July 19, 2013
An article on Yahoo titled Yippy, Inc. (YIPI) to Acquire Gigablast, Inc. And Web Research Properties, LLC to Expand Consumer Search, Enterprise, and eDiscovery Products reported on the important acquisition by the young company. Yippy, Inc. is a search clustering tech company based in Florida with some innovative eDiscovery resources. Matt Wells, the founder of Gigablast states in the article,
“Gigablast and its related properties can provide advanced technologies for consumer, eDiscovery, and enterprise big data customers. Gigabits, a related program, is the first operational enterprise class clustering program which I put into service in 2004. Yippy’s Velocity platform was essentially based off of my original work which will allow Yippy to sell behind the firewall installations for all types of search based applications for enterprise and eDiscovery customers.”
Yippy’s Chief Executive Rich Granville claims that the acquisition will not only benefit customers through technological innovation but by low costs. He directed interested parties to a demo that might illustrate the massive potential in the merger of these companies. The demo shows that the combined indexing of billions of pages of data has already begun, although not when it will be complete. What is less clear is who is indexing what in this tie-up?
Chelsea Kerwin, July 19, 2013
July 8, 2013
It can be hard to get any insider information out of Microsoft, but Ahmet Alp Balkan is a young software engineer working at the aforementioned company. He started working at Windows Azure as an intern and he was hired right after college. Since working there he was learned a lot, much of which he did not glean from college. He tells what he learned about the business world in, “8 Months In Microsoft, I Learned These.” Some of the items he learned are quite startling and others will not even make you blink. For instance, everyone learns at some point that they are working for someone else to earn their paycheck, they also have to step outside their specialty comfort zones, getting the job done, is the most important, and the latest upgrades are usually skipped.
What is alarming is this:
“Expect no documentation in corporations. I have seen the knowledge inside the company is mostly transferred by talking and hands-on sessions. Some parts of knowledge base generated are only emailed and not saved anywhere permanent. This is not how the information flows in the digital world. There are certain people, if they got hit by a bus, nobody can pick up their work or code. And it is okay. If this would have been my own company there would be tons of wiki pages.”
Also the mentality that it is more about what you sell rather than what you do that matters. Money speaks and makes the world go around. This mentality demonstrates how corporate America has the blinders on. Is this an explanation about why there are some enterprise information solutions that are flawed? Or maybe why some search applications suck? Can anyone else say narrow-minded and lack of the big picture?
Whitney Grace, July 08, 2013
July 4, 2013
I don’t know if this Computerworld write up is accurate. For the purposes of the addled goose, let’s assume that it is semi-accurate. The story is “Oracle Quietly Slashes BI Software Prices.” Now “BI” for those in the know means “business intelligence.” I am not sure what “business intelligence” means. I have some evidence to suggest that, like “military intelligence,” we have a trendy oxymoron.
I am okay with stealthy price increases. Every time I visit the Kia dealership to fix up my small Kia Soul, I know that what I think the cost will be and what the final cost will be are two very different types of number tweaking. Is enterprise software any different? I think agile pricing is pretty much the name of the game. I bought two tubes of toothpaste. When I presented my “affiliate” card, the price dropped. Then I was told if I bought another tube of toothpaste, I would get an additional discount. Car repairs, toothpaste, enterprise software — those MBAs and bean counters have figured an angle.
The point of the Computerworld write up is that Oracle (the company which owns Endeca) offers a business foundation suite. Endeca morphed from a search and eCommerce company into business intelligence years ago. The Computerworld story does not mention Endeca, which I find interesting. If one pays $1 billion or more for an acquisition which is in the business intelligence business, why isn’t Endeca part of the BI Foundation Suite?
Here’s the purportedly accurate pricing:
BI Foundation Suite encompasses Oracle BI Enterprise Edition 11g, BI Publisher, Essbase, Scorecard and Strategy Management, and Essbase Analytics Link, according to an official whitepaper. The new price list also lowers the price of BI Suite Enterprise Edition Plus from $295,000 to $221,250, as well as Scorecard and Strategy Management from $149,250 to $89,550.
