Profile of Fritz NelsonVice President, Editorial Director InformationWeek Business Technology Network
News & Commentary Posts: 492
Fritz Nelson is a former senior VP and editorial director of the InformationWeek Business Technology Network.
Articles by Fritz Nelson
posted in October 2009
It's exciting to see this part of SAP: nimble, open, swift, even on demand. Last week, the company began showing pre-beta versions of several new software as a service technologies, code named 12 Sprints and Kona, one meant to provide a collaborative decision-making environment, the other to provide users with an on demand BI experience. We got an up close look, and filmed it, ReviewCam style, and even took a glance at SAP's newest BusinessObjects Explorer.
The World Wide Web is becoming the World Wide Watch -- a creepy place where people talk about behavioral targeting and learning your intent. The goal is less nefarious, because implied in that is the ability to offer consumers more meaningful content. Startup Atigeo promises to make this all palatable by giving users access to their social profiles, including how that profile is acted upon.
Wells Fargo's Executive Vice President of Information Services, Wayne Mekjian faces all of the challenges most bank IT executives face, like an increasing focus on security and privacy and a move to consumer friendly services like mobile banking. But he's also had to digest the integration of acquisitions. And yet, the bank still manages to focus on innovation. Mekjian shared some of his challenges and innovations in a video interview.
Windows Live Photo Gallery and Movie Maker come with Windows 7, but are free to download and will make working with your photo images insanely easy. Movie Maker is also a pretty nifty tool -- and one that should make YouTube happy, because I can see many families posting simple slide shows from this tool.
Windows 7 is being hailed as the operating system that Microsoft finally got right. Time will tell of course, but there's sure a lot to like at first glance. We got some demonstrations of a few of the end user productivity enhancements from Microsoft. In the first part of our video demonstration, we'll look at the new Taskbar and similar features.
As critical and operational applications drive today's business, one of the biggest challenges most organizations face is how to scale those applications (especially as they become distributed) and their data. Facebook is a great example of one of the most distributed, massive applications around. At Web 2.0, Facebook's VP of Engineering, Mike Schroepfer, talked about how they tackle this challenge.
HP unveiled its MagCloud offering at Web 2.0 Summit this week. It's an impressive service that gives would-be publishers a cost-effective and cost-predictable way to easily publish content, all on-demand. We got a hands-on demonstration.
WOWD is a new search engine that made its debut at Web 2.0 Summit this week. Mark Drummond, WOWD's CEO provided an explanation and demonstration on stage. (Video included.)
LendingClub offers an online service that lets borrowers borrow, and lets investors invest in that borrowing. We sat down with LendingClub CEO Renaud Laplanche to get a demonstration of this fascinating model.
At the Web 2.0 Summit this week, Evan Williams, CEO of the ever-popular Twitter, danced lithely around the question of his company's future revenue model -- a question that continues to dog the industry, but doesn't seem to faze Williams much at all. (Video clip included.)
Comcast Chairman and CEO Brian Roberts got the Web 2.0 Summit started this week talking about everything from its beta Fancast service to net neutrality and bandwidth capping to social networking. The only thing he couldn't talk about was its rumored work on acquiring NBC, but he did discuss the company's broader push into the content business.
PayPal President Scott Thompson announced at Web 2.0 this week that his company will be opening up its platform to developers, which should be good news, especially to startups.
Nokia had a variety of devices on display at the Web 2.0 Summit this week, none more compelling than the N900, which is the first phone in its portfolio to run the Maemo Operating System. We got a quick demo in the Ovi Lounge.
As we launch into another exciting week of Web happenings, I had a chance to conduct a video interview with the Web 2.0 Summit Chair, John Battelle about what we could expect to see this year. You can see the interview at our Live Web 2 Summit TV site. We'll stream selected content live, and on demand, throughout the conference on that site. The lineup is pretty impressive, but after talking to Battelle, I'm even more excited. Here's why.
One of our top five InformationWeek 500 award winners was Cincinnati Children's Hospital. In our video interview with CIO Marianne James, it was clear that her focus is being a part of the hospital's business, and making the hospital's business leaders a part of hers. This is a story of inclusion, which has bred extraordinary growth for this community hospital.
There have been many technology-oriented gatherings (conferences, expositions, etc), but none that rival Web 2.0 Summit for attention, hype and, ultimately, delivering the goods, and this week marks the sixth annual conference. The theme: Web Squared. Techweb and O'Reilly Media will be broadcasting select sessions live for those who couldn't make the sold out show.
This year's InformationWeek 500 awards were well chronicled on this site, but there's nothing like being at the InformationWeek 500 conference and the elegant gala we throw for our winners. We've captured the ceremony and the awards for you to watch, including special presentations of our top five, a look behind the scenes at our preparation and winners in several elite categories.
Earlier this year, Heartland Payment Systems announced a major security breach that sent a few shockwaves through the financial world, not just because of its impact on Heartland, but also because of what the incident revealed about the sophistication of the Russian hackers who perpetrated this fraud. Heartland's CSO Kris Herrin talked to me about it at our recent Bank Summit in Pasadena, CA.
Working alongside Progressive Insurance business leaders, CIO Raymond Voelker's team developed an application -- called "Name Your Price" -- which flips the online auto-insurance quoting practice inside out. Instead of entering the features you want and getting a price, you can use the apps sliding bar to select a price and see what kind of insurance you can get.
A friend of mine writes for Conan O'Brien. I knew he would do great things because not only did he test out of high school a year early, but he was a bigger smart ass than me. He took me to the Friar's Club once for dinner and broke his job down for me: slip in around 9 am, read newspapers for a couple hours combing for current events, and then write jokes. When the day was done, all the writers would go see whether their jokes made it on the show. On a good day, two or three make it. Now ain't
This won't surprise you: Salesforce.com wants every application it runs to be in the cloud. Now getting there hasn't been easy, but the company's Vice President of Enterprise Strategy (and former CIO), Trae Chancellor, sees all of the upsides (including proving the viability of his own company's business model, one supposes).
OK, this is fun: Electronic signature in the cloud. I know, it sounds small, but how many documents do you sign? What about your employees (HR forms)? Your sales team (contracts)? EchoSign lets you create a workflow to do this, from delivery to the actual signature to the storage and management. And all in the cloud.
One of the most difficult challenges of Unified Communications has been getting end users to buy in and use the systems. In our final whiteboard tutorial, we discuss getting rogue users and resisters to leverage the technology.
One of the big hurdles in deploying unified communications, especially where it includes Web-based technology (think Skype, Instant Messaging, even texting), is how to tie all of that rogue communication into your compliance and security policies. That's the topic of our Whiteboard Tutorial today.
Anytime you put a "C" in your title, your shadow grows and there's no place to hide. We decided to put three CIOs in the hot seat, in front of their peers, and in front of a board of directors, American Idol-style. The board was tough, but the CIOs were phenomenal.