Category Archives: Lens360

Catching Up With Alteryx

Earlier this week, Saugatuck had the opportunity to talk to analytics provider Alteryx. Alteryx provides a tool that combines both ETL and Advanced Analytics into a single tool, which helps their primary customers – LOB analysts – get their analysis done faster.

Over the last 2 years, Alteryx has gained significant traction with a “land and expand” go-to-market strategy that targets LOB users initially and then expands internally, often with the support of IT. This strategy has helped them grow from 150 customers two years ago to just over 1,000 today (including EMC, Home Depot, Verizon, and Cardinal Health – see Saugatuck Lens360 blog post Alteryx Inspire – The Importance of Analytic Context, published 01July 2014). They have also been succeeding in deploying their Alteryx Server solution – which enables end users to schedule the analytics jobs, publish results and provide reports, on the public or private cloud, rather than just on a local machine.

Alteryx came at the advanced analytics market just at the time that companies were first considering Big Data solutions like Hadoop and MapReduce, but took a different tack. Initially their product aimed to Continue reading Catching Up With Alteryx

IBM Buys Compose to Attract More Nimble Developers and Customers

Developers! Developers! Developers!

No, it’s not the infamous Steve Ballmer sweaty-shirt rant & dance this time – it’s IBM’s strategy to increase its presence, relevance, and role(s) in the increasingly Cloudy+Mobile world of software development.

IBM has announced its acquisition of (relatively) tiny, Mountain View-based Compose Inc., which offers a handful of open-source, Cloud-based, database offerings. Terms of the purchase were not disclosed; Compose is privately held, and has raised $6.4 million dollars since its founding in 2011.

Why buy Compose? The company attracts developers working on Cloud, web, and Mobile-oriented apps, APIs, and more – mostly net-new developers as regards IBM, because these developers are working with and on a agile, lightweight, small-client DBMSs like CouchDB, MongoDB, PostgreSQL, Rethink and other databases. IBM purchased CouchDB-oriented, distributed-DB firm Cloudant in 2014, so the company is not bereft of Cloud/web/mobile DB presence by any means. But Compose adds to and extends IBM’s attractiveness to the generation of developers focused on the most disruptive and forward-thinking business software, apps, UIs, and methodologies.

Meanwhile, Compose and its ecosystem(s) gain massive resources and opportunity – and are likely to thrive given that Compose will be part of IBM’s Cloud Continue reading IBM Buys Compose to Attract More Nimble Developers and Customers

Set Your Digital Business Agenda at the 2015 Cloud Business Summit NYC

We’re pleased to announce the date for the 2015 Cloud Business Summit, which will be held on Wednesday, November 4, at The Yale Club of New York City. This CxO event brings together marketing, finance, innovation and IT executives for a content- and concept-packed day that will help you set the Digital Business agenda for your enterprise in 2016.

Now in its fifth year, the Cloud Business Summit will feature presentations, panels and fireside chats with the most Cloud- and Digital-experienced senior business and finance executives, marketing strategists and technology leaders and evangelists. These world-class experts will reveal how enterprises can, and are, realizing the most from the Cloud in all of its forms.

This one-of-a-kind event offers peer networking, one-on-one chats with top vendor evangelists and executive leadership and a conference track designed to stretch your mind and bring Cloud technologies and Digital Business strategies down to earth. This year we have our most practical and actionable agenda ever – a reflection of the mainstreaming of Cloud technologies, and the emergence of Digital Business as a top-tier boardroom priority.

Please join us!


What You’ll Learn at the 2015 Cloud Business Summit

Our agenda is taking shape and new speakers are being added each week as Continue reading Set Your Digital Business Agenda at the 2015 Cloud Business Summit NYC

Internet of Things, Threats, Traffic, and Togetherness

A new McKinsey Global Institute (MGI) report estimates the potential economic value of the IoT (see The Internet of Things: Mapping the value beyond the hype) at $3.9 trillion to $11.1 trillion per year by 2025. B2B will create two-thirds of the value. Factories optimizing their equipment and operations will be the source of about one-third of the value created. Cities will generate about 15 percent of the total value with the IoT applied to applications such as transportation and public health.

