Welcome!

Release Management Authors: David H Deans, Liz McMillan, Jnan Dash, Lori MacVittie, Gilad Parann-Nissany

Related Topics: Microservices Expo, Mobile IoT, Agile Computing, Wearables, Release Management , Artificial Intelligence

Microservices Expo: Article

Spot Buying for Startups

Spot buying automated by Ariba gives start-up Koozoo a means to shop more efficiently

This latest BriefingsDirect podcast, from the recent 2013 Ariba LIVE Conference in Washington, D.C., explores how the spot-buying process is benefiting buyers and sellers, and how they're using the Ariba Network and Discovery to conduct tactical buying.

Here to explain the latest and greatest around agile procurement for businesses of any size, we're joined by Ian Thomson, Koozoo’s Head of Business Development, based in San Francisco. The interview is conducted Dana Gardner, Principal Analyst at Interarbor Solutions. [Disclosure: Ariba, an SAP company, is a sponsor of BriefingsDirect podcasts.]

Here are some excerpts:

Gardner: Tell us about Koozoo.

Thomson: Koozoo is a technology company based in San Francisco, and we are the easiest way to share a live view with someone in particular, or a broader community. We have built a very simple web application that converts your old smartphone into a geolocating webcam.

Thomson

For example, you would pull the old smartphone out of your sock drawer, or whatever drawer that you have it in, and you dust it off. You go over to your WiFi network and download the Koozoo application, and that now makes your phone a webcam that you can stream and point to a website, if you had a website that you wanted to display it on, or on to the Koozoo site, where it could be private for your consumption.

On a personal level, it could be to make a baby monitor or something like that for a limited community, like a neighborhood watch group or merchant association that wanted to share their views or more broadly on the Koozoo community.

Happening around town

If you look at Koozoo, it looks like we're making equivalent of Google Street View, but live. Right now, we're limited to San Francisco, but were able to see what's happening around town.

Gardner: That’s really interesting. There is plethora of end devices that have cameras and WiFi, and you're able to then take advantage of that and give people the opportunity to innovate around the notion of either public or private streams. Is it just live stream? How can people just take a photo view every minute or six minutes, or anything like that?

Thomson: Not just yet, but that is certainly the direction we are moving in terms of building an ecosystem that allows you to make alerts for a certain movement or alerts when there are certain sounds that are anomalous, and are ones that you would want to record or see. But now, it's just an ambient streaming.

Right now, we support the iOS suite, an iPad or an old iPhone, later than the 3GS generation. Before that, they didn’t have the necessary hardware components, the chip set, to support live streaming the way we do live streaming with encoding.

We are on some Android platforms, but Android is a very fragmented market, and as you develop toward Android, you have to keep that in mind. So we focus on certain platforms within the Android market first. As we define this product market fit, we will develop the app and then propagate the Android market.

Gardner: So you're a startup -- resource constrained is, I believe, the way people would refer to that -- and you still need to buy and sell goods and services. When you were tasked with something that wasn’t a strategic, organized, or recurring type of purchase, how did you find what you needed, and how did Ariba factor into that?

Thomson: We're not really a buying organization per se. We're an engineering-based company. We have very few people and, when we need to buy something, it's usually something like walking over to Office Depot and picking up a couple of pencils, because we need pencils.

As I got smarter about what I needed, I was able to communicate that with the potential vendors.

Primarily, we had been looking at Amazon for that sort of purchase. As soon as we needed to purchase a few more things, we moved from pure retail to more of a wholesale sort of a buyer. We needed to buy more phones to do testing on. We looked at Alibaba and we looked at Amazon, primarily because I had only heard of those two, to buy larger quantity of used mobile phones in this case, because I wanted to take advantage of refurbished phones being more cost-effective for us for testing.

Initially I found Ariba through an introduction. Somebody said, "If you're looking at Alibaba, why don’t you look at Ariba? It's more suitable for what you're looking for." And it certainly turned out to be the case.

Initially, we made that one purchase and subsequent purchases of mobile devices. It turned out to be a really good mechanism for doing some market analysis. I didn't know what I was buying. I'm not a mobile device expert, and I don’t come from consumer electronics.

I was able to learn about what it was I didn’t know and be able to iterate on my request for a purchase. I was able to iterate on that publicly, so that everybody got to see. As I got smarter about what I needed, I was able to communicate that with the potential vendors.

Sense of confidence

Gardner: Because we're here at Ariba LIVE, the conference, we've been hearing news from Ariba about spot buying as a capability they're investing in and delivering through their network and Discovery process. Is there something about having a pre-qualified list of suppliers that in some way benefited you or gave you a sense of confidence vis-à-vis going just on the open World Wide Web.

Thomson: I don’t mean to be disparaging, but that was a little bit of the experience on Alibaba. I did get a ton of responses that weren't necessarily qualified and they weren't qualified, because they hadn’t read my request very clearly. They were offering me something that clearly wasn’t supporting what I needed, but rather was supporting what they were trying to sell.

