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Thank you for visiting my blog. I am a Cofounder & Technical Advisor here at the BeyeNETWORK. Having covered the business intelligence and data warehousing industry for more than 15 years, I'm looking forward to a more interactive form of communication with all of you. Please share your comments and thoughts!



June 2006 Archives

I'm blogging from the road again and wow its hot in Las Vegas 112 degrees is the latest temperature update. I'd hate to see the air conditioning bill here at the Venetian. However based on my terrible gambling skills I guess I'm contributing to the bill. :)

Anyway, I'm here at the Cognos Forum along with 3000+ IT and business users of Cognos solutions. The event got off to a great start with opening remarks from Rob Ashe President and CEO who focused on pervasive business intelligence and Cognos's ability to deliver performance management accross the enterprise. He also spent sometime showing attendees his desktop and how he uses Cognos to manage the company.

cognos ashe.jpg

Les Rechan, Chief Operating Officer who joined Cognos about 30 days ago. Changed his title on the fly and declared he's now the Chief Customer Officer and pledged his support to insure the success of Cognos clients.

I've seen some friends already Composite Software, Teradata, TekSouth, Wayne Eckerson form TDWI and of course a bunch of folks from Cognos. This should be a fun event.

Posted June 26, 2006 2:32 PM
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Yea I know you have all seen a flash drive but this one is way cool!

16 Gigabytes on a USB Flash Drive! The way its going I might have to hold out for the 1 Terabyte USB? I wonder when we'll see that.


Here are some of the specs:
-High performance 20/ 15 M/Sec read/write - Password protection option
- Small and lightweight design for easy portability
- Compliant with USB Hi-Speed standard with up to 480Mbits/sec data rate, 40 times faster than - - USB 1.1
- Supports up to 128 devices on the USB bus
- Easy Mac and Windows plug and play, supports hot plugging and dynamic reconfiguration
- USB Mass Storage Device class compatible
- Write protect switch to prevent accidental erasure
- Bus-powered, no external power needed
- Low power consumption in active and suspend mode
- Support Advanced Power Management functions
- Solid State Flash memory with 10 years (typical) data retention
- Durable, shock resistant, longer life for your data
- NAND Flash Solid State memory
- Insertion endurance: 5000 cycles (Min)
- Data retention: 10 years (typical)

Its made by Buslink they have other interesting solutions so check out the site.

Posted June 23, 2006 12:36 PM
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Last week Ron Powell and I had an opportunity to chat with Phil Wilmington President & Chief Executive Officer of Outlooksoft. With Microsoft's entry into the business performance space the competitive landscape is changing and we wanted to get Phil's view of the issue and what it might mean to the space in general as well as it's impact on Outlooksoft. The following Q&A is from that interview.

Shawn: Now that Microsoft has entered the market and they’re endorsing BPM do you see it expanding the market for everybody or do you see them coming in and being a 500 lb gorilla?

Phil: Probably the best place to start is what I told our company. As you would imagine we put out an internal document and it started out with my feelings about Microsoft entering the space. Now this is something obviously that we were pretty well informed on, I think Microsoft actually was very good about that. We had discussions about them entering the space, what we were doing, what they were doing because we’re still a very strong Microsoft partner and they are still an important part to our business. What I told our company is, when you’re in a good space, big companies are going to get into it. And I think that’s the first point I would make Shawn I think this is a validation of the performance management space as a whole. Companies like Microsoft or others are going to try and enter the space that they think has significant opportunity for growth. And I think it’s a validation of the space that companies like Microsoft want to play in it. I think it’s good for the space I think that the space is quickly forming itself into a choice of new solutions versus old solutions and I think it’s that black and white. I think there are companies that have had a clean sheet of paper technology wise, functionality wise and taken advantage of that, and there are new solutions like the solutions that Microsoft will bring to the marketplace towards the end of 2007. And I think that is good for the business overall.

Shawn: Regardless of what Microsoft provides from their product set, are you going to see an opportunity to integrate their product within yours or visa versa, how do you see your partnership evolving with them being in a space that’s so closely attuned to yours?

Phil: I think SharePoint is a good example SharePoint is part of their solution and they will continue to be part of our solution. What they picked up with tools like the ProClarity acquisition I think it’s too early to tell because they haven’t really announced what role in the product line that’s going to play formally, If we think there are components of that technology offering that make sense to help our customers we’ll leverage it, the same will be true on the Oracle platform, as they come forward with pieces of their technology stack we think that will leverage and provide more efficient more affective utilization for customers we’ll leverage those. We won't be leveraging application logic when they finish that because we feel we’re more advanced in that particular area. They’ll be coming out sometime in 2007, I think is what they said the other day, with application logic and you know the issue there is the same issue that has challenged Microsoft in the ERP space when they come out in 2007 that will be a release 1 application, we’re in release 5 with our product now and our customers would say we have the most advanced functionality, certainly in the financial components of the performance management space. And we’re rapidly building beyond that, so by the time they come out with release 1 we’ll be focused on what the content needs to be in release six. And I think from a capability standpoint, from a reliability standpoint, from a performance standpoint, by the time they get to where we’re at functionally we will have advanced pretty significantly. And I think that’s the advantage that the established players have in the space, and certainly I’ve got tremendous respect for Microsoft as an organization but I'm very familiar with their efforts in the ERP space, as an example, as an applications provider. It hasn’t been their area of strength. And I'm very confident in our ability and our products ability to compete when their product hits the marketplace in the application area to be able to compete on functionality and flexibility of solutions.

