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 Mary Hayes Weier
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Profile of Mary Hayes Weier

News & Commentary Posts: 631
Articles by Mary Hayes Weier

Why Microsoft Azure Should Matter To Businesses

12/10/2009
I'll make a prediction that 2010 will be the most exciting year yet for cloud computing, and that's partly related to Microsoft's ramp-up of Azure. Anyone attending Salesforce.com's Dreamforce conference last month understands the potential of cloud platforms for rapid application development. And this is all coming together at a time when IT shops need to quickly and cheaply turn out innovative new applications for the business.

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GM's IT Strategy

12/3/2009
CIO's priorities include CRM, financials, and collaboration software. And the automaker is keeping a close eye on Apple and Google.

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An Eyewitness To Ousted CEO's Impact At GM

12/2/2009
We were in a meeting yesterday at General Motor's headquarters with Kirk Gutmann, chief technology and strategy officer, when a woman walked in and handed Gutmann a note. I could see type highlighted in bright yellow. She said, "You need to be in a 4 p.m. board meeting that just got called." I saw a flash of concern pass over Gutmann's face. We shook hands, and our meeting was quickly adjourned. Less than an hour later, I learned CEO Fritz Henderson had resigned.

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Why Force.com Is Important To Cloud Computing

11/23/2009
Shortly before Salesforce.com's Dreamforce conference started last Wednesday, the San Francisco Fire Department had locked the doors to Moscone Center to let the crush of bodies entering it disperse before letting in more attendees. I thought, are you kidding me? All this for a mid-size software company? But as I talked to attendees over the next few days, I began to understand what was stoking such enthusiasm I haven't seen in years in the enterprise software industry.

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Force.com Vs. Azure: Competition In The Clouds

11/17/2009
More than 15,000 people are attending the Dreamforce conference in San Francisco starting Tuesday night-good proof that Salesforce.com is fulfilling its destiny as a cloud computing platform provider. (This many people wouldn't show up for a CRM conference.) Meanwhile, down in L.A., Microsoft execs are talking to developers about building apps to run on Windows Azure. Is that the crash-boom-bang of competitive thunderclouds I hear on the horizon?

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One CIO's View On Google Apps And Microsoft Office

11/11/2009
Today I chatted with Jeremy Vincent, CIO of Jaguar Land Rover, on his choice of Google Gmail for 15,000 users. You'll read the details of that decision in an upcoming story. But an interesting aside from the Gmail deal is Vincent's interest in Microsoft's plan to put its Office suite in the cloud.

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NetSuite: A Study On Cloud Computing's Potential

11/5/2009
Will companies move their core business applications to the cloud? It's one of the great unanswered questions, and one reason NetSuite is so interesting to watch. Based on NetSuite's third-quarter financial report, the answer to this question remains partly cloudy.

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Four Possible Reasons Why L.A. Chose Google Over Microsoft

10/28/2009
The Los Angeles City Council has chosen Google over Microsoft for 30,000 city employees' email accounts. What better place than Tinseltown for this tech industry drama to play out, with one councilman even delivering a choice line about whether cloud computing could push the city off the edge of a cliff (a drama AND an action film). But we're still waiting for an ending that answers this question: Why Google over Microsoft?

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Alternative IT

10/22/2009
Cloud Computing. SaaS. They're such over-used marketing words that they've become the butt of jokes (Larry Ellison on YouTube, anyone?). But hopefully the hype machine hasn't generated too much noise to drown out the fact that there have been some significant, permanent changes in how CIOs view software. At InformationWeek, we call it Alternative IT.

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SAP Salvages Maintenance Contract With Siemens

10/21/2009
When software vendors issue a press release on a deal, it's usually for a new customer win. But after some scuttlebutt last month about souring negotiations between SAP and marquee customer Siemens, SAP decided to put out a different type of release Wednesday: Siemens has renewed its maintenance contract with SAP.

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A 'Bill Of Rights' For SaaS Customers

10/21/2009
Analyst R "Ray" Wang is a tireless and well-respected customer advocate in the world of enterprise software. Now Wang is bringing his advocacy over to the SaaS side with his recently published "Customer Bill of Rights" for SaaS. I share with you some of the highlights.

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How Did T-Mobile Suddenly Recover Unrecoverable Data?

10/15/2009
Microsoft today said it had recovered most of affected Sidekick customers' lost data. But this past weekend, like a doctor issuing a terminal prognosis, T-Mobile told affected customers that their data "almost certainly has been lost." So, what changed between then and now?

