The Platform of the Future Is…

August 2, 2019

What’s the platform of the future? Here are your choices:

[a] Artificial intelligence

[b] Neuro linguistic services

[c] Silicon brain implants connected to the cloud

[d] Indexing

[e] Pay to play content.

Did you pick “d”: Indexing.

If you did, you are on the same wavelength as the rock and roll, up and down advisory and analyst firm IDC.

The pronouncement comes from Stewart Bond, research director at IDC Research Inc. (Note: DarkCyber has written reports for IDC. The firm sold these reports on Amazon without DarkCyber’s permission, and IDC did not pay for the use of the DarkCyber reports. How much were our reports? $3,200 for eight pages of goodness? Want to know more? Drop us an email: darkcyber333 at yandex dot com.)

This revelation appeared in Silicon Angle which presented a summary of an interview with IDC Research’s director. Other gems from the write up were:

Pre-existing silos and multicloud can give companies a lot of disparate spaces to scavenge through. The most sensible place to start may be with the available data about all that data — or metadata.

Yes, indexing, an art practiced for millennia.

We noted this statement:

Companies are realizing that poorly cleansed or inaccurately labeled data are resulting in inaccurate insights. And vendors are rushing to the rescue. The number of vendors offering cataloging solutions has increased about 240% in the last year and a half, according to Bond’s research.

Hmm. What’s the research methodology? Remember that IDC has generated some specious numbers in the past; for example, the amount of time a person in a company spends looking for information. DarkCyber is curious about this 18 month period, the sample, the methodology, and the reliability of the analytic process. A 2.4X increase is robust, particularly for indexing and the accompanying tasks embraced in the sweeping generalization.

And we put an exclamation mark next to this passage:

Multicloud has flung data all over the place. Effective software must have spider legs that can reach out and quickly gather intelligence about it. Data cataloging may do this with machine learning, human annotation, Google-like search features, etc. “I think that’s going to be the data platform of the future,” Bond stated. Informatica Corp. currently leads in this market, according to Bond.

Okay, flinging data all over the place. Colorful. We also noted that Informatica Corp. is the leader in “this market.” Exactly what market are we thinking about. Google, search, cloud—what, which?

Keep in mind that Informatica has been around since 1993, and it has grown to about $1 billion a year in revenue. Impressive when compared to the local tire store, but a bit behind the curve when it comes to data. Amazon in the last quarter generated about $8 billion. Annualized Amazon is about 32X bigger than Informatica. Who will win in the cloud cataloging game? Informatica? Sure it will.

But why the love for Informatica? One possibility is that Informatica is a client or prospect of IDC. That’s an idea worth considering.

And where did this “indexing” pronouncement appear? In Silicon Angle. Here’s the explanation which appeared with the IDC research director’s startling insight:

SiliconANGLE Media Inc.’s business model is based on the intrinsic value of the content, not advertising. Unlike many online publications, we don’t have a paywall or run banner advertising, because we want to keep our journalism open, without influence or the need to chase traffic.The journalism, reporting and commentary on SiliconANGLE — along with live, unscripted video from our Silicon Valley studio and globe-trotting video teams at theCUBE — take a lot of hard work, time and money. Keeping the quality high requires the support of sponsors who are aligned with our vision of ad-free journalism content. If you like the reporting, video interviews and other ad-free content here, please take a moment to check out a sample of the video content supported by our sponsors, tweet your support, and keep coming back to SiliconANGLE.

DarkCyber interprets this information as a way to make “sponsored” content less front and center.

“Indexing” is a sure fire way to generate buzz for a consulting company and maybe, just maybe, some revenue from sponsored video for Silicon Angle.

The video is here.

Stephen E Arnold, August 2, 2019

Jason and Darpa-Nauts

April 12, 2019

If you are not up to speed on the Jason Group, Wikipedia, for now, has a write up about the organization of academics who provide input and other support to the US government. Yes, you can become a member. The trick is to identify people who are Jasons, lobby a couple, and wait until you are voted in. A Nobel prize is a useful award. High level contacts at Mitre can be a plus too.

So who cares about Jasons aside from some Washington insiders? Fewer DoD types than in the 1960s and 1970s.

According to Government Executive:

Pentagon officials are killing JASON in all but name. Last month, they sent the bad news to MITRE, the nonprofit corporation that runs the program. “The Pentagon Is Killing a Key Independent-Research Program” reported:

They [government COTRs] don’t have to “terminate” the contract to kill the program, since it was set to expire at the end of March. By changing the contract from IDIQ to a single contract, other agencies will no longer be able to commission studies, essentially killing the program without  technically terminating it.

