How is SAP's partner ecosystem poised to propel the company towards vital future growth in the cloud? Will this ecosystem earn the enterprise IT leader its sought after slice of the global digital economy, whose app economy alone will be $120B this year? These were the key questions at a recent strategic SAP Partner forum I attended in New York City. The upshot: While the SAP Partner story overall is strong for the firm, there remains critial work to do to prepare for the future and fully realize its potential to achieve the company's strategic goals. The German software giant is well known for providing some of the most mature and sophisticated enterprise solutions in the world.
Enterprise software vendor ecosystems are nothing new. Even in the early days of enterprise computing when a handful of mainframe vendors dominated the market, each of them worked with partners, including smaller vendors with complementary offerings as well as various types of consultants who could aid with implementation. Vendor conferences are a splendid way to see such ecosystems in action, and I've written about several recently, including my takes on the VMware ecosystem, IBM ecosystem, and Dell Technologies ecosystem. IBM's ecosystem, in fact, is the granddaddy of all of them, having gone through the mainframe era, the'IBM compatible' PC days, WebSphere middleware in the 2000s, and now the IBM Cloud/Watson ecosystem. One informal way of measuring the vibrancy of an ecosystem is to look at the attendance of a vendor conference where ecosystem partners exhibit.
Samsung Electronics has been successful in the enterprise delivering solutions encompassing smartwatches, smartphones, tablets, software and services. Part of their success can be attributed to "product," as they were the first to harden Android with Samsung Knox, they have the widest array of mobile offerings available, and are pushing the boundaries with mobile security. Their enterprise-grade support, services and ISV relations played a big part as well, and what I'd like to touch on here is Samsung's revamped Alliances Program. Samsung announced today they will expand their Samsung Alliance Program, whose charter it is to help accelerate businesses' mobile-first strategies. I think this announcement is a great way for the mobile giant to start off the New Year, right after the company forecasted a 50% improvement in profits in the recent quarter and fielded a solid CES.
In the early days of AI development, all machine learning model creation and management was done locally on machines owned and operated by data scientists. As such, all the platforms that saw early traction are focused on the individual data scientist or their immediate teams. Open source dominates in this space, especially by offerings in the Python and R ecosystems. Libraries developed for these ecosystems include the vastly popular scikit-learn, Keras, TensorFlow, and PyTorch open source toolkits as well as the popular Jupyter notebook, and Google's Colaboratory built on top of that, as well as a wide range of open source tools and toolkits covered in a previous article on this topic. However, open source is not the end-all for machine learning model development.
Logicalis has become the first UK channel player to secure the Cisco IoT authorisation partner status just a few weeks after the vendor cut the ribbon on the scheme. Cisco first announced the IoT partner authorisation in November last year at its Partner Summit with it being officially launched last month. To get the nod from Cisco a partner has to put a number of both sales and technical staff through the training to get certified. Logicalis, which has been a partner of the vendor for two decades, managed to get double the required number up to speed and is now looking to get to the next stage, the IoT Advantage certification. "IoT is a core focus area for the Logicalis Group and we've invested significant time and resources into building both our knowledge and solutions," said Richard Simmons, European Chief Technologist for IoT at Logicalis.