But McKinsey cautions that interoperability is critical. MGI estimates 40-60 percent of the real economic value of the IoT will come from interoperability – connecting devices to each other and external systems. Also, most IoT data remains unused, perhaps less than one percent of what’s collected.

And then there’s the incessant problem of security and privacy. In an interview with USA Today, anti-virus company founder Eugene Kaspersky said that Continue reading Internet of Things, Threats, Traffic, and Togetherness

Oracle Financials – Tougher Than You Think

Oracle Corp. (ORCL) issued its quarterly and fiscal year-end financial report this week, and the blogosphere is abuzz with quotes, assertions, and counter-arguments regarding the company’s future and viability. On the one side, we have company leadership asserting that all is well, and that the notable decline in traditional software, hardware, and services business will be more than offset by the continued increase in Cloud-based business. On the other side, we have pundits proclaiming the beginning of the end for Oracle.

Here’s what Saugatuck sees: A very traditional, old-style IT Master Brand in the throes of re-inventing itself, and suffering financially as a result (just like all other traditional IT Master Brands). That doesn’t mean that Oracle is failing, or will fail, just that it, like HP, IBM, and other traditional old-line MBs, is suffering as their businesses and traditional customers and partners turn, almost groaningly slowly, toward Cloud-first approaches.

A radar-style chart helps to show not only how slowly this is happening, but how tough it is to accomplish. Figure 1 uses data aggregated from Oracle’s SEC filings in 2013 and 2015 to illustrate. I combined Oracle’s reported “New Software License” revenue and its “Software License Updates and Product Support” revenue into the “Traditional Software Business” category in Figure 1. Oracle’s reported “Cloud Software as a Service and Platform as a Service” is combined with its “Cloud Infrastructure as a Service” revenues to create “Cloud-based business” in Figure 1. “Traditional Hardware Business” includes the company’s reported “Hardware Systems products” and “Hardware Systems Support” revenues. “Traditional Services Business” in Figure 1 is simply Oracle’s reported “Services Revenues.”

Figure 1: Oracle Revenue Shifts (Almost Imperceptibly) Toward Cloud, 2013-2015


Source: Saugatuck Technology Inc.; figures are in millions of US $

See the little bit of pink/red to the left of center? That’s how much / how little Oracle’s Cloud-based revenue has grown in two years. Continue reading Oracle Financials – Tougher Than You Think

Genpact and the Re-invented Digital Business Value Focus

Traditional outsourcing / ”labor arbitrage” firms are quickly running out of room to grow as the “arbitrage” – call it what it is, cheaper labor – advantage declines ever more rapidly due to a still-growing influx of skilled technologists and Cloud-based automation. Meanwhile, the big-bang and large-scale / long-term projects that built the industry will always exist, but will also continue to dwindle in number. Smaller and more diverse projects will multiply but become ever smaller and less repeatable. Digital Business Word CloudAnd even the most advanced and complex work can be granularly parsed and crowdsourced by user enterprise IT and LOB managers. In short, the core business IT needs that built the industry are being resolved by combinations of Cloud-enabled scale, cost, availability, and collaboration.

Thus emerges an obvious, loud chorus of need for “differentiating,” and a not-so-loud whisper of need for re-thinking the business model and go-to-market strategies.

Participating in this week’s Genpact “Analyst and Advisor Forum” in Boston provided some insight as to how one of the more traditional (mostly Indian) firms has recognized the need and listened to the whispers, and how rethinking and re-inventing for a Digital Business future may be the best strategy.

Every Genpact leader save CEO “Tyger” Tyagarajan and Global Strategy head Sasha Sanyal were present and participating in person, baring plans, sharing numbers, and asking for ideas and insights. Tayagarajan and Sanyal presented their thoughts and insights via recorded video. Overall, the forum offered a frank presentation and discussion of Genpact’s own foundational shift toward reshaping its own business as the industry reshapes itself.

