Enterprise hits and misses - August 18

Profile picture for user jreed By Jon Reed August 18, 2014
Summary:
Jon's cheeky weekly review of which enterprise software articles hit (or didn’t) on diginomica & beyond - for the week ending August 17, 2014.

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

Cheerful Chubby Man
diginomica hit: Infor goes after the cloud CRM big boys with Saleslogix acquisition by Derek du Preez

quotage: 'Infor has mostly been considered a pure-ERP company and one that is focused on creating industry specific applications. So today to come out and announce that it is going to go and sell in the broad cloud CRM market alongside Salesforce, Microsoft and the rest will no doubt cause a bit of a stir.'

myPOV: I'm always loath to judge acquisition news because so much comes down to how the acquired company is digested. Derek is right to point out the Saleslogix buy is an apparent departure from Infor's vertical focus - though CEO Charles Phillips believes that vertical customer data will give Info a big advantage in customer analytics.

Prior to the announce, Derek spoke with Infor President Duncan Angove, who said that due to ION's XML-based document constructs, that the integration between Infor ERP and Saleslogix would be complete in 90 days. If so, that would be a triumph-over-hype record for #ensw. While some pundits focused on the validation of the pure cloud model, what stands out to me in this purchase is how 'customer and service centric' business is taking the place of product-centric. Except: there's way more CRM software out there than great customer experiences. We'll see if Infor can change that.

Happy children eating apple
diginomica pick: Microsoft’s pursuit of Big Data privacy law rethink deserves industry support by Stuart Lauchlan

It's rare to see a software vendor step out firmly in the privacy advocacy fray because so many big data business models involve the sale of personalized consumer data. Stuart reports on how Microsoft is going well beyond the likes of Google, Amazon and Facebook when it comes to rethinking privacy with big data in mind. Individuals shouldn't count on software companies to fight for their data protection, but it's refreshing to see when it happens. Granted, Microsoft's self-interest is paramount here given their current legal mudpit over email privacy.

Customer use cases:

Vendor coverage: Stuart filed on Cisco’s 4th restructuring in 4 years as 6000 jobs become ‘reallocated resources’ (not sure I'm done with this one yet, check the 'whiffs' section), and he also reported on Rackspace's concession to Amazon in the pure IaaS space and transition to 'managed cloud' in Rackspace’s uncertain future remains the elephant in the room. Derek applies some nuance to outsourcing earnings in Troubled outsourcers G4S and Serco deliver mixed bag of results.

Don't miss: Den had two standouts this week that tied into vendor coverage: he raised questions about SMB cloud readiness and leaping to easy survey conclusions in Intuit says 37 percent SMBs are fully adapted to cloud – right or wrong? Then he locked down diginomica blog post title of the week with ease in The Friday Roast – Silicon Valley’s despicable wage cartel (not a good look for the vendors cited in this class action lawsuit, whether the case is won or lost).

Best of the rest

Waiter suggesting a bottle of wine to a customer
big data gotchas! by a couple of peeps

quotage: 'In other words, for many, "data lake" roughly equates to "unsupervised digital landfill," as one Fortune 100 IT executive described it.' - Matt Asay, ReadWrite

myPOV: A couple pieces punched holes in big data mythology this week. Neither was outstanding but both raised points to gnaw on. In an opinion piece that didn't live up to its brilliant title, Asay had a social media hit with Oh, Go Jump In A Data Lake, Says Fed-Up Gartner Analyst.

Asay (or his editor) needs to tread carefully here because there isn't any evidence in the release Gartner filed that the analyst in question is 'fed-up.' To justify the 'fed-up' theme, Asay pulled in a (seemingly) unrelated tweet from another Gartner analyst. A bit sloppy - but: Asay's central point about the need for analysts to challenge vendors is fair, and he does a nice job of summarizing the Gartner data lake critique - which is basically that you can't give users broad, useful access to such lakes without turning them into the data warehouses they were supposed to disrupt.

Meanwhile, in When to use Hadoop (and when not to), Info Week's Chris Nerney boils down a recent survey by Paradigm4 that paints some unflattering conclusions about Hadoop's use cases, particularly in the context of real-time. Nerney should have noted that the 100+ survey sample size is small enough to justify caution, but the quotes from data scientists certainly pour the proverbial ice water: 'If I have 30 milliseconds to look up information in a database that has 300 million people, there's no way Hadoop can do it," she says. "It's not the technology for quick access.'  Bottom line? Even imperfect articles can make enterprises smarter if we are discerning.

Other standouts

Whiffs

Overworked businessman
All righty - well, we can begin with Cisco. CEO John Chamber's rationale for reducing 6,000 more employees (the 4th such restructuring in four years) is reasonable enough in a world of tough choices. But can we quit calling this kind of hard transformation 'reallocating resources'? Just stop it. While we're at it, can we officially change the name of the so-called 'sharing economy' to something more accurate also?

How about the 'last resort economy'? Or judging by this New York Times piece, the 'scrambling and scrapping economy' might be a good way to put it - excepting the dotcom paymasters and executives who will cash out on the backs of the scrappers, as pundits spin us into the pleasantries of sharing. But hey it's innovation so...

Officially off-topic

Outside the enterprise, whiffs were pretty grim indeed, from ugly footage of tear gas in Ferguson, to Ebola hell, to the penny-scraping media coverage of Robin Williams. Let's seek our solace in robots, shall we? Somehow, I wasn't reassured by a robot manufacturer taking the 'we won't make killer robots' pledge, but this robot hitching its way across Canada is winning friends the old fashioned way.

More inspiration can be found via this 16-Year-Old Google Science Fair Finalist Wants To Help People With Disabilities Communicate With Their Breath. And then there's 13 year old Mo'on Davis, the 13 year old with the 70 mile an hour fastball, now the first female to pitch a Little League World Series no hitter.

If nothing strikes your fancy, there is always the option to head off the grid, a trend recently documented via Stunning Photos of Europeans Who Have Abandoned Civilization to Live Off the Land. Or, you could do like this imaginative Dad did, and built a wee custom RV to live in as he takes his daughter across North America (h/t Den Howlett).

On TV, I'm desperate enough for fresh content to give AMC's 'Hell on Wheels' season 4 a dice roll (crazy that has become their signature show - how the mighty have fallen). This weekend I was lucky enough to see Jackson Browne solo in Boston with my pal Sue Keohan - no set list, just a piano and a row of 20 guitars and whatever the hell he felt like playing, give or take some audience request pleas. For a taste of what Browne is capable of live, check out this triumphant, countrified 'Amish' version of Take it Easy, a song Browne co-wrote with the Eagles' Glenn Frey a long, long time ago. A good note to ride out your summer on. See you next time.

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, Man © Dudarev Mikhail - all from Fotolia.com

Disclosure: Infor, Oracle, Rimini Street and SAP are diginomica premier partners as of this writing.