Loose Ends from Demo 07
Several companies have provided me with additional information to clarify my confusion about their offerings, and I am including revised information below. In addition, one company did their demo after a speaker on the afternoon of Day 1, but I didn’t realize they were coming so they didn’t make my wrap-up of that session.
These folks were impressive in their day-end demo on Wednesday. Allows bands to play together online so they don’t have to be physically in the same place. Audio quality was excellent. Apparently they have some technology to sync everything despite the streaming. The demo we saw included one guy playing a guitar here and another guy singing and using a synthesizer in another city. Sounded like they were both right in front of me.
My Take: I’m not a musician but these guys look like winners. A contender for my Best of Demo list.
I was a bit befuddled by this one during the demo on stage, but Matt Alfano reached out after he read my original blog post and asked me to stop by their booth for more information. Basically they are offering the technology for what I would call a “dumb terminal” but which today is more commonly called a “thin client” — sounds better, I agree. It certainly isn’t dumb and it offers considerable advances over what’s currently in the marketplace. Using standard protocols — the same ones in Windows Remote Desktop app — it lets users take advantage of a virtual machine on a centralized server. From the user’s viewpoint, they have their own computer right on their screen as they always have, but from an IT standpoint, it is just a little tiny device that connects the monitor to a networked server. This way, both parties are happy. IT can manage a secure central environment without having to deal with hundreds or thousands of desktops. And users get all the functionality they are used to.
The Wyse N10 offers a real breakthrough in that it allows multimedia — including streaming video and VoIP — to function smoothly, without the reduced quality and interruptions typical of normal remote desktop software.
My Revised Take: An impressive product that could well find a home in enterprise environments. It’s really a philosophical question for companies: to deploy powerful thin clients with centralized computing power or continue to give individuals their own desktop computers. It’s sort of a “back to the future” question but with many more possibilities than we saw 20 years ago in dumb terminals of that era.
My review of this company was hampered by the fact that in their 6 minute demo they didn’t have enough time to tell the full story. I viewed the product they released yesterday, Blerts, as little more than a feature. It turns out I was mostly right. The company actually offers a full suite of social networking and web portal services to organizations. Clients include sports fan sites and major daily newspapers. They provide a hosted solution to give these web sites the social networking functions they are seeking. Blerts will be part of that offering, although it is also available for download separately. ThePort is positioning the software as a way to bring RSS to the masses. Thanks to Jacqui Chew of the company for reaching out to me and giving me more information.
My Revised Take: As part of a broader offering and released to affinity groups with default feeds, Blerts could find some success. I’m skeptical of it as a standalone offering, but I agree with the company reps I spoke with that it makes sense to make it available that way and see what the market says. After all, the cost of putting it out there is pretty low, especially when there is already a revenue stream in mind for it from existing customers.
Serendipity Technologies WorkLight
Server based solution to enable employees to access data outside of their native applications. Widget to display RSS feeds securely. Also allows secure tagging through existing apps like Delicious. Supports RSS, XML, SAP, SQL, and other apps. Designed to help younger employees use the apps they have become comfortable with. Can integrate the data into Google, NetVibes, Yahoo, etc.
My Revised Take: As I have noted in other reviews, I am not an expert on very large enterprise solutions, so I don’t have a lot of experience on which to base my judgment here. I do think making data more accessible to employees is a good thing, as for the specific mechanics of this solution it is hard for me to say.