On Tuesday November 8, after more than a year of pre-announcement disclosures that eventually left very little to the imagination, Intel finally announced the Itanium 9500, formerly known as Poulson. Added to this was the big surprise of HP announcing a refresh of its current line of Integrity servers, from blades to the large Superdome servers, with the new Itanium 9500.
As noted in an earlier post, the Itanium 9500 offers considerable performance improvements over its predecessors, and instantiated in HP’s new Integrity line it is positioned as delivering between 2X and 3X the performance per socket as previous Itanium 9300 (Tukwilla) systems at approximately the same price. For those remaining committed to Itanium and its attendant OS platforms, notably HP-UX, this is unmitigated good news. The fly in the ointment (I have never seen a fly in any ointment, but it does sound gross), of course, is HP’s dispute with Oracle. Despite the initial judgment in HP’s favor, the trial is a) not over yet, and b) Oracle has already filed for an early appeal of the initial verdict, which would ordinarily have to wait until the second phase of the trial, scheduled for next year, to finish. The net takeaway is that Oracle’s future availability on Itanium and HP-UX is not yet assured, so we really cannot advise the large number of Oracle users who will require Oracle 12 and later versions to relax yet.
I posted a note yesterday that's been a long time coming. In doing the research for Forrester's mobile app development playbook, I've been talking with all sorts of companies that build mobile apps. Build Five-Star Mobile Apps is the first collection of those observations, but it won't be the last. The premise of the document was simple - find out how companies with top-rated apps in markets like the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store design, build, test, release, and maintain their mobile apps. While there's great diversity in approach, common factors fell out of my interviews, and these practices will help you organize your own efforts:
1. Assemble small, focused development teams. The largest development teams we found had fewer than 10 people. When teams grew larger, they were subdivided into platform-specific teams (i.e. the Android team or the iOS team). Small teams can move fast and keep impedance to a minimum but also require substantial changes in how they perform design and testing.
2. Favor simple development tools over complex ALM processes. The need for speed that characterized the development processes we found means that most traditional ALM tools hurt more than they help. Gone are formal, text-based requirements documents and heavyweight SCM systems. Smaller code bases with less branching mean tools like Git shine. But it's not all airy castles - testing creates a real headache, so we're seeing lots of experimentation with device emulators, simulators, and even basic tricks like deploying graphic mock-ups to devices to get early user feedback.
We’ve already established in our research that there’s a huge opportunity for application development and delivery (AD+D) pros to help marketers deliver exceptional digital experiences. Why? IT can offer valuable skills to fulfill marketing’s customer experience vision.
One of the biggest areas where there’s a lack of IT-marketing communication has been in the selection of digital experience delivery service providers. This is big because digital experience implementations are complicated, and most of our clients need a little outside help. I define these vendors as: Service providers that help create digital experiences (through design and/or strategy) and implement technology solutions (e.g. content management, digital analytics, eCommerce platforms, etc.) that support digital experiences.
These vendors come in all shapes and sizes (and some are better at certain components than others). In an upcoming report, I will include a more detailed list of relevant vendors and their capabilities. But in general, they include service providers with a varied background:
· Management consultants. These firms (e.g. Accenture, Deloitte) have experience with delivering broad, strategic consulting services. Though it’s often a smaller part of their business, these vendors remain relevant in the digital experience delivery space.
Fujitsu’s annual Fujitsu Forum attracted about 13.000 in Tokyo and even about 10.000 people over the last two days in Munich. Fujitsu’s strength is still the competitive hardware portfolio in the class of IBM and HP. And similar to HP, Fujitsu used to have a narrow and focused software portfolio, which offered value very close to their hardware. The FlexFrame infrastructure management product is a traditional example of this strategy. But, before we go into FlexFrame, I have to attest that Fujitsu’s software portfolio has become richer and broader:
This year’s Fujitsu Forum showed major traction for the Fujitsu Cloudstore. An ecosystem approach enables software vendors to offer SaaS application in the SMB space in Germany. The concept is now rolling out to other countries and even to the US. Fujitsu’s Cloudstore also holds Fujitsu’s own CRM solutions, which are based on an early branch of Sugar CRM and now further developed by Fujitsu.
A personal cloud approach, still very close to all flavors of personal hardware from Fujitsu, but well supported by multiple software tools and scenarios.
