Now That We Have Tablets And Smartphones Here, How Do We Get Our Apps and Enterprise Data On Them?

According to Forrester surveys, 27% of companies support the iPad today, while another 31% plan to support it in the future. As organizations begin to support connected smart devices such as iPads and smartphones, they also want to connect them to their enterprise data and applications. Companies are turning to desktop virtualization (DV) as a solution to make that happen. DV is a consideration because:

  1. It facilitates employee access to enterprise data and applications from any platform-neutral device.
  2. Certain solutions allow you to convert your existing laptops/desktops into thin clients, enabling you to lengthen the life cycles of the equipment.
  3. Patch management and updates are controlled more effectively, potentially lowering internal management costs.
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Deloitte To Acquire Workday Implementation Specialist Aggressor

Deloitte continues to ramp up its software-as-a-service (SaaS) consulting practice, both through organic growth as well as acquisition. Today, Deloitte announced plans to acquire Workday implementation specialist Aggressor. Aggressor has been one of a very small set of Workday integrators (along with Deloitte), which means Deloitte now further boosts its already-impressive Workday practice.

This move furthers Deloitte’s Workday practice, as well as Deloitte’s overall practice in SaaS implementation and integration work. Deloitte also has strategic partnerships with other leading SaaS vendors, most notably salesforce.com.

For buyers, this means a stronger and deeper bench of consultants at Deloitte. But, on the downside, it removes a boutique/specialist option from the market, which appealed to some because of its laser focus, smaller size, and (perceived or real) ability to be more nimble, flexible, and price competitive.

Are you an Aggressor or Deloitte client or prospect? We would love to hear your thoughts!

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Clients Say Big Data Is Now An Imperative (Not Just An Initiative) At IBM's Smarter Analytics Event

At IBM's Smarter Analytics event this week, clients and partners presented success stories about how organizations are driving business value out of big data, analytics, and IBM Watson technology.

Examples included:

- City of Dublin, Ireland using thousands of data points from local transportation and traffic signals to optimize public transit and deliver information to riders.

- Seton Healthcare mining through vast amounts of unstructured data captured in notes and dictation to get a more complete view of patients. Seton currently uses this information to construct programs that target treatments to the right patients with a goal of minimizing hospitalizations in the way that most efficiently optimizes costs with benefits. The ability to mine unstructured data gives a much more complete view of patients, including factors such as their support system, their ability to have transportation to and from appointments, and whether or not they have a primary care physician.

- WellPoint using Watson technology to improve real-time decision-making by mining through millions of pages of medical information while doctors and nurses are face-to-face with patients.

But, clients warned that as much as the technology is advancing, the biggest hurdles remained the internal ones. Clients stressed that they face a critical challenge in introducing, driving, and changing the organizational mindset to work in a new way that can take advantage of these great advances in technology. What did they suggest?

1) Executive sponsorship from the top (C-level)

2) Hiring or retraining for new roles like data scientists (schools like Syracuse are introducing and promoting new programs out of their iSchool, which can help with reskilling experienced talent from other areas)

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Oracle Had A Strong Third Quarter, But Well-Informed Buyers Can Still Get Great Deals In Its Q4

Oracle reported its results for the three months to February 29th yesterday, and it beat analysts’ expectations. Software license sales were up 15% from last quarter, and up 7% on last year’s Q3. The blogosphere’s “Oraclefreude” delight at its disappointing Q2 appears to have been premature. Enterprises’ insatiable demand for processing power and Oracle’s excellent products ensure a continuing demand for more "per core" license capacity of its flagship database products.

“Oracle is on track to deliver the highest operating margins in our history this year,” said Oracle President and CFO, Safra Catz, in the company’s press release. “Oracle can achieve these record margins as an integrated hardware and software company because we are focusing on high margin systems where hardware and software are engineered to work together.”

What does this mean for sourcing professionals considering Oracle deals in its important fourth quarter to May 31st?

