Posts Tagged ‘best practices’

Research Summary: Next Generation CIOs Aspire To Focus More On Innovation And The Chief Digital Officer Role

Executive Summary

Constellation shares with its clients the fourth annual groundbreaking survey of CIOs later this week.  The 2014 survey interviews respondents about their priorities by CIO persona.  Constellation identified infrastructure, integration, intelligence, and innnovaiton as the four personas of the next gen CIO in 2011.

Survey results show that while CIO’s prefer to spend more time on innovation projects, most CIOs must spend their time battling the reduction of cost in IT delivery.  In the shift towards dominating digital disruption, CIOs can only move as fast as their organization’s DNA will allow while driving transformation. Using Constellation’s organizational DNA framework, CIOs can understand how much change they can expect their organization to consume and gauge their ability to impact the thought process and culture.  An excerpt of some of the findings can be found below:

A. CIOs Must Battle Keeping The Lights On Despite A Desire To Focus On Innovation

In Constellation’s recent CIO survey of 119 respondents, over 44% expressed that reducing the cost of IT delivery remained the number one priority (see Figure 2).  However when asked what should be the number one priority almost 44% expressed that bringing innovation to the business was the number one requirement (see Figure 3).

Figure 1. CIOs Still Prioritize Reducing IT Costs

Figure 2.  Bringing Innovation to the Business Is Top Of Mind On The CIO Agenda

B. CIOs Must Overcome Three Barriers To Bringing Innovation To The Business

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News Analysis: Rimini Street Vs Oracle Ruling Has No Negative Impact on Third Party Maintenance Rights

Recent Oracle vs Rimini Street Ruling Is About Customer Software License Rights Not Third Party Maintenance

On February 13th, 2014, the United States District Court , District of Nevada Judge Larry Hicks issued a partial summary judgment in the Oracle vs Rimini Street Case. Here’s the executive summary to key questions about the ruling*:

Is Third Party Maintenance still valid for Oracle products or anyone else? Yes.  Users should make sure this right is explicit in all future software deals.

Can a customer give a copy to a third party? Yes if you have this in your license agreement.   Users should negotiate this in  contracts to ensure this right exists and remains as part of the ownership experience.

Do you have to read every contract detail before a third party maintenance provider can host the software? Yes. If there are site restrictions  and if you want to host it in a vendor’s own data center.  Make sure you have the right to a site change or site license change.

Can copies of software from customers that are loaded onto the server that are identical to what another customer’s rights be used or reloaded. Yes, the software license goes to intellectual property not to the media.  Third party maintenance vendors can use the same instance in setting up their clients and this will drive down the cost.

Does this ruling impact other businesses? Yes.  If you have no site specific rights, you can’t have a third party outsource or host.  This could have major legal ramifications for Oracle and other vendor’s existing hosting and outsourcing businesses.

Four Customer Cases End In A Draw For Oracle and Rimini Street Based On Contract Law Technicalities

The ruling includes cases from four customers each with unique contract language:

  • City of Flint – US District Court rules In Oracle’s favor. “Based on the court’s ruling s above, none of Rimini’s asserted license provisions (Sections 1.2(b), 1.2( c), or 14.2) expressly authorize Rimini ’s copying of Oracle’ s copy righted PeopleSoft branded software a s a matter of law. Therefore, the court finds that Oracle is entitled to summary judgment on Rimini’s express license affirmative defense as it relates to the City of Flint, and the court shall grant Oracle ’s motion accordingly.

    Point of View (POV):
    The City of Flint’s PeopleSoft contracts were pre-Internet and did not allow for third parties to copy licenses onto other servers on their behalf.  In fact, the licenses only allowed for the City of Flint to provide “access to and use of the Software” to a third party.  The ruling makes sense and is based on how the license contract is written.
  • Pittsburgh Public Schools – US District Court rules In Oracle’s favor. “Based on the rulings above, the court finds that none of Rimini’s asserted license provisions (Sections 1.1, 1.2, or 10.2) expressly authorize Rimini’s copying of Oracle’s copy righted PeopleSoft branded software as a matter of law. Therefore, the court finds that Oracle is entitled to summary judgment on Rimini’s express license affirmative defense as it relates to the Pittsburgh Public Schools, and the court shall grant Oracle’s motion accordingly”.

