Profile of Mary Hayes Weier
News & Commentary Posts: 631
Articles by Mary Hayes Weier
I'll make a prediction that 2010 will be the most exciting year yet for cloud computing, and that's partly related to Microsoft's ramp-up of Azure. Anyone attending Salesforce.com's Dreamforce conference last month understands the potential of cloud platforms for rapid application development. And this is all coming together at a time when IT shops need to quickly and cheaply turn out innovative new applications for the business.
CIO's priorities include CRM, financials, and collaboration software. And the automaker is keeping a close eye on Apple and Google.
We were in a meeting yesterday at General Motor's headquarters with Kirk Gutmann, chief technology and strategy officer, when a woman walked in and handed Gutmann a note. I could see type highlighted in bright yellow. She said, "You need to be in a 4 p.m. board meeting that just got called." I saw a flash of concern pass over Gutmann's face. We shook hands, and our meeting was quickly adjourned. Less than an hour later, I learned CEO Fritz Henderson had resigned.
CSC will support 30,000 U.K. postal service employees using cloud versions of Exchange and SharePoint.
Shortly before Salesforce.com's Dreamforce conference started last Wednesday, the San Francisco Fire Department had locked the doors to Moscone Center to let the crush of bodies entering it disperse before letting in more attendees. I thought, are you kidding me? All this for a mid-size software company? But as I talked to attendees over the next few days, I began to understand what was stoking such enthusiasm I haven't seen in years in the enterprise software industry.
Salesforce.com's challenge will be to convince even more CIOs and developers that it's no longer just a CRM company.
Chatter brings Facebook- and Twitter-type capabilities to applications running on the Force.com cloud computing platform.
More than 15,000 people are attending the Dreamforce conference in San Francisco starting Tuesday night-good proof that Salesforce.com is fulfilling its destiny as a cloud computing platform provider. (This many people wouldn't show up for a CRM conference.) Meanwhile, down in L.A., Microsoft execs are talking to developers about building apps to run on Windows Azure. Is that the crash-boom-bang of competitive thunderclouds I hear on the horizon?
A customer success story spotlights the pitched battle among online apps.
Today I chatted with Jeremy Vincent, CIO of Jaguar Land Rover, on his choice of Google Gmail for 15,000 users. You'll read the details of that decision in an upcoming story. But an interesting aside from the Gmail deal is Vincent's interest in Microsoft's plan to put its Office suite in the cloud.
Software-as-a-service revenue is projected to rise 17.7% in 2009, fueled by growth in CRM and office suites.
Will companies move their core business applications to the cloud? It's one of the great unanswered questions, and one reason NetSuite is so interesting to watch. Based on NetSuite's third-quarter financial report, the answer to this question remains partly cloudy.
The offer for six free months of Dynamics CRM Online came a day after Microsoft dropped prices for cloud versions of Exchange and SharePoint.
Exchange Online's monthly price drops from $10 to $5, and storage increases to 25 Gbytes, matching Google Gmail.
The business intelligence application vendor's performance is in striking contrast to the broader software industry.
The Los Angeles City Council has chosen Google over Microsoft for 30,000 city employees' email accounts. What better place than Tinseltown for this tech industry drama to play out, with one councilman even delivering a choice line about whether cloud computing could push the city off the edge of a cliff (a drama AND an action film). But we're still waiting for an ending that answers this question: Why Google over Microsoft?
Content Analytics is a set of business intelligence tools designed to analyze e-mail, blogs, reports, and other external data.
The automaker has purchased 15,000 seats for Google Apps, incuding Gmail.
Cloud Computing. SaaS. They're such over-used marketing words that they've become the butt of jokes (Larry Ellison on YouTube, anyone?). But hopefully the hype machine hasn't generated too much noise to drown out the fact that there have been some significant, permanent changes in how CIOs view software. At InformationWeek, we call it Alternative IT.
When software vendors issue a press release on a deal, it's usually for a new customer win. But after some scuttlebutt last month about souring negotiations between SAP and marquee customer Siemens, SAP decided to put out a different type of release Wednesday: Siemens has renewed its maintenance contract with SAP.
Analyst R "Ray" Wang is a tireless and well-respected customer advocate in the world of enterprise software. Now Wang is bringing his advocacy over to the SaaS side with his recently published "Customer Bill of Rights" for SaaS. I share with you some of the highlights.
Software-as-a-service lets CIOs pay only for what they need, but CIOs need to make sure they get the system performance they've paid for.
