Tag Archives: Mobile

Cloud, DevOps, and Digital Business: Salesforce Rolls Out Lightning

What is Happening?           

Earlier this week, Salesforce rolled out its Salesforce1 Lightning Components and App Builder. Built on the Lightning platform launched late in 2014, “Lightning” is being touted by many in the industry as “promising the ability for any business user to assemble apps visually by dragging and dropping pre-built, reusable components.”

While we at Saugatuck believe that Lightning is very cool and important, it is not what is being most widely hyped. What Lightning is, is a platform-based component library and visual environment that enables knowledgeable and experienced people to point, click, drag and drop several important, pre-configured components into functional groups that work in pre-existing, Salesforce/AppExchange software and solutions.

That’s very cool, because it can and should help to simplify the development and launch of relatively simple-yet-valuable – read, “mobile” – apps that are practically guaranteed to function well within the industry-leading, increasingly-influential Salesforce / AppExchange environment. And it demonstrates the concept and value inherent in simplifying, streamlining, and speeding the “development” of new functionality using Cloud-based apps, component libraries and services – something that Saugatuck began including in our IT industry scenarios for clients in 2003/2004.

As announced, Lightning isn’t – as announced – a revolutionary or innovative approach that enables “any business user to assemble apps.” But it is a compelling and important development (pardon the pun) for bizapp development overall, and helps point toward more, better, faster, and cheaper approaches to internal enterprise and external marketplace-oriented apps, for mobile, Cloud-based, and traditional systems as well. It even portends significant improvement and acceleration in synchronizing IT and Business function / group / process alignment for Digital Business. Continue reading Cloud, DevOps, and Digital Business: Salesforce Rolls Out Lightning

Are Smart Watches a Viable Enterprise App Platform?

Smartwatches are all the rage, with recent announcements and deliveries from Apple, Motorola, LG, Samsung, and others. Android Wear celebrates its first anniversary, and the Apple Watch reaches U.S. retail outlets for the first time next week. Saugatuck expects smartwatches to deliver notifications and alerts, and even track our steps. But their use in enterprise settings is less obvious.  Continue reading Are Smart Watches a Viable Enterprise App Platform?

Mocana Partners with SAP to Boost Mobile Productivity

Mocana began as a technology provider of embedded systems security in 2004. Over the years Mocana has broadened its scope and identified two potential markets to address: one, the need to protect mobile devices and, two, to protect apps and the data on them. Mocana launched its Mobile Application Protection platform in 2011 with support for Android apps, and added iOS app support in 2012.

In 2012 Mocana raised $25 million in Series D funding, bringing total investment to $47 million, to expand its opportunity around its Mobile App Protection software. Trident Capital led the round, joined by existing investors Intel Capital, Shasta Ventures, Southern Cross Venture Partners and Symantec.

Mocana’s nearly two-year partnership with SAP, launched in May 2013, has taken a back seat to SAP’s single-minded focus on promoting its HANA platform. However, over the past twenty months, Mocana Atlas has emerged as a leading platform for delivering secure, high-productivity mobile integration with SAP solutions.

Mocana recently commissioned a research study designed to validate its economic benefit and now stakes a claim to user productivity improvements leading to improved application time to market and and cost savings resulting from that.

According to Ranjeet Vidwans, vice president of marketing at Continue reading Mocana Partners with SAP to Boost Mobile Productivity

Twitter’s Fabric, Digital Business, Marketing, and CIO Challenges

As we close out every year, especially in periods of rapid and accelerating change, looking back to interesting and compelling events becomes a de rigueur part of blogging and analysis.

One of the more digital business interesting developments affecting enterprise CIOs in recent weeks was Twitter’s late October announcement of its “Fabric” software development platform for mobile apps. Fabric enables Twitter to create its own new digital business, while enabling enterprises and IT services providers to do the same. Since the announcement, I’ve researched it in more detail, spoken with a handful of experienced developers, and played a bit with the thing myself.

Here’s a year-end update on what Fabric is, how it can enable and challenge enterprise Marketing and other aspects of Digital Business, and how it in turn changes and challenges the role(s) of the enterprise CIO.

Fabric is a free extension with three SDKs that can be added to existing iOS and Android development environments. It enables very simple and straightforward, with drop-down menus for adding Twitter functions, analytics, and ads to applications. Developers select Continue reading Twitter’s Fabric, Digital Business, Marketing, and CIO Challenges

New Uses Drive Geospatial Integration with Cloud-Based Enterprise Solutions

Perhaps geographic information systems (GIS), usually a specialized backroom capability, are emerging from the dark shadows of enterprise basements. The past year, saw notable changes and advancements in geospatial data and services relevant to Digital Business. These changes included integration of GIS with enterprise financial, sales, marketing, and collaboration systems and integrating enterprise development environments with location intelligence solutions to support Cloud location services.

