20 Hot Products Midmarket CIOs Want Right Now6:05 PM EST Fri. Sep. 18, 2009
Birst targets midmarket customers with its eponymous SaaS-based business intelligence software, aimed at businesses that don't have the money or expertise to support on-premise deployments. Birst automates data extraction from a variety of sources, builds data warehouses and data hierarchies and creates sample reports based on the relationships between the data. Average configurations start at $6 to $8 per seat per month.
Tandberg's new PrecisionHD USB Camera brings 720p high-definition video right to the desktop, promising business-quality video at 30 frames per second. It is optimized to work with Tandberg's Movi videoconferencing software and Microsoft's Office Communications Server and carries a list price of $399.
Oki Data showed off its Digital Pen & Paper Solution, which combines its printers with digital pen technology to create forms that can be used to turn handwriting into digital data. The offering combines Oki's digital LED printers, including its C6150 Series and C9650 Series with Anoto's digital pen technology. The printers, which have been qualified by Anoto, can produce forms and other documents printed with precise dot pattern backgrounds on standard paper. The pen can then scan the documents, translating any handwriting into digital form.
ShoreTel's ShoreWare Personal Call Manager, part of the ShoreTel Unified Communications platform, takes the features of a desktop phone and moves them over to a software client on the user's desktop. It integrates with personal and corporate directories in Microsoft Outlook, adds presence capabilities and incorporates voicemail messages. "ShoreTel is interesting because they don't have a centralized box," said Rodger King, vice president of operations and IT at Hallmark Canada, North York, Ontario, which is just beginning to investigate VoIP platform as a means of leveraging its existing network and improving the scalability of the company's phone system.
Epicor Software's ERP 9 targets midsize companies in vertical markets such as manufacturing, distribution, hospitality and retail. It is based on Microsoft technology such as SQL Server, Windows Server and Visual Studio, which are readily available skills for many midmarket IT departments. Typical small deployments start at $40,000.
TriGeo Network Security's SIM Version 5 comes complete with a brand-new database, revamped interface and accelerated reporting power, designed to process and analyze copious information and correlate it with corresponding policies. SIM also includes behavior-based technologies designed to detect and block myriad security threats, along with greatly enhanced reporting capabilities specifically for regulatory compliance mandates. It is scheduled for release in the fourth quarter. "TriGeo targets just the midtier market so that's very attractive, and being a plug-and-play solution is a bonus," said Ron Billock, senior director of IT operations for TrueBlue, a temporary employment agency in Tacoma, Wash.
SunGard Availability Services showed off new modules to its Continuity Management Solution, a software application that helps organizations develop full business continuity plans. The software helps customers with business continuity planning and lifecycles from the business impact analysis all the way through managing an actual business continuity event. The new modules include tools for doing risk assessment, vendor assessment, workforce assessment, and exercise tracking, which is a way to test a business continuity plan and record the results.
Fortinet's FortiGate-51B appliance is designed to provide security and high performance for small and midsize enterprises, remote offices and branch offices. The embedded FortiOS operating system offers midsize customers a full suite of security services in one hardened platform, including antimalware, intrusion prevention, Web filtering, firewall and traffic shaping and IPSec/SSL VPN. "We're interested in security products and [Fortinet's] name is prevalent. [These kinds of products] make it less complicated when security is not your business," said Robert Bence, vice president of technology for Southwest Credit Systems, based in Plano, Texas. "I can take resources not applicable to us and put them to projects that are."
The QlikView 9 business intelligence platform from QlikTech International offers more than 100 new enhancements, including a new management console completely built around modern AJAX technology and AccessPoint, an interface to create presentations and documents using metadata. "It's a fairly simple tool and they're putting stuff out for it faster than we can keep up. It's been a big plus for the company," said Peter Larsen, manager of information technology at National Frozen Foods, a QlikView customer in Seattle.
KACE, the Mountain View, Calif.-based developer of appliances that manage PC lifecycles, used Midsize Enterprise Summit to introduce both physical and virtual versions of its appliances. The KBOX family of systems management and deployment appliances provides the ability to update, patch or modify existing applications, including virtual applications. They provide a Web-based GUI, which eliminates the need for training. The appliances can be installed in about one hour and deployed in about one day, the company said.
