Tag Archives: SAP

Dec. 5, 2013 SVForum Game On Technology And Sports

SVFlogo Alagappan Muthu Anderson Christine Bullard Ward Byrd Stephen Chang Tim Cuskelly Abel Diwan Rishi Ellicott Kyle Glenn Vern Gonzales Jon Greenfield Howard Hepler Lauren Holove Jef Hughes Tracy Joseph Jonathan Knox Anders Love Amy Malik Kunal Musuris Mike Packard Warren Rao Shailo

On December 5, 2013 in Palo Alto at SAP, SVForum held “Game On! Technology Meets Sports Conference.” Muthu Alagappan of Ayasdi gave the first keynote. Jon Gonzales of Procopio of introduced Kunal Malik of the San Francisco 49ers. Stephen Byrd of STATS talked about the rise of content and statistics. Lauren Hepler of Silicon Valley Business Journal moderated panelists Rishi Diwan of SAP, Gary McCoy of Catapult Sports, and Mike Musuris of Spinball Enterprises. Tracy Hughes of Silicon Valley Sports Ventures had a fireside chat with Tim Chang of Mayfield Fund and Jef Holove of Basis. Howard Greenfield of NXP Software moderated panelists Abel Cuskelly of Pogoseat, Kyle Ellicott of Wearable World, Jonathan Joseph of FantasyBrain and Shailo Rao of Beyond The Box. Phillip Kahn of Fullpower Technologies gave the third keynote. Jennifer Franklin of Comcast Sportsnet moderated panelists Ward Bullard of Google+, Anders Knox of GAGA Sports and Entertainment, Fortune 500 CEO Amy Love and Warren Packard of Thuuz Sports. Christine Anderson of Sportsvision gave the closing remarks.

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Copyright 2013 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

Sep. 19, 2013 SAP Startup Focus HANA

saplogoJones Scott

On September 19, 2013 in Palo Alto, SAP held their Startup Focus program for small companies interested in Big Data, Predictive Analytics and/or Real-Time data space. SAP’s HANA technology experts showed how to create market ready solutions and pitch to venture capitalists using HANA Real Time Fund and SAP Ventures. Special thanks to Scott Jones and Mark Noronha for explaining the advantages of in-memory database systems and why you still need to know SQL.  Also, there was an electric car charging station in front of the building with a Nissan Leaf plugged in. Pretty cool.

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Copyright 2013 DJ Cline All rights reserved.


Sep. 17, 2013 SVForum Southard Jones Birst

SVFlogo Jones Southard

On September 17, 2013 in Palo Alto at SAP, SVForum BI SIG hosted Southard Jones of Birst’s presentation “BI and Discovery Finally Available in the Cloud.” Jones said Birst’s own automated data warehouse, ETL and visual analytics give meaning to raw data in a business context so they can solve real world problems quickly.

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Copyright 2013 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

Mar. 21, 2013 SVForum Big Data Analytics Future


On March 21, 2013 in Palo Alto at SAP, SVForum presented “Big Data Analytics Conference: Between Now And 2020.” The big data market will grow from $3.2 billion in 2010 to $16.9 billion by 2015 according to the IDC. This is causing major changes in the way data is gathered, analyzed and capitalized.

Jeremy Howard of Kaggle gave the opening keynote “Can Data Science Really Do That?”

TM Ravi of The Hive moderated panelists Kevin Foster of IBM, Guido Schroeder of Splunk, Adam Smith of Metamarkets and David Sonnenschein of SAP. They discussed “Real-Time Big Data.”

Brett Uyeshiro of Pandora gave the second keynote “Big Data in Music: Lessons for the Rest of the World.”

Andy Bartley of Algorithms.io moderated panelists John Akred of Accenture, Christian Beedgen of Sumo Logic, Steve Morin of Autodesk and Tim Park of Microsoft. They discussed “Big Data in the Enterprise – Technology & Teams.”

Bernard Golden of enStratus moderated panelists Jai Das of SAP Ventures, Mark A. Siegel of Menlo Ventures and Andy Vitus of Scale Venture Partners. They discussed “The Investment Landscape.”

Entrepreneur Satyen Sangani moderated panelists Justin Erickson of Cloudera, Joseph M. Hellerstein of Trifacta/UC Berkeley, Ju-kay Kwek of Google and M.C. Srivas of MapR. They discussed “Beyond Hadoop.”

