Tag Archives: conference

IBM ConnectED – Indicator of Changed IBM, ISV Digital Business Realities

What is Happening?

Changes in IBM’s ConnectED event indicate a microcosm of the scope, and pace, of evolutionary change in IBM and one of its core ecosystems of developers and partners. Established as Lotusphere and known more recently as IBMConnect, this event traditionally focused on Notes developers, with an annual fervor of discussion surrounding changes to Notes and the Notes client, and ways to adopt and adapt these into ways to build or improve business systems and operations. This year, IBM – and the event in total – stepped back toward the Notes roots, the beginnings of the event and for many, the beginnings of social business interaction architecture. The number of attendees was purposely reduced, as was the framing of the event in all of its forms (i.e., number and range of presentations, even the after-hours fun). Most significantly, the discussion focus, while still heavy on “social business,” reverted mostly toward developing and adapting within the Notes ecosystem to enable more and better ways of doing business, with “social” as an important aspect – although with more emphasis on user desires, design preferences, and utility.

The event, in sum, is an indication and celebration of business re-focus and re-invention by IBM, partners, and customers. “Social” is being subsumed into the mix, as have been Cloud and advanced analytics. And that’s changing development, partnership, and go-to-market approaches for everyone, but especially IBM. Continue reading

CES 2015 Keeps the Spotlight on Key Innovations for the Internet of Things

What is Happening?

At CES 2015 in Las Vegas, January 6-9, 150,000 attendees from 140 countries participated in a conference program with 250 sessions and viewed the exhibits of more than 3,000 manufacturers, developers and suppliers of consumer technology hardware, software, content and delivery systems. Because CES is owned and produced by the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), and represents the $208 billion U.S. consumer electronics industry, it attracts not only the merely curious, but also business leaders, buyers, distributors, and technology developers to a forum where innovation is top-of-mind. This year, in addition to consumer entertainment products, saw an explosion of offerings for the Internet-of-Things (IoT).

Why is it Happening?

This year’s CES Innovation follows the proliferation of platforms and dev kits released over the past few years. In 2014 gaming, smart watches, 4K, and curved screen and bendable screen TVs drove the excitement, while platforms and development kits lurked in the background. In this year’s show, in addition to personal, wearable and entertainment tech, the real innovation emerged, for the most part, from the Smart Home and Car Tech spaces, enabled by platforms and development kits from Apple, Google, Microsoft, and others, building on Bluetooth, WIFI and Cloud standards.

Synergy drives innovation, and there was no lack of it at CES in Las Vegas. Cameras, locks, control devices, and gateways plus Bluetooth or WIFI linked to the Cloud gave rise to a plethora of Smart Home solutions. Sensors, plus Bluetooth- or WIFI-and-Cloud-enhanced drones with or without cameras – and cars with and without drivers. Continue reading

Workday Rising 2014: Insight Apps Steal the Show

What is Happening?           

Earlier this week, Saugatuck attended day one of Workday Rising 2014 at the Moscone Center in San Francisco. Having attended the conference for several years now, the conference has grown dramatically in size – a direct reflection of their success in the market. While the event clearly showcased the continued evolution of its HCM and Financial Management offerings, Workday provided a compelling roadmap for its Workday Student product line, as well as introducing a new user interface.

But the biggest takeaway by far was the new portfolio of Insights Applications – which takes Workday well beyond providing a raw Big Data analytics set of capabilities, and toward a potentially differentiating entry point into the executive suite.

Why is it Happening?

Workday is growing at a staggering pace. As we wrote just two months ago:

It is clear that the company remains on a tear, as it reported second quarter revenues of $186.8 million, up 74 percent from a year ago. . . . Total derived billings for the year are anticipated “to be approximately $940 million to $960 million.” That is right – nearly $1 billion! – (http://blog.saugatucktechnology.com/workday-update-hcm-full-stride-financials-gaining-traction/ 08Sept2014). Continue reading

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

Digital Marketing Leads Digital Business

What is Happening?

During Marketo’s 3-day Marketing Nation Summit in San Francisco this week, Saugatuck noticed several developments that attest to the rapidly-growing influence of Marketing as a locus and shaper of Cloud Business and the growing shift toward “digital business” strategies.

The event drew 6,000 attendees this year, up from 2,500 in 2013. Marketo itself introduced a slew of updates and changes, including an updated user interface, new real-time personalization capabilities for websites, and a new dashboard view that can become a portal for other applications in the Marketo partner ecosystem.

