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Posts Tagged ‘ibm’

SaaS Valuations Sky-High — And Staying That Way

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Barb Darrow, GigaOm:

Wolf’s numbers show that a select group of SaaS companies saw their values grow 313 percent from January 2009 to October 2011, compared to 154 percent growth for other software companies over the same period.

No wonder Oracle shelled out $1.5 billion for RightNow Technologies and Salesforce.com keeps snapping up smaller SaaS players every month.

“With Saas, the more vertical the better,” Wolf said in interview. SaaS companies offering financial services, healthcare services or employee benefits outsourcing services, are all hot now, he added.

So who’ll be buying? The usual suspects: IBM, Oracle, SAP, Microsoft.

Increased valuation begets consolidation, and SaaS is where all the buying is going to be happening. That much is clear. But this bubble, as it were, seems awfully vulnerable to macroeconomic factors and externalities. And as legacy software companies acquire SaaS players to broaden/deepen their portfolios, eventually valuations will get pretty muddy.

Something to watch.

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Oracle Dead Serious About Its Hardware Business

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How serious? Serious enough to take on IBM directly in no uncertain terms.  Here’s Quentin Hardy writing for the NYTimes Business Day Technology column, regarding Larry Ellison’s OpenWorld opening remarks:

“We want to take I.B.M. on in their strongest suit, microprocessors,” he said at Sunday’s opening of his OracleWorld trade show. The benchmark would be pure processing speed, he said, claiming that his new SPARC t4 chips are already faster than I.B.M. in running Java software. “We passed them in Java,” he said, “we’re going to pass them in every other area too.”

Ellison also tips his hat as to the shift from the hard drive medium to flash memory.  As noted here on this blog before, flash storage is becoming increasingly popular in the enterprise and has the ability to be a game-changer if used intelligently.  Here’s Hardy again:

Much of the speed in these new computers, Mr. Ellison indicated, comes from things like knowing how to compress data, so only critical elements need to be stored on a computer’s memory. It is then stored on the increasingly cheap and popular flash memory, instead of standard memory disks. But it is really about fast networking among a lot of very, very fast chips, managed by software that knows how to keep them working together.

Read Hardy’s whole piece here. Interesting stuff.

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IBM Builds Biggest Data Drive Ever

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Tom Simonite, writing for MIT’s Technology Review:

A data repository almost 10 times bigger than any made before is being built by researchers at IBM’s Almaden, California, research lab. The 120 petabyte “drive”—that’s 120 million gigabytes—is made up of 200,000 conventional hard disk drives working together. The giant data container is expected to store around one trillion files and should provide the space needed to allow more powerful simulations of complex systems, like those used to model weather and climate.

Petabytes? Sounds like a dinosaur vitamin for children. How big is 120 of them?

A 120 petabyte drive could hold 24 billion typical five-megabyte MP3 files or comfortably swallow 60 copies of the biggest backup of the Web, the 150 billion pages that make up the Internet Archive’s WayBack Machine.

60 copies of the biggest known backup of the entire web — that’s a size so large that it’s lunatic fringe, something that’s hard to get your head around.  Reminds me of the now-famous How Big Is The Earth infovisual. Amazing.

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‘Old’ vs. ‘New’ Revenue for Enterprise Vendors

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Without getting academic about it, Vinnie Mirchandani breaks up technology markets into old and new, which mean, nutshelled, traditional and innovation-driven revenue, respectively.  I’ve often looked at it the same way; in fact, one of the reasons I’m linking to Vinnie’s post is because he articulated my thoughts better than I could.  Here it is in its entirety.  You should read it.

Key quip:

There is old revenue and new, innovation generated revenue. The poster child is Apple. The iPhone has gone from zero to half of Apple’s revenue in less than 4 years. When you add iPad, barely a year old, you get even more of revenue which is new, innovation generated.

Contrast this to SAP, Oracle, Verizon, IBM and so many other large technology vendors. SAP has been talking in-memory applications and its BYD SaaS product for almost 5 years now, and related revenue is less than 5%. Oracle has been talking Fusion apps for over 6 years and it only has 50 or so customers. IBM markets the heck out of its “Smarter Planet” projects, but most of its revenues come from decades old Lotus, Tivoli and other software and data centers that often go back to the Cold War times. Verizon spends a disproportionate amount of its advertising budget on its 4G LTE offerings, when that is less than 1% of its revenues. There are plenty more examples in techland.

It’s not for a lack of want that these lip-service vs. performance discrepancies exist; it’s for a lack of an encouraging corporate culture and the fact that these companies must perform quarter after quarter, so radical new behaviors (and sales force incentives) are very difficult.  When there are analyst targets to meet and compensation plans to fulfill, nobody is going to push the avant garde products and services unless the company culture specifically demands they do so.

Another key point by Mirchandani:

It takes an Apple (and historically Intel) to actively develop and launch new products, and not worry about cannibalizing older revenues.

