RSS
Archive for the ‘Web 2.0’ Category

2012 IT Budgets, Salaries on the Rise

Posted by

Carolyn Duffy Maran, reporting for NetworkWorld:

The outlook for IT budgets is solid, with 83% of survey respondents reporting that their 2011 IT budget was greater than or equal to their 2010 IT budget. This figure compares to 48% reporting stable or growing IT budgets in 2009.

Similarly, 85% of IT executives are predicting that their 2012 IT budgets will be greater than or equal to their 2011 figures. Only 65% of respondents made this prediction two years ago.

Another positive indicator is that IT budget allocations will remain steady in 2012, with internal staff expected to receive the largest share of the pie at 37% of spending compared to 38% this year.

Also note the outlook on outsourcing, forever IT’s boogeyman in the closet:

The SIM survey indicated no plans by management to increase offshore outsourcing, which has been a fear among IT professionals over the years. CIOs reported that they spent only 2% of their 2011 IT budgets on offshore outsourcing and 3% on domestic outsourcing. For 2012, they are projecting the same level of investment for offshore and domestic outsourcing.

And finally, don’t underestimate this surprising finding regarding cloud computing spend:

One surprise finding was that CIOs are not planning to allocate a significant amount of their IT budgets to internal or external cloud computing services. Although cloud computing was listed as one of the top applications that CIOs are investing in during 2011, they are spending only a tiny amount of money in this area: an average of 6% of their 2011 IT budgets on internal cloud projects and 5% on external cloud efforts.

Emphasis mine. Interesting that despite all the marketing and the buzzworthiness of cloud computing, the pursestrings are still on hold. Maybe it’s a value realization thing — that cloud, while promising, can’t be presented to the C-level in terms of actual ROI yet? Maybe it’s the backlog of IT services that have been neglected over the past few years, so cloud is hot, but not as hot as things that have been on the to-do list for 24 months?

ERP salespeople, take note: there’s still unmet demand out there. Enterprise cloud/SaaS salespeople: your challenge is to prove that the cloud is now, the value is real and time time has come for private clouds.

What’s your take?

###

More links:

MIPRO Consulting main website.

MIPRO on Twitter and Facebook.

About this blog.

‘Stickier Than a Roach Motel’

Posted by

The Register’s Timothy Prickett Morgan scoops what is some of the best (and latest) Oracle Fusion information I’ve seen. Here he is with the overview of the modern-day Fusion, what it is, and how it’s built:

Ellison started off talking about the Fusion apps, a reworking from the ground up of all the business logic embodied in the Oracle E-Business Suite, PeopleSoft, Siebel, JD Edwards, and other applications that the software giant has either built or acquired in the past 15 years. The plan, said Ellison, was to get these Fusion applications out the door in four years, but it took six years. The Fusion suite is written in Java and uses BPEL as a means of linking the apps to outside applications. It includes more than 100 modules encompassing financial, human capital, supply chain, and project portfolio management as well as procurement and governance and compliance apps.

For our more visually-inclined readers:

(Click to enlarge)

But the most interesting aspect of this latest volley of Fusion information is Larry Ellison’s edgy, almost pugnacious presentation of the what the Fusion-powered Oracle ‘cloud’ is, especially as it relates to proprietary clouds, like, he says, those powering rival platform Salesforce.com. For those who missed the drama, note that a year ago, Benioff tweeted, during an OpenWorld keynote, “Beware of false clouds.”

Ellison didn’t pass on the opportunity this year to swipe at Benioff’s comment.

“That is such good advice. I could not have said it better myself,” Ellison sneered, rattling off a list of differences between the Oracle Public Cloud and Salesforce.com. The Oracle cloud is built on “standards,” by which Ellison meant Java, BPEL, SQL, SOA, Groovy, Web services, and so on, while Salesforce.com is a proprietary cloud platform with proprietary applications, with its APEX language, the Heroku platform cloud, and extensions like Force.com, Appforce, Siteforce, and vmforce.

By contrast, the Oracle cloud runs glatt kosher Java and supports Oracle’s database and Fusion middleware, which means you can run your applications on premise, in the Oracle Public Cloud, or even Amazon’s EC2 cloud. Salesforce.com’s applications, said Ellison, run only on its own cloud.

“It’s kind of the ultimate vendor lock-in,” said Ellison, winding the crowd up. “You can check in, but you can’t check out. It’s stickier than a roach motel.” He paused for a second and then added: “It’s like an airplane you fly into the cloud and you never come out.”

Ellison also took a few swings at Salesforce.com’s multitenancy model, which, he says, was a good idea 15 years ago, when people had no other options. Today, that’s no longer the case.

