Other
Commentary
6/26/2007
09:44 AM
Commentary
Commentary
Commentary
Connect Directly
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%
Repost This

Satellite Destruction

In This Issue:
1. Editor's Note: SAP Isn't About Easy
2. Today's Top Story
    - Satellite Destruction Using Google Earth And Orbitron
3. Breaking News
    - iSuppli Cuts Semiconductor Revenue Forecast
    - Boston Celtics Use Tool To Battle Botnets
    - Lawyer Group Responds To Controversial YouTube Video
    - Apple Mac Sales Grow Faster Than Windows PCs In Consumer Market
    - Nuance To Buy AOL's Tegic Communications
    - Cybercrime Fighters To Gather This Week
    - Google CEO Demos Apple's iPhone, But Not On YouTube
    - RIAA Request For Music Downloaders' Identities Denied
    - WiMax Is Scarce, But Many Consumers Know Why They Want It
    - Dell Won't Preinstall Ubuntu Linux On Small-Business Computers
    - Intel Draws Parallels Between Chips And Ratatouille
    - Google Turns Its Hardware Manufacturing Over To Dell
    - Yahoo To Acquire U.S. Sports Media Site Rivals.com
    - Apple Patent Foretells iPod And iPhone Security
    - Stolen Backup Device Holds Info On 225,000 Ohio Taxpayers
    - Nvidia Gives Supercomputing A Hand
    - iPhone Frenzy Will Tempt Hackers To Break Apple's Security
4. The Latest Digital Life Blog Posts
    - Beware Of Sticky Fingers When BlackBerrys Handle State Secrets
    - The Most Hated Words On The Internet
    - Ventrilo Harassment Exposed
    - What Can Real-World Businesses Do To Succeed In Second Life?
5. Job Listings From TechCareers
6. White Papers
    - Mobile Data Security Essentials For Your Changing, Growing Workforce
7. Get More Out Of InformationWeek
8. Manage Your Newsletter Subscription

Quote of the day:
"The thing that impresses me the most about America is the way parents obey their children." -- King Edward VIII


1. Editor's Note: SAP Isn't About Easy; It's About Regimentation

Kimberly-Clark's experience with its three-year, $100 million SAP rollout -- plus $17 million for user training -- is hardly big news. But it underscores something I've thought for a long time: The decision to move to SAP has little or nothing to do with making it easier for employees to perform better in the real world. On the contrary, it has everything to do with B-school egghead theories about making business operations fit together like Lego blocks, regardless of the human cost.

That, from corporate management's viewpoint, is its greatest strength. SAP is a very rigid product. My experience, watching a couple of SAP rollouts from the sidelines, is that the company does not adapt SAP to its business processes, it adapts its business processes to SAP. And this gives management a great benefit: It standardizes the business. It forces businesses that have operated in idiosyncratic ways to adopt regimented methods of execution and reporting.

The primary customers for SAP seem to be the suits who make big bucks from mergers and acquisitions. The easier a company is to understand, the easier it is to buy and sell, and standardizing the reporting is the first step in that process. (The idea that it also makes it easier for managers by allowing them to respond to predigested data in knee-jerk ways rather than requiring that they really understand their business is surely just cynicism on my part, right?)

Interestingly, SAP is only the first in what looks like a growing class of enterprise applications. Salesforce.com is another example of a one-size-fits-all solution that in fact fits some much better than others. If Web-delivered services are the future, then we'll see more standardization of business practices as businesses move to standard services rather than developing their own.

All this leaves me wondering: In this roboticized future where all companies do everything the same way, how will any company be able to capitalize on its opportunities? Are the eggheads engineering the possibility of success out of business with these all-encompassing "solutions" that work so hard to make it impossible for mediocre managers to fail?

David DeJean
ddejean@dejean.com
www.informationweek.com


2. Today's Top Story

Satellite Destruction Using Google Earth And Orbitron
Researchers use off-the-shelf software as part of an experiment to demonstrate the vulnerability of critical space infrastructure.


3. Breaking News

iSuppli Cuts Semiconductor Revenue Forecast
Global revenue is expected to increase 6% to $276.6 billion this year from $260.9 billion last year, the firm said.

