Sumeru Equity Partners Acquires MDSL and Combines with Telesoft

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Title Page: SEP Acquires MDSL
SEP Acquires MDSL

Note: Updated August 2nd with coverage links from Sumeru, MDSL, Telesoft, AltAssets, AOTMP, Crunchbase, PEHub, and Pitchbook.

In case you missed the announcement, as of July 31st, Sumeru Equity Partners has acquired MDSL and is joining Telesoft with MDSL to form a single Technology Expense Management company. I had a few opinions about the new MDSL that didn’t fit into my more formal analysis because they’re observations rather than directional guidance. If you haven’t read the formal Market Milestone yet, please check it out.

First, Sumeru Equity Partners has an interesting portfolio of companies that could be accretive to the new MDSL company. Take a look at their current portfolio:

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Infor and the 80% Solution: Coleman, Birst, GT Nexus, and CloudSuites

Better, Cheaper, Faster is a myth in a cloud-enabled world.
Coleman is Infor's Artificial Intelligence Effort
Coleman is Infor’s Artificial Intelligence Effort

When I represented Amalgam Insights at Inforum, I was wondering if I would be a fish out of water. After all, I am not an ERP analyst. I am not a retail analyst. I am not an HR technology analyst. And those are the first three things I think of when Infor comes to mind. As an analyst who focuses on technology consumption and bridging gaps between the CIO and CFO, I was wondering what would grab my attention other than Infor’s acquisition of Birst.

I was pleasantly surprised by the clarity of Infor’s vision of supporting industry-specific technology consumption. Infor ended up bringing up three key ideas that are core to the future of technology consumption and will end up being strategic considerations for the future of IT.

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What Is Technology Consumption Management?

Better, Cheaper, Faster is a myth in a cloud-enabled world.
Better, Cheaper, Faster is a myth in a cloud-enabled world.
Better, Cheaper, Faster is an IT lie.

Technology Consumption Management is at the core of Amalgam Insights’ research, advisory, and consulting efforts to bridge the CIO and CFO offices. In today’s world, we have instant access to cloud-based scale, massive processing power, artificial intelligence and machine learning APIs, automated data modelling and integration, mobility and IoT devices, and collaborative platforms. The question is no longer whether technology can support our business goals, but how we identify, purchase, and adopt the technologies that we need.

Traditionally, the goals of IT were to provide “Better, Cheaper, and Faster” technology. However, with the emergence of the cloud, subscription and varible pricing, and consumerized demands for technology, this cliche no longer applies. Amalgam Insights would argue that world-class technological resources are now available on-demand at relatively low costs for proof-of-concept projects. In this world, the traditional measures of “Cheaper” and “Faster” are only marginally relevant for competent IT sourcers. In addition, the idea of “Better” has largely transformed from measures of storage, processing power, and speed to purpose-built technology experiences to support business outcomes.

Digital Transformation is an important and foundational paradigm shift for IT Management.

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AI for the Accounting Guy: MindBridge Artificial Intelligence-Auditor

AritificialFictionBrain
AritificialFictionBrain
AritificialFictionBrain from https://zh.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:David290/Artificial_intelligence

Amalgam Insights’ Net-Net Summary of Mindbridge Ai

Based on a briefing with MindBridge Ai on June 19, 2017 and MindBridge Ai’s $4.3 million funding round on the same date, this summary provides guidance to auditors and accountants seeking guidance on applying artificial intelligence to risk, compliance, and audit efforts. Amalgam Insights believes that this emerging approach is an important governance step for financial transactions as digital transactions become increasingly diverse and auditors are responding by either building self-built tools or working with internal data science teams.

Why Mindbridge Ai Matters for Financial Audiences

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How does the 2017 version of HPE support enterprise IT departments?

Meg Whitman at HPE Discover 2017

Meg Whitman at HPE Discover 2017
Meg Whitman at HPE Discover 2017
Recently, Amalgam Insights attended HPE Discover, HPE’s semi-annual show devoted to its enterprise offerings. Our firm was especially interested in seeing how HPE would position itself after having divested much of its software portfolio to Micro Focus and then spin-merging its Enterprise Services division with CSC to form DXC Technology on April 1st of this year.

In HPE’s General Session and subsequent presentations, several key themes emerged in HPE’s positioning. The most obvious is that, in consolidating HPE’s offerings to servers, storage, and networking, the company is now focused on being the arms dealer for hybrid IT support. This is based both on the core HPE portfolio of technology and services as well as removing the business services and complementary technologies that were previously seen as competitive to potential HPE competitors. This fundamental change should serve HPE well.

How HPE found its focus

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The Evolution of IBM’s Cloud, Watson, and Analytic Consulting at IBM Vision

In mid-May, Amalgam Insights (AI) attended IBM Vision, an event focused on business performance, both as an attendee and a presenter. This has been my favorite IBM tradeshow for several years, as it focuses directly on key concerns that I have looked at throughout my career: financial management, enterprise governance, and compliance. Because everyone at this show is focused on some form of BI, performance management, or risk, it is easy to speak with a business user, consultant, or IBM professional at this show and to quickly find common professional ground.

This year, I took three key findings away from IBM Vision that should be of ongoing value for financial departments within the enterprise.

• The Maturity of IBM’s Cloud Analytics Capabilities
• Promontory Digital’s Role for IBM and IBM Watson
• IBM’s DataFirst Method for Analytic Consulting

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Informatica Unleashes AI, Brand, Cloud, and Data-Driven Disruption at Informatica World 2017

New Informatica Brand for New Informatica Aspirations
New Informatica Brand for New Informatica Aspirations
New Informatica Brand for New Informatica Aspirations

Amalgam Insights (AI) recently attended Informatica World 2017, where executives, partners, and customers provided backing for Informatica’s ability to support “The Disruptive Power of Data,” (an Informatica-trademarked phrase) as well as its positioning as the Enterprise Cloud Data Management leader.

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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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