Netbooks vs. Smartphones
I started my day swapping messages with an IT manager who thought InformationWeek missed the mark with our cover story on smartphones, because he thinks netbooks are the answer for his road warriors. We discussed how quickly the two devices might converge. Now I end the day reading about how Hewlett-Packard's testing Google's Android cell phone operating system for use on netbooks. Convergence ahead.
Boeing Lands $17B Outsourcing Deal From India
Although it has a subsidiary called Boeing India and just opened an advanced technology center in Bangalore, Boeing has landed a $17 billion outsourcing deal to deliver 100 airplanes to Indian airline companies over the next several years. No comment was available from the Obama administration on the Indian economy's decision to ship some of "its jobs" overseas.
Nehalem Launch Emphasizes Upscale Drift Of Commodity Servers
Question: When is a commodity server no longer a commodity server? Answer: When the system is so darn powerful it can run your data center. That's the deal with the latest crop of server CPUs, including Intel's Xeon 5500 unveiled on Monday, and AMD's upcoming six-core Istanbul. It's all of a piece with my theory that processing power has become ubiquitous, and figuratively free.
Software Vendors Get An F For Mobile Preparedness
With most CIOs planning or building out enterprise-wide mobile strategies, you would think enterprise software companies would be rushing to lead the charge with suitably broad product roadmaps and strategies of their own. But, as my colleague Mary Hayes Weier points out in her excellent news-analysis package, you would be wrong.
Time For An Enterprise Mobility Strategy
The mobile Internet has arrived for business. Do you have a strategic plan to take advantage of it? Or does your mobile business app strategy begin and end with a policy for what level of manager gets a BlackBerry and whether the iPhone's allowed?
Obama Axes Wagoner And Other Government Silliness
The chief executive of a public enterprise that stands to pile up more than a trillion dollars in losses this year is effectively replacing the chief executive of a private enterprise that stands to pile up billions of dollars in losses this year. Does anyone think this is a smart idea?
We Need More Storage Than Library Of Congress, CIO Says
Kaiser Permanente CIO Phil Fasano says KP's medical-imaging projects have become so massive that they exceed the storage requirements and consumption of the Library of Congress. And those requirements, he says, are still growing.
Can This Profession Be Saved? An IT Leader Says Yes
An IT leader who also heads up E-commerce shares his views on the initiative and responsibilities business-technology managers need to seize to shake off stereotypes as detached techies. You'll enjoy Bobby Nakanelua's observations on how IT pros can demonstrate that they're valuable teammates rather than roadblocks to be avoided.
Video: Inside Salesforce.com's Tenth Anniversary Victory Tour
Something is happening and you don't know what it is, goes the song. Strangely, it's turning out that the Web operating system we all thought would one day challenge Windows and serve as a portal to a universe of online-hosted apps turns out to be cloud computing. I breathed the buzz of cloud's success the other day as I caught up with the New York City edition of Salesforce.com's tenth anniversary, cross-country victory tour, and I shot a video.
Harrah's Names Tech Chiefs, Sans CIO
Harrah's Entertainment, the world's largest casino company and a leading tech innovator, has promoted two execs to succeed Tim Stanley, the company's former CIO and senior VP of gaming and innovation. Stanley, InformationWeek's 2007 Chief of the Year, resigned from Harrah's effective Jan. 31, c
Satyam Hopes Clients Can Convince Bidders To Buy
Efforts by Satyam's suitors to determine the true value of the company have been hampered by several years' worth of fraudulent financial reports along with some recently filed class-action lawsuits. So Satyam is hoping those bidders can get a glimpse of the real company by speaking with clients involved in ongoing major projects.
Steelers Investor: IT CEO, Hall of Famer, 4 Super Bowls
The Pittsburgh Steelers have welcomed new investor John Stallworth, best known as a Hall of Fame wide receiver who helped the team win four Super Bowls during his 14-year career. Less well known is that Stallworth, near the end of his NFL career, started an IT services company that he sold in 2006 for $69 million.
