Friday, January 20, 2012

CRM data integration provider Scribe boosts cloud offering with GUI synchronization services, developer program for connectors

Scribe Software, a customer relationship management (CRM) data integration provider, will launch next week Scribe Online Synchronization Services (SYS), the second major service delivered on the Scribe Online cloud integration platform.

According to the Manchester, NH-based company, Scribe Online provides a cloud-based alternative to integration middleware, and simplifies the integration experience without sacrificing performance or functionality. The goal is to allow companies to reap the benefits of integrated CRM data from a variety of sources and technologies in days, rather than months.

The timing is more than pretty good because CRM as a category is expanding, driven by businesses' recognition that rich data on customers (and partners) is essential for better productivity, and for leveraging cloud-enabled business innovation outside the company.

Many companies I speak with are looking to pull appropriate and relevant data in near real-time from many internal systems of record to augment the full picture of customers. They are looking to their CRM systems as the meta data repository of such integrated views. And now they want to bring in more data from more sources, including those outside their four walls.

And, of course, the power of knowing the most about customers -- and making the analysis from such data widely available to business units and functions across the enterprise -- can make or break a company. Across the full business cycle, relevant and insightful data on customers drives success, from product development to effective marketing, to help desk and support, to entering new markets.

Scribe then, has developed its cloud offerings, built on Microsoft Azure and released last year, to make the instantiation of CRM data from as many sources as makes sense a function of the cloud, as well as on-premises. Such a hybrid approach to data integration makes even more sense than a hybrid approach to IT infrastructure services, if you ask me. Your really need to be in the cloud to leverage the hybrid data integration benefits.

Now, Scribe has made it easier to leverage that cloud by offering synchronization services for CRM data integration a drag-and-drop affair that many business users can accomplish. Furthermore, Scribe is releasing SPARK, a developer program to help foster a community effort around making more connections to more types of data available to more synchronization efforts.

“Synchronization Services builds on our commitment to deliver superior CRM integration to customers and partners in the cloud. SYS fills a void in the market for an integration tool that is affordable and easy to use,” said Lou Guercia, president and CEO of Scribe. “Until now, integration products have been either too basic or too complex.”

Developer program

Scribe, with the SPARK Solution Developer Program, is targeting software-as-a-service (SaaS) providers, channel partners, systems integrators, VARS, and other business technology consultants. This means that while enterprise IT departments are gearing up for hybrid cloud-based CRM integrations, the community of ISVs and VARs needs to move more quickly, to innovate and expand into new models.

The SPARK Solution Developer Program is designed to help solution providers quickly build data integration capabilities between their solutions and CRM, as well as any other application or endpoint on Scribe Online. This will fit very well, too, into the ecosystem, and the Microsoft Dynamics one, as well.

Scribe expects that partner networks will share and extend customer data -- and value-added services on top of that joined and integrated data -- for a variety of additional business services, said Guercia. Integrated and automated marketing services providers like HubSpot, Marketo, and Eloqua, certainly come to mind, too.

“CRM is no longer just a contact management system. It’s a critical revenue enabler for the business. Companies that integrate customer data from all areas of the business benefit with increased sales and satisfied customers,” said Roger Hodskins, vice president of strategic alliances at Scribe.

CRM is no longer just a contact management system. It’s a critical revenue enabler for the business.

Using Scribe's latest offering, SaaS independent software vendors (ISVs) who offer integration to more than one CRM vendor can extend their presence in multiple CRM markets. As customers expand the scope of CRM in their businesses, integration can readily incorporate the SaaS ISVs’ offerings with connections both to CRM and to other complementary applications, said Scribe.

For more information on Scribe SYS, sign up for live weekly webinars, or to watch a four-minute demo video at Scribe Online SYS is available, too, free for 15 days at

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Thursday, January 19, 2012

Expert Chat on how HP ecosystem provides holistic support for VMware virtualized IT environments

Listen to the podcast. Find it on iTunes/iPod. Read a full transcript or download a copy. Sponsor: HP.

Redefine the potential of your virtualization investments.
View the full Expert Chat presentation on VMware support best practices.

