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Micro-chunking Software: Tibco and Zoho CEOs Sing the Same Song (Just from Different Notes)

puzzle This should probably be a Tweet, but I am not smart enough to squeeze it into 140 characters – perhaps Tumblr or Posterous notes?  Anyway, I am in a rambling mood – but I’ll keep it short, just pointing to stuff I read.  After all, there’s a reason why my personal blog has the tagline Connecting the dots. :-)

The death knell is ringing for Customer Relationship Management (CRM) packages, according to Vivek Ranadivé, Tibco’s chairman and CEO.

“The enterprise 2.0 world we live in today is transaction based, but we are now entering an era where events will replace transactions. We will move from this world where we continually have to ask questions and seek information into one where the information will seek you.”

The technical enabler is the reduction of costs for solid-state memory and the arrival of larger multi-core processors – the result is software that reacts  to what we’re doing at any moment in time, instead of us pulling up big monolithic applications.

The other “dot” I’m connecting this to is a blog post by Zoho CEO Sridhar Vembu:

One of the architectural themes that is driving our evolution is the focus on the user’s context and workflow and avoiding the context switch as much as possible. Context switching is expensive. It destroys the flow and rhythm of a users, and is a real productivity killer,  as I discussed with Larry Dignan of ZDNet last week…

…the boundary between apps tends to dissolve, as data flows contextually across apps. Apps move to the background, data and context start to dominate. In the cloud world, data is not the slave of any particular application, but flows to whichever context that needs it.

My take: CRM?  I don’t even know what it means anymore… just ask Paul Greenberg about the ever expanding definition of Social CRM. It’s certainly not just one application.  Same for ERP.  Or Office, for that matter.

Applications will go away.  Instead, we’ll have functions.  Functions that sense what we are doing and offer up the right options – based on both data and perhaps our own activity profile (example: looking at a table – some might process it with a spreadsheet, others prefer a database or word processor).  Or just self-acting agents.  Micro-chunked functions served up software. I first discussed the concept two years ago.

Now, isn’t this in sharp contrast to what I said about Application Suites?  No: first of all, that was a market-reality based view vs. visioning here. Second, it’s Suites are not necessarily monolithic giants, it’s about the integration of apps, bringing the right micro-functions available to the user at the right time in the right context, no matter what the “App” is called, and doing it all in a unified UI environment.  Read more on the componentization of software here.

Wow.  This is definitely not Twitter-sized. :-)

(Disclosure: Zoho is CloudAve’s exclusive Sponsor)

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InfoWorld’s 2009 Technology of the Year Awards

InfoWorld announced the winners of the 2009 Technology of the Year Awards in Applications, Middleware, and Data Management:

The Awards are presented in a slideshow format, and InfoWorld made it almost unreadable: there is an ad in between every single page, you either 20 second to flip a page, or have to click “skip” every single time, then click one more time to close another page that hides the slide. Frankly, I think they went way overboard with this.

That said, I did the work for you, here are the winners:

  • Mozilla Firefox
  • Zoho Writer, Sheet, Show
  • Day Communique WCM
  • Telligent Community Server 2008
  • Oracle Database 11g
  • Talend Open Studio
  • Denodo Platform

Congratulations to the winners!

(Cross-posted from CloudAve)

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The Bogus Vista vs. Windows 7 Debate

If you love Windows XP, you’ll hate Windows 7 – says Ed Bott on ZDnet.  Windows 7: Mojave My Ass –complains Jason Perlow. Dwight Silverman confirms: Sorry, but Windows 7 isn’t a return to Windows XP, while others don’t refrain from some name-calling.

Sorry guys, you’re all wrong

You’re debating the merits of an operating system based on it’s UI.  Sure, if you migrate from XP to Win7, some of the changes can be confusing – but it’s an initial change, the learning curve is not that steep.  I actually side with Ed Bott here, the search box to launch programs is a more user-friendly approach than having to remember the names of all *.exe files a’la XP. 

But it does not really matter.  Mojave my ass?  Mojave was a bogus experiment (in fact a PR blitz dressed up as an experiment) showing happy “users” who liked the Vista UI – but hey had no chance to assess what fails in a short demo, and that’s what doomed Vista, not appearances.

Windows in all flavors, be it XP, Vista or 7 is not an application.  It’s a friggin’ operating system whose job is to get us into applications and get out of the way.  In today’s flurry of blog posts Adrian Kingsley-Hughes has the right approach, presenting performance tests – yes, performance is key to judging how good an operating system is.

The other key criteria is how invisible it stays. Think about it: any time you have to get down to OS level typically means something does not work right.  It’s the stupid unexplainable little things like:

  • Vista and XP computers not finding each other on a home network until you apply an undocumented patch to the XP machines
  • Simple copy or delete operations taking forever
  • Not being authorized to move / delete files on my own computer even after elevating to Admin mode, killing UAC and a number of weird cryptic options that take an IT deapartment to deal with, not a home user
  • Windows upgrade failing if more than 3GB memory is installed
  • The latest Windows upgrade causing printer and camera drivers from several vendors reinstall themselves (some take 30 minutes or more, kinda big deal)

The list could go on, but I think you get my drift:  Windows 7 (and any other OS) will be judged on how well computers will run, let users interact with real application without having to touch the OS itself.

Finally, to address the speculation about Windows 7 upgrade paths, let me just reiterate this:

  • Win7  should be released as  Vista Final (meaning it works)
  • It should be provided it as a free upgrade to Vista
  • It should come with a letter of apology to all Vista victims

OK, I know we have fat chances for the apology – but I really mean the free upgrade part.

(Cross-posted from CloudAve – to stay on top of Cloud Computing news, analysis and just our opinion, grab the CloudAve Feed here.)