CyberOSINT banner

Great Moments in Mid Tier Consulting: The Apple Watch

March 21, 2015

Short honk: I couldn’t resist. I read “Apple Watch Is Like an Invasive Weed Says Gartner.” The idea is that Apple identifies a market (an ecosystem) and then acts like kudzu or a killer carp. Here’s a passage from the Register I highlighted:

Hetu [a Gartner “expert”] says Apple Pay and the Apple Watch are Cupertino’s new invaders, with the latter gadget set to “further revolutionize how consumers are influenced to purchase and their paths to making purchases.”

Colorful. Now let’s see if the Apple Watch is digital kudzu. I know that Gartner has one English major operating as a “search expert.” It seems another Gartner “wizard” is vying for the moniker of “Chief Metaphorist.”

Kudzu is a good way to characterize the thinking of mid tier consulting firms desperate to close deals, keep their jobs, and forget that outfits like McKinsey, Bain, and BCG may be out of reach. A happy quack to King County Government for the image.

Well, if it sells work to those with cash. More power to the mid tier crowd. (Will Dave Schubmehl, who sold a report with my name on it for $3,500 on Amazon,  and his cohorts at IDC move beyond recycling and into the realm of poetry?)

Stephen E Arnold, March 21, 2015

IDC and Forrester: New Partnership, New Confusion among Mid-Tier Consultants?

March 17, 2015

I received this interesting email this morning (March 16, 2015).

image

Notice the logo. The email is from IDG Connect based in Staines, Middlesex, UK. Now look at this headline:

Acquia Identified as a “Strong Performer” in The Forrester Wave™: Web Content Management Systems, Q1 2015

When I clicked on the hyperlink in the title of the email, look what I found:

image

This is a list of the promotions IDC seems to have done for its competitors. I thought that “real” consultants did not cross over into the pastures of other consulting firms. Obviously I am incorrect in this assumption.

That leaves me with the hypothesis that IDC is promoting Forrester’s “wave”—the me-too to Gartner’s Magic Boston Consulting Group Variant Quadrant without the Analytics—for content management.

Whoa, Nellie. I thought that IDC was one outfit, happily placed in Boston, America’s first city. Emerson, witch burning, Route 128, and the Big Dig. The marketing arm of IDG for this email comes from merrie old England. Is this content marketing and information shaping at a fairly interlocking level? What else do these mid tier consulting firms share? Client lists? Client problems? Content used without the permission of people like me who write stuff and then have it repurposed under a so-called expert’s name. (Yep, Dave Schubmehl again.)

Here’s what the email to me said:

We are pleased to announce that Acquia is a “Strong Performer” in The Forrester Wave™: Web Content Management Systems, Q1 2015. “Acquia’s standout features include the cloud strategy, solid content management and delivery functionality, and a strong developer community and component ecosystem.” Like Forrester, we believe that digital experience delivery is the strategic technology investment for every brand. Ready to see the results? Download your complimentary copy today.

As you may know, IDC’s Dave Schubmehl (remember him, the search wizard) sold my content on Amazon. Now it appears that I can get a free report via the IDC email for the ordinarily “real money” research from Forrester. Confused yet?

When I clicked on the Click Here button I received a copy of Ted Schadler’s “The Forrester Wave: Web Content Management Systems, Q1 2015 report. Here’s the link. Give it a while, but not promises: http://www.idgconnect-resources.com/rt.asp?I=5E892X4874X6&L=1627905

Who’s Forrester’s Ted Schadler? I have his photo.

image

A quick check online reveals that Ted Schadler has a Forrester blog called “Ted Schadler’s Blog.” He covers quite a few topics; for example, broadband, Web content management, Internet regulation, free Web publishing systems, and experience gaps. He is a bit of a Leonardo it seems, and he has some marketing in his DNA too.

Intrigued, I ran a query for his name and IDG/IDC. Mr. Schadler has been a speaker at IDG’s tony CIO conference. Mr. Schadler’s topic was described this way:

Collaboration across the C-suite and the challenge of transitioning to a digital enterprise will have a special focus at this year’s event, which also features opening keynotes by Tom Davenport, author of “big data @ work,” and Forrester Research’s Ted Schadler, author of “The Mobile Mind Shift.” The symposium concludes with an awards ceremony recognizing the 2014 CIO 100 winners.

