Is IBM Watson WorkSpace The Answer To Our Digital Disorder?

Craig Le Clair

Bouncing among cognitive sessions and weaving though the crowds, it’s not clear what hurts the most, my feet or my brain.  How much of this are we to believe? What is actually deployable, affordable, and usable by mere humans, and when?  The cognitive exuberance at World of Watson (WOW) was certainly exhausting and even by tech conference standards, overplayed.  IBM, it’s partners, and tech analysts were much better at painting the future vision then how to break that vision into an actionable sequence of steps to be followed.

And that’s one reason, IBM’s announcement of a new collaboration product, IBM Watson Workspace, got my attention.  In short, it seems a practical solution to a really bad problem, our Digital Disorder. Not to sound Trump-esk, but our daily digital lives are quickly becoming a disaster. Workspace is a group messaging tool that uses Watson to help and is now available as a “pre-view “version, basically for folks to play with. While release plans are not totally baked, rumblings are that IBM will release it on a Fremium  basis- taking a page from fast moving startups. 

Does Workspace have a chance? It does and here’s why. Expertise routing, recommendations, and personal assistance are the new battleground for collaboration. Let’s call it people analytics.  It is the last and most important mile of a less then sterling collaboration journey.  Or to put it another way, cognitive may be the last hope to relieve the Digital Disorder we have created. .

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Loose Lips Sink M&A Ships

Cheryl McKinnon

Companies look for merger & acquisitions opportunities to boost their growth.  But when confidential information gets exposed, it throws a monkeywrench into their confidential assessments, strategies and negotiations.  Recent news proves this once again.  Whether Twitter would be a good fit for SalesForce is a question - but that the news that Salesforce was considering it leaked into the public domain made their decisions harder.


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Emerging Technologies To Power Your Systems Of Insight

Brian  Hopkins

In 2014, I recognized something was a bit off with all the big data excitement and I started interviewing companies to get to the bottom of it. In 2015, Ted Schadler and I published the first of my ideas in the report "Digital Insights Are The New Currency Of Business." In that report, we pointed out what was wrong - big data only focused on how to turn more data into more insight. It didn’t say anything about how to turn that insight into more action. In that report we defined a system of insight, which focused big data energy on implementing insights in software using closed loops that create action and continous learning. Read more

Enterprise Architecture Awards 2016 — Enterprise Architecture As A Verb, Not A Noun

Alex Cullen

Forrester and InfoWorld set the theme for this year’s awards as ‘Speed and Responsiveness – And EA”.  The underlying premise is that business leaders are demanding that their business moves faster – everything from updating digital capabilities to bringing more agility in how firms work with customers and suppliers.  In theory, enterprise architecture is a key capability to moving faster.  But how can EA programs – traditionally policemen of technology –  deliver on this potential? 

This year’s Enterprise Architecture Award winners show how.

The title of this blog post is taken from the submission of one of our winners – Humana.  The exact quote from their submission is:

“Humana believes enterprise architecture is primarily a verb, not a noun.”

But this isn’t just a sentiment unique to Humana. All our winners are delivering business results because they embed insight and guidance into the decisions made by their business and IT  leaders – enabling these leaders to ‘enterprise architect’ how they achieve business results.  The result?  Speed and responsiveness of their enterprise. 

Here is how our five winners of this year’s awards are doing this.  But before I describe them, I must say that every year, it gets harder to select winners due to the range of innovation and impact our judges are seeing. When a judge says of one firm, not selected as a winner “This is a really neat concept, well conceived and executed. This company could do our profession a great service if they published this model!" – then you know there are many outstanding award submissions.

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Forrester's Top Emerging Technologies To Watch: 2017-2021

Brian  Hopkins

Think back just a few years — social, mobile, cloud, and big data ruled the emerging technology landscape. Business and technology management executives wondered what big data meant, when the cloud would disrupt their companies, and how to engage effectively on social channels. In 2016, Hadoop turned 10, the cloud has been around even longer, and social has become a way of business and life. So what's next?

As a refresh to my 2014 blog and report, here are the next 15 emerging technologies Forrester thinks you need to follow closely. We organize this year's list into three groups — systems of engagement technologies will help you become customer-led, systems of insight technologies will help you become insights-driven, and supporting technologies will help you become fast and connected.

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The Documentum Shoe Finally Drops...As ECM Undergoes A Changing Of The Guard

Cheryl McKinnon

My colleague Craig Le Clair did a nice wrap-up of the long-anticipated news of the divestiture of the Enterprise Content Division (ECD) from the newly merged Dell-EMC entity. The move to spin off the Documentum, InfoArchive and Leap platform was expected, it wasn't entirely clear over the last few months who the lucky buyer would be. Step up OpenText!

