November 21, 2012
I don’t have much interaction with Autonomy and I have even less with Forrester or Gartner, both azure chip consultants stuffed with high IQ big thinkers about technology. How can someone residing in Harrod’s Creek hope to compare to sleek, real consultants who work in cities with electricity and running water.
However, on a recent trip to a dumpy Internet cafe near Victoria Station, I read “Hewlett’s Loss: A Folly Unfolds, by the Numbers.” In that article I noted this quote from an azure chip consultant working at the tony Forrester Research outfit. Here’s the passage that made my feathers twitch:
Autonomy, too, was facing challenges after years of fast growth but poor customer relations, according to Leslie Owens, an analyst with Forrester Research. “They didn’t invest in R&D; they didn’t have regular software releases; they weren’t transparent with a road map of where they were going; they didn’t seek customer feedback,” she said. “Customers complained, but the promise of managing all their information and making better decisions was so attractive. They bought more.” Soon after the H.P. acquisition, Ms. Owens said, Autonomy announced a new version of its core product. “We asked for a demo,” she said, and “we’re still waiting.”
Okay. I remember seeing a Boston Consulting Group dog, question mark, star, and cow type chart in 2009. Allegedly produced by another high end think tank, Gartner Group. I did not recall Autonomy getting low marks. I did some poking around and I would like to direct you, gentle reader, to this Web address: http://www.contentmanager.eu.com/graphics/gartner-wcm2010.jpg.
I am fearful of azure chip retribution, so you have to navigate to the page and look at the 2010 BCG style chart by Gartner Group experts.
What is interesting is that Gartner pegs Autonomy in the leaders quadrant for Web content management. I don’t know what that means. I do understand what it means to be a “leader”, singled out for excellence on whatever yardstick was used to size up 17 vendors of a particular type of enterprise software.
What is interesting is that two expert consulting firms have such conflicting opinions about Autonomy less than 18 to 20 months apart. Forrester “knows” that Autonomy had some issues. Gartner seems to find the company superior to such rivals as IBM and Microsoft.
Did Autonomy crash and burn between these two azure chip viewpoints? Are Forrester’s analysts more sveltish and brighter than Gartner’s high protein crowd?
Assume that each of these consulting outfits have comparable intellectual horsepower. Assume that each firm’s experts gathered information from open source and private sources. What causes two apparently superficial assessments of Autonomy.
My question: “If two blue chip consultants see Autonomy differently, won’t the truth and beauty of Autonomy will be in the eye of the beholder?”
In a legal dispute, subjective, maybe emotion, will play a larger role than dull old objective data. Little wonder so many advisors interpreted Autonomy differently. Enterprise software as an interpretation problem in 21st century business poetry. Lawyers are happy. HP and its shareholders, not so much.
Stephen E Arnold, November 21, 2012
November 15, 2012
Short honk: The ArnoldIT team worked with IDC to produce “ElasticSearch: An Open Source Search Option for Big Data.” The write up discusses the origins of the company. Compass was the precursor of Elastic Search. My understanding is that Compass was built on Lucence. The new incarnation is built on Solr. There is a discussion of ElasticSearch’s enhancements to the Solr system. The most significant part of the report is the explanation of the advantages and disadvantages of the ElasticSearch approach. The analysis is not written from the developers’ point of view. The focus is on the business value of ElasticSearch in the highly volatile, increasingly crowded market for search systems based on open source technology. Already published in the multi-part research series are analyses of Attivio, LucidWorks, and PolySpot. Unlike the cheerleading on free blogs and developer forums, the IDC analyses cost $3,500 per report. IDC customers have access to the analyses, but should check with their IDC account manager to determine if access is permitted under their subscription plan.
Stephen E Arnold, November 15, 2012
Sponsored by ArnoldIT. Watch for our new professional social media consulting services coming in 2013
August 26, 2012
I agree in general with “Which USA Do You Work In? The premise is that it is good to be smart and digital. Those who are not smart and pretty much users of ATM machines or maybe robbers of those who use ATM machines. Mr. Cuban, a digital and smarts mogul, writes:
The problem for those who work in brick and mortar is that as the intelligence is sucked out of the job. The intelligence required to do the
job is reduced. Yes, you still have to be good at what you do. But you can be great at customer service or great in a factory line with out a college education. The competition for jobs that don’t require degrees has pushed down the wages paid for brick and mortar jobs as well. When there are no specific skills beyond basic people and communication skills required the job pool competing for any openings expands considerably. Forcing down wages. Leaving more unemployed unemployed. The other unfortunate part of working brick and mortar is that as intelligence is moved out of of physical locations it also reduces the number of jobs available. Have you ever seen a cashier at an Apple Store ? Unemployment is sky high in the brick and mortar world.
