Friday, October 31, 2008

Enterprise Software Purchasing

This new post from ZDNet proves enlightening on the subject of enterprise software purchase. The author of the post, Michael Krigsman, quotes Barry Wilderman, VP of Business Strategy at Lawson Software, regarding points to cover with software vendors. Krigsman summary of these points, that you may also find useful, are:

  1. Software license fees: A negotiated fee often involves a certain cost/named user. It is important to understand the relative usage by named user (e.g., the heads-down transaction user, the decision maker/reporting user, the self-service user) and the value that each user will deliver to the company deploying the system. An understanding of value, when the value will be delivered, and a comparison to total cost of ownership are all critical to making the right decision about software fees.
  2. Implementation fees: Expect to pay one to four times the cost of the software in implementation fees. And, even if you buy third-party professional services, a best practice is to have the ERP vendor as a subcontractor (at least 20 percent).
  3. Maintenance fees: This represents a significant charge – often about 20 percent of your original software charges. Make sure you are getting the kind of support you need.
  4. Upgrades: How often do these upgrades occur? (A good rule of thumb is every three to four years.) What has been the history of upgrades over the past five to 10 years? Relative to the cost of going live with the software, how expensive were the upgrades to implement?
  5. New modules: If the software vendor invents something, is it part of your maintenance agreement, or is it a new product for sale? Ask the vendor to show you all the new modules implemented in the past five years.
  6. Post go-live sales, services and care: What are your expectations after you go-live? Do you want the vendor to have a keen understanding of your original pains and goals? Will they know enough about you to really help?

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Shaking Things up With Alfresco Enterprise 3.0

Paula Rooney writes in this post on ZDNet that Alfresco will be releasing a major upgrade to its current enterprise content management system, Alfresco Enterprise 3.0, which will have many new collaboration features and services.

It is due to be released on Halloween, and it will feature Share which is a collaborative content solution that makes capturing, sharing, and accessing information across virtual teams much simpler. It will also offer support for CMIS specification as well as the Microsoft Office Sharepoint Protocol. It will be interesting to see how the enterprise will respond to Alfresco’s latest offering

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

LinkedIn Launches “Enterprise” Applications

Larry Dignan posted today on ZDNet that LinkedIn has recently unveiled its application platform where it allows developers to offer business-oriented software. But unlike Facebook that provides many time-wasting apps and games, LinkedIn will provide a bigger focus on business essentials.

LinkedIn will be handpicking the applications that will be available on the platform. For now, some of the developers include Amazon,, Google, Huddle, Six Apart, SlideShare, Tripit and WordPress. Although a lot of these applications are not completely focused on the enterprise, it’s off to a better start. I’m interested to see what the next couple of months will hold in store for apps on LinkedIn.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Small Business Owners and Social Media

This afternoon I came across this post on ZDNet which discusses the findings of a recent survey conducted by online payroll service SurePayroll. According to this survey, 55 percent of 120 small businesses surveyed believe that online social networking like LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter are extremely beneficial to their business. One of out 5 businesses surveyed even mentioned that they have gained at least one new customer because of social media. Interesting stats…

Even smaller companies are beginning to discover that social media is not just only for personal use; it is a must for business success. The survey provides information on small businesses reaching a customer base through online communities, but where are the stats for benefits for small businesses on using social media internally? Does anyone have any input on the usage of enterprise 2.0 in small companies?

Monday, October 27, 2008

SOA Predictions for the New Year

Every year David Linthicum at InfoWorld makes his SOA predictions for the upcoming year (which he claims to be 90% right in the past few years). As detailed in this post on InfoWorld, here are his predictions in SOA for 2009. Do you agree?

1. The interest in cloud computing will drive many enterprises toward SOA.
2. The explosion in PaaS (platform-as-a-service) will leave many enterprise architects and CIOs scratching their heads.
3. The economy will recover, but most enterprises out there will focus on cost reduction.
4. There will be a larger focus on inter-domain SOA technology, or highly scalable and secure middleware technology that will provide scalable service and information access between the instances of SOAs within the enterprise, and
5. Jig will be up for poor SOA governance solutions out there.
6. Most failed SOA projects will be traced to unqualified SOA architects.
7. SOA the buzzword will become a bit less relevant and will begin to morph with concepts, such as enterprise architecture and cloud computing.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

FriendFeed testing enterprise friendly function

At ZD Net, they talk about the new beta project FriendFeed started using this week. This new feature will allow new notes to be updated in real time.

The real-time feature is continually connected to FriendFeed’s servers, so that when a person posts an update in main stream or room it updates automatically in, well, real-time. It’s a bit like a chat room except it still aggregates some interesting content such as likes and comments, but it does omit the much-loved threaded conversations.

Read more here. Do you think you could use this in your quest to adapt Enterprise 2.0?

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Apple's move into the enterprise scene

Don Reisinger recently wrote an article foreshadowing the possible Apple-takeover in the enterprise computing world. They've been hesitant to enter the market for years, but as he pointed out, a recent report was released about the Enterprise Desktop Alliance. So when will Apple dive into the enterprise world? What do you think?

