February 2002 - eSupport: A System unto Itself or Something Else?
July/August 2002 - Grid Computing: Contender or Pretender?
October 2001 - B2B Exchanges: A Lesson from the Past to Guide the Future
Welcome to the Revolution: Disruptive Technologies and 64-bit Computing
By Charles King
One view of enterprise computing is of a landscape of robust 64-bit computing products including IBM´s POWER-based eServer pSeries and iSeries servers, Sun´s UltraSPARC solutions, and HP´s PA-RISC and Alpha products, as well as the recent addition of Intel Itanium-based solutions from multiple vendors. The development of these 64-bit solutions followed an evolution similar to the previous jump from 16- to 32-bit processors and applications, with all vendors seeking benefits from the doubling of address space, as well as enhancements of integer operations and expansion of addressable RAM. But even the most familiar sights tend to change over time. During the past two years, enterprise IT has experienced tectonic shifts, some expected and others driven by the unexpected success of hybrid technologies such as AMD´s Opteron processor. Consequentially, the most truly disruptive enterprise IT trends are occurring not in high-end solutions, where significant evolution is considered a matter of course, but rather in the low and middle ground, sparked by processors that can natively support mixed 32- and 64-bit computing processes.
The Scale-Out Computing Wars Redux: Expanding the Horizon from 32 to 64 Bits
By Charles King and Joyce Tompsett Becknell
Powering the biggest names and platforms of the IT world, 64-bit solutions have been long regarded as the crème de la crème of computing technology. However, during the past twenty-four months, technological and market changes have roiled the generally placid waters of enterprise computing. The setting for this drama began with HP´s acquisition of Compaq, and the company´s subsequent aggressive push toward subsuming its traditional PA-RISC, Alpha, and Non-Stop platforms in favor of Intel´s Itanium. But Itanium, once envisioned as an industry standard 64-bit platform that would eventually dominate datacenters, has been anything but. Missed production deadlines, muffed performance benchmarks, and lukewarm reception by the enterprise users it was supposed to charm have been among the potholes Intel and its partners have suffered on the Road to Itanium. In addition, the coming year promises powerful new generations of competing 64-bit processors from IBM (POWER5) and Sun Microsystems (UltraSPARC IV) that will likely grab the attention of users and the media for much of the year.
Application Integration: Who Will Lead the Next Parade?
By Myles Suer
During the market downturn, it has become increasingly important for enterprise software to demonstrate a positive return on investment. As this modality has become central to enterprise capital spending, new ideas have emerged including Web Services and Business Activity Monitoring. Web Services in particular is enabling organizations to rethink how they develop and deploy enterprise software and share information between discrete business processes. At the same time, leading-edge software companies are starting to reach below the tip of the icebergs that are Web Services, Object Oriented Programming, and Business Logic Level design. They are seeing the potential to change how packaged application software is deployed. This provides an opportunity for enterprises to gain unprecedented control over their software investments as well as lower their customization cost. This represents an inflection point for application software vendors facing potential disintermediation by emerging application platform vendors and systems integrators should they fail to get out in front of this emerging new trend.
Business Process Management: What is Really the Point?
By Jacques Halé
Business Process Management (BPM) has replaced the moniker Business Process Re-engineering (BPR) that discretely disappeared during the dotcom frenzy. Those responsible for enterprise strategy and infrastructure wish that their IT would be more flexible in meeting their changing needs. However, there is a huge gap between the way to design or redesign business processes and the way IT systems are specified and implemented. Only a handful of suppliers are embracing a systematic approach to business process design that will guarantee a reliable and flexible IT infrastructure. Business Process Management could be an essential component in the drive to achieve "the Agile Enterprise", "the Real-Time Enterprise," or "eBusiness On Demand" depending upon which IT vendor is speaking. Business processes are now at the same point that manufacturing was in the 1970s, i.e., on the verge of a major breakthrough in terms of efficiency and quality. The core drive for that breakthrough was the eradication of inventories along the supply chain. In this Competitive Review, we will examine the issues surrounding BPM and its marketplace, and pull together the bigger picture.
eSupport: A System unto Itself or Something Else?
