- Cloudera has launched its Altus Analytic DB to support BI and SQL based data in the cloud based on Impala
- Altus Data Engineering supports scale-out data sets both for Amazon and Microsoft Azure.
- Apache Kudu provides a fast analytics capability for IoT and log data. Cloudera’s Data Science Workbench provides a straightforward capability for data scientists to bring R, Python, Scala, and other data science tools into a compliant and secure environment.
- Cloudera started its Data Science Experience to support complex data applications based on a shared data catalog.
- Cloudera has also acquired Fast Forward Labs, Hilary Mason’s applied research firm focused on best practices for data science.
Recommended Reading for: Finance, Sales Operations, Supply Chain Management, IT Management, and Enterprise Strategy Personnel
Companies Mentioned: Anaplan, IBM, SAP, Oracle, Microstrategy, Tableau, DataRobot, TROVE Data, Louis Vuitton, Premji Invest, Salesforce Ventures, Top Tier Capital Partners, Baillie Gifford, Granite Ventures, Industry Ventures, Meritech Capital, Constellation Research, Ventana Research, IDC, Mint Jutras, ISG, Gartner, Apps Run the World, TechVentive
On March 6th and 7th, 2018, Amalgam Insights attended Anaplan Hub 18. Anaplan has been on Amalgam analysts’ radar for several years, as we consider Anaplan’s Hyperblock foundation and ability to serve multi-departmental planning in enterprises without a year or more of setup to be fundamental advantages. As we have covered this company, we have been waiting for Anaplan to reach its breakthrough moment where it takes its place as one of the true market leaders in enterprise applications. It is in this context that we attended Anaplan Hub and judged our interactions with Anaplan executives, customers, and partners.
This report provides updates on Anaplan’s key business metrics, executive insights from an analyst-only panel, keynote and product announcements, a 2018 perspective on customer success stories with Anaplan, and Amalgam’s expectations for Anaplan in 2018 and beyond as both a real-time planning application and a Platform as a Service.
Anaplan Key Business Updates
Continue reading “Anaplan States Planning Is Dead, Focuses on the Era of Real-Time Decision”
Blockchain looks to be one of those up and coming technologies that is constantly being talked about. Many of the largest IT companies – IBM, Microsoft, and Oracle to name few – plus a not-for-profit or two are heavily promoting blockchain. Clearly, there is intense interest, much of it fueled by exotic-sounding cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum. The big question I get asked – and analysts are supposed to be able to answer the big questions – is “What can I use blockchain for?”
Continue reading “Blockchain! What is it Good For?”
We have just published a new document from Tom Petrocelli analyzing Red Hat’s $250 million acquisition of CoreOS and why it matters for DevOps and Systems Architecture managers.
This report is recommended for CIOs, System Architects, IT Managers, System Administrators, and Operations Managers who are evaluating CoreOS and Red Hat as container solutions to support their private and hybrid cloud solutions. In this document, Tom provides both the upside and concerns that your organization needs to consider in evaluating CoreOS.
This document includes:
A summary of Red Hat’s Acquisition of CoreOS
Why It Matters
Contextualizing CoreOS within Red Hat’s private and hybrid cloud portfolio
Alternatives to Red Hat CoreOS
Positive and negative aspects fcr current Red Hat and CoreOS customers
To download this report, please go to our Research section.
Recommended Audience: CIOs, Enterprise Architects, Data Managers, Analytics Managers, Data Scientists, IT Managers Vendors Mentioned: Trifacta, Paxata, Datameer, Datawatch, Lavastorm, Alation, Tamr, Unifi, 1010Data, Podium Data, IBM, Domo, Microsoft, Information Builders, Board, Microstrategy, Cloudera, H20.ai, RapidMiner, Domino Data Lab, Dataiku, TIBCO, SAS, Amazon Web Services, Google, DataRobot. In case you missed it, I just finished…
Note: This blog contains excerpts from Amalgam’s Due Diligence Dossier on Calero. To get the full report, click here.
