Monash Research highlights
Notification of Monash Research webcasts, white papers, blog highlights, and the like.
Monash Research provides what we hope is great advice, to technology vendors, users, and investors alike. Working with organizations who want more insight and interaction than is available in our free blogs, we consult on a broad range of subjects – marketing and technology, strategy and tactics, large companies and small ones, all across a variety of industry sectors.
For the past several years, we’ve had an annual refresh of our vendor service offerings, always unveiled in the fall. This year has seen more change than usual, and so I’d like to share some of the highlights with you here. A revampimg of our services for users is in the works as well, and I’ll share that too with you when it is finalized.
Aspects that haven’t changed much include:
- We ask all vendor clients to join a program called the Monash Advantage.
- Monash Advantage members get effectively unmetered quick-inquiry consulting, and more in-depth advice sessions as well.
- Our speaking and writing services, which vendors like to use for lead generation and general image-buffing, are generally restricted to Monash Advantage members
- The entry-level Monash Advantage price is $10,000/year
The biggest change from prior years is that there are now three tiers of the Monash Advantage, up from one.
- The Monash Advantage Lite is for small, tightly-focused companies with severe budget constraints. We offer suggestions and help them think through their most pressing issues, a few times each year.
- The Monash Advantage Basic is for more typical technology companies. We help them with anything and everything.
- The Monash Advantage Custom is for companies that want us to serve as core strategic advisors.
The early response to this tiering has been very positive, and we have had multiple sign-ups for 2010 at each of the three levels.
Another change is that we no longer require companies to join the Monash Advantage on a strict calendar-year basis. Now, it’s calendar quarters, and for Custom members we’re completely flexible.
Finally, we’re open to doing stock deals with seed-stage companies, at least ones that don’t compete closely with our other clients. For example, I’ve just started advising one stealth start-up in a hardware area that complements analytic DBMS, and I’m having a blast. I’ll disclose the names of any companies I have private stock in, as well as offering at least a capsule of what is publicly known about what they’re pursuing.
I was interviewed by Federal News Radio again, and will edit in a link to an audio file if/when they give me one. (Here it is.) The subject was the completion of the Aneesh Chopra/Vivek Kundra team for United States CTO and CIO, something I find alarming due to their lack of focus on the tough project management/data integration and privacy issues at the heart of government IT.
Overall, the interview went a lot better than my last one with the same station.
I work from my house, as does my wife Linda Barlow. That makes it an interesting place right there, as Linda has published 15 novels, served two terms as a director of the Author’s Guild, testified as an expert witness on HTML technology in Federal court and, for variety, taught neurobiology at a local college. She is also a much better MMO player than I am.
Monday night, however, things got interesting in another way. On the whole, I’m not apt to be particularly celebrity-struck. I grew up in Beverly Hills; worked with bunches of politicians, Nobel Laureates and Fields Medalists at Harvard; talk for hours with some of the tech industry’s biggest names; and have met some extremely popular authors through Linda. Still, I thought it was cool to be Twittering back and forth with LeVar Burton, of Roots and Star Trek fame, especially when he sent a direct message that read, in its entirety, “Exactly!!! Well said.” But unfortunately, that wasn’t the most interesting part either.
While I was tweeting away in the middle of the night, I heard a shout from Linda. It turned out that we had a fire on our 49-year-old electric stove. (A burner had failed to turn off, a plastic cutting board had fallen onto it, and flames had started.) Read more
I am to be interviewed at 7:28 am Monday 11/17 on Federal News Radio, AM 1500 in the DC area. That’s also an internet radio station. The producer writes:
We’ll zap this interview to the entire Maryland/VA/DC tri-state area. We’ll also stream it live at federalnewsradio.com. And afterwards, we’ll archive it online in its entirety (MP3 format).
Hopefully I’ll get a more precise link to the archive once it’s up, in which case I plan to edit it into this post.
The subject is what Obama should look for in a CTO, and what the Obama Administration’s technology priorities should be. This interview was surely triggered by my post arguing the new United States CTO needs to be more of a CIO, and the Slashdotting of same.
- MP3 of the interview
- My rant rebutting the attitudes represented by the interviewers
- Freedom even without data privacy
For the first time in ages, I put up a Monash Advantage Members-only Monash Letter at www.monashadvantage.com. Passwords can be obtained from my principal contacts at each Member. (If you can’t guess who that is at your company, please feel free to contact me directly.)
