Amalgam Insights Analyzes Sage Intacct and Pacioli AI

Amalgam Insights recently attended Sage Intacct Advantage. In the past, Intacct got AI’s attention for its strong technology foundation that positions it well for a future of predictive analytics, ease of integration, and machine learning while maintaining the core financial responsibilities associated with being a nominative mid-market ERP solution. Sage has traditionally been known as…

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With Oracle Universal Credits, the Cloud Wars Are Truly On

In late September, prior to Oracle Open World, Oracle (NYSE: ORCL) held an event to announce its consumption pricing model of Universal Credits and the ability to reuse existing software licenses across Oracle’s Platform as a Service (PaaS) middleware, analytics, and database offerings. The Universal Credits represent a fundamental change in cloud pricing as they will allow Oracle Cloud customers to switch between Oracle’s IaaS and PaaS services. In addition, Larry Ellison also unveiled a “self-driving” database that would greatly reduce the cost of administration.
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28 Hours as an Industry Analyst at Strata Data 2017

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Companies Mentioned: Aberdeen Group, Actian, Alation, Arcadia Data, Attunity, BMC, Cambridge Semantics, Cloudera, Databricks, Dataiku, DataKitchen, Datameer, Datarobot, Domino Data Lab, EMA, HPE, Hurwitz and Associates, IBM, Informatica, Kogentix, LogTrust, Looker, < MesoSphere, Micro Focus, Microstrategy, Ovum, Paxata, Podium Data, Qubole, SAP, Snowflake, Strata Data, Tableau, Tamr, Tellius, Trifacta.

Last week, I attended Strata Data Conference at the Javitz Center in New York City to catch up with a wide variety of data science and machine learning users, enablers, and thought leaders. In the process, I had the opportunity to listen to some fantastic keynotes and to chat with 30+ companies looking for solutions, 30+ vendors presenting at the show, and attend with a number of luminary industry analysts and thought leaders including Ovum’s Tony Baer, EMA’s John Myers, Aberdeen Group’s Mike Lock, and Hurwitz & Associates’ Judith Hurwitz.

From this whirwind tour of executives, I took a lot of takeaways from the keynotes and vendors that I can share and from end users that I unfortunately have to keep confidential. To give you an idea of what an industry analyst notes, following are a short summary of takeaways I took from the keynotes and from each vendor that I spoke to:

Keynotes: The key themes that really got my attention is the idea that AI requires ethics, brought up by Joanna Bryson, and that all data is biased, which danah boyd discussed. This idea that data and machine learning have their own weaknesses that require human intervention, training, and guidance is incredibly important. Over the past decade, technologists have put their trust in Big Data and the idea that data will provide answers, only to find that a naive and “unbiased” analysis of data has its own biases. Context and human perspective are inherent to translating data into value: this does not change just because our analytic and data training tools are increasingly nuanced and intelligent in nature.

Behind the hype of data science, Big Data, analytic modeling, robotic process automation, DevOps, DataOps, and artifical intelligence is this fundamental need to understand that data, algorithms, and technology all have inherent biases as the following tweet shows:

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Microsoft: The New Player in Quantum Computing

Doppelspalt

On the week of September 25th, 2017, Microsoft made a huge announcement at its annual Ignite and Envision conference. Microsoft has become one of a small number of companies that is demonstrating quantum computing. IBM is another company that is also pursuing this rather futuristic computing model. For those who are not up-to-date on quantum…

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Microsoft Infuses Products with Machine Learning and the Social Graph

This past week (September 25 – 27, 2017) Microsoft held its Ignite and Envision Conferences. The co-conferences encompass both technology (Ignite) and the business of technology (Envision). Microsoft’s announcements reflected that duality with esoteric technology subjects such as mixed reality and quantum computing on equal footing with digital transformation, a mainstay of modern business transformation projects. There were two announcements that, in my opinion, will have the most impact in the short-term because they were more foundational.

The first announcement was that machine learning was being integrated into every Microsoft productivity and business product. Most large software companies are adding machine learning to their platforms but no company has Microsoft’s reach into modern businesses. Like IBM, SAP and Oracle, Microsoft can embed machine learning in business applications such as CRM. Microsoft can also integrate machine learning into productivity applications as can Google. IBM can do both but IBM’s office applications aren’t close to having the market penetration of Microsoft Office 365. Microsoft has the opportunity to embed machine learning everywhere in a business, a capability that none of their competitors have.

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Riverside Partners Acquires Calero: TEM in Transition

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Calero

On September 13th, 2017, Riverside Partners, a Boston-based private equity firm, announced the acquisition of Calero Software from Clearlake Capital. Calero manages more than $6 billion of annual telecom, mobility, and cloud spend for more than 3,000 customers in 40+ countries and provides managed mobility services for more than 400,000 devices, making it one of the largest technology expense management solutions overall behind Tangoe’s $38 billion+ in technology expense management and Flexera’s $13 billion+ in software expense management. (Cass does not break out its telecom spend, but Amalgam believes it to be similar in scale to Calero.)

