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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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    Today – consistent to announcements hinted at earlier at VMworld, VMware has embarked in its new public cloud strategy, embracing IaaS vendors and partnering with them, while helping customer to migrate, monitor and operate loads across their on premises and IaaS based datacenters.


    The press release on the AWS side can be found here, let’s dissect the news in our customary form:
    SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Oct. 13, 2016-- VMware (NYSE:VMW) and Amazon Web Services, Inc. (AWS), an Amazon.com company (NASDAQ:AMZN), today announced a strategic alliance to build and deliver a seamlessly integrated hybrid offering that will give customers the full software-defined data center (SDDC) experience from the leader in the private cloud, running on the world’s most popular, trusted, and robust public cloud. VMware Cloud™ on AWS will enable customers to run applications across VMware vSphere®-based private, public, and hybrid cloud environments. Delivered, sold, and supported by VMware as an on-demand, elastically scalable service, VMware Cloud on AWS will allow VMware customers to use their existing VMware software and tools to leverage AWS’s global footprint and breadth of services, including storage, databases, analytics, and more. For more information on VMware Cloud on AWS, visit VMware Cloud on AWS.

    MyPOV -Describes well what the partnership is about – keep VM formats, images, tools, practices and seamlessly gain an outlet to the public cloud, in this case AWS. Similar to the IBM partnership announced earlier this year (see our analysis here) both VMware and AWS will work together to provide this seamless services. Effectively VMware on AWS creates what VMware promised a long time with vCloudAir - only the hardware comes from AWS this time.

    Most enterprises rely on VMware to run applications in their vSphere-based private clouds, and often these same customers are also running applications on AWS. Increasingly, these customers have asked both companies to make it easier to run their existing on-premises environments alongside AWS using the VMware software and tools they’ve come to rely on.

    MyPOV – Always good to listen to customers and be customer driven. It’s nice for customers to have the opportunity to use their VMware loads and now be able to combine them with AWS offerings. But these offerings are mostly AWS cloud bound, so its likely for joint customers to pick up dependencies on AWS, and with that remain on the public cloud side.

    VMware Cloud on AWS is a jointly architected solution that will integrate the world’s leading private cloud and the world’s leading public cloud. VMware Cloud on AWS is powered by VMware Cloud Foundation™, a unified SDDC platform that integrates VMware vSphere, VMware Virtual SAN™ and NSX™ virtualization technologies, and will provide access to the full range of AWS services, together with the functionality, elasticity, and security customers have come to expect from the AWS Cloud. This new service represents a significant investment in engineering, operations, support, and sales resources from both companies. It will run on next-generation, elastic, bare metal AWS infrastructure. Customers will have the ability to purchase services through their existing VMware commercial agreement and use their existing VMware software investments to secure additional loyalty discounts for their VMware Cloud on AWS hybrid environment.

    MyPOV – So effectively VMware is re-platforming its SDDC architecture on top of AWS machines, referred to as next generation, elastic, bare metal AWS infrastructure. Not any converged hardware that VMware used to sell and is still selling. One wonders why AWS would not run the VMware converged servers, designed for nothing else than running VMware loads? The answer to that will be interesting and risks to leave some challenging thoughts with VMware converged infrastructure customers. Buying through the VMware commercial agreement should make things easier.

    “VMware Cloud on AWS offers our customers the best of both worlds,” said Pat Gelsinger, CEO, VMware. “This new service will make it easier for customers to preserve their investment in existing applications and processes while taking advantage of the global footprint, advanced capabilities, and scale of the AWS public cloud.”

    MyPOV – Good quote from Gelsinger, but by conceding to AWS for infrastructure, he implicitly states (at least here) that the VMware (and EMC and maybe future Dell offerings) for infrastructure will not play (for now) on the public cloud side.

    “Our customers continue to ask us to make it easier for them to run their existing data center investments alongside AWS,” said Andy Jassy, CEO, AWS. “Most enterprises are already virtualized using VMware, and now with VMware Cloud on AWS, for the first time, it will be easy for customers to operate a consistent and seamless hybrid IT environment using their existing VMware tools on AWS, and without having to purchase custom hardware, rewrite their applications, or modify their operating model.”

    MyPOV -Good quote from Jassy, describing what happens from the AWS side. Could not be much better, VMware is bringing load to AWS, while keeping it familiar for them to operate it. And the chance of tying that load together with AWS products, with the possible consequence of becoming ‘sticky’ to AWS infrastructure. There is almost nothing not to like her, if you are AWS.

    Availability

    Available in mid-2017, VMware Cloud on AWS will be delivered, sold, and supported by VMware as an on-demand, elastically scalable service. Pricing will be made available closer to the general availability date.

    MyPOV – Good to know when this will be available, and it’s a little far out for cloud speed with 9-10 months. But important to know early – as this may stop customers from extending their on premises data center investments and moving to a hybrid model, using AWS infrastructure.


    Overall MyPOV

    Always good to see when vendors listen to customers, and customers win. In this case it is the VMware centric enterprise, that does not want to invest into on premises resources, or as AWS evangelist Jeff Barr points out in his blog here, wants to combine existing loads with next generation capabilities that AWS offers. The potential dependency on AWS for these solutions is something all enterprises need to make ‘wide eyes open’ decisions on.

    AWS wins a lot here. First of all, a former adversary – VMware – is now a key partner. Loads that were stuck and holding out in VMware centric landscapes, possible waiting for vCloudAir to materialize – and out of reach – are now available for AWS. And all of that with no re-imaging, re-testing, re-anything – it cannot get much better for any public cloud IaaS. And longer term the option to upsell more AWS services, so ponying up the CAPEX for these machines, investing resources to build the common solution is a small price to pay. AWS is in this business anyway, the more uniform load it can address, the better.

    VMware certainly wins in the short term, too – it keeps customers on VMware, monetizes the moving and administration of the hybrid load and extends all that on VMware paper, effectively OEMing AWS. Effectively AWS is providing the infrastructure to an offering that VMware wanted to offer with vCloudAIr but never managed to have take off. VMware fans may say it was the lack of other tools and products to complement moving the VMware load there, but to me this is the end of the 3+ year riddle why VMware cloud not move loads to public cloud: The inability or non readiness to invest the large amounts of CAPEX to invest into the public cloud infrastructure to run VMware. Effectively it will have taken 4 years – holding both vendors to the above dates – and a complete change in strategy. It begs the question – had VMware done this deal with AWS 3 or even 4 years ago – would VMware (and its customers) be better of today? The answer is really related how fast enterprises will move to the public cloud, if hybrid is only a transition, and how long that transition will last. No matter how you spin this, VMware is loosing load on premises for a variety of reasons already (that’s a whole blog post by itself), at the same time it will not be able to command the same pricing levels when running e.g. on AWS than when running VMware on premises. It’s different times and with that I see a longer term loosing hand for VMware. But short term we know this works, as the success of the IBM and VMware partnership has shown. The difference of AWS and VMware is – it will be sold and operated by VMware. The pipelines of VMware sales people may be better filled well for this to work, future quarters will tell. We know that man VMware customers have been holding out hoping for a solution from VMware with vCloudAir – them forgetting and forgiving quickly will be key for the success of the partnership.

    The other takeaway is that AWS is quickly becoming the IT department of very large software vendors. We saw that with SAP BW/4HANA (see our take here) and now we see it with VMware on AWS. It is puzzling as the margins of these vendors are greater than the margins of AWS, but at the same time lack of success, fortune, know-how, etc. on their own public cloud offerings has driven giants like SAP and VMware in the arms of AWS. The cloud of the ‘book retailer’ as some observers will remember. Good for AWS, who is willing to keep investing, when other enterprise software giants have stumbled, slowed down, shied away etc. you name it.

    Finally VMware is now part of Dell Technology. One can only assume that VMware has telegraphed in all this with HQ in Texas. Maybe the hope is that customers will stay on VMware and move loads back to a super attractive (but still to be announced) Dell Technology SDDC offering. We can only speculate. But effectively VMware has given an effective outlet to its customer from any – not only Dell’s and its own converged offerings – to the public cloud. With VMware founder Diane Greene at Google, anyone would be surprised if a similar partnership with Google Cloud Platform is not in the making. Azure next. Exciting times for sure.


    What’s your take on VMware on AWS?



    More on AWS:
    • First Take - SAP BW/4HANA - Data Gravity and Cloud win - read here
    • Event report - AWS Enterprise Summit 2016 Frankfurt - The German Road to Cloud adoption is ... long - read here
    • News Analysis - Amazon Web Services Cloud now speaks… Hindi - Indian AWS Data Centers available - read here
    • News Analysis - Salesforce selects AWS as preferred Public Cloud Infrastructure Provider - Good move - read here
    • Event Report - AWS re-Invent - AWS lobbies for the enterprise - DB and IoT are the cheese - read here
    • 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.

    More on VMWare
    • Market Move - Dell Technologies is here - 3 scenarios and a bonus perspective - read here
    • News Analysis - IBM and VMware announce partnership to accelerate enterprisehybrid cloud adoption - read here
    • News Analysis - VMware unveils Workspace ONE – will the EUC adoption begin now? Read here
    • Market Move - Dell plans to acquire EMC, VMware, Virtustream, Pivotal and more - read here
    • 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
    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’s OpenWorld mega event a few weeks ago, a busy fall schedule has not allowed us to sum up the key findings, though we posted them on YouTube (see here) and Slideshare (see here) right away. Let’s look at the HCM side of the Oracle offering. As usual the HCM sessions were held at the Palace Hotel, off from Moscone, and for the first time, the number of users attending outnumbered the number of prospects.
     



    Tough to pick the top 3 takeaways – but here you go:

    Oracle HCM is … growing fast– Chris Leone walked through the first 6 years of Oracle HCM, and what was humble beginnings back in 2010 (20 Global HR customers, 30 Talent customers), has developed over the last 6 years into what is now one of the large, if not the largest part of the worldwide HCM market share for SaaS based HCM (with 6000+ HCM Cloud customers, 1300+ Global HR customers (800 live), and 2000+ Talent Acquisition customers. Over 100+ go lives pro quarter and 15M+ HCM employees are other indicators that the substantial investment (about 2500 employees in products – excluding Peoplesoft) is paying off for Oracle. With an equally substantial sales and marketing investment – the next 12 months will have to show if Oracle can move out of the Top 3 in the HCM market, and become a clear leader in customer adoption. For now, you can still slice and dice the Top 3 (including SAP and Workday) as they please. 


    Oracle HCM Market Momentum


    New Talent Acquisition in the works– For the longest time Oracle HCM product leadership has shied away from touching the old Taleo functionality. Along the lines ‘the world doesn’t need another / a new recruiting’ product, Oracle provided integration and worked around the regular beat from Workday on the ‘single’ platform, the power of one etc. And one can make the point that in the SaaS world integration is the vendor’s challenge, not the customers, but the concern on integration risk, cost and overall speed of innovation will always be brought up. So the really big news from OpenWorld is, that Oracle is building new Talent Acquisition capabilities, with a focus on functionality for customers using the suite first. This is big news as it takes out the ‘Jockey Club’ that Taleo was for Oracle HCM. Anyone who does not know, visit Las Vegas and watch from the Bellagio hotel toward the Cosmopolitan – you get it. Obviously Oracle has not shared much more details, I’d expect to learn more at next year’s HCM World. But truly an important step to bring together all of HCM automation for Oracle customers and prospects. 

    Oracle HCM Footprint


    Adaptive Intelligence – for HCM - We are in the fall of AI where no conference cannot have a stab at Artificial Intelligence, Oracle has been no exception announcing its suite of Adaptive Intelligence applications, one of them being in HCM. Not surprisingly the functional content of the HCM adaptive intelligence application will be on …. Talent Acquisition. And that all makes sense, when you rebuild your Talent Acquisition capabilities (see above) – you want to give customers a reason to move, and build on the latest and greatest capabilities…. So for a 2017 product that need to have an AI / ML play. But its early days for all of Adaptive Intelligence, for now Oracle is ‘just’ rounding up what it had in its portfolio from the Datalogix et al acquisitions (see the take of my colleague Doug Henschen here) and coming out of the gate with that. The HCM Adaptive Intelligence application is coming later, in 2017.


    MyPOV

    A very quiet OpenWorld from the HCM team, the strategy reminds me of Teddy Roosevelt’s ‘speak softly and carry a big stick’ – in the sense of not making big announcements, but building big things. Very un-Oracleish and maybe a first step of Oracle becoming a more gentle, friendly, easy to do business with Oracle. That will be a substantial change in DNA, but given the investment Oracle is doing in R&D in general and in HCM in specific, a little change. Starting in HCM, given the tender nature of relations in the industry is certainly a good first step. But overall kudos to Oracle to start addressing the multi-year ‘elephant (named Taleo) in the room’, adding an AI wrinkle with ‘Adaptive Intelligence’ – so it will be interesting to learn more in 2017. Stay tuned.


    The Storify of the Hurd keynote can be found here - Ellison's is here, the Day 2 keynote can be found here. Don't miss the HCM Keynote Storify below, or here


    Recent blog posts on Oracle:
    • First Take - Early Oracle OpenWorld 2016 Keynotes - read here
    • Event Preview - Oracle OpenWorld 2016 - What to expect, what to watch for ... will IaaS start Clicking? - read here
    • Market Move - Oracle acquires NetSuite - Oddly consolidation means more options for customers - read here
    • News Analysis - Oracle Unveils Suite of Breakthrough Services.. or short: Oracle Cloud Machine - read here
    • Progress Report - Oracle Cloud - More ready than ever, now needs adoption - read here
    • Event Report - Oracle Openworld 2015 - Top 3 Takeaways, Top 3 Positives & Concerns - read here
    • 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 - Innovation around the Core - read here
    • 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


    Want to learn more? Checkout the Storify collection below (if it doesn’t show up – check 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 Zenefits’ ‘Hello Z2’ event, which was also its first user conference. Held at the Palace Hotel in San Francisco, on October 18th the event was a small, efficient affair, with about 500 attendees (my estimate). 


    So take a look at my musings on the event here: (if the video doesn’t show up, check here)

    (Apologies for bad audio and even loss of video - the Palace Wifi did not perform well here.)

    No time to watch – here is the 1-2 slide condensation (if the slide doesn’t show up, check here):


    Want to read on? Here you go: Always tough to pick the takeaways – but here are my Top 3:

    Zenefits has left the troubles of the past – behind
    . The recent troubled past of Zenefits seems to have made its transition to the history books, clients and prospects present at the event were not concerned about the colorful, recent past of the vendor. That’s a major step forward and allows Zenefits to move on, and the vendor did exactly that with the release of Z2, the 2nd release of the Zenefits system.

    New capabilities in Z2
    – Zenefits has given its system a new UI, that feels modern and simple to use, something crucial for its customer base of very small businesses of under 50, maximum 100 employees. These businesses have no HR professional and the ‘HR person’ is a multitasker, who needs an easy to use software, that can be used easily and that has tons of inbuilt automation to avoid them having to spend too much time on HR matters. The 21st century workforce is mobile and Zenefits supports iOS and Android for all key processes, kudos to support both platforms, even much larger vendors based in Silicon Valley have stepped into the ‘iOS for all trap’, that doesn’t’ work for HR in the era of BYOD. The focus on core HR processes and onboarding is no surprise. And a marketplace with over 17 partners makes it easy to use Zenefits as the leading system to integrate into a wide range of productivity, expenses, performance management, payroll accounting, engagement and more vendors. Close to its core competency, Zenefits has improved the benefits enrollment and selection experience.

    Zenefits Payroll is here – starting with California – To no surprise, Zenefits unveiled its new Payroll offering, at the moment only working for California. But 9 other states are planned in the coming quarters. It’s a V1 product in terms of scope and capabilities (e.g. garnishments need to be handled manually when it comes to payments) – but it’s a good start for Zenefits. Customers are very positive on Zenefits Payroll capabilities, another indicator how much integration concerns bog down even part time HR professionals.

    MyPOV

    A good event and a very good first user conference for Zenefits, that has left the troubles of the past behind and has morphed from its benefits origins all the way to become a small HR suite of products for very SMB. It still offers product capabilities for free, the ‘price list’ fits on one slide, but it also is adding products that have a seat cost / employer cost, e.g. Payroll. That’s a good development in my view, as it takes away the competitive / disruptive relationship to the rest of the industry, which Zenefits leadership has rightfully identified as necessary partners, to have a broader scope of HCM automation for is customers (thanks to the marketplace). But Zenefits doesn’t’ shy away from services either, the new HR Advisor capability, where the SMB HR practitioner can talk to a Zenefits expert, is a valuable offering.

