Lead story - Cyber Monday rocks the US, the rest of the world - not so much
How would retailers fare, after a surprisingly perky Black Friday? As Stuart reports in Cyber Monday online retail soars - more number crunching from Adobe and Salesforce, it's a globally mixed bag:
The global total came in at $46.2 billion for Cyber Monday, up four percent year-on-year. Individual countries totals varied according to their own economic situations. For example, the UK saw online sales decline by 10% year-on-year on Monday, with order volume down by the same percentage, while Japan reported negative sales growth of -33% and online volume decline of 17%.
Adobe's numbers found that 'Buy now, pay later' was up 85%, yet another sign of the cash-strapped, but still-spending holiday consumer. So what are we to make of this? Yes, online sales are up - but most retailers are compelled into the discount game. Stuart quotes Salesforce's Rob Garf:
After lackluster discounts earlier in the season, retailers stepped up their game throughout Cyber Week, and shoppers answered in kind. Our data shows an incredibly strong correlation between discount rates and digital sales as consumers held out for the biggest and best deals.
Retailers will only going to come out sunny if they have their automation/efficiency act together. Garf continues:
As we enter the home stretch of the Holiday season, retailers must preserve margins by emphasizing automation to balance operational efficiency and customer loyalty. We anticipate that the retailers who lean into store fulfillment, personalize service, and streamline returns will be winners and find more success now.
But as Garf alludes to, it's not just efficiency - it's the balance of cost control and omni-effectiveness. Example: BOPIS (Buy online, pickup in store). Salesforce found: US, retailers with BOPIS capabilities saw online revenue grow by 38% more than those that did not. So it's still an omni-game - but discount pressures raise the stakes even higher.
- Frasers Group heads off Log4j and streamlines acquisitions with endpoint security - protection from zero day vulnerabilities and is now core to IT due diligence - a use case by Gary.
- Kurt Geiger sizes up MuleSoft APIs to deliver a perfect fit for partners - a fresh retail use case from Madeline.
Vendor analysis, diginomica style. Here's my three top choices from our vendor coverage:
- Salesforce delivers solid Q3, but co-CEO Bret Taylor's resignation steals the spotlight - Salesforce keeps the holiday enterprise news cycle interesting, and Stuart's in his wheel house: "Asked whether there would be a direct replacement for Taylor, no commitment was made, with Benioff instead pointing to the wider executive leadership team (ELT) around him." My (quick) take, as I said when I crashed CRM Playaz on LinkedIn: don't get caught up in executive movement drama - Salesforce will be fine and turn in numbers. But: if you're one of those who thought Salesforce needed a replatforming (a classic enterprise debate topic), then Taylor is a huge loss. We shall see...
- Not the end of the world as Workday turns in strong Q3 numbers in a world of caution - Stuart on the case again: "Subscription revenues were up 22.3% year-on-year to $1.43 billion." Why the boost amidst headwinds? Stuart quotes Co-CEO Aneel Bhusri: "There is no question that the macro-environment presents increased uncertainty. But as we've said before, we are well-positioned in this type of environment because our cloud Finance and HR solutions are truly mission-critical." Also see: Phil's review from Workday Rising EMEA: Workday moves towards a more composable platform strategy with Extend.
- Box hits a $1 billion run rate in FY23 Q3, looks to 'the next billion' - Phil: "Despite FX and economic headwinds, Box nails its first quarter-billion quarter on improving margins."
UKISUG - SAP user conference, annual event coverage - Derek was on the ground, filing some noteworthy RISE with SAP stories. I did a big picture piece from across the pond:
- RISE with SAP - one of SAP’s first customers shares its experience - Derek
- RISE with SAP - a change management program for customers and for SAP - Derek
- Sustainability, S/4HANA adoption and low-code - hitting the hot topics with UKISUG, the UK & Ireland SAP user group - Jon
A few more vendor picks, without the quotables:
- Samsara delivers strong growth and its momentum continues in digitizing the world of physical operations - Derek
- Customer-facing, self-service finance? Liberty Security shares their Zoho Finance Platform experience - Jon
- Three signs you need to break up with your ABM program - relationship advice from Drift - Barb
Jon's grab bag - Martin penned Data Fabric - great idea. Now, make it work! - because "data lakes don't cut the mustard." Neil continued his practical takes on applying AI to food scarcity with Can AI change agriculture? Examining the use cases.
