Emergic Update

I have been travelling for the past couple weeks so have not done an update on Emergic. Here goes:

Thin Client-Thick Server: Our CD product is ready – its a 3-CD install. Installs the Thick Server and provides the base for doing the Thin Client configurations. Need to do the initial documentation – we’ll be ready with our first beta ready to ship end of the week. Where we have not made much headway has been in getting the first TC-TS sites for installation. Perhaps, by trying to target our MailServ cutsomers, we are going after the wrong segment. They are mainly medium-to-large corporates who already have 1:1 computer:person ratio in their head offices. Most already have paid for Windows licences, and they also have some specific Windows applications which makes it hard for them to switch. Need to think differently about how we should be takling our product ot market and who can be our first customers.

Enterprise Applications: We’ve been working on the Client Information System within Netcore. Have written MS-Excel (Customer Information) and MySQL (Support Information) adaptors to be able to extract data out from these databases (we will do one for Tally for the accounting data later). We’ve also creates the database structures in which to map this information. The development will now be done in Java using JBoss. We’ve also been working on a broader level to map out customer processes and the order mmanagement processes.

Digital Dashboard: We are putting together a dashboard with information from Mail, IM, OpenOffice and the internal (enterprise) blogs aggregated together, along with links to key applications used on the desktop. This is a starting point. Am convinced that a Dashboard is what we all need – “value-added aggregation” which captures all the info we need ona single screen. Will put out a screenshot once we are ready with it.

Plenty of ideas swirling in my head — will put these out in the coming days. We are definitely on the right track, but we do need in the coming months to get some paying customers! At the end of the day, technology is a good thing to do, but money in the bank is the best validation.

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SalesForce.com – SF Gate

From a profile of From Marc Benioff, the CEO of Salesforce.com, which offers Web-based CRM and SFA:

Salesforce.com is cheaper than Siebel. The Orinda Internet firm Intraware replaced its Siebel software with Salesforce.com’s in November, when the dot-com crash shrank its salesforce from 130 to 30 people. Now, the company pays a quarter of what it once paid per person to use Siebel, according to Senior Vice President of Sales Norm Pensky.

Not coincidentally, Benioff says, Siebel’s sales plummeted 28 percent in the most-recent quarter compared with a year ago, and Salesforce.com’s sales more than doubled in its most-recent quarter from $5 million last year to $13. 5 million this year.

“(Salesforce.com’s) licensing model is right in step with these economic times. It’s a lower-cost approach,” Forrester Analyst Bob Chatham said.

WiFi and Modems Integration

Writes News.com:

Communications chipmaker Conexant Systems announced that it is adding Intersil Wi-Fi chips to the semiconductors it builds for high-speed cable or digital subscriber line (DSL) modems.

Such an integrated product will help manufacturers to build a set-top box that creates its own wireless network instead of just connecting to an outside wireless network. Normally Wi-Fi networking chips are located in hardware that hangs on a ceiling or wall and provides access within a 300-foot area.

“(It is) the next step in the evolution of Wi-Fi,” said Intersil spokesman Ron Paciello.

Paciello said these new kinds of Wi-Fi modems should start to surface by the end of the year. Using them, customers could, for example, make telephone calls over the Internet via a television, or use one device to send digital TV signals and computer games wirelessly to different computers or TVs, Conexant spokeswoman Gwen Carlson said.

Emergic Marketing – Anand

Some more comments by Anand Patwardhan, regarding the market-side of Emergic:

I think it will be important for us to devise unique approaches for different segments of the market. The segments will be important not only for the software design & productization but also for distribution, channel management and the underlying business model. One primary reason for this is the dependence of the TC – TS model on network availability & performance. This factor will pose constraints on the TC design, and therefore on the overall system itself.

For example, I think that in the home segment, we will have to provide some limited application functionality on the TC, because we cannot assume guaranteed network availability & performance. Question is, do we need a HDD, or can we fit the limited applications in DiskOnChip, so that we can go with a simple single board design?

