Thetus Embraces Knowledge Modeling

October 28, 2010

Thetus, a privately held corporation in Portland, provides semantic knowledge modeling and discovery solutions for extracting and managing information to support complex analysis and highly informed decision-making. The company’s Web site suggests that the firm’s solutions “create insight into the unique socio-cultural terrain that influences perceptions, decisions and behavior.”

We learned from that Thetus has forged a new partnership with OpenSGI. This firm Open Solutions Group Inc., is an information technology corporation that offers geospatial products and consulting services to a broad range of Federal, state, local and commercial clients. The company’s Enterprise GeoCache Appliance, is capable of delivering worldwide high resolution geospatial data at a throughput of 6,000 images per second. That’s snappy.

“Thetus Partners With OpenSGI to Deliver Integrated Solution” said:

The [two companies’] solution combines OpenSGI’s Enterprise GeoCache product with the Thetus Savanna Analysis Solution to deliver high speed access to critical geospatial information and background maps — enabling users to more efficiently search, relate, and visualize from a unified view of spatial data and non-spatial knowledge. Government agencies need to get critical intelligence into the hands of their analysts and operational planners as quickly as possible. Thetus and OpenSGI meet this need by integrating Savanna’s ability to support flexible and changing models with GeoCache’s ability to bring lighting fast maps to the analyst desktop as an out-of-the-box integration.

We find this an interesting service. Mapping and geospatial are hot segments. In the back of our mind are such firms as Google, which has the capability of disrupting markets without warning. For more information about Thetus, navigate to

Stephen E Arnold, October 28, 2010


IBM Pops Open Cognos 10 and Its Fizzes

October 28, 2010

October 29, 2010 — I don’t know about you, but I have been hearing about Cognos for a long time. I understand that it slices, dices, and makes IBM sales engineers giddy with hardware upgrades, software add ons, and consulting services. The most recent news barrage about Cognos (a name I like by the way) strikes me as more autumn public relations fizz than rare earth material. Information Week, ever mindful of the precepts of How to Win Friends and Influence People, revealed:

IBM has packed a lot into the IBM Cognos 10 release it announced Monday, pulling software from SPSS and Lotus into the suite while also upgrading the usability, manageability and performance of the total platform.

The recipe strikes me as “something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue.” The challenge in my opinion is integrating some odds and ends like Lotus collaboration into SPSS number and text crunching. Wrap these functions inside of Cognos and the overall package has quite a few moving parts.

IBM Cognos 10 Expands BI Boundaries” said [link may go dark]:

Another big push at IBM has been collaboration. That’s something BI vendors like Lyzasoft and SAP BusinessObjects, with its cloud-based StreamWork offering, are already pursuing. The idea is to let BI practitioners share and brainstorm around insights and analyses to improve interpretations of results and advance analyses.  Rather than starting from square one, IBM has embedded collaboration capabilities from Lotus Connections right into Cognos 10. Working from familiar Cognos interfaces, users post messages, initiate discussions, post documents and reviews, tap into decision networks, and add comments and annotations on individual data points. When collaborators with appropriate privileges open the same reports, they see the comments and requests for feedback.

The lousy economy has been a boon for some data analytics companies. But raw horsepower embodied in traditional on premises solutions with an aging grandmother like Lotus collaboration functions is not too exciting to me and the goslings. We think that next generation systems from outfits as diverse as i2 Ltd., Megaputer, Digital Reasoning, and others is where the action is.

But we are not commissioned on our IBM sales and service upsells. Complexity, in our opinion, is engineered into IBM’s most recent Cognos bundle.

