The death of IDC by you and Google-SaaS

It’s breath-taking to consider how many downstream changes the move to on demand and hosted applications will bring. In an instance Salesforce.com can determine what functions their customers are actually using and the workstreams that are followed.

AccMan Pro – Dennis Howlett on innovation for professional accountants » The death of IDC by you and Google-SaaS:

This puts the SaaS vendor in a unique position. On the one hand, they have near perfect insight into how their services are performing while they have the opportunity to develop intelligence services for their accounting customers. Their claims will be trusted because,with the appropriate audit processes in place, they will own the best information a market could want.

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Setting the stage for another flop?

I wouldn’t be so quick to count Sony out based solely on the price tag for the upcoming PS3. When the PS2 launched there were similar protests about the price tag and Sony proved to everyone that there is a much higher degree of price elasticity in the gaming market than the critics believed. With the PS3 Sony is delivering, like Microsoft already has, a gaming console that holds the promise of being a true media center for home entertainment enthusiasts and gamers alike. It is still promise at this point and despite being in the market for over half a year Microsoft has yet to transform the Xbox360 into just such a media center in the eyes of consumers, but I also would have to make the observation that they haven’t tried very hard to make that case.

What I find equally interesting is how Sony is using the PS3 as a primary front in their Blu-ray vs. HD-DVD war. Sony critics, myself included, are fond of looking that the many flops Sony has engineered for itself by going with proprietary formats that require expensive licensing fees for OEMs to use, starting with Betamax and ending with the minidisc and memorystick, however in the case of Blu-ray it appears that Sony has realized an ecosystem is just as vital to the marketplace adoption of the standard as technical excellence is. There is an impressive array of OEMs lined up in support of Blu-ray and the momentum has seriously eroded support for the Toshiba backed HD-DVD standard.

Philadelphia Inquirer | 06/04/2006 | One Last Thing | Setting the stage for another flop?:

Those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it. One of life’s more satisfying ironies, however, is that the same fate often befalls those who fixate on history. Consider the coming train wreck of Sony’s PlayStation 3.

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Where are all the smart women speakers?

Debbie Landa is looking for more women to speak on technology and venture capital topics. My suggestions:

Shantha Mohan, T3Ci
Adina Levin, Socialtext
– Aliza Peleg, SAP Labs
– Lisa Reeves, SAP Ventures
Jen Fonstad, DFJ
Emily Melton, DFJ
Ellen Levy, Stanford
Victoria Katsov, Wall St. Technology Partners
– Jeri Dunn, Tyson Foods
– Ann Livermore, HP
– Susan Desmond-Hellmann, Genentech
Nancy Schoendorf, MDV

Over the years, I’ve had many women ask me why I don’t have more women on my panels….For every person who says that to me, I ask them to think of 3 women I should invite and they are usually left standing quietly, thinking…hmmm who’d be good for that, gee, that’s pretty tough.

Last.fm rocks

I’ve been using Last.fm for a while now and it is one of the best, if not the best, online music services available today. They are doing for their users what web 2.0 is supposed to be all about, delivering a highly personalized services that gets better the more you, and other people, use it.

Last.fm is the flagship product from the team that designed the Audioscrobbler system, a music engine based on a massive collection of Music Profiles. Each music profile belongs to one person, and describes their taste in music. Last.fm uses these music profiles to make personalized recommendations, match you up with people who like similar music, and generate custom radio stations for each person.

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More on this topic (What's this?)
OPEN ACCESS PUBLISHING://STM meets Web 2.0
KEYNOTE://Innovation in voice
Web 2.0 Possibilities
Disruption, Web 2.0 Style
Read more on Web 2.0 at Wikinvest

Full disclosure in blogs

Today’s topic is full disclosure in blogs and the use of competitive marketing blogs. I had to look at this issue from a lot of angles and ask the critical question of myself “would I do this for our anti-Oracle initiatives?”. The catalyst for this post is a blog written by a founding executive of a company competing with SAP and while I have an issue with the use of a competitive blog targeted to a specific company (in this case a product) I do want to emphasize that this is not a flame post.

Sangeeta Patni writes a blog called Why Duet/Mendocino? that is very critical of the joint SAP/Microsoft product Duet. She has also posted comments on my blog and several others that have written about Duet. Sangeeta is also the founder of a company called Extensio that is a competitor to the Duet product.

Here’s the dilemma, Sangeeta has taken no effort to conceal her identity or use a pseudonym on her anti-Duet blog or in any comments, she uses her full name and her real email address. Her comments reflect a solid understanding of the market and the products and are insightful, and yes they have sharp elbows but even there she is very professional. Her full profile on her blog reveals that she is the executive of Extensio, but it’s only when you click on the full profile, the profile snippet on the blog just says “Enterprenuer, Dreamer-Engineer, Evangelist for easy-to-use software”.

I emailed this post to Sangeeta last week because I respect the professionalism she leads with and didn’t want to come across like I was attacking her. She replied back to me promptly with some good comments and indicated that she didn’t have any issue with me posting about this… and that’s exactly why I sent this to her before posting, the blogosphere can use a little professional courtesy. Here’s part of her reply to me:

“It is not unusual for professionals to bring an element of the perspective of the company they work for in their blogs. Not surprising at all, since most of us believe passionately in the work we do within our companies, and strongly believe in the value the company brings to the community, as a whole. I have seen many instances of engineers from Microsoft, IBM and even SAP who blog about the work they do within their companies, and about the value of the products they help create. I have done the same.

I do agree with what Sangeeta is writing (how could you not?) but in this case the blog in question is not a blog about integrating office productivity applications with backoffice systems, it’s a blog specifically about a competitive product from Microsoft/SAP. It is by definition an “anti” blog, while the great majority of professionals who are blogging about what they do are not attacking in this way. Indeed, I lead a Oracle competitive strategy team for SAP but I write very little about Oracle. BTW, Sangeeta did commit to addressing the issue of disclosing her role at Extensio on the main page of the blog rather than just on her full profile page.

What do you think? When someone is writing a blog that is aimed at one company, or in this case a product, and is written by an individual who is with a competitor of that company, should they include a disclosure statement indicating their bias? Can this be an effective marketing tactic or are attack strategies doomed by definition because customers don’t want to hear or read attacks on other companies, they would rather focus on what you are doing? Where is the line when an executive is writing about their marketplace by writing about their competitors in this fashion?

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