Sage Summit: Recurring Reinvention for Digital Business

What is Happening?          

While the highly-visible slogan on every presentation slide, every wall, and every booth at Sage Summit this year in Las Vegas was “Grow From Here,” the core theme underlying everything was really more one of recurring reinvention of Sage NA the company, its customer and partner ecosystems, and its offerings.

In the event kickoff keynote, CEO Pascal Houillon and CTO Himanshu Palsule both emphasized the “re-invention” of Sage NA, with CEO Houillon stating frankly that “What we have built the company into up to now is not enough,” and that Sage “must redefine its business to serve customers better.” This includes laying out a strategy and plan to shift toward being a more services, support, and information provider for SMBs, with the tagline, “Not software, Sage.”

Saugatuck sees this as a very visible example of how Cloud truly changes everything having to with business and IT, from the provider side to the buyer/user side and everything in between. To have any chance of long-term success in Cloud-first, digital-business environments, ISVs must not only innovate in business and technology, they must also regularly and recurrently re-think, review, redefine, revise, and re-invent anything and everything from business structure to offerings to processes to relationships. Continue reading

Going Green – Should IT Finally Say “Yes”?

A growing number of companies are of the mindset that being green is also best for the bottom line. Since IT can account for 80 percent of an enterprise’s energy consumed, vendors an enterprises alike should have experts who can understand the utilities business as well as how to improve data center energy efficiencies. No technology works without power, so it behooves us to help ensure that foundation is wisely used and not disrupted.

Earlier this month, 12 large U.S. corporations publicly urged energy suppliers to provide more renewable energy. To control costs and ensure future growth, enterprises must make energy consumption an important part of their strategic and tactical plans; IT is central to those plans. Vendors of cloud services should provide tools to support these challenges, while enterprises need to assert their leverage by communicating with local utilities and the broader marketplace their positions on energy price structures, reliability, and alternatives. Continue reading

5 Questions Every CISO Should Ask About Digital Business

For decades of business IT, we’ve managed to shunt customers aside and ignore their desires by building moats around the markets, products and services that we offer. These defensive tactics have included tariffs, trade barriers, legislative perquisites achieved through lobbying, modern versions of monopolism called oligopoly and the outright agglomeration of markets through merges and acquisitions with front-of-the-house shingles that display a veneer of choice.

But customers today know better, and now, customer trust is king in the new world of Digital Business. In this new world there are no secrets, no hidden ownership tricks, and no other fact than the customer chooses you, instead of you defining and segmenting your customers. Continue reading

Hosted Private Cloud: Not a Contradiction of Terms

In a recently published Strategic Perspective, Saugatuck articulates how a Hosted Private Cloud may be the best alternative for workloads involving sensitive data requiring a degree of security. In addition we offer seven additional key factors to consider when evaluating Cloud offerings for specific workloads:

  • Optimal Capacity
  • Flexible Capacity
  • Server Provisioning
  • Availability and Disaster Recovery
  • Application considerations
  • Metered Usage and Chargeback
  • Support

Continue reading

Microsoft’s “One Windows” Strategy

What is Happening?          

Quietly included in Microsoft’s quarterly analyst call this week was a critically strategic positioning statement, followed by some clarification, by company CEO Satya Nadella. The topic? “One Windows.” Saugatuck believes that the “One Windows” effort is actually a core strategic positioning by MSFT – one which has been widely misinterpreted, and therefore discounted in the marketplace.

The most widely held misunderstanding right now is that “One Windows” means the same OS, the same UI, the same everything, everywhere, on any device.

In our view, what “One Windows” really means is a unified development strategy leading to a centrally-governed, federated union of developers, partners, and customers across Windows and all related software and devices, as follows:

  • One internal Microsoft team coordinating and developing all Windows alternatives – including the Xbox One OS. This began a year ago, with the establishment of the “Unified Operating System Group.”
  • One common NT core. Each Windows version is built on top of this core, and is adapted/optimized for the range of devices and environments in which it will be run.
  • One app/software store with one common business model across all Windows versions and developer/user environments.
  • One unified developer platform that enables developers to “write once and run on any Windows variant,” suggesting a long-term goal of “universal Windows apps.” This still requires lots of work on APIs and tools.

