Data Warehouse Appliances? Me too!
Just as every presidential candidate this cycle is the candidate of Change, it seems that all the DBMS vendors offer the preferred data-warehouse appliance solution. That's the message I heard from appliance panelists at today's TDWI Washington DC chapter meeting. For a couple of them it was a real stretch, which in one case wasn't a bad thing. The net take-away is that we are seeing Change in the DBMS world, even if for the politicians that word is still only a promise.
Hacking My PowerShot
Hardware hacking: it isn't just for those of us with soldering-iron skills anymore, as the hacks for the iPhone clearly show. I don't have an iPhone, but I do have a Canon PowerShot A560, and as it turns out, that's another device that can be hacked thanks to some firmware wizardry.
BI Goes Mainstream at Procter &Gamble
Philip Bierhoff, Systems Manager at Procter & Gamble, spoke at last week's FASTforward conference about strategies to increase user adoption as business intelligence goes mainstream. P&G's Symphony project creates "decision cockpits": dashboards based on specific roles and corporate divisions, and including information ranging from traditional BI reports to documents to news...
SaaS vendor NetSuite Opens Platform To ISVs, VARs
In launching the NetSuite Business Operating System, the vendor is offering to host third-party software on its multi-tenant, on-demand architecture. As a result, ISVs and VARs can extend NetSuite's underlying capabilities to specific verticals.
Did Poor Data Governance Spark the Subprime Crisis?
The subprime lending crisis offer fresh evidence that we're in the bear-skins-and-stone-knives era of understanding risk and making good decisions based on data. That's one of the key points I heard yesterday at an IBM Data Governance Council meeting in New York... Current technologies are limited by a lack of best practices and standards and by the sheer scale and complexity of enterprises and financial markets...
Firefox, Or Pigfoot?
One index of success for an open source project is how many other projects are derived from it -- or how many people have created alternate builds of the same project. Firefox's success has spawned a whole slew of community-compiled editions of the program, and this week I've been living with one of them, code-named "Pigfoot."
Why You Should Love Information Mess
David Weinberger, author of "Everything is Miscellaneous," believes we need to unlearn what we think that we know about the best ways to organize information... He looks at how many projects require a much greater degree of control as they increase in size, but contrasts that with the Web, which has growth only because of the lack of control. Control doesn't scale; we just thought that it did...
Talk To Me, Openly
It's a cliche to say that open source breaks down barriers, but every day I learn about a new way that's happening. Here's one barrier that open source can help to bring down, incrementally: the language barrier.
SharePoint Licensing Costs 'Highest in Class'
The CMS Watch Web CMS Report, calls out MOSS 2007 as having "perhaps the highest fee structure in its class," - by which we mean among mid-market and departmental solutions - particularly when used as a Web CMS for a public site. Seems others agree...
Will Linux Breathe Adobe's AIR?
You've probably heard by now about Adobe's AIR, a way to create "rich Internet applications" on the desktop. It's only for Windows and Mac at this point, but Adobe's plan is to eventually release it for Linux as well.
Fading Hope for Wikis
If you ever spend time as an administrator or even an editor on Wikipedia, you find that your initial enthusiasm for the concept wanes pretty quickly. I thought Wikipedia was a forum for interested people to present their knowledge in an open and influence-free environment, to be vetted by like-minded, optimistic people. As it turns out, it became a dumping ground for every crackpot, agenda, vendetta and misinformation-broker on the planet...
Q&A: MicroStrategy, Teradata and Informatica CTOs on Pervasive BI
Jeff Bedell, executive vice president of technology and CTO of MicroStrategy, Stephen Brobst, CTO of Teradata, and James Markarian, senior VP of product strategy and CTO of Informatica, have collaborated on a noted whitepaper and joint presentations on the topic of pervasive business intelligence. Intelligent Enterprise contributing editor Mark Madsen recently asked these three thought leaders about the latest trends carrying us toward broader adoption and near-real-time decision support.
India Outsources to US Tech Workers
The buzz in the local Indian trade magazines is about IBM recently grabbing a multi-year outsourcing deal from the Indian operations of Vodaphone, the global communications giant. Deals like these demonstrate that countries like India and China are more than a source of competition for US-based IT jobs, they offer a solid opportunity for those willing to brave the geographical and culture gap.
