November 13, 2013
We already knew that MarkLogic is good at search. Now the company is being recognized for its database management chops, we learn from “MarkLogic Featured in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Operational Database Management Systems” at BWW Geeks World.
The press release tells us:
“MarkLogic has been positioned for its ability to execute and is the only Enterprise NoSQL database vendor featured in the report that integrates search and application services. . . .
MarkLogic is the only schema-agnostic Enterprise NoSQL database that integrates semantics, search and application services with the enterprise features customers require for production applications. This combination helps enterprises make better-informed decisions and create robust, scalable applications to drive revenue, streamline operations, manage risk and make the world safer. MarkLogic features ACID transactions, horizontal scaling, real-time indexing, high availability, disaster recovery, and government-grade security.”
CEO Gary Bloom does not let us forget his company’s search success. He points out that they also captured a place on Gartner‘s 2013 Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Search roster, and that they are the only company to be included in both reports. He understandably takes this achievement as evidence that MarkLogic is on the right track with its integrated approach. The company focuses on scalability, enterprise-readiness, and leveraging the latest technology. Founded in 2001, MarkLogic is headquartered in Silicon Valley and maintains offices around the world.
Cynthia Murrell, November 13, 2013
October 23, 2013
In the world of business process software, it can be tricky deciding which one to deploy at your organization. That is when one resorts to research and relying on opinions and experiences of others to help them make a choice. Forrester is always a great resource to turn to for business matters and in March 2013, they released “The Forester Wave: BPM Suites, Q1 2013,” detailing the top ten business process management vendors. Bitpipe archives the report.
Ten vendors were reviewed: Appian, Bizagi, Cordys, HandySoft, IBM, OpenText, Oracle, Pegasystems, Software AG, and Tibco Software. Each software has their positives and negatives, what is really interesting is if they are compatible with the leading data content managers, such as Kofax:
“All of the vendors in this evaluation can support the three most common use cases for BPM: dynamic case management, human workflow, and straight-through processing. However, this does not mean that all vendors must or can offer exactly the same approach or the same functional depth for each use case.”
They are Kofax compliant, which is wonderful because Kofax owns Kapow Software –the big data integration platform. Big data is one of the primary concerns of organizations and a business management software that does not have the capability to handle said processes is useless in a competitive market.
Whitney Grace, October 23, 2013
October 17, 2013
Could the Big Guru in management have made a miscalculation? Clayton Christensen is rightly revered for his contributions to the business field, particularly his theory of disruption. Nobody’s perfect, however; strat?chery tells us “What Clayton Christensen Got Wrong.”
The professor’s blind spot is perfectly illustrated by his thoughts on certain Apple products; he thought there was no way either the iPod or iPhone would be successful. Writer Ben Thompson delves into why Christensen’s theories led him to faulty predictions about Apple. The key point—people are not businesses. The article asserts:
“Christensen’s theory is based on examples drawn from buying decisions made by businesses, not consumers. The reason this matters is that the theory of low-end disruption presumes:
- Buyers are rational
- Every attribute that matters can be documented and measured
- Modular providers can become ‘good enough’ on all the attributes that matter to the buyers
“All three of the assumptions fail in the consumer market, and this, ultimately, is why Christensen’s theory fails as well.”
Elaborating on the second point, Thompson quotes his own words from a 2010 paper. Regarding a feature of the iPod that is difficult to measure, he wrote:
“Apple’s focus on user experience as a differentiator has significant strategic implications as well… namely, it is impossible for a user experience to be too good. Competitors can only hope to match or surpass the original product when it comes to the user experience; the original product will never overshoot (has anyone turned to an ‘inferior’ product because the better one was too enjoyable?)”
Since individual consumers are more likely to care about ease of use than are buyers for a business, this is a good example of purchasers’ different priorities. See the thorough article for more of Thompson’s reasoning and examples.
Cynthia Murrell, October 17, 2013
October 6, 2013
I read “Cambridge Firm Is Fertile Ground for Entrepreneurs.” The Massachusetts in crowd should be thrilled with the Boston Globe’s story. In addition to a graphic which puts Endeca at the center of a universe of start ups, the story draws an interesting parallel for me:
Like its much bigger predecessors, Digital Equipment Corp. and Lotus Development Corp., two seminal Boston companies acquired by competitors, Endeca is emerging as a fount of new business activity, churning out the next generation of entrepreneurs and helping to expand the region’s technology economy.
The write up then references the influence tendrils of what I assume is “fertile ground” to Xerox, Digital Equipment, and Lotus.