I had done some Google searches and tried to find vendors, whether it was for these used devices or for a specialized widget that I needed to have made and sourced. So doing that on Google was pretty tough, time consuming, and something that I wasn’t expert at.

I didn’t have the capability to ask the right questions. I didn’t even know whether I was in the ballpark of what expectations should be in terms of time for delivery, cost, or what an acceptable small batch really was, because initially I needed a small batch to test the product that I was developing.

I see how we could position our profile on Ariba Discovery to respond to inbound interest on that platform for something that we could solve.

I don’t really see us ever becoming a very large buying organization. If we continue to develop this product, we already have a group of two or three suppliers that we've developed our relationship with over Ariba Discovery, which is the the spot buying platform that they have.

I don’t know if I necessarily would need more. I don’t know what our procurement needs are going to be moving forward. We're a little bit more interested in looking at it as a way to respond to potential leads. I'm on the sales side, not on the procurement side of our company.

As I look at moving forward, we do need to capture new leads. I see how we could position our profile on Ariba Discovery to respond to inbound interest on that platform for something that we could solve, whether that’s a surveillance system, a public safety system, or something like that. We would certainly be a very cost effective solution for that. So to be able to respond to inbound interest could be a very good place for us to go.

Gardner: So, it's a two-way channel. You were able to use Ariba Discovery and spot buying to find goods and services quickly and easily without a lot of preparation and organization, and conversely, there might be a lot of buyers out there using Ariba Discovery looking for a streaming capability and you would be popping up on their lists. Have you done that yet? What's the plan?

Product-development cycle

Thomson: That would be the hope, that there are a lot of people that want to buy it and use it. I haven't focused on that just yet. As a company, we're in a product-development cycle, not really in the business development sales cycle just yet. Ariba could be a very good way of figuring out what the market wants.

Gardner: So, it's not just a sales execution channel, but also a market research and business development channel, finding out what's available. You don’t know what people want, until you get it out in front of them, and of course, the spend for doing that through advertising or direct marketing is pretty daunting. Something like Ariba Discovery gives you that opportunity to do sales and research at no cost.

Thomson: It certainly does.

You may also be interested in:

More Stories By Dana Gardner

At Interarbor Solutions, we create the analysis and in-depth podcasts on enterprise software and cloud trends that help fuel the social media revolution. As a veteran IT analyst, Dana Gardner moderates discussions and interviews get to the meat of the hottest technology topics. We define and forecast the business productivity effects of enterprise infrastructure, SOA and cloud advances. Our social media vehicles become conversational platforms, powerfully distributed via the BriefingsDirect Network of online media partners like ZDNet and IT-Director.com. As founder and principal analyst at Interarbor Solutions, Dana Gardner created BriefingsDirect to give online readers and listeners in-depth and direct access to the brightest thought leaders on IT. Our twice-monthly BriefingsDirect Analyst Insights Edition podcasts examine the latest IT news with a panel of analysts and guests. Our sponsored discussions provide a unique, deep-dive focus on specific industry problems and the latest solutions. This podcast equivalent of an analyst briefing session -- made available as a podcast/transcript/blog to any interested viewer and search engine seeker -- breaks the mold on closed knowledge. These informational podcasts jump-start conversational evangelism, drive traffic to lead generation campaigns, and produce strong SEO returns. Interarbor Solutions provides fresh and creative thinking on IT, SOA, cloud and social media strategies based on the power of thoughtful content, made freely and easily available to proactive seekers of insights and information. As a result, marketers and branding professionals can communicate inexpensively with self-qualifiying readers/listeners in discreet market segments. BriefingsDirect podcasts hosted by Dana Gardner: Full turnkey planning, moderatiing, producing, hosting, and distribution via blogs and IT media partners of essential IT knowledge and understanding.

