Michael Saylor Focuses on the Platform at MicroStrategy World 2017

Selective Focus
Selective Focus
Selective Focus

tl;dr: in the world of 2017 where these practical BI issues still reign supreme, a practical Michael Saylor has shown up to preach on MicroStrategy’s capabilities. Both the stock market and MicroStrategy competitors should take notice.

On April 19th, MicroStrategy World 2017 had its executive keynote session in DC. I’ve attended MicroStrategy (NASDAQ:MSTR) World in the past as an industry analyst and was interested in seeing how the keynote would come across from afar as an Amalgam Insights (AI) Principal Investigator.

The keynote started with an introduction by CMO Mark Gambill and an interesting demonstration of MicroStrategy Usher being used to track attendee movement across the exhibition hall.

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Amalgam Insights’ primer on value-based pricing

money-graph
money-graph

Price is the ultimate test of value. Amalgam cannot emphasis this enough. No matter how valuable you think your product or service is, the ultimate business test of that value is whether someone is willing to buy it at the listed price.

One of my favorite topics in enterprise software is pricing. Despite the work done in value-based pricing over the past 50 years, the vast majority of pricing exercises still start with either a very basic cost-plus or percentage-based ROI model. This assumption has a key issue: it assumes that your product is a commodity. To explain why and to explain how to take a more value-based approach, consider what a price is.

There are many ways to break down price and many roles that price plays from a marketing and sales perspective. But as a starting point, the model AI uses to translate value into price comes from 3 basic components: Reference Price, Differentiated Value, and Price Positioning

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Anaplan Hub17 Brings Connected Planning to the Enterprise

Vision Plan Action Success
From Pixabay

When I attended Hub17 in San Francisco, representing Amalgam Insights (AI), I was looking forward to seeing how Anaplan’s go-to-market approach had changed, kept an eye out for key announcements, and looked for clues from the executive team on where Anaplan was heading next. In the process, AI also got some unexpected highlights and guidance on the future of the company.

Anaplan caught AI’s attention a number of years ago when it officially launched the Hyperblock, originally built by Michael Gould, to provide a combination of cube, cell-based, and columnar database architectures. This approach provided a foundational technology that was well-suited to massive and enterprise-scaled models. Once this technology was combined with a go-to-market productization that allowed business users to access the planning and modeling aspects of Anaplan in 2013, Anaplan became a strong solution in the enterprise planning market.

Since that time, Anaplan has been growing quickly and currently goes to market with a “Connected Planning” focus that represents the multiple use cases that Anaplan often supports.

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Oracle Analytics Cloud: AI Investigates Pricing and Enterprise Ramifications

Iron Man Emerging From the Clouds
Iron Man Emerging From the Clouds

On April 4th, Oracle announced that Oracle Analytics Cloud was now generally available with a combination of capabilities designed to provide 4 key C’s for analytics: Collaborative, Connected, Complete, and Choice.

Oracle Analytics Cloud Goals
Oracle Analytics Cloud Goals

In light of this announcement, Amalgam Insights (AI) sought to understand how this offering lined up with what was announced last fall. Oracle initially announced this version of Oracle Analytics Cloud at Oracle Open World in September 2016, which included an end-to-end solution for supporting:

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At Domopalooza 17, Amalgam Insights Looks Behind the Hype

Josh James at Domopalooza

Recently, Amalgam Insights (AI) had the opportunity to attend Domopalooza in Salt Lake City. Without a doubt, it was one of the most star-studded and entertaining end user events AI has attended in recent memory. Between Kesha, Jason Derulo, Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, Miguel, Fivethirtyeight’s Nate Silver, Chicago Cubs President Theo Epstein, and Pixar President…

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Cloud, Watson, & Blockchain: Amalgam Insights’ View of IBM Interconnect

From Pixabay
From Pixabay
From Pixabay

Amalgam Insights (AI) recently attended IBM Interconnect under the Social Influencer program with the goal of understanding how IBM is planning to position itself in context of technology market changes, investor demands to increase revenue, and the challenges of embracing innovation as one of the largest enterprises on the planet.

