Five data center budget planning considerations for 2015

As companies shape their IT budgets for the year ahead, there may be some uncertainty about the best way to proceed in the current business climate. According to the 2012 Gartner Executive Programs CIO Survey, IT budgets had been essentially flat over the 10 years prior to 2013 and they only grew roughly 3.8 percent in 2013. Research firm Gartner is reporting that global IT spending will rise for the rest of 2014 and into 2015 as the rest of the economy expands and IT vendors introduce the latest products customers care about.

Given continued pressure to create value

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A Memorial Day Salute Our Fallen Warriors and Their Families

A Memorial Day post of a piece a group of us did in 2008. Featuring Marty Keil, Bill Barrett, Lonnie Wilson, and myself. We all salute our fallen warriors and the families they left behind…both gave up much in order for us to continue the freedom we all enjoy.

Without further adieu, The Star Spangled Banner…our way.

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Don’t Compromise When It Comes To Your Data Center Space

Security is coming up more recently in the light of high profile data thefts and new threats to your private information. According to many experts cloud computing increases data center risk, as both cloud and virtualization create new vulnerabilities.

Risks comes in both cyber and physical forms, with attacks increasing as more business is conducted via networks, data centers and end-user devices. So the question that comes up in the board room, “how little can we get away with…” needs to really be, “what can we do to ensure the flexibility to grow and expand yet keep our vital

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CIOs: Plan Mega-Datacenter Migration Now

“Wikibon believes that successful enterprises will be aggressive and early adopters of a mega-data center strategy.” David Floyer, Co-Founder and CTO, Wikibon

David Floyer only writes about major shifts every couple of years but as most will tell you when he does, successful CIOs listen. His latest report, available online here essentially boils down the next big shift to “start planning and moving to a mega-data center now”.

This is not just a hype thing, it’s a fact.

His report presents a compelling argument for all medium-to-large organizations to move their entire data center infrastructures to IaaS

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What It Costs You When Your Data Center Goes Down

Believe it or not the cost to a business of the average data center outage is going up. At $7,900 a minute, up 41% from 2010’s cost of $5,600 per minute, there are very few industries that can afford to not pay attention to data center uptime. For many of you the use of technology dependent on 24/7/365 operation of either a cloud or a data center is a matter of business survival. If your tech is down, you and your business are losing money.

For many in IT the rising cost of downtime is a known concern. Their

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Flexibility & Savings? Get Carrier Neutral with Ethernet!

There was a time when taking space in a data center owned by someone else meant limitations on who you used for access and often high costs mixed with low performance. Thankfully the new preferred model is now available in many large markets and has come or is coming to many second tier markets. It’s called “carrier-neutrality” and sums up as a data center facility that has multiple access carriers available and no investment in your choice of who you use.

This means the facility itself doesn’t offer these services, and only facilitates your ability to connect to them

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Data Centers – The Big Get Bigger

“Data center design, construction, technology and administration is sufficiently expensive, specialized and scalable, both horizontally to bigger facilities and vertically to multiple tenants, that data center operations are increasingly a game for specialists.” Kurt Marko, IT Analyst, Information Week

When writing the above for Network Computing, Kurt was referring to the results from last year’s Uptime Institutes’ 2013 Annual Data Center Industry Survey which clearly placed wholesale data centers and their growth as a key finding. In past updates I have provided, we have noted how clouds benefit from the increasing availability of wholesale data center

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Obamacare sparks increased interest in business intelligence for healthcare

Melbourne Health’s recent deployment of a new data warehouse and the adoption of a business intelligence (BI) platform, to gain greater insight into how well it is serving patients while still controlling costs, is a look at what Obamacare may drive in U.S. based healthcare systems.

“Big Data” to healthcare systems really means getting control over both structured and unstructured data across multiple systems. In building a single data warehouse system, they have at least corralled it into a place where BI platforms can access it to perform analysis that can lead to pro-active solutions for healthcare problems.

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Yet another music Friday

Departing from my normal tech oriented news and blog posts, I offer up a classic Kompoz instrumental jam fest. Featuring the talents of Bill “Rhythm King” Howe, Mark “Spin Meister” Bowen, Jeff “Let it Rip” Chalpan, Neil “Flying Fingers” Schmidt, Jay “King o’ the Keys” Schankman, and the one and only Neil “Mr. Selmer” Montgomery on Sax.

Jeff leads off the solo  fest followed by me on baritone guitar, than Jay chews up the keys on his B3, Neil switches up the feel a bit and gives us good sax, Chalpan and Schmidt

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New WebSphere Lightweight IDE for WebSphere Developers

Genuitec’s MyEclipse Blue want’s to release you from being tied to RAD “expand your development horizons.” A leader in the Eclipse Foundation open source community Genuitec provides both platforms and development tools for developers and companies building applications using the Eclipse platform.

Founded by industry leaders Borland, IBM, MERANT, QNX Software Systems, Rational Software, Red Hat, SuSE, TogetherSoft and Webgain formed the initial Board of Stewards in November 2001. By the end of 2003, this initial consortium had grown to over 80 members. Today the Eclipse Foundation manages the IT infrastructure for the Eclipse open source community,

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Business Oriented Mobile App Development On The Rise

Many seasoned mobile application developers are realizing that the consumer app market is getting very saturated. They also understand that the cloud and its many permutations are creating new opportunities for more business-oriented mobile application development.

Virtually every business cloud, from customer relationship management to business collaboration to field operations control, are finding motivating user productivity and adoption means providing mobility on devices users are familiar with. Soon we will all be less interested in apps that simulate us drinking a beer and more interested in accessing useful information and data when, where and on whatever device we need

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Meet “Oslo”

During the SharePoint conference early March, Microsoft exploded with integration after integration based on multiple acquisitions and technology platforms they are taking to the “cloud”. One of two social networking technologies the big M announced was its new search and discovery app, code-named “Oslo”. Both of the technologies are based on Microsoft’s “Office Graph” engine, which is a new information fabric that works across communications silos for Office 365 subscribers.

How’s Oslo work? According to Microsoft “Oslo delivers insights to end users about their communications, according to Gregerson. Oslo is based on Microsoft’s FAST enterprise search technology

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CRM & Mobile CRM Trends

In her blog “Forrester’s Top Trends For CRM In 2014”, Kate Leggett points to 14 trends that are going to drive customer relationship management (CRM) this year. A couple of the trends caught this writer’s eye and point to how critical mobile and social are in the customer life cycle.