Satyam Founder Could Face Lie-Detector, Narco Tests
Satyam's founder could face lie-detector tests and "narco tests" that use barbituates to lower a subject's inhibitions in answering questions. Investigators believe founder B Ramalinga Raju and his brother are withholding vital information about the $1.5B accounting fraud they have admitted to perpetrating at Satyam over the past several years.
IBM RFID Helps Track Norwegian Beer, German Cars
RFID supply-chain solutions are helping Norway's largest brewer increase profits, improve customer service, and get fresher beer to thirsty Norwegians. And Volkswagen's group CIO said his RFID project could lead to a paperless production and logistics chain throughout the entire corporation.
Oracle's Phillips Sees Grid Computing For The Masses
Looking past a limited audience of advanced users to a much broader market, Oracle plans to release this summer a new version of its Real Application Clusters (RAC) technology featuring "significant ease-of-use enhancements" that will make possible "grid computing for the masses." Whether the masses are hungry for grid computing is another matter.
IT's Dark-Side Potential Seen In SmartGridCity Project
In an exciting and thought-provoking experiment in the city of Boulder, Colorado, Xcel Energy has kicked off a $100M project called SmartGridCity designed to give consumers greater control over energy usage and options via Web-based accounts. But the control goes both ways: the test also allows Xcel to reach into consumers' homes and adjust thermostats during periods of high demand.
Video: Jeff Jarvis On What Should Media Do
Bear with me here on my latest short video, because while it's not tech news per se, it's about tech news. As in, what's the business model for online sites in an age where ad revenues are declining but demand for killer content is higher than ever? That's the discussion I had with Jeff Jarvis, author of "What Would Google Do?," journalism professor, and Buzzmachine blogger. Click on to see the video.
Churn Rising Among SaaS, Hosted Subscribers: Gartner
Subscribers to software solutions with a fixed duration are shopping around more vigorously for replacements and cost-cutting is a major motivator, a Gartner blogger says. The frenzy hasn't hit on-premises software companies nearly as hard because their perpetual licenses are, well, perpetual -- so in that universe the churn-and-burn season never happens.
Obama's Latest March Madness Pick: Health IT Czar
Though the Obama administration still has lots of key positions to fill--including naming a federal chief technology officer-- one critical appointment was made last week that will help fill in many of the important details related to Obama's nearly $20 billion health IT stimulus program.
Podcast: Sybase, SAP Talk Smartphone Apps
I've been tardy in posting this five-minute podcast, where Sybase chief marketing officer Raj Nathan and SAP vice president Vinay Iyer delve into their joint deal to improve access to SAP's smartphone apps. (Sybase is providing the middleware.) But you should listen, because the "smartphone is the computer" is a meme that's rapidly gaining traction from deals like this.
In Consolidating IT Industry, All Bets Are Off
Polite vendor execs used to call it "coopetition"--the state of tech industry affairs whereby the fiercest of rivals could be the chummiest of partners depending on the circumstances and the market they're chasing. A more up-to-date and colloquial description of this industry dynamic might be: All bets are off. Some recent evidence:
HP, IBM, Sun Execs Blast Obama's Protectionist Policy
While touring India this week, execs from Hewlett-Packard, IBM, and Sun criticized the Obama administration's anti-outsourcing policies as unrealistic, claiming they fly in the face of the global economy and will not produce positive results.
Is The Mobile Thin Client An Impossible Dream?
During numerous interviews I did for a story to publish March 30 on software and smartphones, many CIO types said they hoped to one day avoid distributing software to employees' BlackBerrys, Windows Mobiles, and other devices, and instead have smartphones entirely dependent on software in the cloud. But given what my research revealed about how employees use smartphones, that seems an impossible goal.
Wolfe's Den Vlog: iPhone Gets Battery Life Boost From Mophie
Even fanboys admit that, when Steve Jobs gifted his iPhone with wonderful attributes, he skimped in the battery life department. Fortunately, what the creator omitted, a cool add-on gadget called Mophie delivers. Read on to see a short demo video of this useful "juice pack" for Apple's iPhone.