    On the concern side, Zenefits has lost some time to restart its offering. In the meantime, the competition has not stood still, and has equally simplified its products (e.g. Paychex) or extended its footprint (e.g. former partner Gusto). And payroll is crucial to get right for enterprises small and large. A bad payroll run derails equally all work at an enterprise of any size. So expanding payroll footprint should be a priority for Zenefits.

    But overall a good launch event and a good first user conference for Zenefits the vendor to watch and consider when you are a very small business. Stay tuned.


    Want to learn more? Checkout the Storify collection below (if it doesn’t show up – check 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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    In a follow up move to its announced partnership from May this year, Microsoft and SAP extended their partnership to the HR area, something that could have been expected, but was not necessarily a given when considering the complex multi-vendor landscape both on the SaaS and the IaaS landscape.



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

    REDMOND, Wash. – Oct. 18, 2016 – Microsoft Corp. on Tuesday announced an expanded partnership with SAP to provide public cloud services for the SAP® SuccessFactors® HCM Suite. SAP will make its cloud-based human capital management solutions available on Microsoft Azure over the next five years. This is SAP’s first move to supplement its own infrastructure and operate SAP SuccessFactors solutions in a third-party public cloud, recognizing the experience both companies have in supporting global enterprise clients. With the addition of Azure, SAP has a trusted, global cloud and a powerful data platform to help it drive companies’ human resources transformation, and the potential to dramatically improve business outcomes.

    MyPOV – Good summary, correctly referring to an ‘expanded’ partnership. The timeframe of five years seems to be pretty long, but both vendors have been found to be conservative, when it comes to timelines. The concern is that 5 years is the ‘half time’ of a good architecture, so whatever SAP will use as the base for the cutoff to support Azure – it will take some time and the platform may have some years of age already. Good to see the focus on global, where Azure is doing well and that is crucial from a data residency perspective for many customers.


    “Microsoft and SAP share a commitment to empowering digital transformation across every aspect of business,” said Judson Althoff, executive vice president, Worldwide Commercial Business at Microsoft. “The combination of SAP’s market-leading, innovative human capital management solutions with Microsoft’s intelligent cloud will equip companies around the world to help maximize the potential and skills of their most valuable asset, their people.”

    MyPOV – Good statement of new on board head of worldwide commercial business, Judson Althoff.



    SAP will have significant additional capacity to run operational workloads of SAP SuccessFactors solutions on Azure, beginning with demo environments, to support its continuing client user growth. Azure provides enterprise-grade security, an open developer platform and advanced data services that organizations of all kinds can use to innovate and grow. With nearly 90 percent of the Fortune 500 as customers, the Microsoft Cloud is offered in more worldwide datacenter regions than any other major cloud provider.

    MyPOV – Good to learn something about the start – and its conservative – with demo environments. Demo environments are a typical first use case for similar exercises, as they are not critical from a production grade perspective. But certainly critical for the success of a vendor, and with rising demo needs and demand (e.g. from SAP SuccessFactors Partner for Profit program) – it is key for SAP to find a cheap, elastic demo platform. At the same time the create, demo and throw away nature of demo environments give Microsoft and SAP plenty of chances to learn to setup these environments, something important for the next step that usually is development and test (see e.g. where Workday is with IBM here) and then off to the ultimate goal – production. Again rightfully the press release quotes Microsoft’s coverage of large enterprises, when they are comfortable to run Office on a IaaS, they will most likely be comfortable to run HR systems on the same IaaS, too.



    “SAP SuccessFactors is the fastest growing core HR solution, and offers an unmatched depth and breadth across the entire HCM suite, of any vendor in the industry,” said Mike Ettling, president of SAP SuccessFactors. “We’ve seen exponential growth in the past two years, with 42 million users now benefiting from our market-leading solutions. In selecting Azure, we will be able to expand our reach even further, with the reliability that is required of these mission-critical applications, and continue to innovate and enhance services to meet client needs across additional environments.”

    MyPOV – Good quote of Ettling, touting growth of SuccessFactors. And one of the first areas where vendors feel growth pain is… demo systems and the pieces are adding up here. Demo systems and sand boxes are vital tools for vendors to ramp up their pipeline, something that SAP SuccessFactors is working hard to do at the moment, especially when it is done via the partner channel (also the case).




    This deal builds on the longstanding partnership between Microsoft and SAP, including integrations between Office 365 and SAP SuccessFactors HCM Suite, as well as SAP Fieldglass® Vendor Management System, SAP Ariba® and Concur® solutions. The Microsoft and SAP partnership also includes broad support for the SAP HANA® platform on Azure to enable companies to deliver mission-critical applications and data analytics from the cloud. Microsoft recently announced the general availability of Azure large instances, hardware configurations specifically designed for the largest and most demanding SAP workloads. SAP now enables its customers to build and deploy custom mobile hybrid SAP Fiori® apps on SAP HANA Cloud Platform that can be managed, deployed and protected with Microsoft Intune.

    MyPOV – A ‘well we have been doing this since a longtime’ paragraph – that is often found in press releases, when vendors want to show continuity, experience working together and generally make the partnership look like a big deal. Wasn’t necessary in my view, as he first pick of an IaaS by SAP SuccessFactors would be enough of headlines, but so be it. The HANA statement is key, as SuccessFactors is under the ‘Hasso Mandate’ of moving to HANA, and if Azure had not been able to run HANA, some observers would have questioned it… but that’s not the case with Azure’s recent commitment to large memory instances… and that is essential to capture long term SAP load to move to Azure. Once the SAP customers move, they most likely will be on HANA based systems on premises, or move to HANA based systems in the cloud, Microsoft wants to make it a move to Azure.

    Overall MyPOV

    We live in the ‘age of the load landgrab’ – which is the fight of IaaS providers like Microsoft Azure here, to capture on premises load (here from SAP). That gets overlaid by SaaS load that is looking for a new home due to a generational or platform update (here SuccessFactors moving to HANA and maybe some more things) and fueled by even large enterprise vendors like SAP, to not put up the CAPEX needed for large datacenter / IaaS rollouts. On the flipside IaaS providers (here Microsoft Azure) are more than willing to put in the CAPEX as they are bound for growth no matter what at the moment and any uniform load from on premises software or SaaS software is highly welcome, in comparison to one customer at a time projects. And SAP signaled already at Sapphire this year that its own IaaS ambitions have been scaled down (see my blog here), as the partnership with Azure was already announced in May, this is the conjugation of this very partnership towards SAP SuccessFactors load.

    For customers this is generally good news. Instead of waiting for their enterprise software vendor to figure out IaaS (or not), they can move to the cloud with the help of an IaaS provider who runs cloud infrastructure for a living. An alignment with other load of the enterprise will be of course welcome, as too much fragmentation across too many IaaS provider can quickly become a headache from a performance, compliance and commercial perspective. The good news for here is that most enterprises will be in Azure due to Office gravitas one way or the other. On the concern side customers need to pay more attention now to their SaaS vendors not picking up dependencies on specific cloud infrastructures – as it will limit future portability. For SaaS vendors eager to expand their functionality e.g. in the areas of Machine Learning and AI, this maybe a tradeoff they may be happy to take in the short term, but for customers it is something they may not want to live with middle or long term. So customers need to pay attention to the IaaS capability uptake of your SaaS vendors, in this case e.g. SuccessFactors using capabilities that only Azure offers.

    It also marks an inflection point that a 'born in the cloud' load like SuccessFactors is looking for its next 'home' - no longer in its own cloud infrastructure, but looking for a stand alone IaaS partner, in this case Azure. Those options were not around for the early SaaS pioneers, who all sit on aging, often proprietary or now 'frenemy' platforms, moving to a partner's IaaS should free up CAPEX resources and ultimately provide a better return of R&D to SaaS vendors making the move, which should translate either in (higher) profitability and / or more functionality in the product. Both are positive developments for a SaaS vendor's customers.

    But for now good to see the continuity of the Microsoft / SAP partnership, at the moment it’s a win / win / win for customers who get more live software demos and likely more sand boxes (always ask for them), Microsoft gets a shot at more SAP SuccessFactors load, starting with demo systems and SAP SuccessFactors gets a lot of demo environments and a proven IaaS partner (that SAP overall had chosen already before).

    Stay tuned for more on this and more enterprise vendor / SaaS player with IaaS player partnerships, below are a few of the most recent and prominent ones.



    More Apps / SaaS vendor and IaaS vendor partnerships (in chronological order):

    • Infor runs on Amazon AWS (read here)
    • SAP on IBM Cloud (read here
    • Lumesse on Salesforce Cloud (read here) and
    • NetSuite on Microsoft Azure (read here)
    • JDA chooses Google Cloud Platform (read here)
    • SAP chooses Microsoft Azure (read here)
    • Salesforce chooses AWS (read here
    • GE chooses Azure for Predix (read here)
    • SAP choses AWS for BW/4HANA (read here)
    • Workday chooses IBM (read here)
    • Adobe chooses Azure (read here)

    More on Microsoft
    • First Take - Microsoft Ignite - AI, Adobe and FPGA [From the Fences] - read here
    • News Analysis - GE and Microsoft partner to bring Predix to Azure - Multi-Cloud becomes tangible for IoT - read here
    • Market Move - Microsoft acquired Linked - Tons of synergies, start with Cortana, maybe too many - read here
    • News Analysis - Microsoft opens Windows Holographic to partners for a new era of mixed reality - read here
    • News Analysis - SAP and Microsoft usher in new era of partnership to accelerate digital transformation in the cloud - read here
    • Musings - Will Microsoft's Hololens transform the Future of Work? Read here
    • Event Report - Microsoft Build 2016 - A platform vision and plenty of tools for next generation applications - read here
    • First Take - Microsoft Build 2016 - Day 1 Keynote Takeaways - read here
    • Event Preview - Microsoft Build 2016 - Top 3 Things to watch for developers, managers and execs...  read here
    • News Analysis - Microsoft - New Hybrid Offerings Deliver Bottomless Capacity for Today's Data Explosion - read here
    • News Analysis - Welcoming the Xamarin team to Microsoft - read here
    • News Analysis - Microsoft announcements at Convergence Barcelona - Office365. Dynamics CRM and Power Apps 
    • News Analysis - Microsoft expands Azure Data Lake to unleash big data productivity - Good move - time to catch up - read here
    • News Analysis - Microsoft and Salesforce Strengthen Strategic Partnership at Dreamforce 2015 - Good for joint customers - read here
    • News Analyis - NetSuite announced Cloud Alliance with Microsoft - read here
    • Event Report - Microsoft Build - Microsoft really wants to make developers' lives easier - read here
    • First Hand with Microsoft Hololens - read here
    • Event Report - Microsoft TechEd - Top 3 Enterprise takeaways - read here
    • First Take - Microsoft discovers data ambience and delivers an organic approach to in memory database - read here
    • Event Report - Microsoft Build - Azure grows and blossoms - enough for enterprises (yet)? Read here.
    • Event Report - Microsoft Build Day 1 Keynote - Top Enterprise Takeaways - read here.
    • Microsoft gets even more serious about devices - acquire Nokia - read here.
    • Microsoft does not need one new CEO - but six - read here.
    • Microsoft makes the cloud a platform play - Or: Azure and her 7 friends - read here.
    • How the Cloud can make the unlikeliest bedfellows - read here.
    • How hard is multi-channel CRM in 2013? - Read here.
    • How hard is it to install Office 365? Or: The harsh reality of customer support - read here.
    And more on SAP:
    • Event Report - SAP / Trenitalia Digital Summit - SAP is serious about IoT - read here
    • First Take - SAP BW/4HANA - Data Gravity and Cloud win - read here
    • Event Report - SAP SuccessFactors SConnect - Push on all fronts - read here
    • Event Report - SAP Insider Vienna - HCP, BI and SuccessFactors are the takeaways - read here
    • Event Report - SAP Sapphire 2016 - Top 3 Positives & Concerns: SAP changes - probably for the better - read here
    • First Take - SAP Sapphire Day #2 Keynote - read here
    • News Analysis - SAP and Microsoft usher in new era of partnership to accelerate digital transformation in the cloud - read here
    • First Take -  SAP Sapphire Bill McDermott Day #1 Keynote - read here
    • Event Preview - SAP Sapphire 2016 - What to expect and look for - read here
    • News Analysis - Apple & SAP Partner to Revolutionize Work on iPhone & iPad - read here
    • Progress Report - SAP SuccessFactors makes good progress - now needs appeal beyond SAP - read here
    • News Analysis - SAP HANA Vora now available... - A key milestone for SAP - read here
    • Event Report - SAP Ariba Live - Make Procurement Cool Again - read here
    • News Analysis - SAP SuccessFactors innovates in Performance Management with continuous feedback powered by 1 to 1s  - 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:
    • Event Prieview - SAP TechEd 2015 - read here
    • 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 IBM World of Watson event, still going on in Las Vegas October23rd till 27th 2016. It is the first-time IBM brings all together under the Watson umbrella, and with keynote at a different venue (T-Mobile Arena vs MGM Garden Arena) tough to compare attendance with previous IBM events, so going with the 17k IBM shared. {Yes there was an intimate Watson ‘event’ with 1000 attendees a year ago – but not the same in my book like a large-scale conference as this one.)




    So, look at my musings on the event here: (if the video doesn’t show up, check here)



    No time to watch – here is the 1-2 slide condensation (if the slide doesn’t show up, check here):




    Want to read on? 

    Here you go: Always tough to pick the takeaways – but here are my Top 3:

    Watson or bust– Not only does Watson get its own event, it also is the first-time CEO Ginni Rometty makes it to a Las Vegas event (that I am attending, ok) and the marketing spend in show floor, sponsors signage etc. seems to eclipse all the many events that started with an “I” in Las Vegas. The show floor itself takes most of the large space up in the Mandalay Bay Convention Center, and that with minimal partner presence (Box, Cisco and 2 more I think). So, Watson for everything, of course IoT, of course industries, sports, The Weather Company, personal development etc. – every possible use case for AI was on the show floor.

    Bye Bye SoftLayer (in marketing)– IBM shared that it is consolidating its cloud brands with SoftLayer getting de-emphasized in favor of BlueMix going forward. Of course, all SoftLayer capabilities will remain preserved and continued. No surprise, the acquirer brand wins usually, and simplification is always a good true north. The message for developers is certainly attractive and simple – as it is all BlueMix. For enterprises with a differentiated IaaS and PaaS strategy the branding can be confusing, as enterprises may want / need the one and not the other. But with all things marketing – you never know – so we will be watching, how well this works for IBM.

    Watson for Video– In many ways video is the new medium, as people read less, listen more but want visual stimulation, need to stay on top of large amounts of video, and watching video / TV is becoming an interactive experience. IBM has acquired video assets (Ustream and Clearleap), as they are also key to drive load to cloud infrastructure, the newly labelled BlueMix infrastructure now. And video is an area where Watson can make a difference, as pattern, picture, face recognition is well understood and mastered in Watson. Finding pictures, scenes in video is very powerful, as the next deluge – after the digital picture one – is from video. And the approach can be productized relatively easily, with little customization required, so a good showcase and revenue opportunity for IBM.


    Analyst Tidbits:

    • The Assistants are coming– It’s good to see IBM providing more packaged offerings, always tricky in the AI area, but good to see progress being made with a series of Watson powered “Virtual Assistants”, the most notable for customer service. It was good to see frameworks for creating bot / chat applications. Check out my colleague Alan Lepofsky's coverage on this soon here.
       
    • Big partnerships– As usual IBM attracts partnerships with large corporation around its technology, of course here Watson. A partnership with GM brings Watson into OnStar for cross-selling, presence etc. A partnership with Pearson brings Watson into education. A partnership with Slack will bring Watson to IT professional with Assistants and open the popular chat platform for Watson and developers.
    • Watson Data Plaform and Watson Machine Learning – Two examples of how IBM uses Watson to enhance existing products (Data Platform) and create new product offerings (Machine Learning). Both are important for IBM's success in the new ML / AI future that is coming soon. Check out my colleague Doug Henschen coverage on this coming soon here.
      • Watson for iOS Apps– No surprise Watson also plays to augment (and likely differentiate) the applications IBM has built and is building with / for Apple on the iOS platform.
         
