Avaya Takes Their Product Roadmap and Commitment to Customers Public

In my discussions with Kevin Kennedy (President & CEO), Joel Hackney (Senior Vice President & President, Government and Data Solutions) and other Avaya executives over the past 12 months, the need to keep customers informed about their options, and to equip partners with the capabilities to serve those customers has been a paramount concern.  When Avaya won the bidding to acquire Nortel’s Enterprise business, the company promised that they would make their product road map public 30 days after closing and today they are making good on that promise under the banner of &ldq

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The Cloud-Compliance Challenge

Cloud computing challenges the CIO legally as well as technically!

Cloud computing is the availability of standard IT resources over the internet in a pay-per use model. Initially this is an attractive proposition. However there are many challenges which CIOs will face when running firm critical applications and data over the internet. The most successful CIOs have built an IT governance strategy to avoid the uncontrolled variety of technologies, meta data and business process evolution in their IT landscape. A good governance strategy ultimately makes the implementation of legal compliance requirements from Basel II or SOX much easier. Without searching first for critical data, an orderly approach is much simpler and the CIO won’t be the only one sleeping better.

So long as everything is in your own company or at local infrastructure, IT governance and compliance should be governed centrally from the CIO office. But what happens when a firm’s cloud computing is effectively deployed? This technology paradigm has its largest cost savings when applications and business processes have extremely high and uneven resource requirements. In most cases these are automatically firm critical applications and confidential data. The responsibility of a CIO then moves from pursuing operational excellence in the datacenter, to the greater responsibility of developing and managing intelligent sourcing concepts in the cloud and bringing its consequences under control. The large cloud computing vendors are nearly without exception international firms and a core basis for their cost-effective deployment lies in their global sourcing strategies. IT governance and legal compliance must also be developed to cloud governance and global provider governance.

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Google: The other shoe drops

I'd postponed saying anything about Google's withdrawal from the Chinese market because it smacked of being incomplete. Google's official statement earlier this week--we don't want to do business with a regime that tries to hack into its opponents' e-mail accounts--was certainly laudable. But was that the really the whole story?

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What Google v. China tells us about how the security market is changing

[This entry is cross posted to Jonathan Penn's blog, Cyberia]

Expanding on the Google meme from Andy Jaquith's prior post...

Rather than discuss the extent of the cyber threat from China, or whether Google should effectively pull out of China by ending the censoring of search results (or why it was even in China to begin with), the most interesting and telling thing I'm seeing from all the discussion on this is the visibility of the defense contracting and intelligence consulting community, and how that visibility and even dominance is going without much comment by industry watchers and without much challenge by traditional security firms. Who is going to analyze and say with confidence whether the attack came from proxies or direct representatives of the Chinese state? It's the defense contractors. Like the July 4 attacks targeting the US and South Korea, the traditional defense contractors — Lockheed Martin, Northop Grumman (also targeted), and Raytheon, most notably) are the go-to authorities on this, while Symantec (which was also one of the targets in the multi-pronged attack), McAfee, and others are left merely to talk about how the attacks in and of themselves might fuel greater interest in their security technologies.

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Green Touch consortia brings an ecosystem approach to the ICT carbon reduction challenge

In my predictions piece for Telecoms sector in 2010 I said green would be back.(http://www.forrester.com/rb/Research/predictions_2010_whats_in_store_for_telecom/q/id/53406/t/2). The reality, of course, is that green never went away but was merely overshadowed by the recession in 2009.

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Want innovation? Hire a good SE.

Service companies definitely understand business problems better than product companies. Case in point: I've been talking a lot lately to both kinds of companies about innovation. When you ask vendors the question, "How do you approach the innovation process?" service companies, on average, say something about business problems first. Product companies, on average, talk about technology.

By no small coincidence, many product companies are now trying to figure out the kind of solutions in which they might play a role. That question has two sides:

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When customers smother your product

Any PM who has worked with customers extensively learns how to deal with the hard cases. There are different species of difficult customers, such those who exaggerate every problem to the level of a showstopper, or the ones who think there's only answer to every implementation question.

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The Heretech, episode 31: Mike Marfise on innovation

After an unintended hiatus, we're back! This week, Mike Marfise of Jive Software tells us how the tech industry's understanding of innovation has matured. Plus, a good example of how to use social media to share product details and plans with your customers. (c) 2010 Tom Grant.

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Video-Enabled Collaboration

Over the past couple months I have talked at an accelerating pace to vendors and buyers who are interested in delivering video solutions to support communications and collaboration. The concepts and solutions range from desk top to telepresence, conferencing to one-on-one, and both synchronous as well as asynchronous. Technology finally appears ready to deliver that 60% of non-verbal human communications in ways that users can actually adopt, use, and integrate into their daily work lives.

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The limited lifespan of many component technologies

As anyone who has worked on component technologies can tell you, the time in which you should treat your product as something that can stand on its own is limited. The tricky part is figuring out when that transition should occur—and that's where people in product marketing and product management can really earn their paychecks.

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