Finally, Barb pressed by buttons with Marketing, meet the Metaverse - have fun! Re: "It's not impossible that we could see mass adoption in less than ten years, said Ho (which is about the length of time it took for mobile to become mainstream)." Sure, but the mobile phone is an augmented reality device on easily affordable equipment, whereas the Metaverse is a virtual reality immersion platform on much more expensive equipment, with much more demanding bandwidth and accessories - gear that makes plenty of people dizzy or just downright eager to get outside. Not everything emerges from the trough of disillusionment - or smaller niche audiences. I would tell marketers to fix your first party data shortcomings, and get over your third party cookie practices, before you start playing around with goggles.
The metaverse will change the way we perceive user data https://t.co/ugFrfn8dAh
"Very soon, instead of waiting in long lines or searching through websites, you’ll be doing your Black Friday shopping in the metaverse as a superhero, anime character" etc....
-> wanna bet?
— Jon Reed (@jonerp) November 28, 2022
Best of the enterprise web
My top seven
- FIDO Leads the Way for a Verifiable IoT - Constellation's Steve Wilson takes on the problem of IoT device verification: "The FIDO Alliance has helped to embed a standard cryptographic stack that extends from the cloud all the way out the edge, where computerized devices increasingly come with a built-in basket of security and privacy primitives, for developers to leverage."
- The OneOffice Data Cycle: Data is your strategy, automation your mindset, AI your autonomy - Phil Fersht defines the automation and AI ambition, and why we're falling short.
- Thoma Bravo brush sweeps in new talent for Anaplan leadership - You wouldn't know it from the press releases, but Anaplan, a leading enterprise planning vendor, has basically cleaned house.
- Top of the data heap: First-hand advice on becoming a chief data officer - Data junkie with career aspirations? Joe McKendrick has some pointers for you...
- This Copyright Lawsuit Could Shape the Future of Generative AI - Generative AI is back in the headlines, but can regulation keep up?
- How come GPT can seem so brilliant one minute and so breathtakingly dumb the next? - Speaking of which, Gary Marcus explains the wonders and pitfalls of AI generative text engine GPT-3
- US FDA, Health Canada, and UK MHRA have Jointly Identified 10 Guiding Principles that can Inform the Development of Good Machine Learning Practice (GMLP) - A broad alliance takes on a worthwhile challenge: "Users get quick access to information that is understandable, contextually relevant, and suitable for the target audience" - that should keep data scientists busy for a while...
- Oh, and I didn't see any re:Invent analysis I liked yet - Did you? Let me know for next week. Here's a decent roundup from InfoQ... But I didn't see anything that jolted me.
Gotta love the ethical field of influencer marketing:
Google Strikes $9.4 Million Settlement With FTC For Paying DJs And Influencers To Praise Phones They Never Touched https://t.co/h6vY8ayqtE
-> I mean, it seemed like a great phone, at least from what my well-compensated influencer pals told me, and it was fun cashing checks. lol
— Jon Reed (@jonerp) December 5, 2022
This was odd:
‘NO’: Grad Students Analyze, Hack, and Remove Under-Desk Surveillance Devices Designed to Track Them https://t.co/q3yNGYuuzm
This was at the "Cybersecurity and Privacy Institute" building, which studies surveillance
-> truth is stranger than fiction award, hands down
— Jon Reed (@jonerp) December 3, 2022
And this was a tad scary:
Sirius XM flaw could’ve let hackers remotely unlock and start cars https://t.co/dMPmKIYeJr
-> don't forget "honk the horn," that part wasn't so cool either
— Jon Reed (@jonerp) December 3, 2022
I got into it again with blockchain peeps on Twitter:
I wouldn't say I am celebrating but I'll add it to my proof points for those who insist on glamourizing a particular tool rather than solving a business problem with the most appropriate tech/tool available...
— Jon Reed (@jonerp) November 30, 2022
Meanwhile, another "celebrated" blockchain project got canned: the Australian Exchange project. Accenture's independent review is revealing, citing the compromises made due to technical limitations, including batch processing attempts(!), concurrency and latency problems. And this is the technology that's going to drive the entire web in Web3? C'mon - blockchain has use cases worth exploring but the hype machine needs to take a long turn in the pit. Catch me on video later today on LinkedIn talking more on this...
Oh, and yeah, this is dropping Tuesday:
Will functional silos make a comeback in 2023? Well, you're gonna find out on Tuesday when the annual un-predictions come out on @diginomica. :) @brianssommer and I putting on polishing touches as we speak, no overhyped tech goes unpunished... pic.twitter.com/iKnGYTUj26
— Jon Reed (@jonerp) December 4, 2022
If you find an #ensw piece that qualifies for hits and misses - in a good or bad way - let me know in the comments as Clive (almost) always does. Most Enterprise hits and misses articles are selected from my curated @jonerpnewsfeed.