Seeking Alpha
View as an RSS Feed

Dennis Byron  

View Dennis Byron's Comments BY TICKER:

Latest  |  Highest rated
  • Is Red Hat Just Like IBM, Microsoft, Oracle, Salesforce and SAP? [View article]
    I am not sure what obtuse open-source-zealot point that Carousel and User 65886 are trying to make but for those who are interested in Red Hat and this subject from an IT investment point of view, here is a description of the Red Hat business/revenue/sales model from page 42 of its 10-K:

    "We sell our enterprise technologies through subscriptions, and we recognize revenue over the period of the subscription agreements with our customers. In addition, we generally provide certain managed services for each of our enterprise technologies... as a component of our subscriptions... We derive our revenue and generate cash from customers primarily from two sources: (i) subscription revenue and (ii) training and services revenue."

    In other words, as I said, its model is just like every other enterprise-software company's. When I said "last time I checked," what I meant is that I did not know if Red Hat had added a SaaS option. It appears not to have according to its SEC filing.

    Oct 22, 2010. 08:49 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • SaaS Just a Sliver of a Splinter of IT Spend [View article]

    Lightway defends my point of view better than I could defend it myself, particulary the business process aspect that keeps users from changing software (or SaaS) often.

    But to correct one impression you seemed to get from my post, I did not say technologies are the same as 40 years ago. You are reading something into my comment to Kevin that isn't there. I don't mean to be picky about that misreading but a genuflection to technology is the biggest IT investment risk: the end-user IT market decision is rarely made on a technology basis so IT investment decisions should not be either. If you see a technology angle even when it isn't there, you might be prone to making that sort of investment decision.

    Thanks for the discussion

    Sep 28, 2010. 09:50 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Enterprise Software, Cloud, SaaS and Open Source: Not Separate Markets [View article]
    Kevin, thanks for your comment even though I am about to disagree with you totally.

    First of all, I am not replaying the "old-line analyst" opinion. As the picture shows, I am the old-line analyst. I have been saying this for 20 years. (However, I make a subtle distinction: I am an IT market researcher, not an analyst in the sense I think you mean: I have not been the type of analyst that gives users advice since I left Datapro.)

    When I started in IT marketing 40 years ago, SaaS was called timesharing, then service bureaus, went through a few more iterations and by about 1999 was called application service provision. I am not proud to say that I participated in coming up with that term. We had the numbers right at IDC back then but basically too much hype got generated over what we clearly said were low numbers as a percent of total market spend (as I mentioned in my article above).

    There is nothing new about SaaS as a business model or otherwise although some market researchers looking for differences (which is good; that's their job) parse things -- like multitenancy and whether the software is exclusively available as a service or also available under a perpetual license -- to see if there are differences. But in the end, the difference is so minimal as to have little effect on market dynamics. The user is going to pay x over seven years for y functionality. It doesn't tend to matter a lot whether the user pays 5% of x on day one -- the licence price -- and then the remaining 95% monthly over the next 84 months -- the subscription maintenance to keep tax tables, etc. up to date, the hardware costs, and most significantly the personnel costs. Or whether the user just spreads the whole 100% out over the 84 months.

    I don't get the "SaaS products are like Facebook" thing at all. I know you are parroting the Marc Benioff party line but as I went into in detail in February 2010 (see, that's just good PR. I complimented CRM for it.

    I am not sure which software suppliers you mean by "best in class" firms but as I explained last year (see the only difference between IBM, Oracle, etc. and the so-called SaaS pureplays is that the latter are not really pureplays. All began trying to sell their software via a perpetual license and failed. And conversely, Oracle may already be second only to CRM in SaaS revenue (and if not, it will be within a year or so to be followed, depending on corporate strategies by SAP, Microsoft, Intuit and possibly -- although it's a special case because of its mainframe business -- IBM).

