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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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    Earlier today IBM unveiled its plans to create a dedicated consulting practice, staffed by 2000 consultants and dedicated to nothing but cognitive business.



    The press release can be found here, going for the medium, video to comment:



    If you don't have a chance to watch here are the key takeaways:
    • It is early times for cognitive business. Good to see IBM adding dedicated services professionals to its products (Watson and BlueMix to build cognitive apps).
    • The concern is that very few enterprises have come out that they are using IBM (none mentioned in the press release). Granted, they may not want to go public with their showcases as they may be a strategic advantage and disrupt their industries.
    • The dedicated website to 'out-think' is doing a good job showing the breadth and depth of the IBM cognitive, but also lack specific examples.


    MyPOV

    A good move by IBM, after many years of investment in cognitive products (Watson), time to get dedicated professionals to leverage the opportunity. It can be taken as a sign that Watson is now ready for doing business and tying careers in professional services to it. 

    On the concern side we know Watson is still a complex system to operate and see results (e.g. corpus training) and IBM will have to mention some specific 'lighthouse' customer show cases. 

    But overall a good move by IBM, it is early days for cognitive computing as a next gen application category. We will be watching. 




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    In what coud have been taken as an April Fool’s joke if the date was April 1st, Teradata today announced support for its data warehouse on Amazon’s AWS Cloud.



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

    SAN DIEGO – October 7, 2015 – Teradata Corp. (NYSE: TDC), the big data analytics and marketing applications company, announced today it is making its Teradata Database, the market’s leading data warehousing and analytic solution, available for cloud deployment on AWS to support production workloads. The initial version of Teradata Database on AWS will be offered on a variety of individual multi-terabyte virtual servers--known as Amazon Elastic Cloud Compute (EC2) instances--in supported AWS regions via a listing in the AWS Marketplace. […] 
    MyPOV – So that sums it up well: The prove veteran Teradata Database will be running on Amazon AWS EC2 instances, with support for production workloads. For the longest time customers had to buy hardware to run the Teradata Datawarehouse from Teradata – but these times are over now. Definitively a good move and another proofpoint of a new approach a Teradata (we noticed already at the analyst summit – see here), Teradata is not afraid to challenge revenue streams and traditions.


    […] AWS is the leading cloud service provider and has a global footprint with more than one million active customers in 190 countries. With Teradata Database on AWS, supported use cases include test and development, quality assurance, data marts, disaster recovery, and production analytics. The primary benefits to customers include:
    • Wider accessibility to the market’s leading data warehouse and analytic solution
    • Closer proximity of the database to data sources and partner software in the cloud
    • Easier scalability with self-service provisioning and hourly pay-as-you-go convenience
    MyPOV – Teradata is reaping all the benefits from running on AWS, supporting all possible deployments and use cases. Now Teradata is available for anyone with access to the web (and a credit card, we need to see what Teradata will charge for using its software).

    “This is a significant announcement for Teradata because it illustrates a fundamentally new deployment option for what has long been the industry’s most respected engine for production analytics,” said Chris Twogood, Vice President of Product and Services Marketing at Teradata. “In terms of convenience, security, performance, and market adoption, cloud computing has proven its value. By incorporating AWS as the first public cloud offering for deploying a production Teradata Database, we will make it easier for companies of all sizes to become data-driven with best-in-class data warehousing and analytics.”
    MyPOV – Good quote from Twogood – note the emphasis on ‘first’ – so there may be more and different cloud providers coming down the road.


    Twogood said that a growing number of existing and prospective customers want a hybrid mixture of deployment options – with some resources maintained physically on-premises and other services delivered virtually via the cloud. Representing Teradata’s initial version of Teradata Database for public cloud deployment, Teradata Database on AWS will expand the range of choices for companies to extract the greatest analytical insights for their organizations:
    • On-premises integrated data warehouse: Teradata Platforms and Appliances
    • Purpose-built managed environment: Teradata Cloud
    • Self-service public cloud: Teradata Database on AWS
    • Hybrid approach using a combination of the above
    MyPOV – This adds a third deployment option of Teradata. And typically public cloud based deployments (we still need to learn on pricing, reading along in the press release) – are cheaper for customers than on premise / private cloud deployments, due to less hardware utilization on premises. We will also have to see if Teradata will support bursting to the cloud, e.g. when on premises capacity is maxed out. This is tricky given the nature of data centric applications like Teradata's, but it can be achieved.
     
    Additionally, Teradata Production and Advisory Services, delivered by a deep bench of industry and analytic experts within Teradata Professional Services, are available to assist new and existing customers with provisioning, integration, management, and fine tuning of Teradata Database across all deployment options.
    MyPOV – Good to see Teradata is not missing the opportunity to sell services. Customer will initially need help to deploy these new capabilities. Over the longer run they should be automated though software though, as software scales better than humans.

    More information about Teradata Database on AWS is available from company representatives exhibiting at the AWS re:Invent annual user conference from October 6-9 in Las Vegas and at the Gartner Symposium/ITxpo 2015 event from October 4-8 in Orlando. Additional insight will also be shared during the upcoming Teradata 2015 PARTNERS Conference and Expo, the premier global data analytics conference taking place October 18-22 in Anaheim. Attendees are encouraged to visit Teradata’s Analytics in the Cloud station in the Expo Hall and participate in the cloud-focused PARTNERS breakout session titled, “The Rise of the Purpose-Built Analytics Cloud” on Tuesday, October 20 from 9:00 to 10:15 am.
    MyPOV – Well good ;bang for buck’ hitting an own and two other major events. Currently attending AWS reinvent, the event has grown to 15k+ attendees, so lots of attention on new announcements.

    Availability
    The initial version of Teradata Database on AWS will be available in Q1 2016 for global deployment. It will be offered on a variety of individual multi-terabyte Amazon EC2 instance types via a listing in the AWS Marketplace. EC2 is a web-based service that allows business subscribers to run application programs in the Amazon computing environment and pay only for capacity that is actually used. Customers will have the ability to deploy standalone on AWS or can complement both on-premises and Teradata Cloud environments.
    MyPOV – Good to see a near availability date, even more important to see that ‘pay as you use; principles will be followed. Key also to see that a AWS only deployment is supported, so the AWS deployment is a first class citizen next to the Teradata on premises and Teradata cloud deployment options. But we miss hearing what it will cost for customers to use Teradata on AWS.

    Overall MyPOV

    A good move by Teradata, that is not stopping at challenging the pastest, its engineered system business, optimized to run the Teradata Database. It’s a copy of the Microsoft post Ballmer strategy – analogous to an ‘Office everywhere’ there seems to be a ‘Teradata everywhere’ strategy in place. Customers should understand the full cost of running Teradata Warehouse on AWS, including license / usage payments to Teradata.

    On the concern side we see uncertainty on pricing. Cost for moving to cloud is key planning and decision criteria for enterprise. We are certain that Teradata will not make this move without making AWS based Teradata Database reasonably attractive enough. But it would also not be good business acumen to make these too cheap, unless we may see a departure by Teradata from building its engineered systems in the future. That would be a serious blow to the overall engineered (or converged) system approach, but maybe data warehouses can be run cheaper on Linux based ‘plain vanilla’ systems. We will see.

    Overall a good move to Teradata, that really only begs the question, what took so long to get there.


    More on Teradata
    • News Analysis - Teradata Launches First Enterprise Support for Presto read here
    • Progress Report - Teradata is alive and kicking and shows some good 'paranoid' practices read here
    • Check out my colleague Doug Henschen's view on Presto and the recent analyst event - read here
    • Progress Report - Teradata is alive and kicking and shows some good 'paranoid' practices - 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 have the opportunity to attend Amazon's AWS reInvent conference in Las Vegas. The conference is seeing record attendance, with over 19k attendees, more than doubling compared to the 2014 edition. 


    So take a look:


    If you don't have a chance to watch - here are my key takeaways:

    • Database remains core - Not only is Aurora doing well, but AWS announced MariaDB as their 6th database offering. Continuous migration services were announced, as well as  a schema conversion tool across all 6 supported AWS relational databases. Jassy shared that 80% could be migrated automatically.
       
    • Amazon QuickSight - Probably the most powerful product announcement, with a strong appeal for business users. Making sense of data automatically, then visualize it for further analysis and put it into storytelling capabilities is very attractive to business users. It needs better visualization, but impressive scope for a V1.
       
    • Enterprise Focus - AWS is addressing again the security concerns enterprises have with cloud. With Inspector and Config Rules there are now software based offerings to make sure information and processes in AWS Cloud are safe and compliant. So when enterprises move they need to get their data their, and AWS announced Snowball, a secure way to ship a 50 TB box (or more of them) from on premisses to AWS. But with all software support, human skills are still in demand, and along these lines it is good to see Accenture announcing on stage to form a dedicated AWS consulting unit. 


      MyPOV

      A very good start for AWS reInvent, with a lot of announcements and new capabilities. Good to see AWS getting better at taking away the main inhibitors and concerns for enterprises starting with security, data migration and trusted advisors / people skills. 

      On the concern side AWS is announcing a lot of things and innovating at rapid pace, to stay on top of that is a challenge for professionals and enterprises. Amazon will have to think about more innovative ways on know how distribution and certification at some point.

      But a good start for AWS reInvent - stay tuned for more updates.


      More on AWS
      • Event Preview - AWS reInvent 2015 - watch / read here
      • 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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      We had the opportunity to attend Amazon's AWS unit user conference in Las Vegas, the event is seeing record attendance with over 19k attendees.

