RSS

Tag Archives: big data

Enterprise Software Lessons: IT Services Keep Gaining Momentum

Yesterday, big data consultancy Think Big Analytics announced a 3M angel round led

by Daniel Scheinman with participation from WI Harper Group. Think Big Analytics specializes on providing professional services around the implementation of solutions powered by on-premise or big data technology stacks.

This founding round is another example of the increasing interest of VC firms in elite IT professional services firms that focus on hot enterprise software trends. Just a few years ago it was unconceivable for a top VC firm to invest on a professional services organizations. Lack or recurrent revenue, long sales cycles, scaling challenges etc were often cited as factors that conspired against the VC interest on these type of business models.

However, the rapid emergence of new technology trends such as big data, private clouds, enterprise mobility, security among others have slowly but steadily beginning to change those dynamics. Given the difficulties for IT organizations to implement these technologies on their own, professional services firms can enjoy of highly lucrative deals in areas that are making a huge difference in the enterprise.

In my opinion, this trend is only going to get bigger in the next few months and we are likely to see more boutique consulting firms raising different rounds of institutional capital.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on February 6, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , , ,

2013 for Enterprise Software Startups: A Year of Natural Selection

In the last few weeks of 2012, I received a number of emails referring to a growing preference within the venture capital community for revenue focused enterprise software startups compared to market-share consumer startups. While the argument is way more complex than what can be expressed in the light of this blog post, there is certain true to the fact that the tight economic times and the poor performance of recent consumer-based software IPOs have impacted the consumer VC market.

However, despite this VC love, I think this year is going to be “interesting” to say the least for enterprise software startups. The uncertainty of the world economy, particularly the US markets, fiscal cliffs, the budgets cuts established in most IT departments as well as the large number of startups that raised angel funding and are now competing for a Series A are just some of the factors that, I believe, will make 2013 a challenging year for most enterprise software startups.

Like any other challenging time, this upcoming year offers a unique opportunity for the better companies to solidify their market presence as a lot of the weaker competitors won’t be able to survive some of the phenomenon listed above. Not to sound apocalyptic, but my advice to the enterprise software startup community is to operate as it we were expecting another economic downturn. We certainly already started doing that on our side. Here are a few of the aspects I consider relevant:

Focus on Revenue

If driving revenue wasn’t your immediate goal, now it should be. In 2013, focus on finding and nurturing the revenue producing engines of growth of your company. Discovering the different avenues by which enterprises can acquire your software will provide you with the necessary resources to keep growing during economically uncertain times while building a loyal and committed customer based.

Focus on Organic Growth

These are not the times to foment rapid growth in order to just capture market share. In my opinion, this year, enterprise software startups should focus on growing organically based on revenue and optimize for being extremely efficient operationally.

Target Relevant Markets

These are great times to be in the enterprise software business. With revolutionary technology movements happening in areas such as cloud computing, mobility, big data, gamification, etc the opportunities for building relevant enterprise software companies are tremendous. However, with the uncertainly of the economy, I believe enterprises will invest on the areas that are key to their growth and set everything else aside. In that sense, enterprise software startups that are targeting mission critical areas are likely to receive a lot of attention from customers while the others would have to wait for better times.

Go After the Big Guys Money

Tough economic times can affect the big enterprise software vendors more than any other startup. While the big enterprise guys struggle to convince companies to spend large sums in complex enterprise solutions, leaner, more efficient and technologically superior startups can find an opportunity to capture that customer based with more attractive solutions.

These are some of the key advice I have for enterprise software startups in 2013. I have a lot of ideas about this topic but I will save those for a later post.

What about you?

Any words of wisdom for enterprise software startups in this new year ?

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on January 3, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , , , ,

Oracle Beats the Street but Still Looks Boring

teamoracle-380x252Oracle reported numbers yesterday and the results were better than expected. Earnings on a per-share basis were 64 cents, three cents above the consensus of 61 cents. Sales were $9.11 billion, beating the consensus estimate of $9.03 billion. The main driver for the outstanding performance was new software license sales, which rose by 17 percent to reach $2.4 billion. License updates grew 7 percent to $4.3 billion. Hardware revenue was $734 million.

And yet, it didn’t matter….

Somehow this remarkable performance couldn’t hide the fact that Oracle is becoming increasingly irrelevant in the modern enterprise software world. Other than current shareholders, Wall Street and the press I don’t think anybody was really interested or excited about Oracle’s earning report.