      • Watson for Professions– In almost a persona driven design approach, IBM wants to bring Watson capabilities to professionals in marketing, commerce, supply chain and HR. Certainly a good way to tailor AI capabilities and make the attractive to professionals. 
       

      MyPOV

      It’s always good to see vendors ‘boldly go’ and IBM is certainly betting its future on Watson. We have written and talked about the immense potential of Watson not only for IBM and its customers, but the overall market and business in general. IBM has done probably the best job in the industry at applying Watson and related abilities to any possible use case that is there for AI technology. Bringing it all together at an event like World of Watson is an important step, and it is good to see that IBM is doing all it can to propagate technology and use cases.

      On the concern side, IBM needs to make sure not lose the eye on ‘bread and butter’ business, e.g. buried in the announcements was a new, HTAP enabled version of DB2. That by itself would have carried a conference by itself not too many years ago. And pretty much all the solutions talk general capability with a grey line between Watson capabilities, product capabilities and what smart consultants are making possible. Prospects and customers want and need to know what are product vs. services capabilities, as the mix creates a very different value proposition. Hiding behind ‘it’s all about the solution’ won’t work for long, as tangible AI platform capabilities are key to evolve solutions that are powered by them.

      Overall we see IBM going Big on Watson, and it’s always good when software vendor put the marketing behind promoting and evangelizing their product innovation, IBM has certainly done a major step in this regards with World of Watson, good to see the commitment, now it is important to see the adoption and dissect on the product vs. services demarcation line. We will be watching.

      Want to learn more? Checkout the Storify collection below (if it doesn’t show up – check here).


      More on IBM:
      • Progress Report - IBM Alliances Insights - Deep Plans, now it is execution time - read here - read here
      • News Analysis - Workday, IBM Form Strategic Partnership on the IBM Cloud - The IaaS vendor race for SaaS load is on - read here
      • News Analysis - IBM Boosts Support to OpenStack's RefStack... first serious attempt to make OpenStack interoperability real - read here
      • Event Report - IBM Interconnect - IBM innovates and partners into the hybrid cloud era - read here
      • News Analysis - IBM and VMware announce partnership to accelerate enterprise hybrid cloud adoption >> Looking promising - read here
      • Event Preview - IBM Interconnect 2016 - read here
      • Site Visit - IBM Design Studio Austin - read here
      • MarketMoves - IBM strikes 3x in Fall - Cleversafe, The Weather Company and Gravitant - read here
      • 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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      We had the opportunity to attend the satellite location of the Microsoft Teams launch event in San Francisco on November 2nd 2016. The event was held at the Xbox Lounge on Bryant Street, always a grungy location for events like this. 





      So take a look at my musings on the event here: (if the video doesn’t show up, check here)




      No time to watch – here is the 1-2 slide condensation (if the slide doesn’t show up, check here):




      Want to read on? Here you go: Always tough to pick the takeaways – but here are my Top 3:

      Substantial V1 for Team Work - Obviously this is a version 1 for Microsoft, but it is not a quickly clobbered together effort, but a substantial new member of the Office product Family. Though I got not confirmation from Microsoft, Teams fells like a new incarnation of Skype, albeit much improved. But the native Chat as well as synchronous communication capability (ad hoc calls video conference) all point to that. Then Microsoft has created a well designed feed control – staple for any collaboration application today. It looks and felt (from a little product usage) like a well workable implementation of team collaboration and chat.

      Suite level synergies– As all suite vendors do, Microsoft showed deep integration in other products, mostly the Office capabilities. Starting with the Outlook Calendar – though Microsoft decided to call it Meetings. And with OneNote, Graph and other Office members (of course Word, Excel and PowerPoint cannot be missed), Teams gives Office users what Office users know. Integration with PowerBI shows that there is more than ‘just’ Office to work with in Teams, and though not confirmed, one can expect Dynamics products to be exposed in Teams, sooner than later, too. But it is important to see that Microsoft has kept the product open and vendors like Asana and ZenDesk attended and have built integration into Teams. No surprise Microsoft stressed security – something customers do expect as a table stake, more a positive surprise was that Compliance was an emphasis, which is a welcome surprise to hear from Microsoft. And of course, it is the ‘Fall of AI’ – so bots are not missing, we e.g. saw the Polly and WhoIs bots at work in the chats. Lastly good to see – and the benefit of being a large enterprise vendor – Teams is available with a pretty global rollout in all major markets – right from the get go.

      One more place to check things… - With Teams Microsoft created another gravity point for enterprise users to check for information and if anything is needed from them… Add that to Outlook and if a full Microsoft shop, Yammer. Over time Microsoft will and can bring this together, my guess will be in Outlook, as email gravity is expected to be the biggest (at least as I see the future). But for now the elephant in the room is Slack and similar vendors, who all get a lot of usage by users being tired of email – so Microsoft had to come to the independent, team collaboration product, to bring the fight to them. More importantly Teams give pro Microsoft minded enterprises decision makers a product that they will ask users to look at first. And then there are the 84M+ Office users who may just ‘bump’ into Teams. Over all these skirmishes and realizations, the downside of checking two places will be swept under the rug for a few years, I guess.

      MyPOV

      Good to see Microsoft tackling productivity, especially for teams that have been under supported in the past. It makes sense that Microsoft maintains the ‘toolkit’ philosophy as both Nadella and Koenigsbauer mentioned multiple times, 85M+ office users will not work in only one, pre-conceived way. And Microsoft is pulling the card of the large suite level vendors, who are loosing users and mindshare with point solution vendors – build a good version 1, bring the fight to the point solution, use the ‘higher ground’ of well know and liked products (e.g. OneNote, Word), stress security, roll the product out globally (nice utilization of the Office infrastructure on Azure), bundle it into the suite (Office) and make it – free. Microsoft has played all this right, and I predict it will reduce the speed of point solutions in the Microsoft productivity suite install base.

      On the concern side, Microsoft is.. Microsoft. Users who for whatever reason want to escape the vendor’s products will always be at hand. A lot of the success of the chat collaboration solutions has been the desire to ‘do less email’ – but ultimately everything gets pulled back to email. Thorough, deep innovation in email (Outlook) is what is the long game, if not the war for productivity suites. AI, Robots, voice all play a role to get business users to new productivity levels. By taking the fight to point solutions, Microsoft may lose the eye on the real prize – collaborative productivity across all channels that the 21st century knowledge worker needs. But it is too early to call that, just an area to keep an eye on. The good news is that more competition in a market has never hurt the users, so expect more and better competition for team collaboration / productivity solutions out of the Microsoft Teams launch.

      For now good news for Microsoft users and Microsoft using enterprises, an Office / Outlook integrated solutions is there with Teams now. True and hyped productivity from chat collaboration clients do not need to come from a 3rd party necessarily anymore. And Teams is broadly available for beta and soon GA – so time to give it a shot. 


      Also don't miss my colleague Alan Lepofsky's take on Microsoft Teams - you can find it here.

      Want to learn more? Checkout the Storify collection below (if it doesn’t show up – check here).



      More on Microsoft:

      • News Analysis - Microsoft announces SAP's choice of Azure to help enterprises transform HR - The SaaS land grab is on  - read here
      • First Take - Microsoft Ignite - AI, Adobe and FPGA [From the Fences] - read here
      • News Analysis - GE and Microsoft partner to bring Predix to Azure - Multi-Cloud becomes tangible for IoT - read here
      • Market Move - Microsoft acquired Linked - Tons of synergies, start with Cortana, maybe too many - read here
      • News Analysis - Microsoft opens Windows Holographic to partners for a new era of mixed reality - read here
      • News Analysis - SAP and Microsoft usher in new era of partnership to accelerate digital transformation in the cloud - read here
      • Musings - Will Microsoft's Hololens transform the Future of Work? Read here
      • Event Report - Microsoft Build 2016 - A platform vision and plenty of tools for next generation applications - read here
      • First Take - Microsoft Build 2016 - Day 1 Keynote Takeaways - read here
      • Event Preview - Microsoft Build 2016 - Top 3 Things to watch for developers, managers and execs...  read here
      • News Analysis - Microsoft - New Hybrid Offerings Deliver Bottomless Capacity for Today's Data Explosion - read here
      • News Analysis - Welcoming the Xamarin team to Microsoft - read here
      • News Analysis - Microsoft announcements at Convergence Barcelona - Office365. Dynamics CRM and Power Apps 
      • News Analysis - Microsoft expands Azure Data Lake to unleash big data productivity - Good move - time to catch up - read here
      • News Analysis - Microsoft and Salesforce Strengthen Strategic Partnership at Dreamforce 2015 - Good for joint customers - read here
      • News Analyis - NetSuite announced Cloud Alliance with Microsoft - read here
      • Event Report - Microsoft Build - Microsoft really wants to make developers' lives easier - read here
      • First Hand with Microsoft Hololens - read here
      • Event Report - Microsoft TechEd - Top 3 Enterprise takeaways - read here
      • First Take - Microsoft discovers data ambience and delivers an organic approach to in memory database - read here
      • Event Report - Microsoft Build - Azure grows and blossoms - enough for enterprises (yet)? Read here.
      • Event Report - Microsoft Build Day 1 Keynote - Top Enterprise Takeaways - read here.
      • Microsoft gets even more serious about devices - acquire Nokia - read here.
      • Microsoft does not need one new CEO - but six - read here.
      • Microsoft makes the cloud a platform play - Or: Azure and her 7 friends - read here.
      • How the Cloud can make the unlikeliest bedfellows - read here.
      • How hard is multi-channel CRM in 2013? - Read here.
      • How hard is it to install Office 365? Or: The harsh reality of customer support - read here.



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

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      SAP kicked off its European Edition of its developer conference TechEd in Barcelona today, and the big news was the announcement of SAP HANA 2.





      Definitively work our customary news analysis (check out my tweets, too as I am attending the conference) it can be found here:

      BARCELONA, Spain — Nov. 8, 2016 — SAP SE (NYSE: SAP) today announced SAP® HANA 2, the next-generation of the SAP HANA platform optimized for innovation. SAP HANA 2 will include and extend the proven technology from the first release of SAP’s breakthrough in-memory platform to provide a new foundation for digital transformation. In addition, new SAP HANA microservices in the cloud are available via SAP Hybris as a Service (YaaS) to spur developer innovation by embedding richer insight into modern applications. These announcements were made at SAP TechEd, being held November 8-10 in Barcelona.

      MyPOV – Good first paragraph, describes what is announced. Intersting that SAP Hybris is part of the first paragraph, but that was to be anticipated from Sapphire, where SAP discovered its new love affair with micro services. The ‘include and extend’ reads like a ‘fork’ in the product line – but let’s read on.

      “SAP pioneered in-memory computing with the launch of SAP HANA in 2010 and throughout our journey we have driven breakthrough innovation on a highly stable core data platform for our customers,” said Bernd Leukert, member of the Executive Board, Products & Innovation, SAP SE. “The release of SAP HANA 2 will mark a milestone in the industry, as it represents the next-generation of SAP HANA that will propel customers toward a successful and prosperous digital future.”

      MyPOV – Good quote from Leukert, accurate on the history, with some wishes for the future, but certainly a milestone that SAP customers have to put on their roadmap with the vendor.

      SAP HANA 2 will be released to customers on November 30, 2016. The express edition of SAP HANA 2 will be delivered upon validation shortly after general availability to help organizations jumpstart new development projects. As an innovation platform, SAP HANA 2 will deliver technology enhancements twice a year to support agile IT.

      MyPOV – Kudos for SAP to provide a hard date for RTC, and for shipping the express edition that is key for customer and prospect sandbox activities. Embedded also that HANA 2 will have new capabilities twice a year – a usual pace these days – but a pace that is possibly too fast for customers who do not need new features and want to run in production, and now can stay on SPS12 for about 3 years.

      Planned new key features and enhancements to help IT transform include:
      • Database Management – IT organizations will be able to ensure business continuity with enhanced high-availability, security, workload management, and administration enhancements. For example, the new active / active read-enabled option will enable IT organizations to leverage secondary systems – previously used only for system replication – to offload read-intensive workloads for improved operations.

      MyPOV – Always good to see SAP adding capabilities in Data Management, an era where the relatively you HANA product – now a first grader – was behind the university student or seasoned professionals (pardon the age comparison between database product and humans, but it illustrates the difference well) and need to catch up. Interesting that read performance gets mentioned here.

      • Data Management – Businesses are expected to leverage all data regardless of where it resides with enhancements to enterprise modeling, data integration, data quality and tiered storage. For example, the new SAP Enterprise Architecture Designer, Edition for SAP HANA is a Web-based solution that will allow IT organizations to manage complex information architectures and visualize the potential impact of new technologies before they are implemented.

      MyPOV – Same as Database Management – good to see SAP adding capabilities in the Data Management area. Looking forward to see the Enterprise Architecture Designer.

      • Analytical Intelligence – Developers are projected to embed rich insight into applications with enhanced analytical processing engines for text, spatial, graph and streaming data. For example, new algorithms for classification, association, time series and regression have been added to the predictive analytics library, which will empower data scientists to discover new patterns and incorporate machine learning in custom applications.

      MyPOV – Very important additions for HANA overall, an area where it needed to get stronger, with this release HANA gets to par with other database options for next generation applications.

      • Application Development – Developers are expected to build and deploy next-generation applications with enhanced capabilities for the application server, development tools and languages. For example, Bring your own Language support provides a choice of additional third party build packs and runtimes that can be used within the SAP HANA extended application services, advanced model. Also, a new file processor API will enable developers to extract text or metadata from documents for delivering deeper insights.

      MyPOV – BYOL is big news for HANA, and a good move by SAP. Look forward to check out the file processor at TechEd this week.

      New SAP HANA Microservices in the Cloud
      Users of cloud-based microservices powered by SAP HANA can enhance applications with analytical insight with simple APIs using any language or development platform.
      The new cloud services include:
      • Entity extraction, fact extraction and linguistic analysis: Use text data processing capabilities of a managed SAP HANA instance in the cloud for application enhancement with natural language processing.

      MyPOV – Good to see capabilities that the SAP Hybris teams has developed to run the product on HANA – now finding their way to public consumption with HANA 2. NLP is a key component of next generation applications as voice is quickly becoming the new UI.

      • Earth Observation Analysis service (beta): Co-innovated with European Space Agency (ESA) and based on the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) EO-WCS standard, this microservice accesses satellite data from ESA and uses SAP HANA spatial processing in the cloud. The new service was announced today in conjunction with Munich RE, for delivering real-time and historic information about vegetation, water, soil and other spectral indexes. […]

      MyPOV – Always good to see co-innovation project assets making it into project, in this case it is good to see not only the co-innovator (ESA) but also a first adopter (Munich Re) on the press release.

      Overall MyPOV

      Always good to see vendors innovating and today it is SAP with HANA 2. Likely, the background of the move is a positive one: HANA has now been adopted by so many customers that run HANA based applications in production, that they want SAP to slow down and keep a working release stable and running. On the flip side SAP cannot rest idle, and other customers (sometimes even the same one) want SAP to keep innovating and build new capabilities into HANA at rapid space. So SAP has gone back to the old and proven trick of all enterprise software vendors of providing two releases – a stable one for production at the current state -and a rapid evolving one with HANA 2. And it looks like SAP got the priorities for HANA 2 right with Data and Database Management, Analytics and better developer support.

      On the concern side one could say that is is ‘just’ a glorified fork (physical and / or logical) tine in the HANA product, with HANA 2 capabilities just being what would have come in SP13 (more or less). A true new platform would have been for SAP to embrace, endorse and extend Hadoop – running on all media – not just in memory, but SSD, spinning rust (aka HDD) etc. But what has not happened can still come…

      Overall a good move by SAP, that helps customers to try out HANA with the Express Edition, stabilize and run in production with HANA SP12 and go on innovating with HANA2. And listening and helping out customers is not a bad path for anyone in enerprise software. Let’s check how each three will be adopted, stay tuned.



