======================================================== New Format: CTO Source InfoWorld.com ======================================================== Tuesday, July 17, 2001 Advertising Sponsor - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Capture information from forms and documents, anywhere! FormWare, Captiva's universal information capture platform delivers data accuracy and high speed processing while reducing your data entry costs. Drive increased revenues while providing your customers improved service, regardless of how or where your data originates (paper or electronic, local or remote), or where you want the processing to occur. To learn more and then to register for a free demo, visit http://www.captivasoftware.com/demofree. - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - CTO Source Tuesday July 10, 2001 IN TIGHT TIMES, CONTRIBUTING TO PROFITABILITY IS EVEN MORE CRITICAL The early success of the dot-com darlings was built on the basic strategy of gaining visibility, with the idea that more traffic would turn into more money. But the money didn't follow the traffic, and those companies that have survived -- such as Internet infrastructure providers and vertical market plays -- do so because they provide unique value to customers that translates into real profits. The CTO's role in securing those profits is even more critical today as companies struggle to gain or retain a competitive advantage, reports senior editor Susan E. Fisher. "Everything that a CTO does needs to be tied back to profitability," says Michael Drapkin, chair of e-commerce management at Columbia University. [A good CTO] ends up becoming an investor in the company." As profitability and long-term business success have come into sharper focus, CTOs today are looking to leverage technology to pull ahead of the pack as they keep costs down to a minimum. "[CTOs] have gotten the business maturity and the savvy to now start asking [different] questions," says Eric Richard, CTO and co-founder of Web analysis software maker net.Genesis based in Cambridge, Mass. "It's now tied much more clearly to the end business goals than before." Lessons learned from those CTOs who were left standing after the most recent downturn draw a useful road map for other CTOs trying to plot a path to profitability. For example, Maarten Van Emmerik, CTO of Bricsnet, a technology provider to the commercial building industry, helped his dot-com rise from the rubble by focusing on the most powerful customer in their market and pulling together diverse offerings into a single solution. "The most important thing is focus," Van Emmerik says. "We were selling to a lot of different audiences, like architects, engineers, contractors, [and] manufacturers. It was just too complex -- too many products, too many markets." Meanwhile, Moster.com -- another starlet who has managed to stay in the spotlight -- must manage its success through smart, flexible technology choices that support continued growth while providing profits, says CTO Brian Farrey. As traffic has surged to new highs and Moster.com's infrastructure remains internally supported, Farrey says that building on a flexible foundation has been key to the company's success. "At this point, it's a matter of not getting in the way to allow the company to grow as fast as it can. I need to provide flexibility in the platform and the site," Farrey says. For more lessons on reaching profitability from the CTOs of Ultimus and Charles Schwab, see: http://iwsun4.infoworld.com/articles/fe/xml/01/07/09/010709feroad.xml TEST CENTER ANALYSIS: CONTENT NETWORKS BRING PEER-TO-PEER INTO FOCUS The real promise of peer-to-peer technology, namely its potential to boost processing power and collaboration, is beginning to live up to its potential in the content-networking arena, reports Test Center contributing editor Maggie Biggs. In content-based networks, p-to-p can provide a manageable yet distributed environment for automating workflow and partner relationships. However, the traditional concerns with p-to-p implementations -- security, manageability, and integration -- must be addressed before serious business interaction can take place, Biggs explains. What seems to be the key is a formalized p-to-p technology structure, which allows users to work with distributed content while maintaining access security and integration with corporate workflow. Industry analysts predict that a blend in server-based technologies, such as server-based indexing and directory services, in a formalized p-to-p implementation will provide the most business benefit in the near future. Biggs points to current p-to-p content networking solutions such as NextPage's NXT 3, which provide distributed content creation and maintenance coupled with unified access to such content through server-based tools as a good starting point. However, maintaining necessary security while keeping the p-to-p implementation simple will remain a challenge, Biggs warns. "Business and IT leaders who are considering p-to-p content networks also should be wary of platform constraints, file format limitations, proprietary networking approaches, and limited extendibility," writes Biggs. "Look for p-to-p content networking systems that support a wide array of platform and file system options." For more on what you can garner from today's peer-to-peer content networks, see: http://iwsun4.infoworld.com/articles/tc/xml/01/07/09/010709tcp2p.xml CTO SPOTLIGHT: YODLEE CTO SUPPORTS WALL STREET'S FINEST BEHIND THE SCENES Though Yodlee CTO Venkat Rangan started down the dot-com path with high hopes of shining in the consumer spotlight, today he is quite satisfied to be the magician behind the curtain for financial services heavy hitters such as J.P. Morgan Chase, Citibank, and American Express. Instead of looking for top