Enterprise hits and misses - 21st September, 2014

Den Howlett Profile picture for user gonzodaddy September 21, 2014
Our weekly and cheeky look at enterprise hits and misses across the media. Den's back in the chair again.

A cheeky weekly review of which articles hit (or didn’t) on diginomica and beyond. Once again, Den sits in for Jon who is taking well deserved downtime. Enjoy.

Cheerful Chubby Man
diginomica hit: We're spoiled for choice this week. The big surprise industry news around Oracle's management changes and SAP's monster acquisition of Concur are obvious candidates but that's far too easy. Instead, I'm picking Janine Milne's HR needs to rage with the machine not against it

quotage: "The danger is that in a solution designed to fit the needs of the HR department and not its audience, employees won’t see the value of putting in the information."

myPOV: This was a popular story and for good reason. I've long felt that HR is too much about internal HR processes and not enough about leveraging the workforce for everyone's benefit. Think Talent Management, Workforce Planning, Workforce Compensation etc etc. The clues are in the titles of the technology areas they address.

That was reinforced to some extent by the somewhat depressing findings of the Workforce 2020 survey that SAP's Mike Ettling riffed. But my eye was taken by the insight offered by Gene Tange who commented in regard to the various comments from Jason Averbook, CEO Appirio:

New content that aligns HR levers to true business outcomes is missing and as a result even new technology innovations are still for HR versus driving business outcomes.

Bingo. Now we're getting to it. But I disagree with Averbrook's contention that technology is the solution and that it has to be mobile first. My sense is that the industry needs to spend time with people to better understand what they want out of systems of engagement. This will be an ongoing debate and one that will figure heavily in my discussions at the upcoming HR Tech conference.

Happy children eating apple
More diginomica keepers: Phil Wainewright's If Noah had built HANA, what would SAP’s cloud strategy be? caused quite a stir among the SAP cognoscenti in an at times acrimonious discussion. It generated a good amount of action on back channels as well but there is no denying Phil's basic premise that SAP's messaging is at best muddled on cloud topics.

Customer stories

Vendor coverage:

Don’t miss:

Dick Hirsch's bleary eyed analysis of SAP's Concur acquisition is one of the best hit and run analyses I've seen in a very long time. Here's a taster from someone who lives and breathes SAP stuff:

As the recent Cloud Deep-dive illustrated, SAP still tends to focus on cloud applications (for example, SimpleFinance based on the HANA Enterprise Cloud) that aren’t SaaS applications.  Concur provides some intriguing possibilities for SAP’s cloud strategy – the question is whether SAP can and will realize this potential and exploit it.

Best of the rest:

Ex-Employees Say Home Depot Left Data Vulnerable by

Waiter suggesting a bottle of wine to a customer
Julie Cresswell and Nicole Perlroth at the New York Times.

quotage: 'Several former Home Depot employees said they were not surprised the company had been hacked. They said that over the years, when they sought new software and training, managers came back with the same response: “We sell hammers.”

myPOV: It's not often we get to break out the bubbly stuff for an NYT piece but it is good to see the Gray Lady doing real investigative work on a topic that is often poorly reported and even more poorly understood. The next question - how pervasive is this slack attitude towards security?

Other standouts:

  • New York Mag questions the burgeoning 1099 (contractor) market developed by Silicon Valley as a way of bringing down costs for many day to day services such as taxis, cleaning and delivery services. It's an intriguing read, rooted in the dialog around the future of work.
  • Wired tries to peek inside the murky world of the so-called Dark Web where drug traffickers Silk Road has been seamlessly replaced by Evolution. What's interesting here is that Evolution has ramped security so that risk of Bitcoin based scams is massively reduced. I'm sure law enforcement will be in to this in a trice.
  • Yahoo! can't get a break from investors according to the WSJ. While it holds a large chunk of Alibaba which debuted on the stock market at an insane premium, investors slashed the value of Yahoo!'s core business in half following the IPO. That's got to suck.
  • Doug Henschen reports that IBM's Watson Analytics will be offered as a freemium service. Hmmm - whoda thunk that IBM would do that?

Overworked businessman

Not quite a whiff but it gave me a good laugh. The story about the saddo in Perth, Australia who was the first person in the world to fork over hard cash at an Apple store for the latest shiny new toy - err iPhone 6 - only to promptly drop it onto concrete and on live TV.  How awesome is that? I was left wondering if he also poo'd his pants but that detail was not confirmed.

I love Robert Scoble - I really do. If nothing else he's a constant source of entertainment but I wonder if he's jumped the proverbial shark with his Facebook announcement that he's going to unfriend people who don't meet his criteria for selection. OK. I get that. But why is he doing this? Scoble reckons Facebook gives him a competitive advantage. OK...Heh Robert - there's this thing called real life. You might want to try it sometimes. :)

Officially off-topic

As I get more immersed in American culture I'm noticing that opposing fans in baseball have no problem taking hits from each other. Last night for example, I watched the Padres beat the Giants in a 9th inning thriller. The Giants were trailing when suddenly they scored a run and had men on base. There was a real chance of a last gasp win.

The guy  next to me - a Giants fan - was going crazy with excitement until the team's final batter struck out. At that point I whooped with delight seeing as I like watching the Padres. He looked over somewhat glumly but with a faint smile on his face and conceded: "Man your guys earned that one." If that had been a soccer match in the UK, the chances of my sitting next to an opposing team's fan are remote and he'd probably have started a fight.

But some things are universal. A bunch of guys I ran into are down from Seattle for the weekend and enjoying the beaches, ball games and beer. Quote of the conversation: "Not a lot of thinking and a whole lot of drinking going on." There's a song in there somewhere.

Speaking of fights, I've been watching the opening games from the NFL on bar TVs. I've come to the conclusion that the technology designed to protect players is making them reckless. As my old buddy Jim Spath said recently - mindless violence. And that's what makes the game so popular. Rollerball anyone?

Talking of Jim - he got married this weekend and a bunch of our mutual buddies tipped up in Baltimore for the occasion. Congratulations to Jim and Heather. Live long and happy lives.

Which #ensw pieces of merit did I miss? Let us know in the comments. 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. 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 - all from Fotolia.com

Disclosure: SAP, Oracle and NetSuite are premier partners at time of writing.

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