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Sap News & Analysis

Big Data Bits: Cloud, Security, Power, Analytics Edition

Hadoop, Hadoop distros and the technologies and analytics around big data keep getting more widespread and more pragmatic to use because the benefits of leveraging them are now both proven and obvious.

Rather than pontificate further, we’ll just bring you the notable news we think is worthy of your attention. 

SAP Buys Cloud Behavioral Marketing Provider SeeWhy

Everyone wants personalized marketing capabilities in their platform, even SAP. So it went out and grabbed some.

SAP announced today the acquisition of SeeWhy, the cloud-based behavioral target marketing solutions provider. SAP is adding to its customer experience arsenal that it built with the addition of e-commerce platform vendor hybris last summer.

Microsoft + SAP Partner for Cloud, Mobile, Big Data

Microsoft and SAP are two 2nd Platform technology players that are leaving no holds barred as they attempt to carry their dominance onto the third.

Cloud, big data and mobile are three big components of that next wave (social is the fourth, but it seems to be morphing from a platform to a feature in enterprise applications) and both companies need to be ready when their clients begin to make the leap — or, needless to say, they’ll lose business.

8 Vendors Lead The Business Intelligence Market

The business intelligence landscape is fracturing as it evolves.

In a market once characterized by applications that covered all the bases, cloud computing and the availability of Software-as-a-Service means many vendors are starting to specialize in analytics, data discovery and visualization.

Out of this splintered market, the value of business intelligence applications is forcing vendors to focus on line-of-business support and ease of use concerns.

Hortonworks Buys XA Secure, Redefines Security for Hadoop

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Hortonworks may be making big data history today when it announces the acquisition of XA Secure, a data company that provides a comprehensive security suite for Apache Hadoop.

“It’s a game-changer for Hadoop,” said Tim Hall, vice president of Product Management at Hortonworks. “We’ll (the industry) be moving from fragmented to central security and be able to provide a single pane of glass through which to see who’s authorized to access what … ”

The purchase will initially have a substantial, positive impact on Hortonworks’ customers and technology partners (such as Microsoft, Teradata, SAP among several others) because its current and acquired team of engineers will immediately begin to incorporate the XA Secure technology into Hortonworks’ Data Platform (HDP).

Other Apache Hadoop providers and their customers shouldn’t be too far behind because Hortonworks, following its passion for open source, will concurrently begin to transition XA Secure’s technology assets into an Apache project.

“We are strong believers in the open source community,” said Hall. “It brings in the best and the brightest, it speeds innovation, and delivers quality,” he adds.

It also makes XA Secure free for the taking.

SAP Plans Layoffs, But It's Hardly Alone

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For anyone who doubts SAP AG will be laying off employees, we have news. “It’s true,” said Jim Dever, vice president of corporate affairs at SAP.

He can't say how many workers will be involved. It’s not a simple process.

In Europe, for example, the rules around cutting heads are very different than in the US. Not only that, but examining what skill sets will be needed and are available in house isn’t an easy task.

The company won’t necessarily be exiting lines of business. Instead, it might cut jobs that may be redundant and reduce headcount gained during acquisitions of companies such as Sybase (2010), Success Factors (2011), Ariba (2012) and 13 others it purchased since January 2011. Note that the layoffs will occur across the company and that we are in no way implying that employees gained through acquisitions will be targeted.

SAP: No 'Massive Layoffs' Planned for Workforce

An SAP spokesperson told CMSWire reports of "massive layoffs" are "simply not a fact" and that the 67,000-employee global software giant will have more employees by the end of 2014 than it does now.

"We are adding jobs in 2014," SAP's Andy Kendzie told CMSWire this afternoon. 

Tweets and news about a SAP workforce reduction swept the web today.

Ray Wang, an analyst for Constellation Research, stood by his tweet when contacted by CMSWire.

CRM Is More than Cool: It's Profitable

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Last month, Gartner said it right out loud: "Customer Relationship Management is Cool." This month it's following that up with data that shows the global CRM market is worth $20.4 billion.

The research also shows Salesforce is the single biggest player in the space.

However, there is also good news for SAP -- which remains the second biggest player, as well as Microsoft. While Microsoft only accounts for around 7 percent of the market, it grew a staggering 22.8 percent year-over-year and is heading toward a much, much bigger piece of the pie.

