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Preview: ebizQ's Business Agility Watch

ebizQ's Business Agility Watch

ebizQ Managing Editor Peter Schooff gives a daily dose of Web happenings for the business technology industry; the industry that builds, powers and ensures business success.

Last Build Date: Thu, 20 Nov 2008 12:34:48 -0500

Copyright: Copyright 2008

Web 2.0 and the Future of Business: A Talk With Forrester Research

Tue, 15 Jul 2008 10:25:41 -0500

Editor's Note: Interested in Web 2.0 and the Enterprise, then you cannot miss ebizQ's upcoming Enterprise 2.0 virtual conference on Wednesday, July 23. Sign up here! What follows is my podcast with Rob Koplowitz, Principal Analyst of Forrester Research, where he leads Forrester’s Research in the areas of basic content management, instant messaging, blogs, and Wikis as they relate to the enterprise. In this podcast we discuss Web 2.0 and the future of the enterprise, basically providing an introduction to ebizQ's upcoming virtual conference, Enterprise 2.0, where Rob will be a keynote speaker. Listen to or download the 5:57 minute podcast below: Download file First off, what type of companies are experiencing the most success with Web 2.0 applications? Well, there’s a couple of different profiles, Peter. Number one would be certainly smaller organizations that didn’t have a big investment in collaboration technology in the past that have picked these tools up and started using them very aggressively and they’ve seen some great case studies there. But oddly enough, the other group that is actually showing a great deal of success are organizations that are highly regulated, and highly secure, and they really have an interest in a path of getting there. They start off with risk mitigation. They start off looking at patterns where people are starting to use these applications out on the open internet and they need to think about shutting them down but they very quickly realize that’s not a good idea, people are getting business value from them. So they looked to providing sanctioned alternatives and they very quickly come to the conclusion that these are anything but toys. There’s business value to be gained from these, that these drive organization efficiency. And more importantly, they drive some really important cultural changes that change the profile of these organizations pretty dramatically so they see the value very quickly. They start off with risk mitigation but they very quickly see the business value in these tools. Interesting. Now, what are some of the best practices that allow companies to have their Web 2.0 applications be widely accepted and useful and also, what practices should be avoided? Well, I would certainly say that the “If you build it they will come” mentality can be problematic. You do need to have a great deal of critical mass around these tools in order for them to really gain their maximum value. But with that, there are firms that are providing a great deal of prescriptive guidance in the use of these tools. And some of them are taking it down to the level of very specific business processes, and business scenarios where certain types of key planning processes, certain types of content are being generated using these tools. And what they’re finding is they’re simply more efficient tools for handling certain types of business tasks. But beyond that, once this starts to gain momentum, you start to see some social networking effects take place and that can be very, very powerful towards moving the value of these tools forward in some very interesting ways that can drive some organizational changes that are certainly not caused by the tools but the tools can lower the friction around some of these organizational changes. When you start to see some interesting hierarchies develop where some of the folks who are your go-to-folks for creating ideas, and the go-to-folks for providing value start to get turned on their head a little bit, and we start to see new voices emerge, and new patters of communication emerge, and that’s really when the power is tapped into. I’m sure a lot of companies will still hear Web 2.0 and think it’s all about their employees IMing their friends, or updating their Facebook, and pretty much although just slacking off. That’s not really the right way to look at it though, correct? Well, I certainly haven’t seen that pattern. I mean, number one; it’s not necessarily fair to say that a little bit of social i[...]

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Managing the Continuous Evolution of Complex SOA Systems: Amberpoint Explains

