CRM software runs my life

Tag: financial

Inspiration for a New Year

CNBC recently ran a rather patriotic “Keeping America Great” interview with Warren Buffett and Bill Gates. I don’t normally read much from these guys, but there was one comment from Buffett that really struck a chord for me.

BUFFETT:  First of all, I’d say marry the right person. [LAUGHTER]  And I’m serious about that.  [APPLAUSE]  It will make more difference in your life.  It will change your aspiration, all kind of things.  It’s enormously important who you marry.  Beyond that, I would say that do what you would do if you were in my position, where the money means nothing to you.  At 79, … I work every day.  And it’s what I want to do more than anything else in the world.  The closer you can come to that early on in your life, you know the more fun you’re going to have in life and really the better you’re going to do.  So don’t be driven where you think the last dollar is presently or anything of that sort.  And then also go to work, if possible, for an organization or an individual that you admire.  I mean I offered to go to work for Ben Graham because there was nobody I admired more in the business than him.  I didn’t care what he paid me.  When he finally did hire me in 1954, I moved from Omaha to New York and I didn’t know what I was getting paid until I got my first paycheck.  But I knew I wanted to work for Ben Graham.  And I knew I would jump out of bed every morning and be excited about what I would do and I would go home at night smarter than I was in the morning.  Go to work at a job that turns you on and a person that turns you on and institution.  [APPLAUSE]

I am determined to base the decisions I make  this year on this quote.

Pipe goes International

I have mentioned Pipe Networks before, more specifically their “Project Runway” surviving a near death credit crunch experience. There have been two interesting developments since that time.

Guam Beach Cable Hole

Guam Beach Cable Hole

The first is that Pipe have put up a blog tracking the progress of the cable installation. You can view it at pipeinternational.com. As with their DC3 data centre blog they have uploaded a ton of photos and commentary on a very regular basis. I am sure customers, creditors and other participants in the Australian networking industry appreciate the transparency of information delivered through these blogs. It is fascinating to see that, in the end, the data is flowing through a rather unglamorous combination of copper, concrete, seawater and sand. It is also great to see a company recognise the power of blogs as PR delivery mechanisms. I am sure they raise the public profile of the company significantly.

Also on the PR front the Pipe Networks CEO, Bevan Slattery, participated in an interview with Business Spectator’s Isabelle Oderberg. This interesting interview starts off with a glimpse at how close the project came to collapsing, and concludes with some comments regarding the NBN process and goals. I do agree that the Government is tackling the problem from the wrong end, they should be starting at the core and moving outwards. I guess it is easier to present end solutions to the common voter, you can’t deliver bit size statistics like 50% more bandwidth will mean 50% wholesale price cuts which will mean 50% consumer broadband saving.

Maybe the same is also true for the NBN tenderers? If the tender was only for backhaul, could they be guaranteed enough customers to viably support duplicating the infrastructure? Do they need retail customers and the bundling of products to put together a firm business case and profit margin? Again the big question is, if this rollout is viable then why has no-one done it already? At the end of the day the problem always lies with Telstra, they simply own everything that matters. Scarily, this monopoly is now extending into the wireless spectrum. Backhaul competition is a great first stage, and perhaps with the current financial state the tender process should be limited to that for now. But there should always be a second stage planned, one that makes the whole end to end process competitive. Until that happens we will be facing different versions of the current monopoly.

Personally I believe that Telstra should be seperated and that the core infrastructure (backhaul, exchange buildings and ducts) should never have left the public’s hands. There is enough infrastructure around, it is just being crippled to maximise profit and prevent competition. Now we are either going to have to buy them back or build around it, either way this is not an efficient or cheap process.

Making money from SaaS

Internet Cash Machine

Internet Cash Machine

The core promise of SaaS is that it will help you deliver services more efficiently. Instead of trying to manage software projects (which can easily get expensive and out of control) a company can outsource non-core development and deploy an SaaS solution almost instantly. In the current economic downturn many people have been watching SaaS vendors closely to see whether they struggle or thrive. On paper they are cheaper and allow businesses to focus on their core strengths, but would companies shun the risk and element of change in uncertain times?

There have been a few earnings announcements over the last couple of months that are proving the SaaS backers right. Salesforce is the biggest ‘flag bearer’ for SaaS solutions, and it has exceeded analyst expectations and posted a 43% revenue increase from the same quarter last year. The good news doesn’t end there however. Concur, Taleo, RightNow and many other SaaS providers are also posting record quarters.

Recession Spending

An article by Andrew McAfee triggered my interest today, what will happen to technology in a recession? Or more specifically, what technology actually excels in a recession? Some IT leaders have commented in the NY Times, but I would like to focus more specifically on software technology.

The most obvious answer is that the cheapest software wins. Deploying SAAS and other Web 2.0 models are not just about delivering new functionality; they are about driving down costs through low delivery costs and economies of scale. With employment at near record lows (and salaries at record highs, especially in IT) no-one wants to take on more staff.

I think that the silver lining to a recession is that the weak get weaker and the strong get stronger. A renewed focus on what works and how to efficiently deliver value is a good thing for any company. With SAAS systems now gathering widespread acceptance a recession will, in my opinion, accelerate the growth of these systems. The current financial crisis has also highlighted how interconnected the world is, and SAAS systems delivered from data centres thousands of kilometres away will again gain more acceptance.

Unlike the article I don’t think it is necessarily a case of socially driven applications gaining traction, I also think CRM and ERP systems will see an increase in popularity. Customers are no longer so easily separated from their cash, and every inefficiency in the supply line is being watched like a hawk. Adopting best practice from a new technology package is a great way to address these issues.

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén