Enterprise hits and misses - October 13, 2014

Jon Reed Profile picture for user jreed October 12, 2014
Jon's cheeky weekly review of which articles hit (or didn’t) on diginomica and beyond - for the week ending October 13, 2014.

Cheerful Chubby Man
diginomica hit: SAP and Birst steal Salesforce.com’s cloud analytics thunder on Dreamforce eve by Stuart

quotage: 'A nicely timed announcement from Birst and SAP’s point of view, although I can’t imagine it’s one that will sit entirely happily with Salesforce.com’s sales and marketing people. Cloud analytics can safely be added as another frontline in the ongoing enteprise cloud wars with a lot at stake.'

myPOV: I know, Dreamforce doesn't officially kick off till this morning, but each week I pick the best content for the reckoning. Anyhow, I'm not sure Salesforce would consider an SAP and Birst announcement much of a Dreamforce kick off.

Vendor skirmishes become yawn fests pretty quickly, but this SAP-Birst tie up hits two big points: first, despite the slow adoption to date, cloud BI is clearly gearing up for an extended ride on the enterprise hype cycle. More specific to SAP, the Birst partnership points to a determination to forge open alliances, even when it raises questions about SAP's own roadmap (example: how does this impact the recently clarified SAP BusinessObjects roadmap?).

Give me open alliances over force feeding internal solutions, however - and that goes for all #ensw vendors, not just SAP. Partnerships grab headlines, and yet the fine print comes later, in the execution phase. HANA-plus-Birst has intrigue, as does Birst's pending non-monogamous week at Salesforce.com. The "analytics cloud" theme at Dreamforce just took on some intriguing sub plots.

Bonus content galore: Stuart also posted his take on Bluewolf's eve-of-Dreamforce State of Salesforce survey, and Den filed a Nostradomussy look at a wearables annoucement from will.i.am that might conquer Dreamforce.

Happy children eating apple
Diginomica pick: HCM use cases by Jessica and Janine

myPOV: Two standout HCM use cases hit the diginomica wire this week. Jessica Twentyman told the story of custom integration by necessity (and Performance Management re-invention) in An unreasonable woman – an HCM lesson in breaking Oracle’s toys. Meantime, in NHS Blood and Transplant gets an HR transfusion to cure Excel ailments, Janine Milne tells a tale of one HR department's liberation from Excel, and the brass tacks of what that move entailed. Sidenote: impressive list of implementation benefits - quantifiable results FTW.

More customer use cases:

Vendor coverage: Stuart tackled HP's "back to the future" split plans with a vintage dose of literary acid in One HP becomes two, but it’s not an about turn insists Meg Whitman. Meantime, Phil filed a popular piece on SAP's EMEA cloud adventures in SAP’s EMEA president talks up networked economy. If you're in a SAPpy mood, you can also check out my latest, Evaluating SAP’s Apigee API partnership, and leave a sharply worded comment - others did.

Best of the rest

Waiter suggesting a bottle of wine to a customer
Not picking one piece for special treatment, but here's some standouts:

Honorable mention: In a long-form take down that lives up to its title, Pando's Sarah Lacy went OFF in Venture capital and the great big Silicon Valley asshole game, and yes, she named names. Is Your Product Roadmap Just Burning Your Money? by fellow Enterprise Irregular Anshu Sharma was well-received by readers sick of vendors pushing feature sets as "innovation." Speaking of A-holes, the NSA fallout continues  - here's SC Magazine's take on Micrsosoft's cloud security ambitions, Microsoft says NSA spying hit trust in the cloud.

The Content Marketing Institute put out a useful Quick and Easy Content Marketing ROI Tip Sheet (with links to more in-depth pieces/reports). Alas, it didn't live up to its brilliant title, but it's hard to resist a post called The Internet of Someone Else's Things. Finally, Vijay Vijayasankar of MongoDB did his weekend rumination thing with a thoughtful take on Satya Nadella's problems in Before we pelt social media stones on Satya Nadella. Though it's too late in my case - I've already pelted him on Twitter. Let's get to that - cue the whiffs!


Overworked businessman
So I was all set to make fun of this post, Why Google+ is the place for passions. The title alone is a gift-wrapped whiff-in-the-making. But as it turns out, the piece is a pretty level-headed defense of G+ as a place where you can gather to discuss specific lifestyle fetishes - err, I mean interests.

Having threaded conversations about cooking or flying drones probably beats the heck out of all the time I wasted putting folks into meaningless circles. Though the piece does fail to mention the structural diminishing of G+ within Google - sorry dude, but somewhere in the bowels of Google, G+ was intended to be more than a place to swap jello recipes.

Back to Nadella: I get Vijayasankar's point that the social media spank tunnel is loaded with hypocrisy and ultimately solves nothing. But if you say something stupid people are going to give you a hard time. I was more interested in how Nadella would respond to his own self-inflicted PR misadventure.

Most readers know the story so I won't rehash it in detail, but Nadella made some instantly irrelevant comments at a women in tech event about equal pay. In the quoted comments, he placed great faith in "karma" to address gender pay imbalances, seemingly encouraging women not to ask for pay raises in order to get them. Gaffe? Sure. But in a leadership sense, I care more about the response.

So far, pretty good. Nadella made a human-sounding apology, avoiding the "I was misquoted" waffle dance, and didn't go the "sorry to anyone who was offended" wet noodle route either. And get this: he plans to attend the same event, the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing next year, and, according to Microsoft Board Member Maria Klawe, "He'll be much more knowledgeable about women's issues by the time he comes back next year." That's the right approach - get better, but don't back down. All the bad karma from Windows 8 is another matter entirely..

Officially off-topic

Neck-and-neck for blog post title of the week, each one a sign-of-our-media-times: Radio Station Lays Off All 47 of Its Journalists, Will Play Beyoncé All Day Everyday Instead faces off against "Woman's interminable selfie shoot divides YouTube" (I'm not linking to that article). And yeah, the Beyoncé part appears to be true.

Drones are always making it into the column lately, this time it's a drone under attack from a territorial luddite hawk, complete with (short) video. And this is probably too obsessive for some, but others may find this illustrated guide to checking for (yuk) bed bugs in hotels useful.

On the practical side, if you're interested in content/expertise/authority and moving from annoying marketing to compelling media, this free New Rainmaker course from Copyblogger is pretty good. It can be a bit breezy/smug, but the fundamentals are (mostly) there.

If you're one of those David Lynch types like me (or perhaps a Twin Peaks fan from old), you may want to take a gander at this interview with co-creator Mark Frost about the unlikely resurrection of Twin Peaks 25 years later (and nine new episodes, which are sure to be memorable even if they are maddening). With that, I'm out. See you next time.

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.

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

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