The Pendulum’s Swing Back to Privacy is Just Getting Started

Paula Musich

Paula Musich

Summary Bullets:

  • The growing use of encryption, especially in smartphones, gives privacy controls back to end users, much to law enforcement’s chagrin.
  • The backlash against government snooping is just getting started, and it will only get louder with time and a potential defining event that will spur widespread calls for reform.

The government met last month with Apple executives to talk about the new encryption technology used in Apple IOS 8 and now Google’s Android Lollipop release that can block government access to information on smartphones, even if law enforcement has a court order. IOS 8 encrypts all data on the device and passcode protects it. Data can’t be accessed without the passcode, which Apple does not have access to. The Justice Department, FBI, NSA and others are demanding access; the industry is saying customers demand their privacy. Who’s right? The widely used WhatsApp chat service also just significantly upgraded its encryption. I think the government over-reached (especially with the NSA’s Prism program) and failed to understand the gathering backlash created by the Snowden leaks, and the high tech industry, including Apple, is seeing a negative impact on business as a result of lost customer trust. Read more of this post

Qualcomm, the Server Supplier: Not Quite as Funny (or Easy) as it Sounds

Brad Shimmin

Brad Shimmin

Diversity drives innovation. Operating systems, storage devices, or networking equipment, and yes, even server architectures all took dramatic leaps forward in capability at various points in the storied but short history of enterprise technology, owing to innovation that was fueled by competition. For that reason alone, the idea of Qualcomm pushing the ARM chip into the server market, as was announced last week, is quite exciting. Why? If anything, ARM chips have proven that you can be both quick and energy efficient, two traits that are most welcome in any data center. Perhaps because of this we will see more emphasis placed upon this combination of traits from the incumbent market leaders. For more on this interesting development and how it might play out for enterprise buyers, I’ve included below some thoughts from my colleague, Peter Jarich.

Summary Bullets:

  • Qualcomm announced a plan to move into the server space at its 2014 Financial Analyst Meeting
  • While ARM expertise will play in Qualcomm’s favor, it may take a while for that to matter to buyers

Last week, Qualcomm used its 2014 Financial Analyst Meeting to signal an entry into the server market. You can be completely forgiven for not paying attention: it doesn’t seem like the media picked up on this much, and the notion of Qualcomm – a vendor known best for supplying silicon into mobile and connected deices – moving into a crowded server chipset space might seem like a typo or misunderstanding as much as it does a business reality.

Alas, it’s true. It’s also not that surprising.

At a very basic level, the logic is super-simple. Cloud business and architecture evolutions – including the move towards NFV in the telecom space – promise to drive server sales through the medium-term. ARM architectures have long been touted as critical for supporting scalable, energy-efficient server designs and data center growth. Qualcomm, thanks to its position with mobile and connected devices, is one of the market’s dominant ARM-based silicon providers. Where there’s expertise and a market that expertise plays into, it only makes sense to connect the dots, right?

Maybe.

Qualcomm’s position in the ARM ecosystem cannot be denied. Near-term market interest in ARM-based servers is another topic. Yes, ARM’s focus on energy efficiency is a major selling point. Yet, whenever I ask telecom vendors how much energy they’re putting towards ARM in their NFV efforts, the answer is essentially, “none.” The rationale? Operators just aren’t asking for ARM-based solutions yet. Admittedly, this is a relatively narrow anecdote. It’s telling, nonetheless. In their NFV efforts, after all, carriers are responding to the efficiencies obtained by web-scale and data center players. If neither party looks to be too excited about ARM in the near-term, what does that mean for Qualcomm?

While that was a rhetorical question, I can provide something of an answer: nothing. Connected device sales and technology development will keep the company busy for some time. Time enough, in theory, to build up its server credibility and allow for ARM demand to grow.

Vodafone – Riding its Competitive Advantage to Expand in Adjacent Markets

ITCB-HarishTaoriSummary Bullets:

  • In its annual global analyst event, Vodafone emphasized its evolution as a global “Total Communications” service provider.
  • Planned new investments, under Project Spring, to enhance the network (NFV, SDN) and solutions (M2M, Cloud connect, UCaaS) capabilities globally.

Vodafone hosted its annual global analyst event this year in London. This blog post summarizes some of the key takeaways from that event, and analyzes the implications on industry and enterprises.

  • The key theme was Vodafone’s strategy to become a global total communications service provider. Vodafone is making concerted efforts to enable this strategy by expanding global network (fixed and mobile) reach and related communication services (cloud, mobility unified collaboration, and M2M) portfolios.
  • Vodafone has deep network reach in 60 countries with 211 fixed PoPs in 161 cities. In AMEA, Vodafone has recently added new PoPs in Philippines, Taiwan and 22 African countries expanding its network presence in 14 Asia-Pacific, three Middle East and 24 African countries. Vodafone intends to expand its global coverage to 92 countries by end of 2016. Under Project Spring, Vodafone commits to invest GBP 500 million in five years to scale up its network and solution capabilities, people and offices across Asia and Africa
  • Vodafone has witnessed good momentum in its M2M portfolio, especially from automotive, consumer electronics and utilities verticals. The acquisition of Cobra consolidated Vodafone’s position in automotive, as Cobra’s clientele includes Porsche, Ferrari, Renault, and Toyota. Furthermore, Cobra enables Vodafone to provide solutions for embedded and aftermarket automotive opportunities in 41 markets as well as in fleet management for rental, leasing, and sharing of cars.
  • Vodafone reiterated its competitive advantage in mobile networks. Leveraging its core capabilities, Vodafone is offering comprehensive enterprise mobility solutions. Vodafone is further extending its service portfolio in adjacent businesses – cloud and hosting, unified communications and collaboration. Currently these services are available in US and Europe and expected to come in AMEA by next year.
  • Vodafone Global Enterprise (VGE) is targeting 1,700 global MNCs. Its key value proposition for these customers is a consistent global SLA across Vodafone and partner networks. ‘Mobile First’ people and process initiatives are key themes among VGE customers. Vodafone has also created a business unit to target SMEs. SME products and solutions are expected to roll out in AMEA by next year.

