Introduction

 

Software Strategies provides a focused range of e-Infrastructure strategies, technologies, economics and directions research & analysis services for three communities of customers:

  • For Enterprise IT Users.
  • For Enterprise e-Infrastructure Vendors.
  • For Business and Technology Press and Media.

We focus our research and analysis specifically on the core e-Infrastructure for enterprise computing today (see full details of our Research coverage). We have served dozens of the leading enterprise vendors (see Vendor Partners for examples), and hundreds of enterprise users (see Enterprise IT Users for a partial list). Our services are built up from our range of core products, which are described here.

 

Strategy

 

Our customers tell us our products and services are uniquely valuable to them because:

  • We remain focused on our core research/analysis domain of enterprise e-Infrastructures.
  • We provide real depth, high quality and authoritative, materials, events and services.
  • We cover the hottest and most critical issues, and questions of widest interest at the right time.
  • We bring together the leading e-Infrastructure vendors, our analysts and our enterprise user subscribers, to share knowledge and experience, without the usual marketing hype.
  • Our services, many delivered electronically, are easily accessible, highly cost-effective and great value
Products
 

From our core research & analysis programme, we deliver a focused range of core product deliverables, which are combined to provide the targeted services for each customer group described and detailed below.

Event Programme
Our Events are highly popular. We plan, manage and run a major Programme of Events on key e-Infrastructure theme topics. These public events bring together hundreds of our enterprise IT user subscribers, our analysts, and key speakers from our vendor partners on the most topical theme subjects each quarter. For more details of our specific event types:

  • Focus Events, for a description of our in-depth, one-day Focus Event seminars.
  • Conferences, for a description of our broa,d two-day conferences.
  • Topic Briefing Workshops, for a description of our private, on-site briefing workshops for IT users or vendors.
  • Event Proceedings, for a description of our multimedia event proceedings CD products.

Web Site
This Web site acts as the core engine for our services. It hosts all our research, newstreams, event plans and many other areas of interest to our customers, and is a main customer communications channel. Our electronic business model helps us to provide our extensive range of services economically, for excellent value. The site is divided into Public (freely accessible to any visitor), IT User (freely accessible via password to registered enterprise IT users - see below), Vendor (accessible via password to registered vendor partner staff and managers), and Press/Media (accessible via password to registered press/media journalists, writers and researchers) views, which each reflect the interests and needs of these key groups. (Note: Scheduled for launch December 2001.)

Enterprise IT User Base
Our Enterprise IT User Base includes many thousands of qualified individual CIOs, IT managers and directors from hundreds of leading enterprise IT user organisations across the UK and Northern Europe who are registered as Software Strategies subscribers, and who receive the services, information and access to our events described below. This large, influential base provides an invaluable research source for our studies of user needs, experience and challenges, and a major consumer group for our analysis output in its various deliverable forms. The Base also represents formidable IT products and services buying power. It is hence of great interest to our Vendor Partners who address this market, and who seek to engage closely with such a group, which our events and other services enable them to do effectively. Registration as a user subscriber to our services is free of charge. Click on Register now to join this influential base, and become eligible for our free services. All attendees at Software Strategies events are automatically registered as subscribers.

e-Infrastructure Newstream
Software Strategies selectively scans, abstracts and interprets key e-Infrastructure news and developments from dozens of relevant sources and news-feeds worldwide. This value-added news-stream is then used to deliver two specific products for our subscribers, as well as for our Research Database.

Research Database & Publications
Our research and analysis programme maintains a large, growing research database, which we draw upon to produce a variety of publications, Web Site content, as input to our events, etc. Click on Research for more detail. For examples of some current research, click Research Publications. New research is announced on our Home Page, in the Research Page, in our Newsletter and at our Events:

Presentation Database
To support our own event sessions, and the many vendor commissioned presentations we are asked to deliver each year, we have developed, maintain and continually update, a large database of e-Infrastructure presentation-ware. Our charts, graphics, summaries, tables etc., are also used to illustrate all our other publications. Some of our presentation modules are offered for download to user members on the Web Site:

Vendor Partner Research
Vendor research is an important part of our research process. We maintain research coverage for each leading e-Infrastructure vendor, many of them our vendor partners, to ensure currency with the vendor's strategies, products and services.

e-Store
Under construction for release in early 2002, our e-Store will enable per item on-line, credit card purchase of selected Software Strategies research deliverable products.

