Category Archives: Lens360

Cisco, Ericsson Partner on Networks, IoT, Mobility and More

This week, Cisco and Ericsson announced a broad-reaching and, in many ways, unprecedented partnership regarding Cloud, IoT, mobility, and more.

The partnership focus is on network transformation for network services providers, including advancements in mobility and the Internet of Things (IoT). The partnership includes planned global coverage affecting business and technology from both companies, including the following: Continue reading Cisco, Ericsson Partner on Networks, IoT, Mobility and More

HP Ends an Era, but Can It Start a New One? 3 Issues to Fix

This is the first week of the “new” Hewlett Packard reality. From now on, two entities – HP Inc. (NYSE: HPQ)  and HP Enterprise (NYSE: HPE) – will carry forth the remaining legacy of the original Silicon Valley IT innovation titan. The new HPQ will sell personal computers and printers; HPE will sell commercial computer systems, software and tech services.

Saugatuck has little doubt that the HP legacy will continue to be powerful and influential within enterprise IT circles. Despite being halved, these are still two massive firms with impressive market presences including customers and channels. By Saugatuck terms, HP is still a Master Brand, or now, two Master Brands.

But behind the two nameplates, we still have the “old” HP. And that means there are still strategic questions that need to be addressed. For Saugatuck and our clients, the three most important questions are as follows:

  1. Can HP return to investing in innovation – in itself and in its customers’ ability to do business? Frankly/bluntly, HP lost much of its drive to innovate two decades ago, as it began a pattern of pursuing innovation more through acquisition rather than through investment. Since 1992, HP has been looking to acquire the “next big thing,” rather than build it over time. The key examples: acquiring Compaq rather than develop and advance its own PC lines to dominate markets; acquiring Palm in an attempt to enter mobility in a dominant fashion; acquiring Autonomy in an attempt to start big in Cloud-based business software. These and other poor strategic investments (e.g., acquiring legacy-saddled EDS while data center models were moving toward blades and Cloud) led to significant losses of shareholder value, which made necessary increasingly-dramatic cost-cutting, which stripped the firm of its ability to invest in long-term business change and improvement – i.e., innovation.

Ironically, innovation – the ability to invent, change, and adapt – requires stability. Stability enables a long-term view, and promotes predictable and adequate investment in new and expanded initiatives; stability forgives many of the potential negatives required with innovation, including lost causes and sunk costs. In recurring attempts to “go big or go home” in declining and new markets alike, and in so doing convincing itself that significant innovation must come through acquisition, the “old” HP practically stripped itself of the ability to innovate.  Continue reading HP Ends an Era, but Can It Start a New One? 3 Issues to Fix

Ahead of the Cloud Business Summit: Internet of Things—What’s a Leader to Do?

The use and value of the Internet of Things (IoT) will grow at a rapid clip over the next few years, driven by real-world applications using innovative technologies and applications. A recent Capgemini report estimates the IoT is a $10T global opportunity, with 40% of all data originating from machine-to-machine (M2M) deployments by 2020.

The effects on industries vary with the earliest adopters being in government, manufacturing, transportation, energy, and healthcare. But growth can be stalled by poor interoperability, security concerns, and unproven ROI – not to mention that the effects of the IoT on enterprise IT organizations, infrastructure, and providers are disruptive.  Continue reading Ahead of the Cloud Business Summit: Internet of Things—What’s a Leader to Do?

Infosys’ New CFO – A Sign of Necessary IT Services Provider Change

Earlier this week, Bangalore-based software and services provider Infosys Ltd. named a new CFO – something that Saugatuck sees as a sign of change not only in Infosys’ leadership, but also as regards the ITO / outsourcing services industry.

Infosys announced that Rajiv Bansal is resigning as chief financial officer, with M.D. Ranganath promoted to CFO as of the close of business on Monday 12 Oct. 2015. Bansal had been CFO for three years. 15-year company veteran Ranganath has most recently been EVP and Head of Strategic Operations, responsible for strategic planning, risk management, mergers and acquisitions and corporate marketing.

Saugatuck sees this action by Infosys in two ways. First, it is a senior management shakeup influenced, if not directed, by disruptive new CEO Vishal Sikka; and second, it is a reflection of how changing market realities are driving strategic business and management changes in what IT services providers are, and how they are organized and managed.

