Friday, September 29, 2006

Mobile Computing done right

Check these guys out!! This is a great take on the hoteling issues that have plagued us for a while. I have been a big user of VMWare for some time but the down side to that is that it requires an install on the host and the image is large because it is the entire OS. This helps eliviate all of that by a) running directly off of the storage device and b) just taking the apps you want. Pretty slick.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Is $600 gaming consoles = Jumping the Shark?

So okay I have bought them all since the Atari 2600. I am officially a gaming nerd and cannot break my addiction, but the vendors might be helping me out. So I do have a XBox, PS2 and Game Cube right now and was planning on upgrading all 3. The problem...$600. At first I thought, well at least with one I will get a BlueRay disc player and the other a HDDV player, but then I thought about it. Okay never mind that is just me.

I know the devices are moving closer and closer to a replacement device for a PC in many homes. I have thought for years that this is the ultimate Trojan horse play for MS to usurp Dell and others while maintaining a good partnership with them. Let's come back to buying behavior though. Mom and Dad are not going to get that larger picture that maybe they won't have to buy the Insperion because their PS3 can do e-Mail, play the mp3s and surf the web. What they are going to do is sit there with their hard earned money and say..."how about that Nintendo Wii for $200". I am not sure I would take a $.07 bet on this one because things have surprised me before in this space. What I would take a $.07 on is that Nintendo gains market share, Microsoft stays the same and Sony is the big loser. MS might be the big surprise just because I think they are the only ones focused on the next gen of gaming (look at the stuff they are doing with Peter "he is the king" Jackson).

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

If it is about the apps...where are the apps?!?

So I have run into something very frustrating. For background, I am putting together a collaboration and document management services strategy for my new employer (a large system integrator). I am looking at all of the different platforms that are out there and the solutions that ride on top of them. Our services stretch the gambit of strategic consulting to low level development. I have a strong belief that our customer base (Construction, Public Sector, Utilities and Maqnufacturing) is going to be looking for more CotS based solutions in the future and thus I am trying to find a platform company that has either a) the drive itself or b) the real ISV community to constantly deliver quality solutions. I would like to settle on one or two platforms but from what I am finding that might not be possible.

My problem to date is that I cannot the apps. It seems like everyone is focused on making a great generic platform (i.e. SharePoint, Domino/Notes/Workplace, WebEx Workspace, Adobe Breeze, etc...) and not all of them are created equal. On the other hand there seem to be some decent vertical collaboration solutions (i.e. AutoDesk Constructware/Buzzsaw, Skire, etc...), but then they are built on yet another platform. However, I am left in the dark about whether there is, for instance, a Capital Project Management application for any of the major general collaboration vendors. I have found a couple of lists here or there of partners but then it comes to my second problem which is the companies that seem to be doing this work are 10-15 person shops with annual revenues of $1- 2M. Unfortuantely, that is not substantial enough for me to build a practice around and typically isn't large enough for our typical customer to trust for a long term investment unless we financially get involved usually by escrowing the code and saying that we will support it if Company X goes out of business. That usually leaves me then approaching the customers solution the same way...take the platform and build a custom solution on top of it which gets me further from the CotS + slight technical services + strategic services story I want to tell.

Even with that said I am willing to entertain the smaller ISVs if I can find them. So help me out...where is a good list (not just the "here's everyone that paid their $1,500 to sign up for the partner program" list) that breaks down what industry they are focused on, what their solution is and who I can call to find out more.