SonicWall's Network Security Appliance (NSA) E-7500 was designed to protect against a vast spectrum of network attacks using a parallel performance 16-core architecture for high-speed threat protection. The NSA E7500 provides administrators with a set of customizable Application Firewall tools for precise control and inspection of network traffic, along with intrusion prevention, antivirus and antispyware and high-speed VPN technologies. "We currently use SonicWall. We're looking at their newer products and are trying to determine how they fit into our infrastructure. We like their Web-based configurations; they're easy to troubleshoot," said Kris Jensen, director of infrastructure for Panattoni Technology Group, a commercial real estate development company in Sacramento, Calif.
IBM's new IBM Cognos Express combines business intelligence and analysis tools with financial planning software in a single package. The software includes the Express Reporter query and reporting applications, Express Advisor data analysis and visualization software and Express Xcelerator financial planning, forecasting and budgeting applications.
ArcSight, specializing in privileged identity and access management, just launched its new ArcSight FraudView, an appliance that aids in detecting and preventing financial fraud by connecting multiple pieces of transaction and account information together, enabling IT administrators to evaluate the risk of a financial transaction. FraudView can correlate activity across multiple banking channels, ranging from online, ATM, telephone and bank branch activity by using pattern recognition, fraud-focused correlation and automatic account escalation.
HP's new ProCurve 6120 Blade Switch includes support for the Converged Enhanced Ethernet (CEE) protocol, and can be upgraded to work with Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) when that protocol is standardized. The ProCurve 6120 brings 10-Gb Ethernet into HP's blade server chassis. It is HP's first blade-based ProCurve to offer a lifetime warranty, the company said.
CA's ARCserve Backup touts inline data deduplication with a zero-time backup window and an "all you can drink" licensing model. It also features storage resource management reporting and an array of security measures. ARCserve Backup also offers customers a pay-by-the-terabyte model, allows the product to scale up or down, in both physical and virtual environments, depending on the needs of the customer. "My relationship with CA goes back to the mid 80s. We've used their backup solutions for years. It's reliable and we don't have any support problems and the price is right," said Terry Orletsky, vice president of information technology for The Ken Blanchard Companies, based in Escondido, Calif.
Google's flagship collaboration suite includes Gmail for business, Google Calendar, the Google Docs office productivity suite, the Google Sites secure, coding-free Web pages, and Postini's hosted e-mail security and archiving services. "Google Apps is something we will look at when we upgrade from Exchange 2003. If the total cost of ownership is what they say the total cost of ownership is, it's pretty good," said Dirk Anderson, vice president of technology at C.R. England, a Salt Lake City, Utah-based transportation services company.
CommVault's Simpana 8.0, the latest version of its data management and protection software suite, offers the full gamut of data lifecycle management, including backup and recovery, application integration, replication management, hardware snapshots, storage resource management and federated content search, all with a simple Web-based interface.
Compellent Storage Center's enterprise-class SAN aims to lower capital expenditures, reduce storage management and enables storage virtualization. Compellent's storage virtualization software sits on top of industry-standard hardware to manage data at the block level with such services as automated tiering, simplified replication and data recovery.
Microsoft's soon-to-be-released operating system has been much publicized, both positively and negatively. Midsize companies who skipped Windows Vista are already looking at what benefits 7 might provide. "We're looking at the interaction between Windows 7 and Server 2008. We have a mixed [Windows] environment. If this gets us to gain productivity and security, we have to look at it," said Robert Bence, vice president of technology at SouthwestCredit, Plano, Texas.
SAP BusinessObjects Edge Business Intelligence applications include a standard package or versions with data integration or data management. The versions were designed specifically for the midmarket and can address multiple business intelligence requirements, from flexible ad hoc reporting and analysis, to dashboards and visualization, to powerful data integration and quality as well as prepackaged data mart solutions, according to the company.
"With the economy the way it is, we want to go down the BI path. I like the visualization tools where data is show in shapes and colors and not just lines and bars," said Russ Tomlinson, information systems manager at Chaparral Energy, Oklahoma City, Okla., who is considering implementing the technology.