Sun’s Champagne Super Nova

January 31, 2010

Coincidentally, the acquisitions of the last two companies I worked at both closed this week.  The first is Sun Microsystems where I worked from 1995 to 2008 and which was purchased by Oracle.  The second is Lombardi which I left at the end of last summer and which was acquired by IBM.

Two very different acquisitions.  One a Silicon Valley trailblazer whose acquisition took 9 torturous months to close, the other a star in the focused field of business process management which closed in less than six weeks.  One company on the way up, one an icon on the way down.

Farewell Sun

While I wish the employees of both the best of luck, I particularly mourn the loss of Sun.  It was an amazing company to have worked at.  I joined the month that Java was introduced and rode it through its dot.com dominance and then down the other side.  Even when its economic dominance waned, its willingness to take risk such as its refocusing on open source made it a fascinating place to be.  The tech industry will be a less interesting place now that it is gone.

I take heart in the fact that the Sun diaspora now outweighs those still employed there.  Sun alums can be found across the industry at companies big and small around the world (in fact there is a hearty band of us here at Dell).  While there is no more Sun “the company” there are thousands of bits of it scattered throughout the high-tech landscape.

Aloha Stanford University Network, 1982-2010

Pau for now…


IBM leverages Web 2.0 for Knowledge Sharing

April 14, 2009

Next month I’ll be heading over to Houston to attend APQC’s knowledge management conference.  One of the talks I’m interested in checking out will be given by Bryant Clevenger, the global leader for IBM GBS’s knowledge sharing strategy.

On the KMedge blog, Bryant explains what they’ve been up to:

At IBM, leveraging knowledge has always been an important part of our business.  Last year, we undertook a massive overhaul of the technology and approach we use for knowledge management, moving from a centrally managed, linear, taxonomy- and repository-based system to one that leverages the best of Web 2.0, including social software, user participation, and key market-driven concepts like sponsored links.

As a promo for his talk, Bryant put together the following video, complete with a rockin’ BTO instrumental soundtrack :).

Some of the topics the video addresses:

  • How do you harness the expertise and leverage the knowledge that is spread across 387,000 people located in 170 countries?
  • 1 in 4 workers has been with their current employer for less than 12 months.
  • People are using web 2.0 in their daily lives, they expect the same tools in the workplace.
  • The IBM employee knowledge portal allows users to
    • Search across multiple content repositories
    • Create social tags, peer ratings and tag content
    • Locate experts and contact them.
  • The portal surfaces: 1) the highest rated internal content, 2) Leadership priorities and 3 external competitor info.
  • Bryant’s “modest” vision for the portal: Unprecedented access to content and experts will shorten the sales cycle and will expand the reach of information…removing country and organization barriers and enabling the globally integrated enterprise.

Goodness for any size

Whether this project actually leads to the “enabling of the globally integrated enterprise” or not I think this effort will create considerable value.  I also believe that you don’t have to be a huge multinational like IBM to benefit from the availability of Web 2.0-based tools in the workplace.  Web 2.0 tools are built around the principles of linking, sharing, participation and collaboration — valuable elements for a company of any size.

Don’t touch that dial

BTW, If you are interested increasing linking, sharing, participation and collaboration in your organization you’ll want to check out our next Blueprint release, coming soon to a browser near you.  Stay tuned 🙂

Pau for now…


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