Microsoft's Project Rigel pushes Skype Meeting everywhere

Nick Barber

You don't need a $20,000 computer to collaborate on a Word doc anymore. Microsoft's Project Rigel will bring a Skype Meeting experience to any meeting room with a display or projector. 

Previously the videoconferencing collaboration technology was only available to users of Microsoft Surface Hub, a large screen computer ranging in price from $9,000 to $22,000. 

If you're not familiar with how Surface Hub works or what collaboration with it may look like, here's a video.

Surface Hub married document collaboration, whiteboarding and video conferencing into a single system with the obvious drawback of the initial hardware investment. With wide ranging enterprise implications for AD&D pros, Project Rigel will: 

  • Democratize the technology. Project Rigel lowers the barrier to entry to any meeting room with a display or projector. 
  • Force Windows 10 upgrades. Rigel will only work on machines running Windows 10 so for enterprises that are holding back, this could be the push needed. 
  • Make Office a stronger application for collaboration. Google's suite of productivity apps led the charge in collaboration, making it free and easy co-edit documents, spreadsheets and slideshows. With this announcement, Microsoft could recapture lost market share. 
  • Push hardware investments in Polycom and Logitech. The two VC companies partnered with Microsoft and certified elements of their portfolios to work with Project Rigel. These include the Polycom RealPresence Trio and CX5100 and Logitech ConferenceCam Connect, ConferenceCam GROUP and PTZ Pro Camera. 
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Musings on Mobile World Congress 2016: IoT Generates Insights From Cows To Customers

Jennifer Belissent, Ph.D.

More than 100,000 people descended on Barcelona, Spain last week to be part of Mobile World Congress (MWC), one of the world’s largest annual technology events. My new report, IoT And Insights Are Two Sides Of The Same Coin, recaps some of  the MWC 2016, including expectations for new 5G networks, the Internet of Things (IoT), and applications that will deliver value from the multitude of connected things — and people. A few of those highlights include:

5G Networks Promise Speed But Require Patience. 

Telecom operators and network equipment providers eagerly discussed the faster speeds and lower latency of new 5G networks.  And, fast it will be. While reports vary, network tests show download speeds peaking at more than 20 Gbps; average 5G speed is expected to be 100 times faster than current 4G networks. With that kind of speed, true video streaming becomes a reality for consumer and business uses. And, that reality can be with virtual or augmented: AR and VR were all over the exhibit hall. I successfully fought with a dragon but had to bail out of the helicopter I was flying as the experience got a little too real.

But alas, these good things only come to those who wait. The 5G standards will not be finalized before 2018; and commercial availability not before 2020 at the earliest. Large-scale network rollouts will likely take much longer. For now, we’ll all have to live with 4G reality as it is.

Interest In The Internet Of Things Is Exploding – Well Beyond Things.

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Brace Yourself For The 2016 Digital Re-Org.

Martin Gill

Our annual organizational and staffing survey of digital professionals heralds change in 2016. The meteoric growth in digital team sizes has plateaued, and as line-of-business teams take on responsibility for digital execution and technology management teams step up to manage digital development, the nature, makeup and role of the digital team is shifting. The demand for skills like analytics, customer experience and product management is growing as digital teams take on end-to-end ownership of their firm’s digital experience. Our latest report, Trends 2016: Staffing And Hiring For Digital Business, outlines the key organizational trends and benchmarks for digital teams in the coming year.

Our key findings from the survey are:

  • Headcount Growth Plateaus As Operating Model Shifts. Digital headcount growth has plateaued, with teams averaging 94 people, down from 95 in 2014 and 103 in 2013. As technology and line-of-business teams step up to the digital plate, digital teams focus their resources on strategy and governance, channeling execution headcount into operational teams.
  • Technology Skills Aren’t The Biggest Headache Anymore. Technology skills are still hard to find, but roles like analytics and product management are increasingly vital, and much harder to source. As the role of digital teams shift from being operators and executors to strategists and coaches guiding line of business teams as they embrace digital, so to does the nature of the skills in digital teams. This way of operating demands more strategic and consultative skills than operational or technical specialists.
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Continuing Trend Of Data Exploration - Tableau Closes One Of The Remaining Gaps In Its Portfolio, Acquires HyPer

Boris Evelson
One of the reasons for only a portion of enterprise and external (about a third of structured and a quarter of unstructured -) data being available for insights is a restrictive architecture of SQL databases. In SQL databases data and metadata (data models, aka schemas) are tightly bound and inseparable (aka early binding, schema on write). Changing the model often requires at best just rebuilding an index or an aggregate, at worst - reloading entire columns and tables. Therefore many analysts start their work from data sets based on these tightly bound models, where DBAs and data architects have already built business requirements (that may be outdated or incomplete)  into the models. Thus the data delivered to the end-users already contains inherent biases, which are opaque to the user and can  strongly influence their analysis. As part of the natural evolution of Business Intelligence (BI) platforms data exploration now addresses this challenge. How? BI pros can now take advantage of ALL raw data available in their enterprises by:
 
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Data Digest: Social Apps Buzz During Super Bowl 50 Game Day

Nicole Dvorak

By: Nicole Dvorak and Kristopher Arcand

On February 7, 2016 112 million viewers tuned in to watch the Denver Broncos beat the Carolina Panthers, the 3rd largest in TV history according to Nielsen data.

