Enterprise hits and misses - executive shakeups jolt the enterprise and cloud BI earns its relevance

Profile picture for user jreed By Jon Reed April 21, 2019
This week - executive movement shakes up the enterprise, but what comes next? Also: cloud BI makes adoption gains, and is the term RPA dead? Your whiffs include Air Pod awkwardness and Twitter's burning ambitions.

Cheerful Chubby Man
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."

Happy children eating apple
Diginomica picks - my top stories on diginomica this week

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

A few more vendor picks, without the quips:

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

Waiter suggesting a bottle of wine to a customer
Lead story - The State Of Cloud Business Intelligence, 2019 by Louis Columbus

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.

Other standouts

  • 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."

Honorable mention

  • 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 sounds analysis 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.


Overworked businessman
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:

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:

Reaction to Dorsey's fierce whimsy was equally fierce:


Jeff Nolan replied with Dorsey's only reasonable defense:

See you next time...

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. 'myPOV' is borrowed with reluctant permission from the ubiquitous Ray Wang.