One of my core beliefs is that it is very important to strive for perfection in all software product releases. In addition, I believe that it is important for companies to aggressively innovate to drive new and emerging technologies in their products with overwhelming positive business value, proven through continual adoption of their solutions by their customers.
A companies effort should continue to ensure that they are providing visionary leadership in their respective market.
In a companies product roadmap, they should set a theme of agility and innovation. They should also be driving their research and development teams to work closely with their industry colleagues and peers to deliver innovations together (through such avenues as partnerships and industry standards bodies) and independently for the success of the overall technology marketplace.
Next time you look at a vendors solution, ask them about how they pursue innovation and whether they have a priority and proven track record to help you benefit from their innovations. Make sure they are future proofing your investments. They owe it to you.
I wrote this last year as summer was unfolding in New England. Its worth mentioning that my views have expanded considerably since reading Dan Pinks latest book entitled The Whole New Mind and after spending time with Tom Peters this week.
It's pretty clear to me that we need more right brainers in the world of software. I'm talking about those kids in high school that were always afraid to raise their hands when someone asked "who in this class is an artist"? In fact, I've been exercising my right hemisphere every day. After talking to a friend about my right brain regiment, he recommended I read Dan Pinks book. I was amazed at how much the book resonated in both my left and right hemisphere. Furthermore, the book entitled Drawing On The Right Side Of The Brain by Betty Edwards, now in my library, should be a standard read for all software developers. When was the last time you started up a software product and said WOW! This Is Awesome, Beautiful, Elegant, Cool Looking, especially enterprise middleware tools that touch the developer, administrator or even user. We need more WOW!! The same sense you got when you first saw the iPod or when you looked at http://www.bugaboodaytrips.com (look under products page at the bugaboo frog).
Middleware tools that touch the glass need an iPod. It now time to give that left hemisphere a break and start really exercising that right brain in order to deliver more WOW, more Elegance and more Beauty!!!!!
The Innovation Capitalist
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The other day I was in Orlando Florida, unfortunately not on vacation but spending time with my industry peers at the Cognos Forum. As I was heading back to the airport, the rain came gushing out of the sky. Pretty typical afternoon in Florida these days. It was really pouring, so much that in about the time it takes to step out of the rental car bus to the terminal building I became soaked and I mean soaked. Now imagine how companies must feel about dealing with the deluge of data that is pouring down on them everyday. Are they feeling soaked like I was the other day?
As companies try to make sense of this deluge of corporate information, they face the logistical challenges of managing, storing, and sorting through massively expanding volumes of all types of data, whether it be analytical, operational or transactional in nature. As one deals with this deluge of data, they must integrate data at a more granular level dealing at the individual transaction level rather than with general summary data.
To address such great challenges in dealing with this data, enterprises will require, at a minimum a scalable data integration platform that has:
- A data-flow architecture that enables data to process from input to output without landing to disk either in batch or real-time modes.
- Support for dynamic data partitioning and in-flight repartitioning of data
- Scalable hardware environments that support SMP, clustering and MPP platforms, and do not require modifications of underlying data integration flows and processes.
- Support for leading parallel databases such as IBM DB2 UDB both in parallel and partitioned configurations
- An extensible framework to incorporate in-house and third-party software.
- Reliability, security and longevity.
Just like a Floridian storm drains designed to handle rain storms that goes from a few sprinkles to a soaking down pour, the architecture of a scalable data integration platform must be able to support the organization as data volumes grow and performance requirements increase. Key to this support is an architecture that has no upper bounds and is able to grow linearly with the hardware environments. Increasing performance should be as simple as adding processors or nodes to the hardware environment. More importantly, hardware upgrades should be able to occur with no change to the underlying data integration platform.
Consider this, a transportation company created a yield-management application that allows it to re-price its service four times per day, creating $100 million in incremental revenue annually with our enterprise data integration platform that handles the deluge of data pouring on this company every day. I guess you would say they have solved the data deluge with strong ROI to show for the investment. No one walking around soaking wet in this company.
MOSS stands for the Massachusetts Open Software Summit. This event was held last week in Boston by the Massachusetts Software Council. The facilities at Babson College were great, the audience was dynamic and the speakers and panelists were outstanding including our own Douglas Heintzman who is the Director of Technical Strategy for IBM Software Group and who focuses on the topic of Open Source at IBM. I would encourage you to visit this site: http://oss-sig.softwaregarden.com/blogs/oss-sig/ that Dan Bricklin has put together where you can see links to other blogs on this event. You can now also download the podcasts for each of the sessions. You definitely should listen to these podcasts.
Marc Fleury of JBoss delivered a pretty polemic keynote which certainly inspired several audience members to speak up in response to some of his views. It was a great keynote.
We also heard about Open Source Licensing hosted by Karen Copenhaver, general counsel of Black Duck Software, and Ira Heffan of Goodwin Procter, this panel discussed some of the most interesting recent developments in open source licensing topics. These folks are seriously smart lawyers who have some great experiences on this topic. It certainly showed at the event.
We then heard from a dynamic panel featuring the topic of Open Source Business Models And Strategies with folks from Red Hat, JasperSoft, IBM Software Group, Iona and Opteros where they discussed the state of affairs in the world of open source businesses and the challenges they face as they go against the proprietary commercial giants.
I personally enjoyed all the sessions as the co-host alongside Dan Bricklin, who was running all over the lecture hall with a microphone capturing feedback, I'm sure he lost several pounds that day. He has also spent a great deal of time putting together the site and recording (from tape) all the podcasts. A virtual round of applause for Dan.
I was particularly intrigued by the presentation delivered by Nat Friedman VP Engineering and Collaboration, Novell, and Miguel de Icaza, VP Engineering, Mono Project and Ximian Co-Founder, where the session featured a technical discussion along with tips on how to create a successful open source Project. Nat was pretty blunt about things in the open source space and was very clear about where Open Source is heading.
All in all this was a terrific event and again, if you didn make it, I would strongly encourage you to visit the site that Dan Bricklin put together (link above) and listen to the podcasts. Be sure to look at the presentations that accompany the podcasts.
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I want to personally welcome you to my new blog page. For those of you that have been reading my entries at the Ascential.com address: http://blogs.ascential.com/bob/ I'm now going to move all my new blogs to this new location.
I'm now headed off to the Cognos user group meeting in Florida and will be posting a few blog entries while I'm down there. In the meantime, I would encourage you to explore the great blogs that are posted here at IBM. Lots of great insight, opinion and good advice.[Read More]