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Remote-access networks for small.biz

The last thing that most small businesses want to spend time worrying about is IT, writes Bloor analyst Rob Bamforth. One area where complexity increases rapidly is networking, and remote-access networks only add further challenges. In larger companies it might be acceptable to find the right specialist, integrate the right …
IT-Analysis, 20 Apr 2004
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End of the road for EAI?

To suggest that enterprise application integration (EAI) might be nearing the end of the road is both contentious and provocative, writes Bloor analyst Philip Howard. Do we really mean it? Well, yes and no. No, we don't mean that EAI as an approach will disappear or that it does not fulfil a useful function. But yes, we do …
IT-Analysis, 15 Apr 2004

Brocade and McDATA's Spring offensive

As technologies mature over time the leading suppliers often end entrenched in positions that have evolved over the course of their marketing battles, writes Bloor analyst Tony Lock. However, when it comes to the still comparatively youthful world of storage networking things have yet to reach a state of affairs where the major …
IT-Analysis, 13 Apr 2004
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IBM throws weight behind BPEL

IBM has joined Microsoft - which announced BizTalk 2004 last month - in implementing Business Process Execution Language for Web Services (BPEL4WS) for the first time, writes Bloor Research analyst Peter Abrahams. WebSphere products incorporating the technology will make its way into the public from the middle of this year. The …
IT-Analysis, 13 Apr 2004

Happy birthday, Mainframe

The mainframe is celebrating its 40th birthday, writes Bloor Research president Robin Bloor. It must be said it has stood the test of time like very few other things in the IT world. History will tell you that Tom Watson Jr. made a $5bn bet on the mainframe (then referred to as the System 360 or simply s/360) which IBM claims to …
IT-Analysis, 08 Apr 2004
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Offshore IT jobs = higher employment

Whether they intend to stoke up a debate in the IT sector or it's just part of the political agenda, a number of US economists are asserting that moving IT jobs to so-called offshore locations will add jobs to the US economy, writes Bloor Research analyst Bob McDowall. One economist, Lawrence Klein, has used his own economic …
IT-Analysis, 07 Apr 2004
SGI logo hardware close-up

IBM lights Candle

IT giant IBM announced this year that it had reached agreement to acquire Candle Corporation, a widely-recognised supplier of solutions that help customers develop, deploy and manage enterprise IT infrastructures,writes Bloor Research analyst Tony Lock. Following its foundation in 1976, the privately-held Candle has picked up …
IT-Analysis, 02 Apr 2004

SAS 9 on intelligence-gathering mission

SAS Institute has set its sights on extending beyond its traditional marketplace with the release of SAS 9, writes Bloor Research analyst Philip Howard. SAS is the largest vendor within the business intelligence market. It has not, however, historically been considered as a business intelligence vendor in the same way that you …
IT-Analysis, 31 Mar 2004
Broken CD with wrench

SUSE reaffirms vows with HP and IBM

Last week the SUSE Penguin marched into Salt Lake City and announced significant extensions in its relationships with two of the organisations leading the promotion of Linux into the Enterprise - HP and IBM, writes Bloor Research analyst Tony Lock. The announcements Novell BrainShare in Utah kicked off with news of a joint …
IT-Analysis, 31 Mar 2004
Broken CD with wrench

The integration market: survival of the fittest

The future of the integration market remains an uncertain one, writes Bloor Research analyst Peter Abrahams. Using a fairly general definition of the beast to include messaging, adapters, BPM (business process management), BAM (business activity monitoring), and so forth, the concern is that there appear to be a very large …
IT-Analysis, 29 Mar 2004
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EC earmarks €2bn for small firms

The European Commission has announced that it is targeting small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in its distribution of €2.2bn of EU research funding. Philippe Busquin, European research commissioner, launched the EU-funded DETECT-it project at a presentation in Brussels. The programme aimed to help SMEs to overcome the …
IT-Analysis, 26 Mar 2004
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Securing the mobile enterprise

Now that corporate governance is the topic of the moment, everyone is much more aware of the importance of maintaining the integrity of important business data, writes Bloor Research analyst Fran Howarth. Not only are company executives personally facing severe sanctions if the business data that they publish is erroneous, but …
IT-Analysis, 26 Mar 2004
SGI logo hardware close-up

IBM moots BPEL-Java fusion

BEA and IBM have just published a jointly-authored whitepaper on a suggested extension of Business Execution Language for Web Services (BPEL4WS or BPEL for short), writes Bloor Research analyst Peter Abrahams. The introduction has a good explanation of the rationale for BPELJ - a fusion of BPEL with Java - so I am quoting it …
IT-Analysis, 24 Mar 2004

Optical storage: destined for oblivion?

