Enterprise hits & misses - October 28

Profile picture for user jreed By Jon Reed October 28, 2013
Jon's cheeky end-of-weekly on which articles hit (or didn’t) on diginomica and beyond - for the week ending October 25, 2013.

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

Cheerful Chubby Man
diginomica hit: NetSuite folds TribeHR into its cloud ERP by Phil Wainewright

quotage: 'Looks like I should have paid more attention during Evan Goldberg’s day 2 keynote at SuiteWorld this May when TribeHR demonstrated its HR application. Today NetSuite announced a deal to acquire its partner, 'to create the first integrated cloud ERP and HCM software suite for small and mid-sized businesses.'

myPOV: It was a vigorous week for NetSuite, given the Q3 earnings announcement (see Den's NetSuite blows out Q3, forecasts strong 2014) - not to mention trading fisticuffs with SAP on ByDesign after rolling out a promotion geared towards winning SAP ByDesign customers. But the most notable NetSuite news might have been the TribeHR acquisition Phil covered for diginomica.

Though other vendors might take issue with NetSuite's proclamation they are the first integrated ERP and HCM suite for SMEs, there's no denying NetSuite emerges from this week's developments in a stronger market position on several fronts. As for NetSuite's partnership with Oracle HCM, Phil's assessment is the TribeHR integration would complement Oracle HCM as part of NetSuite's two tier ERP strategy: 'The Oracle HCM relationship likely remains less affected as TribeHR appeals to smaller businesses or to departments and subsidiaries of larger corporations that may use the Oracle software at head office.'

As for the inevitable NetSuite vs. Workday comparisons, Phil doesn't put much stock in that line of thinking and refers readers to Stuart's piece on the topic. If it wasn't before, the closer relationship between finance and HR in cloud ERP offerings is a given now.

Happy children eating apple
diginomica pick: SAP’s Sikka acknowledges core decline as it transforms by Den Howlett

quotage: 'SAP is now thinking much more seriously about consumery approaches to market with add-on applications that are/will be a fraction of the price one usually associates with SAP. The idea is to both scale out adoption yet keep distribution costs in check via marketplace initiatives.'

myPOV: Den and I were on the ground at SAP TechEd making sense of surprising announcements (see Den's take on the SAP-SAS partnership) and shooting a slew of videos (most of which are still to come). One thing I did not expect at SAP's technical conference was clearer positioning of SAP's business strategy than at Sapphire Now - supposedly the business-focused conference - but indeed that's what we saw.

Den touched on this during his piece Try before you buy is the new SAP app mantra, which includes a video discussion with SAP's Vijay Vijayasankar on the iterative approach he used to build out the BW on HANA Amazon trials. As Den notes, 'I am a big fan of this model because when correctly established, it provides a great learning experience for the vendor and becomes the sales cycle for the solution.'

SAP's cloud message still needs plenty of work - look no further than ongoing confusion between the HANA Enterprise Cloud and the HANA Cloud Platform, which was the first question at the presser following Sikka's keynote.

But by putting cloud platform at the center of the messaging, moving pricing models to try-before-you-buy and subscription, and (perhaps) backing off a bit from a 35% margin goal that was far too rigid to push for during an attempt at re-invention, SAP emerges from TechEd Las Vegas with a different, and I would argue clearer, set of talking points. You can also check out my wraps - day 1 (keynote) and the conference wrapper (the news you didn't hear in the keynote). The links include my video with Vishal Sikka and bonus podcasts.

Best of the rest

Waiter suggesting a bottle of wine to a customer
There were a number of excellent #ensw pieces this week spanning topics. Here's my faves:

Honorable mention: This week the 'honorable mention' pieces are just as strong as the bullet list, but for the sake of mixing up the format, have a look at Traditional outsourcing advisory is dead by Phil Fersht, one of the essential (and most entertaining) enterprise bloggers. It was a good supply chain week with Lora Cecere's What About the Supply Chain Index? and Bob Ferrari's Smart Collaboration Strategies with Channel Partners.

TEC's P.J. Jakovljevic and Bob Eastman wrote a comprehensive piece on Progress, Progress Exchange 2013 Part Two: Will Pacific be Progress Software’s PaaS to Relevance? which is bookmark-caliber for those who track cloud platforms. Adrian Bridgwater did quality reporting from Las Vegas on SAP TechEd, including a piece on SAP's mobility overhaul, a topic Den and I didn't cover in-depth. For more SAP picks, this week (and every week for that matter), the ASUGnews.com weekly SAP wrapup is as good a place to start as any.

Multi-media: Right before SAP TechEd, Steve Bogner and his SAP HCM expert pals recorded a nice podcast roundup of the HR Tech and SuccessFactors Connect shows. CXO  Talk now has a substantial video archive, and based on listener requests, I've signed up to a new podcast distributor (Libsyn) and am now posting audio regularly again. The most recent uploads are SAP TechEd bonus content/analysis, but I'll also be uploading diginomica interviews and, in some cases, audio from the video shoots Den and I do on the road. For commuters and those who can't easily stream, audio remains an appealing option and I enjoy the longer form possibilities and easy uploading (even on lousy Internet connections), so you'll see that from me now and again going forward.


Overworked businessman
My Twitter buds know I have a low tolerance for misleading headlines. If we're that desperate for eyeballs, there's something fundamentally wrong that page view slumming won't solve. Thus How I Got Fired as an ERP Consultant – PART ONE, which has nothing whatsoever to do with getting fired. Instead it's a rather bland set of principles for consulting success turned on its head, perhaps to disguise their blandness. Why not write a piece with real world anecdotes rather than a confusing double negative?

To be fair this kind of headline bait-and-switch happens constantly and there are worse examples, such as the ridiculously-titled Get Ready to Pay 99 Cents to Watch YouTube which any responsible editor would have titled 'Get Ready to Pay 99 Cents for Some YouTube Channel Subscriptions', but with media outlets struggling to support their crumbling print divisions, responsibility is not the top priority. Page view business models stink. But then earning readers the old fashioned way is hard work so...

Officially off-topic

Each week I tag some scary stories about robots coming for our jobs (check out this video of smart robots in a manufacturing facility), but this week I got a first hand example of an animated card dealer that was alarmingly good at her job (see my Tweet for pic). Then on another sour topic I learn that Twitter's refusal to patent every line of code (as opposed to Facebook) is potentially hurting its IPO prospects.

On the productive side of innovation, a portable generator can charge your devices over the campfire, though as David Coverdale warned during the intro to Rock of Ages (which I caught Friday night in Vegas), 'Take that bluetooth out of your ear - you look like a douchebag.').

These African cars made from junk and spare parts might be more to Coverdale's liking, though Tawny Kitaen could not have performed on the hoods of these remade vehicles. Music fans mourned the passing of Lou Reed Sunday (here's a selection of five great Lou Reed performances), but I'd place Reed firmly in the camp of a brilliant life well lived. Time to get to it - see you next week.

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 Salesforce.com are diginomica premier partners.