AI and Machine Learning Need Developers More Than Data

B. Shimmin

B. Shimmin

Summary Bullets:

• Google wants to democratize AI and operationalize machine learning (ML) with the release of Google Cloud Machine Learning Engine, a platform that includes developer-friendly APIs and pre-trained data models.

• But what the company really needs isn’t just data, algorithms or even data scientists but instead a new breed of developers, who can build software that can anticipate outcomes.

It’s always the same at the end of a company’s keynote address. After all of the important messages have been conveyed and all of the product announcements have been made, a mid-level corporate mouthpiece will take the stage and provide the audience with some positive reinforcement of what went before. It’s like the closing credits of a film, something that may contain a nugget of interest to the cinephile. More often, it serves as filler, a thematic soundtrack to accompany attendees as they make for the exits.

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Public Cloud Wars Will Heat Up in 2017; Amazon and Google Battle Microsoft via Middleware Partnerships

C. Dunlap

C. Dunlap

Summary Bullets:

• Enterprises seeking greater infrastructure and data/application services efficiency are moving cloud-native and hybrid cloud application development to the public cloud.

• The next phase of cloud computing growth will be driven by containers, microservices, and Functions-as-a-Service, specifically those supporting mobile and IoT platform services.

Cloud-native and hybrid cloud application development is making its way to the public cloud as enterprises increasingly see Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud Platform (GCP) as a viable infrastructure and data/application services model. In the past week, AWS and GCP separately increased their app development arsenal by way of two key middleware and mobile middleware partnerships. Read more of this post

OpenWorld: Oracle’s Ellison Makes an Aggressive Play to Dominate the Cloud He Once Dismissed

A. DeCarlo

A. DeCarlo

Summary Bullets:

• Unveiling its second generation IaaS platform at its OpenWorld user conference, Oracle’s Ellison asserted that it is Oracle not AWS that will lead the market

• But the company has a lot of ground to cover to come anywhere close to dislodging a provider that continues to impress with an ever-expanding portfolio

Eight years after Larry Ellison ridiculed the cloud as a manufactured buzzword that encompassed everything the computing industry was already doing, the CEO has reversed course and is looking to play a spoiler in a market that forecasters predict could top $120 billion in just four years. Ellison turned his keynote into a scathing critique of AWS and a forum to present Oracle in the disruptor role. Read more of this post

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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Let Public Cloud Platforms be Your Last Battlefield

B. Shimmin

B. Shimmin

Summary Bullets:

• SAP has just announced that its new, real-time data warehouse, SAP BW/4HANA, will run equally well on both SAP- and Amazon-run cloud platforms.

• This push to use the public cloud, not as a point of exclusion (our software only runs on our cloud!), but as a point of value on its own will benefit both SAP and its customers through a virtuous circle of choice.

I proudly admit that I’m a serious Trekkie (not to be confused with those oddballs who call themselves Trekkers) and that many of my expectations of how technology and society should work are colored by my exposure to the idealistic stories created by Gene Roddenberry. For instance, I believe technology should make our lives better and that it should serve as a symbiotic partner rather than as an end unto itself, or worse as a means of exclusion. I’m talking to you, Facebook! But I also understand that at this stage in our cultural evolution, money drives innovation, and competitive differentiation, in turn, drives money. Exclusion and inclusion each push and pull value (read money and innovation) in a seemingly virtuous cycle. Read more of this post

VMworld 2016: VMware’s Plans for Cloud Domination

M. Fratto

M. Fratto

Summary Bullets:

  • One key strategy VMware employs is attempting to commoditize infrastructure through abstraction and virtualization.
  • Cloud providers need to watch as VMware’s strategy unfolds, ensuring they aren’t commoditized as well.

