Think A Data Lake Is THE Answer? Think Again. Here Comes Elastic Analytics

Brian  Hopkins

Enterprise architects, are you mired in a tangled web of data marts while your business pursues customer engagement without you? If you think a Hadoop-centric architecture is going to save the day, you may need to rethink. Your customers expect you to create systems of insight to deliver win-win engagement in real time. I'm seeing a new class of digital predators leverage the cloud to do just this. For example, Netflix designs cover graphics for its series based on subscriber viewing habits. They know their customers that well.

I call their technology approach an Elastic Analytics Platform in my recently published report. I formally define it as:

"A combination of data storage and middleware technology that allows the creation and dissolution of analytics components on demand, while provisioning these with data from one, or a few, distributed, virtualized data sources."

That's a mouthful. So here's a rough picture:

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Forrester's Annual ECM Panel Survey, 2015. Call for Participation — Deadline July 31, 2015

Cheryl McKinnon

Forrester's survey for ECM decision-makers is open, and we're looking for your participation! Take this opportunity to provide your perspectives on the key vendors, the challenges, and the opportunities you see in this technology market. This survey is intended for ECM decision-makers or influencers in end user organizations. This is not for ECM vendors or systems integrators . . . but vendors and consultants — we would love it if you could share this survey invitation with your customers. The survey will remain open until end of day Friday, July 31, 2015.

Why is your input important? Forrester uses this data to:

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The Rebirth Of iManage: A New Company With A Familiar Name Re-Enters The ECM Market

Cheryl McKinnon

Another week, another divestiture in the content management and collaboration market. A new - or more accurately, a re-newed - player enters the Enterprise Content Management market this week as iManage and HP make an apparently amicable split. Executives with longstanding roots in the iManage and Interwoven businesses, including Neil Araujo and Dan Carmel, have executed a management buyout to spin a revitalized iManage business out of HP’s Software division. iManage's press

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Let's Break All The Data Rules!

Michele Goetz

When I think about data, I can't help but think about hockey. As a passionate hockey mom, it's hard to separate my conversations about data all week with clients from the practices and games I sit through, screaming encouragement to my son and his team (sometimes to the embarrassment of my husband!). So when I recently saw a documentary on the building of the Russian hockey team that our miracle US hockey team beat at the 1980 Olympics, the story of Anatoli Tarsov stuck with me. 

Before the 1960s, Russia didn't have a hockey team. Then the Communist party determined that it was critical that Russia build one — and compete on the world stage. They selected Anatoli Tarsov to build the team and coach. He couldn't see films on hockey. He couldn't watch teams play. There was no reference on how to play the game. And yet, he built a world-class hockey club that not only beat the great Nordic teams but went on to crush the Canadian teams that were the standard for hockey excellence.

This is a lesson for us all when it comes to data. Do we stick with our standards and recipes from Inmon and Kimball? Do we follow check-box assessments from CMMI, DM-BOK, or TOGAF's information architecture framework? Do we rely on governance compliance to police our data?

Or do we break the rules and create our own that are based on outcomes and results? This might be the scarier path. This might be the riskier path. But do you want data to be where your business needs it, or do you want to predefine, constrain, and bias the insight?

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Is Zombie Data Taking Over?

Michele Goetz

It is easy to get ahead of ourselves with all the innovation happening with data and analytics. I wouldn't call it hype, as that would imply no value or competency has been achieved. But I would say that what is bright, shiny, and new is always more interesting than the ordinary. 

And, to be frank, there is still a lot of ordinary in our data management world.

In fact, over the past couple of weeks, discussions with companies have uncommonly focused on the ordinary. This in some ways appeared to be unusual because questions focused on the basic foundational aspects of data management and governance — and for companies that I have seen talk publicly about their data management successes.

"Where do I clean the data?"

"How do I get the business to invest in data?"

"How do I get a single customer view of my customer for marketing?"

What this tells me is that companies are under siege by zombie data. 

Data is living in our business under outdated data policies and rules. Data processes and systems are persisting single-purpose data. As data pros turn over application rocks and navigate through the database bogs to centralize data for analytics and virtualize views for new data capabilities, zombie data is lurching out to consume more of the environment, blocking other potential insight to keep the status quo.

The questions you and your data professional cohorts are asking, as illustrated above, are anything but basic. The fact that these foundational building blocks have to be assessed once again demonstrates that organizations are on a path to crush the zombie data siege, democratize data and insight, and advance the business. 

Keep asking basic questions — if you aren't, zombie data will eventually take over, and you and your organization will become part of the walking dead.