The Computerworld story quotes an expert that there may be a catch in Oracle’s enterprise software pricing. Do you think that’s possible?
Another interesting item from the article is the unsupported assertion about Oracle’s revenue growth from business intelligence:
However, Oracle’s BI revenue grew by 2 percent in 2012, compared to SAP’s 0.6 percent BI growth rate that year, Gartner said.
The economy is not so good. Why is pricing such a slippery issue? Perhaps the growth is coming from efforts akin to climbing a mountain in bad weather? Maybe the traditional customers are struggling to find value from software which offers “business intelligence”?
My hunch is that like toothpaste pricing the economy is forcing big companies to increase their pricing agility. Maybe there will be an enterprise software loyalty card? If so, I want one. I am fascinated by cascading and fluid discounts.
Stephen E Arnold, July 4, 2013
Sponsored by Xenky
June 16, 2013
I had a chat with a former IBM executive. At lunch, an interesting emerged as we talked about the trials and tribulations large enterprise software vendors are facing. In addition to the embarrassing layoffs at IBM, there are signals that the financial screws are being turned at Hewlett Packard, Oracle, SAP and elsewhere. Part of the pressure is normal because the April May June quarter is an important one before the world goes on vacation in July and August. September, obviously, will be another flat out period for sales and marketing professionals. But there was one t hought which we kicked around in a post-prandial stupor.
A dilemma now exists in the enterprise software sector.
Stick with what works and has worked
Go in a new direction and improvise.
What happens if Microsoft does the Adobe thing and forces SharePoint licensees to embrace the cloud? What happens to the resellers? What happens to the integrators? What happens to the in house staff who know the intricacies of on premises installations of SharePoint but not the secrets of Azure?
Microsoft has a significant dependence on on premises sales. This is the client access license, the enterprise license, and the special set ups which make Microsoft the de facto choice for desktop computing workers worldwide.
Is an end of life play for SharePoint possible without making Microsoft even more vulnerable to the enticements of Google and others who want to supplant Microsoft as the “king of the desktop enter” and “baron of the back office”?
On one hand, the idea that SharePoint and its okay search solution, administrator employing mail and database systems, and its quirky collaboration and document management solutions could shift to the cloud is silly. Why give up those license fees? Why alienate service firms dependent on sales and support to hundreds of millions of SharePoint users? Why assume that a cloud business model will work for on site license customers? Organizations are conservative. Change comes slowly or not at all. Stick with the status quo.
June 15, 2013
Know what Haven means in HP Autonomy speak? At lunch yesterday, I learned that the acronym means:
H is for Hadoop, the dust bin for digital stuff
A is for Autonomy, the HP acquisition fueling MBA case studies
V is for Vertica, the HP big data analytics acquisition
E is for enterprise, the customer seeking refuge from other vendors
N is for… not sure, the one thing I know about big outfits.
If anyone knows if “N” is from enterprise or if “N” comes from some other nifty buzzword or product, use the comments to fill a void in the goose’s acronym blank space.
Stephen E Arnold, June 15, 2013
Sponsored by Xenky, the portal for ArnoldIT
May 23, 2013
You like, you hate it, you love it, you loathe it. These seem to be the common conceptions when it comes to enterprise software. Despite all the praise enterprise software has garnered, Glider takes a look at “Why Enterprise Software Sucks: 6 years Later,” a retrospect on an article from 2007.
Back in 2007, enterprise software’s biggest problem was the software buyers were not the end users. The buyers just needed to fulfill the requirements and a good user experience was optional. Fast forward to the present day, things are better…somewhat. Users are able to cut out the middleman and buy their own product as well as more user-friendly software. Companies are still facing slow adoption of the better product. Why? They are running off legacy systems and are afraid to touch them in case it should fail. Then there is the trust factor, companies hear about next technology, but are reluctant to try it. Once the crowd migrates over, so will everyone else.
