Friday, December 7, 2007

Web 2.0 on a plane?

I couldn't resist, I had to post one more time before our trip.

It was reported today in the Wall Street Journal that JetBlue (airline carrier based out of the NorthEast of the US) is about to pilot WiFi access to email and IM.

JetBlue has access to a very small slice of the ground to air spectrum, so we are a little way off getting full Internet access bandwidth capabilities. But its a huge step in the right direction.

Imagine all the productivity you could gain on those long flights? A Sales Rep could access SaaS CRM to prepare for a sales call, you could get all your expense claims into your SaaS Expense tracking system, you could review your financial status in your SaaS accounting package, you could just do some personal banking. You could even run a sales call from the air using Webex or GotoMeeting!!! No more excuses for missing an internal meeting just because you're in transit.

Its going to come too late for my pending 6 hour flight to LA and 12 hours from LA to Auckland but its something to look forward to.

Off to New Zealand

We're off to New Zealand for the holidays. Can't say I'm looking forward to the 20+ hour trip with a 9 month old, but it will be worth it. We're heading away from the North East cold of 19 degree F (-8 Celsius) to the early summer of New Zealand for a month. (Most of it will be in Auckland which is a bit like Seattle really. Plenty of rain, but when its sunny its fantastic).

The beauty of blogging is that its location agnostic, so I will be continuing to write regularly. I am sure there will be plenty to discuss as Ben Kepes and the Unreasonable Men and I are trying to coordinate a time to meet up. Really looking forward to that, I really enjoy reading their original thoughts and ideas on SaaS and the Web 2.0 world in general on their blogs.

We will be staying at my parent's house. I just had them order "broadband", so it will be interesting to see how the service holds up. NZ bloggers have focused a lot on speed of Network service recently both inside of NZ and international connectivity.

The next time you hear from me it will be from New Zealand!!

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

SaaS resistant to economic downturn, On Premise not so.

An article by Sean Gallagher in reports that

"Goldman Sachs last week downgraded the vast majority of the software companies it tracks from "attractive" to "neutral" last week. "

What is notable about this report is that Goldman Sachs indicated they favored Software as as Service (SaaS) vendors to be more immune to the projected economic downtown attributed to the Finance and Mortgage problems being faced.

"The ability to quickly and easily turn on new applications with a
significantly lower initial cost of ownership makes SaaS an attractive offering for small- and mid-sized businesses," Friar and her team wrote, "significantly expanding the market for software applications. More broadly, and including enterprises, these benefits are likely to be key in a slower economic environment where purchasers of software may be increasingly skeptical of significant upfront investments which we anticipate to characterize 2008."

The same couldn't be said about On Premise, as the article also indicated that On Premise ISVs were more vulnerable to IT spending cuts.

This ties in well with the Unreasonable Men's Post on Will SaaS go the way of of ASP's, which indicates that SaaS is more than just hype and is here to stay. Although these Unreasonable guys accurately post that SaaS is more than a just cost saving device, this very feature makes it a more attractive option in uncertain economic times.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