Mike Gualtieri of Forrester gave the closing keynote “Big Data Analytics – Analysis & The Future.”

Note: Hina Ashar of e8Security attended this event.

Adelus John Akred John  Bagby John Bartley Andrew Beedgen Christian Bhatnagar Neeraj Block Rob Brackeeen Debra Carter Evonne Chang Michael Choudry Trip Clabaugh Chris Codelli David Csendes Audrey Das Arun Das Jai Desai Ankur  Erickson Justin 3  Fan LucyXuan Fogelsong John Foster Kevin Golden Bernard Greene Jason Gualtieri Mike Hellerstein Joseph Highbey Tomas Hittle Mike Howard Jeremy Ignatyev Oleksiy Ishfin Edward Jelinek Brian Keyston Douglas King April Kippola Tom Kwek JuKay Lencher Michal Lichty Ron Lingard Bob Loukianof Peter Mack John Magill Jeffrey MalekMadani Gus Mangtani Nitin Marripudi Gunna Marwah Manish Milhem Ray Montalvo Olin Morin Steve Murphy Irene Nathan Vaidhi Nguyen Van ORorke Paul Park Tim Ravi TM Richardson Chris Sangani Satyen Sasao Sooichi Savage Andrew Schroeder Guido Shikiar Andrew Siegel Mark Sipola Pekka Sloan Robert Smit Marco Smith Adam Sonnenschein David Srinivasan Srini Srivas MC Tarma Juulia Thorleifsson Kristinn U Filomena Uyeshiro Brett Vik Jostein Vitus Andy Walling David  Wilkins Tanya Woods Jorden Xia Mu Yoder Laurie

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Copyright 2013 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

Dec. 4, 2012 SVForum Cleantech 2.0

On Tuesday, December 4, 2012 in Palo Alto at SAP, SVForum presented “Energy Innovation: Cleantech 2.0 – New Shade of Green.” Eric Wesoff of Greentech Media moderated panelists Drew Clark of IBM, Jai Das of SAP Ventures, Mark Perutz of DBL Investors and Bill Reichert of Garage Technology Ventures. They discussed the possible revival of cleantech. Venture capital is declining due to capital-intensive investments, distant ROIs, fading public interest and shifting government policies. New plays are in low hanging fruit like building energy efficiency and cheaper lighting. One Israeli startup is developing smart grid resilience ideas like organizing lithium batteries into Wide Area Network Storage (WANS) in a sort of power cloud ™. Building a power system that recover from any disaster could be attractive to businesses, governments and individuals.

Copyright 2012 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

Aug. 16, 2012 SVForum Elaine Wherry Recruiter Honeypot

On August 16, 2012 in Palo Alto at SAP, SVForum’s Engineering Leadership SIG hosted Elaine Wherry’s presentation “The Recruiter Honeypot.” Back in 2005, she co-founded Meebo and worked as Meebo’s Chief Experience Officer and Vice President of Product. Needing recruiters to find the best JavaScript experts, she created an online persona named Pete London.

Wherry learned about the dark side of recruiting. Some recruiters are not always honest with you. They may try to poach your people, even imaginary people. Many of them used to work with car rental agencies. Only one recruiter managed to figure out that Pete London did not exist. I was amazed that nobody checked if a Pete London had ever graduated from Stanford. Doing research takes time and time is money.

Wherry also learned about better recruiting strategies. Don’t try to assemble your own team of superheroes. Find an experienced manager who already knows a bunch of people who understand the technology and can work together. More people will follow a manager with proven leadership than a company with stock options.

Don’t try for an exact match. Be flexible and broaden your search. Good people are constantly moving from project to project to learn new skills. The best candidates may not even be looking.

Join professional organizations and networks. Become an active volunteer and you will have the chance to work with potential candidates before you hire them. LinkedIn is a powerful tool for professional networking. Remove boilerplate from your e-mails. Write a personal message by removing the first person “I” and try using the second person “you” to be more direct. Specific facts about the company and position are better than general adjectives. Keep paragraphs to one sentence. Once you develop a conversation thread, follow through to establish a relationship.

The best leaders tell a story that talented people want to be a part of.

Gary Mantalas of Ryzen and Jeff Richardson of Empowered Alliances spoke about their respective companies. Special thanks to Tom Delora, Sam Hahn, and Ron Lichty.