This blog covers Amalgam’s perspective on:

  1. Why Clearlake sold Calero?
  2. Who is Riverside Partners, a relatively new player in the TEM space?
  3. What to expect from Calero going forward?
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Amalgam Insights Publishes SmartList on 8 Hidden Gems in Telecom Expense Management

Table listing 8 Hidden Gems of TEM: Asignet, Ezwim, GSG, ICOMM, MobiChord, NetPlus, Smartbill, vCom
Snapshot for AI's 8 Hidden Gems for Telecom Expense Management
SL0917A-AI Vendor SmartList – snapshot

Over the past decade, Telecom Expense Management has evolved substantially from its roots of telecom and network spend to a more holistic combination that also includes mobility, end user computing, Software as a Service, and Infrastructure as a Service. Because of this expansion of spend, TEM has evolved from Telecom Expense to Technology Expense Management which can be used to manage the majority of enterprise IT.

Amalgam finds that there are a number of high-quality TEM solutions that are hiding under the radar of enterprise buyers despite being market leaders. As an example, in May of 2017 Gartner put together a Market Guide of Telecom Expense vendors including vendors handling multiple billions of dollars in technology spend such as Calero, Cass Information Systems, Cimpl, Dimension Data, MDSL, Tangoe, and WidePoint as well as strong competitors Comview, Mobile Solutions, Network Control, Saaswedo, TNX, and VoicePlus. Although these Gartner-named vendors all provide TEM solutions that are appropriate for various market sectors and needs, Amalgam believes that a number of strong competitors were left out both in the multi-billion dollar management and the strong competitor categories that should be considered in competitive vendor selection environments.

To provide additional insight and to ensure that representative global vendors such as the largest standalone Australian TEM vendor and the largest standalone European TEM vendor were covered, Amalgam is proud to present 8 Hidden Gems for Telecom Expense Management available at no cost for the first 100 downloaders.

IT Asset Management Must Change to Cut SaaS Costs by 30%

Money Bubbles in the Clouds
You Must Change Your LIfe ~ Ranier Maria Rilke
You Must Change Your Life

A generation of IT has been trained on the practice of Software Asset Management, which has been built on the focus of audit-based license agreement compliance. As the enterprise software market has moved to SaaS, the need for regular audits has decreased because of a fundamental shift from vendor-driven contract enforcement to client-friendly policies for adding new licenses and services.

As software shifts from being a license-based capital expenditure asset to a usage-defined operational expenditure service, the foundational nature of software management must change as well. Rather than managing software as a sunk cost with the goal of squeezing the maximum utilization out of an initial license before the software becomes obsolete, companies must now treat Software as a Service as a constantly renewing and updated functionality aligned to specific business roles.

The trade-off for the ease-of-use and support for SaaS is that enterprise software contracts are harder to negotiate because a number of buyers may end up purchasing SaaS and the purchase cycle is built to support consumerized purchases through P-cards, expense accounts, and line-of-business operational budgets rather than through a formal IT process.

As a result, the traditional world of SAM compliance and top-down procurement is being replaced with the need for cost management solutions that focus on:

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Meet Up with Amalgam Insights

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Amalgam Insights

Over the next couple of months, keep an eye or ear out for Amalgam Insights as we show up at an event or webinar near you. Catch up with us at the following times:

  • August 31: BrightTalk Webinar: Eight Telecom Expense Solutions Gartner Missed
  • September 12-14: AI in San Francisco attending Looker’s Join 2017
    September 26: Webinar: Machine Learning, Design Thinking, & the Role-Based Expert Enhancement Platform
    September 27-28: AI in New York City attending O’Reilly Media’s Strata/Hadoop
    October 3-4: AI in Indianapolis attending MOBI’s Untethered Summit
    October 17-19: AI in Las Vegas attending Intacct Advantage
    October 26: Webinar: Making the Leap from TEM to IT Management

What am I missing? Where else should I be? Let me know!

For more details on how to meet up with AI or to attend one of our events, look below!
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CloudCheckr Makes It Easy to Check AWS S3 Bucket Accessibility

S3checkr AWS S3 bucket visibility Screenshot
Money Bubbles in the Clouds
Affording the Cloud

Earlier this week, I was catching up with CloudCheckr for a preliminary briefing on my upcoming Cloud Services Management research coming out in December. This market, in general, is important to Amalgam’s coverage because the largest cloud infrastructure companies are growing over 50% per year, yet the majority of these services are not being managed or tracked from either a financial or governance perspective on a regular basis.

(Sneak peek: CloudCheckr’s combination of cost management, security management, and price ends up being a key reason that CloudCheckr has quickly grown to over 120 employees.)

During our conversation, Product Marketing Manager Todd Bernhard showed Amalgam an interesting tool for checking if Amazon Web Services S3 buckets are publicly accessible.

Why S3 Accessiblity Matters

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