Lead story - Responding to the new abnormal - fresh lessons and use cases
MyPOV: Accuride's Paul Wright is one of the most vocal and forward-thinking CIOs out there. So what happens when a forward sensibility clashes with pandemic circumstance?
Den found out in a podcast chat, How Accuride is responding to global disruption. The push to remote work is one lesson-in-process. Den:
Wright says that creating new processes to handle this situation has been surprisingly straightforward, provided people have internet connections at home since much of Accuride runs on SaaS applications. However, it's not been so easy in those countries where they cannot run SaaS operations such as Russia.
Today's innovation dilemma? Pushing forward when there's not exactly piles of stockpiled cash around. But as Den writes, it's not impossible. Accuride's IT landscape involves multiple vendors, from Plex to Workday to SAP. One current project? Using Workday to develop an opportunity pipeline tracking system. Den quotes Wright:
We're able now to bring in all of the results from Plex and show our performance against our sales forecasting. We've got that at a level where we've got it down to the individual ship. We can build opportunities and then track our performance against them.
Wright raises good questions on SaaS renewals also - and how negotiations may be impacted by changes in licensed usage. Vendors that get on top of this with customer-friendly renewal options will stand in welcome contrast.
Meanwhile, Janine hits on more tips from the HR side in Tips on HR in a pandemic - more to do than just 'keep calm and carry on'. Milne quotes Michelle Davies from Phrasee:
It's necessary to motivate people differently in a crisis like this – it’s no longer about the long-term vision but about the personal touch and checking to see if they’re OK.
I'll add: giving employees on-the-clock opportunities to projects in the fight against Coronavirus.
Diginomica picks - my top stories on diginomica this week
- Planning in a pandemic - the IT strategy updates that CIOs need to make - Brian lays out the CIO agenda, with loads of bullet point tips. Yep, he brought the chipotle again: "Get out of the data center business – If you’re one of those CIOs who measures their career success in terms of sq. ft. of data center managed, you can stop reading now."
- Data analytics — dare we say AIOps? — and automation rescue operations team in times of crisis - Kurt knows he'll tweak me with the dread buzzphrase AIOps. Kurt deftly avoids
hyping buyers into oblivionmy buzzword ire by reframing AIOps as a "feature, not a distinct product category." Whatever you call it, the push for more "intelligent' automation does make sense.
- Broadcaster Soledad O'Brien tells ASUG that the current crisis will be a leveller for women in the workplace - Madeline reviews an online ASUG Women Connect program with a silver lining of sorts - or a new goal to work for.
Vendor analysis, diginomica style. Here's my three top choices from our vendor coverage:
- From 'moral panic' through emotionality in buying decisions to accelerated behavioral change - COVID-19 retail observations from Salesforce Commerce Cloud's Chief Customer Officer - Stuart parses fresh data and retail lessons. Key questions from the Salesforce CCO: "Our customers really had to quickly look at the business to rethink how to run it in real time. Some of the questions we got were, how should I redeploy store resources?; what should I be doing in terms of managing all parts of the website operation?"
- Jim Snabe on how Siemens and Mærsk adjust to the new abnormal - Den shares highlights from a podcast with one of the smartest enterprise thinkers, period. "The fact that Snabe is so adamant that we cannot and will not return to the past is challenging but plausible."
- Okta promises to unlock a ‘password-less’ future with FastPass - So could "password annoyances" really be a thing of the past? That's where Okta is trying to go - with biometrics driving the change. Jess is on the case.
A few more vendor picks, without the quotables:
- XenZone expands its online mental health service for teens and remote workers - Phil
- HPE Aruba puts connectivity to work on Italy’s floating hospital for COVID-19 patients - Jess
- COVID-19 is changing how companies track absence, says E-Days CEO - Phil
Jon's grab bag - Mark Treating patient experience as a priority at Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust - If you
need a break from fighting with your kids for the remote control are sick of your Netflix playlist, slide into Brian's Weekend reading - the best business books to pass the COVID-19 lockdown time.
Jerry delves into a disconcerting story in How Chinese hackers exploited Linux servers undetected for eight years. I continue our virtual events series with another tough-love installment: Don't blame clunky tech for stale webinars - interactive events can overcome bad tooling. ("The webinar will start momentarily. All attendees are in listen-only mode...")
Best of the rest
MyPOV: Lora Cecere shows why she's one of the best enterprise bloggers. Start with her trademark transparency, including her own (successful) battle with COVID-19. But she made good on her down time, writing her way through it. What are the six steps? Let's start with this one:
Step #1. Start With Demand. Get Good at Sensing the Market. A double whammy—economic downturn and the pandemic—are shaping demand. Community spread will drive regional differences as regions move through public health crises. Historically, the supply chain focused on aggregate market sensing with a broad-brushed replenishment. Historic replenishment practices are no longer be sufficient. Replenishment will vary more than ever market-by-market—focus planning models on markets. Throw away the big brush.
You'll have to check her post for the final five steps, but she closes with this:
Just as data and science are the best course to improve public health, they are also the best prescription to drive supply chain effectiveness in these uncertain times. I firmly believe that those wed to historic practices will fail.
That's a theme I keep returning to: when change invokes this type of business disruption, why not follow the rabbit hole all the way down, to whatever new business model awaits?
Other standouts - vendor pricing and negotiation tips for the new abnormal
It was a strong week for vendor management advisory:
- The Two Things Customers Want from Cloud Vendors - Over at UpperEdge, Adam Mansfield puts SaaS vendors through their paces: "Giving customers long-term price protections up front goes a long way."
- COVID-19: What Are the Effects on ERP Software Pricing? - Brian Potts of Third Stage Consulting gives his take on ERP pricing in a downturn. Good point for debate: "Be careful pressuring ERP vendors too hard on implementation services. You ultimately get what you pay for."
- How to Cut or Avoid SAP Costs Amid the Downturn - Yes, UpperEdge speaks SAPanese...
- Contact Tracing COVID-19 Infections via Smartphone Apps - We needed thoughtful analysis like this, after the Apple and Google collaboration fanfare.
- Bad News at Google. Here's How Sundar Pichai Explained It - A blow-by-blow PR analysis.
- How Do Future of Work Companies Perform in a Crisis - Productivity vendors are faring the best in Jason Corsello's quarterly tracking.
It's a three way heat for my fave Corona-headlines of the week:
- Burning Man decides to hold its 2020 edition with a virtual event The Multiverse - Now that's one Zoom meeting I don't want to miss...
- Nudists on Czech beaches Reprimanded for Not Wearing Face Masks - seems fair, eh?
- ‘I Need More Beer!!’: 93-Year-Old Pa. Woman Goes Viral With Message - A familiar refrain
This Guardian I found some lint in my navel "opinion" piece needs a quarantine all its own: Working from home has a troubled history. Coronavirus is exposing its flaws again. I have a longer skewering in mind, but for now, this will have to do:
Kurt Marko surfaced a PR doozy:
Finally, I take back all the cynical things I ever said about AI:
I loved the Zoom goats (Goat 2 Meeting), but "AI Elon" is something else entirely... 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.