The article included this passage as well:
But the $1 billion paid by Oracle made some Endeca employees wealthy, which certainly made it easier for them to decide to start companies. And more may follow. Venture capitalists report they are in contact with other Endecans who are contemplating leaving Oracle. Oracle declined to comment for this story. And the Diaspora might have been bigger had Endeca been on the West Coast, where the cycle of people leaving companies for start-ups happens much faster than in Massachusetts. One reason is that many large Boston companies have employees sign noncompete agreements, which can limit their ability to spin off a start-up. Noncompete agreements are not enforced in California. Endeca employees signed noncompetes, but so far those who have started companies are not direct competitors. The new businesses range from social media to medical records companies.
Then this quote to note: “We did a good job of training people how to be entrepreneurs,” said Papa, so that they are not all trying to just “build the next Endeca.” Steve Papa was one of the founders of Endeca.
My thoughts turned to other search companies that sold out. Has there been a similar surge of innovation from:
- Autonomy founders
- Exalead founders
- ISYS Search Software founders
- Verity founders
- Vivisimo founders
I don’t recall a similar explosion of innovation from any of these firms nor a glittering write up in a major, “real” newspaper. There are, I believe, some questions which beg to be answered:
- What makes Endeca different?
- Why haven’t other search vendors’ founders gone the start up route?
- What is the survivability of start ups created by founders of iPhrase (acquired by IBM), Inxight (acquired by Business Objects), and other long-ago winners in the buy out game?
I don’t have any answers, and I am personally delighted that there will not be another Endeca coming down the pike. The notion of blending a Yahoo style directory with key word indexing and then layering on eCommerce, publishing, business intelligence, and other functions is a path well worn by Convera, Delphes, Entopia, and some of IBM’s search efforts.
Endeca, based on my notes, was heavy on MBA think and less into Google-style technology. The list of Endeca spawned start ups includes Salsify, Thank Media, and Toast among others. Each has a hefty dose of “management.” Perhaps MBAs are the answer to market traction?
Stephen E Arnold, October 6, 2013
September 17, 2013
Jonathan H. Lack has been an associate of ArnoldIT since 1996. His new monograph is Plan to Turn Your Company Around in 90 Days. We recommend this practical and pragmatic guide for managers struggling with shifting economic winds.
Mr. Lack said:
“Every company’s financial and operational situation, culture, and dynamics are different. However, the fundamentals of operating any business and the problems to which many companies are vulnerable are not that unique. This entire book is based on firsthand experience if helping different types of companies work through very similar problems.”
This book is written for businesses large and small as well as for CEOs, board members, and managers. Lack’s expertise comes from his role as principal for ROI Ventures, which specializes in turning companies around. He also has 20 years of experience in management and strategic planning. This expertise shines through as he offers sound advice ranging from effectively managing cash-flow to managing staff. We highly recommend this book to drowning professionals looking for a lifeline as well as those interested in injecting new life into their business and gain a few valuable insights along the way.
Plan to Turn Your Company Around in 90 Days is available for purchase online at Amazon.com or at Apress.com under ISBN13: 978-1-4302-4668-8. Order a copy if you are involved in search, content processing, and analytics. This industry sector faces increased cost of sales, long sales cycles, hard-to-control costs, and challenging revenue targets.
Stephen E Arnold, September 17, 2013
August 1, 2013
Last year, the veteran information management firm Cuadra bid fond retirement wishes to its founders, then-president Carlos Cuadra and then-CFO Gloria Cuadra. Now, the SydneyPLUS affiliate joins several others being wrapped into the rebranded Lucidea, we learn from that company’s post, “Announcing Lucidea. . . We Help You to Think Clearly.” The write-up tells us:
Lucidea is a newly created knowledge management software and solutions company that includes the SydneyPLUS, Inmagic, CuadraSTAR, LawPort,LookUp Precision, ARGUS.net and ISS products. Our solutions empower people to navigate the ever expanding universe of information, resulting in actionable knowledge. We highlight our clients’ brightest people, clearest thinking and best ideas.
Please follow the links below to access more information about this exciting new development, and take a few moments to learn:
- Why we think this is great news for our products, employees and customers.
- How this latest evolution of our corporate structure will affect you.
- What effect this will have on the products you are currently using.
Founded in 1978, Cuadra is headquartered in Los Angeles. CuadraSTAR is an acclaimed software package with the flexibility to manage data collections of all types from multiple environments, including archives, libraries, museums, and publishing houses.
Lucidea began in 1989 as SydneyPLUS, and it bought Cuadra in 2008. That was just one in a series of purchases that gave the firm the resources to launch this current incarnation. The company has blended its valuable acquisitions into the consolidated and rebranded Lucidea that we see now, with offices in the U.S., Canada, and the U.K.
Cynthia Murrell, August 01, 2013
July 27, 2013
From OpenText we read an interesting article called “Next Generation Web Experience Management.” The majority of the article discusses the context in which Web Experience Management (WEM) is needed. We also learned that OpenText has released a WEM solution.