@ThingsExpo Stories
Multiple data types are pouring into IoT deployments. Data is coming in small packages as well as enormous files and data streams of many sizes. Widespread use of mobile devices adds to the total. In this power panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists looked at the tools and environments that are being put to use in IoT deployments, as well as the team skills a modern enterprise IT shop needs to keep things running, get a handle on all this data, and deliver...
In his session at @ThingsExpo, Eric Lachapelle, CEO of the Professional Evaluation and Certification Board (PECB), provided an overview of various initiatives to certify the security of connected devices and future trends in ensuring public trust of IoT. Eric Lachapelle is the Chief Executive Officer of the Professional Evaluation and Certification Board (PECB), an international certification body. His role is to help companies and individuals to achieve professional, accredited and worldwide re...
Amazon started as an online bookseller 20 years ago. Since then, it has evolved into a technology juggernaut that has disrupted multiple markets and industries and touches many aspects of our lives. It is a relentless technology and business model innovator driving disruption throughout numerous ecosystems. Amazon’s AWS revenues alone are approaching $16B a year making it one of the largest IT companies in the world. With dominant offerings in Cloud, IoT, eCommerce, Big Data, AI, Digital Assista...
New competitors, disruptive technologies, and growing expectations are pushing every business to both adopt and deliver new digital services. This ‘Digital Transformation’ demands rapid delivery and continuous iteration of new competitive services via multiple channels, which in turn demands new service delivery techniques – including DevOps. In this power panel at @DevOpsSummit 20th Cloud Expo, moderated by DevOps Conference Co-Chair Andi Mann, panelists examined how DevOps helps to meet the de...
No hype cycles or predictions of zillions of things here. IoT is big. You get it. You know your business and have great ideas for a business transformation strategy. What comes next? Time to make it happen. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jay Mason, Associate Partner at M&S Consulting, presented a step-by-step plan to develop your technology implementation strategy. He discussed the evaluation of communication standards and IoT messaging protocols, data analytics considerations, edge-to-cloud tec...
"When we talk about cloud without compromise what we're talking about is that when people think about 'I need the flexibility of the cloud' - it's the ability to create applications and run them in a cloud environment that's far more flexible,” explained Matthew Finnie, CTO of Interoute, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
IoT solutions exploit operational data generated by Internet-connected smart “things” for the purpose of gaining operational insight and producing “better outcomes” (for example, create new business models, eliminate unscheduled maintenance, etc.). The explosive proliferation of IoT solutions will result in an exponential growth in the volume of IoT data, precipitating significant Information Governance issues: who owns the IoT data, what are the rights/duties of IoT solutions adopters towards t...
With the introduction of IoT and Smart Living in every aspect of our lives, one question has become relevant: What are the security implications? To answer this, first we have to look and explore the security models of the technologies that IoT is founded upon. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Nevi Kaja, a Research Engineer at Ford Motor Company, discussed some of the security challenges of the IoT infrastructure and related how these aspects impact Smart Living. The material was delivered interac...
The Internet giants are fully embracing AI. All the services they offer to their customers are aimed at drawing a map of the world with the data they get. The AIs from these companies are used to build disruptive approaches that cannot be used by established enterprises, which are threatened by these disruptions. However, most leaders underestimate the effect this will have on their businesses. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Rene Buest, Director Market Research & Technology Evangelism at Ara...
When growing capacity and power in the data center, the architectural trade-offs between server scale-up vs. scale-out continue to be debated. Both approaches are valid: scale-out adds multiple, smaller servers running in a distributed computing model, while scale-up adds fewer, more powerful servers that are capable of running larger workloads. It’s worth noting that there are additional, unique advantages that scale-up architectures offer. One big advantage is large memory and compute capacity...
SYS-CON Events announced today that IBM has been named “Diamond Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st Cloud Expo, which will take place on October 31 through November 2nd 2017 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, California.
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing Cloud strategies, now is the perfect time to attend 21st Cloud Expo October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center, CA, and June 12-14, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is on the right path to Digital Transformation.
SYS-CON Events announced today that CA Technologies has been named "Platinum Sponsor" of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place October 31-November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. CA Technologies helps customers succeed in a future where every business - from apparel to energy - is being rewritten by software. From planning to development to management to security, CA creates software that fuels transformation for companies in the applic...
Artificial intelligence, machine learning, neural networks. We’re in the midst of a wave of excitement around AI such as hasn’t been seen for a few decades. But those previous periods of inflated expectations led to troughs of disappointment. Will this time be different? Most likely. Applications of AI such as predictive analytics are already decreasing costs and improving reliability of industrial machinery. Furthermore, the funding and research going into AI now comes from a wide range of com...
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 21st Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the most profound change in personal and enterprise IT since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago. All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devic...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Cloud Academy named "Bronze Sponsor" of 21st International Cloud Expo which will take place October 31 - November 2, 2017 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Cloud Academy is the industry’s most innovative, vendor-neutral cloud technology training platform. Cloud Academy provides continuous learning solutions for individuals and enterprise teams for Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform, and the most popular cloud com...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Enzu will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st Int\ernational Cloud Expo®, which will take place October 31-November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Enzu’s mission is to be the leading provider of enterprise cloud solutions worldwide. Enzu enables online businesses to use its IT infrastructure to their competitive advantage. By offering a suite of proven hosting and management services, Enzu wants companies to focus on the core of their ...
We build IoT infrastructure products - when you have to integrate different devices, different systems and cloud you have to build an application to do that but we eliminate the need to build an application. Our products can integrate any device, any system, any cloud regardless of protocol," explained Peter Jung, Chief Product Officer at Pulzze Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA
SYS-CON Events announced today that GrapeUp, the leading provider of rapid product development at the speed of business, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place October 31-November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Grape Up is a software company, specialized in cloud native application development and professional services related to Cloud Foundry PaaS. With five expert teams that operate in various sectors of the market acr...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Ayehu will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on October 31 - November 2, 2017 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara California. Ayehu provides IT Process Automation & Orchestration solutions for IT and Security professionals to identify and resolve critical incidents and enable rapid containment, eradication, and recovery from cyber security breaches. Ayehu provides customers greater control over IT infras...