B2B Connection

Information and resources for technology buyers

2023 B2B Buying Disconnect: The Self-Serve Economy Is Prove It or Lose It by Megan Headley
Top eCommerce Strategies for 2023 by Neil Chandavarkar

Traditionally, industry analysts like Gartner and Forrester have played a central role in informing IT purchasing decisions. However, they tend to focus on larger, better known vendors and have very limited coverage of emerging or open source solutions. Moreover, the primary data sources for researchers are conversations with vendors, augmented by customer surveys and calls (the audience is often directed by vendors) and occasionally lab tests. Few analysts have hands-on experience with every product, nor do they work with the products on an ongoing basis to experience customer support, upgrades, test integrations, etc., so coverage can lack usage details highly relevant to buyers. For this reason, IT executives find that conversations with peers are often vital to securing unfiltered, direct knowledge of a product’s capabilities, and any hidden issues like difficulty of implementation, integration with other products, or customer support experience. This kind of information can be invaluable to help formulate areas of concern to drill into during vendor calls, or as part of an RFP process. The challenge with peer conversations is scalability. Most IT executives have limited personal networks so it is challenging to talk to enough people who have used/evaluated the same set of products recently, and […]

The almost moribund category of job scheduling and workload automation has been invigorated by the emergence of a number of open-source, DevOps-oriented tools that have quickly become hot commodities. This is an increasingly visible and quickly developing category. What follows is an overview of the space and an early summary of the key products, based on initial reviews. Summary of Findings Tools like Chef, Puppet Ansible and SaltStack allow IT administrators to automate the configuration of cloud services, in addition to internal data centers. These upstart tools have also completely moved away from any kind of batch processing, to be event-based configuration allowing, for example, new cloud resources to be provisioned and configured automatically during peak demand. These DevOps tools are not all the same. As early reviews make clear, Ansible is much lighter weight, and easier to use than other tools. Chef is more powerful, but also requires developer-level resources. Puppet is the most established product, but has a steep learning curve. Large enterprise vendors like VMware and HP have taken notice, and some have made significant investments. Ansible is in the process of being acquired by Red Hat, but look for further acquisitions in this very hot space. Our review […]