Enterprise hits & misses - November 25

Jon Reed Profile picture for user jreed November 24, 2013
Jon's cheeky weekly review of which articles hit (or didn’t) on diginomica and beyond - for the week ending November 25, 2013

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

Cheerful Chubby Man
diginomica hit: Dreamforce 2013 coverage by Stuart Lauchlan, Phil Wainewright and Den Howlett

quotage: 'What can you offer an enterprise that’s too big and important to share its cloud with anyone else? Today, Salesforce.com revealed that it has teamed up with HP to provide the answer: Salesforce Superpod.' - Phil Wainewright

myPOV: Three of our five co-founders were on the ground at Dreamforce, and they came back with the incisive and occasionally grouchy coverage I was personally hoping for (there are gobs of true believers at Dreamforce, so a few grouchy missives are most welcome). There's more pieces to come, but here's the rundown so far:

Den: Salesforce opens new front against SAP/Oracle as it ups forecast, FinancialForce.com acquires Less Software and Vana – sets up suite play, Making sense of Salesforce R&DUnderstanding the Salesforce-HP relationship, Stop thief! FinancialForce to the rescue. The thorny problem of developer relations.

Stuart: Dreamforce: toothbrushes, time travel and Ellison in absentiaDreamforce: from the horse’s mouthDreamforce: WalMart activists have designs on Marissa Mayer.

Phil: Salesforce and HP unveil The Vanity Cloud, The future of enterprise applications with JP Rangaswami, Back to the Future – the Dreamforce sequel.

Happy children eating apple
diginomica picks: That's a boatload of coverage and your preference is probably determined by topical interest. But I would single out a few: Stuart's Dreamforce: toothbrushes, time travel and Ellison in absentia is one of the finest pieces of writing we've published, none better for capturing the quirky extravagance of the enterprise's biggest show. Stuart writes:

'But then there’s a lot to get in. Huey Lewis, Sean Penn, various product managers doing the hard sell, co-founder Parker Harris in a comedy wig and HP’s Meg Whitman snuck in at the end in a cameo appearance that I can’t see doing much to further the born-again detente between Salesforce.com and Oracle.'

I tip my cap. Meantime for context Phil's The future of enterprise applications with JP Rangaswami provides a view of how the enterprise is finally catching up to Rangaswami's vision. I also liked the nuance Den applied to the Dreamforce hackathon brouhaha in The thorny problem of developer relations.

But the most insights may come from the clash of perspectives Den and Phil apply to the Salesforce/HP Superpod announcement. The two don't agree (that happens a lot around here and is usually a good thing). I won't attempt to summarize the complexities of their disagreement; both are trying to determine how the Salesforce/HP announcement helps customers and whether something vital and transformative about cloud business is hurt by this private cloud scenario, multi-tenant or not.

At any rate, the debate can't be settled until customers weigh in with wallets, but if you want to get to the nitty gritty check out the exchange between Phil and Den at the end of Phil's Back to the Future – the Dreamforce sequel. The two differ on the keys of multi-tenancy not from a technical perspective, but from a customer value perspective.

Den sees it as the ability to upgrade HP instances simultaneously (something the Salespods support), versus Phil coming down on the side of 'freely scaleable and elastic', something he does not see in this case. Yes, the 'false cloud' card is played. :) At any rate a diplomatic argument yields more for the reader than a premature consensus. I hope we can continue to foster that spirit in this pages rather than spewing soundbites with pathetically short shelf lives.

Also: this week marked the announcement that the renowned Jessica Twentyman is joining diginomica in January 2014 as a contributing editor. Come the new year, you should see some terrific stuff from her on these pages, including plenty of customer profiles.

Best of the rest

Waiter suggesting a bottle of wine to a customer
I'm not going to single out one piece this week, but here's a handful that got the most reaction from @jonerpnewsfeed readers:

Lies, damned lies and big data: How firms get analytics wrong – and how to get it right by ZDNet's Toby Wolpe was not a lengthy piece but readers felt it lived up to the promise of its title. Redmonk's Stephen O'Grady also had a concise but useful big data piece, Questions for Hadoop Going Forward.

Doug Henschen added to his rep as a go-to big data reporter with 5 Big Data Myths, Busted. Henschen's strong showing on the revamped Information Week site included a revealing interview with Infor CEO Charles Phillips.

A few more Dreamforce pieces: There's oodles of Dreamforce coverage to choose from, but here's a few that stood out: News Analysis: Salesforce 1 Signals Support For Digital Business at #DF13 by Ray Wang, Salesforce.com's Salesforce1 Platform: A Closer Look by Doug Henschen, The Class of 14 by Denis Pombriant, and Salesforce CEO admits ‘social enterprise’ pitch didn’t work, a newsy piece which still captures something that is worth noting - the (welcome) loss of marketing umph for social for its own sake.

Multi-media: You can catch the full Dreamforce keynote if you missed it; the Gillmor Gang also did a live show there. CXO talk rolls on, SAP's Vijay Vijayasankar's webinar replay on avoiding big data chaos is a good watch. Meantime I taped an improptu Google Hangout to hash out the argument for open sourcing SAP UI5 with John Appleby and Ethan Jewett.


Overworked businessman
We all know that behemoth-sized companies don't always have our best interests are heart. But when we see a slide from questionable practices into blatant hypocrisy a line has been crossed. E.g. while I found Microsoft's leaked internal video mocking Google Chrome as surveillance technology hilarious, it's not as if Microsoft has been tirelessly championing our liberties.

Cory Doctorow destroys Microsoft in a sentence: 'Microsoft doesn't have much high ground here. The company's long history of dirty tricks against free and open source software, its role in patent trolling, and its eager cooperation with NSA surveillance and surveillance by the secret police in China -- see, for example, the creation of back-doors in Skype..." Err... awkward. Anyhow, get your anti-Google Microsoft gear at the Microsoft store while it lasts (actually, I kind of like that 'Step into our web' spider t-shirt if you are in a holiday shopping mood).

I haven't picked on Yahoo much (kicking while down is unseemly), but the Dreamforce protest was not a good look, nor was the news on Yahoo's use of stack rankings to purge underperforming employees. I'll have more to say on that one in a couple of days (that's a teaser).

Officially off-topic

If the Google Plus-YouTube comments conversion fiasco must continue, then at least we got a profane (NFSW!) ukelele anthem for our trouble. I also got a kick out of this web site that documents Facebook users who are outraged by satirical Onion articles they boneheadedly assume are true.

Take into account when I cringe at the world's highest water slide, I worked at a waterpark in high school and had to clean those gut-churners from the top down. When I see an article titled Should I Attend a Conference Via a Telepresence Robot? The only reasonable response is 'yes!'

9 Things Extremely Successful People Do After Work had a few surprises for me but it may make you feel better about some, well, hobbies. TV is Dying and Here are the Stats to Prove It had some startling data that confirmed how much duress 'old media' is under. Marc Andreesen touches on this and more in a wide ranging interview.

Finally, remember last week when I unloaded on viral media? Well, after seeing this brilliant viral video that literally put Bon Jovi's 'Livin' on a Prayer' back on the singles charts, I'm all about virality. Let's see how that holds up. 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, Businessman Choosing Success or Failure Road © Creativa - all from Fotolia.com

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

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