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April: Exclusive Interview with Dale Fuller This past February David Skok's new VC firm - Matrix Partners - orchestrated, with Accel, a $10 million investment in JBoss, Inc. This first round of funding in an open source company was a bold play, but then David Skok, famous in the Java arena as the founder of SilverStream Software - acquired by Novell in 2002 - is no stranger to bold moves. The first question then, naturally enough, is to ask Skok whether this investment is somehow a contradiction, or whether there is indeed money to be made from open source? "We think that there's definitely money to be made," Skok says without hesitation. "Red Hat's a clear example," he adds. "They're now profitable on around a $100m annual revenue run-rate. And we're still in the early days of the open source movement."   Curious about the business model he sees underlying OSS, I ... (more)

Cloud Computing: A Step in the Right Direction

We all take for granted that our online applications at home will perform the instant we need them. Whether it’s Voice over IP, video on-demand, gaming, or other applications, we have instantaneous, high-speed access, anytime. In this environment, IT managers are now facing the question: “Why can’t you deliver the same quality of service at work that I experience at home?” Despite spending three to five percent of total revenues on computers, software, and IT services, corporations today still are not able to deliver this same level of performance we receive in our homes. To attain this level of speed and reliability, businesses need to shake off the antiquated computing model of the past and learn from today’s leading Web-based service vendors. The Challenges of the Corporate Data Center Despite all the technological changes that have occurred in recent years, corp... (more)

A New Bubble?

We all remember the Internet bubble back in 1999-2000 era. Start-ups were getting huge valuations. The joke then was – if you are 27 years old and not a millionaire, then you are a failure. All you needed was a sign-board saying “new internet company” and stand on Sand Hill Road. Several cars will stop and within hours, you should have a check worth millions as investment. This is an exaggeration of course. Jeff Bezos of Amazon even said – we spell profit as “prophet”. Then the bubble burst one day and the debris was huge. Hundreds of B2C and B2B companies went belly up. Now after a decade, we see a bit of a bubble again. The landscape is somewhat different. There is no rush to an IPO, which was the only way to make the founders and investors very rich. Now there is a secondary market that buys stocks off the founders and early employees (and some investors as well)... (more)

8 Tips for Going Paperless In Your Small Business

8 Tips for Going Paperless In Your Small Business Ray Coleman is a small business owner who writes about money management, green living, and sustainability.   One of the great benefits of the modern age is the ability of small businesses to conduct a majority of their operations in the digital realm. Eliminating the need for bulky file cabinets, storage facilities, photocopiers, printers, and scanners can reduce overhead dramatically. Replacing costly courier services with emails, and swapping out newsletters and solicitations for social media and web-based marketing programs means serious cost savings, as well. Essentially, all of this comes down to replacing paper with pixels. By taking your business green, you're not only helping the environment, you're freeing up a ton of working capital for your venture – and often creating a better and preferred experience f... (more)

Service-Oriented Integration: An Evolutionary Step for IT - Start small, and experiment

This article outlines a set of best practices for service-oriented integration (SOI) by reviewing the evolution of integration practices, applying those lessons to service-oriented architectures (SOA), and finally analyzing SOA and SOI with the specific technology set of Web services today and into the future. Services and Integration: How Did We Get Here? The advent of the information age has brought an increased emphasis on timely access to information. Use of the Internet to reach employees, customers, and business partners creates corresponding demands to deliver solutions through different kinds of interfaces in shorter time frames. These compressed time frames frequently eliminate some traditional options for satisfying new application requirements, such as migrating to a new, state-of- the-art packaged application; or creating a custom solution built in isolat... (more)

Web Services Startups

You must have seen them - they're everywhere. Despite the market climate, Web services startups are popping up like mushrooms after rain. With no time to lose, these companies are readying themselves to take on the industry gorillas. Who's going to win? Much has been written about the evolution of the Web services industry, particularly with respect to the big players like Microsoft and IBM. We've all been told countless times how Web services are good for established platform vendors ranging from application server companies to integration and process management vendors. One interesting question is often evaded, however: How can startups make money in this world? A Matter of Perspective I wish I had all the answers. I don't, of course. However, my experience does give me a certain perspective. I've been part of the Web services "revolution" since before it had that... (more)

