Big Data is the new Cloud

October 12, 2011

Big Data represents the next not-completely-understood got-to-have strategy.  This first dawned on me about a year ago and has continued to become clearer as the phenomenon has gained momentum.  Contributing to Big Data-mania is Hadoop, today’s weapon of choice in the taming and harnessing of  mountains of unstructured data, a project that has its own immense gravitational pull of celebrity.

So what

But what is the value of slogging through these mountains of data?  In a recent Forrester blog, Brian Hopkins lays it out very simply:

We estimate that firms effectively utilize less than 5% of available data. Why so little? The rest is simply too expensive to deal with. Big data is new because it lets firms affordably dip into that other 95%. If two companies use data with the same effectiveness but one can handle 15% of available data and one is stuck at 5%, who do you think will win?

The only problem is that while unstructured data (email, clickstream data, photos, web logs, etc.) makes up the vast majority of today’s data, the majority of the incumbent data solutions aren’t designed to handle it.    So what do you do?

Deal with it

Hadoop, which I mentioned above, is your first line of offense when attacking big data.  Hadoop is an open source highly scalable compute and storage platform.  It can be used to collect, tidy up and store boatloads of structure and unstructured data.  In the case of enterprises it can be combined with a data warehouse and then linked to analytics (in the case web companies they forgo the warehouse).

And speaking of web companies Hopkins explains

Google, Yahoo, and Facebook used big data to deal with web scale search, content relevance, and social connections, and we see what happened to those markets. If you are not thinking about how to leverage big data to get the value from the other 95%, your competition is.

So will Big Data truly displace Cloud as the current must-have buzz-tastic phenomenon in IT?  I’m thinking in many circles it will.  While less of a tectonic shift, Big Data’s more “modest” goals and concrete application make it easier to draw a direct line between effort and business return.  This in turn will drive greater interest, tire kicking and then implementation.  But I wouldn’t kick the tires for too long for as the web players have learned, Big Data is a mountain of straw just waiting to be spun into gold.

Extra-credit reading:

Pau for now…


A Quick look at Dell’s Analyst Summit

October 29, 2010

Earlier this week Dell held an industry analyst summit in Boston.  The event, “Dell Services and Solutions for the Virtual Era” was attended by analysts from around the world and was a follow-on to the event Dell held in San Francisco back in March.

Please take your seats, the summit is about to begin.

What went on

The two-day event featured presentations from Dell’s senior leadership, customer and partner panels, break out sessions and 1:1’s between analysts and Dell subject matter experts.  The first day also culminated with a solutions expo and dinner held at the very cool Institute of Contemporary Art.

What were the key messages?

The high-level messages that Dell kept reiterating were:

  • We are executing on our strategy of delivering solutions that are open, capable and affordable which ultimately give our customers the power to do more.
  • We are undergoing a fundamental change in the way we’re approaching our customers. We are moving away from transactional selling motions toward a more consultative approach.

Right before the guests arrive. The solutions expo and dinner.

How was it received?

It will be interesting to see the reports that are generated from this week’s summit but we did receive some very positive tweets during the event (check out the whole twitter feed from the event):

  • Conclusion from [Dell Analyst Summit]: Dell 2.0 has arrived. We’ve called it 1.x to date. No longer. They’ve cracked the “solutions” code — Jonathan Eunice, Illuminata
  • Dell’s vision is quite clear and lingo shows detachment from manufacturer approach – openness remains as a mantra — Giorgio Nebuloni, IDC
  • Dell talking solution accelerators. Didn’t hear this message from them a few yrs ago. Highlights strengths of Perot & Dell 2gether — Tim Sheedy, Forrester
  • Great session with Dell Health IT team. Great progress and compelling positioning in the space. Good prog telling a sngl story — Crawford Del Prete, IDC

Updated 11/04

Here are interviews I did with two of the analysts who attended the summit:

Pau for now…


Forrester’s James Staten Explains the Cloud

August 28, 2009

At Cloud World/Open Source World earlier this month I grabbed some time with Forrester’s “Mr. Cloud” James Staten.  I wanted to get his take on Cloud Computing and what was hot and what is not.  Here is the result.