      More on SAP:
      • News Analysis - Microsoft announces SAP's choice of Azure to help enterprises transform HR - The SaaS land grab is on - read here
      • Event Report - SAP / Trenitalia Digital Summit - SAP is serious about IoT - read here
      • First Take - SAP BW/4HANA - Data Gravity and Cloud win - read here
      • Event Report - SAP SuccessFactors SConnect - Push on all fronts - read here
      • Event Report - SAP Insider Vienna - HCP, BI and SuccessFactors are the takeaways - read here
      • Event Report - SAP Sapphire 2016 - Top 3 Positives & Concerns: SAP changes - probably for the better - read here
      • First Take - SAP Sapphire Day #2 Keynote - read here
      • News Analysis - SAP and Microsoft usher in new era of partnership to accelerate digital transformation in the cloud - read here
      • First Take -  SAP Sapphire Bill McDermott Day #1 Keynote - read here
      • Event Preview - SAP Sapphire 2016 - What to expect and look for - read here
      • News Analysis - Apple & SAP Partner to Revolutionize Work on iPhone & iPad - read here
      • Progress Report - SAP SuccessFactors makes good progress - now needs appeal beyond SAP - read here
      • News Analysis - SAP HANA Vora now available... - A key milestone for SAP - read here
      • Event Report - SAP Ariba Live - Make Procurement Cool Again - read here
      • News Analysis - SAP SuccessFactors innovates in Performance Management with continuous feedback powered by 1 to 1s  - 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:
      • Event Prieview - SAP TechEd 2015 - read here
      • 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 European edition of SAP’s developer conference, TechEd, held in Barcelona from November 8th till 10th 2016. The event was well attended, with an estimate 4k attendees coming from clients, prospects, partners, SAP and exhibitors. 




      So take a look at my musings on the event here: (if the video doesn’t show up, check here)




      No time to watch – here is the 1-2 slide condensation (if the slide doesn’t show up, check here):

      <Slideshare>



      Want to read on? Here you go: 

      Always tough to pick the takeaways – but here are my Top 3:

      HANA comes in two flavors and a trial version– The major news of the conference was the announcement of HANA 2, effectively the creation of two flavors of HANA. For customers that are live with HANA based applications and don’t need any further advancements of HANA, SAP will keep HANA SPS 12 around for 3 years, freeing them from onerous re-testing of their live applications, caused by HANA innovation they don’t want to uptake. And HANA2 becomes the flavor that will exhibit new capabilities, starting with the announcement and have twice a year a new service release. Effectively SAP has declared what was formerly SPS 13 to be HANA 2 now, labelling it courageously as the platform for Digital Transformation. New capabilities coming with HANA 2 are attractive – starting with a container infrastructure, BYOL capabilities, Machine Learning and predictive Analytics capabilities are the ones that stuck out for me as being most game changing for enterprises building next generation applications. And to do that enterprises need developers who know the technology, and here SAP has done (finally) something what is a must have for any technology provider to the enterprise – offered a free development and limited runtime license for HANA – with HANA Express. Anyone can download HANA, the full version, to their machine, build application and deploy them – with memory being the gate (I believe 32 GB was the limit).

      HANA Cloud Platform grows– For the first HCP has become the key product message in a SAP keynote by Bernd Leukert, where HCP was the key platform for the last third of the keynote, quite adequate for a developer conference. And there are numerous new capabilities that make a difference for HCP going forward, the one that stood out for me are a new container service (I could not figure out if is the same like HANA 2’s), BYOL capabilities, improved integration into SAP’s products, improvements of the API Business Hub, a connector to Ariba named Ariba Cloud Integration Gateway, machine learning capabilities, predictive analytics functionality. SAP has done a good job of adding more services to HCP, adding a workflow service, business rules engine with services, data quality services. Probably the most impactful services for enterprises trying to build these nature of applications, the smart data streaming capabilities will be most welcome, as streaming is always tricky, but especially when solved by an individual enterprise.

      We had the chance to use HCP ourselves, building a Fiori based application, connecting it via OData / SAP Gateway to a production system, adding visualization of an address in Google Maps and using the Translation Services to have the app available in 20 or so languages, all build by a rusty developer analyst in about one hour. Available with UI5 as a mobile application. I tested 7 languages, including Hebrew, where the app changed from left to right menu as well as orientation. All without any real coding, but mostly XML script extensions and changes, a powerful proof point of where SAP HCP has come to.

      SAP discovers Machine Learning– For a long time I have been giving SAP a hard time about the lack of machine learning vision, talk and product uptake. This has changed now with native machine learning capabilities coming to both HANA and HCP, a very important step forward for developers building next generation applications. On top of that SAP announced a machine learning powered Brand Intelligence solution that will use the currently ubiquitous picture and video machine learning capabilities to help marketers establish brand value. Invoice matching and bias elimination in recruiting with SuccessFactors are the other two use cases that SAP currently supports. Not surprisingly there needs to be a training effort for new technologies, and SAP is doing the right thing by starting a MooC effort. Too early to judge the uptake as the capabilities come in 2017, but SAP is doing the right things to get there. And similar SAP is launching a data science curriculum for 2017 – in true SAP style with a certification.

      Analyst Tidbits


      • DaaS with ESA – DaaS is a key revenue source and capability going forward and SAP partnered with ESA to bring ESA satellite pictures to enterprise, of course via HANA and the SAP Digital arm. Kudos for having a consuming customer on stage with Munich Re, the insurer wants to add geographical data to its risk assessment. The service is free till the end of the year, we will have to understand monetization then, but a good start on a differentiating data source for SAP, making the consumption of the ESA data easy for developers.
         
      • Make it easier to build IoT apps– SAP introduced the an IoT enablement solution, that effectively connect S/4HANA (as the Digital Core) with tiered storage, in which SAP has enabled its Digital Twin capabilities (acquired assets with Fedem). It is an important step to make it easier for enterprises to build IoT applications with HCP, with storage tiering and connecting them with S/4HANA, a good move by SAP.
         
      • KXEN DNA is alive– When SAP acquired KXEN, I was bullish on the capabilities this could bring to SAP, in terms of shrink wrapped ‘true’ analytics applications. It was longer quiet than I would have liked, but now the know how is back with a focus on helping data scientists and analytic model worker with the SAP Business Objects predictive factory. Good to see.
         
      • YaaS now available in Germany– SAP’s hybris team, the division that early on focused on a microservice architecture on top of CloudFoundry is adding the German market (US already available). YaaS is a key strategy in the API Economy market, and key for developers to be more efficient at building their next generation applications. Available by the hybris marketplace, the ESA partnership is available through this architecture.
         
      • Analytics– Maybe missed by me, but the SAP Digital Boardroom has been completely re-factored on SAP Business Objects Cloud, leveraging the assets of the original Cloud for Planning product and more. Good to see Analytics applications now available in 34 countries from the SAP Store. All the EPM applications are part of the portfolio and BPC is now helping to move to Continuous Accounting. And a Roambi powered mobile app is available, after SAP has done some ‘hardening’ of the solution to bring it to SAP standards.
         
      • SAP has an assistant now - SAP recently announced its assistant - SAP CoPilot, it was demoed in the keynote, and comes from he Fiori team. It seems the team is a pursuing an open architecture, e.g. keeping their options open when it comes to speech recognition platforms. But it is early days, good to see SAP looking at this important space.
         
      • S/4HANA makes progress– SAP keeps pushing forward with S/4HANA both on premises and in the cloud, with the major functional piece that was still missing with Manufacturing coming soon in 2017.
         
      • SAP and Apple– The first deliverables of the partnership both vendors announced at Sapphire in May of this year are now available, there is a HCP SDK for iOS, both vendors did their first academy training partners on the SDK and shared that precision tool manufacturer MAPAL is part of the early adopter program. 

      MyPOV

      From an announcement perspective, a very good TechEd for SAP, the product related announcements eclipsed what was announced at Sapphire this year. The keynote felt at times more like a Sapphire than a TechEd demo. But sometimes development cycles and marketing calendar are not on the same takt. Nothing a vendor can do and holding back is not an option, given the demands from enterprises. SAP could have stressed developer aspects / experience / side more, given the audience. But literally every major product line had substantial, architectural announcements, from the ‘sundeck’ of S/4HANA to the engine room with HANA. The new container and BYOL developer options for HANA and HCP stand out in my view. Good progress from SAP on the IoT side, too – where the purpose-built solutions got an important new facet with the digital twin. Good to see the push for machine learning – across multiple products, an area that SAP needs to move fast in, and has started now.

      On the concern side SAP still needs to extend its reach to Hadoop natured storage options. In memory – no matter if with HANA or Vora / Spark remains intuitively cost prohibitive for customers to build next generation applications with SAP, as they all have a not sizeable at design time, not predictable data storage aspect. To be fair SAP acquired Altiscale recently, which could be a key enabler. But the lack of a Hadoop service from SAP hurts SAP on all levels – as a platform for both HANA and HCP, when building solutions as for IoT, when being a strategic partner, when building higher level constructs in BI / Analytics and OLTP applications and so on. Not to mention customer who have to figure this out themselves. The other source of likely confusion is between HANA Platform and HANA Cloud Platform. Agreed it is important to know that enterprises can build on HANA only if desired, but even Oracle ‘lumps’ the database into the PaaS layer. Similar challenges exist with the Hybris YaaS service vs. HANA see both on the ESA announcement. To the market, customers and prospects it doesn’t matter who build this at SAP, messaging, pricing need to be simple for enterprises not to lose time when looking at SAP development tools. Time for some message cleanup.

      But overall good to see the progress on all fronts. Almost ironical that in the year where SAP started to partner for cloud IaaS (e.g. with Microsoft Azure and AWS Cloud) its up the stack products have found cloud stride in all regards, vision, speed of delivery and messaging. Exciting times ahead, stay tuned.



      More on SAP:
      • News Analysis - SAP to unveil HANA 2 - New platform vs a fork's tine - read here
      • News Analysis - Microsoft announces SAP's choice of Azure to help enterprises transform HR - The SaaS land grab is on - read here
      • Event Report - SAP / Trenitalia Digital Summit - SAP is serious about IoT - read here
      • First Take - SAP BW/4HANA - Data Gravity and Cloud win - read here
      • Event Report - SAP SuccessFactors SConnect - Push on all fronts - read here
      • Event Report - SAP Insider Vienna - HCP, BI and SuccessFactors are the takeaways - read here
      • Event Report - SAP Sapphire 2016 - Top 3 Positives & Concerns: SAP changes - probably for the better - read here
      • First Take - SAP Sapphire Day #2 Keynote - read here
      • News Analysis - SAP and Microsoft usher in new era of partnership to accelerate digital transformation in the cloud - read here
      • First Take -  SAP Sapphire Bill McDermott Day #1 Keynote - read here
      • Event Preview - SAP Sapphire 2016 - What to expect and look for - read here
      • News Analysis - Apple & SAP Partner to Revolutionize Work on iPhone & iPad - read here
      • Progress Report - SAP SuccessFactors makes good progress - now needs appeal beyond SAP - read here
      • News Analysis - SAP HANA Vora now available... - A key milestone for SAP - read here
      • Event Report - SAP Ariba Live - Make Procurement Cool Again - read here
      • News Analysis - SAP SuccessFactors innovates in Performance Management with continuous feedback powered by 1 to 1s  - 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:
      • Event Prieview - SAP TechEd 2015 - read here
      • 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 Kronos yearly user conference KronosWorks, , held in Orlando from November 13th till 16th 2016. 

      Here is the 1-2 slide condensation (if the slide doesn’t show up, check here): 



      Want to read on? Here you go: Always tough to pick the takeaways – but here are my Top 3:

      Workforce Ready is a success– Kronos has been investing in its SMB product Workforce Ready since some time, now with the recent additions in functional footprint it has taken off more that one would expect, reaching a triple digit million amount for the first time. Overall customer growth is up 45% and global customer growth 110%. It shows that Kronos has realized the need for an integrated HCM Suite for companies under 2500 employees, that are having a large population of hourly workers. And no surprise, Kronos focusses on these industries. For most other vendors the anchor module is Payroll, but for Kronos it is Workforce Management and Payroll. Buyers in these industries don’t only have to worry about one or two payroll runs per month, but usually worry about correct punches every morning and afternoon.

      Workforce Central grows, too – more to come– The bigger brother of Workforce Ready for enterprises, Workforce Central is growing fast, too – the data point being over 2000 enterprises having going live or currently implementing the product. Kronos is actively making the product better, the new HTML5 based UI works well, though is a bit conservative. Good to see Kronos also eliminating ‘sins of the past’ – Java on the desktop is gone, now its about addressing the use of Adobe Flash. But the real news is how we learnt that Kronos is actively working on the next generation of its larger enterprise workforce management product, with later in 2017 as a first date for first release of capabilities. A good sign as some of the architecture changes required to keep Kronos powering in the 21st century cannot rely on the older, but proven architecture. The way how Kronos tackles this and from the little we know right now, there is little to nothing to worry for customers and prospect. Kronos is very conservative and hype free – so this will be an interesting one to watch in an usually hype loaded industry.

      Cloud works for Kronos customers– Moving to the cloud is Kronos’ biggest and still fastest growing business, and has reached 60% of Kronos revenues. In total 4M Kronos users are in the cloud today. Existing, not just net new customers, move to cloud, with 1.1M existing users having moved over to Kronos Cloud. On the technology side, it is good to see that Kronos can and has run on AWS Cloud in Australia. Like many other enterprise software vendors Kronos has also seen that AWS Cloud is not cheaper than an in-house managed cloud – at the moment, but it gives Kronos flexibility in regards of data residency and global presence.

      MyPOV

      Kronos is doing two of the hardest things that an enterprise software vendor can do: Building the next generation of its flagship product and converting existing customer to a new platform, in this case cloud. Most enterprise software customers don’t want to move off an implemented on premise version, it is often amortized, fits the needs of the user community and everyone has gotten used to it, making existing customer conversions often tricky, hard and slow. The pace at which Kronos has managed to do this is impressive. In conversations with customers they realize the value proposition of cloud and are ready to convert. We will have to see how the trend continues when Kronos reaches more conservative and cloud skeptical customers. But time is on Kronos’ side from the overall trend perspective.

      On the concern side Kronos must keep managing the transition and innovate in its product. The current architecture is adequate, but not how you want a workforce management product be for the next 10 years to come. The good news is that Kronos has done the heavy lifting, moving to an API architecture, even more interesting being used as an API layer for Workforce Management capabilities by large enterprises who have opted in building their own Time and Attendance / Absence Management.

      The next year has been important for Kronos for a while and I have been saying that for the previous years, too, as Kronos had to lay the foundation for the future. 2017 will be key. Stay tuned.

      More on Kronos
      • Event Report - Kronos KronosWorks - New Versions, new UX, more mobile - faster implementations - read here
      • 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

      Want to learn more? Checkout the Storify collection below (if it doesn’t show up – check here). And check out the Twitter Moment I created on the first day of the analyst meeting here.

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

      0 0

      We attended Microsoft’s Connect event in New York, held on November 16th 2016.
       


      So take a look at my musings on the event here: (if the video doesn’t show up, check here)




      No time to watch – here is the 1-2 slide condensation (if the slide doesn’t show up, check here):


      Want to read on? 

      Here you go: Always tough to pick the takeaways – but here are my Top 3:

      Microsoft joins the Linux Foundation– For a long-time Linux was the arch enemy of Windows, but realities with open source innovation and the new Microsoft make possible what was unthinkable a few years ago. One of the first Azure offerings running on Linux was another ‘surprising’ announcement at the time, in 2013, of Azure now running the Oracle database (read khttp://enswmu.blogspot.com/2013/06/how-cloud-can-make-unlikeliest-bed.html). Since then Microsoft has run more and more Azure loads on Linux and being part of the community at an influential and exposed level was an almost overdue move. For enterprises, it means that if there was any reservation towards Linux in the past, they are ready to revisited.

      Google joins .Net Foundation– Google has been running .Net since some time. So similar to the previous takeaway, it makes sense to influence the community and be a prominent part of it. Again, a new frenemy relationship, as Microsoft and Google have tussled with each other mobile, social, browsers and. Microsoft gets a validation of .Net being an independent platform, Google can attract .Net load for Google Cloud and most importantly enterprises running .Net apps get more choice were to deploy these apps. So a win / win / win for all participants. Ironically both Microsoft and Google will be strong believers that their respective IaaS is the better one. Future will tell.

      Coding gets (even) easier with Visual Studio 2017 - Microsoft keeps pushing the productivity limits of the developer experience further out. The IDE gets more productive, Rosslyn constantly monitors what the developer types, DevOps gets easier and so on. Good to see more team capabilities to Team Foundation Server 2017. Visual Studio Mobile gets all the good Xamarin capability for deployment and testing. And Visual Studio now runs – no surprise anymore – natively on a Mac.