In January 2018, Calero announced two acquisitions, Comview and A&B Groep. These acquisitions have increased Calero’s headcount by over 70 employees, added geographic footprint, demonstrated a specific profile for acquisition, and demonstrates the willingness for new owners, Riverside Partners, to quickly take action within 120 days of acquiring Calero. This combination of acquisition, execution, and stated focus result in the need to re-evaluate Calero in context of these significant changes. Continue reading “Calero Purchases European TEM Leader A&B Groep: What to Expect?”
Companies Mentioned: Deloitte, Salesforce, SAP, Cornerstone, Saba, Skillsoft, Fivel, PageUp, PeopleFluent, Talentsoft, Oracle, SilkRoad, IBM, Lumesse, Litmos, D2L, LearnCore, and Lessonly
Soft skills are “people skills”, and they are extremely important in the commercial sector. They involve showing and feeling empathy, embracing diversity, and understanding that we all have biases that we need to be aware of and keep in check. They involve effective interpersonal interactions and real-time communication skills and are relevant at all corporate levels. Whether office staff who interface with clients, office managers who interface with employees and their superiors, or the C-suite who provide the leadership and vision for the company, effective soft skills matter. An individual with strong soft skills can be an effective collaborator, leader, and “good” citizen. They not only know “what” behaviors are appropriate and inappropriate, but they know “how” to generate those behaviors and do so in a highly effective manner.
As suggested by Deloitte, the movement toward increased automation and artificial intelligence in the workplace has led many in the C-suite to suggest that soft skills are going to become increasingly important in the workplace. The #metoo movement makes glaringly clear that effective soft skills training is lacking in many workplace environments, and in society in general.
Corporate approaches to soft skills training do a good job of teaching employees how to identify and define appropriate and inappropriate behavior, and even offering suggestions for how to behave appropriately, but they are lacking in the use of tools for effective behavior change.
Brain science suggests specific solutions to this problem and can drive innovation and success in the commercial sector. As applied to soft skills training the science is highly suggestive. Training tools targeted directly at behavior change and the systems in the brain that drive behavior are required.
Brain Science of Soft Skills Learning
The human brain has evolved in such a way that there exist two distinct learning systems. One system focuses on learning the “what”, and is referred to as the cognitive skills learning system in the brain. The cognitive skills learning system in the brain learns through passive observation, studying and mental repetition, and recruits the prefrontal cortex and medial temporal lobes. The second system focuses on learning the “how”, and is referred to as the behavioral skills learning system in the brain. Learning in the behavioral skills system in the brain is active, it involves learning by doing, and physical repetitions, and recruits the basal ganglia. A more detailed discussion of these two systems can be found here.
The most common approach to corporate soft skills training involves having learners read text, view slideshows, and watch videos of appropriate and inappropriate soft skills behaviors. Learners are trained on definitions, how to identify appropriate and inappropriate behaviors, and are given strategies for incorporating appropriate soft skills behavior into their repertoire. This is focused on the “what” and is an important first step in soft skills training.
Unfortunately, most soft skills training programs stop here. It is assumed that the learner will somehow take this “what” information and will convert this into behavior (the “how”). The brain science makes clear that this is highly unlikely, and our own experience reinforces this claim. As anyone who has ever tried to change their own behavior knows, it is much easier to know “what” to do, than it is to learn behaviorally “how” to do it.
Once the learner is well versed on definitions and has strategies in place for effective soft skills, the next step is to train behavior (the “how”). Behavior change occurs when the learner’s behavior is following in real-time, literally within 100s of milliseconds, by feedback that rewards correct behaviors and punishes incorrect behaviors. Thus, the training scenarios must be interactive. Although the detailed neurochemistry is beyond the scope of this article, suffice it to say that behavioral skills are learned gradually and incrementally via dopamine-mediated, error-correction learning in the basal ganglia of the brain. When rewarded, behaviors are more likely to occur in the future, and when punished behaviors are less likely to occur in the future.
Interactive Training Platforms
Traditional approaches train a cognitive understanding of soft skills. These need to be supplemented with interactive approaches that train behavior. Interactive computer-based training platforms, as well as immersive virtual reality (VR) platforms, are available and should be used to complement traditional soft skills training procedures.
