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

Amazon Web Services Summit: Real-time IoT Insights via SQL? Say Hello to Kinesis Analytics

B. Shimmin

B. Shimmin

Summary Bullets:

  • IoT platforms from major cloud platform players are quickly emerging, bringing to bear the economies of scale only available with the public cloud to the task of instrumenting business.
  • No stranger to the public cloud, Amazon announced a new streaming analytics service that will open up IoT to a broad range of ISVs and enterprises by blending the familiarity of SQL with both speed and scale.

While enduring some pretty extreme heat (an index of over 110 degrees) in New York City late last week, I had the opportunity to attend the Amazon Web Services (AWS) Summit, where I took in a particularly interesting keynote address given by the CTO and VP of Amazon.com, Dr. Werner Vogels. During his speech, Mr. Vogels trumped a familiar idea about digital transformation – basically, that companies abandon analog methods in favor of those digital – and the reasons why this is necessary not just to compete, but to remain in business. Read more of this post

Microsoft’s UC Commander Acquisition Boosts Skype for Business and Increases the Squeeze on Service Providers

G. Barton

G. Barton

Summary Bullets:

• Microsoft’s acquisition of Event Zero’s ‘UC Commander’ analytics platform strengthens its UC solutions.

• The decision of who to work with for UC solutions is not easy and there are many good options – but integration is key and end users should consider who is best placed to work with their telecoms and IT estate.

Microsoft recently announced the acquisition of the ‘technology assets’ underlying Event Zero’s ‘UC Commander’ product suite. The UC Commander suite provides a series of management and analytics tools specifically for Microsoft Skype for Business (Skype). Presently, Skype users can already use the Office 365 administration centre to assign phone numbers, view usage reporting for audio and video calls/conferences, and to monitor call quality. The new acquisition will add further diagnostic and troubleshooting tools within a single new portal. Microsoft also envisages that its SP partners will be able to more easily connect on-premise Skype deployments with Office 365 and hybrid environments in general. Read more of this post

Attack and Defense Together Drive Enterprise Analytics Strategies

Jerry Caron

Jerry Caron

Summary Bullets:

• The motivation for high levels of data and analytics initiatives may be as much about worry over the implications as it is about innovative differentiation.

• The demand for better business-grade data to drive insightful analytics will merge with the capabilities being developed by suppliers to create a very important and exciting era of strategic IT.

Organizations of all sizes and types are preparing themselves for a new wave of strategic IT initiatives driven by big data and analytics—quite often linked to Internet of Things (IoT) programs—according to a recent Current Analysis global study. But to be fair, the motivation for this high level of engagement may be as much about worry over the implications of such programs as it is about innovative differentiation.

The capability for organizations to utilize big data to improve or transform business processes more easily is one of the most significant IT-related developments in at least the past decade. Analyzing and acting on customer or process information is not at all new, of course. What is new, however, is the emerging capability to analyze unthinkably large stores of data, very quickly, and in easily-understood visualizations that can either inform decision-making in near real-time, or indeed fuel automated process enhancements and tactical actions.

The potential power of enterprise data and analytics is as daunting as it is impressive. It can enable everything from rather mundane process enhancements that improve profitability, to vastly higher rates of customer satisfaction, to entirely new business models that disrupt conventional business practices to their core. All of these outcomes and more have business executives at the highest levels paying close attention. The recent Current Analysis Enterprise Investment Plans study shows that while over 20% of enterprises are actively pursuing analytics projects, the vast majority—59%—are considering an analytics project in the next 12 months. That means lots of companies are currently in the stage of thinking about what to do.

Much of IT is about enabling or improving processes. Strategic IT, however, builds and drives organizations to entirely new business models or new levels of competitive differentiation. Like web commerce previously, data and analytics is one such strategic IT opportunity. What is interesting to note about the high numbers of organizations still thinking about what to do is that it implies indecision. That itself can be interpreted in two ways: the thinking about analytics is either an offensive strategy with careful assessment about how to attack the market with a clearly differentiated proposition, or it is defensive maneuvering to avoid being blindsided by competitors.

I suspect it is mostly the latter, if only because the tools to democratize analytics, as my colleague Brad Shimmin puts it, are taking shape just now. Whether driven by offense or defense, the demand for better business-grade data and analytics will merge with the capabilities being developed by suppliers to create a very important and exciting era of strategic IT.

Read more of this post

Unleashing the Data Scientist Within, Cautiously

Brad Shimmin

Brad Shimmin

Summary Bullets:

  • We’re all becoming data scientists, steeped in the meaning and value of data along with data visualization and discovery.
  • Applying self-service expectations to big data could readily lead to erroneous conclusions and a resulting lessening of trust in big data and in IT itself.

