The Enterprise Content Management - SOA Divide
In the content management world, I sense something of a backlash brewing against SOA (Service Oriented Architecture), but I wonder how real it is. With most Fortune 2000 firms already way down the SOA path, there seems to be no turning back. At the enterprise architecture level, there is no Plan B.
So the issue for me is not whether SOA is the way forward for ECM, but rather how seriously some of the ECM vendors are embracing it.
Get Real About Marketing Performance Management
Nick Sharp, a VP and general manager at WebTrends, recently wrote a piece for mycustomer.com entitled "Web Analytics is dead!" The gist of the article is that Web marketers should not look at Web analytics data in a vacuum, but rather, use it to drive campaigns and solutions. No disagreement with the premise... but then I came across the term term "Marketing Performance Management." What is MPM exactly?
Enterprise 2.0 Won't Fix 'Broken E-mail Culture'
I'm still thinking about last week's Enterprise 2.0 conference in Boston, which ranks as the most exciting and thought-provoking event I've attended thus far this year... Blogs, wikis, text messaging, presence awareness and all things social networking received a lot of attention... but rich Internet applications, Ajax, mashups, SOA, SaaS and composite applications are also a big part of the Enterprise 2.0 mix.
Are You Ready for (Google) Location Intelligence?
Google is offering its mapping capabilities as a potential source of enterprise-class business intelligence in the area of location intelligence. Google has made its Google Maps for the Enterprise available at a low cost while providing telephone and e-mail support. The challenge for you is to decide whether this offering can meet your enterprise needs.
Tech Vendors Publish BPEL4People Spec
A group of technology vendors published a specification that extends business process execution language to incorporate human interactions. BPEL is an executable modeling language for building processes within an SOA.
Handheld Devices Need Handholding
My commentary last week referred to data-related issues in identifying Iraqi insurgents for allied soldiers on the move. An obvious solution would be for the soldiers to carry mobile devices (e.g. laptops, PDAs) to verify identity on-the-spot. The trouble is, application and data synchronization for widely distributed mobile devices is still an imperfect science. It all boils down to the question: What's your poison?
How Scary Is the Future?
We're told that China has more honor students than the US has students, has the largest English-speaking population in the world, that Nintendo spends more money on basic research each year than the US spends on research into education and that a college freshman studying a technical topic will be learning things that are obsolete before he/she graduates...
Enterprise Search: Seek and Maybe You'll Find
New search appliances claim to be uniquely adapted to meet enterprise needs. We tested eight enterprise search products and analyzed the technology's security and architectural implications. Our take: The math just doesn't add up.
Ingres Meets ECM to Boost Salesforce.com
The story begins with CA (Computer Associates), which spun off its Ingres line into a separate, open source project. Ingres is now teaming up with open source ECM provider Alfresco. The Ingres "Icebreaker" product (linux + database stack) will offer an ECM option provided via Alfresco.
Whatever You Call It, Web 2.0 Is Driving Enterprise Software
Web 2.0 is driving the way companies are doing business. For proof, look no further than the fact that VC money has virtually dried up for enterprise software. The only true innovation going on now is at the edge of the Consumer Web... Web 2.0 is only partly about blogs and collaboration... There's also the Long Tail - the economics of narrow niches.
BI in Rome
Last week, I had the opportunity to participate in Technology Transfer's annual data warehouse and BI summit in Rome, Italy.
It's been about 11 years since I've been to Italy and this was my first work-related trip there. So I was a little nervous. Does the Italian market care about the same issues as the U.S. market? Do they face the same challenges?
People Matter in Advanced Analytics
I read with interest Tom Davenport's article, "Humans and Black Boxes" in BIReview. He raises the issue about whether humans are required in the analytics process anymore, given the offerings of vendors of unattended data mining tools. After all, with all of the hardware and bandwidth at our disposal, shouldn't systems be smart enough to swim around in the data and come up with predictive models that are more accurate than we mere humans can? Of course, Davenport doesn't believe that, and neithe
Enterprise 2.0: Making the Business Case
The Enterprise 2.0 movement gets an "A" for awareness and technology development, but a "C" for communicating business benefits. This report card, offered today by Harvard Business School professor and keynote speaker Andrew McAfee, sums up the mix of enthusiasm and hunger for practical applications in evidence here at the Enterprise 2.0 Conference in Boston.
