Enterprise hits and misses - ServiceNow aims for glory, Apple Watch for relevance

Profile picture for user jreed By Jon Reed April 27, 2015
A cheeky weekly review of which articles hit (or didn't) - on diginomica and beyond - the ServiceNow aims for cloud platform glory/Apple watch aims for enterprise relevance edition.

Cheerful Chubby Man
diginomica hit: ServiceNow grabs for the brass ring - by Derek and Brian

quotage: "And in reality, there isn’t going to be one winning platform in the cloud software industry. There’s going to be a few. However, I believe that ServiceNow has a competitive advantage over the rest, in this space, for one big reason – service management can touch every part of the organisation, without it having to focus too much attention on specialising or making huge acquisitions." - Derek

myPOV: Derek might be the youngest on our core team of crotchety crusty seasoned bloggers, but he's got as good a BS detector as any of us. So when he likes a company as much as ServiceNow, I pay heed. On the ground at ServiceNow's annual user event, Derek reacted to the latest keynotes and nabbed a revealing interview with ServiceNow CEO Frank Slootman.

Derek's view is that ServiceNow has an excellent chance at becoming a dominant cloud platform - if it can get a clear messsage to market about why and how "servitizing" everything is a swell idea. For context, Derek also posted an instructive use case, Maritz is turning its IT department into a sales team with ServiceNow, Diginomica contributor Brian Sommer, who is the proverbial rock-in-shoe for more than a few #ensw vendors, is also bullish on ServiceNow, based on their customer devotion - enough so that he scolds Wall Street in Heh Wall Street, check out the customer love for ServiceNow!.

Happy children eating apple
diginomica three: my completely subjective top three stories on diginomica this week
  • Can you own your community or do the big social networks own it all?  - Den hits on a growing crisis for enterprise communities: let the big networks own the community jewels, or convince users to make your site a destination? (Esteban Kolsky already crashed sparked the comment thread - add your views please.
  • Serve customers better - ditch the spaghetti infrastructure - In Yodel delivers new data warehouse for better service insight, Jessica explains how the UK's second biggest delivery service is revamping its information architecture and data warehouse, in a concerted effort to enhance/smarten customer service.
  • Ericsson ‘YouTubes’ its learning - Employees are in dire need of training resources, and dependence on classroom training isn't cutting it. Janine Milne tells Ericsson's story of building its own "corporate YouTube," delivering employee-created video training in bite size chunks - 3,752 learning videos and counting. Milne also digs for the lessons learned, including the vital issue of platform adoption.

Vendor analysis, diginomica style - A slew of #ensw news as we enter the silly season - kick off with a pair from Den, Marketo can’t catch a break as it beats Q1 2015 expectations but offers soft outlook and Amazon splits out AWS numbers, market goes crazy making wrong assumptions (gist: Den looks behind the numbers at Marketo's enterprise challenges, and doesn't give Amazon a pass for its clever profitability accounting). Continuing on cloudy themes, Stuart's got a digibyte on VMware's financial reckonings (digibyte -VMware’s steady Q1 comes with cloudy caution).

Forget earnings - in my view the most important vendor story of the week hailed from Salesforce and the announced HR direction - yup, Stuart's on the case: Salesforce for HR - turning CRM inwards? (Den added another angle with Adaptive Insights basks in the glow of Salesforce analytics). And: Phil posted a good one on helping CIOs with cloud moves, Cloud Sherpa style. Back to earnings: Den parsed mixed Infosys news (Infosys Q4 2015 disappoints, acquiring Kallidus for $120 million),

Den also reported on some underwhelming SAP HANA adoption news from the UK (but with silver lining SAP can pursue at Sapphire Now and beyond). And yeah, NetSuite's forcing us to keep the coffee coming in the lead up to SuiteWorld. Stuart's on the case with earnings, acquisitions and more (NetSuite pitches ‘omnichannel e-commerce meets marketing automation’ mantra and digibyte – NetSuite beefs up e-commerce push with $200m Bronto buy).

Jon's grab bag - It might qualify as a classic blast of PR self-interest, but I'm still gonna get behind Monster.com's effort to improve (and retain) the talent pool of women in tech (Monster initiative to get more women in tech – can it work?) Author Cath Everett had some excellent stats in this one, and raised the right questions.

Then: a tale of two dotcoms, heading in alarmingly opposite directions. Stuart's got 'em both (Wall Street flinches as Facebook’s expenses soar and Yahoo! goes back to the future in search of search as profits plummet 93%). Finally, Den continues his Captain Ahabian pursuit of accurate, cross-cultural data on millennials (he gets closer, but alas, no Queequeg in The problem with millennials - it's the data stupid) At least he's got a trail of productive blogs to show for his quest.