    (POV):
    Despite Oracle granting the Pittsburgh Public Schools “a nonexclusive, nontransferable license to make and run copies of the Software, “the right to access and use the Software is a separate right from the right to copy or reproduce software”.  The ruling makes sense as with City of Flint based on the language in the original PeopleSoft contract.

Tuesday’s Tip: Seven Lessons Learned In Customer Experience Strategies During A Data Breach (such as Target’s)

Every Brand Should Have A Plan For A Data Breach

The confluence of centralized personally identifiable information, reliance on digital channels, ease of hacking of magnetic stripes, and the application of the Willy Sutton rule ( a.k.a. you rob banks because that’s where the money is) improve the odds that many organizations will face a data breach.  The question is not whether one will happen, but more a question of when and to what extent.  How a brand addresses the customer experience component during a data breach will have significant impact that will subsume all other brand efforts up and until the data breach.

Source: Target

On December 19th, Target confirmed reports of a data breach affecting 40 million customers between November 27th and December 15th, 2013.  In conversation with over 30 customer experience professionals, many lessons have been learned from the recent Target breach and the largest breach with TJX (TJ Maxx and Marshall’s).  The following seven approaches highlight pragmatic and effective strategies to responding and mitigating the damage:

  1. Begin by isolating and understanding the root cause of the breach. Understanding the root cause enables a realistic understanding of all the options.  While it may take some time to get to the source, the investment in resources is worth it.  The truth will set you free from weaving an ever growing snow ball of lies and half truths.  Saying that you don’t know yet is not good enough.  Sharing how you are resolving or approaching the problem helps folks understand the why not the what.
  2. Catalyze a crisis command center. The command center should not be an after thought but part of the communications readiness training.  Prioritize key data. Put all your data sources to work.  Identify a protocol for decision making.  Quickly agree on talking points and messaging.  Democratize decision making and out reach to as many spokes persons as possible.  Apply the 9C’s of engagement to build out the crisis journey map.  While Target has an excellent social media program, the challenge is tackling crisis communications in defense not offense during the holiday season.
  3. Trust that transparency is the right course of action. Communicate the breach as early as possible. Do not try to cover it up as Target did. In fact, Target was outed by security expert Brian Krebs first, then Target had to come clean. The result has been disastrous.  Get in front of the issue.  It’s always easier to proactively influence than react.  Customers ultimately value transparency when they can understand the process and the efforts provided to date.  Outcomes ultimately matter but in the absence of a solution, upfront communication of the situation and approach helps bridge the trust gap. More…

Trends: Real World Lessons In Optimizing The Customer Service Experience From Kana Connect

Workshop On Optimizing Your Customer Service Experience Identifies Eight Strategies
At the 2013 Kana Connect event from September 15th to 17th, 2013 in New Orleans, I had the pleasure of co-leading a workshop with Scott Hays a Sr. Director, Product Marketing for KANA Software.  The goal of the session was to explore eight strategies to improve customer experience. 

By now, you are well aware that “experience counts.” Your customers’ loyalty and future purchases hang in the balance. In this session, we’ll explore the key things you can do to make sure their experiences are positive. Ray Wang from Constellation Research and Scott Hays from KANA guide an interactive workshop to invigorate your future initiatives.

Speaker(s): Scott Hays, Ray Wang, Constellation Research

The event began with a overview of  Constellation 9C’s of customer engagement  and then an overview of the eight ways to optimize your customer service experience.  Teams were broken up to documen current state and to rank future state.  Teams were told to identify the top three ways among these eight strategies:

  1. Effortless and personalized
  2. Channel convenience
  3. Channel consistency
  4. Social media
  5. Unified agent desktop
  6. Agent knowledge
  7. Process-driven
  8. Internationalization

Results Show Future Focus on Channel Consistency, Social Media, and Effortless and Personalized

Given the Kana customer base, current state priorities of agent knowledge, process driven, and channel convenience came as little surprise to the participants.  In fact, most workshop attendees have had More…

Monday’s Musings: NSA PRISM Scandal Hurts US Cloud Companies And Hastens The Return Of On-Premises Software

Non-US Based Organizations And Even Some US Organizations Will Not Tolerate Snooping In A Post PRISM World

Since the Edward Snowden PRISM revelations, Constellation has received a steady stream of inquiries on cloud strategy.   In fact, nervousness runs high among many non-US based companies using services from US based cloud companies across the cloud stack.  In early August 2013, the Information Technology & Innovation Foundation put out its report “How Much Will PRISM Cost the U.S. Cloud Computing Industry” Assuming that 20% of current clients switch to a non US based provider,  the report estimates a loss of $22 to 35B by 2016.