      So take a peak for the Day 2 keynote and overall event takeaways:


      If you don't have a chance to watch - here are my top three takeaways from the event:

      • AWS wants a piece of IoT - One of the area seeing the most interest with our clients as a next generation apps scenario is IoT. And AWS has been already shortlisted for most IoT platform selections due to the breadth of capabilities and capacity (namely S3). So now with a more packaged offering we expect AWS to be even better positioned. What stands out on the architecture side is the creation of a 'shadow' object to the thing, which allow 'doing stuff to the thing' indirectly. And then pricing is purely based on messaging, so scaling the platform from a gateway, rules engine, registry and shadow perspectives is driven through the message pricing, interesting as a truly elastic architecture.
      • AWS pushes for the enterprise - AWS understands what enterprises care about and announced a number of interesting services around DB data migration and product conversion (more here). On the  more disruptive side the new BI offering, Amazon QuickSight is the first AWS product that caters to a business user and is very competitive V1 version of a product, with substantial partner uptake. With partnership agreements like with e.g. Accenture, AWS know how will be more available with traditional trusted sources used by enterprise decision makers.
      • AWS time is now - It cannot get much better for any cloud vendor than things got for AWS during this conference: There is very few enterprises that can top a commitment to move to AWS as an 'all in' move, like GE. And that's what the CIO of GE pretty much said...  apart from IP relevant apps (details are missing) over 9000 corporate IT functions are moving to AWS. And then a banking (!) CIO - the one of CapitalOne - is on stage and says that AWS data centers are more secure than his. Can't get much better either. So AWS can't make a much better case and can't have much better showcases, if the light bulbs in regards of public cloud adoption in the enterprise don't go on now, one can only be sceptical when the go on.

      MyPOV

      A very good event for AWS, with record attendance, interest and  announcements. For enterprises looking at public cloud use cases, it reconfirms AWS as a prime contender to be on the shortlist, as the vendor has become even more attractive for the enterprise buyer. 

      On the concern side we see that AWS needs to find new ways to distribute knowledge, partnership with SIs are only one path, It's tough for anyone to stay on top of the innovation and the Venetian / Sands is bursting at the seams. And AWS needs to reach more of a enterprise audience - beyond the traditional developer audience of  re-Invent conferences. But then AWS CTO Vogels talked for over 15 minutes about IoT use cases, which was kind of odd, as traditionally he delivers a technology talk. It maybe a sign of AWS starting to cater more to the enterprise executive, but we would have to see more of that to call it a trend and with a different audience in attendance. AWS does this usually with AWS Summits, but once a vendor has a certain size, audiences can no longer be segregated and messaging needs to be consistent along the entire year. And lastly AWS needs to tune its platform message and move away from the a collection of technologies that get pieced together. Developer love that, executives dread that. The AWS IoT is an approach in that direction, AWS will need to do more and be firmer on the messaging. 

      But overall a very good event for AWS and its customers. There can't be better references for the move to public cloud than AWS had on stage this week. Now it is for enterprises to chart their course.



      More on AWS
      • First Take - AWS reInvent Wednesday Keynote - Good start & AWS is going for the enterprise read here
      • Event Preview - AWS re-Invent 2015 - watch / read here
      • 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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    • 10/12/15--17:15: Event Preview - I love APIs
    • We have the opportunity to attend the 'I love API'conference happening in San Jose this week on October 13th and 14th.



      Take a peek at my thoughts here:



      Or if you don't have a chance to look - read here:
      • APIs become more and more important - No surprise - APIs power more and more of the economy
      • Is is getting easier - or harder - One key area will be to see if it getting easier to build and consume APIs - not even by a developer, but potentially (a savvy) business users.
      • Do APIs scale? - It used to be that APIs could not do brute force interfaces - let's see how they scale up to the 21st century demands. And next to technical scalability, there is also business scalability with aspects like e.g. uptake, monetization, licensing and more.
      • IoT - No surrpise - the hottest next generation application use case features prominently at the conference. 
      • 3 Tracks - Developer, Technologist and Executive - will be interesting to see these three separate tracks. 
      If you can make it to San Jose - make sure you step by and say Hello!

      --------
      If you like the video / blog - here are more event previews:

      • Event Preview - AWS reInvent 2015 - watch / read here
      • Event Preview - What I would like Salesforce to address this Dreamforce 2015 - watch / read here
      • Event Preview - What I would like Workday to address this Rising - read / watch here
      • Event Preview - What Alan Lepofsky and I want Box to address this BoxWorks - watch / read here
      • Event Preview - What I would like Salesforce to address this Dreamforce 2015 - read / watch 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, not so much as a surprise after many leaks, it was made official – Dell plans to acquire EMC.  


      Take a look at the thoughts my colleague Ray 'R' Wang and me put together right this morning:


      So let’s take a look at the press release (it can be found here) in our custom News Analysis style, and then let’s look at the implications:
      Dell Inc. and EMC Corporation today announced they have signed a definitive agreement under which Dell, together with its owners, Michael S. Dell, founder, chairman and chief executive officer of Dell, MSD Partners and Silver Lake, the global leader in technology investing, will acquire EMC Corporation, while maintaining VMware as a publicly-traded company.
      MyPOV – So we know who acquires who, MSD is the investment vehicle of Michael Dell and Silver Lake the partner that Dell used to take itself private. Keeping VMware (see latest blog on VMware, the VMworld event report here) as a separate company is key as we will see later. No word of other EMC federation members though, Pivotal (latest blog post here), RSA, VCE and Virtustream (the newest member of the EMC federation (see the Market Move blog on the acquisition by EMC here).

      Under the terms of the agreement, EMC shareholders will receive $24.05 per share in cash in addition to tracking stock linked to a portion of EMC’s economic interest in the VMware business. Based on the estimated number of EMC shares outstanding at the close of the transaction, EMC shareholders are expected to receive approximately 0.111 shares of new tracking stock for each EMC share. Assuming, for illustrative purposes, a valuation for each share of tracking stock of $81.78, the intraday volume-weighted average price for VMware on Wednesday, October 7, 2015, EMC shareholders would receive a total combined consideration of $33.15 per EMC share and the total transaction would be valued at approximately $67 billion. The value of the tracking stock may vary from the market price of VMware given the different characteristics and rights of the two stocks.
      MyPOV – An interesting vehicle to finance the deal, with VMware tracking stock. We leave it to our colleagues the financial analysts to look more in detail, but it is clear that the VMware stock prices is going to be in the spotlight in the next months. Interesting the announcement is featured on all other EMC federation members’ homepages, but not VMware’s.


      The EMC Board of Directors approved the merger agreement and intends to recommend that stockholders of EMC approve the agreement.
      MyPOV – Important detail…

      DELIVERING FUTURE-READY TECHNOLOGIES TO CUSTOMERS
      The combination of Dell and EMC will create the world’s largest privately-controlled, integrated technology company. The company will be a leader in the extremely attractive high-growth areas of the $2 trillion information technology market with complementary product portfolios, sales teams and R&D investment strategies. The transaction combines two of the world’s greatest technology franchises with leadership positions in servers, storage, virtualization and PCs and it brings together strong capabilities in the fastest growing areas of the industry, including digital transformation, software-defined data center, hybrid cloud, converged infrastructure, mobile and security.
      MyPOV – Good point the largest privately controlled technology company. It will be interesting to see if and how Dell can use being private as its advantage. It has certainly show it here, as Dell, the smaller of the two vendors, can acquire EMC, the other way around would probably not have worked. And it is correct – both vendors combine a sizeable part of IT spend, for some customers we estimate north of 50%, for others in the low percentages (e.g. a VMware only customer). But it gives Dell what Dell wanted (and needed) – more access to the CIO office, and a larger portfolio to sell. Once you have that trusted relationship, you can use it to sell more and gain more share of wallet.


      Since becoming a private company, Dell has had the flexibility and agility to focus completely on customers and invest for long-term results. The transaction will unite Dell’s strength with small business and mid-market customers with EMC’s strength with large enterprises to fuel profitable growth and generate significant cash flows. The combined company will consist of strategically-aligned businesses and incubated high-growth assets, fostering innovation, enabling customer choice and attracting and retaining world-class talent .
      MyPOV – And here we have it stated – more CIO office access at larger corporations. True also that there are ‘incubated high growth assets’ (an interesting term) across both vendors, but both still have to show and live up to their growth potential. It is even harder to see that on the Dell side, but never vendor has created a 1B+ software product on the incubator side. Dell will needs a few of those to pull off in the future.


      “The combination of Dell and EMC creates an enterprise solutions powerhouse bringing our customers industry leading innovation across their entire technology environment. Our new company will be exceptionally well-positioned for growth in the most strategic areas of next generation IT including digital transformation, software-defined data center, converged infrastructure, hybrid cloud, mobile and security,” said Mr. Dell. “Our investments in R&D and innovation along with our privately-controlled structure will give us unmatched scale, strength and flexibility, deepening our relationships with customers of all sizes. I am incredibly excited to partner with the EMC, VMware, Pivotal, VCE, RSA and Virtustream teams and am personally committed to the success of our new company, our customers and partners.”
      MyPOV – Good quote from Dell, on the strategic areas he enumerates, we can follow on software defined data center, converged infrastructure (if e.g. Evo comes to Dell servers with force), mobile (Airwatch) and Security (RSA). We are more skeptical on digital transformation and hybrid cloud. On the former, because that involves also SaaS assets, that the combined entity will not have, and the latter as it requires to play in the public cloud, something that neither Dell nor EMC have done so far. Interesting Dell does not call out the EMC ‘bread and butter’ business… storage. Whatever that means for the storage plans we will see. If asked I am sure Dell will see storage as part of the software defined data center, where we are e.g. optimistic around the VMware Nicira assets.