    All the indisputable market research issues aside, as I said in my article above, "I believed then and still believe that SaaS will again become a dominant enterprise software delivery method, just as it was when I entered the business 40 years ago." It's just that that trend has nothing to do with a different business model, Facebook, different sales or marketing techniques, technologies, or pureplay vs. stack.

    Thanks again for the comment
    Sep 24, 2010. 01:23 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Microsoft: NYT Article Misleads Investors [View article]
    Thanks for all the comments.

    Here is a clarification and a further comment:

    Clarification:. I would have been more accurate if I had said near the beginning "Apple does not embrace open source terms and conditions any differently than Microsoft, IBM, Oracle, etc." The point here, as I say at the end of the post, is that open source iissues are meaningless as IT investment factors: all the big boys have co-opted the movement to their own devices and for their own reasons. This is a blog post and not an article but I still could have thought that sentence through one more time before hitting the button.

    Comment: Despite all the impassioned discussion pro and against Apple's open source terms and conditions and Microsoft's share value (I flatlined Microsoft's share value in 2008), the only reason I wrote the blog post -- as it says in the headline and in most of the post -- is that the NYT article is misleading. It never identifies Tim O'Reilly fairly so that investors understand the incredible biases in the article.

    Thanks again for the discussion

    Jul 6, 2010. 06:23 AM | 9 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Forbes Releases Cloudy View of Cloud Computing [View article]

    Thanks for the comment.

    I was actually posting on cloud computing vs the various incarnations of 'AaaS' (anything as a service) on which you seem to be commenting. As I said, I do agree, based on my talks with the AWS guys, that Amazon could be a player in cloud computing if it so chooses.

    I just don't think it will so choose. Retailers believe fast nickels are better than slow dimes; IT guys on the other hand have to invest very slow to pay back dollars.

    -- Dennis
    Jun 21, 2010. 12:23 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • IBM's Middleware Dominance: Enterprise Software Market-Share Looks Unchanged [View article]
    UPDATE: I found the press release to which Dave Rosenberg was referring the morning of April 13. It is a PR Newswire release from IBM dated April 12 and refers to a Winterhaven report on SOA. IBM itself is the source of the overall middleware share figure but IBM says it expects the leading numbers houses to confim this later. I agree. Ho hum.

    -- Dennis
    Apr 13, 2010. 09:43 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • How California's Open Source Policies Affect Enterprise Software Investments [View article]
    Mr. Picnic,

    Thanks but I am not sure how you "divine" a bias against open source software out of my blog post above. My comments relate totally to the terms and conditions of the open source license and their effects on the enterprise software market. I do very clearly state the "pro" of the open source license in point 2: you get the source code. You are correct that I do not discuss any of the "cons."

    -- Dennis
    Feb 18, 2010. 03:49 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Why Should Oracle Even Bother with the EU? [View article]

    You are referring to Oracle's statement, which it issud in response to the EU Statement of Objections adn filed with the SEC. I was trying to get the actual document that the EU gave to Sun but the EU says such documents are not public (but someone--probably SAP--will leak it).


    On Nov 12 09:11 AM reyito wrote:

    > Dennis,
    > The EU's statement can be found in Oracle's 8-k filing.
    > Keep up the good work.
    Nov 12, 2009. 04:03 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • 'The Shallowest Generation': A Rebuttal [View article]
    Wow! I didn't realize from the earlier insults that you were the same person that wrote the original article. I have never seen anyone write under one name and comment under another.

    But now I understand. Unable to prove even one of your points about Baby Boomers, you insult others who call you out on your lack of logic.

    Oh, and you should carpool if you're commuting 120 miles a day--save the planet!