Boston Celtics Use Tool To Battle Botnets
Mi5 is releasing a high-speed appliance designed to detect and shut down botnet activity -- something the Celtics have been looking for.

Lawyer Group Responds To Controversial YouTube Video
The American Immigration Lawyers Association advises employers to meet the legal requirements when hiring foreign nationals, even if the process is "far from perfect."

Apple Mac Sales Grow Faster Than Windows PCs In Consumer Market
Apple's share of desktop and notebook sales online and through brick-and-mortar stores in May rose to 13% from 11.6% in April, according to the NPD Group.

Nuance To Buy AOL's Tegic Communications
Tegic's T9 predictive text input software will be mated with Nuance's speech and imaging software, the companies said.

Cybercrime Fighters To Gather This Week
Law enforcement officials, including all 92 assistant U.S. attorneys, will meet to coordinate efforts against zero-day vulnerabilities and other online threats.

Google CEO Demos Apple's iPhone, But Not On YouTube
The event triangulated three hot media subjects -- Google, Apple's iPhone, and YouTube -- and put a spotlight on the Google-Apple alliance.

RIAA Request For Music Downloaders' Identities Denied
A judge said the RIAA will have to work with the university to notify the students who have been sued before it can gather information about them.

WiMax Is Scarce, But Many Consumers Know Why They Want It
A survey finds that nearly half of the respondents plan to use WiMax for e-mail, while 31% cited online media viewing and 28% cited mobile TV and music downloading.

Dell Won't Preinstall Ubuntu Linux On Small-Business Computers
The computer maker will sell only the hardware and let small-business customers install the open source operating system themselves.

Intel Draws Parallels Between Chips And Ratatouille
The semiconductor maker is spending $8 million to promote a Pixar movie it hopes will encourage consumers and IT managers to buy its dual-core products.

Google Turns Its Hardware Manufacturing Over To Dell
Until late last year, Google assembled its high-end enterprise search box on its own, from components supplied by a variety of white-box manufacturers.

Yahoo To Acquire U.S. Sports Media Site Rivals.com
Yahoo said it would acquire Rivals.com, a site for fans of college and high school teams, bolstering the Internet media company's place as the top U.S. sports site in audience terms.

Apple Patent Foretells iPod And iPhone Security
The patent application envisions several possible tests that could be used to prevent a portable device from being recharged.

Stolen Backup Device Holds Info On 225,000 Ohio Taxpayers
The device was stolen after a state intern took it home as part of a policy that called for one backup device to be kept offsite.

Nvidia Gives Supercomputing A Hand
The new GPUs are meant as an alternative to having developers divide a supercomputing application among multiple CPUs, commonly made by Intel or Advanced Micro Devices.

iPhone Frenzy Will Tempt Hackers To Break Apple's Security
Security researchers at IBM admire the iPhone's apparent security but note it will suffer from its fair share of attacks.

All Our Latest News

On the go?
See InformationWeek's daily breaking news on your mobile device, visit wap.informationweek.com and sign up for daily SMS notifications.


----- The latest research, polls, and tools -----

Unified Communications
The concept has been the "next big thing" for a long time. But as with a lot of innovative technologies, time brings improvements in the products and the business benefits as well as some interesting new players. Learn how more than 300 companies are deploying unified communications and VoIP in this new report by InformationWeek Research.

Windows Vista: Meeting Expectations Or Falling Short?
While security enhancements top the list of reasons companies are installing Windows Vista, concerns about compatibility and costs are driving the less-than-stellar adoption rates. Learn how more than 600 business technology professionals responded to these questions and more in InformationWeek Research's Windows Vista: Meeting Expectations Or Falling Short?