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The Drama That Didn't Happen At Oracle Open World

10/14/2009
So Marc Benioff treaded onto Larry Ellison's turf at Oracle Open World yesterday and acknowledged that sometimes, customers use both Oracle and Salesforce.com. Well, unless you're completely gullible to the attention-loving drama kings of the software industry, this shouldn't come as a surprise. Cloud and traditional computing will forever coexist in an IT architecture world that is far more grey than black and white, and both Larry and Marc know it.

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Who Do You Blame For Cloud Computing Failures?

10/12/2009
Think of the one million T-Mobile Sidekick customers that may have lost important data last week. Think of the dozens of CIOs that anxiously waited for Workday to restore its SaaS service on Sept 24. Cloud computing has created a new era of accountability, and we must demand that tech vendors work harder than ever to prove their trustworthiness.

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Is Workday's 15-Hour SaaS Outage Acceptable?

10/9/2009
On Sept. 24, Workday's SaaS service for human resources, financial applications and payroll was down for 15 hours. That's right, not 15 minutes, not 1.5 hours, but 15 hours. Google Gmail is down for 90 minutes, as it's as if the world has come to an end. So it begs the question: Is 15 hours' downtime for core applications such as accounting and HR acceptable?

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The Conversation With Gates And Ballmer That Sparked Microsoft's Cloud Strategy

10/8/2009
Microsoft's march toward cloud computing is fascinating to watch. Next year, Microsoft will take the most successful desktop software package of all time-Office-and offer it online to businesses, somewhat similar to the Google Apps model. Microsoft's VP of Online recently shared with me some thoughts on Microsoft's strategy-and the conversation he had with Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer that led to Office Web Apps 2010 and other decisions.

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LotusLive iNotes: A Necessary Move For IBM

10/7/2009
IBM released a $3-a-month, online subscription email service this week, called LotusLive iNotes, and really, it had no choice but to get very aggressive on the SaaS front. I know of at least two big company CIOs that recently left Notes and migrated to Google Gmail or Microsoft Exchange online, after considering upgrades to both on-premises Notes and the existing Notes subscription service that starts at $8 a month.

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SaaS Vendor Workday Plans To Grow Big, Remain Independent

9/29/2009
Workday, an important SaaS company to watch, has hired the former CEO of PolyServe, later acquired by Hewlett-Packard, as its new president. Yet this isn't a case of a startup hiring an experienced exec to shop it around. As Workday's Aneel Bhusri recently told me, "Dave Duffield and I largely control the company, and we did not start Workday to sell it."

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Oracle Mulls Shift To Subscription-Based Pricing

9/23/2009
Oracle, it seems, is trying to hammer out a strategy to more heavily embrace the most radical faction of the SaaS movement, one that completely upends the traditional software vendor profit model: Subscription-based pricing. If what Oracle said Tuesday in a Web event is true, this could be a huge shift for the software giant.

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Businesses Don't Expect 100% Availability With Gmail

9/3/2009
There's been plenty of blogging, twittering, and general hand-wringing about Google's Gmail outage Tuesday. But rather than extend this into yet another philosophical discussion about the viability of cloud computing, let's keep this in mind: Businesses who've signed on for Gmail don't expect perfection. In fact, both Google and Microsoft only agree to 99.9% uptime for their online email offerings.

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Oracle Sees A Threat In Rimini Street

9/1/2009
Apparently the third-party software maintenance firm known as Rimini Street, which Oracle and SAP have claimed is no threat to their businesses, is indeed a threat. Oracle has filed court documents requesting Rimini Street to produce information about its business, which it says could be a "carbon copy" of TomorrowNow, the company at the center of Oracle's lawsuit against SAP.

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SAS Institute: There Is No For Sale Sign In Our Yard

8/20/2009
Forrester Research predicts that growing interest in predictive analytics will spur a new wave of consolidation in the business intelligence software market. So I asked the king of predictive analytics, SAS Institute, if the company is up for sale. Here's the answer: "We don't have a sign in the front yard by any means."

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Cloud Computing Takes Away Business From IT Outsourcers

8/18/2009
Something that often gets lost in the discussion about cloud computing is what it means for traditional IT outsourcing. Many of the benefits are the same: Reduced costs, less internal development of software, reduced management of applications and hardware. So as cloud computing matures, it seems the IT outsourcing industry will have to evolve to adapt.

