Can Security Awareness Deliver Competitive Advantage?
It's disconcerting to live in a world where security can be seen as delivering competitive advantage, yet that's the idea behind Unisys's Enterprise Security initiative. But after all, the company's Trusted Enterprise Model only extends the security selling point that is a marketing mainstay for financial institutions and that has been adopted or embraced by IT vendors, sometimes far too slowly, with the rise of network computing.
Good Rules Can Eliminate 65% of Activities
There's a long list of verbs - adjust, approve, expedite, inspect, verify and many others - that tend to indicate that activities are non value-added and should be considered for elimination. Many of these exist because something wasn't done right the first time, and a lot of the the non-value-added activities can be cut if there are ways to reduce the error rates in the real-value-added and business-value-added activities.
The Three Opens, Pt. 1: Open-Source OS
There's been a lot of talk about the three big "open"s in the computing world today -- open-source OSes, open-source applications, and open standards. I'm going to talk about each one of these things in turn over the course of the next few blog posts, and examine how they fit together and complement each other.
What Does Web Analytics Consolidation Mean to You?
There has been plenty of discussion over the last few days about "consolidation" in the Web analytics marketplace due to the Omniture/Visual Sciences deal... In fact, the marketplace is not consolidating; it is in fact fragmenting, and there are plenty of options to consider if you are purchasing Web analytics solutions... Much of the consolidation discussion is based on vendors that adhere to the SaaS/page-tag collection model.
Been There, Done That: Q&A With SAS's Jim Goodnight
Doctor Jim Goodnight has led SAS since the company incorporated in 1976. Laconic and unflappable yet fiercely competitive, Goodnight has presided over a company that has long reigned atop the analytics market. We caught up with him in New York last week and discussed the changing BI market and the future of SAS.
BI as Commodity Technology: The Information Angle
BI is complex, simultaneously software, transformational work practices, and business information. Consider: What value is reporting or OLAP or data mining (software) that doesn't tap whatever data is relevant to produce business insights (information) that can help you restructure, realign, or optimize business operations (practices)? We need to examine all three, complementary aspects of business intelligence: software, information, and practices. Let's start with information, with BI sou
The Not-So-Good at the Business Objects Meeting
Following up on my last post about all the good things I encountered at Business Objects' recent user conference in Orlando, Fla., here are a few looming and, in some cases, troubling aspects of what's ahead for customers in the wake of the pending SAP acquisition. For instance, Business Objects is very bullish on its approach to enterprise performance management (EPM), a topic highlighted in many executive keynotes at the event... Despite all the reassuring words, I have my doubts about what li
The Good at Business Objects' User Conference
My trip to the recent Business Objects user conference in Orlando, Fla., revealed many good surprises as well as many big questions yet to be answered. Business Objects founder and chairman Bernard Liautaud addressed the deal during the opening of the event, and his comments quickly transitioned to those of SAP CEO Henning Kagermann (by way of video)... But with many forks in the path ahead for customers and partners of Business Objects, Kagermann's video instilled little comfort.
My Favorite (Open-Source) Things: MPlayer
Since this blog does get filed under the category Open Source, I thought I'd take time out here and there to talk about some of my favorite open-source applications, not just Linux (or OSes in general). I'll start with an app that has breathed unexpected new life into some of my DVDs: MPlayer.
Oracle's Linux: Unbreakable? Or Just A Necessary Adjustment?
As I talked to Wim Coekaerts, VP of Linux engineering at Oracle, about "Unbreakable Linux," a gap emerged between what he was saying and what Red Hat's product management director, Joel Berman, was saying. Riders of Linux's impressive upsurge are advised to "mind the gap" and try not to fall into it.
Bye Bye, BEA: Why Oracle Needs This Deal
After rejecting Oracle's initial bid for $6.7 billion, BEA has now indicated readiness to sell itself to Oracle ("or any other bidder") for about $8.2 billion. With Oracle's insatiable appetite, BEA's relative stagnation, and incessant pressure from billionaire investor Karl Icahn on BEA management, the acquisition now seems a sure thing. So, what does Oracle get for $8 billion and change? A cake that it has always coveted with an icing to die for.
Editor's Log: HP, SAP, Cognos, IBM and More
It has been a busy month, so I've decided to blog journal style this week, sharing snippets and scuttlebut picked up here and there... Rumor has it Wal-Mart didn't actually pay for its HP NeoView license... Cognos has finalized it's acquisition of Applix, but plans now call for the latter to remain a stand-alone business... IBM is getting closer with Business Objects, again... Headed to Vegas this weekend? Here's where to go for fast drink service.
Business Rules and BI Make Great Bedfellows
David Straus of Corticon gave an engaging presentation at this week's Business Rules Forum about BR and BI. He characterized BI as "understanding" and BR as "action." He started with the basic drivers for a business rules management system - agility (speed and cost), business control while maintaining IT compliance, transparency, and business improvement (reduce costs, reduce risk, increase revenue) - and then offered three use cases for rules-driven analysis...