According to Aberdeen Group research, leading organizations are delivering consistent and relevant messages. Not only are they doing that, but they also send these messages across multiple platforms.
The article states:
“The right technologies are required to deliver brand experiences in an efficient, pleasing, and consistent manner to the consumer at every touch point. For experiences to be satisfying (and build brand equity in your products and services), they should be rich, consistent, and personalized. Today’s consumer expects highly tailored, adaptable, and even predictable digital experiences. Web Experience Management (WEM) facilitates the management and optimization of experience across a variety of channels and platforms to create compelling customer experiences, promote consistent omni-channel brand experiences, and improve engagement with responsive design.”
Technology as a vessel to deliver the brand experience is not a novel concept, but the extent to which more doors are opening in this area — such as web experience management — is noteworthy indeed.
Megan Feil, July 27, 2013
July 3, 2013
Now here is an interesting factoid. If this finding is accurate, the customer experience management field is undergoing quite the boom. SBWire points to a recent study from market research firm Research Moz in, “Global Customer Experience Management Market 2012-2016: Latest Industry Research Report.” The report asserts:
“Global Customer Experience Management (CEM) market to grow at a CAGR of 20.79 percent over the period 2012-2016. One of the key factors contributing to this market growth is the increased number of customer touch points. The Global CEM market has also been witnessing a growing demand for mobile analytics. However, integration of multiple communication channels could pose a challenge to the growth of this market.”
The report, Global CEM Market 2012-2016, is the result of a global market-analysis effort in consultation with industry insiders. The press release emphasizes that it also forecasts the CEM landscape over the near future, as well as covering prominent vendors in the field; see the write-up for specifics. The full report can be purchased here.
Cynthia Murrell, July 03, 2013
May 30, 2013
One of my two or three readers sent me a link to “Thomson Reuters Hires Economist Group Chief to Head news Agency Arm.” One of the characteristics of large, traditional publishing companies is that when one executive is needed, the go-to source for a qualified person is another traditional publishing company. Thomson Reuters has returned somewhat lackluster revenue growth in the last few years. Will the Economist approach change the course of the aircraft carrier?
According to the write up:
Rashbass, a former managing director of Economist.com who became chief executive in 2008, said that Reuters was well positioned to drive commercial growth.
We agree. Now the task is to deliver revenues, not magazines. Lord Thomson of Fleet is probably watching and hoping for greater success for his outfit.
Stephen E Arnold, May 30, 2013
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May 26, 2013
I participated in a quite interesting Big Data “event” recently. (Sorry, no link. I want to leave my post adrift in the sea of saucisson which makes up the Internet today.)
Big Data as a concept has been with us as long as there are people and storage. If a stack of clay tablets would not fit in a cabinet in ancient Babylon, the hapless analyst had a Big Data problem. When I had a Wang mini in my closet, Big Data was anything larger than 80 megabytes.
In my view, Big Data is a bit of a marketing confection. When companies cannot sell their core product like enterprise search, these outfits just tell the sales and marketing consultants to whip something up. Big Data is in my view one popular junk food when processed by some folks.
Let me set the stage.
A self appointed “expert” tried to organize a two-day lecture series to explain the basics of Big Data to those seeking information about this hot concept. The line up of teachers included marketers who took an interesting intellectual approach and me, the addled goose.
Now shift gears and think in terms of airline food. You are hungry on a flight from New York to Paris and the airline serves up a stale cracker and a substance which, from a distance, looks like cheese. Once up close, the combination did not deliver haute cuisine. Heck, the Big Data event was not the equivalent of meals ready to eat or MREs left in the equatorial sun for a couple of weeks in an undisclosed location.
The aftermath of Chernobyl event captured my impression of how misinformation about Big Data can set the stage for flawed decisions and catastrophic financial issues. Those emergency systems sure worked well in the engineering models, didn’t they? A happy quack to http://goo.gl/5u2E3.
Three impressions struck me as I reflected on the two-day event I attended with two of my colleagues. (More about my two colleagues in a good news moment.)
First, the self-aggrandizing poobah who was the “maestro of Big Data” left about mid way through Day Two. I am familiar with “experts” and azure chip consultants who have more pressing business than sticking with something to it completion. I was reminded of the behavior of the Costa Concordia captain. Was this disappearing act an indication of disorganization or craw fishing from failure? The steady attrition of paying attendees was evident by the third talk on the first day of the seminar. In fact, on Day One, Hour One, I counted 58 people in a room which was set to handle about 120. When the “maestro of Big Data” flew the coop, there were 15 people in the room. My talk, the end note for the event, pulled 30 people, up from the low of 15 at 2 pm on Day Two. Who introduced me? No one. Who stepped in to handle the last two hours of the event? My team, thank you.