The learner can be placed in situations in which they must interact with an individual or avatar who is poor in soft skills so that they learn how to deal with situations like those, or they can be placed in situations in which their behavior is responded to in a negative manner. In other words, they can learn how to affect change in another, or affect change in themselves. Regardless of the platform, whether VR or computer-based, the key is to target the behavioral skills learning system with realistic interpersonal interactions and real-time communication. Behavior change will follow.
Corporate training professions need to beware of platforms that claim interactivity that is not truly interactive. From a brain science of learning perspective, behavior change will only be effective if interactivity involves real-time feedback—that is, rewards and punishments that occur within a few hundred milliseconds of the behavior in question. Providing feedback even several seconds following the behavior will not lead to effective behavior change. Interactivity must occur in real time or it won’t be effective.
Corporate Training Platforms
A number of vendors offer corporate training including Salesforce, SAP, Cornerstone, Saba, Skillsoft, PageUp, PeopleFluent, Talentsoft, Oracle, SilkRoad, IBM, Lumesse, Fivel, Litmos, D2L, LearnCore, and Lessonly, to name a few.
All of these vendors offer soft skills training focused on the cognitive skills learning system in the brain. These vendors are urged to complement their current training platform with real-time interactive training that targets the behavioral skills learning system in the brain. In the end, effective soft skills are effective behaviors that are only learned by engaging the behavioral skills learning system in the brain.
Effective training is critical in all business sectors. In 2017, over $360 billion was spent on training worldwide, with over $160 billion spent in the U.S. alone. Given the ever-changing nature of the corporate landscape, as new technologies are introduced (e.g., AI) or upgraded (e.g., constant software upgrades), and as new challenges arise (e.g., sexual harassment in the workplace) corporate training must evolve to meet the growing need.
Corporate training can be loosely classified into two categories: hard skills and soft skills. An extensive body of scientific and neuroscientific research (much of it from the author’s research laboratory) suggests that the human brain contains at least two distinct systems that are recruited during learning. One system is referred to as the cognitive skills learning system, which is optimized for hard skills learning. The other is referred to as the behavioral skills learning system, which is optimized for soft skills learning.
Cognitive Skills Learning System
The cognitive skills learning system in the brain is comprised of the prefrontal cortex and the medial temporal lobes. This system is optimally tuned to learn hard skills such as learning new software, learning a company’s rules and regulations, or memorizing the set of steps to take to complete a task. The neural architecture of this system determines the set of training procedures that optimize learning. The scientifically-validated best practices for optimized learning of hard skills are many, and will be outlined in subsequent articles, but suffice it to say that learning in this system is passive, it involves observing and learning by watching, and repeating information mentally. For example, suppose you are learning a new CRM. You might read the manual, watch a few slide shows, or watch a video of someone performing specific functions within the CRM. You might study this information multiple times and practice the tasks in your head. Eventually, you will launch the CRM software to try out some of the things that you learned.
Behavioral Skills Learning System
The behavioral skills learning system in the brain resides in the basal ganglia. This system is optimally tuned to learn soft skills (also called people skills, 21st Century skills or socio-emotional skills). Soft skills include showing empathy, embracing diversity, and minimizing unconscious biases. These are all reflected in one’s behavior such as active listening, making eye contact, praising employees and co-workers when appropriate, avoiding overt punishment, and showing respect. Soft skills are relevant in all aspects of the corporate world including management, collaborative communication, and customer service, to name a few. Soft skills have received significant attention in 2017 and likely will receive even more in 2018 as corporations work to reduce the incidence of sexual harassment. I have written extensively on this topic.
Like the cognitive skills learning system, the neural architecture of the behavioral skills learning system determines the set of training procedures that optimize learning. The scientifically-validated best practices for optimized learning of soft skills are many, and will be outlined in subsequent articles, but suffice it to say that learning in this system is active, it involves learning by doing, and physical repetition.