Mon, 30 Jun 2008 13:00:47 -0500

***Editor's Note: Interested in SOA governance, then you cannot miss the upcoming ebizQ webinar, "Changing Tires on a Moving Car," which you can sign up for right here. What follows is my podcast with Andrew Brown, the Director of Product Strategy for AmberPoint. Andrew works closely with hundreds of enterprise customers, which helps him set the company’s road map for SOA Security Solutions. Also, Andrew will be one of the featured speakers at AmberPoint’s upcoming webinar with ebizQ on July 15th, called Changing Tires on a Moving Car, which will cover solutions for governing the continuous evolution of complex SOA systems. This podcast provides a quick introduction to what will be covered in more depth and detail in the webinar. Listen to or download the 5:57 minute podcast below: Download file ------ TRANSCRIPT ------ Now, first of all, many companies today are turning to SOA in search of agility. But isn’t it the same agility and rapid change that is causing a lot of problems in these companies? Well, in fact, it is and the main issue is that this agility comes from moving away from what we think of as traditional monolithic applications, and more waterfall approaches towards componentized architectures, and really more iterative development practices. And that means that usually different teams are going to own the atomic pieces of functionality that’s associated with these larger composite applications that are usually associated with SOA. And those components are also going to be involved in end-to-end transactions that span the whole service network. They may even call out to external services that are beyond the direct control of internal teams responsible for development for testing, for deployment, and even operations. And so what this boils down to is the fact that applications are going to be updated piecemeal. They are going to be updated in small kind of bite-sized chunks rather than getting pushed out all at once. And what this means is that a new component is not really going to be battle tested until its running in the context of the runtime environment. And the issues are functional changes that may break applications and also performance issues that can't really be forecast using traditional tools. And then on top of this, you have the fact that a lot of the functional aspects of a service are prone to change even after its been deployed and you can chalk that up to loose coupling, and unintended reuse, and other aspects of SOA applications. And if you are successful with SOA, consumers are going to find new uses for your services even after you’ve relinquished control of them. And then on top of that, you can add governance as an issue. The center of excellence or whomever is responsible for governance is going to be applying policies to your services even after you’ve pushed them out into the runtime environments and these are policies such as authentications, such as access control, logging, and various types of quality of service policies. Interesting. So what exactly is the best approach for making sure change services and policies will work then? Well, the best approach would be to fully replicate the production environment in an operational acceptance environment where all the components could be tested as a whole with all the firewalls and the load balancers and all the routers that makeup the production environment. But, of course, that’s prohibitively expensive. The degree to which the difference between your operational acceptance and your production environment is really one of the major factors that feed into your deployment risk. If your staging environment nothing’s like your production environment, you’re going to have a lot of risk. And so the basic challenge for validation is to reduce that risk. So first, you need to be able to baseline the production environment, or whatever runtime environment you have to be working with. And by baseline, what we mean is really kind of a snapshot in [...]

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Seismic Shift Happening in BPM: Software AG Explains

Mon, 16 Jun 2008 13:32:12 -0500

**Editor's Note: Interested in how process management can have an immediate impact on the bottom line, then you cannot miss ebizQ's upcoming Virtual Conference 'Business Processes and the Bottom Line.' Click here to continue. Listen to or download the 9:38 minute podcast below: Download file What follows is a transcript of my podcast with Michael Lees, Senior Director at Software AG. Michael is a core member of Software AG’s BPM Leadership Team, and in this podcast we take a quick look at all the changes going on in process management as a quick preview to this Wednesday's virtual conference, Process Management and the Bottom Line. First of all, how has the BPM market evolved over the last 12 months? So we’ve seen quite a lot of maturity in the market over the last 12 months, actually, probably more in the last 12 months than we’ve seen in the previous two years. We’ve seen a lot of our customers and prospects moving from what I would call tactical BPM towards what I would call enterprise or strategic BPM. So a lot of customers have been doing fairly low level, single process projects within departments using BPM tools, often fairly light on the technical, often just using business process analysis tools, or business modeling tools. And we’ve had a lot of success, which is great. And a lot of these companies now have had success with multiple processes and multiple departments. And what they’re tending to do is, is tending to get the notice of senior management and board level within some of these organizations who are now looking at what BPM can do from more of an enterprise perspective and more from a cross department and cross functional perspective. So that’s creating quite a lot of interest in BPM from a much broader perspective. And when you look at it at that perspective, it suddenly becomes more than just sort of modeling as is processes, optimizing them and deploying new processes. The demands on the infrastructure becomes significantly heavier. The integration requirements become significant heavier so we’re seeing more and more customers looking at the SOA infrastructure and strategies hand-in-hand with BPM to support that more enterprise level approach. We’re also seeing more and more customers looking at the methodology side of the equation and focusing on things like process governance. And we’ve had a lot of interest in setting up BPM Centers of Excellence, it’s something that we’re specializing in now as a company and supporting our customers as they move along the maturity curve. And we’re seeing that BPM run more and more on the desk of the CIO as well. CIOs now are talking about processes, they’re seeing it as common language where they can meet the business halfway and getting better communication and collaboration around the work that they’re doing. And they’re also seeing it as a way of taking IT off the critical path. CIOs are increasingly frustrated by having conversations with the business based purely on cost, they want to add value. And BPM is a way of them really shifting the age-old problem of spending 80% of their time on maintenance, and 20% on innovation on new capability development, and they’re switching that equation around and actually having a conversation with the business based on value. What impact does BPM have on existing package applications and on the package application’s market? So it’s definitely complimentary. One of the things that we promote fairly heavily as an organization is that BPM and SOA give you the opportunity as we say to leave and layer your existing architecture. We’re certainly not talking about rip and replace here. Your existing applications whether they be sort of more traditional legacy applications or recently purchased packaged applications all do their job reasonably well and all address functional elements of fend-to-end processes effectively. The real need that we’re hearing from the market is that CIOs have mad[...]

