What's your mandate, and who's ready to carry it out?

I've been doing a fascinating set of interviews with the successful heads of product management and product marketing organizations. Since the topic is, "Tell us your best practices," the interviews are the perfect occasion to probe many issues that vex people in this profession.

Whenever we got to the part about running a PM team, I inserted a question about the type of person who makes a good product manager. As seen in some of the research I did last year, product managers come to the profession from a motley collection of previous jobs. (No surprise there.)

However, it's clear from these interviews that the people who run PM departments are pretty unhappy with this state of affairs. Frequently, they've taken deliberate steps to fix it.  Sometimes, this means an agonizing reappraisal of whether the people in the team today have all the skills and experiences they really need.

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Innovation showcase at Forrester IT Forum

Among many reasons why I'm bummed that I won't be able to make this year's Forrester IT Forum, the Tech Innovation Demonstration sessions sounded really interesting. (Click here for IT Forum information, and then look at the agenda to find these events. )

If you're going to be in Las Vegas next week, you might want to block out the time to see what recently-announced technologies struck us as especially inventive, or just downright cool.

Cash and liquidity management software – Quo Vadis?

During my research into the emerging market for IT financial management software (which I will be publishing on shortly, together with my colleague, Peter O’Neill), I came a cross another interesting software niche market: Cash and liquidity management software. Unlike IT financial management, this is obviously not restricted to IT but targets overall business performance across all industries. To give you an idea, vendors in this space include Infor, Microsoft, Oracle, Sage, SAP and SoftM. In today’s economic situation, these systems seem to create quite some traction.

Now here are the questions to you, Tech Industry strategy professionals:

  1. Do you think this a market worth looking at from an analyst viewpoint?

  2. Is it going to develop into a standalone software market, or is it going to be absorbed into general ERP systems?

  3. How big is the market potential?

Very curious to hear your thoughts

Integration as a Service - IBM partner with Hubspan

Webspan By Stefan Ried

Integration as a Service, another milestone in the industry’s move towards platform as a service (PaaS) paradigms.

Forrester talked to Trisha Gross, CEO of Hubspan, a provider of SaaS-style business integration solutions who today announced a partnership with IBM’s software group.

Hubspan is an innovative integration service provider founded in 2000. They have successfully developed an integration-as-a-service solution which runs basically as an Internet Service Bus, providing similar features to traditional ESBs, but this time transparently inside and beyond the boundaries of a customer’s corporate IT environment. Hubspan’s new effort under the name Webspan is a joint solution with IBM.

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Latest podcast: John Rymer on the Oracle/Sun deal

The latest podcast is now available here. Highlights include:

  • John Rymer on the ramifications of the Oracle/Sun deal.

  • A review of The Product Manager's Desk Reference.

  • Happy Cinco de Mayo, one day early.

IBM Tivoli's SMB Strategy

This week, IBM introduced its first two IT management appliances targeted at small and medium businesses. These first two solutions are part of a family that will eventually cover all the IT management needs of an enterprise, and cover availability and performance (IBM Tivoli Foundations Application Manager) and service desk IT services (IBM Tivoli Foundations Service Manager). The benefits expected are a rapid deployment at a lower cost due to the inclusion of automated configuration and deployment solutions. by itself, this is not really new and neither is it a complete revolution. Years ago, Oculan (now part of Raritan) and off shout of the Open NMS effort, presented a network management appliance for SMBs, with a similar strategy: sell exclusively through partners who can add their own flavor of services to the solution.

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