Are you the publisher? Claim or contact us about this channel


Embed this content in your HTML

Search

Report adult content:

click to rate:

Account: (login)

More Channels


Channel Catalog


Channel Description:

... 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.
    0 0

    By now you will be familiar with my year end development and trends shootout, this one is about Future of Work trends and developments in Q2 2016. If you missed the Q1 Future of Work post - it can be found here.



    Here you go for Q1 2016 - all related to Future of Work - the research area that covers how, when, what and if we work, what and how we get paid, stay motivated and balance the work / life relationship. If you wonder on the process - all laid out in the Q1 post - read here.




    [Apologies - time to market forced me to play the bracket right to left.]


    Holger Mueller Enterprise Software Musings Constellation Research Microsoft Cornerstone Oracle SAP

    Round #1 Dropouts

    • NGA HR - unshackled - NGA HR, the former NorthGate Arinso managed to renegotiate and shed itself of substantial debt, expecting a brighter future for the 'All Things HR' specialist - with a focus on Global HR BPO (read more here). Not enough to trump the Microsoft Hololens, but this was a match-up of non equals both in vendor size and announcement category (read here).
       
    • Equifax EFX Forum - Another got event for the compliance specialist, one of the few vendors who can solve one of the top concerns of CxOs, compliance, with a Compliance as a Service (CaaS) offering (more here). But Cornerstone adding to its HCM automaton portfolio with adding HR Core capabilities had more impact (read here).
       
    • SAP SuccessFactors Analyst Summit - SuccessFactors found a way forward, to lift all products with common horizontal and platform plans. Very important to consolidate the mixed acquisition history, and very welcome by customers and prospects (read here). But sparred against one of the biggest acquisitions in enterprise history, a clear win for Microsoft (read here).
       
    • HireVue Digital Disruption - HireVue keeps innovating in the area of video recruiting and Talent Acquisition overall (read here). Good progress and an interesting foray into the (bigger) coaching market - but no competition to the sheer breadth of announcements and progress made by Oracle at HCM World (read here).

    Round #2 Dropouts

    • Microsoft Hololens - Much progress made by Microsoft Hololens in 2016, we had a chance to build a mini applicaiton during the developer conference Build in San Francisco (read here).The mixed reality vision is compelling - now Microsoft needs to convicne developers to build the apps for Hololens. More immediate impact by Cornerstone, and more direct talk of people leaders (read here). 
       
    • Oracle HCM World - A broad push around the core was the key strategy and announcement trail at HCM World, with Helpdesk, Learning and more Work / Life offerings (read here). But more impact happened from the Microsoft and LinkedIn tie in (read here). 
      

    Q1 Finals - Microsoft / LInkedIn wins over Cornerstone

    While Cornerstone portfolio enhancement move remains impressive (read here), the acqusition of LinkedIn by Microsoft garnered even more interest. Not a fair match-up - but it all happened in Q2. More questions than answers specifically on the HCM side, but Microsoft probably acquired a Top 3 HCM vendor with LinkedIn - without mentioning it (more here and here). Congrats to Microsoft / LinkedIn to making it to the 2016 finals!

    How would you have scored the Q1 2016 news? Please comment!
      

    Here are all blog posts:
    • Progress Report - NGA HR with new HR service offerings - unshackled read here.
    • Event Report - Equifax EFXForum16 Good progress and CaaS looming - read here.
    • Progress Report - SAP SuccessFactors makes good progress - now needs appeal beyond SAP - read here.
    • Event Report - HireVue Digital Disruption 2016 - More Recruiing and now... Coaching - read here.
    • Musings - Will Microsoft's Hololens transform the Future of Work? Read here.
    • Event Report - Oracle HCM World - Innovation around the Core - read here.
    • Progress Report - Cornerstone Convergence - HR Core debut, lot's of product, time to execute! Read here.
    • Market Move - Microsoft acquired Linked - Tons of synergies, start with Cortana, maybe too many - read here.
    Other Shootouts for 2016:
    • Q2 Q2 2016 NextGen Apps Developments & Trends Shootout - read here.
    • Q1 2016 NextGen Apps Development & Trends Shootout - read here.
    • Q2 2016 Future of Work Development & Trends Shootout - read here.

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

    0 0

    By now you know the idea... Check out the Q1 (here) and Q2 (here) shootouts on Next Generation Applications. These quarters were won by Microsoft with Conversation as a Platform and Pivotal / Cloud Foundry.  




    In case you wonder about the methodology - check out the above links, too - no need to repeat here.

    And here is Q3 2016 - all related to NextGen Apps - the research area that covers when enterprises build new software - what are the use cases, the tools, the platforms, the players, the best practises etc. 


    [Apologies - time to market forced me to play the bracket right to left.]

    Round #1 Dropouts

    • Unit4 Business Prevero - 2016 was the year of predictive analytics morphing into Machine Learning, and for the aggressive messaging makers of the industry, into artificial intelligence. Unit4 did not miss out with the acquisition of prevero, strengthening the vendors BI and CPM capabilities (read here). But not a match to Dell's acquisition of EMC (read here).
         
    • AWS Enterprise Summit Frankfurt - AWS continues its progress around the world, and while interest and projects are high, in more conservative locations, like Frankfurt in Germany, enterprises were not comfortable to share their plans, status, projects on a keynote stage (more here). Box's move to AWS / the public cloud garnered more CxO attention and goes on (read here).
       
    • GE & Microsoft - It was also the year in which pretty all SaaS properties choose their IaaS partners. GE chose Azure in July, a good move by all vendors (read here). But compared to the massive announcement and progress of Oracle OpenWorld - not a fair match (read here).
       
    • Pivotal SpringOne - The Spring network gains more popularity again, never count anyone out in application development, certainly fostered also by the popularity of CloudFoundry (our Q2 winner - read here). Interesting to see what enterprises are building on SpringOne (read here). But compared to the many announcements and developments of the Microsoft Ignite conference not a match (read here).
       

    Round #2 Dropouts

    • Box BoxWorks - BoxWorks was an impressive event - both from a Nextgen Apps perspective and Future of Work (see Q3 on Future of Work coming soon) - announcing new capabilities across the board (read here). But compared to the news of Dell Technology, the closure of the Dell / EMC deal not a close match (read here).
       
    • Microsoft Ignite - Ignite was a good event for Microsoft, where the vendor showed progress and made announcements across the board, in my view the FPGA Azure architecture stood out (read here). But compared to Oracle OpenWorld, where e.g. CTO Ellison announced nothing less than 18 substantial announcements, read here.
      

    Q3 Finals - Oracle OpenWorld beats Dell Technology

    Two key events for enterprise software, next generation applications in Q3 of 2016, with massive consequences for enterprises... more than 2/3 of enterprises have some sort of Dell / Oracle product / services in place. But while Dell merits kudos for the courage or the largest IT transaction ever (read here), the road forward is much less clear than for similar categorized vendor Oracle. Oracle is more advanced in its formulation of its future than Dell at the moment, and the massive R&D push coming our of the Redwood Shores headquartered company is impressive (read here). 

    So congrats to Oracle to win the Q3 2016 Next Generation Applications shootout. 

    How would you have scored the Q3 2016 news? Please comment!
      

    Here are all blog posts:
    • News Analysis - Unit4 acquires prevero; gets more strategic and intelligent - read here.
    • Event report - AWS Enterprise Summit 2016 Frankfurt - The German Road to Cloud adoption is ... long - read here.
    • News Analysis - GE and Microsoft partner to bring Predix to Azure - Multi-Cloud becomes tangible for IoT - read here.
    • Event Report - Cloud Foundry Summit Europe - Europe & Cloud - A long path - read here.
    • Event Report - Box BoxWorks - Box is on the run - now with a platform - read here.
    • First Take - Microsoft Ignite - AI, Adobe and FPGA [From the Fences] read here.
    • Market Move - Dell Technologies is here - 3 scenarios and a bonus perspective - read here.
    • First Take - Early Oracle OpenWorld 2016 Keynotes - read here.

    Other Shootouts for 2016:
    • Q1 2016 Future of Work Developments & Trends Shootout - read here.
    • Q1 2016 NextGen Apps Development & Trends Shootout - read here.
    • Q2 2016 Future of Work Development & Trends Shootout - read here.
    • Q2 2016 NextGen Apps Developments & Trends Shootout - read here.

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

    0 0

    By now you know the idea... Check out the Q1 (here) and Q2 (here) shootouts on Next Generation Applications. These quarters were won by Ceridian and Microsoft (acquisition of LinkedIn).  



    In case you wonder about the methodology - check out the above links, too - no need to repeat here.

    Here you go for Q3 2016 - all related to Future of Work - the research area that covers how, when, what and if we work, what and how we get paid, stay motivated and balance the work / life relationship:


    [Apologies - time to market forced me to play the bracket right to left.]

    Round #1 Dropouts

    • O.C. Tanner Analyst Day - Good to see a vendor which has a long history in reward and recognition to look further, mainly talent management software (read here). Not a fair match up with HR giant ADP and its analyst day (read here), but that's the luck of the draw. .
         
    • Box BoxWorks - Documents and files play a huge role in the way how we work, and Box has come up with substantial new capabilities (read here), also the only vendor to make it the last 8 in both my research areas. But Workday moving its development and test environments to IBM garnered even more attention from people leaders (read here). 
       
    • NASSCOM HR Summit - I had the honor to keynote at the NASSCOM HR summit this summer and it was good to get a first hand pulse of where HR and people best practises are in India (read here). Not the same league as Oracle acquiring NetSuite, which gathered more CxO attention (read here).
       
    • Randstad acquires Monster - A key move by Randstad - moving more into HR automation, or more specifically Talent Management (read here) - the verdict will be out in 2017 (read here). Paired against SAP SucessFactor's user conference, a less impactful news item (read here).
       

    Round #2 Dropouts

    • Workday & IBM - A key partnership for Workday, moving its internal development and test systems to IBM, hinting, but not confirming a more standardized and portable approach to its applications for its next application architecture (read here). But compared to the impact of ADP's analyst day, less a item that captured HR leaders around the world (read here). 
    • Oracle acquires NetSuite - While probably the most impact full acquisition in the ERP market of 2016, it's Future of Work dimension is relatively small (read here). NetSuite partners and partnered with Ultimate and will keep doing so until further notice. The impact of the announcements and progress reported at SConnect eclipsed that impact for people leaders (read here).
      

    Q3 Finals - SAP SuccessFactors beats ADP 

    Two key events for the Future of Work in Q3. And ADP launching its bench marking, salary review and overall Data Cloud offerings was a strong finalists (read here). Getting adoption of Vantage was key development for both vendor and customer base. The overall push that SuccessFactors is orchestrating across the product suite beat that narrowly (read here). Worthwhile mention on the side of the campaign to help eliminate bias with the help of Machine Learning. 

    So congrats to SAP SuccessFactors to win the Q3 2016 Future of Work shootout. 

    How would you have scored the Q3 2016 news? Please comment!
      

    Here are all blog posts:
    • Progress Report - O.C. Tanner has software and wants to build more of it - read here.
    • Event Report - Box BoxWorks - Box is on the run - now with a platform - read here.
    • Event Report - 3 Indian HCM Market Takeaways from NASSCOM HR Summit 2016 - read here.
    • Market Move - Randstad to acquire Monster Worldwide - Bridges a moat, now it has to work - read here.
    • News Analysis - Workday, IBM Form Strategic Partnership on the IBM Cloud - The IaaS vendor race for SaaS load is on - read here.
    • Market Move - Oracle acquires NetSuite - Oddly consolidation means more options for customers - read here.
    • Progress Report - ADP Analyst Day 2016 - ADP has turned around Vantage HCM - read here.
    • Event Report - SAP SuccessFactors SConnect - Push on all fronts - read here.

    Other Shootouts for 2016:
    • Q1 2016 Future of Work Developments & Trends Shootout - read here.
    • Q1 2016 NextGen Apps Development & Trends Shootout - read here.
    • Q2 2016 Future of Work Development & Trends Shootout - read here.
    • Q2 2016 NextGen Apps Developments & Trends Shootout - read here.
    • Q3 2016 NextGen Apps Developments & Trends Shootout - read here.
    Find more coverage on the Constellation Research website here and checkout my magazine on Flipboard and my YouTube channel here.

    0 0

    By now you know the idea... Check out the Q1 (here), Q2 (here) and Q3 (here) shootouts on Next Generation Applications. These quarters were won by Microsoft with Conversation as a Platform, Pivotal / Cloud Foundry, and Oracle.  




    In case you wonder about the methodology - check out the above links, too - no need to repeat here.

    And here is Q4 2016 - all related to NextGen Apps - the research area that covers when enterprises build new software - what are the use cases, the tools, the platforms, the players, the best practices etc. this quarter was so massive - I had to establish a 'play in' bracket for the low seeds...  

    Holger Mueller Constellation Research AWS VMware Cloud CxO PaaS IaaS

    [Apologies - time to market forced me to play the bracket right to left.]

    Play-in Dropouts

    • Google App Maker - Google's foray into low code and business user (with low technology affinity) application building debuted with App Maker. A good and differentiating start and a lot of interest among the three large cloud vendors (read here). But no match the updates and announcements shared at Microsoft Connect conference (read here).
       
    • MapR Analyst Summit - One of the very last events the year, the first analyst summit of MapR, and differentiation vs. the other two key Hadoop distributions with a software license DNA (read here). No comparison to IBM World of Watson (read here).
       
    • SAP TechEd Barcelona - A very good event for SAP customers with key HANA (HANA 2) and HANA Cloud Platform announcements. Necessary after the low profile of the Las Vegas edition (read here). Unfortunately paired against the probably most impactful news of the quarter, AWS reInvent (read here).
       

    Round #1 Dropouts

    • CloudFoundry Summit (Europe) - Substantial interest by enterprises on CloudFoundry, at its European edition in Frankfurt, but quite a difference to the Q2 event in Santa Clara. Looks like European CxOs trust the established vendors (still) more than their North American counterparts (read here). Paired against the HANA 2 launch, the latter garnered more CxO attention in Europe (trying to be fair) and across the world (read here).
         
    • Microsoft Connect - Microsoft had a very good connect, making good on many announcements made at the Build conference in the year before (read here). But paired vs. the VMware / AWS partnership, not a match given how much of the world's IT load still runs on VMware (read here).
       
    • IBM World of Watson - There can be no doubt that IBM has opened the marketing spigots for Watson, if you attended the World of Watson conference you could see with your own eyes. 2017 will show if IBM can bring Watson to more of a product / license transaction vs a professional services engagement (more here). Paired against what was probably the best launch event I have ever attended - the SAP / TreniItalia IoT launch, not a match from an event perspective, and close to a CxO attention level (read here).
       
    • Salesforce Dreamforce - One of the biggest user and marketing events in the IT industry, Dreamforce not surprisingly focused on AI with the launch of Einstein (read here). But paired against AWS reInvent (more here) - not a match from an impact on CxOs perspective.  
       

    Round #2 Dropouts

    • SAP HANA 2 - While the HANA 2 "fork" is substantial good news for the SAP ecosystem and SAP customers (read here), the impact of VMware partnering with AWS was bigger on CxOs worldwide (read here).
        
    • SAP & TreniItalia - Probably the best launch event I have attended in 30 or so years in enterprise software. Looking at the 'thing' while riding the 'think' (a TreniItalia high speed FrecciaRossa train), from Rome to Naples, on a maiden voyage, to Italy's train museum, while educated live by a customer / vendor combo, with breaks on a custom launch app, CEO present etc. very well done (read here). Unfortunately no match to the key event of 2016 - AWS reInvent (read here).
      

    Q4 Finals - AWS reInvent beats AWS & VMware 

    It can't get much better for AWS - with two events sparring with each other. And while the AWS and VMware partnership could be the latter vendor's 'last hurray' in regards of vitalization, it also shows the market influence AWS has by now (read here). But nothing showed that more than AWS reInvent. AWS is not slowing down and the conference has become the IT world get together, replacing VMworld (minus the hardware vendors) read here

    So congrats to AWS for winning the Q4 2016 Next Generation Applications shootout. 

    How would you have scored the Q4 2016 news and trends? Please comment!
      

    Here are all blog posts:
    • New Analysis – Google enables citizen developers and developers with Google App Maker - read here.
    • Progress Report - MapR has platform ambitions - now it has to deliver - read here.
    • read here.
    • Event Report - Cloud Foundry Summit Europe - Europe & Cloud - A long path - read here.
    • Event Report - Salesforce Dreamforce - It's not about Einstein - but the platform - read here.
    • Event Report - Microsoft Connect - No April's Fools - Linux, Google and more -read here.
    • Event Report - IBM World of Watson - IBM's bets its future on Watson - read here.
    • News Analysis - SAP to unveil HANA 2 - New platform vs a fork's tine - read here.
    • Event Report - SAP / Trenitalia Digital Summit - SAP is serious about IoT- read here.
    • News Analysis - VMware has found AWS as its public cloud IaaS - read here.
    • Event Report - AWS reInvent 2016 - Growth at full speed -read here.

