Cloud. “Customers continue to benefit from the decade-long partnership between Informatica and Salesforce. Informatica Cloud makes it simpler than ever for business users, Salesforce administrators and LOB IT to integrate external data into their Salesforce Clouds and apps, while dramatically reducing time-to-market for new integrations and helping to efficiently scale out Salesforce deployments.”

    MyPOV – Good quote from Schwartz – focusing on the business at hand. And administrator empowerment is always a good move in the Salesforce ecosystem.

    New Informatica Cloud capabilities and offerings for Salesforce customers include:

    ● Internet of Things (IoT) – Informatica supports Salesforce’s IoT Cloud. Informatica empowers customers to stream and upload billions of events from applications, logs, devices and sensors to Salesforce — enabling companies to maximize the value of their data.

    MyPOV – This is the ‘hot’ new announcement at Dreamforce – the Salesforce IoT cloud (my analysis here) and Informatica looks like one of the key partners to get the IoT data ready for the new Salesforce event handler.
    ● Analytics Apps Integration – Informatica provides a pre-built native connector that allows Salesforce administrators and IT to easily move external data into Salesforce Wave Analytics for business users’ access. Informatica now also enables integration of external data sources with the new Sales Wave Analytics app, a role-based analytics app that will deliver personalized templates, historical analysis and the ability to take immediate actions. This will help sales leaders manage forecasts, pipelines, team performance and more to accelerate business growth. Pre-built integrations to Wave Analytics help companies integrate a wealth of structured and unstructured data to extend analytics for every business need, making it easier than ever for anyone to explore and share data instantly, uncover new insights and take action from anywhere.
    MyPOV – Wave and now the Salesforce Analytics Cloud are key growing products for Salesforce, so good to see Informatica going after the new and growing business here, addressing integration needs of customers.
    ● Enhanced Data Masking for Cloud Platform Users – Informatica Cloud Test Data Management (TDM) enables new security capabilities for SaaS production and sandbox data via award-winning Informatica data masking technology.
    MyPOV – This s a vital product that is more and more popular in the Salesforce install base, helping customers to keep up with the increased testing needs and higher release cycles of the SaaS world. With data masking, more people can test new releases.

    ● Mission-Critical Connectivity for Vertical Apps – Informatica provides easy connectivity to on-premise and cloud vertical and horizontal applications. Customers can use Informatica’s pre-built integrations to accelerate time-to-market for their Salesforce implementations.
    MyPOV – This is the bread and butter of the Salesforce business that Informatica does. Would have been good to see some specifics on what is new.

    ● Enhanced Connectors – Informatica delivers several new versions of pre-built connectors for leading cloud applications and big data sources, including: Box, Hadoop, MailChimp, Concur, Eloqua, Salesforce Marketing Cloud and Azure SQL Data Warehouse.

    MyPOV – And that is the next category, after on premise, the integration with other cloud / SaaS properties. Again – specifics would have been good here.


    Overall MyPOV

    A key show for Informatica, that has bet on the Salesforce ecosystem big time. And the bet has paid off and keeps paying off. To achieve that, Informatica needs to solve integration problems that are close to the new Salesforce offerings on IoT Cloud and Analytics Cloud (covered) but also Apps Cloud (not mentioned here).

    On the concern side, betting on new Salesforce products is no guaranteed slam dunk as in the past, as Salesforce extends beyond the traditional home turf of CRM. But Informatica needs to invest in these areas in order to remain an early solution provider for the Salesforce ecosystem – so it is not an option for Informatica to stay out any of these major new Salesforce initiatives.

    Overall a good announcement by Informatica, helping it to catch attention at Dreamforce and expand its footprint in the Salesforce ecosystem. Stay tuned.



    More on Informatica:
    • Event Report - Informatica World 2015 - Product Progress and New Approaches - read here
    • News Analysis - Informatica's Sohaib Abbasi showcases Innovations for the Age of Engagement - read here
    • Future of Work - One spreadsheet at a time, Informatica Springbok - read here
    • Informatica pushes the cloud integration stakes - read here.
    Find more coverage on the Constellation Research website here and checkout my magazine on Flipboard.


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    The major announcement at Dreamforce so far has been the Salesforce IoT cloud, I wrote a News Analysis blog post on Monday (check it out here). 



    By now we have learn more on the new offering - so time to collect first thoughts in a video:




    For those who can't watch it here are the key takeaways:
    • Salesforce IoT Cloud uses a lot of opensource - Kafka, Spark, Storm and Cassandra are mentioned, in my view a good move - as pretty much all vendors now need to leverage open source to keep up with the speed of the community based development.
    • The setup looks / sounds very much of what Salesforce unveiled a year ago for Wave, now Salesforce Analytics Cloud. The concern is that an IoT architecture is very different from a BI / Analytics ingestion architecture. 
    • The other concern is around the massive 'data gravity' of IoT - concepts that move the code to the data seem to be more successful in the long run than concepts that move data around, Salesforce seems to do the latter.

    Keep in mind this is a First Take - we will learn more through the course of the week. Salesforce is creating substantial value connecting IoT events and data with its transactional applications. Stay tuned. 



    More on Salesforce:
    • News Analysis - Salesforce Unveils Breakthrough Salesforce IoT Cloud, Powered by Salesforce Thunder - First dips into IoT - read here
    • News Analysis - Salesforce Unveils the Next Wave of Salesforce Analytics Cloud—Delivering Actionable Insights Across the Customer Success Platform - Glass half full - and half empty! Read / watch here
    • Event Preview - What I would like Salesforce to address this Dreamforce 2015 - read / watch here
    • News Analysis - Salesforce Announces Salesforce App Cloud - A Unified Platform for Building Connected  Apps, Fast - It’s all coming together, across the clouds - read here
    • News Analysis - alesforce Delivers Salesforce1 Lightning Components and App Builder […] - More productivity for Admins and Developers - read here
    • News Analysis - News Analysis - Salesforce Launches Salesforce Shield - More PaaS capabilities coming to Salesforce1 Platform - read here
    • News Analysis - Salesforce Transforms Big Data Into Customer Success with the Salesforce Analytics Cloud - Read here
    • News Analysis - Market Move - Salesforce (re) enters HCM - will it rypple the market this time? - Read here
    • Event Report - Salesforce Dreamforce - A Customer Succes Platform, Analytics and Lightning - but really Salesforce is re-platforming - read here
    • 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.
    Find more coverage on the Constellation Research website here and checkout my magazine on Flipboard.

    0 0

    The Salesforce Dreamforce event is happening in San Francisco, and a number of key news are coming out of the event, todays was a joint announcement of Microsoft and Salesforce.



    So let’s dissect it in our custom style, the press release can be found here:

    SAN FRANCISCO—DREAMFORCE 2015—Sept. 16, 2015—Today Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) and Salesforce (NYSE: CRM) announced plans to extend their strategic partnership to connect the Salesforce Customer Success Platform to Microsoft Office productivity apps and services. The two leaders plan to deliver new solutions that integrate Salesforce with Skype for Business, OneNote, Delve and Windows 10 to empower companies to connect with their customers and collaborate more effectively.

    MyPOV – Well that sums it up pretty well. Both vendors are partnering to help customers and Microsoft is brining key productivity / collaboration assets to Salesforce users. Joint customer see immediate value from this partnership.

    Microsoft and Salesforce continue to deliver on their strategic partnership with the general availability of two new integrations announced in October 2014: Salesforce App for Outlook, which works with Outlook 2013 and Office 365, and Salesforce1 Mobile App for Microsoft Office.

    MyPOV – Always good to see continuity of a partnership, this first partnership deliverable has almost been forgotten, but good to be reminded. Even better if we knew what the uptake in the market has been.

    New Integrations to Make Joint Customers More Productive Than Ever Before Microsoft and Salesforce have committed to working together to bring the following solutions to life:
    · Skype for Business Integration with Salesforce Lightning Experience: Salesforce will integrate Skype for Business (formerly known as Lync) into its new Lightning Experience, a modern and re-imagined Salesforce that combines an intelligent new user experience with proven best practices that enable people to work faster and smarter. Office 365 customers will be able to use Skype for Business to create Web meetings, determine if colleagues are online or not, click to chat and make voice and video calls from the Salesforce Lightning Experience. A preview is anticipated in the second half of 2016.

    MyPOV Good to see Microsoft being early in getting to the latest Salesforce experience with Lightning. Good for Office 365 users who now can do more from Salesforce. Avoiding context switches is always valuable for time pressured business users. Surprising that there is no mention of Salesforce Chatter, which would have been another intuitive entry point in my view.

    · OneNote Integration with Salesforce Lightning Experience: Users will be able to associate notes with Salesforce records, and view and edit notes directly in OneNote from the Salesforce Lightning Experience. A preview is anticipated in the second half of 2016.

    MyPOV – An interesting announcement, consistent to the strategy of Microsoft to move OneNote ‘everywhere’. The ETA for the solution is remarkably far out with 2nd half of 2016. It will also be interesting to see where the OneNote information will be stored – on the Salesforce cloud or the Microsoft / Azure / Office365 cloud – which has both performance and compliance implications.

