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Archive for the ‘General IT Services’ Category

News, trends, and information on IT Services companies.

Happy Birthday, Ross

Posted by Susan Scrupski on June 27, 2007

Ross Perot

At the risk of alienating (confusing?) all my friends on Facebook and in the blogosphere… I’m taking a public moment to wish Ross Perot a Happy Birthday. If it were not for him, I would not have enjoyed the 20+ excellent years I have had in the technology business. I joined EDS as a young writer in 1986. Perot meant a great deal to the early employees of EDS. I will always have a place in my heart for him and his first management team.

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Posted in General IT Services, IT Outsourcing, Personal Commentary, Systems Integration | Comments Off on Happy Birthday, Ross

The CEO Whisperers

Posted by Susan Scrupski on May 22, 2007

ritzcarltonnaples During the 90s, when I was tracking the IT services market, there was a continuous blurring of roles and activity between Management Consulting firms, Strategy firms, and good ole’ IT services firms. IBM had IBM Consulting, CSC had CSC Index, EDS bought A.T. Kearney— throw in a few strong boutiques, and they all competed against McKinsey, Booz Allen and Bain. It got really wild during the dotcom run-up toward the late 90s, as web 1.0 approached because a lot of these guys left the security of these large firms to run start-ups. Looking back, there was one reason these guys made good candidates to run web startups– they spoke the CEO’s language. They could persuade and convince a board room to make a “bet your business” proposition. Now luckily, not a lot of F500 CEOs made decisions they couldn’t undo based on dotcom disasters, and most of the well-healed consultants went back to their high billable rate profession after the bubble had burst.

I’m writing about this today because I’ve participated recently in two events on adoption on Enterprise 2.0. One was a live event in NY which drew mostly a financial services audience and one was a webinar with approximately 50 callers participating. Today, I’m writing from my room at the Ritz-Carlton hotel in Naples, Florida (pictured left) where I’m about to attend a few social events with CEOs who are looking for answers about this new wave of Internet disruption or opportunity– as the case may be. I promised not to flack here about BSG, but we did make a terrific acquisition this week which gives us the privilege of bringing this story to the executive suite of some of the most well known brands in the world. You can read about goings on at BSG on a blog I’ve started here. I have to admit, frankly, the chance to evangelize on the next generation web to customers like American Airlines, British Telecom, Deutsche Bank, DaimlerChrysler, DuPont, ING Bank, Johnson & Johnson, Marriott, Merck, Pfizer, Rolls Royce, Royal Bank, and Shell gives me goosebumps– even in the hot Florida sun.

Even though we speak a lot in the blogosphere about the user-generated, collaborative, self-service benefits of social media and enterprise 2.0 technologies– the radical, cultural, enterprise-wide transformation we’re looking for is going to have to come from the top of what are still hierarchical organizations. And for that discussion to begin, the best tool we have today, may be the same tool that has worked for decades– the golf ball.

Posted in AJAX, blogs, Consultants, Enterprise 2.0, Enterprise Mashups, General IT Services, Irregulars, Next Net, Office 2.0, RSS, SaaS, SOA, Social Media, Systems Integration | Comments Off on The CEO Whisperers

Disruptive Technology makes smooth market for SaaS Integrator

Posted by Susan Scrupski on February 15, 2007

Had an excellent chat this week with Narinder Singh, founder of Appirio based in San Francisco. Singh and his colleagues started up Appirio to take advantage of the next wave in enterprise adoption of SaaS applications such as Salesforce.com and SuccessFactors. With backgrounds from SAP, Webmethods, Borland, and Accenture, Singh and his colleagues know the enterprise market cold.

His predictions for the disruption of the enterprise app ecosystem were particularly interesting to me. Singh feels today’s enterprise vendors are falling into the classic trap of the innovator’s dilemma— how do you serve two masters– move to embrace disruptive technology while preserving your existing base? Further, he feels traditional, large SIs are also hooked on the enterprise drug with revenues pushing toward $10B for Accenture and IBM alone in enterprise app implementation and support services. On-demand also affects ISVs in that changes Oracle or SAP make in their core products won’t affect an ISV until maybe a year or so because of the complexity of the cycle in upgrades, etc. “In the on-demand model, if Salesforce innovates in an area where you [the ISV] have previously created some value add, over night their entire customer base has access to that innovation,” says Singh. The model of on-demand forces everyone to stay on their toes, and Singh believes this is good for customers.

