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Monday, October 31, 2005
Enterprise Software & Core Product Architectures
I wrote a brief article for sandhill.com on the next generation architecture in the enterprise software industry. In this dynamic business world, enterprises look towards constantly improving, realigning & automating their operations to remain nimble and be ever-ready to meet market challenges. Customer demands, market dynamics, and technology advancements are pushing solution frameworks to be aligned towards an experience of end-to-end process fulfillment. Enterprise customers have begun to appreciate the significance of product architectures in determining the effectiveness and suitability of solutions in scaling up to meet such requirements. All other things being equal, the success of software vendors would be to a large extent dependant on these strengths. Such architectures need to assimilate emerging technologies and support evolving business requirements. The very high life cycle cost of enterprise applications imposes limits on the ability of configured software to meet varying business demands. The fast emerging next generation architecture can substantially help in overcoming such limitations..
Category :Enterprise Software |
BPEL 2.0 Delay
Standard mechanisms to orchestrate business processes in Web services applications known as BPEL 2.0 standard will have to wait until next year for final OASIS approval.Amendments to enable human interactions as part of this technology will wait even longer.This being delayed until the first half of 2006 while technologists at OASIS continue sorting through approximately three dozen issues, whittled down from a list that had totaled around 230. Considered critical for applications such as transactional and B2B systems, the XML-based BPEL technology has wide industry support.BPEL has functions such as language constructs to enable if-then-else statements for the 2.0 version. Dynamic, parallel invocation of services also is an important addition,for adapting the number of steps in a process based on the number of partners participating in a transaction, according to IBM. Version 2.0 is aimed at improving the way that Web services are used to call out to partner links to enable more flexibility. One of the noted weakness in BPEL2.0 is that it is orchestrated automation and perhaps provides limited flexibility for accommodating human workflow mechanisms. IBM’s BPEL4People is defined in a way that it is layered on top of the BPEL language so that its features can be composed with the BPEL core features whenever needed as this paper explains in detail.
Category :BPEL 2.0 |
Sunday, October 30, 2005
Workaround Life’s Digital Interruptions
Jon Udell, one of my favourites writes that modern humans may not be able to get rid of the constant interruptions in our day, but can manage them better. He elaborates that people are the exception handlers in all automated workflows, and intelligence and judgment won’t be automated anytime soon. The challenge may be in finding how to connect people and services. Managing that scarcest of resources, our attention, is a huge challenge. Jon argues that all of us have preferences, so it’s vital that people choose which channel to be interrupted on.But stuffing the same messages down one channel or another doesn’t alter the nature of those messages, or reduce the total effort required to process them. He rightly points out that we’ll need to tap our latent visual, auditory, tactile, and maybe even olfactory abilities. Today’s notification systems make poor use of that rich sensorium. One of Microsoft researchers’ key findings was that use of multiple large monitors helps information workers avoid context switches, making them more productive. Expanding the field over which our visual pattern recognizer can range is a good idea, but it only scratches the surface of what’s possible. More importantly, we need to enrich those visual patterns. The visual cortex can absorb dense information displays as Edward Tufte points out, those displays are carefully designed.Living in a state of continous partial attention may not be the end state. As Linda stone says that that the next aphrodisiac is committed full-attention focus, where experiencing this engaged attention is to feel alive. Trusted filters, trusted protectors, trusted concierge, human or technical, removing distractions and managing boundaries, filtering signal from noise, enabling meaningful connections, that make us feel secure, are the opportunity for the next generation. Opportunity will be the tools and technologies to take our power back. This may need other convergent forces - sociological and economical to operate in alignment with this technological advance. Jon recommends that if continuous partial attention is the permanent new reality, let’s engineer our interruptions to be subtle, natural, and pleasing to the senses An important area of development that all bright minds need to focus on with IT & Pervasive technologies virtually domianting everyone aspect of life in this era of presence.