Continue reading

Cloud Robotics: Robots of the World Unite

“Cloud Robotics” as a term is only a few years old, but the idea has been around for some time. If complex sensory tasks can be performed at a distance, then robots will need to have less bulky processing units on board. With expanding connectivity and higher bandwidths, some of the latency issues in this type of arrangement are being removed, and many vendors are looking at this area with renewed interest.

Robotics are essential to modern industry, and will play an ever-increasing role in daily life. Many, such as vehicles, will require some degree of autonomy. They will also require an ever increasing amount of processing and storage. The Cloud makes it possible to virtualize robot components and provide sensory and other solutions that can take advantage of the enormous facilities of Cloud IT. Robotic components can be virtualized and provided for interaction and download as a Robot-as-a-Service parts. Using the Cloud, moreover, provides access to all of the data and programming available on the Internet, and the ability to directly share learning between robots. It also makes it possible to coordinate robot teams for work on complex processes. Continue reading

NetSuite Buys Venda for European Push

Late last week NetSuite announced the acquisition of Venda, a private company with headquarters in London and offices in New York and Bangkok. Venda, a Cloud-based ecommerce solution provider, offers ecommerce design and build, plus operational and support services, presently hosting over 75 midsized and large customers, primarily in EMEA markets. Venda serves both B2C and B2B providers with its multi-lingual and multi-currency platform.

In a follow-up briefing, NetSuite shared that it intends to leverage the Venda platform and customer base to accelerate its international growth, building on its recent momentum for NetSuite SuiteCommerce in EMEA. As demonstrated by the recent agreement with T-Systems, the integration arm of Deutche Telekom, it is becoming clear that it is essential to have a native presence in EMEA markets to Continue reading

Five Questions about the IBM / Apple Deal

What is Happening?

On July 15, IBM and Apple announced that they would enter into a partnership that would allow IBM to procure, manage, and service Apple devices, as well as have IBM develop significant enterprise applications for the iOS platform.

Some detail of the deal include:

  • IBM will offer tools to procure Apple devices, deploy enterprise applications, and manage mobile devices
  • IBM will develop 100 industry-specific applications designed to run natively on iOS
  • Apple is creating a new extension of AppleCare called AppleCare Enterprise, which will be facilitated by Apple and IBM and which will offer extended phone support, as well as on-site device repair and replacement.
  • IBM will create and provide iOS-specific backend services designed to facilitate the development and operation of iOS business applications.

Industry reaction has been varied, but almost all agree this is positive for both Apple and IBM. Continue reading

How Successful is Digital Business So Far?

Less than half of all business and IT leaders that Saugatuck recently surveyed (See 1390SSR, 2014 Enterprise Intelligence Survey: Digital Business & Hybrid Cloud, 20June2014) believe that they are “very” or “extremely” successful in their Digital Business pursuits. Another fifty percent believe they are at least “somewhat” successful (See Figure 1 – Digital Business Success).

 Figure 1 – Digital Business “Success”

Customer Experience Management Continue reading

How to Not Build Cloud Business Upside-down

Saugatuck’s latest global IT and Business leader survey seems to indicate that enterprises’ pursuit of Cloud benefits and Digital Business may be following an “upside-down” pyramid model that could lead top substantial costs – costs which can be readily avoided by making the right moves today. A recently-published Strategic Perspective for Saugatuck’s research clients digs into a big slice of the data from that survey to see if how we’re approaching Cloud Business/Digital Business is, in fact, upside-down – and if so, what’s going to happen, and why.

In that data, we can see that the vast majority of IT and business leaders agree that Cloud’s key benefits are in greater business agility and flexibility. A slimmer majority report successful integration of Cloud with on-premises business solutions, leveraging Cloud to create new products and services, and having a formal architecture for accomplishing all the above. Finally, a significant plurality report having the skills required to make it all work. Continue reading