Copyright 2012 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

Mar. 29, 2012 SVForum Quebec Smart Energy

On Thursday, March 29, 2012 in Palo Alto at SAP, SVForum presented “Clean Tech Breakfast Series: Smart Energy in Everyday Living – Innovative Technologies from Quebec, Canada.” Rami Branitzky of SAP moderated panelists Gary Dillabough of The Westly Group, Stephane Labelle of EH2 Solar, Simon Leblond of CAN2GO/SCL Elements and Denis Leclerc of Ecotech Quebec. They discussed the current and future smart energy opportunities in Quebec and Canada in general.

Quebec is an example of how making hard environmental policy decisions pays off in the long run. They started enforcing cap and trade regulations for carbon emissions. They decided not expand their nuclear energy program in favor of getting ninety-eight percent of their power from sustainable hydroelectricity. They encouraged a balanced economy of agriculture, manufacturing and high tech. They supported healthcare, immigration and education systems to create a workforce of talented people who did not have to worry about crushing college loans or healthcare costs but were free to start their own companies. Today Quebec has over four hundred clean tech companies focusing on energy efficiency and storage, water treatment and waste management, aerospace and alternative fuels.

Copyright 2012 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

Mar. 1, 2012 Future Salon Open Mike

On March 1, 2012 in Palo Alto at SAP, the Future Salon held an Open Mike night. The topics ranged from children’s suffrage, maker education, expanding human potential, fasting, life extension, synthetic cognition, thrivability and world peace. This is a fascinating combination of people with very different perspectives pitching ideas that might someday be accepted wisdom. Oh, and they are smarter and funnier than anyone at an open mike night at your local comedy club. The future is funny again.

Mark Finnern was there with Aslan Noghre-kar!

Copyright 2012 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

Jan.19, 2012 SVForum Clean Tech Sustainability

On Thursday, January 19, 2012 in Palo Alto at SAP, SVForum held a Clean Technology Conference on Sustainability. Industry leaders noted the continued demand for sustainable technolgies and business processes. A PWC report that $891 million dollars were raised by 80 startups during the third quarter of 2011.

Rami Branitzky of SAP welcomed the attendees. Chris Gill of SVForum introduced Thilo Koslowski of Gartner who gave the overview on electric vehicles. Koslowski then moderated Aaron Cohen of Coda Automotive, Harry Hobbs of InterContinental Hotels, Geoff Ryder of SAP and Byron Shaw of GM Advanced Technology. They discussed the market for new electric vehicles. It will take lots of subsidies and time convert a sizable portion of the existing fleet from gasoline to electric vehicles.

Abby Johnson of Abacus Property Solutions moderated panelists Asim Hussain of Bloom Energy, Alain Poivet of Sunplanter, Swapnil Shah of FirstFuel and Andrew Yip of PG&E. They discussed the long and short term advantages of green buildings.

Steve Bengston of PWC moderated panelists Jason Matlof of Battery Ventures, Rachel Sheinbein of CMEA Capital and Dylan Steeg of Intel Capital. The heyday of startups getting large investments for untried technologies without existing infrastructure are over.

Gil Perez of SAP moderated panelists Erich Klawuhn of Soladigm, Tsafir Oranski of Panoramic Party, Tamin Pechet of Banyan Water and Benzi Ronen of Farmigo. They talked about the specific advantages of their technologies.

Peter Graf of SAP gave the closing keynote.

John Jung and Kate Reimer of Greensmith answered questions about their advanced energy storage technology.

Copyright 2012 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

Sep. 20, 2011 SVForum Transforming Waste Into Energy

On Tuesday, September 20, 2011, in Palo Alto at SAP, SVForum’s Interim CEO Jim Lussier introduced a Clean Tech Breakfast Series event “Transforming Waste into Energy.” Mikayel Nazloyan of PricewaterhouseCoopers moderated panelists Mark Bowles of ecoATM, Steve Goldberg of Venrock, Mike Jackson of the Westly Group and Patrick Mathews of the Salinas Valley Solid Waste Authority.

While there are strategies to keep trash out of landfills, eventually everything winds up there. Now high prices for oil and waste disposal are driving forces for transforming that waste into energy. The sources for biofuels feedstock have been traditionally agricultural products and waste. The cost can vary from a few cents to a few dollars fluctuating with supply. By using consumer waste, the feedstock cost falls to near zero. Seventy percent can be converted into cellulose that can be turned into to fuel for vehicles or electricity.

