Taking Stock – Eloqua, HostingCon, ClickSoftware, Meridian Associates

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SMB Research is overdue in producing another one of our occasional, but irregular, “round-the-horn” Taking Stock pieces.   The waiting is over, and the summer be damned: there is stuff going on.  We can’t bring ourselves to watch the Red Sox every night, or Olympics‘ synchronized diving or synchronized swimming any night.  It’s raining too much to go to the beach.  So SMB Research is out of excuses.   Read, enjoy, and comment.   This Taking Stock talks about Eloqua, HostingCon, SoftLayer, ClickSoftware, Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce‘s 2012 Small Business of the Year, and New England Network Associates.  For a Taking Stock primer, see “SMB Research debuts…’Taking Stock’
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Web Hosting Just One of Many Technologies on Display at HostingCon 2012

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HostingCon came to Boston this week, and SMB Research was there to take the temperature of the hosting industry.  What we learned is that there is a lot more going on than meets the eye.  Exhibitors that we talked to were enthusiastic about the conference and foot traffic – feeling that it was at least equal to, if not up by 10-15% over past years.

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Big Data, and Volume, Velocity, and Variety

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The terms “volume”, “velocity”, and “variety” turn up often – very often – in discussions about “Big Data”.  Gartner’s Doug Laney has laid claim to the original collective use of these terms, in a then-META Group article in February 2001 (“3D Data Management: Controlling Data Volume, Veocity, and Variety“).

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The Cloud – Catching You Up

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Cloud Computing is about as hyped up a market as SMB Research can ever recall seeing.  This is good for the software and technology vendors (and us Analysts); not so good for the end-user.  This article will try to make some sense out of the flurry of recent Cloud-related activity, focusing principally on the major  Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IAAS) players, but with brief discussion also of the PAAS and SAAS spaces.    There continues to be lot of (and perhaps even an increase in)    jockeying for position.  As always, I would enjoy hearing from you to hear your sense of the cloud market, the vendor positioning, or your experience with the cloud technologies.

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Small Business Technology Tour, 2011

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The Small Business Technology Tour, hosted by the energetic and engaging Ramon Ray came to Boston this week, and SMB Research had an opportunity to sit in to hear what the experts and small businesses are talking about.   This Boston event was the 3rd of 5 stops for the 2011 tour, and, like the agendas in the other tour stops (with some minor variations) the Small Business Technology Tour focuses on addressing how small businesses can strategically use technology to grow their businesses.  There are technology references and insights mixed in, but the primary focus is on strategies and best practices in the establishing an on-site presence, and then leveraging that with the right marketing, sales and content strategies.  Ramon Ray and Laura Leites of Smallbiztechnology.com brought an engaging mix of speakers who in general provided some valuable insights to the enthusiastic audience.

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CRM and How SMBs Can Utilize It

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Larger enterprises have deployed CRM suites for years. As the focus of SMB Research LLC represents companies with less than 1, 000 employees we wanted to see exactly how these SMBs were using CRM. Over the last few weeks we spoke to some CRM vendors including SugarCRM, Sage Software, Results Software. These are just 3 of hundreds of vendors and they serve as a few examples of what is available and has been deployed at hundreds of SMBs.

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Day 2 at Interop New York 2011

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Another day at Interop under our belts, and more opportunities to wander through the exhibit floor and talk to quite a few vendors.  This Interop conference has been, perhaps not surprisingly, all about the data center, cloud computing, network management and security, desktop and server virtualization, unified communications,  and wireless / mobile strategy, with more minor focuses on WANs and WAN optimization, social media, voice and video, backup and storage.   This diversity is seen on the exhibit floor as well,  and is both Interop’s attraction as well as a challenge.

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Day “1″ of Interop New York 2011

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On our Day 1 at Interop New York 2011 (actually the 3rd day of the conference), SMB Research arrived to find the event well in swing, with a lot of enthusiastic attendees, and the exhibit hall of more than 150 exhibitors very full, and very busy.

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SMB Research’s Watch List for Oracle OpenWorld 2011

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SMB Research is monitoring developments from Oracle OpenWorld 2011 with great interest.  Are you a Mid-market or SMB headed to Oracle OpenWorld? Are you evaluating Oracle for the first time, or further integrating an Oracle solution or technology into your enterprise?  Let us know what you think of Oracle’s strategy and technology and what questions/concerns you have.   Here below are a few of the things we are watching, with plans to refresh our assessment of Oracle for you in the near future.

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SMB Research – Taking Stock: Interop, TIBCO, HP, Facebook, Thomson Reuters

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TIBCO‘s  TUCON® 2011 which started this morning in Las Vegas should be fun to watch.  TIBCO likes to call itself the platform for events, with a value proposition is all around mining data with an event-driven approach, to enable a company to  “do the exact right thing at the exact right moment in time”.  In its 3rd quarter results call (transcript courtesy of Seeking Alpha) TIBCO is reporting their 7th consecutive quarter of revenue growth of more than 20%, and earnings per share growth exceeding 30% – and are reporting a 60-70% increase in attendance at this year’s TUCON event.

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What Did You Take Away From WebInno31?

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SMB Research stopped in at the WebInno (Web Innovators Group)  event this week.  We cannot speak to the previous 30 WebInno’s (or even whether there have been 30 previous WebInno’s),  but WebInno31 was a bit of a hoot.

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Sustainability Strategies for the SMB / SME

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 Mango NetworksLisa Lillelund provided a timely and engaging presentation at the North Shore Technology Council‘s (NSTC) North Shore Technology Council  first Wednesday of the month Sustainability Forum at the Cleantech InnoVenture Center in Lynn.  Mango Networks describes itself as “a Sustainability, Clean Energy, and Environmental Communications Company..[who] advises companies, universities, schools, clean tech start-ups, and resorts…[and advocates] for environmentally friendlier business and living practices through our consulting projects, articles, Mango Networkspresentations, and educational events.’   Ms. Lillelund’s message to the assembled audience reflected Mango’s mission to educate on what sustainability is, and what we can all be doing about sustainability in our businesses and our lives.

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Vuuch, an Enterprise Social System for Product Development

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SMB Research had a conversation with Vuuch at the recent Enterprise 2.0 Boston show.  While we struggled briefly to know how to characterize this company and solution properly, CEO Chris Williams quickly helped out, explaining that Vuuch is an “enterprise social system for product development….sitting between enterprise social software (things like Jive and Yammer) and PLM [product lifecycle management].” Vuuch This really piqued our interest, and so SMB Research visited nearby Sudbury, MA-based Vuuch last week.   What did we learn?  If you are involved with product development, and find yourself wondering if there is an easier way to manage the email traffic and other project-related team interactions, then Vuuch may be worth a look.

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SMB Research – Taking Stock: NetSuite, Internet Retailer Conference (IRCE), Enterprise 2.0

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SMB Research provides another wrap-up of news big and small – or simply epiphanies for us -  that we think you may want to know about.  On deck this week are: Events, events, and more events. – oh, and also NetSuite, Waterloo Manufacturing, Plex Systems, and Tribute, Inc.

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Around the Horn with IBM Cognos Express, and Business Intelligence

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There were several pieces of interesting news this week in the Business Intelligence world:

SMB Research listened in closely to IBM this past week on their announcement of IBM’s Cognos Express v9.5.

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