The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is Internet radio, for a change - liveIreland for Celtic folk music:
has announced that CA Data Center Automation Manager "now addresses the needs of consumers and providers of cloud services."
Larry Ellison was right to famously complain a while back about everybody acting as if "cloud" is the panacea to what ails IT. "Cloud computing providers will only be successful if they focus on deep management and automation technologies," said Tom Bittman, vice president and analyst for Gartner. "To deliver highly available services, cloud computing providers and enterprise IT organizations should use technologies that automate operational processes and reduce the risk of human error that could cause downtime and damage customer satisfaction."
The CA product is designed along those lines, and is billed as helping enterprise IT organizations and cloud computing providers "deliver, scale, and manage computing resources on demand."
"Similar to enterprise IT data centers," CA officials claim, "cloud computing environments struggle to meet changing business demands because of the level of abstraction created by virtualization and other emerging technologies."
In their opinion, management is "key to providing accurate availability and performance data," as well as "the capacity needed to meet service demands."
CA Data Center Automation Manager enables "real-time provisioning and performance management between on-premise and off-premise clouds," designed to assist with resource allocation control, network availability, and service level management of cloud-based service offerings, company officials say.
Basically customers can use the product for cloud service deployments, if they decide that's the way to increase their operational efficiencies. It's designed for companies who want to improve IT agility, and are looking for ways to mitigate IT and business risks.
Roger Pilc, corporate senior vice president and general manager of CA's Infrastructure Management and Data Center Automation business unit, says the product compresses data center provisioning processes "and improves management capabilities."
, which sells SaaS loyalty marketing technology, has announced that 2020 Marketing
, a vendor of loyalty and incentive products, has licensed RewardStream's Lifecycle Marketing Platform.
The agreement means 2020 Marketing can offer loyalty and incentive programs with RewardStream LMP as their core technology platform. The product lets marketers launch loyalty and incentive program in under 30 days, 2020 officials say.
The marketing firm plans to expand on their ability to offer marketing products and services by using RewardStream's LMP to deliver loyalty products to clients.
James Ryan, CEO of 2020 Marketing, says RewardStream's LMP "addresses our need" to offer loyalty program sophistication, so 2020 "can now focus on client strategy without worrying that our vision will be shortchanged by our inability to deliver the technology."
The licensing announcement is considered by RewardStream officials as reinforcing their focus on selling loyalty products through partnership.Company officials say they plan to pursue more partnerships with marketing service providers like 2020 Marketing, concentrating on those who use RewardStream's LMP as a technology backbone.
RewardStream officials claim their Lifecycle Marketing Platform lets marketers launch customized loyalty programs "in under 30 days."
You know, there's only so much of lilting Irish ballads sung by girls with quavery voices that a man who's not in an Irish pub can take. So it's over to Big Blue Radio for Johnny Winter tearing up "Johnny B. Goode."
, vendors of Plexus Online software for manufacturing firms, say that sales have been "growing... in spite of economic challenges in the marketplace."
In the fourth quarter of 2008, Plexus officials report selling an average of one to two new deals per week.
The software lets manufacturers have enterprise resource planning and manufacturing execution system functions, along with customer relationship management designed specifically for manufacturers. The product's used in automotive, aerospace, defense, life sciences and the food & beverage industries.
The software as a service technology and business model Plexus uses is "well-suited for the current challenges facing manufacturers," believes Plexus Systems president Mark Symonds.
According to Symonds, Plexus is seeing an accelerated shift away from legacy on-premise software packages, "many of which have not had significant new features added in five or more years. Companies are rejecting the cost, complexity and inflexibility of these systems, and are turning to the software as a service model in record numbers."
In fact, he says, "we are seeing a huge wave of replacements of software that was installed hastily in the run up to Y2K. This software was old at that time, and now it hinders manufacturers' innovation and growth rather than enhancing it."
Informa Medical Publishing
has launched e-MedINFORM, described by company officials as "an electronic delivery platform of clinical medicine books, journals and educational content." Company officials see their value proposition as easing access to such medical knowledge "for the busy physician."
The system is supposed to improve the way pharmaceutical brand managers provide physicians with information on the latest research, diagnosis and treatment methods.
The product creates educational learning modules for sponsorship by pharmaceutical companies looking to provide clinical information to physicians. "A single knowledge center can contain a limitless library of Informa Medical Publishing's clinical medicine books and journals," or content selected by the brand manager to support their product, company officials say.
Access to the knowledge center is provided via the Internet, free of charge to the pharma company's list of physician contacts.
"The main advantage" of e-MedINFORM is that it allows brand managers to calculate the ROI of a campaign they run through their library, says Tamaryn Hankinson, director for the new initiative. She explained that the library will capture users' contact details, provide history on their reading preferences and let the marketer know how to tailor future campaigns for improved ROI in the future.
Professor Eckart Haneke M.D., Ph.D., from the Department of Dermatology at the Medical Center of St. Radboud University, Nijmegen, The Netherlands, said "I personally like the idea of writing your own comments, updates into or alongside the text without spoiling a printed book."
"Pharma has long been under pressure to increase the profitability of all its activities, but sales and marketing divisions have been feeling that pressure more than most, with job and budget cuts sweeping the industry," explained Marianne Russell, President of Informa Medical Publishing.
Bx.com, an eCommerce software vendor, has announced a $25 million acquisition strategy. "It took us the better part of this year to finalize the strategy," says Ken Berquist, EVP, bx.com, who led the negotiations. "The funds being raised will enable bx.com to purchase strategic eCommerce assets."
Company officials say they want to acquire eCommerce software companies with a strong client base and convert their shopping cart software packages to bx.com's pureCommerce platform. They think they believe they have the capability to capitalize on the success of a similar company directive implemented seven years ago during the last economic downturn.
The goal is to assist companies in financial difficulty - be that pre- or post-Chapter 7 or 11 bankruptcy - or companies wishing to discontinue eCommerce services. "We will purchase their client base and create a clear migration path to ensure that their eCommerce clients do not experience any downtime... plus, the administrative staff will enjoy the reduction in work required for maintaining and managing their eCommerce products," says Mark Shapiro, President of bx.com.
Traditionally November through January is considered a slow period for eCommerce software sales, but bx.com officials are betting that the current economic environment has created a panic effect among customers, wondering if their eCommerce provider will survive.
Established in 1994, bx.com is a Certified Microsoft Partner.