Enterprise hits and misses - SAP TechEd wraps, and digital trumps outsourcing

Profile picture for user jreed By Jon Reed October 26, 2015
Jon's cheekly weekly review of which articles hit - or didn't - on diginomica and beyond. In this edition: SAP TechEd wraps while Oracle Open World kicks off. Digital governance gets a once-over, and cloud whips outsourcing. Plus: your (grouchy) whiffs.

Cheerful Chubby Man
diginomica hit: Making digital government beautiful, or at least mandatory- pieces by Stuart Lauchlan and Derek DuPreez

quotage: "Whilst some of the content delivered was very engaging, I left the event feeling completely underwhelmed by the ambitions of digital delivery at a local level. Why? I got the distinct impression that a lot of those in attendance don’t really see digital/internet design as a realistic alternative to the cumbersome systems and services that have been built in the past." - Derek

myPOV: Nary a week flutters by at diginomica without at least one quality digital governance piece from Stuart and/or Derek. But they outblogged themselves this week with a gumbo collection of posts from events and breaking news. The above quote comes from Derek's SOCITM 2015 Review – Local government does need a critical mass of revolutionaries. From what I've seen of local digital efforts, I'd agree that resistance is more about cultural change than insufficient tools, but it's a digital reality check nonetheless.

One way of getting around digital resistance is making programs mandatory, a lesson Derek culled from another talk at the SOTITM's annual conference (Denmark has made digital mandatory for government-citizen interactions). One notable aspect: how Denmark managed to require digital submissions but provide for those citizens who are "digitally excluded."

Stuart also takes on the digital resistance topic in Getting the government horse to drink the digital transformation water, where he shares the secrets of overcoming cultural resistance from the likes of Mike Bracken, founder of GDS and now Chief Digital Officer at the Co-operative Group, One hot item: dealing with resistance to data transparency.

And in Making government beautiful through the digital Trojan Horse - another piece from the  CityLab: Urban Solutions to Global Challenges London Summit, Stuart reveals the unlikely key to public sector digital adoption: design. Basically, inject some design beauty into clunky legacy processes. So as not to end on an upbeat/optimistic note, which would seem odd given the muckiness of organizational change, we've got Stuart's latest Safe Harbor update, January 31st 2016 – the deadline to deliver Safe Harbor II…or face the consequences, which puts an end date on a situation that could impact public AND private sector cloud projects.

Happy children eating apple
diginomica picks: SAP TechEd in Review - SAP goes digital, but are developers coming along for the ride? Prior to SAP TechEd Vegas, Den billed this as the most important TechEd in years. Did it live up to the billing? Well, we shot a slew of TechEd videos, including plenty of customer use cases. Between Den, Dick and myself, we wrote plenty and slept less. A few highlights:

Vendor analysis, diginomica style -Oracle Open World kicks off: With SAP TechEd in the books, Oracle OpenWorld is already underway. I'll do a full blowout of our on-the-ground coverage next week, but we can start with this preview from guest contributor Oracle Open World 2015: the prequel. Den's also posted a Larry Ellison keynote review.

In Workday’s Phil Wilmington talks FP&A futures, Phil delves into why combining forecasting, planning and analysis (FP&A) into financials and HCM is a fundamental shift. Phil moves on to data-driven retail in Whole Foods Market teams with Infor to transform retail. Martin looks at Tibco's push to move beyond classic integration in Clouds? Piffle! Tibco aims to help users build whole weather systems, surfacing a terrifying new buzzword - collagration - in the process. Yes, that's an ugly mashup of collaboration and integration coming back to haunt us...

Stuart parses NetSuite's earnings news in European focus for NetSuite pays off with solid numbers. With Safe Harbor turmoil a-brewing, looks like NetSuite's European data center investments are well-timed. And 34 percent earnings growth year-over-year ain't too shabby either. And in CMOs or CIOs, it’s all about education when it comes to marketing in the cloud, says Marketo CEO, Stuart sifts through Marketo earnings while tackling the faux debate of marketing-versus-IT - for control of the IT budget.

Jon's grab bag - A few more picks for the road: Den's got a nifty agriculture API use case in Feeding the world through APIs at aWhere. Janine explains how Nestle is working to reduce staff attrition in Nestlé nestles down to HR analytics. Finally, guest contributor Gail Moody-Byrd explains why digital transformation spans well beyond a web refresh in Digital Transformation: beyond the CMO to a core competency.

Best of the rest

Waiter suggesting a bottle of wine to a customer
The Tide Turns on Big Outsourcing - on cloud, agile, and rebuilding skills - by James Governor

quotage: "Big traditional outsourcing is no longer fit for purpose. It came from the era of IT Doesn’t Matter. It doesn’t map to any of the trends currently driving us forward as an industry – Agile, Design Thinking, Digital Disruption, The Data Economy, The API economy, DevOps, Minimum Viable Product, Continuous Deployment, getting closer to the user, proliferation of infrastructure choices, falling infrastructure costs, open source, the enterprise embrace of technology built by Web companies and so on."

myPOV: Back when most of us thought the web was for creating online brochures, Redmonk's James Governor was blogging up an enterprise storm. He doesn't flex his blogging chops so often these days, but he's still got it when he's in a mood. It's a bit like riding a bike, you see.... Fresh off a worthwhile look at AWS re:Invent, Governor took fellow Redmonker Stephen O'Grady's juxtaposition of Amazon AWS versus Dell/EMC in a different direction in "The Tide Turns."