      “I’m tremendously proud of everything we’ve built at EMC – from humble beginnings as a Boston-based startup to a global, world-class technology company with an unyielding dedication to our customers,” said Joe Tucci, chairman and chief executive officer of EMC. “But the waves of change we now see in our industry are unprecedented and, to navigate this change, we must create a new company for a new era. I truly believe that the combination of EMC and Dell will prove to be a winning combination for our customers, employees, partners and shareholders.”
       MyPOV – An almost sentimental statement by Tucci, which also shows why EMC has not been able to pull it off so far in regards of strategic growth areas (which largely still remains a mystery to me – we will have to wait for the Tucci biography for a shot at this).


      "We are excited and honored to invest in the outstanding businesses built by Joe Tucci and his world-class management team. This is an extraordinary opportunity to continue and expand our partnership with the iconic technology entrepreneur Michael Dell and his talented team,” said Egon Durban, managing partner of Silver Lake. “We believe the strategic integration of EMC and Dell will generate unparalleled depth and breadth across servers, storage, virtualization and the next era of converged infrastructure, creating a global technology platform poised for sustained long term growth and innovation in the years to come. We are doubling down and increasing our investment in this differentiated market leader for the next paradigm of enterprise computing.”
      MyPOV Good quote from Durban, who (finally!) mentions storage, and the other parts of the data center play, servers and virtualization (but misses networking). And yes – Silver Lake is doubling down and betting on Dell to pull this off, ‘only’ the largest tech deal so far. In comparison, the tally for serial acquirer Oracle is around 50B over the last 10+ years.


      VMware will remain a publicly-traded company and continue to provide customers’ value through leading software- defined data center technology, together with its cloud, mobile and desktop offerings. This transaction is expected to accelerate VMware’s growth across all of its businesses through significant synergies with Dell’s solutions and go-to-market channels. VMware remains committed to investing in and partnering with its strong, industry ecosystem.
      MyPOV – And a key point on the independence of VMware again. Fair enough to say the independence of VMware allows for more freedom in partnering, but Dell competitors who are now VMware partners will not forget who owns VMware now… we will have to see if these may mean a move away from VMware in the medium run.

      TRANSACTION TERMS
      The transaction is expected to be financed through a combination of new common equity from Michael S. Dell, MSD Partners, Silver Lake and Temasek, the issuance of tracking stock, as well as new debt financing and cash on hand. There are no financing conditions to the closing of the transaction.

      Mr. Dell and related stockholders will own approximately 70 percent of the company’s common equity, excluding the tracking stock, similar to their pre-transaction ownership.

      MyPOV – No comments, here interesting that Singapore based Temasek got an in on the deal.


      Following completion of the transaction, Mr. Dell will lead the combined company as chairman and chief executive officer. Mr. Tucci will continue as chairman and chief executive officer of EMC until the transaction closes. Dell’s headquarters will remain in Round Rock, Texas, and the headquarters of the combined enterprise systems business will be located in Hopkinton, Mass. […]
      MyPOV – And that settles the leadership question, as well as when Tucci will resign. Interesting to see the common headquarter will be in Massachusetts, not the cheaper location to do business, but probably important to keep consistency. There seems to be a sentiment in Massachusetts on losing businesses and on the Q&A call it was clear that both Dell and Tucci were ready to address this concern.

      Implications, Implications

      Implications for Customers

      As usual when acquisition happen, we recommend customers to make sure that key roadmap items are secured. Combined entities look for synergies, and those synergies may not be aligned with what enterprises have been promised before, or at least made their buying decisions on. Contracts are the weapon of choice to protect IT projects and enterprises from undesired outcomes. In more detail, storage customers should stay the course, unlikely they will see major disruption, but question converged appliances coming from EMC. It is likely that the next generation of appliances coming from the new Dell will be significantly better in price for performance. The VMware portfolio is unlikely to be affected, so stay the course. If building a next generation application projects, Pivotal is unlikely to be affected in the near term, too. Customers should not expect radical new and / or soon solutions to operate the public side of a hybrid cloud solution of the new Dell – as much as we would recommend the vendors to do so. So public cloud projects beyond the current EMC / VMware / Dell reach should stay the course, as project economics are unlikely to change substantially.

      Implications for Dell

      Rumors are out there that Dell tried to get rid of the consumer PC business before, if true it points to the fist challenge of a combined entity that is struggling to keep up growth on the consumer side. In the same industry HP is just separating B2C and B2B, one development to watch. If Dell can part from its onetime secret to success (cheap PCs), it will be an interesting step to observe. Dell has been able to grow its B2B server business to (estimated) 8B+, a respectable size, but not enough to reach the scale it needs. On the flipside, the Dell Server business is larger than the EMC Federation (excluding EMC) combined. Dell has also been working on a number of software assets, some of them acquired, some of them grown in-house, one of the more prominent ones the integration product formerly known as Boomi. One key area to watch will be, if Dell will embrace the latest VMware appliance, EVO. And the new Python offerings maybe interesting for a new way of running microservices and data centers. I expect the storage offerings to be merged quickly, for whoever remembers the bidding war between HP and Dell a few years ago around 3Par – this is an ironic step today. If the ‘new’ Dell will manage to integrate the technology stack it will be offering more products and services than arch rival HP and IBM, both are weaker in either functionality and or volume of the dimensions of the software defined data center game. From a breadth and depth only Oracle will be ahead of Dell, though clearly trailing on storage. Microsoft just launched its first PC, but we see the PC business as a side note in the overall considerations for the new Dell.

      Implications for EMC

      It will be interesting to see how long the EMC brand will keep being put on new products. Likely EMC is going into computing history as the ‘one trick pony’ that never made to make it beyond storage to be truly great. We expect the storage product to become part of Dell server combinations soon, everything else is not substantial to worry too long at this point.

      Implications for EMC Federation companies

      So let’s walk through them….

      VMware remains the crown jewel in two aspects: For one to finance the deal – with immediate pressure on Gelsinger and team to keep the stock price up. And then for the intimate knowledge of knowing what enterprises run inside their data centers. When I asked Gelsinger why VMware is not doing more to monetize this, his reply was that VMware already is, to which mine was that we need to see more of that then. It will be that more that will make or break much of the success of the new Dell. If Dell can give VMware a homogenous on ramp to Dell owned datacenters, fortified with competitive SLAs, this will be an option CIOs and CTOs will look at with no doubt for the existing loads. If there are savings, why not run even complex load like e.g. SAP and Oracle solutions in the public cloud? As VMware is under pressure to keep up revenue we don’t expect any lower interest on the EUC portfolio. Invigorated by Windows 10, Airwatch and Horizon just have found a few thousand sales people with good CIO access. Monetizing this will be key for the success of the new Dell.

      Pivotal remains a mixed story– shining on the PaaS side with CloudFoundry, not convincing on the database side. But even the latter may find new life when combined with the Dell ‘incubated’ products on the Big Data side. Though we remain skeptical, a struggling product family doesn’t get better when combined with a new incubated product family that isn’t fully developed. The story is very different on the PaaS side, where CloudFoundry remains almost the de facto standard for large enterprise PaaS projects. To give these next gen applications being built on CloudFoundry a public cloud home made by Dell is going to be key (instead of losing it largely to AWS and others). That this alignment of PaaS and IaaS works is something we see all over the market, from Oracle and IBM all the way even to Rackspace. Enterprises want to see less crack points and who can give them less integration headache will be a winner for tomorrow’s budgets.

      Virtuestream is a short term opportunity– having done well with hosting / putting to the ‘cloud’ complex SAP ERP solutions. That is unique know how that should help the new Dell very well. In the long run though SAP will be better at hosting / putting to the cloud SAP than anyone else, so it is important for Dell to move fast in this regards, and again needs a target / public cloud where to run these loads.

      RSA and VCE are beyond my coverage, so won’t mention them here.

      Implications for partners

      A great day for combined partners, which will get a lot of attention to power the new Dell. Watch for the portfolio cleanup and bet on the right horse early. As these things go, in case of doubt bet on the Dell product. Single vendor partners need to re-think their strategy if they want to try to be all in – but that will be a crowded boat, or if they want to seize the opportunity for a more heterogeneous portfolio. Some great partner enterprises have risen from the ashes of similar difficult scenarios.

      Implications for competitors

      We expect the competition to try to throw as much FUD against the new Dell as they can possibly create. All these markets are cut throat, Dell knows that. We expect competitors to offer migration offerings, with storage being the largest, and possibly even the most vulnerable target. Enterprises will keep looking for cheaper alternatives from open source vs e.g. VMware. But competitors should not bank on the uncertainty to last longer than two, maybe three quarters. Pressure on Dell to execute is massive, and that will lead to a clear roadmap and execution sooner than later.

