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Social Media Enhancing Productivity at the Office?

August 31st, 2012

Over the past decade the world has watched social media become a very powerful tool in many different facets.  With this comes a surprising fact; out of all Fortune 500 CEO’s only 20 have a Twitter account. This shows the large amount of resistance coming from executives within very successful companies.  The common perception among the C-suite community that social media is at best a weak PR tool that serves more as a distraction for employees.  This may also be due to the fact these companies are very successful with driving profit through their current marketing styles.  However there is yet another way social media can effect a bottom line, cost cutting.

Recently a study was done that included 4,200 companies.  This study showed that companies could possible unlock anywhere between $900 billion to $1.3 Trillion.  The majority of the savings were shown to come from the ease of communication.  The communication within each company was improved in overall efficiency.  Employees were far from distracted; they were communicating quicker in an open environment, where they collaborated on many ideas. 

The tools that are being used are unique including; internal networks, wikis and real time chats.  R&D teams completing their day to day tasks are becoming much more resourceful.  The efficiency has been seen in tasks like brainstorming products, sales leads, operations, distribution of forecasts and monitoring supply chains.

The largest amount of potential is in the knowledge of employees within the company.  With email as the primary form of communication information becomes trapped within inboxes until it is read and released by the recipient.  With these new tools managers will be able to find who knows what about projects and who are contributing the most on a team.  The common knowledge will allow managers to be much more efficient gathering necessary information.  The process becomes faster and projects are completed quicker with more valuable insight.

An up and coming technology is Yammer.  Yammer allows for Facebook type interaction within an office.  The employees will be able to have internal conversation threads.  The feedback will provide solutions and innovative thinking to be common knowledge amongst anyone in the company.  Everything that is done in the office from a communication standpoint can be done through social media.  With the ease of use, speed and magnitude of freely accessible information the business relationship abilities are endless.

This is not falling upon deaf ears either.  In the last year companies like; Google, Microsoft, Salesforce, Adobe and Oracle have spent upward of $2.5 billion snatching up social media tools to add to their enterprise suites.  These tools will be standard in offices across the country before we know it.

Posted in Current Events

Technology IPOs

August 30th, 2012

Following the negative reaction to the IPOs of numerous technology companies, most notably Facebook, Zynga and Groupon, the general public’s attitude towards technology companies has noticeably cooled.  This is most evident in the decisions by CEOs such as Kayak’s Steve Hafner to delay the IPOs of their companies, as few companies wanted to test investor confidence in the tech sector.  However, while the price of Facebook remains down almost 50% from its IPO price of $38, numerous technology companies in the Boston market are positioning themselves for IPOs in the next 12-18 months.

Boston companies such as Cyber-Ark Software and Bit9 are two examples of technology makers that are successfully raising the capital necessary before an IPO.  Cyber-Ark, which provides IT security from internal threats, raised $40 million in a round of financing led by Goldman Sachs in December 2011.  Similarly, Bit9, a maker of security software for large enterprises, raised #34.5 million in a July venture capital round.  According to Bit9 CEO Patrick Morley, “When you raise a round this big, it suggest that you’re going to build something that has enough size and mass to go public.”

The most significant difference between these two companies and those such as Facebook, Zynga and Groupon is the target market for their products.  While the companies struggling to remain profitable post-IPO create consumer-facing products, Cyber-Ark and Bit9 focus on B2B clients.  In fact, the Boston technology market is known for its strong B2B and biotech companies, as opposed to the market in Silicon Valley or Palo Alto, providing a strong explanation for the confidence that investors are showing in Boston’s technology companies.

Similar Boston companies to watch in months ahead include Basho, which produces database technology, Rapid7, creators of software for vulnerability management, and Aveska, which manages user access to internal company information.  All of these companies have either raised significant rounds of funding or have publicly stated their intention of approaching an IPO in the future.  And, keeping with the theme, each of these companies focuses on creating software for businesses, not individual consumers.

Posted in Current Events

Today in Talener History!