Sun Microsystems : Tough Situation
Tired of Sun Microsystems' inability to reach the status enjoyed in its glorious of the Internet boom, its stockholders voted to repeal the poison pill provisions in place to make it hard for a hostile bidder to take over the Santa Clara company.The proposal to eliminate a poison pill gained 84 percent of the vote at Sun's annual shareholder meeting, despite the opposition of the Sun board. A poison pill is a weapon used by corporate boards to block a hostile takeover attempt, by flooding the market with new shares in order to prevent a bidder from acquiring a majority of the stock. The vote is not binding on the board, but one analyst said the result underscores the discontent among Sun shareholders and sends a signal that they are "in a selling mood." The executive compensation strategy also has strong opposition before being voted for. The stockholders all but begged a knight, black or white, to come in and take over the company, said one analyst. Sun is in serious trouble, the sooner it finds a suitor, its better for all. Besides Sun hardware LOB underperforming seen over a period of time, its software LOB is in dismal shape – recent announcements and acquisitions not withstanding. Even in emerging areas like RFID, Sun is beginning to be seen as talkative company as against a thought or market share leader – with almost no bright spark left within to fuel growth. Gateway which had strong financial results might be interested in Sun at the right price – while sad to see sun slipping, that’s the way life has got to be – consistent underperformers serve better interests by winding up or be allowed to be bought.
The Booming Storage Market
Computer users all over the world are becoming digital pack rats on a colossal new scale, overflowing their files with data and saving them for a long time, writes the WSJ in a recent coverage of the storage market. It points out that in a digital age, the global appetite for archived information is growing: from high-tech body scans in hospitals to giant databases at retail chains, and even endless camera angles from a single ballgame. Something as mundane as digital camera makers increasing their pixel for recording creates a boom in the storage space needs. The stored information can be kept indefinitely in case it has future value. As we recently noted the technology for archiving for future usage may be technologically flawed. Analysts agree that the corporate data-storage capacity is expanding by 60% a year. Storage sales outgrew server sales by several times in the first half of this year. The boom is driving a wave of storage-company deals even as equipment prices fall fast. No wonder EMC is on a roll.
Saturday, October 29, 2005
Forbes Attack On Blogs
Forbes in its cover story writes, blogs started a few years ago as a simple way for people to keep online diaries. Suddenly they are the ultimate vehicle for brand-bashing, personal attacks, political extremism and smear campaigns. It's not easy to fight back: Often a bashing victim can't even figure out who his attacker is. No target is too mighty, or too obscure, for this new and virulent strain of oratory. Microsoft has been hammered by bloggers; so have CBS, CNN and ABC News, two research boutiques that criticized IBM's Notes software, the maker of Kryptonite bike locks, a Virginia congressman outed as a homosexual and dozens of other victims-even a right-wing blogger who dared defend a blog-mob scapegoat. Web logs are the prized platform of an online lynch mob spouting liberty but spewing lies, libel and invective. Their potent allies in this pursuit include Google and Yahoo. Dan Gillmor provides a good perspective in support of the blogosphere. As I see it,mainstream media has always been a little apprehensive about blogs, though no one has ever come so openly against blogs like Forbes has done this time. In developed countries, the concerns could be on losing traffic volume( attack on Yahoo and Google only show that) and the power to influence, in several developing countries, mainstream media mostly have alignment with political, business camps – they find it jittery that the lever of influence could be disturbed. The article at best looks hilarious. Seasoned bloggers will not be deterred form being their own self - at Forbes article is hilarious. I do not imagine for one moment it will deter serious committed bloggers from being anything other than their normal self. Mark Glaser recently called a failed initiative to gag the blogsopherea 'breakout moment' for the Indian blogosphere,a clear indication of the positive strength of blogs. Vinnie Mirchandani holds the belief that few bloggers are beginning to be counted as significantly influential in the tech world. I have long felt the Forbes.com can never be even counted as a candidate for the regular best of the web picks that Forbes regularly publishes – that does not mean that we do not visit forbes.com site. Similarly in occassions when someone finds blogs to be a bugbear, the best thing is find out ways and means to launch a counteroffensive available within the system to neutalise - this can not be acheived by painting red with a broad brush. Big business needs to be innovative abnd forward looking in embracing and leveraging new movements like blogs - case in hand Unilever listening to blogs. In this contribution economy powered by signifcant user involvement in corporate initiatives, undoubtedly blogs play a unique role. Every media of expression has its own purpose and objectives that it longs to fulfill – so why complain and moreover if the new media such as blogs are powered by technology, it is futile to raise a voice against.