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BPM and SOA -- Different Sides of the Same Coin: Talking with Keith Swenson of Fujitsu

Thu, 05 Jun 2008 14:31:38 -0500

Editor's Note: Interested in how best to benefit from business processes, then you cannot miss ebizQ's upcoming virtual seminar 'Business Processes and the Bottom Line.' Click here to attend!

Listen to or download the 3:14 minute podcast below:


Download file

What follows is the transcript of my podcast with Keith Swenson, Vice President of Research and Development at Fujitsu Computer Systems Corporation for the Interstage family of products, discusses what’s new with business processes development, what Fujitsu has coming up in the BPM space, and finally, Keith's thoughts on the BPM Center of Excellence.

First of all, tell me what new developments in the BPM space should companies be looking out for in the next 12 months?

Well, BPM technology is fairly mature at this point. It’s well accepted in providing benefit across the organization. I think there’s two areas where we’ll see some changes in the next 12 months. First, is in cross product interoperability. It’s no longer a single vendor per organization world. Products will have to play with each other more than they have in the past. The second area is going to be in capabilities around the edges of BPM technology and one area is such as process discovery.

Many of our customers are finding a significant barrier to their initial BPM implementations because it was a tremendous effort to find out what their existing process was in sufficient detail. So Fujitsu’s offering a new service, which will help them do precisely that by mining their existing database logs, and in a very short amount of time presenting them what their existing business process is so they can use that as the starting point for a BPM initiative.

Increasingly, I’ve been hearing the words BPM and SOA used together a lot. How come?

Its interesting; they are very different things but they seem to be two sides of the same coin. SOA is about reuse of existing technology and leveraging existing assets. So SOA is primarily about avoiding change. BPM on the other hand, is about continuingly improving your business processes and thereby continuingly changing. So it’s kind of interesting they go hand-in-hand, SOA being a technique for reuse and BPM itself is a management philosophy. But BPM technology is to help support management in improving of their organization.

What are your thoughts on BPM Centers of Excellence? Do they or can they make a difference?

They do. We’ve seen that BPM technology is now considered fairly mainstream so we’re seeing organizations deploying BPM technology widespread. And having a Center of Excellence helps to gather expertise on this relatively new technology and to help train the rest of the organization. In the ‘90s, implementation was on a department-by-department basis.

But now, bigger benefits can be realized by stretching across departments and that’s where Center of Excellence really helps those different organizations work together. We’ve been working with customers over the year and one of the strong feedbacks we’ve received is the desire to host multiple applications in a single BPM server while keeping those applications sufficiently isolated so that’s one of the new features in the latest release of Interstage BPM.

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ebizQ Sneak Peak Podcast: Hub Vandervoort, CTO, Progress Software, on SOA in Financial Services

Fri, 04 Apr 2008 12:55:13 -0500

Listen to or download the entire 7:39 podcast below: Download file This podcast is a sneak peak of a live panel discussion that will occur on April 16, called "Visibility, Control and Evolution: Building on SOA to Meet Today's Financial Services Industry Challenges." Sign up for the free event right here. I asked Hub about how decision makers in the finance space can be convinced to make the move to SOA. Below is the full transcript of this podcast: Announcer: Welcome to another ebizQ podcast. EB: Hi, this is Elizabeth Book (Kratz), and here’s another ebizQ podcast. Today, I am giving you a sneak peek of the SOA in Financial Services Live Panel, which is going to take place April 16th. The title of the panel is called Visibility Control and Evolution: Building on SOA to Meet Today’s Financial Services Industry Challenges. And today, I have with me Hub Vandervoort, CTO of Progress Software. Thanks for being with me today, Hub. HV: Hey, thanks for having me. EB: And basically, a description of the panel that Hub will be on is visible at ebizQ. And he is being joined by Keith Swenson of Fujitsu, Ron Ambuter, CTO of the BPM Workstream Group at JPMorgan Chase, and Ronan Bradley is moderating. He is Principal of Lustratus Research and also an ebizQ associate. In 2008, IT and financial services is challenged more than ever to support the business as it reacts to rapidly changing market conditions. As over the last few years, the financial services industry has become more complexed and interconnected and IT has focused on integration across business silos and with counterparties, service providers, exchanges, and regulators. Service oriented architecture promises to meet these challenges but must first be adapted and augmented to reflect the specific requirements of financial services. So that leaves me to my first question with Hub and that is; in the broad context, SOA is well understood, but let’s talk about it specifically for the finance community. How could you potentially convince the finance or other industry vertical type company to change their data delivery methods and spend immense amounts of money on a value proposition like SOA that does provide significant risk? HV: Yeah, I know, I think it’s a great way of thinking about it because financial services in the context of service oriented architecture does raise some very unique things that may be aren’t apparent in other industries. And so when you look at SOA adoption and SS, I think the principle concerns revolve around really three points. Where are the risks and how can you introduce -- you’re in a risk mitigated way SOA performance, particularly, Web services performance in many areas or at least certain key areas of financial services? It’s still not at a level it would need to be to kind of meet production objectives today. So how do you deal with SOA and Web services usage in financial services so that it does not compromise those performance objectives? And then, I think, what’s also interesting is the way in which a financial services company can establish measures of success around SOA adoption so that in taking on the risk you also have a way of risk mitigating or least understanding how to, I guess some financial terminology, hedge those risks. EB: Right. And you did mention this risk is key with financial services. And in addition to risk, they are also unique regulatory requirements associated with financial services companies. Can you discuss how control and visibility is vitally important to these organizations and how products like yours can assist with governance issues? HV: Yeah, absolutely. And I think that there really a couple of different aspects of that. The idea of bringing about visibility in an SOA environment is, obviously, essential to financial services. But SOA really enables you to bring about better visibility because of the loose coupling and greater opportunity to [...]