The Road To Pervasive BI
If you're not using business intelligence tools throughout your workforce, it's time to start--or get left behind in your competitors' dust
A Kindler, Gentler Microsoft Won't Happen From Within
Microsoft's recent announcements about its new openness initiatives have been greeted with great skepticism. They deserve to be, because Microsoft deserves to be changed for the better -- but it's only going to come from the outside, not the inside.
TDWI in Vegas: Bigger than Ever
This week's TDWI World Conference turned out to be one of the biggest, with more than 1,000 attendees and another 200 executives at the BI summit. The highlights for me included...
Catching Up With Zoho
Those of you curious to see how ambitious a Web-based application suite can be while still being built entirely on open standards need look no further than Zoho. The other day I spoke with company evangelist Raju Vegesna about what they've been doing in their ongoing attempt to beat both Microsoft Office and Google Docs at their own games. The short answer: quite a bit.
Is Your Web Analytics Tool Next-Level Ready?
If your enterprise is ready to get to the "next level" in analytics - to have it help you drive decision support - you'll want to learn more about the Web analytics' vendors ability to integrate with other data and systems. This is the how web analytics can provide real business value for your enterprise.
Predictive Analytics 101: The Limits of Intuition
In a TDWI Executive Summit presentation entitled "The Yin and Yang of Implementing Predictive Analytics," Matt Schwartz of Corporate Express presented the "Yin," exploring the office supply company's 18-month foray into prediction. He asked attendees, "when people order a stapler on CorporateExpress.com, what else is going to be in their shopping cart?" The answer might surprise you.
Mozilla Messaging: Our Escape From Outlook?
If there's any one closed source application I know I depend on, it's Outlook. And if there's any one open source application that can unseat Outlook, it's Thunderbird -- er, Mozilla Messaging. Not because it's better than Outlook -- it's not. Not yet, anyway.
TDWI Selection Bias: It Depends Whom You Ask
The saying "There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and
statistics" is attributed to Benjamin Disraeli, and it's nicely
illustrated in a couple of Intelligent Enterprise reality-check photos from this week's TDWI conference. Check out the TDWI Image Gallery photos for clear illustrations of "selection bias": not TDWI's fault, but an effect to keep in mind when you assess formal and informal research findings.
TDWI Insight: Guiding BI From the Top
To develop effective business intelligence programs, lead with organization, not technology. That was the advice from keynote speaker Tracy Austin here at the TDWI World Conference and Executive Summit here in Las Vegas this week. Austin is the former CIO of Mandalay Resort Group and former VP of IT at Harrah's Entertainment, one of the most celebrated BI-driven enterprises in the world. Here are Austin's 10 principles for guiding "BI From the Top:"
Exit One Format War, Enter Another
The news is in: Toshiba is throwing in the towel for HD DVD, leaving Blu-ray Disc as the carrier for next-generation home video. Now comes the next format war for video: physical media vs. digital downloads.
TDWI Keynote: Larry English Takes on the Status Quo
Organizations that aren't managing information as a resource are wasting as much as half their IT budgets "moving data from database A to database B." This troubling perspective, from expert Larry English, kicked off this week's TDWI World Conference in Las Vegas. Here's the keynoter's advice on the right approach.
SCO Lives! Aarrgh! Rawrr!
The more I watch SCO's progress -- from Unix vendor to patent-wielding lawsuit machine to bankrupt has-been, and now a privately funded corporate reboot -- the more I feel like I'm watching one of those cheesy 1960s Japanese monster movies with a nigh-unkillable creature from outer space. The super heat ray didn't work on the monster, the mysterious Element X that spews out Radiation Y didn't have any effect either, and now the scientists are falling back on the absolute last resort plan
IBM on Text Technologies for the Legal Sector
My last blog article relayed key points about e-discovery and potential knowledge-discovery (KDD) applications in the legal sector that were reinforced by my participation in the recent LegalTech conference. A LegalTech exhibitor mentioned his company's discussions with IBM, so I dropped IBM text-technologies researcher Aaron Brown a note. He graciously gave me permission to share his response, which I'll post verbatim...