Mobile Operators Seek Incremental Revenue from the Mobile Internet

Mobile operators are in a precarious position. Airtime revenue is decreasing faster than fixed costs, and competitors are multiplying. Not only is there high overhead for customer acquisition, but retention costs are also increasing. Mobile operators need to act now to ensure that they can derive the incremental revenue streams they need to survive. While there remains no question about the effect it will have on the way people transact with each other, the mobile Internet's slower-than-anticipated uptake has had an immediate impact on a number of businesses. Because of this, many enterprises have taken a slow and more strategic approach to rolling out wireless services. Mobile operators do not share the luxury of a slow approach. In North America and around the world, the mobile operator space has seen increased competition, bringing great results for mobile users -... (more)

Deriving Application Infrastructure

Deriving an Application Infrastructure Strategy For an organization to economically support an evolving application portfolio, an application infrastructure strategy must exist. The right application infrastructure strategy ensures that an organization can accommodate short-term tactical and long-term strategic business considerations efficiently and effectively, the byproduct being technical agility. However, the difficulty lies in deriving an application infrastructure strategy that works for your organization. An application infrastructure strategy is always based on a series of activities that must be culturally and technically acceptable, and hence sustainable by an organization. The activities discussed here have been derived and distilled from an accumulation of research, and consist of the following: Recognizing infrastructure patterns, which are used to res... (more)

Threat Assessment and Its Input to Risk Assessment

About this Article This article is an excerpt from Risk Management for Computer Security: Protecting Your Network & Information Assets. Printed with permission from Butterworth-Heinemann, a division of Elsevier. Copyright 2005. For more information about this book and other similar titles, please visit www.books.elsevier.com. In this excerpt we examine the role of threat assessment and its importance in the accurate and effective assessment of risk. Threat It seems appropriate to start this chapter by explaining what is meant by a threat assessment. In information security, this is probably one of the most abused and misunderstood terms and is often used interchangeably with the term "vulnerability." In this book, the word "threat" is used to describe those "things" that may pose a danger to the information systems, and for clarity, the term "threat agents" is used.... (more)

Bringing SOA to Life: The Art and Science of Service Discovery and Design

In a service-oriented architecture (SOA), a service is a unit of work performed by a service provider to achieve desired results for one or more service consumers. A service provides a function that is well defined, self-contained (for example, loosely coupled to its environment), described solely by its interface contract and behavioral attributes (for example, it hides implementation), and located anywhere on the network. Essential components of an SOA - such as a service provider, service repository, service mediator, and service consumers - all rely on service definitions as the key element to describe, access, transport, and understand services. Modern SOA as a pattern for transforming enterprise architecture is still emerging, as are the strategies for service discovery and design. At this juncture of SOA's maturation, it's highly useful to consider concepts a... (more)

Oak Pacific Interactive Web 2.0 Platform Receives $48 Million Funding From Global Investors

Oak Pacific Interactive (Oak Pacific), a Chinese Internet company formerly known as ChinaInterActiveCorp, announced today that it has closed a new round of financing of $48 million from a group of leading global private equity and venture capital firms led by General Atlantic LLC (GA). In addition to GA, the group includes DCM - Doll Capital Management, Technology Crossover Ventures (TCV), Accel Partners, and Legend Capital. Oak Pacific provides next generation communication, content distribution and community Internet platforms including a number of well-known Chinese websites such as mop.com, UUme.com, DoNews.com, and wowar.com. Oak Pacific currently has approximately 22 million registered users and more than 150 million daily page views. Oak Pacific will use this new round of financing to continue to expand its portfolio of digital entertainment assets and build ... (more)