Constellation agrees.  All signs point to an anti-US stance until the security issues is addressed.  The odds on the US government moving fast on this issue are as good as Major League Baseball players or Tour de France Cyclists honoring a performance enhancement drug use ban.  In fact, Constellation is aware of at least 50+ contracts that have been put on hold or cancelled in the past 30 days.  With the EU’s Nellie Kroes already sounding the alarm bells in a way she only can, cloud buyers have taken notice.

The Bottom Line: Clients Should Consider Alternatives To Pure Cloud Models And Encryption Technology

Interesting enough, fifteen years into the cloud revolution, talk has rekindled about building on-premises software in light of this scandal. Unfortunately, the last major on-premises software company to receive funding squandered it all in 2005 and retooled to the cloud. Furthermore, a few entrepreneurs are looking at VC funding to take some key systems back on-premises.

However customers do not have time to wait for new software to arrive in the on-premises deployment option.  In the meantime, a few near term strategies have emerged:

  1. More…

Personal Log: The Sad State of The Industry Analyst Business And The Need For A Code Of Ethics

Unchecked Bad Behavior Plagues Both Vendors And Analysts.

I’ve dreaded writing this post for a long time.  I normally think the best of everyone.  Yet, in the course of building our business at Constellation Research, I have to say I’ve seen everything that can go wrong with the industry analyst business.  I’m almost embarrassed to reveal the shady tactics on both the vendor and analyst side that perpetuate.  But for the sake of airing it all out so that we may have a better industry, I’d like to start the conversation and then invite those analysts and vendors who agree to come up with a solid code.  Once we have something, let’s take the pledge on cleaning up the profession.

Examples Abound And We Have Had To Say No.

To be clear, there is a massive self-interest in my putting this out there. Now some of you may still be asking why would I do this?  What’s in it for me?  I’ll be very transparent, we’ve built a business that has:

  1. Shrugged off writing white papers for hire;
  2. Avoided pay to play for content;
  3. Covered vendors who were not clients;
  4. Cancelled contracts when our objectivity would have been compromised;
  5. Rejected stock in start-ups in lieu of payment, even a few pre-IPO’s that would have made us millions;
  6. Fired clients who threatened to cancel our contracts despite our putting out factually accurate defensible research;
  7. Refused the pay for lead business;
  8. Turned down pay for quotes and refused to endorse vendors in quotes unless we had evaluated their products in a side by side comparison;
  9. Fired sales people who alluded to pay for play;
  10. Fired analysts who did not understand we were not a pay to play white paper shop even after repeatedly telling them this.

I’ll be honest.  In order to uphold our integrity, we’ve lost a lot of business.  I’d estimate in the order of $2 to $3M a year.   Now, I am comforted in the fact that I do know we are not the only ones who have done so.  However, I have sadly discovered that this is few and far between in the business.  I am both shocked and disappointed.

Integrity of the Industry Is At Stake.
Now at times, competitors have laughed at us for doing so.  But, we have worked hard to uphold our code of ethics.  We have stayed objective. We have remained fiercely independent.  Talk to our sales folks.   They live it every day.  Talk to our analysts who wonder why they have to work harder.

We can continue doing this alone and have a differentiation in the market, but I think it’s time the industry takes a pledge to end this bad behavior.   It’s important for buyers to know that there is a professional code. Why? It’s critical to the survival of the industry analyst profession.

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Tuesday’s Tip: It’s Time To Consolidate Social Business Platforms

Greater Adoption In Social Business Signifies A Move To Consolidate Platforms

Constellation’s buy-side clients tend to fit in the market leader or fast follower categories when it comes to organizational personas of disruptive technology adoption.  Since 2010, respondents have progressed through the DEEPR framework and the latest results from 2012 indicate that most survey respondents have moved to Level 3 (see Figure 1).  Changes between 2010 and 2012 show the following top three priority shifts as users move from Level 2 (Experimentation) to Level 3 (Evangelization):

  • The top challenge among respondents is choosing the right platform (63.8%) among the many inside an organization.
  • Over half (56.8%) of the respondents have incorporated social into business models.
  • Respondents fostering internal collaboration (53.5%) now must worry about adoption challenges.

