Forrester Reports – Interesting Results

I receive Forrester Research Alerts and enjoy reviewing them, especially when they are focused on enterprise software. Earlier this month, VentureBeat released information on Web 2.0 investments. While IT Consumer Services was highlighted, the IT Business Services section was interesting as well – investments in IT Business Services have grown 100% each year since 2003 with 2006 looking to surpass that growth number.

This morning I was reading through Forrester’s State of SMB Software and Services 2006: North America. The first line of the alert states:

Software spending among North American small and medium-size businesses (SMBs) will be robust in 2007…

The numbers in the VentureBeat Web 2.0 investment blog sees a strong finish for 2006 for IT Business Services and the Forrester report indicates a continuing positive trend in 2007 for SMB Software and Services in NA. Without drawing direct parallels, it’s great to see the SMB S&S market growing at the same time IT Business Services is doing the same.

Web 2.0 Investments

With the Web 2.0 Summit happening around the corner, information has been spilling from the workshops and speeches. Mike is over there now – I’m sure we’ll get some great takes from his blog (as he has already).

One of the blogs I picked out today was VentureBeat‘s story on the increased investment in Web 2.0 companies. Not that anyone is calling this Boom 2.0 yet, but those numbers are quite hefty. It’s interesting to see the most active investors list. It would be neat to rank them by the % of deals done in the Web 2.0 space.

KMWorld 06

I hit the Knowledge Management conference in San Jose last week, mainly to meet up with Martin Cleaver at Helix Commerce but also to see how wikis were being used within the KM community.

Wednesday’s keynote was given by Dave Snowden and Cindy Gordon – both gave excellent speeches. From there I hit the exhibitor booths where I chatted a bit with Jordan Frank at Traction Software. From there I headed over to the MindTouch booth where I talked with Aaron Fulkerson mainly about the recent JotSpot acquisition news. Aaron also ran a short presentation on Wiki Bsics for Collaboration, which was quite interesting (especially the Q&A).

I missed Martin’s presentation on Wikis & Blogs: New KM Tools, but he did come up to our offices on Thursday and gave us a quick run down of his presentation (which made me even more sorry I missed it!).

My overall impression was that the conference was well attended, and it had the right audience for wikis, blogs, and other new knowledge management tools. It was great to sit down with a few folks and talk about their collaboration strategies, both for internal and external purposes.

SharePoint 2007

I’ve been looking into comparing / contrasting Confluence and MSFT’s SharePoint 2007 system. For now, I’ve been tracking the progress on the SP front by reading RSS feeds, watching videos, and reading through the MSFT web site.

My initial thinking: I’m not all that impressed. Maybe that’s what I get for working with a company with such a quick development cycle. 🙂

I worked pretty closely with SP 2003 and was excited with everything that could happen. Unfortunately, there’s been little actual progress from a development standpoint. After running through this video, I couldn’t even tell if there was a single dashboard (surely there must be!).

Oh, and you can download evaluation of SharePoint Services, Version 3 Beta 2 now on Longhorn Server Beta 2 and view it through the Windows Vista client Beta 2. Or, you could download an evaluation copy of Confluence right now, on whatever platform you are running on.

– w

“I’m out there Jerry, and I’m lovin’ every minute of it!”

I recently switched from a Dell laptop to a Mac PowerBook. It’s been just a few days, but it’s been a rather pleasant switch so far. Granted, I didn’t have years of data/apps to move from the Dell to the Mac, making the move quite a bit smoother.

I have a few gripes, mainly built around keyboard shortcuts, or the lack thereof. The biggest being the inability to move from a browser window to a browser address field (ALT + D on the PC).

If you have tips or suggestions for a PC to Mac convert, do let me know.

– w

The End of the SF Giants?

They didn’t do so well this year, with plenty of reasons. However, terrible news from the Chronicle this morning that that will certainly affect the team’s ability to win games next year and beyond: Stan Conte has left the team.

Stan Conte was the head trainer of the Giants for quite some time and certainly earned his living. Maybe this is part of Sabean’s push to get a younger team on the field?

– w

Ballmer in the Times

In this weekend’s Saturday Interview in the New York Times, Steve Ballmer talks about the future of Microsoft and life without Bill Gates. One interesting point that Ballmer addresses is the importance of a community:

Q. What do you see as the most significant changes in how people use software?

A. I think one pervasive change is the increasing importance of community. That will come in different forms, with different age groups of people and it will change as the technology evolves.

An interesting answer, as earlier he talks about reducing development cycle times, which I imagine he realizes is needed to keep up with the light software aspect that “2.0” embodies. Are we to expect Microsoft to actually live up to this?

A community moves forward and backward as they see fit, not as dictated by one member of the community. It’ll be interesting to see if and how Ballmer puts this into place.

– w