Cisco buys Cloud Security Gateway vendor CloudLock for $293M

Andras Cser

Given Symantec's recent acquisiton of BlueCoat (and with it BlueCoat's earlier acquired Elastica and Perspecsys cloud security gateway (CSG) assets), and IBM's organic buildout of its Cloud Security Enforcer CSG solution it comes hardly as a surprise that Cisco today announced its intent to acquire CloudLock for US$293M (in Forrester's estimation this purchase price represents at least 10-15x of CloudLock's current revenues).  Considering that CloudLock's DNA and pedigree  is mainly in cloud data governance and data leak prevention using API based connectivity to SaaS (and lately IaaS) apps without an own gateway solution, Forrester expects that Cisco will do the following with CloudLock:

1) Integrate CloudLock's CSG offering with its own Ironport Secure Web Gateway (SWG) offering for interception of on-prem to cloud traffic,

2) invest in improving machine learning and behavioral analytics (already there in CloudLock's CSG solution),

3) improve data protection and cloud encryption in the solution, 

4) use its distribution channels to penetrate the lucrative and fast-growing (Forrester's estimate: 20%-25% y/y global growth) CSG market,

5) start an acquisition of wave in which other large SWG vendors will follow suit and acquire smaller CSG vendors.

Let's go back to the future--it is time to start planning now for customer service in 2021

Ian Jacobs

This a guest post by Meredith Cain, a Research Associate on the Application Development & Delivery (AD&D) team.

Let’s take trip back to 1989. One of the big movies of that year was “Back to the Future: Part II.” One of the great things about that movie was its view of the future—or, because so much time has passed since the film was released, its view of what our present should be like. In the film, Marty McFly and Doc Brown time traveled to October 21, 2015 and had the opportunity to observe potential technologies and experiences of the future. What they saw seems both supremely silly and surprisingly prescient: video conferencing, holograms, augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR). Sure, we don’t all use AR and VR every day, but it is becoming clearer that we soon will.

In Forrester’s new report “Plan Now For Customer Service in 2021,” we assess and evaluate five developing customer service technologies according to their potential impact on the customer service experience in the year 2021. Rather than time traveling, we evaluated the technologies based on their newness, business complexity, and technological complexity so AD&D pros can adequately plan for the necessary amount of time to develop these five technologies and build the appropriate business cases for budgeting.

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With Brexit, A Customer-Focused Agenda Is More Important Than Ever

Laura Koetzle
Yesterday’s decision by UK citizens to leave the European Union (“Brexit”) brings about short-term uncertainties and unintended consequences that will make it harder for UK businesses to keep customers and attract talent. While times of high-market volatility can tempt firms to panic and cut spending on customer-focused initiatives, now is the time to drive innovation in order to win, serve, and retain customers. 
 
As decisions over the next several years are determined by legislators and driven by compliance, UK companies will be challenged to operate as customer-obsessed firms. Forrester believes that the UK’s decision will have five major implications, including:
 
  • Digital and customer-facing talent will migrate out of the UK. Concerns about immigration laws (i.e., who will have the right to stay) will both drive footloose talent to look for jobs abroad and dissuade others from coming. And CIOs will find it even more difficult to recruit already-scarce developers and engineers to build customer-facing systems. 
  • Product and delivery innovation will slow. Companies will now have to spend more time and effort to deliver products across borders and less time innovating on new customer-focused solutions. 
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Microsoft’s Acquisition Of LinkedIn Will Not Translate Into A Revolution Of Enterprise Social Networking

Dan Bieler

In a report, Forrester discussed arguments made by Microsoft regarding the potential benefits of the tie-up. There are some additional aspects that I also consider important when discussing the implications of the tie-up:

  • LinkedIn's status of trusted independent platform for professional information exchange could be undermined. Although the deal, should it go through, would help Microsoft to strengthen its social networking services and professional content, there will be LinkedIn users that are not keen to become sucked into the Microsoft ecosystem as part of their social collaboration activities and abandon LinkedIn as active users.
  • Microsoft must be much faster to decide on LinkedIn's strategy than it did with Skype. It took Microsoft several years to define its strategy for Skype, and Yammer for that matter. This slow response to sort out Skype's place in the Microsoft family slowed down Skype's momentum significantly. By the time the new Skype strategy was announced, most of the hardcore Skype users had migrated away towards other social collaboration platforms like WhatsApp, Facetime, or WeChat.
  • Microsoft must redouble its mobile efforts. A large part of LinkedIn users’ activities are mobile based. Microsoft's weak position in mobile ecosystems could dramatically undermine LinkedIn's longer-term opportunities. If Microsoft underestimates the mobile dimension for LinkedIn, the future for LinkedIn could be very questionable. Users are fickle and there is no loyalty to outdated social media platforms.
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The Downside Of Digital Labs For Financial Innovation

Diego Lo Giudice

The race to digital is heating up in financial services (FS) organizations; increasingly, the engine making this happen is Agile. Why? Quite simply, it is software that makes any financial business truly digital. Organizations are therefore in a rush to become great at rapidly innovating, developing, and delivering new software products to win new clients and retain and serve existing ones.

Oliwia Berdak and I have just published twin reports — one for eBusiness and channel strategy professionals, and one for AD&D leaders — that share our findings on how FS organizations are trying to ramp up their digital innovation capabilities rapidly by leveraging Agile and other innovative models. 

Our key finding comes in response to a question: Are you building a digital lab that contains great developers but is isolated from key business leaders and other technology management teams? If the answer is yes, don’t! If separate digital units pursue disruptive opportunities, they will often end up with just front-end apps or proofs of concept that are impossible to integrate and scale with same speed they were developed.