In my goose pond, the split is described as “knowledge value.” And “split” is not exactly right. Knowledge value suggests that information can be monetized. If the facts or skills one possesses match a need, then one may be able to charge to deliver knowledge value. Skip the socio-political implications of this idea and focus on work, money, and influence.
I like to visualize one of those sliding controls in a user interface. Move the virtual know to the left and the knowledge value drops to zero. Slide the virtual knob to the right and you get into McKinsey and Bain territory. If you know about the compensation for blue chip consultants, you see the monetary value of the high knowledge value setting.
What’s this mean to the issues Mr. Cuban addresses?
First, those who have low knowledge value jobs are stuck unless the individuals pump up their knowledge value. Here’s how it works. You know how to fix an MBA’s laptop so it will print a document. You can do this for free or you can charge big bucks. If the person with the know how is into the knowledge value game, the MBA may pony up some cash to get the document. Now think about a nasty legal situation. Do you want a low knowledge value or a high knowledge value attorney helping you out?
Second, some knowledge work can deliver a big payday. I suggest people think about getting jobs in terms of knowledge value. When one leverages knowledge value in an optimal way, money awaits the person who can find a person or company requiring knowledge value. How does one get knowledge? How does one communicate value? High knowledge value has more magnetism than low knowledge value. One can determine one’s knowledge value when others find you.
Do schools teach this knowledge value method? See The Knowledge-Value Revolution, Or, a History of the Future.
July 25, 2012
Short honk: Check out “Why Booz Allen Is Significantly Undervalued.” Interesting. The main point, as I understand it, is that Booz Allen is a great deal for investors. Okay, if it is such a great deal why does it take 1,300 words and a dozen charts to get the point across. There was one omission in the “protest too much write up”. Booz Allen is dependent on government contracts. When governments cut spending, outfits like Booz Allen face some revenue challenges. I assume this aspect of the firm’s business is irrelevant in light of alleged backlog, explanations, and lots of tables and bar charts. Booz Allen was once a blue chip outfit. As I have noted, the firm has a history of being private, going public, going back to private, splitting up, and going public. Is the firm’s management fancy dancing to cope with the realities of a blue chip firm transforming to azure?
Stephen E Arnold, July 25, 2012
June 22, 2012
Users find laundry lists of results a necessary but sometimes hard to use way to pinpoint needed information. Users looking for a PowerPoint presentation want a way to spot presentations without browsing, opening, scanning, and repeating the process. One feature of SharePoint is its document thumbnail and preview function. Instead of a list of text results, SharePoint can display search results with a thumbnail image of the document. Users can quickly identify a document type, which allows a research task to be accomplished more quickly.
There is, however, one challenge in some SharePoint installations. According to the document Office Web App & FAST Search Document Thumbnail and Preview scenarios, many users found document previews and thumbnails to not show up in FAST search results for SharePoint 2010. Microsoft acknowledges:
“Document Previews do not work with Claims Based Authentication and is a known limitation with the Product.”
Microsoft’s knowledge base article provides a number of ways to resolve the problem. But what does a SharePoint administrator do when a third party application is part of the mix? The SharePoint licensee needs immediate access to deep expertise with both SharePoint and Fast search are required to ensure that system performance and functionality are maintained at a high level.
Comperio, one of the world’s leading firms in Fast search engineering and consulting, can resolve preview issues quickly. Comperio’s engineers have in-depth experience with both SharePoint and Fast search. If you want to tap document previews using Microsoft’s native functions or employ third party software from firms such as BA Insight (www.bainsight.com), Comperio delivers. Comperio combines experience and technical expertise for leveraging Fast search within SharePoint. For more information about Comperio, visit the firm’s Web site at www.comperiosearch.com.
Jennifer Shockley, June 22, 2012
Sponsored by Comperio
June 6, 2012
At a recent conference devoted to enterprise search, I spoke with Bjørn Laukli, now the president of Comperio US. Mr. Laukli was the Fast Search & Transfer chief technical officer. Prior to Fast Search’s acquisition by Microsoft in 2008, Mr. Laukli joined Comperio AS, a search solutions company. For more information about Comperio, navigate to the company’s Web site, www.comperiosearch.com. If you mistype the url as comperio.com, Google displays a malware warning, which does not apply to Comperio AS.
