OK. So this is really a little bragging about my son Justin. But I hope to make a broader point as well. In the last few days Justin has become a bit of an internet star. His name is all over the Web having invented a popular game for the X-Box. Somehow -- and I haven’t tried it yet, having no X-box -– you put the controller on your neck which gives you a massage and through adjustments (see console below), you can adjust the strength. It’s unclear to me how he is fitting this development amidst his study load at Vanderbilt – but I take solace in the fact that he is at least applying his EE education.
If everyone in the world had access to an Xbox, masseurs and masseuses worldwide would be out of job and out of pocket-- all because of a community game released on Xbox Live called "Rumble Massage." The game enables users to use the rumble functions of the Xbox 360 controller as a massage tool, while utilizing the console as an interface with which to change the settings.
Welcome to the life of a data warehousing (DW) industry analyst. I’m often asked by Information and Knowledge Management (I&KM) professionals to address the perennial issues of which commercial DW solution is fastest or most scalable. Vendors ask me too, of course, in the process of their attempting to suss out rivals’ limitations and identify their own competitive advantages.
I just spent the day at Progress Software's annual analyst day. The highlight of the event is, always, to hear from their customers about how they are getting real things done. This year we heard from: EMC, Sallie Mae, TD Securities, Royal Dikzwager, BT Global Services, Lincoln Financial Group, Sabre Holdings, and Fiserv.
The theme: High velocity business demands high velocity technologies such as complex event processing, enterprise infrastructure, data infrastrcuture, and others.
But, this post is about Kenneth Rugg, VP and GM of Integration Infrastrcuture for Progress Software, comments on open source software.
We've known for a while that cloud computing is important to IBM. It seems nearly every division has an effort in some aspect of the opportunity. And marketing has done its best to make it all look cohesive by wrapping these efforts under the Blue Cloud banner. But now we know they're serious. They have finally appointed a cloud czar, Erich Clementi, to bring all these efforts together. A veteran of their Systems & Technologies Group, he led SMB solutions, and last year he also took over IBM's Enterprise Initiatives. In those roles, Erich learned how important (and challenging) it is to coordinate efforts across their massive divisions while delivering holistic value to customers. Outside of Global Services, IBM doesn't have the best track record for these coordinated efforts, but we're willing to grant Clementi a grace period to prove us wrong.
And he won't be alone, as IBM has disclosed his set of lieutenants:
This has been long rumored by Google Apps watchers, but we get confirmation today: Google is testing an offline email client. This is a Google Gmail Labs feature, which means that it's really test code for the brave. In fact, the Gmail Labs site helpfully warns that "there's an escape hatch" if a feature breaks.
That said, this is a big deal for Google. (Caveat: I haven't tested it yet, so I'll have to report back once I do). Here's what it means:
As just about anybody reading the security trades knows, last week Heartland Payment Systems reported that it had suffered a serious security breach. As I understand it from public reports, a malicious party planted a piece of designer malware on a key server, and was then able to "sniff" credit card numbers as they passed through. Estimates vary widely about the extent of the breach. Certainly, SB 1386 and other disclosure laws will ensure that something resembling the truth will emerge sooner or later.
Clearly, this particular incident is a serious one. Various observers have used this incident to take issue with Heartland, the PCI DSS, their auditors and more generally the process for certifying QSAs. That is all well and good, but the non-stop parade of toxic data spills makes me wonder whether we, as an industry, aren't missing a few fairly obvious points.
IT organizations focus on the business needs they understand, not on the ones that matter to business.
When we ask business execs and IT execs the same questions around the importance of technology to business goals, and how well IT does supporting those business goals, we get interesting results. First, business and IT see technology’s value differently: to business, the greatest value is in products and services, and in competitive differentiation, whereas to IT, the greatest value is in improving operational efficiency. But the second result is more interesting: both business and IT believe IT doesn’t do well supporting the business goals around products and services, or differentiation – but IT believes they do much worse than business believes they do.
Autonomy’s recent announcement that it plans to acquire Interwoven will strengthen its traction in the broader eDiscovery landscape. With the purchase, Autonomy picks up a range of assets, but a key component of the $775 million purchase focuses on new opportunities to mitigate legal and regulatory risk and capitalize on the surging eDiscovery market.
Along with other markets, M&A activities in this segment slowed in Q4 2008, but vendors continued to announce a steady stream of partnerships (e.g., Open Text - Recommind and CaseCentral - CommVault) and significant internally developed offerings. Selected acquisitions in this market include:
Last week Jason Newton at HP blogged about what his company thinks (or at least wants you to think) are the hot trends in the data center for 2009. He provides a good list that's less a reflection of what enterprise customers are necessarily doing but certainly what they should be thinking. Heck, his list reflects a lot of the tactics we discuss with customers every day in our inquiries and published research, such as in "Retrofitting Your Data Center for Better Capacity".