Instead of Waiting on Ideas Like IoT, How About Building the Internet of Data Today?

Brad Shimmin

Brad Shimmin

Summary Bullets:

  • The vast amounts of data promised with big data efforts like IoT will greatly increase our ability for rapidly and correctly predicting the best way to run our businesses.
  • Yet, that’s nothing compared to the value currently locked away within closed data repositories. And it’s high time we opened those up.

Anyone familiar with the popular Waze mobile app (now owned by Google) understands the power of data not just collected, but data shared. Originally, this clever mobile app encouraged users to personally report on traffic loads, construction delays, even gas prices. The collective, net results were maps accessible to all Waze users, maps made more powerful and much more accurate through this shared data. Read more of this post

What Matters Most in Networking with Custom or Merchant Silicon

  • Mike Fratto

    Mike Fratto

    The debate over custom and merchant silicon is an old one, but it’s gaining steam driven by developments in software.

  • What matters to IT buyers is that the product provides adequate performance, and vendors using custom silicon need to make their case.

There is something of an intellectual debate occurring in networking over the need of custom versus merchant silicon. It’s not a particularly new debate, but the rise of white box switching, an ever increasing number of switching products coming to market using merchant silicon and the increased focus of software for both advanced features as well as tight integration with the rest of the environment is making the debate far more relevant. Read more of this post

Cloud Leaders’ Advanced Microservice Agendas Illustrate Importance of PaaS

Charlotte Dunlap

Charlotte Dunlap

Summary Bullets:

  • Cloud leaders VMware and Microsoft separately announce new microservices including containerization management and orchestration.
  • Currently, there is no better example highlighting the importance of PaaS than microservices, given their ability to simplify and automate the ‘under the covers’ tasks of app development/management such as ensuring scalability of high-performance and/or high-demand applications.

Two cloud heavyweights, VMware and Microsoft, have introduced their microservice efforts, unveiling unique strategies aimed at offering enterprises scalable cloud services. Numerous application platform and cloud providers are racing to build out their microservice architectures which intercept SOA and API technologies, an approach which decomposes complex applications into independent processes exposed through APIs. Currently, there is no better example highlighting the importance of PaaS than microservices for their ability to simplify and automate the ‘under the covers’ tasks of app development/management such as ensuring scalability of high-performance and/or high-demand applications. Read more of this post

Shaping the IVR of the Future Will Require New Technology and Some Common Sense

Ken Landoline

Ken Landoline

Summary Bullets:

  • As any customer service satisfaction survey will reveal, today’s interactive voice response (IVR) systems, which were designed to encourage self-service, cut costs and speed up interactions, are brimming with problems and often result in an increase in customer calls to live agents and diminished overall customer satisfaction and loyalty.
  • While there has clearly been an increase in the technological tools and data applications available to boost IVR performance, it is also clear that common sense often remains the key missing ingredient in many implementations.

As I have discussed in previous blogs, despite the intent to make customer service faster and better, I believe IVR systems continue to cause more problems than they fix in today’s customer service marketplace. Without a doubt, they continue to be the source of a growing amount of frustration in the minds of the customers they were designed to help. While there is little doubt that the expanding set of technological advances ranging from the ubiquitous nature of cloud applications and services to the availability of big data analysis and context-related personalization will help, we should not overlook the benefits of common sense to improve customer service using today’s available tools and those yet to be introduced. Read more of this post

Coming Sooner or Later: The First Fully Virtualized Global Carrier

Brian Washburn

Brian Washburn

Summary Bullets:

  • Can a startup build global WAN facilities using nothing but the cloud? It may be impractical, but economics are trending toward possible.
  • Despite serious roadblocks today, the idea of sourcing/scaling facilities on-demand, and using them on a pay-as-you-use basis, seems tempting.

As a thought exercise, imagine what network function virtualization (NFV) will look like when the technology reaches its theoretical end state. Instead of switch/routers running on purpose-built hardware, the routing function could run entirely on software in virtual machines. These virtual machines in turn run on generic high-performance computing platforms located in large regional data centers and strategically distributed worldwide. What’s more, those large regional data centers happen to have plenty of competitive fiber linking them. That means plenty of carrier competitors to offer commodity priced, flexible high-performance switched Ethernet connectivity between sites. The result is a completely virtual global WAN operator, one that can ramp up and tear down both router horsepower and corresponding capacity, based on customer need. There would be no networking sunk costs – the primary investment would be in orchestration software, and in operations support/billing systems. Read more of this post

Mobile App Framework Powerhouses, Adobe and Sencha, Take Two Different Marketing Approaches

Charlotte Dunlap

Charlotte Dunlap

• The red hot application development framework market continues to thrive with two major announcements this past week, both aimed at helping enterprises more quickly and efficiently tackle their backlog of mobile app development projects in an effort to transform businesses.

• Both Adobe and Sencha represent leading mobile development framework providers, catering to JavaScript developers, but each has taken a different tack in their product positioning. Sencha, speaking this week to hundreds of its loyal following of developers during SenchaCon, targets the sophisticated Web based developers with advanced tools, while Adobe is reshaping its authoring tools via marketer-oriented analytics to help business users deliver continuous mobile app content.

Adobe is leveraging its mobile services to go after marketer customers looking to build business opportunity, largely by leveraging authoring tools with analytics that help them understand and react to users’ buying habits. In a strategic move to remain competitive, Adobe has merged its application development framework with its MEAP/MADP technology under the wing of Adobe Digital Marketing, highlighting the importance of the business user needs in keeping mobile apps updated. Mobile Services, part of the Adobe Marketing Cloud, is a comprehensive mobile application lifecycle including app development and management technology as well as an ecosystem for partner technologies will enhance its overall offering. At the heart of the mobile services are Adobe Experience Manager Apps and Adobe PhoneGap Enterprise, Adobe Analytics (Mobile Apps and Adobe Target), and various app tools from partners.

Sencha completed the merging of two of its flagship app development tools into a unified platform that supports web-based app development for any device/screen. Sencha Web Application Lifecycle Management Platform extends web app development tools from desktop to mobile development, while addressing lifecycle management issues such as analytics and debugging. The company’s merging of its popular JavaScript web development framework, Sencha Ext JS v6 with Sencha Space management solution addresses key complexity issues involved in the front-end mobile app design, development, and deployment process. The move also helps Sencha gain the attention of CIOs and IT departments because the new platform, including application management capabilities, supports standardization of app development across all platforms throughout the enterprise.

Despite their different go-to-market methods, both companies agree that key to success is their ability to attract the attention of CIO/IT departments in a top-down approach, versus continuing to merely attract developers with best-of-breed tools and platforms through a bottoms-up approach.

As proof of this trend, last fall, all the major application platforms conferences featured announcements around application development frameworks, helping illustrate the importance of the role of front-end tools in helping enterprise developers create compelling applications that help transform their businesses and remain competitive. (Please see Next-gen Development Frameworks Drive Democratization of App Development, October 23, 2014).

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