Earlier this week, Sun Microsystems announced that its Project Blackbox was now a commercially shipping product. I have to confess that when they first told me about this effort I saw it as a nice showcase innovation — something they could use to demonstrate how densely racks could be configured and how energy efficient their products were. They could drive it from city to city for in-person demonstrations. Nice marketing idea. But I didn’t see the practicality to real enterprise data centers. Who’d be willing to buy a container and park it outside their data center? Yeah, that’s secure.
For the past 3 weeks, Forrester has sponsored a B2B marketing survey on Web 2.0 and Customer Marketing Program Trends. So far, we have received 185 responses from marketers like you. I thought you might like to see a preview of one of the more interesting findings.
When it comes to Social Media use and Web 2.0, B2B marketers I talk with usually raise the topic of blogging. They want to know "who is doing it well?" and "what benefits have they achieved?" In the survey, when we asked "Which statement BEST describes your corporate experience with blogging so far? (Please select one response)," B2B marketers told us:
On January 16, 2008, Oracle announced it has entered into an agreement to acquire Captovation, a provider of document capture solutions. With Captovation, Oracle extends its solution for ECM for transactional content by adding a strong capture solution. The acquisition is expected to close by February 2008. Captovation already has joint customers with Oracle/Stellent and had actually partnered with Optica even prior to Stellent's acquisition. In this sense the acquisition is not surprising. "Oracle Capture" will be the new product brand.
For Oracle customers, it makes a more complete ECM solution, one that can address paper capture for invoice processing for ERP applications or more convincingly incorporate unstructured content for Siebel. For Captovation customers it means increased R&D, investment protection, and access to Oracle's global support and services.
HP’s plans to acquire Exstream combined with EMC’s intent to buy Document Sciences demonstrates that output management for transactional content is becoming critical to many large organizations. But how do you rationalize these two acquisitions? First let’s look at EMC. They add to their consistently improving transactional content assets. Whether it involves invoice processing, account notices and policies for insurance, or new account opening, DOM gives EMC more complete support of the document lifecycle. More to the point, Forrester’s predicted growth in Interactive DOM is very important for the major ECM players. Interactive DOM makes more use of ECM then Structured applications that are essentially batch processes with little human involvement. Interactive applications need human-centric business process management to help author, store, version, and manage content dynamically. EMC can now link their broad ECM platform to Document Sciences for this emerging area.
I was involved in a session on social computing -- Facebook, MySpace, etc. I always bring Forrester data to Davos -- in an attempt to cut through the slugs of opinion/speculation emanating from all concerned. For U.S. people on-line, here's what percentage go to each of the following sites at least once a month: 31% YouTube, 29% MySpace, 22% Wikipedia, 8% Facebook, 3% Friendster, 3% LinkedIn, 1% Second Life. In every major country in Europe, MySpace is in the top three most popular social sites -- Facebook is only in the top three in the U.K. The social computing elite who populated my session beat me up about the data -- they all think Facebook is much bigger than the data suggests. My theory is that Facebook is the white collar place to be, and MySpace is too blue collar for the elite...
All of the Indian outsourcers were there. Infosys' lavish parties from year's past have upped the ante -- now all of the top Indian players are out in force. They have five worries: 1) the "tax holiday" that the Indian government bestowed on Indian IT companies will not be renewed in 2009, 2) the price of the rupee is too high, 3) the price of the dollar is too low, 4) U.S. recession, and 5) somehow, someway to get leverage. The ten year math on Tata/TCS, Wipro, Infosys and their smaller brethren doesn't work. There aren't enough smart, employable people to satisfy their current growth rates, and the planned growth of IBM, Accenture, and the captive players. They should go into the software business...
Asia was a hot topic. The consensus was that the Asian economy is not decoupled from the U.S. economy. A U.S. recession will take Asia with it -- at least for the next five years. There is $9 trillion of consumer spending in the U.S. per year, and only $1.6 trillion in "Chindia" -- China and India. If the U.S. consumer stops spending, Chindia can't make up the difference. Big debates about whether China can pass the EU or U.S. in GDP over the next 25 years without political reform. A lot of the hard-bitten economists and business people say that China will "muddle through." Pei Minxin of the Carnegie Foundation said that without political change, the Chinese people cannot see the future. He called China's expansion "authoritarian growth" or "high-speed, low-quality growth." In his opinion, political change is inevitable. But the Chinese government watched the clumsy Soviet Union to Russia transition and doesn't want to make the same mistakes.
The wane in U.S. power and influence was a subtext of the proceedings. If the U.S. economy was truly de-coupled from the rest of the world, you get the impression that no one at Davos would be talking about America --they'd be focused on the fast growing India, China, Korea, et al economies.
Lots of talk about the emerging worldwide water crisis. Some interesting thoughts: 90% of the world's water is used in agriculture. To cut this number we need another green revolution. That would be a genetic revolution -- but governments won't permit it. That's got to change if the impending water crisis is to be avoided. Energy places large demands on water supplies. It takes 2.5 liters of water to produce one liter of oil. The production of heavy oil or oil sands (the hard-to-get-stuff that the world will turn to as "easy" oil depletes) takes ten times as much water -- big problem. Ethanol is a double whammy -- it consumes lots of water to produce the corn, then it takes a lot of water to go from corn to ethanol. And you still get high CO2 emissions.