Fast Forward "Machine to Organism" Baffler
March 31, 2009
I heard that the Fast Forward conference is no more. My understanding is that it will be rolled into a SharePoint conference, which seems to fit the road map for the Fast technology. I did a routine check of the Fast Forward Web log for information (no joy) and read “From Machine To Organism” here.
The article struck me as unrelated to Fast Search & Transfer’s technology. In fact, the piece seemed to describe SAP’s efforts to regain lost momentum. The original SAP world is gone, replacing it is a world populated by “homo zappians”. The wrap up of the argument is that a different type of enterprise software model is needed.
I think I agree, but here’s the disconnect for me. Microsoft purchased Fast Search & Transfer in April 2008 for about $1.2 billion dollars. The company released some Web parts late in 2008. At the Fast Forward conference, Microsoft suggested that Fast Search’s technology would be integrated with other Microsoft products according to a road map.
In the new world of homo zappiens (great phrase!), the emerging paradigm seems to be more along the Google model than along the SharePoint – Fast ESP model. Google, by definition, is an integrated, “as is” infrastructure. The Microsoft cloud play is a work under construction. The road map focused on integrating SharePoint and Fast ESP, both of which are mostly on premises installations.
If SAP is in trouble, Microsoft should be thrilled that its attempt to buy the company flopped. My thought is that the road map for Fast Search seems to be closer to the SAP model than the Google model. If I am right, this “Machine to Organism” analysis is off by about nine degrees which could spell disaster for Microsoft in my opinion.
Stephen Arnold, March 31, 2009