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5/23/2007
03:13 PM
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The Greening Of Interop

My assumption has always been that the best way to get enterprises to go "green" -- to institute conservation policies via decreased energy use and technology recycling, for example -- was to hit them directly in the pocketbook (or via regulations, of course). It's the bottom line that counts.

My assumption has always been that the best way to get enterprises to go "green" -- to institute conservation policies via decreased energy use and technology recycling, for example -- was to hit them directly in the pocketbook (or via regulations, of course). It's the bottom line that counts.Not according to Dave Harvey, VP of business development for Verdiem, a company whose Surveyor software promises power savings to companies by controlling such things as the on/off cycle for computers and displays. According to Harvey, credibility vis-a-vis environmental impact almost has more weight with companies than dollars. "If you tell a Fortune 100 bank, 'We can save you a million dollars,' they'll say, 'Well, that's interesting.' What they really want to do is have a sustainability report that proves they're doing something for the environment."

He also mentioned another change in environmental awareness: Before, Harvey said, interest in the product would come from an organization's facilities people, or from whoever was responsible for the utilities bill. "What we've seen in last nine months [on our Web site]," he said, "is a tremendous shift of inbound interest from IT people, from 15% to 65%."

He couldn't say what might be causing this new spike in interest from tech pros. Is it simply that many IT people are becoming more aware of environmental issues, especially with current headlines about global warming and other "green" issues? Or are their organizations sending down memos saying, "We need to do something about this or our PR is going to go into the dumper," and expecting IT to handle it?

Certainly, Interop is looking into it. Besides companies like Verdiem that are directly involved in helping IT save energy, Interop ran a session called "Green to Gold: Eco-Advantage Strategies for a Changing IT World." And many attendees found themselves with a free plastic water bottle, meant to encourage them to use refills rather than the throwaway plastic kind. Whether this will have a lasting effect on the health of our environment is hard to say -- but certainly, it couldn't hurt.

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