This energy strategy may not only reduce the need for new landfills, it may lead to the reduction of existing ones by mining the trash with high technology. In the Pixar movie Wall-E, a solar powered robot sorts through the garbage to find useful materials. A real robot might be running on the waste it finds.

Copyright 2011 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

May 17, 2011 SDF Biofuels: Sugar Vs. Oil

On May 17, 2011 in Palo Alto at SAP, SDForum presented  a Clean Tech Breakfast on “Biofuels- Is Sugar the New Oil?” Thomas Lord of PricewaterhouseCoopers moderated panelists Kef Kasdin of Proterro, Aaron Moser of LS9, Brook Porter of Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and Greg Young of Burrill & Company. They discussed the instability of oil supplies and the promise of biofuels. The rising price of oil and food is leading to political and social unrest around the world. Brazil and other countries have made great progress but other countries are facing the choice between food and fuel security.

The solution is to find waste that cannot be used as food for animals or people. Another way is to make the Protose sugar that is not based on agricultural products but on the fermentation process.

You could also find a stable commodity feedstock and genetically modify a bug to create the special chemicals you need. Make a fuel for a particular market like aviation to avoid a competitive race to the bottom making ordinary ethanol.

The continuing problem with biofuels is that you are still burning something and creating carbon dioxide. Biofuels could act as a transitional technology to more environmentally efficient energy sources.

Copyright 2011 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

Dec. 2, 2010 SDF Mobile Holiday Event

December 2, 2010 in Palo Alto at Nokia, the SDForum Mobile SIG held a Sponsor Appreciation & Holiday Event. Sponsors presenting their 2011 initiatives were Microsoft, Nokia, Orange and SAP. Bruno  Terkaly of Microsoft gave an overview of Windows Phone 7 overview for consumers. Tony Kueh of SAP’s Sybase talked about payments, carrier provisioning, SMS and MMS transactions. Satya  Mallya of Orange talked about apps, systems integration and and running multiple operating systems. Samir Agarwal of MeeGo explained how MeeGo is true open source and a handset will be available in the first quarter of 2011.

Joe Jasin took an audience survey of 47 people about which of the many OS’s which were the top 3 for the audience to develop on presently. I did not believe the the results, but maybe it was just the crowd:

Android 25
Symbian 3
Brew 0
Microsoft 6
MeeGo 6
Apple 8
Palm 3

Jasin also asked “If Facebook were to have an OS ready tomorrow would you develop on it?” The answer was a unanimous NO! He was surprised, and said, “Wow, now lets get the age demographic in the room.”

I would like to thank Joe Jasin for his contribution to this article.

Copyright 2010 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

Oct. 26, 2010 Future Salon New Sharing Economy

On October 26, 2010 in Palo Alto at SAP, the Bay Area Future Salon presented “The New Sharing Economy.” Neal Gorenflo of Shareable Magazine moderated panelists Punsri Abeywickrema of Rentalic, Rachel Botsman of “What’s Mine is Yours: The Rise of Collaborative Consumption“, Casey Fenton of Couchsurfing, Jessica Scorpio Co-Founder of Getaround and  John Zimmer of Zimride. They talked about new ways to connect people to stuff by moving from an ownership to an access economy.

As Mark Finnern said “This is the change we need. With a peer-based, sharing economy comes cost savings, stronger communities, environmental conservation, broader access to resources, and higher quality products made for sharing. Sharing addresses many problems at once – an appropriate solution for an era of interconnected crises.”

Copyright 2010 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

Sept. 21, 2010 SDF Smart Grid

On September 21, 2010 in Palo Alto at SAP, SDForum presented “Clean Tech Breakfast: Smart Grid.” Kris Brown of PricewaterhouseCoopers moderated panelists Lee Burrows of VantagePoint Venture Partners, Drew Clark of IBM Venture Capital Group, Andy Colman of GRIDiant Corporation, Steve Goldberg of Venrock and Jon Guice of AltaTerra Research. The recent San Bruno gas pipeline explosion has underlined the importance of building, maintaining and monitoring complex energy infrastructure. The panel discussed the investment potential of integrating large industrial and small residential technologies into systems that save energy and make money. Drew Clark thinks that the smart grid will be built off the core network. This will lead to the growth of high margin service businesses to the enterprise. John Guice had a great slide breaking the smart grid into network levels: transmission, subtransmission, distribution, facility and device. Creating any savings or efficiencies at any level is where the opportunities exist on the smart grid.

