MyPOV: We all have our enterprise bones of contention. One of mine is captured in Martin's latest:
Are vendors undergoing a complementary digital transformation, or are they just happy with the prospect of selling more `stuff’?
When are vendors going to follow the implications of “cloud” down the rabbit hole, to what is really driving change: a different way of working with software vendors entirely? Martin underscores the point:
Digital transformation is an area where user businesses – and the vendors that serve their needs – now need to work in even closer, longer lasting partnership. Yet the vendor side of the equation, and how the transformation process affects them, has tended to be restricted [to technology].
Martin explores how vendor Computacenter is making that shift. It really does come down to better partnerships:
As Computacenter demonstrates here, the ability to be long term partners willing to help, counsel and manage business process delivery rather than just deliver `technology’ is now becoming one of the key skills required.
Yes, talk of "partnership" becomes
happybullpucky brochureware pretty quickly. But I’ve seen it time and again: the right partnership can overcome the inevitable project curve balls. Full stop - customer dependence on anyone partner is always inherently problematic, no matter how battle-tested the relationship. Ergo, two related enterprise trends are worth a close look:
Diginomica picks - my top stories on diginomica this week
- Data brokers and the implications of data sharing - the good, bad and ugly - The term "data sharing" is expanding, but not necessarily in a feel-good way. Neil provides context, and some cautionary tales.
- Brian Sommer's Quarter in Brief - Brian packs more
acerbic questionstrade show shenanigans in a quarter than many of us do in a year. Here he updates us many inquiries. The new buzzwords are always a treat: "A softfake happens when a software vendor uses PowerPoint or slideware to convince a prospect that the software contains some mythical functionality when it doesn’t."
- ASOS can fix its warehouse problems, but can it win back the online trust of customers who've clicked away? - Stuart hones in on another omni-misadventure in retail.
Vendor analysis, diginomica style.
Microsoft got the scrutiny this week, with Kurt looking at the Microsoft Insight partner angle (Microsoft uses symbiotic relationship with partners to bootstrap cloud, AI, collaboration services). Typical partner
"thank you for your leadership" techno-happy talk? No, says Kurt: “The company realizes that its vast army of partners, MSP and certified professionals provide a unique strategic advantage against its two largest competitors.”
Phil hit the collaboration angle in Microsoft Teams vs best-of-breed in the battle of the collaborative canvas In a comment, I argued Teams wouldn’t be in the thick of it unless it was best-of-breed also. Microsoft also factors into Stuart’s DoD cloud update: Amazon or Microsoft set to pick up $10 billion DoD cloud deal after Oracle complaints rejected in court.
More vendor picks:
- SAP Q2 2019 - steady as she goes but questions remain - Den poured himself a
stiff drinkjava for the ages and foraged SAP's latest numbers. As always with SAP, it's complicated: "As might be expected, SAP focused on overall cloud revenue growth of 40% but could not hide the fact that license sales declined 5% year over year to €948 million, attributing this to 'trade related macro' factors impacting its Asia region."
- Under the hood of Staples' build-over-buy CX transformation - a Couchbase microservices story - As the build-versus-buy debate picks up new open source steam, I filed an exclusive that explains how Staples is approaching it - and how technical debt and monolithic apps block customer-facing moves.
A couple more vendor picks, without the quotables:
- How Slack swarming and reacji boost premier support at Zendesk - Phil
- Kronos – what you might not have known - Brian
Jon’s grab bag - Enjoying the viral FaceApp? Well, Stuart’s about to
tinkle in your online punchbowl critique your fun away: “What is it going to take before people understand that that funny free viral app that everyone’s using is collecting personal data that enterprises in a digital economy are slavering to get their hands on.” (FaceApp and data privacy - the joke’s on you). Ah, but he’s not done killjoying: “If you can’t be bothered to read the small print, that’s your problem.” If only Stuart was wrong...
I recently mocked Domino’s horrendously deteriorated online ordering on Twitter, but evidently Domino’s isn’t hung up on my bleatings. As Stuart reports in the The self-driving pizza - coming to your door fresh from Domino’s , Domino’s is gambling that autonomous vehicles go better with anchovies.
Best of the rest
Lead story - summer career rethinks, with AI and startups in mind
MyPOV: As the enterprise news cycle mercifully slows down and beach blankets come out, so does career navel-gazing. Gut checks are good; especially of the hard-won variety. Enterprise software startup ace Dave Kellogg gets it rolling with Career Decisions: What To Look For In a Software Startup. Kellogg’s criteria are not really limited to startups. Take this on culture fit:
Culture runs deep in both people and in companies and when it’s a not a fit, it’s very hard to fake it.