Without going into the detailed neuroanatomy, soft skill learning relies critically on interactivity in the form of real-time immediate corrective feedback. You generate a behavior and receive feedback (literally within a few hundred milliseconds, no more). If the behavior is rewarded with a smile or nod, then that behavior will be more likely to occur next time you are in the same situation. If the behavior is punished with a frown or head shake, then that behavior will be less likely to occur next time you are in the same situation. This interactive back-and-forth in real-time is what leads to behavior change.
Optimal Delivery System for Hard and Soft Skills Training
With a few exceptions, the most common delivery system for corporate training is computer-based. Whether hard or soft skills, the training content generally comes in the form of written text, slide shows, or perhaps video. Notice that all of these content media involve passive observation on the part of the learner. This suggests a strong bias in corporate training toward optimized hard skills training, but sub-optimal soft skills training. Given the growing recognition of the importance of soft skills training in the workplace (e.g., the #metoo phenomena), this is unacceptable. Corporate training must expand to include interactivity of the form outlined above, in order to optimize soft skills training.
Most Tasks Require a Mixture of Cognitive and Behavioral Skills Learning
Although I have described hard skill learning as being mediated by the cognitive skills learning system in the brain, and soft skill learning as being mediated by the behavioral skills learning system in the brain, the reality is that nearly all tasks involve a mixture of cognitive and behavioral skills. For example, learning a new CRM might begin with reading the manual, watching some slide shows, or watching videos of someone performing specific functions within the CRM, but ultimately you need to use your mouse, touchpad, tablet or arrow keys to navigate the CRM and the keyboard to enter data. These are all behaviors and with enough practice these behaviors will become habitized through behavioral skills learning in the brain. Analogously, when training to behave as an effective manager, it makes sense to begin by reading descriptions of appropriate and inappropriate leadership behaviors, and even passively observing video interactions that portray an array of appropriate and inappropriate behaviors. This will set the stage, and likely facilitate the subsequent training targeted directly at increasing effective leadership behaviors and decreasing ineffective leadership behaviors.
A number of vendors offer corporate training, including Salesforce, SAP, Cornerstone, Saba, Skillsoft, PageUp, Fivel, Halogen, PeopleFluent, Talentsoft, Haufe, Oracle, SilkRoad, Deltek, IBM, Lumesse, Cegid, and many more. All of these vendors offer hard and soft skills training within a single platform. In most cases, the same training procedures are used for hard and soft skills training, with only the content changing. As outlined above, this approach is disadvantageous for soft skills training.
API management is a necessary but boring practice. As developers make use of a mix of public cloud, purchased or open source libraries, and homegrown services, the number of APIs used by developers quickly renders pouring through documentation impractical.
Microservices, usually accessed via RESTFul APIs, cause API calls to rapidly proliferate. Even modest-sized microservices-based systems experience API overload quickly. Agile development can exacerbate the problem of understanding and using APIs. The rapid pace of Agile, especially Scrum, leaves little time for proper documentation of APIs. Documentation often takes a back seat to continuous deployment.
Continue reading “As API Management Problem Grows, Informatica Jumps into the Market”
On December 28th, Apple released a statement regarding the fact that it was planning to lower the battery replacement costs for Apple 6s and 7s from $79 to $29 as a followup to a December 20th statement made to Techcrunch in which Apple described how it was slowing down iPhone 6s and 7s. This piece provides guidance to enterprise IT, mobility, and procurement managers on what this issue is and how to take full advantage of this situation to improve your enterprise mobility environment.
Recommended Audience: CIO, Chief Procurement Officer, IT Procurement Directors and Managers, Mobility Directors and Managers, Telecom Directors and Managers, IT Service Desk Directors and Managers
Vendors Mentioned: Apple, Samsung, Huawei, Calero, DMI, DXC, Ezwim, G Squared Wireless, Honeywell, IBM, Intratem, MDSL, MOBI, Mobichord, MobilSense, Mobile Solutions, NetPlus, Network Control, One Source Communications, Peak-Ryzex, RadiusPoint, Stratix, Tangoe, vCom Solutions, Visage, Vox Mobile, Wireless Analytics
Continue reading “The Enterprise Opportunity in Apple’s Slowdown”