He also sees his firm and firms like his as playing a unique role in helping enterprises with the SaaS (r)evolution. He sees a wide open opportunity to “bring the customer back to the center of innovation.” For instance, he’s working with a client to mesh their HR data (SuccessFactors) with their sales data (Salesforce) to deliver a strategic view on how to manage sales performance by increasing quality and reducing ramp-up time. The opportunity to observe, assemble and rapidly deliver new solutions is unique to this era of systems integration. The role of the SaaS-savvy services provider is more of an emissary than vendor, too. The business units are rapidly adopting SaaS under the radar of the CIO. Singh feels his firm is a natural to rationalize the SaaS silos within an enterprise and to help the CIO embrace the new technology, rather than resist it. By the same token, he feels the more successful and comfortable CIOs become with leveraging SaaS and web 2.0 solutions in the enterprise, the greater the disruption will become for the enterprise eco-system.

The following is a chart from a paper from Appirio entitled Services 2.0. It’s a good read for IT Services fans and enterprise app stalwarts alike.

before and after IT Serviceds

Another interesting paper in the IT Services sector was recently published by the Outsourcing Institute. If you want to know more about Outsourcing 2.0, you can download the paper here.

Posted in Consultants, General IT Services, SaaS, SOA, Systems Integration, Web Integrators | 3 Comments »

¡Ay, caramba! Blogging is work.

Posted by Susan Scrupski on November 10, 2006

I’ve been posting on the new ZDNet blog. They tell me it’s live, but there’s a glitch in the technology that is preventing it from showing up in the blog roll. You can view it here. I’m very interested in off-beat IT Services stories, so please email me (susanATitservicesadvisoryDOTcom) with any interesting ideas.

Posted in BP Outsourcing, Consultants, General IT Services, HR Outsourcing, IT Outsourcing, Web Integrators | Comments Off on ¡Ay, caramba! Blogging is work.

Dow tops 12,000

Posted by Susan Scrupski on October 18, 2006

Just a bulletin to join in on the party. Call your broker– ask him if we’re headed for another bubble in tech… 🙂

Posted in General IT Services, Next Net, Office 2.0 | 2 Comments »

Sapient Erupts

Posted by Susan Scrupski on October 17, 2006

Taking a short break from Enterprise 2.0 coverage, I had to acknowledge the news on Sapient today. I received a flash alert from Sapient’s investor team that, “SAPIENT NAMES ALAN HERRICK PRESIDENT AND CEO.” The bulletin went on to explain that co-founder Jerry Greenberg had resigned. Stuart Moore, the other co-founder is still a board member, but gave up his position as co-chairman in order to allow for an independent chairman (now, Jeffrey M. Cunningham). The company also named Joseph S. Tibbetts Jr. as the new CFO, replacing Susan Cooke who was interim CFO and who also resigned today.

Reading the press release, it appears Sapient is in hot water over options-dating, I suppose. Is this the 2.0 crime du jour? Why, everybody’s doing it! Not just Silicon Valley hotshots, but now a company like Sapient, that heretofore, I believed was basically infallible.

Sheesh. I’m not sure I’m more disappointed this happened or if I didn’t know anything about it because I’ve taken my eye off the IT Services ball. Some ITSinsider! Well, the good news is Dan Farber agreed to give me a ZDNet blog on IT Services, so I hope I will be catching up fast.

I put out a number of calls on this Sapient news, and haven’t heard back from anyone yet. I talked to Sapient, but the PR woman really couldn’t tell me anything more than was in the release. The news troubles me. I once wrote a column about what makes an IT Services firm successful, and Sapient gets high marks for all my criteria. I’m sure the company will weather the storm, but when founder CEOs leave, it generally doesn’t go well. My guess is we’ll see a merger/acquisition on the horizon.

Incidentally, Jerry Greenberg is a Jersey boy. He grew up in a small town here in South Jersey not too far (or too dissimilar) from the town I live in today. He made it to Harvard out of there majoring in Economics, he then worked at Cambridge Technology Partners, and started Sapient with Stuart Moore in 1991. Moore was a Computer Science grad out of UC Berkeley. In the day, Moore led one of the first client/server implementations on Wall Street and managed one of the largest installations of Sybase.

I admired Sapient for many things… including the choice of naming Susan Cooke as interim CFO. Imagine that? A woman who can talk numbers and face the investment community.

So, we’ll see what happens. For me, it’s the end of an era.

Posted in General IT Services, Interactive Agencies, Web Integrators | 2 Comments »

Humpty Dumpty Lives to Blog Another Day…

Posted by Susan Scrupski on October 4, 2006

Readers, fans, and friends– My car decided to get into an argument with another car while I was en route in Virginia for Dion’s TNNI conference. As it turns out, I was walking around the conference somewhat delirious as I had a concussion and didn’t even know! I was released from the hospital this week. I’m trying to get caught up and will try to post something soon, including a great analysis from Richard Holway/Ovum.

Please stay tuned. And thanks so much for the kind words, cards, and flowers from those who had the heads up that I was recuperating.