      Tidbits

      • SQL Server 2016 SP1– Important housekeeping for Microsoft – as it brings the programming model together across SQL Server editions.
         
      • Azure Data Lake Store– A data lake on Azure, easy to access with e.g. on premise Active Directory and easy to expand to other data sources… it is HDFS compatible – but not native HDFS.
         
      • Azure Data Lake Analytics and Store– Microsoft’s high transaction data volume and processing cloud analytics service is now GA. Support of U-SQL, R, Python and .Net is interesting, but an Azure / Microsoft specific platform. To be fair, so are all competitor products.
         
      • Microsoft launched Teams recently (see here) – and of course developers can build on it, together with the just turned one Graph. Looks like the bot development framework is with Teams for now, too – which makes sense as Microsoft tries to make Teams its Chat platform.
         
      • Azure Progress– Some interesting information from Scott Guthrie on Azure progress. E.g. that Microsoft has operationalized more datacenter capacity in the last 9 months than in its history before. And that capacity will double again in 12 months. Check the Storify for more interesting pieces of information. 

      MyPOV

      A lot of progress with Microsoft, almost more than Build, but often product and event cycles don’t align. It is good to see that developer productivity remains top priority for Microsoft and with that the vendor helps enterprises to build next generation applications. It is good to see Microsoft also embraces the reality of Linux, becoming a Linux Foundation member. Will be curious what Microsoft may contribute in the future. Moreover, Microsoft makes good on the premise to protect code investments – both from an UWP and a .Net perspective. Good news for enterprises to get another IaaS to run .Net applications with Google Cloud.

      On the concern side Microsoft still has steps ahead to become an enterprise level PaaS that starts with analysis, design capabilities, does requirement collection, end to end test automation etc. It will be interesting and potentially very powerful to see Visual Studio and Teams come together. I maybe wrong, but it always seems to me that Microsoft is about the developer (nothing wrong with it) and less about the enterprise that needs to build a next generation application. Those run in conjunction with existing standard application packages, so integrating, extending those matters. And a lot of emphasis on mobile, but nothing on social network integration, automation etc.

      But for now, a lot of good progress on all levels – from the partnership level to product level. Good to see the progress on making developer lives more and more easy, one release of Visual Studio at a time.


      Want to learn more? Checkout the Storify collection below (if it doesn’t show up – check here).


      More on Microsoft:
      • First Take - Microsoft discovers teams - launches Microsoft Teams - read here
      • News Analysis - Microsoft announces SAP's choice of Azure to help enterprises transform HR - The SaaS land grab is on  - read here
      • First Take - Microsoft Ignite - AI, Adobe and FPGA [From the Fences] - read here
      • News Analysis - GE and Microsoft partner to bring Predix to Azure - Multi-Cloud becomes tangible for IoT - read here
      • Market Move - Microsoft acquired Linked - Tons of synergies, start with Cortana, maybe too many - read here
      • News Analysis - Microsoft opens Windows Holographic to partners for a new era of mixed reality - read here
      • News Analysis - SAP and Microsoft usher in new era of partnership to accelerate digital transformation in the cloud - read here
      • Musings - Will Microsoft's Hololens transform the Future of Work? Read here
      • Event Report - Microsoft Build 2016 - A platform vision and plenty of tools for next generation applications - read here
      • First Take - Microsoft Build 2016 - Day 1 Keynote Takeaways - read here
      • Event Preview - Microsoft Build 2016 - Top 3 Things to watch for developers, managers and execs...  read here
      • News Analysis - Microsoft - New Hybrid Offerings Deliver Bottomless Capacity for Today's Data Explosion - read here
      • News Analysis - Welcoming the Xamarin team to Microsoft - read here
      • News Analysis - Microsoft announcements at Convergence Barcelona - Office365. Dynamics CRM and Power Apps 
      • News Analysis - Microsoft expands Azure Data Lake to unleash big data productivity - Good move - time to catch up - read here
      • News Analysis - Microsoft and Salesforce Strengthen Strategic Partnership at Dreamforce 2015 - Good for joint customers - read here
      • News Analyis - NetSuite announced Cloud Alliance with Microsoft - read here
      • Event Report - Microsoft Build - Microsoft really wants to make developers' lives easier - read here
      • First Hand with Microsoft Hololens - read here
      • Event Report - Microsoft TechEd - Top 3 Enterprise takeaways - read here
      • First Take - Microsoft discovers data ambience and delivers an organic approach to in memory database - read here
      • Event Report - Microsoft Build - Azure grows and blossoms - enough for enterprises (yet)? Read here.
      • Event Report - Microsoft Build Day 1 Keynote - Top Enterprise Takeaways - read here.
      • Microsoft gets even more serious about devices - acquire Nokia - read here.
      • Microsoft does not need one new CEO - but six - read here.
      • Microsoft makes the cloud a platform play - Or: Azure and her 7 friends - read here.
      • How the Cloud can make the unlikeliest bedfellows - read here.
      • How hard is multi-channel CRM in 2013? - Read here.
      • How hard is it to install Office 365? Or: The harsh reality of customer support - read here.

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

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      A blog I have meant to write since a long time, being a heavy user of Twitter... related to how reputation and follower dynamic on Twitter are working out - from my vantage point... so let's muse about this...




      One of the unique things of Twitter (e.g. compared to Facebook or LinkedIn) is that it shows a users Follower / Following numbers prominently and more importantly it gates progress in regards of following other users on follow back. If memory does not fool me, Twitter installed these limits to avoid abuse and spam. E.g. there is / was a gate a 2000 people followed, where you could only follow more people once your own follower count would pass 2000 followers. So Twitter strives for balanced users - ultimately.

      With this as a background, when looking at a Twitter use, there are four 'personas' - you can pick them out by the relationship of followed vs. following:

      • The Twitter NewBie - characterized by a substantial lead of users followed vs. users following. I think every Twitter user starts like this... at the end of the day you need to follow other users to get going. The first users followed is an interesting insight for anyone who wants to do some social analysis of anyone on Twitter.
         
      • The likely Spammer - characterized by a 10x+ relationship of following vs. followed. These are the dark side of Twitter, often not human accounts.. but they play a role - as you will later see.
         
      • The Hoarder - characterized by a 5x+ relationship of followers vs. following. These are the Twitter users who have 'made it' in the classical sense of reputation management - with other users following them, but them not following back. At some point - e.g. for news organizations and the big celebrities - it is impossible to follow back... that creates an imbalance in the Twitter equilibrium.
         
      • The Social User - characterized by an almost even count of followers vs following. The difference being human error, and often the spammers that aren't followed back.
          

      MyPOV

      Twitter is practically a null sum game for all users from a follower / following perspective ... Imbalanced follower / following accounts trigger their inverse in single or across multiple accounts, as users try to get over the gated hurdles that Twitter has setup... so the Hoarder creates the opportunity for the Spammer... So in my view Twitter would do better in case it would motivate more balanced follower / following ratios. Some of the problems are Twitter self inflicted, as it does not do a good job to help, assist and teach users from managing the Home feed efficiently. 

      For me I stayed in the Social User category... my following count is less than 10% under my follower count and I routinely go over my followers and follow back based on a few criteria... check my tweets. 

      What is your Twitter persona?



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      Hidden in an overall update on its vast Machine Learning portfolio of last week (see the blog here) was an unusual use case for a vendor like Google - a Jobs API. Clearly a foray into the enterprise application space, HCM in general and Recruiting in detail.


      There is one fundamental problem at the heart of every job search and every recruiting drive - the search for jobs and the search for candidates. Google tries to address the first part - with an improvement in the search for jobs. It has received good validation and is being tested by veritable recruiting vendors CareerBuilder, Dice and Jibe. 

      Not surprising for search giant Google to pick this challenge. Also not surprising it all starts with ontologies, Google uses two of them: A three tiered occupation ontology (based on the O*Net Standard Occupational Classification) and a skill ontology of over 50k hard and soft skills (how important they are see e.g.  here - Workday acquired Identified). The magic then lies into mapping these two to each other, which Google does in a third step. 

      A visualization of the occupation ontology - from Google web site - here
      It's the third step where Machine Learning really unfolds its power. Google states that its vector for job titles is 100k dimensions big, based on an analysis of 17M job posts. Beyond human grasp and likely also beyond any single project based modelling by a single or team of data scientists. 

      MyPOV

      Good to see Google using expertise and moving it towards enterprise applications. One more offering that helps Google move the conversation towards the enterprise, something the vendor desparately wants to foster, grow and ultimately monetize. Good to see uptake and pilots by CareerBuilder, Dice and Jibe. Ultimately also another avenue to get more load into Google Cloud, something the vendor is equally interested in. Finally it is likely the API can be applied also for the reverse search - finding the right candidate - but that's something we will have to wait for Google to provide. In that case some privacy questions will loom...

      On the concern side it is one more component that may break a Talent Acquisition system. But probably Google can scale more and better than the data science teams at relatively smaller vendors, ultimately given the overall system more stability. 

      Finally it's an inflection point. Google has probably a lead when it comes to overall machine learning from both an algorithm and platform (with TensorFlow and GPU architectures) - but it has not forayed into enterprise software. Congrats on the first step and we will be watching. 



      More about Google:
      • Event Report - Google I/O 2016 - Android N soon, Google assistant sooner and VR / AR later - read here
      • First Take - Google Google I/O 2016 - Day #1 Keynote - Enterprise Takeaways - read here
      • Event Preview - Google's Google I/O 2016 - read here
      • Event Report – Google Google Cloud Platform Next – Key Offerings for (some of) the enterprise - read here
      • First Take - Google Cloud Platform - Takeaways Day #1 Keynote - read here
      • News Analysis - Google launches Cloud Dataproc - read here
      • Musings - Google re-organizes - will it be about Alpha or Alphabet Soup? Read here
      • Event Report - Google I/O - Google wants developers to first & foremost build more Android apps - read here
      • First Take - Google I/O Day #1 Keynote - it is all about Android - read here
      • News Analysis - Google does it again (lower prices for Google Cloud Platform), enterprises take notice - read here
      • News Analyse - Google I/O Takeaways Value Propositions for the enterprise - read here 
      • Google gets serious about the cloud and it is different - read here
      • A tale of two clouds - Google and HP - read here
      • Why Google acquired Talaria - efficiency matters - read here

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






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      IBM has been more quietly and less loudly build out its BlueMix PaaS platform, the press release from earlier in the week is a good reminder on the progress that IBM has made.



      So time to dissect the press release in our customary style (it can be found here):

      ARMONK, N.Y. - 18 Nov 2016: IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced several cloud data services and features on Bluemix designed to help organizations accelerate the migration of their data to the cloud and more easily generate business insights.
      MyPOV – Data is the true sticky factor in all IT. True on premises and true for cloud. Moving it from on premises to cloud (and later between clouds) is a key success factor for all IaaS and PaaS players.
      Organizations look to the cloud as a powerful engine to collect and interpret vast amounts of data. However, many are struggling to move their already existing datasets to the cloud, as well as retain control of where they reside and how they are accessed. Without the right tools in place, the problem will only get worse as the amount of data continues to grow. According to […], the amount of high-value data worth analyzing will double by 2020, and much of this data will be in the form of complex, unstructured information.
      MyPOV – The unpredictability of the data grown couple with the inability to size the deployments is what is attractive for enterprise to move to IaaS.


      Now available on Bluemix, IBM Decision Optimization, Bluemix Lift and dashDB for Transactions can help organizations overcome this challenge and make more informed business decisions by enabling them to more easily aggregate, ingest and analyze expanding workloads.
      “Cloud is the platform that enables cognitive intelligence,” said John Murphy, Vice President, IBM Watson Data Platform. “We’re continuing to grow our catalog of cloud data services on Bluemix so that we can help developers and data scientists better manage and more quickly interpret data for business innovation.

      MyPOV – Ok – the cat is out of the bag – we know what this press release is about – three new capabilities coming to Bluemix, and a good quote from Murphy.

      The services include: IBM Decision Optimization on Cloud (including the CPLEX engines) is now in beta on Bluemix. It can ingest large amounts of data including predictions, master and transactional data, business goals, and business rules to prioritize and rank business decisions such as plans and schedules. Applicable across all industries, including manufacturing, utilities, finance and retail, this powerful tool offers the ability to trade-off conflicting business goals while balancing resource limitations to make more informed decisions. This offering includes the CPLEX Optimizer Engines and can run as a standalone, embedded in applications using a Rest API, or be used in Jupyter Notebooks within IBM's Data Science Experience.
      MyPOV – Data Scientists and C Developers experienced with CPLEX will rejoice. The proven C library (yes it has C#, Java and Pyhton options, too) is a prime example how assets from the traditional on premises world can create value in the cloud.

      For example, consider a major clothing retailer in need of restocking its winter coat supply. Local warehouses might be very low in stock, and shipping and transferring supplies from international locations could incur costly fees. Using Decision Optimization, a retail planner could automatically get recommendations and choose the most cost-effective replenishment plan, considering all possible suppliers, warehouses, shipping lanes, and costs, without having to do a potentially time-consuming manual "what-if" analysis or manual comparison of options.
      MyPOV – Always good to see a showcase in a press release. The mostly linear programming usage of CPLEX makes it easier to move to cloud, as only the platform changes not the algorithm.. and enterprises like it when not too many things get changed at the same time… they have a business to run.

      IBM Bluemix Lift is a data migration tool to quickly, securely and reliably migrate databases from existing on-premises data centers to IBM Bluemix and IBM Watson Data Platform. Bluemix Lift encrypts data being transferred, helping to securely move it at a rate of up to ten times faster than traditional offerings. The technology is also designed to minimize downtime, so that applications using the source database can run uninterrupted during migration. In addition, Lift has been designed to be highly reliable, enabling data transfers to keep flowing even during a connectivity loss.
      MyPOV – To run analytics in the cloud – you need to get the data there… good to see a Bluemix service that scales, is secure etc. Key services to get adoption of Bluemix.

      IBM dashDB for Transactions is a fully managed SQL database service on IBM Bluemix, optimized for transactional and web workloads to help developers fuel cloud-based applications. It offers high availability on selected plans, as well as pay-per-use units. It is part of IBM’s dashDB portfolio, offering a workload-optimized database environment designed to meet both the data warehousing and transactional needs of applications.
      To get started with these services, visit the Bluemix Developers Catalog for IBM Bluemix Lift,Decision Optimization, and dashDB for Transactions.

      MyPOV – A lot of the relevant load for enterprises remains in SQL databases… and transferring from on premises production to in the cloud analysis is slow and expensive. So vendors need to convince enterprises that they can run production SQL loads in the cloud, and therefore dashDB for Transaction is important for IBM.

      Bluemix, IBM's Cloud platform, has grown rapidly to become one of the largest open, public cloud deployments in the world. Based in open standards, it features over 150 advanced technologies and services, including 35 cloud data services and a roster of others spanning categories of cognitive computing, blockchain, Internet of Things, DevOps and security.

      MyPOV – Good summary of the Bluemix progress. Customer count / active deployments would be good to see here, too.

      Overall MyPOV

      The race for cloud load is in full swing and PaaS is a key offering for vendors to get enterprises on their respective cloud infrastructures. Coupled with the need of building their own applications to take advantage of the new best practices in the 21st century, PaaS is likely to make a difference which cloud / IaaS to choose. But at the end of the day it is all about the data, that comes from production systems. Making it easier to transfer the data, analyze the data and monitor it once in the cloud is key – and IBM has made three key steps with the offerings of this press release – IBM Decision Optimization, IBM Bluemix Lift and IBM dashDB for Transactions.

      On the concern side, IBM has now show traction with enterprises to use these new services. Being able to leverage existing, proven and trusted algorithms with CPLEX (all the way to pre ILOG days) is an asset – as it takes concerns and costs out of the move to cloud. And to be fair – every new offering needs its first customers.

      For now, good move by IBM to make Bluemix and IBM Cloud more attractive to enterprises.



