People stuck in the email backwoods

Only 8% of office system users employ cloud-hosted email and desktop applications, according to analyst company Gartner
Gartner expects that 10% of enterprise email inboxes will be hosted in the cloud by the end of 2014.
…adoption will accelerate from the first half to 2015, reaching 33% penetartiong in 2017 and 60% by 2022

Just 8% of workers use cloud for office apps

These figures – which I pretty much believe – always baffle me. Running your own email has got to be one the least valuable, more annoying services you can do. It also causes all sorts of BYOD hassles. The more important part is catching up to the consumertech grade quality of cloud email, and being able to integrate into the application and services ecosystems users of services like GMail have access to. Otherwise, you’re stuck on the on-premises backwoods of Exchange and Outlook – an email approach that equally baffles me when it comes to productivity, e.g., tiny quotas, desktop syncing, and the lack of "basics" like archiving and useful search.

The pushback I get is always around security and the usual stick in the mud stuff.

Progress enabling SaaSify

“Our ISV customers have said, we want to be able to compete in the cloud,” explains CEO Philip Pead.

So Progress also announced that it would be gradually moving its software components into the cloud, to create an all new "platform-as-a-service" offering.

Progress Software buys a new front end for its PaaS play

You see this a lot: companies help "SaaSify" applications. Progress more than likely had a pretty broad, long standing base of companies using it’s various middleware chunks. How much money is in it? It’s always the smallest part of any prognosticator’s cloud market-sizing. I always think there’s something slightly wrong there, but who knows.

The Joys of Marginalia

I can’t really concentrate on reading unless I have a pen in my hand. I love marginalia. I love used books and getting a glimpse of some stranger’s relationship to a book that is now in my life. I underline, star, box, vent, exclaim. I like rereading my books and seeing coffee stains or chocolaty fingerprints I left behind the last time I read them.

The Joys of Marginalia

OpenStack vs. Amazon

The differentiation [between Amazon and OpenStack] is that OpenStack technology is driving an initiative, throughout the world, which can be adopted and molded in a non-proprietary way. If you, as a user, want to integrate some proprietary technology into OpenStack, you can do that very easily. It’s basically an open system. The companies and brand names you trust are there to make sure the technology works in a reference architecture. The second part, is there’s been a real shift in the industry about how end users are viewing their IT assets. They want to manage and deploy them using a hybrid model. In the hybrid model, they want assets and IT infrastructure in their own environment, but also want to be able to take advantage of the public cloud, and take advantage of traditional, managed hosting. Many end users come to us saying we have X number of data centers, and we don’t want any more. They want to put their new workloads in our data center. But, they have to be able to talk to workloads in their legacy data centers. With technology like OpenStack, it’s really built, and designed for a hybrid cloud computing environment.

Rackspace, OpenStack, and How Texas Is Driving The Cloud Computing Market

Good interview with John Igoe who I used to work with at Dell from time-to-time. He had some good input for a "how to get things done at a BigCo" presentation I did at DevOpsDays a few years ago: hide out, and deploy chaff as needed. He’s now VP of Private Cloud at Rackspace.

Maybe this Internet of Things bit isn’t bonkers after all

A new study from Rackspace titled "The Human Cloud: Wearable Technology from Novelty to Productivity" reports that 18 percent of the population in the United States and United Kingdom are using wearable technology, and the majority of those users (82 percent of Americans and 71 percent of Brits) say these devices are making their lives better.

How wearable tech will fuel the Internet of things

A quick search didn’t lead me to the actual study: anyone know where I can fetch it from?

I actually have a Jawbone Up which is pretty cool. It stopped working and I haven’t managed to exchange it. Need to solve that problem first. Also, I have a Withings scale which I find fascinating and useful. Finally, a few days ago my new Ford Focus asked me if I wanted it to send a diagnostic report to it’s website for me to check.

Yup, it’s pretty much here.

Amazon Staff Meetings: “No PowerPoint”

The traditional kind of corporate meeting starts with a presentation. Somebody gets up in front of the room and presents with a powerpoint presentation, some type of slide show.  In our view you get very little information, you get bullet points.  This is easy for the presenter, but difficult for the audience.  And so instead, all of our meetings are structured around a 6 page narrative memo.

Jeff Bezos, Amazon

Also notice that everyone actually uses the first part of the meeting time (30 minutes?!) to read the memo while they all sit there:

The author gets the nice warm feeling of seeing their hard work being read.

If you have a traditional ppt presentation, executives interrupt. If you read the whole 6 page memo, on page 2 you have a question but on on page 4 that question is answered.

This is an anecdote that’s been floating around for awhile, so it’s good to lock down the URL for it, and the original Charlie Rose interview.

Planning is fine, but generally over-rated

He said he never sought lot of advice because if he had gone and asked people what he was about to do and work, they would have told him it wouldn’t work and dissuaded him from taking up the venture. “I would experiment experiment, test, go fast, fail fast. Planning is fine but generally over-rated,” said Dell, who founded the company as a student. 

Michael Dell's Advice to Indian Entrepreneurs

The 100 person limit

Size and internal vs. external coordination costs matter a lot. North of 100 people in a company, employees don’t all know each other. Politics become important. Incentives change. Signaling that work is being done may become more important than actually doing work. These costs are almost always underestimated. Yet they are so prevalent that professional investors should and do seriously reconsider before investing in companies that have more than one office. Severe coordination problems may stem from something as seemingly trivial or innocuous as a company having a multi-floor office. Hiring consultants and trying to outsource key development projects are, for similar reasons, serious red flags. While there’s surely been some lessening of these coordination costs in the last 40 years—and that explains the shift to somewhat smaller companies—the tendency is still to underestimate them. Since they remain fairly high, they’re worth thinking hard about.

The 100 person limit

Microsoft keeps fast following to the cloud

In addition to Azure, Microsoft is offering other cloud services through Intune, its Internet-based computer management service. Developed for small offices with limited IT help, Intune provides a set of automated updating and management functionality for keeping Windows-based business computers in operating order. A quiet success for Microsoft, Intune now is used by more than 35,000 organizations, according to the company.

Microsoft TechEd focuses IT pros on the ‘Cloud OS’

True to their "fast follower" approach (where, back when the phrase was coined, "fast" meant years, not months), Microsoft is "fastly" getting all cloud. I really like the "dark horse" approach of Intune – a sneaky way to disrupt end-point management, coupled with free/cheap anti-virus, you’ve got the chance to take out a whole segment of the IT market and solidify your position.

Also, if you switch over to cloud-dependent services, you probably address lots of the "lost" cash due to piracy…either giving you that cash back (pirates go navy, as it were) or opening up The Market’s desire for cheaper alternatives, like Ubuntu or hacked OS X on affordable x86 laptops – or crazy stuff like Android/Chrome books.

The Internet is now the check-out isle

I’m not actually mad at either Scalzi or Amazon; I’m getting good entertainment value for money. But I am in awe at the effortlessness with which successive instalments of cash are being whisked out of my wallet. In the hands of someone evil, this could be dangerous.

The Scalzi/Amazon Trap

Have you seen that meme – most recently in Mary Meeker’s annual chart-porn montage – about The Market having lots of credit cards and one click buying? Well, here’s the point: if the Internet has become that check-out isle at the grocery store, if you’re a merchant: start putting up a bunch of little impulse buys instead of higher priced, bigger chunks of commerce.