Railing against outsourcing cost overruns in the UK public sector - ultimately shouldered by weary taxpayers - Governor argues that AWS is part of a shift to IT as a customer value driver. He ties customers from the AWS keynote stage into a surge of agile IT possibilities made possible by the laundry list of disruptions in the quotage above.

Wait - Is Governor pronouncing outsourcing as dead? After all, that would have been in his article title if it was published on one of the page view whoring grabbing tech sites. Nope, as per Governor, but it IS  going to change. And he's skeptical that the bigger firms, even the Accentures who can roll out value engineers whenever marketing snapps their fingers, can make the transition:

Effective services companies for cloud-enabled digital transformation are going to need a completely different set of skills – CMMI Level 5, ITIL, J2EE aren’t going to cut it. They will need to be be design led, cloud native, and help customers to rediscover competencies they have lost over the last couple of decades.

I'm mostly in line with what Governor is serving up here. The only caveat is that the pace of change varies by industry and urgency. I've spoken with fast lane and alow lane customers lately. The slow laners have their reasons, sometimes justified, sometimes not. I see no reason why the IBMs and Accentures can't pull in relevant cloud services and blend them into offshoring/on-site deals, as he grants some of that happens now. That's different than the leap Governor wants us to take, so we'll see.

Other standouts

Constellation gets SAP TechEd clarifications - We got some informative views on SAP TechEd Vegas via the Constellation touring unit of Doug Henschen and Holger Mueller. In SAP TechEd: Inside Cloud For Analytics, Henschen did the near impossible: he nailed down product release dates for the BI, Predictive, and GRC components - to the extent SAP has at least. The semi-ubiquitous Mueller chimed in with his own SAP TechEd review (complete with hotel room video review). Mueller balances concerns with noted progress on S/4 with a substantial release coming (including "logistics").

Honorable mention

Sage Puts Stake in the Cloud with Sage Live  - Last week, I mistakenly said Frank Scavo's cloud-ERP-on-Salesforce series was dead (since corrected). But it's... alive. And I'm told there *might* be one more installment.
Four interesting implications of Walmart's open-source cloud announcement - Kinda fits in with Governor's "beyond outsourcing" theme, no?
Gaining Clarity on Inventory Effectiveness - Kudos for hitting on tensions between operations and finance, and the persistent need for change management.
Can The 21st Century Corporation Operate Without Agile? - Yes, if they are in monopolistic industries. Let me know when Uber does airplanes, dokie? My snarking aside, good piece.
How Open Source Communities Powers Docker and the Container Ecosystem - Get yer free Docker ebooks folks...
Mossberg: The Steve Jobs I Knew Isn’t in This Movie - What did the author expect, that a biopic would be historically accurate and value the facts over hot takes?
Getting Over Taxis - On the proper role of government regulation, and how taxis can fight off Uberization. Gotta love a blogfight...


Overworked businessman
Full disclosure - I've got the grouchy/sleep deprived/post-travel blues, so I'm gonna put on my curmodgeon boots and stomp on other peoples' efforts. If you're in the mood, let's do this. I normally don't get political in this column, but did you see that Tony Blair recently apologized for the Iraq War? Whatever you feel about the conflict, isn't it a wee bit late to call the dogs back? Next time you have to apologize for something, just be glad you aren't apologizing for your role in the rise of the Islamic state.

I hope this is a PR stunt, and HBO's CEO isn't really confused about why ISPs like Comcast won’t embrace HBO Now. Dear Mr. Plepler, does the phrase "monopolistic bundled overpricing" mean anything to you? It certainly does to Comcast. Edging closer to the enterprise, maybe re/code, a site which doesn't allow comments, should refrain from reporting on stories about why other sites don't allow comments? Especially since their official explanation for banning comments is such weak sauce.

Read/write's How Wearables Will Revolutionize The Workplace isn't a bad piece, just one betrayed by the hyperbole of its headline.  I suspect the author, a Salesforce employee, had nothing to do with the headline, which was likely crafted by a page view junkie editor.  I can see modest productivity gains for wearables at best. I can't see how - with industrial exceptions - how wearables will be revolutionize what smart phones have already done. And a mention of wearable security issues would have been nice. Sorry, but discreetly accessing information on a watch versus pulling out your phone isn't a revolution. And I'll still perceive it as rude. Just get your damn phone out and quit stealing sideways glances at your designer watch. (See, I told ya I was grumpy today).

I'm gonna wrap it there while the sun is shining... see you next time.

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. 'myPOV' 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, Loser and Winner © ispstock, King Checkmate © mystock88photo - all from Fotolia.com.

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