      Overall MyPOV

      A very bold move by Dell, that is not even sure to go down as announced, pending financing and VMware stock value. Business goes on, e.g. VMworld Europe kicks off Tuesday this week and it will be a key event to reassure European customers of what VMware can do. Maybe Michael Dell will jet over there, which probably would be a key endorsement move and could slow some potential ‘Euro frenzy’. The industry has not done well with mega mergers, think of the HP / Compaq merger, but these are key events that are even being reviewed in the press 10+ years later. It will be the same for the Dell / EMC merger that – if Michael Dell and his (new) team can pull it off – will be a remarkable re-invention of the Dell brand, a very different Dell. It will be key to see if Dell can muster the investment to build out a Dell ‘public’ cloud for all the arguments we have listed earlier, that’s where in my view EMC missed the boat. And being later has never helped in the high tech business, but to catch up is getting harder and harder, so speed and execution will be of the essence. We will be watching.



      More on VMWare
      • Event Report - VMware VMworld 2015 - VMware stays the course - executes - progresses on fight for long term relevance - read here
      • Musings – What will it be this year at VMWorld - read here
      • Market Move - EMC to acquire Virtustream - More paths to the cloud - read here
      • News Analysis - Pivotal makes CloudFoundry more about multi-cloud - read here
      • News Analysis - Pivotal pivots to Open Source and Hortonworks - or: Open Source keeps winning - read here
      • News Analysis - VMware makes progress towards the (hybrid) cloud - now let's watch the adoption - read here
      • Speed Briefings at VMworld - read here
      • Event Report - VMware makes a lot of progress - but the holy grail is still missing - read here.
      • First Take - VMware's VMworld Day 1 Keynote - Top 3 Takeaways - read here.
      • Progress Report - Good start for VMware EUC - time for 2nd inning - read here.
      • Speed Briefings at VMworld - inside and outside the VMware ecosystem - read here.
      • VMware defies conventional destiny - SDDC to the rescue - read here

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      We had the opportunity to attend the 'ILoveAPIs' conference in San Jose this week, which is effectively the Apigee user conference. The event took place in the San Jose McEnry convention center ans surroundings with keynotes across the street in the San Marcos Theater and the customer appreciation event happening at the Tech Museum.



      Take a peek at the event video:



      If you don't have a chance to watch - here are my three top Takeaways:

      • APIs are alive and well - APIs remain the way how modern software is being connected. Tons of older software running on EDI, but there is no question for which technology to use when building modern, next generation applications.
      • Adoption remains challenging - APIs have not reached the bulk of enterprises. Technology itself does not justify the move, the new business trends around Digital Transformation, IoT, Globalization are the starting point to look at APIs for enterprises. 
      • Monetization and Go To Market becomes clearer - APIs are new for enterprises as they are key to build a platform approach. But open platform approaches are new for most enterprises, understanding how to create and then even more how to operate them is not trivial, as many decisions go against the traditional, 20th century DNA of executives / capitalism of profit maximization. 

      MyPOV

      A good event for Apigee with motivated attendees and eager prospects to understand what they are missing and how to get going with a platform approach in the 21st century. 

      On the concern side, APIs are just a small piece in the overall technology puzzle that enterprises have to sort out in order to build next generation applications. The tech stack vendors will do all they can do to minimize the importance of APIs compared to the rest of the stack, so Apigee will have to keep working on remaining relevant, have a seat at the table and make a difference for enterprises.

      The good news is that the vendor is up for exactly that, eschewing tech talk in the favor of business practice change and business model competition. So we are optimistic of Apigee keep doing well and remaining relevant when enterprises build their next generation applications. 


      More on 'I love APIs' / Apigee:

      • Event Preview - I love APIs - 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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    • 10/17/15--21:23: Event Preview - HR Tech 2015
    • What should end user consider when going to HR Tech in Las Vegas - the 18th edition, happening in Las Vegas this week.


      So take a peak:



      If you don't have a chance to watch - here are the key points:

      • Prepare for the event - It will be crazy there, but everybody is there - so plan ahead.
      • Check in with the existing vendor(s) - What is new, what do the plan to do, how much interest can they garner, where are the booths, are they spending more or less on marketing than last year, etc. 
      • Check in with your vendor(s)'s competitors - same as above, with a frivolous atmosphere. 
      • Consider portfolio cleanup - Less moving parts makes less headaches - what could you consolidate?
      • Check out the implementation partners - Talk to your existing one as well as look for alternatives. Even if you don't want to switch anything, always good to know options.
      • Attend sessions - The proven HR Tech vehicle of mostly 
      • Get familiar with technology trends that matter to HR:
        - Understand what is happening with Analytics - read more here on what it is about - and attend a panel with Castlight Health, Cornerstone, Equfax, Ultimate, Workday moderated by yours truly at Monday, 11 AM (more here, Technology Insight, TECH1 session).
        - BigData - Bring together all your relevant information without knowing what questions you want to ask - for the first time. Know what Hadoop is and what your vendor is doing and planning in that space.
        - Cloud - is a given. But understand data center locations, see my recent blog post / video on the EU High Court invalidating the Safe Harbor agreement here.
        - Mobile - Understand the plans - make sure the mot popular operating systems - iOS and Android are equally supported by your vendor. 
      • 5 new business cards - At least make 5 new connections with peers in the industry.
      If you see me, stop me for a chat - even for saying Hi! for 10 seconds... and follow my updates as always on Twitter @holgermu.

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

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      A short event preview of SAP's upcoming developer conference, SAP TechEd, happening in Las Vegas this week.



      So take a peak:


      If you can't watch - have a look:
      • A year ago (see here) it was (finally!) all about PaaS at SAP. Similar to Oracle, which had Oracle Openworld happening the week before (this year it's the other way around). And similar to IBM, who has been promoting the API economy for quite a while. SAP partners with Apigee and has made good progress as we saw at 'ILoveAPIs' last week (see here).
      • Anyone remember the yellow SAP logo - it was all new 12 months ago.. time flies. 
      • So what will SAP show the developer community how they can make a living in 2016? I think the Hana Cloud Platform (HCP) will be key and needs to remain forefront of these efforts.
      • A year ago it was all about HANA SPS9 - let's see how much HANA messaging we will hear the next days. Of course a main focus is the recent HANA Vora announcement (more here). It's a very good move by SAP, TechEd will show how SAP will motivate developers to uptake the new capabilities. 
      • And lets learn  more about the new SAP Analytics solution, that was announced last week. 
      • Let's see how the ecosystem is doing, key to see SAP uptake and adoption.
      If you are in Las Vegas in person, catch me - I always have a minute. Or follow me on Twitter @holgermu - all my notes are there first!


      More on overall SAP strategy and products:

      • Event Report - SAP SuccessFactors SuccessConnect - Good Progress sprinkled with innovative ideas and challenging the status quo - read here
      • News Analysis - WorkForce Software Announces Global Reseller Agreement with SAP - read here
      • First Take - SAP SuccessFactors SuccessConnect - Day #1 Keynote Top 3 Takeaways - read here
      • News Analysis - SAP SuccessFactors introduces Next Generation of HCM software - read here
      • News Analysis - SAP delivers next release of SAP HANA - SPS 10 - Ready for BigData and IoT - read here
      • Event Report - SAP Sapphire - Top 3 Positives and Concerns - read here
      • First Take - Bernd Leukert and Steve Singh Day #2 Keynote - read here
      • News Analysis - SAP and IBM join forces ... read here
      • First Take - SAP Sapphire Bill McDermott Day #1 Keynote - read here
      • In Depth - S/4HANA qualities as presented by Plattner - play for play - read here
      • First Take - SAP Cloud for Planning - the next spreadsheet killer is off to a good start - read here
      • Progress Report - SAP HCM makes progress and consolidates - a lot of moving parts - read here
      • First Take - SAP launches S/4HANA - The good, the challenge and the concern - read here

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


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

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


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      We had the opportunity to attend the HR Tech conference this week in Las Vegas. New record attendance with close to 30k attendees, record exhibitors, sessions etc. it is clear if you are looking for the latest in HR, you need to be at HR Tech.


      So take a peak:


      If you can't watch - here are the key takeaways
      • Analytics - This remains a key trend to make HR applications better for end users. Hope you could make it to the panel I was honored to moderate on Monday, with the key analytic leaders of Castlight Health, Cornerstone, Equifax Workforce Solutions, Ulimate Software and Workday. We tried to shed some light on why it cannot always be explained why an analytical applications makes a certain decision, hope it resounded with the audience. Unfortunately both Meerkat and Periscope failed... so it can't be shared. But the 500 attendees for sure enjoyed the panel, thanks to the great panelists I had.
         
      • Talent Managmement is alive - We not only see innovation in Recruiting, but also in Performance Management. And working Performance Management is key to make overall Talent Management work. So let's hope that the latest advances on more small time cycle feedback and coaching, coupled with e.g. anonymous feedback, will make a difference.
         
      • UI Innovation is alive - Vendors can't stand still on improving their UIs, which is great news for enterprises, as adoption will accelerate. Making it easier for users to use HR applications is a win / win for enterprises and vendors alike.
         
      • Compliance remains key - ACA offerings have now matured and can be found with almost every vendor. Enterprises should look for breadth and depth on the compliance vendor side, so they don't create a compliance integration problem, on top of the existing integration problems.
         
      • Adoption - Clearly enterprises are using  more from the same vendors, so integration provided by vendors works for both sides, the vendors and the enterprises.

      MyPOV

      Clearly the event to be if you are in HCM, don't miss Chicago next year!


      More on HR Tech coverage:

      • HR Tech 2015 Preview - take a look / read here
      • HR Tech 2014 Takeaways - take a look / read here
      • HR Tech 2013 takeaways - read here
      • What to look for at HR Tech 2013 - 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 SAPtd (aka TechEd / dCode) conference in Las Vegas this week. The event had similar attendance to least year, a vastly expanded (and improved) conference space, compared to a year before - though no SapphireNow style level (which is the best conference floor I have seen in the last 12 months).



