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Lenovo: mobile Internet to be 80% of sales in five years | Electronista March 13, 2010

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The vast majority of Lenovo’s sales will come from Internet-capable portable devices in five years, company chief Yang Yuanqing stated on Friday. He observed that ThinkPads and IdeaPads already outweigh desktops but that fully 70 to 80 percent of Lenovo’s devices will be mobile Internet devices of some kind within as little as three and no more than five years. Many of these will be smartphones, but they should also include crossover devices such as the IdeaPad U1 notebook/tablet hybrid and the Skylight smartbook.

Most of its strategy for 2010 will involve pushing into relatively underserved areas for the company, such as middle Asia, Latin America and Eastern Europe. Its longer-term “protect and attack” strategy would focus on solidifying performance in China before shifting attention to other markets.

The approach puts it into more direct competition with both established notebook rivals like Acer and HP but also firms whose lineups have only partially overlapped with Lenovo’s in recent years, such as Apple and HTC. Lenovo has just recently entered touchscreen smartphones in earnest with the Ophone O1 and the upcoming LePhone, and devices like the U1 are likely to clash with the iPad as well as existing and widely rumored UMPC and tablet models from HTC.

via Lenovo: mobile Internet to be 80% of sales in five years | Electronista.

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Official Google Blog: Open for business: the Google Apps Marketplace March 11, 2010

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Every day, thousands of businesses choose the cloud. More than 2 million businesses have adopted Google Apps over the last three years, eliminating the hassles associated with purchasing, installing and maintaining hardware and software themselves.

We’ve found that when businesses begin to experience the benefits of cloud computing, they want more. We’re often asked when we’ll offer a wider variety of business applications — from accounting and project management to travel planning and human resources management. But we certainly can’t and won’t do it all, and there are hundreds of business applications for which we have no particular expertise.

In recent years, many talented software providers have embraced the cloud and delivered a diverse set of features capable of powering almost any business. But too often, customers who adopt applications from multiple vendors end up with a fractured experience, where each particular application exists in its own silo. Users are often forced to create and remember multiple passwords, cut and paste data between applications, and jump between multiple interfaces just to complete a simple task.

Today, we’re making it easier for these users and software providers to do business in the cloud with a new online store for integrated business applications. The Google Apps Marketplace allows Google Apps customers to easily discover, deploy and manage cloud applications that integrate with Google Apps. More than 50 companies are now selling applications across a range of businesses, including:

  • Intuit Online Payroll: A small business application that offers business owners a new way to efficiently run payroll, pay taxes and let employees check paystubs all within one integrated online office environment.
  • Manymoon: The company’s free work and project management application for Google Apps makes it simple for businesses and teams to organize and share information including tasks, projects, documents, status updates and links with co-workers, customers and partners.
  • Professional Services Connect (PS Connect): This new cloud-based offering coming soon from Appirio, pulls contextually relevant information on people, projects, customers and transactions from a user’s domain and surfaces it directly inside a Gmail message so services professionals can make more informed, real-time decisions.
  • JIRA Studio: A hosted software development suite from Atlassian enables software developers to flow naturally between Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Docs and other design and development tools in order to better track and manage project issues and workflow.

Once installed to a company’s domain, these third-party applications work like native Google applications. With administrator approval, they may interact with calendar, email, document and/or contact data to increase productivity. Administrators can manage the applications from the familiar Google Apps control panel, and employees can open them from within Google Apps. With OpenID integration, Google Apps users can access the other applications without signing in separately to each. The Google Apps Marketplace eliminates the worry about software updates, keeping track of different passwords and manual syncing and sharing of data, thereby increasing business productivity and lessening frustrations for users and IT administrators alike. That’s the power of the cloud.

For more information on the benefits of the Google Apps Marketplace to businesses, check out our Enterprise Blog post. Developers interested in learning how to integrate with Google Apps can check out our post on the Google Code Blog. Or, you can explore the Google Apps Marketplace directly at http://google.com/appsmarketplace.

Finally, we’ll be diving deeper into application development for the enterprise at Google I/O on May 19-20. We hope to see you there!

via Official Google Blog: Open for business: the Google Apps Marketplace.

