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Just Wait Till Next Year
December 18, 2019
For the last 15 years I've written year end articles on where we've been and where we're going in CRM and more broadly in tech. This year it struck me that the major topics that were important in 2019 would be equally important in 2020. In my mind there are several clusters of things that have sticking power. For starters, platform will be a bigger story than it already is.
Should Oracle Split?
December 9, 2019
We're used to discussing M&As in the tech sector, but splitting a company into two parts is a rarity. Analysts always have to ask who benefits and how? Shareholders? Other stakeholders, including customers? Employees? Why does this not happen more often? Surely businesses outgrow their markets' demands, but more often than not a business will sell itself to a suitor rather than splitting.
A Secret Strategy That Could Be Apple's Fatal Self-Inflicted Blow
December 9, 2019
Both Intel and a bunch of professors connected to Apple and the FTC came out in support of the Judge Koh verdict against Qualcomm, even though it had been shown that the foundational evidence was manufactured contrary to the wishes of the DoJ, DoD and other major government agencies. That was well after Qualcomm was identified as a critical part of the U.S. defense against Huawei's 5G dominance.
Amazon Ratchets Up Competition in 5G, Hybrid IT
December 5, 2019
Among the highlights of Amazon Web Services re:Invent are three announcements that strengthen its presence in the enterprise hybrid IT infrastructure market: AWS is teaming with Verizon to deliver 5G edge cloud computing; the first AWS Local Zone is located in Los Angeles; and AWS Outposts are generally available. These moves "close some huge competitive gaps," observed tech analyst Rob Enderle.
Amazon Makes Quantum Computing Accessible as a Service
December 4, 2019
Amazon Web Services has announced Amazon Braket, a fully managed quantum computing service. Braket will let scientists, researchers and developers experiment with computers from multiple quantum hardware providers in one place. Users can build and test their circuits in a classically powered simulation environment, and then run them on an actual quantum computer.
Dreamforce Points to New Disruption
December 4, 2019
There were more than 170,000 people at Dreamforce a couple of weeks ago, and many more watching from afar. Also, there were well over 2,000 sessions. Numerous announcements sprang from the big Salesforce event. Some announcements and sessions, like the Tim Cook fireside chat, stand out. Of the top six, I reckon that five were more about integration and working across vendor boundaries than CRM.
HPC and AI Are Changing the World
November 30, 2019
During the recent SC19 supercomputing conference, the top semiconductor and systems vendors discussed and demoed the highest-performance computing solutions in the world. While it's easy to imagine these platforms solving some of the most challenging problems, and simulating everything from the human genome to climate change, there are thousands of other applications that can benefit as well.
Why a Single Source of Truth Often Isn't
November 21, 2019
This week, Salesforce used its annual Dreamforce mega-show to make a host of announcements, ranging from contact center partnership with Amazon to a smart speaker tool for sales. For the most part, the keynote featured practical applications of Salesforce technology. Some Dreamforces focus on the highly aspirational; others focus on the ways to attain those aspirations. This year is the latter.
Salesforce and Microsoft in Another Deal
November 14, 2019
With Dreamforce approaching, it's no surprise that Salesforce is making a flurry of announcements. What is surprising are two big ones involving partnering with other vendors, mostly on infrastructure -- announcements that I believe make the idea of an information utility more real with each passing day. I see evidence of an information utility forming.
The Information Utility, Continued
November 13, 2019
I've been sharing my theory on the formation of an information utility for some time now. Various big vendors have announced alliances with that kind of aim. For instance, Oracle and Microsoft announced an effort to make their cloud databases interoperate, and Microsoft and others have announced common data model projects. Now Salesforce, AWS and Genesys have teamed up with The Linux Foundation.