Figure 1. Respondents Shift to Level 3 in DEEPR Framework for Social Business Adoption

The Bottom Line.  Its Time To Scale The Technology While Pushing Ahead On Innovation

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Monday’s Musings: Understand The Four Organizational Personas Of Disruptive Tech Adoption

Pace of Innovation Exceeds Ability To Consume

Rapid innovation, flexible deployment options, and easy consumption models create favorable conditions for the proliferation of disruptive technology.  In fact, convergence in the five pillars of enterprise disruption (i.e. social, mobile, cloud, big data, and unified communications), has led to new innovations and opportunities to apply disruptive technologies to new business models.  New business models abound at the intersection of cloud and big data, social and mobile, social and unified communications, and cloud and mobile.

Unfortunately, most organizations are awash with discovering, evaluating, and consuming disruptive technologies.  Despite IT budgets going down from 3 to 5% year over year, technology spending is up 18 to 20%.  Why?  Amidst constrained budgets, resources, and time limits, executives are willing to invest in disruptive technology to improve business outcomes.  Consequently, successful adoption is the key challenge in consuming this torrent of innovation.  This rapid pace of change and inability to consume innovation detract organizations from the realization of business value.

Organizations Fall Into Four Personas Of  Disruptive Technology Adoption

A common truism in the industry is “Culture trumps technology”.  As organizations apply methodologies such as Constellation’s DEEPR Framework in improving adoption, leaders must first determine which of the four personas best fits their organization’s appetite for consuming and innovating with disruptive technologies.

The personas of disruptive technology adoption assess organizational culture in two key axes (see Figure 1).  The first is how incremental or transformational an organization looks at applying disruptive technology to business models.  The second assesses how proactive or reactive an organization is in carrying out new initiatives.  Based on these dimensions, the four personas include:

  1. Market leaders. Market leaders prefer to drive transformational innovation.  They look at technologies as enablers in disrupting business models.  They see competitive differentiation in delivering outcomes to customers. Market leaders accept failure as part of the innovation process.  They fail fast and move on.
  2. Fast followers. Fast followers prefer to react to the success of market leaders and their experiments.  When they sense success, they tend to jump in.  Fast followers do not like to fail and rapidly apply lessons learned from market leaders into their road maps.  Fast followers tend to deliver scale in the markets as a counter balance to arriving later in the market.
  3. Cautious adopters. Cautious adopters proactively deliver incremental innovation.  They tend to take a more measured approach and spend more time studying how they can improve an existing success than creating a transformational change.  Cautious adopters often come from regulated industries where security and safety are paramount objectives.
  4. Laggards. Laggards tend to procrastinate on applying innovations to their business models.  They prefer not be bothered by trends and will only react when the trends have moved beyond mainstream.  They see value in waiting as prices will drop over time as success rates increase over time.  Laggards enjoy waiting.

During the interviews and discussions with the 2012 Constellation SuperNova award participants, key questions emerged in the decision process on whether to adopt or pass on a disruptive technologies.  These questions aligned well with the four personas of disruptive technology adoption.

Figure 1.  Organizations Should Understand Which Persona Of Disruptive Tech Adoption Describes Them Best

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Event Report: CRM Evolution 2012 #CRME12

CRM Continues To Evolve In A World Of Engagement


The CRM industry’s major non-vendor customer focused event kicked off at the Marriott Marquis in New York from August 13th to 15th.  Conversations with prospects and practitioners at the event highlighted a few emerging trends:

  • Shift from transaction to engagement. CRM traditionally focused mostly on the management, a bit on the customer, and very little on the relationship.  Major shifts in engagement strategy reflect a move towards two way conversations, unstructured information, and influence models.
  • B2B and B2C are dead. The notion of forced fit silos to represent a customer no longer applies. The world is rapidly move to people to people models and new systems must reflect this.
  • The rise of customer experiences. Prior to the coining of the CRM term, front office was the term which defined marketing, service, eCommerce, and sales force automation.  The move back to integrated customer experiences reflects a renewed interest in all the front office touch points and all the support in the back office required to support the customer experience.
  • SaaS/Cloud Best of Breed hell is a real issue. Rapid and random deployment of best of breed solutions versus mature suites results in some basic architectural deficiencies.  These deficiencies result in inefficiencies that impact the delivery of customer experience as  process, data, and meta data integration increase in complexity and cost.