In observing IBM over the past few years, AI investigators have noted in the past that IBM faces the challenge of needing to create billion-dollar businesses just to maintain existing revenue. It is not enough for IBM to create a single startup such as Pivotal or Airwatch that ends up becoming a market leader in analytic application development or enterprise mobility. To drive 80 billion+ dollars in annual revenue, IBM needs to grow enough businesses to maintain pace while simultaneously divesting cash cows and declining margin businesses that are not strategic to future growth. Over the past couple of years, this has meant selling off assets such as Salary.com and semiconductor chip manufacturing (and possibly its mainframe division) while investing deeply into systems and capabilities that will drive upcoming business capabilities.

At Interconnect, IBM provided its vision for upcoming success focused on three areas: IBM Cloud, Cognitive computing services highlighted by Watson, and the promise of Blockchain.

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AI Vendor Profile: Cloudyn, Cloud Cost Management

From Pixabay
From Pixabay
From Pixabay

Yesterday, at the Boston Cloud Services Meetup at the Cambridge IBM Innovation Center, Amalgam Insights (AI) attended a Cloudyn-based event on “Overcoming the Challenges of Multi-Cloud Financial Management.” This presentation was headed by Account Executive Marcus Benson and focused on the challenges that Fortune 500 companies and managed service providers have in managing both complex single-vendor and multi-vendor cloud infrastructure environments.

Cloudyn is a cloud business and financial management solution founded in 2011 and set up as both a multi-tenant and multi-cloud solution running on AWS, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud. Cloudyn supports a single pane of glass view for consolidated management and a real-time and continuous support of cost optimization for multiple vendors including Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud, OpenStack, and Docker. Cloudyn has raised over $20 million in venture capital and seed funding and currently targets large enterprises, managed service providers, and companies with over 1 million dollars in annual cloud spend.

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Data is the Language of Business: Looker raises an $81M Series D

From Amalgam Insights
From Pixabay
From Pixabay

Accounting has often been called the language of business and it is invaluable in managing the day-to-day financial costs, inputs, outputs, and outcomes associated with business activity. However, as companies start to understand the impact that non-financial drivers ranging from manufacturing outputs to headcount to service transactions to asset utilization rates affect the health of the business, executives have had to broaden the scope of considerations needed to track the health of the company.

As they have done so, businesses have had to shift even their financial departments to focus not just on dollars and cents, but to production units, employees, transactions, uptime, turnover, and loyalty. In doing so, the language of business has started to shift from accounting to a new paradigm of data.

Today, data is the language of business.

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With Cloudera’s S-1, Hadoop and Big Data Finally Come of Age

On Friday, March 31st, Cloudera filed its S-1 with intention to IPO. The timing looks good considering the recent successful IPOs of Alteryx, Mulesoft, and Snap. But how does Cloudera actually match up with other tech companies in terms of being successful in the short and medium term?

Cloudera’s S-1 filing starts by describing the near-term growth potential of the Internet of Things and IDC’s estimate of 30 billion internet-connected mobile devices in 2020. Every analyst and consulting firm has some idea of whether this is going to be 20 billion, 30 billion, or 40 billion, but the most important aspects of this growth are that:

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The Battle for Context – Hello World!

I’ve been asked a lot over the past couple of weeks what I’m planning to do over the rest of my career. (Apparently, nobody expects you to retire at 40…) I believe that Amalgam Insights is going to provide a base to pursue what is going to happen next in the world of technology. But to explain what that means, first, I need to take a step back.

I’ve spent most of the past 20 years of my life considering how the future of applied technology will change the way that we evaluate our environments, conduct work, and better understand the world that we live in. In the mid-90s, when both personal computing and the Internet were coming into ascendancy, I was fortunate to have multiple experiences introducing me to the combined power of these technologies:

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