To help companies understands consumers’ mobile behaviors on the big day Forrester used its Technographics 360 approach, which combines multiple data sources*.

Our behavioral data indicates that people don’t drastically change their mobile behaviors for the game. However, Twitter’s app attracted a 23% larger audience than the Sunday before. But increased usage isn’t everything: Even though it’s audience size grew by just 1% from the previous weekend, Facebook’s broad reach accounted for 1 in four smartphone owners using the Facebook app during Super Bowl 50 game time hours. Instagram - also popular during Super Bowl game time despite seeing a smaller audience from the previous week - reached 5% of smartphone owners (most of whom were 18 and 24 years old).

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Why A Tax Law Change In Australia Could Impact Online Revenues For US Online Retailers

Lily Varon

In August 2015, the Australian government announced an impending change to their tax structure that will impact online retailers serving the market via international shipping. Today, Australian consumers can import up to A$1,000 duty-free when they buy from a foreign retailer. The A$1,000 duty-free exemption is known as the low value threshold (LVT) and it has driven a large cross-border shopping habit among online shoppers in Australia. But change is afoot and retailers should know that:

  • Goods and services tax (GST) will be added to cross-border transactions previously exempt. As of July 2017, the Australian government will be expanding its GST collection to purchases previously exempt under the A$1,000 threshold. Additionally, the government stipulates the onus is on retailers to collect and remit the tax: According to the Australian Treasury Department, "For goods with a value of A$1,000 or less, GST is applied at point of sale. Overseas vendors with an Australian turnover of $75,000 or more will be required to register, collect and remit GST on low value goods."* 
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Think You Want To Be "Data-Driven"? Insight Is The New Data

Brian  Hopkins

It’s been a while since I’ve blogged; not because I’ve had nothing to say, but rather because I’ve been busy with my colleagues Ted Schadler, James McCormick, and Holger Kisker working on a new line of research. We wanted to examine the fact that business satisfaction with analytics went down 21% between 2014 and 2015, despite big investments in big data. We found that while 74% of firms say they want to be “data-driven,” only 29% say they are good at connecting analytics to action. That is the problem.

Ted Schadler and I published some initial ideas around this idea in Digital Insights Are The New Currency Of Business in 2015. In that report, we started using the phrase digital insight to talk about what firms were really after ― action inspired by new knowledge. We saw that data and analytics were only means to that end. We also found that leading firms were turning data into insight and action by building systems of insight ― the business discipline and technology to harness insights and consistently turn data into action.

Here is a key figure from that report:

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Software-Defined Data Center, coming ready or not!

Robert Stroud

As we embark in the era of “cloud first” being business as usual for operations, one of the acronyms flying aground the industry is SDDC or the Software Defined Data Center.  The term, very familiar to me since starting with Forrester less than six months ago, has become an increasing topic of conversation with Forrester clients and vendors alike. It is germane to my first Forrester report “Infrastructure as Code, The Missing Element In The I&O Agenda”, where I discuss the changing role of I&O pros from building and managing physical hardware to abstracting configurations as code. The natural extension of this is the SDDC.

 

We believe that the SDDC is an evolving architectural and operational philosophy rather that simply a product that you purchase. It is rooted in a series of fundamental architectural constructs built on modular standards-based infrastructure, virtualization of and at all layers, with complete orchestration and automation.

 

The Forrester definition of the SDDC is:

 

A SDDC is an integrated abstraction model that defines a complete data center by means of a layer of software that presents the resources of the data center as pools of virtual and physical resources, and allows them to be composed into arbitrary user-defined services.

 

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Seven New Buying Patterns Reshape The 2017 Enterprise Collaboration Market

Craig Le Clair

The enterprise collaboration (EC) landscape is rife with innovative products that begin with a narrow feature set (e.g., Box for document collaboration or Slack for group messaging). Viral growth and company value often follow — along with competitors that target the newly identified market. A fragmented and overlapping landscape results as newer entrants pursue broader EC goals. Over the next two years, firms will purchase enterprise collaboration in seven fundamentally different ways. The report below aims to helps companies sift through confusing use cases to best apply EC.

What did we find? Firstly, the torrent of information, lack of critical-mass adoption, and context switching create barriers to effective EC adoption, and secondly, platforms that support lead applications, targeted group messaging, project management tools, external communities, or just finding expertise in an organization are the winning formulae for many firms.

Read the report here: Seven New Buying Patterns Reshape The 2017 Enterprise Collaboration Market.

The Blind Spot For Man-Machine Collaboration

Craig Le Clair

We are kicking off a research series on the future of work for "production services," with a focus on administrative and customer service jobs where a high degree of automation is projected. Basically, cognitive computing may do to white-collar jobs what robotics did to blue-collar jobs. This may lead to radically different work patterns and unintended consequences. Enterprises risk blindly bringing in advanced analytics without a best practice approach that covers change management and identifies gaps in the formerly human-driven process that affect compliance, customer experience, and efficiency. To date, few are doing serious thinking about a force that will lead to a restructuring of work that is more profound and far-reaching than the transition from the agricultural to the industrial age. 

Please take or send this survey to businesses contemplating or using smart machines to augment human-based processes. They will receive a free copy of the report.

Thank you.

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