Enterprise hits & misses – October 21

SUMMARY:

Jon’s cheeky end-of-weekly on which articles hit (or didn’t) on diginomica and beyond – for the week ending October 18, 2013.

A cheeky weekly on which articles hit (or didn’t) on diginomica and beyond.

This is a quick hit ‘Jon on the road’ edition, live from Las Vegas for SAP TechEd.

Cheerful Chubby Mandiginomica hit: TIBCO – more relevant today than ever by Den Howlett

quotage: ‘TIBCO was the original ‘real time’ vendor that for many years was focused on deep integration between disparate applications while enabling high speed data transfer and processing. Today, it is much more with a portfolio of solutions that are relevant for solving 21st century problems.’

myPOV: Toting video cams to shows can be tedious, but one benefit is that you can balance a keynote analysis with several video stories. That’s how Den approached TUCON, TIBCO’s annual shindig, and it brought out the customer views that are one of TIBCO’s strengths (Den wrote up one of the customer videos, Swiss Railways – flying by iPad via TIBCO, for diginomica – the rest you can see on Den’s YouTube channel.)

From an outside view, the three things that stood out for me from TIBCO’s approach are: 1. That cloud doesn’t make the integration problem disappear, contrary to lazy cloud krishna belief. 2. Tibbr may have a shot at redefining social collaboration (6.5 million customers and counting) and 3. customers are far more persuasive than empty ‘big data’ phraseology. The Swiss Railways story is worth a look because it’s a great example of how innovation gets squeezed when you have an inflexible variable – in this case, the inability to add more railroad tracks. The only alternative? Increase network efficiency, to the tune of 7,000 real-time messages and alerts per second, sent out to drivers’ iPads. Have a look.

Bonus: also check out Den’s SAP TechEd preview, gleaned from convos with the key players. Den and I are on the ground here at SAP TechEd Vegas and you can expect updates big and small during the week from here, including Den’s upcoming piece on SAP’s third quarter earnings results and some ByDesign news analysis.

Happy children eating applediginomica pick: EuroCloud, EMEA and PRISM – articles by Stuart Lauchlan and Phil Wainewright

quotage: ‘The potential prize is the creation of a single market for cloud computing that allows European businesses to participate globally in the digital era. But it could all go off the rails in a matter of months.’ – Phil Wainewright

myPOV: Some of our best coverage this week came by way of informed analysis and well, what I might call ‘productive ranting’ about the latest cloud debates in Europe. Spending the week at EuroCloud, Phil wrote a considered piece on the attempts to create a single European cloud market.

Stuart is skeptical, and he laid that out with some ferocity: ‘Start micro-managing, start laying down the law in pursuit of Euro-conformity and the end result will be lack of investment in Europe by US providers who are still the main force in the cloud industry no matter how long and hard vested interests in Brussels gripe about a basic market realities.’  I’m not a fan of faux objectivity; I’m a fan of researching the heck out of something, digging into the communities/conversations around the topic. and coming to a strong position. If you feel the same, you’ll enjoy this coverage.

Best of the rest

Waiter suggesting a bottle of wine to a customer Why customer experience will remain a tough sell by Brian Sommer

quotage: ‘Got an old customer relationship management (CRM) product? Re-brand it CX and watch sales skyrocket! Or, so, that’s what software vendors would like to see happen. Methinks, it will be a tough sell – here’s why.’

myPOV:  ZDNet blogger Brian Sommer of Vital Analysis had a particularly meaty content week with a strong piece on how to Succeed in HR and also this appropriately cynical customer experience (CX) piece informed by his own research. Sommer makes a couple of points that had me punching my fist in my hotel room, a little odd while reading an enterprise piece. On the topic of compulsively adding a ‘listening’ component to existing CRM software, Sommer points out that listening doesn’t work if your most disaffected customers are not communicating with you at all: ‘For example, how many of you get so fed up with a company or product that you just quit buying it. You don’t tweet about it. You don’t blog this. You just avoid ever buying it again.’

Sommer also notes a point that may be obvious but should make CRM marketeers uncomfortable: when you sell CRM in bits and pieces, it’s not possible to offer a total customer experience. Talk all you want about CX, you’re still selling software in disconnect chunks. Think the customers who deal with you won’t notice? Sommer wraps with some sensible tactics that companies should take a note of if they want to finally end the call center blues and reactive under-service.

Other standouts

Whiffs

Overworked businessmanI expect to hear a lot about big data in Las Vegas this week and I’m genuinely interesting in use cases that make sense. Will I hear them? We shall see. To me, ‘little data’ is often more convincing than big data – sometimes we need just one more relevant feed or another way to slice/dice the data we already have, and voila – we have our use case.

But I guess enterprise salespeople can’t get excited about ‘little data’ when they go elephant hunting. Oh and not every big data use case is all that marketing-friendly. After all, isn’t the calculated effort by the airlines to slightly trim seat sizes just another cynical/savvy use of big data to improve razor-thin profit margins? It’s an example none of us look forward to sitting in but six extra seats per flight carries some financial weight – through a small, calculated tweak. Albeit a tweak I am not looking forward to experiencing as a consumer.

Officially off-topic

As an alternative to the indignities of commercial flight and the tightening of the sardine can, we can be heartened to learn that the consumer jetpack goes on sale next year. Science isn’t just being used to squeeze our margins either – it’s being put to use to solve the mystery of the Yeti, which sounds surprisingly plausible.

And if you thought the guy who won 125,000 pounds betting on his then-infant grandson playing for Wales someday was a cool story, get a look at this astonishing story about a man who found the family he lost track of 20 years ago as a five year old lost in the train station – all due to his ingenuity using Google Earth. Seems like the appropriate time for me to lay off Google’s deficiencies for another week. See you next time.

Which #ensw pieces of merit did I miss? Let us know in the comments.

Most of these articles are selected from my curated @jonerpnewsfeed. “myPOV” is borrowed with reluctant permission from the ubiquitous Ray Wang.

Image credits: Cheerful Chubby Man © RA Studio, Happy Children © Anna Omelchenko, Waiter Suggesting Bottle © Minerva Studiom, Overworked Businessman © Bloomua, Loser and Winner © ispstock

– all from Fotolia.com

Disclosure: SAP and Salesforce.com are both premier partners of diginomica as of this writing.