Combating Insurgency with an Unusual Weapon
Can data quality and data integration technologies help quell insurgency in Iraq? Going by a recent New York Times news item, this seems to be the case, and serves to remind us yet again - if indeed there was any need - about the kind of profound impact data integration and quality can have on the success of any initiative, business or otherwise.
When to Buy, When to Build: Six Steps Toward Composite Apps
Services-oriented architecture, SOA-standard interfaces, SaaS applications and Internet-delivered services are opening up new options to mix, match and mash up internal, off-the-shelf and on-demand offerings into composite applications. The goal is to quickly respond to changing business requirements by taking advantage of ready-made components that fill gaps in applications. But how do you know when to buy and when to build? Here's a six-step approach to making the right choice.
Event Processing: The Next Disruptive Technology
Complex event processing (CEP) technology is aimed at many of the same challenges as conventional BI technology, it's just that the frame of reference is real-time analysis rather than a separate reporting loop built on historical data. Thus, CEP is another threat to BI as we know it, and it's pretty apparent that this will be one of the next competitive battlegrounds for the big infrastructure players.
Voice of the Customer is Only Half the Text Analytics Picture
Voice of the Customer was a central theme at this year's Text Analytics Summit. The aim is to stay on top of reputation, quality, and product-design issues by crunching blog- and message-board text, call-center notes and e-mail, and free-text survey responses. Yet VOC and the analytical approach it typifies are only half the overall text-analytics picture.
Late IT Projects Tied to Low Profit, Poor Results
A just-released survey of 1,125 IT professionals worldwide reveals a link between slow delivery of IT projects and low business profitability. The study, conducted by The Economist Intelligence Unit on behalf of HP, revealed that among nearly half of companies surveyed, 25 percent or more of IT projects are delivered late. IT project hiccups can delay product launches and reduce anticipated revenues and cost savings, cutting overall company profitability.
Text Analytics in Search (and a 'PS' on Inxight)
The relationship between search and text analytics was a recurring topic at this week's Text Analytics Summit in Boston. The one supports information retrieval and the other just about anything else automated you can do with a document set: complementary functions that rely on similar technical underpinnings. Ramana Rao, who has a wonderful ability to clarify, put it this way: "Google's white box makes everything seem so simple," but "we got to simplicity without handing the complexity of real
Why Isn't Your Web Analytics Tool Working?
In presentations at conferences, I always ask how many people use Web analytics tools. A vast majority of attendees raise their hands. But in follow up with individuals, conversations often go like this:
Me: Are you getting real business value from your analytics solution?
Frustrated Web manager: No, the tool doesn't work. We're thinking of getting something else…
Database Trends: Q&A with Gartner's Donald Feinberg
IBM has been making database news of late, introducing an upgrade of the Informix Database Server and announcing a major deal with the City of Los Angeles. IBM says the city is moving from Oracle to IBM's DB2 9 in order to "lower the costs of running the city’s geographic information system (GIS)." Oracle declined to comment on the deal or IBM's claim that its DB business is "soaring." To get an independent assessment of the DB market, we called on analyst Donald Feinberg of Gartner for hi
IBM Information Server: Getting It Right?
At a conference in Miami last week, I sat in on a presentation on the IBM Information Server, and afterward I chatted with an IBM Information Management executive. I'm usually inclined towards a healthy degree of skepticism of marketing presentations (who isn't?), but I must say that I walked away from both the chat and presentation impressed with what I'd seen and heard.
Real-Time Ambition: Reaching the Potential of Event Processing
Complex event processing (CEP) software delivers on the promise of real-time insight, but is the technology too green for mainstream success? CEP was once available only to big financial institutions and government agencies that could afford custom development projects. That's no longer the case, as off-the-shelf products and implementations have proliferated. Intelligent Enterprise shares success stories and explores the potential of CEP as your next competitive edge.
