On April 18th, IBM announced its intent to acquire virtual tape library (VTL) and deduplication vendor Diligent Technologies. For IBM, Diligent is a good fit. The company offers both mainframe and open systems virtual tape libraries and they are a pioneer of deduplication. However, IBM already offers a market leading mainframe VTL based on its own intellectual property and an open systems VTL based on FalconStor technology — although the open systems VTL has very limited adoption — so there is also a lot of overlap. Because Diligent is a software solution, IBM can quickly integrate Diligent with any of its storage systems and bring new VTLs to market relatively quickly. It’s very likely that IBM will in fact pursue this route so it can bring an inline deduplicating VTL to market as quickly as possible.
Forrester is planning on creating a Leadership Board for product managers. What does that mean?
Here's an official description:
The Forrester Tech Industry (TI) Leadership Boards bring senior executives together to stimulate new thinking & encourage business growth. Each is a knowledge community, layered on top of Forrester’s research services, tailored to a specific role. The Forrester Leadership Boards (FLBs) help members succeed by offering member-driven content, unique deliverables, community interactions and a dedicated relationship team.
In other words, above and beyond the normal research and consulting, the FLB for product management may provide things like..
The Sugar Open Source Project and Community are at the heart of our mission. Creating an ‘architecture of participation’ where users from around the world can help to build a higher quality, more useful product is a superior form of development than the traditional Silicon Valley model of a few product managers dictating what features the world needs. The open source model embraces the world outside of Silicon Valley instead of keeping it at arm’s length.
If you ever doubted that there's a difference between product management and marketing, doubt no more. Memo to the marketing person who wrote this copy: some product managers might dream of having dictatorial powers, but, honestly...
[On the off chance that you have the power to mold people's wills to your own, call me. I might get you a part as the villain in the next Bond movie.]
Ever since I was an investment banker at JPMorgan supporting their Software M&A team, I was predicting that the future of products and services in enterprise applications is inseparable. Significant portion of our team M&A advice to product vendors was to beef up their services portfolios and vice versa. These were my thoughts then, that are still very valid today:
CXO engagement. It's much easier to approach a C-level executive during a strategy initiative, which traditionally is the realm of strategic advisory and management consulting firms. The earlier you get your foot in the door with a CXO, the higher are the chances he/she will also consider your products. Hence, ability to influence downstream decisions for procuring products and services decreases in the latter phases of any initiative.
Successful execution. Strong PMO (Project Management Office) capabilities such as methodology, certifications, track record, etc and ultimately successful product/project delivery are key to application vendor success.
Service-oriented architecture (SOA). Large enterprise IT, convinced that no single off-the-shelf solution suite is ever good enough for them, are seriously considering component (services) based architectures, which is causing vendors to move into dynamic (or otherwise known as composite) apps middleware and services to prevent marginalization.
Okay product managers, what has all your down-in-the-weeds detailed product knowledge done for you and your company lately? Entitled you to more phone calls and emails? Turned you into first line customer support? Allowed you to write endless pages of detailed specifications that are more painful than a root canal minus the Novocain? It doesn't sound like product management.
Mansour argues that, for many core aspects of product management, product knowledge can be a liability for the product manager. Here's an example:
Many thanks to the good people at The Product Management View for the opportunity to talk about the tools product managers use. The presentation was a sneak peek of my upcoming research article about this topic. The View is a good forum for discussions of product management, so we had many good questions during the webinar. Thanks, too, to everyone who attended.
My first official Forrester publication is on the web site. I thought I'd start humbly, with something titled, "The End of Product Development." Then we could fast forward a million years, when human beings are gone and cockroaches rule the world. Before we go there, it's worth pausing to note what the IT to BT transition means for product development in the technology industry.
As a friend and colleague said when I sent him the link, "Gosh, it's weird to see your picture there!" If you can get past the picture, I hope you find it useful.
Postscript: In case you're wondering about the research article about tools for product managers, it's making its way through the editing and production process.
Recently I saw a preview of Eloqua’s spring release and it got me thinking about the role lead scoring plays in determining campaign effectiveness. I hadn’t seen the product in a while and was impressed with the UI improvements the Eloqua team has produced. They have added new capabilities for delivering highly personalized direct mail, SMS/voice reminders, and on-demand fax and RSS delivery – interesting stuff that, while I’d need to talk to a client or two to be convinced of their specific usefulness, show that Eloqua is delivering a broader range of lead nurturing, drip marketing capabilities. Lastly, new campaign design UI will help shorten the time it takes to get first campaigns up and running.
I lead Forrester’s Interactive Marketing team, and I’d like to welcome to the newly-minted Forrester Blog For Interactive Marketers. Some of you may be thinking - Wait! I’ve been coming to this blog for years. What gives?
Today Google and Salesforce.com announced another step in their ongoing flirtatious relationship. Salesforce.com will now bundle Google business applications into its on-line CRM offering. Salesforce will also begin to distribute Google applications backed by Salesforce support. It's always interesting when these two make an announcement for two reasons: First, they are both 100% committed to cloud computing and they think about the future of the industry in very similar terms. Second, it is fundamentally interesting to conjecture about the potential of a Salesforce acquisition. Note the rumor mill cranking up on this topic a few weeks ago when Oracle arranged for a $2B line of credit.
Now, Marc Benioff has stated early, often and loudly that Saleforce.com is not an acquisition target and has every intention of becoming the next major software infrastructure vendor. Fair enough. Salesforce.com has done all the right things to do just that. They've invested heavily in an infrastructure and built a reputation that represents a significant barrier to entry to anyone that wants to horn in on their territory. Salesforce.com has a significant history of securely and reliably delivering mission critical enterprise applications in the cloud. Raise your hand if you can make that claim. Not a lot of hands.