Monthly Archives: February 2010

Dominant Player in Cloud Computing?

Read Write Web makes a study at Cloud Computing and analyzes the future leader in this area. Interesting Read.

In a way, this runs against the grain of existing technology landscape and our history with successful innovations. Maybe that is why we love the idea of the cloud itself?

It’s too big to own: One big reason to doubt a single dominant force in the cloud is that it feels like owning the Internet. Even Cisco with its strengths can’t make such a claim. Perhaps the cloud is the perfect market, where the barriers of entry are low enough that continual evolution will occur.
It’s a movement, not a layer: Another argument against the cloud having a dominant player is its fuzzy definition. There are many parts and pieces to it, and it’s not clear today what it would mean to “win” the cloud computing market.

Portability will keep vendors in check: If customers demand solutions where they can move from vendor to vendor freely, it will impact the landscape. Companies with cloud solutions in the marketplace could be required by these customers to remove barriers to moving data and services between different entities. Additionally, standards and best practices may emerge that allow companies and individuals to move freely between providers. In this world, it will become a fluid market that prevents vendor lock and promotes pricing and trust as brand differentiators.

Investing in the Cloud

Satish Dharmaraj, former founder and CEO of Zimbra talks about the trends he is looking at in his role at Redpoint Ventures, a Silicon Valley venture firm.

There are two areas Redpoint is looking at for cloud computing and virtualization.

Taking applications that used to run behind firewall and moving them to the cloud. This as a big trend for SMB and emerging for enterprise-class applications. SMBs are enjoying this trend now because they don’t have large IT departments already in place. In some cases, Redpoint also thinks that large enterprises will adopt these. It gives them more freedom of choice.

The second thing Redpoint is looking at is where large enterprises have data centers that are becoming a private cloud, and running vendor software on your own infrastructure that has been packaged for virtualization footprint. The new data center is an on-demand set of services that supports elastic computing. In the future, there will be similar advantages the public cloud offers, but for internal departments. They will be able to order computing services with a Web form and expect their delivery in hours, rather than weeks or months. With this will come applications for billing, provisioning and configuration management. Redpoint ahs invested in one company already in this space, VMOps, which is considered a IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) company.

Additionally, there is a big trend in service providers with Web hosting operations (like 1&1 and Savvis). They are finding that they can cut costs by 1/10th by moving dedicated server business to virtual server business. Most of dedicated servers are running at 10% of the time and it makes sense for them – and for their customers – to reduce the data center footprint and cost infrastructure.

BI the Answer to Supplier/Supply Chain Management?

Short and Interesting Post by Jason Busch -

There are a few reasons why the nirvana of BI supplier and supply chain visibility is most certainly a noble objective, but one that is unlikely to ever fully take hold outside of a few very expensive, highly customized implementations. For one, BI tools (especially those we think of, which are tied to an underlying data warehouse) mimic the inflexible characteristics of the ERP systems, which generate the data that we need to analyze. In other words, once you “pour the enterprise-data concrete” so to speak, such systems become rigid and unbending and make it difficult to rapidly adopt new data sources into an analysis. Perhaps there’s a new third-party data enrichment that you want to add (one not supported or resold by your BI vendor), or maybe you’ve acquired a new facility from a supplier that is running a different ERP environment. Good luck rapidly adding these new data sources into any BI model.

How to Move KM and BI from Margin to Mainstream

From BEye Networ article on Knowledge Management/Business Intelligence

If you’re a KM or BI champion looking for ways to boost your discipline’s visibility, take a cue from the communication masters: politicians. Campaign platforms are based on three principles: clarity, consistency and frequency. Every stump speech, every sound bite, every public conversation is rigorously “on message,” and yours should be too.

There’s usually a flabby communication strategy behind any really good idea that doesn’t quite get off the ground. KM and BI evangelists often focus so intently on the business case that they fizzle out on the “hearts and minds” part; namely, communicating with key constituents before, during and after the launch.

And which are the key constituencies for knowledge management and business intelligence? In the government, you must address at least the principal users of the tools, the funders of your initiative and those who will benefit from it.

Portrait Software Utilizes Analytics to Provide PA/DM

From Press Release -

Forrester evaluated the top nine predictive analytics and data mining (PA/DM) solution vendors across 53 criteria, segmenting them into the three categories including current offering, product strategy, and market presence. As a leader offering “mature, high-performance, scalable, flexible, and robust PA/DM solutions,” Portrait received the 3rd highest score for Product Strategy & the 6th highest score for Current Offering.”