Reisinger believes that it'll be within the next five years. He believes that the current generation of college students who are Apple "brainwashed" with their iPods, iMacs, iTunes, and iPhones will invade the enterprise thinking that desktops are inadequate and Apples are the only technology that's worth using.

Do you believe this? When do you think Mac will enter the enterprise?

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Corporate Social Networks according to Robert Scoble

Ed Cone recently had a chance to sit down with Robert Scoble and discuss where web 2.0 and enterprise 2.0 have taken us today. This is just one of his responses about corporate social networks, but check out the rest here.

"A lot of enterprises are looking outward, at the public. They're customers are moving to Twitter, and they're trying to learn how to do it. Some are doing it effectively. Zappos has 400 employees on Twitter. H&R Block talked to me on Twitter while I was doing my taxes -- I twittered that I was at HYR Block getting my taxes done, someone at the company was watching for their name on Twitter, and they wrote back to say, let me know if you need anything. this was while I was in the office. It was more brand building than tax advice. It was the fact that somebody was listening. She was linking to anyone talking about taxes, starting a conversation with them about taxes and H&R Block."

"In terms of internal use of social nets, I just spoke to Cisco's employees. They asked how to use social media, office 2.0, collaborative stuff. I said, My first thought every morning would be, how do I get rid of the email? The crowd cheered. I thought, there's pain here. I touched a nerve."

"I left behind a gig and a half of email when I left NEC - I couldn't look at it, and they erased it. My former coworkers couldn't use that knowledge. A collaborative toolset helps to get information out of email into the shared social space. Sharepoint and others are working on that problem. You see productivity benefits. Now people can see where you are going, make suggestions on who to call there.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Egnyte a new way to embrace Enterprise 2.0

In a recent article published by ZD Net, they take a look at a new software that can help small companies adapt to enterprise 2.0. Some of the benefits it offers are: on demand infrastructure with increased mobility, web 2.0 sharing, virtual collaborative teams and on demand storage.

ZD Net said this about the software:
Egnyte is primarily an on-demand file server. In an ordinary on-site enterprise you’ll get sharing issues, backup issues and disaster recovery, security flaws which need patching, remote access violations and all other kinds of crap a workplace doesn’t need.

For more information, read the article here.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Web Seminar: "Core Concepts to Portal Strategy"

We invite you to watch the archived version of our webinar "Core Concepts to Portal Strategy". This webinar discussed portal strategy whether you are deploying a portal for the first time, will be upgrading to a new software version, or deciding if an enterprise portal is right for your organization. The main takeaways from the presentation are:

• Understand the primary topics involved in developing an effective portal strategy
• Information architecture as it relates to document libraries and site navigation
• Relationships between portal security, content management, and governance
• Developing consistent page layouts and iterative development
• Training and communication best practices

Watch the web seminar here:

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Near-Time Updates for Enterprise 2.0

In a recent article from MarketWatch, they announced that Near-Time has made updates to their enterprise 2.0 hosted collaboration service. The focus of the update was to combine social networking, content, and collaboration technologies. As CEO of Near-Time, Reid Conrad, explained:

"With this update, we bring the most engaging aspects of social networking and knowledge discovery into what was already the most robust on-demand collaboration solution in the marketplace. Near-Time brings social context and content together in the most agile Enterprise 2.0 platform in the market.We enable customers to transcend silos of information and achieve seamless interaction, knowledge sharing and social discovery."

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Enterprise 2.0 Tools Will See Price Drop

Forrester analyst G. Oliver Young, in a new study, has indicated that the cost for business web 2.0 tools will decrease over the next five years. Price drops will be seen across the board for "blogs, wikis, social networking tools, and enterprise RSS." The sole exception is mashups, which Young predicts the cost will double. As quoted from the study, and reported in this article, the reason for the trend is that:

"Traditional software vendors have moved aggressively in the direction of web 2.0 software; however, few are offering standalone products. Instead, most, like Microsoft and SAP, are rolling web 2.0 features into existing software packages; in many cases, they are providing the technology at no extra cost...many will make use of them and offset another purchase in the process."

Friday, October 10, 2008

Enterprise Search Merged with Business Intelligence

Enterprise search and business intelligence are two enterprise concepts that people still do not quite fully understand. I came across this podcast on eWeek in which Mike Vizard talks to Sid Probstein, the CTO of Attivio, about the importance of harnessing search technology within the context of a business intelligence application. Take about 15 minutes to listen to this informative podcast.

Listen here.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Enterprise 2.0: Is it about Groups or the Individual?

Michael Idinopulos’s latest post on Transparent Office compares two different responses about Enterprise 2.0 adoption.

One of the statements being compared is from Stowe Boyd’s post:

I disagree with the notion that Enterprise 2.0 is about groups not the individual. On the contrary: Web 2.0 is based on the person and personal relationships in networks, not group membership.

The 2nd post compared is from Michael Idinopulos himself:

Enterprise 2.0 posits the group as the primary unit of activity; email posits the individual

What’s your take on it? Is enterprise 2.0 about the group or the individual?