Fusion is just taking shape for many people, and it’s becoming clearer that it’s a cloud-powered, elastic layer that will use BPEL and other web services to connect your existing applications and data stores. It’s a major shift for Oracle, but one that I admire — the company couldn’t evolve without it.  Is it formidable? Of course it is — it’s Oracle, after all. And how can you not admire an enterprise company who communicates so boldly and plainly?

What are your thoughts? Is Fusion what you thought it would be?  More? Less? Still need a better understanding of what it is and where it will fit into your business?

###

More links:

MIPRO Consulting main website.

MIPRO on Twitter and Facebook.

About this blog.

SlideShare Ditches Flash

Posted by

The hits just keep on coming:

SlideShare, the website for sharing PowerPoint presentations and other documents, has had a major makeover. The company has ditched Adobe Flash technology entirely, and rebuilt its website using the HTML5 markup language, SlideShare co-founder and CTO Jon Boutelle will announce at GigaOM’s Mobilize conference Tuesday.

This means that SlideShare is now viewable on every kind of mobile device, from iPads to iPhones to Android devices and beyond. Another perk is that the website is now 30 percent faster and its files take up 40 percent less space than they used to. Search engines can now read the content within SlideShare slides, meaning that presentations hosted there should start to get much higher page rankings on sites like Google. Text within documents can now be copied and pasted, as well.

Another Flash casualty lost to HTML5 and the prevalence of Apple’s  iOS. And platform technology notwithstanding, look at that list of downstream benefits: slide content now exposed to search spiders, full mobile device support without clumsy plugins, smaller files, slide text copy/paste.

Flash is being marginalized daily.

###

More links:

MIPRO Consulting main website.

MIPRO on Twitter and Facebook.

About this blog.

Calling All Foodies

Posted by

Punchfork is a very impressive recipe aggregator that pulls recipes and their associated metadata from around the web, including social aspects like ranks and ratings.  Instead of going bananas trying to hit all your favorite cooking sites for an interesting Saturday night recipe, give Punchfork a try.

###

More links:

MIPRO Consulting main website.

MIPRO on Twitter and Facebook.

About this blog.

Twitter – Gimmick, Fad or Tool?

Posted by

Initially I thought Twitter was some gimmick through which celebrities (insert your own definition of celebrity) fed their own egos by posting snippets of their life.  I didn’t care, so Twitter did not interest me much.  I did not even watch Entertainment Tonight, so following some “celebrity du jour” as they tweeted arcane details of their life in short snippets just did not appeal to me.  I considered it a gimmick that would never catch hold.

Before I knew what happened, Twitter transformed from a gimmick to a fad.  Am I one of the few without a Twitter account?  Maybe.  Virtually everybody who does any public relations has an account, and a group of followers.  That is interesting to me, because somehow I don’t view my life as being interesting enough for someone to want to follow.  Headlines such as “emptying dishwasher” or “running errands”, or even a commentary such as “just helped client solve a major crisis” seem a little trivial, but I’m not LeBron James or Lady Gaga, or some of the other more popular Twitter accounts.  But what do I know, because I might be one of the few not tweeting social updates, commentary on world events, and generally espousing about what’s happening now.

As I ponder the real value of Twitter, the value has to be in the immediacy of the messaging.  My son and I were talking about this recently when he shared a story about how he knew of the horrible bombing is Oslo minutes before it broke on any of the leading news networks.  How did he know?  Somehow, one of his buddies received a tweet from someone on-site announcing the terrible news.  Now most journalists would fret about unverified sources and balancing timing with accuracy, but the reality is that Twitter is proving to be a tool for breaking news at it very roots.  The concept of a “reporter” is literally out the window when the story is relayed by someone who is part of the scene. The individual becomes the channel; there’s no need to wait for a major outlet to break and package the story.

That started me to thinking about some of the ways to use Twitter as a tool.  One that came to mind was up-to the minute traffic reports.  How about a twitter “channel”  for ABC County traffic where people instantly post tweets and re-tweets such as “two car accident at Elm and Main – avoid area”?  Or “one lane traffic on Rt 1 due to construction northbound…traffic jammed”?  It would certainly gain my attention as something I would follow.  Or maybe my favorite theater could tweet “7:20 showing of My Favorite Movie is sold out” to let me know I need to change plans.  Or maybe my project team uses it for instant updates “vendor conversion complete – please start validation process”? When can Twitter effectively replace SMS and email messaging? Can it? To me, in its current state, it needs more signal and less noise.

The reality is that when you start to consider the power of Twitter to mass distribute messaging to people sharing a common interest, maybe there is something to this, and maybe there is more to what I initially saw as a gimmick and a fad.  It seems to me that anything or anyone with a “status” could become a candidate for Twitter, but I’m starting to think that’s not the main use case.  It’s probably not fair to say that the future is limitless, but there are some very interesting concepts to ponder as to how you can use Twitter as your own personal news transmitter or receiver.