This is a nice way of saying, “So long for now.”

What’s the conclusion Government Executive drew from this announcement:

Bottom line: the Pentagon is spending more on new science and tech initiatives but will be spending less on independent academic research into how those initiatives will fare.

DarkCyber believes that other research avenues are more likely to deliver the type of outputs that the DoD and its units require. Good news or bad news? Consulting firms are likely to benefit. Some academics will have to chase RFQs with more diligence.

Stephen E Arnold, April 12, 2019

Gartner Does the Gartner Thing: Mystical Augmented Analytics

February 19, 2019

Okay, okay, Gartner is a contender for the title of Crazy Jargon Creator 2019.

I read “Gartner: Augmented Analytics Ready for Prime Time.” Yep, if Datanami says so, it must be true.

Here’s the line up of companies allegedly in this market. I put the companies in alphabetical order with the Gartner objective, really really accurate BCG inspired quadrant “score” after each company’s name. Ready, set, go!

BOARD International—niche player
Birst—niche player
Domo—niche player
GoodData—niche player
IBM—niche player
Information Builders—niche player
Logi Analytics—niche player
Looker—niche player
MicroStrategy—challenger
Microsoft—leader
Oracle—niche player
Pyramid Analytics—niche player
Qlik—leader
SAP—visionary
SAS—visionary
Salesforce—visionary
Sisense—visionary
TIBCO Software—visionary
Tableau—leader
ThoughtSpot—leader
Yellowfin—niche player

Do some of these companies and their characterization—sorry, I meant really really objective inclusion—strike you as peculiar? What about the mixing of big outfits like IBM which has been doing Fancy Dan analytics decades before it acquired i2 Ltd. Analyst’s Notebook? I also find the inclusion of SAS a bit orthogonal with the omission of IBM’s SPSS, but IBM is a niche player.

That’s why Gartner is the jargon leader at this point in 2019, but who knows? Maybe another consulting firm beating the bushes for customers will take the lead. The year is still young.

Stephen E Arnold, February 19, 2019

MBA Fancy Dancing: Three Horizons

February 4, 2019

In a world of bits and bytes, MBAs have to do some fancy dancing. A good example is the essay “McKinsey’s Three Horizons Model Defined Innovation for Years. Here’s Why It No Longer Applies.” The write up assumes that the reader knows about consultant speak, the value of simplicity to most CEOs, and the need to sell time. Ka-ching.

You can read the essay for an explanation of what a company has to do to grow. Three tips:

The basic idea is to do things better (reduce costs, put more seats in a commercial aircraft. Make breakfast bars smaller but keep the larger packaging. Efficiency. Firing workers, reduce quality, and trim customer support humans.

The second task is to make more money; for example, puts ads everywhere and make it tough for an advertiser to figure out what actually happened as a result of the ad spend, bill parents for a child’s in game “purchases”, and generate shelves of different types of spaghetti sauce for a person who wants “regular” spaghetti sauce, and so on.

The third  job is to do something new; for example, put health monitors in shoes, solve the problem of death, push the idea that people in cities with lots of rain and snow will ride electric scooters, and similar “outside the box” innovations.

But the three ways to grow — called horizons in consultant-speak — are no longer bounded by time. This means that in today’s go go world, a CEO has no time. Every activity is like the two minute warning in American football. Game tied. Win it or sell used cars for a living.

Consequently businesses have to rethink everything — again. Then implement more new things to deal with the problem the new view of time demands. I can hear the cheers from the consulting firms now.

Here’s what the pressured, desperate, and insecure CEO must do:

  1. Outsource (yep, an old idea needs to be amped up)
  2. Hire consultants or buy hot start ups
  3. Do the “me too” and duplicate what’s working for another outfit
  4. Innovate, either think up something new (very risky) or buy a start up and stock up on scapegoats (less risky).

I don’t want to rain on this recycled parade of MBA chopped liver, but I would suggest that one big idea be kept front and center.

The assumption of the MBA world is that growth is darned near infinite. Competition will produce winners, and to be a winner, one has to do the stuff that wins. The old methods work when there are plenty of resources, barriers to entry, and not too many other desperate people looking for a winner.

The problem is that infinity, while a good idea, does not work when cash is tight, competition is a mouse click away, and execution is often complex.