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ebizQ Sneak Peak Podcast: Keith Swenson, Chief Architect, Fujitsu, on SOA in Financial Services

Mon, 31 Mar 2008 17:26:00 -0500

Listen to or download the entire 4:27 podcast below: Download file This podcast is a sneak peak of a live panel discussion that will occur on April 16, called "Visibility, Control and Evolution: Building on SOA to Meet Today's Financial Services Industry Challenges." Sign up for the free event right here. A full transcript of the podcast is below: Announcer: Welcome to another ebizQ podcast. EB: Hi, this is Elizabeth Book, Editor in Chief of ebizQ. And today I have for you a sneak peek of a live panel discussion taking place on April 16th on Visibility Control and Evolution: Building on SOA to Meet Today’s Financial Services Industry Challenges. In 2008, IT and financial services is challenged more than ever to support the business as it reacts rapidly to changing market conditions. As over the last few years, the financial services industry has become more complexed and interconnected, IT has focused on integration across business silos and with counterparties, service providers, exchanges, and regulators. SOA promises to meet these challenges but must be adapted and augmented with other kinds of tools to reflect the specific requirements of financial services. So today I have with me Keith Swenson who is Chief Architect for Fujitsu. Thanks for being with me Keith. KS: My pleasure, Elizabeth. EB: Great. And I’m just hoping that you can give us a little taste of what’s going to happen on April 16th. And if you could start with the BPM/SOA debate; what BPM means? I know you’ve had a couple of things to say about this in the past so I hope you can start us off with that. KS: Well, certainly, and it’s not so much of a debate as simply understanding where these two different concepts and two different technologies fit together. Most people realize that SOA and BPM do go hand-in-hand; SOA giving you the low-level connectivity infrastructure a way of structuring your IT systems while BPM extends that to the business. I think the best way to put it is that I was in a couple of seminars last year where on a couple of occasions somebody stood up and said, “SOA is a technique that we use to make our system but BPM actually represents the business that we do our self”. And I’ve always found that as good guideline for how to position these two different subjects. EB: Okay, great. And what techniques are you seeing in financial institutions today that you would say leverage this kind of knowledge? KS: Well, that’s an interesting question. Financial institutions in general have been an early adopter of both BPM and SOA. They saw the need early on. And one thing that I’ll be talking about is how one of our customers, Bank of America, has set up a Center of Excellence where they’ve pooled together the resources and brought this technology into one center, which they then are able to let the various groups within the bank use for different projects and this seems to be a pattern that is successful for them and we’re seeing other people starting to use that same pattern as well. EB: Great. And what would you say about how financial services are really an early adopter of these kinds of technology tools? Why is it so popular? Why has adoption of SOA even BPM in finance become so far ahead in this industry vertiical? KS: I think it’s because the financial institutions recognize early on that their business is about providing service and that its all information based. If they could make their people more effective, if they could leverage their people better through the use of technology, they would then be able to offer more services. And they have been, traditionally, an early adopter of the technology but now they’re seeing the true benefits of the agility of being able to offer new products quickly and effectively, to take the resources that they already have and use the BPM to connect people in different ways, and to leverage the in[...]

