Empty office space litters skylines, freeways and office parks. Once-busy hives of cubicles have become empty steel and concrete caverns. Their previous occupants met with a variety of fates: Some were victims of a deep recession; others were washed away by tsunamis of cheap labor in foreign lands; still others were unleashed by virtual technologies. Only the last group of former office dwellers have freed themselves willingly. They did so by exchanging their physical presence for a virtual existence."My partner and I have run the business from a lakeside dock in Canada and a hotel in Barcelona, for around US$200 per month for all the necessary tools," Stephanie Pakrul, cofounder of TopNotchThemes, told the E-Commerce Times. "Our virtual assistant wakes up on the East Coast, checks the mail, checks for voicemail, answers support emails, and I get a report of anything pressing by the time I'm awake in Pacific time," explained Pakrul.The TopNotchThemes team uses the following tools to … [Read more...] about How to Run a Business Without the Office Space
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Over the past year, the business intelligence (BI) landscape has transformed drastically. Formerly, this market was comprised of a vast collection of solution providers, but it has evolved to just four major players -- IBM, SAP, Oracle and Microsoft.These BI titans have expanded through acquisition, snatching up the BI solutions provided by Cognos, Business Objects, Hyperion and ProClarity, while also growing organically, all in an attempt to increase their footprint in the enterprise applications space.The rapid expansion of these vendors has led them to focus on integrating platforms rather than creating new tools, which has resulted in complex and expensive solutions and stagnant innovation.This shift has not proven problematic for large enterprises that possess the required resources to support these BI solutions, as they have large IT departments full of technology-savvy employees, not to mention sizable budgets to invest in the adoption of these expensive solutions. Furthermore, … [Read more...] about ANALYSIS When Will BI Head Downstream?
The California Department of Insurance this week announced fines totaling US$7 million against startup Zenefits, a provider of cloud-based human resources services.The company's former leadership "created an anything goes culture at the Internet startup, resulting in numerous violations of licensing requirements to protect consumers," said Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones.The fines are the culmination of investigations California launched last year after receiving complaints that Zenefits employees were selling insurance without a license.Zenefits agreed to pay a $3 million penalty for licensing violations and $4 million in fines for subverting the prelicensing education and study-hour requirements for broker and agent licensing. The settlement also calls for the company to pay $160,000 to reimburse the Department of Insurance for expenses incurred during its probe.The department suspended half the $7 million in fines because Zenefits took various remedial actions, including … [Read more...] about Zenefits Pays the Piper
There has been so much buzz in recent years about various enterprise applications that it is no wonder many executives feel underinformed and overwhelmed.Want to provide your global sales force with a central location in which to monitor and update sales pipelines? Customer relationship management (CRM) software could make the difference. Frustrated that your shipment of processors is traveling on three airplanes and six different trucks to reach a customer located only 2,000 miles away? A supply chain management (SCM) offering could streamline the trip, saving your business money and headaches.Along with CRM and SCM, product lifecycle management (PLM), spend management solutions (SMS) and, of course, enterprise resource planning (ERP) also are in the mix."You could take all 26 letters of the alphabet, throw them up in the air, and get something else," Bruce Hudson, program director for enterprise applications at Meta Group, told the E-Commerce Times.With so many different solutions … [Read more...] about SPECIAL REPORT The Once and Future Corporate Software Strategy
It's hard not to feel good about the world when not one but two exciting events featuring penguins make the news in a single week.Yes, you heard that right!First, it was the unveiling of the Russian monument to Linux featuring none other than Tux, our favorite penguin of all.Then, in what appears to be an eerie coincidence -- Linux Girl is not making this up -- scientists uncovered evidence of a never-before-discovered Giant Prehistoric Penguin!Now *that's* news!The ancient creature apparently sported touches of red in its plumage, too, which adds some sort of weird cosmic logic to Ubuntu 10.10's default wallpaper.Go figure!Anyhoo, moving right along, it was a darn good thing those frisky little landlubbers were on hand to provide some lighthearted distraction in recent days, because elsewhere in the land of Linux, the news wasn't so good.Switzerland, that is -- specifically, the canton of Solothurn, which recently aborted a 9-year-old plan to migrate its computers to Linux, and is now … [Read more...] about LINUX BLOG SAFARI Penguins Old, Penguins New, Penguins Battered and Penguins Blue