Enterprise hits and misses - August 4

Profile picture for user jreed By Jon Reed August 4, 2014
Jon's cheeky weekly review of which enterprise software articles hit (or didn’t) on diginomica & beyond

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

Cheerful Chubby Man
diginomica hit: To transform into a digital enterprise, first reinvent IT by Phil

quotage: 'Remaking business processes at the heart of the enterprise to be digital-native requires a complete overhaul of management practices that many will resist. While it’s true there are plenty of digital-native enterprises in the world today, no one yet knows what a fully digital pharmaceutical giant, global bank or manufacturing conglomerate looks like.'

myPOV: Now and again, Phil returns to the theme of what he calls the 'frictionless enterprise.' This time, Phil takes an angle that is right in his digital wheelhouse: 'Why is IT doing such a terrible job of adapting to the new generation of digital technologies?'

Phil is correct that the half-measures passing as innovation today - such as putting legacy ERP in hosted environments and insisting it's 'cloud' - don't meet the digital standard. What is that standard? Pretty simple really: whatever allows you to seize new opportunities in your industry, without getting your tail kicked while you wallow in technical debt. Phil also explores a possible way forward suggested by McKinsey: a two-speed transformation. Makes sense - though some industries don't have time for anything but one speed or bust.

Happy children eating apple

Diginomica pick: One year on – How is ExactTarget settling into the Salesforce way of life? by Derek

Last week, Derek made a speedy trip to the west coast and back. One of his missions? Get the ExactTarget update and speak to some customers post-acquisition. Derek wasn't able to get a complete answer as to whether Salesforce.com's Marketing Cloud (powered by ExactTarget) would be the next billion dollar Salesforce.com business - blame the quiet period perhaps - but he got plenty of detail on the product evolution - including overcoming integration hurdles.

Customer use cases:

Jessica on The special effect of desktop-as-a-service to the monster makers at Jellyfish Pictures

Vendor coverage: Some notable earnings from enterprise disruptors this week: Den covered Tableau's monster Q2 (earnings up 82 percent) and Rimini Street's blowout Q2. Stuart percolated on the Oracle's acquisition of field service SaaS vendor TOA Technologies and its implications for Oracle's 'frenemies' partnership with Salesforce.com. DSAG, the German speaking SAP Users' Group, put out an important survey on SAP maintenance and support. Den analyzed the results of the SAP support survey in one of this week's standout pieces.

Don’t miss

Best of the rest

Waiter suggesting a bottle of wine to a customer
Welcome to the age of Digital cruelty, where two-thirds of operational jobs are under threat by Phil Fersht

quotage: 'The pressure is really now on for corporate leaders to eradicate that need for labor in the first place to ensure those costs are expunged for good… never to return.  Suddenly, reducing transactional labor has become the accepted norm for enterprises – not some wicked, insensitive capitalist strategy being driven by greedy corporate leaders.'

myPOV: In one of his most creative pieces - even by his freewheeling standards - Phil Fersht of HfS launches into a rant on vanishing transactional labor, which then evolves into a three point plan for digital transformation. I've been debating offshoring for years with colleagues who've held firm that most of the jobs will come back when the cultural barriers to outsourcing yield a poor return.

I never felt outsourcing was threatened by its own limitations, but Fersht takes it further: due to automation and software-driven efficiencies (not to mention robots), those jobs aren't coming back. The only remaining question is: how should individuals and organizations respond? Fersht hits on the latter here, striking a balance between upskilling recommendations and pulling in next-gen services firms when internal talent falls short. That's a longer discussion, but the haves and have nots are not fully decided yet (even digital darling Amazon is facing increased shareholder scrutiny). At some point, debate falls short, and we each get to find out what we're worth in this new marketplace. Yikes.

Other standouts


Overworked businessman
Oh boy. Doozies-a-plenty. On the enterprisey side, I guess I can live with dressing up a move from Wall Street Journal to Oracle as a 'hero's journey' - but it's ok to mention that, by the way, the money is a heck of a lot better on the software vendor side- we won't hold it against you, promise!

Of course, that's nothing compared to these aptly-labelled morons from Comic Con who attacked a car during a 'Zombie Walk.' But they were topped by these pathetic Los Angeles residents who tied up 911 lines when Facebook went down this week. Which in turn has nothing on the NFL, which has bumbled its way through a series of textbook PR malfunctions and come off as pathetically soft against domestic violence.

But the epic farce of the week is reserved for startup Secret. Pando Daily has done a deliciously over-the top dismantling of the startup's massive PR choke job over bullying and teen suicide concerns invoked by its anonymous platform. Pando's Paul Carr has pounding this story, most recently documenting how a teen suicide prevention advocate was blown off by Secret in a quest for dialogue on the dangers of its app when it expands beyond tech circles. Carr's piece includes disturbing iTunes reviews imploring iTunes to take the app down because it's being used for anonymous cyber-bullying.

Pando founder Sarah Lacy raises the nagging question in Investors have to stop trying to justify the lies and libel of Secret, mentioning that a number of Silicon Valley investors are appalled that this company has received $36 million in funding. I'm not close enough to this story to throw the company under the bus. I don't like what I see, but greed and bad ideas are hardly limited to this startup. I also defend anonymity's value on the Internet, though the ugly side of anonymity is concerning enough to force a debate. I do know a PR whiff when I see one. In that regard, Secret is delivering.

Officially off-topic

On a warmer/fuzzier privacy note, LinkedIn has finally done something about its stalking problem. Bigger picture innovation comes by way of NASA's claim that an "Impossible" Space Travel Engine Could Actually Work - even though it violates the laws of Newtonian physics.

Also vaguely encouraging: a potential solution to the bee pollination crisis threatening global agriculture via our (tiny) robot overlords. Oh, and check out these Incredible Pictures Of The Isolated Island Called 'The Most Alien-Looking Place On Earth'.

If you haven't gotten your fill of whiffs yet, copyranter's Biggest Brand Social Media Dipshits of 2014 has you covered, and then some. Me - I'm more concerned to learn that Stephen King's pulp masterpiece 'The Stand' is now (probably) being slotted for one three hour movie. That's a guaranteed DOA. Peter Jackson should have taken that on rather than massaging 'The Hobbit' into three long smells.

Speaking of artistic achievement, I'm glad I stuck with Sundance's Rectify season 2. It's still achingly deliberate, but plotlines are advancing more effectively this time around.  If you want to follow me further down the creative rabbit hole, I wrote most of this week's edition to the hypnotic sway of Warrior Soul's underground art-dirge classic, 'Soft'. 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, Beach vacation © lily - all from Fotolia.com

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