Enterprise hits and misses - SageForce, talent (mis)management and Scrummy edition

Jon Reed Profile picture for user jreed May 18, 2015
A cheeky weekly review of which articles hit (or didn't) - on diginomica and beyond - the SageForce, talent (mis)management and Scrummy edition - with a dash of insightful use cases and snarky bits

Cheerful Chubby Man
diginomica hit: Paddy Power CIO: ‘Shipping code four times a day is a huge cultural challenge’ by Derek DuPreez

quotage: "Goulding believes that these principles, which mean shipping code three or four times a day, continuously building new features and integrating development functions within operation teams, results in products that produce greater business value at a lower risk. However, getting 500 people to change the way that they work, at scale, is no small feat."

myPOV: Derek shipped a good 'un with this use case from SplunkLive. The biggest takeaway? Scrum in real life is not as fast as you might think. Using a blend of lean, Kanban and devops, Paddy Power now ships code much faster than six week Scrum intervals, reducing risk along the way. Doesn't sound like easy street to me, but CIO Fin Goulding is on a mission to change the culture of this Irish bookmaker.

Happy children eating apple
diginomica four: my completely subjective "top four" stories on diginomica this week
  • Steel yourselves – the curve is coming - in one of the most imaginative #ensw pieces I've read of late, Martin examines whether the Steel Curve from the steel industry, which has tracked the steel industry over decades, might be relevant to IT. If so, then, as Martin concludes, "for some vendors it will be disaster".
  • SageForce: the end of ERP? Sage's Salesforce announcement led to the requisit "SageForce" quips, but peel back the jokes, and we have a study of ERP in transition, with Sage announcing Sage Life and moving from Microsoft to Salesforce1. It's no small bet - Stuart takes the first crack with SageForce – “the end of ERP”?; Den piles on with SageForce: 12 questions for Sage as it launches Sage Life. My quick hit: no, not the end of ERP, but one more sign that the end of lazy, entitlement ERP that slides under IT scrutiny is over.
  • Bravissimo goes for bust with hyper-convergence - Never heard of the hyper-convergence? If not, you better switch off the omni-channel for a bit. Jessica has the story of how Bravissimo "leapfrogged" virtualization entirely, in favor of a "hyper-converged" storage management infrastructure? Buzzword joking aside, the concept makes sense - buy your server, storage and networking resources in a single box.

Vendor analysis, diginomica style - Good diginomica things came in two this week: a pair of Sapphire Now stories tell the tale of a SAP at a crossroads. Charlie found some evidence in Orlando that SAP has addressed some longstanding TCO issues (Is there more value in SAP S4/HANA than first appears?). Brian sees S/4 HANA and "simple" as a transformational shift, urging customers (and SAP) to sweat the details in Selling SAP’s Run Simple is not the same as achieving it.

Derek has a revealing Splunk update in Splunk is starting to get that it is a business platform, not just a tool for techies (side note: liked Derek's point that delivering high profile customers with good ROI stories for interviews speaks volumes). With the opening of the Maximize conference, Stuart's got a rundown on the changing state of field service in ServiceMax opens up the front on the field service wars.

We've got a double scoop from Box: Kenny posted Open Box: why the cloud collaboration pioneer thinks it’s time to be a platform company, and Phil filed Box wants to be more like Salesforce. Meantime, Derek filed a nifty NetSuite use case, Williams-Sonoma – from Excel Pivot Tables to visual cloud BI, which follows on from a prior two tier ERP case study and shows how Williams-Sonona has now progressed to BI-related projects. Stuart puts a wrap on a customer-centric SuiteWorld in SuiteWorld – the wrap with CMO Fred Studer.

Jon's grab bag: Den got the ol' two-fer-one Friday Roast in. He started off by deconstructing the latest useless job title in Friday roast: Digital Transformation Accelerator (yes, that actually does appear on at least one misbegotten business card). But then LinkedIn did something daft to tick him off, and we get another blast, How LinkedIn is hurting your business. There's plenty wrong with LinkedIn right now, but shutting down group API access is another example of why we should be wary of free services. There's got to be a better way than biting the hand that (sorta) feeds.

Best of the rest

Waiter suggesting a bottle of wine to a customer
Not picking one piece out for special adulation, but here are some standouts:

Microsoft - turning corners with developers and collaboration tools? Redmonk's James Governor comes out of blog hibernation to apply some kudos to Microsoft Build's open approach to developer engagement (Me: if Microsoft had done this years ago, would there be a vibrant Windows app ecosystem today?) Alan Lepofsky was a participant in Microsoft's inaugural Ignite conference in Chicago, where he assessed Microsoft's collaboration strategy, which he thinks may be too cloud-heavy of all things.

Performance management is out, sexy/meaningless job titles are in - Continuing on our deconstruction of corporate job titles, Vijay Vijayasankar has seen some bizarro uses of job titles and their tenuous support of the corporate hierarchy and lived to tell ("I have worked at a company where you cannot walk across a floor without literally running into a VP or SVP.") Sameer Patel is the latest to hammer performance management (or at least call for its disruption), and while I'm not a performance management fanboy, it's fertile ground for the confrontation between management-driven KPIs and the typical worker's desire to be free of workplace drones counting their chits. But is there a middle ground?

