My Freelance Agenda

My updated Linkedin reads like this, and I am looking for new work as a freelance internal analyst  / evangelist – creating alternative narratives that serve to rejuvenate product targeting, while elevating the discussion above the noise level .

The Enterprise IT Sector is crowded and complex. The constituent buyers of B2B Capital Line of Business software and hardware are becoming increasingly jaded and immune to standard marketing practices.

Feature / Benefit – Feature / Benefit

Whether a long and excruciatingly precipitous closing cycle, or being drowned in the advertising noise, when is the right time to create a fresh narrative? 

Selling complex and costly capital line systems to sophisticated buyers using the old feature / benefit tactic is starting to wear thin across capital line of business IT and equipment markets. There are many, many highly competitive SME companies led by Scientist / Engineer Founders who are simply being outspent on media by PE funded leviathans. 

A reworked narrative can make a difference. My campaigns are industry issue driven to dovetail with your existing marketing, to steer high-interest prospects and convert them into leads – always focusing on the essential core of what makes your org / product better, different. 

In context of the market & above the noise. Part of being in context is analyzing the competitors in your sector, while keeping watch on the developing opportunities.

My clients deliver highly crafted and refined technologies to B2B software and a few hardware markets where I have a special feel for (Test & Measurement, Mobile data, workforce management). I’m an industry relations analyst with an evangelist’s tilt – and increasingly a guide to regulatory relations

Even the mighty shall sometimes cloudfail

Example of a Single Point of Failure
Image via Wikipedia

From the annals of Gigaom:

http://gigaom.com/2009/06/10/amazons-ec2-service-suffers-outage/

Now, If you are not a social gaming startup, but are a supply chain or POS network hosted on AWS, you can do the calculus on whether AWS uptime (excellent by any measure) is better than a solid in-house solution for mission critical infrastructure.  Maybe for some, it computes, for others maybe not.

But when the cloud fails, your alternatives have to be in place. Such as: POS systems might have a set of distributed machines to capture inbound records and route card transactions. Rapid Replenishment systems might capture transaction logs for instant replications once your cloud host comes back. You might have a set of managed APIs that broker to another cloud and then reconcile the resynch.

Many paths. However, there are some businesses that can tolerate the outages that are sure to occur as more move to remote services. One thing is for sure: The single point of failure is not just the cloud infrastructure and platform providers. The land rush to get the mid market onto PAAS solutions has been somewhat willfully blind regarding the following fact – most small /med biz has only one high speed connection, and most have not thought through the issues of hot comms failover at multiple sites.

PAAS that Gas, boys. One of the best things about hosted services in the cloud has been hardly spoken about – It’s great to have all remote offices and facilities routed to a central gateway, rather than running a mishmash of multi-point routers with arcane rules. Downside, comms. Even most SMBs in the 2-25M $$ gross revenue range have been struggling with this. It is what has made the Cisco certifications a viable IT job and created a freelance market.

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Those Sincere yet hilarious PAAS People!

The guys over at WorkXpress.com are doing a little business continuity reassurance work today by posting a blog article about how portable their product and data architecture is, and how that addresses issues of service continuity. Well, maybe they are new to the real issues of the CLOB application world where failover means instant recovery. I am sure they are working hard on an innovative PAAS platform, but until they understand what the AS400 services crowd understood long ago – continuity means what it says, continuous or predictable Resurrection of services within a specified time frame. As to the usability issues of WorkXpress, see Jane Mcarty’s excellent blog here.

Assuring people that your cloud, PAAS, SAAS solution is just great, is no reassurance at all – it MAY work great, and MAY be reliable MOST of the time, but, if the company and the application are not rated and certified, if your business’ books are not open to any third party (so as to ascertain liquidity) such reassurances are just whitewash. See the original WorkXpress blog post here.

My reply to their post:

“That code can be exported is comforting, but in and of itself does not comprise a complete continuity solution. If a client wants to take a work group app and trade an incumbent architecture for A PAAS, one needs seamless cut-over. Seamless fail over from PASS platform to backup boxes, or to alternative cloud hosts are non-trivial. Saying that data and platform logic is exportable is less than half the battle to CLOB (capital line of business) certified reliability.

Not one or hardly any of the PAAS vendors have been rated, certified. Saying the platform code will be in escrow is also just potential whitewash that does nothing to address the issue of imminent failover. WorkExpress might be a great platform, but merely stating: “WorkXpress is committed to its customers and the quality of its product. To this end it is a privately held, revenue generating company that to date has not received venture capital funding, and is not under pressures to behave in ways that counter to its mission of customers and product…” The foregoing merely says in other words that Workxpress is unrated by a third party that audits reliability. You guys might have a great product, but for the mission critical CLOB applications, you are in the same boat as any other unrated, unaudited PAAS platform.”

If you are contemplating going the PAAS route, and handing not only your data, but your operations to an unaudited third party that proudly states that they are “privately capitalized and profitable, therefore good for you!”, be careful, very careful indeed.

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