I don’t play tennis, but if I did so with any passion for the game, it’s likely that I’d also be a data scientist.  Well, at least I’d be thinking more like one thanks to the current market rush toward device instrumentation and personal analytics. Read more of this post

When Building for Big Data, Remember to Think Small

Brad Shimmin

Brad Shimmin

Summary Bullets:

  • With a continued focus on top down, company-wide all-encompassing projects, big data is in danger of turning into the next service oriented architecture (SOA) – a good idea that simply cannot be realized.
  • Conversely, Microsoft’s diminutive self service business intelligence solution, Power BI for Office 365, highlights the potential in thinking small with big data.

I never win anything. For that reason I never gamble and have never, ever entered the Publishers Clearing House sweepstakes. But last week on a whim I requested a beta invitation for Microsoft’s forthcoming self service business intelligence (BI) service (Power BI for Office 365 preview). Lucky me, I won an invite and immediately began pawing through the available documentation and downloading a few samples. What did I find? Sometimes the biggest insights can be found in the smallest of packages, even the seemingly unpretentious spreadsheet itself. Read more of this post

Mobile Analytics Form a Two-Way Street Between the Past and the Future

Brad Shimmin

Brad Shimmin

Summary Bullets:

  • There are great advantages to disseminating analytics smarts to mobile users such as sales persons.
  • Real innovation, however, comes when you combine that dissemination with the collection of data points.

I spent a few hours yesterday listening to a number of SAP ISV partners including ExpertIG, Rapid Consulting and Liquid Analytics demonstrate mobile software built to support the wholesale market.  I know, that doesn’t sound incredibly exciting.  Yet, long before the expiration of my admittedly short attention span, I was struck squarely by what was for me a stunning realization.  Big data should be as much about collecting data as it is about gleaning knowledge from that data. Read more of this post

The New Analytics: Do Android Devices Dream of Electric Sheep?

Brad Shimmin

Brad Shimmin

Summary Bullets:

  • We are already living in the midst of some very smart mobile devices which are capable of capturing the physical, situational, operational and even emotional facets of the human machine.
  • So, why not donate this ‘big data’ to better serve ourselves and the greater good?

Being a hopeful believer in synchronicity (or at least a believer in the potential of coincidence), my ears perked up late last week when the third vendor in as many weeks mentioned the coming ‘Internet of Things’ during three seemingly unrelated discussions around analytics, collaboration and business apps.  Obviously, the idea of smart, interconnected devices has reached some sort of significant meme threshold for major firms IBM, SAP and VMware, helped no doubt by some excellent marketing from Cisco. Read more of this post

Disruption (and Progress) in the Cloud, Continued

  • Amy Larsen DeCarlo

    Amy Larsen DeCarlo

    One of the bigger benefits promised by the cloud is cost-effective access to the latest and greatest technology, often including compute-intensive services that were out of reach for all but the largest enterprises.

  • Providers are now delivering some advanced services through the cloud including analytics and ERP applications.  The migration to the cloud, and away from a conventional consumption model, is having a profound impact on the hardware suppliers and the competitive playing field.  How will this shake up effect service delivery and customer choice?

In the traditional client/server computing model that dominated the market for so many years, organizations relied on a Cap-Ex-centered approach to IT consumption where their individual technology pursuits were tied directly to often tight hardware budgets and procurement cycles.  New application upgrades were linked to long term licensing agreements and sometimes lengthy hardware depreciation time tables. This could push some often ambitious processing-intensive projects well into the future or even outside the realm of possibility. Read more of this post

Analytics in the Cloud: Making the Right Connections

A. DeCarlo

A. DeCarlo

Summary Bullets:

  • ‘Big data’ analytics could have major implications on the ability of providers to move workloads seamlessly between and among clouds based on processing needs and other requirements.
  • Vendors and providers alike are gearing up for future needs by investing now in the technology to provide the underlying analytics to automate decision support and drive higher-level computing.

‘Big data’ is one of those great nebulous terms that gains traction in part because it is vague enough to be all-inclusive.  In spirit, big data resembles the amorphous nature of the cloud by offering such an undefined scope that its potential seems nearly endless.  Massive volumes of mobile and other data can provide organizations with deep insights into complex pattern phenomena such as consumer behavior, which can be potentially priceless to a company trying to grow market share.  However, without a way to process all this data, the information is practically unintelligible. Read more of this post