Trend number 4 on her list states “The Mobile Mind Shift Will Force CRM To Evolve Quickly.” which clearly suggests that developments in the deployment of mobile CRM will happen quickly and 2014 is going to be a big year for these systems. Like business intelligence data, CRM

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Wearable Tech App Development – The Next Mobile Frontier

This year’s Mobile World Congress included a lot of buzz about “wearable tech”. From smart glasses to smart watches many tech companies and developers are eyeing these new devices as opportunities for new business.

Take for example Samsung’s “Gear 2” smart watch. Samsung was at the conference with one primary mission…get developers working on Gear 2 apps. knowing full well that wearable tech is only as good as what it can do for the user and that means apps.

App development is so important to Samsung that in his keynote address for the company’s “developer day”, Samsung’s

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Mobile Internet – The Number One Disruptive Technology

If you read the McKinsy Global Institutes report, “Disruptive technologies: Advances that will transform life, business, and the global economy”, you will note that of all the disruptive technologies the very most disruptive will be the growth of the “mobile Internet”. In truth they are simply saying that the Internet we have always known now has fully absorbed mobility and the PC is no longer the preferred device for accessing it.

It is important to note that McKinsey looks at disruption in technology with the respect that it should stating, “Technology is moving so quickly, and in

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Responsive Design Impact On Mobile Apps

It was interesting to note in mobile application developer Lauruss Infotech’s recent press release that the subject was their launch of a “responsive” website on which they would be selling their mobile apps.

The reason this caught our attention was that a responsive website is designed to function on any device, whether it is a traditional PC, a tablet or a smartphone. Soon they may have to accommodate display on some wearable devices but that is a bit further down the road.

But for some time now there has been debate about whether you should be developing

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The World Wide Web Turns 25

Probably the most profound creation since the invention of the telephone and the industrial revolution, the world wide web is now 25 years old. It is important to note that there is a difference between what we usually simply refer to as the “Internet” and the world wide web.

The interconnection of networks that is the true Internet, is much older and, although it was in place and connecting a number of the early mainframe computers throughout the world, all containing some form of data. What didn’t exist until just 25 years ago was an easy way of sharing

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WordPress & Ping Backs – Now A Security Threat

It is safe to say that WordPress was a revolution of sorts in the world of content management systems (CMS). Certainly not the first, many of us were developing CMS platforms as early as the late 90s in one-off web development projects built from the ground up. Many of the code snippets themselves ended up on open-source sites all over the web thus laying the groundwork for the first truly open-source blog CMS, WordPress.

According to WordPress’ website counter there are 76,793,570 websites running their CMS. As of March 2014 60% of all websites running a content

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Microsoft Rolls Out Office Graph at SharePoint 2014 Conference

With the 2014 SharePoint Conference in Vegas wrapped up it left in its trail many new features, capabilities and updates that the SharePoint customer base must now consider or incorporate. Many are long awaited expansions of the integration of SharePoint and Office 365, many are further moves towards more robust cloud-based services.

One example is the availability of Service Pack 1 for SharePoint Server 2013 for download. SP1 is reported to have several improvements to the web-based content management and collaboration tools valued by their enterprise customer base. One feature is aimed at making it easier for

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Microsoft Dynamics CRM – Still In The Race

It’s safe to say that Microsoft has a long track record for using strategic acquisitions to bring together the ammunition it needs to go after a competitor. And their target this time is an old foe, Salesforce.

Three new Microsoft properties are lined up to take on SF’s Service Cloud, ExactTarget and Radian 6. Parature and MarketingPilot were acquired by Microsoft over the last two years, with the purchase NetBreeze announced in January 2014. Each aims at providing alternatives to SF services with MarketingPilot serving as the marketing automation, resource management, campaign management, as well as, budgeting, media

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Are “Big Data” and “Business Intelligence” Becoming Synonymous

Or is Big Data simply one of two “camps” that exist within the business intelligence community as Eric Lebson and Ian Christopher McCaleb point out in their Holmes Report piece “Speaking Intelligently On Business Intelligence”. They rightly look at more traditional business intelligence being modeled more after law enforcement or journalistic intelligence gathering and show that digging in to big data is a much different type of effort.

They see some value in what they describe as input that is more based on human intelligence where it is ultimately data gather from human interaction. This is juxtaposed with the

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ShoreTel + Salesforce = 360-Degree View

We wrote about this union not too long ago but ShoreTel’s recent unleashing of its sizable partner channels has increased the importance of this new addition to the already robust SF platform.

As much as we would like to think that “the phone”, that old standard method for engaging prospects and customers, has become extinct it just isn’t true. Although the days of dinner interruptions by siding sales folks may be gone the B2B universe is certainly still talking to the audiences they are selling to.

Plus now it’s mobile and VoIP, two platforms that have vast capabilities for

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Azure Rolls Out Pricing for “License-Included” Oracle Apps

Announce last year the deal between the two rivals, Microsoft and Oracle, allows Oracle apps to be certified to run on Windows Server, Hyper-V and Windows Azure is being cemented by the software becoming available on Windows Azure as of March 12, 2014. Currently Microsoft hasn’t been charging for Oracle software running on Azure as it was not the final code. However as of March Microsoft will start to charge for the “license-included” Oracle software.

The pricing page states, “Beginning March 12, we will charge for the Oracle software running in license-included Oracle VMs in addition to

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Time Again…For Something Completely Different

Another “something different” musical post. The last one got such good reception, probably because it wasn’t boring tech stuff, I thought I do it more often.

From my SpinDizzy & the Fusion Clowns CD “Do Electric Clowns Dream”.

Featuring the talents of:

Bass, Original Concept – Mark (SpinDizzy) Bowen

Saxes, Arrangement – Marty (Sven-Martin) Keil

Piano – Rich (Mr. Jazz) Cassenti

Drums – Ludovic (Big Foot) Le Squer

Guitar – Greg (Romby the Sidekick Clown) Rombal
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BI – Down with Dashboards, Up With Instant Info

According to the “Magic Quadrant Report” for 2014 the market for business intelligence (BI) and analytics platforms is predicted to grow at a rate of 7% through 2017. Some analysts have predicted even faster growth in cloud based BI solutions. According to analyst Tom Pringle the current marketing is worth $85 billion and by 2017 the cloud BI market will be worth at least $4 billion.

Part of the explosion is driven by companies now faced with a need to rapidly access data in a fashion that allows more direct use by decision makers. Many are integrating systems to

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Now For Something Completely Different

It’s Friday and not a day to dwell on technical subjects for a change. So instead today’s post is musical. The result of my participation in an online community of recording musicians,, is this little ditty reminiscent of the funk bands back when I was young and foolish. I’m on bass in this one (along with another fine bassist Alex also in the mix), Marty on horns, Ken on guitar, and Kev on drums. Please enjoy a Friday Funk Tune entitled “Milk Carton”.
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Red Hat Tackles Business Intelligence and “Big Data”

Author’s Note: This is an article written for a client in the IT and Application Development industry.