Second, in my opinion, the majority of the speakers’ presentations were like most of the content on Slideshare, a business marketing service owned by LinkedIn, a job hunting service. (I think some of the speakers are denizens of LinkedIn, which I find quite amusing.) In my opinion, the Slideshare approach business information for many “members” is to take familiar, well-worn buzzwords. Then add a couple of trendy Hacker News references. Transfer recycled information to PowerPoint slides. And then serve up cold. I learned a great deal about SAP and how wonderful the company is for just about anything Big Data. I tuned out after the sixth or seventh worshipful reference. Although addled, I pick up on stuff once I hear the same old refrain three or four times. If you are interested in what was not covered in the seminar lectures, navigate to “What does O(log n) mean exactly?” I included one diagram with information about Big O, but marketers in my lecture lapsed into a coma when I mentioned the concept.
Third, I learned from several of the attendees that the Big Data sessions did not meet their expectations. I did deliver a lecture, and I had 30 people in the audience, not counting my two colleagues. I am not sure where these folks came from. We let them in the lecture hall because the organizer’s staff had wandered off to do more important tasks I assume. And, then — surprise, surprise — after my talk, five individuals clustered around me. Two of my colleagues witnessed the clump of groupies. I was hoping for major press coverage and maybe a Project Runway designer as fans. Instead, I got five — I am still in shock — mathematicians. The key comment witnessed by two experienced special librarians was, “You were the only speaker who told me how to think about Big Data problems. Very good.” I am not much of a thinker. I was not sure whether the adoring PhD from Rutgers was pulling my leg or speaking about the dismal quality of the other folks who were doing the Slideshare marketing thing. I was pleased with the feedback.
And, most importantly, I want to thank my two colleagues, Constance Ard, an honest to goodness, straight shooting law librarian, and Delores Meglio, once a New York Times’ executive who also worked with me at Ziff and who was was part of the senior management team at Elsevier Knovel, for:
- Stepping in when the “maestro” of the event disappeared because he had more pressing business than witnessing the sinking of his Titanic event. The event organizer’s staff apparently had to beat the commute rush home
- Facilitating the question and answer period which lasted a full 20 minutes after my lecture ended at 5 pm Eastern
- Chasing down an audio visual person to turn on the microphone and turn on the projection device. Apparently the show organizer’s team had better things to do that watch one speaker after another drive people from the room. I do not know if any paying customers were crying, but I would not rule anything out.
Will I reveal who organized this event? Nope.
Will I write a memo to the organizer, offering helpful suggestions to the organizer? Nope.
Will I point out which speakers scored a perfect 10 on the Slideshare airline food quality scale? Nope.
I was thrilled to experience once again how people on my team deliver even when it is not their job.
Believe me when I say I was proud of Constance Ard’s and Delores Meglio’s spontaneous action. They made the last two hours of the Big Data event a success for the remaining attendees.
Did I tell Constance and Delores to step in? Nope.
Like others on my team of 30 people, Ms. Ard and Ms. Meglio are old-school professionals. Both believed that those in the Big Data lecture hall deserved 100 percent attention and effort. I was able to focus on making my talk the best it could be.
Could I have done a better job? Sure. Did I try my to do my best? Yes. I delivered despite the unprofessional setting in which I was placed.
Perhaps conference organizers and Big Data maestros could learn something about commitment and initiative by talking with people like Constance Ard and Delores Meglio, and ignoring the marketers who promise and, in my opinion, frequently fail to deliver?
Shift to another event commitment I had that same day, right after the Big Data lecture.l
In sharp contrast was the Startupalooza sponsored by iBreakfast event at John Jay College of Criminal Justice. I was asked to evaluate 15 start up ideas over a period of three hours. I want to point out that the Startupalooza event was organized, dynamic, professional, and exciting.
The iBreakfast team and the 43 participants and five evaluators, were engaged. The innovators pitching start up ideas responded to the professionalism of the event and stepped up their game.
For me, the difference between the two events was as clear as choking down an MRE and chowing down at Le Bernadin.
Oh, what about my presentation and work at Startupalooze?
Those groupie mathematicians thought my talk was pretty good. What do math people know anyway? But I had three entrepreneurs clump around me after Startupalooza. Constance Ard extracted me because I continued to deliver at the 100 percent even though I was burning will power to keep going at 9 pm after my Big Data lecture.
My hope is that those younger than me try hard, do a professional job, and stick with commitments. My team performs in this manner. Will others follow Startupalooza’s, Ms. Ard’s, and Ms. Meglio’s example?
I sure hope so. Events succeed for many reasons. Professionalism is just one element and may, in some situations, be the catalyst for rising above mediocrity.
Stephen E Arnold, May 26, 2013
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