Stephen E Arnold

Informatica Aims toward $800 Million in 2011

October 28, 2010

Informatica, a data integration software provider, reported a 40 percent jump in license revenue in its third quarter, that ended on September 30, 2010. Sohaib Abbasi, the CEO and Chairman of the firm said, “Our third quarter record results are further evidence of our sustained growth opportunity.” He asserted that the rise in customer demand and the company’s product portfolio positioned the firm as a leader in the business of data integration. With data transformation becoming increasingly important, Informatica may well benefit. Our research indicates that some data transformation tasks are underbudgeted. When costs rise, data transformation expenses can be difficult to control. Informatica’s tools are mature which may give the company a competitive advantage. For more information about Informatica, navigate to the firm’s Web site at

Stephen E Arnold, October 27, 2010


Google TV Fail Predicted

October 28, 2010

I am not sure I agree with MSNBC. I mean how objective can anything with either a hint of Microsoft or Comcast, but “Google Tamed Text, but Video Is Biting Back” is a must read. The author explains why the text-meister is having some problems with video. The write up even drags the dead fish of YouTube’s past through one paragraph. Nice touch.

Here’s a passage that caught my attention:

Now, with a new set-top box called Google TV, the company is trying to circumvent the usual channels again, and getting caught in the act. Ideally, Google sees the box’s software as a video equivalent of the Google Reader news program — you just tell it what you like, and all the freshest content will be there when you fire it up. But already, NBC, CBS and ABC have formally blocked Google TV’s Web browser from accessing the video content on their websites. This means that anyone who hopes to enjoy “everything … you’re accustomed to doing online” via Google TV will have to go without the lion’s share of popular TV content — even the full shows that are indeed available “free” online. Informally, other blocks are in place: Google TV includes a link to HBO GO in its “Spotlight” section, but when any Comcast customer visits that link, they are told to go to Fancast, Comcast’s own streaming service. Hop over to Fancast, and you’re told that the browser is not supported. Will Comcast ever let Google TV’s browser stream its content? I suppose that depends on who pays what to whom.

I am no TV or rich media goose. When I want to watch a sports program and my wife is recording one of her faves, I have to ask her how to make the weird switch channels or cancel recording message go away. But the MSNBC post speaks about those who are TV savvy. The argument advanced sounds reasonable.

Stephen E Arnold, October 28, 2010


Intel Stream Number 2 Available

October 27, 2010’s Intel Stream podcast for October 27, 2010, is now available. The podcast focuses on the intersection of business intelligence and technology. In this week’s 10 minute program, Stephen E Arnold comments about the proposal for the US government to archive Federal workers’ social media postings and content, T-Mobile’s surprising acquisition of Vamosa, Recommind’s 2010 revenues revealed by a competitor, an online SharePoint 2010 cost estimator, and a free download of sentiment analysis software. You can listen to the audio program by navigating to and clicking on the October 27, 2010 Intel Stream program.

Stuart Schram IV, October 27, 2010


SDL Real Time Automated Translation

October 27, 2010

UK-based SDL has moved real time, automated translation to the cloud. The translation system complements the firms publishing system. According to “SDL Unveils Cloud Platform for Real-Time Automated Translation,” Through an easy-to-use web-based portal, SDL BeGlobal instantly enables users to manage global, trusted communications with customers in real-time, through one central interface for multiple types of content, communication and social media. SDL BeGlobal is an intuitive cloud platform that can turn any business user into a multilingual publisher, delivering content faster than ever before.” SDL asserts that it…

is the leader in Global Information Management solutions. SDL’s solutions increase business agility to enterprises by accelerating the delivery of high-quality multilingual content to global markets. The company’s integrated Web Content Management, eCommerce, Structured Content and Language Technologies, combined with its Language Services drive down the cost of content creation, management, translation and publishing. SDL solutions increase conversion ratios and customer satisfaction through targeted information that reaches multiple audiences around the world through different channels.