Why is this happening? Infosys has a new CEO (the first not promoted to the position from within the company) with different insights and points of view, and a willingness to push a change-based agenda through a traditional IT business. Sikka shook up the organization, strategy, core technologies and offering portfolio at SAP (where he previously was on the Executive Board, and led product development) to make it more competitive Continue reading Infosys’ New CFO – A Sign of Necessary IT Services Provider Change

IBM, MSFT, GE – Reinventing for Digital Business Realities

What is Happening?          

IBM, GE and Microsoft: Three very established firms with very traditional business models, customer bases, and revenue streams. All three have faced weighty, accumulative challenges to their core markets, original business models, and value propositions, resulting in substantial share price devaluation and negative effects on revenue and profitability, as well as unrest among partners and customers, leading to many defections and strained relationships.

But if there are to be “poster children” for the rethinking and re-invention of 20th-century business for the 21st century of boundary-free Digital Business, these would be great candidates.

GE has brought us the “industrial internet,” one of the most lucid visions of the IoT, translating the value and opportunity of Digital Business into some of the most traditional marketplaces, including industrial manufacturing, machining, and supply chain management.

IBM this week announced their massive “Cognitive Business” positioning, leveraging existing consulting, Cloud, software, and hardware portfolios with the Watson cognitive computing/analytical engine(s), ironically to help enterprise customers understand how to alter their own businesses in the face of changing markets.

And Microsoft has reinvented its core Windows strategy (and offerings) while shifting to Cloud-based delivery and revenue streams for its critical desktop business apps – and expanding a nascent computing / communications hardware presence (including signing up traditional PC partners Dell and HP as sales outlets) to help expand both of these.

What Saugatuck sees in all three of these cases is massive, long-established, and very threatened 20th-century technology firms and industrial conglomerates are rethinking and re-inventing themselves in a remarkable manner, and in a remarkably short amount of time. Whether or not they will be successful is still an open question. Continue reading IBM, MSFT, GE – Reinventing for Digital Business Realities

Dell + EMC – Pluses and Minuses

The blogosphere is abuzz this morning with rumors of an impending Dell – EMC merger (see Wall Street Journal article here), with Dell seeming poised to acquire the much-larger EMC, likely using a mix of cash on hand and cash borrowed from investment bankers, hedge funds, and other sources.

On the surface, a Dell + EMC combination could make sense. EMC’s market-leading physical storage, storage management, security, virtualization technologies, et al, would all add great capabilities to the enterprise-first portfolio that Dell has been building and refining for years. They could also help provide improved capabilities for Dell’s increasing Cloud-first strategy – primarily for Private Clouds (mostly at the lower layers of Saugatuck’s EcoStack, but enabling more services in the middle and upper layers).

But there are some potentially large challenges in such a combination.

One is that EMC has not been able to leverage enough of its core technologies into Cloud-first solutions that can or do deliver the types of revenue needed to counter declining sales of traditional, on-premises solutions. While EMC has made great strides in evolving to software revenues, much of their software is for use in on-prem Continue reading Dell + EMC – Pluses and Minuses

GE’s Minds + Machines Focuses on Industrial Change for Survival

This week GE met with customers and partners for the fourth annual Minds + Machines conference. In his keynote, available for replay online, CEO Jeff Immelt said that Industrial Internet value is nothing fancy — it’s doing substantive things that customers appreciate: no unplanned downtime, asset optimizations, and enterprise optimization.

GE focused much of the discussion on its Predix cloud-based platform, saying it is core to GE’s business, and essential for melding physical and digital assets. GE reasserted what it said in August — that Cloud computing is an enabler for innovation in industry, now enabling its key customer segments – aviation, energy, healthcare and transportation – to improve their use of data, increase timeliness of analysis, and improve their asset performance (1618RA, GE Drives into Cloud Services Market with the Roar of its Predix Engine, 6Aug2015). GE also announced a bevy of new features and partnerships and said its software business has revenues of $6 billion today and will grow to $10 billion by 2020.