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

BlackBerry Goes Touch-Screen

Larry Dignan gives us several reasons why the release of RIM’s Storm, a rival to the iPhone 3G, is so important to the market in his latest post on ZDNet. Here they are:

Why is the Storm important?

  • RIM can use the Storm to rally telecom carrier support–especially among those left out of the iPhone launch.
  • The Storm will define how RIM is viewed among consumers.
  • The Storm may be able to thwart any enterprise momentum gained by Apple’s iPhone.
Will the release of the touch-screen Storm stop executives from asking IT for iPhone support on the corporate network? Only time will tell what effect the RIM Storm will have on enterprise practices.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

IBM is Bringing Business Networking Closer with Bluehouse

This post on ComputerWorld discusses how IBM has released Bluehouse, which merges social networking features with business collaboration tools. At first, Bluehouse will be free during the initial beta period, after testing has ends the SaaS product will be subject to subscription pricing, which has not been determined yet.

Like Facebook, Bluehouse will combined many collaboration tools such as instant messaging, document sharing, profiles, and tools to build business networking opportunities. One thing that will be different from Facebook is that Bluehouse has management features to help ensure privacy, and this is a feature that businesses have been looking for. Sean Poulley, vice president of IBM's online collaboration services seems to think that the current economic situation will encourage consumers to adopt SaaS with its subscription model. What are your thoughts?

Monday, October 6, 2008

Windows Vista: An Enterprise Failure

Windows Vista has never been viewed as reliable by the public eye and also by enterprise professionals. So why exactly did Windows Vista fail? I came across this post on ZDNet that lists the top five reasons why Windows Vista was not an enterprise success. Here are the reasons:

5. Apple successfully demonized Vista
Over the past 2 years, Apple has changed the perception of Windows Vista to be buggy, boring, and difficult to use. Only recently has Microsoft responded with the “I’m a PC” campaign to empower the brand image.

4. Windows XP is too entrenched
By the year 2008, over 1.1 billion PCs worldwide and over 70% were running Windows XP. Windows XP was the most widely used operating system in the world and this would prove to be a lot of work for IT departments to consolidate.

3. Vista is too slow
Windows Vista has over 50 million lines of code, and so this software bloat would slow down computers running on Vista even if PCs had the latest and fastest hardware.

2. There wasn’t supposed to be a Vista
After the release of Windows 95 and 98, Microsoft was looking to step away from its traditional business model and start offering subscription services to consumers. It quickly abandoned this business model.

1. It broke too much stuff
Windows XP caught on quick because it was compatible with nearly everything. When Vista was released, a lot of existing hardware and software were not compatible with it.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Enterprise 2.0 could be the answers in today's stumbling economy

Recently at ZD Net, they emphasized the importance of Enterprise 2.0 tools in the volatile economy we are experiencing today. These tools an extra edge for companies that are capital-conscious.

This next generation of companywide synergy between agile systems will be key to a coherent management structure that considers enterprise 2.0 applications to be at the heart of global business efficiency rather than just multiple support tool adjuncts on the periphery.

Do you think your company will begin to depend on these tools? Which tools in specific?

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Coldwell Banker embraces IPhone

Yesterday, we talked about how Nokia is turning their focus to syncing Smartphones to collaborate. In this recent article at Read Write Web, they talk about another company who has embraced the Smartphone revolution. Coldwell Banker, despite the woes on the housing market, have launched a new online version of their website for the iPhone. In this new platform, users are able to search for both homes and home values in real time. Upon reaching the Coldwell Banker website on the iPhone, users are automatically directed to the designed iPhone site.

Even in this time of economic hardship for the housing industry, this company is finding a way to cater to their customers and embrace the new type of enterprise that is rising.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

How to Improve Enterprise Technology Projects

In this complimentary webinar, Jack Bergstrand, CEO, Brand Velocity, and Terry Assink, Group President, Brand Velocity, share Best Practices to Ensure your Enterprise Technology Projects are a Success. This free webinar will take place on Thursday October 2nd from 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM EDT. Mention priority code G1M2014W2BL when registering. Here’s the description for the webinar:

Facing such historical economic hard times, senior management is looking to the IT departments and business to work together to produce more measurable and innovative ways to streamline and enhance processes that will make a positive impact to the bottom line. And where IT can not contribute to a positive business outcome, the pressure is mounting to cut costs.

Unfortunately, most organizations consider their Enterprise project launches unsuccessful and non-technical business issues cause 70 percent of large enterprise technology projects to fall behind or fail completely. It is critical to rapidly identify and overcome these issues.

Executives and board members need a faster path to enterprise technology project success. Enterprise projects can be improved and accelerated using a different approach.

Jack Bergstrand and Terry Assink will share their expertise to help you and your team gain more insight to the following:

  • What is the failure rate of large Enterprise technology projects?
  • Who are the major players involved in a company’s technology project?
  • Why do large technology projects go wrong so often?
  • How can board members and CEOs recognize early warning signs that a large technology project will go or is going off track?
  • What should the CEO and Board do to steer the technology project back on course?
Register for the free webinar here.