Amazon re:Invent 2018: Say Goodbye to Best-of-Breed and Hello to Best-of-Need Applications

B. Shimmin

Summary Bullets:

  • At its annual re:Invent 2018 conference, Amazon Web Services rolled out a blinding number of micro-specialized solutions that emphasize ‘best of need’ over ‘best of breed.’
  • But, there’s a danger lurking in this seeming freedom to adopt and combine capabilities at will, namely a new form of vendor lock-in.

At Amazon Web Services re:Invent 2018 this past week, attendees were treated to an avalanche of product launches and pre-release announcements. On display were three new data management services, four new Internet of Things (IoT) capabilities, eight new storage offerings, and thirteen new machine learning (ML) libraries — all designed to encourage developers to build and deploy solutions on the Amazon Web Services (AWS) platform. And that’s just the software dealing with big data and analytics. Continue reading “Amazon re:Invent 2018: Say Goodbye to Best-of-Breed and Hello to Best-of-Need Applications”

Tableau Conference 2018: Hello, This is Your Data Calling

B. Shimmin

Summary Bullets:

• Data and analytics have historically belonged to the technological elite, those able to understand the subtleties of inner vs. outer database joins or those willing to learn the difference between a scatter plot and histogram.

• That’s about to change, thanks to a groundswell of innovations emerging from analytics vendors which promise to make data analysis as easy as asking Google Assistant for the day’s weather forecast.

Here’s a very simple proposition to consider: What if we don’t really need citizen data scientists or business-savvy data specialists to realize the current dream shared by most in the enterprise data and analytics marketplace — that dream being the true democratization of data and data-driven insights.

What if instead of asking data specialist to put together a static report — an often iterative and time consuming process — anyone in an organization could type out the simple question, “What were this quarter’s sales numbers?” and get back a timely and accurate data visualization of that quarter’s sales numbers. Continue reading “Tableau Conference 2018: Hello, This is Your Data Calling”

For Huawei, AI Development is a Job That Doesn’t End with the Final Product

B. Shimmin

Summary Bullets:

• At its annual Connect conference in Shanghai, Huawei formally rolled out a new AI portfolio aptly marketed as a full-stack, all-scenario proposition that spans the physical and virtual AI solution set, covering everything from chip to solution.

• Somewhat lost in the sheer size of this portfolio, however, is a hidden gem that seeks to solve one of the biggest challenges facing AI practitioners, namely how to manage the lifecycle of AI apps themselves.

When Huawei sets its sights on a new market opportunity, rarely does the vendor tentatively dip its toes into unknown waters. As has become customary for the globally ambitious technology Chinese provider, new challenges are met all at once with an all-encompassing, all-inclusive portfolio of products that emphasizes immediate availability over future roadmap potentiality. And so it was this week when Huawei introduced its hyphen-heavy full-stack, all-scenario AI portfolio, that begins with the company’s new round of AI Ascend chips and ends with pre-integrated industry solutions.

An attempt to boil the entire stack down into something reasonably suited to general discussion, there are four basic layers to consider here, running from bottom to top: Continue reading “For Huawei, AI Development is a Job That Doesn’t End with the Final Product”

As Above, So Below: What Can We Learn From Inspur’s Joint Design and Manufacturing Philosophy?

B. Shimmin

Summary Bullets:

• What can we learn from global server powerhouse Inspur about customizing servers in order to optimize demanding AI workloads?

• Using Inspur’s joint design and manufacturing (JDM) business model as a guide, it seems current server hardware and software architectures are leaning heavily in the direction of extreme customization, scale and agility.

A long time ago (shortly before 475 BC), the Greek philosopher Heraclitus commented on the ephemeral nature of human perception and experience, noting that “No man ever steps in the same river twice.” To be sure, this is a fun notion to entertain while standing in line for coffee for the Nth time on the Nth commute to the same old office. But for hyperscale hardware manufacturer Inspur, it’s much more than a philosophical distraction. Continue reading “As Above, So Below: What Can We Learn From Inspur’s Joint Design and Manufacturing Philosophy?”

How to Succeed in AI by Really, Really Trying

B. Shimmin

Summary Bullets:

  • Just as the promise of AI is very real and likely to significantly alter the way all markets do business, so too is the danger that the decisions we make based upon AI may be flawed, filled with unseen bias, or just plain wrong.
  • Recent, diverging solutions from IBM and Google to the problem of building trust in AI reveal the sheer magnitude of this multifaceted problem and point to a multi-pronged solution that starts on the drawing board and ends in practice.

Without a doubt, artificial intelligence (AI) has already changed the way consumers interact with technology and the way businesses think about big challenges like digital transformation. In fact, GlobalData research shows that approximately 50% of IT buyers have already prioritized the adoption of AI technologies. And that number is expected to jump to more than 67% over the next two years. Continue reading “How to Succeed in AI by Really, Really Trying”

Comcast Business Asks the Age Old Question, “What’s Beyond Fast?”