    Other Shootouts for 2016:
    • Q1 2016 Future of Work Developments & Trends Shootout - read here.
    • Q1 2016 NextGen Apps Development & Trends Shootout - read here.
    • Q2 2016 Future of Work Development & Trends Shootout - read here.
    • Q2 2016 NextGen Apps Developments & Trends Shootout - read here.
    • Q3 2016 Future of Work Developments & Trends Shootout - read here.
    • Q3 2016 NextGen Apps Developments & Trends Shootout - read here

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

    0 0

    By now you know the idea... Check out the Q1 (here), Q2 (here) and Q3 (here) shootouts on Future of Work. These quarters were won by Ceridian, Microsoft (acquisition of LinkedIn) and SAP SuccessFactors SConnect event and related announcements.  





    In case you wonder about the methodology - check out the above links, too - no need to repeat here.

    Here you go for Q4 2016 - all related to Future of Work - the research area that covers how, when, what and if we work, what and how we get paid, stay motivated and balance the work / life relationship:

    Holger Mueller Constellation Research Future of Work Oracle SAP SuccessFactors Workday

    [Apologies - time to market forced me to play the bracket right to left.]

    Round #1 Dropouts

    • Microsoft Teams - A key announcement given the ubiquity of Microsoft Office and an acknowledgment that more needs to be done for team / group productivity. A solid version one by Microsoft, 2017 will show how well the product will do against the mind share leader Slack (read here). A close call with the Google Job APIs, which are remarkable as Google dabbles into the enterprise software space in general and HCM more specific. The immediate impact and uptake of these APIs gives Google the edge (read here).
         
    • 5 Lessons for CxOs - Based in the US elections, a musings post, really in here ias a filler to have a complete bracket, but worth a look (read here). Not really an opponent for Oracle's HCM related progress and announcements at Oracle OpenWorld (read here). 
       
    • Zenefits Z2 Launch - A key event for Zenefits, unveiling licensed software for the first time and launching its payroll offering. 2017 will have to show how well the vendor, plagued by executive departures (2 CEOs leave in 12 months) will do (read here). Not the same class with 1.1B+ Time and Attendance / Workforce Management leader Kronos (read here).
       
    • Twitter Personas - Another musings post to complete the bracket (not much happened in Q4 in Future of Work apparently) on how to understand Twitter usage (read here). So no match for SAP's announcements that SuccessFactors will run on Microsoft Azure (read here).
       

    Round #2 Dropouts

    • Google Jobs APIs - Though a key first offering for enterprise software, the Google Jobs API mainly garnered attention to where it is focused on - talent acquisition (read here). The Oracle HCM announcements were broader, so this one goes to Oracle (read here).
       
       
    • Kronos KronosWorks - A key event for Kronos, that keeps growing and growing, with an interesting partner (Switzerland for all vendors) and vertical strategy (events aligned with that), Kronos maybe breaching the Top5 HCM vendors in 2017 (read here). But more attention by people leaders on SAP SucessFactors, deciding to run SuccessFactors in Microsoft Azure (read here).
      

    Q4 Finals - Oracle HCM beats SAP SuccessFactors 

    In a close finals match Oracle ekes out the win over SuccessFactors. While the IaaS decision for SuccessFactors for Azure will impact many SAP customers, Oracle has shown an overall push across the Oracle HCM suite, and most importantly acknowledged and shared that it is re-building the Taleo Recruiting capabilities on the Oracle Cloud technology stack, whenever Oracle completes that - it will be the most complete suite from a functionality perspective on a single platform.

    So congrats to Oracle HCM to win the Q4 2016 Future of Work shootout. 

    How would you have scored the Q4 2016 news? Please comment!
      

    Here are all blog posts:
    • Musings – Microsoft discovers teams - launches Microsoft Teams - read here.
    • 5 lessons enterprises CxOs can learn from the US ElectionsFirst Take - read here.
    • Event Report - Zenefits Z2 event - Good start for the very SMB - read here.
    • Musings - What is your Twitter Persona? Read here.
    • First Take - Google enters enterprise software space with Google Jobs API - read here.
    • Event Report - Kronos KronosWorks - Solid progress and big things loom - 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 - Oracle OpenWorld - the HCM perspective - Almost no news, but wait. Read here.

    Other Shootouts for 2016:
    • Q1 2016 Future of Work Developments & Trends Shootout - read here.
    • Q1 2016 NextGen Apps Development & Trends Shootout - read here.
    • Q2 2016 Future of Work Development & Trends Shootout - read here.
    • Q2 2016 NextGen Apps Developments & Trends Shootout - read here.
    • Q3 2016 Future of Work Developments & Trends Shootout - read here.
    • Q3 2016 NextGen Apps Developments & Trends Shootout - read here.
    • Q4 2016 NextGen Apps Developments & Trends Shootout - 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 the analyst meeting of Salesforce, held January 3rd till 5th nicely located at the Four Seasons in San Francisco. Despite the early time, Salesforce got an impressive range of influencers to the event, even travelling as far as Europe. And it was well worth it, as it was the most comprehensive insight into Salesforce I have experienced in my 3.5+ years covering the vendor.


    So, take a look at my musings on the event here (pardon for the bad lighting, but I really liked the skyline and you know my face ...):
    (if the video doesn’t show up, check here)



    No time to watch – here is the one 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:

    Platform Focus is CRM– Salesforce has a substantial PaaS business under the Salesforce App Cloud brand name. Like every traditional application vendor, it has the challenge to position itself as apps vs platform overall (this is more platform at the moment per Parker Harris) and add-on / extend PaaS vs all-purpose PaaS. The interesting insight courtesy of Adam Seligman was that now Salesforce sees itself as PaaS around customer, basically for CRM. 

    On the IaaS side of the platform (where Salesforce announced its partnership with AWS – read here), Salesforce is on track to run all its products on AWS in Montreal as announced. As Harris shared, the Oracle portion of the stack will also run on AWS (but on Oracle), though not in RAC mode. A very important step for Salesforce to reduce its CAPEX into infrastructure, a key move for data privacy and residency and last but least for performance of the applications. 

    Salesforce Constellation Research Holger Mueller Enterprise Software Musings
    Salesforce co-founder Parker Harris with Bruce Richardson


    Meta -Tenancy– A lot of confusion (still) exists around multi-tenancy – but Salesforce was not shy to introduce another tenancy term – Meta-Tenancy. With that Salesforce means the process of de-coupling products, exposing more services and allow an overall more composite (remember mesh?) application architecture. It allows Salesforce to e.g. centralize what the vendor runs under ‘trust’ (Security, Single Sign-On etc.) – all very important given the fact that Salesforce runs on a heterogenous system landscape. And that trend will not slow down, given e.g. that Salesforce acquired vendors at the rate of $4B last year. Moving to a more composite, layered, shared service architecture makes a of sense here. 

    Salesforce Constellation Research Holger Mueller Enterprise Software Musings
    5 Transformers of Enterprise Software per Salesforce


    Platform perspective is key for Einstein– The most prominent service of recent time for Salesforce has been and remains Einstein, its AI ambition. So far Salesforce has largely brought together existing offerings, but also shared a roadmap of capabilities coming in the next 12 months related to Einstein. But the vendor understands that there is only a limited number of data scientists, so enabling business users on a platform level will be key. Good to see that understanding, 2017 will be interesting to follow how Salesforce will deliver these capabilities. 

    Salesforce Constellation Research Holger Mueller Enterprise Software Musings
    5 Gentlemen, 6 Clouds
    (ltr Blitzer - Sales & Service, Tippets - Marketing, Karkhanis - Analytics, Micucci - Social, Seligman - App)

    MyPOV

    A good event for Salesforce, good to see the roadmaps for all the different Salesforce products, which were all reasonable, we think attainable and realistic and most importantly deliver value for Salesforce customers. On the differentiation side, we are not so sure if Salesforce has hit the mark, but that would require more detailed product roadmap / plan analysis than a 2 day analyst meeting can deliver. What is clear is that for the first-time Salesforce is offering a strategic path to rid itself of its in-house infrastructure. As founder Parker Harris correctly observed, IaaS was not around when Salesforce was started… but by now it is best practice for a SaaS (and PaaS) provider to be based on an IaaS and leave the heavy lifting (and investing) to the IaaS players. My back of a napkin calculation is that if Salesforce could stop all in-house infrastructure spending immediately, it would be a profitable company… but of course that process will take a few years (if Salesforce really pulls the switch), and I expect Salesforce to invest the infrastructure savings into product capability (as the rest of the industry does). It was also good to see the talent of the Salesforce product bench – we spoke generally with development leaders removed by one or two organization levels from the CEO, many coming from acquired entities and presenting their products in a positive, competent and appealing way. Product talent matter and it is good to see that Salesforce has it.

    On the concern side, Salesforce needs to rev up its development speed. As an example, we are seeing Lightning slides and products moving to Lightning now since more than three (?) years. And though Salesforce sits on a massive system, it is probably challenging the record for the lengthiest UX conversion overall, certainly in the CRM industry. But to be fair – these things always take time, and with the competition not delivering superior product either, it is good for Salesforce to focus on platform capabilities, synergies and its internal TCO to operate all of Salesforce applications.

    Overall time well spent, the best insight into Salesforce in my analyst career, lots of exciting and value creating capabilities in the bag for 2017. Stay tuned. 


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



    More about Salesforce:
    • Event Report - Salesforce Dreamforce - It's not about Einstein - but the platform - read here
    • News Analysis - Salesforce selects AWS as preferred Public Cloud Infrastructure Provider - Good move - read here
    • Event Report - Salesforce Connections - Bringing together Builders and Studios for Marketing Success - read here
    • Event Scorecard - Salesforce Dreamforce 2015 - App, Analytics, IoT... - pre event thoughts assessment - read here
    • Event Report - Salesforce Dreamforce - Value for customers - but some concerns on direction - read here
    • News Analysis - Microsoft and Salesforce Strengthen Strategic Partnership at Dreamforce 2015 - Good for joint customers - read here
    • News Analysis - Salesforce Unveils Breakthrough Salesforce IoT Cloud, Powered by Salesforce Thunder - First dips into IoT - read here
    • News Analysis - Salesforce Unveils the Next Wave of Salesforce Analytics Cloud—Delivering Actionable Insights Across the Customer Success Platform - Glass half full - and half empty! Read / watch here
    • Event Preview - What I would like Salesforce to address this Dreamforce 2015 - read / watch here
    • News Analysis - Salesforce Announces Salesforce App Cloud - A Unified Platform for Building Connected  Apps, Fast - It’s all coming together, across the clouds - read here
    • News Analysis - alesforce Delivers Salesforce1 Lightning Components and App Builder […] - More productivity for Admins and Developers - read here
    • News Analysis - News Analysis - Salesforce Launches Salesforce Shield - More PaaS capabilities coming to Salesforce1 Platform - read here
    • News Analysis - Salesforce Transforms Big Data Into Customer Success with the Salesforce Analytics Cloud - Read here
    • News Analysis - Market Move - Salesforce (re) enters HCM - will it rypple the market this time? - Read here
    • Event Report - Salesforce Dreamforce - A Customer Succes Platform, Analytics and Lightning - but really Salesforce is re-platforming - read here
    • Constellation Research Summary of Salesforce Dreamforce 2014 - read here
    • Research Summary - An in depth look at Salesforce1 - Better packaging or new offerng? Read here.
    • Dreamforce 2013 Platform Takeaways - All about the mobile platform - or more? Read here
    • Platform ecosystems are hard - Salesforce grows it - FinancialForce shrinks it - read here.
    • Our take on Salesforce.com Identity Connect - from three angles - Identity, CRM and PaaS - read here.
    • Takeaways from the Salesforce and Workday Strategic Partnership - read here.
    • Act II - The Cloud changes everything - Oracle and Salesforce.com - read here.
    • How many Pivots make a Pirouette? Salesforce's last Pivot - read here.

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

    0 0

    The iPhone just turned 10 years, time for a musing on a piece of hardware that has probably transformed the way we work the most since … the PC. Steve Jobs introduced the iPhone at MacWorld 2007 as (notice the sequence) a “wide screen iPod with touch controls, as a revolutionary mobile phone and a breakthrough internet communications device”.



    So, let’s look what the iPhone ‘parents’ got right, and what concerns me for its next decade:


    What Apple Got Right

    Smartphones are Status Symbols– If there was one thing Steve Jobs got right, it was realizing that smartphones had the potential to be status symbols. For most of the life of the iPhone – first having an iPhone and then having the latest versions was a huge status symbol. Transferring the mobile phone / smartphone from a work utility (that was the then dominant Blackberry) to a status symbol that was new and innovative – is still fueling the Apple iPhone business today.

    People wanted a full browser– Remember the ‘mobile web sites’? People never like them and another thing that Jobs got right was to realize that users wanted to have a full-fledged browser, with the same user experience like on a PC. Didn’t matter that the Telcos did not allow for that, Jobs and Apple managed to ‘break the rules’ with Cingular. And users did not mind the slow speed of Edge originally. They still flocked to the full website, preferring those to the mobile optimized ones.

    Touch beat the keyboard – Jobs also bet on touch and allowing a larger screen, better form factor than the keyboard based competition of the time. And while it certainly provided a very appealing design – it cratered productivity. Doing email – once a key driver for a smartphone, took a back seat. Even on the Apple 10 year press release, Apple SVP of Worldwide Marketing cites 11 capabilities … before email (and then mentions 8 more) (see here). Millions of “Crackberry” users with a “Blackberry thumb” became “lurkers” on their email (glance on mobile device, answer later PC), creating a texting boom as an informal outlet for previously working email communication.

    Almost a PC replacement– And the iPhone almost became the PC replacement. Many users stating that the iPhone is the new PC. Apple tried to address form fact concerns with the iPad. But only ‘almost’ – as the Microsoft Surface has shown – most people still need a keyboard to function at work and at home – even if their smartphone / iPhone doesn’t have one.

    It’s a camera, a media player, a game console ... and then a phone – Apple got (and probably still gets) the camera right, pushing resolution and capabilities of the camera. It never hurt the iPhone that for the longest time it could not take pictures in the dark. The form factor also makes for a great display for consuming video and playing games… basic phone functions taking a back seat. But that was the key secret about the iPhone – it is / was so much more than a mobile phone.

    Innovation & Convenience are a powerful combo– The final gamble that Apple and Jobs took was that while being very innovative in the first half of the iPhone’s life – it needed a convenience factor, effectively creating the walled garden. And for the most of it, users have been happy. But it is easier to be happy when your smartphone is the object of envy with your friends and colleagues, then when it lacks behind in regards of what we think today are critical capabilities (e.g. speech). To some iPhone users the walled garden looks now less than a garden, but a closed encampment, if not worse. But creating the stickiness will keep iPhone users on the platform longer. Longer than e.g. Blackberry had the luxury to keep users because of e.g. media stickiness. 

    Holger Mueller Apple Constellation Research iPhone SmartPhone
    10 years of iPhones (from here)


    Concerns for the next 10 years

    Here is what worries me for the next decade of the iPhone, looking at what the parent (Apple) can or cannot do for the next 10 years.

    Voice is the new UI
    – As much as Jobs / Apple got it right that users will take a keyboard free phone, as much they missed the trend to voice. And to a certain point it is tragic – as Apple lead the space of voice recognition with Siri. But then Siri lost out to pretty much all other players, lacking extensibility (released last) and most importantly, neural network power to understand users. Probably closes related to the next worry.

    The parent has no cloud– It is possible that Apple will go down in the history books as the most profitable, most cash rich firm that missed the all transforming trend of cloud infrastructure. It equals to a parent in real life that severely limits the further development of the child at age 10. Reckless abandonment comes to mind. Buying cloud capacity (as we learnt this year) from AWS and GCP is not a solution. But a modern, efficient cloud infrastructure is needed to run several modern services efficiently – e.g. voice recognition, AI etc.

    The parent is behind on AI– Along the same lines as cloud, Google is behind in AI. Yes, a first paper has been published – but compare that to e.g. IBM and Google and you know the iPhone is in trouble because the parents missed an important, maybe game changing moment. No surprise – you need a cloud infrastructure to really run this efficiently. Apple makes the point that it can do things locally – but that has a direct cost and will be subpar to a cloud based AI offer.

    The parent is behind on AR / VR– It’s like a parent who doesn’t have Internet at home but wants their kid to do well in school… not sure how Apple missed the trend, given the strength in display, owning the whole stack from the CPU upwards … should have been a home run. And the space is important as next are holographic interfaces, that make the small smartphone screen a shared experience. Content / platforms build today by ‘parents’ in the industry put their ‘kids’ on a spot for … high school and college.

