SapphireNow Day Two – Pump It Up

Bill McDermott began the day for Orlando attendees of SapphireNow by demonstrating that there is no charisma deficit at SAP these days, and his co-CEO Jim Hagemann Snabe was right there behind him to make the case that commitment and strategy are not lacking either. They welcomed Sybase, hailed the new ByDesign release about to ship, and waved the sustainability flag high, leveraging their strong position there. Read more of this post

Sybase Will Step Up In-Memory Message With New Release

Sybase has quietly racked up a string of successful growth years, riding its pioneering status in commercial analytic databases (ADBMS) and holding on to its loyal base in everyday DBMS after being elbowed aside by Oracle a decade ago. Its steady market performance has not been driven by dramatic innovations: Sybase has seemed to lag the Big Three (Oracle, Microsoft and IBM) in new feature/function. But it has innovated: IQ has grown into a key revenue source, and Sybase RAP has established itself as one of the more successful event processing offerings, with a string of Wall Street customers creating a new class of applications.

In the current (5-year-old) major release level of its flagship Adaptive Server Enterprise (ASE) product, Sybase has added user-defined SQL functions, support for plugin Java Runtime Environment (JRE) and JVM components, xml tables, SQL statement replication, new statistical aggregate functions, and a shared disk cluster edition. And now, Sybase is about to add new in-memory database capabilities and step up its support for external storage management. I’ve spent some time recently with the Sybase team to discuss their plans for the upcoming 15.5 release (currently available in a developer version), and found palpable excitement about the possibilities of their new work. Read more of this post

SAP Promises Acceleration on a “Clear Path” – Will it Be Enough?

The economic slowdown was not kind to SAP in 2009, and as it launched the annual Influencer Summit on December 8th, change was in the air. Messages were shifting. “Sustainability” got a big push, and there was a ringing commitment to substantial, dramatic product change to be delivered in 2010. Different faces were on display: there was no Leo Apotheker or Bill McDermott on the stage, although Board members Jim Hagemann Snabe and John Schwarz held down the fort with new Marketing EVP Jonathan Becher and CTO Vishal Sikka in key speaking slots. Like the dances I went to in high school, the event was mostly date-free, but direct questions elicited some specific, though uncommitted, statements about deliveries in 2010, especially from Marge Breya. Read more of this post

IBM’s Smart Analytics System: More Than An Appliance?

When is an appliance not an appliance? When it’s more. On July 28, IBM’s Software Group and Systems and Technology Group (i.e., the hardware folks) hosted an analyst event to introduce the Smart Analytics System.The discussion began with a series of conversations about the value of “workload optimization,” or the effective tuning of processors, storage, memory and network components with software used for information management.  Not controversial, but hardly news. IBM claims to be raising the bar, though, with the promise of a system that is already tuned, and attuned to the needs of its purchaser, at a level far beyond appliances that other vendors have delivered: appliances, if you will, not only predesigned for specific use cases, but customized for specific instances of those use cases. It’s no accident that IBM never called the Smart Analytics System an “appliance.” Extending the Smart brand here is a powerful move, and IBM appears poised to make good on its promise. Read more of this post

QlikView: Bet Big, Time Right And Become A Disruptive BI Leader

The near-decapitation (by acquisition) of the BI space in 2007-8 was perfectly timed for QlikTech, whose QlikView is rapidly becoming one of the leading independent products. This is hardly new; since its founding in Sweden in 1993, the company’s timing has been unerring. Years of slow growth – “From 1993 to ‘99 we had a grand total of 5 customers, all in Sweden,” Senior VP Anthony Deighton told me recently – ended abruptly with a funding round from a Swedish VC. That led to a revamped management team with an eye for growth, and in the next 6 years, QlikTech climbed to 1500 customers – still mostly in Sweden, though some were in Germany and a few were in the US. The next big bet was what Deighton calls “an over-investment in direct sales” based on a 2005 round of funding from some better known VCs. Since then, the takeoff has been remarkable – a happy timing of product, platform and market. With $120 million in revenue and 50% growth in 2008, Qlikview is reaping the benefits of effective timing, a conservative ramp that did not overreach, and a technology landscape that is paying off its visionary design. Now, wth QlikView release 9.0, it’s targeting enterprise scale, better performance and manageability, and mobile deployment. As the economy begins to recover and mobile platforms proliferate, it appears QlikTech’s timing is once again dead on. Read more of this post