Enterprise hits & misses - July 21

Jon Reed Profile picture for user jreed July 20, 2014
Jon's cheeky weekly review of which enterprise software articles hit (or didn’t) on diginomica & beyond - for week ending July 20, 2014.

Enterprise hits & misses - a cheeky weekly review of which articles hit (or didn’t) on diginomica and beyond.

Cheerful Chubby Man
diginomica hit: SAP Q2 – the transition continues as profits weaker than expected by Den Howlett

quotage: 'McDermott’s explanation for the fall in services is plausible given the changes in the overall business model but SAP will have to convince that overall subscription revenues are truly accelerating to outstrip the fall in on-premises sales we have consistently seen in the last couple of years.'

myPOV: It's a diginomica tradition by now: SAP issues a mixed bag of earnings news, Den has a come-to-Jesus phone chat with Bill McDermott (I'll let you decide who is Jesus). It's far too early in McDermott's tenure as sole CEO to put this earnings news on him - for good or for bad.

SAP's earnings of late can be spun in a happy or grim direction depending on your agenda. SAP's cloud earnings - while not enough to justify 'we're a cloud company rhetoric' are not small at €1.05 billion, and growing at a fast clip also. SAP is once again in a horserace with itself to transition to cloud before the on-premise revenue stream fades to modest. That day isn't here - yet.  Of course: McDermott likes his chances. Den also took an unsparing look at SAP's SMB history - more on that in a bit.

Happy children eating apple
Diginomica pick: NetSuite ups European and omnichannel ante with Venda ecommerce acquisition by Stuart Lauchlan

myPOV: NetSuite disrupted the summer doldroms with an eCommerce acquisition. Lauchlan had a chat up with NetSuite CEO Zach Nelson and Venda co-founder to get the inside view. For those who wondered how this purchase jives with SuiteCommerce, Nelson put it this way: 'SuiteCommerce is doing incredibly well for us, it’s the fastest growing segment of our business today. But there are opportunities that we can’t address because the customers has SAP or Oracle as their ERP. But they are looking to invest in a new omnichannel front end while keeping their existing ERP investment, so it’s a functional 2-tier deployment.'

Customer use cases:

Vendor coverage: Gobs of news/analysis from vendors big and small for a sleepy summer week - a few of my faves: Derek on Microsoft: From memo to massacre – Nadella announces biggest job cuts in Microsoft’s history, and Derek on Birst: Three months in and Birst’s new CEO is bullish on creating the the next software giant (including a sit down with the CEO).

Stuart has been tracking Marissa Meyer's Yahoo (mis)adventures since our inception, and with her second anniversary coming he had some wit and rancor on her tenure (and recent tepid earnings news - tepid might be too nice a word). Phil filed several stories on interesting cloudy vendors this week, including a roundup analysis of EuroCloud UK award winners.

Finally - our title of the week award goes to Den with his ode to horrifying customer experiences, The gangsta economy trumps the digital economy (in call center hell right now and every word rings true).

Best of the rest

Waiter suggesting a bottle of wine to a customer
SAP's Revamped Strategy for Small and Midsize Businesses by Frank Scavo

quotage: 'In my view, there are two risks in SAP's strategy and they both involve the Business Suite. First, even if "simplified," will midsize businesses find the Suite simple enough? The early signs with SAP's Simple Financials are promising. But is that possible with the rest of the Business Suite? Second, will the experience of the HANA Enterprise Cloud be as friendly as the cloud-only ERP providers, such as NetSuite, Plex, Rootstock, FinancialForce, and others?'

myPOV: In the midst of the earnings news, not sure if SAP expected that its SMB announcements would be picked up by Scavo, and then Den here on diginomica. Well, the whole thing blew up a bit on social channels, including the contested future of ByDesign. Wrangling over the exact future of ByDesign might be good drama but isn't too important in the scheme of things.  Making sense of the SMB market is the bigger issue. Recruiting an ex-NetSuite exec to push the SMB strategy (Dean Mansfield) is reasonable, given the cloud-leaning SMB space. Whether SAP will have the right solutions (and the ability to clearly articulate them) remains to be seen. For now, questions about the Simple Suite, B1 on HANA, 'B1 on HANA and Cloud' etc linger.

Other standouts

Honorable mention: Didn't see an outstanding piece in the public domain on the IBM-Apple fling, err, I mean partnership, but this HBR piece was decent (if this is a marriage - I know who's doing the cooking. Hmm, that didn't come out right). Drowning in Cooperation was a rather extreme (and vague) blog title, but some overfed sacred cows were taken out to pasture in this critique of bloated workplace bromides like 'Corporate values hold the company together' (yuk). Hubspot's 9 Awful Ways We Push Customers Away rings true (e.g 'painful navigation') and one of the best management bloggers, Steve Denning, published a stern take on our economy I need to think further on, The News That Business Doesn't Want to Hear.


Overworked businessman
So will this be the last of the security swashbucklers who publish their own passwords - in this case Twitter - and get a humbling pie in return? A more concerning whiff, for those who believe in a democratic Internet or at least freedom from Comcast/Verizon price gouging in the US, is Congress doing the dumb work of protecting the mediagopolies from municipalities who want to serve up cheap broadband. On the happy front I can root for the municipal broadband movement.

Oh, and Google finally gave up on his ill-conceived PR botchjob otherwise knows as the 'real names required fiasco.' And with that, I can put it off no longer. If Microsoft had just held off on its announcement of 18,000 pending job cuts for a couple more weeks, I wouldn't have to assign a whiff to myself. I still think that CNN Money piece I mocked last week is linkbait, but the fact that rumors of Microsoft layoffs were so clearly based in, well, reality, clearly works against my position. It would have been nice to remain completely right for a bit longer - though that's a pittance compared to the 18,000 on the receiving end.

Officially off-topic

The Internet reminded us: if you track all the times your spouse denies you sex on a spreadsheet, your spouse might also post that spreadsheet on Reddit. A savvier move comes by way of the father of newly-minted British Open champ Rory McIlroy - his dad and some pals wagered ten years ago he'd win the open - now he gets the $171,000 payback, and at a favorable exchange rate.

So this billboard warning San Francisco workers they'll be replaced by iPads if they demand a higher minimum wage is fear tactics at its most deplorable - though the debate it sparked, which includes who funded the billboards and why, might get us somewhere.

I've seen workers who make way more than minimum wage lose their jobs to iPads, or, at least, the software on them. If the robots can do your job, the robots might get your job - regardless of your pay grade. But in the meantime, we can step back from robots-steal-jobs to robots-are-cute, with the debut of this huge eyeball, or, adorable family robot named Jibo, a 'social robot' designed to not to make your toaster strudel, but to make you have more fun while you're making your toaster strudel - oh, and to take pictures of you while you're making the strudel.

And yes, there's a developer kit - looks to me like Jibo could use an app that helps it relate to sarcastic bloggers. That's it for me - I'm off to check out the season 2 debut of Ray Donovan, starring a former classmate of mine. Yes, I knew him when. And let's leave it at that. See you next time.

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

Most of these 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, King Checkmate © mystock88photo - all from Fotolia.com

Disclosure: SAP and Oracle are diginomica partners as of this writing.

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