    · Salesforce Integration with Office Graph and Office Delve: Enabled by the Office Graph, an open ecosystem for sharing, collaboration and discovery, Office 365 users will be able to view BN and discover Salesforce content in Office Delve, such as sales opportunities, customer accounts and service cases. Availability is anticipated in the second half of 2016.

    MyPOV – Good to see more recent Microsoft innovations like Graph and Delve being part of this partnership announcement. Enabling information from Salesforce to reach them is good step forward for a richer user experience and will result in better uptake for these newer products. And same as above – less content switching, logging in and logging out for business users.

    · Salesforce1 Mobile App for Windows 10: Salesforce will deliver a Windows 10 app to empower sales teams to move deals forward while on the go, using their favorite Windows device. Availability is anticipated in the second half of 2016.

    MyPOV – This was a holdout on the Salesforce portfolio. Good to see Salesforce1 coming to Windows 10. Interesting Salesforce is not building a Windows Universal App (or its not mentioned here) something that should work well for these needs.

    Comments on the News:
    · “Customer success is at the heart of everything we do at Salesforce, including our partnership with Microsoft,” said Marc Benioff, Chairman and CEO, Salesforce. “Our collaboration has been so successful, now we’re doubling down and delivering even more innovation that will help our mutual customers be more productive and connect with their customers in a whole new way."
    · “Furthering our mission to empower every person and organization on the planet to achieve more, is the motivating force behind our partnership with Salesforce,” said Satya Nadella, CEO, Microsoft Corp. “As a platform and productivity company, we are focused on bringing together the best of Microsoft Azure, Office and Windows with partners like Salesforce to empower our mutual customers to network, collaborate, communicate and discover information in more effective ways.”
    · "As a global company with more than 400 brands, we are always looking for ways to strengthen collaboration across departments and take the complexity out of work,” said Paulo De Sa, VP Employee Services Technology, Unilever. “Together, Salesforce and Microsoft Office are helping us create an integrated digital workplace where our 170,000+ employees around the world can be more productive and connect with each other and with customers like never before.”

    MyPOV – Powerful statements by all three gentlemen, Benioff with a focus on ‘the customer must win’ and more productivity Nadella on the ‘Office everywhere theme’ and De Sa on a joint customer being delighted.

    Building on a Foundation of Success These new integrations will build on existing joint solutions that enable mutual customers to be more productive than ever before, including:
    · Salesforce Files Connect integration with SharePoint and OneDrive for Business
    · Salesforce Wave Connector for Excel
    · Salesforce integration with Power Query for Excel
    · Salesforce Mobile SDK for Windows
    · Salesforce1 for Windows 8.1 Phone Preview
    · Power BI for Office 365 integration with Salesforce

    MyPOV –
    Always good to see what partnership products have been released already.


    Overall MyPOV

    Good move by both Salesforce and Microsoft to integrate their products better. When vendors do that, the business user is the winner, resulting in higher productivity and usage of their familiar applications. Another data point validating the ‘new’ Microsoft and the ‘OneNote’ everywhere strategy. Salesforce users get more productive and the vendor is showing it can partner with all major technology vendors.

    On the concern side I am surprised by the almost (at least) twelve months out delivery dates – a very far horizon in these days of cloud based and delivered products. Maybe it is not so easy to connect between the Salesforce Cloud and Azure? Should not be the case – given the recent work Salesforce has done with Salesforce App Cloud – the first multi-cloud PaaS. This is more about what it is not yet – Salesforce maybe using Azure or even SQL Server / Azure DB to move off its current Oracle database for its transactional applications. But was has not happen, can still happen, there is a lot of synergies between the two vendors waiting to be exploited (Machine Learning, IoT, PaaS, BigData etc. just come to mind immediately).

    But for now a good move by both tech giants creating value for mutual customers, that’s what customer (and influencers) want to see – value creation for businesses by increased productivity. More of that, please.


    -----

    More time - checkout what I want Salesforce to address this Dreamforce:



    <video>More about Microsoft:
    • News Analyis - NetSuite announced Cloud Alliance with Microsoft - read here
    • Event Report - Microsoft Build - Microsoft really wants to make developers' lives easier - read here
    • First Hand with Microsoft Hololens - read here
    • Event Report - Microsoft TechEd - Top 3 Enterprise takeaways - read here
    • First Take - Microsoft discovers data ambience and delivers an organic approach to in memory database - read here
    • Event Report - Microsoft Build - Azure grows and blossoms - enough for enterprises (yet)? Read here.
    • Event Report - Microsoft Build Day 1 Keynote - Top Enterprise Takeaways - read here.
    • Microsoft gets even more serious about devices - acquire Nokia - read here.
    • Microsoft does not need one new CEO - but six - read here.
    • Microsoft makes the cloud a platform play - Or: Azure and her 7 friends - read here.
    • How the Cloud can make the unlikeliest bedfellows - read here.
    • How hard is multi-channel CRM in 2013? - Read here.
    • How hard is it to install Office 365? Or: The harsh reality of customer support - read here.

    More about Salesforce:
    • News Analysis - Salesforce Unveils Breakthrough Salesforce IoT Cloud, Powered by Salesforce Thunder - First dips into IoT - read here
    • News Analysis - Salesforce Unveils the Next Wave of Salesforce Analytics Cloud—Delivering Actionable Insights Across the Customer Success Platform - Glass half full - and half empty! Read / watch here
    • Event Preview - What I would like Salesforce to address this Dreamforce 2015 - read / watch here
    • News Analysis - Salesforce Announces Salesforce App Cloud - A Unified Platform for Building Connected  Apps, Fast - It’s all coming together, across the clouds - read here
    • News Analysis - alesforce Delivers Salesforce1 Lightning Components and App Builder […] - More productivity for Admins and Developers - read here
    • News Analysis - News Analysis - Salesforce Launches Salesforce Shield - More PaaS capabilities coming to Salesforce1 Platform - read here
    • News Analysis - Salesforce Transforms Big Data Into Customer Success with the Salesforce Analytics Cloud - Read here
    • News Analysis - Market Move - Salesforce (re) enters HCM - will it rypple the market this time? - Read here
    • Event Report - Salesforce Dreamforce - A Customer Succes Platform, Analytics and Lightning - but really Salesforce is re-platforming - read here
    • 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.
    Find more coverage on the Constellation Research website here and checkout my magazine on Flipboard.

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    We had the opportunity to attend Salesforce Dreamforce conference this week in San Francisco. It is a mega, mega conference with more than 20 keynotes, thousands of participants, press releases etc. but a sign that Salesforce and the ecosystem are very much alive and doing well.



    So let's honor the new medium - here is my event report in video:



    If you don't have the chance to watch / listen - here are my takeaways in bullets:



    • Lightning Experience - The biggest impact on Salesforce customers is this new user interface - a big step forward from a usability capability. 
    • Salesforce App Cloud - A key step forward for developers building next generation applications, bridging across Force.com and Heruko (on AWS) - the first cross cloud platform PaaS offering.
    • IoT Cloud - A first (public) statement by Salesforce using a lot of opensource (Kafka, Storm, Spark etc.) to bring thing events to Salesforce users. 
    • Analytics Cloud - Good progress with more visualizations and better embedding into Salesforce Apps. 
    • Lightning App Builder - A key step to enable end users to build applications with little to no coding. 
    • Trailhead - Another big push into know how distribution in the Salesforce eco system.


    MyPOV

    A good Dreamforce for Salesforce customers. More value with a much improved user experience, better reporting with Analytics Cloud. More productivity for developers building next generation applications on the Salesforce platforms. 

    On the concern side, Salesforce IoT cloud is not a 'cloud' like its other clouds. Enterprises cannot run IoT applications on it - but interface IoT events to users in the Salesforce Applications. While it has profiling and  nice rules engine, Salesforce may miss out on the laws of data gravity, as it is effectively moving data to the code (and user) - not code to the data. The latter seems to be the more successful strategy for BigData / IoT endeavours these days. But a valid perspective from an applications vendor. 

    Overall good progress by Salesforce, good to see the messaging being constant around customer success, a much needed break for Salesforce products to catch up. Stay tuned for more analysis.



    More about Salesforce:
    • News Analysis - Microsoft and Salesforce Strengthen Strategic Partnership at Dreamforce 2015 - Good for joint customers - read here
    • News Analysis - Salesforce Unveils Breakthrough Salesforce IoT Cloud, Powered by Salesforce Thunder - First dips into IoT - read here
    • News Analysis - Salesforce Unveils the Next Wave of Salesforce Analytics Cloud—Delivering Actionable Insights Across the Customer Success Platform - Glass half full - and half empty! Read / watch here
    • Event Preview - What I would like Salesforce to address this Dreamforce 2015 - read / watch here
    • News Analysis - Salesforce Announces Salesforce App Cloud - A Unified Platform for Building Connected  Apps, Fast - It’s all coming together, across the clouds - read here
    • News Analysis - alesforce Delivers Salesforce1 Lightning Components and App Builder […] - More productivity for Admins and Developers - read here
    • News Analysis - News Analysis - Salesforce Launches Salesforce Shield - More PaaS capabilities coming to Salesforce1 Platform - read here
    • News Analysis - Salesforce Transforms Big Data Into Customer Success with the Salesforce Analytics Cloud - Read here
    • News Analysis - Market Move - Salesforce (re) enters HCM - will it rypple the market this time? - Read here
    • Event Report - Salesforce Dreamforce - A Customer Succes Platform, Analytics and Lightning - but really Salesforce is re-platforming - read here
    • 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.
    Find more coverage on the Constellation Research website here and checkout my magazine on Flipboard.

