And now for something (completely ?) different

This week I've made public the fact that I am no longer on "active duty" at Univa Corporation. I am in the process of returning from part time in Chicago to full time in Silicon Valley.

It was, from the beginning, my intention to move on when the company had gained its foothold -- first customers, first strategic partnerships, institutional funding and a fully manned executive team. With the arrival of Mike Ellis in February, and Steve Minisini a few months later, all the criteria had been met. So, just a little past two years from having co-founded the company with Steve Tuecke, Ian Foster and Carl Kesselman, I have the luxury of getting to investigate a number of new opportunities.

I'm spending time digging into a number of areas for which I've had interest and genuine curiosity, but not enough time. I'm also taking care of all those tasks that have been put off for "later". And, of course, catching up on a little bit of vacation that's been put off for two years.

What's next? That's yet to be determined. I am enthusiastic about creating another company from as close to time = 0 as possible. And, there are a couple of interesting opportunities with companies that are already well on their way, but seem to require my assistance. You'll get a sense of what I'm delving into by the blog entries I post in the next months. I'm looking forward to engaging in some real discussion with you via e-mail and the blog. I'm likely to take some uncharacteristically extreme positions as I try to navigate. Let me know what you think. Oh, and if you want to reach me by e-mail, I'm reachable through my old consulting firm address:

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Welcome, Dean.

I've had a bit of time this week to catch up on my reading, and found this post from Steven Johnson. Congratulations to the Johnson clan, and a special welcome to Dean Berlin Johnson. (Nine pounds, eleven ounces ?!?! Whoa!)


Using Production Data for Test Purposes

For a number of reasons, I've been spending time looking at the technologies and services dedicated to the selective, fine-grained protection of structured data, and, in particular, de-identification. In the process, I came across this blog posting in Rebecca Herold's The IT Compliance Conversation. Here are some statistics she cites from a NetworkWorld article entitled "Firms play Data Protection roulette":

* Nearly half (44 percent) of companies use live data in test environments - something the (UK) 1998 Data Protection Act warns against explicitly, according to a recent survey of IT directors by Compuware.

* Half the directors (48 percent) were only 'vaguely familiar' with the Act itself, according to the research, which highlights the importance of understanding the demands and keeping track of how customer data is treated.

* A further "83 percent used only minimal measures such as using non disclosure agreements (NDA) to control data when outsourcing."

Whoa. Roulette indeed!

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Novell on the Hunt for Management Tools

Doing a little catch-up reading, I came across an article stating that Ron Hovsepian, new CEO of Novell, sees M&A opportunities in the firms management tools. Given the emphasis on SuSE linux, and the ecosystem surrounding it, the first company that popped into my head is GroundWork, definitely a player in the open source IT operations management software arena. Then there are, of course, a few others that seem logical. Michael Baum's Splunk and Centeris come to mind.

A couple of efforts that seem a bit green, but worth looking over: Javier Soltero's Hyperic, which has just made it's debut, and then there are the member companies of the Open Management Consortium (OMC), which Hyperic recently joined. OMC seem to have, as a group, much of the recipe required. In fact, it may be better thought of as a one-stop shopping location for Novell or others looking to pick up the products or features required for a fully built IT management offering. (For a good overview article, see this one from NetworkWorld in May.)

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Rodrigo and Rimsky-Korsakov in Grant Park

On Friday evening, we wandered across the Loop in Chicago to go to one of the most enjoyable concerts I can remember. The program -- Stravinsky Fireworks, Rodrigo Concerto de Aranjuez, and Rimsky-Korsakov Scheherazade -- are all standards from the Romantic moving into the Modern. But... the performance and the venue were perfect!! Sharon Isbin's guitar work was superb. The Grant Park Orchestra, and particularly their new concert master, absolutely radiated Scheherazade. I continue to marvel at the acoustics and sound system in the Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Millenium Park. The Frank Gehry designed music pavilion is incredible. It was all too perfect sitting in the grass, with a light rain coming down, and the two of us under an umbrella with a bottle of champagne.

Hist Pritz

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