Red Hat’s big news on February 11th was the launch of JBoss Data Virtualization 6, making the feature rich platform for data integration and unified access across disparate data sources available to end-users who wish to turn so called “big data” into actionable information.

According to Red Hat’s release, “Data is spread throughout organizations in various big data and traditional stores such as Apache Hadoop, relational databases and NoSQL stores such as MongoDB. Integrating and transforming data from these

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ShoreTel & SearchBlox Jump on the Salesforce Bandwagon

Two new additions are joining companies that are integrating their services with the Salesforce cloud in order to support customer service as well as sales. Announced on February 18th this year both ShoreTel and SearchBlox bring some powerful new tools for customer facing support folks.

SearchBlox is an enterprise search solution that allows users to search not only Salesforce but multiple other data sources without ever leaving the SF platform. For users in the past, searching beyond Salesforce meant going back and forth between multiple applications and systems to find answers to customer inquiries. Now a single search

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Zeus Malware – Even Salesforce Has Been Targeted

Zeus Malware and its many variants has been around for quite some time. One of its many children was used in recent news making attacks on retail giants Target and Michaels. And although it was primarily designed to specifically steal banking credentials new variants were recently caught poking around

According to Network World, a Zeus variant is targeting individual Windows-based computers in order to break into SF as the user victim logs in, “then quickly gathered up a large amount of Salesforce business data through a kind of web-crawling action.”

“It grabbed 2 gigabytes of data in

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“Hybrid-Sourcing” – Maximizing Your IT ROI

There is a trend towards bringing some IT jobs that were once being outsourced back in-house and the number of H-1b visa bearing engineers and developers is slowing down. Part of this is because the kind of innovative talent needed for many companies to move their tech forward seems to be here, not in countries who have focused education on more mundane pursuits.

For many companies it is a matter of using your best IT and development personnel to do the most important work, and leaving more day-to-day maintenance and operational support to lower cost outsourced personnel.

“Hybrid-SourcingTM” requires

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SharePoint Conference 2014 in Vegas – Clinton to Keynote

Author’s Note: This article was written for a client last week. According to GeekWire’s coverage of the speech we are pleased to report the following had it nailed as far as his focus, with the exception of comments relating to the recent issues surrounding the Ukraine and Russia.

Clearly the longest running and common intranet collaboration platform, SharePoint, is well known for its many conferences throughout the world but this year’s SharePoint Conference in Vegas will feature a former U.S. President.

About a month ago Microsoft announced that former president Bill Clinton would give the kick off

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Power BI for Office 365 Launched – Is This Excel BI?

Microsoft is never shy about its goals and the launch of Power BI for Office 365 is not any different. Microsoft’s goal…bring business intelligence tools to a billion screens.

Once the domain of analysts and data scientists, increasingly companies are looking to have critical business data presented directly to decision making end-users in a visual format that doesn’t require a degree in rocket science to understand and act upon.

To Microsoft that means using familiar tools with new features that can more directly access and use business intelligence data. Their solutions, Excel and Office 365. Virginia Backaitis, writing

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Oracle HCM’s Big Kick Off

Both Oracle’s President Mark Hurd and high profile CEO Larry Ellison showed up for the company’s first HCM World conference this February, underscoring the importance of this space to Oracle’s future. Hurd even joked about how rare this was for the two to appear together at the same event saying, “How many times have Larry Ellison and Mark Hurd presented at the same event other than Oracle OpenWorld? Zero. And we’re doing that here.”

Ellison’s keynote was focused on Oracle HCM’s “socially enabled” application suite, which Oracle now claims is its fastest growing cloud offering. The HCM

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Oracle No Longer Views IBM and SAP As Their Rivals

Oracle CEO Larry Ellison, often outspoken and often given to move aggressively when the spirit moves him, is redefining who Oracle is actually in competition with. It used to be primarily IBM and SAP but as the aggregate collection of infrastructure elements and SaaS has emerged to create a whole new universe known as “the cloud” he sees it differently now.

In a question and answer period following a talk at Oracle’s CloudWorld conference Ellison stated “Our competitors are this whole new generation of cloud companies. We’re focused on the infrastructure companies like Amazon and the SaaS

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Outsourcing Technology Development Fears – Bah Humbug

According to an article in Forbes recently Ellie Cachette thinks the fear of outsourcing technology development is holding back entrepreneurs. In the article she focuses on female Chief Executives like herself, but thinks fears about outsourcing technology development is wrong for all tech innovators.

She points to investors as being the first that seem to automatically dismiss the concept of outsourcing technology development. She writes in Forbes, that so often “outsourcing technology” is seen as a turnoff for investors. When a founder is trying to raise money, especially on the West Coast, the first question is often,

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Salesforce Rolling Out Upgrade – Dell Pitching In

Now that the Salesforce1 has lifted off and some of the excitement is beginning to fall into more practical considerations, is set to roll out a big upgrade to their industry leading CRM product. The Spring ’14 edition of the flagship CRM has been in preview with a general release set any day now.

According to PC World’s Chris Kanaracus this reflects how most of SF’s customers are still focused very much on the company’s core customer relationship management (CRM) application. Among the new features is a new mobile experience that has users being shifted to

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Focusing On SharePoint Productivity

According to SharePoint expert Christian Buckley whether you are considering updating your SharePoint platform or implementing one for the first time, your top consideration should be productivity. As he puts it in his piece for CMS Wire, “A common question from executives to the teams and stakeholders who own and manage SharePoint is; how productive are our end users in SharePoint?”

SharePoint is a collaborative platform, perhaps one of the very first, and it is perhaps the most mature. Nonetheless its primary function is to facilitate the work of a team and, as with most things, it

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Top Business Intelligence Trends for 2014

One could argue that if there is a place for the much ballyhooed “Big Data” it lies within at least the systems purview of Business Intelligence (BI). A tedious process for years involving statistical analysis and weeding through tons of bad data to get to even a small grain of truth. IBM, Microsoft, Oracle, SAP and SAS still lead the pack of companies with systems deployed to maintain and weed this crop of data. For years these deployments were primarily in only larger companies.

However there is “gold in them there hills” for all and increasingly BI is starting

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SAP Focusing on Its Cloud Accent

Still carefully balancing its existing product set, SAP is now pushing a bit harder to build its cloud business. Addressing primarily larger enterprise level organizations, the European software giant is increasingly building partnerships to deploy private cloud based versions of its software.