Copyright 2010 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

Sept. 16, 2010 SDF Dan Levin Box.net

On September 16, 2010 in Palo Alto at SAP, the SDForum Engineering Leadership SIG and sponsor Nearsoft hosted Dan Levin, COO of Box.net. His presentation was “Engineer to CEO – Business Leadership Lessons Learned in 25 Fun-filled Years, in 3 Parts.” He told his story of transition from engineer to leadership. Starting out as very technical he learned from the GE school and how venture capitalist worked. A turning point in his career came when his boss said “Dan, I love you, but if you don’t improve your interpersonal skills, I’m going to fire you.” So he learned and went on to work in digital video/interactive TV, health care, small business, consumer software, internet services and now is helping other engineers succeed in the cloud.

Copyright 2010 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

Sept. 1, 2010 SDF SAP Semantic Web

On September 1, 2010 in Palo Alto, SDForum’s Semantic Web SIG hosted SAP’s Michael Bechauf and David Meyer presentation “From meaning to intelligence: do implicit semantics hold the key?” They showed how SAP uses its deep context experience with applications and business intelligence to help in the enterprise market. They can recognize emerging social networking patterns by studying who is following what activity stream to get work done. They use explicit and implicit semantic models to manage customer networks. They introduced a community-based concept showing how using semantic technologies can share mapping knowledge and ease collaboration.

Read more by James Downey at:


Copyright 2010 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

Aug. 11, 2010 Future Salon Cesar Castro DiscoveryCast

On August 11, 2010 in Palo Alto at SAP, the Bay Area Future Salon hosted Cesar Castro, Founder and CEO of DiscoveryCast. The topic was “Open Innovation and the Future of Organizations.” Castro believes that opening up the innovation process outside of companies can solve properly framed problems. Mark Finnern demonstrated SAP’s newly developed ideation platform: Idea Place and Open PCAST as an interactive way to contribute ideas on ways to stimulate U.S. innovation, economic productivity or jobs in nanotech, biotech, or infotech to the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST).

“President Barack Obama said, “PCAST represents leaders from many scientific disciplines who will bring a diversity of experience and views. I will charge them with advising me about national strategies to nurture and sustain a culture of scientific innovation.” PCAST is co-chaired by John Holdren, Assistant to the President for Science and Technology and Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy; Eric Lander, Director of the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard and one of the principal leaders of the Human Genome Project; and Harold Varmus, President and CEO of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, former head of the National Institutes of Health and a Nobel laureate.”

Copyright 2010 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

Jun. 29, 2010 SDF Batteries

On June 29, 2010 in Palo Alto at SAP, SDForum presented a Clean Tech Breakfast titled “Next Generation Batteries: Challenges and Opportunities in Energy Storage.” Jeffrey Selman of Nixon Peabody moderated panelists Dania Ghantous of Qnovo, Ashok Lahiri of Enovix, Mark Platshon of VantagePoint and Camille Ricketts of VentureBeat.

To give you an idea how much things are changing, Tesla has gone public on the NASDAQ. Storing alternative energy and  the growth of mobile technology is driving the need for more efficient and environmentally sustainable batteries. The demand of batteries for cell phones, laptops and cameras will only skyrocket when we need thousands of batteries for electric cars. We need more students majoring in math, science and particularly chemistry. Buy your child a chemistry set and walk them through a periodic table. In the mean time there will be a scramble for the raw materials for lithium ion batteries and in countries like Afghanistan and Bolivia just as there is for oil in the Middle East. There is strong interest in the outcome of battery technology. In the audience I saw people from Lawrence Livermore, Sony, Wells Fargo and one mysterious gentleman in the corner who did not want to be identified.

I mention him because over the weekend I saw a movie starring Tom Cruise called Knight and Day. A crazy secret agent finds and protects a genius who develops a super battery. I never thought batteries would be a major plot point in a Hollywood movie, but I think it will be key to our economy in the future.

Copyright 2010 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

Jun. 2, 2010 SDF Volunteers At SAP

On June 2, 2010 in Palo Alto at SAP, SDForum volunteers and staff got an inside look at SAP views on future technology trends.