I will try to keep track of what mid tier (what I call an azure chip) consulting firm is promoting other of the same ilk.

If I were paying for one consulting firm, would I check to make sure my firm’s private information does not leak? I sure would.

Stephen E Arnold, March 17, 2015

Big Data: Gartner Writes about Gartner Predictions

February 15, 2015

I want to make sure that you are sitting down. Take a deep breath. Okay, now you are ready to enter the twilight zone of predictions generated by a mid tier consulting firm. You can read the modern Michel de Nostradamus’ prophecies in “Gartner Predicts Three Big Data Trends for Business Intelligence.”

image

The heir to Nostradamus may don a more stylish type of garb when making predictions.

Here we go.

Prophecy I. Big Data will goose reinvention of business processes and products. I, for one, am looking forward to a new type of air travel. My recollection is that it has been unchanged for decades.

Prophecy II. Data brokers will thrive. Okay, intermediaries. Sounds good in except that disintermediation seems to be the trend if the research for CyberOSINT is on the beam.

Prophecy III. I am not sure what this means. Here’s the sentence which caused my personal Yugo’s wheels to spin.”By 2017, more than 20% of customer facing analytic deployments will provide product tracking information leveraging IoT [the Internet of Things].”

Here in Harrod’s Creek, we don’t think too much about prophesies. The future is a slippery fish. For Gartner, their “experts” wear Glacier Glove Ice Bay Fishing Gloves. I wonder if this prophecy was left on the floor of the fish prep room:

Volcanic fire from the center of the earth
will cause trembling around the new city:
Two great rocks will make war for a long time.
Then Arethusa will redden a new river. Source.

Stephen E Arnold, February 15, 2015

Digital Imaging: An IDC Estimate Misses the Mark

February 6, 2015

Digital imaging is getting bigger. I came across this interesting factoid in LensVid:

Predicting the future of the camera market proved challenging in the past – IDC (the American market research, analysis and advisory firm) failed to predict what will happen to the mirrorless camera market. In 2012 they concluded that in 2014 we will see no less than 13 million mirrorless cameras sold worldwide. Only 3 million mirrorless cameras were actually sold…

For the full run down on digital photography in 2014, navigate to “LensVid Exclusive: What Happened to the Photography Industry in 2014?

Next time someone tosses mid tier consulting firm predictions your way, perhaps you should let them pass on by.

Stephen E Arnold, February 6, 2015

IDC and BA Insight: Cartoons and Keyword Search

January 31, 2015

I kid you not. I received a spam mail from an outfit called BA Insight. The spam was a newsletter published every three months. You know that regular flows of news are what ring Google’s PageRank chimes, right?

Here’s the missive:

image

The lead item is an invitation to:

Unstructured content – email, video, instant messages, documents and other formats accounts for 90% of all digital information.

View the IDC Infographic:
Unlock the Hidden Value of Information
.

With my fully protected computer, I boldly clicked on the link. I don’t worry too much about keyword search vendors’ malware, but prudence is a habit my now deceased grandma drummed into me.

Here’s what greeted me:

image

Yep, a giant infographic cartoon stuffed with assertions and a meaningless chunk of jargon: knowledge quotient. Give me cyber OSINT any day.

The concept presented in this fascinating marketing play is that unstructured content has value waiting to be delivered. I learned:

This content is locked in variety locations [sic] and applications made up of separate repositories that don’t talk to each other—e.g., EMC Documentum, Salesforce.com, Google Drive, SharePoint, et al.

Now it looks to me as if the word “of” has been omitted between “variety locations”. I also think that EMC Documentum has a new name. Oh, well. Let’s move on.

The key point in the cartoon is that “some organizations can and do unlock information’s hidden value. Organizations with a high knowledge quotient.”

I thought I addressed this silly phrase in this write up.

Let me be clear. IDC is the outfit that sold my information on Amazon without my permission. More embarrassing to me was the fact that the work was attributed to a fellow named Dave Schubmehl, who is one of the, if not the premier, IDC search expert. Scary I believe. Frightful.

What’s the point?

The world of information access has leapfrogged outfits like BA Insight and “experts” like IDC’s pride of pontificators.

The future of information access is automated collection, analysis, and reporting. You can learn about this new world in CyberOSINT: Next Generation Information Access. No cartoons but plenty of screenshots that show what the outputs of NGIA systems deliver to users who need to reduce risk and make decisions of considerable importance and time sensitivity.,

In the meantime, if you want cartoons, flip through the New Yorker. More intelligent fare I would suggest.