    On Nov 08 02:28 PM JGQ wrote:

    > Hey Dennis
    > Pretty touchy for someone who used the words: rant, blabbers, and
    > screed in his attempt to get someone to read one of his articles.
    > How does it feel to leech off of me to get someone to read your blather?
    > I hope you don't have to rely on your ability to write in order to
    > make a living. Let us know what kind of car you drive? How many miles?
    > Leased, bought, or did you remortgage your house for a Mercedes?
    > Why weren't you able to save enough to put your kids through college?
    > I have been saving since my kids were born. I won't be borrowing
    > to get them through college.
    > Wah Wah Wah. That's abuse. Classic boomer.
    Nov 8, 2008. 03:09 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • 'The Shallowest Generation': A Rebuttal [View article]
    Most important, to Axelrod-Glad you got the humor.
    To the guy (or girl) who doubts the Social Security numbers, go back and read how SS works (and I am not counting my Medicare contributions which I do fully expect to recoup). As I think Buffet or someone of that net worth says, most of you pay the same as I do in SS taxes. You did not have to be "highly compensated" over the last 45 years to have that kind of money "deposited in your account." You just have to be middle class depending on how that's defined.
    To elcopone, if that was Quinn's point, he never said it anywhere in multi-thousands of words. He said:
    1. ) "Our claim to fame is living way beyond our means for the last three decades, to the point where we have virtually bankrupted our capitalist system."
    2.) "Of course, not all Baby Boomers are shallow, greedy, and corrupt. Mostly Boomers with power and wealth fall into this category."
    He provides no proof for either statement, which is the reason I wrote the rebuttal over on this part of the site (I actually write about technology investments and related issues).

    But to answer your question despite your insult, personally I believe volunteering in non-partisan local government and non-government charitable organizations is a means. That was my choice for 30 years but I don't contend that it is the only means to contribute back to society. Military service, teaching K-12, and social work are careers in this area. Coaching kids sports, elderly services, and working with the disabled are great volunteering opportunities.

    Those who attack the Baby Boomers might want to find out how are age bracket does in these areas.
    To those of you who have been genuinely disturbed by and thoughtlfully replied to the original article's premise that the Baby Boomer generation is responsible for the financial crisis, note that the orginal author is missing in action. My contention is that there is no data in his multi-thousand-word article that connects demographics with the broad economics discussed here or that relates to the orginal author's specific claim (that greedy baby boomers, not all baby boomers mind you, did such and such).

    I pointed out how two of his statistics are demonstrably wrong (or at least misleading)--(
    1) where the "greatest generation" got its "wealth" and
    (2) the candard about savings rates.
    I'm still waiting for any other proofpoints linking generations to all the ills of society; I doubt if they exist at all but they definitely were not in the original article.
    To the ad-hominem attackers, I would like to see SA management delete all such attacks as being below the purpose of this web site but the Internet being what it is, SA would probably go broke trying to do it.

    But to the lowlife JCQ, as the "More by Dennis Byron" below indicates I write for a living on the Internet so I'm used to profanity and people who can't think through what they are writing calling me "idiot" or making some insane connection to Todd Palin. But attacking my children is a new low in incoherent Internet idiocy. Your comment is totally ad-hominem and should be reported as abuse.


    Nov 8, 2008. 10:54 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Microsoft Spending on Vista Confirms Linux Foundation Theory [View article]
    Thanks for the comment Kirk but sorry I don't understand your first question. If this helps explain, the overall point of the above post is to confirm using Microsoft data that the LF theoretical data talked about in the earlier post (vis a vis the R&D expense behind a major software project) is reasonable.

    As for the difference with Intel, the difference is that the Linux ecosystem is "open sourced." Google, HP, IBM, Sun, etc. could use all of the LF and related software at no cost but in fact we know that the big companies are realizing some expense because they fund LF, Apache and also devote their own resources to open source. Sun funds most of, Google funds most of Firefox, etc.

    The goal is to find out if what they spend as a group and individually is substantially less than what they would be spending if they were all still developing their own ecosystem. (And secondarily, are such savings dropping to the bottom line?)

