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Claudia Imhoff

Welcome to my blog.

This is another means for me to communicate, educate and participate within the Business Intelligence industry. It is a perfect forum for airing opinions, thoughts, vendor and client updates, problems and questions. To maximize the blog's value, it must be a participative venue. This means I will look forward to hearing from you often, since your input is vital to the blog's success. All I ask is that you treat me, the blog, and everyone who uses it with respect.

So...check it out every week to see what is new and exciting in our ever changing BI world.

About the author >

A thought leader, visionary, and practitioner, Claudia Imhoff, Ph.D., is an internationally recognized expert on analytics, business intelligence, and the architectures to support these initiatives. Dr. Imhoff has co-authored five books on these subjects and writes articles (totaling more than 150) for technical and business magazines.

She is also the Founder of the Boulder BI Brain Trust, a consortium of independent analysts and consultants (www.BBBT.us). You can follow them on Twitter at #BBBT

Editor's Note:
More articles and resources are available in Claudia's BeyeNETWORK Expert Channel. Be sure to visit today!


Recently in Business News Category

I have seen a horse fly and a house fly but now I have to say that I have seen a donkey FLY! Yes indeed -- today, Oracle announced that it would in fact buy Siebel Systems. I do hope the marriage is happier than the analysts had predicted... (see my May 5 blog)

I would love to be a "fly on the wall" during the meeting between the two companies' leaders to decide who does what...

Posted September 12, 2005 3:23 PM
Permalink | 4 Comments |

Soon, you may be able to do all your emails and Instant Messages at 35,000 feet. Almost half of the world’s airlines plan to offer in-flight communications such as these by 2007 according to a report from the Airline IT Trends Survey published by SITA.

Now for the bad (IMHO) news – more than a third of the airlines also said they will allow passengers to use their mobile phones on planes as well. Oh nooooooo! I can’t imagine anything worse that being strapped in an uncomfortable airline seat with some loud mouth yakking into his or her cell phone for the entire trip! I get upset enough when this happens on the ground. But at least there, I can walk away from the situation. No can do in an airplane. So much for my peaceful sanctuary in the air...

Other new toys for the airlines? Many airports will offer general purpose kiosks from which you will be able to print your boarding pass regardless of the airline. Also more customers will be able to print their boarding passes before leaving for the airport. This feature will require the airlines to introduce bar codes on tickets (as opposed to the magnetic strips used today) which may also allow passengers to present their boarding passes at the gate on a mobile phone or PDA! Now that is pretty cool.

Unfortunately since many airlines are cash strapped just now, the distribution of the newer technologies will not be even. Those with the new capabilities will have an integration issue as well in that they will always have to interface with airlines that are still paper-based. We are lucky here in North America in that the local airlines already have a pretty good jump on the rest of the world’s airlines. Currently 63% of all tickets in North America are sold though online channels, with 24% in Europe, and only 10% in Asia.

These findings are based on responses from senior IT executives at the world’s top 200 airlines – which account for two-thirds of the world’s airline revenues. The reasons for these new communications services are to hook new customers and to create better loyalty in current customers, especially during this time when the airlines are struggling.

Nothing like always being in touch... NOT! I welcome your thoughts on these technological directions.

Your in BI success,


Posted September 7, 2005 8:59 PM
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Microsoft is getting into the package tracking and delivery business. Yes, the mighty software company has partnered with hardware vendors to create its own version of the RFID (Radio Frequency Identifier). Today they are offering it to post offices throughout the world but who knows where they will go tomorrow...

The technology allows a postal service, the package sender and the receiver to view precisely where a package is at any time. Currently most of the big package senders, Fed Ex, UPS, DHL, have services similar to this.

Microsoft's technology goes further though in terms of its ability to personalize package delivery. Their RFID chip has the ability to send out notifications to the receiver indicating when the package will arrive. It can even send out alerts to senders via MSN Messenger or your mobile phone that the package has been signed for at its destination. The chip can hold much more information than a bar code that is used today by other carriers.