Exactly right.  When Apple designed the iPhone and, later, the iPad, it knew full well that the iPod’s days were numbered.  Think about that.  The iPod – an iconic device if there ever was one – was certain to be massively cannibalized by new products.  Not just new products, mind you, but new products forging new markets.  How many companies would have the courage of their conviction to walk headlong into that algebra?  Not many.

Eventually, as the competitive landscape firms up as it relates to these next-gen products and services, companies will make the internal adjustments based on market pressures.  When that happens, you’ll start seeing the shift from ‘old’ revenue to ‘new.’  And, ironically, my money says the products responsible for the ‘old’ revenue get a new (albeit perhaps short) lease on life.  Why?  Innovation increases the luster of everything in the house.

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IBM Centennial Film: They Were There

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As IBM celebrates its 100th year in business, it’s worth watching this 30-minute film by Errol Morris (music by Philip Glass) on the company’s history and impact on society and business.

They Were There: People who changed the way the world works.

(via kottke)

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MIPRO Consulting is a nationally-recognized consulting firm specializing in PeopleSoft Enterprise (particularly Enterprise Asset Management) and Business Intelligence. You’re reading MIPRO Unfiltered, its blog. If you’d like to contact MIPRO, email is a great place to start, or you can easily jump over to its main website. If you’d like to see what MIPRO offers via Twitter or Facebook, we’d love to have you.

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Oracle Is Making Friends, Showing Community Leadership

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When Oracle acquired Sun, you could hear the internet cacophony scream: “Java is dead!  Oracle will destroy it!  It’s part of the monolith now!”

Not so fast.

It hasn’t been widely talked about (but deserves to be), but Oracle is doing pretty much the exact opposite of what those involved with Java and the Java Community Process feared: it’s being open, inclusive and a smart community leader.  In fact, as OpenJDK has put some meat on its bones, Oracle has brought almost every big-time stakeholder into the fold of the OpenJDK initiative.

Back on December 1st, the SD Times had a quiet blurb about this whole thing:

Winning over IBM was a huge coup for Oracle, especially when you consider the fact that IBM is the one company that competes most obliquely with Oracle in hardware, database and software markets. And being able to keep Red Hat signed onto the project was another big win for Oracle: The company takes Red Hat’s Linux as CentOS and rebrands it with its own kernel version and logos.

And yet, both IBM and Red Hat are dedicated to the OpenJDK. Combine this with the news from Nov. 12 that Apple will also be joining the OpenJDK, and you’ve got quite an alliance of Java stakeholders all working on a single, unified Java.

And here I’ll echo the SD Times’ closing sentiments: with any luck, Java will emerge from this – with the backing of the industry’s biggest players – with a stronger, more mature, more battle-tested ecosystem.

Kudos to Oracle for swiftly and cleanly doing what many said it couldn’t.

(Thx Jim)

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MIPRO Consulting is a nationally-recognized consulting firm specializing in PeopleSoft Enterprise (particularly Enterprise Asset Management) and Business Intelligence. You’re reading MIPRO Unfiltered, its blog. If you’d like to contact MIPRO, email is a great place to start, or you can easily jump over to its main website. If you’d like to see what MIPRO offers via Twitter or Facebook, we’d love to have you.

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Tweets from Oracle OpenWorld 2009

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Some of the best tweets streaming across my HootSuite screen over the past two days. These were all under the #OOW hashtag.  I will post more during the week, time permitting.

(Other hashtags you can check out are #OpenWorld, and #OOW09, but #OOW seems to be the main player.)

125x125-logo-only_normal IntraSee: Big time stat of #oow: all 10 of the top 10 OpenWorld sessions are PeopleSoft topics.

Ls_0860_yc7m8067sml2_normal sboiling: Via @jasonhiner Larry Ellison: Oracle will pay a company $10 million if Sun/Oracle gear isn’t twice as fast as IBM #oow

Eric_dscf0057_normal eguilloteau: Day 2 #oow continues focus on integration with emphasis this morning on packaged yet customisable systems rather than apps.

Hands_normal CorporateFx: Cutting a girl into 9 pieces to launch Solaris 9 (photos from past Oracle shows) #OOW09 #OOW http://twitpic.com/lelw4

Bonkers_normal kylechristensen: watching @scottiholden teach the #oow crowd about the sales cloud. yes…salesforce.com at oracle open world.

James-staten_normal Staten7: #OOW Sprint Happy Path key lessons: sr leadership MUST be on board (agreed on mandates & targets, deliver 80% of need. Couldn’t agree more.

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Oracle to Sun Customers: It Gets Better From Here

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I love what Oracle has to say – and the attitude with which it says it — to Sun Microsystems customers in a recent print ad.  This was placed on the front page of the European edition of The Wall Street Journal.

sun_customers_lg

The only oddity is that there is no mention of MySQL’s future, which has been an outstanding concern since the Sun acquisition.

Nonetheless, this is quite the brazen ad for an enterprise software (and now hardware) company.