Oracle CEO Ellison: We'll Keep Taking Market Share
Oracle will "continue to take market share from [SAP] for years to come," has produced a better database machine than Teradata, and is taking database share from both Microsoft and IBM -- all because of the $3 billion Oracle invests each year in R&D, CEO Larry Ellison said yesterday.
Scammers Face 150 Years For Photos Of Secret Gear
How rigorously do you guard against the risk of visitors surreptitiously photographing confidential assets? Two engineers whose employer had a $1.2M contract with a Chinese tire maker are facing 150 years in the slammer for allegedly scamming their way into a Goodyear plant in Kansas and secretly photographing proprietary equipment. So maybe it's time to review that security plan.
India To Have More IT Pros Than U.S., Infosys CEO Says
What if, three years from now, India has more IT professionals than the U.S.? Would that be wonderful for India and terrible for the U.S.? Would it mean the U.S. has taken another giant step toward being a nation of purely non-producing consumers? For India, says Infosys founder S Gopalakrishnan, it would mean that "in the IT revolution, we are at the centre."
Wal-Mart Plans Rapid Expansion Of Retail Bank Business
Wal-Mart is preparing an aggressive expansion of its retail banking business after a year of cautious experimentation to understand customers and build out its IT banking infrastructure. The goals? To make money, boost sales in Wal-Mart stores, provide basic banking services to consumers, and credit and payroll services to suppliers.
Rolling Brownouts Jolt Outsourcers In Hyderabad
From 6 a.m. until noon two days a week, outsourcers in and around Hyderabad will receive no electrical power as part of the state-owned utility's plan for rolling brownouts until the end of summer. So check that fine print in your SLAs -- do they cover "load-shedding" contingencies?
Mobile Security Looming As New Hacker Frontier
I'm more worried about losing my cell phone than I am about getting my wallet lifted. Probably I shouldn't fret over a physical loss -- with password protection, you can set your misplaced iPhone or BlackBerry to wipe its data after 10 unauthorized access attempts (unless your password is "password"). What troubles me more, though, is that we haven't begun to seriously grapple with mobile security, mostly because hackers aren't flooding the space. But they will be.
PODCAST: CIO: Outsourcing Helps His Team Become Strategic
When JohnsonDiversey CIO Matt Peterson signed his first outsourcing agreement three years ago, his No. 1 goal was cost reduction -- "and it was a long way down the list to get to No. 2," he said. But because the relationship with outsourcer Wipro has steadily evolved, Peterson is finally able to turn his focus outside the company to working with customers to drive revenue and loyalty.
SAP: Business ByDesign SaaS Is 'Mature'
SAP has been pretty quiet on Business ByDesign, its hosted business software service in development, but expect to hear more about it within the next few months. SAP told me today that Business ByDesign has reached a "mature" stage in its development.
Fed CIO Kundra: An Extraordinary Day In An Extraordinary Week
The media bubble enveloping federal CIO Vivek Kundra almost burst today as, in almost-simultaneous alerts, old-fogey-onliner the Wall Street Journal said his former offices had just been raided and equally ancient C-SPAN was posting video of a speech he'd just given. But the (media) day belonged to the Twittering
Coca-Cola Opens $90M Technology Center In China
Fulfilling the vision of China as "the future growth engine of the company's business," the global soft-drink icon has opened a $90M innovation and technology facility in Shanghai that will employ 600 people -- three times the number forecast by the company 18 months ago.
Retail CIOs Focus On Growth Rather Than Cost-Cutting
Retail CIOs are looking to boost revenue via automatic replenishment, demand forecasting, enhanced promotional effectiveness, and Web-based sales channels, a new study says. Plus, 26% expect IT budgets to go up as a percentage of sales, while 51% expect them to hold steady. Cutbacks, schmutbacks!