Photoshop For Linux? Don't Hold Your Breath
There's a few applications that would help make Linux more of a mainstream OS, but don't expect to see them ported to Linux anytime soon. One of the least discussed in this fashion? Adobe Photoshop.
Whose Data Is It Anyway? 'PITI' the Poor Homeowner
Think the sub-prime mortgage crisis is someone else's problem? Here's an eye-opener. Lending giant American Home Mortgage (AHM) recently filed for bankruptcy due to its sub-prime lending exposure. AHM clients Freddie Mac and Ginnie Mae promptly terminated client-servicing agreements and asked AHM to return client files, including data related to mortgage principal, interest, taxes and insurance (PITI)... AHM, however, refused to comply.
Business Rules Forum: Ron Ross on Smart Processes
Keynoter Ron Ross predicted that no one will be talking about SOA at a major conference in 15 years, but they will be talking about business rules or decisioning; I certainly agree with the first point, and the second makes a lot of sense. When he said "we want our business processes to be smarter", it was like music to my ears... He talked about three trends toward a more balanced approach to decisioning...
SAAS-Based ECM? Here's My Dilemma
I have no problem telling buyers that SaaS-based enterprise content management may be worth considering, but actually recommending it is still something of a stretch for me... To what degree do you need to integrate into legacy content stores? How much development work do you need to do? If standalone applications suffice for now, will they still make sense when you have five or 15 of them? How would you/could you consolidate them?...
From Casinos to Counterterrorism
Washington Post reporter Ellen Nakashima describes in a Monday, October 22 article, "From Casinos to Counterterrorism," how Las Vegas is a cutting-edge adopter of surveillance technology that has also found its way into U.S. security efforts. Las Vegas has "embraced the twin trends of data mining and high-tech surveillance, with arguably more cameras per square foot than any airport or sports arena in the country."
Notes From SAP, Business Objects User Conferences
I'm just back from both SAP's Reporting and Analytics conference and Business Objects' Insight conference... Business Objects CEO John Schwarz spoke directly about the pending acquisition, saying it will make the company stronger, faster, better and that Business Objects "will take over a significant group at SAP." (I hadn't heard this last aspect before). Schwarz openly acknowledged customer concerns and made the five following commitments…
Kimball University: The Subsystems of ETL Revisited
These 34 subsystems cover the crucial extract, transform and load architecture components required in almost every dimensional data warehouse environment. Understanding the breadth of requirements is the first step to putting an effective architecture in place.
Linux Will Displace Unix When It Comes To New Apps
Last month, Gartner analyst George Weiss predicted applications will no longer be developed to run on Unix. This is a little like predicting the death of the mainframe -- Unix is going to be with us a long time yet -- but after looking at the Linux kernel development process, I think I know what he means.
Master Data Directions: Q&A with Siperian's Ravi Shankar
The Master Data Management (MDM) market is growing at a double-digit pace on the strength of three promised benefits: a cross-enterprise perspective for better business intelligence; greater consistency across customer records for improved transaction management; a solid foundation for service-oriented architectures (SOA). Has MDM turned the corner from leading-edge to must-have? Ravi Shankar, Director of Product Marketing at Siperian, shares his thoughts on MDM progress and next steps.
Ubuntu 7.10 ... OS X Leopard ... Must I Choose?
As you're no doubt sick of hearing by now, this week heralds two major events in the personal computing world: the release of Apple's OS X Leopard, and Ubuntu Linux 7.10. Guess which one I want? Both.
My Date With Government Processes - Good and Bad
I recently had two government business process experiences: one good, one bad. The good one was with NEXUS, a joint program between the Canadian and American governments to allow frequent travelers to bypass long immigration line-ups... The bad experience was with the Indian consulate in Toronto and has killed my planned trip to speak at the SOA India conference in Bangalore in November...
Linux Will Be Worth $1 Billion In First 100 Days of 2009
What's Linux worth? The question has been a favorite of technology groups and cocktail party conversations ever since a character named Jeff V. Merkey offered $50,000 for a copy of Linux. The offer was a ploy. Merkey wanted it under the BSD license, which would have undermined the terms of the GPL. So he didn't get it. But we know, at least, that $50,000 proved to be a low bid.
Jolt Awards Nominations Now Being Accepted
A quick notice to let everyone know that the nomination period for the 2008 Jolt Awards is now open. I'm a Jolt Awards judge, my second year, while this is the 18th go-around for the awards. The main sponsor is Dr. Dobb's, like Intelligent Enterprise a CMP computing magazine (or is IE a business magazine focusing on computing or is IE a portal rather than a magazine?)