Best of the rest

Waiter suggesting a bottle of wine to a customer
Putting the Apple Watch through its enterprise paces, by a couple of brave souls

quotage: "The Apple Watch has convinced me that wearables are here to stay. It is a very flawed first generation device, but it has shown me the future. I don’t advise you to buy one if you’re not an early adopter – the Apple Watch 2 will no doubt be an enormous step forward." - John Appleby

myPOV:  If you're surprised I'm pimping the Apple Watch then you're not the only one. But two articles with some enterprise savvy caught my eye. John Appleby did the needful with the early adopter hurdles in The Apple Watch in the Enterprise. The limited ability to control email on the watch would be a dealbreaker for me, but Appleby presses on, courageously welcoming the "you've got mail (of questionable importance)" pings that would drive me nuts.  Appleby also thinks this watch will be as big a deal as the iPhone was, but he's given himself until 2023 to face the music.

But of more interest is his enteprisey take. He reveals that his firm (Bluefin) is already toying with four possible Apple Watch app/data scenarios of the enterprise variety: Workflow approvals, sales leads, timesheets, and real-time analytics. Ahead of curve beats behind on  most days, no? Others have already released apps - Ann All has more on that in Here Comes Enterprise Apps for Apple Watch.

Other standouts

Honorable mention

My Thoughts on the State of Collaboration via CMSwire’s SocBizChat - So many collaboration solutions to track, remind me again of the problem? Joking aside, a good rundown of the present and future outlook.
Four S/4HANA Questions for SAP Customer Chief Rob Enslin - A frank and useful sit-down from ASUG News. Plus: some Sapphire Now bar-raising about the roadmap.
How to Create a DevOps Culture  -  Not a groundbreaking piece but a helpful one nonetheless.
A CFO Success Story: Ken Goldman, CFO of Everbridge - Interview with a CFO who has a fortunate/unfortunate addiction to working for tech companies.
In Weakness, There is Strength-Particularly with Influencers - Particularly liked "Consider exposing weakness" - you don't see that good/unorthodox advice every day.
Market Move - Salesforce (re) enters HCM - will it rypple the market this time? - Informed take on this important story. Here's one sentence pregnant with future issues: "It looks (for now) that this has not rocked the relationships with existing HCM ISVs that are building on the Salesforce1 platform."
Getting to know you - getting to know all about you? - Some good stuff on why companies should do the hard things to ensure they know their customers well enough to deliver. Oh, and actually use the mass amounts of data collected. Bonus: you get to guess whether the piece was written in 2009, or is hot off the presses (I'm betting 2009 with some tweaks, hopefully I win a door prize).


Overworked businessman
So I was going to give this Dad the benefit of the doubt for creating a new meaning of ‘helicopter parenting' by using his drone to walk his daughter to school, until I saw the quote "Let her know that daddy is always watching". Can someone do a kickstarter to pay for her future therapy?

Wired continues its proud tradition of sloppy linkbait headlines with Facebook’s WhatsApp Will Be How the World Makes Phone Calls (halfway through the article, we learn that such a move would alienate many of the carriers Facebook depends upon). "Some carriers may fight the tool..." ya think?

Then there's Time Magazine, which informs us that Google and Facebook Have Already Solved Twitter’s Trolling Problem for It. First issue: Facebook and Google have solved trolling? (In theory, by requiring real names). Just for fun, I did a search on ESPN for the comments on yesterday's Celts-Cavs game (ESPN uses Facebook's "troll-free" commenting system). Without even trying I found two top commenters who posted:


Yes - Facebook has really raised the discourse level. And don't leave Google out - I did a search for Floyd Mayweather on YouTube (big fight coming up this weekend), clicked on the first video and voila, a bunch of obscene comments as per usual, way too filthy for this column.  So yeah, about the trolling solution...

But what really grinds my corned beef: the article's premise is that Twitter can learn from Facebook and Google, when the article itself quotes Twitter management as having clear views on why anonymity matters to them (e.g. civil disobedience in countries with despotic regimes). Look, Twitter has a tough-to-solve trolling problem. But claiming real names as a brute force solution, without rebutting the reasons Twitter provides for anonymity - well, where I grew up, that would get you kicked out of high school debating class.

Ironically, the founder of Twitter is the one who's really figured this trolling thing out, based on the savvy way commenting is used on Medium.

Officially off-topic

So I squandered some desk time this week on looking for Nessie over at Loch Ness, you might want to give it a go too:

More sunny-side up: despite my reservations on the digital divide, I definitely count the death of the Comcast-Time Warner merger as a victory for (activist) consumers. And I hate liking Marc Benioff so much, but he seems to do the right thing an uncanny amount of the time (Salesforce CEO Takes Radical Step To Pay Men And Women Equally)

If you're on the grouchy Monday side, you might prefer Subway Sucks, one of the more decisive take-downs I have read, from the smells to the mealy tomatoes to the keeper line, "If you’re ordering a fish-centric sandwich from a fast-food establishment, you need to think deeply about your life’s trajectory."  (and "Jared sucks too" - lol).

On the self-improvement tip, Seth Godin is doing a pretty clever thing by charging boatloads more for a freelancer course than he could for an e-book (still deciding if I'm going to fork over the 57 bux and skewer it write about it).

That's gonna do it, Game of Thrones and Madmen await...see you next week.

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

Most Enterprise hits and misses 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, Businessman is choosing success or failure road - all from Fotolia.com

Disclosure: SAP, Workday, NetSuite and Salesforce are diginomica premier partners as of this writing.