Enterprise buyers seem to be signalling a strong preference for private cloud deployments over public, particularly for key or sensitive workloads. Some are mixing in public aspects to their cloud only for less “mission-critical” applications like web apps, websites, collaboration, and content management platforms. Still they like clouds for the reduction in total cost of ownership

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Mobile Healthcare Application Development “Goes on the Road”

The adoption of mobile devices in healthcare has already started and early on was driven primarily by the continuing evolution of the “electronic health record”. With HIPAA and a number of other laws providing a framework and timetable for their adoption by physicians and hospitals alike, many have been slow to adopt with time already run out for some.

Particularly pads are increasingly being used by physicians and staff with record systems that allow patient data to be entered directly into the database and finally eliminating the “scribble” long associated with handwritten notes. This also gives medical staff quick

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The Internet of Things Aids Proximity Marketing to Grow

Proximity marketing as a concept is not new. It is often described first in terms of the type of device it can address in the hands of a potential customer. Essentially the concept has always been sort of a “broadcasting system” that addresses mobile devices.

Wikipedia speaks of it as the “location” of a device like a particular type of cell, a Bluetooth or WiFi device, Internet devices with GPS, or a near field communication (NFC) device that reads radio-frequency identification devices (RFID) placed on shelf tags. These are used to launch location specific content from

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SQL Server 2012 New License Terms – 2014 Brings New Features

First the bad news. Recently Microsoft changed its licensing model for the Enterprise edition of SQL Server 2012 to a “per-core” basis. They have grandfathered users who deployed under the old model, which was per-processor licensing, but new customers will will have to subscribe the new way.

According to licensing expert Paul DeGroot there are a few things you will need to look out for in the new model. Pricing has remained the same with the SQL Server 2012 editions, for the most part. However, he adds that there are some “traps” that could significantly increase costs for

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Microsoft Dynamics CRM Also On The Move

If you listen to Forbes contributor Gene Marks, Microsoft is about to put Zendesk, Autotask and Freshdesk out of business. As he puts it, “…I’m probably exaggerating when I Say that Microsoft is going to put them out of business. But at the very least, they’re about to face a huge competitive challenge.”

As Mr. Marks company is a Microsoft partner and sells the Dynamics CRM product he says with all deference to the other providers of customer service applications that “he couldn’t be happier”. The reason he is so happy is because Microsoft just spent $100

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Drupal – Born In Politics Now A Real Contender

Although originally written as a message board Drupal is easily one of the first open source content management systems. Like many software development projects, the original aspiration was to be a commercial boxed product. However creator Dries Buytaert allowed it to become an “open source” project in 2001 and it was then it began to find an audience. Two years later it got a boost when Howard Dean, then a U.S. Presidential hopeful, and his campaign team employed Drupal to create “DeanSpace” one of the first integral components of a national political campaign.

Although his bid was

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The Fall of Ad Agencies and the Rise of the HMP

From Websters:

ho-lis-tic: adjective

Characterized by comprehension of the parts of something as intimately interconnected and explicable only by reference to the whole.

Let’s get something straight from the start, I have both owned and worked with ad agencies throughout my career and there are still many that have some the best “idea factories” money can buy. The problem is that the advertising agency model itself or the use of “ad” as the basic foundation for marketing is now only one of a hundred components in a well structured marketing effort.

For marketing in the here and

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2014 is HTML5’s Year

It is still hard to make a sweeping prediction or even a sweeping commendation about whether it is better to have a natively developed mobile application or one that is a browser-based cross-platform. The later is facilitated by the use of HTML5 and CSS3’s inherent ability to scale to any device. The main reason that HTML5 is growing again as the best long term solution for mobile is that the concept of a “mobile web” is going away. Replacing the “mobi” web concept is being driven by the expectation of end users that whatever you deploy, whether it is

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Mobile Strategy Priorities For SMBs in 2014

Small and mid-sized businesses are faced with increasing competition from large enterprises who are reaching their customers using mobile marketing, proximity GEO driven offers, and sometimes taking the business away when the customer is in their store via their smart phone.

In a report conducted by Nielsen for Google entitled “Mobile Path to Purchase – Five Key Findings” Nielsen found that 55% of consumers using mobile to research a purchase, wanted to buy it within the hour and 83% wanted to make that purchase with in a day.

The report also noted that mobile research begins with

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Salesforce 1 – App Heaven Not Social Enterprise

Just a few years ago Salesforce was banking on the “social enterprise” to be the pitch that would drive their growth. Now even they admit that did not resonate with potential customers and that performance, a more comprehensive platform and the ability to develop better custom applications to be the long term key to furthering its mission to dominate the marketing and sales cloud industry.

Their solution was introduced late last year and according to early data, Salesforce 1 is already in an application explosion. Since its introduction Salesforce representatives indicated that there was a 96 percent

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Business Intelligence – A Look Back and A Look Forward

Although there has been growth in the business intelligence market, 2013 is described by BI Scorecard Founder Cindi Howson as not the best, that was in the mid-90s when the BI market was growing at 40% per year. She however goes on to say it was not the worse either, for that was 2008 when it limped along at 2% a year.

It has been a varied year with the giants only growing a little and the “upstarts” doing much better. As she writes in her Information Week commentary Howson points to “A look at vendor revenues and product

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Oracle Goes After Adobe and Salesforce

If you speak with “old school” networking folks they will tell you that Larry Ellison’s interest in “the cloud” is because he has been involved in building it since he built his first database (working for another company) in the 70’s for the CIA. He has been fighting to make sure that Oracle, which was also the name he gave that first database over 40 years ago, leads the data industry…everywhere.

To say that he has Oracle in “a war for the cloud” may well be an understatement. He has fought them before in the early 90’s

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Power BI Gets A Boost With New Data Sourcing and Search Features

Rolled out last July at Microsoft’s Worldwide Partner Conference in Houston, Power BI for Office 365 was met with a great deal of excitement. Released in August Power BI brings together a number of data modeling and visualization capabilities available via Excel.

All of this was aimed at providing users of Microsoft’s cloud-based services with a more robust “self-service” model to augment on-premise BI implementations when using them “off-premise”.

Below is a breakdown of the initial key components that Power BI brings to Office 365:

In November MS provided a significant upgrade to further strengthen Power BI’s self-services

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SIRI’s Rivals May Be In Your Next App

There are a number of predictions about the evolution of mobile applications and what design principles will guide them. One that is getting a lot of attention lately is the addition of voice to individual applications rather than just as a “virtual assistant” (VA). Up until now most of the attention in app use has been on the swipe but as the technology evolves more are considering giving their applications a voice and letting you control them with yours.