How do you use Twitter? Aside from hashtags and massively curating my follow list, is there a better way to focus what I absorb on Twitter?

###

More links:

MIPRO Consulting main website.

MIPRO on Twitter and Facebook.

About this blog.

Amazon Storing More Than 49B Objects in S3

Posted by

Derrick Harris, writing for GigaOm:

At Structure 2011 last month, Amazon CTO Werner Vogels told the crowd that S3 was storing 339 billion objects. At this same time last year, the service was only storing 262 billion objects. One might also draw a parallel to the ever-growing cloud revenues at Rackspace, the incredible amount of computing capacity AWS adds every day or the mass proliferation of new Software-as-a-Service offerings.

That’s 100% growth year-over-year. And be sure to click the Rackspace link, because they’re not doing too shabby either.  Right now AWS leads the way, with Rackspace running in second.

My feeling is that we’re still in the beginning stages. Cloud usage growth is going to go non-linear sometime down the line.

###

More links:

MIPRO Consulting main website.

MIPRO on Twitter and Facebook.

About this blog.

Paul Thurrott on Google, Hypocrisy and Antitrust

Posted by

Paul Thurrott:

And I’d also point out that Google licenses Android for free. So by raising the price of Android by imposing licensing fees on technologies Android is in fact using, Apple, Microsoft, and others are arguably simply leveling the playing field and taking away an artificial Android advantage, forcing the OS to compete more fairly. Arguably, by “dumping” Android in the market at no cost, Google—which has unlimited cash and can afford to do such a thing — is behaving in an anticompetitive fashion. In fact, one could argue that Google is using its dominance in search advertising to unfairly gain entry into another market by giving that new product, Android, away for free. Does this remind you of any famous antitrust case?

I’ve been saying this exact same thing for weeks to anyone who will listen.

###

More links:

MIPRO Consulting main website.

MIPRO on Twitter and Facebook.

About this blog.

Cloud vs. Cloudburst: Where Cloud Computing Is, Isn’t and Might Be

Posted by

Over the past few weeks, several people have asked me about the “cloud” and how I think it will impact the future of ERP.  Well, I’m not an expert in cloud computing, nor do I have a crystal ball.  But what I do have is 20+ years of industry experience.  So, while I can’t give you a definitive answer on the future, I can share with you my observations.

First, people have been talking about the possibility of distributed applications for over a decade.  Remember when Bill Gates said he envisioned a time when people would “rent” Microsoft Office over the web and we all snickered and scoffed?  Well, Mr. Gates, as it turns out, just may have one of those crystal balls.

So the cloud, or distributed processing, has arrived and will more than likely be here for many years.  But even with its many benefits (reduced hardware requirements, limited internal support needs, global availability and other pros listed by specialists of business IT support in London), distributed processing has its limitations.  One can argue that distributed processing is great for user-focused applications like CRM, word processing and logistics because these applications reach a broad range of industries with a minimal amount of customization.  It’s much harder to say the same thing, however, about back-office enterprise systems.

In the world of back-office enterprise software, applications must be configured to meet a wide and growing range of business processes.  Trying to herd all business types into “standard” business processes would keep change management companies busy for the next century and remove competitive advantages that some companies have built their infrastructure to support.  And there’s no way a discreet manufacturer would adopt the business processes of a healthcare provider — or vice versa.

So the next alternative is for enterprise software vendors is to utilize distributed applications to provide multiple “versions” of the application for various industries.  Viable?  Probably not — this alone would drive cost and support models out of control.  And I must admit, in my twenty years in the industry, I’ve never seen two companies attempt to configure the software the same way.  Even in similar industries, there are always differences that need to be addressed.

With all that said, I do think that you will begin to see additional applications being moved to and supported in a cloud environment.  Anytime a software vendor can standardize their product it lowers their support cost and appeals to a wider audience.  So look for the trend to continue.  And by all means, don’t confuse a hosted or managed services offering with a SaaS model.  Hosting and managed services are essentially your custom environment running on someone else’s equipment.  SaaS is a distributed software environment.  Lots of confusion, but the gods live in the details. Maybe I can talk more about that next month!

###

More links:

MIPRO Consulting main website.

MIPRO on Twitter and Facebook.

About this blog.

American Express Out-Innovates Google and Groupon

Posted by

Rocky Agrawal, reporting for TechCrunch:

This morning American Express is launching a new deals platform in partnership with Facebook that should make big waves in the payments and offers space.

