Symantec today announced its acquisition of MessageLabs, a 520-person UK-based email filtering and security vendor. Given the cost and hassles that information & knowledge management professionls (IKM Pros) have keeping email spam down to a dull roar and keeping viruses outside the firewall, this is a great move for Symantec. And now IKM pros with deep Symantec relationships have a simple choice: Keep email filtering on-premise (and pay up front and on-going) or outsource that annoying task to Symantec MessageLabs (and pay by the month).
My colleague Chris Voce and I have been doing research into the costs and challenges of on-premise email versus cloud-based email. (We'll publish a report in the next month or so with the details, but Forrester clients can contact us if they want to talk now about email in the cloud or the cost of email.)
A few things have popped out of the research:
Firms don't know what their email costs. It's easy enough to calculate the server and mail client costs, but the other costs -- administration, server and software maintenance, email filtering administration, storage, data center operations -- are usually swept under the carpet. When firms calculate a fully loaded cost per user, they will be shocked.
The recent announcement of IBM’s Cloud Computing initiatives
represents the latest front in the marketing and delivery battle for
customers, partners, and ISV’s. IBM has pulled together a mix of
existing technologies and new developments into a four pronged attack
that focuses on:
Cloud service delivery to end customers -
leveraging existing Lotus Collaboration technologies (e.g. Sametime
Unyte) and the newly announced Bluehouse, a web-delivered social
networking and collaboration cloud service.
Customer integration of cloud services -
delivering system integrator led practices around salesforce.com and
Success Factors through IBM’s Global Business Services (GBS).
ISV enablement of cloud services - providing ISV’s with tools to design, build, deliver, and market cloud services.
Customer enablement of cloud services - helping customers deploy their own clouds through a suite of enabling technologies known as “Blue Cloud”.
I met a beautiful woman today. Actually, "met" is an overstatement; she and I were both sitting in a waiting room at a medical clinic. I couldn't help but watch her out of the corner of my eye because she was strikingly beautiful. She had beautifully coiffed hair, wore a gorgeous buttery-yellow jacket which was coordinated with a colorful and elegant scarf, plus her nail polish perfectly matched her outfit. (Hang in here guys, there is a point to this.)
Most modern large enterprise Business Intelligence (BI) tools are very robust and feature rich these days. Up until a few years ago BI users could blame vendors for most of their BI ills. This is getting harder and harder to do. Many of the BI tools, especially the ones reviewed in our latest BI Wave, are very function rich, robust, stable and scalable. However, while the tools have really improved for the better over the last 5, typical BI issues and challenges remain the same as when I first tackled them as a BI programmer over 25 years ago: silo’d implementations, incomplete data sets, dirty data, poor management and governance, heavy reliance on IT, and many more.
We are right now in the middle of running a BI survey, exploring these and other BI issues. While the results are still pouring in, the preliminary findings are 100% supportive of the evidence we’ve collected qualitatively and anecdotally over the past few years:
Not all data is available in BI applications
Data is less than 100% trustworthy
BI applications are somewhat difficult to learn, use and navigate
Most of the reports and dashboards are developed by IT, not end users
In early September, Forrester
published its “The Forrester Wave™: Network Access Control, Q3 2008.” Forrester’s
findings revealed that Microsoft, Cisco Systems, Bradford Networks, and
Juniper Networks lead the pack because of their strong enforcement and policy,
but that Microsoft’s NAP technology, despite being a newcomer, has become the
de facto standard.
Any time you try and put some order
to vendor solutions, you are bound to find people in agreement – and to raise
ire in others. However, reaction in the blogosphere to a recent Network World article on the
research has raised some questions about Forrester’s Wave methodology which I’ll
aim to address:
Quick thoughts from Scottsdale. Initiate as many you know is one of the leaders in the customer hubs/MDM market. At their annual conference, Initiate Exchange, a few key trends emerged from conversations with customers and partners:
Why? The truth is, I learn by doing and by speaking with others who do. So I dabble with Twitter, Plurk, Pownce, Spoink, Rakawa, Tumblr, Utterli, Yammer, FriendFeed, 12seconds, and probably a few others that I signed up for and forgot to use. I have found a nice collection of people that I like to follow, and some people follow me too. So microblogging appeals to the extrovert in me, and I'm strangely fascinated reading what other people are doing (or what they say they are doing). Narcissism and voyeurism are at play.
Today, HP announced the intention to acquire iSCSI storage vendor LeftHand Networks for $360 Million in cash. LeftHand makes virtualized storage array software that can turn just about any server, PC or subset of disks on a device into a full featured IP based SAN array with features like space efficient snapshots, distance replication support and thin provisioning. LeftHand has a tight partnership with VMware, and does both standard virtual server attach to SAN, as well as some innovative virtual appliance models that turn the physical disks on board a VMware server into an array. The LeftHand software can span across multiple physical devices, allowing for combinations of virtual appliances and dedicated servers.