Ralph Szygenda takes a board seat as the application performance management firm prepares to acquire Gomez.
Microsoft today said it had recovered most of affected Sidekick customers' lost data. But this past weekend, like a doctor issuing a terminal prognosis, T-Mobile told affected customers that their data "almost certainly has been lost." So, what changed between then and now?
So Marc Benioff treaded onto Larry Ellison's turf at Oracle Open World yesterday and acknowledged that sometimes, customers use both Oracle and Salesforce.com. Well, unless you're completely gullible to the attention-loving drama kings of the software industry, this shouldn't come as a surprise. Cloud and traditional computing will forever coexist in an IT architecture world that is far more grey than black and white, and both Larry and Marc know it.
Improved integration between SAP Business Warehouse and HP Neoview could help stave off competition from Oracle/Sun's Exadata 2.
Think of the one million T-Mobile Sidekick customers that may have lost important data last week. Think of the dozens of CIOs that anxiously waited for Workday to restore its SaaS service on Sept 24. Cloud computing has created a new era of accountability, and we must demand that tech vendors work harder than ever to prove their trustworthiness.
On Sept. 24, Workday's SaaS service for human resources, financial applications and payroll was down for 15 hours. That's right, not 15 minutes, not 1.5 hours, but 15 hours. Google Gmail is down for 90 minutes, as it's as if the world has come to an end. So it begs the question: Is 15 hours' downtime for core applications such as accounting and HR acceptable?
Microsoft's march toward cloud computing is fascinating to watch. Next year, Microsoft will take the most successful desktop software package of all time-Office-and offer it online to businesses, somewhat similar to the Google Apps model. Microsoft's VP of Online recently shared with me some thoughts on Microsoft's strategy-and the conversation he had with Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer that led to Office Web Apps 2010 and other decisions.
IBM released a $3-a-month, online subscription email service this week, called LotusLive iNotes, and really, it had no choice but to get very aggressive on the SaaS front. I know of at least two big company CIOs that recently left Notes and migrated to Google Gmail or Microsoft Exchange online, after considering upgrades to both on-premises Notes and the existing Notes subscription service that starts at $8 a month.
The move will enable Compuware to offer peformance management to customers with apps in the cloud.
Customers using the app can make car payments and view account information from iPhones and iPod Touches.
Customers of Salesforce.com will have access to Cisco's Unified Contact Center technologies for customer service.
FinancialForce.com, a startup providing financial and accounting software as a service, is getting a minority investment and on-campus office space from Salesforce.com.
Workday, an important SaaS company to watch, has hired the former CEO of PolyServe, later acquired by Hewlett-Packard, as its new president. Yet this isn't a case of a startup hiring an experienced exec to shop it around. As Workday's Aneel Bhusri recently told me, "Dave Duffield and I largely control the company, and we did not start Workday to sell it."
The app, which provides access to NetSuite's on-demand enterprise-resourcing planning and CRM suite, is another example of business SaaS going mobile.
Oracle, it seems, is trying to hammer out a strategy to more heavily embrace the most radical faction of the SaaS movement, one that completely upends the traditional software vendor profit model: Subscription-based pricing. If what Oracle said Tuesday in a Web event is true, this could be a huge shift for the software giant.
Mid-market software-as-a-service will include the option of subscription-based pricing, the software company said.
The software giant wants to pick up divisional business from large companies standardized on Oracle or SAP ERP.
Venture capital funding is at a historic low, yet at least eight software startups announced VC funding in the past two weeks for a total of more than $60 million. Their products are all very different, but they have one thing in common: they're delivered in a software-as-a-service model.
SAS Institute CEO Jim Goodnight talks cloud computing, education, and software industry consolidation with InformationWeek.
Werner Vogels says EC2 customers should talk with software vendors about licensing -- something Amazon itself is already doing.
IT executives at the InformationWeek 500 conference tell about innovative uses for RFID and touchscreen technology.
New strategies by SuccessFactors and Taleo show how SaaS vendors plan to maintain strong growth.
Cloud computing-based customer relationship management software is particularly suitable for integrating with social networking sites.
There's been plenty of blogging, twittering, and general hand-wringing about Google's Gmail outage Tuesday. But rather than extend this into yet another philosophical discussion about the viability of cloud computing, let's keep this in mind: Businesses who've signed on for Gmail don't expect perfection. In fact, both Google and Microsoft only agree to 99.9% uptime for their online email offerings.