Genpact’s core strategy? Simplify down to a focus on manageable, core, high-growth business opportunities. Example: Two years ago the company served 23 verticals, offered 1500 point solutions, and “chased everything that moved” according to SVP and Global Head of Sales & Client Relationships Ahmed Mazhari. Now Genpact serves fewer than 1,000 clients across 9 verticals, and is honing a Finance-first focus on “intelligent operations” that enable (and are enabled) by Digital Business. The key to Genpact strategy and positioning: How can, do, and will, business Continue reading Genpact and the Re-invented Digital Business Value Focus

Salesforce Bringing the Cloud Down to Earth?

Last week, Saugatuck attended the Salesforce World Tour in Washington, DC. According to representatives, attendance was higher than expected, with 5,000 registered for this regional event. It seems like yesterday when the company was only a fledgling upstart focused on Cloud CRM; today the company beileves it is the 6th largest software company in the world.

The Tour is travelling to large cities worldwide, touting not only CRM solutions but what calls its “customer success platform.” The event reflected that sees itself as a peer of the large tech players. Dozens of partners shared the exhibit hall. Big-name clients discussed their successes live and via video.

Key messages emphasized by at the event:

  • is offering more than management of sales on a cloud-based platform
  • A supporting development platform allows faster building, tighter integration, and improved reliability of applications
  • Mobile is the most important deployment platform
  • The partner ecosystem is strong
  • Government is transforming using technology to better engage citizens
  • Social responsibility is core to the company’s mission

As we have written for several years now, has extended from its roots into a broad range of solutions related to service management, marketing, analytics, and community management. The Salesforce1 Platform technologies were central to its messaging, with Mobile First a key theme – with a variety of live demonstrations showing how “easy” it is to run a multibillion dollar operation from your smartphone. Vivek Kundra (former CIO of the U.S. Government) is now Salesforce’s EVP, Salesforce Industries, Public Sector. In his keynote Kundra mentioned Q1 highlights including the solutions handling 3.4 B transactions daily. Continue reading Salesforce Bringing the Cloud Down to Earth?

Billion-dollar EMC Virtustream Deal as a Tipping Point

It’s a compelling sign of the times when a $1.2B acquisition of a Cloud-based services provider gets little more than a de facto “well, that makes sense” from the IT marketplace. But those are the times in which we live, and that’s what’s happened so far as a result of storage Master Brand EMC buying Virtustream.

Not very long ago, Wall Street pundits and industry analysts would be scrutinizing the deal in very granular fashion, raising questions over the fact that Virtustream is a Cloud-based services provider while EMC is a very traditional storage and storage management, asking where will the disconnects will be, examining cultures for fit and friction, and invoking opinions regarding how this will or will not “disrupt” somebody’s business.

Today, it’s seen as a significant investment to be sure, and one that will greatly increase both EMC’s portfolio and its value to customers and partners. But the billion-dollar-plus valuation barely raises an eyebrow, the Cloud-first nature of Virtustream’s business raises none, and there’s scant reference to any disruption resulting from the deal.

There have been other, similar, and fairly recent acquisitions of Cloud-first providers by traditional IT Master Brands. Cisco, Dell, HP, IBM, Microsoft, Oracle, SAP and other major, influential, and mostly traditional IT brand names have all made similar or even larger investments/acquisitions since 2010. And several if not many of these deals have disrupted the acquirers and their customers and partners.

But we have passed a tipping point when the combination of billion-dollar deal size and Cloud-first nature of the deal are nothing more than somewhat noteworthy for a major, traditional IT firm. Cloud is now an expected and natural aspect of 10-figure IT vendor deals.

To paraphrase Saugatuck founder and CEO Bill McNee, we are well past the “Cloud Experiment” stage, and well into integrating Cloud into everyday business – regardless of whether we’re using, developing, or selling Cloud-based business IT. We’re living, breathing, and working Cloud everywhere all the time, which means that it’s getting harder to consider the Cloud-first nature of any business IT or provider as a disruptor in and of itself.