    The parent struggles with the enterprise– If the iPhone would not have seen success in the enterprise, it is doubtful it would have had the impact that it had. Consumerization of IT became a trend that is real in many other areas of IT. But today it looks like the one time shot that Apple had in the enterprise. iPads started strong but have since then started to fizzle. MacBooks never appealed to most enterprises. So, for the parent to remain relevant – it needs another enterprise success.

    Unlimited plans change the handset spec – The rise of unlimited data plans, with all you can eat video, have changed the way what amounts of data can be consumed on mobile devices. Video calling, messaging, real time broadcasting all are setup for faster and continuous connectivity. All areas that a high price handset may not be required for, assuming improvements in compression algorithms. But probably the lowest concern for the iPhone parents at the moment.

    The parent has run out of ideas– This one is the biggest concern. The Watch has underdelivered. Rumors of new goggles have spread – but others have tired (and so far, failed), I don’t’ see what Apple may do radically different. As a daily glasses wearer, I see the value add must be substantial for a non-glasses wearer (most of us) to adopt glasses. The bar can’t be much higher than sun glasses. For a 10 year, old that is … the parents have tried to get the kid motivated – but to no luck, and the world around them thinks they have given up.

    Software beats beautiful hardware design– Andreesen said it – Software eats the world. When other vendor’s software gets too superior (think voice, AI, AR / VR etc.) a beautiful designed iPhone may no longer make the cut. Software trumps hardware design. Apple must ramp up its software skills and delivery results, as well as it quality efforts. Think for a historic perspective the Apple Maps false start, for recent the defect in Safari uncovered by the Consumer Reports (which basically is sloppy QA).


    MyPOV

    The iPhone is one of the most fundamental pieces of hardware and software that we have seen in our lifetime. Most readers won’t remember the time before PCs. The iPhone has made the smartphone as we know it popular – with great resolution, great camera, good media play, but bad battery life and mostly worse phone qualities than its predecessors.

    The forces that worked for the rise of the iPhone are not as powerful as they used to be. Disruptors lurk, e.g. with voice. Apple’s stand on privacy is heroic, but I cannot help that it’s also a position out of weakness: That Apple has not been able to create its own cloud infrastructure. This may hurt Apple not only for AI, AR & VR, Cars and speech – but even more beyond.

    The kid had a great 10 years, but the next 10 years don’t look so promising. Time for the grandparents (the Apple Board), the god parent (friends of Apple) to take the parents on the side, who are certainly trying hard to make the 10-year-old future look good, but don’t have a good track record for the last few years. And for now – from what we know – don’t seem to have an inspirational plan for the next 10 years. Let’s start with the next 2-3 years. Rome wasn’t built in one day either, and only what has not happened, can still happen. We will be watching.



    More on Apple

    • News Analysis - Apple & SAP Partner to Revolutionize Work on iPhone & iPad - read here
    • First Take - Apple wants to change the Future of Work. Works with cloud apps vendors and Workato - read here
    • 5 Questions for Apple - Or how good product development practices matters - read here
    • Musings - Implications for CxOs from the DoJ vs Apple tussle - read here
    • An evening with Gil Amelio - read here

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

    0 0

    SAP bundled its IoT offerings under the umbrella name of Leonardo – combined with programs and tools to make it easier for enterprise to uptake its IoT portfolio.




    Definitively news worth dissecting in our customary style – the press release can be found here:

    WALLDORF — SAP SE (NYSE: SAP) today announced a jump-start enablement program for its Internet of Things (IoT) innovation portfolio. The program is intended to help customers connect the emerging world of intelligent devices with people and processes to achieve tangible business outcomes.

    MyPOV – States well what the news is about. IoT is probably the most complex next generation application scenario we are tracking, given data volume, costs, connectivity and sheer number of things.


    Following through on SAP’s recently announced commitment to invest €2 billion in IoT over five years, the IoT portfolio combines adaptive applications, Big Data applications and connectivity in packaged solutions across line-of-business and industry use cases ranging from connected products, assets and infrastructure to vehicle fleets, markets and people.

    MyPOV - Good reminder on the 2B Euro investment commitment (announced back at the IoT event in Naples / Rome – see here). Good to encompass the integration aspect into the SAP enterprise applications.


    Named SAP Leonardo, SAP’s IoT portfolio takes its name from a figure known for ushering in a groundbreaking era of science and discovery. For more on the SAP Leonardo brand, please see here.
    MyPOV – Good to see a ‘timeless’ and neutral portfolio branding name. Leonard (da Vinci) is certainly a good name giver. At the link, we can see the encompassing marketecture of Leonardo:

     
    SAP IoT Holger Mueller Constellation Research Leonardo
    SAP Leonardo Marketecture





    “Moving from things to outcomes is about new business processes such as Industry 4.0, new business models and new ways for people to live and work,” said Dr. Tanja Rueckert, executive vice president, Digital Assets and IoT, SAP. “With SAP Leonardo, we connect ‘things’ with business processes that are instantaneous and proactive, and with people who can manage more effectively with augmented intelligence and autonomous systems. Our SAP Leonardo IoT portfolio delivers on SAP’s commitment to produce superior business value through enterprise IoT innovation.”
    MyPOV – Good quote by Rueckert – emphasizing the bottom line for enterprise application vendors like SAP – connecting the Things with the People. Not to forget that the IoT applications by themselves must be at least good enough to get enterprises to adopt them.


    Easier IoT Adoption: Jump-Start Pilot Program and Introductory Pricing
    SAP is introducing a jump-start program to help organizations identify and validate IoT pilots and use cases. A consultative service staffed by SAP line-of-business and industry experts, the jump-start program is a multiphase engagement featuring design thinking to match IoT innovations with customer strategies and objectives in achievable pilots with a clear path to business value. Available worldwide, the jump-start program is intended to ease the first steps of the IoT journey, producing pilots that define business cases for full-scale IoT strategies and further deployment.
    MyPOV – Always good to see when vendors help enterprises adopt new technology. Design Thinking has proven itself as a powerful methodology to have enterprises create the new best practices needed in IoT deployment scenarios. It speaks of SAP’s scale that it has a worldwide focus from the get go. And as with all break through innovations that effect business best practices – it is important to conclude this phase with working, minimum viable pilots – so enterprises and CxOs can see the impact, applicability and feasibility of the follow up projects.


    SAP is also introducing promotional pricing for the IoT jump-start program featuring a simple, fixed cost for software and services to cover the pilot and first year of usage for SAP Leonardo IoT solutions including SAP Connected Goods, SAP Vehicle Insights, SAP Predictive Maintenance and Service and SAP Asset Intelligence Network. By setting a defined price for services and key solutions in the SAP Leonardo IoT portfolio, the introductory offer provides transparency and eliminates budget uncertainty, enabling customers to establish IoT pilots with clear scope, length and pricing. More information on the jump-start program and pricing offer can be found here.
    MyPOV – Good to see SAP bringing together the sprawling IoT portfolio with Leonardo. Cross IoT solutions integration needs will be expected to be addressed – so this is an area to watch. And well done by SAP to reduce the commercial uncertainty of early versions and pilots.


    A Unique Ability to Connect People, Things and Businesses
    SAP Leonardo reaffirms an innovative value proposition, extending from SAP’s enterprise core into automation and intelligence at the edges where IoT data is created. With SAP HANA Cloud Platform, SAP Leonardo offers intelligent IoT applications, business services for development, technical services for processing high-velocity data and an intelligent edge to process information at the device level. SAP Leonardo combines SAP’s unique strengths, including 45 years of business process knowledge across 25 industries and leadership in Big Data management, in end-to-end offerings addressing the following areas:
    MyPOV – Good to see SAP mentioning the integration scenario, which matters for most existing customers. Ultimately IoT automation affects humans, needs to be serviced and sold by humans, it is the interface between the things and humans which are a substantial use case for IoT that SAP is addressing here.


    Connected products for new insights into lifecycle management, sourcing, response and supply, and digital supply networks; and the design, manufacturing and delivery of smart, connected products across all industries
    Connected assets to track, monitor and analyze fixed assets, including manufacturing and maintenance business processes, to reduce costs and increase equipment uptime
    Connected fleet to enable businesses and public service organizations owning moving assets (such as vehicles, robots, fork lifts and autonomous vehicles) to improve services and safety, visibility to logistics and service quality
    Connected infrastructure for new digital operational intelligence from physical-infrastructure systems, construction and energy grids enabling improved service, efficient operations and compliance and risk mitigation
    Connected markets to enable new production, and business models of local relevance and at the right timing for customer and marketing insights, digital agribusiness, smart ports and smart cities
    Connected people for more insightful, collaborative work roles, health management and smart home environments connecting people and communities and providing better, more personalized lifestyle experiences
    MyPOV – Good to see SAP offering the ‘Connected’ product / services family to integrate IoT solutions with its enterprise applications. This business area alone will be substantial business for SAP and significant piece of mind for SAP customers… assuming SAP build, prices and delivers these offerings successfully. 


    SAP Leonardo Event
    SAP also announced plans for its first global SAP Leonardo event. Bringing together SAP customers, partners and IoT experts, the event will showcase the latest in IoT innovations and effective business strategies. The event will take place from July 11–12, 2017, in Frankfurt, Germany, at the KAP EUROPA. More information about the event, including the agenda and registration details, will be disclosed in the coming weeks.
    MyPOV – New products need new events, good to see for SAP to have a separate event for IoT, still spaced away enough from Sapphire, in the heartland of most IoT interest, in Germany. Picking KAP EUROPA, the first congress center to be awarded the platinum certificate by the German Sustainable Building Council, makes appetite for a great event. SAP has big shoes to fill as it had a great, smaller scale IoT launch event in fall 2016 in Italy together with Vehicle Management customer Treni Italia (read here).


    Overall MyPOV

    Good to see SAP packaging up its IoT products and offerings under an umbrella brand, Leonardo seems to be a good choice. More importantly helping customers to come to terms with IoT with the help of Design Thinking lead workshops is key to help enterprises get up to speed and live with IoT projects. Equally good to see SAP thinking about the pricing challenges that are important to address commercial viability of IoT projects… as well as the connectivity between the existing enterprise applications and IoT projects. And lastly it is positive to see SAP announcing a dedicated IoT event – at a IoT rich location with KAP EUROPA in Frankfurt.

    On the concern side, SAP needs to find ways to scale and grow its IoT portfolio which has done well in 2016 and now needs to be taken to the next level. SAP’s salesforce is kicking off the sales year as you read this, and we expect SAP to spend ample room on pushing SAP IoT. It is crucial to get create additional value from the traditional SAP manufacturing install base, often around the Industrie 4.0 moniker. To be fair SAP has positioned the IoT offering well, last but not least with this announcement, now it must execute in 2017.

    What’s your take on SAP IoT? Please share, we will be watching.

    Check out my colleagues Chris Canarakus and Andy Mulholland here.



    More on SAP:
    • Event Report - Event Report - SAP TechEd Barcelona - Analytics, ML, PaaS and HANA 2  - read here
    • 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.


    0 0

    Earlier this week ADP shared that it has acquired The Marcus Buckingham Company (TMBC), a player in the Talent Management space.



    Worth to dissect the press release in our custom approach - it can be found here:

    ROSELAND, NJ 01/17/17 -- ADP has acquired The Marcus Buckingham Company (TMBC), an innovator in human capital management (HCM), to bring to ADP clients a more scientific approach to employee engagement and performance. TMBC, and its founder Marcus Buckingham, are pioneers in using data and research to drive talent management practices that help managers build engagement and increase performance in their teams. Their unique approach empowers managers to coach employees based on their strengths and custom-design teams based on those strengths.
    MyPOV – Good summary on what ADP will get with TMBC.

    TMBC's cloud-based performance and talent management solution, StandOut, couples applications with coaching and education to give team leaders the tools, insights and data needed to turn talent into better employee performance. Built on decades of groundbreaking research that has uncovered the factors that differentiate high-performing teams, this solution will now be offered as ADP StandOut. TMBC has a global client roster that spans a broad range of industries from professional services to hospitality and includes many companies in the Fortune 100.
    MyPOV – So it is not about consulting / services – but about IP / product assets, too as TMBC StandOut gets a paragraph here. Bringing data together with tools to help companies manage talent better is an interesting combination. The question will be if ADP can keep getting the same quality and amounts of data that an independent TMBC used to get.
    "At its core, the strength and differentiation of any company lies in its talent," said Carlos Rodriguez, president and CEO, ADP. "That is why we are continuing to invest in data-driven talent management solutions with the acquisition of TMBC. The company's technology and renowned research will add to our existing talent portfolio and puts ADP in a position to better serve the growing number of innovative organizations who are thinking differently about how they manage and engage their talent. We are thrilled to welcome both TMBC's associates and Marcus into the ADP family."
    MyPOV – Good quote by Rodriguez. ADP has huge upsell potential in its install base – that is mainly using HR Core and Payroll products from ADP. Now ADP has data and tool to continue the upsell as well as a chance to sell to the few hundred existing ADP Talent Management customers. Plenty of ways to monetize TMBC assets, know-how and services.
    According to the Deloitte Global Human Capital Management Trends 2016 report1, 77 percent of executives say that people analytics are a priority, but only 29 percent think that they are successfully using outside data to predict workforce trends and target the right talent to meet those trends. With that in mind, the acquisition of TMBC helps ADP further deliver on its talent management strategy of helping companies build better workforces through the strategic use of data and research.
    MyPOV – All about how ADP tries to position Talent Management. When you come late to the ‘party’ you better have some differentiators and ADP is using a data / research approach to Talent Management to differentiate the offering.
    Marcus Buckingham is a noted author and speaker and has been featured as a thought leader on talent management and leadership trends in a range of outlets that span The Harvard Business Review and Forbes to Oprah and Larry King.

    MyPOV – Indeed ADP gets a thought leader on Talent Management, it will be interesting to see how Buckingham’s ideas and concepts will be received by the ADP customer base. It’s not only ideas that are needed by ADP, ADP also needs to connect with a different buyer. But with TMBC in the pocket, doors may open more easily than ever before. Lastly an interesting culture mix, TMBC was all centered around the 'star' CEO - vs. ADP is all about the 'machine team'. Will be interesting to watch.

    "In the world of people-at-work, everyone trusts ADP data, so I leapt at the chance to bring to the ADP ecosystem StandOut's data-based insights and tools on people's talents, engagement and performance," said Marcus Buckingham, co-head, the ADP Research Institute. "At a time when so many companies are clamoring for real-time and reliable people data, when they crave tools that leaders and team members actually want to use, the combination of ADP's scale, security and data-integrity with StandOut's focus on real-world teams, is unique and powerful. I'm so excited to see how many companies and people we can serve."
    MyPOV – Good quote by Buckingham, we also learn about his new ‘home’ with the co-head position at the ADP Research Institute. And indeed, we know getting the ‘hard’ compensation data is always a challenge for talent management related engagement. So, this is a win / win for ADP customers.
    ADP has helped organizations of all types and sizes for more than 60 years unlock the potential of their workforces. ADP's cloud-based talent portfolio -- which includes recruiting, recruiter training, outsourcing, screening and selection, onboarding, learning, goals, performance, data analytics, succession and compensation -- is expanded in breadth and depth with TMBC's technology, consulting and research.
    MyPOV – Good summary of what customers can now expect from ADP + TMBC in Talent Management.

    Overall MyPOV

    ADP customers have for a long time looked beyond ADP for Talent Management. First because of a lack of ADP offering, then because of lack of competitiveness of the ADP Talent Management capabilities. That has changed since approximately two years (read more here) and ADP is showing success in selling Talent Management into its install base, with increasing momentum. The acquisition of TMBC should help this development, as ADP has more talking points and value drivers to start a conversation with Talent Management.

    On the concern side, ADP will have to open doors that have not been open or have been shut for the vendor. Never an easy re-targeting effort. But a saturated install base on the Payroll / HR Core side forces the ADP go to market machine to focus on upsell and cross-sell anyway and the success rate of that market effort overall will determine much of ADP’s future success. And after install base - there is always the green field - a very different challenge for any vendor and here for ADP.

    Overall a good move by ADP, good news for ADP customers, too – as we know that in the long run – suites always win. HR practitioners dread nothing more than integration issues, getting more automation from a single vendor is good for businesses, as suite level benefits come to play, and possible differentiators that matter (see e.g. ADP’s ‘data driven angle). We will be there to watch, stay tuned.