Breaking (Bad?) SAP HANA Boss Vishal Sikka Resigns

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Great new technologies need genius innovators and passionate advocates.

Think Steve Jobs and Apple, Bill Gates and Microsoft, Larry Ellison and Oracle, Mark Benioff and Salesforce … and then there’s Vishal Sikka and SAP HANA.

While Sikka might not have created HANA in a garage or a dorm room, he was in a leadership position at SAP, in charge of innovation, when it was born. And from then until now, he has been its biggest champion, running around from city to city and client to client, promoting it with passion that is unmistakable and contagious. HANA flows through his blood.

Now he's walking away. Sikka resigned yesterday, triggering a flurry of questions and compliments on Twitter.

 

Gartner Rates SAP Top BI Vendor, Notes Microsoft's Growth

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Just when you thought IT budgets were recovering, Gartner dumps a bucket of cold water on the notion — particularly in the business intelligence (BI) space. According to new research, spending on BI has stagnated again, and it doesn’t look like the situation will improve in the near future.

Gartner rated SAP as the biggest BI vendor by far, followed by Oracle, IBM, SAS and Microsoft. While Microsoft only ranks fifth, it experienced the most growth in the space in the past 12 months, the survey found.

The report shows that the BI market is increasingly dominated by big vendors who are happy to buy whatever technology they need to give them an edge, as is evidenced by the recent purchase of Jaspersoft, an open source businesses intelligence company, by TIBCO for $185 million. 

Why Hortonworks' Hadoop Pitch May Be Perfect

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Hortonworks business strategy certainly has its naysayers. They claim the venture capital backed company won’t be able to generate the kind of revenues Wall Street investors expect without selling proprietary software that compliments or extends open source Apache Hadoop or any other open source software, for that matter.

This sort of talk falls on deaf ears at Hortonworks.

“Our strategy is to build out (Hadoop and Hortonworks Data Platform aka HDP) in open source so that it resonates and deeply increases value for our partners, our customers and for us,“ said Shaun Connolly, vice president of Corporate Strategy at Hortonworks.

7 Vendors Top the Forrester Wave for Customer Service Solutions

At a time when seven out of 10 online shoppers complain of unsatisfactory experiences, which vendors stand out as offering possible solutions? The authors of the latest Forrester Wave Customer Service Solutions for Enterprise Customers Q2 2014 (registration required) rated customer service vendors against 83 criteria and identified seven leaders.

According to the report, the vendors with the best strategy pursued excellence in a limited number of areas and avoided over diversified, Jack-of-All-Trade scenarios.

Make the Customer the Focus of Online Experiences

Nearly seven in 10 customers have had an unsatisfactory e-commerce experience in the past year, according to a new Forrester Wave on customer service solutions. That's a disturbing and eye-opening statistic, noted Kate Leggett, primary author of The Forrester Wave Customer Service Solutions For Enterprise Organizations Q2 2014 (registration required).

Leggett and co-authors Stephen Powers, Michael Facemire and Victoria Boutan identified the 11 most significant customer service solutions, but also warned that not all vendors are making the grade.

Dream On Salesforce, SAP Prez Unimpressed by Your Threats

Dream On Salesforce, SAP Prez Unimpressed by Your ThreatsSAP is too classy to laugh at Salesforce president Keith Block’s pretentious remarks, as he runs from city to city saying things like “You’re going down SAP.”

“It's great that Salesforce.com has aspirations to be bigger than SAP,” said Steve Lucas, president, SAP Platform Solutions. “But ultimately we don't care what competitors think, we only care about what our customers and partners think and how to make them successful.”

“If we stick to that,” added Lucas, “we will win.” 

Salesforce: 'Gonna be Bigger, Better than SAP' #Salesforce1Tour

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Is a heavyweight title bout emerging between two major contenders in the enterprise applications space? Maybe -- if you feel that title bouts are started when only one of those contenders says something in a keynote and the other chooses not to respond at all.

Salesforce.com fired a salvo at SAP today when Keith Block, its president and vice chairman, told a Boston audience that "we will be passing SAP as the largest enterprise applications company in the world."

Block made the comment this morning at the Salesforce1 World Tour, which rolled into Boston today at the Hynes Convention Center. SAP, Block added, is the "third largest software company in the world. We believe we will be the third largest software company in the world." 

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