The Lighter Side of Outsourcing
Consumer confidence faltering in a sputtering economy, jobs continuing to move offshore at rapid pace… is this a time to laugh at outsourcing? Why not? As outsourcing vendors get increasingly sophisticated, and as corporate America gets increasingly greedy about the cost savings, here are a few glorious changes that we can look forward to.
Stonebraker Raises Vertica's DW Profile
I had a long briefing with database legend Michael Stonebraker today, and I feel compelled to share a few highlights of the conversation. Stonebraker is known as a visionary, and he has consistently turned those visions into long-term bets through commercial startups. Today's prediction? "Sooner or later, the entire data warehousing market is going to move to column-store solutions," Stonebraker asserts, column-store being the architectural basis of his latest venture, a startup called Vertica.
Open Text Keeps Up With Legal Sector
Enterprise Content Management (ECM) vendor Open Text recently announced that it will deliver a major upgrade to the acquired (ex-Hummingbird) eDocs technology for the Legal sector. Not earth-shattering, but important news nonetheless... It reaffirms Open Text's commitment to building on other repositories where sensible - in this case Microsoft - the platform that dominates Legal.
WebTrends Upgrade: The Price is Wrong!
What troubles me is how pricing based on "unique requirements" has become the standard operating procedure among the largest Web analytics firms - not just WebTrends. Perhaps this is just a reflection of a software space maturing and coming up with more enterprisey licensing models - "whatever you've got is what you'll pay" - but for you, the customer, this is not a good thing. I rarely meet a customer who completely understands their license or contract agreement.
Of BI, Crème Brulee and Chocolate Mousse
Just back from vacation in France and was wowed by something unexpected: BI for waiters! When the waiter showed up to take our order, he wielded a kind of pen-computing/Palm device, not a pad of paper. I had never seen this before - at least not in NYC-area restaurants. At my enthusiasm, the waiter proudly declared "C'est nouveau!"… "it's new!" Imagine the possibilities: When I order mousse au chocolat and it's sold out, the waiter can proactively recommend an available alternative - cr
Six Sigma and Lean Meet BPM: Q&A With Software AG's Bruce Williams
There are plenty of Six Sigma and Lean Manufacturing practitioners out there, but all too often they worked in isolation, unable to penetrate the IT domain and hard-pressed to measure and replicate success. Bruce Williams, general manager of business process management solutions at Software AG, says there's a big opportunity for companies to connect their Six Sigma or Lean initiatives with the data-gathering, execution and closed-loop-improvement advantages of BPM.
Host Google Ads, Boost Your Page Rank
I've been puzzling out a technique, used by sites that machine-aggregate content, that may boost pages' Google rankings. The aggregators stuff their pages with (Google) ads and contextually similar - albeit just similar enough - content. All that pseudo-content surely moves them up the Google rankings. How else to explain the success of the bottom-feeders who exploit others' content in order to sell ads?
Master Data Management: Minimizing the Complexity
There are many factors that pose a challenge for enterprisewide Master Data Management. Business ownership and ongoing participation, business process disruption, data integration and synchronization - these and other factors can make an MDM implementation painful, time-consuming and expensive. But there are also some factors that help reduce the pain and effort.
Can Microsoft Performance Point Perform for You?
Microsoft is on the final leg of their journey to release its dedicated BI technology to support performance management... Microsoft PerformancePoint is a platform and set of tools that includes the long-awaited version of Microsoft Excel Server... The group of products is a critical first step toward becoming an enterprise-class vendor, but is it a large enough first step? I'm not sure yet, but let's look at a couple of examples and see what you think.
Market Intelligence (without Search): TechNavio Debuts
Search has many limits but the price is right and the alternative, reliance on traditional interfaces and human-structured information, is increasingly perceived as unacceptable. Yet there's still much to be said for old-school information-retrieval methods. Witness a new, search-free IT-market research tool, TechNavio, just launched by Infiniti Research.
Put to the Test: Open Text LiveLink
The largest of the remaining enterprise content management independents, Open Text offers a diverse suite with plenty of application- and industry-specific solutions, search capabilities and deployment approaches. Product integration and technology consolidation remain works in progress, but LiveLink ECM should be on the short list when SAP integration or regulatory demands are important.
FAST Falters: Financials and BI-Search
The appetite for Search continues to grow rapidly, and Fast Search and Transfer (FAST) has been one of the most aggressive players in the market. Yet FAST's recent difficulties, which appear to involve technical missteps and not just operational issues, should make us rethink the limits of search, particularly when it comes to extravagant claims about search-BI.
Celko's 'Can't Be Your Own Supervisor' SQL Puzzle
A small database has the following business rules:
1) Every person in the database is uniquely defined by a single key, their user_id; 2) Everyone is assigned a job category, call them 'A', 'B' and 'X'; 3) Everyone in job category 'X' has a supervisor who must be in either job category 'A' or job category 'B'; 4) Nobody can be their own supervisor.
One proposal was to divide job category 'X' into two, call them 'XA' and 'XB' respectively. All the 'XA' people would have 'A' supervisors, and all
Is Open-Source A Business Model? $500 Million Says It Is
There has long been a school of thought that says there's no business model for open source -- in fact, that open source is the opposite of a business model. Citrix's acquisition of XenSource, a business that rests on open-source software, is one more piece of evidence to the contrary.
For VMware and its Kind, the Future is Virtually Assured
VMware made a stunning debut on the New York Stock Exchange this week - reportedly the strongest IPO since Google - and the future looks good for VMware itself and for virtualization in general. Virtualization looks good for a lot of exciting reasons. The central promise of virtualization is resource optimization - doing more with less. What's not to like about that?