Previewing Dreamforce 2019
November 13, 2019
Dreamforce is next week. Once again, the sold-out show will be headquartered at San Francisco's Moscone Center and overflowing to neighboring hotels. Over the years Dreamforce has become the Las Vegas of trade shows in one important respect. Both are famous for being bastions of excess. Vegas has excesses of the sensual kind, while Dreamforce offers a business and technology equivalent.
'Nightingale Project' to Turn Over Millions of Medical Records to Google
November 13, 2019
A venture between Google and Ascension, one of the largest healthcare providers in the United States, will give the tech giant access to the sensitive medical information of as many as 50 million patients in 21 states. Its venture with Google, called "The Nightingale Project," would enable it to improve the experience of patients, consumers, providers and associates, Ascension said.
DevOps for Salesforce Lightning
November 4, 2019
The tools you work with have a lot of impact on what you can accomplish, and the more sophisticated the tools the better -- especially in software. Beagle Research just completed a study into the use of a DevOps strategy with the Salesforce Lightning Platform. DevOps is a strategy for building, changing and deploying enterprise software that can be used with Scrum, Agile, and other methodologies.
The Force May Be With Microsoft
November 2, 2019
The Pentagon has awarded its $10 billion contract for cloud computing to Microsoft. The program -- which goes by the acronym "JEDI" for "Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure" -- has been attracting vendors like a dog attracts fleas for several years. It has been marked by fierce litigation too, so the award may not be the end of it. Oracle sued over the process, claiming it was unfair.
Linux Inside Azure Sphere on the Horizon
October 30, 2019
Azure Sphere will be generally available in Feb 2020, Microsoft has announced. Its scheduled arrival highlights Microsoft's readiness to fulfill its promise for better IoT device security at scale. Microsoft first introduced Azure Sphere in 2018, opting to use its own version of a Linux operating system instead of Windows 10 to drive its new Azure Sphere OS to securely connect IoT devices.
Nvidia's New Shield TV Models Add Dolby Vision, Atmos
October 29, 2019
Nvidia has introduced two new versions of its Android TV-based Shield streaming product. Shield TV and Shield TV Pro are replacements for the last generation of Shield video streamers, which Nvidia introduced in 2017. The Shield TV Pro retains the form factor of its predecessors -- the box-like form favored by the industry generally -- while the lower priced Shield TV is cylinder-shaped.
Zoho's Catalyst to Growth
October 21, 2019
Now would be a good time to put Zoho on your radar if for some reason it isn't there already. The Austin-based company just announced Catalyst, a developer environment that helps programmers and others to speed development of apps and microservices with capabilities inherited from Zoho's apps portfolio. Catalyst is based on the company's internal development tools.
Virtual Pets, Virtual People and Virtual Immortality
October 14, 2019
One of the interesting and somewhat underappreciated aspects of the recent Qualcomm wireless event is that 5G will make realistic AR avatars possible. This advance will be possible because with high bandwidth and very low latency, processing could shift from the device to the cloud. Coupled with the rollout of distributed data centers, this means you could have realistic virtual pets and friends.
Autonomous Linux and the IT Utility
October 12, 2019
Oracle came late to cloud computing, joining the fray only after competitors like Microsoft and Salesforce had established dominant positions, and newcomer Amazon Web Services leaped from a standing start to a position of dominance. Amazon is so strong in the cloud that it is on the cusp of extinguishing the last challenges to its win of the 10-year $10 billion Pentagon JEDI procurement.
DevOps, Platform Strategy and Transformation
October 1, 2019
The software development lifecycle reminds me of the proverb of the three blind people confronting an elephant. One grabs the trunk and says it's a snake, another touches a tusk and says it's a spear, while the third feels its side and calls it a wall. The moral of the proverb is that perception has a lot to do with perspective. For a long time, the perspective on software was that it was a cost.
OpenWorld Takeaway
September 24, 2019
I was speaking to an Oracle executive about some of the company's announcements at OpenWorld, and my impression that the company has changed so much that it is difficult to recognize it from the entity it was just a few years ago. On the macro side it's easy to see that Oracle has transitioned from a products company to a subscription company. It uses its own apps in a proof-of-concept mode.