Cries such as "tape is dead" and "optical has no future" have been heard for some time now - and not only from the mouths of hard-disk vendors, writes Bloor Research analyst Tony Lock. This begs the question of whether non-disk based storage technologies have any long-term prospects. A little thought, however, quickly reveals …
IT-Analysis, 23 Mar 2004
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Stopping the enemy at the gate

Over the past few years, security vulnerabilities have spiralled, writes Bloor Research analyst Fran Howarth. The CERT Co-ordination Centre, a federally-funded R&D centre operated by the Carnegie Mellon University in the US, publishes statistics of security vulnerabilities that are reported to it on an annual basis. In 1995, …
IT-Analysis, 22 Mar 2004

The value of PC real estate

The dominant position that Microsoft software occupies on the desktop has long been a major source of competitive advantage to Microsoft. Not only does it ensure that users of Microsoft software are familiar with the look and feel of the Microsoft interface but it also has provided a launch point for their entry into server …
IT-Analysis, 18 Mar 2004
DVD it in many colours

Web services watchdogs

Web services will only become the norm if the users can be assured a level of service. They will not be deployed in earnest unless the operations department is confident that they can provide this level of service, writes Bloor Research analyst Peter Abrahams. The operations department need tools to monitor the Web services and …
IT-Analysis, 18 Mar 2004

Business optimism and investment jitters

US publication Optimise Magazine recently produce some interesting conclusions concerning the correlation between business outlook and technology investment for 2004, writes Bloor Research analyst Bob McDowall. The magazine's analysis is based on a survey of business/technology executives from the financial services sector in an …
IT-Analysis, 17 Mar 2004
DVD it in many colours

WS Reliable Messaging creeps forward

One year after BEA, IBM, Microsoft and Tibco (BIMT) published a draft specification for WS Reliable Messaging - hot on the heels of a rival spec from an Oracle, Sun, Sonic, Fujitsu, Hitachi and NEC consortium - the question is this: has any progress actually been made, asks Bloor Research analyst Peter Abrahams. WS Reliable …
IT-Analysis, 15 Mar 2004
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US Senate takes protectionist stance

Opinion The US has taken another step to protect its jobs from the threat of outsourcing, writes Bloor Research analyst Bob McDowall. Last week the US Senate approved a motion preventing companies from carrying out Government work outside the USA, unless it is in the interest of national security. None of this is surprising in a US …
IT-Analysis, 11 Mar 2004
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T-Mobile calls the tune in Europe

It might not be music to everyone's ears, but ring tones have proved to be a massive market, writes Bloor Research analyst Rob Bamforth. From bedroom composers to big business mobile operators, demand has exceeded all expectations. It's even had a substitution effect on the CD single industry. Surprising really, that so many …
IT-Analysis, 10 Mar 2004
cable

Business Objects makes Crystal Decisions

Business Objects completed its acquisition of Crystal Decisions in December. That was the easy bit, writes Bloor Research analyst Philip Howard. Now comes the hard part - the actual merger of the two organisations and the two product lines. Business Objects has done well with Acta, but Crystal Decisions is an altogether bigger …
IT-Analysis, 05 Mar 2004
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Passwords are passport to theft

It seems incredible that although millions of people world-wide now routinely carry out significant financial and other transactions via the Internet, so little action is taken to prevent identity theft, writes Bloor Research analyst Tony Lock. A recent study conducted by Opinion Research Corporation and commissioned by RSA …
IT-Analysis, 03 Mar 2004
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IBM lobbies Sun in open source Java debate

The controversy surrounding the open sourcing of Java continues unabated, writes Bloor Research analyst Robin Bloor. Printed below is an open letter from Rod Smith (VP, Emerging Technogies, IBM Software Group) to Sun, suggesting that it should be made available to the open source community. Officially, the letter was sent to Sun …
IT-Analysis, 02 Mar 2004

Security: the CIO's biggest headache

Security, upgrades and modernisation, and budgets were the top three issues faced by Chief Information Officers (CIOs) in 2003, writes Bloor Research chief analyst Tony Lock. It's unsurprising to find security at number one on the list, compiled by the Standish Group. This subject is always quoted as the biggest cause for …
IT-Analysis, 01 Mar 2004
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WebTV 911 ‘hacker’ charged with cyberterrorism

