Skillsoft Perspectives 2018 – A Vision For The Future of Corporate Learning

Key Stakeholders: CHRO, Chief Learning Officers, Talent Acquisition Directors and Managers, Learning & Development Directors, Training Managers, Corporate Education Managers, LMS Managers

On April 11th – 13th, Amalgam Insights attended

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Cloudera Analyst Conference Makes The Case for Analytic & AI Insights at Scale

On April 9th and 10th, Amalgam Insights attended the fifth Cloudera’s Industry Analyst and Influencer Conference (which I’ll self-servingly refer to as the Analyst Conference since I attended as an industry analyst) in Santa Monica. Cloudera sought to make the case that it was evolving beyond the market offerings that it is currently best known for as a Hadoop distribution and commercial data lake in becoming a machine learning and analytics platform. In doing so, Cloudera was extremely self-aware of its need to progress beyond the role of multi-petabyte storage at scale to a machine learning solution.
Cloudera’s Challenges in Enterprise Machine Learning 
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The Enterprise Technology Management Association Focuses on Making Tech Affordable

From April 2-4, 2018, the Enterprise Technology Management Association (ETMA, previously known as TEMIA) met in Nashville. This meeting brought together over 40 vendor organizations focused on various aspects of technology management including network, telecom, mobility, software, cloud infrastructure, utilities, and the Internet of Things. ETMA’s members are mainly focused on telecom expense management, managed mobility services, and related technologies.
What is ETMA?
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#ThoughtLeaderThursday – SMB Group


As part of Amalgam Insights’ research process, we also keep track of the wide array of analysts, consultants, and thought leaders who are most relevant across our practice areas. Beyond the most well-known firms, such as the likes of Gartner, Forrester, and IDC, there are a wide array of bespoke and custom firms that conduct world-class work. To help provide context on how Amalgam Insights looks at our peers, partners, and competitors and to help technology buyers make better decisions, Amalgam profiles a firm or thought leader each Thursday to provide guidance on those who we think of as influential and innovative thought leaders.

This week, we profile SMB Group, a team of industry analysts focused on the technology adoption and management challenges in small and medium businesses.
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Will Starbucks Make A $40 Million Training Mistake? The Psychology and Brain Science of Effective Racial Bias Prevention Training

(Editor’s Note: Todd Maddox, Ph.D. has over 200 published articles, 10,000 citings, and $10 million in external research funding in his 25+ years in cognitive psychology. Maddox is available for interviews on this topic at info@amalgaminsights.com)

By now, I am sure you have heard about the incident at a Starbucks in Philadelphia, where two black men were arrested for waiting for a third man inside the store without purchasing any items. Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson issued an immediate apology calling the arrests “reprehensible.” He’s gone further, meeting with the two men in person and apologizing, as well as saying that all U.S. Starbucks will be closed on May 29 for racial-bias education for its employees.
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GraalVM is a Multi-Language Compiler Technology to Watch

Tom Petrocelli, Amalgam Insights Contributing Analyst

Oracle Labs has recently (April 17, 2018) announced the 1.0 release of GraalVM. GraalVM is an open source language virtual machine(VM), much like the Java VM or Node.js virtual machine. What makes GraalVM interesting, is that it can execute code written in a variety of languages including Java (and Java VM based languages such as Scala, Groovy, or Kotlin), R, JavaScript, along with Ruby, R, and Python. This is a departure from mainstream VM designs. It is much more common to have separate and specific VMs for languages such as PHP or Python. In some cases, a language will byte compile to a different virtual machine, for instance Clojure compiling to the run on the Java VM. Those languages are purpose built to run on a specific VM. GraalVM, on the other hand, runs code written in languages originally built for their own VM.

This approach offers advantages over the traditional approach of one language, one VM. For example, any program that is compiled for GraalVM can share libraries with other programs that is likewise compiled. Developers can write in different languages but still maintain interoperability and code reuse across them all. This also allows developers to continue to use code written in “older languages” while migrating to a new one. Similarly, it allows the continued used of majority language, such as Java, while leveraging languages that are built for specific purposes, such as R. Another advantage of GraalVM is ubiquity. One VM for multiple needs means fewer VMs to provision and update across IT servers and containers. That can be a serious time saver and makes maintaining large and complex systems a bit easier.

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IBM Provides a Vision for the Augmented Future at IBM Think

At IBM Think in March of 2018, IBM aggregated all of its conferences into a megaconference held in Las Vegas and targeted and providing a large venue for IBM’s strongest thought leadership themes and public facing announcements. Amalgam notes that this conference was very successful at showing IBM’s long-term vision and perspective, but that this first-year conference had some logistical challenges that prevented attendees from capturing the full depth and breadth of IBM’s progress over the past year.

