Lead story - Executive movement shakes the enterprise, disrupts holiday weekend tranquility
MyPOV: Enterprise bloggers who thought they could slouch into a holiday weekend were jolted by the cruel necessity for
backchannel scuttlebutt extra shots of espresso as they scrambled to make sense of a flurry of high profile executive movements.
The biggest move came by way of Rob Enslin, who mercifully ended a week of rampant speculation after leaving SAP, to do what many expected: join Thomas Kurian's team at Google Cloud. I've doubted Google's enterprise business chops for years. As Den writes in All change - Rob Enslin joins Google from SAP, Google just earned a fresh look:
Kurian and Enslin are much-respected operators in the enterprise space. Kurian as the past Oracle cloud dev guy and Enslin as the sales lead represent a formidable combination.
Is this a seismic enterprise shift? Howlett:
In a brief exchange with consultant/analyst Frank Scavo I said that this represents one of the biggest leadership shake-ups in enterprise software I’ve seen in a number of years.
Speaking of Scavo, I agree with his point in Google Getting Serious about Enterprise IT:
With the hiring of Kurian and Enslin, will Google also start moving into enterprise applications? Or will it be content to just be a platform provider. Watch for who are the next new hires. That will give us a clue.
Meanwhile, enterprise conspiracy buffs think Enslin's departure is another gloomy domino to fall at SAP. I don't view Enslin's exit as directly tied to SAP's recent restructuring. It does, however, put pressure on Enslin's successor on the cloud business side, Jennifer Morgan.
Now she gets to execute on the Herculean job of uniting SAP's cloud assets into an integrated platform. And: it means Sapphire Now will be particularly high stakes this year.
Speaking of new leadership, that's the case with ServiceMax as well, which capped a drama-filled couple of years with the appointment of a new CEO. Derek provides the context in Exclusive interview with new ServiceMax CEO Neil Barua.
Over to Unit4, which grabbed its share of headlines with the CEO appointment of Mike Ettling. Ettling is the third straight Unit4CEO to be appointed after a stint at SAP. Will the third time be the cloud charm? Den spoke with Ettling and previewed the challenges ahead. Plenty of work ahead for this executive trio. As Terrell Owens said, "Get the popcorn ready."
Diginomica picks - my top stories on diginomica this week
- Europe's magnificent 7 AI ethics principles - a lot of carrot and no stick - Stuart gnaws on this AI ethics offering, and finds it somewhat digestible.
- How to make content marketing work - practical tips for success - Barb talks to a content marketing pro from the SaaS world about those tricky issues that prevent content marketing from delivering on its intoxicating promises.
Vendor analysis, diginomica style. Here's my three top choices from our vendor coverage
- Qualtrics and SAP's new mission as a 'system of action' - exclusive interview - Phil's London exclusive with Qualtrics CEO Ryan Smith and SAP’s Adaire Fox-Martin is about as good a Sapphire Now preview as you'll find. It's always good to sharpen your SAP PR decoder ring ahead of time - get ready for a heavy dose of "XO."
- NICE Interactions '19 review - MoneyGram's call center cloud transformation sets the tone - This show surprised me with its provocative substance, which hit on issues beyond the call center, into the heart of automation, CX, and where we go from here. Also see: NICE Interactions '19 - How MAPFRE is using NICE to change call center performance management.
- IBM’s Q1 FY2019 results demonstrate just how hard a cloud pivot is working out - Den dissects a behemoth struggling with that cloudy transformation thing that is flummoxing a number of big name vendors right now.
A few more vendor picks, without the quips:
- Bill McDermott's outsized SAP valuation ambition - a Rubicon crossed or a bridge too far? - Den
- California's latest gold rush - Google and Intel dig in to tap the AI business market seam - Kurt
- Choose your cloud ERP partner carefully - how two Acumatica customers use partners for advisory, analytics and integration - Jon
Jon's grab bag - I haven't seen the words "fair" and "gig economy" in the same sentence in a while. Cath makes a go of it in Building a fair working environment for the gig economy - a UK/South African idea takes shape.
Finally, Stuart wades through the stormy regulatory waters that separate the EU from the US when it comes to data privacy (EU to the US - you're in the wrong camp when it comes to data regulation and time's running out). Senator Edward Markey wants to change that with a Privacy Bill of Rights that probably wouldn't impress European regulators, but would be more of a regulatory spine than the U.S. has on this now.
Best of the rest
MyPOV: Louis Columbus of IQMS is on the case again, this time with his review of Dresner Advisory Services' annual report on the state of cloud BI. No surprise: cloud BI adoption levels are surging.