With Cross-Cloud Services, VMware wants to commoditize cloud services just like it sped up the commoditization of x86 servers. During the keynote demo of the tech preview, VMware replicated much of the functionality found in various cloud dashboards, but more importantly, Cross-Cloud Services consolidates the views into a consistent and cohesive dashboard. I think it’s a pretty impressive effort and I’m curious to see the final product, but as impressed as I may be, I can’t help but consider VMware’s endgame as it tries to manage all the clouds. Read more of this post

2016 Collaboration and Communications Forecast: Cloudy with Outbreaks of Hybrid?

T. Banting

T. Banting

Summary Bullets:

  • Many enterprises are so hampered by traditional, inflexible IT models that they’re eager to jump into the cloud and start reaping the benefits.
  • Some customers still have security and privacy concerns, and will continue to err on the side of caution by favoring private cloud or on-premises deployments.

Having attended two large industry events this month, it is clear that public cloud services are top of mind for many customers and a trending topic for 2016. Indeed, both Enterprise Connect and Jive World abounded with customers adopting public cloud collaboration and communication services. Cloud adoption in 2016 seems more tangible compared to the hype of last year and the momentum is staggering. While customers believe the cloud offers lower total cost of ownership, productivity improvements and increased flexibility, I also discovered two other themes worth mentioning. Read more of this post

Enterprise Connect 2016: It’s All About the PaaS, Stupid

B. Shimmin

B. Shimmin

Summary Bullets:

• At Enterprise Connect, the unified communications (UC) market’s slow and painful transition from hardware to software and services took an interesting and sudden toward platform-as-a-service offerings.

• It’s unclear if this “platformification” of communications heralds a new wave of investment and innovation, or is it yet another attempt to sell collaboration-enabled business processes (CEBP).

Toss a pebble into a still, small pond, and the ripples left behind will spread outward, eventually touching upon each and every inch of the shore. An idea is the same – and sometimes, when there’s more than one idea or pebble, they interact and interfere with one another, creating beautifully complex patterns of interference. Read more of this post

MWC16: IoT Battle Takes Shape as Middleware Vendors Prepare to Take on Telcos, SIs

Charlotte Dunlap - Senior Analyst, Application Platforms

Charlotte Dunlap – Senior Analyst, Application Platforms

Summary Bullets:

• Application platform vendors are working to build IoT initiatives based on integration infrastructure, app development tools, and business intelligence.

• UX has become mobile app development’s critical component for ensuring success around B2E and B2C apps.

Keenly aware that Mobile World Congress (MWC) is heavy with telco vendors, application platforms providers at last week’s event aggressively marketed their IoT and mobile initiatives to try to convince customers that their core integration technology provides the best foundational platform for expanding app development to connect to IoT devices. They are pressed to provide clarity around their IoT strategy, however, as the industry struggles to differentiate between various solution provider and service provider platforms.

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Managed Service Bundles Help Ease SMB Challenges, but ROI is Key

Cindy Whelan – Principal Analyst, Network and Wholesale Services

Cindy Whelan – Principal Analyst, Network and Wholesale Services

Summary Bullets:

• Service providers are taking advantage of the rise in cloud services to create managed service bundles, providing small and mid-size businesses (SMBs) with a one-stop shop for solutions delivered at a single monthly rate.

• SMBs have an increasing array of options to support a move away from capital investment to an operational expense model, managed service bundles offer the potential to reduce complexity and manage costs.

SMBs, defined by Current Analysis as those with 20 to 500 employees, represent a sizable segment of communications users. Tier 1 providers such as AT&T, CenturyLink and Verizon have typically served this segment with business bundles that package business lines and Internet service under a single monthly fee for very small businesses, and PRIs and network-hosted VoIP for larger SMBs. Over the last several years, and coincident with the rise of new competitors in the form of cable operators such as Comcast Business and Time Warner Cable Business and over-the-top providers such as 8×8, major service providers have reinforced their focus on the SMB segment, reshaping partner strategies, adding tools and portals, and expanding VoIP and UC solutions to include managed bundle offers that frees SMBs from the task of managing communications services.

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