Enterprise hits and misses - June 24

Jon Reed Profile picture for user jreed June 23, 2013
Jon's cheeky end-of-weekly on which articles hit (or didn’t) on diginomica and beyond - for the week ending June 21, 2013.

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

Cheerful Chubby Man

diginomica hit: Oracle in transition, just like SAP – only different by Dennis Howlett

quotage: 'I on the other hand was not surprised to find that Oracle missed what The Street thought would be the earnings numbers. I was even less surprised to see that the earnings call was dominated by cloud talk. Why? Make no mistake, Oracle is going through a transition and trying to figure out how best to communicate that to investors and customers alike. SAP is in the same boat.'

myPOV: Making sense of earnings announcements is a hair-pulling business. To push through the numbers and marketing babble, tackling from several angles is a good call - you'll also want to check out Kenny's piece on Oracle looks to cloud's silver lining and Stuart's on Larry Ellison: 'I'll reshape the cloud next week.' Dennis' contrast of two self-appointed cloud 'leaders', Oracle and SAP, makes sense here as both companies are aggressively reshaping with cloud business models in mind. Both companies' earnings announcements will tell the tale of that far-from-simple transition.

Most of the Oracle earnings coverage focused on parsing the cloud numbers, but as Dennis points out, there is an equally significant battle shaping up between HANA and 12c, both as databases and, potentially, platforms.  Given how swiftly SAP Board Member Vishal Sikka responded, I'd say, 'game on.' But customers are going to put not-included-in-your-existing-license innovations to a different kind of test - the bottom line.

Happy children eating apple
diginomica pick: Adobe’s race to the billion dollar marketing cloud by Stuart Lauchlan

quotage: 'As for the transition to a cloud-based subscription model, well, there’s good news and there’s bad news in this week’s second quarter financials from the firm. On the positive front, subscriptions have risen from 221,000 three months ago to 700,000 today, bringing subscription revenue to $225 million. On the negative front, that means product sales are down 26% which in turn means revenues down 10% to $1.1billion and profits down from $224 million to $76.5 million. Once again, it’s clear that the road to the cloud is a bumpy one for providers with large legacy installed bases.'

myPOV: I'm not sure many outside the Twitterati notice that Adobe's CEO just proclaimed the goal of becoming a 'billion dollar marketing cloud company' (also a stated goal of Salesforce.com's Marc Benioff). I tend to underestimate Adobe out of pure irritation with the 'Flash experience' (or lack thereof), and I'm not a fan of the subscription-based cloud pricing of their consumer product line for equally childish reasons. But a number of those I trust see Adobe as a company to watch on the CRM/cloud side so keep an eye for Stuart's updates.

Best of the rest

Waiter suggesting a bottle of wine to a customer
It's time to rebrand enterprise IT expertise by Nicole Laskowski

quotage: 'CIOs can stop apologizing for their technology know-how. As business users become more technology-savvy, IT expertise is needed more than ever to ensure business success. That was the message delivered by five CIOs from SAS Institute Inc., EMC Corp., SAP AG, Avaya Inc. and J&J Pharmaceuticals during a panel discussion at the recent MIT Sloan CIO Symposium.'

myPOV: In a provocative two-part review from the MIT Sloan CIO Symposium, senior SearchCIO.com reporter Nicole Laskowski paints a picture of CIOs in transition, sometimes defensive, sometimes forward-thinking. Laskowski's CIO quotes reinforce a common stress point: IT doesn't get nearly enough credit for 'keeping the lights on'. Call it the 'no innovation happens if email is down' principle.

Tough luck for CIOs as there is no credit forthcoming from the business side for reliable secure service. There are some interesting views on shadow IT (don't fight it), and the expected talk about how business is becoming more technical and vice versa. But this jumped out: 'While IT has a unique perspective to offer, the question, raised by SAP's Golz, is how the department can convince the company its perspective belongs at the strategy table.' BINGO! But how does a CIO pull this off? As Laskowski reports,  'He suggested taking the initiative to dream up and then execute on products for the highest level of executives on a very small scale. Not only does this give the department visibility, it also illustrates how IT is thinking proactively.'

Yup - IT thinking like a business. This ties into the Q/A I did with Sina Moatamed on CIO cloud distruptions. If you haven't seen it already, I highly recommend you check out Sina's views on how IT needs to become an Amazon.com-like services storefront for the business.