I asked Mr. Laukli about Comperio’s business focus. He told me:
We founded Comperio AS in 2004 with a vision of utilizing search technology to improve the way people interact with information, ensuring that the solutions understand people and context, rather than the other way round. Early on, Scandinavia was Comperio’s focus area, however, since 2008, it has expanded into the US and UK. Initially, the business was building a practice around the FAST Enterprise Search Platform (ESP) with both products and services. Since Microsoft acquired FAST, Comperio’s business focus has expanded into SharePoint and FAST Search for SharePoint.
A company’s approach to client engagements is key to the success of an engineering services firm. In response to the question, “How do you lead a client through a solution?”, Mr. Laukli said:
After an engagement agreement has been established, we typically enter the discovery phase. Often we follow an agile methodology like Scrum, and in such a setting we refer this phase to Sprint 0. In Sprint 0, we gather requirements and talk with the stakeholders from the client. This includes business and IT resources, as well as end users of the system. Sprint 0 consists of many activities from analysis, to concept development, interaction and technology design. The output of this initial phase is normally a detailed project plan outlining key deliverables and dependencies. A system design is also outlined and communicated. After sign-off on the project plan, we start the implementation. After the solution is deployed, it enters the maintenance phase. Comperio offers application management service (AMS) which in many cases is a great option for the client. That way they can focus on their core business, while we can ensure that their system produce high-quality results all the time.
You can read the full text of the interview with Mr. Laukli on the ArnoldIT.com subsite Search Wizards Speak. For one click access to the 2009 interview with Mr. Laukli, click here. For the 2012 interview, click here.
The Search Wizards Speak collection of interviews contains more than 70 interviews with individuals who are involved in search and content processing. The index of the interviews is available at the subsite http://www.arnoldit.com/search-wizards-speak/.
Stephen E Arnold, June 6, 2012
Sponsored by IKANOW
May 22, 2012
I don’t care too much about outfits who surf on other company’s software. Been there. Done that. In my experience with Infozen, an outfit with which I was affiliated during the wild and crazy “index the Federal government” years, I learned:
- Integrators and resellers take advantage of clients who lack the expertise, time, and management acumen to get a job done in a cost effective manner during normal work hours
- Partners, integrators and resellers sell what generates money. Investing in research and development is a PowerPoint or Keynote slide, not a business practice. Clients pay for the resellers and integrators to solve a problem. If the solution works, the integrator or reseller will resell the solution, emphasizing that it is an invention.
- Integrators and resellers are trying to avoid the “pay to play” model enforced by a number of software giants. A good way to determine if the outfit requires integrators or resellers to pony6 up hard cash for the privilege of selling enterprise software is too look for print advertising in various trade publications.
- Integrators and resellers use a tie up as an occasion for a news release. A good example is the “Oracle Endeca Getting Started Partner Guide.”
At a recent briefing I gave in New York, I had an occasion to talk to a very energetic investment type. I picked up three signals about the Microsoft SharePoint reseller and partner ecosystem. Like most information floating around after 6 pm in Manhattan, I suspect there is mostly baloney in the observations. But I wanted to snag them before they slipped from my flawed short term memory bank:
First, it seems that Microsoft is not putting much wood behind Fast Search & Transfer technology. I believe the phrase the MBA squirrel used was “end of life.” If true, the $1.2 billion and messy Fast situation may be in the midst of a rethink. What will Microsoft do? With the juicy search companies gobbled up, Microsoft may have to pull some rabbits out of its many hats. Open source, non US search and content processing vendors, making a cake from its own search ingredients, leveraging Powerset and other technologies?
Second, some Microsoft partners are starting to “go off the reservation.” In the free blog, I do not want to mention names. I learned that one prominent Microsoft Certified Partner had quietly embraced non Microsoft technologies. The “quietly” suggests to me that Microsoft could choke off a flow of sales leads if the shift caused big waves. The reason to “go off the reservation” boiled down to the sense that some Microsoft centric shops were starting to demonstrate “fee fatigue.” What do resellers do when revenue from Old Faithful slows, resellers and integrators look for what will sell.
Third, after decades of having a sure-fire business model, some partners and integrators see that alternatives exist and may be worth exploring. Examples include cloud alternatives to on premises Microsoft solutions or – hang on to your hat – open source solutions.