Category :Blogs, Citizen Journalism |
Offshoring : Supposed Danger Theory Built On Wrong Facts
Matt Marshall provides an update on a supposed off shoring disaster where it was thought that Ishoni Networks, a Santa Clara company once branded a rising star did not have a good experience with its office in India. IP’s were reportedly stolen and passed on to competitors – the investigation concludes NOT GUILTY. The set of people /entities who made these charges are said to be not even responding to this development.
Category :Offshoring |
The Coming Standards War
In the near future, movie goers can have the same interactive experience typically available Iin multiplex. Blu-Ray technology can enable viewers go from watching an action movie to participating in an interactive game based on the movie, or he could switch to a 3-D version of a particular scene. Massive storage capacities up to 200 gigabytes supported by Blu Ray- provide an almost endless capacity for add-ons by home audiences. Sony stated that in fact, part of the justification for acquiring MGM was the profits to be realized from reissuing the 4,100 films in MGM's library in the Blu-Ray format. Sony has a critical mass of movies that it can release on Blu-Ray. Aside from its own titles, Disney, 20th Century Fox, and Lions Gate have agreed to release their titles on Blu-Ray. Warner Bros. Entertainment, announced it would release films on the Blu-ray format as well. Among six major Hollywood Studios- all but Universal have announced support the BD format. Paramount, Universal and probably Warner will release HD-DVD titles. A studio wanting its high-definition DVDs to be playable on personal computers - or for that matter on PlayStation 3 – will have to issue them in the Blu-Ray format. Next, almost all of the leading computer manufacturers, including Dell, Hewlett-Packard, and Apple, are committed to using Blu-Ray, though they may have show some support for HDTV as well. The situations of Sony and Toshiba are not symmetrical. For Sony, the Blu-Ray is an integral part of its overall strategy. For Toshiba, the HD-DVD is just another product they manufacture. A company reaching an accommodating deal on licensing fees could also end up making money by manufacturing the Blu-Ray DVDs.
Category :Standards, Emerging Technologies |
Friday, October 28, 2005
Jeff Nolan Exits VC Business
Jeff Nolan, the well known name in the VC fraternity leaves leaves the VC business. Apparently he would continue to be part of SAP albeit in a new role. Jeff says that his decision was owing to the desire to get more operations centric – he writes that – "I missed having direct operational control and I missed the sense of accomplishment that comes from successfully executing direct operational control, and quite honestly, all of the venture deals I was looking at started to look the same. I missed having a team. I was also concerned that my experience in operating roles in enterprise software was becoming dated and perhaps not as relevant to the state that the business is in today; it's one thing to spend 4 hours in a board meeting talking about a business, it's another thing altogether to actually do it". He adds, "I was presented with an opportunity to lead a team working with people I really admire and respect on a set of challenges that are of pre-eminent importance to SAP. In short, the more I looked at this the more I found myself thinking in the role, I was hooked big time".
Category :Venture Capitalists |
Group Forming Networks & The Power Of Community Building
I am not particularly fond of various laws – Be it Moore’s Law, Gilder’s view or fore that matter even Metcalfe’s Law ,however profound they may sound to be. I do believe that these help in relating practical happenings to abstract higher order thinking – To this day am not sure what comes first the theory or the practice in the emerging technology/social phenomenon. Patricia Seybold in my view was amongst the pioneers to talk about the power of networking and community building, which we now see many web centric enterprises capitalize on). The guidelines she set out for how to succeed in eBusiness - build community, deliver personalized service, streamline your processes, and more - apply as much today as they did in the 1990s. Having said that I came across what is called as Reed’s law – an idea that proponents of social networks and the new generation web people are beginning to discuss often.
Category : Emerging Trends, Reed's Law |
The Gmail Creation Story
Warren Bennis recently wrote Google's engineers, founders and CEO have all the earmarks of a Great Group—a talent driven organization or enterprise, filled with people who set out to do something extraordinary and succeed in doing something that's never been done before. And like other Great Groups, Google has a few unique twists of its own.Google, whose revolutionary approach to search dominates the field, seems to have the ingredients that have produced greatness in the past. Whether commercially successful or not, all our Great Groups were daring innovators who were convinced not just of the importance of their work but that they were all but on a mission from God. All were carefully chosen collections of extraordinary talents who worked on their world-changing projects with an obsessive brio that often made them forget to eat or sleep—and occasionally doomed their marriages. However brilliant, they all believed, at least for the duration of the project, that "None of us is as smart as all of us."