Cornerstone goes PaaS, Holger Mueller reacts - Constellation's Holger Mueller burned his share a jet fuel getting us the trenchant insights we require, including an analysis of Cornerstone's user conference, and his patented blow-by-blow review of a related Cornerstone press release announcing the "first PaaS solution for the talent management industry." Not sure if I've mentioned this before, but I WILL be stealing Mueller's press release deconstruction format, it's just a matter of time and place.

Honorable mention

SugarCon 2015: SugarCRM continues its own journey - Everything you ever wanted to know about Sugar (and SugarCon), and maybe a few things you didn't - we even get the food review (no baklava?)
Three Questions from the Cloud Foundry Summit - Cloud Foundry has picked up quick momentum. But how does it fit in with Docker, OpenStack, etc? Apples to oranges? Maybe not - check the piece.
Event Report - Informatica World 2015 - Product Progress and New Approaches - some detail on recent happenings. Want the cliff notes? When I saw Mueller last week, he said Informatica was "getting gooder." Like I said, trenchant. :)
Wanted: Supply Chain Architects! - Misleading post title alert - this piece is actually about the five evolutions in a supply chain. Also did not now that Lora Cecere wore a hard hat for 15 years (no, not while she was at Gartner).
3 Things That Must be Addressed in Your Cloud Agreement to Stay Out of The Security Breach Headlines - Useful focus on contractual headaches nuances.
Progress Report - Acumatica shows good progress on its unique path - True story: this piece was good enough that it forced me to put mine off till tomorrow, or risk a redundant/inferior article.


Overworked businessman
So...Yelp is struggling to grow? Gee, I hope this doesn't darken the future for other lowest-common-denominator user-generated business models that destroy local businesses at will. Oh, and how would you feel if your employer made you run a GPS app 24/7 and cracked jokes about your driving habits? More uplifting stuff for the "future of work" file.

Anyone got a vote on whether this move by the New York Times to post (some) content directly into Facebook is an act of versatility or desperation? Given that their own newsroom is evidently having separation anxiety, I'm going with desperation. Hey guys, it's not the end of the world, just the end of journalism as a business model or profession. And: another win for the new AOL walled gardens. (Here's a good analysis from NY Mag).

Finally, an eyeball-grabbing headline led to disappointment, a shock, I know.  (The CEO of IBM just made a bold prediction about the future of artificial intelligence). A brief deconstruction:

"In the future, every decision that mankind makes is going to be informed by a cognitive system like Watson."  Me: This objective prediction was brought to you by... our own product. Curious: will such systems affect passionate/adrenalin situations like law enforcement or the decision to drive intoxicated because you are angry at your bf/gf? We ignore plenty of data on what's good for us all the time, not sure how Watson can help there? (see: texting and driving). Unless maybe Watson can help Google drive our cars...

"and our lives will be better for it." Yes, IBM's shareholders will be the better for it, but how'z about the rest of us? Some specific examples on how running every life decision by a machine will make things better would be lovely. When a good chunk of adult workers are on the couch because the robots have taken over their jobs, being able to run things by Watson couchside isn't gonna be too comforting. (In fairness to CEO Rometty, I'm sure she has some more nuance on this that could not be incorporated into a lazy and rushed article).

Officially off-topic

On the upbeat side, it seems that we could soon be wearing our comfy jammies to meetings (I Wore Suitsy For A Week—And No One Noticed). Also: this "simple" career advice might go well with that Suitsy (Career Advice: Simplifiers Go Far, Complexifiers Get Stuck).

More good news: if do we wind up on the couch, David Lynch will help us out (he's back on as director for all the new Twin Peaks episodes). Another great way to avoid the permanent couch (and the job-craving robots): figure out how to (literally) ship something - some of the best career advice you will ever see (goal: create/ship things that are unambiguously valuable).

Finally, a word about "Mad Men" (no spoilers). I was impressed that some peeps literally guessed the exact ending of the series finale (yes, some clues/droppings were there, but still).

The show had a terrific run, but I didn't think it stuck the final landing (more clever over-plotting than emotionally powerful). Sticking the landing is the hardest thing to do in television (see: Sopranos, Lost, Breaking Bad, Seinfeld, and the legendary/disastrous St. Elsewhere "snow globe" ending). Hey, maybe that's my long-lost #ensw book/stump speech: "Stick the Landing". Nice - anyone got Gladwell's number?

Which #ensw pieces of merit did I miss? Let us know in the comments.

Most Enterprise hits and misses articles are selected from my curated @jonerpnewsfeed. ìmyPOVî 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, Businessman Choosing Success or Failure Road © Creativa - all from Fotolia.com

Disclosure: SAP, NetSuite and Salesforce are diginomica premier partners as of this writing.

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