There's been plenty of news on the state of the economy and how it's affecting everything from the length of the work week to the ability to travel, even Steven Colbert has been forced to make some changes.
It's been said, though, that it's always a recession in IT Operations. Companies look to the advantages technologies like mobile and remote access, unified communications, virtualization and IT consolidation as ways to reduce cost while keeping - and in many cases, expanding - functionality.
So what are your peers doing to keep IT budgets in check and save their organizations money during this financial tumult? I'm looking to our research panel to find out. We're currently in the process of fielding a panel survey to assess the measures organizations are taking to reduce costs and make and I'd like you to participate. While this research is in the field, joining our research panel gives you the opportunity to share your best practices, a link to join is here:
When Microsoft announced this week that its next version of Office will include web apps there was no real surprise. But it reminded me of Steven Wright on Dr. Katz when he acknowledged that he usually had four or five cups of coffee before his first cup of coffee. Knowledge workers have started drinking at the web apps cafe, but are just getting warmed up for the real thing. It’s when Microsoft’s brew is ready that it starts to count.
Yesterday morning best-of-breed field service optimization vendor, ClickSoftware Technologies, and enterprise applications software giant, SAP, announced a heightened extension to their successful partnering history. Building on an existing record of successful synergy between the two technologies, especially within the utilities industry, SAP will now recognize ClickSoftware as a Solution Extension (SOLEX) Partner.
As an SAP SOLEX partner, ClickSoftware’s Service Optimization Suite will be sold by SAP as the SAP Workforce Scheduling and Optimization application by ClickSoftware.
How is this different from today?
ClickSoftware’s optimization suite of products will now appear on SAP’s official pricelist. As a result, SAP account executives will now be compensated for selling the ClickSoftware product and clients will have access to SAP’s support service infrastructure.
Prospective buyers, especially existing SAP customers, will have the advantage of negotiating through one vendor, one contract, one sales team – well, you get the idea.
SAP will package and resell Click’s solution suite into three bundled offerings. 1) Effectively the entire ClickSoftware suite of products with SAP Workforce Scheduling and Optimization Suite by ClickSoftware; 2) the real-time scheduling optimization and analytics product with SAP Workforce Scheduling and Optimization by ClickSoftware – Field Service and Maintenance Scheduling; and 3) the demand forecasting and resource planning products with SAP Workforce Scheduling and Optimization by ClickSoftware – Forecasting and Rostering.
Continued interest in software as a service (SaaS) stems from the
pay as you go pricing, constant stream of innovation, rapid deployment
options, and the ability to do an end run around IT. As the number of
options proliferate, enterprises will increasingly lean on SaaS as the
mission critical system. Thus, end users need an enterprise apps
strategy for SaaS that addresses the “I” word - Integration. The
requirements and leadership for integration will lead to the pragmatic
realization that SaaS can no longer be ignored by the IT department.
As organizations brace for the proliferation of SaaS procurements
integration should focus on:
Tom Waits fans know the title of this post as one of his pieces and one that was used in the Enron documentary "The Smartest Guys In the Room." There's a YouTube video of the Waits piece here, if you're interested. Doing some research recently, the first couple lines of the song - if one can call it that - started playing in my head as I began contemplating what Cisco is planning for its upcoming, and much publicized 11/11/08 release. I've been piecing together some things I'm seeing in emails and Cisco blog posts and they're definitely building something "in there" in San Jose. The question is, "what is it?"
"I don't want 10 developers. I want 3 great ones", is what a client told me when I asked him how his company was responding to the economic crisis. Of course, I think this is good advice even in good times and I think we have gotten away from this is recent years. Why? I think there are couple of reasons:
Outsourcing changed the focus from finding great developers to hiring large numbers of developers.
Project managers and business analysts worked their darndest to separate developers from the business problems that develoeprs need to solve. Agile has mitigated this a bit, but treating developers like machines on an assembly has been in fashion for years now.
There are fewer great developers because back in the day people passionate about software development gravitated towards a career in application development. Now it is a career choice for many and percentage of great developers has been diluted and thus they are harder to find.
I am asking every application development professional I talk to, including you, the following questions:
I'm concerned about the state of WLAN vendor marketing. In the last year, a relatively precipitous drop-off of marketing driven "news" has occurred in my RSS reader, and a noticeable lack of "pitch decks" are finding their way into my inbox. That's not to say that I'm not still drowning in press releases (no, the fact that the Poughkeepsie School District is using your solution is not worthy of coverage) but I'm seeing less and less sizzle in a time where more would be better. A good thing for me, perhaps, but not a good thing for continuing to make the case for Wi-Fi.
It may just be time for enterprise customers to take a serious look at cloud computing. Major announcements in the past few days from Microsoft and Amazon have certainly signaled that the on-demand Internet computing model has staying power. And with a long recession looming there may be no better time to start getting familiar with something that could dramatically lower infrastructure costs.
If it’s October, it must be time for IBM’s annual Information On Demand (IOD) conference. Initiated 3 years ago, IOD has become an indispensable event for any Information and Knowledge Management (I&KM) professional who has deployed IBM’s sprawling data management solution portfolio.
And IBM doesn’t disappoint: each annual conference is jampacked with important announcements that improve the vendor’s positioning in the forefront of today’s information-driven economy. If anything, IOD has become so crowded with IBM announcements that some important events or themes can easily be overlooked or given less emphasis than they deserve.
I know I am in the right business. Over 25 years ago, when I was a junior programmer on Wall Street, I heard the CEO of Citibank, Walter Wriston, say during one of the company meetings that “information about a transaction was going to become more important than a transaction itself”. I pondered on his prediction of the impending information revolution and decided to get into the business. I have not felt sorry ever since.
That is until now. I saw a good portion of my savings plan evaporate, some friends loosing their jobs on Wall Street in droves, and out of control media predicting, what basically amounts to, the end of the world (well, at least economic and social structures) as we know it.
What went wrong? While I am obviously not qualified to comment on the disastrous chain of events and a failure at every single link of the entire credit value chain (yes, I am not going to mention unreasonable social programs, uneducated consumers, greedy bankers and investors, ineffective risk rating agencies, and government regulation paralysis – did I miss anyone?), I am somewhat qualified to partially blame failed Business Intelligence at some levels of the credit value chain.