Category Archives: Lens360

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

Let’s Recognize Digital Business Brilliance

To paraphrase an ongoing Saugatuck Technology research position, the future of business lies not in Cloud or IT in any form, but in how forward-thinking business and IT users and leaders adapt and adopt Cloud and other IT – and themselves – to innovate, create, and improve business.

Since 2011, Saugatuck has worked to recognize and promote the most compelling, most innovative, and most creative firms with the annual Beacon Awards, which celebrate those organizations adopting and adapting Cloud and related, advanced technologies – e.g., Mobility, Big Data, Advanced Analytics, Collaborative/Social IT – into digital business innovations that deliver real improvement and advantage for their organizations. We have celebrated a wide range of firms that have adapted advanced IT and themselves to reshape their business, their future, their markets, and their customer/partner networks and relationships. Past Beacon innovators include the following:

  • Actelion Pharmaceutical, for its innovative data analytics methodology and architecture enabling exceptional cost reductions in program tracking and regulatory compliance.
  • Citi, for its innovative private Cloud infrastructure that drastically reduces service provisioning times and improves service levels while reducing total cost of ownership.
  • Harry Rosen, for its mobility-enabled, in-store, BYOD-driven customer relationship, sales and marketing approach that enabled significant and repeated revenue growth through recessionary environments.
  • Johnson & Johnson, for its “sandbox”-driven, “skunkworks”-style comprehensive development and business improvement operations that enabled new opportunities, new business, reduced costs, and an improved ability to innovate in everything from product development to sales to customer support.
  • com, which has utilized Cloud and related technologies to improve and expand global service availability and improve regulatory compliance, including ITAR and SOC 2 compliance, while reducing operating costs by as much as 30%, and cutting down internal resources dedicated to compliance and security by half.
  • UBS, for its unique, repeatable and cost-effective approach to mobility and BYOD capabilities in support of sales revenues and customer retention, while maintaining the highest security and privacy levels required and possible.

Now, we want more. We know that there are countless firms, government agencies, NGOs and others that are breaking through boundaries and creating more ways of doing business – especially Digital Business. We’re inviting all to nominate or to be nominated. Continue reading Let’s Recognize Digital Business Brilliance

IBM’s Bernie Meyerson Set to Keynote 2015 Cloud Business Summit NYC

We’re pleased to announce that Bernie Meyerson, VP and Chief Innovation Officer at IBM will deliver the opening keynote at Saugatuck Technnology’s upcoming 2015 Cloud Business Summit, taking place on November 4th at the Yale Club of NYC.

In a presentation entitled “Information Technology: A Tectonic Shift,” Meyerson will explore what’s next after Moore’s Law – as the advent of new forms of parallelism become a leading framework defining IT over the planning horizon.

Since the invention of the first solid-state computers, IT has relished in consistent, predictable advances in performance that were quite easy to assimilate – as the number of transistors on a circuit chip would doBernard Meyerson Picuble approximately every two years. Fortunately for the IT industry, increasing circuit density yielded increasing performance while reducing costs ranging from device manufacturing to electrical power consumption. Such performance increases were easy to exploit . . . and addictive. Unfortunately, as circuits have now approached the dimensions of only a few atoms, the end of increasing circuit density is near. In essence, Moore’s Law has been repealed. Meanwhile, technology advances such as predictive analytics, big data, and mobility (among others) have only continued to drive the need for IT capacity at an accelerating pace.

The consequence is that designers of IT application and infrastructure architectures will have to turn in a new, more challenging direction. As Meyerson will share, one likely scenario is Continue reading IBM’s Bernie Meyerson Set to Keynote 2015 Cloud Business Summit NYC

CenturyLink: Setting Sights on Tomorrow’s Cloud

As Cloud adoption continues to broaden (across enterprises) and deepen (within enterprises), enterprises are not only gaining keener understanding of Cloud offerings – they are preparing for, and moving to, more types of hybridized IT environments that leverage Cloud-based infrastructure in more ways (1613STR, Beyond Agile, Beyond Hybrid – The Malleable Infrastructure, 24July2015). Enterprise IT organizations especially are maturing with regard to Cloud, from an initial focus on infrastructure cost reduction to a more sophisticated – and more broad – emphasis on establishing an IT infrastructure that will support and enable the transformation of their company to digital business capabilities and profitability (1553SSR, 2015 Infrastructure Survey: Next-Gen IT – Cloud on the March 01Apr2015).

We believe that all Cloud infrastructure and managed services providers understand this shift, but some are better at bringing it to market than others. One that is making substantial progress toward enabling and delivering more hybridized and digital-business-friendly enterprise IT infrastructure is CenturyLink, which updated Saugatuck in a private briefing on August 18. CenturyLink laid out a well-articulated strategy for continuing its evolution from a traditional hosting provider to being a provider of Cloud-first, hybridized, enterprise-grade IT and business offerings, ranging from infrastructure to professional services. They’ve demonstrated this through a fairly straightforward combination of organic and acquisition-based growth, including data center expansions in six markets – Boston, London, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Phoenix, Seattle, and Washington D.C. – in the first half of 2015, along with the following recent acquisitions:

  • April, 2015 – acquired Orchestrate, a provider of managed database services for rapid application development;
  • December, 2014 – acquired Cognilytics, a provider of predictive analytics and big data solutions; and
  • December, 2014 – acquired DataGardens, a Disaster Recovery-as-a-Service (DRaaS) provider.

Continue reading CenturyLink: Setting Sights on Tomorrow’s Cloud

A New Era Begins for Saugatuck and Our Clients

Today marks the beginning of the next, exciting chapter in the long-running story of Saugatuck Technology. Since we began in 2003, we’ve worked tirelessly to build ourselves into one of the most trusted and reliable sources of research, analysis, and guidance on emergent and disruptive business IT. Our clients include the largest and most influential IT vendors and services providers and some of the most disruptive, game-changing Cloud and Digital Business providers, along with Global 2000 enterprises in financial services, media, and other markets who need to understand and be able to take advantage of this disruption.

As of today, we will be in an even better position to advise, guide, and assist our clients as we become part of Information Services Group (ISG), a leading, publicly-traded technology insights, market intelligence and advisory services company. You can read the official announcement made by ISG earlier today here, as well as find out more in an ISG blog here.

ISG’s acquisition of Saugatuck secures robust, credible, and trusted research, analysis, and guidance that expands both firms’ abilities to develop and deliver fact-based insights, expert opinion, and leading-edge guidance on emerging and innovative uses of business IT and services, along with associated opportunities and market changes. And the resources brought to the table by ISG will certainly add value to Saugatuck and, more importantly, to our clients and partners.

As with any such transaction, there will be some transitions to work through, but nothing will disrupt our work with and for our clients. Our research programs continue as they were; our client-specific work continues without interruption; and our Nov. 4th annual Cloud Business Summit at the Yale Club in New York City carries on as the premier, C-level peer event for discussion and education regarding Cloud IT and Digital Business opportunity and transformation. Even our name continues – we now become Saugatuck Technology, an ISG business.

Please feel free to call me or email me directly with any questions at all about this new, exciting chapter in the Saugatuck story. And stay tuned to our Lens360 blog for more information on our transformation and transition, especially as we develop and launch more ways to develop and deliver value.

Thanks for your business, your insight, and your assistance through the first Saugatuck era; we look forward to working with you all through the next era and beyond!

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