Advanced and pervasive virtualization and cloud computing trends are driving the need for a better, holistic approach to IT support and remediation.

And while the technology to support and fix virtualized environments is essential, it’s the people, skills, and knowledge to manage these systems that provide the most decisive determinants of ongoing performance success.

In a special BriefingsDirect sponsored podcast, created from a recent HP Expert Chat discussion on best practices for VMware environment support, HP experts explain how they have made the service and support of global virtualization market leader VMware a top priority.

For example, Cindy Manderson, Technical Solutions Consultant for Complex Problem Resolution and Quality for VMware Products at HP, provides case studies for how managed escalation and multi-vendor support around the globe can reduce downtime by 70 percent, with large ROI benefits as well.

Other HP experts in the discussion include Pat Lampert, Critical Service Senior Technical Account Manager and Team Leader, as well as Sumithra Reddy, HP Virtualization Engineer. The discussion is moderated by Dana Gardner, Principal Analyst at Interarbor Solutions. [Disclosure: HP and VMware are both sponsors of BriefingsDirect podcasts.]

Here are some excerpts:
Gardner: Virtualization isn’t just server-by-server, but really impacts the entire data center. You need to think about it more holistically, particularly in regard to things like security, performance and how your brands and businesses are perceived across the globe. Many of the companies that I deal with day in and day out are up at 80 percent and even 90 percent virtualized.

When they think about virtualization, they go beyond just server virtualization. It’s really now looking at storage, applications, networks and even the end-user desktop experience, or desktop as a service (VDI).

Successful virtualization is no longer just about servers, it’s about managing complexity when you get beyond the 20 percent or 30 percent level and expand into converged infrastructure virtualization without failures.

So how to take advantage of the best things about virtualization? Part of that means allowing your IT team to have access to other experienced support teams, from HP and VMware, around the world, 24×7, to help keep systems up and running. Such support also allows your IT team to progress, to learn as they go, and to be able to take advantage of more virtualization benefits over time.

Expert panel

So how do you go about attaining such benefits? How do you keep the positive side of virtualization on track? And how do you put in place an insurance policy around service and support?

Manderson: We have several different packages. Our highest level is the mission-critical. In this particular process, you're assigned a team that are across the technology that you have in your environment. But you also get a set of folks who would actually look at not just the reactive support and even some of the proactive, but how actually your entire business is running according to the ITIL standard.

That is coupled with keeping you up and running, and we also can work with you on a type that would be best suited for your environment.

Our critical and independent support includes onsite resources from HP that also include a lot of proactive support. In addition, they're more focused on specific management, but that would be more of an ITSM technology. We can look at that for you.

... We also have the hardware and software support. One of the cool things we have with our hardware support is support automation, our Insight for remote support. That can notify HP that you're having a disk drive failure. Or we will call you and say that we know that disk drive is failing, or something on a buffer server and storage is about to.

You can even take that a step further to look inside at the Windows operating system. We're hardware agnostic on that operating system. We don't care about the vendor -- and I believe we are looking at expanding that automation to other operating systems. We have installation and startup services that we can actually go out and set up and configure the hardware and software at a site.
We're hardware agnostic on that operating system. We don't care about the vendor.

So we definitely integrate across all the multi-vendor services. We run the gamut between all the x86 operating systems, as well as our proprietary operating systems, our servers and storage. Again, we're no stranger to multi-vendor support and keeping the entire environment up and running.

... One of our most creative services would be Proactive Select, a core product series of credits. You can use these credits for maybe planning on migration and upgrade. You can say you need some consulting time. You can use these credits and work with upgrade and migration. You may need some performance or you may need some type of environmental assessment, and these credits can be used for that.

Gardner: When people do employ these services, how do they measure what the payoff is, the value of these services?

IDC study

Manderson: In 2010, IDC did a study. They went out and looked at the methodology, and this is out on our website. They saw that the customers who have the mission-critical services, reduce their downtime by over 70 percent, and increase their return on investment (ROI) quite high, over 400 percent. The main benefit was in problem management as well as help desk calls, because these were alleviated due to the proactive nature, a lot of looking at the entire environment, and looking at the business processes.