Enterprises using Gmail don't expect 100 percent uptime, but they do expect communication and transparency regarding outages.
Apparently the third-party software maintenance firm known as Rimini Street, which Oracle and SAP have claimed is no threat to their businesses, is indeed a threat. Oracle has filed court documents requesting Rimini Street to produce information about its business, which it says could be a "carbon copy" of TomorrowNow, the company at the center of Oracle's lawsuit against SAP.
The IT outsourcing company has teamed with Oracle to offer a platform service that software companies can use to join the SaaS industry.
Lions Gate, the studio responsible for the film and TV hits "Crash" and "Mad Men," is using the Kindle e-reader to distribute scripts.
The service lets customers integrate and move data between apps in Amazon's Elastic Compute Cloud and their own data centers.
Microsoft and Google go head-to-head next year over online apps for business.
Customers will create a VPN to bridge Amazon to their existing IT infrastructures and use their existing security systems to protect data.
The CRM provider announced a year-over-year revenue increase of 20% for its second fiscal quarter ended July 31.
Forrester Research predicts that growing interest in predictive analytics will spur a new wave of consolidation in the business intelligence software market. So I asked the king of predictive analytics, SAS Institute, if the company is up for sale. Here's the answer: "We don't have a sign in the front yard by any means."
SAP will likely acquire a company specializing in predictive analytics within the next year, Forrester Research predicts.
Something that often gets lost in the discussion about cloud computing is what it means for traditional IT outsourcing. Many of the benefits are the same: Reduced costs, less internal development of software, reduced management of applications and hardware. So as cloud computing matures, it seems the IT outsourcing industry will have to evolve to adapt.
Data collected from networked sensors on highways and across power grids can be used by governments and utilities to make decisions.
Despite its strong ranking, Apple was the only computer company to see its position drop since last year, according to the American Customer Satisfaction Index.
SAP joined several venture firms in funding social networking site LinkedIn with $22.7 million last fall.
SuccessFactors, provider of an employee-performance management software service, announced today that it's using NetSuite's ERP software service. Well, good for them. And shouldn't we see more of that--the software-as-a-service industry eating its own dog food?
Two other companies talked to SPSS about an acquisition of the predictive analytics technologies firm, SEC filings reveal.
Haworth, a $1.65 billion maker of office furniture, built an iPhone app and used Facebook and Twitter to drive customers into its showrooms.
More and more we're seeing examples of how on-premise software and SaaS can work hand-in-hand, and not necessarily in opposition. Consider Panaya, the provider of a software service for automating on-premise SAP upgrades, which just got $5 million in a second round of venture capital funding.
An analyst says Oracle, SAP, or HP may try to outbid IBM's $1.2 billion offer.
Pizza Hut, Kraft, and Whole Foods are looking to iPhone apps to grow revenues in a tough economy.
Enhancements and testing of the software-as-a-service suite indicate that SAP intends to make the offering more broadly available next year.
IBM's performance in the BI market has been sub-par, but the SPSS acquisition gives it a trump card against SAP and Oracle.
Ralph Szygenda's incoming successor, Terry Kline, will have to prove he's a tough negotiator with IT providers, at a time when the troubled automaker is at its most vulnerable.
CEO Fritz Henderson announced Szygenda's resignation as part of a management shake-up at the troubled automaker. Terry Kline, one of Szygenda's direct reports, will take over as CIO.
Departure of Charles Rozwat, who reports directly to Larry Ellison, comes as Oracle prepares to launch its next-generation Fusion applications.
Last week, PBS's NewsHour with Jim Lehrer reported on cloud computing, even attempting (not quite successfully) to describe a multi-tenant architecture. Yesterday, my 67-year-old mother-in-law explained to me this concept she read about called "cloud computing." It's finally happened: Cloud computing has entered pop culture.
It may take 10 years, the CEO acknowledges, noting that Oracle is currently only "a little bit" involved in cloud computing.
IT departments won't have to arrange for separate licenses or subscriptions for business intelligence tools that people want to use in their companies' Jive-based wikis.
Popular applications for software-as-a-service include CRM, expense management, human resources, and Web analytics. But now we're seeing a sudden burst of activity around business intelligence SaaS. Makes sense, since BI software is popular right now, and shares characteristics with the aforementioned apps that make it right for cloud computing.
Antenna expects the buy to give it more leverage in the mobile middleware market, which is expected to grow at a healthy clip as more businesses add mobile device support.