Category :Gmail, Google |
Microsoft Getting Serious About Hosted Models
Just finished reading Bruce Richardson's view that Google is the best personal productivity tool since the introduction of word-processing software. I do not fully agree with his view that technical integration hurdles as well as enormous corporate resistance to switching to a new package could come in the way of Google office( I definitely understand the complexity - but not so convinced about the conclusion). But he is spot on when he says that there is a lot more margin to be had going after Craigslist or the even bigger fish eBay instead of taking on Microsoft directly. Informationweek reports that in an year Microsoft wants to get into hosting in big and small ways by offeing hosted implementations of SharePoint as well as CRM and ERP applications. A handful of service partners now host Microsoft applications for customers; the difference is future customers could choose Microsoft or a partner to run the infrastructure. Technologically, the server equals service thing year by year is making good progress. SharePoint Portal Server and Windows SharePoint Services act as the linchpin for most of Microsoft's current and planned collaboration products and services. To keep the allure of partners alive, Microsoft is making noises that where the software runs-on premises or "in the cloud"-partners with domain expertise and other knowledge will be needed for implementation help. The promised "revenue-neutrality" to partners may mean that they would sell and even customize applications for customers that could run on Microsoft servers. Microsoft’s hosting push is expected to target wide gamut of users & hosted SharePoint could become the basis for a variety of such services. The article concludes by saying that Microsoft is exploring myriad ways to deploy and charge for software, ranging from subscription models a la MSN to easier ways for companies to buy incremental products not in their current Enterprise Agreements. I had been writing
Category :Microsoft ,Emerging Technologies, Emerging Trends |
Thursday, October 27, 2005
WSJ 2005 Innovation Awards
The Wall Street Journal's 2005 Technology Innovation Awards have been announced. Besides the Gold, Silver, Bronze awards and winners in 12 different categories and 20 runnerups were announced. Amongst the notable winners in the tech sector:
Web 2.0 : Time For Some Reality Check
Every new internet movement popular enough to generate buzz also generates a backlash. While Web 2.0 may mean different things to different people, much of it involves public participation and contributions from the commons. Web 2.0 is very open, but all that openness has its downside: With mass participation problems overshadow genuine activities like the splogs over blogs. Joel writes, the term Web 2.0 particularly bugs him. It's not a real concept. It has no meaning. It's a big, vague, nebulous cloud of pure architectural nothingness. The very 2.0 in Web 2.0 seems carefully crafted as a way to denegrate the clueless "Web 1.0" idiots, poor children, in the same way the first round of teenagers starting dotcoms in 1999 dissed their elders with the decade's mantra, "They just don't get it. Wired points out that scams and scatterbrains - the same problems that plagued the old internet are cropping up again in a new wave of technologies known collectively as Web 2.0. This time around, proponents say Web 2.0 has been better engineered to withstand the troubles that wrecked Usenet, BBSes and free e-mail. The cycle is so predictable, it's almost a natural law. Nicholas Carr in an article titled
Category :Web 2.0 |
The Indian Domestic IT Market :
Continuing with the trend of global PC growth, the Indian PC market recently crossed yet another milestone recently with one million PC shipments in a single quarter. I had been tracking PC deployment measures in India for a long time - from shipping the millionth PC across several years, million PCs in an year, Million PCs in six months to Million shipments every quarter - Next could be Million PCs every month - possible with the entry of Low Cost PC's ( may be mobile handsets are already doing it)or if the prediction that the next PC revolution will be televised comes true, fast enough. During the AMJ quarter of 2005, the Indian PC market witnessed a 9% sequential and 31% year-on-year growth to reach 10.5 lakh units. With price points either falling or stabilizing across all form factors, it was reported that the momentum was expected to continue in the coming months.The Indian domestic IT market is seen to be showing a lot of Buoyancy and is headed towards a heady growth in the nest few years. No doubt, the opportunity within India – home to over one billion people - drives from its very hot economy: GDP growth will be around 7% this year and next, corporate profits are on the rise, the stock market is booming, and inflation is under control despite the rise in oil prices. There is a sense of excitement in the business community, and strong economic growth is anticipated over the next decade or more. While most growth will come from IT and BPO exports, the domestic IT market in India, which accounts for around one-third of the total IT industry revenues, will also grow at a CAGR of 19% over 2004-2009. There are some good sectoral assessments and forecasts – regionwise, verticalwise done – a good snapshot. I was curious to cross reference information about the chinese domestic market - while data could be available from multiple sources, wanted to stick to IDC and find that there china country site is in Chinese - two immediate things to note : One obviously a robust and buoyant market and the second one - choice of language signifies the difference between these two giants.
