Monthly Archives: August 2014

Intel Reimagining Data Centers With More ‘Intel Inside’

By | August 21, 2014

With Intel’s Developer Forum (IDF) just around the corner, it’s a great time to assess the company’s current position and likely moves as it addresses tumultuous changes in its primary consumer and enterprise businesses. As I detail in this column, for IT managers, the focus should be less on PC and mobile processors, or whether Intel (finally) breaks into the smartphone and tablet markets, but the company’s strategy to become a more significant force, nay perhaps the dominant presence, within the data center. The IA platform in the form of its Xeon line, already rules the server market, with survey data from InformationWeek showing 95% penetration, with 8$% of IT organizations making extensive use of the platform. But Intel has steadily been moving up the value chain to thwart eroding commodification of its core business as white box servers have become almost disposable widgets for cloud providers while the cloud itself takes a larger share of enterprise business.

Source: Intel

Source: Intel

For over a year, Intel has been spreading its plans to re-architect the data center using a three-part strategy:

  • Infrastructure optimization for greater power and workload efficiency
  • Extending its processor and component designs to meet new workloads, specifically cloud, big data, HPC, network and storage systems
  • enabling software abstraction layers in every part of the infrastructure and hastening the move to the automated software defined data center

At IDF, expect the company to not only detail its next-generation Xeon processors, but show how it is forking and customizing the platform, while still hewing to the IA standard, with new chip modules (in SoCs), coprocessors, accelerators and reference designs to meet the full spectrum of data center workloads; not just enterprise software, but cloud scale applications, big data/Hadoop distributed databases, multi-tenant virtualized server farms, custom HPC applications, storage systems, even network switching, packet control and network services collectively known as SDN and NFV. My column fills in the details of what enterprises should look for at IDF. I’ll be back after the show to analyze the actual announcements.

Intel_Workload-Diversity

Source: Intel

 

Competing with the Behemoths: Generis Takes on EMC, Oracle and IBM By Actually Listening to Customers

By | August 18, 2014

I recently completed a research project looking at ECM software and one vendor in particular that is winning business from large, established incumbents like EMC (Documentum), IBM and Oracle. I was intrigued by Generis since I wanted to understand how such a small, private company could successfully develop and market a product that amounts to an extra-cost add-on to already expensive ECM software.

Source: Wikipedia

Source: Wikipedia

As I wrote in a recent Forbes column, building a business on something that replaces and supplements standard features on an already bloated software platform doesn’t seem like a winning business strategy, however when you actively listen and respond to what prospective customers want, delivering features they actually find useful and use a lean development process with a few superstar developers, you can make it work.

That emphasis, almost an obsession really, on the customer has been Generis’ secret. Its CARA user interface product for popular enterprise content management (ECM) platforms directly competes with the native UIs. As part of my broader research into the ECM market, I had an extensive conversation with the company’s CEO and founder, James Kelleher. Kelleher, whose British accent and prior experience as a document management analyst at GlaxoWellcome (now GlaxoSmithKline) belie his origins, now operates Generis from Princeton, although when I talked with him he was back in the U.K.

Source: Business 2 Community

Source: Business 2 Community

As I write in Forbes, the key to CARA’s development and success is a focus on the ECM user; specifically the tasks they are trying to accomplish, the information they need to find and the overall ease of actually working with an ECM platform versus the backend platform features like revision control, meta data schemas, authentication and data management or data security. Click through to the column for more of my conversation with Kelleher on his product strategy and building a successful software business from scratch.