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Nintex To Purchase Drawloop — Enters Emerging CCM Cloud Market

Craig Le Clair

Nintex is expanding into the emerging cloud-based workflow market — by acquiring Drawloop, an Irvine, California-based document generation provider: http://www.nintex.com/company/news-press/news-archive/2015/nintex-acquires-drawloop. Drawloop is one of the top 10 paid apps in the Salesforce AppExchange, with more than 1,000 customers, yet relative to the core customer communications management (CCM) market that has matured in a batch world driven by large-print service-bureau requirements, it is an effective but "light" solution. It gets high marks for usability, where less often means more. And you are fine if all data comes out of Salesforce, but what if you need to combine it with other data from core systems? What if you have 10,000 templates to manage, and what if you need to visualize complex data associations or have large batches of documents to deliver routinely? We will look harder at these questions during the next CCM Forrester Wave™, which will include Drawloop as well as Conga and perhaps other emerging cloud solutions. Overall, this is a strong acquisition that positions Nintex's BPM capability more securely in the Microsoft and Salesforce cloud ecosystems.

Syncplicity Gets Its Own Independence Day

Cheryl McKinnon

It’s been a busy couple of weeks for major players in the increasingly colliding enterprise content management (ECM) and enterprise file sync and share (EFSS) markets. Hot on the heels of the IBM-Box partnership, announced on June 24, 2015, today we see Syncplicity spin-out of EMC. Press release here. Skyview Capital LLC, a global private investment firm, has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Syncplicity, although EMC will retain a financial interest in it.

 

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Engaging Customers In The World's Largest Mobile Market

Charlie Dai

Consumers and businesses around the globe have entered the mobile era, and technology management leaders are shifting their organizations’ business applications toward mobile. In order to effectively make this shift, mobile teams must change their practices to simultaneously improve agility and ensure a good customer experience. This is even more critical in China — a market with unique business scenarios, technology landscapes, and competitive environments.

I’ve recently published two reports focusing on using the mobile IDEA cycle for customer engagement, including part one and part two. In these reports, I assess the current state of mobile application development planning in China and highlight four key areas that enterprise architecture (EA) professionals should focus on in each stage, namely “Identify”, “Design”, “Engineer” and “Analyze”, to enable the success of the mobile IDEA cycle. I also provide examples of how to unleash the power of digital business by analyzing the strategic mobile practices of visionary Chinese firms and highlighting how they use systems of engagement. Some of the key takeaways:

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Red Hat Takes The Lead In Enterprise-Class Container Solutions — For Now

Charlie Dai

Red Hat held its 2015 summit last week in Boston. One of the most important announcements was the general availability of version 3 of OpenShift. After my discussion with Jim Whitehurst, president and CEO of Red Hat, as well as other executives, partners and, clients, I believe that Red Hat has made a strategic move and is taking the lead in enterprise-class container solutions for hybrid cloud enablement. This is because:

  • Red Hat has an early-mover advantage in platform refactoring.OpenShift and Cloud Foundry, two major open source PaaS platforms, both started refactoring with container technology last year. The developers of Cloud Foundry are still working hard to complete the platform’s framework after implementing Diego, the rewrite of its runtime. But OpenShift has already completed its commercial release, with two major replacements around containers: It replaced Gears, its original homegrown container model, with Docker and replaced Broker, its old orchestration engine, with Kubernetes.
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Disrupt Processes To Build Your Customer-Obsessed Operating Model

Clay Richardson

A few months ago, I had a horrible customer experience around test-driving a new luxury car. The company's marketing department invested a lot of money on different campaigns to get me to make an appointment for a test drive. They succeeded, But once I got to the showroom for the appointment, the experience was a complete 180-degree turn from the red-carpet marketing experience. In fact, I was told they were too busy for a test drive and they requested I come back in two weeks. Needless to say, the experience was a #BIGFAIL on the part of the carmaker.

We see this all too often. Disconnected business processes, fragmented customer communications, and poorly thought-out execution around critical customer experiences. This lack of focus on process coordination around customer experiences robs companies of potential revenue and brand value

Contrast this with the experience I had while visiting a Tesla Motors store recently. While I was in the store browsing different car models and speaking with a Tesla spokesperson, a steady stream of existing Tesla owners popped into the store to rave about how great the brand was and how much they loved driving their cars. 

It's easy to see that brands like Tesla run their companies from a customer-obsessed operating model. And at the heart of this customer-obsessed operating model is a relentless focus on calibrating business processes to deliver seamless, connected experiences at each step of the customer journey. This shift to customer-obsessed operating models requires BT organizations to disrupt existing processes and focus efforts to:

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