By Myles Suer
Many opinions have been rendered concerning the value, future, and viability of Automated Support. The existing market players have each obtained ten or fewer Fortune 500 customers; a clear market leader has not emerged. Moreover, the movement from an emerging to a growth market has not taken place. Clearly, early opinions regarding this market reflected the emotions of the revolutionary potential of the Internet and information technology, as well as the unbridled economic and financial enthusiasms of the day. Given the new realities, it is appropriate to question whether automated support will be stillborn, as earlier player YY has already exited stage left. It also now relevant to question the entire layered support model that enabled automated support to be viewed as a separate and distinct market. We believe this model is no longer valid. These thoughts affect all players in what is the largest – and perhaps the most ignored – segment of the CRM market. From our vantage point, emarketing and esales get the lion´s share of attention and investment at major CRM vendors even though support is the largest seller.
Grid Computing: Contender or Pretender?
By Charles King
Part 1: Will computational grids be bigger than the Internet? On August 8, 1774 the British ship Mariah set ashore a curious cargo at New York harbor. Ann Lee, a religious mystic from Manchester, England, and her eight followers had arrived convinced that the New World would offer their society of "Shakers" relief from the persecution they had suffered in England. However, the Shakers´ unconventional religious beliefs and practices made them easy targets for more conventional minds. Lee died in 1784 a year after being brutally attacked by an angry mob, but despite ongoing persecution the Shakers continued to draw converts. In 1787, Lee´s successors Joseph Meacham and Lucy Wright gathered the faithful and announced a radical decision: to organize the church into communal “families” whose members would consolidate and equally share their material possessions, ideas, work, and religious worship. By 1794, eleven cooperative Shaker settlements had been established across New England, and in 1805, twenty Shaker villages ranged from Maine to Kentucky, supporting a church membership of about 2,500. By the 1840s, the Shakers reached a peak of nearly 6,000 members. While the Shakers may seem far removed both literally and philosophically from the world of high technology, we believe there are certain parallels between the two that illuminate current and future trends in enterprise computing…
Part 2: What does it all mean? In the first part of this report, we discussed the historical issues, technical advances, and industry efforts that paved the way for what has become known as grid computing. But is grid´s development as linear as it might appear? As has been proven true in past occasions, a technology´s logical development can veer severely off course or even off kilter as it reaches the often illogical mainstream. Though computational grids share the same university and research laboratory origins as the Internet and many industry watchers have claimed that grids represent the next technological and economic phase of Internet development, is there any earthly reason to expect that the commercial uptake of grid computing will be as dramatic or enthusiastic as what the Internet has enjoyed? At this juncture, we believe it wise to remember just how opaque the Internet´s origins have become since it was exposed to and embraced by the commercial marketplace. That is a natural enough development, since markets tend to focus more on effect than cause, and most consumers are as curious about the technologies and industry standards underlying their forays on the Web as they are about the R&D efforts behind their automobile transmissions. We believe that a similar evolution is likely to occur as grid computing solutions enter the mainstream...
You've Got to Have Friends: Partnerships, Alliances and the IT Market
By Charles King
Despite the tendency to romanticize the efforts and exploits of individual geniuses, few lone entrepreneurs spring fully formed into the world of commerce. Backyard inventors often profit from their relationships with formally schooled engineers. The lights of many product developers would stay hidden under baskets without savvy marketers. Gifted salespeople have put and kept scores of companies on the road to success. Beyond the early partnerships that drive virtually every company to market are the alliances that arise between mature companies. Why these relationships spring to life in the IT sector, what they offer their partners and how they reflect movements and forces within the market are of particular interest to us and provide the focus of this report.
Adapt or Die: Customer Needs and New Solutions in Enterprise Storage
By Charles King
The history of computing is both a narrative of inspirational achievements and a litany of inherent technical limitations. Every moment that produced crucial bits of hardware or software code is tempered by the years or even decades that users spent working within more limited means. Indeed, a study of technological innovation does much to prove the cumulative nature of history, where this month´s brilliant invention often translates into little more than a foundation stone for next generation solutions. But it also buttresses the notion that technological success stories do not exist within a vacuum.
B2B Exchanges: A Lesson from the Past to Guide the Future
By Jim Balderston
Many opinions have been put forward concerning the value, future and viability of B2B exchanges during the past few years. In many ways, these opinions have reflected the roller coaster ride of emotions concerning the revolutionary potential of the Internet and information technology, as well as the unbridled economic and financial enthusiasms of the day. A scant few years ago, exchanges were seen as the next big thing and the companies providing the technology for such exchanges truly had a tiger by the tail. Things have clearly changed since those halcyon days.
An industry or market segment review of key developments and how these will play out in the market including current deployments, end-user perspectives, technology drivers, future behavior, and key competitors.
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