Ray Lane has been talking about and investing in companies working on real-time software in his most recent role as a VC at Kleiner-Perkins. Some excerpts from an interview he gave to Optimize:
Automation did happen in the past decade, and some departments are doing tasks well. What’s missing is enterprise ability; it’s all departmental now. The enterprise is incompetent as a result of mergers and acquisitions and reorganizations. IT is the problem. It doesn’t give me competitive advice. That’s just wrong. We have to make computer systems faster, more responsive. We need to bring all the data to the enterprise level and react at the enterprise level.
We need full information transparency and on-demand response to questions. I have to know now. You need to integrate information and have messages flow through applications and out to customers in a few days, and go to the supply chain to get that information. I need global visibility. I want to know the status of one order immediately–I don’t care if it’s on an i2, Oracle, or SAP system. I want to know it will be shipped Thursday at 4 p.m. But we need applications to tie all the inventory and databases together.
How can the enterprise be responsive? That’s the next thing. Build apps, portals, query systems to allow businesses to access information. Customers want transparency and to serve their customers.
Two companies to watch, according to Lane, are KnowNow and Asera/SeeC .