FBI agents arrested a Louisiana man last week under the cyberterrorism provisions of the USA PATRIOT Act for allegedly tricking a handful of MSN TV users into running a malicious email attachment that reprogrammed their set-top boxes to dial 9-1-1 emergency response. According to prosecutors, David Jeansonne, 43, was targeting …
IT-Analysis, 27 Feb 2004
Broken CD with wrench

VMware’s virtual software gets ever more real

Some companies manage to become so intimately associated with the functionality that they supply that their brand almost becomes a verb, writes Bloor Research analyst Tony Lock. In the wild world of virtualisation one company is getting close to that status now and for many people managing machines in the Intel world the name …
IT-Analysis, 27 Feb 2004

IBM out-performs HP and EMC (says IBM)

IBM has reaffirmed its commitment to develop its entire range of server platforms: Intel, RISC (both Unix and Linux) and mainframe, writes Bloor Research analyst Tony Lock. At a recent meeting in Barcelona, IBM highlighted its recent successes in the server and storage sectors. The company claims its Intel base grew more …
IT-Analysis, 24 Feb 2004
SGI logo hardware close-up

Rise of the virtual machine

Oh for the simple life. It seems like only yesterday that IT was pretty straightforward - in terms of technology, at least. Now every component of the physical IT infrastructure faces "virtualisation", writes Bloor Research analyst Tony Lock. This process began when the manufacturers of large mainframe servers started to offer …
IT-Analysis, 19 Feb 2004

The USA: outsourcing heartland

Opinion The schizophrenic attitude of the US towards outsourcing continues to manifest itself, writes Bloor Research analyst Bob McDowall. US-headquartered organisations continue to be the major providers of outsourcing services, both in contract value and contract size. The major international outsourcing companies - IBM, EDS, …
IT-Analysis, 17 Feb 2004
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The lawyers are coming

Following the first virus epidemics (I Love You, Melissa, Nimda, etc.) insurance companies in the US began to remove the computer damages cover from their commercial insurance plans, writes Bloor Research analyst Robin Bloor. At the same time the US was on a legislative security spree, which was another reason for the insurance …
IT-Analysis, 12 Feb 2004
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On Microsoft and CRM

Microsoft seems to run up against criticism no matter what it does. Recent articles in the press have questioned whether it can deliver on its CRM promise, writes Bloor Research analyst Fran Howarth. Commentators have pointed out that Microsoft's CRM application lacks functionality in such areas as marketing automation and …
IT-Analysis, 12 Feb 2004
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PC disposal: recycle or build for durability?

Substantial recent coverage of yet two further EU Directives, this time on disposal of computer waste, draws attention to the amount of noxious materials, metals and plastics, which constitute the inner workings of PCs. The directives come into operation in 2005, writes Bob McDowall of Bloor Research Briefly, one of the …
IT-Analysis, 11 Feb 2004
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No prizes for playing games with Bluetooth?

What makes someone spend money playing a game on a mobile phone, when a PC or home game console brings a more intense audiovisual experience, asks Bloor Research analyst Rob Bamforth. Probably, they are similar reasons to spend money on any type of mobile applications. Here are the six reasons I consider: Utility - Does it have …
IT-Analysis, 05 Feb 2004

PeopleSoft switches from Informatica to Ascential

Until last week, PeopleSoft had a five-year agreement during which it shipped Informatica's low-end PowerMart ETL (extract, transform and load) technology as a part of a number of its products, most notably Enterprise Performance Management (EPM),writes Bloor Research analyst Philip Howard. Coincidentally, Informatica had a …
IT-Analysis, 29 Jan 2004
server room

Linux laptop – a prince among young frogs

After kissing a few frogs with some heavyweight laptops that didn't quite transform into princely sales, Tadpole is hoping for more success with its latest product family, Talin, writes Bloor Research analyst Rob Bamforth. Tadpole has taken its longstanding relationship with Sun technologies a step further, as this family of …
IT-Analysis, 29 Jan 2004

Outsourcing Back-up

I recently visited an outsourcing company in the Boston area that provides a back-up and disaster recovery service, writes Bloor Research analyst Robin Bloor. The company was Live Vault, although you're unlikely to hear the name directly as they sell through the channel. There were two interesting points that the company had to …
IT-Analysis, 23 Jan 2004

Grid and Web Services to converge

The two big computing ideas of the twenty first century grid computing and web services were brought closer together by an announcement this week at GlobusWorld the grid conference run by Globus Alliance, writes Bloor Research analyst Peter Abrahams. The Globus Alliance is a research and development project focused on enabling …
IT-Analysis, 23 Jan 2004
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Mobile DBMS – user requirement or vendor greed?