Amazon’s support of Apple’s VoiceOver reading and navigation feature for blind and visually challenged users allows e-books to automatically read

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How Should you build your next APP – That Depends

The debate over application design for mobile and whether it should be natively built, HTML5 or a hybrid continues, it seems to have resulted in a “draw”. In a recent survey conducted by Kendo UI of 3,500 developers (you can get a copy here) they, despite their in-mass prediction that HTML5 would be the winner in the same survey just last year, are now indicating that they are doing what makes sense in each individual circumstance, not just going to HTML5.

Last year 94% of the same folks were certain that HTML5 would be taking over and had

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Mobile Push V.S. Pull – Experts Chime In

The first part of a Wired Magazine’s article on the subject push v.s. pull in mobile app design, written by IBM WebSphere Chief Technology Officer Jerry Cuomo and Program Director Robert Vila, compels us to consider carefully their arguments for favoring a push strategy for mobile engagement. In part one the authors focus on why, unlike a traditional desktop web approach that tends to be driven by the user (pull), the nature of mobile makes it more efficient to push essential updates and messaging to the device.

In the case they present they use a financial transaction application

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Mobile Apps in Healthcare – FDA Issues “Final Guidance”

Back in September the FDA issued what it is referring to as “Final Guidance” concerning how medical device regulations will be applied to mobile medical applications. The push has been on to firm up how these will be regulated within the context of existing rules, primarily due to the focus on pro-active healthcare via technology. With the Affordable Care Act still struggling the healthcare industry is wasting no time in looking forward to how they can begin to drive better patient results now that they drive the system, a complete turnaround from when it was the insurance companies that

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Home Buyer’s Using Smart Devices in Their House Hunting

According to a recent study by, more than half of the listings viewed online were viewed on a mobile device. They also found differences in which devices used as they found in markets where property prices are high, IPads and IPhones led in usage where in lower priced markets Androids led.

Realtors have always been a group that embraces technology, particularly tech that makes the job of matching buyers with homes easier. Now in its guidance has begun to sing the praises of mobile. There are a handful of propriety apps already on the market and

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Red Hat & Dell Plan To Take Market Share From Cloud Giants

Red Hat, Inc., arguably the largest corporate contributor to the Linux open-source project and founded in 1993, is responsible for Red Hat Enterprise Linux. Dell, the struggling PC integrator, was once a powerful force in PC sales both for businesses and consumers.

Unlikely bedfellows?

Well not really. Dell has been a supporter of open-source and OpenStack for some time now and the relationship between the two companies is over 14 years old. The new deal however makes Dell the first company in history to OEM Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform (ELOP). The jointly engineered product is to

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To SkyDrive Pro Or Not To SKyDrive Pro…That Is The Question

If you listen to Microsoft, SkyDrive Pro combined with either Sharepoint 2013 or Office 365 is the best thing since the invention of the Internet. For enterprises this may eventually be true but there are concerns from many sides about security.

To make matters worse the clock is ticking on Microsoft to get reasonable penetration into the enterprise cloud storage market. Currently, with a focus that started on the enterprise, holds the major portion of the market now. Dropbox on the other hand is securing hundreds of millions of dollars in financing specifically to break into the enterprise

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Dreamforce 2013 – SalesForce Marches Forward

In addition to Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff’s announcement about “SuperPod”, which we wrote about earlier this month, was the launch of the long awaited upgrade to SF deemed “Salesforce 1”. Although not a completely new product it is a consolidation of several existing Salesforce products including the core CRM platform, social tools Chatter and ExactTarget, the marketing cloud, and multiple built-in third party applications.

One interesting addition is support for further development of tools to garner data from customer devices equipped with embedded sensors. This is the sort of location based data, particularly those that lead to purchases, that

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App Development – IT’s New Marching Orders

You might say it is moving like a freight train through companies large and small. In fact if you are not considering mobile applications as part of either your business operations thinking or your marketing and customer support efforts your organization may well get run over by the companies jumping on that train.

Information Week’s 2013 Mobile Application Development Survey contains a significant amount of data that shows that more and more IT departments are getting marching orders that include the rapid development of both web based and mobile applications. Understanding the breakdown of the respondents helps to put

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Salesforce Superpod – SF and HP Join Forces

The evolution of Salesforce from application to platform has been dramatic with their “cloud” growing in size, capability and available third party support. Now one of their largest clients is joining forces with them a deal that has many pundits scratching their heads.

The new partner is HP, the computer integration giant, and is also Salesforce’s biggest customer. In a deal announced on November 19th the two companies are creating a service aimed at organizations with extensive IT infrastructure and concerns about security and regulatory compliance in an “all cloud” platform.

As part of the deal HP is putting

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Oracle No Longer Supports GlassFish Application Server

As of early November 2013, Oracle will stop offering commercial support for new version of the open-source application server GlassFish. This leaves customers who require their support with only the option of moving to WebLogic Server.

This comes just prior to the release of GlassFish Open Source Edition 4.1 in 2014 but they will not be releasing a commercial version of the product they acquired when Oracle bought Sun Microsystems.

Current customers with GlassFish Serve 2 or 3 will continue to receive support but this will leave a short term gap for some as WebLogic will be the only

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For Life Sciences Business Intelligence is Exploding in Importance

If a recent survey conducted by Ovum, an independent research firm focusing on primarily biotech and pharmaceutical companies, indicates that virtually all intend on increasing dramatically their spending on business intelligence (BI) and analytics tools.

The survey drew upon the input from life science IT executives and when asked about their investment plans for the next 18 months more than half indicated they intend to install all-new performance management systems. Many are also planning on a complete replacement of database query tools and predictive analytics.

Ovem analyst Andrew Brosnan points out that “although there is an increa

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Open – The New Attack on Major Computing Vendors

For many years Facebook has been building its own machines using an approach that ensures they pay only for what their specifications require and strips out the hardware and software features not needed for FB’s specific applications. It is this approach, which they have employed to build out their own network has led to a joint effort by FB, Intel, Broadcom, Mellanox together in the “Open Compute Project”.

The aim of the project was framed roughly two years ago with Facebook acknowledging the success of using open platform designs to transform energy efficiency in global data centers.

According to

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“Big Data” Hype Has Subsided, The Push To Use It Is Still On

It seems you don’t read quite as much hype about “Big Data” these days but some industries are diving in with both feet. Healthcare has even adopted its own use of the term “Big Health Data” as more and more initiatives begin to harness the huge amount of “unstructured data” that is produced daily by physicians, clinics and hospitals.

One example here is the newly launched clinical data warehouse, the nation’s first, that tracks health records of 3.2 million South Carolinian’s. Developed by Health Sciences South Carolina the effort was a collaboration between South Carolina’s top universities and

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Despite Yahoo’s Ban on Remote Workers The Trend IS BYOD

When most of us picture a “remote worker” or someone who works from home for a larger company we think of a desktop with maybe some access to company applications and files. After all, the use of “virtual desktops” itself isn’t that new. It is, however, advancing rapidly as a result of both advancing technology and the access to faster Internet connections.