Does enterprise software have a future? Yes, it does:
“The world at large is quickly growing accustomed to consumer internet (and mobile) applications. Everybody in the world is on Facebook. The average person has over 50 apps on their phone. It’s just a matter of time until they expect the same quality in the tools they use at work. The consumerization of enterprise will only grow stronger. The same can be said for bottom-up adoption.”
Enterprise is wanted, the mentality of the users just has to change to adopt it. If enterprise is “back,” are there lessons in this article for vendors of search, content processing and analytics systems aka the Big Data crowd? Or have they already learned from where enterprise software failed in the past?
Whitney Grace, May 23, 2013
May 16, 2013
The enterprise search show ended today, May 16. The presentations, except the one by Stephen E Arnold, were scintillating, thought provoking, and solid evidence that enterprise search is the crown jewel of enterprise software systems. Forget the grousing about Fast Search & Transfer, Autonomy, and the millions upon millions poured into outfits trying to generate a profit by licensing software which makes it easy to locate a needed document using a traditional personal computer, a laptop, or a notebook computer. Mobile phones and tablets are, alas, not yet the camels inside the enterprise search tent.
I learned about the importance of knowing what users want. I learned about providing users with systems which auto suggest, display relevant links, and eliminate the annoying task of reading a document to determine if it has useful information for the user.
Progress never stops. I would point out that Stephen E Arnold’s slide showing that precision and recall were making incremental progress over a decade. The flat line was in sharp contrast to his utterly fantastic suggestion that the complexity of modern search systems and their costs were increasing. One Scandinavian business development professional said to Mr. Arnold, “So you think the costs of search are going up like that, like the take off of the jet plane.”
Mr. Arnold, I overheard, said, “Yep, especially when the systems don’t work as advertised, require expensive unbudgeted investments, and produce more complaints than changing the health care dental deductible.” The Scandinavian shook his head in disbelief and wandered off in search of more comforting conversation.
A screen capture from Stephen E Arnold’s anomalous presentation. The cost and complexity curves rise more aggressively than the precision and recall curve. Who needs relevance when modern systems can deliver search without the user’s performing any intellectual effort prior to accepting what a system delivers.
I did come away with three broad thoughts once I cleared my mind of the fog of confusion that Stephen E Arnold’s obfuscation machine delivered.
First, Apple’s and Google’s conferences sell out in a very short time. Perhaps some of those turned away from the Apple and Google events could pick up a few IQ points and simultaneously get the inside dope on the hottest enterprise application — enterprise search? Two enterprise search vendors generated more than $100 million in revenues in the 45 year history of the enterprise search sector’s lifetime. Definitely enterprise search is the go to market. Measured in terms of academics, advisors, and unemployed home economics majors, search is where the action is.
Second, the technology on display was a great refresher for me. I learned about users’ dissatisfaction with search a decade ago. If I understood the presenter, user dissatisfaction is unchanged. About half of those who use an enterprise findability system are not thrilled with the experience. Progress is, it seems, modest. On the other hand, consistency in user opinion helps size the magnitude of the opportunity. I have not attended an enterprise search event for several years. I must admit I don’t think I missed any important developments. The content was, in my opinion, familiar.
Third, the technical bits had to bite and claw to get podium time. The outlier Stephen E Arnold actually used some equations. No other presenter made that mistake. The majority of the presentations focused on management issues. There were variously described as “governance,” “content management,” and planning. For those with an MBA and a love of enterprise search, there are, I concluded, many opportunities for consultants. Several of the folks who sell their expertise pointed out “I am not a technical expert,” “I can’t code,” and my favorite “Enterprise search is just one of the specialties I have.” Ah, billable time for uninformed advice. A career tip.
What’s the future of enterprise search?
One speaker said, “Search is not a good word to use.”
Edward Stephens, Stephen E Arnold’s more intelligent cousin, May 17, 2013
Sponsored by Augmentext
May 13, 2013
TechCrunch ran a story on a new enterprise file sharing tool, Docurated, which launched at Disrupt NY during Startup Battlefield. “Docurated is an Enterprise Service to Search and Collect the Data You Need From Your Files” tells us that this technology moves beyond the file and folder metaphor and focuses on searching for the documents needed and collecting them.