    And more on ADP:
    • Progress Report - ADP Analyst Day 2016 - ADP has turned around Vantage HCM - read here
    • Event Report - Event Report - ADP MOTM - ADP delivers: New UI, Benchmarks, Market Place & More - read here
    • News Analysis - Workday and ADP partner to Deliver a Seamless Customer Experience for Global Payroll - read here
    • Progress Report - ADP Analyst Day - ADP executes, kills (most) ghosts from the past - read here
    • Event Report - ADP Meeting of the Minds - It’s all coming together for ADP in 2015 - product wise - read here
    • First Take - ADP Meeting of the Minds - Day #1 Keynote - read here
    • Progress Report - ADP shows great vision, delivers product innovation - now it needs adoption - read here
    • Site Visit - ADP's new innovation lab in Chelsea - read here
    • News Analysis - ADP announces Spin-Off plans for Dealer Services, sharpens ADP's focus on HCM - read here.
    • Event Report - ADP's Meeting of the Minds - ADP has made up its mind (almost) - customers not yet - read here.
    • First take - 3 Key Takeaways from ADP's Meeting of the Minds Conference Day 1 Keynote - read here.
    • ADP innovates with with verve and good timing – read here.

    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 Acumatica Summit, held in San Diego from January 29th and going till February 2nd 2017, in lovely San Diego. The event was well attended, with substantial growth of attendees and partners. [For the record – on the Mueller / Reed / Sommer (MRS) scale the conference was even “exceptionally well attended” as we all were there (see here). 


    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:

    Acumatica steams on– All signs for Acumatica are on growth. Customers, partners, employees, revenues, product etc. 80% YoY growth does not come easy for anyone. So, it is clear the vendor is sitting on something that works – which at the core is a finance centered ERP suite, that goes beyond the traditional SaaS package with several platform like capabilities (e.g. with APIs and platform capabilities). 


    Holger Mueller Constellation Research Acumatica NextGenApps Future of Work
    Demo Time at Acumatica Summit - race the CEO


    Acumatica adds key automation area– Acumatica announced both Field Service and Commerce as new offerings. Both have been areas that larger competitors have made a focus in, it looks like Acumatica felt it had to respond, possibly in regards to NetSuite even attack. Good to see also the realization that HR matters, with a partnership with InfinityHR: Acumatica will add the InfinityHR payroll to its price list and demoed a REST based integration between the two vendors. 


     
    Holger Mueller Constellation Research Acumatica NextGenApps Future of Work
     Acumatica Summit 2017 Keynote - in 1 Slide


    Bi-Dimensional partner traction– Traditionally Acumatica has focused on having partners to take its products to market. The most important ones are the ones who OEM the product, and Acumatica has managed to double that number, though with a total of six still at a low level. The other dimension are technology partners, and Acumatica highlight its partnership with IaaS powerhouses AWS and Microsoft Azure. Acumatica goes beyond the ‘bare metal’ approach to IaaS – up-taking platform capabilities e.g. around Aurora (AWS) and Outlook (Microsoft).
     


    Holger Mueller Constellation Research Acumatica NextGenApps Future of Work
    Acumatica Growth in 2016


    MyPOV

    A very good event for Acumatica, a vendor that is on a roll. We had little time at the event – but the participants are all energized by the vendor’s success. Anything that grows by over 50% a year – a number Acumatica has eclipsed consistently – creates its own energy force field, as seen at Acumatica Summit.

    On the concern side, growth has to be managed and scale. It looks like under the hood Acumatica is doing the right things, but on the visible side, their user experience needs to be bolted to the 21st century. Timeless ‘Windows’ gray is very 20th century.

    But overall it is clear Acumatica has something going in the SMB market. With the largest and longest term player in the market with NetSuite now being part of Oracle – Acumatica is ready to take advantage, should NetSuite show any signs of weakness. Stay tuned – we will be watching.

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



    More on Acumatica

    • Progress Report - Acumatica shows good progress on its unique path - 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 ADP’s ReThink conference, held in Barcelona January 31st till February 2nd 2017. The event is for global customers and prospects of GlobalView, ADP’s global HCM product with a strong foundation in payroll. It was a record event in attendance, the combined companies have a total of 3.5T US$ in revenue… that’s almost the GDP of Germany.




    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 most important ones:

    Great Keynotes– Thought leaders and Thought provokers – There are plenty of good keynote speakers, it is tough to find great ones. ADP did not only find great ones, it also had the courage to have them express views and topics out of the mainstream of the usual HCM conferences. You don’t hear a speaker advocate that you need to pay your over performers so much more that it feels wrong. Or have a speaker share that the end of globalization is coming – to an audience that operates global enterprises. Or about the importance of human rights for long time sustainability of enterprises. So, kudos to have controversial speakers, taking alternate views, which ultimately is rewarding for any audience, as it triggers thoughts and ideas that are not coming when listening to the regular ideas of the usual speaker crowd. Moreover, ADP got the mix between product presentation and customers right. Nothing is more powerful than customers learning and hearing from customers and the ADP had at least six global enterprises present from peer to peer. 



    ADP ReThink Constellation Research Holger Mueller Future of Work FoW NextGenHCM
    Total Revenue and Employees of ADP ReThink attending enterprises


    Global Cloud Connect looms – Not surprisingly, ADP’s earlier announced product Global Cloud Connect was the core product message of the conference. The product promises to solve the epic integration challenge that HR professionals face, which is even more pronounced when working on a global level. ADP plans to make Global Cloud Connect not another technical / IT integration tool – but a tool that can be used by the (mildly technology savvy) HR professional. That is an ambitious goal for a challenging problem, but ADP has the experience in the field, operating many of its customers with a BPO offering. It never hurts for software vendors to have the firsthand experience and users in house, wearing the same security badge. Global Cloud Connect is slated to be available early in 2018, so we will have plenty of opportunities to monitor the progress and forthcoming of this key product for ADP customers.




    ADP ReThink Constellation Research Holger Mueller Future of Work FoW NextGenHCM

    TMBC for the global audience– ADP recently acquired The Markus Buckingham Company (TMBC) (read my take here), I missed Buckingham’s presentation due to flight schedule, unsurprisingly it was well received. Next to the TMBC software IP, ADP has now a thought leader and accomplished speaker to ramp up the ADP game in the Talent Management market. The TMBC StandUp product, that ADP will keep selling, has good functionality in the areas of Engagement, Learning and Performance Management. Over time ADP will have to consolidate these capabilities with its Vantage portfolio, but in the short run it is good to see ADP leaving TMBC in place, making sure positioning and culture of TMBC stays preserved if possible / needed. 


    ADP ReThink Constellation Research Holger Mueller Future of Work FoW NextGenHCM
    ADP GlobalView

    ADP Technology Vision hits the mark– ADP’s ‘secret weapon’ (the introduction), Masiero gave an interesting presentation on the technology vision and direction. It looks like the ADP assistant has made substantial progress since the analyst day (see here) and is being used internally. That the future of ESS and MSS is not a traditional UI but chat and voice, powered by AI is a direction we see materializing as well. ADP has ambitions in Machine Learning that should come to fruition in 2017, combined with ADP’s large trove of data, that comes along when you e.g. pay one out of six people in the US. The spreadsheet direction for the HR professional is ambitious, but plausible. In general, the clock has started ticking on the traditional user interface as we know it, and while the direction for the casual user seems clear (voice), the UX for the professional user (here in HR) is not so certain yet. But good to see ADP having a bold (and unique) vision.

    MyPOV

    A very good event for ADP, probably the best executive, small scale event in HR that I have attended during my analyst career. As mentioned very good speakers in general, customer presenting to customer and speakers being thought provoking and contrarian. Can’t expect much more from a speaker line up. On the product side, Global Cloud Connect looms, customers and prospects are genuinely excited about the direction and product, possible overseeing that a few more things will have to happen and will happen for GlobalView in the next 12 months, before Global Cloud Connect will be available.

    On the concern side, ADP will have to deliver the ‘holy grail’ of HCM, that is traditionally plagued by integration woes. These can be of course solved with the ‘blood, sweat and tears’ of smart professionals in the field of HR and IT, but integration is a living beast, that needs constant attention and creates regular nightmares for those in charge of them. Making the ‘n to m’ connect tool Global Cloud Connect end user friendly is the right ambition, but it certainly does not make the product development task for ADP easier. Rest assured we will follow this one closely.

    Overall almost nothing not to like, a great event for ADP customers and prospects, that certainly took home from Barcelona that ADP cares, listens and has solutions to help them with their global HR needs and with running their global HR operations. We will be watching – stay tuned.

    Want to learn more? Checkout the Storify collection below (if it doesn’t show up – check here). A day #1 Storify collection is here. - Finally here is a Twitter Moment of Day #1.


    And more on ADP:
    • News Analysis - ADP Acquires The Marcus Buckingham Company to Expand Talent Portfolio - read here
    • Progress Report - ADP Analyst Day 2016 - ADP has turned around Vantage HCM - read here
    • Event Report - Event Report - ADP MOTM - ADP delivers: New UI, Benchmarks, Market Place & More - read here
    • News Analysis - Workday and ADP partner to Deliver a Seamless Customer Experience for Global Payroll - read here
    • Progress Report - ADP Analyst Day - ADP executes, kills (most) ghosts from the past - read here
    • Event Report - ADP Meeting of the Minds - It’s all coming together for ADP in 2015 - product wise - read here
    • First Take - ADP Meeting of the Minds - Day #1 Keynote - read here
    • Progress Report - ADP shows great vision, delivers product innovation - now it needs adoption - read here
    • Site Visit - ADP's new innovation lab in Chelsea - read here
    • News Analysis - ADP announces Spin-Off plans for Dealer Services, sharpens ADP's focus on HCM - read here.
    • Event Report - ADP's Meeting of the Minds - ADP has made up its mind (almost) - customers not yet - read here.
    • First take - 3 Key Takeaways from ADP's Meeting of the Minds Conference Day 1 Keynote - read here.
    • ADP innovates with with verve and good timing – read here.


    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 the SAP Capital Market event, held February 9th 2017 at the New York Stock Exchange. The event is for the analyst community, mainly for the financial colleagues, but with a good representation from the industry side, too Traditionally SAP unveils some product news at the event – as SAP did two years ago with the launch of S/4HANA (my blog of the event is here). 



    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 takeaways:

    S/4HANA setup for success – now needs execution– When SAP launched S/4 HANA two years ago, there were substantial expectations that S/4 HANA would be widely adopted in its public cloud deployment option. Reality panned out differently, with almost all adoption happening with the on premises version of S/4HANA. We are beyond the reasons of why this happened, for this blog let’s look why this will work now, which we asked the new S/4 HANA leader, Darren Roos. In his view, public cloud adoption is more mature in the enterprise, at the same time enterprises face disruption and know they need to become more agile. Consumerization of IT helps, too – as cloud based products are more easily consumed. But what will really change the fate of the S4/HANA public cloud business is the establishment of a S/4 HANA public cloud salesforce. Focus always helps and sales professionals who have one product, will work hard to earn their commissions – and sell that very one product. On the value proposition side, SAP has stronger arguments – with contextual analytics, a digital assistant, Machine Learning capabilities and a Fiori user experience. Moreover, SAP talked about IoT and blockchain plans, but I somehow missed the briefing on this Certainly even without the latter, enough value proposition to make customers and prospects consider S/4 HANA. And no surprise – both McDermott and Roos share that most S/4HANA cloud customers, are net new customers. 

    SAP Capital Markets S/4HANA Constellation Research Holger Mueller
    Bartiromo and McDemott

    SAP unveils SAP Clea, the Machine Learning Sister of HANA and Leonardo– During Bernd Leukert’s presentation he unveiled SAP Clea, SAP’s new offering to bring Machine Learning to enterprise applications, an overdue move. We just came out of the ‘Fall of AI’ in 2016, so it’s key for all enterprise system vendors to make sense of the technology for better usage of enterprise software. Not many more details were shared, this will be a key area to watch, not only for S/4 HANA – but the SAP product portfolio overall.

    SAP Capital Markets S/4HANA Constellation Research Holger Mueller
    Leukert announces SAP Clea

    SAP talks more PaaS
    – SAP Hana Cloud Platform (HCP) is now rebranded to SAP Cloud Platform – It seems more and more that SAP has understood the importance of PaaS, the insurance policy for all enterprise software vendors in the era of business best practices innovation and related uncertainty. As enterprises experiment with new digital technologies, seek opportunities for digital disruption, they need to build software in house again. It’s too early to know what the business best practices of the 21st century is, so it is key to have a competitive and agile PaaS product, which SAP Cloud Platform is. A name change is only a name change, but it is interesting for SAP to drop the coveted HANA brand name. On the positive side, SAP, has created enough confusion with branding too many things with HANA – so this maybe a start of reducing the confusion created. 

    SAP Capital Markets S/4HANA Constellation Research Holger Mueller
    Roos and Pedersen (rtl)


    SAP hints to BigData / Hadoop / OpenSource and SWIFT– One of the long-term issue SAP has had is its lack of support for the most important technology of the 21st century so far – the enablement of cheap, massive storage of any electronic information, with almost total ignorance at storage time, how it could be analyzed, in other words Hadoop / HDFS based solutions. And while SAP has added Vora, a Spark based BigData capability, it still remains memory based, but today we know that business relevant data grows faster than memory prices fall, putting all in memory only solutions on a losing path when it comes to deployment decisions of next generation Applications, e.g. in IoT, Machine Learning, etc. So, when Leukert has Hadoop on slides and hints to Hadoop support, it is an encouraging sign that SAP will address this challenge, hopefully soon. More support for OpenSource is always a good strategy, and key partners Apple gets support and a shout out with SWIFT. With Apple CEO Tim Cook calling out SAP (then still HANA) Cloud Platform on the Apple earnings call last week, the ‘love’ between these two players appears to be strong.

    MyPOV

    A good event for SAP, that looks like having addressed the challenges it faced initially with S/4 HANA for cloud, most prominently a small functional footprint, lack of complete self-service setup, a sales force with the choice of selling easier products to sell etc. SAP has now addressed these issues and added new capabilities with e.g. Machine Learning that create a better value proposition for enterprises to consider S/4 HANA implementations and migrations. But the most important one is the establishment of a dedicated salesforce. Also, good to see SAP working on Machine Learning with SAP Clea, talking more about BigData in general and Open Source in more specifics

    On the concern side, talk is cheap and slides are patient. SAP must deliver and execute in 2017 to get S/4 HANA cloud out of a sleeping beauty style deep sleep. Bigdata capabilities, PaaS functionality and Machine Learning are quickly becoming table stakes for enterprises, so speed is of the essence.

    We will be watching, stay tuned.


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

    More on SAP:
    •  News Analysis -SAP Introduces Jump-Start Enablement Program for SAP Leonardo IoT Portfolio >> Bundling and Simplification matter for IoT - read here
    • Event Report - Event Report - SAP TechEd Barcelona - Analytics, ML, PaaS and HANA 2  - read here
    • 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.

    0 0

    We had the opportunity to attend the Oracle HCM analyst meeting on February 22nd 2017, held at the beautiful Ritz Carlton in Half Moon Bay. The meeting was well attended with 20 analysts participating. 



    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: Tough to pick the top takeaways – but here are my top 3:

    Oracle HCM has Momentum– Not surprisingly, the momentum of Oracle HCM is continuing. A few years ago, Oracle was challenged with references for Oracle HCM (mid 2013), what a difference 3.5 years make: Now more than 100 enterprises go live with Oracle HCM every quarter. More stats around Oracle HCM below. 


    Oracle Cloud HCM Momentum Holger Mueller Constellation Research
    Oracle Cloud HCM Momentum

    Single Platform for all HCM – As we shared as a major takeaway from Oracle OpenWorld 2016 (see here), Oracle has long time ago (silently till then) started to build Recruiting functionality on the Oracle (Fusion) Cloud platform, same schema, APIs, standards etc. like all the Oracle SaaS suite. So the days of the duopoly of Oracle HCM on the one side and Taleo on the other side are counted, Leone shared at the meeting that usual, large customers could use the new Recruiting capability by end of 2017. Replacing acquired capabilities on a new platform is never easy for any vendor, executd in totality has only been done on very few occasions in enterprise software history. So Oracle has taken some key steps into this direction – looking forward to learn about the first live customers on the new Talent Acquisition capabilities. 


    Oracle HCM Cloud in one slide - Holger Mueller Constellation Research
    Oracle HCM Cloud in one slide


    Learning Progress – Almost two years ago, Oracle surprised the market with the announcement of Oracle Learning at HCM World in 2014. Since then the module has made good progress, adding key new capabilities (e.g. Learning Communities) and more traditional ones (like Classroom Training). 100 customers live today is a good milestone, when one remembers that the product is only sold as part of the overall Oracle HCM Suite and not stand alone.


    Oracle Learning Cloud - Customer Characteristics - Holger Mueller Constellation Research
    Oracle Learning Cloud - Customer Characteristics


    MyPOV

    Good progress by Oracle, which is gaining relative strength in regards of its two key competitors, likely to culminate when all its HCM capabilities are on a single platform. Operational efficiencies and organizational agility increase when that point is reached, a win / win for customers and vendors, a key milestone to monitor.

