Dear HPE, When it Comes to Big Data, All Software is “Core”

B. Shimmin

B. Shimmin

Summary Bullets:

• HPE is no longer burdened by application delivery management, IT operations management, big data, enterprise security, and information management software, all of which it termed to be “non-core.”

• Unfortunately, with the sale of these offerings to Micro Focus, HPE has dropped the very thing that would have driven forward its newfound remaining portfolio, namely business value.

Not even a full year has passed since HPE broke off from Hewlett-Packard Company and re-launched as HPE last November, creating a standalone company equipped with a pretty impressive software portfolio covering the cloud, data center infrastructure, and workplace applications. That was a lot to take in, given the storied history of Hewlett-Packard Company. But I think the data and analytics industry looked favorably on the idea of HPE as an enterprise-oriented firm, especially one in possession of software assets like Vertica, IDOL, and Haven.
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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.

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Mobile Analytics as an Enterprise Service

Kathryn Weldon

Kathryn Weldon

Summary Bullets:

  • New mobile analytic practices have recently been announced by both Vodafone and IBM
  • IT service providers and mobile network operators are both interested in providing additional value to existing enterprise mobility services through analytics

Mobile analytics have been around for a while. They are often provided to retail customers by companies ranging from branding and marketing specialists, to enterprise software developers, to service providers that can analyze buying habits of the retailers’ consumer customers. The intent is to use the data to enhance sales and marketing campaigns. The role of analytics is growing in the B2B space as well, especially with the rise in M2M data collection, where machines are spewing out lots of information but businesses need help analyzing and using it effectively. In the last few weeks, we have seen formal service launches in different areas of mobile analytics from Vodafone Global Enterprise and from IBM.

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Reinventing Email Through Analytics, One Inbox at a Time

Brad Shimmin

Brad Shimmin

Summary Bullets:

  • Building on big data ideas such as machine learning and predictive analytics, vendors are busy building the inbox of tomorrow
  • But don’t expect a radically different user experience. It will look a lot like the inbox of today — only minus the usual hateful elements and much, much smarter

The last time I checked, which was about ten seconds ago, which was itself about 60 seconds before the previous time I checked, email still sucks. And I’m sure it will continue in that vein another 50 seconds from now, when I again feel habitually compelled (or when a mobile alert instructs me) to inquire as to the current state of my world, which is wrapped up neatly within the messy confines of my inbox. Read more of this post

Blending Big Data and Biometrics Bolster Mobile Security

Brad Shimmin

Brad Shimmin

Summary Bullets:

  • NFC tattoos and pinky rings, USB keys, fingerprint scanners, front facing cameras, and the reams of usage data streaming from our mobile devices will change the very idea of identity
  • The result will be an emerging idea of ownership based upon physical proximity and pattern recognition, a potent cocktail of biometrics and big data

We are creatures of habit, and gladly so, I might add. Consistency helps us become more efficient, makes the world more understandable, and often gives us something to look forward to. For example, the small gift that is “Tater Tot Tuesday.” This workplace institution should regularly grace any well provisioned cafeteria each and every Tuesday. But what if this were to suddenly and inexplicably shift to Monday or Wednesday? Wouldn’t that elicit surprise, disappointment and maybe even downright anger, particularly among tater tot-loving alliteration enthusiasts? Read more of this post

Is PureCloud’s PureMatch the Next Customer Service Trend or Just PureFolly?

Ken Landoline

Ken Landoline

Summary Bullets:

  • Contact center queuing and routing based on traditional automatic call distribution (ACD) technology has always been a very linear process in which the next customer is typically matched with the next available agent. However, “who is next” never really translated to “what is best” for the customer or the enterprise.
  • PureMatch, an innovative application in the newly released PureCloud customer service offering of Interactive Intelligence, takes a new approach to matching customers to agents, which could prove to be better for customers and agents – or not.

Interactive Intelligence’s PureCloud – the company’s new cloud-based communications, collaboration and customer engagement offering, due out in Q4 of this year – is provided via the Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud. PureCloud reinforces the company’s thought leadership image in the customer service industry by offering several interesting and innovative applications, including: PureCloud Social Customer Service (SCS), an application that enables customers to view agent profiles and performance prior to selection of the agent; PureMatch, a system that automatically pairs customer interactions with contact center agents, based on multiple attributes and criteria; and PureCloud Directory, a corporate directory that makes enterprise user profile content available including skills, work experience, location, etc. Although all these applications are relevant to customer service operations, I believe it will be the criteria-based matching of PureMatch that will get the most attention in the contact center space. Read more of this post

Flexible Customer Contact and Big Data Combine to Give a Real Competitive Edge

Gary Barton

Gary Barton

Summary Bullets:

  • Mobile operators are providing a strong example of how enterprises can better engage with customers using new contact media.
  • Mobile operators are also emerging as powerful providers of ‘big data’ solutions that can provide genuine business insights.

Knowing who your customers are, where they are, being able to contact them, and enhancing their ability to contact you, is acknowledged to be a crucial factor in running a competitive business in most verticals. In an increasingly mobile world it is perhaps not surprising that some of the most interesting innovation is being pioneered by mobile operators. For example, Telefonica has emerged as one of the leading telcos in taking advantage of ‘new’ channels of communication to engage with its customers and provides a strong example of how businesses of all sizes can tap into the use of social media. Telefonica’s operations in Germany and the UK have both made recent moves to enhance their social media presence. O2 Germany has now launched an official Facebook ‘shop’ designed to allow O2 employees both to sell its products and services and also to offer feedback and advice. As well as providing a cost effective medium for sales, it also provides a way for O2 to demonstrate how its own employees consume O2’s products and services. O2 is one of a host of companies that are seeking to prove that they ‘eat their own dog food’, and enterprises should expect real life demonstrations of services such as unified communications (UC) propositions as they seek to establish which solutions will best enhance their own working practices. O2 UK, meanwhile, has officially launched ‘#TweetServe’, a customer account service that allows customers to find out a range of information (e.g., usage data) without having to phone customer service. The twitter service provides automated responses based on keywords, as well as also providing a standard customer identification process. Both this and O2 Germany’s Facebook page (which is open Monday – Saturday, 08:00 – 22:00) provide a valuable extension to a businesses operating/trading hours without significantly increased staffing costs. Read more of this post

Mixing the Perfect Big Data Elixir for IT Professionals in 2014

Brad Shimmin

Brad Shimmin

Summary Bullets:
• How should enterprise IT go about supporting and maybe even driving data and analytics projects in 2014?
• Familiarity with the likes of YARN, NoSQL, Python, ETL among many tools and tactics will help IT succeed with big data both this year and in the years to come

Welcome to 2014. Time for a fresh start and of course a look at how the enterprise data and analytics market will evolve as the new year unfolds. Frankly, you don’t have to look very far on the ol’ interweb to see numerous predictions and prognostications from yours truly and many, many others. Here’s a short list for those keeping score at home: 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