Monday, August 31, 2009

Single Molecule Photographed

Every so often, we come across one of these amazing scientific developments that will shape technology for generations. Earlier this year, I posted an entry announcing the discovery of a new battery type.

Today, I'm passing along the news that scientists at IBM have photographed a single molecule. This has never, ever been done before. The long-term effects could be remarkable. We'll gain deeper understanding into the true nature of molecules. Molecular biologists will have new tools to develop treatments for what are currently incurable diseases. Now we'll be able to actually see how various conditions affect the structure of molecules. This will enable us to predict molecular behavior and adapt materials and liquids and gases to that behavior. This is exciting stuff.

Read more here: Single Molecule Pictured

Monday, August 24, 2009 announces positive 2Q results (CRM [NYSE]) released results for the quarter that ended on 31 July 2009. Here are some of the highlights:
Revenue: Total Q2 revenue was $316.1 million, an increase of 20% on a year-over-year basis. Subscription and support revenues were $293.4 million, an increase of 22% on a year-over-year basis. Professional services and other revenues were $22.6 million, a decrease of 3% on a year-over-year basis.

Customers: Net paying customers rose approximately 3,900 during the quarter to finish at approximately 63,200. Compared with the year ago quarter, net paying customers have grown by approximately 15,500 or 32%.
source: Announces Fiscal Second Quarter Results, August 20, 2009 4:05 PM ET

The fact that topline revenue is on the increase over the same period a year ago is pretty remarkable. If you recall, in May and June of last year, we were only starting to hear rumors and possibilities that the economy could be in trouble. July, of course, is when the housing market started to falter and oil prices started to rise. But compared to the conditions of May through July of this year, last's market seems pretty stable and optimistic. The big news of May through July 2009 was soaring unemployment, along with a modest stock market recovery.

Against that backdrop, we have a fairly mature product and brand in posting solid growth in both revenue and subscribers. That subscribers grew 50% faster than subscription revenue is evidence of substantive price competition. Yet, I believe these results demonstrate that is the superior CRM solution.

I also interpret these results as evidence that leaders are starting to see their own businesses recover.

What about you??
Are you planning for the recovery?
Will your infrastructure support moderate growth?

Now is the time to make sure. Pricing is competitive and providers want to make deals. Financing is still a challenge, so the advantage lies with those who have cash.

Other insights on's results... Sees Rise In 2Q Revenue

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The BlackBerry lives on

Did you know that RIM Technologies, the Canadian-based producer of the BlackBerry, has had 77% revenue growth and an 84% increase in profits 84% over the past three years? For all the hype and hoopla over the iPhone and the Android, it seems that the ubitiquous BlackBerry is holding its own. Obviously, the consumer market has been dominated by other brands, such as Nokia, Qualcomm, LG and, of course, Apple.

But the commercial market is a significant portion of the market. It's not as interesting as a legacy media story, and the advances don't seem to attract as much attention. But the advances are significant, and they keep the wheels of commerce turning.

Monday, August 17, 2009

GPS getting closer to where it needs to be!

I've always wondered why more phones don't come with a genuine GPS app built in. I know that the firmware needs to be modified to accurately track with the sattelites, but that shouldn't be that hard. Well, once again, Apple is at the forefront of innovation:

TomTom launches $100 GPS app for iPhone

Now ... when will RIM catch on and create a reasonably priced GPS app for the BlackBerry?!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

SharePoint is a survivor

I've long held that SharePoint, Microsoft's flagship content management software, is a great solution, provided it is deployed carefully. It seems that millions of experts agree! Even with all of the bad news that the software industry has endured over the past 12 months, Microsoft is claiming over 17,000 customers for SharePoint.

Why would this be happening?

In my view, SharePoint provides firms with a reasonably priced collaboration platform, thus fitting into a very specific purpose in the world. However, there are some critical success factors to every SharePoint deployment. The first and foremost is to use the platform to solve a targeted business requirement.

Examples might include ...

  • Technology Project Team Sites
  • Executive Management Team documentation
  • Departmental Dashboards

You want to be focused and targeted because the tool is so comprehensive that it is tempting to try and create an all-emcompassing intranet right from the start. Trust me, that's a mistake. In one year, you'll be wondering where all the money went and why there's so little to show for it. And worse, only a few ultra-creative teams will have availed themselves to anything the tool has to offer.

If your firm is considering a SharePoint, please contact us. We'll help you stack the deck in favor of a successful implementation at an exceptionally reasonable cost.

Credit where credit is due ...
The article that got me thinking about this topic:
SharePoint thrives in the Recession from C-Net

Monday, August 3, 2009

Changes in the browser landscape

On Saturday, Net Applications released usage statistics for the various browsers. ComputerWorld's analysis is that Firefox and Safari are bearing the brunt of Chrome's entree into the marketplace.

I disagree.

This graph depicts the market share of each browser by month for the past 10 months. Based on what we see here, the one taking the hit from Chrome is Internet Explorer (all versions). Certainly, we see that Firefox is not growing like it was before, but it hasn't lost significant share to any alternative application. The same can be said for Safari and, for that matter, Opera.

This explains why Microsoft has moved so aggressively into content-related deals and applications. Bing and Yahoo! represent the best opportunities for the company to protect some part of the internet turf from Google.

Data Source: Browser Statistics, compiled by Market Share