    On the concern side, Oracle needs to become clear on its approach of Machine Learning (ML, if you like AI) in regards of HCM. Too much potential here and while we heard the Oracle Adaptive Intelligence story once more as it pertains web display ads / next best action – it is not clear where and how ML will make a difference for Oracle HCM users overall. But there is time to address this, maybe at HCM World. Oracle has made progress and additions to the user interface like e.g. QuickActions and Smart Overlays – but it still feels like an aging user experience. Kudos to Oracle for letting (once again) the analysts use the software – this time the mobile version, which is well done and rounded, it has only a few kinks. What may prevent Oracle from a UI revision could be an aggressive adoption of voice that should replace most ESS and MSS screens. An area to watch.

    But overall good progress by Oracle that is pushing its HCM offering forward on all fronts. What the adoption of the IaaS Gen 2 may mean for SaaS products like Oracle HCM remains to be seen. It is clear that adoption and sales challenges are not with the product side for the year to come – at least from the general perceptive, so it looks like if there are challenges for Oracle HCM in 2017, they will be more on the Marketing, Sales and Services side. Always a good place to be for a SaaS product vendor. We will be watching.


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


    Recent blog posts on Oracle:
    •  Event Report - Oracle OpenWorld - the HCM perspective - Almost no news, but wait... - read here.
    • 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

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

    More on Oracle:

    0 0

    We had the opportunity to attend the partner kickoff meeting of CenturyLink, Ascend, held in San Diego from February 22nd to 24th. The event was well attended with a large number of partners present, both from traditional CenturyLink partners and newer kind of partners (see below).

    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:

    From DCs to Software and Services– CenturyLink has already since some time communicated the shift from owning and operating data centers to a more software and services oriented future business. This Ascend conference was all about getting the partners ready for that new future, where they don’t sell traditional ‘stovepipe’ – all things CenturyLink, but a CenturyLink service that spans across multiple cloud / IaaS providers. CenturyLink even previewed and talked about the just yesterday officially release Cloud Application Manager (see press release here). It also means CenturyLink needs partners in new categories, e.g. the vendor announced a new Software Alliances Program. 

    "Monster Fire" side chat with Douglas and Corbin


    Partners Wanted– CenturyLink (like all providers in the space) has relied on partners, but needs them even more with the new go to market offerings: It needs to understand applications better when positioning Cloud Application Manager, that takes time and requires a thorough understanding of what enterprises run, something that takes time and partners usually have that know how already. With the ‘carrot’ of cloud optimization becoming possibly real, it is also key for partners to understand that rival IaaS offerings of the past are the new partners of the future. 

    The new CenturyLink Software Alliance Program


    Big opportunity for partners– CenturyLink is offering a very different value proposition to its partners, who have to understand what CenturyLink now offers and then chart their strategy. Not an easy change, but doable. Easier to, as it is a change for the better, as workload portability, IaaS agnostic capabilities and multi cloud are highly desirable qualities that enterprises seek for their cloud deployments.

     
    MultiCloud panel with Patel (VMware), Bosserman (Azure),
    Shacochis (CenturyLink) and yours truly

    MyPOV

    A good partner kickoff for CenturyLink, that not only has a new value proposition for partners, but a mostly new partner / channel management team, that had to be introduced to the partners, share its ideas and vision going forward. CenturyLink did well on all accounts, as well as you can do when you have new leaders taking partners to terra incognita. Terra firma in these regards is CenturyLink’s networking offerings, which offer the opportunity to differentiate vendor and offering compare to other vendors who have made a switch to services and multi cloud.

    On the concern side, this is quite a transformation for both CenturyLink and its partner ecosystem, and while doable, needs to be successfully executed. The key new product, Cloud Application Manager is a new product and must prove itself and gain partner trusty. Customer show cases, case studies, road shows etc. are the tools in the arsenal to have partners gain trust in a new direction. Pricing has to be right, wasn’t shared but we are pretty certain CenturyLink will get that right.

    So, it’s a new approach and strategy of CenturyLink, that was telegraphed earlier, but now taking shape in the real world of 2017. Partners are still orienting themselves. Now real revenues and real customers on a new product and service offering have to follow - we will be watching. Stay tuned. 


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



    More Cloud related blog posts:

    • Q4 2016 NextGen Apps Developments & Trends Shootout - read here
    • New Analysis - AWS has now data centers in Canada. Or is it data centres? Speaks "Canadian" now. - read here
    • Event Report - AWS reInvent 2016 - Growth at full speed - read here
    •  News Analysis - New IBM Bluemix Services Help Organizations Accelerate Data Migration to the Cloud - read here
    • News Analysis - Microsoft announces SAP's choice of Azure to help enterprises transform HR - The SaaS land grab is on - read here
    • NewsAnalysis - VMware has found AWS as its public cloud IaaS - read here
    • Event Report - Cloud Foundry Summit Europe - Europe & Cloud - A long path - read here
    • Event report - AWS Enterprise Summit 2016 Frankfurt - The German Road to Cloud adoption is ... long - read here
    • Event Report - Google I/O 2016 - Android N soon, Google assistant sooner and VR / AR later - read here
    • Event Report - OpenStack Summit 2016 - Austin - OpenStack matures - read here
    • Event Report - Microsoft Build 2016 - A platform vision and plenty of tools for next generation applications - read here
    • Event Report – Google Google Cloud Platform Next – Key Offerings for (some of) the enterprise - 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 Pitney Bowes Tech Analyst meeting held at the Ritz Carlton in Half Moon Bay, February 28th and March 1st 2017. The event was well attended with close to 30 analysts, many from oversees, in attendance.



    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 ones:

    Pitney Bowes goes beyond the mailroom– If Pitney Bowes wanted to make one thing clear, they certainly succeeded: It’s no longer the mailroom automation vendor, but a sizeable software vendor that has the magical 1B US$ in sales in the cross hairs. 


    Pitney Bowes Constellation Research Holger Mueller
    Pitney Bowes Growth Potential


    Data, Identity, Location, Communicate– Next to its ecommerce business, which is roughly half of the Pitney Bowes’ software portfolio, three major areas of activity were shared: Underpinning all with data, Pitney Bowes has an Identity. Location and Communication portfolio. We looked at the letter, focused primarily to customer engagement through modern interactions, most prominently video with the EngageOne product. Overall the focus on 4 product areas makes sense, the company has recovered from the over 80+ acquisition spree that was going on from 2002 till 2008. 


     
    Pitney Bowes Constellation Research Holger Mueller
    Software Direction and Portfolio


    Wanted – a category– It’s always hard for vendors when they don’t stick into traditional categories, usually based on how enterprise buy, license and subscribe to software. In Pitney Bowes case, the vendor is partially responsible for the dilemma, as it doesn’t want to play in some categories: E.g. Pitney Bowes acquired MapInfo about 10 years ago – but we never heard an utter of “GIS” as a category. Some products are also hard to categorize, as they are working as APIs or standalone modules (e.g. Checkout) or are services (e.g. Pitney Bowes can act as merchant of record to enable borderless commerce).


    Pitney Bowes Constellation Research Holger Mueller
    Expanding Footprint


    Partners needed for DaaS / API Economy
    – Pitney Bowers has realized it needs partners as force multipliers to be successful with its data and API centric approach. And it certainly has shown partner traction – but still must sign up approximately 50% more partners this year. If the conventional partners can give Pitney Bowes that multiplier will be an interesting aspect to be seen. Getting closer to where people use data / APIs would also be a good alley to explore, so developer outreach / evangelism maybe a chapter in the strategy book to consider.

    MyPOV

    A good analyst meeting, that at times stayed too high level, but made abundantly clear that it is not your grandfathers Pitney Bowers and that the company is committed to grow its software business. The four product areas are in good hands and the vendor has well working Indian developer organization, an asset not too many software vendors have. It also has a cash flow generating, but shrinking traditional business that allows it to invest in product and go to market, a good setup for a software business, that is traditionally cash hungry in its early phases. Finally Pitney Bowes executives were more than willing to learn, improve and get feedback, always a good strategy for an analyst day, that was operationally flawless.

    On the concern side Pitney Bowes is in unchartered waters when it comes to the business model of its software portfolio. While vendors have figured out to make a living from data (e.g. Nielsen, IMS, Dun & Bradstreet etc.) – no vendor has created a billion and more business on the base of APIs. And while there is no technological discussion that APIs are the way how software will be offered and consumed going forward, the business model, monetization model outside the traditional transactional APIs (e.g. orders, invoices, paychecks) has not been established. And Pitney Bowes needs to grow the software business faster than its traditional mailroom related business shrinks.

    A vendor under transformation, making good progress and certainly to watch, we will keep analyzing.


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


    More NextGenApps related blog posts:
    • Q4 2016 NextGen Apps Developments & Trends Shootout - read here
    • New Analysis - AWS has now data centers in Canada. Or is it data centres? Speaks "Canadian" now. - read here
    • Event Report - AWS reInvent 2016 - Growth at full speed - read here
    •  News Analysis - New IBM Bluemix Services Help Organizations Accelerate Data Migration to the Cloud - read here
    • News Analysis - Microsoft announces SAP's choice of Azure to help enterprises transform HR - The SaaS land grab is on - read here
    • NewsAnalysis - VMware has found AWS as its public cloud IaaS - read here
    • Event Report - Cloud Foundry Summit Europe - Europe & Cloud - A long path - read here
    • Event report - AWS Enterprise Summit 2016 Frankfurt - The German Road to Cloud adoption is ... long - read here
    • Event Report - Google I/O 2016 - Android N soon, Google assistant sooner and VR / AR later - read here
    • Event Report - OpenStack Summit 2016 - Austin - OpenStack matures - read here
    • Event Report - Microsoft Build 2016 - A platform vision and plenty of tools for next generation applications - read here
    • Event Report – Google Google Cloud Platform Next – Key Offerings for (some of) the enterprise - 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 Google’s Google Next conference, happening in San Francisco from March 7th till 11th at Moscone West. San Francisco ‘dressed’ up in Google Next colors already way ahead of the event, it was clear that this would be a much bigger event than last year’s Google Cloud Platform event. And a difference it was, also aided by the combination of Google Cloud and GSuite, the number of analysts jumped from 20 or so to estimated 80+. No official attendee numbers, with a lot of Googlers lining up to attend, too, my estimate is well over 2000, when all are counted. 



    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:

    Google Next 2017 Holger Mueller Event Report Constellation Research SAP HANA Schmidt Greene Leukert
    Schmidt shares his 3 step program for moving to the cloud

    Google is serious about Enterprise– It was already clear from the hiring of Greene and last year’s event. But it’s one thing to say it and then to deliver on it. Greene shared that the division is the fastest growing in headcount with over 1000 new hires, Schmidt shared today that over time Google has invested 30B+ US$ into the cloud infrastructure. As Greene shared earlier the ‘business’ things are easy – the basic ‘blocking and tackling’ – but it still needs to be executed. So Google for the first time had a partner event with the conference and showed it has attracted interest from all the large SIs. It’s a lot of progress on the partner numbers, but a totally different ball game than with the other two key players. It was also good to have more enterprise customers on stage, talking to Greene on different carefully selected use cases – Disney for an ‘All in’, HSBC for a data warehouse decommission an move to cloud, Home Depot as a website / commerce reference and eBay as an enterprise showcase for an inhouse built next gen app – a Google Home powered eBay application. 

    Google Next 2017 Holger Mueller Event Report Constellation Research SAP HANA Schmidt Greene Leukert
    Greene talks Google Cloud


    Machine Learning remains the carrot – Not surprisingly, Machine Learning remains the core attraction for Google Cloud. Disney’s CTO clearly labelled it as the reason why Disney is building apps on Google Cloud. Newly minted head of AI / Machine Learning Fei Fei Li shared the visions and unveiled (next to the Cloud Speech, Vision, Translate and Natural Language APIs) the new Video Intelligence API. No surprise given YouTube is part of Alphabet, but very powerful to index and find things in video, e.g. all the beach scenes in your vacation videos. Can’t wait for it to come to Google Photos. Or find out how many of my videos where in cars, at airports or somewhere else. But the key announcement – with long term impact – is Google’s acquisition of Kaggle, the analytics, machine learning, AI community, famous for its competitions. A key acquisition that could – if well executed – further bolster the Machine Learning / AI leadership of Google: It’s not enough to have great software capabilities, you also need to educate people about them and win their hearts and minds as a community. The strategy is clear here, now Google will have to show that it can create, foster a vendor independent ecosystem around Machine Learning. 

    Google Next 2017 Holger Mueller Event Report Constellation Research SAP HANA Schmidt Greene Leukert
    Google'e Fei Fei Li announces the Kaggle acquisition


    Google gets SAP HANA
    – The major news in regards of ‘meeting the enterprise, where the enterprise is’ (the slogan from last year) was that SAP HANA is now certified on Google Cloud. Leukert was there to unveil the news with Greene, certainly a good move, that shows SAP’s multi vendor cloud strategy. You can / will be able to run SAP products on all three major IaaS. The SAP Hana Express developer product is available, too, with SAP Cloud platform coming later. And when Colgate came on stage, it was clear that SAP to GSuite integration is also on the roadmap. More options for SAP customers is a good development, it may make it easier for SAP to sell more HANA going forward. And Google gets load for Google Cloud. The usual ‘SaaS vendor picks IaaS’ move. The only downside: SAP is working hard to get its customers to HANA – so it is not the bulk of the current load where SAP customers are from an on premises install base. That would be SAP customers running mySAP ERP etc. – mostly on Oracle. 

    Google Next 2017 Holger Mueller Event Report Constellation Research SAP HANA Schmidt Greene Leukert
    Google's Greene and SAP's Leukert on SAP HANA coming to GCP


    MyPOV

    A lot of good progress from Google on the Google products for the enterprise, both Cloud and GSuite. The conference has only started – so more is going to come for both products in the days to come. The Google Enterprise team is working hard, no doubt and has made progress in the last 12 months with partners, support and create more unique offerings e.g. the site reliability engineer for customers, a start up program etc. etc.

    On the concern side, it is not clear if this will be enough, I asked the Greene leadership team on what they will do to catchup from ‘Bronze to Gold’ and they all came up with good and plausible answers (check out my Storify of the analyst event here). But in a year where we may see VMware running on AWS and Oracle making its cloud work first time – this may not be enough for Google to get on premises load of scale. So it all comes back to the speed of Google being able to attract enterprise load for the next few years, and the speed of the enterprise moving to cloud.

    In the meantime, when enterprises have to build new software, the Google capabilities are very attractive for the next generation application use cases the 21st century demands. So in the short run this could well mean that Google can attract more next generation application use cases than attract traditional enterprise IT loads. We will be watching, stay tuned.

    Want to learn more? Checkout the Storify collection below (if it doesn’t show up – check here). And if interested in the Analyst Summit from Tuesday this week - there is a Storify collection here.




    More about Google:
    • New Analysis – Google enables citizen developers and developers with Google App Maker - read here
    • 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.

    0 0

    The Cloud / IaaS industry has grown rapidly in the last years, and providers have been solidifying their systems over the years. Outages are always unfortunate and by large the cloud has shown that it is more resilient than pretty much any on premises computing setup. Nonetheless outages happen – and we are adding a new blog post type for these events – the “Down Report” – where we plan to dissect and rate what has gone wrong, and especially focus on the lessons learnt for the provider affected, the industry, but most importantly for their customers. 



    To make the effort a little more fun – we assign ‘Cloud Load Toads” to the overall event and each circumstance. We mean no disrespect to the ‘load toads’ that work valiantly in the worlds air forces, but liked the suggestion of our colleague Alan Lepofsky (@alanlepo), who came up with the term ‘Cloud Load Toad”.



    On the ‘Cloud Load Toad’ scala that goes from 1 (bad but ok, can happen) to 5 (very bad, should never ever happen) we rate the severity off the event overall and the events that lead to it.

    AWS S3 Down in US-EAST-1

    First of all, kudos to AWS, who published the post mortem post (see here) in about 48 hour past the event, faster than usual, judging from other downtime events in the past. But then each cloud outage is different, the root cause – manual error – is easier to establish than e.g. trouble shooting a battery fire, that destroys its very evidence (think Samsung).

    But let’s dissect the post mortem report:

    We’d like to give you some additional information about the service disruption that occurred in the Northern Virginia (US-EAST-1) Region on the morning of February 28th. The Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3) team was debugging an issue causing the S3 billing system to progress more slowly than expected.