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    So the uber mega event of Salesforce Dreamforce concludes today, before it all started I collected my thoughts on what I wanted Salesforce to address before Dreamforce.


    Here is what my thoughts were before Dreamforce (see for blog here and video here):




    If you don''t have a chance to watch - some key thoughts in good old writing:
    • Will the message change from 'Customer Success Platform'?
    • Salesforce announced the Salesforce App Cloud, time to dig a little deeper.
    • Let's see what is next for Lightning - and a follow up on Shield, all announced in the last 12 months.
    • Along the same line let's see what is going on in "Analytics" with Wave - is more real time coming? Will it become 'true' analytics - read more here.  
    • A chance to checkin the ecosystem - always good to check the pulse on the showfloor.
    • Salesforce has been very successful but its core architecture is getting 15+ years old - is it now time to re-platform (my guess) and it is time to share that?


    So how did Salesforce do? 

    • The messaging stayed around 'Customer Success Platform' - a good move. I have been critical of Salesforce changing / pivoting the messaging too fast - yearly - so it's good to see it remained the same. Software needs time to catch up - so glad to see the same uber messages. 
    • The Salesforce App Cloud turned out to be the major announcement of the conference. Customers and partners are excited about the new capabilities. Developers cheered when they saw the drop down deploy capabilties across AWS locations for their Heroku apps. And Trailhead is a well received, massive developer know how effort. Effectively App Cloud is the first cross cloud PaaS platform. 
    • Lightning is becoming a confusing branding name for all kind of products - but they key is the new Lightning experience - finally a new UI for Salesforce. Starting mostly with Sales Cloud in the Winter release. The question is of course - why peacemeal this in a declarative UI architecture? Why not turn it all on? Kudos for the option of customers to operate both old and new UI at the same time. 
    • Analytics Cloud has made good progress, mostly has become material beyond the announcement stage from last year. Salesforce is upgrading its reporting with better visualization, and with a price tag. But vendors should be allowed to charge for innovation. Concerns remain on the default daily update, which is a good starting point but cannot be the end state for enterprises in the faster and faster moving speed of business in the 21st century.
    • The ecosystem is alive and well. We spike with a number of ISVs and they are both successful building on the Salesforce platforms their apps from scratch, as well as uptaking Salesforce innovations like Analytics Cloud and IoT Cloud.
    • Aging Architecture - Salesforce has componentized (part of last year Salesforce1 efforts) and now a new UI with Lightning Experience. In a Q&A Salesforce founder Harris stressed that Salesforce is re-factoring all the time, but that cannot mislead that the core of the automation runs on a now 16+ year old conceptual architecture sitting on top of the Oracle database. Hardly where you want to be today, hardly 'cloud native'. And let's keep in mind, by now this architecture is older than the ERP architectures at the time Salesforce positioned those as obsolete 15 years back (e.g. R/3 was 10 years old in 2001, e-Business Suite 4 years old). On the flipside it is a very, very successful architecture that has powered Salesforce to become the #1 SaaS vendor. But age creeps up on humans and software...  an area customers need to pay attention to and from our conversations are increasingly. 


      Is IoT Cloud the first 'false' cloud of Salesforce?

      IoT Cloud was a major new capability for Saleforce. By itself it is an amazing engineering feat - listening and understanding IoT events, create profiles and trigger rules - all the way into the transactional apps. And it's the first public reference of Salesforce using open source - with Kafka, Storm and Spark. But in contrast to the other clouds it is not a 'true' (or the same cloud): The Sales Cloud lets me run Sales, the Service Cloud Service, Apps Cloud build and run Apps - the IoT Cloud does not allow enterprises to run IoT Apps. It's a connection cloud to the Salesforce Apps and platforms. So a 'lesser' cloud. When I asked Salesforce co-founder Harris and product chief Dayon, they pointed to product naming challenges - fair enough. But it is confusing for enterprises and Salesforce is positioning a little more here than what it is - and its a different type of Salesforce Cloud. 
      That said IoT Cloud generates a lot of value for customers, allowing them to see IoT events, and action on them in their familiar applications,. Salesforce needs to be careful though not to see IoT too much from an apps vendor perspective - but also from a things perspective. The things perspective, moving code to the data, automating as much as possible in software (not through humans) are key design guidelines and use case for the next generation Apps scenario of IoT. 

      MyPOV

      Overall a good Dreamforce for Salesforce and its customers, much more happening than in 2014 where it was all about Salesforce 1 and Wave. Good progress creating more value for customers, but as mentioned above, some longer term concerns. 
      From an event perspective, a massive party for partners and the ecosystem. But the event may soon get to big, with 20+ keynotes. Talks with customers showed they are overwhelmed and can't get to the information they need and want easily. And partners are concerned on getting their message across in a mega event like this. For years it was always 'bigger is better' for Salesforce regarding Dreamforce - but events have an optimal size, and Salesforce should not forget Dreamforce is a user conference that needs to create value for customers. I am sure they have a look for it and I am not sure if going to 200.000 attendees is the answer. 

      Check out my overall event video here:



      More about Salesforce:
      • Event Report - Salesforce Dreamforce - Value for customers - but some concerns on direction - read here
      • News Analysis - Microsoft and Salesforce Strengthen Strategic Partnership at Dreamforce 2015 - Good for joint customers - read here
      • News Analysis - Salesforce Unveils Breakthrough Salesforce IoT Cloud, Powered by Salesforce Thunder - First dips into IoT - read here
      • News Analysis - Salesforce Unveils the Next Wave of Salesforce Analytics Cloud—Delivering Actionable Insights Across the Customer Success Platform - Glass half full - and half empty! Read / watch here
      • Event Preview - What I would like Salesforce to address this Dreamforce 2015 - read / watch here
      • News Analysis - Salesforce Announces Salesforce App Cloud - A Unified Platform for Building Connected  Apps, Fast - It’s all coming together, across the clouds - read here
      • News Analysis - alesforce Delivers Salesforce1 Lightning Components and App Builder […] - More productivity for Admins and Developers - read here
      • News Analysis - News Analysis - Salesforce Launches Salesforce Shield - More PaaS capabilities coming to Salesforce1 Platform - read here
      • News Analysis - Salesforce Transforms Big Data Into Customer Success with the Salesforce Analytics Cloud - Read here
      • News Analysis - Market Move - Salesforce (re) enters HCM - will it rypple the market this time? - Read here
      • Event Report - Salesforce Dreamforce - A Customer Succes Platform, Analytics and Lightning - but really Salesforce is re-platforming - read here
      • 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.
      Find more coverage on the Constellation Research website here and checkout my magazine on Flipboard.

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      This morning Google launched the beta version of Google Cloud Dataproc - a new offering that will interest BigData projects being undertaken.



      Here are the key takeaways in case you can't watch:
      • A combined Hadoop / Spark instance can be setup in less than 90 seconds - significant simplification for developers of BigData projects.
      • All integrated with the Google Cloud Platform - other tools are available (e.g. BigQuery, BigTable etc.).
      • All embedded with the rest of the commercial side of Google Cloud Platform - minute based billing, prescriptive instances etc. 


        MyPOV

        A good move by Google, bringing two dynamic (and complex to tame) and popular open source technologies. Well integrated with the rest of Google Cloud Platform - and substantial documentation and how to guides are out there, so a good launch by Google. 

        It is likely there will be alternatives from other cloud players soon, enterprises should check the assumptions and operations that Google (and others) plan. And a 'beta' label is always a sign of caution in the enterprise.  

        More about Google:
        • Musings - Google re-organizes - will it be about Alpha or Alphabet Soup? Read here
        • Event Report - Google I/O - Google wants developers to first & foremost build more Android apps - read here
        • First Take - Google I/O Day #1 Keynote - it is all about Android - read here
        • News Analysis - Google does it again (lower prices for Google Cloud Platform), enterprises take notice - read here
        • News Analyse - Google I/O Takeaways Value Propositions for the enterprise - read here 
        • Google gets serious about the cloud and it is different - read here
        • A tale of two clouds - Google and HP - read here
        • Why Google acquired Talaria - efficiency matters - read here


        Find more coverage on the Constellation Research website here and checkout my magazine on Flipboard and my Youtube channel here

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        We had the opportunity to attend the TCS analyst summit in Boston, the event was well attended, with over 50 analysts (my estimate) in the audience. 



        Before leaving Boston I recorded this short video - so take a peak:


        <video>


        In case you had  no chance to watch - here are the key takeaways:
        • TCS understands all areas of disruption well, and has customers live in all areas from Customer Experience over IoT to digital transformation.
        • The provider is running its own IaaS in India, UK, US and Australia, the TCS Cloud is being rolled out further into the Nordic Countries and Canada. 
        • TCS has made investments into enabling the BPaaS (Business Process as a Service) - with TAP - TCS Accounts Payable, supporting 40+ countries today.

        MyPOV

        TCS is well aware of the fundamental transformation that is happening to the consulting, system integrator and outsourcing services space. Wage arbitration is less and less a factor, so it is good to see that TCS not only understands the new disruptive scenarios, but also masters the technologies and has customer references to show in each of them. Promising are also investments on IaaS side as well as the BPaaS side.