At this event, two key themes emerged: IBM’s role in creating the next generation of technologies, including AI, Blockchain, and quantum computing and also IBM Research, which was front and center to a greater extent than in past years where IBM Research scientists were often relegated to a small portion of the expo and the occasional session. At this event, IBM Research director and Senior Vice President of Hybrid Cloud Arvind Krishna and his colleagues played a much stronger role than in previous years, which was helpful in providing IBM observers and customers with a clearer view of IBM’s intentions regarding the future of IBM.

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Amalgam’s 5 Tiers of Technology Value


In Amalgam’s recent Analyst Insight, “Domo Hajimemashite At Domopalooza 2018, Domo Solves Its Case of Mistaken Identity”, Amalgam introduced a figure showing the 5 Tiers of Technology Value. This pyramid, based on Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, demonstrates how technology provides value that can be documented, calculated, and used to build business cases.

5 Tiers of Technology Value

Amalgam 5 Tiers Of Technology Value
Amalgam 5 Tiers Of Technology Value

To better understand these five tiers, Amalgam provides this guidance to companies seeking a better understanding of how IT investments are justified, as well as the pros and cons associated with each tier.

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#ThoughtLeaderThursday – Hurwitz and Associates

ThoughtLeaderThursday - Hurwitz

ThoughtLeaderThursday - Hurwitz
ThoughtLeaderThursday – Hurwitz

As part of Amalgam Insights’ research process, we also keep track of the wide array of analysts, consultants, and thought leaders who are most relevant across our practice areas. Beyond the most well-known firms, such as the likes of Gartner, Forrester, and IDC, there are a wide array of bespoke and custom firms that conduct world-class work. To help provide context on how Amalgam Insights looks at our peers, partners, and competitors and to help technology buyers make better decisions, Amalgam profiles a firm or thought leader each Thursday to provide guidance on those who we think of as influential and innovative thought leaders.

This week, we profile Hurwitz and Associates, a team of industry analysts focused on articulating the practical value of innovation and emerging technologies.
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Amalgam Insights Debuts Business Value Analysis Reports, Taking Into Account Collaborative, Executive and Financial Value Of Enterprise Software Deployments

Report moves beyond traditional money-only ROI, includes analysis of improved departmental collaboration, executive benefits, work-life balance

BOSTON, April 03, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Amalgam Insights (www.amalgaminsights.com), a consulting and strategy firm focused on Technology Consumption Management, today announced the launch of its Business Value Analysis (BVA) reports.  The reports, the company said, deliver far greater usefulness than traditional reports from other analyst firms because of their enhanced focus on more than merely a simple financial return on investment (ROI).

Amalgam Insights’ BVA reports are designed to not only communicate the primary value of software to a firm, but also how it can positively affect the lives of its users, managers, even C-level officers throughout an organization.  A typical Amalgam Insights BVA report analyzes multiple factors that can contribute to the success of enterprise-based software in addition to financial ROI, such as:

  • Improved productivity and collaboration with other departments;
  • Achieving executive benefits that the C-Suite identifies as key differentiators; and
  • Work-life balance that improves morale, accelerates business outcomes, and leads to employee promotions.

“Close management software is an emerging category and as such, prospects typically have not set aside budget to purchase it,” said Wynn White, chief marketing officer at FloQast, a California-based financial Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) provider. “Amalgam Insights’ BVA report has been key to helping us spotlight the cost of not taking action and the value lost due to inactivity—both monetarily and strategically. Packaged as a report, webinar and online calculator it is a turn-key campaign unto itself.”

In FloQast’s case, the Amalgam Insights BVA was able to not only quantify a first-year financial ROI of almost 650 percent to FloQast’s clients, but also found that companies using FloQast reported “enhanced teamwork and shared working environments by increasing transparency and flexibility.”  Because FloQast is a cloud-based solution, the BVA noted, “employees were able to verify, authorize, and update results regardless of physical location to enable greater work-life flexibility and balance.”

“More than ever, companies are seeking the kind of understanding that goes far beyond just the financial impact on their bottom lines,” said Hyoun Park, CEO and principal analyst at Amalgam Insights.  “Our Business Value Analysis reports deliver on that need, helping firms gain the greater knowledge, stretching beyond a pure ‘dollars-and-cents’ perspective, that enables them to operate more effectively and profitably to compete in today’s marketplace.”