Our view is that there is a growing interest in on-the-fly translation. With the shift to mobile computing, making seamless, near real time translation available for text and spoken content is a hot area. We keep thinking about Google’s “free” translation service. Specialists will have to content with Google if the company gets serious about moving translation to the world once described in science fiction novels. For more information about SDL, navigate to the firm’s Web site at

Stephen E Arnold, October 27, 2010


Aleri Live May Breathe Life into SAP Sybase

October 27, 2010

Sybase, now a unit of SAP, is one of the acquisitions that will add sparkle to the aging SAP body panels. Sybase acquired Aleri before the SAP purchase of Sybase. Now Aleri is emerging as a key component in the SAP Sybase complex event processing (shorthand, CEP) service. “Aleri Live OLAP – Powerful Real time OLAP” makes a case for the market potential of this multi dimensional data management and analytics system.

With the increased demand for super fast online analytical processing (shorthand, OLAP), SAP and Sybase see Aleri Live as a pivotal product. What makes Aleri Live stand apart is the CEP engine. A real time data stream enters the OLAP engine. Live data and historical data are aggregated. As a result, the outputs reflect a blend of historical and real-time data. The result, if I understand the Sybase description, is rendering of outputs about what is happening “right now.”

Under the hood, Aleri uses columnar data storage. This form of storage enables the data to be stored in a highly compressed form that is ideal for aggregations by OLAP.

Will Aleri Live give SAP an edge in the real time analytics sector? Aleri’s support for industry standards is a plus. Now about that SAP rebuild? The company has an engine but needs a frame off restoration in my opinion. For more information about Sybase Aleri, navigate to Sybase’s complex event processing Web page.

Stephen E Arnold, October 28, 2010


Google on the Griddle

October 27, 2010

Google Faces Landmark Fine for Gross Invasion of Privacy” is an interesting article. Published in the UK Independent newspaper and on the Independent Web site, Google gets grilled in words. The point of the story is that Google may be forced to sit on a hot griddle. Ouch.

The write up said:

Google faces being the first company to incur heavy fines under British privacy laws, after admitting downloading private emails and passwords.  Britain’s Information Commissioner, Christopher Graham, announced yesterday that he is launching a new investigation into the Street View project, in which Google sent cars around photographing residential streets.  In the process, they “mistakenly” collected entire emails and passwords from privately owned computers connected to wireless networks.

My view is that many can see Google as a cash point money dispenser. To unlock the lucre, the StreetView code is activated. Google has been apologizing and changing its policies. I find the Math Club’s approach of controlled chaos amusing, but I don’t think some of the officials in the UK and elsewhere share my sense of humor. I was in the Math Club, and I think that most government officials majored in home economics or social science, not physics.

In my opinion, the killer passage in the write up was:

A spokesman for the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) said yesterday: “Earlier this year the ICO visited Google’s premises to make a preliminary assessment of the ‘pay-load’ data it inadvertently collected whilst developing Google Street View.  “Whilst the information we saw at the time did not include meaningful personal details that could be linked to an identifiable person, we have continued to liaise with, and await the findings of, the investigations carried out by our international counterparts.·  “Now that these findings are starting to emerge, we understand that Google has accepted that in some instances entire URLs and emails have been captured. We will be making enquires to see whether this information relates to the data inadvertently captured in the UK, before deciding on the necessary course of action, including a consideration of the need to use our enforcement powers.”

After 12 years of unfettered frolic, is the twitching hand of regulators grabbing the heat dial for the griddle? One thing is clear to me: Google seems to have a knack for sending different signals depending upon the context. See, for example, “Google Says Whole Emails Gathered by Street View Cars.” The Information Commissioner’s Office seems to have noted the dissonance.

Stephen E Arnold, October 27, 2010


Vamosa Acquired by T-Systems

October 27, 2010

Update: The goose is easily confused. T-Systems, not T-Mobile, purchased Vamosa. I think that Deutsche Telekom owns both of these companies. I see a similarity between the T-Systems’ Web site and the T-Mobile Web sites. The clue is the weird color and the dotted lines. I also heard from an ever-so-polite person who enjoined me in several emails to point out that T-Mobile(owned by Deutsche Telekom) did not acquire Vamosa. T-Systems (owned by Deutsche Telekom) did not buy Vamosa. Interesting because this sort of input attracts my attention; it does not diminish it. My question, “Why such a consoluted structure made more confusing with logos, color, and branding? ” Worth poking around perhaps?