      More on IBM:


      • Event Report - IBM World of Watson - IBM's bets its future on Watson - read here
      • Progress Report - IBM Alliances Insights - Deep Plans, now it is execution time - read here - read here
      • News Analysis - Workday, IBM Form Strategic Partnership on the IBM Cloud - The IaaS vendor race for SaaS load is on - read here
      • News Analysis - IBM Boosts Support to OpenStack's RefStack... first serious attempt to make OpenStack interoperability real - read here
      • Event Report - IBM Interconnect - IBM innovates and partners into the hybrid cloud era - read here
      • News Analysis - IBM and VMware announce partnership to accelerate enterprise hybrid cloud adoption >> Looking promising - read here
      • Event Preview - IBM Interconnect 2016 - read here
      • Site Visit - IBM Design Studio Austin - read here
      • MarketMoves - IBM strikes 3x in Fall - Cleversafe, The Weather Company and Gravitant - read here
      • 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

      0 0

      By now we have some weeks of distance to the recent US elections – so time to muse about the enterprise takeaways.





      There are many repercussions, let’s look at the general themes, I may blog closer to Future of Work and Next Gen Apps implications sometime soon…

      Disruption has reached Government– For half a year half of the country was not taking Trump seriously, for half a year half of the country and the media though he could not win… and now half of the country isn’t happy with the election outcome. When things happen that a lot of people did not expect – we talk about disruption: A political newbie like Trump has not only disrupted the Republican establishment (which amused half of the country) but also the best candidate the Democrats had with Clinton (with now half of the country unhappy).
      In my lifetime, something similar has only been seen in Italy, when Silvio Berlusconi decided to run for prime minister, and won in about 6 months from that announcement in a general election... But that was a different time, and Berlusconi owned a substantial piece of the Italian media landscape. And it was before we knew what social media was. So now the political class is disrupted by an entrepreneur, who beat the best and brightest of both parties in the last 12 months through a primary and general election. What Trump will do as a president is something for the future - but if you consider that it is a key competence of the political class to get (re-)elected, certainly we can consider the political class to be disrupted. If that will happen to government, too, remains to be seen. 


      Enterprise Lesson #1– Disruption happens everywhere – likely more in the future – enterprises need to be ready for continuous disruption going forward. If government ‘best practices’ get disrupted we see more changes and possible disruption coming towards the enterprise, more than ever time to pay attention what is happening in Washington D.C.

      Get more, even win with less– For a long time the conventional wisdom in US elections was that who spent more would win. Not this time, so an encouraging development for enterprises, who are challengers and don’t have the largest budgets. With the right message for an audience / market and working the amplification that media can give to anyone – Trump won with less campaign spend than Clinton. That it was some of its own funds may have changed some of the investment decisions. Enterprises give executives and employees stock to make them part of the decision making. It certainly may have played a role… the irony is that Trump even spoke openly about the strategy – and it still worked for him. 


      Enterprise Lesson #2 – It does not have to be more and more all the time. Spend wisely and smart and you may overtake the bigger competitors with the right strategy. And it can be public, but can’t be imitated.

      Know your customers– Well this maybe a stretch – but ultimately voters are ‘one time’ customers of a sort. The risk is that many executives and decision makers – especially when based, raised and risen on the coasts – don’t know the customer in the middle of the country anymore. There is probably only very few research where outcomes are more polled and researched than a US federal election. Still the political establishment, the media, pundits all got surprised. Certainly, they need to do a trip to understand the Trump voters and ‘sell’ to them better at the next occasion. 


      Enterprise Lesson #3– Never hurts to know your customer. Elites and closed clubs lose touch of the rest of an economy and socienty easily, has happened before and will happen again. Understand the market holistically and maybe drive across the US next time (and plan a few stops) to get re-connected with the whole market.

      Social Matters– It is unlikely that Trump may have won without usage of social media, mostly Twitter. Let’s stay away from the content – but as an amplification tool it has worked and was likely the reason that the Trump campaign could win with a lower spend than the Clinton campaign. Authenticity matters on social media – compare any x Trump vs Clinton tweets and you know who wins in this category. Remember that authenticity does not mean you need to like the content of the tweet. In the long debate between Facebook vs Twitter – for this election Twitter clearly won. 


      Enterprise Lesson #4– Social media matters, when it can be a key contributor to win elections in a country like the US. If you don’t have a social media strategy, time to get one. If you are Facebook heavy, bolster Twitter. Make sure messages are authentic, and resonate with the goal of amplification. The tweet to media connection is one that not only works in politics, but also in business. See e.g. Elon Musk, Mark Andreesen (now on Twitter hiatus) et al.


      Don’t take a stake– CxOs are voters, too and entitles to an opinion like everybody. But taking side in any election, particular a close election will always create winners or losers. CxOs need to rethink what side they want to be on, how to deal with the aftermath if they took a side and compare to a general position of neutrality, sparkled e.g. with encouraging employees to vote and other general, pro election themes. 


      Enterprise Lesson #5– Tight elections are always hard. But consider what it means for prospects, customers, partners and employees when a CxO takes a side. Always budget for ample room to rebuild relationships and focus on what matters – growing and protecting the enterprise a CxO is in charge off.

      MyPOV

      A few weeks out it still is hard to write a blog post on enterprise lessons learnt from this election. Probably not easy to read either… what are your lessons learnt from the last US election that matter for the enterprise? Looking forward to hear from you.



      More Musings
      • Musings - What is your Twitter Persona? Read here.
      • Musings - Quo vadis Twitter? Who could, should buy Twitter - and what is Twitter really? Read here.
      • Musings - The Bots are coming to your conversation - what are the implications? - read here
      • Musings - We are entering the age of the Über Super Computer - read here
      • Musings - Retail is the breeding ground for NextGen Apps - read here
      • Musings – Time to re-invent email – for real! Read here
      • The Dilemma with Cloud Infrastructure updates - read here
      • Are we witnessing the Rise of the Enterprise Cloud? Read here
      • What are true Analytics - a Manifesto. Read here
      • Is TransBoarding the Future of Talent Management? Read here
      • How Technology Innovation fuels Recruiting and disrupts the Laggards - 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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      Already in Las Vegas since two days, having the opportunity to attend AWS reInvent and getting briefed before hand by AWS on all announcement - a useful, different approach how to run these events.

      So for the impatient ones - take a look at the video... 


      Always tough to pick the key takeaways - but here you go - one slide summary:



      Let's go through the details:

      Lots of new Instance types - A little more than the usual innovation here, 4 brand new instance type family members. GPUs are becoming attachable, a good move but probably also making a virtue of a larger server install base that can be complemented by GPU capabilities. Also FPGAs, they can be programmed and the programs can be monetized on the marketplace. Not many enterprises will do that as Jassy admitted, still a good option. 

      Holger Mueller Enterprise Software Musings reInvent AWS Cloud
      New AWS Instances 


      AI push - Lex most interesting - It's the fall of AI and AWS also announces new capabilities - on voice production and picture recognition. More interesting will be Amazon Lex - the Alexa toolkit made available to build bots. All good progress, but AWS is behind here and catching up.

      Holger Mueller Enterprise Software Musings reInvent AWS Cloud
      Amazon Lex Capabilities


      Workday chooses AWS for production loads - The race for enterprise load is on amongst the IaaS vendors, and Workday is a prime target. Good for AWS to get the Workday production load, IBM was earlier the partner for development and production instances. May create some DevOps headaches. But overall a win for customers of both AWS and Workday: AWS customers get more scale, Workday customers see their vendor spending less on CAPEX, which now can go into product.

      Holger Mueller Enterprise Software Musings reInvent AWS Cloud
      Workday Plans with AWS

      Greengrass and Edge Computing - AWS needs to bring its code closer to the end points, AWS Greengrass is a promising start for that. It needs to be in AWS Lambda, which allows to run on all Amazon S3 instances (see last year's event report on the kudos I gave for the wise foresight to make mini application servers out of 'dumb' storage servers. This is now a benefit from that decision.
      And Snowball get smarter - hence my title with the hardware business. What AWS positioned last year as a portable disk storage to transfer data - is no becoming a server with compute (lambda) in the form of the AWS Snowball Edge. 

      Holger Mueller Enterprise Software Musings reInvent AWS Cloud
      AWS Greengrass Capabilites



      Snowmobile - AWS wants enterprise load and data, and transferring very large amounts of data takes time. The example was 1 Exebyte, that even through a speedy 10 GigaBit uplink would take 26 years to transfer. Enters AWS Snowmobile, a truck with a container that can store up to 100 PB. An interesting approach and a manifest of network speeds lacking industry progress that we see in compute and storage. 

      Holger Mueller Enterprise Software Musings reInvent AWS Cloud
      Enters the AWS Snowmobile


      MyPOV

      A very good start for AWS for reInvent. The vendor keeps innovating, and growing way to beyond the Venetian / Palazzo. The conference at times felt like the VMworld of the past - the more or less formal get together of the IT industry. And in the overall grab for load across the IaaS vendors, AWS is doing well - with the Workday partnership it lands another vendor with homogeneous load that will give it more load. With Workday starting in the new region in Canada - it gives right away load to that region. And extending more code execution capabilities at the edges and on devices gives AWS centered enterprise more reach and value for its software. Lastly moving data remains a challenge, AWS Snowball has been a success for AWS, we will see how many Snowmobiles are hitting the road in the next 12 months

      Holger Mueller Enterprise Software Musings reInvent AWS Cloud
      AWS New Capability Growth

      On the concern side, AWS has an issue of riches. With growing new capabilities from 700 to 1000 year over year - it is a lot for customers, prospects and partners to digest. I asked Jassy in Q&A and it is clear that AWS - at least for now - is not concerned about this. Architects help customers to walk through the challenge to find the right services for their use case is the answer. That is a common and proven approach in the industry - but in the past we have seen the architects at some point risking / starting to argue in front of the customer... then it will be too late. Simplification, packaging, repeatability are some of the areas to watch.

      For now a great start for AWS reInvent, stay tuned for more. The inflection point - as mentioned in the headline, is AWS now shipping a server - the AWS Snowball Edge is nothing else but that.... and with that AWS enters the hardware business. Never a dull moment. Stay tuned from more from AWS reInvent. 



      Want to learn more? Checkout the Storify collection below (if it doesn’t show up – check here).

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



      More on AWS:
      •  News Analysis - VMware has found AWS as its public cloud IaaS  - read here
      • First Take - SAP BW/4HANA - Data Gravity and Cloud win - read here
      • Event report - AWS Enterprise Summit 2016 Frankfurt - The German Road to Cloud adoption is ... long - read here
      • News Analysis - Amazon Web Services Cloud now speaks… Hindi - Indian AWS Data Centers available - read here
      • News Analysis - Salesforce selects AWS as preferred Public Cloud Infrastructure Provider - Good move - read here
      • Event Report - AWS re-Invent - AWS lobbies for the enterprise - DB and IoT are the cheese - read here
      • 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.


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      Earlier today Google announced Google App Maker, an important step in Google’s overall portfolio to get a bigger piece of enterprise automation, addressing the citizen developers and the larger capacity of low code developers that together have the potential to build user driven end user applications and maybe more. 


      The blog post (Google doesn’t do press releases) can be found here, time to dissect in in our customary style:. 


      G Suite is designed to help you do your best work, whether that’s through real-time collaboration that brings your teams together, or machine intelligence that expedites everyday tasks via automation. We understand, however, that your company has unique needs around processes and workflows that G Suite alone can’t solve for. We also understand that your employees rely on many third-party apps for things like customer relationship management, support, and project management to get their job done. As a result, we’re announcing two new ways to customize and extend your G Suite Platform today: App Maker, a new low-code developer tool for building custom enterprise applications, and the addition of 7 new partners to our “Recommended for G Suite” 3rd party partner program.
      MyPOV – Good into on the challenge that no software package will ever address all the enterprise automation needs.
      Introducing App Maker, a new way to build powerful apps for your business. App Maker is a low-code, application development tool that lets you quickly build and deploy custom apps tailored to your organization’s needs. So whether you’re looking for better ways to onboard new team members, staff projects, or approve employee travel requests, App Maker helps you build an app for these use cases in literally days instead of months.
      MyPOV – Good summary of what App Maker does – fill the need for speed to build specific apps that solve a pain point for an enterprise.
      ● Go from idea to app, fast:
      ​It’s easy for IT or even citizen developers (including analysts and system administrators) to quickly iterate from a prototype all the way to deployed app with App Maker. It offers a powerful cloud-based IDE that features built-in templates, a drag-and-drop UI, and point-and-click data modeling to accelerate your app development efforts. App Maker also embraces open standards like HTML, CSS, Javascript and Google’s ​material design​ visual framework, so your developers can create beautiful apps quickly, in a development environment that leverages their existing skills and knowledge.
      MyPOV – Cloud based, drag and drop, point and click are all key elements of a low code environment, using commonly knows mechanism to get usage and adoption up quickly for a new product. Good to see standard based support. And the uptake of Google’s UI framework makes the apps look good, which matters also for low code apps.

      ● Build integrated, tailor-made solutions for every need:
      ​App Maker lets you build a range of applications customized to meet the needs of your organization and connects to a wide range of data sources and APIs. This unique flexibility starts with built-in support for G Suite​ products as well as popular services such as Maps, Contacts, Groups and more. You can also leverage other Google Cloud services such as the ​Directory API​ and Prediction API​, or third-party APIs, to create richer, more intelligent application experiences.

      MyPOV – No surprise – many of the Google capabilities are exposed to App Maker developers, something to be expected, and key to make these applications integrated and powerful from the get go.

      ● Focus on delivery, not infrastructure:
      App Maker is built on the same secure and trusted infrastructure as G Suite. Developers can safely deploy custom apps in the cloud without worrying about servers, capacity planning, infrastructure security and monitoring that would otherwise require internal support from IT. IT can also manage these custom apps in the same way that they manage G Suite apps like Gmail, Drive, and Docs — with zero click install and administration.
      MyPOV – Good to see that IT is involved… the first wave of end user / citizen developer apps (think spreadsheets) often flew under the cover contributing to the phenomena of shadow IT. Integrating App Maker with the needs of the IT side is a key move for successful enterprise adoption.

      Over the past few months, we’ve previewed App Maker with a handful of large G Suite customers and many have successfully built and deployed applications to their organizations already. We’re also working with the following consulting partners to help deliver solutions to our joint customers: Appsbroker, gPartners, G-Workplace, Ignite Synergy, Maven Wave, PwC, SADA Systems, and Tempus Nova. […]

      MyPOV – Always good to work with customers and good to see them mentioned here.

      If you’re interested in trying out App Maker, it’s available today through our ​Early Adopter Program f​or ​G Suite Business​ customers. Apply for the EAP ​here​.

      MyPOV – Good to see App Maker is announced and available to explore with an EAP. Always good to see immediate availability for evaluation at announcement.

      Announcing new apps for the ‘Recommended for G Suite’ program While G Suite helps your teams communicate and collaborate more easily, we understand that you also rely on other apps to manage line of business functions like sales, marketing, or operations. We want to make it easy for you to integrate these experiences with G Suite, and that’s why we ​introduced the Recommended for G Suite program​ last year. The program hand-selects market leading applications, built by independent software vendors (ISV), in various categories including project management, customer support, finance and accounting. Today, we’re adding seven new apps to the program that can help your organizations and teams be more productive. In addition to being innovative and working well with G Suite, we selected these apps because we believe they solve key problems where deeper integration and direct support with G Suite enables our joint customers to be more successful. Each application also goes through rigorous security testing and quality measures to qualify for the Recommended Partner program.

      MyPOV – Always good to see partner programs to add value.

      Our new Recommended Partners include 
      ● Asana​ for project & process management  
      ● DocuSign​ for eSignature 
      ● Freshdesk​ for customer support 
      ● LumApps​ for corporate & social portal 
      ● Virtru​ for encryption 
      ● Xero​ and ​Zoho Invoice​ for finance & accounting

      MyPOV – Good to see a list of partners at launch of a new product – adding immediate value and validation to the offering. More importantly it solves the silo cross integration that many enterprises struggle with.

      Overall MyPOV

      Addressing the lack of developers and the need for enterprises to become more agile with software is a good need to address, so it’s good to see Google launching its product for low code developer with AppMaker. Combining G Suite with custom code and partner apps can deliver a substantial number of use cases enterprise are striving for. So, a good move by Google.

      On the concern side – these frameworks need to be open – even for alternative products, as enterprises use a mix of solutions. For G Suite it means opening to e.g. Microsoft Office. But it is early days and you need to crawl before you can walk, so nothing to expect from a version 1 that Google has launched this week.

