diginomica hit: Dreamforce 2014 coverage by Den, Phil, and Stuart
quotage: 'When you cut past the razzamatazz and theatricality of it all, at the heart of this year’s keynote sit three global brands – GE Capital, Coca Cola and Honeywell – and their use of Salesforce.com’s offerings. This isn’t just smoke and mirrors or bread and circuses. These are ‘grown-up’ companies and this is where it gets serious.' - Stuart
myPOV: An enterprise carnival at scale - albeit with a healthy dash of philanthropia - Dreamforce is not everyone's cup of tea, but it stands as the signature enterprise show of the year. As Stuart notes above (taken from his rollicking keynote review), Dreamforce is not just a cultural event - there are serious cloud ambitions in play - and plenty at stake.
Three diginomicans were on site to do the needful, which Den did in Dreamforce 2014 – the Salesforce Wave that whispered rather than crashed in. Den sees analytics as a "minefield for any vendor" - more on that below. In, Wave's case he has more burning questions than clear answers. He raises issues of pricing, technology, and ISV partners that remain open with the close of Dreamforce '14.
Meantime, Stuart examines the impact of President and Vice Chairman Keith Block at Salesforce in The building Block of a new dynamic at Salesforce.com? Stuart asks: "Is Block Marc Benioff’s Ray Lane?" Time will tell. Closing out our Dreamforce coverage, Phil took the forward view in Benioff on giving back, women and the next 5 years of Salesforce, which includes coverage from Salesforce's closing Q/A with customer and partners. No surprise that platform verbiage ruled the day, with Benioff extolling the advantage of the "customer success platform" that encompasses the product line.diginomica pick: Operational excellence and the human dimension by Den Howlett
myPOV: Den takes up the predictive analytics debate, sparked by a recent Holger Mueller post arguing for the automation of predictive scenarios. Den thinks removing the human dimension is a boneheaded mistake. I'll see these guys in person soon - with any luck, we'll pick it up with a video camera rolling.
- Customer use cases:
- Phil filed a nifty Dreamforce use case, Homeless Link at Dreamforce: a tale of two cities, which tells how Homelink's mobile app helps get more homeless people in London off the street and into beds (note: we need this app in San Fran!).
- Jessica Twentyman wrote about GM's productive adventures in listening in Using social media to drive change at General Motors.
- Janine Milne hits on the challenges of globalizing HR in SmartStream smartens up its global HR.
- I didn't think you could disrupt the sewing machine industry - wrong! Evidence: Den's Dreamforce use case, Sewing as a Service? Check out Merrow and Kenandy.
Vendor coverage: Derek dug into an unusual go-to-market partnership in Coupa and NetSuite form ‘unique’ selling partnership, which includes highlights from a recent chat with NetSuite COO Jim McGeever. Stuart takes on the lovely buzzword of 'servitization' and how ServiceMax is reframing service as a revenue generator in Field service morphs from necessary evil to revenue generator.
VMware held its EMEA version of VMworld in Barcelona - our Martin Banks assesses VMware's hybrid cloud solutions and messaging in VMware CEO says it’s time to get professional about the cloud. Last but not least, a couple of SAP pieces: guest contributor Dick Hirsch busts misconceptions in Understanding the ‘new’ IBM/SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud agreement.
Den added some needed context to DSAG's (the German-speaking SAP User Group) HANA and cloud survey in Analyzing the DSAG survey on SAP Business Suite on HANA, which incidentally sets up an important week for SAP this week in Las Vegas at TechEd - watch this space.
- Derek hits on a key tech story to watch in Are wearable and mobile payments finally gaining some traction?
- Stuart filed an anti-use case in the scorching how-not-to, J Sainsbury’s shows how to destroy customer loyalty with your own loyalty scheme.
Best of the rest“True analytics” versus the “decision gap” - dueling blog posts from Vijay Vijayasankar and Holger Mueller
myPOV: Almost as if they coordinated it, Constellation’s Holger Mueller and MongoDB’s Vijay Vijayasankar both posted analytics rants on October 13. Vijayasankar titled his
It’s about time we set a higher bar for analytics; Mueller went with Musings - What are ‘true’ analytics - a manifesto. They dive in from different angles, but both are wary of the lazy assumption that analytics, by definition, generate value. Oh, and both of them are data visualization curmudgeons, though for different reasons (read their posts for the nuances).
From the shared premise of extracting real value from analytics, their blogging paths diverge. Mueller is arguing for the value of smart predictive solutions, “true analytics” as he puts it, which would automate predictive scenarios - removing humans from the loop entirely in some cases once the predictive scenario is implemented (e.g. fraud prevention).