The impact of the lousy financial climate is taking a toll on some Microsoft centric vendors. The toll will be more burdensome going forward. In short, integrators and resellers are in play.
Stephen E Arnold, May 22, 2012
Sponsored by Polyspot
May 14, 2012
Computerworld is supposed to be about computers. Now I don’t think too much about Computerworld era computers any more. I think that the owner of Computerworld was gung ho on Verity search once. That told me a great deal about Computerworld’s parent company.
The story “Can a New Analyst Firm Take Down Gartner?” Wow. Quite an amazing write up. Sprawled across three pages, the story is written by a person about whom I know quite a lot after reading the “real” news in Computerworld; for example:
- The author of the story is Rob Enderle who is a big wheel and apparently the brains behind the Enderle Group.
- Mr. Enderle worked at Forrester (an azure chip outfit explaining what’s what in all things related to anything that compute), Giga Information Group (ditto the Forrester services), and a profession who has “worked for” IBM. He worked on audits, competitive analysis, marketing, finance, and security.
- Mr. Enderle is a TV talent type for CNBC, Fox (a Murdoch “real” journalism outfit), Bloomberg, and NPR.
- Mr. Enderle “knows” Gideon Gartner, the brains behind the Gartner we know and love today as a publicly traded azure chip consulting firm.
- Mr. Enderle “helped found” the Giga Information Group.
- Mr. Enderle knows that “line management…doesn’t listen to Gartner and, for that matter, often doesn’t listen to IT either.”
There are other biographical nuggets in the write up too. Mr. Enderle “knows” Gideon Gartner. Be still my heart!
The main point is that an outfit involved in social CRM could—hypothetically and mostly without factual basis—just might be able to “take down Gartner.”
What does the kitty see when it looks in the mirror? A house pet or a wild lion?
The super hero in this story is a company called Ombud, which I assume is shorthand for ombudsman, a full time equivalent who is supposed to be a pair of ears with moist eyes and a warm nature able to solve a customer’s problem. I don’t know any ombudsmen, however. Those characteristics often match up with social workers in my experience.
There were several overt main points in the story about Ombud which I found more like search engine optimization and ego marketing. For instance:
Gartner Group was conceived well before social networking, at a time when there not only was no Internet but no PCs. It seemed that it wouldn’t be long before someone would figure out how to blend experts, practitioners and vendors into a service that would be cheaper, more current and more focused on the unique needs of an individual company, thus providing more real value (regardless of price) than the older model.
Er, so what? Ombud is a Web site for a company which offers the same pay to play information which comes from most azure chip and blue chip consulting firms. Check ‘em out yourself at www.ombud.com.
Second, unlike Gartner and I assume any other consulting outfit, Ombud sells “access to RFPs which users create and vendors bid on.” I think the idea is that one can eliminate intermediaries, post a request for work, get bids, and pick a vendor. The organization just goes direct. I know how poorly the traditional procurement process works, but I am sure that a Fortune 50 company will experiment with Ombud. Anything that cuts the burdensome fees imposed by azure chip consultants is a good thing for most chief financial officers.
May 12, 2012
The addled goose steers clear of icebergs. But Yahoo, flubs, and an azure chip consulting firm keep appearing in my Overflight system. The most recent item to catch my attention was “Heidrick & Struggles Slaps Back at Thompson’s Yahoo in Blame Game Over ResuMess.” In terms of Web indexing, this headline is a keeper. I am not sure how many hits “resumess” had prior to this article, but it will be a zingy word going forward.
The point of this write up is that an azure chip consulting firm in the business of recruiting blue-chip or maybe azure chip executives defended itself and its professionalism. Here’s the passage in the “real” news story I noted:
[Scott] Thompson [the CEO with the flub on his bio] did not name the firm, but he was clearly referring to Heidrick & Struggles, which handled that placement. It was also working on the Yahoo CEO search, after the Silicon Valley Internet giant fired its former CEO Carol Bartz last fall. But, because it had originally placed Thompson at eBay, the firm did not work on his hiring at Yahoo.
Ah, the same firm—Heidrick & Struggles–was involved with eBay and Yahoo. Some questions:
- What did the headhunting firm have in its files about Mr. Thompson? Perhaps an “old” version of Mr. Thomson’s curriculum vitae?
- Did anyone request a transcript from Mr. Thompson’s college? If so, who and when? What did the transcript reveal?
- Why did the azure chip consulting firm write a letter without some hard data. I have been in meetings in which highly paid consultants armed with stacks of “facts”, clippings, data, and interview notes. Why not present some of this information?