Microsoft has combined its software with hardware from partners like Texas Instruments to come up with a RFID tag that is about the size of a playing card. The card has a sticker on one side to hold it onto the package and contains information about the package's contents, the sender, receiver, destination, etc. This information helps not only to track the package but can also be used to make the mailing process more efficient by telling other electronic devices -- like sorting machines -- where the package should be sent.

I can see a future where the RFID not only directs its own shipment but could even relay back to the postal service if its machines were not performing correctly. "Yo dude, your sorting machine just ate my packaging..."

Posted August 25, 2005 10:20 AM
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HP and IBM made big headlines today for very different reasons. In his first major move at HP's helm, Mark Hurd announced plans to remove 14,500 employees -- roughly a tenth of HP's workforce.

Not to be outdone, IBM announced major reshuffling in its executive ranks with the retirement of Janet Perna, long time head of IBM's information management solutions, and the departure of John Joyce, head of the company's Global Services consulting arm.

For HP's Mark Hurd, this move should seem familiar to Hurd followers. He had a very similar strategy when he was the head of NCR where he cut jobs. The good news -- the move is expected to save nearly $2 billion annually, starting in 2007. No chump change there. However, Hurd repeatedly refused to answer analysts' questions to provide more details -- in particular, which areas of HP would be hit hardest and what would be the effect of this massive layoff on the morale of his remaining troops. It seems obvious though that motivating employees after such a drastic event will be difficult and many questions will have to be answered.

For IBM, Joyce will be replaced by not one, not two, but three newly promoted senior VPs. Big shoes to fill, huh? IGS is being divided into IT services, enterprise business services (I assume BI consulting will fall there), and integrated operations. Joyce, meanwhile, goes on to head up venture capitalist, Silver Lake Partners.

Janet Perna is retiring after 31 years at IBM. She is well-respected by IBM partners and customers alike as a no-nonsense leader in driving the company's information integration strategy. I wish her well in her retirement.

Her replacement is Ambuj Goyal, formerly the Lotus general manager. What this means to the product side of IBM's house remains to be seen but given Goyal's role within IBM for developing collaboration tools, we may see a shift in emphasis to workflow, portals and other collaboration technologies.

Posted July 19, 2005 6:43 PM
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Yet another high tech "underdog" has decided to take on its Goliath. According to USA Today , Advanced Micro Devices filed an antiturst complaint against its longtime rival, Intel, claiming that Intel used its huge size to coerce customers into choosing Intel's chips over AMD's. This case may finally shed some light on the murky and sometimes less-than-ethical world of chip sales...

This is not new information -- AMD has long complained about the perks that Intel's offers customers to get them to sign up such as big discounts on large orders and the substantial "market development funds" for featuring Intel in ads (you know -- the "Intel Inside logo and earcon).

AMD says these are strong arm tactics giving Intel an unfair advantage. Intel says they are just smart business practices...

In the long run, some analysts think that the lawsuit will not harm Intel and, in fact, may actually give both companies a boost -- all this invaluable publicity for them, don't you know.

Of course, Intel is not taking this lying down. Their President and CEO, Paul Otellini, came back with his own shots, stating the company would not change its business practices and expects any court decision to be resolved in its favor.

"Intel has always respected the laws of the countries in which we operate," Otellini said in a statement. "We compete aggressively and fairly to deliver the best value to consumers. This will not change."

Meanwhile, AMD has not stopped its attacks. The company began running a full-page ad in newspapers today giving the reasons for its antitrust lawsuit and to issue a call to action. The ad, appearing in newspapers from The New York Times to Capitol Hill's Roll Call, expands AMD's legal fight into the realms of public relations and public policy.

Looks like it's going to get a lot nastier before this is all over. No trial date has been set yet.

Yours in BI Success,

CLaudia Imhoff

Posted June 30, 2005 9:23 AM
Permalink | No Comments |


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