Category :India |
Oracle - SOA Models Are Frankenstein
ZapThink's Jason Bloomberg recently compared Oracle's Fusion Architecture to Frankenstein. Oracle has been working on building out their SOA offering for a while by assembling various parts from various different companies and Bloomberg raises the question –“ will it all work when they’re done”. Criticisms like SOA is the architecture that supports such approaches and therefore need not be criticized have been voiced. The view that oracle's approach itself is a Frankenstein warrants definite attention. The view that Oracle may not have a single strategy with SOA definitely warrants a full fledged response from Oracle. The prevailing opinion seems to be that oracle is cobbling together many disparate and unrelated technologies and then give it to their customers pretending that it's a single product. Joe McKendrick points out that perfectly good products ahould not be allowed to die and its incumbent upon vendors with multiple separate product lines to keep all those pieces current and aligned with changes in the market.
Category :SOA |
The Indian IT Industry : Exerting Career Choices
The IT industry in India employs more than million people with promises to improve many times. This creates lot of opportunities and scope for multiple options to work on a myriad types of jobs in a variety of companies.Sitting on the side of recruiting so many consultants, who are quite indecisive and tentative, a lot of counselling is certainly needed to help them make up their minds. Lot of people ask me guidance about which job to take up, what company to join, what to expect as salary and what technology to pursue.
Category :IT Careers |
Wednesday, October 26, 2005
Software Industry :Slow Growth Pushing For Consolidation
(Via TechWeb) Slow growth has triggered consolidation in a highly diverse software industry, according to a new report titled –"Software: Global Industry Guide". The report notes that the global software market reached a value of $132.2 billion in 2004, demonstrating and compound annual growth rate of 4.1 percent from $112.7 billion in 2000. Western producers dominate the market because clients believe experience and investments make them better prepared than smaller competitors to deliver cutting-edge solutions. The report lists Microsoft as a prime example of market consolidation and ranks Oracle as the world's largest enterprise software company and the world's second largest independent software company. I totally agree with the views expressed here that this period of consolidation will see many of the market's large companies meet head to head as they attempt to diversity their operations into other software sectors and will pit companies with similar economies of scale and scope into direct competition, creating significant pricing pressures as companies attempt to garnish market share. This will pressure on margins, reduce prices, increase the volume of new computer sales and have a net positive effect on software sales, allowing companies to counter shortfalls through and drive revenue growth. I had been talking about the impending consolidation for sometime. I also wrote that The general trend toward consolidation is already felt. The only issue is outside of the top 5/6 players several other players addressing specific niche areas currently have ore than 50% of the marketcap - we have to see how the economics,integration, customer reaction all mix up - with software, more than the employees, customers get alarmed about any possible merger moves. What I do not see in the arguments centered on developments in the past and the potential in the future is : how would these companies survive the next 6-8 quarters and how on earth would any customer feel comfortable with the many walking dead companies - sad as it is -but reality is more important.Big time acquisitions are already happening. Consolidation fever ahead - not sure whether customers would benefit a lot because of this - till the haze cleares, it is clearly alarming. At the same time, I certainly see niche players operations as part of a larger ecosystem gaining strength - they may be a chosen few but still this may portend a new trend as well.