        On the concern side we see a services vendor building  more product, never an easy transformation, that so far has only happened in very few occasions. TCS executives understand that there is a one time opportunity to capitalize on in regards of building next generation products for the best practices of the infinite computing era, I missed the presentation of the ignio platform due to schedule issues.

        But for now good progress - we will check back soon. 


        Find more coverage on the Constellation Research website here and checkout my magazine on Flipboard and my Youtube channel here

        And last but not least - a compilation of key tweets from the event:



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        We had the opportunity to attend the ADP Analyst Day in New York today, ADP commanded the 'usual suspects' to New York (though we learnt some like to be called pundits) into their amazing innovation lab in the heart of Manhattan.



        I was joined by fellow Constellation analyst R 'Ray' Wang so we recorded a short video summary of the event... take a peak:



        If you can't watch - here are the top 3 takeaways:
        • The new UI ADP showed us last year and then rolled out to paycheck and selected use cases is now been rolled out to 80% of ADP applications. That by itself is a massive undertaking, but will help customers get more out of their ADP products, which in some cases sported more than pedestrian user experiences.
        • The ADP Talent Management product Vantage has also received the new user interface and with that the 'grey is gone' mission has been accomplished, except for the recruiter experience which is supposed to follow soon.
        • The ADP Data Cloud is one of the most exciting offerings in the ADP portfolio at the moment, helping customers to make more sense of their data. It also offers 'true' analytics to users, about key HR practitioner questions. Remarkably the product supports also the capability to include 3rd party, non HCM data, thus enabling insights beyond the traditional stovepipe contained intelligence approach.


        Tidbits

        • ADP makes progress for multinational companies (MNCs) - bringing together products and services, now for over 104 countries and 99% of global employee population.
        • ADP is so comfortable of its products that it let the analysts use the new Onboarding solution, which was both an entertaining as well as educational way to get to know the ADP applications. 
        • The ADP market place is now at over 60 partners and growing fast, a good sign. Good to see business user enabled purchases options, which is the latest bastion to call in the overall IT trend to empower business users more (IT liking it or not). 

        MyPOV

        Compared to previous summits ADP showed overall less innovation, but that's a good sign for customers, as innovations are being built into product. Mainly that's the new user interface is responsive, can be embedded in 3rd party products, so overall a very positive experience.

        On the concern side ADP must now execute on the sales side. The numbers shared for customer growth are encouraging, but ADP show it can really go to cloud scale - beyond the product, but also in marketing, sales, implementation and support. Closer to product the scalability and TCO of its proprietary cloud infrastructure will also be tested (we did not get briefed on it). 

        But for now all signs are positive, ADP has eliminated a number of challenges it faced in the market, so time to look at ADP with a fresh mindset, it's not your father's ADP. Stay tuned.



        More on ADP

        • Event Report - ADP Meeting of the Minds - It’s all coming together for ADP in 2015 - product wise - read here
        • First Take - ADP Meeting of the Minds - Day #1 Keynote - read here
        • Progress Report - ADP shows great vision, delivers product innovation - now it needs adoption - read here
        • Site Visit - ADP's new innovation lab in Chelsea - read here
        • News Analysis - ADP announces Spin-Off plans for Dealer Services, sharpens ADP's focus on HCM - read here.
        • Event Report - ADP's Meeting of the Minds - ADP has made up its mind (almost) - customers not yet - read here.
        • First take - 3 Key Takeaways from ADP's Meeting of the Minds Conference Day 1 Keynote - read here.
        • ADP innovates with with verve and good timing – read here.

        And  more on the importance of the paycheck for HCM:
        • Could the paycheck re-invent HCM – yes it can – read here.
        • And suddenly, payroll matters again! Read here.
        Find more coverage on the Constellation Research website here and checkout my magazine on Flipboard and my Youtube channel here

        And last but not least - a compilation of key tweets from the event:


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        This week one Workday will have their user conference in Las Vegas, Rising, so it's time to collect thoughts before the conference gets in full swing soon.



        So take a peak, here you go:




        In case you have no chance to watch - the key areas to watch here:

        • Workday Momentum - Workday is an exceptional growth story - it will be interesting to see how customers, prospects, the overall ecosystem is doing.
        • HCM - Time to see if and which more of analytical apps are shipping, good to check momentum of recruiting, how things are doing on Payroll both natively provided by Workday and then with the many partners and lastly how the Learning management partnerships are doing. 
        • Finance - It really comes back to momentum, and what other capabilities Workday has added recently to convince customers of its capability to run BigFin.
        • SCM - SCM? Yes really SCM - Workday announced Inventory capabilities for Healthcare earlier this year. But inventory is as horizontal a ERP capability as the come - so it will be important to understand where Workday plans to apply Inventory beyond Healthcare and if this is going to become 'the third leg of the stool' for Workday.
        • Industry Momentum - Workday is seeking growth from more vertical functionality, time to check where things stand and what the plans are. 
        • Technology - The objective from my side is to scoop up any platform innovation - may it be on the deployment side or user interface side and more.

        I will share my takeaways and likely some smaller tidbits on September 29th at 6 PM PST - watch it here - even better - tune in! 



        And more on Workday
        • News Analysis – Workday to Expand Suite of Applications for Healthcare Industry - with a SCM twist - read here
        • News Analysis - Workday supports UK Payroll - now speaks (British English) Payroll  - read here
        • Workday 24 - 'True' Analytics, a Vertical and more - now needs customer proof points - read here
        • First Take - Top 3 Takeaways from of Workday Rising Day 1 Keynote - The dawn of the analytics era - time to deliver Insight Apps - read here
        • 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 partnership - 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 and checkout my magazine on Flipboard and my YouTube channel here

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         Earlier today Microsoft announced new capabilities for its BigData capabilities. Non surprise in the timing as the major Hadoop gathering in the form of Strata is happening this week.

         


        So let's dissect the press release in our custom style:

        In July of this year, Satya Nadella shared our broad vision for big data and analytics when he announced Cortana Analytics. Building on this vision, today we’re announcing a new and expanded Azure Data Lake that makes big data processing and analytics simpler and more accessible.
        MyPOV - Good to see Microsoft executing fast on announcements, I'd peg the Data Lake even all the way back to May at Build Win. But then there is some need of urgency as enterprises are building next generation applications at increased pace these days and it is important for Microsoft to be there as a strategic technology partner.


        The expanded Microsoft Azure Data Lake includes the following:
        Azure Data Lake Store, previously announced as Azure Data Lake, will be available in preview later this year. The Data Lake Store provides a single repository where you can easily capture data of any size, type and speed without forcing changes to your application as data scales. In the store, data can be securely shared for collaboration and is accessible for processing and analytics from HDFS applications and tools.
        Azure Data Lake Analytics, a new service built on Apache YARN that dynamically scales so you can focus on your business goals, not on distributed infrastructure. This service will be available in preview later this year and includes U-SQL, a language that unifies the benefits of SQL with the expressive power of user code. U-SQL’s scalable distributed query capability enables you to efficiently analyze data in the store and across SQL Servers in Azure, Azure SQL Database and Azure SQL Data Warehouse.
        Azure HDInsight, our fully managed Apache Hadoop cluster service with a broad range of open source analytics engines including Hive, Spark, HBase and Storm. Today, we are announcing general availability of managed clusters on Linux with an industry-leading 99.9% uptime SLA. HDInsight will be able to take advantage of capabilities in the Store for increased throughput, scale and security.
        Supporting the Azure Data Lake:
        Azure Data Lake Tools for Visual Studio, provide an integrated development environment that spans the Azure Data Lake, dramatically simplifying authoring, debugging and optimization for processing and analytics at any scale.
        Leading Hadoop ISV applications that span security, governance, data preparation and analytics can be easily deployed from the Azure Marketplace on top of Azure Data Lake.

        MyPOV - Kudos to Microsoft for defining and thus bringing clarity to what the Azure Data Lake is from a product portfolio perspective. Too often vendors create more confusion with announcements, so this definition is helpful. So let's dissect more below.


        Azure Data Lake
        Azure Data Lake includes all the capabilities required to make it easy for developers, data scientists, and analysts to store data of any size, shape and speed, and do all types of processing and analytics across platforms and languages. It removes the complexities of ingesting and storing all of your data while making it faster to get up and running with batch, streaming, and interactive analytics. Azure Data Lake works with existing IT investments for identity, management, and security for simplified data management and governance. It also integrates seamlessly with operational stores and data warehouses so you can extend current data applications. We’ve drawn on the experience of working with enterprise customers and running some of the largest scale processing and analytics in the world for Microsoft businesses like Office 365, Xbox Live, Azure, Windows, Bing and Skype. Azure Data Lake solves many of the productivity and scalability challenges that prevent you from maximizing the value of your data assets with a service that’s ready to meet your current and future business needs.
        MyPOV - Well that reads almost all too good to be true. Removing complexities is always a good thing, but reading 'seamless' integration always makes the alarm bells ring... we will have to dig a little deeper here. On the flip side Microsoft can claim a broad level of experience working with the data of its different divisions. If Microsoft can showcase how 'it is drinking its own champagne' with Azure Data Lake - that would be very powerful showcase and adding immediate credibility to the overall offering.