Harnessing Data Lakes for E-Commerce Business Growth
September 16, 2019
There were 5,524 store closures in the U.S. alone last year. There is no doubt that the retail industry increasingly is moving to e-commerce. For mid-sized retail companies, this trend can be a major opportunity to gain market share in their local areas and continue to grow in an industry dominated by Amazon and other giants. However, this growth requires a strong digital transformation strategy.
Zoho Is Starting to Look Like a Utility
September 12, 2019
It has been my belief for several years that our industry is trending toward the formation of an information utility. I draw this conclusion carefully based on my understanding of how markets develop and commoditize. I consider the beginning of the modern IT era as the early 1970s. You can graph a rising line of performance and a declining one for price -- essentially Moore's Law.
New Insightly Marketing Platform Modernizes Legacy CRM
September 10, 2019
Insightly has announced the availability of Insightly Marketing, which integrates marketing, sales and project management into a single platform to support dynamic customer journeys. The company also released the results of the Insightly Marketing Study it conducted last month probing trends and challenges in customer relationship management marketing.
Rethinking the User Interface for Consumer Voice Tech
September 9, 2019
Voice can provide a simple, compelling user experience, but the path to adding voice controls to any product, service or application is complex. As dominant tech players continue to develop voice-enabled interfaces and assistants, product designers, developers and manufacturers will be forced to rethink the user experience. For many future homes, voice control will be the primary user interface.
Multi-Cloud Strategy May Pose Higher Security Risk: Study
September 6, 2019
Users of a multi-cloud storage strategy may be twice as likely to face a security breach as those that use hybrid or single clouds, suggests a report from UK-based security specialist Nominet. Fifty-two percent of survey respondents who adopted a multi-cloud approach suffered a data breach over the past 12 months, compared to 24 percent of hybrid cloud users, and 24 percent of single-cloud users.
The High Stakes of Oracle's Appeal
August 31, 2019
Now Oracle is appealing the Pentagon's award to Amazon of its $10 billion JEDI contract to provide cloud computing solutions. "The Court of Federal Claims opinion in the JEDI bid protest describes the JEDI procurement as unlawful, notwithstanding dismissal of the protest solely on the legal technicality of Oracle's purported lack of standing," said Dorian Daley, general counsel for Oracle.
Powerful Enterprise-Class Chromebooks May Make Windows Exit Possible
August 27, 2019
A new collaboration between Dell Technologies and Google has produced the world's first enterprise-class Chromebook. The companies have announced their partnership to bring new capabilities and services to Dell's Unified Workspace strategy. Google launched its Chrome Enterprise capabilities in 2017 to give enterprises critical features like advanced security protections and fleet management.
Cloud Users: Read the Click Agreement Terms
August 26, 2019
There is no data showing how many people actually read through click agreements, terms of service and privacy policies -- collectively "online terms" -- before clicking the alluring "accept" button. However, there's research that indicates fewer than 1 percent of people report taking the time to review online terms. Most folks consider online terms an annoying speed bump and frankly don't care.
Cerebras Debuts Big Chip to Speed Up AI Processes
August 20, 2019
Startup chip developer Cerebras has announced a breakthrough in high-speed processor design that will hasten the development of artificial intelligence technologies. Cerebras unveiled the largest computer processing chip ever built. The new chip, dubbed "Wafer-Scale Engine" -- pronounced "wise" -- is the heartbeat of the company's deep learning machine built to power AI systems.
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Which technology has the strongest positive or negative impact on race relations?
Smartphone cameras, by holding people accountable.
Twitter, by reporting news as it happens.
Facebook, by providing a platform for discussing the issues.
YouTube, by exposing viewers to other cultures.
Twitter, by fueling antagonisms.
Facebook, by spreading fake news.