Category :Software Consolidation |
Microsoft Finds Inspiration In Apple, Blackberry
Ray Ozzie points to Apple Computer's iconic music player as a "perfect example" of a product that marries hardware, software and services. He also points to RIM’s BlackBerry, which brings together an e-mail device, server-based software and wireless data service. The individual pieces of the package never get the attention as these are so tightly integrated. Microsoft fresh after announcing reorganization seems to be headed towards such models of offerings. Ozzie conceded that the rise of Google had been a "great wake-up call" and rallying point to get Microsoft thinking about services. The opportunities in front of the giant ranges from hosting software for small businesses that don't want the complexity of managing a server, to adding specialized products for large businesses that already have scores of servers.
Category :Microsoft |
Tuesday, October 25, 2005
Business Intelligence : Stage Set For Consolidation
The last vestige of enterprise software untouched by consolidation is beginning to see some action – the Business Intelligence market. A recent acquisition made by Hyperion – it acquired Brio ( more of a reporting tool) made good sense. Now with Microsoft announcing plans to aggressively pursue this segment – the action hots up. Microsoft says it is throwing significant dollars for moving into a segment of the business-software market: business intelligence. In contrast to other pockets of software, sales of business-intelligence (BI), or analytics software, are rising. A beachhead in business intelligence will let Microsoft develop tools and programs that let corporate customers plumb the depths of multiple databases and applications to get answers swiftly. The next version of Excel, the spreadsheet application inside Office, will let users tie into data warehouses and enterprise applications, and cut and slice that data using Excel. Microsoft is said to be working on a raft of other products that will help it compete more broadly against the existing BI leaders. As Bweek article points out, Microsoft has vowed to take on Symantec in security, Intuit in small-business accounting, Adobe Systems in graphic design and document tools and, of course, Google in all things search. ( My Take : Not to say they would win – Microsoft launched SQL server promising more analytical capability than most others – oracle did not feel the heat as much as expected and Microsoft did not win in the database market to the extent expected.)
Icerocket As Tracking Engine
Mark Cuban writes despite genuine attempts and disguises, splogs are difficult to be eliminated. His vision for icerocket.com is not to be a portal or about blogs. Clarifying its relevance Mark expands that it is not a gateway to the blogosphere nor trying to create context.Icerocket is meant for search for information about any keyword or topic and return the freshest information available,& then allow tracking that information on an ongoing basis. He describes Icerocket.com as a tracking engine. Tracking references made about a topic or keyword, allowing easy subscription to any website that supports RSS, and enabling RSS for any search result are some of the key features with icerocket.com besides:
Category :Icerocket |
Monday, October 24, 2005
Global Internet Commerce :The 10% Threshold Reached
Continuing with the trend of online merchants showing stronger numbers, AC.Neilsen reports, more than 627 million people have shopped online, including over 325 million within the last month. Over 212 million online shoppers mention Books as among the last 3 items they purchased online. In addition:
Category :Internet Commerce, Emerging Trends |
AJAX, Microsoft Office & Desktop Productivity Tools
Category :AJAX, Emerging Technologies |
Sunday, October 23, 2005
Google : Amazing Numbers
While recently writing about Google and Microsoft, I wrote that Google is no pushover and cited its impressive results as an indication of how stronger Google is getting to be. John Battellebrings home the point that Google is pulling in more and more searches on its own site, which are the most profitable kind of searches there are. Some figures are quite insightful:
Category :Google |
Saturday, October 22, 2005
The IT World & Alarming Power Requirements
(Via Rajesh) Bob Cringley points that combining themes of several recent columns, we can see that a lot of money is being bet on a future user computing experience based on web services.Ubiquitous broadband along with hefty processing capability in your desktop, notebook, and coat pocket will bring entertainment, information, and even classic office services to us wherever we are, finally making real Sun's old motto that the network is the computer.The problem comes when you start to think about power consumption. It's not that disk drives consume so much power or that they haven't come down in consumption over the years, but each of those cabinets will require using modern drives about 3,300 watts to run while the full 100 petabytes will require 2.148 Megawatts. And all that heat has to go somewhere, so the building will typically use three to four times as much power for air conditioning as it does to run the drives, taking our total power consumption up to just under 10 megawatts, which at typical U.S. industrial power rates will cost about $5 million per year. Phil Windley points out that lately, power and cooling have turned out to be the big drivers in data center design. He adds, Over the last seven years, the average power consumption in data centers has increased 7-fold, from 20W/sq. foot to over 140W/sq. foot due to huge leaps in the density of servers. About 44% of the power in a typical server is used by things other than CPUs, memory, disks, and other compute components. Where does it go? The AC to DC transition in the power supply turns some of it to heat. A little ironically, fans and other air handling components eat their share. And, in some designs there's even a DC to DC transitions (HP, for example, distributes 48V through the chassis and then drops it to 5V at the blade) that loses more the inefficiency. Google recently talkedabout increasing power requirements. Urs Hoelzle has talked about it on several occassions. Google once blamed power related problems as responsible for blogger’s poor performance. I agree that the future brings with it a number of expenses and vulnerabilities. For users, there's the dilemma of trusting our data to external users. For service providers, there's the alternate dilemma of having to hold that data, because the cost of keeping that data online all the time will be huge. It's an energy crisis in the making.