The subject is Positioning Choices in the Analytic DBMS Market. (Aka data warehouse DBMS, data warehouse appliance, analytic appliance, or whatever.) I proposed eight ideas that I think work, but they overlap a lot – four are variants on “great price/performance” and three are variants on “the safe choice.” I also called out a few that I don’t think work, including at least one that one of my clients is pretty much betting the company on.
Obviously, there’s a huge amount of research backing up this analysis over on DBMS2. (Just one example – my recent Teradata product line overview.) But I also invoked some underlying marketing theory. Part of that has been posted on Strategic Messaging. Other exists only in very crude draft form. (Sadly, that’s what my whole company website used to look like, until Melissa Bradshaw rescued it.)
A couple of months ago, we set up a category in this blog called Monash Research highlights for the purpose of clueing you in to our biggest news. Indeed, if you ever decide you can’t handle our full integrated feed, there’s a special Highlights feed that will keep you at least partly clued in to what we’re up to.
Other than the highlights feed itself, we have four pieces of news to share today:
- A new white paper
- A new Network World blog called A World of Bytes
- A new Intelligent Enterprise blog that may or may not wind up being named Data Frontiers
- Translation of some of my analytics-oriented posts into Russian
Let me explain. Read more
August 19, 2-3 pm Eastern time, I’m going to be doing an online chat, hosted by Network World.
But please pay no attention to the listed description. Any topic goes — from Attensity to Zilliant — and the write-up is just one editor’s idea of what would be a good hook to attract participants. (And please, definitely, pay NO attention to my antiquated and scrunched up picture, to the missing text, or to any other aspect of networkworld.com’s user interface.)
If you’re reading this (and not just in your feed reader), you’ve probably noticed that the five Monash Research blogs have undergone a major redesign. We had two main goals in mind:
- Help visitors find information that may be of interest to them
- Keep the blogs easy to read and pleasant to look at
I hope you will agree that we’ve met those goals with — as it were — flying colors.
Most aspects of the redesign are pretty obvious, but here’s a biggie you might at first overlook. On most category pages on DBMS2, Text Technologies, and Software Memories, there are now brief category descriptions and, crucially, suggested links. Hopefully, these will help you find research that is interesting to you, but which you may have missed the first time around. If you want to check out some examples, you could start with:
Also — if you’re wondering why we added that super-prominent sign-up box for our complete feed, the reason is simple: Only about a third of our feed subscribers take the integrated feed. (The others typically take just Text Technologies or just DBMS2.) Given how my interests and subjects connect to each other, I think my readers are much better off if they get at least the headlines to everything.
In early 2006, I wrote a pair of posts in which I discussed my general standards for analytic credibility, and disclosed some of my own relationships and biases. I have nothing to add to the generalities, but maybe it’s time to update some specifics.
- The title of “my biggest customer” has no clear winner these days. Most of the contenders are small DBMS vendors such as Netezza, DATAllegro, and EnterpriseDB. Generally, I’m closer to small companies these days than to big ones.
- That wasn’t always the case. For example, In other years my biggest customers have been Oracle (several times), SAP, Computer Associates, Microsoft (I think — if not so, then close to it), and AOL.
- I’ve had a falling-out with SAP, who flat-out cheated me in some business dealings. Multiple execs from the VP level on up seem to have been OK with that. If you think that SAP is more ethical than, say, Oracle or Microsoft, I strongly beg to differ.
- Every white paper and webcast I do is “sponsored”; i.e., money changes hands. (There may be occasional exceptions to that rule in the future, but it’s usually the case.) Sponsorship is clearly disclosed.
- I cannot commit to promptly or completely disclosing who my consulting clients are. Sometimes they want to be served in confidence. However, I always have disclosed — and in the future always will disclose — any kind of relationship in which I am paid to promote companies in any way.
- I do spot consulting for both public-equity and private-equity/venture capital investors. In other years I’ve also had a small number of retainer relationships with public-equity investors, but there don’t happen to be any at the moment.
We’ve finally redesigned the Monash Information Services website. In particular, we’ve created two great new ways to read our research. First, there’s a new, Google-based integrated search engine. (And it really works well, the one glitch being that it brings back feeds and pages interchangeably. Try it out!) Also – and I really encourage you all to subscribe to this — there’s a new integrated research feed.
The reason you should care about these is in both cases the same: Our research is actually spread across multiple sites and feeds. I write about Google both in the Monash Report and on Text Technologies. I write about enterprise text management both on Text Technologies and on DBMS2. I write about computing appliances both on DBMS2 and in the Monash Report. I write about data mining in all three places. And now that there’s an integrated, industry history relevant to any of the other subject areas may find its way onto Software Memories. Your view of my views simply isn’t complete unless you have access to all of those sites.