Embrace "Lean BPM" To Keep Your BPM Initiative On Track In 2009

by Clay Richardson

Clay_Richardson According to The Economist, 2009 will be the year of the CFO.   After reading Lucy Kellaway’s article in The Economist earlier this year, I can’t seem to shake this image in my head of a maniacal axe-wielding CFO’s lopping off departmental budgets. A la the French Revolution, “off with their heads!”  Except with the CFO it’s more like “off with their bloated budgets!” Hmmm, doesn’t seem to have the same ring as the French Revolution mantra.

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Connect with the business

One of the biggest problems for EAs is their lack of connection to real business decision makers. Sure, architects frequently interact with business project managers in the context of an ongoing project, but they rarely work at the business strategy level discussing business models, capabilities, or market strategy. Ask yourself this question: “How much time do I spend directly interacting with someone in the business on a topic not related to an ongoing project?”  DOUBLE IT!

Read business books to increase your business IQ.

Architects have deep technical skills and expend most of their discretionary time and money enhancing their already significant technical knowledge rather than branching out into developing their leadership and business acumen. Successful architects in the future must be business savvy. Don’t have the time? Think again. The average business book is less than 300 pages. Ten pages a day (about 20 minutes for most) will net 12 books a year. A quick search on Amazon.com returns just short of two million business books, see our reading list for business architects to get you started.

What will you learn? Here are just a few of things I got from reading business books:

Good to Great by Jim Collins – I learned about the hedgehog concept. Finding that one thing the organization is passionate about, can be the best in their industry at, and drives their value creation engine. This led me to change my strategy from selling EA to offering innovative EA services that my consumers really wanted. 

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The Top 5 Things We Think You’ll See At RSA

John Kindervag

Trying to guess what will be HOT at RSA is always a fun game.  2009 promises to be different than most years as pure technology may not be the focus of this year’s show.  Attendance may be lighter and conspicuous consumption of new gadgets may no longer be in vogue.  We’ll know more come Tuesday, but in the meantime, here’s our guess as to what the big topics may be:

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News Analysis: Oracle Acquires Sun, Enters Open Source and High End Computing Markets

Ray Wang By R "Ray" Wang


Oracle announces a $7.4B deal for SUN just a few weeks after the IBM deal fell through.  Oracle now controls a significant major open source alternative and a nice piece of the high end computing business.  These open source components have been viewed as the alternative to the dominance of the Big 4 or MISO (Microsoft, IBM, SAP, and Oracle).   Oracle also gains an innovation engine with the assets of Sun's Labs groups which pioneers a series of innovations that include potential enterprise solutions for the virtual world.  The deal puts Oracle on a continued path to acquiring deeper components of the enterprise computing stack.  Here's how the stack looks:

  • Middleware - While Java and Solaris may appear to be the crown jewels in the deal, Oracle has managed to slowly buy out other stack competitors (i.e.
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News Analysis: Oracle Acquires Sun, Enters Open Source and High End Computing Markets

Oracle announces a $7.4B deal for SUN just a few weeks after the IBM
deal fell through.  Oracle now controls a significant major open source
alternative and a nice piece of the high end computing business.  These
open source components have been viewed as the alternative to the
dominance of the Big 4 or MISO (Microsoft, IBM, SAP, and Oracle).  
Oracle also gains an innovation engine with the assets of Sun's Labs
groups which pioneers a series of innovations that include potential
enterprise solutions for the virtual world.  The deal puts Oracle on a
continued path to acquiring deeper components of the enterprise
computing stack.  Here's how the stack looks:

Read more

Categories:

News Analysis: Oracle Acquires Sun, Enters Open Source and High End Computing Markets

