29 Jun

What is Innovision?

"Utilizing emerging XML-based protocol and web-services concepts, Innovision has converged the traditional ideas of application server and integration server, creating a platform to rapidly design, develop and deploy e-services."
My gut feeling is there are a lot of companies out there trying to get into the application integration market in similar ways. I lack a clear mapping of who fits where doing what (big infrastructure players such as Microsoft vs. niche vertical providers vs. whoever else). Innovision targets the financial and healthcare markets (and they started a while ago). It seems everyone is more or less able to do the same stuff. My guess is, differentiation will come from the traditional integration weak points: ease of implementation, reliability and scalability. But I need to get beyond intuitions there…
Update: vJungle, another one of these "end-of-all-worries" companies.
Two other companies I didn’t knew and found looking at my recent referrer stats: Certicom (mobile computing security), StyleClick (consumer merchandise distribution).
07/12/01 update: here’s yet another one: CrossWeave (not to be confused with Crossgain, just acquired by BEA).

28 Jun

Joel on Marketese

Joel Spolsky:

"I’m a software designer! I’m your target audience, and I can’t make head or tail of it! […] [Y]ou’re ruining your products because you can’t explain in two sentences what they do in a way which would be meaningful to the people who are going to make the purchase decision."

I hate PRBS (Press Release BullShit) and its meaningless pompous style as much as the next cluetrainer. However, I’m not sure software designers, or more generally speaking, technical-savvy people, are the real decision makers at most corporations. They’re influencers for sure, but you have to acknowledge Dilbertesque pointy-haired managers often get the last word. They don’t understand the tech stuff, might be fooled by these buzzword-driven sales pitches (though I think they don’t care and mainly play internal politics), but they sign the checks.
06/29/01 update: Peter Merholz blames the VCs.

26 Jun

What is Backwash?

"Our goal at Backwash is to save you from Information Overload. To filter all content, not just news, and weed out the dross. We do this by grouping people into collaborative surfing communities which let like-minded people find content and products across all subjects. In effect, we are filtering and sorting the Internet by personalities rather than subject matter."

Looks like About.com made with weblogs. At an admittedly very quick glance, it looks like another "you’ll do most of the work and we’ll collect most of the profits" community (sic).

25 Jun

Epicentric to Integrate Newsedge’s Real


"Epicentric and Newsedge recently announced a partnership which should make it easier for employees to take action on real-time business news in the context of the corporate intranet. The key to the enhanced functionality involves something Epicentric calls "modules." These "modules" (pieces of the overall portal architecture) interact in a "contextual" way. In other words, if one module (the news module) contains real-time business news about a competitor, the portal functionality may allow the employee to call up internal documents about the related industry, white papers about specific products, recent correspondence, etc."

Sort of Octopus meets Moreover. I’m sure we’ll see more and more integration and partnerships where components communicate with one another and exchange structured data, as opposed to external "web scraping" (the act of getting data out of HTML pages through custom scripts). It’s probably more a business issue than a technical one at this point.

14 Jun

The X10 Question: Traffic Without

E-Commerce News:

"In fact, 95 percent of the traffic to X10 during May came from the pop-up and pop-under ads. Kalehoff said it is nearly impossible to judge from the outside how many people actually browsed through the site or bought anything online after seeing the company’s ads."

I take it as a display of the utter lack of relevance of the data communicated by Media Metrix, but that’s only me. Now what, banner ad impressions included in web traffic stats? Does auto promotion count too, while we’re at it?
07/23/01 update: Pop-Up Web Ads Pose a Measurement Puzzle, Everything I Know About the Internet I Learned From X10 (or, How to Know When Your Industry Hits Rock Bottom) (thru ideapad)