So take a look at the study. It shows IDC's methodology. So looking at things proactively and these support processes can certainly help you reduce that downtime.

... I've been in the multi-vendor space for many, many years -- from applications to operating systems -- all with HP.

In 2002, when VMware came on the scene, HP actually became alliance partners with them. In 2003, we became a reseller, and thus began our support partnership with them. It would only extend recent in 2005, we also became an OEM.
We have the largest number of VMware-certified professionals. We're also the largest global VMware off-site training center
We have thousands of trained and certified Microsoft engineers and Linux professionals, too.

But we have the largest number of VMware-certified professionals. We're also have the largest global VMware off-site training center. So HP also does education on these technologies as well. We’ve trained over 20,000 students in the VMware space alone.

And we have had this very strong collaboration with VMware for many years and have support teams around the globe. In addition, we also offer the same level of training that VMware support engineers do. We actually go to their facilities and train right alongside them, too.

We further do this training virtually. The training is then recorded and made available on demand for reference, for folks who are not able to attend a scheduled course. There's definitely a very strong partnership, and as you see from our history with the other vendors as well as VMware, we are no strangers to multi-vendor support.

With all of the VMware products that HP sells, we do provide support across them all. It runs the gamut from the vSphere operating system that will install on the x86 server, through the enterprise management to the vCenter, and virtual desktop infrastructure products like VMware ThinApp. We also support the converter product getting into vCloud Director.

In addition to that, we have the ability to access our peers on the other teams across HP hardware support. This includes servers and storage, and our networking chain. We are quickly able to collaborate with them and pull together a virtual team in to focus on the customer's whole environment, to provide a one-stop shop.

Expertise across technologies

Additionally, you saw that we’ve been in this multi-vendor support business for so many years, with many experts across the other technologies, such as Microsoft and Linux. Of course, the virtual machines (VMs) are running these operating systems. So if the contract is also with them, we can easily pull them in to help us work an end-to-end solution and support it.

Gardner: Let’s think about what happens when there are different levels of support at work. How does that shake-out?

Manderson: We're in a reactive support business. If the customer has a problem, they can either call in at their local region telephone number -- whether they are in America, Europe, or Asia Pacific. There are different phone numbers for them to call.

They can also log in via the web, and they'll get to our next developer Level 1 engineer. They're a great organization and have solved over 85 percent of their cases.

If they have issues where they have to escalate, first they will be collaborating with us. We also have an online chat tool, where we are all in a virtual room, the Level 1 engineers, Level 2 engineers, etc. So we’ll be consulting and collaborating with them before they even get to a point of escalation.
If the case does end up needing escalation, chances are this person that they're already collaborating with will end up taking that case.

If the case does end up needing escalation, chances are they're already collaborating with the first person, and will then end up taking the case. That saves a lot of information transfer, as far as what type of server you have, what’s the firmware, what build level, and what’s the problem there, etc.

Once it reaches Level 2 support, as far as we can continue to collaborate, we can reach our teammates and the hardware teams, too, so we can look at the server and make sure that the environment is what we need it to be. If we can't resolve it, we can also go to Level 3 with VMware at an offline service-partner level.

We have a great relationship with the folks that we work alongside with and would escalate calls to at VMware. We’re obviously not going into Level 1 at VMware because we’ve already done all that work, and we are a service partner. They'll go right up to our peers over at VMware and then we work together, while always owning the solution that we provide back to the customer.

Another part of our infrastructure-as-a-support-organization is that we have a single customer database. I can give an example. A call came into our Level 1 French engineer. When this call came in, for the European folks, it was already the end of their day, and the French engineer could not speak English. It was a critical down, their VMs were offline.

HP Virtual Room

So we worked in a virtual room and they talked to us, and brought the case to us here in America’s time zone. We worked with this case and another tool called HP Virtual Room, where we could actually all look at the customers' desktops in real time. They happened to have EVA storage, and we quickly got an EVA engineer engaged. Of course, we had to find a resource in the Americas because the European folks had already left. So we're all looking in real-time at the customer’s environment and found out that they had locked the storage.

The EVA engineer helped to get back online, while we all watched and the French engineer was translating in French for the customer in order to get it all resolved. We got it back online, and the customers were ready to home.