      We will be watching the Low Code / No Code area going forward – stay tuned.


      More about Google:
      • First Take - Google enters enterprise software space with Google Jobs API - read here
      • Event Report - Google I/O 2016 - Android N soon, Google assistant sooner and VR / AR later - read here
      • First Take - Google Google I/O 2016 - Day #1 Keynote - Enterprise Takeaways - read here
      • Event Preview - Google's Google I/O 2016 - read here
      • Event Report – Google Google Cloud Platform Next – Key Offerings for (some of) the enterprise - read here
      • First Take - Google Cloud Platform - Takeaways Day #1 Keynote - read here
      • News Analysis - Google launches Cloud Dataproc - read here
      • Musings - Google re-organizes - will it be about Alpha or Alphabet Soup? Read here
      • Event Report - Google I/O - Google wants developers to first & foremost build more Android apps - read here
      • First Take - Google I/O Day #1 Keynote - it is all about Android - read here
      • News Analysis - Google does it again (lower prices for Google Cloud Platform), enterprises take notice - read here
      • News Analyse - Google I/O Takeaways Value Propositions for the enterprise - read here 
      • Google gets serious about the cloud and it is different - read here
      • A tale of two clouds - Google and HP - read here
      • Why Google acquired Talaria - efficiency matters - read here

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


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      We had the opportunity to attend AWS reinvent, held this week in Las Vegas, from November 27th till December 2nd 2016. It was the largest reinvent ever, with over 32000 attendees… not only to me it appeared that reinvent becomes the new VMWorld – the yearly get together of the IT industry. Only ones missing were the hardware vendors, for obvious reasons. 




      So take a look at my musings on the event here: (if the video doesn’t show up, check here)




      No time to watch – here is the 1-2 slide condensation (if the slide doesn’t show up, check here):





      Here you go: Always tough to pick the takeaways – but here are my Top 3:

      The battle for load wages on– All IaaS players need to attract load to their cloud in order to achieve and maintain scale. This was also obvious at reinvent as AWS made several moves to get more load to AWS. The prime targets in this race are the SaaS players, as a partnership with a SaaS player gives access to a lot of conform, standard and repeatable load. Even better the SaaS player will advertise and help move its customers over. So that AWS wanted to have Workday is no surprise. That Workday picked AWS for production loads was a little more, given the recent decision to run development and test loads on IBM Cloud (read here). Earlier this year AWS got commitments from Salesforce (see here) and SAP for BW4HANA (see here). The next lower priority to get load is to have enterprises build their next generation applications on the vendor’s platform and AWS provided a number (see below) of new services to make it attractive to build these. The prime ones are around BigData and Machine Learning – and AWS announced Amazon Athena (query S3 with SQL) and AWS Glue (ETL and more), Amazon AI, Rekognition, Polly and Lex). And once they are built you need to make it easy to operate on the platform, it needs to be secure (AWS Shield), and efficient (Amazon Lightsail, EC2 Systems Manager, AWS CodeBuild, X-Ray and Batch). And customers want to get more value out of their code (AWS Snowball Edge – runs AWS Lambda) and use more of their skills (adding C# to AWS Lambda, adding PostGreSQL to Aurora). But a limitation can be the data movement, so the catchy announcement was the AWS Snowmobile, a container that can move up to 200 PB from on premises to cloud. All are valid offers and arguments for enterprises to use AWS as their IaaS. 



      Holger Mueller Constelllation Research AWS reInvent 2016
      All reInvent 2016 announcements


      Ease of use and consumption – With the growth of AWS – now at over 3.5k+ capabilities – if you add all the innovations up from the start) has become a complex system. Education was prominent as was certification. We are always fans of valid and hard certification tests, as they help enterprises to know which consultant / programmer can do what. But at the core it is about software based improvements and what stood out to me were AWS X-Ray, AWS CodeBuild and the enablement of CI and CD processes in AWS.

       
      Holger Mueller Constelllation Research AWS reInvent 2016
      All of AWS in 1 slide


      AWS doubles down on AWS Lambda
      – Since its announcement, AWS Lambda has been an interesting and differentiating way for building code in AWS, bring the code to the data, only pay when used etc. AWS Lambda as a language and platform become now more prominent as AWS uses Lambda as well to move code from AWS outside the connected cloud environment, e.g. on the new AWS Snowball Edge. Somebody deserves more than paycheck and bonus of adding the light weight application server to S3, which in my guess is the platform for all of this. This is good news for enterprises, as AWS proprietary code build on AWS Lambda can go more places. 


       
      Holger Mueller Constelllation Research AWS reInvent 2016
      Vogels walks by AWS Athena


      My picks– Very hard to pick the Top announcements for each day, maybe AWS (and me) need to think of different categories (e.g. developer, CIO, data scientist, DevOps etc.) – but here you go: For Day #1 for me it is Athena – being able to query data in S3 with well-known SQL is a win win. More data gets accessible with the #1 query language. And given that S3 is one of the major attractions of AWS, a key move by the vendor. For Day #2 it is AWS Glue: Every year AWS tries to take a piece of traditional IT spend and offer an alternative – it was Amazon Workspaces 3 years ago, Amazon Aurora 2 years ago and Amazon QuickSight last year – now it is AWS Glue – an ETL and more to get data moved, enriched, etc. to give users more time to do what matters: Analytics. 

       
      Holger Mueller Constelllation Research AWS reInvent 2016
      Vogels announces AWS Glue

      MyPOV

      AWS growth keeps going strong, frankly at an amazing rate. By now it has attracted every services player (it has signed up over 10k partners in 12 months), has been evaluated by all major ISVs, is the default platform for most startups, and few enterprises are not running one piece of automation or the other on the platform. And growth both in functionality as well as business does not seem to slow down, not even showing a sign of weakness. Au contraire, the number of new capabilities YoY has increased by almost 50% - from a base of 700 to 1000. This is all good progress and sailing by AWS, making it the clear market leader for IaaS and the PaaS related services on top of it. And new use cases, like e.g. IoT was presented in the keynote with Italian energy giant ENEL, continuing the tradition that keynote speakers for IoT come from European enterprises. And AWS is growing up, with a separate partner program, region, country specific events at reinvent, even the stream was subtitle in 4 languages.

      On the concern side, AWS was not able to deliver a major ‘All in’ customer to the two keynotes, admittedly GE is a tough act to follow, but I would have expected to see more public traction. Instead we had repeat keynote presenters, e.g. FINRA. Nothing wrong with this, good to see an update. The event was well visited from an international perspective, but apart from ENEL, I didn’t recall non-North American customers presenting. Maybe AWS keeps them stocked for the many regional AWS Summits that happen throughout the year. But these are minor concerns compared to who AWS wants to keep operating: Operating models are different when you are the web serviced division of an online retailer with a few 100Ms in revenue (as AWS was 5-6 years ago), experimenting with services and seeing what ‘sticks’ (CTO Vogels back then) – vs. being a 10B+ key IT infrastructure provider. I asked CEO Jassy about this and his answer was clear – AWS will not slow down. And while 1000 new capabilities will be manageable it will be 1500 (extrapolation from me here) next year, and close to 3500 in 2 years, if AWS keeps pace. At some point AWS will have to package, simplify, provide version to its offering – maybe the start will be separate conferences as the Sands Convention Center was at times over the limits of its capacity.

      But for now, all is well for AWS, it needs to catch up in some areas like e.g. Machine Learning and it was interesting to see how AWS execs positioned this, but that was bound to happen. And frankly is not expected by enterprises either, leading in all aspects of next generation applications is no longer realistic given the wide range of products and services offered. And AWS has achieved what it wanted to get done since a long time, be the platform that cannot be ignored and must be evaluated when enterprises make cloud infrastructure decision. Stay tuned for mor e.



      More on AWS:
      • First Take - AWS reInvent - 1st Keynote - AWS enters the hardware business - and much more - read here
      • News Analysis - VMware has found AWS as its public cloud IaaS  - read here
      • First Take - SAP BW/4HANA - Data Gravity and Cloud win - read here
      • Event report - AWS Enterprise Summit 2016 Frankfurt - The German Road to Cloud adoption is ... long - read here
      • News Analysis - Amazon Web Services Cloud now speaks… Hindi - Indian AWS Data Centers available - read here
      • News Analysis - Salesforce selects AWS as preferred Public Cloud Infrastructure Provider - Good move - read here
      • Event Report - AWS re-Invent - AWS lobbies for the enterprise - DB and IoT are the cheese - read here
      • 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.


      Want to learn more? Checkout the Storify collection below (if it doesn’t show up – check 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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      A few weeks ago I blogged about how the behaviour on follower dynamics can be used to categorize users on Twitter, in Newbies, Spammers, Hoarders and Social Users... you can find the post here.



      Many people have asked me how you can become or stay a Social User on Twitter without loosing manageability of the Home feed. Happy to help, and instead of explaining a few more times - it is time to write a blog post...

      The 'trick' to manage over 20k followers is ... Twitter's List tool. Lists allow you to group Twitter users, which you don't even have to follow, in a list. Users can decided if they want to make their list public or keep it private. For me I decided to keep them private (you will see later) - others are of great value to be public (e.g. thanks for SAP CDO Jonathan Becher to maintain a list of all SAP employees on Twitter (see here).

      For me the List is a private tool to keep topics and Twitter users separate from each other, and to stay on top of the tweets of the Twitter users I really want to see the tweets from. I regularly review my Lists in regards of keeping them lean in terms of tweets collected in them - but which users I put on which list is my personal and private decision. Other Twitter users may see that differently. 

      So what Twitter Lists do I maintain?
      • ReadFirst - This is practically my Home Feed replacement. It is about 500 Twitter users whose tweets I care about. I can't check it all in its entirety - but check it multiple times a day.
      • Future of Work / NextGen Apps - Well you can guess what these lists are about - all the key people by research area. Many Twitter Users are double listed between ReadFirst and these - so I can look at lists by topic.
      • Vendors - Pretty much Twitter user from a vendor is in here... the List has pretty much lost value as it is in multiple 1000s - but I have a dream for it... see below. Just need Twitter to build it.
      • Media - These are journalists whose publications I don't want to miss, many of them I work with on understanding technology events and developments.
      • PR Pros - The 'dark' side of the analyst role, but an important role to get the word out.
      • News in different categories - E.g. when I want to see what is going on in Technology, general news, in Germany and Italy. Instead of having to scroll back in a combined List of all news to catch the early AM European publications - I keep them separate.
      • Beach Volleyball - For fun, remember you can Twitter users on lists and don't have to follow them...
      What's the problem with the approach of using Lists?
      • Habit Change - Probably the hardest, I started out with Lists right away - mostly out of curiosity - but once I had a few hundred followers, that was my tool of choice.
      • Horrible List Support in Twitter - Twitter has many areas that have massive room for improvement - e.g. consistent UIs across platforms. But lists are particularly bad. Not even alphabetically sorted on some devices (but newest on top), on mobile devices you can't assign two lists in one run etc. - and more that will be another blog post.
      • Maintenance - You have to go back and maintain the list... a Twitter user may have gone passive, change topic, may not be worth your time. No need to unfollow - just take the user off the list - or move to another one...
      Now I have a complete wish list of new List features... if anyone at Twitter is reading this...

      MyPOV


      Twitter is a null-sum game in regards of follow / followers. With Twitter imposing gates for further usage (a user cannot follow more people until the user's followers have caught up) - the Twitter Universe gets unbalanced by the 'Hoarders', the 'Spammers' make money from balancing the whole thing a bit. But for me it is simple: If a user is social (that is a user who tweets), has a profile picture and some sort of byline (sorry I don't follow eggs, it shows a lack of interest in the medium), is not a spammer, does not tweet offensive content and tweets in language I understand (apologies to all Arabic, Chinese and other followers) - I will follow you back. Even when it is puppy pictures. They just don't make it to my ReadFirst List. But they are so cute... 

      What is your approach on Twitter? Look forward to hear from you... 

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      Last week Amazon’s AWS division made official what was already word on the street at the AWS reinvent event the week before that: AWS’ expansion into Canada. 



      Worth dissecting the press release in our customary style – it can be found here:

      Cloud pioneer expands global infrastructure footprint with new AWS Canada (Central) Region in Montreal, Quebec, enabling customers to run applications and store data in Canada

      MyPoV -Describes what is happening. And what’s in a name? This is the first AWS region in Canada – and it is the central one.. if the US is of any guidance – there will be likely an East and West region(s) too… always good to leave room in the name space.

      With tens of thousands of active AWS Customers operating in Canada, those welcoming the new AWS Region include National Bank of Canada, Salesforce, Lululemon Athletica, Desire2Learn, The Globe and Mail, The Toronto Star, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), British Columbia Hydro, TMX Group, the University of Alberta, Shaw Communications, and Kik Interactive

      MyPOV – Nothing is better for an IaaS provider to bring existing load to a new set of data centers. The list will get more attention later in the press release.

      SEATTLE--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Dec. 8, 2016-- (NASDAQ:AMZN) – Amazon Web Services, Inc. (AWS), an Amazon.com company, today announced the launch of the AWS Canada (Central) Region. With this launch, AWS now provides 40 Availability Zones across 15 technology infrastructure regions globally, with another seven Availability Zones and three regions in the UK, France, and China expected to come online in the coming months. Tens of thousands of Canadian customers are using other AWS Regions and starting today, developers, start-ups, and enterprises, as well as government, education, and non-profit organizations can leverage the AWS Cloud to run their applications and store their data on infrastructure in Canada. Developers can sign-up and get started today at: http://aws.amazon.com.

      MyPOV – Good run down of AWS availability zones and regions. One of the interesting aspects to watch will be how fast Canadian customers will be moving over to the new Canada Central region. Also, an insight on the ration of availability zones to regions was clearly two availability zones per region a few years back… except the huge US East region… with the expansion AWS will be at 15 regions and 40 availability zones … so a few will only have 2 availability zones. I asked AWS datacenter Cameron at reinvent if 3 zones I the new best practice… and he confirmed it with a diplomatic – three is better than two.

      The AWS Canada (Central) Region offers two Availability Zones at launch. AWS Regions are comprised of Availability Zones, which refer to technology infrastructure in separate and distinct geographic locations with enough distance to significantly reduce the risk of a single event impacting availability, yet near enough for business continuity applications that require rapid failover. Each Availability Zone has independent power, cooling, physical security, and is connected via redundant, ultra-low-latency networks. AWS customers focused on high availability can architect their applications to run in multiple Availability Zones to achieve even higher fault-tolerance. AWS also provides two Amazon CloudFront edge locations in Toronto and Montreal for customers looking to deliver websites, applications, and content to Canadian end users with low latency. These locations are part of AWS’s existing network of 68 edge sites across North and South America, Europe, Asia, and Australia.

      MyPOV – Good, so we know that AWS Canada Central starts out with two availability zones. Interesting edge locations are mentioned for Toronto and Montreal – but not for Western Canada. Potentially network wiring and latency are better for Western Canada locations (e.g. Vancouver, Calgary) to be services from US West in Oregon… that would be good news from a performance perspective – but probably not from a Canadian data privacy and data residency perspective. But more on that later.

      The new AWS Canada (Central) Region continues the company’s focus on delivering cloud technologies to customers in an environmentally friendly way. AWS data centers in Canada will draw from a regional electricity grid that is 99 percent powered by hydropower. More information on AWS sustainability efforts can be found at https://aws.amazon.com/about-aws/sustainability.

      MyPOV – Good to see AWS progress in becoming sustainable, it is of course easier when you have an electric grid at disposal this is powered by clean hydroelectric power, like Canada’s.

      “For many years, we’ve had an enthusiastic base of customers in Canada choosing the AWS Cloud because it has more functionality than other cloud platforms, an extensive APN Partner and customer ecosystem, as well as unmatched maturity, security, and performance,” said Andy Jassy, CEO, AWS. “Our Canadian customers and APN Partners asked us to build AWS infrastructure in Canada, so they can run their mission-critical workloads and store sensitive data on AWS infrastructure located in Canada. A local AWS Region will serve as the foundation for new cloud initiatives in Canada that can transform business, customer experiences, and enhance the local economy.”

      MyPOV – Good quote by Jassy, addressing well all the business opportunity the cloud has, and AWS now wants a local part of that business in Canada. “

      The digital economy is now the economy itself. Virtually every sector of the economy is propelled by digital technologies, which are being enabled by cloud computing,” said Navdeep Singh Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science, and Economic Development in Canada. “The rapidly growing demand for digital services is one reason for the significant investment that Amazon Web Services is making in Canada. On behalf of the Government of Canada, I congratulate Amazon on the success of its cloud business and welcome the expansion of Amazon Web Services in this country.”

