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

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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.

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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 salesforce.com 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

Memo to Satya Nadella as Microsoft Shifts Its Core  

To:       Satya Nadella, CEO, MSFT
From:   Bruce Guptill, 30-year IT industry analyst
Re:       Your email of 11 July

Sir:

I have read through and discussed your “internal” email regarding Microsoft’s direction and emphasis with several colleagues and competitors, and I must say, “Bravo.” You are the first Microsoft CEO to effectively, publicly, shift the company’s core positioning and direction. That took vision, guts, planning, lots of internal politicking, and nerves of steel.

For me, the key bits were as follows:

  • “We will reinvent productivity for people who are swimming in a growing sea of devices, apps, data and social networks.”
  • “Across Microsoft, we will obsess over reinventing productivity and platforms.”
  • “We will relentlessly focus on and build great digital work and life experiences with specific focus on dual use. Our cloud OS infrastructure, device OS and first-party hardware will all build around this core focus and enable broad ecosystems. Microsoft will light up digital work and life experiences in the most personal, intelligent, open and empowering ways.”
  • “Developers and partners will thrive by creatively extending Microsoft experiences for every individual and business on the planet.”

In my view, you hit every important point in the right way, effectively blocked every obvious avenue to thwart change, and provided enough direction and emphasis to inspire and guide. Kudos to you and your Continue reading

Digital Business Journey – A Path of Least Resistance

What is Happening?          

Analysis of the responses to Saugatuck’s latest global survey indicates that the concept of “Digital Business” is considered highly important by enterprise business and IT leaders. But while the concept of utilizing digital technologies and associated business and IT processes is certainly not new, for some the holistic transformation often required to realize the full business benefits of Digital Business can be daunting.

Thus, not surprisingly, analysis of our 2014 survey data reveals that most user enterprises appear to be taking – at least initially – a “path of least resistance” in their evolution toward Digital Business. For example, our survey respondents indicated the following:

  • 69 percent are enhancing traditional offerings into digital experiences; and
  • 61 percent recognize the importance of state-of-the-art digital monetization; however,
  • Only 43 percent have implemented state-of-the-art digital monetization systems needed to manage – and profit from – their Digital Business efforts.

Figure 1 depicts these results using data from our recently-published summary report, Saugatuck’s 2014 Enterprise Intelligence Survey: Digital Business & Hybrid Cloud, (1390SSR, published 20June2014). Continue reading

Vendor-driven “Open” Standards and the IoT/IoE

Kudos to Intel, Dell, Samsung, Broadcom, et al for establishing the Open Interconnect Consortium, which aims to deliver an open-source specification for common language(s) between devices and objects so they can communicate more easily, and therefore enable the increasingly-cited Internet of Things (I still insist that it is, and will be, the Internet(s) of Everything(s)).

Kudos also to Qualcomm, LG, Panasonic and Microsoft for establishing and promoting the AllSeen Alliance, which aims to deliver an open-source specification for common language(s) between devices and objects so they can communicate more easily, and therefore enable the increasingly-cited Internet of Things/Internet(s) of Everything(s).

Wait – two vendor-driven groups striving to create “open” standards for the same thing? Hmm. Continue reading