    MyPOV – Certainly production and billing systems need to be connected, and in many scenarios the production system can create issues with the load triggered for the billing system. But a production system should never be able to be stopped by an administrative system, like a billing system. Production should be kept running, billing can be worried about later. It is likely that the S3 billing system (my speculation, but keep reading) is using S3, too – creating a potential recursive dependency. Needless to say – these systems should be isolated. 
    Rating: 3 Cloud Load Toads



    At 9:37AM PST, an authorized S3 team member using an established playbook executed a command which was intended to remove a small number of servers for one of the S3 subsystems that is used by the S3 billing process.

    MyPOV – Related to above, obvious that the billing system is also using S3 now. Good to drink your own champagne, but when it goes bad because of a mistake by the champagne maker – never good and not only the customers but the champagne maker gets food poisoning – not what you want to have happen. But humans can make mistakes.

    Unfortunately, one of the inputs to the command was entered incorrectly and a larger set of servers was removed than intended. The servers that were inadvertently removed supported two other S3 subsystems. One of these subsystems, the index subsystem, manages the metadata and location information of all S3 objects in the region. This subsystem is necessary to serve all GET, LIST, PUT, and DELETE requests. The second subsystem, the placement subsystem, manages allocation of new storage and requires the index subsystem to be functioning properly to correctly operate. The placement subsystem is used during PUT requests to allocate storage for new objects. Removing a significant portion of the capacity caused each of these systems to require a full restart. While these subsystems were being restarted, S3 was unable to service requests.

    MyPOV – Kudos to AWS for transparency. But any attendee to its reInvent user conference knows how much the vendor prides itself of not letting humans make mistakes, but putting key / vital processes into code. Certainly, the approach and philosophy wasn’t followed here. Would be good to chat with AWS CTO Werner Vogels about this one… I am sure that enough people in Seattle are pondering that in the future typos, manual human error should not take systems down. Of course, we still need a kill switch for the humans… 
    Rating: 4 Cloud Load Toads.



    Other AWS services in the US-EAST-1 Region that rely on S3 for storage, including the S3 console, Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) new instance launches, Amazon Elastic Block Store (EBS) volumes (when data was needed from a S3 snapshot), and AWS Lambda were also impacted while the S3 APIs were unavailable.

    MyPOV – AWS suggests to write critical processes to span across regions. Its own website – amazon.com and subsidiary zappos.com did not go down, and were probably coded correctly. The question is (and sorry if I have not read the fine print) – could an AWS client still use the US-EAST-1 services like EC2, EBS, AWS Lambda etc. if pointed to other S3 stores – or does an S3 failure take the whole region out? This is a deeply critical issue for any IaaS techstack in a IaaS data center. So, did customers have a chance here? A question to follow up with AWS. Not Rated.



    S3 subsystems are designed to support the removal or failure of significant capacity with little or no customer impact. We build our systems with the assumption that things will occasionally fail, and we rely on the ability to remove and replace capacity as one of our core operational processes. While this is an operation that we have relied on to maintain our systems since the launch of S3, we have not completely restarted the index subsystem or the placement subsystem in our larger regions for many years. S3 has experienced massive growth over the last several years and the process of restarting these services and running the necessary safety checks to validate the integrity of the metadata took longer than expected. The index subsystem was the first of the two affected subsystems that needed to be restarted. By 12:26PM PST, the index subsystem had activated enough capacity to begin servicing S3 GET, LIST, and DELETE requests. By 1:18PM PST, the index subsystem was fully recovered and GET, LIST, and DELETE APIs were functioning normally. The S3 PUT API also required the placement subsystem. The placement subsystem began recovery when the index subsystem was functional and finished recovery at 1:54PM PST. At this point, S3 was operating normally. Other AWS services that were impacted by this event began recovering. Some of these services had accumulated a backlog of work during the S3 disruption and required additional time to fully recover.

    MyPOV – AWS describes well that things break all the time, and they can even go down. But IaaS providers need to be certain they can come back up, and part of that coming back is also to understand how long it will take to come back up. S3 has been very popular, so the harder to take it down, test (or simulate) time for it to come back, but certainly something AWS could and should have done and known. When you run IT, and don’t know when a system that is down will come back up more or less for sure, the IT professionals are in a bad spot. 
    Rating: 4 Cloud Load Toads



    We are making several changes as a result of this operational event. While removal of capacity is a key operational practice, in this instance, the tool used allowed too much capacity to be removed too quickly. We have modified this tool to remove capacity more slowly and added safeguards to prevent capacity from being removed when it will take any subsystem below its minimum required capacity level. This will prevent an incorrect input from triggering a similar event in the future.

    MyPOV – This section read like there was a software tool – but it malfunctioned. That of course is not good. Granted hard to simulate and test with systems of this scale – but not a good enough answer. 
    Rating: 3 Cloud Load Toads

    We are also auditing our other operational tools to ensure we have similar safety checks. We will also make changes to improve the recovery time of key S3 subsystems. We employ multiple techniques to allow our services to recover from any failure quickly. One of the most important involves breaking services into small partitions which we call cells. By factoring services into cells, engineering teams can assess and thoroughly test recovery processes of even the largest service or subsystem. As S3 has scaled, the team has done considerable work to refactor parts of the service into smaller cells to reduce blast radius and improve recovery. During this event, the recovery time of the index subsystem still took longer than we expected. The S3 team had planned further partitioning of the index subsystem later this year. We are reprioritizing that work to begin immediately.

    MyPOV – Kudos to AWS for transparency, explaining that it has a solution and committing to get better going forward. School book response that all vendors with an outage should share – not all have.



    From the beginning of this event until 11:37AM PST, we were unable to update the individual services’ status on the AWS Service Health Dashboard (SHD) because of a dependency the SHD administration console has on Amazon S3. Instead, we used the AWS Twitter feed (@AWSCloud) and SHD banner text to communicate status until we were able to update the individual services’ status on the SHD. We understand that the SHD provides important visibility to our customers during operational events and we have changed the SHD administration console to run across multiple AWS regions.

    MyPOV – This is probably the worst finding, a too optimistic implementation of the key dashboard on AWS overall status. It should never have a single point of failure, but yet we see this happening over and over in outages. Vendors need to learn not to rely on their services to communicate with clients in an outage situation – as they may not be able to respond, a cardinal mistake (see e.g. for another outage issue here)... but yet vendors keep doing so. 
    Rating: 5 Cloud Load Toads




    Finally, we want to apologize for the impact this event caused for our customers. While we are proud of our long track record of availability with Amazon S3, we know how critical this service is to our customers, their applications and end users, and their businesses. We will do everything we can to learn from this event and use it to improve our availability even further.

    MyPOV – Kudos for acknowledging and owning the issue. No blame game and scape goating (that is often seen here too, the most common scape goat being the network / network provider).


    A pretty severe event

    When doing the tally across the cloud load toads, assuming I did the math right - then I count 19 total toads, across 5 events - bringing the event to 3.8 cloud load toads. I am sure AWS will be the first to agree that this wasn't an insignificant event. But let's look at the lessons learnt. But customers could have coded their loads to avoid the down time.



    Lessons for IaaS Customers

    Here are the key aspects for customers to learn from the AWS S3 outage:

    Have you built for resilience? Sure, it costs, but all major IaaS providers offer strategies on how to avoid single location / data center failures. Way too many prominent internet properties did not chose to do so – so if ‘born on the web’ properties miss this – its key to check regular enterprises do not miss this. Uptime has a price, make it a rational decision, now is a good time to get budget / investment approved, when warranted and needed.

    Ask your IaaS vendor a few questions: Enterprises should not be shy to ask IaaS providers if they have done a few things:
    • Do your run your systems by hand or with software
       
    • Could the same issue that happened with AWS S3 in US-EAST-1 happen to you?
       
    • How do you test your operational software?
       
    • When have you taken your most popular services down last time?
       
    • What is the expected up time of your most popular services?
       
    • When did your produce that test of expected up time last and how has the system usage increased since then?
       
    • How can we code for resilience – and what does it cost?
       
    • What kind of renumeration / payment / cost relief can be expected with a downtime?
       
    • What single point of failure should we be aware of?
       
    • How are your operation consoles built?
       
    • How do you communicate in a downtime situation with customers?
       
    • How often and when do you refresh your older datacenters, servers?
       
    • How often have your reviewed and improved your operational procedures in the last 12 months? Give us a few examples how you have increased resilience.


    And some key internal questions, customers of IaaS vendors have to ask themselves:
    • What are your customer / employee communication tools?
       
    • When your IaaS vendor goes down, so may your customer and employee facing apps. How do you communicate then?
       
    • Make sure to learn from AWS mistake – do not rely on the same point of failure / architecture as the production systems – as it will not be available. Simple, but always good to check and better even monitor. 


    MyPOV

    Outages are always unfortunate. The key thing is to learn from them, knowing AWS they will be ruthless to address issues (and hopefully update customers and analysts on status progress). Kudos for a fast past mortem, taking responsibility and sharing first strategies to avoid another occurrence. And AWS already has made customers available to teach other customers on how to use AWS inbuilt HA methods (e.g. CloudFront) to avoid major impact from down times like what happened to S3 in this case. 

    On the concern side AWS needs to ask itself how it recycles and reviews architecture and servers. US-EAST is a behemoth that is nonetheless popular, but may need more rejuvenation than AWS may expect / have planned. In the cloud location monopoly race it is possible that vendors might stretch aging infrastructure beyond the breaking point. Of course, afterwards it is easy to armchair everything, but this remains an area to watch.

    Overall hopefully plenty of lessons learnt all around, for AWS, other IaaS providers and customers.


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



    More on AWS:
    • New Analysis - AWS has now data centers in Canada. Or is it data centres? Speaks "Canadian" now. - Read here
    • 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 the WorkForce Software Vision 2017 user conference held in New Orleans from March 13th till 15th 2017. The even was well attended with over 260 attendees, managing a collective 500k employees. 




    Here is my event video of the event:




    No time to watch – here is the 1 slide update:






    If you want more details – read on:

    Focus on Product and more– Always good to see vendors focusing on product, in the case of WorkForce Software, CEO Morini shared that the vendor will add 80 more developers. For a 600 employee company a substantial investment. Likewise WorkForce Software has shown progress on the partner side (more large SIs are on board), it appears the reseller relationship with SAP is going well, and lastly the vendor unveiled a new implementation methodology to help customers go live quicker.


     
    Workforce Software Constellation Research Holger Mueller
    Morini introduces the connected Workforce


    Roadmap Transparency– In the past WorkForce (like many other HCM vendors) was not a poster child for transparency, luckily for customers, this has changed. And WorkForce shared a three year roadmap, with the usual caveats, but quite a difference to what was shared two years ago (the last user conference I was able to attend). No surprise – unification is a key theme across the coming release, with some vertical capabilities and most importantly a much needed UI improvement. 


     
    Workforce Software Constellation Research Holger Mueller
    WorkForce Software 2016 in review


    Hard work – will it be enough?– No question WorkForce has made a lot of progress, but the question remains, can the vendor catchup with the 800 pound gorilla of the industry, Kronos. In general the speed of vendors in WorkForce Management is increasing, with a strong focus on innovation, so WorkForce’s task is not getting easier. But plenty of room to differentiate, but the vendor now needs to get accelerate in delivery across the board, hence the blog post title.


    Workforce Software Constellation Research Holger Mueller
    Broady opens WorkForce Vision 2017

    MyPOV 


    Good progress by the new WorkForce Software management team, no doubt. With more investment into product, focus on implementation speed, more partners, successful reseller relationships, and more – the vendor is executing the right strategies. Now they have to materialize and make a difference in the near future.

    On the concern side, WorkForce Software has to bring together multiple platform at different levels, from architecture, data centers all the way to UI. And it needs to deliver the next generation of its product, taking advantage of cloud, microservices etc. and for all the talk on engagement, it must improve its user experience. The days of clumsy screens for power users are counted. To be fair, the vendor has realized that and plans a UI overhaul, architecture change and other improvements. 

    If it all will be enough to change the distance to the market leader, it is too early to tell, with no doubt WorkForce Software has positioned itself much better than where the vendor was a few years ago. We will have to check in again, stay tuned




    More on WorkForce Software:


    • News Analysis - WorkForce Software Announces Global Reseller Agreement with SAP - read here
    • Progress Report - WorkForce Software powers into more Workforce Management - but needs to watch the Fundamentals - read here



    More on Workforce Management:


    • Event Report - Kronos KronosWorks - Solid progress and big things loom - read here
    • Progress Report - Ceridian makes good progress, the basics are done now its about next gen capabilities - read here
    • Event Report - Kronos KronosWorks - New Versions, new UX, more mobile - faster implementations - read here
    • Event Report - Ceridian Insights - Momentum and Differentiation Building - 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 ADP’s Meeting of the Mind (MOTM) conference in San Diego, held March 19th till 22nd 2017, and the Manchester Grand Hyatt. The conference was well attended with over 1000 attendees, good partner representation and influencer selection.

     


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

    ADP has Momentum
    – For a long time it seemed as if ADP was stuck and not moving beyond payroll. 4-5 years ago it became clear this would be changing and we reported on the changes from different MOTM (2014, 2015, 2016). By now it is clear that the investments done into innovation centers, new platforms, a new user experience, BigData etc. are now paying off. 10 million users of ADP’s mobile app are telling a good adoption story, adding 300k per month is impressive growth. The number of Vantage clients is now North of 550. And the BigData investments around the ADP DataCloud are paying off as ADP can now launch products on top of the platform, like at this MOTM the ADP Pay Equity Explorer (see next).

    ADP Meeting of the Minds MOTM Holger Mueller Constellation Research
    Rodriguez shares ADP response to today's Workforce Challenges


    New Apps powered by ADP Data Cloud– Two years ago, ADP launched its BigData offering, the ADP DataCloud. The first focus was on not so flashy, but essential reporting needs for ADP customers. But by now ADP is using its in depth knowledge of payroll and salary data to build new applications. The newly launched Pay Equity Explorer allows the ad hoc analysis of payment disparity between e.g. gender and ethnicity. But not only the gap is identified, ADP can pull in performance data (when using ADP Talent Management products, but my assumption here) and market data. So HR professionals don’t have to spend nights and weekends to put a highlight and analysis on the issue of pay disparity, they can also correct the issue in a competent and efficient matter. A good example of the benefits vendors can create for their customers once they have moved to a BigData platform. 

    ADP Meeting of the Minds MOTM Holger Mueller Constellation Research
    Camby announces Pay Equity Explorer


    More Services Focus– ADP has always been about services, but comparing to the last 3 MOTMs there was more services messaging at MOTM this year – starting with CEO Rodriguez, President Flynn – all the way to product presentation with Ghauri. I asked all if something has changed, and all reiterated that not really – customers care about the services. We learnt that ADP is opening three more services centers, so certainly the vendor is doubling down in the direction. 

    ADP Meeting of the Minds MOTM Holger Mueller Constellation Research
    Demo of ADP Pay Equity Explorer


    The TMBC Opportunity– ADP (surprisingly) acquired The Markus Buckingham Company in January (see here for my commentary). Buckingham was at hand with a passionate keynote on addressing the performance management malaise in the overall client base with empowering the team leaders (no surprise – TMBC Standout was built for that). With TMBC Standout ADP has a unique talent management creature (from a product stand point perspective) – that it needs to position right in the crowded engagement, survey, performance management etc. market. It’s only two months, but a key area to watch, stay tuned. 

    ADP Meeting of the Minds MOTM Holger Mueller Constellation Research
    Buckingham on Performance


    MyPOV

    A good MOTM for ADP, moving in the right direction on many fronts. Customers are adopting new and old solutions quickly, an encouraging sign. No surprise the high ground for ADP remains around payroll – and related offerings – like the mobile application and pay disparity analysts which are / are going to be of high interest in the customer base. At the same time the adoption of these products propels customers to the new ADP platforms, so behind the scenes there is some heavy lifting happening, The fact that there is no noise and reports on any issues around these behind the scenes migrations, is a major accomplishment by ADP as a vendor, and of course of substantial value for its customers. The TMBC acquisition is a new opportunity for ADP for differentiation, but we have to stay tuned on how ADP will position Standout.

    On the concern side, ADP may not be moving fast enough. Payroll is super sticky, the average attendance at MOTM was 14 years, few vendors can show that. But ADP should move aggressively into domains like Machine Learning (it certainly can, given it has a BigData Cloud), it needs to innovate on user experienced (e.g. speech as the new UI) and sell more Talent Management to customers. To be fair I left MOTM on Monday, so stay tuned for more messages, announcements that may address these areas.

    But for now, life is good for ADP customers, what a difference 5 years can make. Stay tuned for what’s ahead.