      MyPOV – Can’t remember seeing a cabinet level secretary on a press release, but makes clear that this was an important business decision for the Canadian government.

      “Significant projects like the one being realized by Amazon Web Services represent the kind of large-scale investment that take Quebec a long way toward its goals in the digital world. Indeed, this initiative will stimulate the development of cloud computing in Quebec, a key area that can be an engine for our province's information technology and communication sector,” declared Dominique Anglade, Minister of the Economy, Science, and Innovation in Quebec, and Minister responsible for the Digital Strategy.

      MyPOV – And yes, we are in Canada, so the statement from the Quebec counterpart can’t be missing. Quebec will see immediate economic benefit from the AWS region.

      All AWS infrastructure regions around the world are designed, built, and regularly audited to meet rigorous compliance standards and provide high levels of security for all AWS customers. These include ISO 27001, SOC 1 (Formerly SAS 70), SOC 2 and SOC 3 Security & Availability, PCI-DSS Level 1 and many more. With AWS, customers are in control of their data and choose the AWS Region(s) where they want their data stored. Data does not move between AWS Regions unless the customer chooses to do so, and AWS provides a variety of options – both from AWS and APN Partners – enabling customers to encrypt their data in motion or at rest if they desire. More information on how customers using AWS can meet their security, data privacy, and compliance requirements can be found at https://aws.amazon.com/security.

      MyPOV – This would not be an AWS region opening without security related statements and certifications. So, no surprise not missing here either, as well as the statement in regards of data not flowing across regions…unless the customer decides to do so.

      Customers and APN Partners Welcome the AWS Canada (Central) Region

      For more than a decade, AWS has changed the way organizations acquire technology infrastructure. AWS customers are not required to make any up-front financial or long-term commitments, paying on demand for the IT resources they use rather than incurring large capital expenses. This enables them to scale quickly by adding or shedding resources at any time, accelerate their time to market with innovative applications, and free up limited engineering resources from the undifferentiated heavy lifting of running backend infrastructure—often while significantly improving operational performance, reliability, and security in the process. This has led to more than two million1 active customers using the AWS Cloud each month in over 190 countries around the world.

      MyPOV – Good summary on what cloud providers like AWS do. Interesting statistic on 2 million active customers across 190 countries.

      Salesforce, the Customer Success Platform and world's #1 CRM company, will leverage AWS Cloud infrastructure for a new Canada-based instance for its core services, starting in mid-2017. “Partnering with AWS in Canada will enable us to continue to deliver trusted solutions to our customers in the region with high levels of reliability, performance, and security,” said Richard Eyram, Area Vice President, Salesforce Canada.

      MyPOV – SaaS provider load is a prime target for all IaaS providers, especially when opening a new location. The load conformity (different to e.g. single company by company outsourcing deals) makes this a very interesting opportunity in general. More specific to Salesforce, it’s a coup for AWS. This is likely the first region to run Salesforce after both vendors announced their partnership earlier this year (see below). Interestingly it also offers a glimpse into salesforce architecture: Referring to ‘core services’ is ambiguous, the interesting piece her is that e.g. Marketing Cloud, Heruko etc. already run on AWS. Sales Cloud and Service Cloud do not. Does Salesforce have a major tech stack announcement buried in here? We need to get confirmation on what ‘core services’ means from Salesforce.

      National Bank of Canada, one of Canada’s leading financial services organizations with over CAD$219 billion in assets, chose the AWS Cloud to help it collect and process a fast-growing volume of stock-market financial data. “The application we were using wasn’t effective. We were only able to answer 10 percent of the questions we wanted to answer. We also couldn’t process historical data, which we needed to do to get more context. The speed and performance of AWS is impressive and data manipulation processes that once took days are now done in one minute,” said Pascal Bergeron, Director of Algorithmic Trading for the bank’s Global Equity Derivatives Group. “We have been able to better serve our customers and have improved and optimized trading operations, therefore generating more revenue for National Bank of Canada.”

      MyPOV – Good statement on why national banks, oversight institutions and banks in general move to cloud. The SEC, FINRA (a report presenter) have been on AWS for quite some time. Now Canadian central banks, regulators and commercial banks can do the same – with no data residency challenges.

      Porter Airlines is an award-winning regional airline headquartered in Toronto that provides flights to over 23 destinations in Canada and the United States. Porter needed the ability to respond instantly to fluctuating load demands on their public site with a scalable and low-cost solution. Porter needed the ability to store large datasets, transform them, and make them available to other applications and end users for analytics and actions. Porter looked to AWS and services like Amazon Redshift to provide the scalable highly available infrastructure required to meet these goals. “Amazon solved a lot of our problems around scale. Specifically, with our data, AWS answered the questions we used to have to figure out ourselves – like how do we scale our massive data store, how do we access it quickly, how do we keep it secure – and they gave us the solution needed,” said Dan Donovan, CIO for Porter Airlines. “So, we now have the time, freedom and confidence to concentrate on how to make our passengers’ experiences better. Using AWS is one of the main ways we do this, and now that AWS has opened a local region in Canada, we can move even more of our systems to the AWS Cloud and put more focus on enhancing passenger experience.

      MyPOV – Good airline / transportation showcase with Porter and what enterprises hope from cloud – a scalable, elastic solution for next generation applications.

      Lululemon is a technical athletic apparel company that makes technical athletic clothes for yoga, running, working out, and most other sweaty pursuits. Based in Vancouver, they started out of a yoga studio and quickly became a global retailer and community hub for encouraging healthy lifestyles and habits. In order to rapidly build and deploy their digital marketing properties for the 2016 holiday season, Lululemon leveraged AWS CloudFormation, AWS Lambda, and AWS ElasticBeanstalk to streamline the management, deployment, and continuous delivery of their application. “Leveraging AWS allows us to spend more time focusing on what truly differentiates us in the market, rather than on maintaining custom infrastructure solutions,” said Sam Keen, Director of Product Architecture. “AWS Services are highly performant and easily choreographed, allowing us to measure deployments in minutes or even seconds. We see competing cloud providers cloning AWS services but we remain with AWS since they are far in the lead and continue to accelerate the release of new services and regions, now with an AWS Region in Canada, which only serves to continue to enhance the value of their offerings.”

      MyPOV – Good showcase of an existing AWS Canada being motivated even more with a local region on Canada, and a good brand name, too.

      D2L (formerly Desire2Learn), a learning technology leader, recently chose AWS as its strategic cloud infrastructure service provider. “By leveraging built-in AWS Cloud services such as Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2), Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3), Amazon CloudFront, Amazon Elasticsearch, and the suite of AWS analytics and security services, D2L is accelerating our innovation and global expansion in a cost-effective way to serve millions of learners,” said Nick Oddson, CTO of D2L. “Serving our customers from AWS locations in the U.S., Europe, Asia, and now Canada, learners everywhere can have an exceptional learning experience on Brightspace, our award-winning LMS. With AWS’s reliability, security, and availability, D2L will continue to provide our high level of service and a global, end-to-end security approach, now on one trusted infrastructure,” said Oddson.

      MyPOV – Next category – a global ISV in data, already in multiple regions, eager to get into another won.

      Sequence Bio is a data-driven biotechnology company in Newfoundland and Labrador. "Sequence Bio hopes to obtain approval to embark on a 100,000 person genome sequencing project in Newfoundland and Labrador that deals with sensitive genomic and health information - having a new AWS Region allows us to build and deploy our platform and keep data 100 percent in Canada," said Dan Brake, Director of Technology Development, Sequence Bio.

      MyPOV – Next category- healthcare. Very tricky as Canada has difficult data residency laws (more below) and it is likely a vendor like Sequence Bio can only more to the cloud with a local cloud provider to satisfy healthcare data privacy laws.

      Postmedia is one of the largest news media companies in Canada with more than 200 brands across multiple print, online, and mobile platforms. “As one of the earliest adopters of cloud computing in Canada, we have utilized AWS for years – and it has delivered on the promise of a powerful, cost-effective, flexible and innovative cloud offering for us,” said Thomas Jankowski, EVP and Chief Digital Officer, Postmedia. “We are excited that AWS is bringing even more capabilities to market in Canada, just in time for our B2B platform build out of the Postmedia Innovation Outpost at Communitech (Waterloo, ON).”

      MyPOV – Next category – media and entertainment, an existing AWS customer, happy to bring things home potentially and do more with AWS in Canada.

      Investing in Canada’s Cloud Future

      The AWS Partner Network (APN) includes tens of thousands of independent software vendors (ISVs) and systems integrators (SIs) around the world, with APN Partner participation in Canada growing significantly over the past 12 months. APN Partners build innovative solutions and services on the AWS Cloud and the APN helps by providing those partners with business, technical, marketing, and go-to-market (GTM) support. APN SIs such as Accenture, Deloitte, Scalar Decisions, TriNimbus, Slalom Consulting, iTMethods, and Softchoice are helping enterprise and public sector customers migrate to AWS, deploy mission-critical applications on AWS, and provide a full range of monitoring, automation, and management services for customers' AWS environments. AWS ISVs in Canada including Salesforce.com, NuData Security, Acquia, Silanis, OpenText, Splunk, Adobe, and NthGen Software will be able to serve their Canadian customers from the AWS Canada (Central) Region. Customers can easily find, trial, deploy, and buy software solutions for the AWS Cloud on the AWS Marketplace.

      MyPOV – Partners has been the latest push on the go to market side for AWS… no surprise it is mentioned here – and adds to the importance of the customer list above. And large partners are ready as well.

      AWS offers a full range of training and certification programs to help Canadian professionals who are interested in the latest cloud computing technologies, best practices, and architectures, advance their technical skills. Additionally, the AWS Educate program promotes cloud learning in the classroom and has been adopted by more than 500 institutions worldwide. The program helps to provide an academic gateway for the next generation of IT and cloud professionals. The AWS Activate program provides Canadian-based startups with the resources they need to quickly get started on AWS and scale their businesses. AWS has teamed with accelerators, incubators, Seed/VC Funds, and startup-enabling organizations such as FounderFuel, Real Ventures, the Business Development Bank of Canada, iNovia Capital, OMERS Ventures, and others that provide a range of services including training, AWS credits, capital, in-person technical support, and other benefits.

      MyPOV – Good to see the AWS education tools available in Canada, too, right from the get go.


      Overall MyPOV

      The land grab for cloud is on and AWS is present in Canada now. That is behind Microsoft and IBM, but before Google. But you don’t always have to be first to go big, and in the announcement AWS has certainly gone big. 12 months ago, e.g. Salesforce was not a partner yet, Workday just announced its partnership and equally picked Canada as its first AWS location. So, we ironically see that the approx. 35M+ Canadians had to wait till 2016 to get an AWS region – sitting on the same continental plate with the US made it easier for providers to serve Canada from the US first.

      The other key driver is not just the economic size of Canada, but its relatively complex data privacy laws (PIPEDA), that are not only federal, but can happen at province and vertical level, too. Legislation for healthcare, banks and other highly regulated industries is already complex and will only get more complex for the near future. Opening a local AWS region is to a certain point an overdue move. But then, Canadians are the largest group of people worldwide not to have their own international country access code (the nice version of this is of course to say USA and Canada share the international access code). The downside of sitting close to the US geographically...

      Overall an important day for Canadian enterprise. No more hiding behind data privacy (as we have personally heard in e.g. the Healthcare vertical) for not considering the public cloud, on this case AWS. So, congrats to AWS and time to learn that now AWS has data centRes in Canada, even more specifically deux centres de donnes (ups, US keyboard limits me from putting the accent on…) en Montreal. If that isn’t something, eh?!

      ----------------
      Credit to my colleague Alan Lepofsky (his blog is here) on helping with the Canadian localization, much appreciated. 


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


      More on AWS:
      •  Event Report - AWS reInvent 2016 - Growth at full speed - read here
      • First Take - AWS reInvent - 1st Keynote - AWS enters the hardware business - and much more - read here
      • News Analysis - VMware has found AWS as its public cloud IaaS  - read here
      • First Take - SAP BW/4HANA - Data Gravity and Cloud win - read here
      • Event report - AWS Enterprise Summit 2016 Frankfurt - The German Road to Cloud adoption is ... long - read here
      • News Analysis - Amazon Web Services Cloud now speaks… Hindi - Indian AWS Data Centers available - read here
      • News Analysis - Salesforce selects AWS as preferred Public Cloud Infrastructure Provider - Good move - read here
      • Event Report - AWS re-Invent - AWS lobbies for the enterprise - DB and IoT are the cheese - read here
      • 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.


      0 0

      We had the opportunity to attend MapR’s first ever analyst event, held December 12th and 13th in San Jose. The event was well attended for a first analyst event, as to be expected when one of the three key Hadoop distribution vendors wants to update influencers. 




      Here is the 1-2 slide condensation (if the slide doesn’t show up, check here):





      Want to read on? 


      Here you go: Always tough to pick the takeaways – but here are my Top 3:

      MapR is an enterprise software company
      - MapR execs mad it very clear to the analysts present – that MapR is an enterprise software company, meaning the main vehicle of revenue are software licenses – not services. Given the recent addition of Oracle veteran Matt Mills and more – not a surprising direction. And a valid differentiation to the more services oriented 2 other key competitors.


      Holger Mueller Constellation Research BigData NextGen Apps
      Agenda for the day


      Different product DNA– In the early days someone at MapR made the decision that a distributed storage architecture is the better direction. What MapR calls today the ‘MapR converged platform’ is indeed different from the 2 key competitors in the field. And MapR can address several differentiators here, around scale, high availability, TCO and support of multi-cloud.

      Holger Mueller Constellation Research BigData NextGen Apps
      How MapR Conververged Data Platform and Containers play together


      Platform for NextGen Apps
      – MapR sees themselves as an ideal platform for next generation applications. High Performance and the above-mentioned capabilities make MapR an ideal platform to build large, BigData applications. See below Storify for the examples mentioned, of course IoT and self-driving vehicles were part of the what MapR customers are building.

       
      Holger Mueller Constellation Research BigData NextGen Apps
      The MapR 'Secret Sauce'



      MyPOV

      A good event for MapR, always good to formalize the briefings with the analyst community. MapR has several DNA differences to the two other ‘musketeers of Bigdata’ – Cloudera and Hortonworks and made them very clear during the presentations. And enterprise need platforms to build next generation applications. Avoiding IaaS storage lock in is high on the agenda, and when it comes at the price of BigData vendor lock in – may still be the better tradeoff for many enterprises.

      On the concern side MapR wants to be an enterprise software vendor, but shared less of a roadmap than the two other players in their field at their respective events. And MapR now needs to execute in go to market and customer adoption. We heard many interesting and light house class customer stories – but they must go live and evangelize the solution more. Investment in more go to market capacity is under way – a good move.

      Overall MapR definitively is part of the top 3 independent BigData / Hadoop vendors, it has substantial differentiation at the core product level – now it needs to show the growth and that customers really care. Stay tuned.


      Want to learn more? Checkout the Storify collection below (if it doesn’t show up – check here).



      More on BigData

      • Progress Report - Cloudera grows product, verticals and globally - now needs to execute - read here
      • News Analysis - SAP HANA Vora now available... - A key milestone for SAP - read here
      • Progress Report - Hortonworks wants to become the next generation for the enterprise – a tall ask - read here
      • 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
      • News Analysis - SAP delivers next release of SAP HANA - SPS 10 - Ready for BigData and IoT - read here
      • News Analysis - Salesforce Transforms Big Data Into Customer Success with the Salesforce Analytics Cloud - read here
      • Progress Report - Teradata is alive and kicking and shows some good 'paranoid' practices - read here
      • Event Report – Couchbase Connect – Couchbase’s shows momentum - read here
      • News Analysis - Couchbase unveils N1QL and updates the NoSQL Performance Wars - read here
      • Event Report - MongoDB keeps up the momentum in product and go to market - read here
      • News Analysis - Pivotal pivots to OpenSource and Hortonworks - Or: OpenSource keeps winning - read here
      • Progress Report - Cloudera is all in with Hadoop - now off to verticals - read here
      • Market Move - Oracle buys Datalogix - moves into DaaS - 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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