The End of the Best-of-Suite Approach in Collaboration and Communications?

T. Banting

Summary Bullets:

• With best-of-suite vendors offering adequate capabilities for the average collaboration and communications user, a best-of-breed strategy may be superfluous.

• Modern software suites still offer organizations the capability to choose best-of-breed components if the suite does not fit the specific needs of the business.

A favored and common IT strategy has been adopting a “best-of-breed” approach; in other words, purchasing and integrating several products from multiple vendors to achieve the ideal architecture. However, with the likes of Google G Suite, Microsoft Office 365, and other cloud vendors offering software bundles with mature, compelling product features from top to bottom, a “best-of-suite” approach is becoming an attractive substitute. The software industry has witnessed such shifts before. WordPerfect, widely loved and adopted as a standard word-processing application in the 1980s, lost out to the aggressive bundling of Microsoft Office in the 1990s. As good and comprehensive as WordPerfect was, its interoperability with other software products was limited; companies couldn’t make it work with the other products they needed. Could history repeat itself with today’s collaboration and communications solutions? Fortunately, few vendors offer all-encompassing, yet proprietary and closed suites today. Software suites now offer numerous advantages for IT departments, such as per-month, per-user pricing; vastly reduced management, administrative and security overhead; plus the foundation for future development of new capabilities such as artificial intelligence (AI)-powered features. Continue reading “The End of the Best-of-Suite Approach in Collaboration and Communications?”

Huawei IoT: Capabilities Across the Solution Stack, but Low Mindshare in the Region

A. Amir

Summary Bullets:

  • Huawei’s capability across IoT stacks offers a competitive advantage in the market.
  • Huawei has the potential to drive IoT adoption in the region through carriers. However, it has yet to leverage this unique advantage outside China.

The IoT ecosystem is complex, as it involves all technologies within IT and bridges IT with operational technologies (OT). As a technology company with core business in telecommunications equipment, IoT for Huawei is not just enabling NB-IoT features in carriers’ cellular network. The vendor is also leveraging its company-wide capabilities to play across the IoT stack. Its IoT portfolio includes the chipset, an operating system (OS) called LiteOS, an NB-IoT network through its radio access solution to carriers, security (through its 3T+1M approach), a platform, cloud, professional services and even an initiative to drive the ecosystem (through its OpenLab). While Cisco and Nokia can closely match this capability, Huawei’s key advantage is with its IoT chipset and OS. Continue reading “Huawei IoT: Capabilities Across the Solution Stack, but Low Mindshare in the Region”

With AI Decisions, It Takes a Village

R. Bhattacharyya

Summary Bullets:

  • Successful AI projects take a village; project teams that include members from groups across the company are more likely to uncover the ‘what-if’ and ‘then what’ questions that are best addressed early.
  • GlobalData’s 2018 survey found that close to 40% of businesses include all affected parties in decisions related to big data and analytics solutions.

We’ve all heard that not only are machine learning (ML) algorithms time-consuming to develop and train, but that they also need access to vast data lakes and specialized data scientists. With these requirements, it’s no wonder that businesses tend to focus on identifying the skilled IT-centric resources required for undertaking an AI deployment. But AI isn’t just the playground of data specialists, successful outcomes take a village. Project teams that include members from different organizations across the company are more likely to uncover the ‘what-if’ and ‘then what’ questions that are best addressed early on. HR, legal, finance, customer service, operations, and other business units have much to contribute to a successful AI deployment. Continue reading “With AI Decisions, It Takes a Village”

Microsoft’s $7.5 Billion GitHub Buy Illustrates Dire State of Developer Deficit

C. Dunlap

Summary Bullets:

  • Vendors ramping up coding campaigns get creative in the battle for programming expertise.
  • Microsoft makes a play to scoop up as much coding talent as possible.

Technology’s greatest deficit today is talent. As the digital era moves into a complex new phase of microservices, serverless computing, blockchain, and artificial intelligence (AI), drawing on the expertise of capable programmers and data scientists to help spur adoption of new technology solutions is more important than ever – and difficult. A recent surge in campaigns to attract developers and grow developer communities among application platforms vendors such as IBM, Oracle, Microsoft, Salesforce, and others reflects the increased importance of gaining vendor loyalties. Continue reading “Microsoft’s $7.5 Billion GitHub Buy Illustrates Dire State of Developer Deficit”

Chinese Players Are Disrupting the Cloud Market in Asia-Pacific

A. Amir

Summary Bullets:

  • The cloud market in Asia-Pacific is getting more competitive, driven by the Chinese cloud giants: Huawei, Alibaba and Tencent.
  • The growing competition offers businesses wider options beyond the traditional cloud providers such as AWS, Microsoft and IBM.