 

B. Shimmin

Summary Bullets:

  • During its 4th annual analyst conference in Philadelphia, Comcast Business unveiled a new and decidedly inscrutable go-to-market campaign entitled “Beyond Fast.”
  • Plying its ActiveCore platform and virtualized network functions (VNFs), Comcast Business hopes to move beyond basic network functions and reach actual business outcomes not just for big business but also for its core SMB broadband customers.

 

When it comes to delivering connectivity to enterprise customers, Comcast Business doesn’t work (or think) like your typical telecom operator — or cable provider for that matter. For Comcast Business it isn’t about scaling up but rather scaling outward; it’s about delivering managed enterprise networking services the same way Comcast the cable provider delivers entertainment. That means standing up a huge number of endpoints in rapid succession. The company’s goal is to provision a new Ethernet customer every three minutes and add a new cable customer every 17 seconds.

Continue reading “Comcast Business Asks the Age Old Question, “What’s Beyond Fast?””

Enterprise Data and Analytics Cloud Migration Priorities: Part Two

B. Shimmin

Summary Bullets:

  • When it comes to enterprise data and analytics investments among enterprise IT buyers, recent GlobalData research points to a future dominated by all things cloudy.
  • But, how are enterprise buyers prioritizing a move to the cloud based on their current stance on cloud vs. premises prioritization? We dive into a new survey of more than 3,000 IT practitioners to find out.

In last week’s blog post on the topic of cloud migration priorities among IT buyers, we dipped a figurative toe into our newly concluded survey of more than 3,000 global IT professionals and discovered that when it comes to big data and artificial intelligence (AI), the cloud reigns supreme. As an example, we found that big data platforms on their own saw a massive 19% increase in spending over the past year, with 69% of IT budget holders setting ‘cloud’ money aside for data at scale across the enterprise. Across the board, we expect a 13% increase in investments among those currently leveraging the cloud.

But, how does that compare to those not currently leveraging the cloud? Let’s find out. Continue reading “Enterprise Data and Analytics Cloud Migration Priorities: Part Two”

Service Provider Adoption of AI Poised to Pick Up Momentum

R. Bhattacharyya

Summary Bullets:

  • Artificial intelligence has the potential to profoundly impact the way companies conduct business, and telecom service providers are no exception.
  • Fifty-five percent (55%) of telecom service providers have already prioritized chatbots, machine learning, and deep learning; over the next two years, this number is expected to grow to 75%.

Few telcos are saying much about their artificial intelligence strategies, but enterprise customers have much to gain from working with a provider that incorporates the technology into its processes and solutions. Artificial intelligence has the potential to profoundly impact the way companies conduct business, particularly telecom service providers. From an internal perspective, it can be used to improve network management, operations, security, and customer support. Operators can use AI to add new features to existing products, or to bring entirely new solutions to market. All of this is good for customers, but the benefits don’t stop there. Service providers are well positioned to use their lessons learned with AI to help customers make the most of the new capabilities. Continue reading “Service Provider Adoption of AI Poised to Pick Up Momentum”

Enterprise Data and Analytics Cloud Migration Priorities: Part One

B. Shimmin

Summary Bullets:

  • When it comes to enterprise data and analytics investments among enterprise IT buyers, recent GlobalData research points to a future dominated by all things cloudy.
  • But how are buyers prioritizing specific areas of investment such as workloads, including BI, data warehousing, and AI? We dive into a new survey of more than 3,000 IT practitioners to find out.

As an industry analyst, when a new survey arrives at your doorstep, you greet it as you would the arrival of an old friend who’s been oversees exploring other cultures and climes. After the customary hugs and hellos, it’s instantly down to business. Where did you go? What did you see and learn? And so it was with our newly returned 2018 Global IT Customer Insight survey. Now in its sixth iteration, this annual survey plumbs the international depths of the IT buyer landscape to discover current and future buying priorities across a wide array of investment areas. Continue reading “Enterprise Data and Analytics Cloud Migration Priorities: Part One”

Megadeal Between Microsoft and Walmart Speaks More About Fast AI Than Global Scale

B. Shimmin

Summary Bullets:

  • Walmart’s announcement that it would use Microsoft’s cloud platform and desktop apps across its entire business looks to be a direct shot across the bow of Amazon, a direct counterpoint to Amazon’s own ‘All In’ marketing mantra.
  • Instead, this partnership speaks more to the operationalization and unification of synergistic technologies – AI, IoT, big data – as a means of speeding time to market for Walmart’s numerous customer engagement projects.

At first blush, Walmart’s announcement that it would use Microsoft’s cloud platform and desktop apps across its entire business looks to be a direct shot across the bow of Amazon the retailer and Amazon the provider of public cloud services with Amazon Web Services (AWS). Continue reading “Megadeal Between Microsoft and Walmart Speaks More About Fast AI Than Global Scale”