We gave instructions on getting log files and we placed a call for follow-up for the daytime hours in Europe the next day. So our counterparts in European support teams picked that up and worked with the customers to resolution, to analyze exactly what happened and prevent it in the future.

We have another process in HP that can actually go with top organizations, our escalation manager process. I was lead source for a particular case where we had a field team assisting a customer deploying a virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) design. They had a third-party VDI vendor. They had HP hardware, servers, and virtual connects. They had our storage, and we didn’t quite know where the bottleneck was. They were having performance issues by trying to have this VDI at two different locations with the hardware at one site.

The escalation manager was able to get the local office to borrow equipment, and then try to get performance and network traces. They had the Engineering Problem Management Resource (EPMR) lab in Houston trying to duplicate the problems.

Our escalation manager was able to drive the issue to completion across not only the solution standards, but the local office, to owning the actual escalation with all the action items to keep this all on track. We knew where we were going to go. That was about a six-month case, but we did finally find was that the customer was on the technological edge, and the "pipe" to have that performance just did not exist.
Redefine the potential of your virtualization investments.
View the full Expert Chat presentation on VMware support best practices.
Site visits

Pat Lampert is a technical account manager and does site visits. The technical account managers do go out on site. So we’re aware of the environment. We have the information of your environment documented into the database. When you call, we’re not saying, "Now what kind of server is this? What’s the firmware?" We know this because we already have it documented. We could be calling them to say, "Server 3 is running a little off." We already which know VMware version this is on, because we have that information.

And because we have that, we can also offer proactive advice. We can know that there's a new firmware update, or VMware just came out with a new build, and we have a place where you can go find the latest that's specific to your environment. So this helps to reduce further incidents, because we can be more proactive to help you maintain your business.

Gardner: What are some of the the most frequent questions you receive from the field?

Reddy: I'll address two questions that are frequently showing up. One is, what is the difference between the VMware ESXi image and an HP ESXi image?

Basically, HP takes the same ESXi image that VMware provides to the customers. It then adds HP thin components for hardware management, and it also adds any latest fibre channel and network drivers. Once it's tested and certified, it's available for download both from HP and VMware websites.

Major differences

nd one of the major difference between the two images is that VMware image is disk installable only, whereas HP image can be installed on a disk, USB key, or a SD card.

The other question we're getting nowadays is how to upgrade from VCA4 to VCA5. As with any major upgrades, planning helps. The first thing I would do is understand the difference between ESX 4 and ESX 5, because starting with ESX 5, we have no service console. So we need to understand what the architectural differences are.

Also learn about the new licensing policies. Then, use the System Analyzer that VMware provides to evaluate the current environments, and download, check, and complete the checklist. Once this is done, hopefully the upgrade will go smoothly.

Lampert: Another question that has come up from customers has to do with the added value of getting support directly from HP. It was partly addressed during the presentation we just gave. First of all, VMware does have a fine support organization. I have a couple of friends who work in VMware Support, and they do a good job of supporting their product.

HP, in addition to a similar level of expertise in the product, also offers our expertise in HP hardware, especially if you have systems based on HP Blades. The infrastructure behind that often is tied very closely to the performance and availability of your ESX host. So when you call us, you will have not only someone who is very familiar with the VMware product, but also is familiar with the HP hardware and able to pull in the proper resourced results, problems you might encounter with running vSphere on HP hardware especially.

In addition to that, we have a partnership agreement with VMware, and when you call in for support through HP, you're getting that same level of service when we have to go to VMware to get answers to questions or fixes.

One other question that has come up is about our lab ability to reproduce problems. We have two global labs, one in India and one in the United States. We have several static vSphere cluster configurations with a number of different types of servers already in those configurations, and the ability, when needed, to add specific models, if there is a problem that’s specific to a particular Blade or rack-mounted server model, or a particular card or something like that. So we're quite able to reproduce most problems that come in. We even have some Dell and IBM equipment in our lab also.

Gardner: What other issues are users grappling with?

