Commentary
Content posted in October 2007
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Facebook's Business Technology Future
Commentary  |  10/26/2007  | 
Doubtful that Facebook execs will lose too much sleep over what business IT teams want and need from social networking. But that's where last week's big Facebook hook-ups just might get interesting. Its new partners, Microsoft and Research In Motion, have a deep understanding of how business IT works.
The Next Generation Tech Worker
Commentary  |  10/26/2007  | 
CIOs need to decide: Where is the training going to come from -- self instruction, corporate programs, academia, or some combination thereof?
Bye Bye, BEA: Why Oracle Needs This Deal
Commentary  |  10/26/2007  | 
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.
AT&T Punts MediaFLO Proving Mobile TV Still Isn't Ready For Primetime
Commentary  |  10/26/2007  | 
It looks like AT&T Mobility has delayed the launch of its MediaFLO mobile TV service until sometime in "early 2008." Will mobile TV ever really take off?
6 Problems With Mac OS X Leopard
Commentary  |  10/26/2007  | 
While Leopard is a significant improvement over previous Mac OS X releases, it has some notable shortcomings. IPhone users, database developers, people still running Classic Mac apps, and folks who are obsessive about backing up will find some disappointments. Read on for a roundup of six Leopard problems.

IT Workers to Management: Show Us More Money!
Commentary  |  10/26/2007  | 
Tech pay is approaching an all-time high according to a recent survey. Yet IT workers are not happy with their salaries, according to another survey. What gives?
Should Employees Experiment with Software, Mobile Devices on Company PCs?
Commentary  |  10/26/2007  | 
How much leeway should IT managers give employees? In a debate-style Wall Street Journal Online interview with two CIOs, one kept using phrases like "controlled" and "tightly managed." The other was from Google.
Editor's Log: HP, SAP, Cognos, IBM and More
Commentary  |  10/26/2007  | 
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.
Why Cigna Chose Startup For Key Security Function
Commentary  |  10/26/2007  | 
Getting a foot in the door of big business is the hardest part of being a tech startup. So how did Aveksa, a 3-year-old software company, land a deal with Cigna? It had the right application at the right time to help the health insurer fill a gap in its IT security strategy.
Thoughts On The World's Obsession With Google
Commentary  |  10/26/2007  | 
People are so curious about Google. Whenever we post images of Google offices, like the photos I took of its new digs in Ann Arbor, Mich., they draw readers like bees to honey.
CTIA Wrap Up. What Really Happened This Week?
Commentary  |  10/25/2007  | 
The lack of real news and even any sort of buzz at this fall's CTIA Wireless IT & Entertainment show was a real disappointment. While Microsoft's announcement is certainly noteworthy, nothing set the show on fire. Hell, the parties were barely fun.
Mobile Business Expo: Mobile Business Applications Are Here And They're Delivering Value
Commentary  |  10/25/2007  | 
Yesterday at Mobile Business Expo (MBX), we took the deep dive into mobile business applications. Not only are businesses deploying applications other than mobile e-mail, many of these applications are powerful and they deliver real ROI.
Sure, Apple's 'Leopard' Is Overhyped -- But Here's Why It Matters Anyway
Commentary  |  10/25/2007  | 
The Apple community is giving Leopard the lite version of the hype orgy that the iPhone received four months ago. All this for a mere software dot-release. It's easy for a sensible person to dismiss the whole thing as flummery, but in fact there are some meaty new benefits to Leopard that are worth looking forward to.

Business Rules and BI Make Great Bedfellows
Commentary  |  10/25/2007  | 
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...
EU 'Blue Card' For Techies Could Give U.S. A Black Eye
Commentary  |  10/25/2007  | 
Is the United States locking the door and nailing it shut to foreign tech talent while Europe is getting ready to roll out the red carpet? Some people think so.
Mobile Business Expo: Mobile 2.0 Crosses Consumer Apps With The Business World
Commentary  |  10/25/2007  | 
We just concluded our last plenary session at Mobile Business Expo, "Mobile Business 2.0: The True Promise Of Wireless." It looks like Web 2.0 consumer trends are shaping business mobility more than I thought.
'CSI: NY''s Second Life Adventure Was Delightful -- But Not Revolutionary. At Least Not Yet.
Commentary  |  10/25/2007  | 
CSI: NY's episode in Second Life was a total blast. I went into it with pretty low expectations, and was delighted throughout. It was a heck of a lot of fun -- and it got Second Life right in spirit, even though the SL portrayed on the show was much faster, more stable, and had much better graphics than the real thing.

Photoshop For Linux? Don't Hold Your Breath
Commentary  |  10/25/2007  | 
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.

