Enterprise headlines and summaries, 2009-09-12

  • Oracle forecast to post profit rise, sales slide
    Oracle Corp. is expected to post a slightly improved profit when it reports its first-quarter results after the market’s close next Wednesday, despite declining revenue as customers remain reluctant to make new software purchases amid the downturn.
  • Salesforce.com shares climb after upbeat reports
    Wedbush Morgan analyst Michael Nemeroff upgraded the stock Friday to “Neutral” from “Underperform.” He said his previous caution on Salesforce, which makes business software for managing sales, marketing and customer support, stemmed from “possible dissatisfaction with the company’s decelerating growth.”
  • Salesforce.com Launches Hype-as-a-Service, Erodes Trust
    Aggressive marketing is part of the game in this industry. Software marketing is like playing basketball in the NBA. You’d better sharpen up your elbows and get ready to bang bodies. But in this case Salesforce.com is going too far promoting statements that are simply not true. This Service Cloud 2 announcement is reverting to old Siebel tactics: Claim market leadership, make unsubstantiated claims, then build a bandwagon effect to acquire customers based on that hype.
  • Appeals Court Throws Out $358 Million Verdict Against Microsoft
    The case largely centered on Lucent’s claim that Microsoft Outlook’s calendar function infringed one of its patents. Microsoft argued that the patent was invalid and not infringed, but it also attacked the jury’s damages award as far too high.
  • Rules for evaluating startups and suspending disbelief
    # Startups change rapidly – If you saw Google or Facebook at 3 months old you wouldn’t have been impressed either. A year from now, and 3 years from now these companies will look very different. Look for the vision, not the current reality. # Great ideas are never obvious – Of course the idea isn’t obvious, or seems too simple. If it was obvious many companies would have already done it. You should scratch your head and say Huh? at this point. Was Facebook or Twitter obvious? Only a year or so later. Entrepreneurs can see around corners. The rest of us…not so much. # Elevator pitch isn’t the whole story – It is not possible to show everything and convey the full vision in a 6 minute demo. The press can’t accurately put the company in context, and extrapolate the vision, as they write in real time for just a few lines, and publish within minutes. Investors react faster, are better at pattern matching, and size up people quickly.
  • Dont cry for me, Germany
    What is interesting is IBM is being reported as one of the candidates Siemens is evaluating to provide it third party maintenance. I wonder if IBM is just as brazen (or naive) as SAP was and thinks it can get away without offering similar cut rate maintenance to its own mature Notes, Tivoli, Websphere and other software customers.
  • Siemens Cancels SAP Maintenance Contract
    # Do not give away your third party maintenance rights. Review your contracts with your legal team for such similar anti competitive language. Validate any suspicious terminology with the vendor # Avoid offers by sales reps to bundle contracts. Once bundled, you will lose the ability to choose what parts of the relationship you wish to change # Say “NO” to contracts that tie upgrade rights to current status of maintenance payments. Some blog readers report a new tactic emerging in the field where even after downloading upgrades to a perpetual license, some vendors are claiming you do not have such rights unless you are current on maintenance. This flies in the face of the spirit and intent of a perpetual license. # Eliminate gag rule clauses in your contracts. Make sure you retain the freedom to work with third parties to assist in contract negotiations. You’ll also want to have the right to discuss some benchmarking with peers and other user group members.
  • Interview: Vinod Khosla Is On The Hunt For Great Technologies
    So what are your feelings about your first company, Sun Microsystems, being acquired? Mr. KHOSLA: You know, I don’t want to – I think it’s better Oracle acquired it and stayed in the Silicon Valley culture than, say, IBM acquiring it. But frankly, you know, that was a long time ago for me.
  • Do You Need a Powerpoint Deck for a VC Meeting?
    So is the PowerPoint deck passé? Can you just show up without one? Short answer – ‘no.’ You need to be prepared for the “Triple Play.”
  • APAR Friday: DB2 V7 precompiler STILL isn’t dead
    Yup, you reading that correctly. IBM’s Silicon Valley Lab has decided to once again extend the use of the DB2 V7 precompiler, and by doing so extend the life of all of old COBOL code you’re still maintaining. First, you’re going to want to get yourself on the “interested parties” list for APAR PK91610 . That’s the APAR that is going to drag the V7 precompiler into DB2 9.
  • Fault-tolerant queries
    # Hadoop generally has query fault-tolerance. Intermediate result sets are materialized, and data isn’t tied to nodes anyway. So if a node goes down, its work can be sent to another node. # Hive actually did not have query fault-tolerance at that time, but it was on the roadmap. # Most DBMS vendors do not have query fault-tolerance. If a query fails, it gets restarted from scratch. # Aster Data’s nCluster, however, does appear to have some kind of query fault-tolerance.
  • What’s the New York Times doing with Hadoop?
    We continue to use Hadoop as a one-time batch process for tremendous volumes of image data at the New York Times. We’ve also moved up the food chain and use Hadoop for traditional text analytics and Web mining. It’s the most cost-effective solution for processing and analyzing large sets of data, such as user logs.
  • Hadoop buzz continues to excite the cloud
    With Hadoop now supporting the JDBC and ODBC protocols, integrating with existing systems is getting much easier. For example, Cloudera’s Distribution includes a tool called Sqoop which automates importing data from existing databases like MySQL and Oracle. This is just a start, and many such extensions will surely come from the vibrant development community.
  • Getting started with Hadoop and MapReduce
    Quickstart packages As with many complex technologies, just setting up a working environment can be a challenge in itself. One that is enough to discourage the causal learner. To help alleviate the stress of setting up a general Hadoop environment to help you start working with Hadoop and the related cloud technologies, as well to help you gain some useful hands-on experience, here are a few resources to help you get a working Hadoop environment going fairly quickly. * Introduction to Cloudera’s distribution of Hadoop * Cloudera’s VMWare training image, perfect for quick-access to hands-on examples preconfigured in Eclipse projects. Requires the free VMWare Player which works great on Linux and Windows. * OpenSolaris Hadoop LiveCD, works great in VirtualBox, can also install distribution to disk for a more permanent and dedicated development environment
  • Amazon Elastic MapReduce
    Amazon Elastic MapReduce is a web service that enables businesses, researchers, data analysts, and developers to easily and cost-effectively process vast amounts of data. It utilizes a hosted Hadoop framework running on the web-scale infrastructure of Amazon Elastic Compute CloudAmazon EC2) and Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3). Using Amazon Elastic MapReduce, you can instantly provision as much or as little capacity as you like to perform data-intensive tasks for applications such as web indexing, data mining, log file analysis, machine learning, financial analysis, scientific simulation, and bioinformatics research. Amazon Elastic MapReduce lets you focus on crunching or analyzing your data without having to worry about time-consuming set-up, management or tuning of Hadoop clusters or the compute capacity upon which they sit. (

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