One important segment for us (low-hanging fruit) is hotels. Today, most “business” hotels offer some form of Internet access. It starts from a business center with dial-up access, to a RAS in the hotel (dialup from room), to wireless ethernet, and finally as I saw in Seoul, a dedicated PC in the room with wired ethernet. Hotels are just the kind of controlled environment where we can get our TC-TS environment set up, and ideal for brand-building. We probably have all the pieces already to offer the product – maybe a bit of work to integrate with the hotels billing system (for authentication and for generating a bill for usage).

Another important segment is business centers or cybercafes. In general, my suspicion is that anywhere we have shared Internet access, our solution is ideal – first, there is no element of personalization, people do not expect to have their applications and data available to them. Second, the functionality people expect from the client is limited (because they are
doing a limited set of tasks). Third, having a TS enables much more efficient use of network bandwidth, because you can do local caching and proxy. In a sense, the most difficult segment for us would be one where an individual uses a single PC in a stand-alone fashion (which is really the home).

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Corporate IM

Writes WSJ.com:

Instant Messaging (IM) is rapidly moving from teenagers’ computer screens to their parents’ in the workplace. Fans say it is improving efficiency and helping reverse a 20-year trend in which, thanks to e-mail and voice mail, it has become ever more difficult to determine whether a business associate is actually in the office or out on the golf course. And IM makes supervisors more willing to let subordinates work from home because it can verify who is really working at home, or is at least logged onto the computer there.

There are some trade-offs. Having one’s presence announced electronically makes it harder to maintain privacy and avoid distractions.

TECH TALK: The Entrepreneur’s Delights (Part 3)

4. Freedom To Be

Like a bird navigating the open skies or the fish floating through the infinite oceans, the entrepreneur seeks the freedom to set his own course. He does not like to be told what to do. This is not to say that entrepreneurs dont listen in fact, they are perhaps the best synthesisers of opinions. But they like to drive out on their own. Theirs is a mindset which seeks independence.

Part of the reason for this freedom comes because entrepreneurs find themselves at odds with much of the world. This orthogonalilty comes because they are out to change the status quo. This pits them against most of the world which doesnt like its cheese to be moved. Entrepreneurs, therefore, want freedom not just from the world of today, but also from the thinking that inhibits innovation and encourages conformance.

5. Life = Work, Work = Life

I was reading the introduction to a new book by Warren Bennis and Robert Thomas entitled Geeks and Geezers: How Era, Values and Defining Moments Shape Leaders. Says Thomas about the men and women who practised leading every moment of the day: They recognized no distinction between work and life. They were the same people on the job and off. They used every situation they encountered as a practice field and they mined every experience for insight about themselves and the people and the world around them. Leading is not only what they did, it was who they were.

Replace they by entrepreneurs, and read it again. That is what entrepreneurs are: there is no boundary between any of their lives, there is a single unified life. Work is a continuum. Learning never stops. Thinking is concomitant with breathing. Others may try and tell them how work needs to be left at the office when one comes home. Entrepreneurs may listen, but are incapable of acting upon it. What they do envelops their life and by consequence, those around them. This is the only life they know to live.

6. Passion for People

Entrepreneurs may think of themselves as Gods Gift to the World, but very soon they understand that if they want to realise their vision, then they better start loving people. Whether it is at work or in conferences, entrepreneurs tend to have a special way with people. It comes from inner infectious enthusiasm which is evident in all that they do. Not for them the cool confines of a closed cabin. They want to be with their troops, leading from the front, fighting from the trenches. Being with people within the company or outside brings out the best in them.

For entrepreneurs, people are also a natural sounding board for their ideas. Just the process of talking to others helps entrepreneurs fine-tune their thinking and ideas. By bringing their passion to bear in their talk and work, entrepreneurs elicit feedback and comments from others, which helps embellish their view of the world.

Tomorrow: The Entrepreneurs Delights (continued)