Blackberry Successfully Transitions into a Software Company: Mission Accomplished

In April 2019, Amalgam Insights attended BlackBerry’s Analyst Summit, a collection of high-profile industry analysts and financial analysts who were provided with the key highlights of BlackBerry’s accomplishments over the past year. This day included BlackBerry’s top executives including CEO John Chen, President and Chief Operating Officer Bryan Palma, Chief Financial Officer Steve Cappelli, Chief Marketing Officer Mark Wilson, Chief Technology Officer Charles Eagan, and a collection of subject matter experts across security, the Enterprise of Things, mass communications, and Blackberry’s key verticals including automotive, government, and healthcare.

Above all, the key takeaway from BlackBerry’s Analyst Summit is that BlackBerry’s transformation  into a software and services company is complete.

A Successful Transformation

When John Chen first joined Blackberry roughly 2000 days ago, BlackBerry was a 7 billion dollar mobility company focused on its once-iconic handsets, but losing money hand-over-fist in the era of the iPhone and Android. Although Apple and Google had taken over the handset market, BlackBerry’s leadership at the time was reluctant to take the hard steps necessary to transform into a digital company and to take full advantage of its intellectual property. In this 2011-2012 time period, I was among the analysts who were criticizing BlackBerry for its inability to separate devices, software, and services and hoped that BlackBerry would move to Android, QNX (a 2010 acquisition) or another operating system that would be more flexible and app-friendly than BlackBerry.
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Amalgam Insights: 2019 Shaping Up as “Turbulent” Year for Technology Budgets, With Cost Controls Taking Center Stage

Technology Expense Management, analyst firm says, can help companies adopt a “more careful approach…and a cost-efficient working environment.”

A new report from industry analysts Amalgam Insights warns that this year will represent what it calls a “change for companies that have managed digital transformation & technology investment in bull markets” of the previous several years. But it says several sectors within the technology expense management (TEM) environment remain posted for significant growth, with the telecommunications industry leading the way, with a projected 15-20 percent spending increase.

Amalgam Insights chief analyst Hyoun Park authored the new report, saying the enterprise mobile sector spend will be a key driver. He says spending in this area should increase by as much as 15 percent in 2019, driven by what he calls “the incessant demand for mobile data from apps, video, music, and other persistent and constantly updating workloads.”

He also predicts that Amazon Web Services, Microsoft and Google Cloud Platform will continue to rake in more revenue, with an estimated run rate of $30 billion this year; he projects that amount could easily hit $50 billion in 2020.

Other predictions from the new Amalgam Insights report:

  • Software as a Service (SaaS) will be a $75 billion market by next year;
  • The Internet of Things (IoT) market will continue to be in flux, due to its complexity, with companies challenged to monetize the two billion non-cellular Internet of Things devices to be created for industrial, commercial, and enterprise; and
  • Most importantly, the technology expense market will double to more than two billion dollars over the coming year.

“Over half of enterprises do not have basic technology spend practices in place,” Park says. “The most frequent mistake these companies make is assuming that they’ve assigned a person to processing telecom invoices, so those people know how to manage and optimize telecom bills and contracts, which is usually not true.”

The full Amalgam Insights report is available for download at: https://amalgaminsights.com/product/analyst-insight-7-key-technology-expense-management-predictions-for-2019

4 Key Developer Responsibilities Where Machine Learning Can Help

Note: A version of this post was published to Tom’s Tech Take II

As the fall season of tech conferences starts to wind down, something is quite clear – machine learning (ML) is going to be everywhere. Box is putting ML in content management, Microsoft in office and CRM, and Oracle is infusing it into, well, everything. While not a great leap forward on the order of the Internet, smartphones, or PCs, the inclusion of ML technology into so many applications will make a lot of mundane tasks easier. This trend promises to be a boon for developers. The strength of machining learning is finding and exploiting patterns and anomalies. What could be more useful to developers?

Here are some examples:

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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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Why Cost-Based Pricing Doesn’t Work: 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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