How do you become a knowledge quotient leader? In my opinion, not by licensing a keyword search system or buying information from an outfit that surfs on my research. Just a thought.

Stephen E Arnold, January 31, 2015

If an IDC Tweet Enters the Social Stream, Does Anyone Care? I Do Not.

December 31, 2014

This is a good question. The Twitter messages output by Beyond Search are automated. We know that most of these produce nothing substantive. But what about Tweets by an IDC search expert like Dave Schubmehl. You may recognize the name because he sold a report with my name on it for $3,500 on Amazon without my permission. Nifty. I don’t think of myself as a brand or fame surf board, but it appears that he does.

My Overflight system noted that since September 22, 2014, Mr. Schubmehl or an IDC software script generated 198 tweets if I counted correctly. There were quite a few tweets about BA Insight, a search vendor anchored in Microsoft SharePoint. I ask, “Is BA Insight paying for IDC to promote the brand?” I know that there may have been some brushes with IDC in the past. Whether for free or for fee, Mr. Schubmehl mentions BA Insight a half dozen times.

But Mr. Schubmehl is fascinated with IBM. He generated tweets about Watson, IBM “insights”, and IBM training 149 times. Perhaps IDC and Mr. Schubmehl should apply to be listed in the TopSEOs’ list?

Do McKinsey, Bain, and BCG consultants hammer out tweets about Watson? I suppose if the client pays. Is IDC and search expert Mr. Schubmehl in the pay-to-play business? If not, he has considerable affection for the IBM and its Watson system, which is supposed to be a $10 billion business in four or five years. I wonder how that will work out in a company that is playing poker with its financial guidance for the next fiscal year.

Stephen E Arnold, December 31, 2014

Mid Tier Consultants Try the Turkey Tactic

November 27, 2014

Entering 2015, the economy is not ripping along like some of the MBAs suggest. Life is gloomy for many keyword search, content management, and indexing system vendors. And for good reason. These technologies have run their course. Instead of being must have enterprise solutions, the functions are now utilities. The vendors of proprietary systems have to realize that free and open source systems provide “good enough” utility type functions.

Perhaps this brutal fact is the reason that search “expert” Dave Schubmehl recycled our research on open source software, tried to flog it on Amazon without my permission, and then quietly removed the reports based on ArnoldIT research. When a mid tier consulting firm cannot sell recycled research taken without permission for sale via Amazon for the quite incredible price of $3,500 for eight pages of information garbling our work, you know that times are tough for the mid tier crowd.

image

Are the turkeys the mid-tier consultants or their customers? Predictions about the future wrapped in the tin foil of jargon may not work like touts who pick horses. The difference between a mid tier consulting firm and a predictive analytics firm is more than the distance between an art history major and a PhD in mathematics with a Master’s in engineering and an undergraduate degree in history in my opinion.

Now the focus at the mid tier consulting firms is turning to the issue of raising turkeys. Turkeys are stellar creatures. Is it true that the turkey is the only fowl that will drown itself during a rain storm. My grandmother told me the birds will open their beaks and capture the rain. According to the Arnold lore, some lightning quick turkeys will drown themselves.

For 2015, the mid tier consultants want to get the Big Data bird moving. Also, look for the elegant IoT or Internet of Things to get the blue ribbon treatment. You can get a taste of this dish in this news release: “IDC Hosts Worldwide Internet of Things 2015 Predictions Web Conference.”

Yep, a Web conference. I call this a webinar, and I have webinar fatigue. The conference is intended to get the turkeys in the barn. Presumably some of the well heeled turkeys will purchase the IDC Future Scape report. When I mentioned this to a person with whom I spoke yesterday, I think that individual said, “A predictions conference. You are kidding me.” An, no I wasn’t. Here’s the passage I noted:

“The Internet of Things will give IT managers a lot to think about,” said Vernon Turner, Senior Vice President of Research at IDC. “Enterprises will have to address every IT discipline to effectively balance the deluge of data from devices that are connected to the corporate network. In addition, IoT will drive tough organizational structure changes in companies to allow innovation to be transparent to everyone, while creating new competitive business models and products.”

I think I understand. “Every”, “tough organizational changes,” and “new competitive business models.” Yes. And the first example is a report with predictions.