        “Hortonworks and Microsoft have partnered closely over many years to further the Hadoop platform for big data analytics, including contributions to YARN, Hive, and other Apache projects,” said Rob Bearden, CEO at Hortonworks. “Azure Data Lake, including Azure HDInsight powered by Hortonworks Data Platform, demonstrates our shared commitment to make it easier for everyone to work with big data.”

        MyPOV - Always good to have partner and ecosystem presence in a press release and Hortonworks is key for the proper working of the Azure Data Lake.


        Azure Data Lake Store – A hyper-scale repository for big data processing and analytic workloads
        The value of a data lake resides in the ability to develop solutions across data of all types – unstructured, semi-structured and structured. This begins with the Azure Data Lake Store, a single repository to capture and access any type of data for high-performance processing and analytics and low latency workloads with enterprise-grade security. For example, data can be ingested in real-time from sensors and devices for IoT solutions, or from online shopping websites into the store without the restriction of fixed limits on account or file size unlike current offerings in the market. As part of Azure Data Lake, the store supports development of your big data solutions with the language or framework of your choice. The store in Azure Data Lake is HDFS compatible so Hadoop distributions like Cloudera, Hortonworks®, and MapR can readily access the data for processing and analytics.
        MyPOV - Storage capabilities have become core to next gen Application persistence needs, if e.g. IoT data cannot be ingested fast enough, the finest analytics tool set on top of it doesn't create value. We will have to see what scalability numbers and use cases Microsoft can offer, a good move is to be 'agnostic' in regards of the Hadoop distribution partnering with the 'Big 3' - Cloudera, Hortonworks and MapR.


        "Cloudera is pleased to be working closely with Microsoft to integrate our enterprise data hub with the Azure Data Lake Store,” said Mike Olson, founder and chief strategy officer at Cloudera. “Cloudera on Azure benefits from the Data Lake Store which acts as a cloud-based landing zone for data in your enterprise data hub. Because the store is compatible with WebHDFS, Cloudera can leverage Data Lake and provide customers with a secure and flexible big data solution."

        MyPOV - Good quote by Olsen, making things tangible is always appreciated. It reads like Cloudera depending applications and code can be deployed with Microsoft Data Lake a which is a win for customers and of course allows Microsoft to position the Azure Data Lake as alternate storage to other large data storage options in the market.


        Azure Data Lake Analytics – a new distributed processing and analytics service
        Azure Data Lake Analytics lets you focus on the logic of your application, not the distributed infrastructure running it. Instead of deploying, configuring and tuning hardware, you write queries to transform your data and extract valuable insight. Built on Apache YARN, and designed for the cloud, the analytics service can handle jobs of any scale instantly by simply setting the dial for how much power you need. The analytics service for Azure Data Lake is cost-efficient because you only pay for your job when it is running, and support for Azure Active Directory lets you manage access and roles simply and integrates with your on-premises identity system.

        MyPOV - Always good to reduce complexity and taking away the details and intricacies of infrastructure is a huge draw for enterprises to deploy next gen application to cloud based platforms. And good for Microsoft to point out usage based billing, one of the key value propositions of cloud-based offerings. Finally smart from Microsoft to keep pay using the 'higher ground' the on premise Active Directory integration is one of the big differentiators for Microsoft when moving services from on premise to the cloud or provisioning users for next generation applications.


        We know that many developers and data scientists struggle to be successful with big data using existing technologies and tools. Code-based solutions offer great power, but require significant investments to master, while SQL-based tools make it easy to get started but are difficult to extend. We've faced the same problems inside Microsoft and that’s why we introduced, U-SQL, a new query language that unifies the ease of use of SQL with the expressive power of C#. The U-SQL language is built on the same distributed runtime that powers the big data systems inside Microsoft. Millions of SQL and .NET developers can now process and analyze all of their data with the skills they already have. The U-SQL support in Azure Data Lake Tools for Visual Studio includes state of the art support for authoring, debugging and advanced performance analysis features for increased productivity when optimizing jobs running across thousands of nodes.

        MyPOV - I am always concerned when new programming languages get created. In my view the world has enough programming languages already. That said - there are new use cases that developers and enterprises have to build applications for. So it comes back to understand what benefits U-SQL brings developers. It's good to see Microsoft has used it for its internal use cases and deployments, so before coming to a first verdict in U-SQL, let's understand more details about it.

        “U-SQL was especially helpful because we were able to get up and running using our existing skills with .NET and SQL,” says Sam Vanhoutte, Chief Technology Officer at Codit. “This made big data easy because we didn’t have to learn a whole new paradigm. With Azure Data Lake, we were able to process data coming in from smart meters and combine it with the energy spot market prices to give our customers the ability to optimize their energy consumption and potentially save hundreds of thousands of dollars.”

        MyPOV - Well that's a strong endorsement of U-SQL, good point to see the compatibility with C# and NET. This is one of the key advantages of Micro in next generation applications, leverage the existing ecosystem and developer community. Making integration to C# easier, taps in the 2nd largest developer community out there (after Java).

        Azure HDInsight - Fully Managed Hadoop, Spark, Storm and HBase
        Azure Data Lake also includes HDInsight, our Apache Hadoop-based service that allows you spin up any number of nodes in minutes. As one of the fastest growing services in Azure, HDInsight gives you the breadth of the Hadoop ecosystem in a managed service that’s monitored and supported by Microsoft. Furthering our commitment to productivity, we’ve updated our Visual Studio Tools for authoring, advanced debugging, and tuning for Hive queries and Storm topologies running in HDInsight.

        MyPOV – Also a good move, HDInsight has been popular in the Microsoft ecosystem already, as enterprises struggle with standing up and operating Hadoop distributions. And finding synergies with Visual Studio will help this offering further.


        Today, we are announcing the general availability of HDInsight on Linux. We work closely with Hortonworks and Canonical to provide the HDP™ distribution on the Ubuntu Operating System that powers the Linux version of HDInsight in the Data Lake. This is another strategic step by Microsoft to meet customers where they are and make it easier for you run Hadoop workloads in the cloud.

        MyPOV – That’s probably one of the bigger news in the release. It is not too long ago when Microsoft was a Windows only shop. By endorsing more Linux based offerings, Microsoft is looking at what developers are familiar with, and what is more of a preferred platform. Being Linux based has also become more and more a requirement for RfP for the data side of next gen Application platforms, as enterprises still see the need to potentially move these platforms back on premise. Finally TCO to run Hadoop on Linux vs Windows may be different, starting with the availability of distributions, but likely a topic Microsoft will not be as eager to address.

        Leading Hadoop ISVs on the Azure Data Lake

        There are a growing set of leading data management applications for Azure Data Lake. This includes applications that provide end-to-end big data analytics like Datameer, technologies that address big data security and governance like Dataguise and BlueTalon, unified stream and batch with DataTorrent, and tools that give business users the ability to visualize and analyze data in compelling ways like AtScale and Zoomdata. Support from our partners ensures that you have the best applications available as you get started with Azure Data Lake.

        MyPOV – Good to see the mention of a number if important ISVs that help enterprises to build, operate and maintain their next generation applications. The ISV investment is a further proof point that Microsoft’s BigData offering is being taken serious and sees traction in the enterprise (otherwise these ISVs would not invest to bring their platforms to Azure).

        We will continue to invest in solutions for big data processing and analytics to make it easier for everyone to work with data of any type, size and speed using the tools, languages and frameworks they want to in a trusted cloud, hybrid or on premise environment. Our goal is to make big data technology simpler and more accessible to the greatest number of people possible: big data professionals: developers, data scientists, analysts, and application developers; but also businesspeople and mainstream IT managers.

        MyPOV – Well that’s a nice mission statement. Let’s check in how Microsoft delivers along this vision and goals in the next quarters.


        Overall MyPOV

        Next gen Applications are key for enterprises to achieve differentiation and create disruption in their prospective industries. Almost all of the 7 generic use cases we have identified involve Hadoop style BigData elements, as well as analytics and machine learning capabilities. Microsoft knows this and is adding capabilities to Azure accordingly. Moreover BigData projects bring ‘load’ to platforms, which itself creates scale, which then creates economies of scale that reduce the cost to operate the platforms. Again BigData is great for platform vendors, due to the gravitational nature of BigData. It is not easy to move BigData across platforms.

        On the concern side, Microsoft comes late to the overall cloud platform and BigData market. Enterprises had to look elsewhere and only around spring of this year, Microsoft has caught up in product capability and messaging. The capabilities of this press release are another major step forward, but the interested buyer needs to not the GA dates of most of these offerings.

        On the brighter side Microsoft is catching up to the leaders in the space, and bringing a large ecosystem and synergy play to the next generation applications market. There are a lot of Microsoft centric enterprises out there, and for them these offerings are attractive. 


        Stay tuned for more about the exciting platform announcements for building next generation applications. 