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The SaaS Industry Should Eat Its Own Dog Food

8/12/2009
SuccessFactors, provider of an employee-performance management software service, announced today that it's using NetSuite's ERP software service. Well, good for them. And shouldn't we see more of that--the software-as-a-service industry eating its own dog food?

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Panaya's SaaS Helps On-Premise SAP

8/5/2009
More and more we're seeing examples of how on-premise software and SaaS can work hand-in-hand, and not necessarily in opposition. Consider Panaya, the provider of a software service for automating on-premise SAP upgrades, which just got $5 million in a second round of venture capital funding.

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GM Prepares For New CIO

7/27/2009
Ralph Szygenda's incoming successor, Terry Kline, will have to prove he's a tough negotiator with IT providers, at a time when the troubled automaker is at its most vulnerable.

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Cloud Computing Joins Pop Culture

7/14/2009
Last week, PBS's NewsHour with Jim Lehrer reported on cloud computing, even attempting (not quite successfully) to describe a multi-tenant architecture. Yesterday, my 67-year-old mother-in-law explained to me this concept she read about called "cloud computing." It's finally happened: Cloud computing has entered pop culture.

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Another Hot Market For SaaS: Business Intelligence

6/17/2009
Popular applications for software-as-a-service include CRM, expense management, human resources, and Web analytics. But now we're seeing a sudden burst of activity around business intelligence SaaS. Makes sense, since BI software is popular right now, and shares characteristics with the aforementioned apps that make it right for cloud computing.

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SAP Unveils SaaS Strategy

6/9/2009
SAP's new head of on-demand software applications for large companies provides the first details of SAP's strategy for delivering subscription-based apps to Business Suite customers.

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iPhone 3G S Still Falls Short For Business Use

6/8/2009
The 3.0 OS on the new Apple iPhone 3G S will make it easier for developers to push enterprise application updates to users' iPhones. Still, if Apple were truly interested in making the iPhone successful in business, it would be doing more.

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Research Identifies Misconceptions About Cloud Computing

6/5/2009
There's an assumption that it's mostly small and midmarket companies that are interested in cloud computing, since they don't already have huge IT infrastructures, while large companies want to keep everything inside their own firewalled data centers. But new research from Forrester indicates that conventional wisdom is wrong.

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RightNow, Salesforce Offer Services To Track Customer Complaints On Twitter, YouTube

5/22/2009
So you buy a new smartphone, and the touch pad stinks. You post on your Twitter or Facebook account, "Should've known better than to buy a phone from XYZ Corp. Their stuff is junk." You expect a few sympathetic replies from friends. Instead, you get this surprising, and maybe a bit creepy, message from XYZ Corp.: "Are you having a problem with your new phone? Please contact us--we'd like to help!" Welcome to the world of cloud monitoring services, brought to you by RightNow and Salesforce.com.

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SAP's McDermott Has Crafty Plan To Beat Oracle On Deals

5/15/2009
Conversation heard between two SAP sales guys dishing up garbanzo bean salad on the lunch line at Sapphire. Salesman #1: "What's with this maintenance cost controversy? I don't hear customers talk much about it." Salesman #2: "Really? I hear about it all the time. I see deals getting smaller because of it." Well, they might want to talk to big boss Bill McDermott, who is plotting how to leverage the software maintenance-costs drama in a way that only a sales mastermind could.

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Fed's Recovery.gov Site Faces Huge Hurdles

5/11/2009
President Obama has made Internet-enabled government transparency a cornerstone of his administration, and the biggest test of that vision will be Recovery.gov, a Website designed to let citizens track most of $787 billion in economic stimulus spending. Early in the execution, however, we're seeing signs of problems.

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You Spoke Up About Maintenance Fees, And They Listened

5/6/2009
The world's two largest enterprise software vendors finally got the message: CIOs do not view software maintenance fees like death and taxes. In a surprising move, Oracle has loosened its "we don't negotiate" stance and is giving some breaks on fees, while SAP is backpedaling from a staunchly unapologetic decision to raise its fee structure.

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Workday, Oracle Move Forward With SaaS

5/1/2009
In two positive signs for SaaS this week, Workday got another round of venture funding for an impressive $75 million, and Oracle is reportedly planning seven SaaS products. I have a hunch we might hear something on the latter during President Charles Phillips' keynote at the Oracle user conference next week.

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