Very helpful hands-on Hadoop tutorial

November 29, 2011 Comments Off on Very helpful hands-on Hadoop tutorial

The Hadoop implementation of the MapReduce programming model is proving to be one of the most successful next-generation technologies for deriving value from Big Data. I’m currently working on Hadoop for Dummies. It will provide a comprehensive overview of this fascinating distributed data processing environment as well as spell out a number of issues to be aware of as you deploy Hadoop into your enterprise.

Meanwhile, if you’d like to get some hands-on experience with Hadoop, be sure to check out Yahoo’s excellent tutorial.


Technical marketing collateral mistake #1: Not having a content roadmap

November 28, 2011 § 3 Comments

Recently, I cited five of the most devastating content mistakes that I’ve seen marketing teams make. Why is building and maintaining a content roadmap such a headache for so many organizations?

First, there are always other high-priority fires to put out, like supporting new product releases, preparing for trade shows, and reacting to competitive announcements, to name just a few. Secondly, faced with constant pressure from sales, marketing teams tend to be reactive rather than proactive: they dutifully churn out White papers and case studies based on which salespeople scream the loudest, rather than what adds the most strategic value.

Unfortunately, these haphazard tactics rarely leads to positive outcomes. Instead, it’s much wiser to invest the time and energy necessary to create a holistic outline of all your technical marketing needs. Make sure that 1) you invite representatives from sales to participate, and 2) your roadmap includes the full range of collateral such as tutorials and proof-of-concept guides. Naturally, this blueprint is a living document and is subject to change. But at least you’ll have some sense of an overall vision.

Once you’ve completed this important task, next up is prioritizing which pieces come first. How you make that determination is what I cover in the next post in this series.

Thai floods darken cloud futures

November 26, 2011 § 2 Comments

If you’ve been watching the news in the past few weeks, you’ve probably learned about the extensive, unprecedented flooding in Thailand. Thanks to globalization, a significant percentage of the world’s hard drives are made in Thailand. Hard disk prices are skyrocketing in response to the damage at these factories. To see what I mean, check out NewEgg’s price history for a Western Digital 1 TB drive: the price tripled in less than two months.

Hard drive prices skyrocket

While this is hitting consumers hard, it also has the potential to put a damper on the migration to the cloud by introducing wild price variances into the equation. Even though cloud vendors have locked in discounted prices and buy in massive quantities, they’re not immune from the laws of supply and demand. This means that these price hikes may take a while to make it into the cloud vendor pipeline. Ironically, consumer hard disk prices will probably be falling at that point in time.

Curious about whether this will affect your cloud initiatives? Wondering how to mitigate risk? Stay tuned, because I’ll discuss that in some upcoming posts.

Why Dev/Test is a great place to launch your cloud computing initiative

November 25, 2011 § 1 Comment

At WiseClouds, we’re often asked to identify the best use cases for customers who want to get started with cloud computing. Our clients have legitimate concerns about the cost, security, regulatory, scalability, and many other issues inherent in moving to the cloud. Navigating these issues can take months to resolve and involve reconciling all sorts of outside viewpoints, such as those from the legal department – often from multiple countries!

For these and other reasons, the software development/test process is an ideal way to try out the cloud:

  • It can pay significant benefits for minimal investment
  • It sidesteps many of the issues I just listed
  • It’s low risk
  • It scales very nicely
  • It can easily be brought back inside the firewall

I’ll discuss how to get started in an upcoming post.

Big Data and Sybase ASE

November 25, 2011 Comments Off on Big Data and Sybase ASE

If you’re running (or are evaluating) Sybase ASE, you might be interested in an article I wrote for Database Journal. It focuses on the unique demands presented by Big Data, and describes how ASE 15.7 has been augmented to work with large volumes of unstructured information.

The 5 most common technical marketing collateral mistakes

November 24, 2011 § 5 Comments

Ever since the first quota was assigned, salespeople have been accosting marketing executives with breathless grievances such as:

  • I have nothing to give to my prospects!
  • We need a case study!
  • If I only had a White paper, I could make my number!

These pleas are often shouted out during ‘ambush the marketing executive’ sessions at kickoffs and other sales meetings. Naturally, marketing wants to help – after all, the sales team is marketing’s customer. But this often leads to misguided exertions, which wastes money and time and leads to a perception that marketing “just doesn’t get it”. This leads to even more frantic efforts, and so the cycle continues.

At Think88, I see many technology companies struggling with the same set of technical marketing challenges. Based on many years of experience, I’ve distilled these problems into a list of the five most common mistakes, which I’ll describe in a series of separate blog posts. Here’s the overall list and a brief thought about each one. Click on each point to see the more detailed posts.

1. Not having an overall marketing content roadmap. While everyone recognizes that it’s important, it’s often put on the back burner.

2. Not subjecting each marketing content investment to an honest ROI calculation. Let’s face it – effective collateral is can only be produced after analyzing weak points in the sales cycle and directly addressing them.

3. Cramming too much content into a single piece. Believe it or not, a 10-page paper isn’t necessarily twice as effective as 5-pager.

4. Not following a formalized content creation methodology. When budgets and time are tight, ‘just wing it’ becomes the motto.

5. Over reliance on internal staff. In these days of short staffing and pinched pennies, content creation is one of the first things to get put on the back burner. And failing to deliver content sets the stage for the next ‘ambush the marketing executive’ session.

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