Stories by Michael Vizard

Goodbye big buys of yesterday

Any time you hear an enterprise software vendor wax philosophical about the tremendous economic impact his company's products are having on customers, odds are good that the executive in question only spends time with a highly select minority of their customer base.

Interview: CTO: Settlement supplier

As the CTO of Xign Corp., Sunny McRae has built an online subscription-based service for processing transactions. Most recently, Pleasanton, Calif.-based Xign signed an alliance with SAP AG under which the Xign network is linked to SAP applications. Inthis interview, McRae explains why more than 300 suppliers have signed up to use his company's XML-based service.

Selectica's selling system eases e-commerce

Selectica may not be a household word, but the company's online selling system is the front end for many of the better-known e-commerce initiatives. In particular, Cisco uses its software to manage sales across all Cisco's distribution partners. In this interview, company CEO Raj Jaswa explains the strategic value behind creating a unified point of interaction between customers and channel partners.

The wireless security dilemma

There are two major strategic efforts within most IT organizations -- largely born of the events surrounding Sept. 11 -- that are, oddly enough, working at cross-purposes.

Securing the future

Security has become a game of wits where the good guys try to react to the latest move by the bad guys to break into something. Now that billions of dollars and lives are at stake, the time has come to put aside childish things in favor of building a more robust IT infrastructure that can not be hacked by teenagers or terrorists. In an interview with InfoWorld Editor in Chief Michael Vizard, Hewlett-Packard Co.'s Rich DeMillo, vice president of technology strategy, and Stephen Squires, vice president and chief science officer, argue that the tools are at hand to secure systems once and for all -- if everyone makes the same commitment to solving the problem.

Opinion: Standards activists are making a mark

There's a new wave of activism in IT circles that is long overdue. The first hint of this newfound sense of confidence among IT executives was manifested in the formation of the Liberty Alliance, which seeks to ensure that standards around identity management remain open.

Interview: Extended enterprise

As the CTO of divine, Robert "Buck" Flannigan is out to change the way people think about CM (content management) and the way that applications interact with one another across organizational boundaries. In recent months, divine has merged with or acquired the assets of 19 different companies, including Open Market Inc., Delano Technology Corp., Eprise Corp., eshare communications, Intira, SageMaker Inc. and Viant Corp., as part of a plan to become a service provider for extended enterprise applications. In an interview with InfoWorld Editor in Chief Michael Vizard, Flannigan talks about how software-as-a-service application models based on Web services will enable of a new class of enterprise applications for business.

Interview: A better way to manage networks

Dr. Cathy Fulton is CTO of NetQoS, a startup company that is building a new generation of network management tools. The trouble with these tools, historically, is that they have been dependent on agents to gather data, which are problematic to deploy, manage, and maintain across a network. In this inteview, Fulton talks about how NetQoS has developed a new approach to agent deployment that will allow IT organizations to better manage any network in the world.

Why we still like Ike in the digital era

Back in the 1950s with a Republican president named Dwight D. Eisenhower guiding the policies of the nation, the U.S. government took on the task of building out the U.S. highway infrastructure. At the time, the argument made was that an interstate transportation system was vital to national defense. Of course, the United States has yet to be invaded by a foreign government, but the investment in the highway system has paid for itself 100 times over because it boosted interstate commerce.

Interview: Fine-tuning Web app performance

FineGround Networks provides tools that help accelerate the performance of Web applications. As IT organizations move to adopt wireless devices and applications that leverage Web services, the need to actively manage latency across the network becomes paramount. In partial recognition of that fact, IBM Corp. recently announced a pact with FineGround concerning support for its WebSphere application server. FineGround Networks CEO Nat Kausik explains why customers such as Whirlpool and SwissAir are turning to his company to accelerate the performance of enterprise applications built for the Web.

Time to get savvy about storage

The three hardware elements of any datacenter strategy are networks, servers, and storage. And while the first two elements tend to be well understood, the crucial role storage plays in the enterprise is frequently overlooked.

Interview: Enhancing business continuity

When it comes to business continuity, everyone's attention naturally focuses on the servers in the datacentre. But the most vulnerable part of an IT organization is usually the networks that link it to the outside world. One company that is trying to provide a business-class infrastructure on top of the Internet that is secure, fast, and reliable is service provider Slam Dunk Networks Inc. In an interview with InfoWorld Editor in Chief Michael Vizard, company CEO Bob Miller explains why Slam Dunk's subscription model is superior to other approaches and why expensive leased lines from the phone company should be a thing of the past.

CRM fools and their jobs are soon parted

Throwing money at a problem is the wrong thing to do and CRM software is no exception to the rule. By now, most major IT organizations have experimented with CRM software with mixed results. The typical scenario by which the CRM project came about usually involved an overpriced consultant convincing senior managers that adopting CRM software would result in increased profits through better customer service.

INTERVIEW: The evolution of Web services

Prior to taking on the role of CTO at Systinet, Anne Thomas Manes was the peer-to-peer evangelist for Sun Microsystems Inc., where she championed the adoption of SOAP (Simple Object Access Protocol) alongside Java. Today she is working on creating a robust Web services architecture around SOAP. In an interview with InfoWorld Editor in Chief Michael Vizard, Thomas Manes talks about how much work still needs to be done around Web services and why Systinet has a decided edge over rivals.