When you're carrying a hammer, every problem looks like a nail, writes Rob Bamforth of Bloor Research. Databases provide a very useful way to manage and access potentially huge amounts of data. Mobile networks from wireless LANs to third generation cellular are providing increased bandwidth, and handsets have client browsers …
IT-Analysis, 21 Jan 2004

CA and Linux

There are two reasons why it is worth taking note of CA with respect to Linux, writes Robin Bloor of Bloor Research. The first is that CA believes, as I do, that Linux is going to become the standard OS. I know this because I heard Yogesh Gupta, the CTO of CA, say so at the last CA World. The second is that CA believes that it …
IT-Analysis, 14 Jan 2004
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Business continuity planning: will it save you?

Every year, security firm Pinkerton publishes a survey of the top threats that businesses believe that they have faced over that particular year writes Fran Howarth of Bloor Research. In six out of the past seven years, workplace violence has topped the list of concerns. However, business continuity interruption or continuity …
IT-Analysis, 12 Jan 2004

So why did Pervasive acquire Data Junction?

Pervasive last month acquired Data Junction. The question is: why (asks Phil Howard of Bloor Research)?. Pervasive, like Hewlett-Packard, started life in a garage, though in the case of Pervasive it was in the 1980's. It eventually (albeit under another name) became well-known as the developer of Btrieve, before it was acquired …
IT-Analysis, 09 Jan 2004
Cat 5 cable

Veritas buys Ejacent

Veritas Software is to acquire Ejasent Inc., a small private VC-funded company based in Mountain View California, for $59 Million, writes Tony Lock of Bloor Research. Ejasent is described as a "technology purchase" as the company has only 21 staff and a small customer base. However, it owns some significant intellectual …
IT-Analysis, 07 Jan 2004
Cat 5 cable

Oracle 10g – grids at tenth of the price

A twin processor Lintel server for $5000 is the only rational building block for enterprise computing, Oracle's Larry Ellison said at a recent conference, writes Peter Abrahams of Bloor Research. It is faster and nearly ten times cheaper than the equivalent power on a mainframe or UNIX server. This statement is at the heart of …
IT-Analysis, 19 Dec 2003
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Linux share grows in UK SME sector

The use of Linux is growing in the UK SMB market, According to a survey of 200 small and medium businesses (SMBs) in the UK, conducted in September this year by Vanson Bourne on behalf of IBM. The survey indicates that 26 per cent of small businesses already deploy Linux. Of those not yet using Linux, 15 per cent said they are …
IT-Analysis, 12 Dec 2003
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MS takes small.biz financing to Europe

Last week Microsoft announced the international availability of Total Solution Financing, a joint programme between Mirosoft Capital and Microsoft Business Solutions, designed to help SME organisations. Available to Microsoft Business Solutions customers, this financing programme will now expand internationally to encourage …
IT-Analysis, 10 Dec 2003
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SAP hones mid-market message

It is a few years now since SAP first aimed its sights at the mid-market, writes Fran Howarth of Bloor Research. At first, this was really just an attempt to extend its reach into the subsidiary organisations and sales offices of its major corporate clients - and SAP made no bones about that. However, competitive pressures have …
IT-Analysis, 09 Dec 2003
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The growing problem of identity theft

According to the 2003 Computer Crime Survey conducted by the Computer Security Institute in conjunction with the FBI, nearly 13 per cent of respondents were the victim of identity theft in the past year in the US, writes Fran Howarth OF Bloor Research. In total, losses from identity theft in the US in the past year are estimated …
IT-Analysis, 04 Dec 2003

IT Failures In The Great US Blackout

A report issued by a panel of US Government and Power Industry officials has placed the blame for the largest power outage in North American history primarily on computer and human failures, writes Robin Bloor of Bloor Research. FirstEnergy of Ohio and the Midwest Independent Transmission System Operator, the regional agency …
IT-Analysis, 25 Nov 2003
cable

Epicor buys Scala

Last week Epicor Software Corporation and Scala Business Solutions announced they had reached a definitive agreement to merge, writes Fran Howarth of Bloor Research. This merger will take the form of Epicor buying all outstanding shares in the capital of Scala for a cash price of $41.7 million plus 4.1 million shares of Epicor's …
IT-Analysis, 19 Nov 2003