The signs of a change in the business climate are easy to spot. No MBA needed. Monopolies characterize the present US business landscape. Who will fund a company to knock off Google or Alphabet? Er, still waiting for a hand to go up.

Governmental entities worldwide are not exactly humming along. Whether it is the on going chaos of certain Middle East countries or the slow motion disintegration in South America or the weekly drama of French protesters wearing “colors”— wind downs on display.

Concomitant with the is a bit of that Einstein magic. The amount of time available to accomplish a task is shrinking. CEOs command star ships, but the time required to build a business is getting longer.

Check out the meeting monsters fueled by digital calendars. People work anywhere but find time chopped into nanoseconds. I assert it is tough to do certain types of thinking and work in tiny perturbations in a quantum clock.

One interesting characteristic of reduced time and reduced resources I would suggest is an surge in pragmatic amorality. Example: The Facebook professional allegedly remarked, “The heck with ethics. I want my bonus.”

Therefore, for the MBA in the foreseeable future, here are the trigger points:

  • Expediency
  • Abandonment of social responsibility
  • Clever  and  cute tricks designed to deceive
  • Obfuscation, prevarication, and denial.

There’s nothing like a horizon. But what if it is an event horizon or a recycling of management bromides. Timely.

Stephen E Arnold, February 4, 2019

Analytic Hubs: Now You Know

January 30, 2019

Gartner Group has crafted a new niche. I learned about analytic hubs in Datanami. The idea is that a DMSA or data management solution fro analytics is now a thing. Odd. I thought that companies have been providing data analytics hubs for a number of years. Oh, well, whatever sells.

The DMSA vendor list in “What Gartner Sees in Analytic Hubs” is interesting. Plus the write up includes one of the objective, math based, deeply considered Boston Consulting Group quadrants which make some ideas so darned fascinating. I mean Google. An analytics hub?

Based on information in the write up, here are the vendors who are the movers and shakers in analytic hubs:

Alibaba Cloud
Amazon Web Services
Arm
Cloudera
GBase
Google
Hortonworks
Huawei
IBM
MapR Technologies
MarkLogic
Micro Focus
Microsoft
Neo4
Oracle
Pivotal
SAP
Snowflake
Teradata

This is an interesting list. It seems the “consultants” at Gartner, had lunch, and generated a list with names big and small, known and unknown.

I noted the presence of Amazon which is reasonable. I was surprised that the reference to Oracle did not include its stake in a vendor which actually delivers the “hubby” functions to which the write up alludes. The inclusion of MarkLogic was interesting because that company is a search system, an XML database, and annoyance to Oracle. IBM is fascinating, but which “analytic hub” technology is Gartner considering unknown to me.  One has to admire the inclusion of Snowflake and MapR Technologies.

I suppose the analysis will fuel a conference, briefings, and consulting revenue.

Will the list clarify the notion of an analytics hub?

Yeah, that’s another issue. It’s Snowflake without the snow.

Stephen E Arnold, January 30, 2019

What Is Fake News, Fake Data, and Fake Expertise?

November 27, 2018

Now, we’re not going around saying things like fake news, but we are deeply concerned with the misreporting of third party numbers organizations like Gartner. It’s come to light that they might not be as accurate at tracking tech trends as they claim. We learned more from a recent Apple Insider story, “Gartner, IDC Were Both Wrong in Guessing Apple’s Q4 Shipping Mac Shipments.”

According to the report:

“Gartner reported that Apple had sold 4.928 million Macs in calendar Q3, while IDC issued a parallel report that credited Apple with sales of 4.762 million. That’s a difference between the two of 166 thousand Macs, something that should have already raised eyebrows. But Apple’s actual sales for the quarter were officially reported as 5.3 million. That means third-party “estimates” were off by as much as a double-digit percentage.”

This brings into question so many things that we take for granted. Each Wednesday we run Factualities. These items call attention to numbers generated as absolute truth. Yeah.

Patrick Roland, November 27, 2018

Partnership with Deloitte Boosts SAP-Google Cloud Combo

August 14, 2018

Google wants to be a player in the enterprise cloud. Price cuts alone may not do the job. Therefore, Google is embracing new types of partners.