Reddy: One question I can answer is how to troubleshoot server crashes. When something goes wrong in ESX, we call it the "Purple Screen of Death." Often, these are results of hardware failure, but we still need to rule out the software. So we collect all the logs, and look at it to see if it's a software issue. If it's not a software issue, then we engage the hardware team to see how we can get to the root cause and fix the issue.

Lampert: To dovetail with Sumithra’s comment there, one of the questions I get frequently is what to do if you don’t have a dump. Say the host hangs, and that seems to be almost more common than the Purple Screen of Death. Some customers are't aware that through HP’s Integrated Lights-Out Management, there is the ability to generate a non-maskable interrupt (NMI) just by pressing a button, and by saving a certain environment variable ahead of time in your ESX host.

KB article

There is a KB article on this, by the way, if you just search on NMI and core dumping in VMware. But with that setup, you can force a dump while a system is in a hung state, and that will assist us usually in troubleshooting and isolating what caused the hang, whether it be hardware or a problem with the ESX host software.

One question that came up ahead of time is what HP suggests as far as getting a handle on our inventory of VMs? I happened to be involved in field testing some new tools from HP that will be available in January and February regarding vSphere.

One of them is a Holistic Blade and Firmware Analysis that takes into account the VMware environment on our Blade systems which we are working on having ready soon. We have just completed field tests.

And the second is a really nifty Inventory Report HP has just put together. We're just completing field tests on that now. It will be available soon. Basically, we install a small Perl script in the customer environment on any machine that has access to the vCenter host and has a vSphere CLI installed.

This Perl Script crawls through the VMware environment and builds an XML file, which we then feed into a report generator here at HP. This can be used for us to gather information on customers, so we have ahead of time a clear picture of the environment. But also it will be sold as a service to customers.

The report is really quite nice, with all sorts of charts and showing availability of machines and availability of memory and also disk space. It's a very nice report.
Listen to the podcast. Find it on iTunes/iPod. Read a full transcript or download a copy. Sponsor: HP.
Redefine the potential of your virtualization investments.
View the full Expert Chat presentation on VMware support best practices.
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Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The Open Group releases SOA and cloud computing standards, updates OSIMM

The Open Group has announced this week the availability of two new industry standards to integrate fundamental elements of service oriented architecture (SOA) and cloud computing into a solution for enterprise architecture (EA). The new standards are: SOA Reference Architecture (SOA RA) and the Service-Oriented Cloud Computing Infrastructure Framework (SOCCI).

The Open Group has released updates to The Open Group Service Integration Maturity Model (OSIMM), which has now been ratified as an ISO and IEC (ISO/IEC 166880) International Standard. OSIMM gives organizations a common model for developing a roadmap for achieving the right level of service adoption to meet business objectives. [Disclosure: The Open Group is a sponsor of BriefingsDirect podcasts.]

ROA RA is a blueprint for creating and evaluating SOA solutions, while SOCCI is the first Open Group cloud standard that outlines the concepts and architectural building blocks necessary for infrastructures to support SOA and cloud initiatives.

"In today's global competitive marketplace it is imperative that business and IT drivers are aligned," said Chris Harding, Director for Interoperability, The Open Group. "Each of the three standards is vendor-neutral and helps an organization of any size to design and implement the proper SOA and cloud solutions for its business objectives."

SOA RA is an industry standard reference architecture for the development of SOA solutions. Utilizing the SOA RA Standard, enterprise architects will have a common language and approach for creating SOA solutions that meet different organizational needs and bridge the gap between business and IT.

SOCCI is the industry's first cloud standard for enterprises that wish to provide infrastructure as a service in the cloud and SOA. Developed by The Open Group SOA and Cloud Work Groups, SOCCI is the realization of an enabling framework of service-oriented components for infrastructure to be provided as a service in SOA solutions and the cloud.

The standard details a set of common SOCCI elements and management building blocks for organizations to consider and identifies the synergies that can be realized through cohesive application of SOA and cloud-based principles. Using SOCCI, organizations can incorporate cloud-based resources and services into their infrastructure for increased agility and scale, and lower maintenance costs.