      So take a peak:




      No chance to watch - read below (keep in mind this is not from an overall SAP announcement perspective, but for the audience, SAP developers). 
      • Fiori BUILD - SAP customers have been challenged by suboptimal user interfaces for the longest time. Fiori addresses this, as it turns out the price tag was not really the issue for customers, even now that Fiori is free, way too many SAP users are still working with not so great user interfaces. To make the work of designers more easy, the new Fiori BUILD tool makes it easier for a designer to even take screen layouts out to users and collect feedback on the mochup's usability. We will not see the majority of SAPtd attendees become UI designers, but they may as well use a tool to create applications with a better user interfaces.
         
      • HCP and VORA - We saw live usage of tax and translation services in HCP, and the usage of VORA, unfortunately not with any code (relevant for the audience).
         
      • Cloud for Analytics - SAP brings together all BI, GRC and newer assets into one product family. Core pillars are for now the Cloud for Planning product and the Digital Boardroom (built with the latter). More to come. 


        Analyst Tidbits

        • S4/HANA - The biggest news overall for me came in a briefing  meeting where SAP clarified the 'digital core' - more importantly how much substantial functionality will be available in November with 1511 release of S/4HANA release (first on premises, then in the cloud a few weeks later). It is substantial beyond the early S4/HANA scope of Finance. If it all materializes, SAP is showing greater speed in creating S4/HANA than I would have anticipated, so certainly the biggest surprise of the conference, good new for SAP customers. 

        • Co-Innovation - SAP is innovating internally and contributing back to the product, I had the chance to meet with CIO Helen Arnold, building a employee-sourced enabled ticketing system on top of HP is not every CIO's slice of bread, so good to see how HCP enables innovation. 
        • SAP Digital - Makes progress, but probably needs to be even more aggressive. A year ago SAP pointed to a marketplace for developers, that has not been yet implemented, not sure whose charter that is - but it vital for developer success.


        MyPOV

        A good SAPtd for SAP, where more of the technical details were in the single sessions than the keynotes. The key product for SAPtd is HCP, and it would have been good to see and and learn more of HCP. It was good to see that Leukert lead with the product, but the real direct value impact from new capabilities came from the new Fiori BUILD capabilities. The message for customers is pretty clear, use HCP, new innovations are coming with micro services, VORA, but it is still early. Cloud for Analyics is a fresh start, Cloud for Planning is a robust planning tool and the new Digital Boardroom is in a maturity state where it makes sense for aggressive enterprises to take an honest look at the product.  

        On the concern side SAP needs to cater more to the audience of the event. SAPtd is the key event to move the technical experts, and to show them how to excite their enterprise and how to make money in the next 12 months (are many attendees are freelancers or small entrepreneurs) is pivotal. So SAP should not make the mistake to show and announce product progress no matter what the next event is. To a certain point SAP is victim of its own success, as in the past it was Sapphire for the What? and then SAP TechEd for the How?. Now product release cycles are so fast that SAP is looking for the next event... but it will be key for SAP not to forget who the audience is at SAPtd. The Tuesday keynote was more like a Sapphire than a TechEd / dCode keynote. Anybody doubting, compare 2014 (see here) and 2015 Tuesday keynotes, 2014 was the standard to beat and SAP fell short here.

        Nonetheless attendees were forgiving and just went to the sessions (after all they are used to Sapphires) to learn more details, but the opportunity to move 5000+ developers as a group was missed. For me the major takeaway was how far S4/HANA seems to have come, more to check in the next weeks. 


        More on overall SAP strategy and products:

        • Event Preview - SAP TechEd 2015 - watch / read here
        • Event Report - SAP SuccessFactors SuccessConnect - Good Progress sprinkled with innovative ideas and challenging the status quo - read here
        • News Analysis - WorkForce Software Announces Global Reseller Agreement with SAP - read here
        • First Take - SAP SuccessFactors SuccessConnect - Day #1 Keynote Top 3 Takeaways - read here
        • News Analysis - SAP SuccessFactors introduces Next Generation of HCM software - read here
        • News Analysis - SAP delivers next release of SAP HANA - SPS 10 - Ready for BigData and IoT - read here
        • Event Report - SAP Sapphire - Top 3 Positives and Concerns - read here
        • First Take - Bernd Leukert and Steve Singh Day #2 Keynote - read here
        • News Analysis - SAP and IBM join forces ... read here
        • First Take - SAP Sapphire Bill McDermott Day #1 Keynote - read here
        • In Depth - S/4HANA qualities as presented by Plattner - play for play - read here
        • First Take - SAP Cloud for Planning - the next spreadsheet killer is off to a good start - read here
        • Progress Report - SAP HCM makes progress and consolidates - a lot of moving parts - read here
        • First Take - SAP launches S/4HANA - The good, the challenge and the concern - read here

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


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

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




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        Before making it to Oracle OpenWorld it is time to sort out some thoughts on where Oracle stands overall, where the event will likely take the vendor and what prospects and customers should look into.


        So take a peek:



        If you didn't have a chance to watch here are the key points
        • Oracle is in the process of building a massive integrated technology stack - from 'chip to click' - so from the silicon to SaaS. I will be key to check on progress, quality and attractiveness for enterprises.
        • Last year the focus was on PaaS, what will it be this year? Expect more SaaS, PaaS and likely more IaaS, which is overdue. Oracle was also one of the first vendors talking DaaS (Data as a Sevice) so will be key to check in on that, too.
        • For customers the key thing to watch is if the synergies of the integrated stack work for them. Customers should explore both horizontal and vertical direction for further pieces of the Oracle integration stack. First step needs to be on the validation of the synergies, are they there directionally there, are they there in product, are they there as ROI and customer references.
        It will be a wild ride - when you see me, step by to say Hi! - I always love a short chat and catch-up.


        ---------------------

        More on Oracle:

        Future of Work / HCM / SaaS research:
        • Event Report - Oracle HCM World - Full Steam ahead, a Learning surprise and potential growth challenges - read here
        • First Take - Oracle HCM World Day #1 Keynote - off to a good start - read here
        • Progress Report - Oracle HCM gathers momentum - now it needs to build on that - read here
        • Oracle pushes modern HR - there is more than technology - read here. (Takeaways from the recent HCMWorld conference).
        • Why Applications Unlimited is good a good strategy for Oracle customers and Oracle - read here.

        Also worth a look for the full picture
        • Event Report - Oracle PaaS Event - 6 PaaS Services become available, many more announced - read here
        • Progress Report - Oracle Cloud makes progress - but key work remains in the cellar - read here
        • News Analysis - Oracle discovers the power of the two socket server - or: A pivot that wasn't one - TCO still rules - read here
        • Market Move - Oracle buys Datalogix - moves more into DaaS - read here
        • Event Report - Oracle Openworld - Oracle's vision and remaining work become clear - they are both big - read here
        • Constellation Research Video Takeaways of Oracle Openworld 2014 - watch here
        • Is it all coming together for Oracle in 2014? Read here
        • From the fences - Oracle AR Meeting takeaways - read here (this was the last analyst meeting in spring 2013)
        • Takeaways from Oracle CloudWorld LA - read here (this was one of the first cloud world events overall, in January 2013)

        And if you want to read more of my findings on Oracle technology - I suggest:
        • Progress Report - Good cloud progress at Oracle and a two step program - read here.
        • Oracle integrates products to create its Foundation for Cloud Applications - read here.
        • Java grows up to the enterprise - read here.
        • 1st take - Oracle in memory option for its database - very organic - read here.
        • Oracle 12c makes the database elastic - read here.
        • How the cloud can make the unlikeliest bedfellows - read here.
        • Act I - Oracle and Microsoft partner for the cloud - read here.
        • Act II - The cloud changes everything - Oracle and Salesforce.com - read here.
        • Act III - The cloud changes everything - Oracle and Netsuite with a touch of Deloitte - 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 have the opportunity to attend Oracle OpenWorld in San Francisco, happening this week. 



        So take a peak:


        If you can't watch here are the Top 3 Takeaways:


        Here is why they matter:
        • 6 Cloud Qualities - It is good to see Oracle define which qualities it applies to its cloud offerings - no surprises there - usual Oracle qualities - but good and key for customers to know what they are and to be able to measure future offerings with it.
        • New SaaS Capabilities - Good to see Oracle plugging the largest gap in the Cloud based suite with SCM. E-Commerce is a similar gap to address on the CRM side. The new HCM Learning, announced in spring 2015 becoming a cross suite capability is good move and to my knowledge a first in enterprise software. A great testament of how important Learning is in the 21st century.
        • Multitenant Java - Built on top of WebLogic - a key capability to scale Java better in both design and runtime, expect very good uptake, assuming it works.
        • BigData Discovery & Visualization Service - An area where Oracle has been traditionally weaker, good for Oracle customers and prospects to see Oracle add capabilities, very important in the overall race for the business user, with software providing much of the intelligence that is needed for completing these new tasks.

        MyPOV

        A good start for Oracle OpenWorld, with many more things to come, this was likely merely the appetizer. Too early to tell how well the overall integrated Oracle offering performs, we will keep watching.  