Human-centered design meets Agile Development February 28, 2010

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During the last days and weeks I thaught a lot about project management, agile development, organizing teams, including “other” departments like user interface, teams which delivers you components etc.. The following presentation gives an introduction to a splitted approach.
Human-centered design meets Agile Development
View more presentations from Maria Giudice.
After some years of experience in software development and project management I’m totally sure, that the best way in developing software is a mixture between different approaches. I’m open to discuss this in more detail 😉

Gartner Highlights Key Predictions for IT Organizations and Users in 2010 and Beyond January 18, 2010

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Gartner, Inc. has highlighted the key predictions that herald long-term changes in approach for IT organizations and the people they serve for 2010 and beyond. Gartner’s top predictions for 2010 showcase the trends and events that will change the nature of business today and beyond.[…]

Gartner’s top predictions are intended to compel readers to action and to position themselves to take advantage of coming changes, not to be damaged by them. Gartner’s top predictions for 2010 and beyond include:

By 2012, 20 percent of businesses will own no IT assets. Several interrelated trends are driving the movement toward decreased IT hardware assets, such as virtualization, cloud-enabled services, and employees running personal desktops and notebook systems on corporate networks.

The need for computing hardware, either in a data center or on an employee’s desk, will not go away. However, if the ownership of hardware shifts to third parties, then there will be major shifts throughout every facet of the IT hardware industry. For example, enterprise IT budgets will either be shrunk or reallocated to more-strategic projects; enterprise IT staff will either be reduced or reskilled to meet new requirements, and/or hardware distribution will have to change radically to meet the requirements of the new IT hardware buying points.

By 2012, India-centric IT services companies will represent 20 percent of the leading cloud aggregators in the market (through cloud service offerings). Gartner is seeing India-centric IT services companies leveraging established market positions and levels of trust to explore nonlinear revenue growth models (which are not directly correlated to labor-based growth) and working on interesting research and development (R&D) efforts, especially in the area of cloud computing. The collective work from India-centric vendors represents an important segment of the market’s cloud aggregators, which will offer cloud-enabled outsourcing options (also known as cloud services).

By 2012, Facebook will become the hub for social network integration and Web socialization. Through Facebook Connect and other similar mechanisms, Facebook will support and take a leading role in developing the distributed, interoperable social Web. As Facebook continues to grow and outnumber other social networks, this interoperability will become critical to the success and survival of other social networks, communication channels and media sites.

Other social networks (including Twitter) will continue to develop, seeking further adoption and specializations with communication or content areas, but Facebook will represent a common denominator for all of them.

By 2014, most IT business cases will include carbon remediation costs. Today, server vitalization and desktop power management demonstrate substantial savings in energy costs, and those savings can help justify projects. Incorporating carbon costs into business cases provides a further measure of savings, and prepares the organization for increased scrutiny of its carbon impact.

Economic and political pressure to demonstrate responsibility for carbon dioxide emissions will force more businesses to quantify carbon costs in business cases. Vendors will have to provide carbon life cycle statistics for their products or face market share erosion. Incorporating carbon costs in business cases will only slightly accelerate replacement cycles. A reasonable estimate for the cost of carbon in typical IT operations is an incremental one or two percentage points of overall costs. Therefore, carbon accounting will more likely shift market share than market size.

In 2012, 60 percent of a new PC’s total life greenhouse gas emissions will have occurred before the user first turns the machine on. Progress toward reducing the power needed to build a PC has been slow. Over the course of its entire lifetime, a typical PC consumes 10 times its own weight in fossil fuels, but around 80 percent of a PC’s total energy usage still happens during production and transportation.

Greater awareness among buyers and those that influence buying, greater pressure from eco-labels, increasing cost pressures and social pressure have awoken the IT industry to the problem of greenhouse gas emissions. Requests for proposal (RFPs) now frequently look for environment-related criteria of both product and vendor. Environmental awareness and legislative tightening will increase recognition of production as well as usage-related carbon dioxide emissions. Technology providers should expect that they will be required to provide carbon dioxide emission data to a growing number of customers.