Cease And Desist? A Music Publisher Responds
Commentary  |  10/25/2007  | 
On Monday, I reported that IMSLP, a volunteer Web site that offered copies of music scores that were (or had been perceived to be) in the public domain, had gone down because of two cease-and-desist letters from music publisher Universal Edition. On Wednesday, I received a reply from UE.
Report From Interop: Mobile Instant Messaging Is Here To Stay
Commentary  |  10/25/2007  | 
There's no hiding from it. Mobile instant messaging is creeping into the enterprise whether IT departments like it or not. Enterprises can embrace it or resist it, but they won't be able to prevent a new generation entering the workforce from using mobile IM and other less traditional collaboration tools.
Opera Ups The Mobile Browser War Ante. Again
Commentary  |  10/25/2007  | 
The people over at Opera Software can't seem to stop innovating. Their latest contribution to the mobile industry is a service that reflects all your PC-based browser settings -- including bookmarks -- on whatever mobile device you happen to be using.
Mobile Business Expo: Tips For Building Business Mobility Strategies
Commentary  |  10/25/2007  | 
While everyone talks about mobile strategy plans, it seems we all need help when it comes time how to craft them. In an attempt to help CIOs and IT managers better think about mobility I sat down with Philippe Winthrop, Research Director -- Wireless and Mobility, Aberdeen Group, at Mobile Business Expo to come up with some useful tips for this special edit
Hop on the Wiki Express
Commentary  |  10/25/2007  | 
Before the Web 2.0 express passes you by and leaves you dazed in the dust, know there is a way for you to hop on its wagon: wikis.
Green Data Centers Equal A Greener Bottom Line
Commentary  |  10/25/2007  | 
Think building an eco-friendly data center is just for tree huggers? Think again -- for IBM and other pinstriped redoubts, it's all about boosting the bottom line.
Can Microsoft Catch Its Cool?
Commentary  |  10/25/2007  | 
In a recent series of popular video ads, Apple portrayed itself as a young, hip guy challenging Microsoft's stodgy businessman. While that was an obvious marketing ploy, it is true that Apple (and Linux) users are often thought of as cooler than those who employ Microsoft Windows. How come?
Whose Data Is It Anyway? 'PITI' the Poor Homeowner
Commentary  |  10/25/2007  | 
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.
Telepresence Doesn't Have To Cost A Fortune
Commentary  |  10/25/2007  | 
The concept of "telepresence" is brilliant when it comes to meeting your peers face-to-face without ever having to step foot on an airplane. But not many companies are willing to shell out $300,000 to put such a system in place. That's why one startup, called LifeSize, caught my attention at Interop when it showed off its affordable high definition videoconferencing system.
Who's Afraid Of Web 2.0?
Commentary  |  10/25/2007  | 
CIOs are -- and they should be, according to a leading IBM researcher. IT needs to get off its cost-containment hobby horse and start mashing up-- or end users will do it for them.
Cybersecurity Redux: How Appealing Is Free Beer For The Rest Of Your Life?
Commentary  |  10/24/2007  | 
Your head of security calls you at 3 a.m. to tell you that a company laptop stuffed with thousands of personal-data records has been stolen. To get that laptop back safely, what would you be willing to offer: How about a lifetime supply of beer?
Google Takes No Prisoners
Commentary  |  10/24/2007  | 
Google today began giving its Gmail users access to IMAP, an e-mail protocol that allows users to synchronize their e-mail across multiple devices. While Google's announcement is likely to be appreciated by users of Apple's iPhone (which supports IMAP) and business users, what's particularly noteworthy about the news is how Keith Coleman, Gmail product manager, describes Google's intentions.
Google Maps And Twitter Are Essential Information Resources For California Fires
Commentary  |  10/24/2007  | 
The immediate threat seems to have passed for my wife and me here in San Diego, as fires ravage Southern California. But it's still essential for us to keep an eye on the situation. The TV news is first-rate for getting an overview. But Google Maps and Twitter provide a running answer to the question that's most important to me and my wife: Is our neighborhood and our house in any immediate danger?