Vijayasankar’s analytics scenario doesn’t remove humans from the equation, but he IS challenging analytics solutions to prompt users with the right questions - thereby providing better results for companies seeking to “democratize” BI, putting BI in the hands of users who may not be savvy in constructing their own queries.
For my part, I’d like to see Mueller, Vijayasankar and Howlett hit this debate in real time, particularly the role of human BI intervention versus model-driven predictive actions. Maybe we can pull it off.
- Ruminating on the HR Tech show, Brian Sommer vents (needed) spleen on HR departments everywhere in The problem is HR, not HR technology. Sidenote: apologies to Sommer for calling him "Brain Sommer" on my newsfeed tweet for this piece - Freud would have a field day.
- Lots of notable stuff afoot that will impact the future of mobile payments - Larry Dignan is on the case in Apple Pay ready for lift-off and Google 'trying to get it right' and Google's Q3 miss likely to lead to mobile concerns (again).
- Dreamforce galore - way too much to list here beyond what we've already flogged - but, if you want a bit more, Doug Henschen's Salesforce.com Dreamforce Turns Cultural Confab is a good launchpad, with links to his other pieces embedded. Constellation also did a tag team video Dreamforce roundup.
- Kin Lane did a nice job tying the value of APIs into other cloud concepts in Reworking My API 101 Content: Consuming APIs.
- Steve Denning pored over Peter Thiel's book Zero to One, and dished out the lessons in Seven Surprising Keys To Market-Creating Innovation. As Denning notes, whatever market-creating innovation actually means, the point is its the kind of innovation that actually creates jobs, rather than optimizing them out of existence.
Sears Apologizes For Selling Swastika Rings In Online Marketplace. My occasional “massive tool” award goes to these two dudes from Nevada who are squatting on ebola.com for a ransom of $150,000. If they weren’t hampered by a debilitating case of dotcom soul rot, they could have easily made money on this while turning it into a win/win.Whiffs galore baby - starting with Sears and the good ‘ol desperate-misadventures-in-retail PR funfest,
Not a whiff: the article itself, which closes with: “It could not be confirmed at press time whether Schultz and Hood's respective mothers were embarrassed that their sons were opportunistic pieces of human garbage who profit from the fears of others and contribute nothing of value to society.”
U2 gets a belated nod in the whiff column for spamming iTunes users with its (mediocre) new release, and, after the promotion ran its course, offering up an irrelevant, navel-gazing apology. Caveat: the band’s revealing comments about their own lust for attention does illuminate the digital media struggle. If U2 is stressed out about their ability to capture attention - to the point of forcing us to choke down their indulgences - where does that leave the bunny-slippered blogger? Or, for that matter, the mobile startup buried in the bowels of the app store? Fortunately for us enterprisey types, we don’t have to suck the exhaust fumes of the Kardashians to make a dent. Attention is different in B2B, but that’s a topic to be stir-fried later.
For pure comic relief, it's gonna be hard to beat 15 Times Grocery Stores Failed So Hard They Won, which came my way via the backchannel stylings of Den Howlett.
I tend to be a bit of a robotics laggard, but I can't argue with the scientists wanting to use robots to treat Ebola, given that the disease poses so much hazard to caregivers. (Speaking of which, the guts of Ebola caregivers and doctors is phenomenal).
Another story I respected this week was this piece on an autistic boy becoming best pals with Apple's Siri. On a lighter now, how about this English speaking parrot (with a British twang) that went missing for four years and came back speaking only Spanish?
TV riffs - checked out some new fall shows. Your capsule reviews:
- “Gotham” - best of the three, only annoying thing is that only one detective (our hero) actually investigates. The rest of the detectives leap to emotional (and invariably wrong) conclusions to advance the plot at the expense of any semblance of credibility.
- “How to Get Away with A Convoluted Plot”, whoops - I mean “How To Get Away with Murder” - only watch if you enjoy the “millennials got problems” genre.
- "Sleepy Hollow" (now in its second season) - about as suspenseful as an Adam Sandler film festival. OK, Vegas beckons - see you next time.
Which #ensw pieces of merit did I miss? Let us know in the comments.
Image credits: Cheerful Chubby Man © RA Studio, Happy Children © Anna Omelchenko, Waiter Suggesting Bottle © Minerva Studiom, Overworked Businessman © Bloomua, Businessman Choosing Success or Failure Road © Creativa - all from Fotolia.com
Disclosure: Salesforce, NetSuite and SAP are diginomica premier partners as of this writing. Coupa is a partner.