The bane of remote workers was once that access speeds were so low that it was best to use a “thick client” and offer only minimum applications. For most it was to interact with company email and

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It’s Everywhere – Microsoft Dynamics CRM/ERP Gets More Robust

Between the release of Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013, to the new capabilities in the upcoming Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R3 update to its flagship ERP product, the big M is trying to delivered something for everyone…everywhere.

And by everywhere we mean both feature improvements that affect all users, some that are country specific and the ability to deploy on Windows Azure. The latter allows companies to choose between an on-premise deployment or a private cloud. With the addition of multiple new apps and the upgrade of several others Microsoft Dynamics is supporting the use of their powerful

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CIOs Outsourcing More But Face New Management Paradigms

In recently conducted research by Vanson Bourne, an independent global market research firm, 48% of testing and development projects are outsourced by CIOs. Yet the study revealed that the change in dynamics involved when your IT becomes more of an outsourced management environment rather than a fixed internal team causes some projects to fail.

Many times these failures appear to be the fault of the outsourcing provider. Yet when more closely and objectively examined even the CIOs themselves soon learn that they need to change their management methodology not change their outsourcing partner.

For example the report found

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The New Joomla! 3.2 Release is Feature Rich

Although in the open-source content management system (CMS) world WordPress still maintains a significant lead with 19% of all websites running it, number two ranked Joomla! at 9% is striving to offer advancements that may well help them close the gap. After all 9% still represents 45 million downloads and installs of a well respected open source system.

Although many Joomla developers have been creating responsive websites one of the primary draws for 3.0 is the fact that it is designed to be inherently “responsive”. Responsive websites are built to be device agnostic as it relates to the size

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SharePoint Users Still Slow to Adopt the Cloud

Currently SharePoint is still king of the Intranet for many enterprises and mid-sized companies. However, making the move from on-premise deployment to one of the new cloud based alternatives is going slower than expected. In a recent report by Forester entitled ” SharePoint: Solid In The Enterprise, But Missing The Mobile Shift” surveys conducted earlier this year show a distinct lag in online adoption. It indicates that part of it is the perception of SharePoint as on-premise solution, part because of security and privacy concerns as well as worry that customization in the cloud is too restrictive.

One interesting

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IBM WebSphere Application Server Now Dominates Market

Not quite as noisy as its competitors, IBM has been methodically growing its share of the application server market that as of 2012 IBM WebSphere had 60% of the market, easily moving it to being a defacto standard. On this trajectory they could easily own 70% of the market in the next two years.

IBM feels it is strong in this market and notes that success in a release last month is because “Mission critical application servers are needed in the enterprise to support scalability, reliability, and security. More light weight open source application servers have a place

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Red Hat Revs Up to Drive Enterprise Adoption of OpenStack

Using OpenStack’s Summit in Hong Kong this month, Red Hat, Inc. has announced multiple new innovations designed to support Red Hat’s open hybrid cloud vision for the future. This includes the availability of a beta version of Red Hat’s Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform 4.0 (ELOP), advancements to drive OpenShift and a preview of OpenStack-M. OpenStack-M is an open source deployment and management solution for OpenStack-powered clouds that will eventually be integrated into the Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform.

They also announced the next release of Red Hat CloudForms 3.0, RH’s cloud management platform. CloudForms adds enterprise-grade cloud management tools

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Adoption rises for Enterprise Social Networks

There are now so many different solutions being offered for building your own social network, either in a “cloud” online or “behind the firewall” as a business tool, that the list is becoming overwhelming for some companies wanting to deploy one in their business. Many of the more established business cloud services (Oracle,, Microsoft) are including more and more options for integrating Enterprise Social Software (ESS) into their own business hybrid or cloud solution.

Currently, the global Enterprise Social Software (ESS) market is estimated to grow from $721.3 million in 2012 to $6.18 billion in 2018. This represents

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SharePoint User Adoption the Big Winner with more “Yammer”

Between Yammer, the recently acquired private social networking platform, and providing further email integration features like participating in discussions via email, SharePoint user adoption seems to be one of the big benefits. Add to that the further ability to integrate with Office 365 at multiple points and the idea of having difficulty driving end-user adoption should be a thing of the past.

Much of the adoption boost is simply the result of giving end-users more software points that they are already familiar with and understand. The private social network gives the collaboration a more familiar feel and aids

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SharePoint Users Can Now Integrate Intalio/BPM Into Web Parts

According to Raj Jain, CEO of Intalio, speaking of the company’s release of its new portlet for SharePoint Web Parts, “SharePoint users looking for an enterprise-level business process management platform to automate their mission-critical complex processes had few choices until now. We are thrilled to combine our years of BPM experience with our partner’s SharePoint skills to offer a highly-competitive, proven, best-value solution. With Intalio|bpms and SharePoint, administrators and end-users alike experience the best of both products: world-class BPM on their trusted application platform,”.

Intalio is a leading provider of application development tools, business process management (BPM) software

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Mixed Reviews on HTML5, JavaScript and Native App Development

Although it continues to look like HTML5, CSS3 and JavaScript are growing as development choices for mobile applications occasionally your project might need to go “native”. According to a study conducted by Embarcadero and Dimensional Research 74% of the respondents surveyed, over 1,000 Windows developers, said they “struggled” to create mobile apps with HTML5 and JavaScript. Now you need to keep in mind that Embarcadero is a development company focused on developing in environments that are native to specific mobile operating systems. Many more in the industry are scrambling to build apps utilizing development tools that are more “device

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Business Process Automation – Still Growing

From manufacturing to healthcare to just about every business that involves any sort of process is looking to automate all or part of their operation. Manufacturing has been moving this way for over twenty years but business process automation is still in its infancy as companies seek to automate, monitor and improve overall process performance.

New tools for automating routine medical data entry have begun to arrive and they tout client savings, time, and the alleviation of data inaccuracies. For example, an off-the-shelf product recently announced by Oleen Pinnacle and Network Automation will do everything from “creating and

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SharePoint Libraries = User Freedom From IT Dependence

According to Enterprise Architect Scott Robinson in a recent TechTarget article the SharePoint libraries included in the 2013 platform “…frees users from dependence on IT while urging them toward true collaboration.”

He believes this is an essential change and one that will, if properly implemented, make the SharePoint experience not only better but more likely to encourage adoption and use. Yet he warns you not to migrate your existing folder hierarchy. In fact he advises you to keep the libraries as flat and open as possible.

Robinson calls it “SharePoint sprawl”.

He explains how the legacy folder hierarchies now

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Private vs. Public Cloud Debate Continues

And the winner is…hybrid.