Yep. And this:
My advice here is to go with your gut and if something feels off even when everything else is on, you should listen to it.
That bold emphasis is mine - that little zinger is probably the one we’ve all fallen prey too. Sometimes a great job offer doesn’t pass our internal smell test. Saying no in those cases is everything.
No one does the get off your rump roast and make a change “AI is coming” motivational rant better than Phil Fersht of HfS. He’s in top career fitness instructor form in Want to survive the AI era? YOU have a simple choice to make. After we all do fifty pushups, Fersht exhorts us to apply that same vigor to our skills:
An alarming 37% of enterprise leaders do not feel their current workforce is aligned to their innovation strategy.
That skills gap comes from WEF data. But for those plan to tip their tippy toes into what’s next, Fersht has more pushups for you:
There are no half-measures here, folks - you can’t dip in and out when it comes to driving automation and AI solutions – people are quickly getting found out for having a veneer of understanding. Either you decide to focus on really understanding how to apply these solutions to your business, or decide you can’t be bothered and focus on maintaining the old way of keeping your business’s operations lights on.
Yep, I'm on board. The tougher question is how to attack it: soft skills, tech skills, data/analytics skills? Fersht has some good answers there - including adaptability, problem-solving, and knowing your audience. He's right that AI and automation still need to overcome adoption hurdles, but I subscribe to the notion that we should pro-actively try to automate our jobs in the areas we can. The amount of online resources to push this forward is ridiculous - I've been checking out Qlik's data literacy courses this summer.
- Passwords Are The Weakest Defense In A Zero Trust World - Louis "Zero Trust" Columbus is back, and he's set on undermining our wavering confidence in passwords. Why? Because mobile access of enterprise data is surging, and hackers are salivating. Columbus: "Low-friction identity management approaches improve user experiences while simultaneously enhancing security."
- Fatal Flaws in the Digital Transformation and ERP Software Industry - Eric Kimberling strives for the "bite the hand that feeds you" award with his takedown of digital transformation. But risk awareness is better than flogging buzzwords anyday.
- Oakland follows San Francisco’s lead in banning facial recognition tech - At least everyone's not asleep at the data privacy wheel. Assuming you can sidestep/avoid/flush ZDNet's autoplay video, the piece is worth a look.
- The Absence of Context - Hank Barnes wants us to look closer at the context around the communications we have and the audiences we hope to reach.
- Microsoft has warned 10,000 victims of state-sponsored hacking - 10,000 victims might not seem like much, but consider most of them are enterprise accounts.
- Shopify and the Power of Platforms - Ben Thompson admits he's gone over the top with his aggregation theory, before writing more on his aggregation theory. Still, he nails this one: "Platforms are powerful because they facilitate a relationship between 3rd-party suppliers and end users; Aggregators, on the other hand, intermediate and control it."
It was an absolute doozy of a week for “stranger than fiction” headlines. Here’s just a sampling:
- Green card scam thwarted by ‘best sex ever’ text that arrived as immigration agent was reviewing phone, prosecutors say
- Bishop will take to the skies to exorcise entire Colombian city
- Area 51: Bud Light is offering free beer to any aliens that make it out
My state police seized the day:
Massachusetts police ask residents to refrain from crime until after the heat wave passes https://t.co/ZspIlkF256
-> hey, it's worth an ask.
"Committing a crime in this sort of weather is "next level henchmen status," the department said"
— Jon Reed (@jonerp) July 21, 2019
Via Jonathan Becher, we’ve got this truly epic “words matter” whiff:
A team of people were paid to produce this pic.twitter.com/yE8G5yZWFc
— Christian Borys (@ItsBorys) July 19, 2019
And, I had to give up road trip credentials:
Couple arrested for driving stolen car filled with uranium, a rattlesnake and whiskey: "There's quite a few unanswered questions" https://t.co/6dVias5ayO
-> guess I can't brag about my crazy road trips anymore.... officially handing over bragging rights
— Jon Reed (@jonerp) July 18, 2019
Analyst Josh Greenbaum is threatening to write a country song about this...
Finally, this week’s “We’re high on the fumes of AI, and it feels all right” award goes to DigitalTrends.com for this headline: IBM’s Wimbledon-watching A.I. Is Poised To Revolutionize Sports Broadcasts. What they are describing here is sorta cool, I guess - but if automatically packaging sports highlights qualifies as a revolution, I’m not sure why George Washington bothered to cross the Delaware in the first place.
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.