    On Nov 06 09:49 AM Kirk Lindstrom wrote:

    > What is the difference between that analysis
    > "It might have spent the whole $28 billion on XBox but we don't have
    > the data to know that."
    > and throwing paint on the wall and calling it art?
    > It is an interesting analysis but isn't the question similar to asking
    > "how much does Intel developing microprocessors save HP, Apple and
    > IBM?"
    Nov 6, 2008. 03:40 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Can Google Reach Its Pie in the Sky? [View article]
    Good overview of the issues. I have a couple of nits but I'm not sure if they affect your conclusion:

    1. Google's legacy/core business is an advertiser/publisher application delivered as a service, not "search/directory." The facts that the service uses sophisticated patented search technology and is monetized by selling ads are secondary (although the former has helped it succeed in delivering a "packaged" advertiser/publisher application where others failed).

    2. Although Google builds "key technology in house," it supposedly (I have never personally researched its claim) does it with commodity and/or open source components, basically providing the "off the shelf" advantage you're concerned about.

    I don't think this changes Google's chances competing head-on with Microsoft's SaaS strategy (which it will insist on calling Software Plus Service until Ballmer retires) however. Microsoft is most likely adopting the same commodity and/or open source technologies in its data farms (and even if it is using its own proprietary stuff, it doesn't pay list price). And Microsoft should be able to maintain application functionality superiority for 10 years simply based on momentum (barring some execution mistake which I think it unlikely Ozzie would make).

    Neither company should try to deliver the network infrastructure itself. Going back to the utility metaphor, they shouldn't try to be GE circa 1940, delivering both dynamos and light bulbs (but not sure it does either anymore).
    Oct 7, 2008. 07:30 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Microsoft, Sun Do Well in Open Source Census [View article]
    The above commenters may not completely understand how the census works. The group conducting the census welcomes information from Mac, BSD, Solaris, and other platforms.

    As for Java, I believe it is a prerequisite of even beginning the census so by definition it is on every "machine" scannned.

    More information see .

    Or just rant away!!

    -- Dennis
    Oct 2, 2008. 04:04 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Open Source Bloggers Don't Let the Facts Confuse Them When Attacking Microsoft [View article]
    Dear Wild-eyed Zealot:

    I would prefer to email you directly about this rather than bore other SA readers but I need to assure you that my definition is not "odd" or "bizarre," I am not confusing free and open source, and I fully understand all the implications of what I am writing about. You are missing something but I can't figure out what it is. Again, I assume it is your admitted zealotry.

    In my research, I use the Open Source Initiative definition of open source. Please note that the word distribution and/or redistribuion appears in seven of its 10 characteristics, including the first (see In two of the three characteristics where the words are not mentioned (the discrimination characteristics, numbers 5 and 6), the subject is clearly about distribution. The concept of distribution appears ahead of the obvious characteristic of open source being source code related, which is only mentioned in two of the 10 characteristics.

    That is why we say "The term Open source software refers to some specific terms and conditions in the software’s license primarily related to redistribution." Again I point out the word primarily. I did not say exclusively.

    I still don't get your point about "free" but try me again and I urge you to email me direct.

    Sep 24, 2008. 03:17 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Open Source Bloggers Don't Let the Facts Confuse Them When Attacking Microsoft [View article]
    Dear Wild-eyed FOSS Zealot.

    At least you are honest about your biases. But I believe your zealotry makes you read things that are not in my article and ignore things that are.

    If you do not understand why the sentence “Open source software refers to some specific terms and conditions in the software’s license primarily related to redistribution" is accurate then it is you who bases your opinion on ignorance. Note that I say "primarily related to redistribution." Most of the investment-research readers of this web site are sophisticated enough to know the obvious link between the word "source" and the phrase "source code" and we don't bog down each other by repeating things.

    The rest of your comment is unclear since the original article clearly says there is confusion in the Stanford/Harvard abstract between the words free and open source. So are you re-iterating that or disagreeing with it?


    Dennis Byron
    Sep 24, 2008. 12:26 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment