Stories by Martin LaMonica

Defined metrics may heal CRM reputation

A CTO recently told the story of his CEO insisting the company get CRM, even though it wasn't totally clear what exactly that meant. Improved customer relationship management should be at the top of every company's agenda, but IT executives implementing these applications should not repeat ERP's failure to generate meaningful business data.

Beyond benchmarks in the database wars

Java set the world on fire six years ago with portable code. Now XML is setting the database world ablaze with easily transferable data. And although all database vendors have already added support for storing XML documents, the next wave of tighter XML integration promises a big leap toward bridging structured and unstructured data types.

For the record

It looks as if Microsoft Corp. has won its game of hardball after all. When the U.S. Department of Justice found that Microsoft unlawfully defended its monopoly in late 1999, the remedies that came down from U.S. District Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson were completely removed from the technical and market realities of today. Microsoft misused its market power, but breaking up a software company a la Standard Oil doesn't make sense in today's economy.

Ex-Tivoli CEO reappears at Asera

One week after resigning as president and CEO of IBM Corp.'s Tivoli Systems Inc. division, David Murphy has taken a job as president and CEO of Asera Inc., a 2-year-old e-business software startup focused on fast growth.

Startup targets mainstream Web services

Startup CapeClear Software is entering the Web services fray with a new twist on the discussion of next-generation software development: Businesses do not need to employ highly skilled, highly paid developers to create new applications.

E-business shakeout sparks IT opportunity

Overheard at a recent e-business expo in New York: "They should include the 52-week high and low stock price next to vendor listings in this conference catalog." Although just an offhand remark, the crack aptly captures growing concerns about the IT industry's financial woes, now spilling over dramatically into the business-to-business market.

Caw Networks tests Web apps

With ever more complex Web applications, businesses now need to stress test an application in a way that realistically reflects the unpredictable nature and the varied access modes of the Internet.

IBM aims to send allies clear message

The term e-business was the best thing to ever come along for IBM. Guided by CEO Louis Gerstner's strategy to rein in IBM Corp.'s sprawling organization, the notion of doing business via the Internet gave IBM's rich but sometimes conflicting product lines a galvanizing strategy to rally behind.

Swimming against the peer-to-peer tide

When most IT managers hear "peer-to-peer computing", they think of Harry and Suzie in accounting bringing down the entire corporate network by downloading and swapping MP3 music files.

Seeking Leadership in ASP Marketplace

The reasons that enterprises need to outsource are well-understood: a lack of specialized IT talent, time-to-market pressures, and the need for IT organizations to focus on business-critical, revenue-driving applications rather than strictly maintaining operations. But the marketplace of products and services that will make application and network outsourcing a reality, particularly for larger companies, is stuck in first gear.

Startup Brings Verification to IP Service Pacts

It is clear that businesses need to leverage the Internet to drive revenue and to streamline operations, but how well the technical infrastructure facilitates achieving these goals is anything but obvious.

Internet Privacy Stumbles Forward

Three groups -- regulators, the high-tech industry, and privacy advocates -- are clumsily defining what eventually will become accepted business practices for using consumer data. And because of the speed of change and a lack of coordination between government and business, concern over privacy abuses is swelling. If this situation continues, everyone loses because useful personalized services will never reach their potential.

Seeing Opportunity in B2B Politics

Reality has a way of putting the brakes on the wheels of progress when it comes to visions of the great frictionless economy. These days, the hype meter is highest in the business-to-business e-commerce world, an area that continues to see more funding and more start-ups than the fallen business-to-consumer crowd. And with the euphoria comes difficult decisions and risks.

B-to-B Connections Get Automated

One of the thornier challenges of wide-scale business-to-business e-commerce is the amount of software integration work required to connect different business partners' systems.