David Cruickshank , Director, Co-innovation Lab Palo Alto presented “Global Ecosystem and Partner Group Overview of SAP’s Global Co-Innovation Lab Network-leveraging the Ecosystem to accelerate innovation.” SAP technology touches over half of the world’s GDP in one way or another. They want to reach everyone everywhere.

Sanjay Poonen, Executive Vice President and General Manager, Business User & LoB (Lines of Business) Solutions presented “Overview of how SAP’s analytical software solutions are transforming the way businesses run.” It is now possible to track every transaction and analyze it in real time.

Richard Probst, VP, Infrastructure Technology Strategy in the Technology and Innovation Platform group presented “Overview of SAP’s technology strategy, envisioning what enterprise software must look like in a world, that is mobile, on-demand and in-memory.” Probst tracked the historical trend from mainframes to client server to internet to enterprise 2.0.

Scott Bolick, VP Sustainability. Presented “Highlight SAP’s emerging solutions, including SAP Carbon Impact and Green Rewards.” They are moving to power their equipment and buildings to direct current solar this summer. He demonstrated SAP applications running on an Apple iPad.

Copyright 2010 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

May 26, 2010 Future Salon Karabeg Trimtabs

On Wednesday May 26, 2010 in Palo Alto at SAP, the Future Salon hosted Dino Karabeg’s presentation “Trimtabs for Systemic Change.” Karabeg is a professor of informatics at University of Oslo. He said “Trimtabs for systemic change are acts that are small enough to be feasible, which can add up to make our civilization change course and guide us along a new and different direction of progress.”

Here is what I walked away with. Baby steps. Little things add up over time. A journey begins with a single step. If you want change, be the agent of change.

Copyright 2010 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

May 3, 2010 SDF Cloud Security

On May 3, 2010 in Mountain View at the Symantec vCafe, SDForum Security and Cloud SIGs presented “How to Protect Your Cloud Data” by Yuecel Karabulut, the Chief Security Advisor and Head of Security Strategy in the Technology Strategy Group at SAP. While studying at Ege University in Turkey and the University of Dortmund in Germany, he learned the importance of security and later taught it as an Adjunct Professor at Carnegie-Mellon University Silicon Valley. While you can try to build a secure system, you must plan for constantly upgrading against new threats. Reduce your exposure and you can reduce the area of attack. Think about how much you want out in the cloud and ask if it is worth the risk.

Copyright 2010 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

Mar. 25, 2010 Future Salon Sandy Pentland

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On Mar. 25, 2010 in Palo Alto at SAP, the Bay Area Future Salon hosted MIT Professor Sandy Pentland’s to talk about his latest book “Honest Signals: How they shape our world.” Most people are aware of body language but not aware of how nonverbal communication influences our behavior in groups. Pentland thinks some people are better at reading and responding to social signaling than others. People with these social skills tend to network better than others and become leaders in their communities. He intends to understand this phenomenon and how it could improve group dynamics.

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Copyright 2010 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

Mar. 16, 2010 SDF BI SIG: Web Analytics

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On March 16, 2010 in Palo Alto at SAP, SDForum’s Business Intelligence SIG hosted Google’s Avinash Kaushik presentation on “Web Analytics 2.0: Rethinking Decision Making in a 2.0 World.” Kaushik is the author of “Web Analytics: An Hour A Day” and winner of the 2009 Statistical Advocate of the Year award from the American Statistical Association. Text from DJCline.com

In the old days analysts could make a prediction and if it was wrong, they could always say they did not have enough data. Today software can record every keystroke and click on the web. The result is a lot of data, some information and very little wisdom. What is the point of gathering all this information if it cannot result in productive analysis and useful decision-making? Kaushik thinks not just about conversion rates but completion rates. Your analysis is not about how consumers behave online but offline. Statisticians must see the people behind the numbers. Any traffic analysis software will show you that more people might be visiting Facebook more than Google. The answers might lie beyond the statistics and more in the way people relate to one another. Text from DJCline.com

I think it interesting that with all the technology and information we have today we are still thrown back to the days of Socrates and trying to find out what is true with our reasoning skills. Web Analytics 2.0 may require Philosophy 1.0.

Be sure to check out SDForum’s big event called  “The Analytics Revolution” on Friday, April 9, 2010.

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Copyright 2010 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

Nov. 10, 2009 SDF Fossil Fuel Future?