Oracle announces a $7.4B deal for SUN just a few weeks after the IBM
deal fell through.  Oracle now controls a significant major open source
alternative and a nice piece of the high end computing business.  These
open source components have been viewed as the alternative to the
dominance of the Big 4 or MISO (Microsoft, IBM, SAP, and Oracle).  
Oracle also gains an innovation engine with the assets of Sun's Labs
groups which pioneers a series of innovations that include potential
enterprise solutions for the virtual world.  The deal puts Oracle on a
continued path to acquiring deeper components of the enterprise
computing stack.  Here's how the stack looks:

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Covetus The Sun Installed Base

James Staten The value of Sun’s Solaris installed base proved its worth once again this week as Oracle found it too tempting to pass up and pulled the trigger trumping IBM. A large percent of Oracle’s most profitable customers run their Oracle wares on Solaris and for them to fall further into the hands of the mortal enemy alone justifies the purchase. Sure, Oracle gains complimentary IP in Java, MySQL, and a very competent services organization but most of the rest is likely to end up off Oracle’s books.

It’s not every day that we read about a software maker buying a hardware company and that in itself is perhaps the biggest sign of things to come from this acquisition. Oracle, like Microsoft, enjoys healthy profit margins from a software-only business model. While Oracle is far more consulting-heavy than its Redmond rival, it profits rise above IBM, HP, Cisco and others because of its low cost of goods. Sun’s server and storage businesses don’t fit with this model and certainly don’t justify the further investment in the SPARC microprocessor that will be needed to keep this business healthy. So despite Oracle’s statement that, “Oracle plans to engineer and deliver an integrated system -- applications to disk -- where all the pieces fit and work together, so customers do not have to do it themselves,” expect Oracle to shop these units tout suite. Dell and HP are likely to bid for these businesses and do a strategic alignment on product collaboration like HP’s last year on the Oracle Data Warehouse.

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Oracle’s Sun Acquisition Accelerates Push Into Data Warehousing Appliances

James-Kobielus By James Kobielus

Last fall, Oracle CEO Larry Ellison announced that his company was getting into the hardware business, but I think he misspoke. At that time, he was referring to the new HP Oracle Database Machine with Exadata Storage, a high-end data warehousing (DW) appliance that incorporated hardware from his partner, as well as intelligent storage software technology from that partner--and even had the partner’s name first in the product name. If that was the criterion for “getting into the hardware business”--i.e., running on someone else’s hardware--then every software vendor on earth is in the hardware business, by my reckoning.

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Free BI Is Still No Free Lunch

Boris-Evelson By Boris Evelson

In my recent BI Belt Tightening For Tough Economic Times document I explored a few low-cost alternatives to traditional, mainstream, and typically relatively expensive Business Intelligence (BI) tools. While some of these alternatives indeed were a fraction of a cost of a characteristic large enterprise BI software license, there were even fewer truly zero cost options. But there were some. For example, you can:

  • Leverage and use no-cost bundled BI software already in-house.Small departments and workgroups may be able to leverage BI software that comes bundled at no additional cost with BI appliances, database management systems (DBMSes), and application licenses. You can consider using these few free licenses from Actuate, IBM Cognos, Information Builders, Jaspersoft, Microsoft, MicroStrategy, Panorama, Pentaho, and SAP Business Objects for additional functions such as testing, QA, and prototyping. While these few free licenses are just a drop in the bucket in a typical large enterprise BI license requirements, do look around and don’t waste money on BI products you may already have.
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Your Opinion Counts! Especially When You Participate!

Natalie L. Petouhoff, Ph.D. By Dr. Natalie Petouhoff

From my inquiries with customer service professionals, I wanted to get a generalized view of where companies are with respect to implementing the very best of customer service initiatives. It's become pretty clear that most are stuggling with outdated technology, systems that are not integrated together, outdated or no knowledge management technology systems, they haven't deployed proactive chat or ventured down the social media path and are unsure of how to document how much these factors are increasing operational costs, reducing customer lifetime value and lowering sales, revenue and profit margins-- or how to make the business case to show that if these types of things were changed-- that the return would be positive and in many cases, very large.

On the flip side, their organizations are expecting them to provide great customer experience despite these huge handicaps.

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