Both Immelt and GE Chief Digital Officer Bill Ruh portrayed the Industrial Internet as more important than the consumer Internet of Things (IoT). Ruh quipped that GE provides the “Internet of Really Important Things” and the Industrial Internet could become twice the size of the consumer IoT. Perhaps this is posturing. While we agree on the importance of the Industrial Internet, (1575STR, IoT Platforms: Where’s the Apps?, 8May2015), we also Continue reading GE’s Minds + Machines Focuses on Industrial Change for Survival

ISG SIC 2015 – The New, Scary, IT Services Reality

It’s unlikely that any type of enterprise IT vendor will be more important than IT services providers to the changing face of business IT, and to the digital-first reshaping of global business.

The big question is, will the leaders be today’s most influential providers, transitioned to the new realities, or will it be another group or type of services providers built around today’s nascent, digital-business-first technologies and innovative business practices?

This week, Saugatuck CEO Bill McNee, Sales VP Al Vanek, and I participated in “Future Smart. Achieving Success in the Digital World,” the Sourcing Industry Conference (SIC) hosted in Dallas by Saugatuck parent Information Services Group (ISG) along with more than 170 sourcing industry providers from all markets. We spent time discussing enterprise business changes – especially the emergence of Cloud, mobility, analytics, and Digital Business – and their impacts on IT outsourcing of all types with longtime Saugatuck clients Accenture, Cognizant, IBM, and Wipro, along with representatives from Atos, Genpact, HCL, HP, Infosys, TCS, Xerox and too many others to list here.

Ongoing clients of Saugatuck’s CRS subscription research service will see more in-depth insights from these conversations over the coming weeks. The net for this blog post is this: The business IT world is, right now, changing faster and creating more new types of opportunity for IT services providers than we have ever seen previously. But at Continue reading ISG SIC 2015 – The New, Scary, IT Services Reality

 First Take: Dreamforce and the Continuous Change of Business IT

As we wrap up one week of travel and client work and head to the next, we’d like to offer up our first-take thoughts on Salesforce’s just-concluded Dreamforce event in San Francisco. Two things stand out for now:

Microsoft. Salesforce made it abundantly clear not only that it is partnered with Microsoft, and that the partnership is core to Salesforce’s future. By one count, Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff mentioned “Microsoft” more than 20 times in his keynote. More concretely, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella used the event to unveil the new integration of its Cortana Analytics Suite into Salesforce, highlighting Cortana’s natural-language voice search, predictive analytics, and associated Salesforce / SalesCloud app-friendly dashboards. Microsoft and Salesforce leaders also talked up a deeper partnership that is meant to lead to integrations of a bevy of MSFT business apps, including Skype for Business, OneNote, and the Office Delve and Office Graph offerings with Salesforce’s Cloud platforms and associated apps.

Obviously, talk is cheaper than action, especially when it comes to strategic vendor partnerships. Driving meaningful revenue is the only real yardstick. But given how these two firms still compete head-to-head in CRM and related business management software markets, the talk more than likely signifies an expanded / expanding relationship that frankly, is likely to benefit Salesforce more than Microsoft. Both firms are strong in mid-sized and smaller firms, and Microsoft should benefit in both through the Salesforce connection. But Microsoft can be one powerful key that helps unlock more large-enterprise doors for Salesforce.

Data and Things. Salesforce announced the release of its new “IoT Cloud,” which is being positioned as a platform and set of capabilities linking and enabling access to data from most types of Internet-connected devices. Data from social media services, Continue reading  First Take: Dreamforce and the Continuous Change of Business IT

On The Road At Tagetik In Touch

Earlier this week I traveled to Lucca, Italy, to participate along with nearly a thousand other clients, partners and colleagues in Tagetik’s annual In Touch Partner Summit and Conference. This included moderating a panel of channel partner executives on Wednesday September 16th, and delivering an afternoon featured presentation entitled “Navigating the Cloud: What’s Driving Adoption?” on Thursday September 17th.

Long known as a provider of unified BI / corporate performance management software, Tagetik offers a robust suite that addresses a range of customer needs, including planning, budgeting and consolidations. I enjoyed meeting one-on-one with more than a dozen customers at the conference, and it quickly became clear that the solution set is especially relevant to upper-mid and large enterprise customers who emphasized Tagetik’s ability to address their complex, global requirements to me.

On Thursday, I also had a chance to sit down with Manuel Vellutini, Tagetik’s Co-CEO, and Dave Kasabian, the firm’s CMO, about their priorities for 2016 and beyond. Three key themes came through: Continue reading On The Road At Tagetik In Touch