Fujitsu Eco Track, an energy/carbon management and compliance reporting application – delivered exclusively next quarter as a Fujitsu-developed SaaS application.
Axway just announced it will acquire the security specialist Vordel; and you might ask, does this make sense at all?
I do believe it does!
Actually, I was personally evaluating security vendors as an acquisition target for middleware vendors and B2B integration companies a number of times over the last five years as a Forrester analyst (and before).
The need to modernize security around integration scenarios becomes more important than ever:
Traditional B2B integration over private networks is more and more replaced with B2B connectivity and cloud-based integration over the Internet.
Traditional rigid EDI gateways still exist and handle huge volumes, but many new applications are developed in the cloud and access synchronous REST or SOAP APIs for immediate customer and partner engagement.
Large enterprises have heterogeneous integration strategies to meet different characteristics of integration. See my recent blog for an overview.
Today, Rowan Trollope took charge of the Cisco Collaboration Technology Group, being named SVP/GM, according to a blog posted by Marthin DeBeer (http://blogs.cisco.com/news/cisco-welcomes-rowan-trollope-as-new-head-of-collaboration-technology-group/). Cisco has worked hard to demonstrate its commitment to the collaboration market over the past several years, and the current leader of the collaboration efforts at Cisco, OJ Winge, was a clear champion of the cause. OJ was famous for advocating for clear, easy-to-use collaboration solutions that helped information workers get their jobs done — famously quipping that he did not care about the devices, platforms, or delivery models, but only about the people. Rowan comes from Symantec where he was a leader in developing and delivering security solutions. He is a smart, well-educated executive who brings hard-core, real-world experience managing and growing software and cloud-based businesses. In addition to replacing Alan Cohen’s unrivaled ability to spin a fascinating tale (check out Rowan’s blog http://rowantrollope.com/), I expect that Rowan will help Cisco in many more business focused ways including the following:
· A focus on the user. Rowan cut his teeth making Norton’s security products relevant to consumers — he cares about and understands end users.
The 2012 US election is now over, and the results were about what I expected based on the polls going in: Barack Obama reelected President (although with a wider margin of victory in the popular vote and electoral college than many had predicted); the Democrats retaining control of the Senate, with a slightly higher majority; and the Republicans holding their majority in the House. The blog I wrote in September on "What An Obama Reelection Would Mean For The US Tech Market Outlook" now becomes the one to focus on. With the balance of political power in Washington now settled for the next two years, those of us who track the tech market will now be awaiting answers to four key post-election questions:
Big data is driving disruptive change across the economy in business such as healthcare, retail, communications, and entertainment. The potential for firms to use big data to create permanent relationships with customers is huge, and the time to get onboard is now. Big data is driving disruptive change across the economy in business such as healthcare, retail, communications, and entertainment. The potential for firms to use big data to create permanent relationships with customers is huge, and the time to get onboard is now. I was thrilled to be featured in the first episode on a new series, Big Thinkers In Big Data, hosted by TWit network's Sarah
The service desk, and with it IT support and customer service, has long been a big part of how end users (or, as I like to call them, “internal and external customers”) perceive the IT organization and the quality of its service delivery. Think about it, customers are forming their opinions based not only on their hardware and the IT services they consume but also on: the “IT people” they come into contact with, how these people perform, and how they (the customer) are treated. Also think about the context – it’s usually when the IT isn’t working and the customer is unable to do their job.
The bottom line for me is that none of us corporate minions have time for IT failure and, while it is still unavoidable, IT support staff need to see the business impact – and realize that there is no such thing as IT failure . . . that there is only business- and people-impacting failure. Take at look at the following Forrester Forrsights data, which compares the business and IT views of IT performance, and if you are an IT professional try not to weep at how poorly IT is perceived:
The quick view is: the business doesn’t rate IT very well (and sometimes IT doesn’t rate itself well).
The harsh truth: IT can no longer afford to ignore its “customers”
A little more than a week after Hurricane Sandy barreled through the Eastern seaboard, I wanted to take a moment and share some of my thoughts on business technology resiliency* and how we fared during this significant weather event. While there are still over a million people without electricity and significant recovery efforts underway, I'm overall impressed with the level of resiliency and preparedness many organizations exhibited during (and since) Sandy. I stress resiliency over recovery here because I believe that is the future of disaster recovery and business continuity. Our official definition is: “The ability for business technology to absorb