Cloud, automation to alter offshore outsourcing equation by Larry Dignan

quotage: 'One of the nuggets in the hubbub over IBM's layoffs is a lot of the cuts may happen in locales such as India where strategic outsourcing deals — call centers and data centers — are staffed. Welcome to the new IT world order. Outsourcing used to be in. Now automation and cloud computing may just undo the outsourcing boom of the early 2000s.'

myPOV: The master of the concise piece with punch, Dignan hones in on an under-reported aspect of the IBM layoff stories. I'm not sure I agree that automation and cloud computing will 'undo' the prior boom (that boom was settling down for several reasons, including rising wages in popular offshoring areas, higher demand for certain skills, and cultural/communication problems taking the luster off some types of offshoring), but one thing is for sure: all three trends should continue the odd and unwelcome reports of economic recovery cycles that don't result in job creation, tech or otherwise. If this topic grabs you, be sure to soak in the opinionated stylings of Phil Fersht and Horses for Sources.

Big Data Reboots Real-Time Analysis by Doug Henschen

quotage: 'You hear so much about "real-time" performance, you would think it's a pervasive capability. The fact is, real real-time analytic performance, as in millisecond-latency analysis of data in movement, isn't all that common. That's why the acquisitions of Apama and StreamBase, complex event processing (CEP) technologies purchased last week by SoftwareAG and Tibco, respectively, kind of stood out.'

myPOV: Like Henschen, I also had a man crush on Complex Event Processing (CEP) in 2008. But we got the cold shower of lack-of-adoption, outside of Wall Street and real-time threat detection. In this piece looking at the big picture of recent SoftwareAG and Tibco acquisitions, Henschen makes the case for how the Internet of Things will breath new life into the mainstreaming of CEP. Thoroughly over my CEP crush (remember I'm a recovering tech enthusiast now), I'm going to play the 'wait and see' card while enterprises struggle to make sense of the data they already have, but it's a story to ponder.


from JD-OD.com: While we writeup new show notes from Dennis' UK event excursions, you may want to check out the latest writeups for our SAP Startup Stories with HANA, mobile, and cloud themes. Dennis has posted one new video here in his The secret to Parliament’s avoidance of PRISM writeup.
from the interweb: If digital executive trends interest you, keep an eye on CXO Talk with Vala Afshar and Michael Krigsman. Here's their latest video. If you're up for getting a little SAPpy, Steve Lucas' keynote replay from SAP Insider is worth a check. David Terrar has posted a replay of his Beyond Cloud interview.


Overworked businessman
It's probably too easy to pick on the investor media, but Jim Cramer's loud proclamation that his trust was selling Oracle stock and buying Facebook stock pushed me over the edge.  It may come as a surprise, but I have a long history of bashing those who underestimate Oracle. Cramer holds up SAP as a company that has executed much better than Oracle. I say both companies have a lot of work ahead re-inventing as business moves into a different way of buying and running business applications.

Cramer also has a history of giving cream puff interviews to SAP's Bill McDermott, which raises questions about how well he advocates for individual investors - something that Jon Stewart destroyed him on back in 2009. And don't get me started on recommending Facebook, which has yet to prove it can monetize to the degree investors want without crossing privacy lines. Anytime you use Micron's performance as a reason to dump Oracle, you lack perspective. I'm fine with it - as long as less-informed investors aren't taking Cramer's investo-tainment seriously.

Final swings

Making fun of Google every week is hypocritical given my dependence on gmail and Google Apps, but Bob Warfield's What If You Fired Your 8 Million Most Influential Users? really is a treat. I took that rant in a more practical direction in my Google Reader vs email vs social discovery piece this week (Reader shuts down July 1). Along those same lines, while there were conflicting reports about the total accuracy of the rash of articles on this topic, reading about how Google's infamous mind-bending interview questions are 'a complete waste of time' was good times.

Officially off-topic

I saw the best and worst of humanity drifting off-topic this week. For the worst, a lawsuit documents that Bank of America gave out bonuses for employees that foreclosed on homeowners, even in some cases delaying or allegedly falsifying documents. Meanwhile, Italian beach-goers didn't let a dead body stop them from enjoying their game of Paddelball.

On the more inspiring side, we have a man who renounced the fame and fortune of professional football to become a paratrooper, and five Chinese delivery men who caught a toddler who fell from a 5th floor window (includes video). Slightly more on-topic, cloud-based collaboration is proving to be a real asset for folks teaming up on book authorship. Oh, and if you can handle some profane language, this blooper of a live reporter's tirade is one for the ages. And...pretty soon we probably won't be hassled by control freaks when we are on our iPads during takeoff and landing. Also: one of many lovely James Gandolfini tributes. That's a wrap - enjoy your week.

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, Loser and Winner © ispstock - all from Fotolia.com

Disclosure: SAP and Oracle are premier diginomica partners.

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