The enterprise software world is changing and changing fast and you have to wonder whether Oracle can continue buying their way out of irrelevance. In an enterprise software world driven by cloud, mobility, big data and social models, Oracle is still following the same rules that made it a dominant player in enterprise IT in the last three decades. The problem winds of the enterprise software world have shifted in a way that not even Oracle can afford to ignore.

When analyzing the pillars of the new enterprise IT world is hard to think about Oracle as an influential player in any of them.

Enterprise Mobility

As of today, Oracle has no presence or technology in the enterprise mobility space. Despite the increasing investments in the space by longtime rival SAP, Oracle keeps ignoring the enterprise mobility movements. At the moment, none of Oracle platforms have a well-established mobile presence and there is no clear roadmap for it.

Cloud Computing

Despite recent investments in the Oracle Cloud platform, Oracle can hardly be considered a strong player when comes to cloud platforms. In the infrastructure as a service (IaaS) space, Oracle Cloud looses hands downs when compared to competitors like Amazon’s Web Services, RackSpace or Google Compute Engine. In the platform as a service context, technologies such as Heroku, CloudFoundry, Force.com, Windows Azure or OpenShift are miles ahead of Oracle Cloud in terms of capabilities, market presence, developer and partner communities.

SaaS

This is the area where Oracle might have seen the most traction lately with products such as Oracle Fusion CRM Cloud Service and the recent acquisition of Taleo and RoghtNow. However, this space is heavily competitive with large vendors like Salesforce.com and SAP’s Success Factors or exciting new companies like WorkDay.

BigData

Exadata is a great technology but can’t really be considered an influential technology in the big data space. Startups like Cloudera, HorthinWorks, DataStax and many others gaining increasing traction with simple solutions, more agile distribution models and passionate developer communities which highly contrasts with the close and exclusive Exadata partner model.

So what can we conclude from all this?

Oracle earnings report was a great validation that the enterprise IT market remains strong but hardly a reason to be excited about Oracle technology roadmap. There are 2 words that come to mind when I think about Oracle these days in the new enterprise software world: Strong and Irrelevant.

 
1 Comment

Posted by on December 19, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , , ,

Is Enterprise Big Data in Trouble?

A few weeks ago I did an interview with ZDNet’s Andrew Brust about the state of services around big data technologies in the enterprise. Having received numerous emails about the topic, I decided to make it the subject of several posts in this blog.

Undoubtedly, big data technologies are enjoying a growing adoption in the enterprise. With the exponential growth of relevant corporate data sources and the commoditization of many industries, the ability of intelligently understanding business data has become one of the key differentiators for many companies. However, we should be conscious that this initial spike is mostly dues to technology early adopters and it’s far from indicating that big data technologies will become mainstream in the enterprise. Quite the contrary, in my opinion, if big data technologies are unable to break through this initial inflection point they will never see wide adoption beyond this group of forward thinking companies.

Like any other complex technology, big data is at a point in the technology adoption cycle that requires a healthy implementation partner ecosystem and developer community to fully capture the enterprise market. While the big data product ecosystem is certainly getting crowded, the population of solution implementers around big data doesn’t seem to be growing at the same speed. In that sense, customers find themselves without many options to find the right guidance and talent when comes to implement big data technologies. In a recent big data market study, it’s not a surprise to see IBM at the top of the big data vendors list based on the revenue produced in 2011. As much as we love Big Blue, we all know that any sector on which IBM dominates is far from becoming mainstream.

From my standpoint, in order for big data technologies to break passed this initial adoption inflection point in the enterprise, the ecosystem needs a few things:

  • Enterprise developer community
  • Services vendor ecosystem
  • Killer development and operational tooling
  • Vertical Solutions
  • Horizontal Solutions

Of course, growing each one of the aforementioned areas is a monumental task that requires the collaboration of the big data product vendors and some of the forward thinking services organizations. At this point, the big data battle in the enterprise is not so much about capturing the market as it is about growing the market.

If the industry does not quickly evolve in this direction, we are likely to see quick market consolidation on which the top big data technology vendors get acquired by the traditional enterprise big boys such as Oracle, IBM, Microsoft, EMC, SAP, etc which will likely kill the innovative spirit of big data technologies.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on June 4, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , , , ,

 
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 55 other followers