The Bottom Line: Customers must focus on delivering a single source of truth in the fundamentals

Customers making the shift to next generation customer experiences realize that the basic laws of physics must not be violated.  Regardless of where key components reside, a single source of truth must be delivered to support next generation customer experiences.  This requires a strong blue print and engagement platform that delivers:

  1. Listening and intent
  2. Interaction history
  3. Master data management (customer master)
  4. Business process management
  5. Complex event processing
  6. Security and identity management
  7. Integration

Your POV.

Are you ready for the new shift to front office? What are you doing to deliver an integrated customer experience?  Add your comments to the blog or send us a comment at R (at) SoftwareInsider (dot) org or R (at) ConstellationRG (dot) com

Please let us know if you need help with your business strategy efforts.  Here’s how we can assist:

  • Assessing social business/digital marketing readiness
  • Developing your social business/digital marketing  strategy
  • Designing a data to decisions strategy
  • Create a new vision of the future of work
  • Deliver a new customer experience and engagement strategy
  • Crafting a new matrix commerce strategy

Related Research:

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* Not responsible for any factual errors or omissions.  However, happy to correct any errors upon email receipt.

Copyright © 2001 – 2012 R Wang and Insider Associates, LLC All rights reserved.
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Trends: The Battle For CMO Mind Share

Marketing and Advertising Budgets Are The New Land Grab

Constellation Research, Inc. predicts that the global advertising market (paid search, display, and classified) will hit $125B by 2015.   While IT budgets continue to stay flat, marketing budgets are up.  Warc’s recent Global Marketing Index (GMI) entered positive territory in March 2012.  Consequently, the heat up in marketing and advertising market attracts not only start-ups, but also tech vendors looking to enter this lucrative market.

Solution Providers Rediscover The CMO Budget

In just less than 28 months, enterprise software vendors have bolstered their presence with Chief Marketing Officers mostly through acquisitions and partnerships.  The goal – capture budgets allocated for digital creation, marketing automation and revenue optimization, advertising, CRM and customer experience, analytics, and information brokering (see Figure 1).

Figure 1.  The Battle For The CMO Budget Comes From Six Fronts

Why the change? Marketing sits at the cross roads between the old analog world and the new shift to digital transformation.  With each big shift, organizations will change what technologies they invest in, who they decide to partner with, and how quickly they will make the shift.  This new battle for CMO mind share started when IBM purchased Unica for $480M in August 13, 2010 (Figure 2).  The frenzied activity by Adobe, Dell, Eloqua, Google, Hubspot, Kana, Marketo, Oracle, Salesforce.com, and SAS Institute reflect the desire to be top of mind among CMO budgets.

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News Analysis: UsedSoft Vs Oracle Ruling Opens Up Monopolistic Practices By Software Vendors

Used Software Pioneers Gain A Small Victory In A Shrinking On-Premises Software World

The surprise July 3rd, 2012 judgment by the Court of Justice of the European Union for UsedSoft GmbH v Oracle International Corp rules that “An author of software cannot oppose the resale of his ‘used’ licenses allowing the use of his programs downloaded from the internet”.

“The Court of Justice interprets EU law to make sure it is applied in the same way in all EU countries. It also settles legal disputes between EU governments and EU institutions. Individuals, companies or organisations can also bring cases before the Court if they feel their rights have been infringed by an EU institution.”

The recent ruling on the rights of used software mirrors other rulings in cases such as SusenSoftware v SAP and UsedSoft v Microsoft.  Analysis of the ruling shows that:

  • Exhaustion Rule is now the rule of the land. While the German Federal Court of Justice (BGH) on July 6th, 2000 upheld this legal foundation, many vendors have continued to challenge the case.  In this instance the BGH sent the case to the Court of Justice to interpret the UsedSoft v Oracle International Corp case.  The court deliberated and finally ruled that “The exclusive right of distribution of a copy of a computer program covered by such a license is exhausted on its first sale”.