Proven best practices

SIMM leverages proven best practices to allow consultants and IT practitioners to assess an organization's readiness and maturity level for adopting services in SOA solutions. By aligning business goals and assessing associated SOA services IT practitioners can create a detailed roadmap for integrating services for SOA and cloud computing solutions into enterprises. With the recent ratification of OSIMM 2.0 by ISO and IEC, organizations worldwide have an extensible framework for understanding the value of implementing a service model, as well as a comprehensive guide for achieving their desired level of service maturity.

Each of the three standards is vendor-neutral and helps an organization of any size to design and implement the proper SOA and cloud solutions for its business objectives.

The SOA RA technical standard, SOCCI framework, and OSIMM 2.0 International standard are available for download from The Open Group Bookstore. These new standards can also be viewed online at: SOA Reference Architecture, Service-oriented Cloud Computing Infrastructure, Open Group Service Integration Maturity Model.

In addition to the standards news, The Open Group on Jan. 30 will begin its San Francisco conference to focus on the role played by IT and EA within enterprise transformation. Among the topics to be explored:
  • The differences between EA and enterprise transformation, and how they relate to one another
  • The use of EA to facilitate enterprise transformation
  • How EA can be used to create a foundation for enterprise transformation that the board and business-line managers can understand and use to their advantage
  • How EA facilitates transformation within IT, and how does such transformation support the transformation of the enterprise as whole
  • How EA can help the enterprise successfully adapt to "disruptive technologies" like cloud computing and ubiquitous mobile access.
Among the speakers at the conference will be Andy Mulholland, the Global Chief Technology Officer and Corporate Vice President at Capgemini. In 2009, Andy was voted one of the top 25 most influential CTOs in the world by InfoWorld. And in 2010, his CTO Blog was voted best blog for business managers and CIOs for the third year running by Computer Weekly.

Andy recently participated in a BriefingsDirect podcast, in which he spoke about an upcoming Capgemini whitepaper, which draws distinctions between what cloud means to IT, and what it means to business -- while examining the complex dual relationship between the two.

Also, Jeanne Ross, Director and Principal Research Scientist at the MIT Center for Information Systems Research. Jeanne studies how firms develop competitive advantage through the implementation and reuse of digitized platforms.

Jeanne recently spoke with me about how adoption of EA leads to greater efficiencies and better business agility and explained how enterprise architects have helped lead the way to successful business transformations.

Also speaking is Joseph Menn, Cyber Security Correspondent for the Financial Times and author of Fatal System Error: The Hunt for the New Crime Lords Who are Bringing Down the Internet.

Joe has covered security since 1999 for both the Financial Times and then before that, for the Los Angeles Times. Fatal System Error is his third book, he also wrote All the Rave: The Rise and Fall of Shawn Fanning's Napster.

As a lead-in to his Open Group presentation, entitled "What You're Up Against: Mobsters, Nation-States, and Blurry Lines," Joe recently joined BriefingsDirect to explore the current cyber-crime landscape, the underground cyber-gang movement, and the motive behind governments collaborating with organized crime in cyber space.

Registration remains open for The Open Group Conference in San Francisco, beginning Jan. 30.

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Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Capgemini's CTO on how cloud computing exposes the duality between IT and business transformation

Listen to the podcast. Find it on iTunes/iPod. Read a full transcript or download a copy. Sponsor: The Open Group.

This BriefingsDirect thought leadership interview comes in conjunction with The Open Group Conference this month in San Francisco.

The conference will focus on how IT and enterprise architecture support enterprise transformation. Speakers in conference events will also explore the latest in service oriented architecture (SOA), cloud computing, and security.

We’re now joined by one of the main speakers, Andy Mulholland, the Global Chief Technology Officer and Corporate Vice President at Capgemini. In 2009, Andy was voted one of the top 25 most influential CTOs in the world by InfoWorld. And in 2010, his CTO Blog was voted best blog for business managers and CIOs for the third year running by Computer Weekly.

Capgemini has published a white paper on cloud computing. It draws distinctions between what cloud means to IT, and what it means to business -- while examining the complex dual relationship between the two.