billing, Yodlee, which shares its name origin from the same Indian movie hit song that Yahoo was derived from, is in the support business, aggregating sensitive financial information to provide its big-name customers a consolidated view of many accounts. Rangan says he was happy to abandon the dot-com branding battle early on when he and company founders realized that when it comes to something as sensitive as financial information, the most secure technology wouldn't win the consumer trust that an established brand would. "We have some of the best security in the world, but the consumer sees a brand, not the technology behind it," Rangan explains. "And when it is about personal finance, the consumer wants to see a recognized name. We realized that the ideal business model for us was to be the engine behind the curtain." Rangan points to his academic experience as the foundation for his strength in leveraging the technology that creates business value for the 140-plus financial services customers he supports. Before joining the Yodlee founding team, Rangan was a professor at the University of California at San Diego. "The best and the brightest typically want to attack everything at once, so you have to find a way to keep people focused," Rangan says. "The collaborative, collegial style that I learned at the university serves me well here." For more on how Yodlee CTO Rangan maintains his behind-the-scenes success, see: http://iwsun4.infoworld.com/articles/fe/xml/01/07/09/010709fectospot.xml CATCH SELECT CTO FORUM EVENTS IN THIS WEEK'S WEBCASTS Missed InfoWorld's June CTO Forum or a specific forum session? If so, you can view Webcasts of a few hand-picked sessions, including keynote speeches from Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and Oracle CFO Jeff Henley. See what Groove Networks' Ray Ozzie, Seti@home's Dan Werthimer, and Trellix's Dan Bricklin had to say about the future of peer-to-peer networking. You can also hear what CTOs Joshua Levine of E*Trade, Mike Oeth of LivePerson, Mike Ragunas of Staples.com, and Barry Briggs of Wheelhouse had to say about exceeding expectations for customer service. For a complete schedule of Webcasts available this week, see: http://www.infoworld.com/webcast/t_index.html CTO DIRECTORY: CALLING ALL CTOS! Join the launch of the CTO Directory online, an exclusive listing of top CTOs unlike any resource you will find on the Web today. In conjunction with InfoWorld's CTO Forum and CTO magazine, this directory provides a place for qualified CTOs and other e-business drivers to connect with each other. This unique directory lets you locate CTOs by name, company, or via a quick search. Your peers are among the best resources you can find -- as you are for them. If you are not already a part of this directory, now's the time to join so you can make connections with your fellow CTOs. To view the directory or to join the directory, go to: http://ctodirectory.infoworld. THIS WEEK'S HEADLINES CA CHARTS TURNAROUND COURSE http://iwsun4.infoworld.com/articles/hn/xml/01/07/09/010709hnca.xml COMCAST PROPOSES MERGER WITH AT&T BROADBAND http://iwsun4.infoworld.com/articles/hn/xml/01/07/09/010709hncomatt.xml ONLINE GROCER WEBVAN CLOSES DOWN, FILES FOR BANKRUPCY http://iwsun4.infoworld.com/articles/hn/xml/01/07/09/010709hnwebup.xml BUSINESS OBJECTS, OTHERS REACH OUT WITH ANALYTICS http://iwsun4.infoworld.com/articles/hn/xml/01/07/09/010709hnbizobjects.xml NET TAXATION DEBATE HEATS UP http://iwsun4.infoworld.com/articles/hn/xml/01/07/09/010709hnonlinetax.xml TAKING OFF WITH WIRELESS http://iwsun4.infoworld.com/articles/fe/xml/01/07/09/010709fetrend.xml - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - QUOTE OF THE DAY: "A few years ago, Louis Farrakhan organized the Million Man March. I fantasize about holding National Boycott Stupidity Day and getting the same kind of turnout -- throngs of citizens tired of popular culture's celebration of idiocy and ignorance as greater virtues than logical analysis and knowledgeable discourse." --Survival Guide columnist Bob Lewis. http://iwsun4.infoworld.com/articles/op/xml/01/07/16/010716opsurvival.xml?07 17tuct - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - SUBSCRIBE To subscribe to any of InfoWorld's e-mail newsletters, tell your friends and colleagues to go to: http://www.iwsubscribe.com/newsletters/ To subscribe to InfoWorld.com, or InfoWorld Print, or both, go to http://www.iwsubscribe.com UNSUBSCRIBE If you want to unsubscribe from InfoWorld's Newsletters, go to http://iwsubscribe.com/newsletters/unsubscribe/ CHANGE E-MAIL If you want to change the e-mail address where you are receiving InfoWorld newsletters, go to http://iwsubscribe.com/newsletters/adchange/ - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Notes from an Insider Two ways to be an IT know-it-all: do it yourself, or just read "Notes From the Field" by InfoWorld columnist Robert X. Cringely. Read his column and get the latest inside scoop on computer industry gossip, information you can use to dazzle your colleagues and impress your friends. E-mailed to you every Tuesday. To subscribe, go to http://www.iwsubscribe.com/newsletters Advertising Sponsor - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Capture information from forms and documents, anywhere! FormWare, Captiva's universal information capture platform delivers data accuracy and high speed processing while reducing your data entry costs. Drive increased revenues while providing your customers improved service, regardless of how or where your data originates (paper or electronic, local or remote), or where you want the processing to occur. To learn more and then to register for a free demo, visit http://www.captivasoftware.com/demofree. - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Copyright 2001 InfoWorld Media Group Inc.