Good, simple explanation of Service Level Objectives (SLOs)

SLOs are objectives that your business aspires to meet and intends to take action to defend; just remember, your SLOs are not your SLAs (service level agreements)! You should pick SLOs that represent the most critical aspects of the user experience. If you meet an SLO, your users and your business should be happy. Conversely, if the system does not meet the SLO, that implies there are users who are being made unhappy!

Source: Building good SLOs – CRE life lessons

All those eyeballs

The economics of attention markets focuses on three features. First it focuses on
time as the key dimension of competition since it is what is being bought and sold. Second, it focuses on content since it plays a central role in acquiring time, embedding advertising messages, and operating efficient attention platforms. And third it focuses on the scarcity of time and the implications of that for competition among attention platforms.

Source: The Economics of Attention

Finding talent in tech

My column this month in The Register looks at “the skills gap” most hiring managers see when it comes to tech skill. The suggestions for fixing it are, of course, to fix the framing, expectations, and profile of people you’re looking for. As Andrew Clay Shafer put it: there is no talent shortage.

Source: “You can’t find tech staff – wah, wah, wah. Start with your ridiculous job spec”

Companies that loose billions have a hard time being successful

How all these unprofitable companies sustaining high valuations:

bending reality today has three elements: a vision, fast growth, and financing.

But:

A few firms other than Amazon have defied the odds. Over the past 20 years Las Vegas Sands, a casino firm, Royal Caribbean, a cruise-line company, and Micron Technology, a chip-maker, each lost $1bn or more for two consecutive years and went on to prosper. But the chances of success are slim. Of the current members of the Russell 1000 index, since 1997 only 37 have lost $1bn or more for at least two years in a row. Of these, 21 still lose money.

Source: SchumpeterFirms that burn up $1bn a year are sexy but statistically doomed

People get upset when others make more money, and they don’t

Between 1990 and 2010 the rate of economic convergence across American states slowed to less than half what it had been between 1880 and 1980. It has since fallen close to zero. Rich cities started pulling away from less well-off counterparts (see chart 1). According to the Brookings Institution, a think-tank, in the decade to 2015 productivity growth in American metropolitan areas was highest in the top 10% and the bottom 20% (where, by definition, the baseline was low). Struggling middle-income cities like Scranton fell further behind. A recent report by the OECD found that, in its mostly-rich members, the average productivity gap between the most productive 10% of regions and the bottom 75% widened by nearly 60% over the past 20 years.

Source: Left in the lurchGlobalisation has marginalised many regions in the rich world

Atlassian revenue up 47% y/y

The enterprise collaboration software vendor said it earned 12 cents a share, three cents ahead of the consensus estimate. Revenue climbed 41.7% year over year to $193.8 million, also above the $185.8 million analysts had forecasted.

You know what they say: developers don’t pay for anything.

Someone either needs to acquire Atlassian, it has to start acquiring companies, or if the private cloud thing becomes cemented, they need to work with the public cloud three to build out the private cloud toolchain. IBM and CA are the traditional ALM/SDLC acquirers (with occasional raids by the Microsoft barbarians), but that doesn’t seem likely anymore? 

Here, maybe Oracle if they double down on appdev for their new PaaS: retaining their existing Java+Oracle DB empire, feeding it into PaaS? That’s a bit too ornate of a strategy for such as big asset as Atlassian, though.
There’s always PE for big bundling plays, but what would the PE exit strategy be?
Source: At Last! Atlassian Surges on Strong Earnings, Forecast

Oracle’s public cloud momentum

Oracle reports its PaaS and IaaS revenue together, which makes understanding its IaaS growth difficult. FY16 to FY17 revenue increased from $0.9bn to $1.4bn, equivalent to 60% YoY growth. The company claims to have added 14,000 IaaS and PaaS customers to OCI since its inception, almost all of them existing customers of its licensed software. Oracle’s overall revenue in 2016 was $37bn, so IaaS and PaaS still represent a small slice of the pie.

The report has, of course, more detail on the portfolio, e.g.:

A challenge Oracle faced from the beginning was its tardiness to the market. Sure, it could copy and perhaps improve upon existing public cloud offerings, but it would have to do it faster than the rest of the market. AWS, for example, has over 70 services, so there is a lot of ground to cover. Over the past year, Oracle has released 50 services and features – starting from bare-metal compute and storage, the company has added virtual machines, databases, database clustering, load balancers, audit capability, compliance, monitoring, logging, authentication and new images. From a single datacenter in Phoenix, it has expanded to Ashburn, Virginia, and Frankfurt; it is targeting London for early 2018 and APAC further down the line. It has also released and open-sourced a new serverless capability called Fn and a Docker-native platform called Fn Flow for composing serverless applications. The company hopes to distinguish its serverless offering by making it cloud-agnostic, although Java is first among equals in terms of supported languages. Oracle realizes that its capability isn’t as broad as AWS’s, but its rate of development shows it can achieve a lot in a short amount of time.

And:

In 451 Research’s Voice of the Enterprise: Hosting & Cloud Managed Services, Organizational Dynamics 2017 report, 44% of 515 respondents stated that they would pay a premium for an enhanced SLA on performance/uptime; 34% stated that they would pay a premium for enhanced customer support. The median premium for these enhancements was about 20%. Buyers see value in services way beyond just the basics. The challenge for Oracle is convincing customers that it offers the best capability for the best price – there are others in the market with stronger credentials and reputations. stronger credentials and reputations.

Source: Oracle stays the course on IaaS

ScienceLogic momentum

The company targets very large users, with 60% of its customers being MSPs, followed by enterprises at about 30%, and the rest coming from government agencies. It doesn’t report the number of direct customers, but its website boasts 47,000 organizations as users, many of them employing ScienceLogic via service providers. Average annual contract value for direct customers is $125,000.

Source: ScienceLogic targets new use case aimed at frustrated CMDB users