Internet marketing will be regulated by 2015, controlling more than $250 billion in Internet marketing spending worldwide. Despite international efforts to eliminate “spam,” marketing “clutter” is abundant in every marketing channel. Pressure for greater accountability means the backlash from annoyed consumers will eventually drive legislation to regulate Internet marketing. Companies that focus primarily on the Internet for marketing purposes could find themselves unable to market effectively to customers, putting themselves at a competitive disadvantage when new regulations take effect. Although experiencing high growth, vendors who focus solely on, and sell predominately to, Internet marketing solutions could find themselves faced with a declining market, as companies shift marketing funds to other channels to compensate.

By 2014, over 3 billion of the world’s adult population will be able to transact electronically via mobile or Internet technology. Emerging economies will see rapidly rising mobile and Internet adoption through 2014. At the same time, advances in mobile payment, commerce and banking are making it easier to electronically transact via mobile or PC Internet. Combining these two trends creates a situation in which a significant majority of the world’s adult population will be able to electronically transact by 2014.

Gartner research predicts that by 2014, there will be a 90% mobile penetration rate and 6.5 billion mobile connections. Penetration will not be uniform, as continents like Asia (excluding Japan) will see a 68% penetration and Africa will see a 56% mobile penetration. Although not every individual with a mobile phone or Internet access will transact electronically, each will have the ability to do so. Cash transactions will remain dominant in emerging markets by 2014, but the foundation for electronic transactions will be well under way for much of the adult world.

By 2015, context will be as influential to mobile consumer services and relationships as search engines are to the Web. Whereas search provides the “key” to organizing information and services for the Web, context will provide the “key” to delivering hyperpersonalized experiences across smartphones and any session or experience an end user has with information technology. Search centered on creating content that drew attention and could be analyzed. Context will center on observing patterns, particularly location, presence and social interactions. Furthermore, whereas search was based on a “pull” of information from the Web, context-enriched services will, in many cases, prepopulate or push information to users.

The most powerful position in the context business model will be a context provider. Web, device, social platforms, telecom service providers, enterprise software vendors and communication infrastructure vendors will compete to become significant context providers during the next three years. Any Web vendor that does not become a context provider risks handing over effective customer ownership to a context provider, which would impact the vendor’s mobile and classic Web businesses.

By 2013, mobile phones will overtake PCs as the most common Web access device worldwide. According to Gartner’s PC installed base forecast, the total number of PCs in use will reach 1.78 billion units in 2013. By 2013, the combined installed base of smartphones and browser-equipped enhanced phones will exceed 1.82 billion units and will be greater than the installed base for PCs thereafter.

Mobile Web users are typically prepared to make fewer clicks on a website than users accessing sites from a PC. Although a growing number of websites and Web-based applications offer support for small-form-factor mobile devices, many still do not. Websites not optimized for the smaller-screen formats will become a market barrier for their owners — much content and many sites will need to be reformatted/rebuilt.

Additional information is in the Gartner report “Gartner’s Top Predictions for IT Organizations and Users, 2010 and Beyond: A New Balance.” The report examines the impact these long-term changes will have in combination with the ongoing trend toward the democratization of IT capabilities. The report is available on Gartner’s website at http://www.gartner.com/resId=1268513.

[…]

via Gartner Highlights Key Predictions for IT Organizations and Users in 2010 and Beyond.

XP’s usage share down, Win 7, Firefox & IE8 up December 1, 2009

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Data released by web metrics company Net Applications indicates that the release of Windows 7 to the general public has put a significant dent into Windows XP’s usage share.

For the November period, web usage of XP dropped by 1.45%, while Vista’s usage share only dropped by 0.2%. At the end of the month the state of play was as follows:

* XP: 69.03%

* Vista: 18.60%

* Win 7: 3.98%

Overall, a good month for Windows 7.

In other OS usage share news, Mac OS X usage share dropped slightly, down 0.16% to 5.11% (the third time this year that Mac has lost market share). The number in of itself isn’t all that significant, but the lost ground is. Also, Linux managed to claw back market share to end November with a 1% usage share, a spot it hasn’t held since July.

via XP’s usage share down, Win 7, Firefox & IE8 up | Hardware 2.0 | ZDNet.com.