        More about Microsoft:
        • News Analysis - Microsoft and Salesforce Strengthen Strategic Partnership at Dreamforce 2015 - Good for joint customers - read here
        • News Analyis - NetSuite announced Cloud Alliance with Microsoft - read here
        • Event Report - Microsoft Build - Microsoft really wants to make developers' lives easier - read here
        • First Hand with Microsoft Hololens - read here
        • Event Report - Microsoft TechEd - Top 3 Enterprise takeaways - read here
        • First Take - Microsoft discovers data ambience and delivers an organic approach to in memory database - read here
        • Event Report - Microsoft Build - Azure grows and blossoms - enough for enterprises (yet)? Read here.
        • Event Report - Microsoft Build Day 1 Keynote - Top Enterprise Takeaways - read here.
        • Microsoft gets even more serious about devices - acquire Nokia - read here.
        • Microsoft does not need one new CEO - but six - read here.
        • Microsoft makes the cloud a platform play - Or: Azure and her 7 friends - read here.
        • How the Cloud can make the unlikeliest bedfellows - read here.
        • How hard is multi-channel CRM in 2013? - Read here.
        • How hard is it to install Office 365? Or: The harsh reality of customer support - read here.
        Find more coverage on the Constellation Research website here and checkout my magazine on Flipboard and my YouTube channel here

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        On a quick pre-event visit with Box in San Francisco I had the chance to catch up with my 'better half' on the Constellation Research theme of 'Future of Work' - Alan Lepofsky.

        So take a peek:






        Here are Alan's key points

        • Improved collaboration, people create content, where is Box going using all the collaboration works (check out Alan's report on the verbs of collaboration here). 
        • Task Management is key for people to get things done - if Box wants to be a collaboration platform - how does Box enable better task management.
        • MetaData - has Box improvements and plans in store here
        • More Analytics and Dashboards - how does Box create value (e.g. recommend content) to people
        • Will Box open up its repository for 3rd party content?

        And here are my key points
        • It's too hard to deal with documents, why do we even have folder structures... what is the next generation of content management?
        • How can Box create the next generation of content management, leveraging Analytics, BigData and Cloud to server content.
        • What platform would Box build on today, if they started from scratch. Or in other words: Does Box do enough and what are the plans to eliminate technical debt?
        • We heard earlier from Box executives that Box wants to become the platform to create applications, so it is how Box wants to compete with the popular PaaS offerings in the market. 



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        Earlier today we learnt that Workday announced that it will create a Learning, a new application in its portfolio of HCM applications. The announcement is key as it completes the Talent Management portfolio offered natively by Workday – with Recruiting, Onboarding, Performance Management, Compensation and now Learning.



        Let’s dissect the press release in our customary way – it can be found here:

        PLEASANTON, CALIF. — Sept. 29, 2015 — Workday, Inc. (NYSE: WDAY), a leader in enterprise cloud applications for finance and human resources, today unveiled Workday Learning, a new application intended to offer a more personalized, meaningful learning experience for organizations to evolve and encourage career development at every stage of the employee lifecycle. Workday Learning will be built into the fabric of Workday’s unified suite of applications including Workday Human Capital Management (HCM) and Workday Financial Management, providing customers with a single system to cultivate their workforce, close talent gaps, and drive business growth.

        MyPOV – Good to hear the general intention and direction here, not a general, 1st generation Learning offering, but a modern 21st century Learning product, that permeates beyond formal class room learning to all aspect of knowledge creation, distribution and consumption. No surprise that Workday stresses the unified platform. The organic approach puts an end to speculation on potential acquisitions in the Learning space. Interesting the stressing of Finance in the early part of the press release, we will pay more attention to that reading on.
        Announced at Workday Rising Las Vegas 2015, Workday Learning embodies a shift from talent management to people enablement focused on engaging individuals with more rewarding, diverse work experiences that drive greater alignment between employee development, workforce productivity, and better business outcomes.

        MyPOV – A good description of what the new generation of Learning products is all about. And we are attending Workday Rising – see our expectations here and catch us for the key takeaways Tuesday at 6 PM PST (more here).
        A Continuous, Meaningful Learning Experience that Knows the Learner
        Traditional learning management systems (LMS) are generally perceived as lackluster, tedious, and uninspiring. They sit outside of daily work, lack a connection to an employee’s day-to-day needs, and do not provide the kind of training that will help an individual progress in his or her current role.
        MyPOV – Good description what happens with yesterday’s best practices in a fast pace environment. They quickly can look stale and inadequate. That said the ‘dreaded’ class room training will still have room on the 21st century and we will have to track when Workday will support that, too.

        Built with the learner’s needs in mind and incorporating feedback from employees at organizations including athenahealth, California College of the Arts, Cornell University, and McKee Foods, Workday Learning will address the gaps that exist with current learning management systems. Taking advantage of rich data from Workday HCM, Workday Learning will offer an intuitive, meaningful learning experience that knows the learner and recognizes where the individual sits in the employee lifecycle – whether it’s the first day on the job, a new manager, or someone cultivating core skills and expertise in a current role.
        MyPOV – Good to see that Workday has talked to its customers in regards of requirements for Learning, everything else would have been gross negligent, and in typical suite vendor functionality Workday points out the benefits of an integrated Learning solution, that is away of the ‘rest’ of people data and processes from the other HCM applications. This is in contrast to the best of breed / point solution vendors who need interfaces to unfold similar benefits. And interface turn out to be one of the most ‘dreaded’ things for HR practitioners.

        Workday Learning is intended to provide customers with:
        · A Collaborative Community to Gain and Share Knowledge – Leveraging the latest collaboration and social learning technologies, Workday will enable employees to consume, create, and share content on any device, at any time. Whether it’s shooting and sharing a video tutorial from a smartphone, or flipping through pages of training material on a tablet, Workday Learning will encourage an interactive community for learning, teaching, and coaching that meets the needs of today’s digital workforce.
        MyPOV – No new Learning product since 2013 that does not stress social. Workday has not focussed on traditional social functionality in the past, so we will drill down to understand better how Workday will leverage this area and create compelling functionality.

        · Content with Context – Workday Learning will be able to recognize users and make tailored learning recommendations based on who they are, what they do, and their stage in the employee lifecycle. For example, the system could recommend a video to a new manager, accounting for personal preferences and learning experiences completed by others in similar roles or at a similar stage in their career.

        MyPOV – And a similar table stake of a 21st Learning solution, it is all about passing Learning content into the hands / screens of an employee the same way a beautiful pass reaches a wide receiver setting him up for a touchdown or 1st down (or a perfect corner the free player for a header for the ‘other’ football part of the world).


        · Support for Diverse Learning Experiences – Workday Learning will enable customers to fully support a wide spectrum of developmental experiences spanning short, easy-to-digest micro learning activities and in-depth jumbo learning programs as well as mandatory certification and compliance training.
        MyPOV – Good to learnt that Workday plans to apportion the learning volume and content, which is a key requirement for the multi-generational workforce that consumes information and learns in different ways across the generations of workers.

        · Built-in Measurement and Insights – In combination with Workday HCM and Workday Financial Management, Workday Learning will equip customers with complete visibility into day-to-day learning activities and overall learning effectiveness. For example, a team manager could quickly understand how employees are tracking against individual development plans, and organizational leaders could better identify and optimize learning initiatives that positively impact business goals.
        MyPOV –Good to see that Workday is leveraging suite wide benefits, interesting the stress on Finance. Good to see Workday addressing ‘Learning Effectiveness’. Borrowed from Marketing Effectiveness (what is an additional $ in Marketing going to give a business in return), Learning Effectiveness is asking the same question in regards of the allocation of Training dollars (or Euros etc.).

        Availability
        Workday plans to make Workday Learning generally available to customers in the second half of calendar year 2016.
        MyPOV – Kudos for Workday to share a release time frame. But it is quite a way out there with 9-15 months till the product will be generally available.

        Comments on the News
        “Our customers have made it clear that they need a progressive solution that enables them to offer more personalized learning, development, and career opportunities in order to engage and retain their best people,” said Leighanne Levensaler, senior vice president, products, Workday. “Workday Learning will be seamlessly unified with Workday’s suite of applications to provide a smarter, more intuitive system that knows employees, what kind of work they do, and what they need to achieve job and career success. As a result, employees will be empowered to connect more and share relevant content with each other – creating a collaborative work environment where learning is continuous and ubiquitous.”
        MyPOV – Good quote by Levensaler – hitting all the key aspect and benefits of the new solution. Good to see the sharing aspect mentioned here, too – which is key in a modern Learning. Seeing successful content becoming ‘viral’ as the result of employees sharing what works is one of the new ‘highlights’ in 21st century Learning systems.

        “Having the opportunity to help shape several Workday products over the years has proven that Workday not only cares about what we as customers need, but seeks to understand our experiences and create something far better than we had imagined,” said Mark Newsome, director of human resources, McKee Foods. “Workday delivers on what it promises and creates viable alternatives to some of the old, stale offerings we often see in the marketplace. I am confident Workday Learning will be a fresh, new approach that addresses the gaps that traditional learning environments have struggled with for so long, without sacrificing the core infrastructure needed in a learning system.” 

        “Workday Learning has the potential to solve distinct challenges higher education institutions face in meeting the training needs of their staff, faculty, and larger community,” said Mara Hancock, chief information officer and vice president of technology, California College of the Arts. “Learning built into Workday HCM will serve as a community-wide tool that can help overcome many of the boundary limitations found in a traditional LMS where the line between community members are hardened, and social and collaboration components are bolted on rather than unified in one system.”
        MyPOV – Always good to see customer quotes in a new product press release, stating of early involvement and feedback cycles with practitioners. McKee is a long term Workday customer (if I had the time I’d check in how many product launch emails they gave a quote), so it is good to see customers staying at the forefront of best practices. And good to see a higher education organization here, which points to Learning playing a prominent role in Workday’s Student solutions (at some point). 

