What Does Your Choice in Soda Say About You?

What do Diet Dr. Pepper, Michelob Ultra, Cracker Barrel, Brooks Brothers, and Jaguar all have in common? At first glance you would think not much, but in reality, these items reflect preferences by Republicans that vote. On the opposite side of the spectrum, apathetic Democrats prefer 7-UP, Milwaukee’s Best, Church’s Chicken, Burlington Coat Factory, and Plymouths.

Welcome to the world of Big Data!

A world where the soda or beer you drink, the car Continue reading

Open Source Software Use in the Government

Proponents of open source software use in the government were elated when Assistant Secretary of Defense Networks & Information Integration (ASD(NII)) DoD CIO David Wennergren issued the “Clarifying Guidance Regarding Open Source Software (OSS)” memorandum in 2009.   In this memorandum, open source was classified as “commercial computer software”, putting it on par with commercial off the shelf software (COTS) from software vendors such as Microsoft and Oracle.

In addition, the memorandum also provided clarification on DoD Instruction 8500.2,

“Information Assurance (IA) Implementation” (reference (g)) includes an Information Assurance Control, “DCPD-1 Public Domain Software Controls,” which limits the use of “binary or machine-executable public domain software or other software products with limited or no warranty,” on the grounds that these items are Continue reading

Data Discovery vs Service Discovery

bigdataWith huge amounts of data being created and stored across multiple systems in different formats across the enterprise, Big Data has become a big issue for many organizations. The demand for real-time (or near real-time) information from multiple systems of record is forcing companies to rethink their current data strategy by placing mission critical information at the center of the IT portfolio. One of the biggest challenges that organizations face with this new data strategy Continue reading

Six Key Performance Indicators for Pre-Sales Teams

Most commercial software companies employ technical pre-sales engineers to help potential customers see the value of a particular product or solution. In many companies these engineers combine deep technical knowledge with soft-skills to understand the customer’s problem, establish a foundation of trust with the customer, resolve their concerns and become their trusted advisor.  The position is a key member of the sales team but sometimes gets overlooked as they do not officially carry a quota.

In most cases, the performance of pre-sales engineers will have direct impact on the outcome of a deal. Thus it is important to ensure the pre-sales team is operating efficiently and effectively. So how does a company know if the pre-sales engineers are being the most effective? How can an organization improve the effectiveness of their pre-sales teams? I am a firm believer in Continue reading

Big Data – Making SOA and Cloud (more) Relevant

For the past decade, I have been witness to and part of an evolution in the IT industry that has seen client-server architectures replaced with service-oriented architectures (SOA), where expensive and dedicated big-iron hardware has been replaced with shared infrastructure based on virtualization and commodity hardware. (Cloud) I have seen organizations succeed with SOA and cloud, and I have seen some epic Continue reading

Are You An Effective Leader?

Over the course of my career I have been fascinated by the aspects of leadership and management within organizations.  This has largely been driven by an experience I had early in my career with my first management role.  A few days before I was to take over a team, my boss called me into his office and gave me some sage advice.  He said, “be the type of leader that you would want to work for.”  This very simple and common sense advice has stuck with me since that day, and I have continually tried to live by that creed.  I ask myself frequently, would I want to work for me? That simple question has helped guide my view of management and leadership, and along the way I have picked up some observations about effective leaders and dysfunctional leaders.

An effective leader is not Continue reading

Managers, Directors, and VPs – Oh My…

Having worked at IT organizations both big and small, I have been fascinated by how these companies use the titles of Manager, Director and VP.  It has been my experience that smaller companies tend to dilute the value of these titles in their early growth stages by handing them out like candy.

My personal belief is that titles should have meaning and value.  Just because somebody says I want to be a Manager doesn’t mean they are, or should be a Manager. The same holds true for Directors and VPs. Companies should use these titles to accurately reflect the appropriate role and leadership level within the organization.

So what are the differences between each of these three roles?


A Manager provides Continue reading

The Road to $1 Billion

Based on reports, Red Hat Inc. is close to joining the $1 Billion dollar club for FY2012.   First, congratulations are in order as not many software companies ever reach this mark. Second, this is a testament to the big business of free and open source software.

Having worked at BEA for several years prior to the Oracle acquisition, I couldn’t help but wonder how this compared to BEA’s path to $1B and decided to do a bit of research and decided to share what I discovered. Continue reading

Oracle – Integration but Not Innovation

One had to expect that Oracle would eventually have to do something to remain relevant in a Big Data world. So the announcement on January 10th regarding a Big Data Appliance comes as no surprise. Upon closer inspection it is clear that this appliance is just an amalgamation of products from past acquisitions and some open source projects. Components include:

  • Oracle NoSQL (Berkeley DB from Sleepycat Software)
  • Oracle HotSpot Java Virtual Machine (from Sun Microsystems — though the JRockit JVM acquired from BEA is better)
  • Oracle Linux (A distribution based on Red Hat Enterprise Linux)
  • Apache Hadoop (Cloudera’s distribution)
  • An open source distribution of R
  • All running on hardware technology acquired from Sun

After looking at the list, one would have to think that integration not innovation is the mantra ringing through the halls in Redwood Shores.