 
Services
 

From this core product base, we provide three main service streams; each targeted to one of our customer groups:

Related Links
 
Product Descriptions
 
Focus Events
New 2001 and 2002 public Focus Events are now scheduled. These are one-day, intensive and in-depth seminar briefings; each targeted to address a single, major e-Infrastructure topic. Typically attended by 75-100 IT user manager delegates, our Focus events feature depth presentations from Software Strategies analysts, expert speakers from up to 6 relevant leading vendors, a simple vendor exhibit area, and ample opportunity for delegates, vendors and analysts to network and share experience. Focus Events are usually hosted by a vendor partners. Each Focus Event topic is typically run 4 times, to ensure maximum capacity and attendance opportunity. Registered Subscribers receive priority for places, which are free, but qualified non-subscribers are also welcome within our capacity.
Conferences
We also run public Conferences, of two-day length. These cover a wider area of E-Infrastructure at a more introductory level, provide opportunity for a larger exhibit, a more extensive agenda and even more networking between delegates, analysts, vendor representatives and press/media staff. Conferences are also normally hosted at the sites of some of our vendor partners. Our next Conference will be held in late 2002. Conference attendance is normally chargeable. For details of some past Conferences, Past Events Profiles page.
Topic Briefing Workshops
Our analysts have extensive expertise/presentation-ware on the key e-Infrastructure areas we cover. We offer a selection of standard Topic Briefings. Our enterprise IT subscriber and vendor partner firms may take an on-site, in-house, private Topic Briefing Workshop, typically of half to two-thirds of a day duration. Ideal for enterprise IT management teams or vendor staff groups, they provide an accurate, up-to-date, independent analyst summary of the chosen topic. Presented by a senior analyst, Topic Briefing Workshops allow a company-specific attendee group to get up to speed together on the topic, support confidential internal discussion and allow extensive dialogue with our senior analyst. Topic Briefing Workshops are chargeable per event, regardless of the number of attendees, plus expenses. Customised Topic Briefing Workshops can also often be provided, with an additional development fee to create the material needed.
Event Proceedings
For 2001, full electronic Event Proceedings are planned for our new series of Focus Events. These CD-based compilations will capture full digital audio of speakers, PowerPoint presentations, agendas, speaker bios, vendor participant details, delegate details, and much more besides, in a multi-media, self-running system. Event delegates can order their copy (75 fee) at the event for shipment on publication, and other subscribers will be able to order on-line from our e-Store. This format allows members to rerun the event at their office or home, and share contents with colleagues unable to attend, as well as review the additional supporting materials only available on the CD.
Software Strategies Webcasts
We develop and present custom Webcasts for vendor partners, in our research area, and can now undertake similar future engagements. We also plan to introduce our own global Webcast service for user members in 2002. Webcast events will be short - 45-60 minutes in length, will use interactive features, and greatly cut the travel time/cost of attending public physical events. They also provide an excellent solution for international and globally distributed audiences, who could not normally justify international travel to our physical events. (Note: Scheduled for launch Q2 2002.)
Web Site Electronic Newstream Database
A relevant, rich and abstracted selection of the news-stream stories of most interest to our subscribers is regularly loaded onto the Web Site Newstream Database (indexed and with added useful links) for direct subscriber web review. Subscribers can easily keep fully updated on all the main developments in their areas of interest via periodic log-on and view sessions.
e-Infrastructure Newsletter
We will also produce our-Infrastructure Newsletter, which will provide a concise selection of significant news developments, summaries of our relevant research & analysis, details of our events and research products, plus links to other sources. The Newsletter will be distributed to our thousand of user subscribers, vendor contacts, press and media via email in compact text form, with publication-quality PDF and HTML file versions available for download on the Web Site. A searchable archive of prior issues will also be held on the Site. We have extensive experience of editing and distributing a highly successful Enterprise NT Management Forum Newsletter. on a similar basis. (Note: Scheduled for launch Q4 2001.)