It was clear that Marketo and its partners are intent on expanding their audience beyond the core technology and startup businesses that have been their earliest adopters to include larger and more traditional types of enterprises, including Kaiser Permanente, CA Technologies, and General Electric (GE) – with GE CMO Beth Comstock keynoting on the third day of the event.

The scope of Marketo’s ecosystem is also growing rapidly to include numerous integrations, applications, analytics solutions, data analytics platforms, etc. “Marketing is a team sport” was a mantra oft-heard in presentations, and Marketo’s partner network was no exception, with many vendors offering services to help expand the capabilities of Marketo’s core service, as well as to tie Marketo data together with CRM systems such as Salesforce. Continue reading

Workday Rising 2013 – Taking the Market By Storm

Saugatuck just returned from Workday Rising in San Francisco, which included not only one day at the conference but a second full day of briefings / presentations as part of their analyst Tech Summit. Overall, we came away with a strong sense that Workday is well on its way to fulfilling expectations being established with their amazing marketcap valuation since going public last year ($13.3 billion – or roughly 30X current fiscal year revenue estimates).

Relocating the event to the Moscone Center was a good move this year. We had a chance to talk with more than a dozen clients and prospects on Tuesday (among the 3,500 attendees – up from 1,900 in 2012), and universally walked away from the discussions with the kind of “satisfied / happy & eager to do more” attitude most notably found at Dreamforce events that we regularly attend. But the big difference here is that this was an audience of predominantly HR, Finance and IT execs – versus your average upbeat Sales & Marketing execs.

Find below some of the key takeaways that we came away with from the event: Continue reading

Trip Reports: SAP, IBM, and ServiceNow Events Show Shifting Criticality of Cloud from Why

What is Happening?

This week, Saugatuck research executives found themselves participating in three, simultaneous industry events shaping the world of Cloud IT and business. CEO Bill McNee and SVP Bruce Guptill sat down with key executives (including C-level meetings) at SAP Sapphire in Orlando; VP Mike West met with company leaders and users at ServiceNow’s Knowledge12 conference in New Orleans; and VP Charlie Burns took part in IBM’s invitation-only Cloud Innovation Forum in Chicago. It’s been a Cloudy week for Saugatuck, in other words.

The net takeaway from all three events, including dozens of discussions with provider and customer leaders, is thatthe religious wars and mystery about what Cloud is all about is clearly gone. The critical questions for providers and user enterprises have shifted from “What is it” and “Why should we?” to “When should we?” to “How do we?” Continue reading

Where Are Customers Leading ServiceNow Now?

Day Two at Knowledge12 brought me into closer contact with ServiceNow’s founder Fred Luddy and CTO Arne Josefsberg, as I sat down after the keynote for one-on-one meetings that brought the company’s key strategies into clearer focus. The Luddy keynote was instructive, too, revealing the company founder to be a true techie, who can deploy ServiceNow solutions and program an airline tracking program in real time. However, the most essential message from ServiceNow concerned the importance of the customer.

All three key trends in the ServiceNow portfolio of offerings are the direct outgrowth of customer requests:

Sapphire 2012: SAP Betting the Ranch on the Cloud

After sifting through all my notes from sessions, emails, in-person meetings, the blogosphere and twitter, since Monday, here’s my net take on SAP, and the Sapphire event – the detailed version will be available to Saugatuck CRS clients in a Strategic Perspective to be published late tomorrow.

  1. SAP’s future business builds on HANA; HANA is at least as key to SAP’s future as R/3 was to its past. And the HANA strategy is all about Cloud. Continue reading

Sapphire 2012: Six Key Takeaways

Saugatuck’s Bill McNee and Bruce Guptill participated in SAPs annual user group conference (Sapphire Now) conference this week in Orlando, Florida.

This blog post highlights Bill McNee’s top six takeaways from the event. For a companion blog post, see Sapphire 2012: SAP Betting the Ranch on the Cloud. On Friday, Saugatuck will publish a Strategic Perspective authored by Bruce Guptill that will provide a broader thematic view of what the event may mean longer-term.

  • Cloud, Cloud, Cloud. With the acquisition of Successfactors, SAP has fully transitioned its vision and strategy, and has squarely put its chips down on the Cloud as foundational to the company’s future, as it now fully recognizes how significant the priorities of its business and IT customers have shifted. Continue reading