    More on ADP

    • Event Report – ADP ReThink – Great event and great value coming for customers  - read here
    • News Analysis - ADP Acquires The Marcus Buckingham Company to Expand Talent Portfolio - read here
    • Progress Report - ADP Analyst Day 2016 - ADP has turned around Vantage HCM - read here
    • Event Report - Event Report - ADP MOTM - ADP delivers: New UI, Benchmarks, Market Place & More - read here
    • News Analysis - Workday and ADP partner to Deliver a Seamless Customer Experience for Global Payroll - read here
    • Progress Report - ADP Analyst Day - ADP executes, kills (most) ghosts from the past - read here
    • Event Report - ADP Meeting of the Minds - It’s all coming together for ADP in 2015 - product wise - read here
    • First Take - ADP Meeting of the Minds - Day #1 Keynote - read here
    • Progress Report - ADP shows great vision, delivers product innovation - now it needs adoption - read here
    • Site Visit - ADP's new innovation lab in Chelsea - read here
    • News Analysis - ADP announces Spin-Off plans for Dealer Services, sharpens ADP's focus on HCM - read here.
    • Event Report - ADP's Meeting of the Minds - ADP has made up its mind (almost) - customers not yet - read here.
    • First take - 3 Key Takeaways from ADP's Meeting of the Minds Conference Day 1 Keynote - read here.
    • ADP innovates with with verve and good timing – read here.

    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.

    0 0

    We had the opportunity to attend Ultimate Software’s yearly user conference, UltiConnect in Las Vegas, held March 20th till 24th 2017, at the Bellagio hotel. The conference was well attended with almost 2900 attendees, limited by fire marshal restrictions.




    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:

    Ultimate Software UltiConnect 2017 Holger Mueller Constellation Research
    Rogers, Hartshorne and UltiPro Learning


    Ultimate has momentum– At the risk that this is getting repetitive (see my last 4 event reports), Ultimate is showing momentum. With 600 customers go lives in 2016, the increase of 700+ more customer attendees’ year over year is remarkable, but less surprising. Go lives trigger product interest and attending the user conference is an effective use of time. With Ultimate offering free training for life, most customers and professionals also take advantage of the numerous training options. And then having Maroon 5 as the main act is certainly something popular for the target audience. It remains remarkable though how Ultimate produces these growth numbers, mostly recording customer growth in North America only. 


    Ultimate Software UltiConnect 2017 Holger Mueller Constellation Research
    Ultimate 2016 Highlights

    Xander, first out of the box AI offering among HCM vendors– Ultimate announced Xander, its AI offering, right now available for Ultimate Perceptions. Largely built on the Kanjoya acquisition and expertise. This is a good fit as Kanjoya was specialized on understanding unstructured data, something coming handy for the Perceptions products. But Ultimate did not stop there, in combination with the assets and expertise from the Vestrics acquisition and inhouse work, it has formulated and ambitions cross platform AI vision with Xander. And while we have to see what materializes later in the year for Xander, this marks the first formal launch of any major HCM vendor in the area of AI (if I missed one, let me know!). 


    Ultimate Software UltiConnect 2017 Holger Mueller Constellation Research
    Intro of Xander


    Broadest Product Push (ever?)!– Ultimate has traditionally spend a very high percentage of revenue in R&D, but it did not necessarily show in terms of product delivery speed and breadth. For the years I cover the vendor, it seemed more like a ‘sluggish’ pace, with a focus on a single new capabilities per year (see Recruiting, Onboarding etc.) and other housekeeping. One can only expect that R&D resources were nonetheless busy in years before, maybe laying the foundation of what is coming now – a broad push for new product and functionality. A new Learning product (we didn’t go into details, maybe in combination with Schoox), new native mobile products (garnered the most applause by the keynote audience), a new Time Management module, new Reporting capabilities, a new converged UX, a developer hub and finally Xander. A back of the napkin calculation makes this more functionality available and coming in 2017 than what Ultimate announced and made available in 2014, 2015 and 2016. So, congrats for newly found stride.

    MyPOV

    Always good to attend events from vendors that are doing well. Growth leads to other good things, and it is the best ingredient for a successful user conference. A remarkable amount of new capabilities is available or coming during 2017, with vast repercussions for customers in regards of solutions portfolio, e.g. in the areas of Time and Learning. It’s good to see that Ultimate is also addressing UX challenges that we have been hearing (and writing) about since a few years, it makes sense to start with mobile and then try to get a better user interface to the HR users (who not surprisingly are to a certain point ‘clinging’ to the old user interface).

    On the concern side, Ultimate R&D needs to deliver, and services and support teams and most importantly customers need to be ready to uptake and implement these new products and their capabilities. The industry as a collective has struggled to roll out analytical capabilities (predictive analytics mostly) past the HR departments, who on most cases, have set the bar too high, often depriving their enterprise and especially their people leaders from having an ability to make significantly better decisions. And on the commercial Ultimate should find a way to monetize R&D investment, as the rest of the industry does. That does not mean blowing up the price list, but charging for value. Too many ‘free’ capabilities can also be an issue for an enterprise’s HR team. But let’s see if this is a problem when we get there….

    But for now, congrats to Ultimate, which has put its product development efforts in high gear, first results already showing, and garnering the price for being the first major HCM vendor to announce and ship a first version of an AI platform. It will be key to monitor the progress. 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.

    0 0

    We continue our series of IaaS downtimes – and other availability issues, see our Down Report on the recent AWS downtime here.



    Kudos to Microsoft to share issue, impact, impact on customers, workaround, root cause mitigation and next steps on the Azure Status History (see here)


    So let’s dissect the information available in our customary style:
    RCA - Storage Availability in East US
    Summary of impact: Beginning at 22:19 UTC Mar 15 2017, due to a power event, a subset of customers using Storage in the East US region may have experienced errors and timeouts while accessing storage accounts or resources dependent upon the impacted Storage scale unit. As a part of standard monitoring, Azure engineering received alerts for availability drops for a single East US Storage scale unit. Additionally, data center facility teams received power supply failure alerts which were impacting a limited portion of the East US region. Facility teams engaged electrical engineers who were able to isolate the area of the incident and restored power to critical infrastructure and systems. Power was restored using safe power recovery procedures, one rack at time, to maintain data integrity. Infrastructure services started recovery around 0:42 UTC Mar 16 2017. 25% of impacted racks had been recovered at 02:53 UTC Mar 16 2017. Software Load Balancing (SLB) services were able to establish a quorum at 05:03 UTC Mar 16 2017. At that moment, approximately 90% of impacted racks were powered on successfully and recovered. Storage and all storage dependent services recovered successfully by 08:32 UTC Mar 16 2017. Azure team notified customers who had experienced residual impacts with Virtual Machines after mitigation to assist with recovery.

    MyPOV – Good summary of what happened, a power failure / power event. Good to see that customers were notified. Power events can always be tricky to recover, and it looks like Azure management erred on the side of caution bringing up services rack by rack and then adding services like SLB later. But the downtime for affected customers was long, best case – when in the first 25% of racks was almost four hours, and worst case 10 hours+. Remarkable it took Azure technicians 2 hours 20 or so minutes to get the power back. Microsoft needs to (and say it will) review power restore capabilities and find ways to bring storage back quicker. Luckily for customers and Microsoft this happened over night, with possibly lesser effect on customers… but that said we don’t know what kind of load was run on the infrastructure.

    Rating: 3 Cloud Load Toads



    Customer impact: A subset of customers using Storage in the East US region may have experienced errors and timeouts while accessing their storage account in a single Storage scale unit. Virtual Machines with VHDs hosted in this scale unit shutdown as expected during this incident and had to restart at recovery. Customers may have also experienced the following:
    - Azure SQL Database: approx. 1.5% customers in East US region may have seen failures while accessing SQL Database.
    - Azure Redis Cache: approx. 5% of the caches in this region experienced availability loss.
    - Event Hub: approx. 1.1% of customers in East US region have experienced intermittent unavailability.
    - Service Bus: this incident affected the Premium SKU of Service Bus messaging service. 0.8% of Service Bus premium messaging resources (queues, topics) in the East US region were intermittently unavailable.
    - Azure Search: approx. 9 % of customers in East US region have experienced unavailability. We are working on making Azure Search services to be resilient to help continue serving without interruptions at this sort of incident in future.
    - Azure Site Recovery: approx. 1% of customers in East US region have experienced that their Site Recovery jobs were stuck in restarting state and eventually failed. Azure Site Recovery engineering started these jobs manually after the incident mitigation.
    - Azure Backup: Backup operation would have failed during the incident, after the mitigation the next cycle of backup for their Virtual Machine(s) will start automatically at the scheduled time.

    MyPOV – Kudos for Microsoft to give insight into the percentage of customers affected. It looks like Azure Storage units are using mixed load – across Azure services. That has pros and cons, e.g. co-location of customer data, mixed averaged load profiles – but also means that a lot of services are affected when a storage unit goes down.

    Rating 2 Cloud Load Toads




    Workaround: Virtual Machines using Managed Disks in an Availability Set would have maintained availability during this incident. For further information around Managed Disks, please visit the following sites. For Managed Disks Overview, please visit https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/storage/storage-managed-disks-overview. For information around how to migrate to Managed Disks, please visit: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/virtual-machines/virtual-machines-windows-migrate-to-managed-disks.
    - Azure Redis Cache: although caches are region sensitive for latency and throughput, pointing applications to Redis Cache in another region could have provided business continuity.
    - Azure SQL database: customers who had SQL Database configured with active geo-replication could have reduced downtime by performing failover to geo-secondary. This would have caused a loss of less than 5 seconds of transactions. Another workaround is to perform a geo-restore, with loss of less than 5 minutes of transactions. Please visit https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/documentation/articles/sql-database-business-continuity/ for more information on these capabilities.

    MyPOV – Good to see Microsoft explaining how customers could have avoided the downtime. But the Managed Disk option only applies VMs affected by the storage. Good to see the Redis Cache option – the question is though, how efficient (and costly) that would have been. Cache synching is chatty and therefore expensive. More importantly good to see the Azure SQL option, that is key for any transactional database system that needs higher availability. Again enterprise will have to balance cost benefits.

    More of concern is that the other 4 services affected by the outage seem to have no Azure provided workaround, in case customers needed and would decide implement (and pay for one). No work around for Event Hub and Service Bus would not be a good situation, especially since event and bus infrastructures are used to make systems more resilient. Azure Search seems to lack a workaround, too, affecting customers using those services. It’s not clear what the statistic means though: Was Search itself not available or could the information of the affected storage units not be searched. Important distinction. The Azure Site Recovery affected isn’t good either, but kudos for Microsoft to start those manually. But manual starts can only be a workaround, as they don’t scale, e.g. in a greater outage. The failure of Azure Backup is probably the least severe, but in case of power failures, which may not be contained and might cascade, of equal substantial severity, as customers loose backup capability to protect them from potential further outages.

    Rating: 2 cloud load toads (with workaround would be 1 / with no workaround 3 – the maximum, as we don’t have full clarity here, we use 3 as the average).


    Root cause and mitigation: Initial investigation revealed that one of the redundant upstream remote power panels for this storage scale unit experienced a main breaker trip. This was followed by a cascading power interruption as load transferred to remaining sources resulting in power loss to the scale unit including all server racks and the network rack. Data center electricians restored power to the affected infrastructure. A thorough health check was completed after the power was restored, and any suspect or failed components were replaced and isolated. Suspect and failed components are being sent for analysis.

    MyPOV – Always ironic how a cheap breaker can affect a lot of business. I am not a power specialist / electrician, but reading this – if one power panel fails and load has to be transferred, the system should still be operating. Maybe something was not considered in the redundant design vs remaining throughput capacity, not a good place to be.

    Rating - 5 toads


    Next steps: We are continuously taking steps to improve the Microsoft Azure Platform and our processes to help ensure such incidents do not occur in the future, and in this case it includes (but is not limited to):
    - The failed rack power distribution units are being sent off for analysis. Root cause analysis continues with site operations, facility engineers, and equipment manufacturers.
    - To further mitigate risk of reoccurrence, site operations teams are evacuating the servers to perform deep Root Cause Analysis to understand the issue
    - Review Azure services that were impacted by this incident to help tolerate this sort of incidents to serve services with minimum disruptions by maintaining services resources across multiple scale units or implementing geo-strategy.

    MyPOV – Kudos for the hands-on next steps. The key measure (which I am sure Microsoft is doing) is though: How many other storage system power units, or overall Azure power units may have the same issue, and when will they be fixed and have the right capacity / redundancy, so this event cannot repeat. And then we have the question of standardization, is this a local knowledge event, are other data centers setup differently – or the same and can the same incident with a higher certainty be avoided.

    Out of curiosity – there was another event in Storage provisioning, a software defect, only 37 minutes before (you can find it on the Azure status page, right below the above incident) … and these two events could / may have been connected. The connection between the two is at hand: When having a storage failure in one location, customers (and IaaS technicians) may scramble to open storage accounts – at the same or other locations, if they cannot, ad hoc needed remediation and workaround cannot happen. There maybe a connection / there may not be a connection. But when hardware goes down and the software to manage accounts for the hardware – that’s an unfortunate – and hopefully highly unlikely – connection of events.


    (Luckily) a mostly minor event

    Unless someone was an affected party - this was a minor cloud down event. But it was luckily only a minor event, as power failures can quickly propagate and create cascading effects. Unfortunately for some of the services, there is no easy or no workaround at all available that when they go down, they are down. Apart from Microsoft's lessons learned - this is the larger concern going forward. I count a total of 12 toads, averaging 3 Cloud Loud Toads for this event.


    Lessons for Cloud Customers

    Here are the key aspects for customers to learn from the Azure outage:

    Have you built for resilience? Sure, it costs, but all major IaaS providers offer strategies on how to avoid single location / data center failures. Way too many prominent internet properties did not chose to do so – so if ‘born on the web’ properties miss this – its key to check regular enterprises do not miss this. Uptime has a price, make it a rational decision, now is a good time to get budget / investment approved, when warranted and needed.

    Ask your IaaS vendor a few questions: Enterprises should not be shy to ask IaaS providers if they have done a few things:
    • How do you test your power system equipment?
    • How much redundancy is in the power system?
    • What are the single points of failure in the data center being used?
    • When have you tested / taken off components of the power system?
    • How do you make sure your power infrastructure remains adequate as you are putting more load through it (assuming the data center gets more utilized).
    • What is the expected up in case of power failure? 
    • How can we code for resilience – and what does it cost?
    • What kind of renumeration / payment / cost relief can be expected with a downtime?
    • What other single point of failure should we be aware of?
    • How do you communicate in a downtime situation with customers? 
    • How often and when do you refresh your older datacenters, power infrastructure / servers?
    • How often have your reviewed and improved your operational procedures in the last 12 months? Give us a few examples how you have increased resilience.

    And some key internal questions, customers of IaaS vendors have to ask themselves:
    • How do you and how often do you test your power infrastructure?
    • How do you ensure your power infrastructure keeps up with demand / utilization?
    • How do you communicate with customers in case of power failure?
    • How do you determine which systems to bring up and when?
    • How do you isolate power failures and at what level to minimize downtime
    • Make sure to learn from AWS (recent) and Microsoft’s mistakes – what is your exposure to the same event? 


    Overall MyPOV

    Power failures are always tricky. IT is full of anecdotes of independent power supplies not starting – even in the case of formal test. But IaaS vendors need to do better and learn from what went wrong with Azure. There maybe a commonality with the recent AWS downtime, that IaaS vendors can become the victims of their own success. AWS saw more usage of S3 systems, Microsoft may have seen more utilization of the servers attached to the failing power system setup. And CAPEX demands flow into opening new data centers versus refreshing and upgrading older data centers. 

    There is learning all around for all participants – customers using IaaS services, and IaaS providers. Redundancy always comes at a cost, and the tradeoff in regards of how much redundancy an enterprise and a IaaS providers want and need will differ from use case to use case. The key aspect is that redundancy options exist and that tradeoffs are made in an ideally fully aware state of the repercussions. And get revisited on a regular basis. 

    Ironically for the next few years – more minor IaaS failures like this can get the level of cloud resiliency up to the levels where they should be for both IaaS vendors and IaaS consuming enterprises. As long as all keep learning and then acting appropriately.


    More Down Reports:

    • Down Report - Human error takes AWS S3 down in US-EAST-1 - and it is felt - 3.8 Cloud Load Toads - read here
    • Down Report - Sorry you are down, wait we are down, too! (Or: The sad state of HA) - read here

    More on Microsoft:

    • Event Report - Microsoft Connect - No April's Fools - Linux, Google and more  - read here
    • 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.

    0 0

    We had the opportunity to attend SAP Ariba’s Live user conference in Las Vegas, held from March 21st till 23rd 2017, at the Cosmopolitan. The event was well attended with over 3200 attendees, good partner representation and influencer selection.