Research Reports
Our Research Reports cover varied e-Infrastructure topics, and summarise our findings and conclusions in the topic area concerned. They range from 4-8 pp to 20-40 pp in size depending on the topic. Some Research Reports are commissioned by Vendor Partners, some we initiate, but all are objective, concise and independent. Selected small Reports are offered free to our registered subscribers, more substantial Reports may be purchased on-line through our e-Store.
Vendor/Product Assessments
Vendors often ask us to research and write assessments of their strategy, products and services, as a whole or specific. We also initiate such coverage of those vendors we regard as significant and of interest to our subscribers. These Assessments range from 6-16 pp depending on the vendor/ topic.
Major Reports
Major Reports are the result of large-scale studies, and provide definitive, full depth coverage of the topic area, with many charts and other data sources, strong analysis, conclusions and recommendations, glossaries, web links etc. For a 2000 example of a Software Strategies written Major Report, see "Windows 2000- A New Enterprise Platform". Major Reports are chargeable and may be purchased on-line through our e-Store.
White Papers
White Papers are concept and thought pieces, which cover key new, or developing, areas of e-Infrastructure. Typically strategic, forward-looking, architectural and intended to lead and inform industry opinion, Software Strategies has written many major White Papers. A recent example (written for IBM) is "Windows 2000 Adoption-14 Months On", a definitive 40-page assessment of the impact of Windows 2000 in enterprise computing over its first 14 months to market. As for our Reports, some White Papers are commissioned by our Vendor Partners, and some are funded by us.
Case Studies
IT users find case studies of other users experience with particular technologies or strategies particularly interesting and helpful. We interview many enterprise users and publish numerous case studies - for example University of The West of England (Windows NT with Citrix MetaFrame supporting 25,000 student users). Vendors often commission us to interview and publish customer case studies of their key customers. We include relevant case studies in our White papers, Reports and other publications, as well as at our events.
Comparison Reports
Users express high interest in comparative research, reviewing alternative solutions for specific areas, and we meet this need with comparative White Papers and Reports. For example, a late 2000 White Paper comparing two leading e-business enterprise software architectures, IBM's Application Framework for e-Business and Microsoft's .NET, was commissioned by IBM. See AFeb vs. NET for details.
Executive Interviews
Senior IT industry executives have deep insight into their market, technology, customers and directions, so we frequently tap this source by meeting and interviewing senior vendor executives for our research, both for background, and where of wide interest, for publication in one or several of our formats.
Survey Reports
Also in 2002, we plan to introduce online Web based surveys of our enterprise IT user member base, to provide fresh and timely user survey research on trends, experience, issues etc., for the benefit of all members. These will be announced when available, and their results published through our various products above.
Standard Presentations
Complete, standard presentations on major relevant topics, which we can deploy quickly to user or vendor customer event engagements, on a speaker/day fee basis, without additional development.
Custom Presentations
Purpose-built, new presentations for specific user or vendor customer event engagements. With our large presentation-ware database, we can usually adapt or extend existing materials to quickly construct new presentations. These are charged on a development time + speaker/day cost. Click on Vendor Services Engagements for some examples of our presentation projects.
Baseline Vendor Research
Our baseline vendor research includes frequent visits to their web sites (to scan their news releases, review their White papers and other materials) and regular interviews with their managers and executives. This key input goes into our research database, and is used in most of our products and services.
Custom Research and Projects
Additionally, we are able to undertake custom research projects for vendors, including all the types described above, and we have successfully completed many projects of this type.