This new enterprise search tool is poised to compete with the likes of Sharepoint and Autonomy in addition to Google Drive in a way. Interestingly, they have integrative capabilities with Dropbox, another potential competitor. A notable difference that the article points to is that Docurated only crawls content to make it searchable but does not actually host any files.
We looked a little further into the technology on their website and learned the following about their positioning:
“While storage boxes in the cloud have created the ability to amass more files, we still have to find and consume what we need when we need to tell our story. Docurated is your go-to destination for all of your content. No more files or folders. It turns all your documents into useable materials for your content dashboards, presentations, meetings, pitches, etc. in PowerPoint or PDF formats. Docurated provides you with the ability to turn every one of your documents into individual pages that are then presented to you based on relevance to your topic search…”
The branding and utmost focus on the user experience signal that Docurated is looking to make a name for itself through bringing the consumerization of enterprise search around to home plate. We will be on the look out to follow how distruptive this technology turns out to be; Coca-Cola and Netflix are both using it already.
Megan Feil, May 13, 2013
May 10, 2013
How can a company become big in social media? Well, it helps to start by be big in general. We learn from eWeek that “IBM Tops Social Business Software Market Four Years in a Row.” The ranking was bestowed by research firm IDC, which also found that the worldwide enterprise social market grew by 25 percent from 2011 to 2012.
It is no surprise that this huge, proven global company is able to reel in the plum social clients. More than 60 of the current Fortune 100 companies rely on IBM’s social solutions, writer Darryl K. Taft tells us, including eight of the top 10 banks and retailers. The article notes:
“As this demand [for enterprise social networking] grows, organizations are looking to introduce social capabilities into all key areas, from marketing and research innovation to sales and human resources. The challenge is that many lack the ability to capture and share the unique insights from each employee and use it to help drive real value to the business. . . .
“At an event in January, Big Blue explained how IBM’s Lotus legacy has evolved into a new company focus on delivering software that helps organizations better collaborate and become more social enterprises. At the IBM Connect 2013 conference in Orlando, Fla., IBM pulled off the transformation from using its Lotus brand to herald its set of technologies that enable enterprise users to better work together and innovate based on that collaborative process.”
So there you go—size equals social. IBM is uniquely positioned to take advantage of any tech trend, and they are to be commended for recognizing the opportunity in enterprise social software (and for leveraging Lotus.) We are not surprised to see the company continue to lead the pack in this segment.
Cynthia Murrell, May 10, 2013
May 9, 2013
New Liferay adapters will be available in Q3 2013 that they hope will bring more affordability to back-end integration. Liferay’s services hinge on the portal model, bringing a marketplace to enterprises where users can choose various enterprise pieces that work together to create a customized solution. Read more about the latest partnership in the CMS Wire article, “Enterprise Portal Liferay Partners with TIBCO Software for Lower Cost Back-End Integration.”
The article touts the merits of such strategic partnerships:
“When two ecosystems get together, the result can be a bigger landscape. This week, enterprise portal vendor Liferay announced a new partnership with infrastructure provider TIBCO Software that is intended to simplify Liferay Portal’s integration with SAP, SharePoint, JD Edwards, Peoplesoft, Lotus Notes, Siebel and other systems. Via the partnership, customers can have a portal-based application that connects through TIBCO’s ActiveMatrix BusinessWorks platform to backend systems.”
Portal integration is important, particularly for this style of service. However, for some smaller organizations, an out-of-the-box solution might be best, particularly for those who are exploring an enterprise search solution for the first time. For these organizations, LucidWorks might be worth exploring. LucidWorks is built on the open source strength of Apache Lucene/Solr and is ready to go out-of-the-box. Specializing in Big Data or traditional enterprise search, LucidWorks’ power is in its award-winning customer service and support.
Emily Rae Aldridge, May 9, 2013