    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:


    Ariba is on a roll– A few years ago it seemed that Ariba (add an SAP in front of every time you read Ariba going forward) maybe in the state of a being the sleeping beauty of enterprise software. Always there – but not going anywhere. That has changed in the recent year and Ariba now has the momentum to show it: Even for SAP adding 10 of the Top 100 Global Businesses in 12 months is quite a feat – and both a testament to the market position that Ariba has achieved as well as the attractiveness of what Ariba has recently provided and plans offer soon. And suppliers will pay attention when hearing that Ariba has added B300US$ in 2016 in network volume. Similar to e-commerce we can see the networks synergies playing in favor of Ariba.



    SAP Ariba Live Holger Mueller Constellation Research
    Atzberger - Make Procurement Awesome

    Functionality Push– Last year Ariba unveiled the Guided Buying approach, both a simplification on the product side and usability improvement for the UX. The combination has worked well for Ariba and proven popular with customers. Spot Purchases were announced, too and are available now, the upcoming implementation at Latin American trading powerhouse Mercado Libre is a proof point that Ariba has built good functionality. When asking Mercado Libre for the reasons for selecting Ariba, they first mentioned the synergy effects of using SAP already – something that bides well for further sales of Spot Purchases into the SAP install base.





    SAP Ariba Live Holger Mueller Constellation Research
    Ariba 2016 Momentum


    That the combination of UX improvement and simplification is working out for Ariba, is also seen by the plans to bring the same concept to bear on the Supplier side with the Light Account: During the keynote, we saw the demo of onboarding a new supplier in 2 minutes, something as unthinkable as well as un-achievable in today’s business practice.



     
    SAP Ariba Live Holger Mueller Constellation Research
    McDermott & Atzberger Q&A

    Blockchain meets Purchasing– In a sign of times, this was also a conference with a Blockchain announcement, and SAP picked Hyperledger for its first dabs into distributed ledger technology. Certainly, a good choice, though SAP likely will also have to support other blockchain technologies, but Hyperledger is a good start. And few places lend themselves more to the blockchain scenario than purchasing, so it’s good to see SAP innovating.



    MyPOV

    It is remarkable how fast SAP Ariba is moving, especially when one considers (which was not much part of the public talks at the conference) that Ariba is in the midst of a major re-platform endeavor – moving off Oracle and onto SAP HANA. Usually vendors take a noticeable pause while undergoing exercises like these – not so much SAP Ariba. It is good to see the vendor doubling down on things that work, e.g. the UX improvements and the overall process simplifications, while at the same time innovating with blockchain, team productivity software (Microsoft Teams was shown) and speech recognition. Still a tall order – to make a traditionally boring administrative software like Procurement awesome… to get there Ariba has shown the willingness to partner and be an open platform and finally has embraced lofty goals such as diversity, or even more ambitious – the quest of ending modern age slavery, a topic near and dear to the heart of Ariba boss Alex Atzberger.

    On the concern side, Ariba has to deliver a lot while a lot is happening. Never an easy scenario for any vendor, so we will be keeping an eye, especially on the platform side, how Ariba will progress in the next quarters.

    Finally, it was good to see that SAP seems to have found the right length of ‘leash’ for the Ariba subsidiary – not too close to stop innovation, and allowing freedom (e.g. manifested in Ariba using angular.js and not Fiori) but also have leverage (e.g. with HANA). That SAP CEO McDermott said in a Q&A (see a Storify Tweet Story here) that he would be open to e.g. integrate with perennial co-opetitor Oracle, speaks signs of the flexibility and pragmatism that is lived now at the top of both companies, always a good sign for customers.




    More on SAP Ariba
    • Event Report - SAP Ariba Live - Make Procurement Cool Again - read here
    • News Analysis - SAP moves Ariba Spend Visibility to HANA - Interesting first step in a long journey - read here

    More on SAP:
    • Event Report - SAP Capital Markets and S/4HANA Update - Good Plan - Execution matters in 2017 - read here
    • News Analysis -SAP Introduces Jump-Start Enablement Program for SAP Leonardo IoT Portfolio >> Bundling and Simplification matter for IoT - read here
    • Event Report - Event Report - SAP TechEd Barcelona - Analytics, ML, PaaS and HANA 2  - read here
    • 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


    Want to learn more? Checkout the Storify collection below (if it doesn’t show up – check here). Don't miss the Day #2 keynote Storify collection here.






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


    0 0

    So before I get more questions on Oracle possibly buying Accenture and getting back on the road this - week... better to have a blog post out there on the topic...

    First things first - quick thoughts in the video: (if the video doesn’t show up, check here)



    No time to watch - here is the one slide update:
    (if the slide doesn’t show up, check here)



    Definitively, because
    • The Future is Services - We know services are the future - vs. CAPEX style perpetual licenses. Combos of software and human services (aka BPO, more modern BPaaS) have a future, not doubt.
       
    • Accenture can bring cloud load - The idea would be that Accenture can 'persuade' most of its customers to move to Oracle products, and provide the services. Stands and falls with 'client leakage'. But Oracle needs load for its cloud to be competitive.
       
    • The 21st century "IBM" needs services - Ellison wants Oracle to become the IBM of the 21st century - what the IBM of the 20th century had was services. So Accenture is the missing piece.
       
    Never ever, because
    • Product vs Services DNA - These are like fire and water - they need each other but never live well together.
       
    • Accenture dilutes Oracle's margin - It's all about P/E ratio, less E means a smaller P... not good for Oracle shareholders, who may not be happy.

    • Services under pressure - There is a lot of talk about digital disruption - but a function that has been thoroughly disrupted by software - is system integrator services. Gone are the 1000+ FTE projects, a dozen consultants is a large project these days. So why would Oracle acquire a player in a systematically struggling industry - and one that Oracle disrupts itself with its cloud products?

    MyPOV

    I would be very surprised if this merger would happen. It’s unlikely that Oracle / Larry Ellison will make the mistake from the 90ies twice – when the integrated product and services Oracle offering feel short in the market when competing with the SAP (product only) and SI combo (back then the Big 7 in case you remember). Basically, the Big 7 influenced customers to implement… where there would be revenue stream for them.

    On the flip side one could argue that the market is no longer the same as in the 90ies. Customer want all in one shot, and want it as fast as possible, maybe even need their solution as fast as possible to keep operating. But what has not changed is the stock market: Predictable revenues with predictable margins – and that is so much more attractive with (cloud) software than with cloud related services.


    What’s your POV?


    Recent blog posts on Oracle:
    • Progress Report - Oracle HCM Analyst Summit 2017 - Oracle HCM stronger and stronger - read here
    • Event Report - Oracle OpenWorld - the HCM perspective - Almost no news, but wait... - read here.
    • 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

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



    0 0

    This morning SAP surprised us with the news of re-organizing its executive board, largely initiated by the departure of Steve Singh. As often with organizational press releases – you have to read it from the bottom up, but we will follow our customary process of dissecting the press release.



    Here you go – the press release can be found here:

    WALLDORF — SAP SE (NYSE: SAP) today announced newly expanded responsibilities of key executives. Robert Enslin and Bernd Leukert will shift and expand their portfolios as members of the Executive Board of SAP SE. The Supervisory Board of SAP SE has named Adaire Fox-Martin and Jennifer Morgan to the Executive Board.

    MyPOV – Neat summary. Good to see two women coming to the executive board.


    The moves underscore SAP’s commitment to customers’ ongoing digital transformation and its effort to foster top talent.

    MyPOV – Ok – important – but then how do these appointments support digital transformation?


    “I am pleased that executives such as Rob, Bernd, Adaire and Jen are stepping into bigger leadership roles to transform the way we drive innovations with our customers,” said Hasso Plattner, chairman of the Supervisory Board.

    MyPOV – Mandatory chairman of the supervisory board.

    In addition, two new leadership assignments were announced for current EMEA President Franck Cohen and SAP Cloud Platform President Bjoern Goerke. Cohen will become chief commercial officer and Goerke chief technology officer.

    MyPOV – Good to see the next level repercussions, too. I can’t assess Cohen’s impact – but Goerke’s appointment is a good move. A company of the size of SAP needs a CTO, needs the ying and yang between a development leader and a chief technologist… now it’s up to Goerke to show he is up for the job and might become a member of the executive board – some time. Cohen is key to keep the European customers happy from a representation perspective and channels is a key business for enterprise software.

    “We have always considered it a privilege to nurture careers and leaders,” said Bill McDermott, CEO and member of the Executive Board. “SAP is a company focused on innovation, scale and growth. I’m proud of this leadership team and know they are poised to keep SAP on the rise.”

    MyPOV – Good quote by McDermott. The new setup gives more scale (2 sales leaders instead of one) and has more room to streamline product development and services. I asked what it means for e.g. a SuccessFactors customer – and McDermott’s answers was ‘no change’. But I expect over time the matrix line of SuccessFactors product development to get a little stronger towards Leukert than to the SuccessFactors leader, Mike Ettling. My interpretation here.

    The Supervisory Board has asked Enslin, head of Global Customer Operations, to be president of the new Cloud Business Group. He will oversee SAP Ariba, SAP Fieldglass, Concur, SAP SuccessFactors, and SAP Hybris solutions as well as the SMB Solutions Group organization. Leukert, head of Products & Innovation at SAP, will expand his portfolio to accelerate SAP’s platform and digital transformation strategy. Enslin and Leukert will jointly lead key growth businesses at SAP, ensuring that development teams and customer-facing teams are in lockstep with one another from the design thinking and innovation process to customer-facing initiatives.

    MyPOV – Enslin gets an entrepreneurial opportunity and also gets out of the grind and pressure of the global sales role, he has done that well for a long time, in a difficult product life cycle stage of SAP. Leukert will add responsibility on the development side, as a lot of innovation e.g. in platform (see Hybris choosing CloudFoundry 3+ years ago) happens in the acquired company’s products. Good to bring it all together… as mentioned I expect the line to Leukert / his team to become more solid – possibly the only one in 2 years or so from now. And that’s the course of all successful acquisitions over time, SAP has run Ariba, Hybris, SuccessFactors, FieldGlass etc. on a long leash on the product side for a long time.

    With Enslin’s increased focus on cloud businesses at SAP, Fox-Martin and Morgan will ascend to the co-presidency of Global Customer Operations, overseeing all SAP regions and building on their success in the Asia-Pacific-Japan region and North America, respectively. Fox-Martin will oversee EMEA and Greater China. Morgan will oversee the Americas and Asia-Pacific-Japan regions. As chief commercial officer, Cohen will lead SAP’s channel business as well as assume responsibility for all sales processes and go-to-market initiatives across SAP. As CTO, Goerke will advance the company’s technology strategy and serve as a key external spokesperson.

    MyPOV – Good to see two executives in charge of SAP sales, with all the new products and solutions SAP is providing / has provided a good move to have more bandwidth on frankly, a brutal job. One question that was missed to be asked was if Fox-Martin (who is Irish) would move back to Europe. There is a long tradition of managing China directly from Walldorf / Europe – so that makes sense. And Morgan is on ‘McDermott’s track’ as he stated on the call. And of course, good to see SAP adding two women to the board, I hope and expect them to do better than two previous women appointed (and since then left) before. Finally, good to see women leadership in a key, revenue generating function.


    All changes will be effective May 1, 2017.

    MyPOV – No time to lose.

    Steve Singh, president of Business Networks and Applications, will leave SAP SE at the end of this month. Singh collaborated closely with Enslin, and together they transitioned Concur solutions into the SAP product family. Singh built a strong foundation for business networks at SAP and plans to focus on other entrepreneurial interests outside of SAP.

    MyPOV – And here we are to the action of the reactio (in Newton terms) – Singh retiring for a more entrepreneurial role. Frankly, I was surprised that Singh stuck around so long, his brother, Ariba co-founder ‘bolting’ right at acquisition time. Writing was on the wall, eg. with McDermott showing up at SAP Ariba Live, not Singh like last year. He will be missed as an outside SAP voice and influence, he probably holds the record (need to do some math) of hanging around the longest as a founder / CEO of a large acquisition (remember Business Objects, Sybase, SuccessFactors leaders leaving quickly).

    “Steve Singh’s character and entrepreneurial spirit are greatly admired around the world,” McDermott said. “When SAP acquired Concur Technologies, we knew Steve would play a significant role in strengthening the SAP cloud portfolio. We also knew he would eventually go back to his start-up roots. We could not be more grateful for everything Steve has done.”

    MyPOV – Good / nice quote for Singh. Will be interesting what he does next, we wish him a long break to recharge batteries and all the best.


    Overall MyPOV

    Gravity is a powerful force in organizations, and gravity comes back to the ‘mothership’ of SAP in the form strengthening product under Leukert and bringing all acquired ‘cloud’ properties together under Enslin. The ‘board’ structure under which e.g. SuccessFactors and hybris were gone are now making place for traditional (matrix) reporting lines. So, this comes as no surprise, as acquisitions always get somehow ‘reeled in’ to the mothership – timing is the delicate part here. Moving too early ‘brakes’ the acquired company DNA and unique value proposition, doing it too late leaves enterprise with no talent and customers with staling products. I think SAP got the timing right here, e.g. preluding the whole move with adding ‘SAP’ in front of the brands of the acquired parties, in case of doubt even let this run longer than needed separately.

    For customers, it means an easier way to do business. Two sales leaders for one makes it more time with the sales leader, more product under one leader makes sure things fit better together, all acquired products under one leader makes sure synergies are tapped in. The next big organizational piece to watch is how SAP will organize the go to market of S4/HANA beyond the current stage of ‘incubation’ under Leukert. It can’t stay there ‘forever’. A focus on channels is good, as more and more enterprise software will be consumed from marketplaces and partners directly. If SAP does this right – it could mean less friction and faster software purchasing processes. Lastly good to see SAP has a CTO again, an important function for a technology vendor of the size of SAP. So, overall good news for customers, who get more capacity with sales leaders on the top, a more streamlined acquired product experience and more product synergies.

    Finally – putting my career coach / succession planning / board power assessment hat on – it gives plenty of room to grow and prove themselves for all SAP leaders involved – a good setup to determine who will succeed McDermott – in a 5+ year time frame.


    More on SAP:
    • Event Report - SAP Ariba Live - The quest to make Procurement awesome - read here
    • Event Report - SAP Capital Markets and S/4HANA Update - Good Plan - Execution matters in 2017 - read here
    • News Analysis -SAP Introduces Jump-Start Enablement Program for SAP Leonardo IoT Portfolio >> Bundling and Simplification matter for IoT - read here
    • Event Report - Event Report - SAP TechEd Barcelona - Analytics, ML, PaaS and HANA 2  - read here
    • 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.


    0 0

    We had the opportunity to attend SmartRecruiter’s first user conference in San Francisco, held April 10th till `13th at the Grand Hyatt on Stockton. The conference is well attended with over 500 attendees, good partner representation and influencer selection. 

    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:

    Global calls, SmartRecruiters picks up the phone– The war for talent is no longer local, but global and that means for vendors that they have to become more global as talent acquisition professionals need global access to talent. SmartRecruiters has done well here – with offices now in London and Paris, with a new one just opened in Berlin with the recent acquisition of JobSpotting (see more here). And customers are more global, too – e.g. German industrial giant Bosch.



    SmartRecruiter Hire17 Constellation Research Holger Mueller
    SmartRecruiter CEO Ternynck opens

    Mobile rules, SmartRecruiters delivers mass hiring– People are more and more using mobile, so it is important to mobilize more enterprise capability. The new functionality of SmartRecruiters is to allow ad hoc local campaigns, for mass hiring, e.g. campus recruiting. More capabilities will come to the native SmartRecruiters native mobile apps. 

     
    SmartRecruiter Hire17 Constellation Research Holger Mueller
    3 Pillars of Hiring Success per SmartRecruiters

    AI is the trend, SmartRecruiters unveils candidate score – What users always wanted- sift through the sea of applicants and find the best fit is finally becoming real. SmartRecruiters starts with a score, a basic beginning that already provides value, but most importantly is an easy to understand metric that should take the fear from users of using “AI”. More importantly more is coming from SmartRecruiters, with the JobSpotting acquisition. 

     
    SmartRecruiter Hire17 Constellation Research Holger Mueller
    Analysts were allowed to use SmartRecruiters software

     

    MyPOV

    Always good to be part of very first analyst event, here a user conference. Four years after the pivot to enterprise software (from Freemium software, with payment on hiring event), SmartRecruiters has considerable momentum with 700+ paying customers. Global is making a mark both in product and go to market, with offices opened in London, Paris and Berlin.

    On the concern side, SmartRecruiters, even though running at full speed, will have to keep running and maybe running faster. Not only with more AI and more mobile support and more global expansion, but also may have to consider more of a functional footprint. Exciting and good times ahead for SmartRecruiters customers.

    But for now, good progress by SmartRecruiters – always great to be part of a first user conference and first analyst summit.


    More on Recruiting
    • Musings - How Technology Innovation fuels Recruiting and disrupts the Laggards - read here
    • Musings - What is the future of recruiting? Read here
    • Why all the attention to recruiting? 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.