        Additional Information Please visit the Workday blog for additional perspective about Workday Learning:
        Read the blog: An Inside Look at Workday Learning: Reinventing How Employees Learn with perspective from Leighanne Levensaler, senior vice president of products, and Amy Wilson, vice president of HCM products
        Read the blog: 3 Questions with Paul Sparta, a Founding Father of Learning Management Systems
        MyPOV – Worth to check out the additional resources mentioned here to get a more complete picture. Good to see Sparta mentioned here, truly one of the veterans of Learning, he most recently sold the company he co-founded, Plateau to SuccessFactors (now SAP).

        Overall MyPOV

        A good move by Workday, as it (finally!) clarifies the vendor’s strategy in regards of Learning, the last piece of Talent Management automation that was not addressed with a native Workday solution. It is overall important as it makes the overall Workday messaging of one organic suite application built on the same platform real, while addressing the integrations concerns and worries of HR professionals. Also good to see that Workday strikes all the right points in regards of key 21st century Learning system functionality like content discovery, creation and propagation, aware of what works and is needed by employees.

        On the concern side it will be key to see how Workday addresses the ripple effects in the ecosystem, a number of Workday customers have partnered with a number of Learning vendors, and they will now have to re-asses their plans for the next 3-4 years. How Workday handles this for both customers and partners will be key going forward, as Workday will have to keep partnering for other aspects in its portfolio (e.g. Payroll). The announcement is also mute in regards of license costs, with its Insights analytical products Workday has for the 1st time opened a new licensing area for customers, it remains to be clarified where Learning stands. Lastly on the technology side, Learning solutions are very different ‘animals’ in regards of technical needs (unstructured content, social, context, streaming networking requirements and platforms served) – so it will be interesting to see how Workday can address these challenges. Overall timing with 2nd half of 2016 means that a functional showdown between the new Oracle Learning solution (more here) and the enhanced SAP / SuccessFactors solution (more here) will happening sooner than later. And of course existing partners, most prominent probably Cornerstone on Demand (more here) will not stand still. But competition is good for customers.

        For now it is good news for customers of Workday, who now need to align their Learning plans with the vendor’s roadmap. From the press release Workday is announcing all the right capabilities for a modern, 21st century Learning solution and leveraging all Suite level benefits that can make the Learning solution better than a point solution. Stay tuned for more updates from Workday Rising 2015.

        -----


        I will share my takeaways and likely some smaller tidbits on September 29th at 6 PM PST - watch it here - even better - tune in! 

         

        And more on Workday
        • Event Preview - What I would like Workday to address this Rising read here
        • News Analysis – Workday to Expand Suite of Applications for Healthcare Industry - with a SCM twist - read here
        • News Analysis - Workday supports UK Payroll - now speaks (British English) Payroll  - read here
        • Workday 24 - 'True' Analytics, a Vertical and more - now needs customer proof points - read here
        • First Take - Top 3 Takeaways from of Workday Rising Day 1 Keynote - The dawn of the analytics era - time to deliver Insight Apps - read here
        • 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 partnership - 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 and checkout my magazine on Flipboard and my YouTube channel here


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        We had the opportunity to attend Workday Rising in Las Vegas this week. The conference is well attended with over 5000 attendees, and held in the Mandalay Bay conference center.



        Lots of things announced and happening - but here are my Top 3 takeaways:



        If you have no chance to watch - take a look:

        • Learning - Workday announced a Learning module, scheduled to be released in about a year from today with Workday 27. Workday is hitting all the right features for a modern Learning application, a more detailed roadmap has not been shared (yet). The Mediacore (more here) acquisition is key for this, and the demos leveraged Mediacore capabilities. Read more about Learning in my News Analysis blog post here.
           
        • New Scorecard capability - Two of the Insight Applications that Workday announced a year ago at Rising were Scorecard based, and the new Scorecard capability is available now. On the question of the overall push for 'true' analytics (more here), the answer from Workday executives was that customers wanted Workday to address more reporting and dash-boarding capabilities.
           
        • Platform Housekeeping - Platforms age like humans and load up on more technical debt, from a chat with CTO Stan Swete and a presentation by David Clarke / Jim Stratton during the conference it is clear that Workday is doing substantial renovation, innovation and good housekeeping on the platform. Examples were the ability to move large data amounts across servers, multiple threaded reads and updates and a separation of processes.
            

        Analyst Tidbits

        • Worksheets - Workday acquired Gridcraft (a little more here), a bona fide spreadsheet tool that is Excel compatible but can be embedded into enterprise systems. Workday did quick uptake on it - e.g. we saw an improved Compensation functionality. Gridcraft also has collaboration capabilities that were demoed in the keynote. 
        • Trust Workday - Workday is taking a page from the Salesforce playbook - and creating a customer status website.
        • UI Improvements - a new employee profile, Android is a 1st grade citizen and new collaboration capabilities are coming. Spontaneous audience applause came for new branding capabilities of Workday to get more of a corporate design look & feel. 
        • Effective Date Change Interface - Workday provided an interface to feed effective date based core HR systems (hint - SAP) - which reduces implementation effort considerably - the quoted number was 90%.
        • Ecosystem - The ecosystem is doing well, though the show floor looked smaller / with less partners than a year ago at Rising in San Francisco. Major ecosystem news was IBM acquiring Workday boutique analyst shop Meteorix (more here). 


        MyPOV


        Another good Rising conference for Workday. A growing vendor, a growing ecosystem, more customers always creates a positive vibe at a conference. And with Learning Workday has (finally) delivered the missing piece to its portfolio of Talent Management solutions. Workday approaches Learning with the same verve as it did Recruiting - re-thinking it from an employee / consumer experience, always a good approach. Workdays is also doing good work at innovating and expanding its platform capabilities, which alleviates a general concern in regards of platforms that are reaching their 'teenage' years of age. It is also good to see how Workday is looking at TCO, the new effective date capability will make it easier, faster and cheaper to implement Workday, a good move. 

        On the concern side it looks like the Insight Apps are not moving as fast as at least I expected. Workday is saying customers wanted more basic / Bi reporting capabilities, which is plausible, but Workday is at risk to loose the (ambitious) initiative of being the most 'true' analytics vendor out there. But the calendar year is not over, so we will have to see what is coming. Equally Workday did not share a roadmap (yet) on what will come when for Learning, it will be important for Workday to share that soon so that customer can do their plans. And in contrast to Recruiting where the market leaders had slowed down and then got acquired (aka Taleo), the Learning market is thriving as part of a larger Talent Management function. 

        But for now congrats to Workday for completing the Talent Management 'puzzle' with Learning in the next year. Stay tuned for more. 


        And more on Workday
        • News Analysis - Workday completes Talent Management with Learning - Finally - or too late? Read here.
        • Event Preview - What I would like Workday to address this Rising read here
        • News Analysis – Workday to Expand Suite of Applications for Healthcare Industry - with a SCM twist - read here
        • News Analysis - Workday supports UK Payroll - now speaks (British English) Payroll  - read here
        • Workday 24 - 'True' Analytics, a Vertical and more - now needs customer proof points - read here
        • First Take - Top 3 Takeaways from of Workday Rising Day 1 Keynote - The dawn of the analytics era - time to deliver Insight Apps - read here
        • 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 partnership - 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 and checkout my magazine on Flipboard and my YouTube channel here




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        We had the opportunity to attend GE Digital first edition 'Minds & Machines' (as a specific entity) at Fort Mason in San Francisco.



        Take a peek at the video:



        If you can't watch here are the key takeaways:
        • At the core of GE's offering is Predix, a PaaS offering built on top of Pivotal CloudFoundry.
        • GE Digital has built components on top of that, to make it easier for enterprises to build next gen applications on top of that.
        • Deployment of Predix applications can be to public and private clouds.
        • With the Predix Machine there is a lightweight component that can run 'close to the things' at the end points of an IoT network
        • Showcases we saw were Intelligent Cities, Healthcare, Asset Management, Service with Planned Maintenance and many more.
        • The showcase customer for Predix at the moment is Pitney Bowes, which monitors performance of their stamp print machines.
        • A great showcase of the power of the overall GE was a location demo using GE LED lamps and standard smartphone / tablet camera sensor. 

        MyPOV

        A good and splashy start by GE for GE Digital, the vendor spared little expense to convert Fort Mason into a very nice event space. GE attracted a who is who on the ecosystem side, that probably only a very large vendor like GE can. Kudos for GE to share how it went from a Buy to Partner to Build strategy, which was probably not the fastest path, but that's where GE Digital is today. 

        Growing the business to a 15B in 5 years will be a tall order for any software business. In my view GE Digital will only be able to achieve this with openness for 3rd party things (GE is open for that already) and creating substantial attach rates of software to the things it sells. For enterprises that do business with GE, Predix is a IoT platform to take a closer look at. We will be watching. 