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On November 10, 2009 in Palo Alto at SAP, SDForum held a Clean Tech Breakfast: “Old Resources in a New Climate”. Greg O’Hara of Nixon Peabody moderated panelists Mark Duvall of EPRI, Kyle McCue of Ternion Bio, John Voltz of Jane Capital and Marianne Wu of Mohr Davidow Ventures. Most of the world is still burning fossil fuels. The panel had a spirited discussion about what will happen to this market.

While we need energy that does not emit carbon dioxide, don’t put your coal shovel away just yet. Liquid fuel still has advantages of energy density in aviation. It will take some time to replace all of it, maybe a century. Unless there is some dramatic breakthrough in solar, wind, nuclear or battery technology, we will be burning coal, gas or synthetics. The United States has an old established fleet of coal burning power plants generating a most of its electricity. China is building a new plant every week. Energy security for both countries is now a matter of national security.

What drives switching to alternatives is price and government policy. When oil is $150 per barrel consumers start shifting to smaller cars. Fuel taxes in Europe are high to pay and build alternative energy infrastructure. An American subsidy for hybrids helps offset the $10,000 cost per vehicle of lithium ion batteries. While consumer lifestyle choice seems to be driving the short term purchasing of electric vehicles, the big change will occur when corporate and government fleets are converted. A big market drives down production costs and the process takes on a life of its own.

Weaning an economy away from fossil fuels and the whole supporting infrastructure around it may take generations.  Global demand will drive up the cost of all energy. We just have to calculate the total cost.  Buying a cheap gas powered car and paying three dollars for a gallon of gasoline long term does not make sense compared to paying more up front for an electric car and paying 250 per kilowatt hour over the life of the vehicle. In the end, no matter what sources for electricity we use, it will need a smart grid to be delivered efficiently.

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Copyright 2009 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

Nov. 3, 2009 SDF SAP Enabling Innovation

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On November 3, 2009 SDForum and SAP presented “Enabling Innovation”. Chris Shipley of Guidewire Group moderated panelists Gamiel Gran of Sierra Ventures, Kimber Lockhart of Increo Solutions, Dan Pistone of Bridge Bank, Mark F. Radcliffe of DLA Piper and Jeff Seibert of Increo Solutions. They shared their best practices and lessons learned about fostering innovation and entrepreurship with high level SAP Labs leaders from around the world.

Invention is proving a good idea works. Innovation is bringing that idea to market. Small start-ups can move fast. Big companies have more resources. How do you duplicate the startup/venture capitalist/entrepreneur environment in a large corporation?

Silicon Valley evolved a culture of high risk and failure that is contrary to the traditional culture of corporations. Entrepreneurs expect eighty percent of our projects to fail. They are positive in outlook and pragmatic in practice. Some entrepreneurs have a clear idea of what they want. Others are like sculptors and go through a process of subtraction of what they don’t want. To succeed you must try, fail fast and try again, quickly learning from your mistakes. This is hard to do when you are responsible to shareholders and fellow employees. Create a culture of risk taking, be patient but set milestones and limits the way a startup would. Be flexible. Get ready for radical changes in direction overnight, always aware that the clock is ticking.

An important part of innovation is cross-pollination. This process that seems unique to Silicon Valley is cross pollination. At a large company people may stay at the same position for a long time. Entrepreneurs change jobs are constantly, learning from one situation and applying it to another. They get several lifetimes worth of experience they could never get anyplace else. The more you move, the more you learn.

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Copyright 2009 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

Oct. 20, 2009 SDF Vertica

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On October 20, 2009 in Palo Alto at SAP, the SDForum Business Intelligence SIG hosted Omer Trajman of Vertica. His topic: The Evolution of BI from Back Office to Business Critical Analytics. Trajman is an expert on cloud-based databases who launched Vertica’s cloud database on Amazon EC2 using Map Reduce integration with the Apache Hadoop project. Text from DJCline.com

Trajman started off with short history of databases and the idea of business intelligence. Gone are the days of gathering the data into reports for managers who decide what step to take next. This slow process in some back office has moved not only to the front office but the website in front of the customer. Now you can have real time analysis and react immediately using integrated real time data warehousing. Cloud servers, complex event processing engines, analytic databases and batch processing map/reduce systems offer near infinite capacity to solve problems deemed too complicated before. Text from DJCline.com

A phone company can rebalance its network on the fly. A cable company can assess who is watching and direct a targeted commercial to individual viewers. A bank should be able to determine which mortgages are likely to default. The wide adoption of business intelligence at the operational level finally answers the question: What is the point of gathering all this information if we cannot act on it in a timely fashion? Text from DJCline.com

