Mobile App Platforms’ Role Continues to Evolve in API, IoT Era

C. Dunlap

C. Dunlap

Summary Bullets:

  • MEAP vendors are focused on IoT platforms and user experience (UX) technologies, which aim to help enterprises reach new markets according to the usability of their mobile apps and their ability to connect things.
  • Low-code development platforms leverage the infrastructure strengths of public clouds, such as IBM Bluemix and Microsoft Azure, to create mobile apps that analyze and respond in real time.

The role of mobile enterprise application platforms (MEAP) and mobile services continues to evolve, not only as a significant component of business transformation projects, but also as a means for extending current business app use. What began as technology to support desktop web experiences subsequently moved to omnichannel, mobile-first, and cloud-first experiences. MEAP is now at the crux of connecting devices – mobile and otherwise – as well as serving as the UX backbone that will empower a broader group of stakeholders, from savvy developers to non-coding business users. The technology spans both front-end mobile app and website design frameworks as well as backend integration services. The role of mobile app platforms is maturing into one that connects people, devices, and data, while helping to drive business-transforming marketing programs. (For further reading, please see: Competitive Landscape Assessment: Mobile Enterprise Application Platforms (MEAP), October 21, 2016). Read more of this post

Hello BlackBerry: Why Dropping Hardware Is Part of a Brighter, Security-Centric Future

E. Parizo

E. Parizo

Summary Bullets:

  • BlackBerry’s smartphone hardware exit is a positive development, not negative, and signals that the company’s turnaround is nearing completion.
  • BlackBerry held on to its hardware long enough to grow its software and services business, a move now paying off strategically and financially.

I must respectfully disagree with my esteemed colleague Avi Greengart’s take on BlackBerry’s recent decision to exit smartphone hardware design and manufacturing. Not only is this a positive development for BlackBerry, but it’s also a key sign that the vendor’s dramatic turnaround is nearly complete. Read more of this post

Can Qlik Weather the Storm in Transitioning from Premises to Cloud?

B. Shimmin

B. Shimmin

Summary Bullets:

• As with many pure play software vendors reared on the slow but steady revenue stream of on-premises perpetual licensing, Qlik knows it must make the transition to the cloud.

• Now that the firm’s sale to Thoma Bravo is complete, Qlik is using hopeful that its newfound stature as a private company will allow the freedom necessary to endure short term disruptions in favor of long term benefits.

This week I had the pleasure of attending Qlik’s annual analyst meeting, the Qlik UnSummit, held in Miami Florida. Surprisingly, despite having endured a category four hurricane (Hurricane Matthew) just a fortnight earlier, local Miami businesses and beachgoers seemed entirely unchanged and unharmed by the storm (I know; I was there just prior to Matthew’s arrival). That’s the way forces of nature work. They are unpredictable in the extreme. You have to plan for and expect the worst all while hoping for the best, knowing that unseen and unknowable variables will ultimately decide the outcome. Read more of this post

That’s Right, IoT Needs the Outdated Notion of Middleware

B. Shimmin

B. Shimmin

Summary Bullets:

• One of the greatest challenges with IoT isn’t device instrumentation or even data storage or analysis. It’s integration and how you move instrumented data (at speed) between endpoint, edge device, gateway, processing engine, data lake and analytics software.

• This focus on data integration coupled with the emergence of cloud-born software development/deployment practices will lead to a resurgence among traditional middleware vendors TIBCO, Software AG and Red Hat.

Memory deceives us so gently sometimes, like an old friend whispering in our ear, telling us that what has gone was so much nicer than what we have now. For me, I miss my childhood friends and home, my days at college, and most certainly my clear case Apple Newton. My recollections of those times and artifacts are so real, so warm and reassuring. And of course they’re each an absolute lie, as proven time and again by scientific research. We create the past anew each time we draw a memory to the forefront of our attention. Read more of this post

Red Hat Needs a Market Message to Match Its Broad IT Solutions Portfolio

C. Drake

C. Drake

Summary Bullets:

  • Red Hat has been expanding its business model beyond infrastructure, to focus on solutions that support enterprise DevOps initiatives and container and hybrid cloud management.
  • Ongoing challenges facing the company include growing competition and the need to strengthen its market message about the full range of solutions it offers.