SAP/Business Objects led the pack with 24% of the business intelligence market; SAS Institute and Oracle tied for second place.
After I wrote about SAP's new SaaS strategy Wednesday, several SAP competitors sent emails slamming the strategy. Not an unusual response from competitors, right? But I did accept the offer to talk to Lars Dalgaard, CEO of SuccessFactors, which just landed a massive deal for 420,000 seats of its talent-management SaaS with Post a Comment
SAP's new head of on-demand software applications for large companies provides the first details of SAP's strategy for delivering subscription-based apps to Business Suite customers.
The 3.0 OS on the new Apple iPhone 3G S will make it easier for developers to push enterprise application updates to users' iPhones. Still, if Apple were truly interested in making the iPhone successful in business, it would be doing more.
The company will use SuccessFactors' software as a service to manage employee performance, compensation, and recruiting in 80 countries.
There's an assumption that it's mostly small and midmarket companies that are interested in cloud computing, since they don't already have huge IT infrastructures, while large companies want to keep everything inside their own firewalled data centers. But new research from Forrester indicates that conventional wisdom is wrong.
Szygenda anticipates changes to the IT budget and outsourcing contracts worth billions of dollars, while lifting the "historical weight of our heavy balance sheet."
The service rollouts demonstrate how vendors are trying to differentiate themselves with innovations intended to get them a bigger share of the emerging cloud computing market.
HP's resellers will offer appliances for handling integration between SaaS and on-site applications, which remains one of the biggest hardships of SaaS deployments.
New sole-CEO Leo Apotheker wants the enterprise-software powerhouse to be more responsive to customers.
So you buy a new smartphone, and the touch pad stinks. You post on your Twitter or Facebook account, "Should've known better than to buy a phone from XYZ Corp. Their stuff is junk." You expect a few sympathetic replies from friends. Instead, you get this surprising, and maybe a bit creepy, message from XYZ Corp.: "Are you having a problem with your new phone? Please contact us--we'd like to help!" Welcome to the world of cloud monitoring services, brought to you by RightNow and Salesforce.com.
The site, managed by CIO Vivek Kundra, is intended to let businesses, organizations, and consumers access large sets of government data.
Conversation heard between two SAP sales guys dishing up garbanzo bean salad on the lunch line at Sapphire. Salesman #1: "What's with this maintenance cost controversy? I don't hear customers talk much about it." Salesman #2: "Really? I hear about it all the time. I see deals getting smaller because of it." Well, they might want to talk to big boss Bill McDermott, who is plotting how to leverage the software maintenance-costs drama in a way that only a sales mastermind could.
The company's first big SaaS effort may need major reconstructive work before SAP can bring its ERP suite to market.
Leo Apotheker is intent on balancing the demand for lower prices and more value on one side, and shareholders anxious over declining profits and revenue on the other.
President Obama has made Internet-enabled government transparency a cornerstone of his administration, and the biggest test of that vision will be Recovery.gov, a Website designed to let citizens track most of $787 billion in economic stimulus spending. Early in the execution, however, we're seeing signs of problems.
The world's two largest enterprise software vendors finally got the message: CIOs do not view software maintenance fees like death and taxes. In a surprising move, Oracle has loosened its "we don't negotiate" stance and is giving some breaks on fees, while SAP is backpedaling from a staunchly unapologetic decision to raise its fee structure.
The change buys customers another year of standard fees on aging software products before increasing to extended-support rates. But is Oracle doing enough?
In two positive signs for SaaS this week, Workday got another round of venture funding for an impressive $75 million, and Oracle is reportedly planning seven SaaS products. I have a hunch we might hear something on the latter during President Charles Phillips' keynote at the Oracle user conference next week.
Getting IT and Web input from citizens for Recovery.gov is a way to "engage the American people in ingenuity and innovation," says federal CIO Vivek Kundra.
The partnership shows that neither vendor is sitting still as Oracle contemplates opportunities for hardware-software combos with its planned acquisition of Sun.
Cloud computing has a supporter in Federal CIO Vivek Kundra, who told me in an April 23 interview that he saw potential for big savings with the cloud approach. In fact, the fed's information portal, USA.gov, is being moved to a cloud-computing infrastructure within weeks.
The fear of exposing future product plans to competitors now seems to outweigh the drive to give customers the information they need to develop thought-out plans for IT deployments.
Intacct's deal with CPA group should push SaaS -- in the form of cloud-based financial software -- further into the accounting industry.