Among the vendor products the Forrester(TM) Wave evaluated were Portrait Customer Analytics, Portrait Uplift Optimizer, and Portrait Self-service Analytics. According to the Forrester(TM) Wave, “Portrait provides a user-friendly, feature-rich PA/DM solution portfolio in support of real-time scoring, interaction optimization, uplift optimization, and campaign management for customer analytics.”

“Powerful customer analytics have always been the core driver of Portrait’s innovative marketing solutions, but analytics itself only takes you so far,” said Luke McKeever, CEO, Portrait Software. “Portrait’s ability to not only incorporate analytics but to action the insights they deliver enables us to provide our customers with highly intelligent solutions that help them operate as a customer-centric organization, differentiating them from their competitors while simultaneously improving their marketing ROI.”

2010, Year of the Cloud

Whether you like it or not, if you consume tech juice on a regular basis, this year or even through this decade get ready to be swamped with news of the cloud. Yes, the cloud is the king and we are its citizens.

So this blog will go out of way to mention some juicy juice of Cloud Computing. There have been previous sightings of cloud here but lets start with one more common man’s primer, What is cloud computing and how do I use it?.

Developer of Mass Opinion BI, Creates New Computational Framework

From the Press Release:

WiseWindow, developer of Mass Opinion Business Intelligence, the next generation of web measurement, today announced that company founder and chief technology officer, Rajiv Dulepet, has been named advisor and architect for a new project funded by the National Institute of Health and executed by Caltech. The open-source project will develop a web-based bio-computational tool that allows bio-scientists and bio-computation engineers to “crunch data in the cloud” for large-scale tasks such as processing gene sequence data sets on a large cluster of computers. The new tool allows scientists to save considerable time that’s now spent waiting for computations on their desktops by moving these operations to the cloud, thereby freeing up their computers for other work.

“Working as a lead advisor to Caltech on cloud computing is both a privilege and passion for me,” said Dulepet. “It allows me to exercise skills in Internet data gathering and analysis as well as computational framework development.”

BI Offers the Promise of Benefits, Challenges Remain

The Ness Technologies Market Pulse Study of top level business and IT executives at companies with over $500 million in revenues was conducted in the fourth quarter of 2009. Among the major findings are:

– BI initiatives are being driven by the ability to have better
transparency into company data for business planning and decision-making
(54%), a desire for more insight into the business to keep up with rapid
change (43%), and real-time analysis capabilities (43%).

– Although companies feel they have adequate access to planning
data (73%) and financial data (61%), they are less comfortable about
their access to customer data (53%) and market trend data (52%).

– The top four BI pain points are all centered on data: data silos
(47%), data integration (35%), mapping data (31%), and data
cleansing/modeling (31%).

– More than half of respondents report that results achieved are
lagging expected outcomes in 14 of 16 potential outcome categories. The
largest gaps are in business agility, data integration, and new revenue
opportunities.

What contributes to BI success?
The survey uncovered actions companies can take to increase the effectiveness of their BI programs. Alignment with business strategy and good organizational communications are strong indicators of success for BI initiatives.

“Although the benefits of BI have been elusive to many organizations, there are steps that can be taken to move the needle on your BI program from expected to achieved outcomes,” continued Scott. “Managing data integration more effectively and ensuring alignment across the company or business unit can bring companies both operational and competitive advantage.”

More from the Press Release. And more.

Microsoft Business Intelligence Conference 2010

MS BIC 2010

This year’s MS BI conference takes place in New Orleans in conjunction with Tech·Ed 2010.

More from the site:

The co-location allows Microsoft to meet the needs of customers and partners looking to focus specifically on Business Intelligence while also significantly increasing the opportunity to learn about this critical technology for all Tech·Ed attendees.

While these are separate conferences, BI Conference attendees will be exposed to additional networking opportunities with customers and partners as part of Tech·Ed, and will also have access to the Tech·Ed Keynote, Pre-Conference Seminars, more Hands-on Labs, onsite Certification Testing as well as a larger Expo showcasing more Microsoft demo stations, Exhibitors and Sponsors.

More on Microsoft BI. Follow them on Twitter.