As a lead-in to his Open Group conference presentation on the transformed enterprise, Andy draws on the paper and further drills down on one of the decade’s hottest technology and business trends, cloud computing, and how it impacts business and IT. The interview is moderated by Dana Gardner, Principal Analyst at Interarbor Solutions. [Disclosure: The Open Group is a sponsor of BriefingsDirect podcasts.]

Here are some excerpts:

Gardner: Why do business people think they have a revolution on their hands, while IT people look cloud computing as an evolution of infrastructure efficiency?

Mulholland: We define the role of IT and give it the responsibility and the accountability in the business in a way that is quite strongly related to internal practice. It’s all about how we manage the company’s transactions, how we reduce the cost, how we automate business process, and generally try to make our company a more efficient internal operator.

When you look at cloud computing through that set of lenses, you’re going to see ... the technologies from cloud computing, principally virtualization, [as] ways to improve how you deliver the current server-centric, application-centric environment.

However, business people ... reflect on it in terms of the change in society and the business world, which we all ought to recognize because that is our world, around the way we choose what we buy, how we choose to do business with people, how we search more, and how we’ve even changed that attitude.

Changed our ways

There's a whole list of things that we simply just don’t do anymore because we’ve changed the way we choose to buy a book, the way we choose and listen to music and lots of other things.

So we see this as a revolution in the market or, more particularly, a revolution in how cloud can serve in the market, because everybody uses some form of technology.

So then the question is not the role of the IT department and the enterprise -- it’s the role technology should be playing in their extended enterprise in doing business.

Gardner: What do we need to start doing differently?

Mulholland: Let’s go to a conversation this morning with a client. It’s always interesting to touch reality. This particular client is looking at the front end of a complex ecosystem around travel, and was asked this standard question by our account director: Do you have a business case for the work we’re discussing?

The reply from the CEO is very interesting. He fixed him with a very cold glare and he said, "If you were able to have 20 percent more billable hours without increasing your cost structure, would you be bothered to even think about the business case?"

The answer in that particular case was they were talking about 10,000 more travel instances or more a year -- with no increase in their cost structure. In other words, their whole idea was there was nothing to do with cost in it. Their argument was in revenue increase, market share increase, and they thought that they would make better margins, because it would actually decrease their cost base or spread it more widely.

That's the whole purpose of this revolution and that's the purpose the business schools are always pushing, when they talk about innovative business models. It means innovate your business model to look at the market again from the perspective of getting into new markets, getting increased revenue, and maybe designing things that make more money.

Using technology externally

We're always hooked on this idea that we’ve used technology very successfully internally, but now we should be asking the question about how we’re using technology externally when the population as a whole uses that as their primary method of deciding what they’re going to buy, how they’re going to buy it, when they’re going to buy it, and lots of other questions.

... A popular book recently has been The Power of Pull, and the idea is that we’re really seeing a decentralization of the front office in order to respond to and follow the market and the opportunities and the events in very different ways.
That was a very clear business transformation in the way we do business, the way we organize our business, and our business models.

The Power of Pull says that I do what my market is asking me and I design business process or capabilities to be rapidly orchestrated through the front office around where things want to go, and I have linkage points, application programming interface (API) points, where I take anything significant and transfer it back.

But the real challenge is -- and it was put to me today in the client discussion -- that their business was designed around 1970 computer systems, augmented slowly around that, and they still felt that. Today, their market and their expectations of the industry that they're in were that they would be designed around the way people were using their products and services and the events and that they had to make that change.

To do that, they're transformed in the organization, and that's where we start to spot the difference. We start to spot the idea that your own staff, your customers, and other suppliers are all working externally in information, process, and services accessible to all on an Internet market or architecture.

So when we talk about business architecture, it’s as relevant today as it ever was in terms of interpreting a business.

Set of methodologies

But when we start talking about architecture, The Open Group Architectural Framework (TOGAF) is a set of methodologies on the IT side -- the closed-coupled state for a designed set of principles to client-server type systems. In this new model, when we talk about clouds, mobility, and people traveling around and connecting by wireless, etc., we have a stateless loosely coupled environment.

The whole purpose of The Open Group is, in fact, to help devise new ways for being able to architect methods to deliver that. That's what stands behind the phrase, "a transformed enterprise."