        Find more coverage on the Constellation Research website here and checkout my magazine on Flipboard and my YouTube channel here


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        Before AWS reInvent starts in Las Vegas this week, I took the time to collect some thoughts on where AWS stands and what we may hear this week in Las Vegas.


        So take a peak




        Or if you can't watch, here are the key takeaways



        • Major Cloud Event - Probably the busiest event for cloud - look for announcements from almost all major players.
           
        • What will be the AWS surprise? - No idea, but looking at the surprises of 2013 (Kinesis and Workspace) and 2014 (lambda) - for all we will have to look for updates regarding roadmap and adoption. What comes after lambda? Mu?
           
        • New Instances - Very likely for AWS to announce new instances types, usually at the premium end - so expect more high compute, high memory, SSD leaning instance types.
           
        • Price reductions - AWS has traditionally announced price reductions at reInvent - not so (for a first) last year - let's see what AWS will do in this regards.
           
        • From utility to platform - I see in general a need for AWS to move towards more platform - we will see if we get more announcements / data points in these regards. In general enterprises like platforms over tool collection. Opposite story for developers.
           
        • Chasing load - It will be important to see how AWS plans to capture more load for future growth. ISVs (see e.g. the Infor partnership) are a key to load, we will see if Amazon has more in store. 

        More on AWS
        • Event Report - AWS Summit Berlin - AWS spricht Deutsch - but when will the Germans speak cloud? Read here
        • News Analysis - AWS learns Hindi - Amazon Web Services announces 2016 India Expansion - read here
        • Event Report - AWS Summit San Francisco - AWS pushes the platform with Analytics and Storage [From the Fences] read here
        • Event Report - AWS re:invent - AWS becomes more about PaaS on inhouse IP - read here
        • AWS gives infrastructure insights - and it is very passionate about it - read here
        • News Analysis - AWS spricht Deutsch - the cloud wars reach Germany - read here
        • 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.
        Find more coverage on the Constellation Research website here and checkout my magazine on Flipboard and my YouTube channel here

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        This morning IBM announced the intent to acquire Chicago based object storage vendor Cleversave.


        So let's dissect the press release in our custom style, it can be found here:

        ARMONK, N.Y., Oct. 5, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Cleversafe, Inc., a leading developer and manufacturer of object-based storage software and appliances. The acquisition will strengthen IBM's leadership positions in storage and hybrid cloud and support clients' drive to next generation mobile, social and analytics applications. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
        MyPOV – Good summary of the deal and how it fits in the general – more hybrid as of this year – direction of IBM's cloud business.

        Once the deal closes, IBM will integrate the Cleversafe portfolio into its IBM Cloud business unit to give clients strategic data flexibility, simplified management, and consistency with on-premise, cloud, and hybrid cloud deployment options. 
        MyPOV – Good to see where the 'new' kid will find a home, it could have gone to the Storage unit, too – but given the focus on cloud and cloud growth no surprise that Cleversafe will find its way to the Cloud business unit.

        As companies race to digitally transform their businesses they are faced with several unique challenges, including the rapid growth of unstructured data (images, audio, and video) and finding the proper balance between on-premise and cloud storage deployments. The emergence of new storage technologies, such as object storage delivered through Cleversafe, allows companies to store and manage massive amounts of data more efficiently while meeting the demands of data-intensive workloads delivered via the cloud. […]
        MyPOV – Good summary why cloud storage is key for modern application scenarios and use cases. Cleversafe brings key capabilities to IBM, which already has an object store as part of the SoftLayer acquisition, but it seems like IBM has been investing in other areas of the SoftLayer stack
        .
        "Today a massive digital transformation is underway as organizations increasingly turn to cloud computing for innovative ways to manage more complex business operations and increasing volumes of data in a secure and effective way," said Robert LeBlanc, Senior Vice President, IBM Cloud. "Cleversafe, a pioneer in object storage, will add to our efforts to help clients overcome these challenges by extending and strengthening our cloud storage strategy, as well as our portfolio."
        MyPOV – Good quote by LeBlanc making clear why IBM bought Cleversafe… also – and not mentioned: By providing object storage for more than a decade, the Cleversafe products are not only mature and proven, but also adopted by a large number of customers. And with customers comes load, and load is something that IBM Cloud needs in order to scale and compete in the market.

        Founded in 2004, Cleversafe is a privately held company based in Chicago and a recognized market leader[1] with more than 350 patents in object-based, on-premise storage solutions that enable clients to scale to exabytes of storage, or billions of gigabytes. Clients across multiple industries use Cleversafe for large-scale content repository, backup, archive, collaboration and storage as a service.

        MyPOV – Always good to acquire IP and a wide range of solution portfolio. Cleversafe was smart (or founded too early?) to stay out of providing the storage themselves, but partnering with different cloud and hardware providers (the latter for on premises deployments).  

        "IBM is an innovator and leader in cloud and storage and we're excited about the opportunities that lay ahead once this transaction closes," said John Morris, President and CEO of Cleversafe. "Together with IBM we can extend our object storage leadership position to address the broadest set of workloads for clients with the most expansive set of object-based solutions."
        MyPOV – Good quote by Morris – let's hope it will all happen as he describes.

        Cleversafe's Dispersed Storage Network (dsNet®) solutions enhance on-premise storage options for clients and service providers with low-cost, large scale active archives and unstructured data content stores. The solutions complement IBM's software defined Spectrum Storage portfolio for data protection and backup, tape archive, as well as a high performance file and object solution where the focus is on response time
        MyPOV – Kudos to IBM to address how Cleversafe fits in with the Spectrum products, when I asked for plans in the Q&A call – it was of course too early to address, understandable, but a key area to watch. We expect IBM to keep supporting existing offerings and products, and the next generation of Spectrum Storage to leverage Cleversafe assets like the intelligent slicing of content and more.

        The dsNet solutions and technologies will be integrated into the IBM Cloud to enhance IBM's Infrastructure as a Service, SoftLayer and the SoftLayer Object Storage services platform, providing clients a hybrid cloud deployment model that offers greater choice of geography, performance, cost optimization and flexibility.Following close of the deal, clients will be able to use SoftLayer cloud services and IBM Bluemix, IBM's Platform-as-a-Service, to create dynamic and innovative applications with the Cleversafe technology as a foundational content repository and data archive.
        MyPOV – And good to see that IBM also addresses the overlap with SoftLayer object storage. It will be interesting to see how much of Cleversafe will be moved to Softlayer and how much appetite IBM will have to support the heterogenous platform support that Cleversafe has today (e.g. AWS).

        The planned acquisition underscores IBM's continued commitment to data storage innovation including investments across Flash, Software Defined Storage and Cloud Storage environments over the last five years alone. IBM continues to offer one of the most comprehensive storage portfolios in the industry, created through both acquisitions and innovations from IBM Research and Development.
        MyPOV – A good reminder, but obvoiusy this portfolio needed some IP and business injection from the outside, nothing wrong with that, more a continued IBM strategy.

        Overall MyPOV

        A good move by IBM, which needed to upgrade it object storage capabilities. Very large and large files play a key role as load for cloud environments (just take the data point of Netflix network traffic as part North American cloud traffic). The older SoftLayer object store could not compete with that and could not deliver the customers that Cleversoft has acquired over the last 10+ years.

        On the concern side, it is another acquisition and IBM needs to integrate Cleversave not only on the cloud side – but also for its Spectrum Storage portfolio. That will take some time, and it will be key for IBM to keep customers, talent and business together. On the flipside IBM has plenty of acquisition experience, its very cloud business operating on the base of a key acquisition, SoftLayer.

        So congrats to IBM, that made a good acquisition both from an IP and customer load perspective. Storage is sticky, and can't be switched easily for existing applications. That will be both a blessing and a course for IBM going forward. We will be watching.
        More on IBM :
        • Market Move - IBM acquires StrongLoop - nodejs comes to BlueMix - read here
        • News Analysis - IBM and ARM Collaborate to Accelerate Delivery of Internet of Things - The IBM NextGenApps Stack emerges - read here
        • Progress Report - IBM Cloud makes good progress - but needs to attract more load - read here
        • Market Move - IBM gets into private cloud (services) with Blue Box acqusition - read here
        • Event Report - IBM InterConnect - IBM makes bets for the hybrid cloud - read here
        • First Take - IBM InterConnect Day #1 Keynote - BlueMix, SoftLayer and Watson - read here
        • News Analysis - IBM had a very good year in the cloud - 2015 will be key - read here
        • Event Report - IBM Insight 2014 - Is it all coming together for IBM in 2015? Or not? 
        • 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 and checkout my magazine on Flipboard and my YouTube channel here

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        Today the Court of Justice of the EU invalidated the Safe Harbor agreement between the EU and the US. Take a look at the press release of the court here.

        So take a look at what it means for next generation applications (and also other applications that store European consumer / business data):

         


        If you can't watch here are my takeaways
        • A win for data privacy for Europeans, the question will be at what cost. That cheap electronic gadget or sports apparel is likely no longer a click away. 
        • Not so good news for small and medium size business (SMB) who do business with European entities and consumers who now face additionally challenges. Challenges will be huge in case a SMB does business in their own data center in North America. Or works with a datacenter provider who does not have a EU presence. 
        • It largely will benefit the larger vendors, particularly those who have a EU presence, or so called model agreements for the respective locations of their data centers. 

        What is your take? 

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