When I think of predictions, I don’t think of mid tier consultants. I think of outfits like Recorded Future, Red Owl, and Haystax, among others. The predictions these companies output are based on data. Predictions from mid tier consultants are based on a wide range of methods. I have a hunch that some of these techniques include folks sitting around and asking, “Well, what do you think this Internet of Things stuff will mean?”

Give me the Recorded Future approach. Oh, I don’t like turkey. I am okay with macaroni and cheese. Basic but it lacks the artificial fizz with which some farmers charge their fowl.

Stephen E Arnold, November 27, 2014

Mid Tier Consultants Scratch One Another’s Back

November 14, 2014

I received at my Yahoo email account an email from IDC. That’s the outfit that published content with my name on Amazon’s book store without my permission. Yep, that IDC.  Here’s what I received on November 14, 2014:

image

The key line is “Magic Quadrant: Key Players in the WCM Market.” I clicked that link and was redirected to this page:

image

So what we have is IDC, employer of the “expert” Dave Schubmehl, pointing to Gartner and one of its fascinating, mostly marketing oriented Magic Quadrants. When I clicked the “Get this now” button, here’s what appeared:

image

If this url will not resolve, contact the mid tier consultants. Perhaps one of the “experts” will provide you access.

This is one of those tony consultant reports. I recall reading that no one—and I mean no one—is supposed to reproduce, republish, recycle, or reinvent this quadrant thing. After all, it includes really clear information asserting that some companies are niche players, some challengers, some visionaries, and some leaders.

I assume it is really good to be a visionary. In this sort of odd ball collection of vendors, HP and IBM are leaders in content management. Well, that does not square with my perception of either company. IBM is like a waif, wandering from business explanation to Watson application in an almost random way. HP is busy splitting itself in two, explaining to various legal eagles why its purchase of Autonomy has become a two year old’s finger painting, not a work of financial art, and jumping back into mobiles and tablets as it tries to become a leader in cloud computing.

Let’s set aside the arbitrary classification of companies. I have explained numerous times that the original BCG matrix was based on data. The Gartner matrix is based on secondary information, mostly from companies who have some type of relationship with magic.

My point is that IDC, a mid tier outfit, is promoting another mid tier outfit. Does one scratch the back of a stranger on the R train at 11 35 pm Saturday night? Nope, back scratching stakes me as a somewhat personal, connected relationship.

I am getting nervous thinking about this familiarity, particularly when some folks may accept the mid tier firm’s work as objective, independent, and unbiased. Perhaps I am wrong, but this coziness is an indication that marketing may be more important than information.

Stephen E Arnold, November 14, 2014

Amazon: Not Right for Some Authors

November 8, 2014

I wanted to call this write up Godforsaken ID. But you might plug in the letter “C” or you might not. I suggest you track down a dead tree edition of the still dog paddling New York Times. Check out the business section and look for the Google pleasing headline “Prominent Editor’s Exit a Setback for Amazon Publishing Unit.” I quite like the juxtaposition of prominent, setback, and everyone’s favorite online WalMart.” You may be able to view a version of the story at this link, but I make no promises in this money oriented era.)

The write up has a great quote or two.

  • “His [Ed Park, a literary luminary unknown to me] departure reflects the challenges that Amazon faces in a publishing ecosystem that largely views the online retailer as a rapacious competitor.”
  • “Some literary agents  say Amazon’s publishing operation seems to be retreating.”

In my view, I don’t want my work sold on the Amazon system. I have enough experience writing and selling monographs that appeal to maybe 300 people in the world. These folks are not reached via WalMart.

You views, like those of Dave Schubmehl and IDC, may differ from mine. As you know, without a written agreement, Mr. Schubmehl (an alleged expert in information retrieval) and his employer (the large mid tier consulting firm, IDC) reworked my research, put their names and brand on the material, and attempted to sell the result for $3,500 on Amazon.

Is that clueless? I don’t know. I am relatively confident that whatever executive decision lead to that move may suggest some management challenges. You can read about the “surfing on Arnold” play and the IDC hopes Amazon can move 10 pages for $3500 at these links:

Several observations:

First, Amazon obviously did not check with the authors on the IDC report that permissions were in place. What’s this say about Amazon?

Second, who at IDC perceived Amazon as a way to move 10 pages of my recycled content for $3,500?

Third, how desperate are companies like Amazon and IDC to earn monikers like rapacious and name surfer?