Some of the things James talks about:

  • How the conversation about cloud has changed over the last year.
  • He spends a lot of time telling people what the cloud is not.
  • The three things they’ve learned (coming soon to Forrester report near you):
    • First thing to do in the cloud is test and development
    • Organizations can take short term web promotions and marketing efforts and drop them into the cloud (witness Wendy’s 99c promotion)
    • Put apps that are triggered by revenue into the cloud
  • Rather that “Public vs Private” clouds, Forrester segments it into “internal vs. hosted vs. public
  • Cloud is not an all or nothing proposition, it’s another tool in the toolkit.

Pau for now…


Internal Clouds? We don’t need no Stinking Internal Clouds

July 16, 2009

The other day, I came across an entry on CIO.com discussing a recent Forrester report.  The report, snappily entitled “Conventional Wisom is Wrong About Cloud IAAS,” details the results of a recent survey administered to small and large enterprises located in the Europe and North America.

The survey’s key findings were:

  • Confirmation of a strong interest in cloud infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS).
  • Large firms are more interested in cloud IaaS than small firms.
  • Firms are interested in cloud services slightly more than internal cloud.
  • Firms are equally comfortable with all major workload types in the cloud and are almost as comfortable with productions apps as they are with test and development usage.

And in conclusion…

So the big takeaways are 1) IaaS isn’t just for test and development any more and 2) many people out there are ok with skipping internal clouds and going directly to external providers.  As pointed out in CIO.com, more specifically the survey shows that:

More than one-third of both large and medium enterprises are ready to put enterprise applications into production in external cloud providers.

These results paint enterprises as far more intrepid, when it comes to the cloud, than has been thought.  It will be interesting to see how matters actually unfold and if enterprises end up putting their money apps where their mouth is.

Pau for now…


Forrester Report on Blueprint now Available

March 17, 2009

A few weeks ago I blogged about the Forrester review of Blueprint that was published in early February.

We recently purchased licensing rights to the report, “Vendor Snapshot: Lombardi Blueprint Bridges Gap Between Process Discovery And Execution” and it is now available here.

Quotable Quotes

Here are some of my favorite quotes from the report:

Blueprint provides a process modeling and discovery platform that blends collaboration and documentation capabilities into an easy-to-use, low cost, software-as-a-service offering that can be used by beginner to expert process analysts.

Blueprint combines the best of both worlds for analysts: the “ready-to-use” feel of office productivity tools and the comprehensive knowledge repository found in traditional BPA tools.

Lombardi Blueprint represents a new way of developing, delivering, and interacting with software — the combination of SaaS, Web 2.0, and business process.

From the very beginning, BPM suite vendors sold business and process analysts on empty promises of easy-to-use modeling capabilities. Lombardi is one of the first BPM suite vendors to deliver on the promise of ease of use for process analysts. Lombardi Blueprint combines collaboration, ease of use, and a centralized process repository into an inexpensive and elegant SaaS-based offering.

But don’t take Forrester’s word for it…

And if those quotes don’t get you to sign-up for a free 30-day trial of Blueprint, I don’t know what will. 🙂  Check Blueprint out for yourself.  Sign-up for a free trial here.

Pau for now…



Forrester Posts Great Blueprint Review

February 10, 2009

At the end of last year, Blueprint Product Manager Dave Marquard and I had a call with Forrester analyst Clay Richardson to brief him on Lombardi Blueprint.  The result of that call and a considerable amount of further research was a 6-page report that debuted last Friday — “Vendor Snapshot: Lombardi Blueprint Bridges Gap Between Process Discovery And Execution.”

Here is the Executive Summary from the Forrester site:

Austin-based Lombardi Software’s latest offering, Blueprint, positions the vendor to extend its leadership in human-centric business process management (BPM) and takes direct aim at Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, and Visio as the tools of choice for process analysts. Blueprint provides a process modeling and discovery platform that blends collaboration and documentation capabilities into an easy-to-use, low cost, software-as-a-service offering that can be used by beginner to expert process analysts. To stay ahead of the pack, the platform needs to continue extending its collaborative Web 2.0 functionality as other BPM suite vendors play catch-up by introducing similar offerings. Consider Lombardi Blueprint if you need a collaborative and lightweight process discovery tool that is tailored to support geographically dispersed process discovery teams.

We are in the process of licensing this report and as soon as we do, we will be making it available on the lombardi.com site.  If you are already a Forrester client, you can log in access the report here.

Pau for now…


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