Category :IT Infrastructure |
India : New Economy & Old Order
A simmering controversy involving Infosys, Narayanamurthy & Devagowda is going on. While there may be multiple issues beneath, its time that this gets solved asap and within closed doors. Let pragmatism prevail and progress get the right focus and support.India has a long way to go towards balanced economic advances. I think that IT growth is inviting attention partly because of a limited focus on overall development - it is time that a movement bubbles up within India calling for giant leap improvements in all sectors and the country should embrace big thinking, mega projects and stretch on large investments as the way forward. BIG IS NOT BAD after all.
Category :India |
Friday, October 21, 2005
Digital Inclusion Through Mobile and Wireless Technologies
Kevin Schofield points to Microsoft research's recognition of Digital inclusion as a key area of focus. Digital Inclusion means that computing must be affordable, accessible, and relevant. Novel approaches in computing technology have the potential for great impact in a range of areas, including education, healthcare, and economic development. The relevance that research projects can have in this area is significant, given that estimates of populations that can be positively affected by computing technologies fall within 2–4 billion people worldwide.The group has invited proposals to pursue research in the areas:
Category :Digital Inclusion |
Google, Microsoft & Impending Turf Wars
Red Herring writes that Google should continue to play down any rivalry with Microsoft, especially if it has any ambitions to tread onto the Redmond giant’s office software turf, warned former executives from Netscape.It quotes former Novell executives,"By consistently saying that google is not competing with Microsoft, it has allowed them to remain under the radar". Google could incur Microsoft’s wrath if it tries to compete with Microsoft for cash cows like Microsoft Office or operating system software. While it is true that every company loses its invincibility at some point, companies need to concentrate on business fundamentals: sound forecasts, receivables management, and tighter control of pricing in its sales efforts. The two companies are competing for key personnel, with Microsoft recently suing Google for luring away a Microsoft exec in China. However, as Google becomes a behemoth in its own right, it’s likely the two will compete for more than executive star power.
Category :Microsoft |
Publishers Vs Google Print
Five major publishing firms filed suit against Google Inc to stop the company from creating a digital index of millions of copyrighted books. The Lawsuit, coming after a group of book authors also sued Google, sets up a legal showdown over the limits of intellectual property law in the age of global computer networks. The publishers are trying to halt the Google Print Library Project. The project aims to make digital copies of millions of books stored in the libraries of major universities, including Harvard. Google will then use its search technology to create an index of all of the text in each book, and make this index available on the Internet at no charge. The result would be the world's largest and most powerful index of books. A user could instantly search millions of volumes for information on a particular topic, and receive a list of relevant books. The index would also display small portions of the text, to help a researcher decide if he or she has found the right book.The publishers accuse Google of trying to profit by "massive, wholesale, and systematic copying of entire books still protected by copyright." They say that Google hopes the service will attract lots of new users to its website, thus allowing the company to increase its advertising revenue. In response to the lawsuit, Google argued that an online index of books amounts of "fair use," a legal concept that allows the reproduction of small portions of copyrighted works. Eric Schmidt makes a spirited defense of the move. The Google Print Library Project website said that publishers who don't want their work included in the index can contact Google and ask for the removal of individual titles. From a legal perspective, the case appears to be tossup, with good arguments on both sides. In their lawsuit against Google, the book publishers cite Yahoo's program as an acceptable alternative where they cite that Yahoo works directly with the owners of content to make that content available. Yahoo said that it would begin offering its index of books by year's end, and have about 18,000 books available by the end of 2006.I think that the technology movement fired up by Google is unstoppable - the book publishers may appear concerned - but this should only make book writing, publishing and perhaps digitizing published material more and more attractive.