    Point of View (POV):
    UsedSoft’s primary business model is to market licenses acquired from Oracle customers.  After acquiring rights to the license, UsedSoft’s customers who do not possess the software download the licenses directly from Oracle’s website.  Applied to the “Exhaustion Rule”, this means that the developer’s copyright exclusive right of distribution expires at the time of sale.  In summary, a developer can only make money on the initial sale and any attempt to restrict trade of used software through specific trade terms conflicts with the exhaustion rule.
  • Exhaustion Rule applies to physical and downloaded software. This applies to any on-premises software purchase in person and on-line anywhere in the territory of a Member state of the EU.  The ruling states that “the principle of exhaustion of the distirbution right applies not only where the copyright holder markets copies of his software on a material medium (CD-ROM or DVD), but also where he distributes them by means of downloads from his website.”

    Point of View (POV):
    Oracle’s main argument in the case that the directive does not apply to licenses downloaded from the internet is struck down.  As the highest court in the EU, this ruling is the final ruling.  Downloaded or bought in physical form, exhaustion rule applies to all software including both enterprise, personal, and games.  New acquirer of the licenses can download it directly from the vendor’s site.
  • Software publishers can no longer oppose the resale of the copy of software. The court clarified two points on resales of copies of software.  The first, “Where the copyright holder makes available to his customer a copy- tangible or intangible – and at the same time concludes, in return form payment of a fee, a license agreement granting the customer the right to use that copy for an unlimited period, that right holder sells the copy to the customer and thus exhausts his exclusive distribution right.” The second, “Such a transaction involves a transfer of the right of ownership of the copy. Therefore, even if the license agreement prohibits a further transfer, the right holder can no longer oppose the resale of that copy”

    Point of View (POV):
    The clarifications on the resale of the copy of software have huge ramifications.  Based on the ruling, “the distribution right extends to the copy of the computer program sold as corrected and updated by the copyright holder”.  Users basically have rights to all updates at the time of the sale and this latest version can be sold to the secondary market.  Users who fail to download updates have rights to resell those alterations to the next customer.  The subsequent customer would not have such rights.

  • Software licenses can not be divided in the resale and be reused. The ruling clarifies ownership provisions upon reselling.  “If the license acquired by the first acquirer relates to a greater number of users than he needs, that acquires is not authorised by the effect of the exhaustion of the distribution right to divide the license and resell only part of it”.  “An original acquirer of a tangible or intangible copy of a computer program for which the copyright holder’s right of distribution is exhausted must make the copy downloaded onto his own computer at the time of resale”

    Point of View (POV):
    The court wisely upholds copyright law by requiring the seller to remove the property from their possession prior to resell.  However, the inability to divide licenses means that users will have to be careful about the number of licenses they purchase upfront or purchase with separate contracts to allow for the resell of licenses in the future.

The Bottom Line For Buyers: In the EU You Own Your Software Free And Clear of Vendor Encumbrances

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Tuesday’s Tip: The Big Question In Big Data Is…What’s The Question?

All The Current Talk Of Big Data Technology Misses The Point

The hype around big data has crescendoed to the levels of SOA in the early 2000′s, cloud in the late 2000′s, and social in the past few years.   Unfortunately the hype is creating three main pitfalls:

  1. A morass of confused definitions. In fact a quick survey of any educated audience, yields a multitude of definitions.  Some folks see big data as large data sets and data warehouses, others see big data as code for analytics and BI.  Many see the output of big data as infographics or the hardware behind the support of big data.  The V’s of big data continue to expand from volume, velocity, and variety to include veracity, viscosity, and virality.  Some folks even have 16 V’s in their definitions.
  2. Solutions confusion among buyers. A technology vendor land grab for mind share with big data is happening now the same way everyone adopted cloud.  Hardware vendors now enable big data.  Storage providers now deliver big data solutions.  Integration vendors provide plumbing and intelligent connections for big data.  Analytical vendors now all support big data.  Some folks like to confuse Hadoop with big data.  Everyone has a solution, just not the solution a buyer thinks they need.  Confused capabilities continue to proliferate amidst a lack of good customer references.  Customers feel the chaos.
  3. Discussion on technology options not business problems. The discussion about big data has evolved into a technology conversation not a business value or transformation conversation.  Clients immediately talk about products and technologies without defining the problem to be solved.  Technology investments take over the discussions on solution development.

Recommendations: Focus On the Questions To Ask, Not The Answers.

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