The Village View

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Enterprise 2.0 Conference - more thoughts

Had a few more thoughts on the Enterprise 2.o Conference last week in Boston. I attended the Enterprise Mash-Ups session. As is my style, this is neither complete nor in any particular order

  • Ajay Gandhi (i think this was his name, but I don't see it on the program) made a seldom heard, but I thought very important point around using Web 2.0 technologies in your company: "You can't ignore your enterprise apps or your IT governance." It seems very popular in many Web 2.0 circles to think of enterprise application software and the IT org as soooo yesterday. However, most people still work in organizations that use enterprise apps and, while they may be able to circumvent IT in the short term, need to work with the CIO's office.
  • First mash up I saw in the Enterprise 2.0 Mash Ups session showed Google Maps. Uhhh! Please just one demo of a mash up that does NOT involve Google Maps.
  • Didn't see the value in the ShareMethods demo. There was an on-demand word processing tool, a presentation tool and a spreadsheet. All from separate vendors, but integrated. "All documents can be shared across all apps." Ok, I can do that now with Microsoft Office, or if I don't want to shell out the money with OpenOffice Why repeat something that already exists? And the fact that they're "on demand" is just not an interesting enough (or sustainable) differentiator to me. If anyone doesn't think that Microsoft will offer essentially the same capabilities, I'd would respectfully disagree.
  • Rod Smith of IBM talked about "how do I get to the data?" Fair enough and very important. However, I asked the question "what about process-orientated mash ups?" Most of us work in organizations with processes and use various products to complete tasks. I would have loved to have seen what someone is doing to mash-up a CRM tool with an SME accounting tool (Peachtree, QuickBooks). That may be a bad example, but I could imagine that process mash ups would be very useful. (When I mentioned this to Jeff a few days ago, he made the point to me that you don't realize how important data mash ups are until you really need one).

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Enterprise 2.0 Conference

Arrived yesterday morning to the Enterprise 2.0 Conference. (After having just gotten back from Europe the day before-uuhh). The conference is at the Westin Waterfront, which is a gorgeous hotel. about 10 years ago or so I used to work right down the street at Thomson Financial. None of this stuff was here then. Flying out tonight to Toronto to address an ASUG meeting there. A couple of thoughts from yesterday:

  • David Weinberger, who gave one of the keynotes, made, at least, two points I found interesting around metadata
    • Best real word example of metadata and what finally crystalized the concept for me: library card catalog.
    • "No difference between data and metadata.....Everything is metadata" - "Metadata is what you know, data is what you're looking for."
      • David showed how something that is generally considered data, e.g., a line from a book -"Call me Ishmael" - can also be metadata. If that's the only line you remember, but you don't remember the book's title or author, you can search on that line.
  • Fellow Irregular Andrew McAfee made a request during his keynote for a central repository of Enterprise 2.0 success stories. He says he seems to cite the same examples over and over.
  • Ran into a former McKinsey colleague of mine on the plane down. Seems McKinsey has an initiative around technology and business that involves how Enterprise 2.o technologies will affect things. To me this is an indication that these technologies are now on the radar screens of C-level executives at the world's largest firms.
  • Attendance is good in terms of quantity and quality. Several Irregulars are here (thanks to Atlassian for picking up dinner last night!) and I've met a few new people, including Michael Krigsman with whom I had a good discussion over lunch. I'm looking forward to expanding my network today.
  • There's no accounting for taste. At dinner last night there was a very heated debate about best band of the 70's. In one corner was Andrew McAfee making a spirited case for Led Zeppelin; in the other was Jason Wood arguing (seriously) for Earth, Wind and Fire?!?!? Don't they know it's Lynard Skynard?

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

New Blog Series: ABAP Trial Version for Newbies

Have you been dying to learn more about SAP's programming language, ABAP? Of course, you have. The blog is on the SAP Developer Network, which requires (free) registration. SDN is a great source of SAP information. There are north of 900k registered users of whom, I've heard, 600k or so log in at least once a week.

The blog series will start with easy - but essential - topics such as starting and stopping the SAP NW [NetWeaver] ABAP Application server from the management console. They'll lead you to the development environment, where you can check out how easy and convenient it is to write applications in ABAP.

Here's series:

Part 1 ' Download and installation of the Trial Version '
Part 2 ' Starting and Stopping the Application Server '
Part 3 ' Why and How the Server Matters to You as a Developer: Server Architecture and Work Processes '
Part 4 ' Many Developers On One Central Server - How Does It Work '
Part 5 ' Navigation in the Application Server '
Part 6 ' A first Hello-World-Program '
Part 7 ' Creating a Program and a Package - An Introduction to the SAP Change and Transport System '
Part 8 ' Exporting development objects from SP8'
Part 9 ' Importing a transport into SP11 '
Part 10 ' A First Little Business Program '
Part 11 ' Getting More Familiar With the ABAP Dictionary '
Part 12 ' Debugging in ABAP '
Part 13 ' Get Your Program up to Speed '
Part 14 ' The Foundation of an Application - Creating the Database Tables '

Monday, June 11, 2007

SAP Strengthens Silicon Valley Presence

Looks like SAP opened up a new facility in Palo Alto to showcase how the products run on and work with some partner hardware and software. Again, my sense is that Palo Alto remains an important location to the company (personal opinion). I'm going to be out there in a couple of weeks; may try to stop by and check the new lab out.

SAP brought out its top brass to show off the big iron inside its new Co-Innovation Lab here today. Executives from a number of tech companies, including HP, Intel, Cisco and NetApp joined SAP CEO Henning Kagerman and other top execs at the unveiling of the lab which includes computer products and systems donated by the above-mentioned companies

Sponsors of the lab will participate in joint projects with ISVs, systems integrators and other technology vendors. There are also plans to have them collaborate with SAP to develop "solution blueprints" designed to help customers create data center environments optimized to support enterprise SOA (define). Callidus Software, Novell, Questra and Wonderware are among the first ISVs signing on to initiate projects

Monday, June 04, 2007

TechCrunch: Salesforce Is Acquisition Bait

Not sure if I'd use TechCrunch as *the* source for enterprise software news (I would, of course, for new media/internet btw), but this one is probably correct. Additionally, it's an interesting post about the why a link up makes sense and the effects on Microsoft. I do NOT think, however, that an acquisition of by Google is imminent. Benioff doesn't need the money and likely enjoys running the company (although it seems some folks think he's getting a bit bored. who knows)

Salesforce has scheduled a press conference tomorrow to announce a strategic partnership with a “leading Internet company based in the Bay Area.” CEO Marc Benioff and a “special guest” will make the announcement together.

The smart money is betting that the partner is Google....

Some of you may remember that one of my predictions for the year was a Google move into CRM. Not saying this is exactly that move, but it's certainly "directionally correct."