Enterprise hits and misses - July 29

Jon Reed Profile picture for user jreed July 28, 2013
Jon's cheeky end-of-weekly on which enterprise software articles hit (or didn’t) on diginomica and beyond - for the week ending July 26, 2013.

A cheeky end-of-weekly on which articles hit (or didn’t) on diginomica and beyond.

This is a quick hit 'Jon on the road' edition, live from Hollywood, Florida.

Cheerful Chubby Man

diginomica hit: The problem with social media marketing – YOU by Dennis Howlett

quotage: 'I maintain that culture eats everything. It’s a topic I come up against time and again in the professional and technical services world. It doesn’t matter how willing a management or its people are to hearing about new approaches to marketing, nothing will kill a project faster than the inherent human unwillingness to embrace real change.'

myPOV: Dennis set it off with this skewering of social business, social media, and social anything for the enterprise. His emphasis on the triumph of culture over social evangelism rings true from where I sit. His recommendation to focus on pilot project wins over mass 'empowerment' is sensible talk for an area where hype has exceeded revenues since inception. However I do think we need more distinctions around the types of social projects. Example: adding collaborative elements to cloudy/mobile processes is generally just smart design, whether you call it 'social' or not.

Adding collaboration to exception handling is radically different than sweeping talk about leveling hierarchies. Social media marketing is a hornet's nest unto itself, which pulls in the piece I wrote grappling with the struggle of B2B social media for lead generation. The persistent value of email marketing has been a bit of a rallying cry on diginomica. Check out Stuart Lauchlan's piece for Lyris on email personalization fails, which links up to a webinar replay Stuart was featured on.


Happy children eating apple
diginomica pick: Steelcase, furnishing the cloud by Phil Wainewright

quotage: 'It’s not just the legacy on-premise technology infrastructure holding back progress; it seems that even the arrangement of furniture in the office conspires to get in the way of successful implementation of digital working.'

myPOV: In this Steelcase customer profile, Phil digs into the cloud forays Steelcase has added to its legacy, err I mean on-premise stack. No surprise that demand from business users is driving cloud application adoption at Steelcase. Phil also points out that redesigning workspaces for better collaboration became a necessity for successful cloud projects, where a more 'iterative' approach to rollout has been used.

Cloud isn't just a marketing tactic, it's driven by genuine customer need. We'll do our best to document trends from a customer perspective versus simply regurgitating buzzword for their own sake. In the next room, I just heard an analyst refer to a 'nexus of forces' to describe cloud/mobile/big data impact. We do our best to banish such junk phrases on diginomica to our version of tech jive Siberia. Also check out Stuart Lauchlan's latest, The US, the EU and the outbreak of cloud war.

Best of the rest

Waiter suggesting a bottle of wine to a customer
Oracle Openworld: What to Expect by Chris Kanaracus

quotage: 'The OpenWorld 2013 content catalog recently went live, and while Oracle is keeping a lid on specific news announcements slated for OpenWorld, a careful combing-through of the show's hundreds of planned sessions can produce some good guesses about what will be on offer. Here's a look.'

myPOV: I was initially skeptical of why it was worth bothering with an Oracle Openworld preview two months away. But intrepid reporter Chris Kanaracus is always puling out nugget. In this case he has raided the publication of Oracle's planned sessions and deduced several key themes: database innovations (in-memory and multi-tenancy), PaaS, and the latest on Fusion's protracted (but persistent) evolution. Reading between the lines, the strategy is not dissimilar to SAP's - a combination of cloudy enhancements (the least disruptive the better) and big ticket database and suite migrations for those who are persuaded to open wallets. 

Other recommendations: If you want to delve into the guts of SAP-SuccessFactors add-on integration, Luke Marson's  Integration Q&A: Real-World Impressions on SAP and SuccessFactors Integration Add-On’s might be the best piece of the week. Several folks weighed in on the OpenStack 'birthday' announcement and its implications - I liked Holger Mu's the best. Doug Henschen delved into IBM breathing new life into the mainframe, Lori Cecere continued her strong run of SCM posts, and this post from the Database Journal on big data DBAs had useful specifics.


Overworked businessman
I've enjoyed Jeremiah Owyang's series on the collaborative economy, but he lost me with the title of his latest, How AirBnb and Uber could be the next eBay and Amazon. It's not just the AirBnb horror stories that crop up (how does bring-your-own-meth pipe sound?), it's the uncritical startup hype, diminishing the difficulty of executing to the point eBay and especially Amazon have reached. To be fair, the trends driving Owyang's analysis (hyperlocal, mobile, on-demand services) are worth paying attention to.

But I'll read the post either way, I don't need the teaser of a ridiculous statement like 'if they continue their growth path, Airbnb is the next eBay, and Uber is the next Amazon.' eBay I'm not sure about, but I'm pretty certain that Amazon's ambitious cloud forays and localized retail services are more disruptive to startups than startups are to Amazon. This is similar to saying, 'SAP HANA is going to massively disrupt Oracle,' without taking account that Oracle is not going to sit around and be disrupted without aggressively responding. The collaborative economy sounds great, right now I see more collaboration and not so much economy.Plus, Amazon gets to move ahead with its business model without having to fight hotels to become legal in certain states, so there is that.

Officially off-topic

Got a kick out of SAP Chairman blogging on saphana.com and being identified in his bio as a 'newbie.' Maybe it's the sports fan in me, but I enjoy RedMonk's periodic programming language rankings. The best off-topic post I read this week was the surly and authoritative 20 Things 20 Year Olds Don't Get, which has the nerve to dismiss social media and revisit the unsung merits of things like hard work - oh, and the telephone, you know, that thing we create drama on Facebook with. It's rare to see 'you should be getting your butt kicked' in a career advice piece - works for me. Mark Suster's autobiographical If You Don't Define Your Personal Brand, the Market Will works as a companion piece.

I learned that there is a such thing as infauxgraphics this week (really bad infographics), though I continue to wonder if there is such a thing as a good infographic. Deadspin's A Year of Sportscenter is a nifty example of data gathering and display (how did they create that moving graphic - I need that tool). As for best blog title of the week? I'm giving that nod to Mysterious hum driving people crazy around the world.

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, Loser and Winner © ispstock - all from Fotolia.com

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

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