Nine out of ten businesses that have launched virtual worlds saw them fail in 18 months or less, according to recent <a href="http://www.gartner.com/it/page.jsp?id=670507">research</a> from Gartner, which faulted companies for getting hung up on the technology rather than thinking about how people use it.
Stories by C.G. Lynch
Software as a service ( <a href="http://www.cio.com/article/109704">SaaS</a> ) - which allows organizations to access software over the Web instead of locally on a desktop - is rapidly pervading the enterprise space, with nearly 73 percent of large companies saying they have adopted it or plan to adopt it in the next 18 months, according to a recent <a href="http://www.acumensolutions.com/press_room/press_release_ondemand_may72008.asp">survey</a> by Kelton Research.
IBM added to its <a href="http://www.cio.com/article/133000/IBM_s_Web_._Sales_Pitch_We_re_Safer">Lotus suite of social software</a> Friday by creating new connectors for Quickr, Big Blue's <a href="%20http://www.cio.com/article/101614">Web 2.0</a> offering that includes corporate blogs, wikis, and file sharing.
The buying market for Web 2.0 technologies</a>] such as blogs, wikis and social networks will grow to US$4.6 billion in 2013, predicts a Forrester Report.
IBM announced Thursday that it would integrate a virtual worlds platform into <a href="http://www-306.ibm.com/software/lotus/sametime/">Lotus Sametime</a>, Big Blue's collaboration software, that will be used by the U.S. Intelligence agencies to communicate on key topics such as terrorism.
As more professionals sign up for <a href="http://www.facebook.com">Facebook</a>, the site's earliest users are finding they must reevaluate how they manage their profiles and the information posted to them, according to experts in online identity and reputation management.
At the surface, Microsoft's US$44 billion offer to buy Yahoo centers around the company's need to compete for market share with Google in the online advertising space. But by combining Yahoo's expertise for creating Web-based applications with Microsoft's specialty in enterprise software, analysts are speculating whether or not the two companies could come up with an alternative to Google Apps and other software-as-a-service (SaaS) applications.
Microsoft's official statement about the purchase offer hinted at a broader motivation for the deal. "Our lives, our businesses and even our society have been progressively transformed by the Web," Ray Ozzie, chief software architect at Microsoft, said in the statement. "The combination of these two great teams would enable us to jointly deliver a broad range of new experiences to our customers that neither of us would have achieved on our own."
During the past couple of years, virtual worlds have received a lot of media attention, especially Second Life, the virtual environment created by Linden Lab that 1.3 million people actively use to play games, do business and live alter egos via their avatar stand-ins.
But when Sun Microsystems thought about how it could use a virtual world to improve internal collaboration and facilitate social interactions among its 33,000 employees, spread out across offices around the world and in numerous home telecommuting sites, it began to think about building its own virtual world behind the firewall.
While Google continues to clean up in the search engine market on the Web-far outpacing its closest rivals-the enterprise search market is a much different story, according to analysts, who say Google has a lot to learn about bringing its search technology into large enterprises.
CORT Business Services has adopted wikis and blogs to help foster internal collaboration across different departments and to manage the workflow for its e-commerce site, which rents out home and office furniture and helps companies relocate employees to new locations.
Accenture always had an interest in video conferencing. Employees debate about the exact date when the first camera and monitor landed in a meeting room, but by most accounts, Accenture has tried to add video conferencing to its arsenal of collaborative technologies since the early 1990s. However, due to lagging technology, video conferencing never resonated as the world's largest consulting firm might have hoped.
Television monitors, with bad pictures and big cameras mounted on top of them, didn't cut it. When conversing, meeting participants often had to look straight into a camera, rather than at a person; the camera's presence would dominate the experience and cause the person to forget what it took to run a good meeting, to collaborate on work projects. "The technology, historically, had great promise," says Frank Modruson, CIO at Accenture. "But the delivery didn't live up to expectations."
DuWayne Peterson always believed in making time for business and IT strategy.
In fact, on the morning of Monday, 19 October 1987, Peterson, then vice president of systems, operations and telecommunications at Merrill Lynch, went to his office in the World Financial Center in lower Manhattan while a good portion of his senior staff attended a strategic offsite in Princeton, N.J. The previous Friday, to Peterson and the rest of his Wall Street colleagues, the market looked grim. The the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) fell 108 points to close at 2246.74. On Thursday, U.S. Treasury Secretary James Baker expressed concerns to the media over the massive sell-offs. Over the weekend, investors began to sweat. Pundits, economists and politicians went on television, hedging their bets about the market.
Erin Griffin, CIO and vice president of IT at Loyola Marymount University (LMU) and Mitch Davis, CIO of Bowdoin College, met three summers ago at Snowmass, near Aspen, Colo., during a conference on academic computing. They chatted, shared experiences about their respective challenges and traded some ideas. But it didn't occur to either of them that they could join forces until they met up again in 2005 at the same conference.
They were leaving a session about disaster recovery, reflecting, Griffin remembers, that they were both in similar jams. Disaster recovery solutions from vendors were expensive-especially for small colleges (like LMU and Bowdoin) with limited budgets. Griffin and Davis joked about how easy it would be for people to replicate each other's data centers if only they were willing to work together. Then came the epiphany.