A mistake happened somewhere along the line. As a curious type of person, I was hoping for some more substance to what is a most interesting affair. Oh, I graduated from Bradley University with a major in poetry. Now I am an addled goose floating in a pond filled with mine run off. Iambic pentameter or perhaps something with a Catullus dactylic Hexameter. I should have applied for a job at eBay or Yahoo in my youth. Engineers, MBAs, accountants, and movie moguls have not fared particularly well. A spondee to you, gentle reader. A struggle one might say.
Stephen E Arnold, May 12, 2012
Sponsored by HighGainBlog
May 3, 2012
More desperation marketing.
I admit it. After the little health event, I have been slow on the trigger. But I kept firing real ammo. Even though I spent more time in the hospital than a Medicaid Integrity Contractor, we pushed closer to 8,000 posts in this blog since January 2008. I even submitted my January, February, March and April 2012 columns on schedule much to the annoyance of the medical wizards in rural Kentucky. I am not sure what I wrote, but, hey, at age 67 and stuffed with medical goodies, I had a tough time remembering what day it was.
Now that I am back at my desktop command center, I am wading through email. I have to say, “I get a great deal of spam.” Those with whom I work either buzz my mobile or send me a text message. The high value content in email forms a smaller and smaller percentage of the total bitage each day.
Imagine my surprise when I get email from public relations “experts” who address me by my first name, enjoin me to attend a Kentucky Derby event, and inform me of ever-so-cute Twitter handles. Right, I am going to follow a person who uses this type of desperation marketing method.
So what did I receive?
Style Icon Luxury Gifting Suite Presented by New Era…Featuring Luxury & Lifestyle Brands: New Era, Wonderful Pistachios, Connor Custom, Jewelers, The Teaologist, Infiniti , Koma Unwind, Amanda Burns Jewelry, Street Moda, Ceela Naturals Skincare, Marena Scientific Shapewear, Sharp Images Salon & Spa, Pureology Luxury Hair Care & Cardaroos. Beverages by Woodford Reserve & Given Liqueur with Signature “POM Juleps” by POM Wonderful **Benefitting: March of Dimes, Dress for Success Louisville, Cure Duchenne, & Blessings in a Backpack*
What does this message mean? And the asterisks. How is this irresponsible verbal barrage relevant to search and content processing?
Who sent this misdirected, “blank”? An outfit called Hired Gun, located in New York City. Yep, that explains it. New York ethos. I am just a hick in Kentucky. A spam magnet.
So I wrote Stacey Wechsler, owner of Hired Gun. I asked her to remove me from her spam list. I said, “Stop writing me.”
She fired back more quickly than the Googler on Top Shot:.
Get over it. You were on a damn media list. Shoddy? Ok. Stacey Wechsler, Hired Gun Publicity
Yep, and and I thought the expletive was a deft touch. I really appreciate advice and a curse word. Just what a person recuperating from a life threatening illness needs to face the fine health care service in Harrod’s Creek.
A girl who loves sports, music, work & the people in my life.
Thin content, but I love the ampersand. A useful short cut. I am quite tired of the spam news releases young people send me.
Hey, “real” journalists, I don’t do news. I capture information which interests me. The blog is for me and free. I don’t write “real” journalists and I keep my PR experts at arm’s length.
Do the desperation marketers and PR mavens avoid me? “The Publicist Behind Snooki’s Success” has spammed sickly me right here in Harrod’s Creek, Kentucky. Obviously to the hired gun shooting wildly is more important than hitting a target. Ms. Wechsler has been guided in the “Fire, Aim, Ready” school of public relations. Dangerous?
Does Ms. Wechsler and her ilk expect me to process the baloney generated by unemployed middle school teachers, self appointed experts, failed webmasters, and “real” journalists who have lost their “real” jobs and are looking for some type of approbation. Don’t I point out that “real” journalists manage to Murdoch themselves?
My goodness, I made fun of AtomicPR’s clumsy efforts to explain that MarkLogic had morphed into an enterprise search vendor at an Autonomy or Endeca type level. Oh, please, PR mavens. Doesn’t MarkLogic offer an XML centric data management system?
The hired gun metaphor is less powerful than the AtomicPR metaphor. But I have to admit, having blanks shot near my one good ear has given me a headache. Pop. Pop. Pop. I find the gun metaphor threatening. Worth monitoring with Overflight.
Stephen E Arnold, May 3, 2012
Sponsored by HighGainBlog