Five Ways To Get Your (Corporate) Wiki On
Commentary  |  10/24/2007  | 
Wikis are a great source of constantly updated, widely accessible information for consumers. But enterprise use is limited. So here's five simple steps to encourage wiki adoption in your company, courtesy of an Interop speaker.
EBay Is Retirement Plan Of Last Resort For Aging Rockers
Commentary  |  10/24/2007  | 
Once the glory has faded and your music is most fondly recalled by folks north of 40, all some rockers have left are their memories. So when they need some extra coin, and a reunion concert or small-venue tour won't be on until next summer, they can always turn to their collection of instruments. Fortunately, these days they don't have to hock them; there's eBay.
Not Just India And China Vying For U.S. Tech Jobs
Commentary  |  10/24/2007  | 
Touring the exhibit hall at OutsourceWorld New York this morning, I was struck by the number of booths touting services from vendors in countries beyond the usual suspects. Outsourcing, and IT jobs, are truly going global.
7 Steps To A Greener Data Center
Commentary  |  10/24/2007  | 
Next to labor, energy represents the biggest expense associated with running a data center. On Wednesday, Interop attendees learned ways to reduce those costs and save thousands of dollars.
Mobile Business Expo: Microsoft's New Mobile Platform May Be WinMo's Tipping Point
Commentary  |  10/24/2007  | 
Microsoft delivered a potential body blow to the mobile business market yesterday with a new mobility platform designed to make Windows Mobile the de facto standard for IT. Will this be Microsoft's mobile tipping point?
Of Credit Crunches, Housing Busts, and IT Budgets
Commentary  |  10/24/2007  | 
Are you in the process of setting your 2008 IT budget? Are you having any fun yet?
At Interop, Enterprise Sometimes Follows The LIttle Guys
Commentary  |  10/24/2007  | 
While the big bucks in technology are dedicated to the development of enterprise solutions, occasionally it seems as though consumer-based apps can take the lead -- at least, as far as creativity is concerned.
Mobile Business Expo: iAnywhere Brings Enterprise E-mail To The iPhone
Commentary  |  10/24/2007  | 
If you're a professional who shelled out for the iPhone but still can't use it to access your work e-mail, get ready because soon you may be able to access your corporate network with your iPhone.
Mobile Business Expo: How To Craft A Mobile E-Mail Strategy
Commentary  |  10/24/2007  | 
Yesterday afternoon at Mobile Business Expo (MBX) we tackled the issue of crafting a push e-mail strategy. Guess what, it's not just about e-mail anymore.
Business Rules Forum: Ron Ross on Smart Processes
Commentary  |  10/24/2007  | 
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...
CTIA Offers State Of The Industry Snapshot At Confab
Commentary  |  10/23/2007  | 
If you believe everything CTIA, The Wireless Association has to say about the wireless industry, it would seem like it is firing on all cylinders. However, the rosy statistics don't quite cover up all the thorns.
Women Entrepreneurs Shatter Myths
Commentary  |  10/23/2007  | 
I attended a Make Mine A Million conference for Women entrepreneurs this morning in downtown New York City. And the first thing I came across was a bunch of lists about everything from HR Myths to Accounting Necessities. I love lists, so I'm passing them along here:
Staying Informed During The Southern California Fires
Commentary  |  10/23/2007  | 
Much of Southern California is currently under attack by wildfires. As a San Diego resident, I've suddenly taken an intense interest in local news. I've located several good Internet resources for staying on top of the fires' progress, including Twitter, Google Maps, Web sites and blogs. I'm passing them along for our SoCal readers, and anybody else who wants to stay on top of the progress of the emergency.

Cryptography's Lemon Of A Business Model
Commentary  |  10/23/2007  | 
If life gives you lemons, make lemonade. Here's how a startup in the encryption market took that saying to heart.
Microsoft Bows To The EU, Open Source Shrugs
Commentary  |  10/23/2007  | 
And so now Microsoft has conceded its antitrust case in the EU. So what does this mean for open source and Linux?  From what I can tell, it just means business as usual.

3Com Struggles -- Should Small and Midsize Businesses Bolt?
Commentary  |  10/23/2007  | 
A series of missteps doesn't bode well for the networking vendor. Small and midsize businesses have helped the company stay afloat, but for how long?
Mobile Business Expo: Applications Lead Way In The Verticals
Commentary  |  10/23/2007  | 
This week I am blogging from Mobile Business Expo, the mobility component of Interop in New York City. My colleague, Eric Zeman, this week will be blogging from CTIA Wireless IT & Entertainment on the other coast in San Francisco. Earlier this morning, we kicked off MBX with a panel on mobility in the verticals.
SAAS-Based ECM? Here's My Dilemma
Commentary  |  10/23/2007  | 
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?...
How Steve Jobs is Like Tom Brady
Commentary  |  10/23/2007  | 
On Monday, Apple announced that profits for its last fiscal quarter exploded to 67 percent. "They are the New England Patriots of the tech world, appearing to be an unstoppable force," Samir Bhavnani, analyst for Current Analysis West told InformationWeek.
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