With Red Hat’s total revenues increasing by 18.5% in the six months to August 31, 2016, and with over 50% growth in the number of deals valued at over $1 million in the same period, the open-source software solutions vendor has stepped up its efforts to keep the international analyst community briefed on its latest achievements, initiatives and future plans. At a Red Hat Analyst Day in London – the first such event outside the traditional setting of the vendor’s annual U.S. summit – Red Hat unpacked its vision of the ‘open hybrid cloud’ future and expounded on a large and varied portfolio of enterprise solutions that stretch from traditional products such as Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Red Hat Virtualization for physical and virtual data center environments, through to solutions for building and managing cloud architectures and for managing the entire lifecycle of applications within a hybrid cloud environment. Read more of this post

Just Because the FCC Is Cutting TDM Access Costs, Don’t Assume It Will Happen

Brian Washburn

Brian Washburn – Service Director, Business Network and IT Services

Summary Bullets:

• The FCC is getting ready to release an Order forcing double-digit rate cuts to DS3/DS1 special access services over three years.

• Enterprises looking for cost savings have a surer bet moving to Ethernet on broadband and/or fiber access alternatives wherever available.

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) appears finally to be in the home stretch of a move to force incumbent carriers to reduce rates for certain types of access. Specifically, after much back and forth on details, the proposal is now tilting to an 11% blanket rate decrease in access costs implemented over three years, from July 2017-2020, and by 3% per year after that (adjusted by inflation). These new price protections cover dedicated access services at speeds below 45 Mbps — that puts a bull’s-eye on the venerable DS3 and DS1 circuits. Also planned are new price protections for buyers, and more power for the FCC to handle complaints. Read more of this post

Platform, Person, Place: The Recipe for Productivity

T. Banting

T. Banting

Summary Bullets:

• Organizations should understand how employees work, what they need to do their job effectively, and where they need to work to ascertain what they need to be more productive.

• Organizations should only consider new collaboration and communications applications with the endorsement of their employees.

Many workplaces face daunting challenges today, including employee engagement, time management, and overwhelming workloads. And unfortunately, many vendors sell collaboration and communications technology as a panacea and not the business tool it really is. Communications and collaboration today is a combination of synchronous (i.e., communicating at the same time), and asynchronous tools; however, forcing people to use a tool that does not fit their personal preference inhibits their productivity. Some companies still try to force employees to adhere to standard platforms (e.g., email, unified communications, corporate intranet, etc.); however, consumer technology has made a strong presence in our everyday lives and subsequently, has made its way into businesses too – not only in terms of hardware preferences (e.g., smartphones and tablets), but also services. In an attempt to make themselves more productive employees are circumventing IT and embracing non-sanctioned applications (e.g. Skype, Facetime, HipChat, Slack, etc.), a phenomenon known as ‘shadow IT’. Read more of this post

Salesforce DX: Consumer-Style, Source Driven Development Experience

C. Dunlap

C. Dunlap

Summary Bullets:

• Salesforce DX will support popular standard development tools as part of its platform.

• The new platform experience will attract additional enterprise developers to its cloud services.

For enterprise developers, the most important news from Dreamforce 2016 was Salesforce DX—a new source-driven development experience (DX). The developer preview is based around externalizing source metadata, enabling the support of various open development tools to ease collaboration around metadata. Read more of this post

No More IT Stinkin’ Thinkin’

M. Fratto

M. Fratto

Summary Bullets:

  • Vendors promise the world with new products and technology and sometimes deliver. Shift your perspective to what technology can do, not what it can’t do.
  • Pavlovian dismissal of vendor claims is a drag on IT meeting the needs of the enterprise.

Back in the day, when I was failing at car sales (in our fail-fast social fabric, does that mean I was successful?), a sales manager pulled me aside and urged me to avoid “stinking thinking.” He’d point to the sales people huddled by the sales phone who were complaining about lack of leads due to too few walk-ins, the ‘up system,’ or the weather. What they weren’t doing was working the phones or client lists or performing other tasks that would lead to sales. Worse, stinking thinking was infectious, and if a sales person was caught up in the sphere of influence, they got pulled in and started complaining. I would have starved if I stayed in sales, but I took that lesson to heart. Read more of this post