8 Fast Facts About The InformationWeek 500
Use this quick online tool to examine technology and business strategies of the most innovative users of technology, the InformationWeek 500. With this tool, you can review aggregate budgeting and spending plans, methods of innovation, level of customer focus, risk management priorities, global strategies, and technology deployment plans.
To be considered for the 2007 InformationWeek 500, please go to: http://www.informationweek.com/iw500prereg
-----------------------------------------


4. The Latest Digital Life Blog Posts
http://www.informationweek.com/blog/digitallife/

Beware Of Sticky Fingers When BlackBerrys Handle State Secrets
We're not at war with France, at least not the last time I checked, but that doesn't mean that the French want their state secrets coursing through the U.S. telecommunications infrastructure, courtesy of French government officials addicted to les BlackBerrys. Sure, BlackBerrys come with built-in encryption, but is that enough when you really, really don't want anyone to get his or her hands on the information you're carrying around?

The Most Hated Words On The Internet
"Blog," "netiquette," "cookie," and "wiki" are among the most hated words on the Internet, according to a British poll.

Ventrilo Harassment Exposed
What happens when your MMORPG is hijacked by a player with a headset, chat software, and a whole lot of attitude? Duke Nukem, for starters.

What Can Real-World Businesses Do To Succeed In Second Life?
I'm wrapping up an article I've been struggling with for months, about how real-life businesses succeed in Second Life. It's a tough article to do because I think the overwhelming majority of real-life businesses that move into Second Life are failures.


5. Job Listings From TechCareers

MarketSense seeking Programmer - C#, ASP.NET in Burr Ridge, IL

McCamish Systems seeking Business Systems Analyst in Atlanta, GA

MCCI seeking Project Manager in Ithaca, NY

BreakthroughIT, Inc. seeking Change Management, Technical Impact Assessment in Groton, CT

Blizzard Entertainment seeking Senior Oracle DBA in Irvine, CA

For more great jobs, career-related news, features and services, please visit CMP Media's TechCareers.


6. White Papers

Mobile Data Security Essentials For Your Changing, Growing Workforce
This paper outlines four requirements for implementing an effective and flexible enterprise-class mobile security solution for your mobile data and devices. An organization needs a single enterprise solution for all mobile devices and data -- one that's simple, powerful, and flexible, and that meets the strategic objectives of mobile data security.


7. Get More Out Of InformationWeek

Try InformationWeek's RSS Feed

Discover all InformationWeek's sites and newsletters

Recommend This Newsletter To A Friend
Do you have friends or colleagues who might enjoy this newsletter? Please forward it to them and point out the subscription page.

Visit InformationWeek's Online Marketplace to learn more about the products, technologies and companies that will help you meet your business technology needs.


8. Manage Your Newsletter Subscription

To unsubscribe from, subscribe to, or change your E-mail address for this newsletter, please visit the InformationWeek Subscription Center.

Note: To change your E-mail address, please subscribe your new address and unsubscribe your old one.

Keep Getting This Newsletter
Don't let future editions of InformationWeek Daily go missing. Take a moment to add the newsletter's address to your anti-spam white list:
InfoWeek@update.informationweek.com

If you're not sure how to do that, ask your administrator or ISP. Or check your anti-spam utility's documentation. Thanks.

We take your privacy very seriously. Please review our Privacy Policy.

InformationWeek Daily Newsletter
A free service of InformationWeek and the TechWeb Network.
Copyright (c) 2007 CMP Media LLC
600 Community Drive
Manhasset, N.Y. 11030

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
The Agile Archive
The Agile Archive
When it comes to managing data, donít look at backup and archiving systems as burdens and cost centers. A well-designed archive can enhance data protection and restores, ease search and e-discovery efforts, and save money by intelligently moving data from expensive primary storage systems.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
InformationWeek Elite 100 - 2014
Our InformationWeek Elite 100 issue -- our 26th ranking of technology innovators -- shines a spotlight on businesses that are succeeding because of their digital strategies. We take a close at look at the top five companies in this year's ranking and the eight winners of our Business Innovation awards, and offer 20 great ideas that you can use in your company. We also provide a ranked list of our Elite 100 innovators.
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Audio Interviews
Archived Audio Interviews
GE is a leader in combining connected devices and advanced analytics in pursuit of practical goals like less downtime, lower operating costs, and higher throughput. At GIO Power & Water, CIO Jim Fowler is part of the team exploring how to apply these techniques to some of the world's essential infrastructure, from power plants to water treatment systems. Join us, and bring your questions, as we talk about what's ahead.