Well not completely yet but in many circles it continues to be one way that larger companies are balancing the ease of entry via a public cloud against the greater security and control of a private cloud. In these companies, the hybrid approach gets them in and yet provides at least a portion of their most critical data and applications to be under the direct control of the business. However, hybrid is not the way many early cloud adopters went, preferring to build their own clouds and openly arguing against the public approach.


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Application Development in Transportation and Logistics – Growing Fast

Seems that business is starting to grow for the logistics sector thanks to increasing movement of manufacturing sites from Asia to North America and Mexico. Part of what is making the move successful, according to Fleet Owner contributor Sean Kilcarr is “the rise of simple and less expensive cloud-like computing options for managing logistic operations.”

His interview with Tompkins International VP Valerie Bonebrake revealed that the firm’s analysts are not only seeing a growth in cross border trade with Mexico but with Canada as well. With major retailers like Target and Nordstroms making moves into these regions there is

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The “Internet of Things”?

To quote Wikipedia; “the Internet of Things (IoT) refers to uniquely identifiable objects and their virtual representations in an Internet-like structure.”

To read the entire entry might make fans of “The Terminator” nervous when they realize that the concept of virtually every object, machine and device, from pacemakers to jumbo jets, is directly linked to the Internet. Not quite a “machines take over the world” scenario yet but it is the dawn of a new age for application development and furthers the reach of “the cloud” into more aspects of both business and personal life.

A concept

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Enterprise Resource Planning Finally Moves Towards the Cloud

Netscope, a cloud application analysis and policy development firm, recently released some analysis of their “Cloud Confidence Index” showing industry sectors that have sufficient “confidence” in the usefulness, security and/or performance of cloud services and applications.

Looking at it from an industry by industry perspective they found that Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) along with Document Management and Security to be the services having the highest level of confidence among enterprises seeking to adopt cloud services. This could explain why more and more companies are either buying into existing ERP cloud providers or building their own private versions.

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The Worldwide Travel Industry Finds Tech As The Way Forward

Even after years of web based travel and booking sites, the travel industry continues to see technology as key to their continued success. From large travel agencies to hotel chains to whole countries and destinations, web and mobile applications and systems are being developed to help further drive travel around the globe.

U.S companies could learn a bit from European and Asian firms whose customers have rapidly grown usage of mobile access to travel websites and applications. With mobile data deployments in some countries growing faster than in the U.S. it is not just a trend, it is the

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Salesforce Marches on with its acquisition ExactTarget!

It has been many months since acquired leading email service provider turned cloud innovator ExactTarget, but the integration of the two clouds is already becoming a reality.

Marketing departments, the primary users of the email service and the initial adopters of the multiple marketing automation service and analysis engine, are already giving the union a thumbs up. Many of these have been using Salesforce and its cloud, while also managing a separate use of ExactTarget. has never been the source of a true mass email service, limiting users to 1000 a day from its platform. But

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WordPress, Joomla! and Druple; top three out of 145 current CMS’

According to Automattic founder and president, Matt Mullenweg, WordPress should be powering the majority of all websites. Tiger Global Management thinks so too. It’s only been months since they paid $50 million for a secondary stake in the maker Automattic, and they just threw in another $60 million in shares purchased from Polaris Partners. The investment management firm clearly has a similar goal in mind for WordPress and Mullenweg is determined to grow Automattic and grow it fast.

“Their [Tiger’s] deep resources, market experience, and long-term outlook make them an ideal partner for the next phase of

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It’s been a busy few weeks for SAP (and Oracle)

Oracle’s Larry Ellison basically declared war on HANA.

HANA is SAP’s flagship product and it integrates database, data processing and application platform capabilities in-memory. Ellison was hinting about the announcement next week concerning the addition of an in-memory option for the Oracle database, a direct response to the success that SAP has had with HANA.

According to SAP, HANA has been its fastest growing, most successful product ever and Oracle is not sitting idly by as it brings an almost identical feature to its Oracle Database product. As Ellison puts it, “Virtually every existing application that runs on

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Development Pioneer Dan Bricklin Champions JAVA for Mobile

After a decade’s long career as a pioneer in software development Dan Bricklin isn’t done yet. Now the CTO for Alpha Software Corporation, Bricklin is providing leadership in the development space. He is also advocating the use of JAVA for mobile development over native code.

In a recent article for Infoworld Bricklin goes to great lengths to explain why, despite the fact that certain specific native code applications may run faster than one created in Java, there are many more where Java simply runs circles around native code.

As he says in the article in

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App development in Healthcare gains steam

As U.S. healthcare organizations begin to incorporate the new business model that the “Affordable Care Act” creates for them, the idea of delivering health services and information by way of mobile applications is gaining momentum. Physicians are already signaling they would welcome mobile Electronic Health Record (EHR) access.

In a recent survey of physicians by Black Book Rankings, 83% of the doctors polled would welcome mobile access to these records should it become available. Considering that Manhattan Research’s survey discovered that 72% of physicians now use Apple iPads in their everyday practice,

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According to MoTwin Enterprises Continue to Face the “Mobile Cliff”

Market Wired reported in late August that MoTwin, a mobile platform provider for business applications, had outlined what they consider the key problems enterprises face in crossing the “mobile cliff”. The mobile cliff is a metaphor for the difficulty in meeting the back-end/cloud infrastructure integration, providing real-time performance and the best possible mobile user experience. While primarily promoting their application platform and the white paper they commissioned from Peter Crocker, founder and principal of Smith’s Point Analytics, but the article and the white paper do sight real fundamental needs that must be met when deploying formerly “on premise”

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Oracle Expands Its Business Intelligence Potential

Oracle, in its continued effort to move from a premise based software provider to one more in step with current technologies, released recently its Oracle BI Mobile App Designer. The app designer allows business developers to create interactive analysis applications for use with mobile devices.

The app authoring system features a straightforward, browser-based, drag-and-drop interface that allows developers to assemble data, text, media, visual charts, and tables from a multitude of sources and provide apps that are customized to their business needs. Companies that wish to put their Oracle applications into the hands of a very mobile workforce

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Mobile App Developers Gain Security Tools for

Bring your own device (BYOD) has skyrocketed in companies large and small, placing increasing pressure on internal IT staff to provide mobile access to business tools employees use every day. However security continues to be a concern that IT departments must consider when deploying applications and access to employee mobile devices., arguably one of the largest and most developed of the CRM clouds isn’t taking that concern lightly with the release of its mobile SDK. According to Java World that’s why the new SDK includes compatibility with Good’s containerization technology. According to Salesforce the inclusion of this security

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The Battle of the Cloud Builders

Only a couple of months ago Oracle’s Larry Ellison was proclaiming that the “Oracle Public Cloud” would be “the most comprehensive cloud on the planet Earth,”. He was explaining the seven year long process that Oracle had undertaken to rebuild all of its applications for use in the cloud. At that time, early June this year, he was building on the announcement last October concerning the software giant’s launch of Oracle’s cloud which contained the company’s Fusion Applications offered as software as a service (SaaS).