Consultancy firm Deloitte has been busy. On the heels of merging their Pacific operations, we now learn, “Deloitte Deal Brings Google Cloud and SAP Alliance to Life,” courtesy of New Zealand’s ResellerNews. Now, as part of its cloud migration and management services, the company will migrate SAP apps to the Google Cloud Platform (GCP). Writer James Henderson informs us:

“Deloitte will provide a ‘full suite’ of solutions for running SAP applications on GCP, including an invoice management solution, which will automate invoice processing within an SAP environment. In addition, other offerings include a visual inspection solution, capable of automating the visual inspection process and accelerate inventory restocking. … From a technology perspective, GCP is certified to run SAP workloads, which includes S/4HANA, BW/4HANA, Business Suite, Business Warehouse, alongside applications such as Hybris, Business One, Solution Manager and Business Objects BI Suite… The alliance comes 18 months after Google Cloud announced an applications partnership with SAP, in a move designed to position the tech giant as a serious cloud contender within the enterprise.”

Further offerings include an automated visual inspection process and accelerated inventory restocking. This partnership brings more than 125 million SAP subscribers into Google Cloud’s realm, including more than 5,200 start-up developers, we’re told. Deloitte was founded long ago in 1895 in London, and is now headquartered in New York City. They also are hiring at the moment for locations in several far-flung cities.

Cynthia Murrell, August 14, 2018

Business Intelligence: What Is Hot? What Is Not?

July 16, 2018

I read “Where Business Intelligence is Delivering Value in 2018.” The write up summarizes principal findings from a study conducted by Dresner Advisory Services, an outfit with which I am not familiar. I suggest you scan the summary in Cloud Tweaks and then, if you find the data interesting, chase after the Dresner outfit. My hunch is that the sales professionals will respond to your query.

Several items warranted my uncapping my trusty pink marker and circling an item of information.

First, I noticed a chart called Technologies and Initiatives Strategic to Business Intelligence. The chart presents data about 36 “technologies.” I noticed that “enterprise search” did not make the list. I did note that cognitive business intelligence, artificial intelligence, t4ext analytics, and natural language analytics did. If I were generous to a fault, I would say, “These Dresner analysts are covering enterprise search, just taking the Tinker Toy approach by naming areas of technologies.” However, I am not feeling generous, and I find it difficult to believe that Dresner or any other knowledge worker can do “work” without being able to find a file, data, look up a factoid, or perform even the most rudimentary type of research without using search. The omission of this category is foundational, and I am not sure I have much confidence in the other data arrayed in the report.

Second, I don’t know what “data storytelling” is. I suppose (and I am making a wild and crazy guess here) that a person who has some understanding of the source data, the algorithmic methods used to produce output, and the time to think about the likely accuracy of the output creates a narrative. For example, I have been in a recent meeting with the president of a high technology company who said, “We have talked to our customers, and we know we have to create our own system.” Obviously the fellow knows his customers, essentially government agencies. The customers (apparently most of them) want an alternative, and realizes change is necessary. The actual story based on my knowledge of the company, the product and service he delivers, and the government agencies’ budget constraints. The “real story” boils down to: “Deliver a cheaper product or you will lose the contract.” Stories, like those from teenagers who lose their homework, often do not reflect reality. What’s astounding is that data story telling is number eight on the hit parade of initiatives strategic to business intelligence. I was indeed surprised. But governance made the list as did governance. What the heck is governance?

Read more

Management Expert Mines s Silicon Valley Digital Insight

June 20, 2018

I enjoy the insights of high flying authors, management experts, and academic superstars. Consider “Silicon Valley Has Become a Moral Cesspool.” I learned something surprising, no, shocking:

But Peters [management guru] is increasingly “pissed off” that people don’t seem to get the point: Businesses should enrich the lives of their customers, not just shareholders.

Subtle. Excellent choice of words. Tasty, in fact.

But there’s more to insight wordsmithing. I noted:

Peters [management guru] said that Silicon Valley, the former home of Bill Hewlett and David Packard, had become a “moral cesspool.”

Such elegance! Intellectual and olfactory associations delivered with a civilized linguistic payload.

Stephen E Arnold, June 20, 2018

Turn Back the Online Clock: Portals Are Back

March 25, 2018

Short honk: Believe it or not “portals” are once again a must have. Don’t believe it. Navigate to Menafn and read “Enterprise Portal Market Is Expected to Reach Approximately USD 41 Billion by 2023.” Sound like a bandwagon to ride? The Beyond Search goose thinks the report is precursor to one about hand cranked washing machines.

Stephen E Arnold, March 25, 2018

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