        Don't miss my overall OpenWorld preview here:


        And here is the Storify I used for the video:




        More on Oracle:

        • Event Preview - Oracle Openworld - watch here


        Future of Work / HCM / SaaS research:
        • Event Report - Oracle HCM World - Full Steam ahead, a Learning surprise and potential growth challenges - read here
        • First Take - Oracle HCM World Day #1 Keynote - off to a good start - read here
        • Progress Report - Oracle HCM gathers momentum - now it needs to build on that - read here
        • Oracle pushes modern HR - there is more than technology - read here. (Takeaways from the recent HCMWorld conference).
        • Why Applications Unlimited is good a good strategy for Oracle customers and Oracle - read here.

        Also worth a look for the full picture
        • Event Report - Oracle PaaS Event - 6 PaaS Services become available, many more announced - read here
        • Progress Report - Oracle Cloud makes progress - but key work remains in the cellar - read here
        • News Analysis - Oracle discovers the power of the two socket server - or: A pivot that wasn't one - TCO still rules - read here
        • Market Move - Oracle buys Datalogix - moves more into DaaS - read here
        • Event Report - Oracle Openworld - Oracle's vision and remaining work become clear - they are both big - read here
        • Constellation Research Video Takeaways of Oracle Openworld 2014 - watch here
        • Is it all coming together for Oracle in 2014? Read here
        • From the fences - Oracle AR Meeting takeaways - read here (this was the last analyst meeting in spring 2013)
        • Takeaways from Oracle CloudWorld LA - read here (this was one of the first cloud world events overall, in January 2013)

        And if you want to read more of my findings on Oracle technology - I suggest:
        • Progress Report - Good cloud progress at Oracle and a two step program - read here.
        • Oracle integrates products to create its Foundation for Cloud Applications - read here.
        • Java grows up to the enterprise - read here.
        • 1st take - Oracle in memory option for its database - very organic - read here.
        • Oracle 12c makes the database elastic - read here.
        • How the cloud can make the unlikeliest bedfellows - read here.
        • Act I - Oracle and Microsoft partner for the cloud - read here.
        • Act II - The cloud changes everything - Oracle and Salesforce.com - read here.
        • Act III - The cloud changes everything - Oracle and Netsuite with a touch of Deloitte - 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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        Oracle has unleashed the usual barrage of press releases at OpenWorld, happening right now in San Francisco.


        I compiled a short presentation with one slide for each press release and MyPOV in them - take a look:



        If you don't have time to watch - I posted the presentation to Slidshare here:


        Oracle OpenWorld - A quick take on all 22 press releases of Day #1 - #3 from Holger Mueller


        More on Oracle:

        • First Take - Oracle OpenWorld - Day 1 Keynote - Top 3 Takeaways - read here
        • Event Preview - Oracle Openworld - watch here


        Future of Work / HCM / SaaS research:
        • Event Report - Oracle HCM World - Full Steam ahead, a Learning surprise and potential growth challenges - read here
        • First Take - Oracle HCM World Day #1 Keynote - off to a good start - read here
        • Progress Report - Oracle HCM gathers momentum - now it needs to build on that - read here
        • Oracle pushes modern HR - there is more than technology - read here. (Takeaways from the recent HCMWorld conference).
        • Why Applications Unlimited is good a good strategy for Oracle customers and Oracle - read here.

        Also worth a look for the full picture
        • Event Report - Oracle PaaS Event - 6 PaaS Services become available, many more announced - read here
        • Progress Report - Oracle Cloud makes progress - but key work remains in the cellar - read here
        • News Analysis - Oracle discovers the power of the two socket server - or: A pivot that wasn't one - TCO still rules - read here
        • Market Move - Oracle buys Datalogix - moves more into DaaS - read here
        • Event Report - Oracle Openworld - Oracle's vision and remaining work become clear - they are both big - read here
        • Constellation Research Video Takeaways of Oracle Openworld 2014 - watch here
        • Is it all coming together for Oracle in 2014? Read here
        • From the fences - Oracle AR Meeting takeaways - read here (this was the last analyst meeting in spring 2013)
        • Takeaways from Oracle CloudWorld LA - read here (this was one of the first cloud world events overall, in January 2013)

        And if you want to read more of my findings on Oracle technology - I suggest:
        • Progress Report - Good cloud progress at Oracle and a two step program - read here.
        • Oracle integrates products to create its Foundation for Cloud Applications - read here.
        • Java grows up to the enterprise - read here.
        • 1st take - Oracle in memory option for its database - very organic - read here.
        • Oracle 12c makes the database elastic - read here.
        • How the cloud can make the unlikeliest bedfellows - read here.
        • Act I - Oracle and Microsoft partner for the cloud - read here.
        • Act II - The cloud changes everything - Oracle and Salesforce.com - read here.
        • Act III - The cloud changes everything - Oracle and Netsuite with a touch of Deloitte - 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 Oracle OpenWorld in San Francisco this week, interrupted by a short trip to HR Tech Europe in Paris. The conference was again the usual spread out affair, with e.g. JavaOne happening at the Hilton, the HR events happening at the Palace Hotel etc. Official attendance was 60k+ - it felt the same as last year.


        So take a peak:


        If you can't watch - here is the gist:

        Top 3 Takeaways
        • IaaS is here - There was something missing on the Oracle Cloud architecture, and that was IaaS. As Ellison shared candidly, Oracle built SaaS, realized that it needed PaaS and building PaaS it needed IaaS. So Oracle found its way to the cloud top down, with the important auto-scaling feature coming in 2 weeks / later this year. Pricing is attractive, as Ellison put it - Oracle dedicated instances will be at 50% of AWS flexible instances cost wise. And Storage will be at 1/10 of AWS S3. So cost will not be an issue / argument moving to Oracle's cloud.
           
        • More Multitenancy, please - Oracle introduced multitenancy at the database level 2 years ago with Oracle 12c, this year it showed the transfer of a database container from data center A to data center B while writing to the database. And it introduced the largest extension to WebLogic, making JVMs multitenant, a key reliability and flexibility addition to running Java applications (needless to say Oracle announced Docker support, too).

        • SCM closes the suite - SCM was the holdout on the Oracle Cloud Suite, and Oracle announced key new additions and products to address this gap. Coupled with the also announced e-commerce products, this announcement as well as the progress of the rest of the SaaS products makes the Oracle offering likely the most complete suite in the cloud. Or on premises as Oracle keeps supporting the duality of deployment. 


          Top 3 Positives
          • The chip-to-click stack becomes more real - With autoscaling the Oracle integrated tech stack learns a key trick to become a cloud infrastructure stack in regards of operational TCO. But also good news for on premises customers who can run workloads in a more elastic way.
             
          • SaaS Suite gets complete - With key SCM functionality and a new e-commerce suite Oracle adressess both gap and good house-keeping in its SaaS suite, which is now complete in terms of all major funtional areas.
             
          • Differentiation Sprinkles - No other large application vendor talks as much and has an as clear DaaS vision as Oracle. The analytical models are sane, too, as a quick conversation with the Datalogix team concluded. And then Oracle keeps creating value for the citizen developer and citizen integrator, allowing business end users to create mobile, web applications and integrations. 

            Top 3 Concerns

            • Will it all work? - Oracle is likely to undertake the largest engineering project with developers having the same logo on their paychecks. It all has to work seamlessly together, and Oracle has a checkered quality record in the past. To be fair, quality issues have been much less creating headlines for the vendor in the recent past.
               
            • Can Oracle sell it? - The challenge moves now from engineering to go to market, sales through direct and indirect channels. Oracle needs to onboard 1000s of partners in order to maintain the same relevancy in the future that it has today.
               
            • A relationship test - Oracle customers usually have less love lost for their vendor than for most other vendors in the market. That relationship needs to improve in order to become a service provider, where renewals are frequent and regular. Very different to the perpetual license model.
               

            MyPOV

            Oracle keeps executing along the vision of the 'IBM of the 21st century' - the single stop for everything an enterprise needs - on premises and in the cloud. The cloud viability has been notched up by significant degrees with the product progress shared at this OpenWorld. Good for customers, as they will get stronger and richer products. It is clear that horizontal integration inside the layers of the technology stack (e.g. a complete SaaS Suite, an powerful PaaS platform) are desirable for customers. How many layers of vertical integration are desired is less certain and will be the interesting story to watch, as we never had that many layers to deploy hardware and software to in the past, and the once upon a time model of the IBM stack feel apart in the 70ies of last century. Exciting times ahead, we will be watching and analyzing, stay tuned.

            ---------------

            I compiled a short presentation with all first 22 press releases of this OpenWorld being discissed - take a look:


            No time to watch - checkout the presentation below:

            Oracle OpenWorld - A quick take on all 22 press releases of Day #1 - #3 from Holger Mueller



            More on Oracle OpenWorld:
            • News Analysis - Quick Take on all 22 press releases of Oracle OpenWorld Day #1 - #3 - read here
            • First Take - Oracle OpenWorld - Day 1 Keynote - Top 3 Takeaways - read here
            • Event Preview - Oracle Openworld - watch here

            Future of Work / HCM / SaaS research:
            • Event Report - Oracle HCM World - Full Steam ahead, a Learning surprise and potential growth challenges - read here
            • First Take - Oracle HCM World Day #1 Keynote - off to a good start - read here
            • Progress Report - Oracle HCM gathers momentum - now it needs to build on that - read here
            • Oracle pushes modern HR - there is more than technology - read here. (Takeaways from the recent HCMWorld conference).
            • Why Applications Unlimited is good a good strategy for Oracle customers and Oracle - read here.