Agile User Experience Projects (Jakob Nielsen’s Alertbox) November 29, 2009

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Summary:
Agile projects aren’t yet fully user-driven, but new research shows that developers are actually more bullish on key user experience issues than UX people themselves.

Last year, we conducted a study of best practices in integrating usability methods with Agile development projects.

Usually, it’s not worth studying the same problem again just a year later since user behavior doesn’t change much. But this particular project didn’t concern user behaviors, but rather the best way to run Agile projects to ensure usability.

Because this is still a new field, we decided to supplement last year’s research with a new round of more detailed studies focused on additional organizations that have had more time to discover better ways to manage Agile user experience (UX).

UX: The Gatekeeper Role

The two main recommendations for ensuring good usability in Agile projects remain the same as in our original research:

  • Separate design and development, and have the user interface team progress one step ahead of the implementation team. That way, when it comes time to build something, it’s already been designed and tested. (And yes, you can do both in a week or two by using paper prototypes and discount user testing.)
  • Maintain a coherent vision of the user interface architecture. Create the initial vision during a “sprint zero” period — before any implementation has started — and maintain it through annual (or semi-annual) design vision sprints. You can’t just design individual features; they have to fit together into a coherent whole — a whole that must be designed as well. Bottom-up user interface design equals a confused total user experience (the Linux syndrome).

In both rounds of research, these two ideas proved useful across many of the different companies we studied. One modification became clear in the second round, prompted by the PayPal case study: it’s important to designate a gatekeeper to track requirements and communications between the UX team and the other project teams to keep everybody on track (even though those tracks are parallel).

(more…)

Gartner Says Worldwide SaaS Revenue to Grow 18 Percent in 2009 November 11, 2009

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Worldwide software as a service (SaaS) revenue is forecast to reach $7.5 billion in 2009, a 17.7 percent increase from 2008 revenue of $6.4 billion, according to Gartner, Inc. The market will show consistent growth through 2013 when worldwide SaaS revenue will total over $14 billion for the enterprise application markets.

“The adoption of SaaS continues to grow and evolve within the enterprise application markets,” said Sharon Mertz, research director at Gartner. “The composition of the worldwide SaaS landscape is evolving as vendors continue to extend regionally, increase penetration within existing accounts and ‘greenfield’ opportunities, and offer more-vertical-specific solutions as part of their service portfolio or through partners.”[…]

Table 1
Worldwide Software Revenue for SaaS Delivery Within the Enterprise Application Software Markets
(Millions of Dollars)

 

2009 2008
Content, Communications and Collaboration (CCC) 2,573 2,143
Office Suites 68 56
Digital Content Creation (DCC) 62 44
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) 2,281 1,872
Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) 1,239 1,176
Supply Chain Management (SCM) 826 710
Other Application Software 472 387
Total Enterprise Software 7,521 6,388

Source: Gartner (November 2009)

via Gartner Says Worldwide SaaS Revenue to Grow 18 Percent in 2009.

Windows 7 sells 234% more copies than Vista | VentureBeat November 7, 2009

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It looks like all the positive buzz round Microsoft’s new Windows 7 operating system paid off in sales. Windows 7 sold 234 percent more copies during its first few days on the market than Vista did during the same period of its release, according to research by the NPD Group. […]

It looks like all the positive buzz round Microsoft’s new Windows 7 operating system paid off in sales. Windows 7 sold 234 percent more copies during its first few days on the market than Vista did during the same period of its release, according to research by the NPD Group. NPD’s data covers the week of Oct. 18 to 24. Windows 7 only launched on the 22nd, but these numbers also include pre-sales from the days before.

via Windows 7 sells 234% more copies than Vista | VentureBeat.

The Freemium Business Model and Viral Product Management October 31, 2009

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The Freemium Business Model and Viral Product Management

Ever scratch your head and wonder why you can use your favorite application for free? How can a business actually make money (and stay in business) when they offer their product for free? When does it make sense for a company to offer a free version of a product that competes with their own for-a-fee version of the same product? By Scott Sehlhorst

Read an interesting article about this business model on:  The Freemium Business Model and Viral Product Management — World’s most popular product management training by Pragmatic Marketing, 60,000 have attended..

