Enterprise hits and misses - Bosch bets on IoT, HR tech vendors face probing questions

Profile picture for user jreed By Jon Reed September 19, 2016
In this edition: Bosch bets on IoT; Mastercard and GE pursue digital use cases. Also: the probing questions HR tech vendors face this event season. Early Oracle OpenWorld analysis is in, while Salesforce and SAP make noise of their own. Your whiffs include: exploding phones, Wells Fargo stepping in it, and Adblock's ad-friendly tech dystopia.

Cheerful Chubby Man

diginomica hit: How Bosch, Mastercard and GE are upping their IoT and digital games by Derek du Preez and Stuart Lauchlan

quotage: "Ferber explained that since the decision was made, Bosch has released a few home solutions as part of the Internet-of-Things range, and it has introduced a fleet management system for cars. As part of this, the company has had to go through a journey of learning a significant amount, not only about technology, but about its customers.." - Derek, How Bosch is becoming an Internet of Things business

myPOV: Fresh off two London events, including ThingMonk, Derek brought back the use cases we doggedly pursue at diginomica. In the above-quoted Bosch piece, Derek shares his talk with Bosch about their six year IoT journey, and why manufacturing companies have an edge over tech companies when it comes to smart devices. But the journey adding Internet-enabled services to (smarter) products ain't easy - even for huge players like Bosch.

Mastercard's digital pursuits are no less tricky, as Derek reports in MasterCard talks Internet of Things, Blockchain, payment experience and partnerships. Partnerships have been vital to their MasterPass digital wallet. But Derek warns: "That being said there are many other players doing similar things. This is going to be a tough battle."

GE pushes ahead with their own "digital industry" agenda, with new additive manufacturing acquisitions. Stuart's on the case in GE adds new layers to its digital industrial goals with revolutionary 3D manufacturing push. I didn't know GE has invested $1.5 billion in additive manufacturing across industries. Can additive change the manufacturing game, "changing the paradigm between the cost of manufacturing and the complexity of design"? Sounds like GE Aviation is already notching in the win column, so we'll see.

Happy children eating apple
diginomica three: my top three stories on diginomica this week:

Vendor analysis, diginomica style. Here's my three top choices from our vendor coverage:

A couple more vendor picks, without the quips:

Jon's grab bag - Nice to see a dialogue beyond Brexit - albeit without eluding it - in Stuart's UK legislators debate the Fourth Industrial Revolution – tomorrow’s world today with a Brexit background. Derek's got some forward-thinking stuff from ThingMonk in Convincing interfaces – merging digital experiences with the physical world, We're not there yet - the phone touchscreen is still a better interpreter of our behavior than these newfangled interfaces: "When you’re talking natural language, voice interaction and chatting to bots – it’s a whole different ballgame."

Barb tackles interaction from a different angle in Interactive content can break through the noise, and Den rounds out my picks by divulging analysis of his own (104) Uber rides in Is Uber good for drivers? Some primary research findings.

Best of the rest

Waiter suggesting a bottle of wine to a customer
If You Don’t Ask The Right Qs, You Get The Answers You Deserve! - an HR tech event primer by Naomi Bloom

quotage: "'Q: Should we stick to our older on-premise ERP/HRMS and add one or more talent management applications on top?' A: Forget integration if you go down this path as the best you can do is a great job of two-way interfaces. But if you must stay where you are for core HRMS, then by all means figure out how to fill the gaps with interfaced talent management applications. The key to making this work is to really understand the limitations of and maintenance workload associated with these interfaces so that your expectations are in line with the reality delivered."

myPOV: Bloom is right: if you don't go to shows with piercing uncomfortable savvy questions, you're gonna get a slide deck instead of a real answer. In her updated questions guide, geared for the HR tech event season, she has a wee list of 47 questions sure to earn the deep appreciation of the HR vendors she interacts with. But where would we be without pesky questions?