            Also worth a look for the full picture
            • Event Report - Oracle PaaS Event - 6 PaaS Services become available, many more announced - read here
            • Progress Report - Oracle Cloud makes progress - but key work remains in the cellar - read here
            • News Analysis - Oracle discovers the power of the two socket server - or: A pivot that wasn't one - TCO still rules - read here
            • Market Move - Oracle buys Datalogix - moves more into DaaS - read here
            • Event Report - Oracle Openworld - Oracle's vision and remaining work become clear - they are both big - read here
            • Constellation Research Video Takeaways of Oracle Openworld 2014 - watch here
            • Is it all coming together for Oracle in 2014? Read here
            • From the fences - Oracle AR Meeting takeaways - read here (this was the last analyst meeting in spring 2013)
            • Takeaways from Oracle CloudWorld LA - read here (this was one of the first cloud world events overall, in January 2013)

            And if you want to read more of my findings on Oracle technology - I suggest:
            • Progress Report - Good cloud progress at Oracle and a two step program - read here.
            • Oracle integrates products to create its Foundation for Cloud Applications - read here.
            • Java grows up to the enterprise - read here.
            • 1st take - Oracle in memory option for its database - very organic - read here.
            • Oracle 12c makes the database elastic - read here.
            • How the cloud can make the unlikeliest bedfellows - read here.
            • Act I - Oracle and Microsoft partner for the cloud - read here.
            • Act II - The cloud changes everything - Oracle and Salesforce.com - read here.
            • Act III - The cloud changes everything - Oracle and Netsuite with a touch of Deloitte - read here

            Finally 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 Pivotal used its upcoming European Cloud Foundry user conference to release a round up press release on its overall progress… time to check in where Cloud Foundry stands today.


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

            San Francisco, November 2, 2015 – Pivotal®, the company accelerating digital transformation for enterprises, today announced a new release of Pivotal Cloud Foundry, the comprehensive Cloud Native platform that unifies the software delivery process with an integrated application framework, platform runtime, and infrastructure automation. Pivotal Cloud Foundry now includes expanded support for Spring Cloud Services, Microsoft Azure, .NET applications, Docker images, and application lifecycle management. With these enhancements, Pivotal further enables businesses to rapidly build, deploy, and operate Cloud Native applications on a wide choice of hosted, public, and private clouds.

            MyPOV – Good summary to start the press release – hitting all the key new capabilities, we will dissect and comment below. But worth to mention the ‘cloud native’ positioning here, will be interesting to see if Pivotal can pull that association between cloud native and its products of.

            “The days of monolithic technologies are ending. Today’s modern enterprises practice agile software development with Cloud Native tools, process, and culture that can respond to speed of market and customer demand,” said James Watters, vice president and general manager, Cloud Platform Group, Pivotal. “Pivotal Cloud Foundry delivers a comprehensive Cloud Native application development and operations environment so you can spend time building business value instead of your IT infrastructure.”

            MyPOV – Good quote by Waters, hitting the right value proposition of CloudFoundry, though the tool itself is also monolithic (we likely work on different definitions here - mine is that monolithic means there is one way to do things, build, create etc., Watters likely means the different deployment / runtime options mentioned later) – in the sense of offering one way to build software.

            Integrated Microservices with Spring Cloud Services  
            Based on the popular Spring Cloud OSS, which is used by Netflix to operate its global, on-demand video streaming service, Spring Cloud Services for Pivotal Cloud Foundry goes one step further to provide opinionated provisioning and lifecycle management to these components.
            The first and only secure, enterprise-ready distribution of core Netflix OSS components, Spring Cloud Services enables developers and operators of Cloud Native distributed systems architectures to quickly and easily build microservices by adding a suite of production-ready services to the Pivotal Cloud Foundry marketplace. Spring Cloud Services allows developers to focus on delivering business value and defers the deployment and management of important distributed systems patterns such as application configuration, service discovery, and fault-tolerance to the Pivotal Cloud Foundry platform.

            MyPOV – Cloud Foundry needed a productivity framework to accelerate time to market for solutions build with the product. Nothing lies closer than using the venerable spring framework, souped up with the Netflix OSS components. A good move for the product, but like all productivity tools, it comes with the addition of increased dependency. We expect Pivotal customers to not be too concerned with this dependency, but they should be making aware tradeoffs.

            Native Support for .NET Applications 
            Thanks to the next-generation runtime shipping in this latest release, .NET applications can now run on Pivotal Cloud Foundry. With this expanded support for .NET, enterprises can support a heterogeneous environment consisting of both Linux-based and Windows-based applications. .NET applications will run natively on Windows Server 2012 R2 Hyper-V virtual machines, and Pivotal Cloud Foundry can manage applications with the same commands and many of the same consistent Day 2 operational benefits as existing applications.

            MyPOV – This is a key move by Microsoft and Pivotal to avoid developers of .Net applications to have to go back and rebuild these .Net apps as their first order of business. Instead Microsoft and now Pivotal gives developers the opportunity to operate these older .Net applications in conjunction with the next generation applications they want to build (and the vendors want them to build). Lastly it is the ultimate proof point of investment protection for .Net applications, a promise Microsoft has made over a decade ago and is honoring today.

            Native Support for Docker Images 
            Docker applications can now leverage the built in Pivotal Cloud Foundry platform capabilities, such as scheduling, health management, load balancing, enterprise identity, logging, and multi-cloud support. Now in beta, native Docker image support is made possible by the new elastic runtime and makes Pivotal Cloud Foundry the most advanced container management system on the market today. Customers can deploy applications to Pivotal Cloud Foundry based on Docker images from public, secure registries such as Docker Hub.

            MyPOV – Good move to provide better support for Docker, and the way how enterprises want to build, operate and consume Microservices – in a secure, repeatable and reliable way. Registry integration is the capability in demand and it is good to see Pivotal providing the capability.

            Application Lifecycle Management Toolchain
            Delivering on Pivotal’s vision of comprehensive Cloud Native application lifecycle management, the company is partnering with GitLab, CloudBees, and JFrog to deliver a turnkey continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD) solution.
            Building upon the popular software project management tool, Pivotal Tracker, customers can integrate platform-managed versions of GitLab source code repository, CloudBees Jenkins continuous integration, and JFrog Artifactory binary artifact management. By providing the building blocks of a modern application delivery toolchain, Pivotal Cloud Foundry empowers software organizations to build and deploy microservices and Cloud Native applications with confidence and speed.

            MyPOV – It is good to see Pivotal acknowledging other popular development tools such as the ones mentioned and being integrated now with Pivotal Tracker. Next would be a roadmap / sharing of plans of other popular adjacent tools. For now congrats to the three who made it – GitLab, CloudBees and JFrog.

            Early Access Support for Microsoft Azure
            Pivotal Cloud Foundry extends its Cloud Native platform with early access support for Microsoft Azure, adding to the already-supported Amazon Web Services® (AWS), VMware vSphere®, VMware vCloud Air®, and OpenStack®. With Pivotal Cloud Foundry, customers can deploy and manage Cloud Native applications on almost any infrastructure; without the operational cost and complexity of maintaining their own underlying cloud infrastructure. [..]

            MyPOV – Good to see Pivotal extending deployment options, as previously indicated – now adding support to Microsoft Azure. A good move for CloudFoundry users, who get more deployment options for their projects.

            Overall MyPOV

            Pivotal is making good progress with CloudFoundry, creating more value and synergies for customers and prospect. It further solidifies CloudFoundry‘s position as the leading enterprise PaaS. With Microsoft Azure support and access to .Net applications, Microsoft acknowledges the position of Cloud Foundry further, bringing core delivered Microsoft .Net assets to the CloudFoundry platform.

            On the concern side – with success comes also responsibility, Pivotal needs to deliver these capabilities, ensure customer success and become a reliable partner both for its growing ecosystem. There is no indication that Pivotal cannot deliver this, but the task ahead is not trivial. Starting to create, communicate and deliver to roadmaps will be the first steps.

            But for now it’s good to be a Pivotal customer and prospect. 


            More on Pivotal
            • News Analysis - Pivotal makes CloudFoundry more about multi-cloud - read here
            • News Analysis - Pivotal pivots to OpenSource and Hortonworks - Or: OpenSource keeps winning - read here

            More on Next Generation Applications::
            • Progress Report - Cloudera is all in with Hadoop - now off to verticals - read here
            • First Take - SAP Cloud for Planning - The next spreadsheet killer is off to a good start - read here
            • Market Move - Oracle buys Datalogix - moves into DaaS - read here
            • News Analysis - SAP commits to CloudFoundry and OpenStack - Key Steps - but what is the direction? Read here
            • Event Report - MongoDB is a showcase for the power of Open Source in the enterprise - read here
            • Musings - A manifesto: What are 'true' analytics? Read here
            • Future of Work - One Spreadsheet at the time - Informatica Springbok - read here
            • Musings - The Era of the no-design Database - Read here
            • Mendix - the other path to build software - read here
            • Musings - Time to ditch your datawarehouse .... - 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 Randstad Sourceright analyst summit this week, it took place in Atlanta and was well attended by the analyst community:



            Take a look at my top 3 takeaways of the event:



            If you don't have a chance to watch - here are the takeaways:
            • TalentRadar debut - Randstad Sourceright showed the first deliverable on its product roadmap with TalentRadar. It brings together recruiting information across the varies systems involved as well as Randstad Sourceright partners like e.g. HireVue, SmashFly etc. Technologies mentioned were Informatica and R, we could see Domo being used for visualization. Randstad Sourceright has delivered a solid version one of the product, now we need to understand the roadmap and customer adoption as next steps.
               
