A Misguided Battle For Desktop Productivity?

Kylemcnabb_5By Kyle McNabb

Anyone else getting social networking fatigue? What about frustration with too much choice in email, calendaring, instant messaging, and content authoring & publishing tools? Do you think you're more or less productive as a result of all the technology being thrown at you at work and outside of work? These questions, and more, are the focus of our ongoing research into the needs of information workers and the future of desktop productivity. What's struck me as a part of this research is how out of touch many established and new desktop productivity vendors are with the needs of information workers.

Findings from our research will be published in early Q2 2008, but I wanted to share a few observations:

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Introducing Success Imperatives

Welcome back from an end of year respite and into the New Year. As you change gears from the goals of 2007 and reassess where to focus your efforts as Business Process & Applications professionals in 2008, our analysts are poised to provide the most relavant research and analyses to address the core competencies of your role.

In 2008, expect our analysts to weave the importance and impact of five key trends on Business Process & Applications professionals throughout our research and commentary. While numerous trends will affect how BP&A professionals approach their roles, these will center on next-generation applications and architectures and becoming a more business-process-oriented organization. These trends are: Dynamic Business Applications; Web 2.0 and tech populism; software-as-a-service (SaaS); business process centers of excellence (COEs); and the evolving business analyst role.

Additionally, Forrester will tailor all of our research not only to your role, but to your role's most important objectives -- what Forrester calls Success Imperatives (SIs). On January 12th, Success Imperatives will transform the forrester.com site experience. While all of Forrester's research will remain accessible, you will be able to tailor your primary site experience to the SI most critical to your success at any given time. The result? The most finely attuned offering of pertinent and up to date research, tools, teleconferences, and videos accessible all in one place.

Without further ado BP&A professionals' SIs:

1. Become a more business-process-oriented organization

2. Define a strategy and framework for governing all enterprise app decisions

3. Prepare for next-generation packaged applications and architectures

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Highlighting the importance of data privacy... one person at a time

I've seen an increasingly common trend for vendors or others to post sensitive personal information in public places, to prove that no harm will come, or that their solution will protect against any possible misuse. One person to do this recently, in response to the data loss by HM Revenue and Customs is Jeremy Clarkson, a TV broadcaster specializing in cars. Despite having no background in finance and fraud, he published his personal information in a newspaper column trying to diminish the idea that harm could come from the data breach. And that has come back to haunt him, as someone set up an automatic debit from his account of 500 GBP a month to be given to charity. My favorite part of the story is his new attitude:

"We must go after the idiots who lost the discs and stick cocktail sticks in their eyes until they beg for mercy."

Beyond a good laugh, what can we get from this story?

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Aruba Purchases AirWave

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Aruba Networks announced today that it has purchased AirWave wireless for US$37 Million in cash and stock. AirWave's multi-vendor network management products will continue to be offered by Aruba and the product will continue to be developed as a vendor-agnostic solution.

Aruba, making announcements of 802.11n products, higher-capacity controllers and network security products, has been shoring up its position as a fast-follower to market-share leader Cisco Systems. In AirWave, Aruba adds the ability to enter into multi-client infrastructure situations, potentially taking business away from other players with management platforms that cannot make sense of the multiple pieces of disparate wireless networking hardware one sees most commonly in the large enterprise - a key segment for Aruba.

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More Reasons For Microsoft/FAST Search Transaction

Borisevelson_3By Boris Evelson

While I echo my colleagues' earlier comments on the Microsoft/FAST Search transaction, I also give Microsoft thumbs up for being the first of the major BI vendors to embrace alternative DBMS for BI. For a while now I've been predicting that alternative DBMS for BI will gain continually increasing momentum for the following reasons:

  • Traditional relational databases were designed from the ground up for transaction processing, not BI. Only in the last decade have they even begun to accommodate BI-style queries, and still play a constant balancing act between OLTP and OLAP optimization. Columnar databases, such as Vertica, Sybase IQ, KX, ParAccel, SAND Technology, InfoBright, are specifically designed and optimized for nothing but OLAP query processing. Their schemas are also much more flexible since it's as easy to drop, add, or update a column in a columnar database as it is to insert, change, or delete a row in a relational database.
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Microsoft Buys Into High-end Enterprise Search With FAST

LeslieowensBy Leslie Owens and Ken Poore

The value of high-end search technology was demonstrated today as Microsoft offered to acquire FAST Search & Transfer for approximately $1.2b. The transaction, endorsed by FAST management and key investors, is expected to be completed in 2Q08. We see this as a good deal for FAST, a good deal for Microsoft and a good deal for customers. This is a transformative event for the enterprise search industry.

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802.11n Gets A Boost - Sort Of

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Chipmaker Marvell announced last week the introduction of its TopDog 11n-450 802.11n Wi-Fi chip which
boasts speeds of 450Mbps. The vendor will be demonstrating the new chip at its
booth at the Consumer Electronics Show this week.

450Mbps? Yes, we have
reported
speeds for 802.11n, based on the draft standard, as being in the
neighborhood of 300Mbps, so you may be wondering how Marvell can accomplish
this accelerated throughput. The answer is 3X3 configuration – instead of the
more standard 2x2 configuration - in which three transmitters and three
receivers on the 90nm chip increase the theoretical throughput by 150Mbps. All,
of course, in controlled testing environments. Overall throughput and realized
gains are not likely to mirror these results in any real-world application.

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Key Steps For Making UC Investments In The Enterprise

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Unified communications generates interest as an important
business tool to improve business processes and reduce costly business delays
for time sensitive situations. However, many IT managers have difficulty in
building a business case for upgrading to UC-enabled infrastructure. While UC
offerings are based on sound technology and can enhance existing IT
investments, business process improvements represent the most potential gain
from adoption of UC. Key business process improvements with UC include shorter
sales cycles, increased access to experts, rapid problem resolution, reduced
travel – and therefore carbon footprint - and training costs, improved customer
experience and faster project completion. Important factors to consider for a
business case include:

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IBM Buys XIV, Maker Of Grid-Like Storage Systems

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On December 31, 2007, IBM announced closing the acquisition of Israel based storage systems vendor XIV for an undisclosed amount, but speculated to
be in the $300-350MM range. This deal is
interesting in terms of technology, as well as politics. Regarding politics, XIV’s Chairman Moshe
Yanai was a pioneer at EMC, personally designing the Symmetrix system that
continues to be a high-end storage market leader as today’s DMX systems. IBM’s investment in his technology and his
company is a validation of the individual who EMC cast aside, as well as the
product approach that XIV is taking in the storage market.

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