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Virginia Backaitis News & Analysis

Now You Can Now Have SAP Fiori for Free #SapphireNow

customer experience, Hey SAP User, You Can Now Have SAP Fiori for Free

Even Steve Lucas, president of SAP Platform Solutions, admits his company’s traditional user interfaces are ugly — for this day and age — and that the company's user experiences leave a lot to be desired.

Instead of being colorful, “delightful” and productivity-oriented, they come in and act in on something Lucas describes as “a palette of grays”.

And they aren't anywhere as exciting as those 50 shades you may envision.

This isn’t an experience that modern users who expect consumer-like feel and function want. 

SAP has a product, SAP Fiori, that changes all of that. But it has come at a price that many enterprises haven’t been willing or able to pay.

This has caused quite a bit of anger. 

Is Former SAP Visionary Vishal Sikka Headed for Infosys?

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Ever since former SAP visionary and executive board member Vishal Sikka abruptly walked off of his job at the world’s third largest software company last month, industry watchers have been wondering what he’ll do next.

“I’m going to Disney World,” would have been an unlikely answer, as his former employer is holding its user conference, Sapphire Now, in Orlando, Fla. this week.

Teradata's Data Lake has the Ease of a Beach #HadoopSummit

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Teradata users love Teradata.

It’s a relationship that’s rarely found in the world of enterprise technology. And quite frankly, until you talk to enough of Teradata’s customers, it’s hard to believe it exists.

But last year at Teradata’s Partners user conference we witnessed it — not by talking to users the company had hand-picked for us to meet, but from conversations with the guys or gals who stood in front or behind us as we waited in lines for our morning joe, on the many long walks from the hotel to the conference center and at lunch, when we sat to chow-down with strangers. The folks we spoke to, almost without exception, professed their love for Teradata.

And we’re telling you this because it matters. A lot.

SAP Invites Customers, Partners to Dance on its Industry Cloud

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The days of tired, old legacy applications developed by Oracle and loved by few will soon be over. At least that’s what SAP has in mind.

And in the age of cloud, collaboration and app stores, does it make sense for a software company to sit in some ivory tower building solutions that tell you how to do your job? Or would it be smarter for a vendor that has deep industry and development experience to partner with customers and developers to build products and services that delight?

The answer, we think, is plain to anyone; yet it’s not an approach that many software or solution vendors have taken.

At least until now.

SAP Turns the Page, But We've Already Read the Next Chapter

CEOs Larry Ellison and Marc Benioff, of Oracle and Salesforce, respectively, may not be feeling anxious this week. But maybe they should be. After all, there’s a calm that neither being the world’s highest paid CEO nor Satya Nadella’s newest BFF can bring.

Especially when the competition is about to change the game on you. And that’s precisely what will be happening at Sapphire Now, SAP’s user conference in Orlando, Fla. this week.

Granted, the fact that something big is about to happen at SAP shouldn’t come as a surprise. There have been plenty of clues, including the notable departure of visionary Vishal Sikka. And now another senior exec, Peter Graf, announced he has parted ways with the company, too.

Graph Databases Unlock Goldmines, Neo4j is the Key

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If you haven’t yet heard of graph databases, get ready. They’re the next hot ticket in a world consumed by big data, analytics and the Internet of Things.

They do things other databases do not do well, like help us discover insights via relationships —between people, places or things.

They don’t as much crunch data as help the world make sense of data. “It’s an amazing concept,” said Philip Rathle, vice president of products at Neo Technology, the commercial company behind open source graph database, Neo4j.

And he doesn’t seem to be the only one who thinks so. The graph database has the highest rate of growth of any kind of database in the world.

Sync This, Share That: What's Up in EFSS

We know that we don’t have to tell you that the day when every worker at your company stores his content in the cloud isn’t too far away. In fact, at some enterprises, it’s already here.

A study conducted by Forrester Research reveals that 70 percent of employees use some kind of enterprise file sync and sharing (EFSS) service every single day — and that nearly one in five use it hourly.

Needless to say, this presents an unprecedented opportunity for vendors, which might well explain why the market is so dense. According to some estimates there are as many as 1,000 of them vying for our business.

Try as we might, there’s no way we can keep up with even a tenth of them. It seems that every time we write an article about EFSS, we get three to five vendors we’ve never heard of pitch us on stories.

Much as we might like to give you the skinny on each, it’s just not feasible. So what we’re going to do instead is keep you up to date on those that we feel are market makers or are doing something unique and especially interesting.

Syncplicity Challenge: Give Up Your PC and Mac for 30 Days

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Everyone’s talking about the Mobile First, Cloud First world. In fact, shortly after being named CEO of Microsoft, Satya Nadella announced that from here on out Microsoft would become a Mobile First, Cloud First company.

Want to bet how many people at Microsoft headquarters in Redmond, Wash. still spend most of their work time on PC’s?

Rather than count, let’s just say most.

That being said, we do know of a company that has challenged its employees to go Mobile Only for 30 days. And not only did the employees agree to try Syncplicity's Go Lite Challenge: They also achieved their goal.

Hey Mom and Pop: You Can Use Documentum, Too

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OK, maybe we’re exaggerating a bit with the headline. The folks at the corner store aren’t likely to be implementing Documentum anytime soon. But midmarket companies in regulated industries, which have found the Rolls Royce of ECM systems out of reach in the past, may very well be able to afford to reap the its benefits today.

Earlier this month EMC IIG (Information Intelligence Group) introduced two new cloud-based offerings based on their best in class Documentum solutions for energy and engineering and life sciences. They are pre-packaged, preconfigured, cloud-based offerings for the midmarket.

Will Couchbase Power Future Mobile App Development?

2014-21-May-Ace-of-Spades.jpgCouchbase may have an ace in the hole when it comes to giving mobile developers the tools that they need to build apps that rock.

This morning the software provider that sells commercial packages around Open Source Couchbase Server brings Couchbase Mobile to market. It includes mobile data synchronization and what the company’s Chief Mobile Architect, Wayne Carter, calls the world’s first and only native NoSQL mobile database.

It’s an important innovation that comes at exactly the right time -- as mobile becomes the new major touch point.

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. 

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.

Big Data Bits: Data for All Edition

2014-19-May-Data-for-All.jpgSometimes it seems that the market around big data tools and technologies is growing as fast as the App Store or Google Play, except the quality here is much better. There’s no room for B players.

So this week’s edition of Big Data Bits is all about A Players and it comes in two parts.

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.

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