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ebizQ Podcast: Hot News on BEA-Oracle and Trends for 2008

Fri, 18 Jan 2008 12:03:01 -0500

This January 30th, ebizQ is hosting a Webinar on BPM and SOA trends for 2008 with Anne Thomas Manes of Burton Group and Derek Miers of BPM-Focus, hosted by Beth Gold-Bernstein. You can sign up for that here. Also, if this is a topic you work with, please take our SOA Strategies Survey and win a chance at a $300 Amex gift card. I thought I would help set the stage for our Webinar by interviewing some other folks, to hear their thoughts on what's coming in 2008 in this exciting and constantly changing marketplace. Joining me in the below podcast is Michael Dortch, analyst at Aberdeen Group and ebizQ's BPM in Action blogger; Tony Baer, principle of OnStrategies and columnist; Ronan Bradley of Lustratus Research and an ebizQ blogger; and Keith Harrison-Broninski, of Role Modellers and our IT Directions blogger. Listen to or download the entire 32:20 podcast below: Download file Below is the full transcript: Announcer: Welcome to another ebizQ podcast. EB: Hi, this is Elizabeth Book, editor and chief of ebizQ and today I’m doing a panel podcast about the news of today. And in light of many of the BPM and SOA trends going on in 2008, we wanted to talk about just everything in general and nothing in particular. And I have with me Michael Dortch, who is an analyst at Aberdeen Group, then I also have Tony Baer, onStrategies, president, then I have Ronan Bradley, of Lustratus Research, and Keith Harrison-Broninski of IT Directions and he can tell you more about his project a little bit as well. And I’d like to open it up, say hello to everybody and thanks for being with me today. Michael, are you there? MD: Yes, I am. Yes, I am. EB: All right. So why don’t you start it off? MD: Greetings everyone. For those of you unfamiliar with Aberdeen Group, all of our research is driven by surveys of users so we like to say we do fact-based research, which makes me question what other people base their research on, but that’s a subject for a different conversation. My area of focus is in enabling technologies and information management. And in that regard, I should say from the outset, I’ve been an industry analyst for 30 years, and so my real area of focus is on where the business infrastructure and the IT infrastructure coincide. And no place else is that happening with more secunity, I guess is a good word, than in the business process management and service-oriented architecture areas. To be brief, because I could talk about these things for hours if give half a chance. It seems to me based on the research we have conducted and are conducting, that there are a couple of trends that are making themselves evident in -- in each of these areas. In -- as far as business process management is concerned, we see users increasingly desiring to integrate diverse disparate business process management tools into an integrated process management architecture that manages process across each processes life cycle from its inception and design, and adoption through its optimization, and finally through retirement or replacement by some succeeding process. This kind of life cycle management approach is something users seem to want more and more and it seems to be a desire driven not only by the goal of getting more business value out of their investments but because almost everything else they buy these days on the IT side seems to come with a business process management feature. And so they’d like -- they’d really like to integrate all of those things into a single architecture that can be centrally managed and aligned with business goals and policies. From the vendor side, a key trend that we see happening and we’re going to talk a lot more about this, I imagine, in this call is consolidation and there’s a two phase consolidation. There’s consolidation and integration of different vendors offerings via support of standards or alliances a[...]

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ebizQ Podcast: The Inside Scoop on IBM-Cognos

Wed, 14 Nov 2007 17:22:25 -0500

Listen to or download the entire 9:50 podcast below:

Download file

Editor's note: Last week's acquisition of Cognos by IBM continues to fuel discussion about consolidation in the Business Intelligence marketplace, and the large enterprise IT providers now all have a major BI tool in their stack. The following is a transcription of a podcast which discusses this news in the context of the entire market. For questions and comments, and to learn more or participate in ebizQ editorial podcasts, please reach Elizabeth Book at Participants of this podcast are Beth Gold-Bernstein (BGB); Tony Baer (TB); Michael Dortch (MD); and Marc Andrews (MA.)

BGB: Welcome, everyone, to this ebizQ podcast. I'm Beth Gold-Bernstein, VP of the ebizQ Training Center. With me today on this podcast are Tony Baer, Principle of OnStrategies; Michael Dortch, Senior Analyst at Aberdeen Group and an ebizQ blogger; and Marc Andrews, Program Director of Data Warehousing at IBM. I want to welcome all my panelists. Thank you for joining me.

Today, we're discussing IBM's acquisition of Cognos. Now, Tony Baer pointed out in his excellent blog post, which you can read on our site,, that barely a month ago, SAP announced that it was buying Business Objects and roughly eight months ago, Oracle announced its acquisition of Hyperion and now, IBM yesterday announced its intention to buy the last independent tier I pure play business intelligence vendor, Cognos.

Now, Tony -- where does this deal place IBM competitively in the market? Is this merely a case of catch-up, or does it give IBM some competitive advantage?