Gartner Identifies the Top 10 Strategic Technologies for 2010 October 20, 2009

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Gartner defines a strategic technology as one with the potential for significant impact on the enterprise in the next three years. Factors that denote significant impact include a high potential for disruption to IT or the business, the need for a major dollar investment, or the risk of being late to adopt.[…]

The top 10 strategic technologies for 2010 include:

Cloud Computing. Cloud computing is a style of computing that characterizes a model in which providers deliver a variety of IT-enabled capabilities to consumers. Cloud-based services can be exploited in a variety of ways to develop an application or a solution.[…]

Advanced Analytics. Optimization and simulation is using analytical tools and models to maximize business process and decision effectiveness by examining alternative outcomes and scenarios, before, during and after process implementation and execution. This can be viewed as a third step in supporting operational business decisions. […]

Client Computing. Virtualization is bringing new ways of packaging client computing applications and capabilities. As a result, the choice of a particular PC hardware platform, and eventually the OS platform, becomes less critical. Enterprises should proactively build a five to eight year strategic client computing roadmap outlining an approach to device standards, ownership and support; operating system and application selection, deployment and update; and management and security plans to manage diversity.

IT for Green. IT can enable many green initiatives. The use of IT, particularly among the white collar staff, can greatly enhance an enterprise’s green credentials. Common green initiatives include the use of e-documents, reducing travel and teleworking. […]

Reshaping the Data Center. In the past, design principles for data centers were simple: Figure out what you have, estimate growth for 15 to 20 years, then build to suit. Newly-built data centers often opened with huge areas of white floor space, fully powered and backed by a uninterruptible power supply (UPS), water-and air-cooled and mostly empty. However, costs are actually lower if enterprises adopt a pod-based approach to data center construction and expansion. […]

Social Computing. Workers do not want two distinct environments to support their work – one for their own work products (whether personal or group) and another for accessing “external” information. Enterprises must focus both on use of social software and social media in the enterprise and participation and integration with externally facing enterprise-sponsored and public communities. Do not ignore the role of the social profile to bring communities together.

Security – Activity Monitoring. Traditionally, security has focused on putting up a perimeter fence to keep others out, but it has evolved to monitoring activities and identifying patterns that would have been missed before. Information security professionals face the challenge of detecting malicious activity in a constant stream of discrete events that are usually associated with an authorized user and are generated from multiple network, system and application sources. At the same time, security departments are facing increasing demands for ever-greater log analysis and reporting to support audit requirements. […]

Flash Memory. Flash memory is not new, but it is moving up to a new tier in the storage echelon. Flash memory is a semiconductor memory device, familiar from its use in USB memory sticks and digital camera cards. It is much faster than rotating disk, but considerably more expensive, however this differential is shrinking. At the rate of price declines, the technology will enjoy more than a 100 percent compound annual growth rate during the new few years and become strategic in many IT areas including consumer devices, entertainment equipment and other embedded IT systems. In addition, it offers a new layer of the storage hierarchy in servers and client computers that has key advantages including space, heat, performance and ruggedness.

Virtualization for Availability. Virtualization has been on the list of top strategic technologies in previous years. It is on the list this year because Gartner emphases new elements such as live migration for availability that have longer term implications. Live migration is the movement of a running virtual machine (VM), while its operating system and other software continue to execute as if they remained on the original physical server. […]

Mobile Applications. By year-end 2010, 1.2 billion people will carry handsets capable of rich, mobile commerce providing a rich environment for the convergence of mobility and the Web. There are already many thousands of applications for platforms such as the Apple iPhone, in spite of the limited market and need for unique coding. It may take a newer version that is designed to flexibly operate on both full PC and miniature systems, but if the operating system interface and processor architecture were identical, that enabling factor would create a huge turn upwards in mobile application availability.

via Gartner Identifies the Top 10 Strategic Technologies for 2010.