Large-scale emergencies or disasters require sudden and dynamic resource allocation to meet the demands of geospatial professionals, related domain sciences, and the large amount of compute-capacity necessary to perform analytics on what can be terabytes of spatial data. Server-based solutions cannot typically fulfill the new access requirements.  Continue reading New Uses Drive Geospatial Integration with Cloud-Based Enterprise Solutions

Apple Pay Rolls Out, MCX stonewalls, and PayPal Cringes

The recent rollout of Apple Pay has precipitated some behind-the-scenes machinations among competing efforts in the marketplace, most notably MCX (see 1438MKT, Digital Business Models and Monetization, Part 2 – Mobile Payments, 12 September 2014, for background information).

While Apple has negotiated partnerships for Apple Pay with credit and debit card companies (American Express, MasterCard, and Visa) and with several leading US banks (American Express, Bank of America, Capital One, Chase, Citi, Wells Fargo), the MCX consortium steers clear of the credit and debit card companies and NFC and goes direct to customer bank accounts and loyalty programs, using bar codes and QR readers for its CurrentC platform.

So while Apple has 800 million customer credit/debit cards already on iTunes, and signing up for Apple Pay is simple and painless, Apple Pay’s success still depends Continue reading Apple Pay Rolls Out, MCX stonewalls, and PayPal Cringes

Amazon Enters Mobile Payments with a Sharp Knife

By now everybody knows that Amazon has launched Local Register, a direct competitor to Square and PayPal Here at much lower rates. Instead of flooding the market with free readers that nobody uses, Amazon asks business users to pay $10 up front, which eventually will be refunded through use, as Amazon will offset the first $10 of processing fees. How much lower are the processing fees? Dramatically (See Figure 1 – How Does Amazon Compare?). 1420LENS-graphic

The rate for Local Register is a full percentage point below Square, although it is necessary to sign up by October 31, 2014 to lock in the special rate through December 31, 2015. The rate will go up to 2.5% beginning January 1, 2016. Rates apply to all major credit and debit cards. And there are no additional fees for chargebacks or refunds.

Amazon claims that Local Register is compatible with Apple devices running iOS 7.0 and above and has been fully tested on the Galaxy S3, S4, S5, and Fire tablets. It may work on other Android devices, but it has not been fully tested. Apparently, Local Register does not work with the Amazon Fire smartphone.

Mobile commerce is a fast growing segment in the Cloud. The synergy of mobility and Cloud is a natural source of innovation and the mobile commerce segment has Continue reading Amazon Enters Mobile Payments with a Sharp Knife

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 Memo to Satya Nadella as Microsoft Shifts Its Core  

Research Alert: The Money Cloud – Opportunities and Implications

What is Happening? 

Something is happening with money management, and it is likely to have wide ranging implications across both business and consumer behavior. Payments, discounts, invoices, purchases, and scheduling are coming together in new ways that bring great flexibility and efficiency to enterprises, and which take advantage of the interconnectedness of mobile devices to enable faster, more flexible processes.

While IT industry attention has been primarily interested in financial applications and how they are optimized and deployed, the simultaneous evolution of payments, currency, and discounting has gone almost unnoticed. Aided by the rapid evolution of the technologies at the core of the Boundary-free Enterprise™ new forms of commerce are emerging that will affect supply chains, price control and flexibility, and a company’s ability to attract customers. All ultimately defining the ability to do business in the current age. Continue reading Research Alert: The Money Cloud – Opportunities and Implications

Research Alert: Cloud, Mobile, Social, Analytics – Greater Than the Sum of Its Parts

What is Happening? 

There is little doubt that the technologies and capabilities of Cloud, Mobility, Social IT and Advanced Analytics (CMSA) promise great value to user enterprises. Few enterprises of any type or size are not actively pursuing each.

And according to the latest research from Saugatuck, enterprise executives expect significant competitive value from each as well. In our Q1 global Cloud IT survey this year, we asked participants to “please indicate how important each of the following technologies are to your company’s competitiveness over the next 24 months.” Figure 1 aggregates the percentages of survey responses ranking each as “Very Important” or “Extremely Important” – rankings that have, over the years, been reliable indicators of imminent investment.

Figure 1: Ranking CMSA Competitive Value

Cloud Mobile Social and Analytics for Business Value

Source: Saugatuck Technology Inc., 1Q2013 global web survey; n = 218

CMSA is truly a simultaneously evolving set of services and capabilities, helping to change enterprise IT from a monolithic entity into sets of loosely-coupled, complementary services.