Still planning on attending Office 2.0 in San Francisco. Thank goodness I don’t have to drive. 🙂

 

Posted in General IT Services | Comments Off on Humpty Dumpty Lives to Blog Another Day…

Flash Treadmill report…

Posted by Susan Scrupski on September 18, 2006

I’m getting ready to attend the New New Internet Conference in Virginia, so I haven’t had a chance to keep up on much of what’s current out there.  Nonetheless, I happened to see Peter King Hunsinger, Vice President and Publisher of GQ Magazine on CNBC last week talking about a new, powerful segment of superconsumers: “The Xoomers.” (Read the Press Release here.)  I don’t have a lot of time to go into this, but this new trending data supports my contention that this hot, newfound demographic is going to be ready, willing, and able to marshall change on their own terms within the enterprise.


				

Posted in General IT Services | 2 Comments »

Are We Eating Our Dead? Again?

Posted by Susan Scrupski on September 11, 2006

During web 1.0, I was a skeptic and pretty vocal about it. Before my research was finished, I presented in Atlanta (12/99) when market caps were high for the digital apostles I was tracking. Most of the presentation was tongue and cheek, but is somewhat prescient looking at it today. I wrote this column for Phil Wainewright’s aspnews.com site which was also published as an op-ed in Computerworld for the user community. When the back-breaking, risky 300-page market research report on what I called the “e-services” market was published in April 2000, I joined one of these start-ups myself. You see, through the course of doing the research, I became a believer too. I fell in love with the first Internet revolution and its massive societal-changing promise. Of course, like most companies in that first run up, the start-up crashed. I felt like I, in particular, should have known better than to have fallen for such an idealistic infatuation.

I read with interest Michelle Manafy’s editorial in eContent. This is the second time I’ve heard the Soylent Green, “It’s made of people!” reference in the web 2.0 crowd. This time it gets attributed to Ross Mayfield. I know when I have said, “It’s the people, stupid.” I’m not talking about cannibalism and annihilation; I’m talking about liberation. I’m not talking about overpopulation; I’m talking about a billion Internet users– sharing and doing. Interestingly enough, the tagline for our 2000 start-up was a question– “what happens when everyone’s connected to everything?” Less death. More rebirth.

So, maybe we should start considering a different indie flick? or maybe something more mainstream, if the mission is to turn perception positive on Enterprise 2.0, eh? Manafy’s a great writer and her community is extremely important to the new office generation. For instance, I just received the best presentation (a 100-slide deck) I’ve ever seen on web 2.0 yesterday. It didn’t come from Dion Hinchcliffe; it wasn’t something I found on techcrunch or wasn’t even something I could have gotten my hands on privately as an Enterprise Irregular. It came to me from Molecular, a consulting firm part of the Isobar network of Interactive Agencies. And oh, the reason I was reading Manafy is because Shiv Singh (Avenue A|Razorfish) referred to it in his blog.

Manafy writes:

Web 2.0 inside the firewall isn’t all work and no play, though. Singh has suggested to clients that there are fun ways to use the interactive processes for “prediction markets,” which harness group intelligence. For example, if a company has six ad campaigns under consideration, they can create a space where employees can “trade shares” on the ideas. “Then execs can see the activity that happens around an idea,” he says.

While Web 2.0 may or may not live up to its press, nobody can scoff at the ability of its underlying technologies to enable some of the Internet’s founding principles. As Singh says, “Collectivism is very big.”

Referencing the slide above… Now, one film we might consider could be Monty Python and the Holy Grail. The “throw out your dead” scene, in particular, is working for me. I was chatting with Cognizant’s Malcolm Frank Friday who is not dead (“Yes you are! No I’m not!”), and he was telling me that, in fact, Bob Gett, Gordon Brooks, and few others from web 1.0 are back in the Internet or IT services game. Of course, Jerry Greenberg has found Internet religion again. So maybe the Holy Grail is attainable in web 2.0. I’m not skeptical this time ’round. And it’s really early.

Incidentally, for all ITSinsiders who haven’t heard yet. the weirdest development for those with long memories, is last week’s announcement that Jim Sims was named to EDS’ board of directors. Can someone send that cart to Dallas? 🙂

Posted in Enterprise 2.0, General IT Services, Interactive Agencies, Irregulars, IT Outsourcing, Next Net, Office 2.0, SaaS, Web 2.0, Web Integrators | 2 Comments »

Bring it on. There’s a New New Internet in town.

Posted by Susan Scrupski on September 4, 2006

Mandatory reading from Dion Hinchcliffe on the Tim Berners Lee comment. Brilliant.

Posted in AJAX, Enterprise 2.0, General IT Services, Next Net, SaaS, SOA, Web 2.0, Web Integrators | Comments Off on Bring it on. There’s a New New Internet in town.