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Enterprise hits & misses - July 7

Jon Reed Profile picture for user jreed July 6, 2014
Jon's cheeky weekly review of which articles hit (or didn’t) on diginomica and beyond - for the week ending July 7, 2014.

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

Cheerful Chubby Man
diginomica hit: Alteryx and Databricks team up to simplify and accelerate Hadoop analytics by Den Howlett

quotage: 'This is an important development. Improving the tools that work with Hadoop should allow for broader adoption beyond those businesses that can afford in-house data science skills.'

myPOV: During a shorter US workweek and the launch of the Euro vacation season, the enterprise news stream was dominated by big data news and the subsequent hype festival. But was the news worth a closer look? Not known for his big data cheerleading, Den nonetheless sees something worth noting in the Alteryx/Databricks partnership, hitting on the democratization of data this partnership could further. I'm also interested in the so-called 'real time' potential this next wave of Hadoop-friendly solutions will provide.

Den addressed this from another angle in SAP HANA gets some Spark from Databricks. This story ties into open source relevance to the enterprise - a topic which has already prompted Den to explain his reasoning for sucking down some open source Kool-Aid. Real-time via Hadoop still seems a bit vague based on these announcements. As always, the subsequent customer use cases will tell the real story. But:  if enterprises can ask 'Do you Hadoop?' with the same ease as consumers were once asked 'Do you Yahoo?' - that makes big data experiments much easier to try on for size.

Happy children eating apple
Don’t miss
Jessica's latest use case, Why talent management is a matter of life and death for kids charity Plan International - a nifty story of how talent management relates directly to service non-profit missions - in this case with SAP's SuccessFactors solution.

Best of the rest

Waiter suggesting a bottle of wine to a customer
I'm not singling out one piece for tap dancing, but here's the high points:

For more on the big data announces, who other than Doug Henschen, who posted a Q/A with Databricks leaders and also a piece on the Databricks Cloud: What's Next for Spark? In yet another big data piece (Henschen had a fun week), he looks at whether Sparks is a Hadoop killer. Short answer: no. Henschen put the brakes on the Spark bandwagon with: 'Our first take is that Spark has a lot to prove in real-world production deployments before it can reshape big data analysis as we know it.' Sounds about right.

Honorable mention: HfS's Phil Fersht keeps his hits and misses appearance streak alive with Steps the outsourcing industry needs to take to survive. Constellation's Barry Murphy continues a strong series on enterprise search, and Larry Dignan provided some refreshingly common sense cloud definitions in Hybrid cloud: Which way will the balance tip between public and private?. And: Vijay Vijayasankar serves up career-tips-a-plenty in Independence – view from the corporate jungle.


Overworked businessman
Just one big social media whiff, though it was a doozy - of sorts. I'm not a fan of knee jerk apologies with overly scripted language. Facebook meantime is slowly backtracking from its mood experiment debacle, offering new tiers of apologies (we've moved from reluctant to condescending on the apology scale) each time another PR levee breaks. I personally thought the story was overblown (you get what you pay for - Facebook is, after all, diabolically 'free'), but our own Derek DuPreez convinced me there is more at stake here.

When Facebook flails, Google doesn't like to be left without a dance routine, so they are doing the regulatory Lindy Hop with European lawmakers and media sites over the ludicrous 'right to be forgotten' mandate. 'We are learning as we go' is a refreshing Google admission, and also an understatement. Meanwhile, it might be a context problem, but Google's Larry Page extolling the future of part-time work ventured into that tone-deaf-billionaire arena that is causing so much tension at Google bus stops in San Francisco.

Closer to the enterprise, I was scratching my head at this piece on the so-called arrival of social business, which fails to close the credibility gap. It seems that dropping the names of the likes of McKinsey and IBM is now sufficient. But the last time I checked, consultants don't write on parchment. These aren't the Dead Sea Scrolls.

And: where are the links to the studies cited? Where is the data? (I see one proof point). Then this assertion on crowdsourced innovation: 'The old paradigm of a few smart guys working in a garage to develop the next big thing has shifted.' Really? Because I know several startups in stealth mode, and I don't think their investors are going to endorse a brainstorming session on Facebook. Here's the McKinsey link. See - that wasn't hard. But parsing the data to find out if Colonel Mustard did it in the ballroom with a lead pipe will have to wait.

Crowds can execute on good ideas - sometimes - but since when can they invent them? A few guys and gals huddled in the garage plotting the next big thing is alive and well - and thank the gods for that. Otherwise I would have to crowdsource my hope for the future.

Officially off-topic

Speaking of how-not-tos, here are 19 of the cheesiest 'business teamwork' photos of all time. (If your company uses one of them, perhaps this is the ammo you need). Oh, and on the subject of real people, I found these 11 Characteristics of Authentically Happy People spot on - though we'll have to get a genuinely happy person to sense test them, rather than an aspiring curmudgeon.

If you haven't seen it, this dude who flew a drone through fireworks got some awesome footage - though evidently he did a very naughty thing from a safety standpoint. For some barely-safe-for-work lunatics goofing with fireworks, this video may give you a Monday guffaw or two.

Monday following a long weekend can be rough, just don't make it rougher by emailing your entire company about your plumbing snafus. For headline of the week, I'm going with By 2045 'The Top Species Will No Longer Be Humans,' And That Could Be A Problem (Ya think?). I'm going to leave you pondering the thousands of fish making the most of an abandoned mall in Bangkok. Now that is crowdsourced social innovation. See you next time.

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

End note: big sloppy thanks to Dennis Howlett who surfaced a shocking number of whiffs and misses over his office table in Spain as I wrote this edition.

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, at the seaside © olly - - all from

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

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