Enterprise hits and misses - making sense of the Chinese server sabotage allegations, as silly season rolls on

Jon Reed Profile picture for user jreed October 12, 2018
In this streamlined, “Jon feels the road burn” version of hits and misses, he picks the highlights from the week’s biggest shows, the best of the enterprise web, and, as always – your weekly whiffs. And: an anti-whiff!

Happy children eating apple
Diginomica picks - my top three stories on diginomica this week
  • Google bails on US defense project, cites ethical concerns - Stuart asks: "Is this another example of ethical activism coming into play?" Could be, but the aftertaste is the Pentagon's ill-advised decision to hand the massive gig over to one provider, rather than source the best for each. Good luck with that - IT project history ain't on your side.
  • Purported server sabotage illustrates potential risks of Chinese supply chains - The second of Kurt's two-parter on the dire possibility that the Chinese government inserted malicious chips into motherboards, an allegation that two potentially impacted tech giants, Apple and Amazon, have unequivocally denied. Kurt warns CIOs: "The lesson for IT equipment buyers is to trust no one and invest in independent forms of hardware security, particularly for equipment intended for data centers hosting an organization’s most critical data and applications."
  • ERP - is it all over? Hint - hello New Kingmakers - Den goes ballistic polemical big picture in this important missive. My quick answer - no, it's not all over. But it's the right/urgent question. ERP only survives if the vendors in that space finish morphing into something very different (instead of the half-measures we've mostly seen to date). And, I would add, if ERP isn't micro-vertical oriented, it won't matter for much longer. Lots to ponder - have a hunch Den is just getting started on this one.

Vendor analysis, diginomica style - silly season selections

Derek spent the week at the SAP CX event in Barcelona, where he dug into stories of note:

Keeper quote, via SAP: "It’s our customer’s data, we don’t own it. It’s not ours. And that data should not be a lock-in factor, or a prohibitor of adoption, for products. Our products or any other products out there. And many of our customers now see that data becomes an important area for them to innovate on with machine learning."

Meanwhile, Chris made the Shanghai sojourn, filing these notable Huawei stories:

Pull quote: "Despite the ambitious, end-to-end strategy, AI can only solve some problems, admitted Xu. So far only four percent of enterprises have invested in AI, according to the keynote presentation. And the marketplace for AI talent is only one percent of what’s needed, said Xu.This is where real-world challenges clash with vendors’ future vision."

A couple more eventful picks:

And, the final silly season selections of the week:

Apttus ambition undimmed as new owners pick up CEO search - Phil
Sitecore takes on Adobe with latest release + major DAM acquisition - Barb

Best of the rest

Waiter suggesting a bottle of wine to a customer
My top five picks from the enterprise blogosphere this week:
  • Supply Chain Security is the Whole Enchilada, But Who’s Willing to Pay for It? - Security expert Brian Krebs picks up on the "malicious Chinese chip" allegations spawned by the Bloomberg story. He cautions that our penchant for cheap stuff sets up a clash with the costs of supply chain integrity, with practical tips for concerned companies, e.g. end-to-end encryption and overcoming password flaws.
  • Microsoft-Adobe's amazing partnership: Creating a new category? I'm not as amazeballed by Microsoft and Adobe as Paul Greenberg, but there's no doubting these moves matter - and no one better to analyze them.
  • Five Reasons Why Are We Not Making Progress on Inventory Management - Lora Cecere brings the cold shower to inventory management: "As I drove home, I thought about the audience’s response. The most pain centered on discussion of spreadsheets. Excel is so embedded in supply chain processes that companies struggle to give them up. The other area of heated discussion was on data cleanliness. Planning master data–lead times, cycles, yields–are often inaccurate. Paying attention to planning master data is an opportunity for most."
  • The future of customer service needs a new model of operational excellence - Vala Afshar channels the grouchy counter-intuitive trenchant insights of customer service maven Esteban Kolsky. Kolksy's latest data fleshes out the five "pillars" of customer service greatness. Now all I need is for companies to actually use these in my day to day interactions - instead of sending me another freaking survey. Just wait - they'll be sending "how was our survey?" Surveys soon.
  • RPA is the gateway drug. AI is the drug - Yeah, Phil Fersht of HfS Research has published even better RPA/AI rants than this, but this might be his best headline. Speaking of which, I'm gonna head to the basement of the convention center and score myself some process automation.


Overworked businessman
Always tough to narrow to five whiffs amidst the flotsam and buffoonery, but that's my job this week. Start with this one:

Then, in honor of several Windows whiffs I ran into this week:

Let's not leave out Google Plus' convoluted PR pretzeltwist shut down this week:

As I told Frank Scavo, I only hope I can export all my Google+ circles - maybe into Skype or Yahoo. Analytics buff Jamie Oswald was on the story... making his 2014 tweet look downright predictive:

Err, not anymore dude, not anymore. Then, my A-for-honesty award goes to an unsubscribe attempt, which revealed the name of the list I was on: Media Blast.

Yeah, blast away. We're cleared for liftoff folks - into irrelevance.

Finally, in kind of an anti-whiff, when you're in my line of work, you hear from marketers who hear you're at a show, and you get the "pleeeese stop by our booth" plea moonshot pitch. Well, finally ran into a vendor that got it right: Wiretap.

No moonshots. Just a timely invite to chat with experts on topics we both care about. Convos in the sun. Cold drinks. Subtle result? Yeah. Until that day you realize relationships are everything. And media blasts are nothing.

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.


Image credit - Happy Children © Anna Omelchenko, Waiter Suggesting Bottle © Minerva Studiom, Overworked Businessman © Bloomua, Businessman Choosing Success or Failure Road © Creativa - all from Fotolia.com.

Disclosure - SAP, Oracle, Workday and Salesforce are diginomica premier partners as of this writing.

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