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One Million Thanks!

Nigel Fenwick

Thank you for your support!

I'm delighted to see this blog has officially had over one million views, making this one of the most read blogs at Forrester! 

I truly appreciate all the support of you, my readers, in helping share this content with your peers. So thank you a million times.

Here is a selection of the most popular reads based on your recommendations, page views and one or two I just like the most:

Social Media:

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AI And Cognitive Computing — What's The Hype All About?

Michele Goetz

That is exactly what Forrester wants to find out - is there something behind the AI and Cognitive Computing hype?  What my research directors ask, "Is there a there there?"

AI and Cognitive Computing have captured the imagination and interest of organization large and small but does anyone really know how to bring this new capability in and get value from it? Will AI and Cognitive really change businesses and consumer experiences? And the bigger question - WHEN will this happen?

It is time to roll-up the sleeves and look beyond conversations, vendor pitches and media coverage to really define what AI and Cognitive Computing mean for businesses, are businesses ready, where they will invest, and who they will turn to to build these innovated solutions, and what benefits will result.  As such, Forrester launched its Global Artificial Intelligence Survey and is reaching out to you - executives, data scientists, data analysts, developers, architects and researchers - to put a finger on the pulse.  We would appreciate you take a little time out of your day to tell us your point of view.  

Simply click on this like to participate.  https://forrester.co1.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_3K02TU4Q9934Z1j

As a thank you, you will receive a complimentary summary report of the findings.

If you have a great story to share that provides a perspective on what AI and Cogntivive can do, what benefits is has provided your company, and can share you learnings and best practices, we are also recruiting for interviews. 

Simply contact our rock star researcher, Elizabeth Cullen, to schedule 30 minutes.  ecullen@forrester.com

We hope to hear from you!

Mobile Edge Computing Will Be Critical For Internet-Of-Things And Distributed Computing

Dan Bieler

Computing at the edge of the mobile network will frame your IoT-enabled customer experiences in the age of the customer. As products and services based on the internet of things (IoT) continue to thrive, so does the reliance on the underlying network infrastructures to drive business success. Most IoT assets will be connected via mobile infrastructure, and cloud services are central to many IoT initiatives to deliver real-time and context-based services.

However, data transmission costs and the latency limitations of mobile connectivity pose challenges to many of these IoT installations that rely on cloud computing. Mobile edge computing (MEC) is an important technology that enables businesses to deliver real-time and context-based mobile moments to users of IoT solutions, while managing the cost base for mobile infrastructure.

  • Cloud and IoT solutions are increasingly intertwined and improve IoT experiences. IoT solutions gain functionality through cloud services, which in turn open access to third-party expertise and up-to-date information.
  • Mobile connectivity can create challenges for cloud-enabled IoT environments. Latency affects user experiences, so poor mobile connectivity can limit cloud computing deployments in the IoT context.
  • MEC provides real-time network and context information, including location. MEC gives application developers and business leaders access to cloud computing capabilities and a cloud service environment that’s closer to their actual users.
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Digital Transformation Forum Europe 2016: Q&A with Blake Cahill, Head of Digital, Royal Philips

Laura Koetzle

Forrester’s Digital Transformation Europe 2016 Forum in London starts today, and our first industry speaker will be Blake Cahill, Head of Digital, at Royal Philips. Over the past 20 years, Blake has led a series of marketing, creative, client management, product innovation, and thought leadership projects for both Fortune 500 organizations and digital start-ups. At Philips, Blake is helping to lead the Dutch company’s international rebranding and expansion into new technologies and markets. In his presentation, he will talk about the role of digital marketing in the transformation of Philips into a global digital business, and in entering the Chinese market, providing key best practices and lessons learnt.

As I prepared for my role as Forum co-chair, together with Benjamin Ensor, I spoke to Blake about his views on the age of the customer and the impact of digital on companies like Royal Philips. Here is what Blake shared with me, and I hope you will enjoy his answers as much as I did. If you would like to attend Blake's presentation in person, there is still time to register!

Q. How is digital transforming Philips' business and, as a digital marketer, how are you collaborating with and/or advising your peers in other parts of the business on the transformation?

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Don't know where your customers and assets are? Then you don't know where your business is going.

Rowan Curran

Business decision-makers take note: location-based context is critical for the future of application experiences and customer engagement. Understanding the location of customers and assets lets companies get closer to their customers and assets to drive better decisions (just to name a few: choosing the a site for a brick-and-mortar location, picking what offer to send to a customer, guiding passengers through airports, deciding where to focus your next marketing campaign, or pushing a greeting and sign-in to a patient as soon as she enters a hospital). The flood of spatial data generated by ubiquitous mobile and proliferating IoT devices offers developers new opportunities for user engagement, but choosing the right tools and services to ingest, analyze, and act upon this information can be vexing.

From comprehensive spatial analysis systems to decomposed location services solving specific problems, the landscape of spatial analysis vendors and offerings can be overwhelming and confusing. In our new report, Vendor Landscape: Spatial Analysis And Location Intelligence, Q2 2016, Forrester breaks down the market into six cohorts to help application developers, analysts, and business decision-makers choose the right technologies for their enterprise. Check out the full report at Forrester.com for more details and to view capabilities of dozens of vendors in these cohorts:

  1. Dedicated spatial analysis software platform providers
  2. Advanced analytics platform vendors
  3. BI vendors with spatial capabilities
  4. Spatial infrastructure and software vendors
  5. Location intelligence services providers
  6. Horizontal and vertical spatial solutions providers
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