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Enterprise hits and misses - retailers struggle, ERP vendors apply upgrade pressure, and COVID-19 brings out the linkbait

Jon Reed Profile picture for user jreed March 9, 2020
This week - Coronavirus linkbaiters and handwaivers get called out, while we look for non-sensational pieces of relevance. ERP vendors get a grilling, big retailers disappoint, Hadoop gets buried, and the whiffs roll on.

Lead story - Is Coronavirus the systemic shock that breaks through business inertia to catalyze multi-dimensional change? By Kurt Marko

MyPOV: Yeah, I figure you're weary of coronamissives. I won't belabor it as much this week - there's plenty of other ground to cover. But amidst the barrage of opportunitistic linkbaity viral-for-viruses non-experts passing themselves off as scientists and surgeons fear-mongering crapola, a thoughtful post by Kurt on where we can take this forward was the proper tonic. Want an upbeat take? How's this from Kurt:

Just as the global financial crisis of 2007-09 weeded out weak companies, over-leveraged borrowers and speculative excesses, today's COVID-19 emergency could lead to stronger, more resilient and efficient organizations, yielding decade-long benefits.

Kurt gives a number of examples of where we can apply this mojo, from supply chain rethinks to upping our virtual collaboration game. Kurt acknowledges the potential seriousness of this, from the virus victims to lost businesses. But:

The crisis can stimulate much positive change by cutting through stifling bureaucracies, eliminating moribund practices and inciting radical changes that entail some short-term pain, but yield long-term gain.

Agreed - IF we can manage a ruthlessly effective, panic-free response to the virus itself, while applying ourselves with equal rigor to a long term business rethink. Those are two big ifs, so let's get on it.

Diginomica picks - my top stories on diginomica this week

International Women's Day coverage - Speaking of responsibility, it's our collective job to make sure these types of days aren't handwaving exercises quickly forgotten, but chances to spark change:

More top picks

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

Zendesk Relate, virtual coverage. Officially, Zendesk Relate was cancelled, but at diginomica, we did the virtual Relate interview push:

A few more vendor picks:

Jon's grab bag - This one from Jerry is more on the creepy side of innovation, but I guess that's the world we live in these days: American schools enter the age of the electronic self-contained automated protective environment (ESCAPE) Finally, Barb looks at the latest tips and stats on the art of writing, including the debate on content length: Content marketing starts with effective business writing - how do you stack up?

Best of the rest

Waiter suggesting a bottle of wine to a customer

Lead story - Stop Talking About “Hadoop” - by Merv Adrian

MyPOV: Some blog posts have the feeling of molten lava, building until that volcano of discontent erupts. I get that sense from Adrian's latest. He's reached his personal Hadoop tipping point.

As Adrian argues, no one wants to pitch databases anymore: 

These days, owning a "platform" is everyone's target – from traditional BI and analytics, Data Integration, DBMS, and Machine Learning vendors, to cloud platform providers. Even the last remaining "Hadoop distributors" (who no longer wish to be called that) talk "platform." All of them substitute some pieces at some of the layers of some core stack.

So, why Hadoop? Adrian says time's up:

All this suggests the name "Hadoop" has outlived its usefulness as a way to identify what we are trying to do with the various technologies in our stack du jour. Perhaps it's simply time to talk about the use case – data lake, machine learning, operational data management, "your favorite here." Acknowledge that it's more descriptive, and more useful to use that as a basis for design, development, integration and operational planning.

Come to think of it, I'm not sure we need to talk about "big data" anymore either. How about matching the use cases up with the requirements for performance instead? Real-time, NoSQL or not, graph database or not, AI or not - isn't it all use case dependent? Yes. Though if we don't want to abuse the word "platform," we should pursue use cases that build on each other.

Top non-sensational coronavirus picks - a curated selection from folks who applied their expertise, instead of waving hands around:

Honorable mention

Overworked businessman


So, a driver pulled over with an expired 1997 license plate told police 'I've been busy'. I know the feeling, bro. Meanwhile, it's stiff competition in my headline-of-the-week contest:

It's Groundhog Day over at Microsoft: Microsoft Issues Windows 10 Update Warning (again, and again, and again...). Windows 10: where being an update laggard truly pays off.

Oh, and things aren't so great for the IBM of telecomm - Struggling AT&T plans “tens of billions” in cost cuts, more layoffs.

A couple weeks ago, Business Insider put out a truly crappy piece of enterprise viral preening skullduggery "analysis" on the Oracle Cloud. I was looking forward to skewering it, but now they've had the nerve to sluff that piece off behind a paywall:

Oracle cloud

Anyhow, if you have access to this clicky crud for some strange reason, you can read it yourself. Basically Business Insider found a few random emails and tried to add it into some kind of narrative that might mean something to someone, somewhere.

That wasn't the only setback this week. Coronavirus concerns took out an event that gutted many: the cancellation of the marmalade festival:


I guess we're all spread a little thin these days... but we can work our way out of this jam yet. 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.

Image credit - Waiter Suggesting Bottle © Minerva Studiom, Overworked Businessman © Bloomua, King Checkmate © mystock88photo - all from

Disclosure - Oracle NetSuite, Workday, Rimini Street, Zendesk and Salesforce are diginomica premier partners as of this writing.

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