            • Standardization - The whole outsourcing industry is recovering from a hangover of too many customized deals sold and implemented early in the millennium. The answer is standardization and leveraging global capabilities, Randstad Sourceright is making good progress on both fronts. Discipline is key though and it was re-assuring hearing the North American sales leaders stating that they would walk away from business if not falling inside the parameters of standard delivery.
               
            • RiseSmart - In a surprise move Randstad Sourceright acquired outplacement vendor RiseSmart (see here for vendor and here for press release). RiseSmart CEO Sathe was there and told the vendor's story - bringing software to the outplacement business. In a good move Randstad Sourceright has decided to keep RiseSmart operating independently.


              MyPOV

              It is good to see Randstad Sourceright growing and making progress standardizing, globalizing its product offerings. The acquisition of RiseSmart opens new revenue potential and the chance to disrupt the outplacement market. Equally it is good to see the product focus showing first deliverables with TalentRadar. And the vendor is keeping tabs on a booming Recruiting startup eco system with its Randstad Innoation Fund. 

              On the concern side Randstad Sourceright will have to take into account that more resourcing decisions will be made by software, and more resourcing decisions will be made by hiring managers directly, and no longer by recruiters. These changes are disruptive for Randstad Sourceright customers and therefore for the vendor itself. Preparing and switching over in time will be the key challenge for executive management in the next years. 

              But for now congrats on good progress, we will be keeping tabs, stay tuned. 

              --------------

              More on Recruiting


              • Musings - How Technology Innovation fuels Recruiting and disrupts the Laggards - read here
              • Musings - What is the future of recruiting? Read here
              • HRTech 2014 takeaways - read here.
              • Why all the attention to recruiting? 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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              IBM has been busy this fall announcing the intent of acquiring / the acquisition of three companies.




              So let’s go backwards in time for the last three IBM acquisitions:

              IBM and Gravitant

              IBM is planning to acquire Gravitant, a 2004 founded, Austin based vendor of cloud brokerage services and plans to give it a home with Global Services. Gravitant helps enterprises to broker services across on premise and cloud resources, including load balancing inside respective supported clouds. IBM was clear that the immediate focus is on choice and sourcing and not on real time arbitrage. 



              IBM Gravitant
              IBM and Gravitant (from briefing deck)


              MyPOV – An interesting move by IBM. Normally a cloud provider like what IBM is with SoftLayer – wants to drive all load to its own cloud. IBM Global Services will now though have a tool to help / show customers where cloud platform wise to move to and where to run loads on, including AWS. That gives chops to IBM services, but may take away business from other IBM products, e.g. SoftLayer. One can argue that SoftLayer needs to be price competitive regardless to win the customer’s favor in these sourcing decision, but it makes an e.g. IaaS as a loos leader for further services and products up the stack harder to achieve. Still an interesting move, which makes the IBM cloud offerings more multi-faceted than one would have expected.

              IBM and The Weather Company

              In a surprise move IBM announced the intent to acquire The Weather Company last week. IBM plans to use data, services, algorithms and platform know how of the weather company to complement analytics, cognitive (via Watson) and IoT capabilities. IBM sees large potential in linking business information of customers with weather data and creates a business unit for Watson that is focused on IOT.
               
              IBM Weather Channcel
              IBM and The Weather Company (from briefing deck)

              MyPOV – IBM has been in the business of signing content partnership with a variety of content sources in the recent past, e.g. also with Twitter. That IBM would also acquire a content source, like in this case The Weather Company comes as a surprising move to me, as traditionally there has been a separation between software and data vendors. Neither vendor category has successfully played on the other turf in the history of enterprise software, so I am not particularly optimistic here – as I struggle to see why it would be different in 2015 than in the past. But then there are IP assets that are valuable for IBM and its customers, such as algorithms, platform know how that make sense to be acquired. And then it is another use case for the cognitive powers of Watson, so on the software IP side this acquisition may turn out to make a lot of sense. I am curious (and skeptical) on how the monetization of the data side may pan out.

              IBM and Cleversafe

              Early October IBM announced the intention to acquire Cleversafe, another 2004 founded company with interesting storage IP and products, that will complement IBM Storage as well as SoftLayer object storage and overall storage capabilities. And Cleversafe’s on premises products will be kept sold. 
               
              IBM Gravitant
              IBM and Gravitant (from briefing deck)

              MyPOV – A good move by IBM, that had to beef up storage capabilities of SoftLayer, Cleversafe brings much more IP, as well as a number of blue chip customers using the vendor for advanced storage use cases. It is good to see that IBM also finds value for its on premises offerings as well as the plan that IBM will keep selling Cleversafe for on premises deployments. 



              • News Analysis - IBM launches Industry's First Consulting Practice Dedicated to Cognitive Business - a good move it's early times - read more
              • News Analysis - IBM plans to acquire Cleversafe to propel Object Storage into the Hybrid Cloud >> a good move. Read here
                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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              Last week at Constellation Connect Enterprise we awarded our SuperNova awards for the most successful transformations we have seen in the last 12 months. The winner in the "Future of Work" category was Asha Aravindakshan of non profit Ashoka (see more here). 


              We had the chance to speak with Asha at CCE - so take a look:


              In case you didn't have a chance to watch - here are the key takeaways:
              • Ashoka is a non profit working globally with 400+ employees in 47 countries, except the US every country has 10 or less employees.
              • Ashoka went from a spreadsheet based solution to using FinancialForce HCM.
              • In a DIY approach Aravindakshan, together with the Salesforce system administrator and a FinancialForce consultant, with an effort of less than 6 hours per week, took Ashoka live in 10 weeks. 
              • Aravindakshan used the yearly performance review cycle to drive adoption to the system, reaching over 97% of the employee base in the first three month.
              • Training was handled in less than one hour for participants - as users were familiar with the user interface using Salesforce already. 

              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 Kronos' yearly user conference KronosWorks at the beautiful Aria resort in Las Vegas.

              The conference was well attended with over 2500 attendees, Kronos has passed the 1B US$ of revenue in the last 12 months, so the vendor is doing well and is investing. 

              But take a look:


              If you can't watch - here are my Top 3 takeaways:
              • Workforce Central Version 8 - The new user interface is a key progression for Kronos and its customers. Definitively an improvement over the previous version, and being HTML5 based, means a certain end of the Java woes if the past. It is good to see Kronos has spent time with customers and key users to make the products more productive in the high usage tasks.
                 
              • Paragon to speed up time to go live - Kronos has gone back to its many implementations in order to make them more productive with pre-existing setup, sandboxes, system generated user documentation and test scripts. A very important move to get customer live faster, but like with all services related initiatives, the proof will come from customer stories.
                 
              • Mobile in focus - Mobile is - with no surprise - one of the fastest growing products for Kronos. The vendor has tackled the smartphone side well and is now off to support tablets better. Having moves to HTML5 and responsive design should support these efforts well.

              Tidbits

              • Analytics - Kronos has partnered with key customers to understand BigData and Analytics usage and benefits. The result is a new Auditor product, that finds non compliance and other anomalies in the data. Not surprisingly customers are eager to get the tools, but then more mixed in the actions that the findings support. Not a surprise, as 'doctoring' in the time management area is one of the long term issue of the industry.
                 
              • Partnership with Cornerstone - Kronos unveiled a partnership with Cornerstone, that should help both vendors, a question mark to me remains how the traditionally more blue collar oriented workforce management space will jell with the traditionally more white collar oriented Talent Management space. But certainly two very synergistic vendors have found each other.
                 
              • Globalization - To keep growing, Kronos needs to become more global from both a go to market and product perspective. The vendor is investing in both areas, with key steps like hiring local workforce regulation and compliance experts in progress. Not an easy endeavor, but vital for the future growth of Kronos and Kronos customers, who by themselves are becoming more global every year. 


              MyPOV

              A good KronosWorks event for the vendor and its customers. Kronos has reached a milestone in regards of more than 60% of its customers are now being cloud based. It now needs to look at further growth, and it is looking at selling payroll, talent management (homegrown and with new partner Cornerstone) and going global. Paragon is a bold project, but time to go live is critical in today's fast paced economy, it will be interesting to see what Kronos can report in terms of faster go lives in a few quarters. The new user interface of Workforce Central is a mayor step forward both from a usability and architecture perspective, but it doesn't propel Kronos in a leader position for usability (yet?). The vendor has hired a large team of usability experts, it will be interesting to see what will come out of this group. 

              On the concern side I would like to see Kronos push the pedal a little more on the gas pedal in regards of development speed. Many new capabilities going live now and soon are from about 2 years ago - or two KronosWorks' ago. But then Kronos has an obligation to its customers to move at a agreeable and digestible speed. On the global expansion of both go to market and product Kronos is investing, it will be interesting to see what progress the vendor can report in a few quarters from key regions like Western Europe, Brazil, China and Australia. All these markets have entrenched vendors, replacing them will be a long battle. As we have seen in this summer Kronos will not shy away from acquiring local players (see Kaba Benzing in Switzerland here).

              Overall exciting times for the vendor and its customers, who are generally genuinely excited about things to come. 


              More on Kronos
              • First Take - KronosWorks - Day 1 Keynote - R&D Investment, Customer Success and Analyticss - read here
              • Kronos executes - 2014 will be key - read here
              • Tweeting and feeling good about it - read here

              My notes are on Twitter - so you can find a collection of the tweets from the video here - and below a collection of the tweets come to live during the keynote. 


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



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