Sprint & T-Mobile Merger Looking Real: What Does It Mean for the Enterprise?

K. Weldon

K. Weldon

Summary Bullets:

  • Industry ‘chatter’ is intensifying as a Sprint and T-Mobile merger attempt seems increasingly likely.
  • Given each company’s relatively weak position in enterprise services, a combination will not result in a superior enterprise mobility portfolio, at least at first.

Sprint and T-Mobile merger rumors have been circulating for many years, as the number two and three mobile operators are in many ways a likely pairing to go after Verizon and AT&T, possibly expanding business focus, lowering prices and improving customer responsiveness. Read more of this post

Cloud Foundry Summit: The Growing Effects of ALM on CFF

C. Dunlap

Summary Bullets:

  • CFF needs to target a broader audience of providers as part of the ALM ecosystem to address DevOps pain points.
  • OSS technologies and initiatives will play a major role in expanding ALM in the next 12 months.

As usual, multi-cloud benefits were the reigning theme around Cloud Foundry Foundation’s (CFF) primary objective. The open source multi-cloud PaaS project created by parent company VMware has made significant strides rallying a vibrant community of contributors, including IBM, Google, Red Hat, SAP and its latest, Microsoft. A particularly crucial effort spearheaded by the group over the past year called Open Service Broker API helps illustrate its importance in promoting multi-cloud capabilities to further the business agendas and opportunities among members. The certificate supports a consistent API to allow CFF members to jockey deals among cloud competitors in order to share and leverage high-value services which enterprises seek. So, for example, Red Hat can offer Amazon Lambda to its customers, while Amazon makes Red Hat OpenShift available to its customers, a recent arrangement made possible via Service Broker. Read more of this post

Nokia AP Analyst Summit: Going Beyond Infrastructure and Getting Closer to the Enterprise

A. Amir

Summary Bullets:

  • Entering the enterprise services market, Nokia has defined its market position and target segments, but its direction is still unclear, especially with its multiple sub-brands.
  • Nokia’s brand visibility is still low in Asia. Solid strategies are required to win the market, especially with greenfield accounts.

At Nokia Asia-Pacific (AP) Analyst Day in Hanoi, Vietnam last week, Nokia shared its AP business updates and plans, covering topics from hardware to software, products to services and carriers to other enterprises. As one of the pioneers in digital communication technology, Nokia’s capabilities in providing network infrastructures to carriers do not need any introduction. Nokia is rated as a ‘leader’ in GlobalData’s product assessments for small-cell, GPON and next-gen edge solutions, just to name a few. However, Nokia may not be the brand you would think when it comes to the enterprise services market. While it has several enterprise offerings through its sub-brands or previously acquired brands, its overall direction in this market is still not very clear. One of the key topics discussed at the event was Nokia’s initiative to streamline its strategy, portfolio, position and target segment in the enterprise services market. While the AP market is promising, it is also highly challenging. Can Nokia win and survive in the enterprise market? Will it have a clearly defined value proposition and potentially be able to compete against its traditional channel partners? Read more of this post

‘Mitel or MI-o-Tel?’ – Adding a Voice to IoT

T. Banting

Summary Bullets:

  • Mitel is offering a cloud-based platform that integrates Internet of Things (IoT) technology with call routing and call control applications.
  • Hub One is working with Mitel to voice-enable IoT devices at Charles De Gaulle airport and provides text-to-speech alerts on the opening of defibrillator cabinets.

At its Elite conference in San Antonio last week, Mitel disclosed details of its platform that integrates IoT technology with call routing and call control platforms. Utilizing IoT APIs that plug into its interaction engine and business rules engine, Mitel demonstrated how IoT can be integrated with real-time communications to literally give IoT devices a voice. On stage, Mitel showed how Amazon Alexa, mapped to Mitel’s AWS-based cloud service, could trigger mass notification messages to interested parties. While this specific demonstration sent out multiple notifications of bad weather alerts to those attending a picnic (very pertinent given San Antonio’s weather!), Mitel’s IoT infrastructure is being utilized in perhaps a less frivolous way at France’s largest and most important airport – Charles De Gaulle (CDG). Read more of this post

SD-WAN Competition Between Resellers and MSPs Will Heat Up

M. Fratto

Summary Bullets:

  • New products, technologies, workflows and architectures used by ISPs as well as IT’s growing acceptance of managed services are laying the groundwork for expansion of SD-WAN managed services.
  • Competition in the SD-WAN segment will increase as existing MSPs and resellers with MSP offerings enter the market.