And here’s an alleged official explanation from a person representing himself as affiliated with Kelso PR:

The problem is that in the UK, T-Systems and T-Mobile are different companies, owned by the same overall company, Deutsche Telekom.  T-Mobile is a partnership between France Telecom & Deutsche Telekomm [sic], whereas T-Systems is wholly owned by Deutsche Telekom. Indeed, in the UK T-Mobile isn’t called T-Mobile anymore, and is now called “everything everywhere”.  We are fine with you describing the purchaser as Deutsche Telekom (the overall owner), or as T-Systems (the actual buyer of Vamosa), but we would prefer if you don’t refer to the purchaser of Vamosa as “T-mobile”, which is a different company altogether. The Vamosa website has the “T-systems” branding running across the top of it. It’s just a simple issue of accuracy of the information.  If you have a look here: it should be clear how this is being reported in the UK.  As I say, thanks so much for responding to this.

A number of questions are swirling through my mind. Got that?

Short honk: T-Mobile (TSystems) has acquired Vamosa. I think of T-Mobile as a third string player in the US mobile market and a reliable wireless provider in the parts of Europe I visit. I was near the arctic circle a couple of years ago and I got a T-Mobile signal. T-Mobile’s purchase of Vamosa interested me. Vamosa embraced the notion of content governance, but I think of the company has having software that transform content. In addition to connectors, the company’s strength was moving a big chunk of content from one system into a form that another system could use. Instead of a human slogging through sample documents, Vamosa offered software to analyze, normalize, and migrate content. A person at sent me a news release that said:

The acquisition supports T-Systems’ strategic focus fuelling growth by enabling collaboration and mobility. “Executives are looking for innovative technologies that help them reduce the complexity of managing multiple e-channels, which they rely on to drive knowledge sharing and customer transactions. An increasing number of critical business processes depend on the implementation of a secure and consistent governance structure that ensures employees, partners and customers have access to reliable content at all times and across all screens,” said Peter Row, Vice President of T-Systems UK Systems Integration who led the acquisition. “By expanding our portfolio to target this business issue we will be offering a unique end to end solution for customers in the marketplace.” The market-leading suite of products previously developed by Vamosa Limited, automatically tags digital content, cleans legacy data and seamlessly migrates content into content management systems.  On an ongoing basis the software technology ensures corporate standards are adhered to and auto-fixes any breaches it uncovers.

I had heard that T-Mobile was thrashing around in search, content processing, and information services. Maybe this acquisition adds some credence to those rumors. I am not sure about the Vamosa connectors. As you know, I am watching the i2 Ltd / Palantir legal matter which seems to be about reverse engineering connectors in order to hook into proprietary file stores. Connectors and data transformation are emerging as interesting functions which warrant observation.

Stephen E Arnold, October 27, 2010


NARA Wants US Government Social Media Content Tamed

October 26, 2010

If you are a firm believer in records management nuclear power plants and aircraft, you may find “NARA: Federal Social Media Requires Archiving Attention” interesting. NARA is shorthand for the National Archives. For more information about NARA, navigate to The idea is that the tweets, Facebook wall posts, and other social content should be archived. There is a bulletin that explains what social content should be archived. But the interesting item in the write up is a flow chart to help the Federal professional figure out what to do with social, webby two oh content.

If you can’t read the text, click here for the big version.

Social content is like lots of still living anchovies. The content is often small and slippery. Out of context social content can, like fish, become pretty interesting unless preserved promptly and with considerable care.

My hunch is that figuring out how to suck content from cloud services, organize it, and make it findable is a pretty challenging task. My earlier reference to the records management work for nuclear power plants and aircraft was not an idle reference. The complexity of US government social content may be as complex and costly.

Stephen E Arnold, October 26, 2010


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