I picked the talent management question because it seems the "cloud HR suite" movement does a disservice to customers that need an immediate fix, usually to address a talent or retention issue. But that fix must still take place in the context of a forward-thinking architectural decision. And if you're into HR architecture, Bloom is your lady - just leave the event bling at home and bring her some "true SaaS," thank you very much.

While we're at it, one big HR tech event is in the books - SAP's SuccessConnect. Bill Kutik published a concise-but-authoritative review, SAP SuccessFactors' Next Act. "But give SAP credit for being the first to try to create what it calls "Business Beyond Bias." - agreed.

Other standouts:

  • SAP launches HANA express, gets a BW/4HANA review - Speaking of SAP, they don't like sharing the spotlight with Oracle, but such is enterprise software life as SAP TechEd Vegas clashes with OpenWorld. Larry Dignan covers the first SAP announcement new of the week, SAP aims to court more HANA developers, launches express edition. Meantime, SAP's prior announcement gets the Holger Mueller treatment in First Take - SAP BW/4HANA - Data Gravity and Cloud win.
  • Doing layoffs the right way - is it even possible? - I'm not sure if there's ever a right way to do layoffs, but there's definitely a reprehensible way. First Round's back with a deep dive into this volatile - topic in How to Lead and Rally a Company Through a Layoff. Have you ever heard of layoff prep like this? “Create a view-only, shared document that, at minimum, outlines budget and projected headcount for each team. I encourage leaders to share the entire budget to avoid different versions throughout the organization,” says Steinberg. “Then bring in the finance leader if there is one — or an external consultant, if not — to explain the budget and budgeting process for non-finance leaders." Transparency doesn't solve everything but it's preferable to being "rightsized".

Honorable mention

Singapore employees blame poor IT support for own performance - overly concise but sharp reminder that inadequate support and training creates self-defeating projects.
Supply Chain 2030: Forge a New Path - I'm still working on 2020. but peering around corners is good: "I believe that we will have no master data managers in the age of Supply Chain 2030 and that the systems will be self-correcting with continual learning." Almost reads like science fiction...
Conversational IoT–’SUP? - A rambling-but-useful review of the state of IoT, from overrated chatbots to underrated conversational services (as in, inserting an Uber ride service into a message thread on dinner plans).
Facebook versus the media - Torn between fanboyism and serious critique but more nuanced than most.


Overworked businessman
So hackers breached a science journalism site, and the best they could do is tweet an embargoed press release? Here's a recent-security-breaches roundup. And now for grimmer whiffs: Legalizing ivory trade won't save elephants, study concludes. I'd love for the tech utopians to explain to me how - after technology has solved any practical need for ivory - we're still driving elephants to extinction. I changed my mind, Vinnie: bring on the robots.

So 2 million fake accounts later, Wells Fargo drops sales quotas for its employees. We all step in doggy-doo, but kinda strange that Wells Fargo walked around in it for so long. You can buy a lot of pooper scoopers for a $185 million fine.

Follow me further into dystopia, as we learn that Adblock Plus finds the end-game of its business model: Selling ads. Adblock Plus figured out that 90 percent of users don't toggle the "don't show me acceptable ads" setting. And in their sneaky shilling smarmy business-savvy world, that amounts to consent. Enjoy your "acceptable" ads. Just not on your exploding Galaxy Note 7 Samsung.

Officially off-topic

A nod to the courage of cancer-fighting Rosalie, a working mother some of you may know. Diginomica donated collectively and individually to her cause;l we just learned she has reached her funding goal, and can now pursue her proposed treatment. Give cancer hell Rosalie...

And speaking of public health, MyDx, a super cool consumer chemical testing company, has now launched its water chemical testing filter, the companion to its prior cannibus tester (no, I have not used either, but I did write about them). And with that, over to you, Clive.

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.

Updates evening of 9/20 with a bunch of little tweaks for your reading ease/enjoyment.

Image credit - 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, Oracle, FinancialForce, Workday and Salesforce are diginomica premier partners as of this writing.