SD-WAN is disrupting more than WAN services. It’s also the catalyst for the launch of a new round of managed services, which will have a significant impact on the SD-WAN competitive landscape. The clearly defined choice of how enterprises acquire products – via the channel versus managed services providers – is collapsing as MSPs launch new services based on the very same products being sold through the channel. It’s the rare case where a trend that’s great for buyers because of the flexibility it offers is also great for equipment vendors as they can sell more products, but there is a chance for hidden conflicts in the sales cycle. Read more of this post

OSS Technologies Which Are Key to Container, Microservices Adoption

Charlotte Dunlap – Principal Analyst, Application Platforms

Summary Bullets:

• Vendors are supplementing platform services via OSS tools and frameworks
• OSS drastically improves time-to-market for next-generation architectures and technologies

I’ve just wrapped up a spring tour of app platform vendor conferences. Despite the fact that innovative technology rollouts promise Netflix-like continuous delivery of modern apps, I’ve got some concerns. Inevitably while attending smaller technology sessions during said conferences, I’d encounter parties from both sides of the DevOps equation expressing frustration and confusion around how to implement modern hybrid cloud app development solutions. Read more of this post

To Which Partners Do Businesses Look for Help with IoT Projects?

K. Weldon

K. Weldon

Summary Bullets:

  • Businesses looking for help with IoT deployments want companies with experience, in-house resources, and complete solutions.
  • When asked what they look for from suppliers for advisory, professional services, and other IoT requirements, the responses were diverse. Telecom service providers and IoT platform vendors appear to have unseated ITSPs and others for some key tasks.

A recent GlobalData survey of 1,000 global businesses deploying IoT projects included questions on the use of outside consultants and vendors to meet various requirements. The kinds of partners that were considered included equipment vendors (e.g., Cisco, Huawei), platform vendors (e.g., Ericsson, Cisco Jasper, GE, PTC), telecom services providers (e.g., AT&T, Verizon, Vodafone), IT services companies (e.g., Accenture, HPE, IBM), and software providers (e.g., Microsoft, Jive Software). The partner capabilities under consideration were technical consulting, systems integration, device and connectivity management, application development, proof of concept and testing, business consulting, and data analytics. The charts below show the full set of responses to these questions. Read more of this post

The Three Pillars of IoT Success

B. Shimmin

B. Shimmin

Summary Bullets:

  • How can technology vendors guard enterprise IoT buyers against the dangers of cost and complexity?
  • They should endeavor to solve specific IoT problems through readily consumable, outcome-based IoT services.

As my compatriot Kitty Weldon pointed out in a blog post earlier this week, the success or failure of an IoT project isn’t something you stumble on a year or two after rolling out a solution. A recent Global Data Technology IoT Enterprise Survey of more than 1,000 IoT buyers showed that failure happens very early on during the investigation phase of a given deployment and more often than not centers on the cost and complexity of the project at hand. Read more of this post

Live from LiveWorx: PTC Boosts IoT Morale and Momentum

K. Weldon

K. Weldon

Summary Bullets:

  • LiveWorx brings together a meaningful slice of the IoT ecosystem and boosts momentum for PTC’s role in empowering the market.
  • Cisco’s stats from Monday on the high percentage of IoT project failures splashed cold water on the industry, but PTC is not letting this impact momentum.

PTC’s LiveWorx, still in progress, is an annual lovefest for the IoT industry, with the additional benefit (to PTC) of boosting/cementing its already strong presence within the industrial IoT sector. The company’s ThingWorx platform competes with other IoT application enablement platforms, but is strongly differentiated. It is a purpose-built offer for manufacturing and a comprehensive platform that appeals to a growing number of PTC’s installed base which use its other offerings, including its CAD (Creo) tool and its Product Lifecycle Manufacturing and Service Management software. This year, the event was fortified by a major new release of the platform, ThingWorx 8, which adds enhanced platform capabilities and role-specific applications for engineering and manufacturing, along with new partners, more expansive educational programs, and a new collection of service offerings for customers and partners. Read more of this post

Genesys Jumps on the AI Bandwagon, Invites Others Along for the Ride

B. Shimmin

B. Shimmin

Summary Bullets:

  • At its annual user conference, customer experience management player Genesys introduced Kate, a personified artificial intelligence (AI) platform tailored to augment and automate multimodal customer interactions.
  • Genesys Kate, however, is not meant to compete with AI platforms such as IBM Watson or Salesforce.com Einstein. Instead Kate seeks to blend its own capabilities with those offerings, serving as an open platform.

Personified AI platforms – suddenly every technology vendor seems to have an AI persona that’s eager to strike up a one-on-one conversation. There’s of course IBM Watson, Amazon Alexa, Apple Siri, Google Assistant, Salesforce.com Einstein, and Adobe Sensei, but that somewhat lengthy list doesn’t even scratch the surface of what’s available when you bring AI bots like Mitsuku, Poncho, Melody, Rose, and my personal favorite, Dr. AI. And now we have Kate, a personified AI platform introduced by customer experience manager Genesys this week during its annual user conference. Read more of this post