Winners: Facebook, American Express, small businesses
Losers: Groupon, LivingSocial, Google, foursquare, VISA, MasterCard

With the new platform, merchants will be able to target deals at American Express cardholders on the Facebook platform. Initial launch partners include H&M, Sports Authority, Dunkin’ Donuts, Sheraton, Westin, Travelocity and Celebrity Cruises. Although the launch focus is on big national brands, the platform is self-serve and well suited to the needs of small business. This presents a big and credible threat to Groupon, LivingSocial, Google Offers and other daily deal providers.

The platform covers both one-time and loyalty offers. Some examples of the offers that could be presented:

  • Spend $30 and get a $10 statement credit.
  • Spend $50 and get 10% back.
  • Visit 3 times, spend $50 each time and get a $10 statement credit.

I’ve been waiting for someone to do this.  When Foursquare announced its deals functionality, I thought it was a good start.  Now with Amex partnering with Facebook, I’d say Amex is in the running right up there with Groupon and LivingSocial.  (Amex needs to keep building its partner repertoire, though.)

Foursquare is an interesting proposition — it’s a hugely popular service, and I see an opportunity for them to partner with POS (point-of-sale) vendors so that businesses can know what clients are saying about them in real time.  They’d also be able to tell when their best customers are in the house based on check-in data.  And naturally, if Foursquare can strike more deals with vendors for its users, it has a chance of making a pretty good run at the deals game, too.

Where Foursquare got flanked? By Amex choosing to partner with Facebook, the world’s largest social network.  Amex has no pretense about being a social network, so they are free to hook up with whoever will work with them.  Foursquare, however, has pretty strong social capital, and I think any reluctance they have to cede social momentum to a company like Facebook translates into opportunity for others who aren’t invested in the social game.

Any way you cut it, this is all very interesting.  And it’s just the beginning.  Watch.

###

More links:

MIPRO Consulting main website.

MIPRO on Twitter and Facebook.

About this blog.

Convergence: When Multiple Technologies Lead to the Same Place

Posted by

I’ve always been a little bit of a techno-geek.  While I am rarely bleeding edge, I usually like to be one of the first to embrace a new technology.  Over the years, I have watched the crossover create convergence, and found myself amazed at the transition.  Does anybody remember writing memorandums and actually sending (or handing them to people)?  Does anybody remember the initial beauty of voice mail because we could leave our own message, not dictate to a receptionist?  And what about your first email? Or your first conference call?

If technology were a map, we’d find hundreds of roads leading to different places, but I would also venture to guess that many of the roads are leading to the same place: a place where all of these “technologies” funnel to a single device.

For most, their first venture with technology was using a computer as a word processor, or for spreadsheets.  Today, most eight years olds can do that.  Then, while chained to a desktop, we sent email.  Remember the days of working late because your desktop was your only access?  Then we transitioned to an “on the go” society with laptops that allowed us to be transportable with our work, but only if you could dial-in via a modem.  And today, I get email and the internet instantly on my cellphone.

I can’t remember the last time I did not check email.  In fact, for me, it’s almost as constant and instant as texting.  My life has converged to the point where email is a constant source of information.  The smartphone is the next generation of laptop, and wireless could be the greatest invention since electricity.  So what is next?  With Borders announcing their closing, it is obvious that the world of books is being replaced by the eReader.  Smartphone again?  Absolutely.  My son was proud of the fact that he read an entire book on a recent bus ride home from New York, and he did so on his phone.  And what about television?  Do we really need to be tethered to a cable to watch our favorite shows?  Probably not.

Between smartphones and the iPad (and other tablets), we are quickly leaving the world of laptops behind and moving on to faster, smaller, more instantaneous devices.  My prediction is that we will soon see a clamshell version of an iPhone (or similar smartphone).  Imagine an iPhone that opens like a clam to a screen that is double the current size.  That puts it fairly close to an iPad.  Tether it to a wireless keyboard and a 19” display and have you replaced both your desktop and your laptop?  Can you read all of your current books wirelessly?  Can you communicate instantly in virtually any place (email, chat, voice, etc)?  Can you catch your favorite show? Absolutely.

So, while the business world is still mired in discussions about the cloud, I guess I have progressed to the HORIZON – a place where the vision is endless and the possibilities only limited by your own mind.  The path is likely limitless, but in my mind, it is all beginning to converge to a single device that is easy to carry, and easier to use.  The desktop is gone replaced by the constant and instant nature of a smart device (can it still be called a “phone”).  There are many more roads that will converge on the journey, but for me the path has become fairly obvious.  I see many things in my daily life, and they all exist on the horizon of technology.

###

More links:

MIPRO Consulting main website.

MIPRO on Twitter and Facebook.

About this blog.