... If we go back to the basic mission of The Open Group, which is boundarylessness of this information flow, the boundary has previously been defined by a computer system updating another computer system in another company around traditional IT type procedural business flow.

Now, we’re talking about the idea that the information flow is around an ecosystem in an unstructured way. Not a structured file-to-file type transfer, not a structured architecture of who does what, when, and how, but the whole change model in this is unstructured.
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Gardner: It's important to point out here, Andy, that the stakes are relatively high. Who in the organization can be the change agent that can make that leap between the duality view of cloud that IT has, and these business opportunists?

Mulholland: The CEOs are quite noticeably reading the right articles, hearing the right information from business schools, etc., and they're getting this picture that they're going to have new business models and new capabilities.

So the drive end is not hard. The problem that is usually encountered is that the IT department’s definition and role interferes with them being able to play the role they want.

What we're actually looking for is the idea that IT, as we define it today, is some place else. You have to accept that it exists, it will exist, and it’s hugely important. So please don’t take those principles and try to apply them outside.

The real question here is when you find those people who are doing the work outside -- and I've yet to find any company where it hasn’t been the case -- and the question should be how can we actually encourage and manage that innovation sensibly and successfully?

What I mean by that is that if everybody goes off and does their own thing, once again, we'll end up with a broken company. Why? Because their whole purpose as an enterprises is to leverage success rapidly. If someone is very successful over there, you really need to know, and you need to leverage that again as rapidly as you can to run the rest of the organization. If it doesn’t work, you need to stop it quickly.

Changing roles

n models of the capabilities of that, the question is where is the government structure? So we hear titles like Chief Innovation Officer, again, slightly surprising how it may come up. But we see the model coming both ways. There are reforming CIOs for sure, who have recognized this and are changing their role and position accordingly, sometimes formally, sometimes informally.

The other way around, there are people coming from other parts of the business, taking the title and driving them. I’ve seen Chief Strategy Officers taking the role. I’ve seen the head of sales and marketing taking the role.

Certainly, recognizing the technology possibilities should be coming from the direction of the technology capabilities within the current IT department. The capability of what that means might be coming differently. So it’s a very interesting balance at the moment, and we don’t know quite the right answer.

What I do know is that it’s happening, and the quick-witted CIOs are understanding that it’s a huge opportunity for them to fix their role and embrace a new area, and a new sense of value that they can bring to their organization.

Gardner: Returning to the upcoming Capgemini white paper, it adds a sense of urgency at the end on how to get started. It suggests that you appoint a leader, but a leader first for the inside-out element of cloud and transformation and then a second leader, a separate leader perhaps, for that outside-in or reflecting the business transformation and the opportunity for what’s going on in the external business and markets. It also suggests a strategic road map that involves both business and technology, and then it suggests getting a pilot going.

How does this transition become something that you can manage?

Mulholland: The question is do you know who is responsible. If you don’t, you'd better figure out how you're going to make someone responsible, because in any situation, someone has to be deciding what we're going to do and how we're going to do it.
No business can survive by going off in half-a-dozen directions at once. You won't have the money. You won't have the brand. You won't have anything you’d like.

Having defined that, there are very different business drivers, as well as different technology drivers, between the two. Clearly, whoever takes those roles will reflect a very different way that they will have to run that element. So a duality is recognized in that comment.

On the other hand, no business can survive by going off in half-a-dozen directions at once. You won't have the money. You won't have the brand. You won't have anything you’d like. It's simply not feasible.

So, the object of the strategic roadmap is to reaffirm the idea of what kind of business we're trying to be and do. That’s the glimpse of what we want to achieve.

There has to be a strategy. Otherwise, you’ll end up with way too much decentralization and people making up their own version of the strategy, which they can fairly easily do and fairly easily mount from someone else’s cloud to go and do it today.

So the purpose of the duality is to make sure that the two roles, the two different groups of technology, the two different capabilities they reflect to the organization, are properly addressed, properly managed, and properly have a key authority figure in charge of them.

Enablement model

he business strategy is to make sure that the business knows how the enablement model that these two offer them is capable of being directed to where the shareholders will make money out of the business, because that is ultimately that success factor they're looking for to drive them forward.
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