TB: Well, I think the bottom line is that it really fills the hole in the donut for business intelligence for IBM. And that, for the past several years, it seemed that as part of its larger information management strategy that IBM was building a BI strategy, which had everything except BI in it. I mean, originally, IBM had sort of backed into this market with an old OEM deal with Hyperion and back then, we always kept, you know, the conventional wisdom was "Why didn't IBM buy Hyperion?" We're talking about five, six, seven years ago.

To read the rest of this transcript, click here!

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ebizQ podcast: It's About Doing Work, Stupid!

Mon, 12 Nov 2007 16:29:22 -0500

I just threw down a super-cool podcast with our own IT Directions blogger Keith Harrison-Broninski, who doubles as the CTO of UK-based Role Modellers, which is now beta-testing the newest version of HumanEdj, its human-interaction-focused email efficiency tool.

I am actually about to download this thing to use in my own office. It basically promotes efficiency on one's own desktop by organizing it based on the assumption that one might actually need email to accomplish work.

Listen to the podcast here and then DOWNLOAD the free software here. Your employer will thank you!

Listen to or download the entire 9:50 podcast below:

Download file

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SOA in Action Sneak Peek Podcast!

Mon, 29 Oct 2007 16:41:02 -0500

Read a summary -- or listen to a quick preview podcast -- of one of our SOA in Action Keynote addresses. This one is from Forrester's Randy Heffner. He discusses how to transform savvy tactical implementations into a grand strategy for effective overall SOA.

Check it out here!

ebizQ Podcast: Dave Mahoney, CEO of Applix, on its Acquisition by Cognos

Fri, 07 Sep 2007 15:53:52 -0500

I interviewed Applix President and CEO, Dave Mahoney, on Applix' recent acquisition by Cognos for a whopping $339 million. Listen to or download the entire 9:32 podcast below: Download file A full transcript of the podcast follows Dave's biography. About Dave Mahoney: David Mahoney has been a director of Applix since October, 1992. Mr. Mahoney was Chief Executive Officer of Verbind, Inc., a provider of real-time behavioral analytic software and event triggering technology, which was recently sold to SAS Institute, since May, 2001. Prior to joining Verbind, Mr. Mahoney served as President and Chief Executive Officer of LeadingSide, Inc. (formerly Dataware Technologies, Incorporated), an e-business solutions provider, from January, 1999 to April, 2001. Mr. Mahoney served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Sovereign Hill Software Inc., a knowledge management software provider, from January, 1998 to December, 1998, when it merged with Dataware Technologies. Mr. Mahoney served as Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of ePresence, Inc. (formerly Banyan Systems, Inc.), a networking software company he founded, from 1983 until May, 1997. From 1973 through 1983, Mr. Mahoney was the Director of Communication Product Development at Data General. The speakers in this podcast are Elizabeth Book (EB) and Dave Mahoney (DM.) EB: Hi, this is Elizabeth Book, editor-in-chief of ebizQ, and welcome to another ebizQ podcast. Today, I welcome Dave Mahoney, president and CEO of Applix, a Westborough, Massachusetts-based performance management analytics company. Thank you for being with me today, Dave! DM: My pleasure, Elizabeth. EB: Great. So, I understand there’s been a bit of news from Applix in the last couple of days. Can you possibly tell me a little bit about what’s been going on with you? I guess we should tell our listeners that basically, Applix was acquired by Cognos in a deal valued at about 340 million. And, basically – I’d love to know a little bit about the history of Applix, and why Applix is now an attractive acquisition for Cognos. DM: Sure, I’d be glad to give you that story, and bring you up-to-date on what’s happening here. And I think the best way to do that is to explain a little bit about where Applix has come from. The company was actually founded way back in 1983 and has been around as a player in the software, generally speaking – the software market. And has been in a number of different software businesses, as a matter of fact. It started out developing applications for office automation on UNIX and then did some work in the real-time spreadsheet area. And then established a fairly sizeable CRM business before making an acquisition in the mid ‘90s of a company that had a product by the name of TM1, which was a unique technology. It was an in-memory multidimensional database that was designed to work on PCs and then it had been expanded to work in more powerful platforms. Through the rest of the ‘90s, Applix as a company had a lot of variability in the business during the bubble, went searching for a longer-term business to be into. And in the early 2000’s, settled on focusing on a product area generally speaking in the analytics space, which eventually became a more focused offering in the performance management arena. And then, in 2003 – we took a fairly dramatic step. I joined the company in 2003. The company was undergoing some fairly dramatic change at the time. And we jettisoned all aspects of other software business. We had some CRM business. We had some Linux business. And we essentially sold all of that off and refocused all of our energy on this analytic platform that the company had purchased in the mid ‘90s. It was very interesting timing, because it gave us the opportu[...]