WebTrends Release Boosts Scoring, Segmentation
Web analytics vendor WebTrends released Marketing Lab 2 early this month, an ambitious effort that seeks to raise the analytics value of the product while improving usability... A new "WebTrends Score" feature lets you set values on events in order to measure engagement. Also new is "Visitor Intelligence," which makes it easier to create segments and multi-dimensional reporting from the product's Marketing Warehouse.
To Groklaw's 'Pamela Jones': Get Your Facts Straight
A misleading article appeared Monday on an anti-SCO Web site called Groklaw run by a blogger who calls him or herself 'Pamela Jones.' Jones tried to pick apart a story I wrote about SCO v. Novell. I need to set the record straight because virtually everything 'PJ' said about my article is wrong.
Oracle 11g: Expanding the Definition of Database
Oracle continues to push the envelope of what a database is and can deliver for transactional and analytical processing, while adding utility capabilities in areas such as content management and search. Oracle has positioned 11g well against its traditional database competitors; beyond that, it will have to ensure its product is not seen as too complex for specific uses in data warehousing, content management, search and analytics.
BPMN and the Metastorm-Proforma Deal
In the wake of the Metastorm-Proforma deal early this month, a graduate of my BPMN training pinged me about a white paper on the Metastorm Web site that disses BPMN big-time... Certainly BPMN is not perfect... but most agree it's the closest thing we have today to a multivendor, architecture-neutral standard, and the one standard that addresses the biggest issue in BPM today, which is true business-IT collaboration.
Novell's Victory Over SCO Could Have Downside For Linux Users
The free software world spent the weekend celebrating after a judge nixed SCO's ownership claims over Unix and, by extension, Linux. But the ruling did not specifically address SCO's charge that Linux is a Unix knock off--and a case that could have settled that question for good may now fade away as a result of Friday's decision.
Business Objects Releases Free Crystal Viewer
The Crystal Reports Viewer XI is an Acrobat Reader-style viewing client for Crystal Reports. Released today, the free, downloadable software lets you open and explore Crystal Reports documents, and you can generate customized views without placing demands on the report designer. While some reporting environments rely on static document formats... this viewer lets you drill down into the report tables and save personalized views.
Seven Details That Bust Web Analytics Budgets
Too many organizations fail to consider these not-so-hidden fine points when implementing Web analytics systems. Whether you choose SaaS or licensed software, here's the nitty gritty that can wind up breaking the bank.
CMS Watch Partners With AIIM on Training
This week, CMS Watch officially kicks off a formal training program. In conjunction with AIIM, we are providing classroom workshops (leading to official AIIM designations) in Information Organization & Access (IOA) and Business Process Management (BPM). The coursework was developed under the guidance of AIIM's Educational Advisory Group, and both organizations will be leading courses throughout North America, Europe, and (next year) Asia-Pacific. Here's why these courses are so important.
Oracle Touts Leadership: Should We Believe Them?
Oracle has gained a lot of weight in the BI market with their recent acquisition of Hyperion... The company is aggressively pushing its new agenda and is stating its differentiation as having the first complete, integrated, end-to-end enterprise performance management system. I am not sure what Oracle's definition of "complete and integrated" is, but at best it is loosely coupled, with different generations of BI technologies and performance management applications yet to be fully integrated...
Europe Drives Omniture's Growth
Omniture added 300 customers to its rolls in Q2 2007, including some high-profile European companies such as Siemens AG Medical, British Sky Broadcasting Group and FD Mediagroup. It's certainly in Omniture's best interest to get new customers up and running as soon as possible, but as a customer, you should carefully plan and manage implementations so they're not rushed. Be sure to...
Palm's Foleo: The Closer It Gets, the Better It Looks?
Palm's announcement of the Foleo at the end of May quickly became a ridicule-fest. The name was an acronym for "Fat Obsolete Lacking Expensive Ordinary" according to one Engadget commenter. But Palm is showing it off this week at LinuxWorld in San Francisco, and the better you understand it, the harder it is to make fun of it.
It's Hard to Avoid BI Complexity
I've probably seen more than one hundred press releases promising products that will "put powerful yet intuitive reporting and analysis in the hands of business users." All too often, these types of products aren't all that easy or intuitive... Companies want to improve access to actionable information, but respondents to an AberdeenGroup study reported these five big obstacles...
Oracle Makes Strides in Business Process Management
Last week, I got a briefing from the business process management (BPM) folks at Oracle, as part of my BPMS Report series, and I came away surprised at both the completeness and, in many ways, coolness of the offering. Three things stand out: the depth of designer/IT model interchange, the degree of content management integration and the extent of ISV adoption...
SaaS-Based BI: It's the Expertise, Not the Software
Plenty of organizations want to spread access to actionable information, but a vast BI/data-integration skills gap stands in the way. A new study sees best-in-class companies tapping analytic apps, outsourcers and on-demand BI to fill the void.
Operational BI: The Evolution Of Business Intelligence
A white paper released this week by The Data Warehousing Institute shows organizations slowly moving toward operational business intelligence. But the journey is sure to present a number business and technical challenges.
Measuring Microsoft SharePoint Growth
Microsoft SharePoint continues to grow apace. In a presentation to financial analysts earlier this week, Microsoft stated that in the past year it has seen 35-percent year-over-year growth and revenues of a staggering $800 Million. The company claims is has shipped 85 million seat licenses to 17,000 customers since the beginning of SharePoint time (in 2001). If there was ever any lingering doubt that SharePoint was having an impact on the market, these numbers put that argument to rest.
Solaris, Virtualization Combo Floats All Boats?
Bundled virtualization features in Solaris 10 are bolstering the IT industry's server business and may even have a positive impact on the storage sector, if CEO Jonathan Schwartz is to be believed.