A day in the life of two technology workers

TimeWeb 2.0 empowered Technology WorkerTraditional "On Premise" Technology Worker
7am to 8amWalks 30 ft from bedroom to home office. IM's with team in India for daily handover of work, log details of IM in to SaaS Project Management Tool. Check Emails online using SaaS email.Gets ready to go to work
8am to 9amSkype with US East Coast team members, 10 minute meeting to discuss plan for the day and any urgent issues. Review any issues found by India Team. 1 Developer in NY is sick, but can continue working. Review Task/Issues List in SaaS Tracking Tool. Sitting on Route 80E waiting for vehicle breakdown to clear.
9am to 9:30Gets coffee and prepares work environmentGets Coffee and chats with coworkers
9:30am to 12pmCheck out code from online Subversion and continue development, continuous IMing with other developers and project managers to assist in problem resolution. Add useful tips and hints to company wiki.Check emails, has a question to ask India team but can't as they have gone home.Has to wait until tomorrow. Move onto next task. Status Meetings with entire US team. Delayed by 1 hour as Project Manager is stuck in traffic still. 1 team member calls in sick.
Half an hour after meeting starts, CTO walks in and wants a recap meeting, meeting starts again.
12pm to 1pm
Lunch, Write post in personal blog, catch up on emails etc.
Sit in lunch room and complain about impossible timeframes
1pm to 5pmContinue Development, stuck on a problem, ask social network for help. Problem resolved. Have an idea of a blog post, draft it out and post it. Decide you need to do some online shopping for the holidays. Complete development tasks for the day and decide to start on tomorrow's tasks
to stay ahead. Think of a great UI idea, you prototype it and publish it on Dev Web Server for all to review.
Server problem at work, development delayed by half an hour as cannot get source code from server. You begin development, stuck on a problem, send an email out to colleague. Out of office reply received back. You skip the problem and decide to surf for a little while.
5pm-6pmSkype Call with QA team, review work, testing starts. Project ahead of schedule, giving more time for QA.Send an email to India asking them to continue work which was due yesterday andhope for the best.
Send an email to Manager, stating due to server outage you are another 15%
behind schedule. QA complains because they haven't seen anything in weeks. Head home.
6pm -7pmDinnerStuck in Traffic
7pmUrgent IM from QA, problem which needs fixing. Problem fixed??
8pmIM or skype with India to handover tasks for overnight processingIndia reads email, can't understand the requirements, sends an email in response. No Progress for another day.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

The Enterprise Web 2.0 Generation has arrived!

In an earlier blog post I wrote about why SaaS will become the natural choice for organizations.
I wrote

However what ensures the longevity of SaaS is the next group of CIO's who are in college or have recently joined the workforce. This crop will see Web 2.0 as a totally natural way of doing business as its what they do in their personal lives.
Storing files and documents, in Google, in Microsoft Live, social networking, wikis all are ingrained in this new generation and SaaS will become the obvious choice.

It appears the enterprise world is beginning to realize this.
An article by Heather Havenstein in ComputerWorld published today looks at how "Companies wrestle with tech demands of younger workers".

Chris Scalet, senior vice president and CIO of Merck & Co was quoted
Scalet, senior vice president and CIO of Merck & Co., noticed that as his daughter studied, she simultaneously listened to her iPod, sent text messages and browsed through pages of the Facebook social network.

"How she will work in the future will be very different from how we work today," Scalet said. "She is going to expect [collaboration] tools ... to be able to work. What scared me is that we don't think that way today as corporations. We think as baby boomers [about] this very traditional, structured, formal [work environment]."

Heather also states that IT executives are beginning to plan for the 80 Million children of baby boomers entering the workforce.

In the November 15,2007 Edition of CIO Magazine , editor Elana Varon interviews Gary Hamel,

Gary states that

If you're a CIO, you need to spend a lot of time out on the fringes of the Web because that's where the innovation is taking place. You need to spend a lot of time with people under 25 years old

These current trends all vindicate the work practices (which are contrary to traditional enterprise policies) I have in place with my development teams. I place no restrictions on Social Networking, IMing, private emailing, reading and writing blogs and wikis for my staff, in fact they are strongly encouraged. There are multiple benefits to organizations with these types of practices.

1. We don't really have set hours for working, and if an urgent customer issue,request or deadline arises in the middle of the night, our staff are easily contactable via these mechanisms and collaboration at midnight is often a common thing, our customers are often surprised at how often we deliver overnight. Cell phones are very seldom used in these situations apart from reading emails.
2. Often new product and usage ideas are generated by the usage of Social Computing tools at work and at home
3. Collaboration is taken to a new level, any "productivity loss" from social computing is more than made up by the improvements in communications and the reduction of miscommunication.
4. New staff members feel more comfortable contributing ideas and questions, as they are in an environment very similar to their "college social network".

Once again I will say:
This Web 2.0 generation will provide the tech leaders of the near future,the Cloud is here to stay.