The IT Strategy Letter
A digest of Doug Kaye's weblogs for the week ending April 8, 2002


Web Services Strategies
Web Hosting Strategies
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Web Services Strategies

Web-Services Networks. As I promised last week, I've posted my preliminary report on WSNs in which I compare Grand Central Communications, Flamenco Networks, and Talking Blocks. In a nutshell, TB provides the most help in exposing legacy applications and in communicating with partners who aren't using the same solution. FN is the simplest to deploy when the partners have already implemented standardized and compatible web services. GC is somewhere in between, since it requires that all parties use its network, but it provides transformations between disparate protocols in exchange for increased complexity. Click on the headline to view the entire report.
Posted Sunday, April 07, 2002 10:35:15 AM

CNBC Covers Web Services. Well, not exactly, but this announcement of Siebel's commitment to web services was, in fact, covered by CNBC on Monday. The financial network remarked on the widespread support by the major technology vendors. Oracle, Siebel's strongest competitor, was not surprisingly absent from the list of endorsing vendors. Web services are beginning to attract mainstream and Wall Street attention.
Posted Monday, April 08, 2002 11:45:39 AM

SAP Exposes Interfaces as Web Services. But.... SAP's co-chairman and CEO Henning Kagermann said, "We see people using Web services to link to collaborative applications, but we don't see them being used to link core mission-critical applications." Kagermann said Web services will not be robust enough to support the demands of mission-critical applications, but will be ideal for linking end-user-oriented applications to SAP. [Update: Could SAP's message be any more different than Siebel's?]
Posted Thursday, March 28, 2002 7:08:21 PM

GAO Says XML Not Ready. Patrick Thibodeau reported in Computerworld: "XML isn't a mature standard, and without centralized leadership, XML implementations by various agencies could actually hurt the interoperability of government systems, the U.S. General Accounting Office said in a report released today." Here's the complete 73-page GAO report, Challenges to the Effective Adoption of the Extensible Markup Language.
Posted Sunday, April 07, 2002 12:52:00 PM

Microsoft's Web Services 2. According to this story in Baseline, "Microsoft later this month is expected to detail its plans for 'federating' its Web services by integrating them across multiple 'trust boundaries' encompassing partners who abide by the same security rules."

Microsoft continues to modify it's plans for federated identity. The initial version of Hailstorm looked to many as though Microsoft intended to be the sole operator/vendor, but the company has had to repeatedly re-think it's strategy based on customer refusal to allow Microsoft to play (own?) this role. It sounds like we'll hear yet another version when the code-named Indigo extensions to .NET are announced at next week's developer conference.
Posted Tuesday, April 02, 2002 12:01:15 PM

Web Hosting Strategies

Loudcloud in Trouble? As a reminder that the independent MSPs are still very fragile, Loudcloud last week suspended it's revenue guidance when a single major client, Atriax, closed up shop. Sounds like time to take a look at Loudcloud's cash flow.

As of the end of their quarter on January 31, the company had only enough cash to make it to May 25. (That's $66m cash and a $52m burn rate per quarter or a whopping $573,000 per day. Operating expenses alone are nearly $230,000 per day.) And that's if Loudlcloud doesn't pay its bills and nothing goes wrong, which obviously isn't the case when a major customer goes away. The moral of this yet-unfinished story is to make sure your vendors are profitable.
Posted Monday, April 08, 2002 11:19:04 AM

Gartner on MSPs. I can't afford the $2495 price tag, but the Table of Contents for Gartner's new Managed Service Providers: Offering Remote Service Delivery for Direct Value looks intriguing. Of course, I can't help but mention that my book costs only 1.6% of the Gartner report, and I'd be willing to bet that it delivers more than 1.6% of the value. :-) You can buy the executive summary of the Gartner report for only $95. But you can get my whole book for only $39.95. Even less from Amazon.
Posted Thursday, April 04, 2002 9:49:59 PM

Leaders of the Managed Web Hosting Pack. Corey Ferengul of the META Group analyzes trends in the managed service business. Among his findings is that users are now negotiating SLAs with multiple vendors prior to selecting a partner. Corey says the top MSPs are IBM, EDS, Genuity and Loudcloud. In his previous column, he explained his criteria.
Posted Monday, April 01, 2002 1:41:22 PM 

Microsoft IIS Gaining on Apache. Netcraft has published it's latest survey of web-server deployment.

Microsoft gains almost 2 million sites this month, primarily as a result of and Network Solutions migrating their domain parking facilities to a Windows front end." (Netcraft's original data and graph go back to August 1995.)
Posted Monday, April 01, 2002 5:14:13 AM

MSP Security Policy. Linda Zarate posted this 31-page PDF Security Policy for Data Management and Personnel. I wouldn't agree that anyone should adopt it as-is, but it's a good starting point or checklist, and it's an example of the plethora of IT-management information available on the Notes from the Field weblog, run by Linda, her partner Mike Tarrani, and their staff.
Posted Friday, March 29, 2002 10:31:39 PM

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