Shawn: So let’s talk about that a little bit farther, you were talking about features and maturity of product, with regards to the predictive performance, do you see Microsoft having the capability of also being able to address predictive performance with their offering?

Phil: In what I have seen to this point, and again we have had the opportunity to take a pretty deep look it doesn’t look like their adding the detailed predictive capabilities certainly that we have into their initial offering. I’m by no means the ultimate expert on exactly every piece of their functionality but I do think we had a very good look at it and I think that their beginning with fundamental capabilities in budgeting, forecasting, planning, and consolidation. We have not seen anything that would match what we do with insight in our predictive capabilities and as you know that becomes more and more a key differentiator and a difference maker for decision makers today. I mean certainly by the end of next year it will be, because we see it growing and its importance today in the systems cycle. I think it’s a limiting factor in any product that doesn’t have that capability deeply engrained, not just as bolt on, but deeply engrained in every part of the deliverable that you bring to the market.

Part 2 of this interview tommorow........

Posted June 22, 2006 9:56 AM
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In the business intelligence space, we talk a lot about companies who drive or lead their sector with innovative BI implementations or CRM systems, etc. But sometimes I can't help but wonder if success just boils down to good old fashioned customer service. I recently had an office PC stop working. We dropped it off at CompUSA's service department and explained the symptoms. You might think I'd have a head start on these matters being that I am a geek and can explain things in geek terms. That wouldn't be true in this case. We waited several days for the diagnosis and were told the heat sink had come loose allowing heat to build up thus causing the problems. Yea! Problem solved.

Except that the machine was still not functioning correctly. So back to CompUSA we go for another round of testing. After being without the machine for a few more days, we were contacted and told to pick up our machine because after "resetting the BIOS" all was well. Yippee!!

Except that the machine was still not functioning correctly. So back to CompUSA we go for round 3 of testing. Once again after several days at the shop,I was contacted and told the problem was my motherboard and it may need to be replaced so please contact us to discuss the options for getting it fixed.

This is where CompUSA really starts to shine!! I called the number provided and after 20 -30 rings without an answer, I called the store and after 20 - 30 rings I tried again, and again. The next day I tried the service department number and after 20 - 30 rings I called the store and after 20 -30 rings I got a manager who asked how he could help.....Thank God! Finally someone in charge who could help. According to the manager, the store staff was very busy and his only technician was just too busy to help customers by phone so he suggested I come down to the store for help. Are you kidding me? How poorly must that store be staffed that they require customers to get into their cars and drive to the store to get help? The manager finally agreed that this course of action might not be his best idea customer service wise. He assured me the technician would contact me by phone later in the day. Yahoo! Finally things are going my way!

But.......no call that day or the next or the next? So I started all over again today. (please re-read the paragraph above for details....no really, I'm not kidding it was deja vu all over again)

Ok, so I'll stop here except to say that I tried to contact the corporate office with my concerns and was unable to find the customer service information on the site. After a bit more research, I did locate the 800-COMPUSA number and after working my way through layers of call center software, I was finally told just how important I am to CompUSA. "All of our operators are busy serving customers. Your call is important, so please hold the line."

So, the question I asked up front is this: Is Best Buy the leader in the retail/electronics space because of the great BI they have installed or is it because Brad Anderson the Vice Chairman and CEO is a customer service fanatic? I've met Brad a couple times and I would venture a guess that customer service drives his business as much as business intelligence drives his customer service.

Wow I feel better!! Just in case you need to reach CompUSA call 800-COMPUSA, press 3 for customer service, press 3 for corporate customer service and please hold for the next available representative........


Posted June 19, 2006 11:37 AM
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The Data Warehousing Institute(TDWI) has named GoldenGate customer, Montefiore Medical Center, a winner of the 2006 Best Practices in Data Warehousing Awards. Montefiore was recognized for its approach to unlocking the value of historical, patient and medical data to improve decision support.

GoldenGate's data integration solution is used to push critical patient data from their clinical information system (CIS) application, GE Healthcare's Centricity® Enterprise, and feed the data in real time to a Sybase data warehouse and other servers for reporting purposes.

Congratulations to GoldenGate, this is one of many great customer stories I've seen during my visit to the Real-Time User Group here in Las Vegas. Another good one is the Overstock.com customer story here is a link to read it.

I also want to give GoldenGate my own personal award for best user group party (they had hand rolled cigars and a great band) and best user group food (The Four Seasons really beats a box lunch) great job Deirdre and team!!

Posted June 14, 2006 11:44 AM
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