Some of the technologies at Demo 2008 made an impression on me when they were on stage but their real impact hit home when I spent five or ten minutes with them in the demonstrator pavilion. One such product was Aternity Inc.’s Frontline Performance Intelligence Platform.
What I really liked about this IT tool is its interface and the fact that it’s a tool that lets corporate IT professionals quickly see what programs users are running and how they’re using enterprise information and how individual or groups of users are consuming IT resources. I like that this set of IT resource monitoring tools combine to give IT decision makers a birds eye view correlating both current and historical data; proving management with emerging user trends as it relates to mission critical tasks and corporate goals.
When I looked at Aternity I was impressed by the fact that the company has already received two rounds of financing which includes money from Genesis Capital, Intel Capital, and Vertex Ventures. With the current trend in corporate IT having to justify expenditures against return on investment projections, I think Aternity is a great example of the right company with the right technology at the right place and time.
Flypaper Studio was another Demo 08 company whose technology caused me to visit their Pavilion station not once, but twice. What captivated me about Flypaper are tools that let its users create quality rich media, web-based, presentations without having to take the time or effort to learn a graphics design program.
Flypaper is the sort of program and technology that stands out Demo. It simplifies what until now has been a complex process and provides its users with new capabilities. Funded under the name Interactive Alchemy two years ago, Flypaper has enormous potential and is the type of product that fits nicely in the emerging cloud computing model—which I think makes this company and its technology a strong candidate for acquisition by any of the titans now committed to web-based applications.
English may be the lingua franca of the international aviation community, but it still has a way to go when it comes to the business world. And SpeakLike, at Demo 08 pioneered a new category, web-based translation services, that fills an important need. SpeakLike has an instant message like front end. It’s users type in an English phrase or question and recipients see the text in their native languages. The new service combines automated and human translation and is less costly than existing translation services. SpeakLike archives translations in case the information can be used for subsequent sessions involving the same languages. At the end of the session, SpeakLike users are provided with transcriptions of the conversations.
The service can support simultaneous translations into multiple languages.
I like SpeakLike’s translation speed and it’s use of an instant message format, something that’s familiar to most business computer users. Furthermore, SpeakLike should be appealing and useful to the thousands pf global companies who do business everyday in countries where languages other than English are spoken.
I made a quick stop at this company’s booth and experimented with its English to Spanish translation capabilities. I intentionally used an example that the company was very unlikely to have a canned version of and which could cause the translator at the other end of the IM session to think hard about. I was surprised at how the translator avoided using a Spanish word that if spoken in the presence of my mamacita, would have guaranteed my mouth being washed out with Lava Soap. Instead the translator came back with a completely sanitized phrase that left me laughing. He ended the session however by messaging me back ”pleas tell me there’s no one behind you watching this?”
I chuckled and typed, “Just your CEO, but he’s not a gabacho like I am.”
SpeakLike can redefine Internet translation services. It’s relatively inexpensive ($US.10) for each translated message and its fast and accurate.
I probably will have one more post on some other companies at Demo 08 but I want to think some more about that category before I post anything. Jim Forbes, 02/03/2008.