Which, to me, begs another question: What’s the next major IT business disruptor?

News from Notables at Internet of Things World

The second annual Internet of Things World 2015 conference was held last week in San Francisco. The conference hosted 4,000 attendees, 250 speakers, and 150 exhibitors. The focus for 2015 was on creating Internet of Things (IoT) partnerships and developing ecosystems to monetize the IoT service vision. Two notable providers made significant announcements touting their IoT offerings, successes, and strategiesSamsung introduced ARTIK, a new chip technology for IoT devices. The ARTIK features security, small form factor, advanced software, and low power use, said the company. ARTIK includes an IoT software stack and tools for product development. ARTIK is also compatible with Arduino, the open source electronics platform. Samsung thinks its manufacturing capabilities combined with its IoT ecosystem means product developers can quickly get their ARTIK-based solutions to market.

Samsung also announced SmartThings Open Cloud, a new open software and data exchange cloud. Open Cloud is powered by SAMI, Samsung’s platform for open exchange of diverse data from any source. Open Cloud supports digital appliances and consumer electronics products. Samsung ships about 660 million devices each year, including electronics and appliances. The company wants to connect 90% of those devices to the Internet by 2017.

Qualcomm, via its wireless-focused subsidiary Qualcomm Atheros, bowed new and smarter Wi- Fi chip solutions to connect IoT devices and applications. The new products are compatible with the AllJoyn software framework from the AllSeen Alliance. The company also announced six new integrations affecting the IoT. The integrations address security, performance management, cloud connect services, code generation, and analytics.

Qualcomm sees the IoT as a critical growth market; its research shows that 5 billion connected devices that are not smartphones will ship by 2018. Its chips are already in 20 million automobiles and more than 120 million home devices. Qualcomm also supports several smart city projects. And the company claims more than $1 billion in revenue from chips for IoT devices in its last fiscal year that ended in September 2014.

The Samsung and Qualcomm IoT announcements reinforce the opinion that Saugatuck expects IoT ecosystems and interoperability to be central to provider strategies (see 1564SSR, Making Sense of the Internet of Things: What’s a Leader to Do?, 23Apr2015). The growth of the IoT will depend on such strategies. Improved interoperability will hopefully follow the implementations of the new products and integrations from these two providers as well as others.

NOTE: this Lens360 blog post was originally published online by Saugatuck at http://

Continue reading News from Notables at Internet of Things World

ISPs Act to Block Title II Reclassification in Net Neutrality Rules

On May 1, AT&T, CenturyLink, as well as U.S. telecom and cable industry groups petitioned the FCC to block parts of new Net Neutrality rules. They cited “crushing” compliance costs and threats to investment. The FCC ruling will go into effect June 12, 2015 unless the FCC or a court grants the motion to stay (or delay) the ruling.

The request objects to subjecting the broadband carriers to common carrier duties under Title II of the Communications Act of 1934. While the Title II changes are part of the new Net Neutrality rules from the FCC, the request from ISPs specifically targeted Title II reclassification. Petitioners did not seek a stay of the other key Net Neutrality rules: no blocking, no throttling, no paid prioritization. This reveals an important element of their legal strategy. The Internet providers see the new FCC rules as a house of cards with Title II classification as its foundation.

As we shared earlier this year (see Net Neutrality – Enjoy the Media Circus, Hurry Up and Wait for Real Change, 20Feb2015, 1530RA – see Lens360 blog post version), the consequences of the FCC reclassify broadband under Title II are unclear. The agency would need to use forbearance and waive certain processes that don’t apply for the Internet. Opponents assert that the change would slow innovation on the Internet. The result would be a regulated “innovation by permission” situation. Providers assert that Title II carries a lot of baggage as a regulatory option, with a risk of forcing other forms of transmission to also fall under its classification. In essence, opponents say, “if it’s not broken, don’t fix it.” Continue reading ISPs Act to Block Title II Reclassification in Net Neutrality Rules