Implications on SP and enterprise ICT buyers:

  • Vodafone – Vodafone’s ICT solutions are primarily available in Europe. It needs to ramp up efforts to promote its ICT solution portfolio in APAC and MEA, to be seen as an end-to-end solution provider for global MNCs interested in expanding their operations in emerging markets. Furthermore, the company has to articulate its value proposition, specifically for verticals, to differentiate itself from its global and regional competition.
  • Enterprises – Asian automotive OEMs can evaluate Vodafone’s capabilities to provide M2M solutions for Infotainment, connected cars and insurance companies for usage based insurance (UBI) service. Global and regional MNCs expanding their business outside Asia can consider Vodafone’s network and ICT solution capabilities for cloud, M2M, and unified communications/collaboration against similar offerings from other global and regional service providers.

Progress Software Goes After Salesforce Lightning with UI Customization Vendor Acquisition

Charlotte Dunlap

Charlotte Dunlap

Summary Bullets:

  • The client-side app development tools trend continues following Salesforce’s intimidating release of updated PaaS UI, Salesforce1 Lightning.
  • Progress Software continues a steady build-up of platform services and mobile app platforms, following three key acquisitions in a year.

The mobile app development trend continues around client-side tools that will serve LoB users within enterprises that are realizing the need for both external-facing and internal-facing mobile apps. Numerous front-end app platforms have been announced in recent months by practically everyone playing in the MEAP space, most prominently by Salesforce’s Lightning UI. Read more of this post

Honey, I Shrunk the Blade Server

Steven Hill

Steven Hill

Summary Bullets:

  • Does server vendors’ increasing focus on higher-density, multi-node server platforms actually reflect a growing need for them in the typical enterprise, or is it just a response to the IT industry’s fascination with high-profile, mega data centers?
  • Many of the new ‘multi-node’ servers that are appearing now come across as blade servers ‘lite,’ but it remains to be seen if they offer the same degree of flexibility, component redundancy and economy of scale as traditional blade systems.

I’ve been watching with great interest the new modular server systems being offered by big server vendors such as HP, Dell and Cisco, as well as a number of third-tier vendors, and I cannot help but be intrigued by the value proposition for these modular systems. Most are based on the extremely popular 2U server form factor and offer space for between two and eight server modules as well as aggregated networking and a fairly wide gamut of onboard storage options – all features that sound surprisingly similar to existing blade systems, but on a smaller scale. Read more of this post

M2M News: Accelerating Traction, App Development Tools, and Innovative Go-to-Market Strategies

Kathryn Weldon

Kathryn Weldon

Summary Bullet:

  • Current Analysis just completed its latest report updates on global M2M services offered by the largest Tier 1 U.S. and European operators.
  • Highlights include increased traction for ongoing initiatives, new application development platforms capabilities, and new end-to-end solutions.

AT&T had an installed base of over 18.5 million M2M connections in Q3. It is also seeing: 114% ARPU uplift from increased data demand; 49% more customers in 2014 than in 2013; and 763% higher data usage from new customers in 2013 and 2014 compared to prior years. AT&T has a number of productized M2M end-to-end solutions and is also investing in its application developer environment with build, deploy, and store utilities that leverage its M2Mx data service. Read more of this post

IBM’s Apple Mobile Solutions Could Indicate How Enterprises Will Implement Mobility

Charlotte Dunlap

Charlotte Dunlap

Summary Bullets:

  • IBM’s Apple partnership could provide an enterprise mobility case study
  • IBM has honed four key MobileFirst solutions to encourage adoption/partnerships

We analysts like to say once emerging technology starts to take shape, it then becomes all about execution as far as how likely a vendor will succeed in the market. In the area of mobility IBM has put competitive differences aside over the past several months and established key partnerships with one-time rivals in order to meet customers as they look to embark on mobile app development projects. Other partnerships include SAP and Microsoft (SAP and Microsoft have just established a similar partnership).

Literally establishing offices down at the Cupertino Apple campus, IBM has been busy readying new mobile apps and solutions targeting potential Apple enterprise customers. The new partnership will inevitably provide a nice case study of enterprises looking to leverage mobility to improve/augment businesses.   Read more of this post

Big Insights Need Business Apps, Not Just Data Lakes

Brad Shimmin

Brad Shimmin

Summary Bullets:

  • If data is a natural resource, not unlike oil or coal, then why do companies let it pool and stagnate in data lakes, data warehouses and Hadoop clusters?
  • Instead, it should flow from these data refineries to both infuse and fuel everyday systems of record and engagement.

Having spent the last three weeks on the road, attending user conferences from Salesforce.com, SAP and IBM, I’ve learned two important things. First, sleep is a precious commodity, often hard to come by and truly something not to be wasted. And second, enterprise data is likewise as precious a natural resource that, like coal and oil, should not to be wasted. Of course, unlike true natural resources, data is anything but scarce, bubbling up from systems of record and engagement, flowing freely from server farms and permeating the ‘Internet of Things’ (IoT). Read more of this post