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ebizQ Podcast on Mainframe SOA: Rob Morris, GT Software

Tue, 17 Jul 2007 10:31:39 -0500

Listen to or download the entire 8:58 podcast below: Download file The full transcript is available below: Liz Book (LB): This is Elizabeth Book, Editor-in-Chief of ebizQ and thanks for joining us on another ebizQ podcast. Today, I’m speaking with Rob Morris, Sr. VP for Marketing and Strategy at GT Software, a rapid SOA development solutions company for the mainframe. Thank you for being with us today, Rob. Rob Morris (RM): Thank you, Elizabeth. LB: So, GT Software is a 25 year old company doing really nothing but mainframe. Can you talk about SOA in the mainframe and maybe give us a state of the market perspective on what is going on? RM: You know, it’s really interesting. Within the mainframe space and it’s long been known this way, there’s still vast amounts of corporate data, corporate applications and core business functionality that’s locked up in the mainframe and certainly the problem the mainframe integration has been around for quite some time. With the advent of SOA as an approach to maybe unlock or provide a better means to approach how I leverage that data and leverage those applications, what we’re seeing is that companies are taking what I would consider a very simplistic approach to solving the problem. I think it’s things we’ve been seeing in the industry lately that doing web services does not mean you’re doing SOA and therefore, you cannot expect to realized the benefits of SOA if you’re just focused on web services. So, for a lot of reasons, we see mainframe organizations simply stopping at the term Service Enabling or web service enabling the mainframe and not really getting to the broader spectrum of what SOA can mean for them in the context of the mainframe. So, that’s everything from not getting the right resources involved on the mainframe, not focusing on how I define services and what are proper services vs. just worrying about the mechanisms of how I communicate to them or something a bit broader and something not as obvious to how am I going to incorporate things like my batch systems which are still prevalent in the mainframe world and have those participate in my service oriented architecture. So, again, people continue to take this very simplistic view and unfortunately from some of the vendor perspectives it’s a view being promoted out there or being confused by what a lot of people are talking about out there and the complexities around it and when you start to break it all down, you realize that they’re not going to achieve these benefits unless they take a step back and take a broader view of how they’re going about this. LB: OK, you mentioned batch processing and people don’t really associate batch processing necessarily with service oriented architecture. Can we talk about that? RM: Actually, it’s a very, very interesting and intriguing development that, frankly, we’re very happy about. We’ve been working on it in conjunction with some customers and if you take a step back on this topic and start to think about it in the financial services industry, specifically insurance and other industries like that, batch is a huge part of how they continue to run their businesses. It’s really the only way that you can continue to process the volume of transactions required on a daily basis to do things like maybe claims processing or payroll remediation, things of that nature. So, almost, you know, kicking and screaming, batch is being drug into this world by the simple fact that every day there’s another web service, there’s another service that those systems need to talk to. And let me give you an example; I’ll give you a couple of examples: In the insurance industry, if I’m processing auto insurance claims, one of the steps in that p[...]

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ebizQ Podcast: Founder of Watchfire on Big Blue Acquisition

Fri, 08 Jun 2007 14:25:41 -0500

Last week, IBM announced its intention to purchase Watchfire and I threw down a podcast with the very sharp Mike Weider, Watchfire's founder and CTO. It is also transcribed below for your reading pleasure. Listen to or download the entire 9:49 podcast below: Download file Participants of this podcast are ebizQ editor-in-chief, Elizabeth Book (EB); and Watchfire founder and CTO, Michael Weider (MW.) EB: Hi, this is Elizabeth Book, editor-in-chief of ebizQ. And this is another ebizQ podcast. Today I am honored with the presence of Mike Weider, who is the CTO and founder of Watchfire, which was recently acquired by Big Blue -- that's right, IBM has purchased Watchfire, or has made a move to purchase Watchfire, I should say. So thank you for being with us, Mike. MW: Thanks for having me! EB: Basically, I guess all I want to tell our listeners at the moment is that Mike founded Watchfire 11 years ago in 1996, and this is basically a very exciting move, I think. And you probably had a busy day. You're in this acquisition time. Maybe you're busy a few days. So if you could maybe tell us a little bit about Watchfire and tell us a little bit about, you know, what happened to you during this acquisition time? MW: Sure! So Watchfire -- as you stated -- has been in business for about 11 years. We were founded in 1996. And really our focus is helping customers to evaluate their online Web sites and applications for problems. And these problems fall into the categories of quality issues that could affect the user experience, privacy and compliance issues that could get them into trouble with regulators, and lastly application security issues. And I think what IBM and Rational saw through this acquisition was that increasingly we're seeing that security and compliance are becoming an integral part of software development processes. And what we're looking to do with this acquisition and the integration of these technologies is that Rational IBM is really the leader in software development tools and Watchfire is the leader in application security and by combining the two things together, we can help customers to build security into their applications from the start, rather than what exists today where applications are being produced in many times with no security and leading themselves wide open to hackers to exploit these issues to perform identity theft, fraud and other horrible things that we read about every day in the press. EB: Absolutely. I guess, can you just tell me a little bit more about how you see the integration of security into a larger organization and how you think your work with the other security forces at IBM will be working together. I know that it's a little bit forward-thinking but just any thoughts you could share on that would be excellent. MW:Sure. So, really the acquisition is being sponsored through the Rational group and that's where Watchfire will be integrated into. In that group, we're really again focused on looking at integrating Watchfire's security technology into Rational's tool set so that developers that are creating applications through from requirements to design to coding to testing to deployment can evaluate these applications for security issues throughout the software development lifecycle so that when they get to the production phase, that we know that these have been properly tested and validated and they can demonstrate compliance and good governance internally and externally. But secondly, there are other areas outside of the Rational group that are very exciting in terms of the potential synergies that we see here. For one, WebSphere is clearly a huge force in the marketplace and integrating application security with the WebSphere tools will enable ag[...]