Category :Google Print |
4G Web Strategy :Revolution & Not Evolution
The web technology is indeed undergoing major transformation. Around the world, I definitely see a major overdrive by enterprises to leverage web technology in multiple ways. David Coe writes about the revolutionary advances into the fourth generation websites. He characterizes the various generation websites as:
Gates & Buffet On Technology,Investments & Venture Capital
Courtesy of Paul Kedrosky happened to read this joint interview of Warren Buffett & Bill Gates.
Category :Venture Capital |
Thursday, October 20, 2005
Standardization & Early Adopters
As I prepare to attend this event today - am back in singapore after a long time -I came across this article on early adoption of standards. Peter Seebach reasons that before a standard becomes widely adopted, some ambiguity always exists about whether it will succeed. Even a standard formally endorsed by a major organization might turn out to be simply ignored by the marketplace. Adopting a standard before it has become fully established has advantages and disadvantages. The primary advantages of early adoption include influence on the early standard and competitive advantage over latecomers. If a standard related to your development efforts is forming, you might benefit greatly from involvement in the standards process. For that matter, the standards process is quite likely to benefit from additional input from people with expertise in the field. Not all of the advantages of standard interfaces and designs apply to early adopters. One can't take advantage of economies of scale right away. Still, the essential points are still there - better interoperability and reduced design costs. One can easily overlook the cost of developing a specification solid enough to build products on, but you can hardly miss the comparatively huge cost of trying to debug a product update that is almost compatible when your specification isn't precise enough. If forced to adopt a standard which does not seem to be quite stable yet, look for anchoring on the crucial basic principles of standardization.
Category :Standards |
EMC On A Roll
EMC now has acquired Captiva. The acquisition appears complementary to EMC's 2003 purchase of Documentum. Like Documentum, Captiva is part of an increasingly important niche called document management.The amount of digital data that companies generate and are required to keep grows exponentially. Input management software - which provides for the conversion of paper-based information to digital formats - has become increasingly strategic as companies electronically capture, digitize and categorize more of their information. This transforms costly and inaccessible paper records into instantly usable electronic business information, resulting in faster business processes and more accurate and timely response in regulatory compliance situations. Through this process, organizations gain a richer understanding of their information and become better equipped to classify it, create policy based workflow and automate information lifecycle management. This acquisition represents a natural extension to the EMC Documentum ECM platform and adds existing integrated technology to the EMC software portfolio. Captiva focuses on the early stages of information lifecycle management - information capture, digitization and categorization. I clearly see the syndegy here - as these together enable customers to either eliminate paper or automate its digital capture and integrate the information with electronic business processing for competitive advantage EMC will now offer customers the ability to move massive amounts of paper-based data into files manageable by Documentum's software and store and retrieve it using EMC hardware. Interestingly post acquisition of Documentum and Legato, EMC's dependence on its core hardware business has lessened considerably. (Disclosure : I work closely as part of my work with almost all the companies mentioned in this post.)Documentum is proving to be an asset to EMC in ways that aren't immediately apparent on the income statement. The two year old takeout has become something of a template for a wave of top line-driven acquisitions in the software industry that are presenting new opportunities for investors.SAP may see a fit and acquire i2, Manugistics, Aspen. Dave Dewalt, EMC software president, whom I recently met feels that the entry of players like EMC into the document management space and Oracle into logistics could well force the surviving smaller players to consolidate and predicts that the document management space may see only two/three players. DeWalt figures that IBM and Oracle will jump into the space, but are likely to build rather than buy a solution. I had been writing about the imminent consolidation in the enteprise software space. Predictions Galore- Interwoven may be seen as a good fit for Sun or Microsoft.
Category : EMC, Consolidation |
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