But as much value as each of these provides (or is expected to provide), even greater value is seen from combining them with each other, and with business management applications software and processes in key enterprise systems. Figure 2 summarizes our survey data regarding how business and IT leaders see combinations of Mobile, Social and Advanced Analytics with enterprise business systems as adding the greatest business value to the enterprise. The higher the percentage, the more survey participants see business value.

Figure 2: The Integrated Value of CMSA with Enterprise Business Systems

The Value of Mobile, Social, and Analytics on Business Apps

Source: Saugatuck Technology Inc., 1Q2013 global web survey; n = 218

Clearly, Cloud-based Mobile, Social, and Advanced Analytics are seen as relatively less beneficial to business when used individually (in most cases) than when used in combination with each other, and as part of enterprise business systems. In short, while Mobility, Social IT and Advanced Analytics each have intrinsic value, that value is typically multiplied with coordinated use.

Why is it Happening? 

With past IT architectures, single or serial evolutionary trends tended to define the evolution, and IT became more and more focused on (obsessed with?) tightly-integrated technologies and systems. This grew through the almost manic progression of 1990s-era distributed and client-server architectures, which brought increased scrutiny on IT costs, resulting in edicts to standardize and integrate, which in turn led to a renewed emphasis on tightly-coupled architectures and technologies.

What makes the combination of CMSA different is that buyers, users, and increasingly some IT leaders are starting to see the potential value and utility of systems, technologies, and business operations that are only loosely-coupled and not tightly integrated. Integration is readily available and reasonably affordable in the form of Cloud-delivered services that alleviate many requirements for tightly-coupled technologies and systems. Cloud Integration services also expand the choice for building out certain capabilities beyond the traditional vendors of complicated, pre-built solutions and heavy customization, toward building a functional alternative from a variety of better suited products from different vendors without the tight coupling at their core.

The high value of Analytics, both alone and when combined with other capabilities and systems, is easy to understand, as the ability to better analyze and then utilize business data has long been a goal of IT and business leaders. In short Analytics almost intrinsically adds value everywhere. Mobility enables greater reach and utility of most business systems; and Social IT enables improved collaboration, which in turn adds value by improving group and resource communication and coordination. And with Cloud, they can often be added, used, and removed as needed –an additional value from the inherent flexibility of loosely-coupled, Cloud-based services.

Finally, more CMSA offerings are being architected with multiple, often open, standards-based interfaces that enable them to work with a wider array of business systems and data. They are enabling Mobile, Social and Analytics capabilities that recently cost significant amounts of additional money when included with traditional software (and didn’t always work as well as needed or expected). Buyers have wanted some combinations of these capabilities for years; making them available cheaply via Cloud has accelerated and expanded their adoption and use.

Market Impact 

By YE 2017, the inclusion of Cloud-based Mobile, Social and Analytics capabilities will be considered de rigueur and required by the majority of IT buyers and users. SaaS and BPaaS provider understand this, and are scrambling to engineer, integrate or embed an increasing range of such capabilities with their offerings.

Most will utilize capabilities from such providers as Dell Boomi, IBM CastIron, Informatica, MuleSoft, Pentaho, etc. These and other Cloud-based integration-as-a-service platform providers (“iPaaS”) are already, rapidly, pursuing BPaaS, SaaS, and other PaaS providers to embed a wide range of integration capabilities into business process services and solutions. So we believe that the loosely-coupled advantages of CMSA will only continue to grow. There will be no shortage of established and upstart providers serving enterprises and Cloud-based business solution providers alike.

Large-scale business management solution providers (e.g., Microsoft, Oracle, SAP) will be pressured to add more data and workflow integration capabilities and APIs to their core Cloud platforms; their traditional preferences for in-house “standards” will decrease as more buyers and users come to accept, then expect, the loosely-coupled IT and business reality of the Boundary-free Enterprise™.

This loosely-coupled future also helps to bring clarity and certainty to the roles of traditional SIs and enterprise IT departments. The proliferation of services and providers will mean increased roles, and increased need for skills, as enterprise users force the growth of a variety of hybridized IT and business environments, utilizing a changing array of Cloud-based offerings that need to work with other Cloud-based and on-premises systems. There will be new, different, and more skills required, and roles will continue to adapt, but there will be no shortage of need for skilled and experienced IT professionals in a world replete with ever-changing, dynamically-utilized IT.

More detailed analysis of this and much more data from Saugatuck’s 2013 Cloud IT survey will be published for Saugatuck CRS clients beginning the last week of June, including a series of research analyses and data reports.