The three Chinese ICT giants – Huawei, Alibaba and Tencent – are originally from different ICT areas. Huawei started with telecommunications equipment, Alibaba with e-commerce and Tencent with instant messaging. However, today, they all actively play in cloud market, challenging the traditional cloud players such as AWS, Microsoft, Google and IBM. Continue reading “Chinese Players Are Disrupting the Cloud Market in Asia-Pacific”

Avaya’s a Laggard in Cloud, But Not Too Late in Asia-Pacific

A. Amir

Summary Bullets:

• Avaya finally has a cloud strategy; a late mover compared to the other UCC players

• But cloud adoption in Asia-Pacific especially in emerging markets is still low and demand is growing

While Avaya already has a number of cloud-based deployments for several years for example Avaya IP Office as-a-Service (IPOaaS) offered by Optus in Australia, the cloud delivery model is mainly driven by the partners. Avaya itself is finally moving to cloud-based offerings recently. It is a late move considering the other UC major players have gone to cloud years earlier, for example Cisco with Spark and Webex and Microsoft with Microsoft Office 365 and Skype for Business. Continue reading “Avaya’s a Laggard in Cloud, But Not Too Late in Asia-Pacific”

LPWAN Progress: Are We There Yet?

K. Weldon
K. Weldon

Summary Bullets:

  • Operators were racing to roll out LPWAN networks in 2017, with the aim of generating massive numbers of new IoT deals and new connections.
  • The LPWA World event in London on May 22 and 23 may help provide a reality check on market traction.

The agenda for LPWA World this week in London provides some clues about the burning issues that need to be addressed, as the networks that mobile operators built out in 2017 are now in place and looking for action. Nearly every major operator offering IoT services and some that are new to the game got on the LPWAN bandwagon in 2017, as the market for inexpensive, energy- and battery-efficient technologies to support low-bandwidth IoT use cases looked hugely promising. The hope was (and remains) that many companies that wanted to deploy IoT for mobile use cases but couldn’t afford the high cost of traditional 3G/4G cellular networks would flock to these new fit-for-purpose low-cost/low-power networks. The operators also see potential new growth opportunities in market segments they haven’t been able to penetrate well, such as smart cities/smart lighting and agriculture. While some providers are offering non-standardized networks based on LoRa and SigFox, most mobile operators launched NB-IoT and LTE-M in 2017. Continue reading “LPWAN Progress: Are We There Yet?”

Red Hat Summit: New Tools Strengthen Red Hat’s DevOps Arsenal

C. Dunlap

Summary Bullets:

• Advanced app platforms concepts introduced a year ago will be productized this year, including low-code capabilities, serverless computing, and reactive systems.

• Red Hat is slowly but steadily moving into some ALM capabilities such as container security via SSO, as well as microservices enhanced with Istio and Envoy.

Last week’s Red Hat Summit provided a roadmap for the open source software leader’s application development tools supporting next-generation architectures – including reactive microservices and serverless computing, along with peeks into plans for low-code capabilities and containerized security.

Numerous examples highlighted ways customers are leveraging RHEL and the OpenShift cloud platform to migrate apps to the cloud and create new cloud apps. As part of that strategy, Red Hat has reorganized its application platforms and DevOps initiatives into five distinct organizations: Agile integration, Cloud native development, Automation management, Hybrid cloud infrastructure, and IT optimization. (Please see Red Hat Summit: Modern Components for the next OSS DevOps Phase , May 15, 2018). Continue reading “Red Hat Summit: New Tools Strengthen Red Hat’s DevOps Arsenal”

Google I/O 2018: Did Google AI Just Pass the Turing Test?

B. Shimmin

Summary Bullets:

  • At Google I/O this week, Sundar Pichai walked attendees through a number of impressive implementations of AI, one of which showed how Google Assistant could book a haircut and make a dinner reservation via an unnervingly convincing conversation between human and machine.
  • What happens, then, if that assistant eventually learns how to pass itself off as you?

You know it’s spring when the cherry blossoms appear in force, the birds start singing in unison, and Google CEO Sundar Pichai takes the stage at Google I/O and nonchalantly demonstrates some new bit of technology that simultaneously manages to amaze and terrify. I’m talking about Google Duplex, an interesting blend of natural language understanding (NLU), deep learning (DL), and text-to-speech technology designed to do one thing: use AI to emulate at least one half of an actual human conversation. Continue reading “Google I/O 2018: Did Google AI Just Pass the Turing Test?”

Why Fortnite Should Convince Telcos to Level Up to 5G

J. Hewer

Summary Bullets:

  • Fortnite has yet to hit Android, but it’s already pulling in $1 million a day on mobile. Demanding low latency and constant connectivity, most gamers are currently confined to WiFi.
  • Next-generation mobile gaming needs 5G, and with a huge global player base, operators should look to gamers to justify 5G.

5G connectivity promises vast improvements in performance over 4G networks; new tech means apps will make use of the available 5G spectrum to ensure faster speeds, and gaming on mobile will benefit. How this technology will be used and potentially adopted at scale will drive the required infrastructure investment. Continue reading “Why Fortnite Should Convince Telcos to Level Up to 5G”