There was some talk about the No SQL movement The idea is to have people build databases without using SQL. People are always tempted to do things on the cheap like doing their plumbing or electrical wiring on their own. Personally I think this is likely to cause problems down the road. As an example, I am sure you could build a website without knowing HTML, but you could do more if you understood the underlying code. Building databases without trained professionals is not a good way to build business intelligence. In the drive to do things faster we must remember to do things better as well. Text from DJCline.com

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Copyright 2009 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

Aug. 20, 2009 Future Salon FreeRisk

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Aug.  20, 2009 in Palo Alto at SAP, the Bay Area Future Salon hosted FreeRisk’s Jesper Andersen and Toby Segaran. Andersen is a statistician, computer scientist and entrepreneur. Segaran is the author of the “Programming Collective Intelligence” and frequently speaks on the subjects of machine learning, collective intelligence and freedom of data.

Why didn’t more people see the current economic downturn coming? There was lots of data flying around but no useful strategy to make sense of it. Andersen and Segaran gave their assessment of current polling and statistical research. Bias is unavoidable. The questions you ask inevitably reflect your perspective. Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s AAA ratings are not enough. If you combine enough information from enough perspectives you can start to get a less biased picture of a complex problem.

How can we avoid this from happening again? They believe the solution will be public-private partnership internet firms with more transparency and market competition. They want to supply corporate financial information that can be openly analyzed to avoid conflicts of interest. FreeRisk aggregates accurate, accredited risk data so users can generate crowd-sourced algorithms to analyze credit risk that will be visible to everyone. They use standardized Extensible Business Reporting Language (XBRL) data, public-domain financial data and user-generated content. They also use unstructured data released in financial reports right down to those pesky and suspicious footnotes. Credit evaluators can focus exclusively on creating and applying risk analytics and not worry about IT or database management. No more black-box credit ratings.

They want to create a community of developers so this economic mess never happens again.

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Copyright 2009 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

Aug. 20, 2009 SDF Stump The VPE

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Aug.  20, 2009 in Palo Alto at SAP, SDForum’s Engineering Leadership SIG held its “Stump the VPE” with the co-authors of “Leading & Managing in Silicon Valley” Sam Hahn moderated panelists Marilson Campos, Leo Dagum, Mike Moody, Tom Hempel and Jacob Taylor. The audience peppered the VPEs with questions about how they resolved tough situations they encountered everyday. Milissa Ales-Barnicoat and Vikram Dhani of Akraya also helped sponsor the event. Kimberly Wiefling was there with a book by Michael Seese called “Scrappy Information Security”. Text from DJCline.com

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Copyright 2009 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

Aug. 18, 2009 SDF Business Intelligence in the Cloud

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On August 18, 2009 in Palo Alto at SAP, SDForum presented “Cutting Edge Business Intelligence in the Cloud” with Lenin Gali of ShareThis. ShareThis has a widget that allows people to share what they find on the web with others on their social network. It doesn’t matter if it is FaceBook, Twitter, MySpace, or LinkedIn. Their clients include Fox Media, UsMagazine, Wired, ESPN, and movies.com. They built their IT on Amazon EC2, Cascading, Hadoop, Hive and MicroStrategy. They use Aster Data for their Data Warehouse. Text from DJCline.com

If you come from a traditional database IT background, I guarantee that you have never seen an operation like this. Cascading is the processing API for Hadoop Clusters. There are pipes, flows, branches and groups. You get event notification, can write scripts and control it at the tuple level. Hive is the data warehouse built on top of Hadoop. It supports non-complex SQL using HQL. You can build a custom map/reduce jobs for complex analytics. You can still make adhoc queries for large data sets. The Aster Data DW in the cloud is scalable commodity hardware with an Massively Parallel Processing (MPP) Architecture. It uses SQL, Map/Reduce, JDBC, ODBC, and is compatible with Extract Transfer and Load (ETL) tools. Aster Data architecture uses PostgreSQL and has a beehive heirarchy. Queens control the cluster and hold metadata while workers process and store it. If the queen fails it is replaced immediately. Text from DJCline.com

They think that all of this is easier to use and lowers their costs. They keep their headcount down and their revenue up. It works for them. The question is whether it will work elsewhere. Text from DJCline.com