Can IT Redeem Politics Gone Wrong?
We can try to use data mining to forestall terrorist attacks. We can also use it for precision marketing, to predict and reduce customer churn, to forecast product sales. Could our government not do a bit of data mining to understand why someone becomes a terrorist and then do some scenario analysis to see if we can constructively create conditions that will address root causes?
Microsoft Buys Stratature to Master Data
Microsoft has announced its acquisition of Stratature, a master data management (MDM) vendor that supports the definition, sharing and maintenance of reference data. Stratature's technology is used by organizations with analytical master data challenges in which master data changes over time in financial, product and customer hierarchies. Microsoft lacked a solid position and technological approach to MDM and was under competitive pressure to respond.
ECM and The Reemergence of Process Reengineering
Large enterprises are now reembracing reengineering. It seems that there is only so much streamlining you can do until you reach a point where you need to completely rethink a situation. That point is being reached by more and more large organizations, and radical change is now on the agenda for banks, insurance companies and manufacturing firms globally.
Web 2.0 Changes Web Analytics Pricing Models
Most hosted Web Analytics vendors charge you according to page views -- not unreasonable since each view is a call to their server and a new record in their database. But what happens when Ajax and other rich applications eliminate the notion of a "page"? Well, vendors are now talking about pricing in terms of "events" or "server calls," rather than page views.
The Rise, Fall and Return of Operational BI and Analytic Applications
I find the recent press on operational BI an interesting resurfacing of events. A few years ago, operational BI was a hot topic. With EII technologies that allowed BI tools to tap directly into source systems, some wondered if it was the demise of data warehousing as we knew it. (It wasn't.) Analytic applications share a similar story with operational BI as many vendors initially jumped on this band wagon and later retrenched…
Do BI Vendors Want SOA Now?
It was interesting to see at IBM's recent Impact 2007 event on service-oriented architecture (SOA) that the only business intelligence (BI) vendor exhibiting to demonstrate interfaces to IBM's SOA technology was Actuate… Few BI vendors have been motivated to go beyond the fundamentals; the BI market seems a little insulated from the SOA and enterprise architecture transformations.
'Chindia': An Intriguing Proposition
We are all perfectly (and in some cases painfully) aware of the rising IT prowess of China and India. But a recent book written by a couple of Gartner analysts takes this theme to an intriguing new level: what if India and China were to combine their capabilities, not just in information technology, but in other areas of business as well? The book presents an arresting proposition and is near the top of my suggested-reading list.
Encryption: Not the End-All Fix for Data Privacy
Many state data-breach laws exempt encrypted data from PR-nightmare public-notice requirements, but don't let that fool you into thinking it's an easy answer to the data privacy challenge. Here's the lowdown on loopholes, caveats and options to consider when applying encryption.
Kimball University: Overcoming Obstacles When Gathering Business Requirements
How do you cope with "abused users, overbooked users, comatose users, clueless users" and "know-it-all users" during the requirements-gathering stage of a data warehouse/BI project? Kimball group offers its advice for proactively working with (or around) the uncooperative, unavailable, uninsightful and irrepressible types who sometimes make it hard to know just what the business needs.
IBM and Business Objects Forge Closer Ties
IBM and Business Objects announced on Tuesday that the two companies will deepen the strategic alliance they announced last November. It's an indication that IBM does not discount BI - contrary to some suggestions - as just the tip of the iceberg. IBM has partnerships with both Business Objects and Cognos, and it's free to work with, rather than against, other independents in a market that is far from consolidated.
Business Impact from SOA? Yes, SOA
In an article two years ago, I wrote that service-oriented architecture (SOA) was technobabble, not strategic technology. In 2006 I noted that SOA was moving beyond chatter. Well, in later May IBM hosted Impact 2007 - an SOA event where people finally talked about it not only from an IT perspective but as real customers who have used SOA to deliver business value to their organizations. That's good progress.