Craig's post has some thoughtful recommendations for current ECD customers - for today and beyond 2017 - so I won't rehash these points here: read it for yourself

Today's deal, however, caps a rollercoaster couple of weeks in the broader enterprise content management market. Old vendors are merging, divesting, and trying to reinvent themselves in adjacent markets. Just last week, HP Enterprise "merged" its information and content management portfolio - including its ECM and information governance products - with MicroFocus (a vendor with little name brand recognition in these markets)

Yet, new vendors are delivering real innovation in ECM. The OpenText acquisition of its key decades-long rival comes on the heels of the announcements from BoxWorks 2016, as well as Nuxeo's $20M investment from Goldman Sachs.

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Top Reasons The OpenText Acquisition Of EMC’s ECD Will End Up As A Positive For Customers

Craig Le Clair


EMC purchased Documentum in 2003 for $1.7 billion, a very high price tag at the time, and did not grow the core business. Today, the Enterprise Content Division (ECD) business unit consists of Documentum, next-generation content platform Project Horizon, and the archiving solution EMC InfoArchive. Core Documentum products include the Documentum platform, xCP and D2, midmarket ECM solution ApplicationXtender, Captiva, and Document Sciences xPression; additional products include Kazeon, MyDocumentum, and eRoom. A mix of aging and newer and aging technology but lots of customers, which is what OpenText seems intent on accumulating.

A Fresh Focus On Documentum Is Overdue

Documentum products received good ratings in five Forrester Wave evaluations, yet never realized their market potential under EMC. Their future with Dell only looked bleaker. OpenText acquisition gives hope.

A Spinoff Was The Best Hope

EMC is set to become a private company as funding for the deal comes from Michael Dell, private equity firm MSD Partners, and investment firm Silver Lake. As we said in November of 2015, Documentum will only prosper if it's spun into a separate, agile, and more strategically aligned entity. And with OpenText it has.

Customers Should Stay The Course, At Least Through 2017

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How British Gas Transformed Customer Engagement And Won Our 2015 EA Award

Charlie Dai

Customers’ perception of a company depends on their experiences with the organization at every point of contact. Companies can try to change how customers view a brand in a number of ways, such as a new mobile app or an improved complaint-handling process. However, to really improve customer perception, every interaction at every touchpoint must answer questions, suggest new services, and deepen the relationship. Many firms fail to tap into business opportunities that their front-line employees encounter because their processes and technology are antiquated. 

Enterprise architecture (EA) programs can lead the effort to address these limitations and deliver benefits to customers. British Gas, one of the winners of the 2015 Forrester/InfoWorld EA Awards, is a firm that seized its opportunity. My recent report, Enterprise Architects Transform Customer Engagement, analyzes the key practices enterprise architects at British Gas made to serve as brand ambassadors and to improve customer satisfaction levels and highlights key lessons for EA leaders. These practices include:

  • APIs, cloud, and big data technologies power the new engagement platform. To build an engagement platform that delivers customer insights to front-line engineers, the British Gas EA team developed a platform architecture that uses APIs and cloud and big data technologies to support a new engagement platform and the applications on top of it. The API mechanism simplifies digital connections to business applications; cloud infrastructure provides robustness and agility for business operations; big data technology arms field engineers with customer insights; and policies and multitenancy ensure flexibility and security.
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Tame The Beast: Forrester's Insight Platform Vendor Landscape

Brian  Hopkins

The mix of analysts who showed up to a recent Cambridge Semantics briefing illustrates a big problem data and analytics technology buyers have - too many data and analytics solutions and a ton of overlap. For example, of the five analysts who came:

  • One saw Cambridge Semantics as a text analytics tool — and that is true.

  • Another saw it as a search tool — and that too is true.

  • A third viewed it as a cognitive analytics tool — and that is true as well.

  • A fourth came because it was a "BI" tool . . . see my point?

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Insights-Driven Businesses Are Stealing Your Customers

Brian  Hopkins

Is your business digital? Like Domino’s Pizza, do you realize that you are not a product or service business, rather you are a software and data business that provides products or services? Do you exploit all of your customers' data to know them inside-out? Are customers flocking to you because you are driving every engagement with insight about them? If the answer to any of these questions is not a resounding, “Yes!”, then you are losing revenue and shareholder value.

In Forrester’s new report, The Insight Driven Business, my colleagues Ted Schadler, James McCormick and I identify a type of business that ignores the "data driven" hype. Instead, insights-driven businesses focus on implementing insights - that is actionable knowledge in the context of a process or decision - in the software that drives every aspect of their business. This is a big shift from most firms that fret over big data and technology. Instead insights-driven businesses focus on turning insights into action. The big data and technology pieces come along naturally as a consequence.

To gauge the economic impact of insights-driven businesses, Forrester built a revenue model that conservatively forecasts insights-driven businesses will earn about $400 billion in 2016; however, by 2020 they will be making over $1.2 trillion a year due to an astonishing compound annual growth rate between 27% and 40%. Given that global growth is less than 4%, how will they pull this off? Plain and simple, they’ll do this by understanding customers more deeply and using that insight to steal them from their competition. 

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