Ellison has long been a critic of the “cloud” because in his opinion it

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Mobile Application Development Continues To Mature

It’s clear by now that there is a hungry audience for applications developed for use on their mobile devices. The hunger extends now well into business and mobile savvy employees are clamoring for apps that extend to business use. Already apps and mobile accessories are taking credit cards regardless of where the transaction happens, business folks want to have similar freedom to access other forms of business transaction using their own mobile device.

Mobile application development and the platforms that support them are maturing and enterprises of all sizes and industries are putting strain on IT departments everywhere. As

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HTML5-based mobile BI app designer introduced by Oracle

Oracle’s new BI Mobile App Designer recently unveiled by the business intelligence giant runs in a browser and has a drag-and-drop design format. This allows end- users to mash up graphs, tables and other types of data to, ask Oracle puts it, “create mobile analytical apps tailor-made to their lines of business.”

The use of HTML5 allows the apps to run across iOS, Android and Windows based devices with users able to share apps via an App Library catalog. Part of the larger Business Foundation Suite and also included in the BI Mobile option for their Enterprise Edition it

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July was a big month for application development

Further staking its claim as a major cloud provider is, as Simon Bisson of CiteWorld put it, “encouraging an app renaissance” with the release of new design templates, API integrations and a set of sample applications. With around 50% of its 1.2 billion daily transactions coming through applications using its APIs, the SaaS pioneer is providing tooling to help developers build more compelling – and more user focused – applications.

During the release of these new development tools Salesforce’s Adam Seligman, VP of Developer Relations, pointed out that developers have to move beyond focusing on code to

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Don’t Buy them…Build them! doesn’t just want you to buy apps…they want you to build them yourself.

Cloud pioneer, perhaps one of the first companies to offer an “app store” for their sales and marketing set of services, looks at app development as a way to strengthen both their customer base loyalty but also to continue to add more value to the services they already provide.

The reason why companies want to build and run their own private app stores for staff is clearly being driven by SF for good reason. In a recent LinkedIn Influencer article Olaf Swantee, CEO

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One thing is for sure…the cloud has started to make some strange bedfellows.

The cloud is a metaphor really for an intricate set of elements, operating systems, virtualization tools and of course data centers, high-speed networks and security software. Many pundits argue about just how significant the “cloud” is and its future but if the recent actions by Oracle are any indication it is that there is opportunity yet to be discovered.

They must think that if, as recently reported in The Wall Street Journal, they are willing to actively seek out and partner with two of their

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The Movement

How Microsoft has been quietly pulling ahead in the BI market.

Gartner’s Magic Quadrant report issues in February of last year was the early warning signal that the Microsoft’s long time effort to build the best of the best business intelligence (BI) platform has given them a leadership position in the space.

Part of the focus has been making BI more directly accessible via Office and SharePoint 2013 with the later picking up some very helpful features. For one thing administrators won’t need to configure Kerberos as its need is eliminated in SQL 2012’s SP1. In addition PerformancePoint

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Fluid Web Service Puts Powerful Platform at SMB Fingertips

For the better part of 15 years businesses have been using websites as part of their marketing strategy.

At first the new medium was widely accepted and virtually every business, with a few exceptions, felt compelled to have one. In the last ten years other mediums have sprung up tied to the Internet, creating more platforms businesses have to consider when reaching out to their audiences.

More mobile than ever whole segments of the population are locked into receiving all or a portion of their information and communications via smart phones that access the Internet. Pads are beginning to

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Web Centric Business Modeling is Now Mobile & Fixed Web Centric

The span of time usually associated with the turnover in technology is about how long ago I started my 5 chapter deep-dive into business reinvention from a web or Internet centric starting point.
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It should be noted that as much as we would like to find a perfect formula or model it is very much situational, driven as much by leadership "talent" as it is by knowledge or system and that there are success stories for both the top down or the organic model.
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Marketing Money “Who Knew”…Part Two

It also made it clear that reports of the death of US manufacturing, particularly small and mid-sized companies are very much premature! There is a growing need for and rationale for seeking out US based sources for a variety of manufacturing needs. Regionalizing logistics to reduce both cost and the effects of long range shipping on the environment, facilitating relationships between companies to source in a way that takes advantage of “economies of scale” and building stronger regional economies all make sense as the US climbs out of its self imposed economic crisis.
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Marketing Money…Who Knew?

Funny thing happened to me the other day when I was out looking for folks in need of more sophisticated marketing services than just the “I need social” or “I need a spiffy name for my new venture”, mind you I do enjoy these types of projects but not as much as putting more difficult puzzles together.
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What’s your marketing conveyor design?

The Internet works like a conveyor with multiple parts. Parts whose independent actions work together to move prospects along to become customers. It is foolish to say that only understanding and implementing a single part will bring success. The beauty of today’s marketing universe is the vast numbers of options for cost effectively integrating multiple strategies to build a perfect conveyor, one that moves your prospects along to become customers.
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Social & B2B Networks – Evolution or Revolution?

What I find most interesting about these discussions is how they seem to discount even ignore that fact that although we call these "social networks" and they have evolved, as far as user interfaces and site functionality is concerned, in many ways out of the affinity network sites which have been around for years.
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Jazz vs. Symphony as a business management metaphor

I read a strategy professors use of these two musical genres today as a way of showing the difference between and the downside of two different management styles. according to him, an organization that had grown or was growing beyond what the traditional entrepreneurial skill set could continue to provide successful outcomes…or so he was trying to demonstrate.

Although I agree with the metaphor use and think there is value in using them, his knowledge of music was limited so I replied with the comments that follow this brief introduction. I am also posting them here

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How to Grow Your Business in a Tough Economy

Whether you believe it or not, there have been recessions before. There have been thousands of businesses that have seen tough times in the past. They managed to survive and, best of all, grow. For many their growth was greater than what would have been possible in a non-recession economy. These were businesses that saw opportunity in the down economy, made adjustments to their businesses and seized the day.

The good news; if you are willing to adapt there are more tools than ever available to help you “seize the day”. Tools that will help you look for and

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Internet Centric…Business Models

What I am about to recount to you are the observations and ideas for not just including the Internet in a business model but rather re-thinking a business model with the Internet at its center and used to resolve specific problems, not just for "Wiz Bang" purposes.
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