- An all-time high 48% of organizations say cloud BI is either “critical” or “very important” to their operations in 2019.
- Marketing & Sales place the greatest importance on cloud BI in 2019.
- Small organizations of 100 employees or less are the most enthusiastic, perennial adopters and supporters of cloud BI.
- The most preferred cloud BI providers are Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure.
Columbus breaks out Dresner's data on cloud BI adoption by industry, company size, and region. The question raised by the data is: why the adoption surge now? Columbus quotes Dresner:
We began tracking and analyzing the cloud BI market dynamic in 2012 when adoption was nascent. Since that time, deployments of public cloud BI applications are increasing, with organizations citing substantial benefits versus traditional on-premises.
Data gravity will eventually compel more large enterprises to adopt cloud BI at scale. For now, it makes sense that smaller companies that lack the IT resources for on-premise BI
headaches bogpits installations are leading the charge.
- Experts: Breach at IT Outsourcing Giant Wipro - Wipro had a rough security week; Krebs on security was all over it. First breaking the news, then with Wipro Intruders Targeted Other Major IT Firms. Krebs quotes multiple anonymous sources who said: "Wipro’s trusted networks and systems were being used to launch cyberattacks against the company’s customers." Yikes.
- Reframing the Digital Transformation conversation in 5 steps - David Terrar riffs on his learnings from Cloud Expo Europe. Looks like the business-drives-technology mindset has finally sunk in a bit. But we still need a narrative. Terrar: "Start thinking about the principles of story telling. Start thinking in terms of the visual tools and communication processes you are going to use get the whole company as well as your partner and supplier ecosystem on board."
- Head in the clouds: week 3 - Adam Mansfield of Upper Edge is surprised by the stats on Workplace by Facebook traction. He's also got some advisory tips for those considering a 365 to Google Cloud move.
- RPA is dead. Long live Integrated Automation Platforms - Phil Fersht of HfS was in on coining the term RPA - Robotics Process Automation. Now he's sick of it, but he won't find RPA (the phrase) easy to kill. Too many marketers aboard the RPA hype train, clutching the handrails for dear life. They won't mind the gap. RPA-done-right has shown value, but Fersht is right: the term is also limiting. Whether this new HfS catchphrase (IAP) will become an industrial meme is another matter.
- Event Report - Google Next 2019 - Google puts more arrows in the cloud quiver - Constellation's Holger Mueller give his take on Google Cloud Next, though keep in mind he wrote this prior to the Enslin news breaking.
- Why does G Suite keep kicking into Microsoft’s goal post? Finally, were you sick of the upbeat reviews stemming from Google Cloud Next, where the
purring soundsanalysis from the tech press were joined by the generally upbeat views from crusty enterprise bloggers? Then you'll enjoy Sameer Patel's spleen vent, where he returns to the collaboration beat to give Google a grilling over lost Google Cloud Suite opportunities.
So People Wearing AirPods Are Making Things Awkward For Everyone Else. Gotta admire this AirPodder's resolve, even if their bedside manner leaves a bit to be desired:
The airpods are staying IN during sex, non negotiable.
Meanwhile, deregulation advocates finally met their match:
License no longer required to blow dry, shampoo or style hair in Arizona https://t.co/Tc2g7P0KrQ
-> deregulation is terrifying :)
— Jon Reed (@jonerp) April 19, 2019
So the Mueller Report finally met its match: copyright bots, attempting to illegally purge a public document from the Internet (at least on Scribd). Doesn't bode so well for European proposals which would enact similar bot filters, does it?
Finally, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey managed the near-impossible: he out-trolled the noisy trolls on his platform with a bizarro fix-it plan:
Jack Dorsey suggests big change for Twitter, and users revolt https://t.co/pLtrdEr04o
"CEO says it would be better if people followed topics, not individuals"
-> Umm, hashtags are topics dude
but sure, go ahead and dismantle your own platform
— Jon Reed (@jonerp) April 19, 2019
Reaction to Dorsey's fierce whimsy was equally fierce:
Dear @twitter, @jack, and @twittersupport,
All I want is to see tweets from all of the people I follow in the order that they tweet them. All of these other things you are doing are dumb. I have a block button, a mute button, and an unfollow button. I can’t take care of myself.
— Allen Covert (@THATAllenCovert) April 16, 2019
@jack we don’t want to interact with “topics of interest” we just want to interact with individuals who are not abusive cretins and/or Nazis
— Katie Mack (@AstroKatie) April 16, 2019
Jeff Nolan replied with Dorsey's only reasonable defense:
give him a break, he is probably fasting today
— Jeff Nolan (@jeffnolan) April 20, 2019
See you next time...