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ebizQ Podcast: Salesforce/Google Deal

Thu, 07 Jun 2007 12:07:14 -0500

Listen to or download the entire 9:52 podcast below: Download file Regarding this week's and Google global sales deal, I spoke with David Bradshaw, principle analyst in software at Ovum. What follows is the very interesting transcript of our conversation. Please enjoy. The participants of this podcast are Elizabeth Book, ebizQ editor-in-chief (EB); and David Bradshaw, Ovum principle analyst, software (DB). EB: Hi, this is Elizabeth Book and this is another ebizQ podcast. Today I am speaking with David Bradshaw, who is with Ovum, an analyst firm headquartered in London with offices around the world. Thank you for being with us, David. DB: You're very welcome, Elizabeth. EB: Basically, David is principal analyst at Ovum, covering software and has quite a good history and a background in the software industry and has been really covering it, I guess for about 17 years. Is that correct? DB:Yeah, that's about right, yes. EB: Okay. DB: Feels like a long time. EB: Yes. So, basically -- thanks for being with us. And we're talking today about the Google/Salesforce deal that took place. And we wanted to get your thoughts on the announcement, first of all. And I guess maybe we can start there. And have a discussion about what this means for the industry and what this might mean for lead generation and how people work on the internet, etc. DB: Okay. Well, let's think of the announcement as actually being in two parts, really. First of all, there's the announcement of global partnership between Salesforce and Google. That's linking up two very well-known companies in the Internet. Google, of course, is very well known for its search platform and the advertising revenue that that brings. Salesforce, of course, very well-known for its leadership of the CRM sector, the Software-as-a-Service CRM sector. Secondly, we got a specific from that partnership. Which is the random convolutedly-named deliverable from the alliance is Salesforce Group Edition Featuring Google Adwords, or let's just call that Group Edition for short. That enables you to use, use keywords accessing Google and connect them to Salesforce. So let's deal with the specifics first, because that's probably the easiest part to figure out. This is a linking up of the Google advertising platform to Salesforce that enables you to put ads on Google using key words and then track the results of those ads all the way through to sales. And this kind of functionality has been available to large enterprises who have been able to build the pieces for themselves. What the Google and the Salesforce alliance has made possible through the Group Edition is that this is now available to small businesses with the Sphere's Five CRM users. And from my viewpoint, that's a very positive contribution to small businesses. Because Internet advertising is an increasingly important source of leads. But, you have to be able to measure the results, otherwise you could wind up spending a large amount of money and getting nothing out of it. What this enables you to do is to see which key words and which placements have brought you the best results. EB: In fact, what you said yesterday about advertising budgets always -- people always think that their advertising budget is only working halfway-- DB: Yeah, it's -- EB: -- but they don't know which half is working. DB: Yes, one of the widest known pieces of wisdom about the advertising market is that half your advertising budget is wasted. You just never know which half is wasted. This improves that situation by improving the measurability. Once of the advantages of using the Internet for advertising is it gets more measurable. You can measure click-throughs from certai[...]

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BI Consolidation Fever: Podcast With Ian Bonner, CEO of Inxight Software, Acquired by Business Objects

Fri, 25 May 2007 08:06:16 -0500

Looks like Business Objects hit a homerun with its acquisition this week of Inxight Sofware. I had a great conversation with Ian Bonner, CEO of Inxight, about the acquisition, and got a great deal out of his explanation how a lot of the things Inxight does, like provide analytics capabilities to its many clients in the government sector, is sure to be a strong asset to Business Objects. Enjoy.

Listen to or download the entire 13:34 podcast below:

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