Despite Oracle’s financial rebound, I’m still confident that sourcing professionals with leverage will be able to get better prices in the next three months than they’ve gotten before, provided they use that leverage wisely. Here are three reasons why:

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SVM Pros Should Play A Pivotal Role To Facilitate IT-Business Discussions To Define Or Refine A Comms Technology Strategy

SVM pros often are tasked with facilitating formal and informal discussions between IT operations and business stakeholders for input and feedback when attempting to evaluate and refine a strategy for new communications technology decisions and sourcing. Comms technology planning and sourcing should be centralized within IT in order to avoid islands of investments by business decision-makers who don’t want to wait for IT to work through a lengthy evaluation process that they’re not even involved in.

However, given the escalating pace of communications technology evolution (e.g., the iPad phenomenon), it’s more important than ever before to take measures to ensure an open dialog between the businesses and IT, specifically about new technology evaluations, testing, and proof-of-concept trials with vendors that IT is undertaking within its operational labs or on behalf of a division. SVM also can facilitate regular discussions between business stakeholders that include sharing lessons learned from recent proof-of-concept and pilot activities, etc.

Moreover, because telephony and mobility technologies and services in many distributed companies typically are provisioned by local market GMs, centralized IT SVM organizations often struggle to get some control over sourcing practices for the associated services. SVM, regardless of its mandate from IT’s steering committee, has to deal with more and more instances of self-provisioning by business leaders that bypass established processes.

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Identify Your Current State As A Starting Point For A New Communications Strategy By Conducting An Audit Of What's Out There

Defining a best-practice communications strategy requires establishing a planning starting point. To do this SVM professionals need to undertake a comprehensive audit of the company's communications operational current state that includes compiling use cases by different business divisions; determining the more popular and alternative procurement models; and identifying specific as well as general vendor management responsibility and processes. Key to a successful audit is obtaining wide business buy-in, which can be achieved by a combination of obtaining a mandate or official endorsement from the IT executive steering committee that includes key business leaders, and asking business operations executives for input and feedback starting with at least two major divisions and then socializing an opinion and concerns about comms technology input across all the major businesses. As a next step, SVM and the IT communicatons technology strategy planning team need to actively solicit feedback and additional data that will be used to develop the future-state communications technology vision. In this way, and specifically when the business stakeholders who've participated see their ideas and concerns reflected in the strategy planning documents, momentum will build for interest and readiness by the businesses to move forward faster to flesh out, finalize, and execute a new strategy.

Canada Takes A Long-Awaited First Step To Eliminate Archaic Foreign Ownership Restrictions On Telecommunications

The Canadian federal government has (finally) made a move to lift Canada’s rules on telecommunications operator ownership from a previous maximum of 46.7% (20% direct plus 30% indirect) foreign ownership — albeit only for smaller market players. Earlier this week, the Minister of Industry announced amendments to the 1993 Telecommunications Act that will remove all restrictions on foreign ownership of wired and wireless network operators that have less than 10% market share. Details haven’t been provided on precisely how this will be calculated, but it’s assumed it will be based on national market share in terms of revenues and addressable customers. The rationale stems from Conservative government’s desire to stimulate competition in the Canadian national market where two operators — Bell Canada and TELUS — dominate fixed-line business and consumer voice and data services, and where three wireless operators — Rogers (which is also a major cable operator), Bell Mobility, and TELUS — have a 95% chokehold on cellular services.

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Why The Recent Infosys/Airtel Deal Is A Glimpse Into The Future Of IT Services

Infosys announced last week that Bharti Airtel, India’s leading mobile service provider, has selected its WalletEdge platform to operate Airtel Money, the first mobile wallet service in India. This announcement is interesting from a few different perspectives. First, it will provide a new source of revenues for the Indian telecom industry, which has been struggling with low ARPUs for several years. Second, it’s a boon for the banking industry, which will find a way to accelerate financial inclusion initiatives in line with the recommendations from the Reserve Bank of India. Obviously, the urban Indian consumer will also benefit from the “pay anytime, anywhere” convenience of such a service.

I also look at this deal from an IT services industry perspective, and I believe that it embeds a set of very interesting attributes that will become increasingly prevalent in the way IT services vendors engage with their clients moving forward:

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