We live in interesting information centric times. As I reveal my research results about the new direction in content processing, how long will it take for this information to surface with the name of a person who did not do the nitty gritty work? I should emulate the NCAA basketball gambling craze start a pool for this digital publishing sport?

Oh, I like old fashioned bookstores too.

Stephen E Arnold, November 8, 2014

MarkLogic: Banging a Drum in Hopes of Drowning Out Open Source NoSQL Reggae Beat

October 3, 2014

I read “MarkLogic Positioned as a Leader in NoSQL Document Databases Report by Independent Research Firm.” The research firm is the mid tier outfit Forrester Research Inc. Forrester creates “wave” reports. These are Forrester’s response to various grid, quadrants, and tables cranked out by Gartner, Ovum, Butler, Kelsey, and a life boat stuffed with consulting firm shakeout survivors. Dated October 2, 2014, the MarkLogic news release will be the first of a half dozen or more issued by companies in this “independent research firm’s” report. The mid tier analyses are crafted so that negatives are swathed in high density, low impact foam like the spray on insulation.

Why not?

Like Heaven’s Gate’s media event, any publicity is good publicity. At least, that’s the public relations mantra. Look at IBM Watson and its BBQ sauce recipe with tamarind. I mention that innovation as frequently as possible.

Well, let me do my part for this report:

The write up asserts:

“MarkLogic offers the most mature and scalable NoSQL document database. Unlike other NoSQL document databases, MarkLogic has been offering a NoSQL solution for more than a decade,” stated Forrester in the report that evaluated select companies against 57 criteria. “MarkLogic has the most comprehensive data management features and functionality to store, process, and access any kind of structured and multi structured data.” Forrester’s evaluation of NoSQL document database vendors scored factors like performance, scalability, integration, security, high availability, workload management and form factor. MarkLogic was cited as a Leader in the evaluation, receiving its highest score in the go-to-market category.

Okay. The news release provides a link so the reader can get a copy of the “independent research firm’s” report. If you want to skip the original document and go to the registration form so you can download the “independent research firm’s” report, navigate to http://bit.ly/1oGQCvf. In my experience, some follow up by the “leader” MarkLogic may take place.

In my view, content marketing covers these “independent” reports. The idea makes clear that attention is required in order to kindle interest in a product or a service. Now MarkLogic is an Extensible Markup Language data management system. The company has been in business since 2003. The firm has ingested more than $70 million in venture funding. The firm has experienced the same type of revolving door for senior management that other ageing starts up experience; for example, Lucid Imagination (now Lucid Works, which I write as Lucid Works. Really?). MarkLogic, in order to meet stakeholders’ expectations, has to find a growth bull, get it in a corral, and covert the animal to high value revenue.

Several observations:

  1. Proprietary XML systems positioned as NoSQL alternatives have to find a way to convince a prospect that proprietary is a better value than open source. The impact of Hadoop, a variant of Google’s Big Table, is long in the tooth and faces some of its own value challenges.
  2. Companies like Oracle are providing some of its clients with the comfort of a proprietary system with compatibility with open source technology. Thus, some large companies may be reluctant to dismount one old nag and climb on another. IBM also does some anti open source marketing but that’s another story. For some insights, run a query for Watson on the Beyond Search index.
  3. The noise surrounding NoSQL is creating some confusion. This means that firms that are neither big or small have to find a way to make their size into a positive. Enter content marketing and reports that present a group of companies in a simplified table.
  4. Do the “independent” experts use the products included in a variant of the Boston Consulting Group’s matrix? You know: Install, optimize, customize, and utilize with their own brain, fingers, and eyeballs? My hunch is that none of this “real” experience stuff is germane to cranking out an “independent” report. Just my uninformed opinion, you understand.

If a company requires a NoSQL solution, how do those firms select vendors? Based on the research that IDC used to skip Dave Schubmehl to expert status, large companies are more likely to try open source for a new project. Smaller firms often look for brand name software in order to show investors that base technology has a brand name.

Forrester-type firms (Gartner, IDC, Ovum, etc.) generate “independent” reports to inflate the balloon. The French have a delightful verb for this: “se gonfler”. So, nous [MarkLogic] gonflons notre ballon. (If the translation is poor, blame Google, the inventor of Big Table more than a decade ago.)

Stephen E Arnold, October 3, 2014

Next Page »