August 20th, 2012

August 20, 2009 -Talener Group’s 3rd annual Talener Boat Party!!!

We left from the Larchmont Yacht club on a catamaran called Surprise.

Rory Bebbington (Director, LA) comes off the boat more sunburned than anyone had ever seen before (starting a yearly tradition of annoying Rory about putting on sunscreen).

Patrick O’Neill nearly (or perhaps actually?) bursts an eardrum trying to retrieve a pair of sunglasses that had fallen to the bottom of Long Island Sound when Curt Williams fell (was pushed?) into the water without notice.

This has been the 1st installment of Today in Talener History.  Have a great day!

 

Posted in Company News, Talener Blog, Talener Culture

August Company-In Incentive, 2 weeks to go!

August 20th, 2012

Hey Talener,

With 2 weeks left we are at 37 Company-Ins and our goal is 80!

To quote Daniel Nooromid, “Let’s GOOOOOOoooooooo!”

 

 

Posted in Company News, Talener Blog

The Smarter Planet

August 17th, 2012

What is “Smarter Planet”

  • A term coined by IBM describing an interconnected world in which we use technology to capture, analyze, synthesize, connect and ultimately benefit from the massive amounts of data we generate through Social Networks, Photos, Geolocation, Business Transactions, Shipping Data, Financial Trading, Weather Analysis, Sciences, Global Politics, Astronomy, Blogs, Twitter, etc.

Capturing Big Data

  • What is “The Cloud” and “Big Data”?
  • We now have the ability to store massive amounts of data that was not possible just a few years ago.
  • Every day, we create 2.5 quintillion bytes of data — so much that 90% of the data in the world today has been created in the last two years alone. This data is “big data”.
  • Massive data warehouses run by companies like Cisco, IBM, and SAP among others.
  • Walmart captures more than 2.5 petabytes of data each year – the equivalent of 167 times the information contained in all the books in the US Library of Congress.
  • The world’s effective capacity to exchange information through telecommunication networks was 281 petabytes in 1986, 471 petabytes in 1993, 2.2 exabytes in 2000, 65 exabytes in 2007, and it is predicted that the amount of traffic flowing over the internet will reach 667 exabytes annually by 2013. (1 Exabyte = 1 Trillion Megabytes)

Analyzing this data

  • Non-relational databases and technologies like MongoDB and Hadoop allow us to store and quickly search large amounts of unrelated data.
  • Natural Language Processing is used to sift through human communications.
  • APIs (Application Programming Interface) to connect different data sets and applications.
  • Intricate algorithms to automatically scan, pull, and synthesize data for us to understand.
    • Turn 12 terabytes of Tweets created each day into improved product sentiment analysis
    • Convert 350 billion annual meter readings to better predict power consumption
  • Data Visualization – how we present this data in interactive and meaningful ways.

Accessing and utilizing this information

  • Here we see the cloud again.
  • Innovations in the internet and technology provide us with the potential to increase our intelligence and output by producing, interacting with, and utilizing the data of the world.
  • Increased internet bandwidth speed up the transmission of data to and from our devices.
  • Cloud computing’s roots go all the way back to the 1950s when scientist Herb Grosch (the author of Grosch’s law) postulated that the entire world would operate on “dumb terminals” (i.e. your iPad) powered by about 15 large data centers (which feed information to you via the internet).

Growing industries include:

    • Data warehousing, Cloud Computing and Infrastructure, Security, Data Visualization, Data Scaling, Internet Infrastructure, Hardware Innovation, Software Innovation, and Application Development.

 

  • Wikibon released the first market forecast for Big Data, listing $5.1B revenue in 2012 with growth to $53.4B in 2017
  • Oracle, IBM, Microsoft, SAP, and HP have spent more than $15 billion on software firms only specializing in data management and analytics. This industry on its own is worth more than $100 billion and growing at almost 10% a year which is roughly twice as fast as the software business as a whole.Cloud Companies


Posted in Current Events, Talener Blog

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