Sun Snags Innotek -- Should I Wince?
Sun just made another open source acquisition: Innotek, the makers of the open source VirtualBox virtual machine application. Unlike MySQL, though, this is one open source acquisition that hits home for me in a major way.
Business Objects' Stealthy XI 3.0 Announcement
What's now called "Business Objects, an SAP company" yesterday announced a major new BusinessObjects XI 3.0 platform, but I, for one, had zero advanced notice. Judging by the dearth of coverage until today, other journalists were in much the same position. And this is an announcement that deserves a bit of time to digest! Here's what's in store...
Text Technologies in the Legal World
"Discovery" is a legal process whereby parties to a lawsuit request and provide documents and information that may be pertinent in litigation. "Discovery" also describes an analytics goal that has nothing to do with the court system: extraction of useful information — data, facts, and rules, which together constitute knowledge — from databases and textual sources. Can legal mandates be turned to business advantage?
Hands-On With TrueCrypt 5: Open Source System-Wide Encryption
Scarcely a week goes by these days without word of the theft of a computer with sensitive personal information on it. It's gotten that much easier to protect such data with whole-drive encryption, but those kinds of solutions have typically been proprietary, like Windows Vista's BitLocker (which isn't available in all versions of Vista, either). Now comes version 5 of the fre
Weaving BPM into the Enterprise
At last week's Gartner BPM Summit, Elise Olding moderated a panel on weaving BPM into the enterprise, with Eric Abecassis, Architecture and Integration Manager with Schlumberger, Jim Boots, Enterprise Architect at Chevron, and Kevin Morgan, Program Manager at Dolby... It was good to hear some success stories about how organizations are starting to become more process centric.
How Do Data Warehouse Appliances Fit In?
Companies now have many options when it comes to the design and implementation of a data management strategy to support business intelligence initiatives. AberdeenGroup's hypothesis is that the predominant pressure driving companies to adopt new data management strategies for BI applications is the need to reduce time-to-information for end-users... What's your opinion?
Put to the Test: Nexaweb Enterprise Web Suite 2.0
This clean, uncluttered development platform is purpose-built to deliver enterprise-class rich Internet applications, mash-ups and composite apps. Is it elegant in its simplicity or just plain simple?
Hacking The Eee PC
No piece of hardware can stay on the market for long without someone taking it apart and trying to do things the manufacturer probably never intended. "ivc", a Norwegian hardware hacker, has been documenting the fun he's been having with Asus's Eee PC. It's eye-opening, to say the least.
Competing on Decisions
Harvard Business Review recently hosted a two-day conference in Miami called "Think!Analytics," featuring Tom Davenport and Jeanne Harris, co-authors of the current best-seller, "Competing on Analytics."... Tom and company are starting to talk about decisions, not just analytics. Here is why that really caught my attention...
The State of BPM: Top-Five Trends
Speaking at this week's Gartner BPM Summit, Jay Simons, VP of Marketing for BEA, presented the company's recent research results on the state of the BPM market, including a survey of 200-plus BEA customers... The results show a number of interesting trends indicating that CIOs and business leaders are focused on improving their processes... The top five trends are...
PortableApps.com, February Edition
It's been a while since I checked in to see what's new in the free and open source world of PortableApps.com. To my delight, I found quite a bit that's both new and updated -- and if you haven't checked in with the folks at PA before, you're likely to be delighted, too.
Will MS + Yahoo = The Death of Zimbra?
One of Yahoo's acquisitions back in September '07 was Zimbra, an open source (MPL) groupware product that's garnered a reputation as a solid alternative to Microsoft Exchange. Now, with Microsoft prepping a potential buyout of Yahoo, there's real fear in the air that Zimbra may be one of the casualties.
Big Blue's BI in a Box
With IBM's acquisition of Cognos completed last week, the merged companies were quick to tout their joint product offerings and future plans at a press and analyst conference yesterday. Given IBM's role as both a data warehouse platform and a services power house, the acquisition clearly impacts existing partnerships in which IBM moves from partner to competitor. The question in this new landscape: who wins, who loses?