First Glance: The Nokia N810 Linux Internet Tablet Doesn't Make Sense
I had an opportunity to play with the new Nokia N810 Internet Tablet for about five minutes last night, and came away confused. It seems pretty darn expensive for a machine with limited usefulness. Even the name is misleading -- a "tablet" should be a device the size of a notebook computer; the Nokia N810 is a pocket-sized computer.
A Quick Chat With The Folks At Splashtop
The other week I mentioned Splashtop, a quick-booting Linux-based environment that can be embedded into flash memory on a PC motherboard (among other things). Yesterday I took time out to talk with the company, and learned more about what they have in mind for the future.
Semantic Web Visions: A Tale of Two Studies
Prof. Jorge Cardoso of the University of Madeira, Portugal, has written a very interesting paper titled "The Semantic Web Vision: Where are We?" Cardoso surveyed over 600 academic and industry researchers in December 2006. He published his findings in the September-October 2007 issue of IEEE's Intelligent Systems journal. They include that "mainstream adoption is still five to ten years away."
IBM's Info On Demand Strategy: Complex, Evolutionary, Important
In the second annual IBM Information On Demand Conference this week, a series of new advancements were brought forward in information management. IBM has been on a multi-year transformation of its content, data and information focus through a number of technology supplier acquisitions over the last three years. These deals have been slowly advancing the IBM software product portfolio for a broader range of capabilities.
The Teradata Conference Revisited
Teredata has really been pushing the "Active" message: combining historical data with near-real-time to support operational BI... When it comes to blending the transactional nature of near-real-time with history, Teradata is way out in front of all the other database (and appliance) vendors. The latest release has lots of features that emphasize this.
Petraeus Does PowerPoint
Is there anything to add to an item that was the rage of the political media a month back, the misuse of one of our favorite miscommunication tools, PowerPoint, by U.S. military leadership? Check out Gen. David Petraeus' September 10, 2007 slideshow
explaining and justifying the drawdown of U.S. troops inserted into Iraq in the recent "surge."... The bigger issue is elsewhere: in the control of the narrative that PowerPoint affords the presenter.
Linux Doesn't Need To Look Like Windows
After reading colleague Alexander Wolfe's piece about a Linux distro called "Vixta" that apes the look and feel of Windows Vista, I confess to having mixed feelings about the whole thing. Mostly negative ones.
More Misinformation from the MIS Crowd
CIO Insight's October, 2007 report "How Valuable Is Business Intelligence to the Enterprise?" is another example of so-called research that makes no sense. The most curious aspect of this survey was that the respondents were all IT people. For my money, if you want to know how BI is doing, you should ask the people who use it (or don't use it)... The beginning of the article states, "72 percent say their BI efforts have had a major and measurable impact on their companies' bottom lines." This is
Compliant Storage and Archiving An Oxymoron?
One of the great divides in the ECM world is the gulf between (and different understanding of) the needs of records management on the one hand, versus IT storage on the other. Archiving, storage, and retention all sound like similar disciplines, and to hear some IT folk speak, you could be excused for thinking they are one and the same thing. All too often very expensive electronic storage hardware and software systems operate in ignorance of, and non-compliance with, legal and regulatory demand
Time To Break Out The 'Prove It' Pins Again, Mr. Szulik?
Red Hat CEO Matthew Szulik is not known for avoiding conflicts that threaten his company. So how much longer will it be before he unleashes his legal team to defend against Microsoft's patent accusations in the same way he railed against SCO Group's copyright claims?
What Do You Mean When You Say 'BI'?
Amid all the mega deals and consolidation in the greater business intelligence market this year, I'm seeing a lot of bending of terminology and twisting of meanings. I say "greater market" because to some, BI means just query and reporting while others would lump in analytics, dashboards and even scorecards and performance management... To get some idea what the originator of "business intelligence" had in mind when he coined the term way back in 1989, I called up Howard Dresner...
Would You Like An OS With Your PC? No Thanks
There's an argument currently raging about whether or not a PC should even ship with an operating system of any kind preloaded. Would the lack of a preloaded OS, be it Windows or Linux or what-have-you, level the OS playing field that much more?
SAP-Business Objects Deal Heralds Rocky 2008
If you think the SAP-Business Objects deal will not impact you, you are mistaken. Even if you do not own technology from Business Objects or SAP, the products you do own have probably been acquired within the last two years. Cognos, Infor, Microsoft and Oracle have all have made acquisitions and are also quite ready to battle for your BI, performance management and operational IT dollars. But all of these acquisitions increase the time required by vendors to support tighter integration for appli
Synergies, Overlaps in the SAP-Business Objects Deal
An interesting spin to this acquisition versus others is that Business Objects will remain a separate company under SAP's ownership... which could offer customers and prospects the best of both worlds... So where's the catch?... Customers can expect a number of modules from Business Objects XI to become part of the Netweaver BI product, complementing (rather than replacing) interfaces such as SAP Business Explorer. SAP meanwhile, brings MDM and in-memory capabilities to Business Objects.