Early-stage incubator launches at Harvard

If there had been an early-stage incubator at Harvard when Mark Zuckerberg was starting Facebook, the world's largest social-networking company might not be based in Silicon Valley today.

There was no such investment fund back in 2004, but today, there is. In an announcement this morning, Harvard's School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) launched the Experiment Fund, a new early-stage seed fund that is being backed by New Enterprise Associates, one of the world's largest venture capital firms.

According to the fund's Web site, its mission is to be "a bridge between America's … Read more

Apple gear used by 1 in 5 workers, survey says

Apple's presence in the enterprise is growing quickly, with one in five workers now using an Apple device on the job, a new study reports.

That data comes from a new Forrester report published today entitled "Apple infiltrates the enterprise and reshapes the markets for personal devices at work." (It can be yours for just $499!)

The firm surveyed nearly 10,000 information workers in 17 countries, as well as 3,350 "IT hardware decision-makers" in North America and Western Europe and found that 21 percent of those individuals were using one or more Apple … Read more

Trekkie forced to sink Voyager-themed flat

We wish all Trekkie stories could be as happy as that of the DIY Enterprise gondola we recently spotted bobbing calmly atop a Southern California canal.

But life isn't always sunshine and purring Tribbles. And so it is that we bring you a Trekkie tale with a tragic twist.

Lifelong sci-fi fan Tony Alleyne, a former DJ and current interior design hopeful in the U.K., will probably be forced to dismantle the Hinckley, Leicestershire, Starship-themed flat he spent 10 years creating. Apparently, reports the Register, Alleyne's estranged wife Georgina has been paying the mortgage on the one-bedroom flat since the couple split and now wants to sell it "as conventional property."

We're assuming real estate agents don't generally apply that description to an apartment that's been reworked to look like a Starship Voyager flight deck complete with computer console, flashing lights, and "transporters." Then again, maybe Georgina should try listing the property at Comic-Con. … Read more

Consumerization of IT is more than using an iPad at work

Like newspapers to the Web, many business software vendors are now reluctantly dragging themselves into the cloud-based enterprise. If they aren't nimble enough, a new generation of companies is ready to take their place.

While major enterprise IT vendors continue to deliver so-called features that keep users tied to their desks and legacy software, companies like Box and others have figured out that the industry is changing right before our eyes. The new enterprise takes the best aspects of consumer applications to make business-critical data available anywhere, anytime.

The majority of the fawning stories about startups that come out … Read more

Gartner lowers global IT spending forecast for 2012

The outlook for IT spending this year isn't quite as rosy as Gartner previously predicted.

Spending on IT products and services is expected to reach $3.8 trillion in 2012, a 3.7 percent rise from last year when spending totaled $3.7 trillion and had climbed by 6.9 percent from 2010.

Released today, the new forecast is a dip from Gartner's prior projection of 4.6 percent growth for this year. The market researcher now believes that all major tech sectors will witness slower gains in spending for 2012.

Spending on telecom equipment will see the … Read more

RIM BlackBerry services open up to iOS, Android

Research In Motion now aims to support both iOS and Android smartphones and tablets--a break from the company's previous BlackBerry-only focus.

RIM introduced today BlackBerry Mobile Fusion, a mobile device management service that takes advantage of the BlackBerry Enterprise Server technology to track and monitor different phones and tablets.

With BlackBerry Mobile Fusion, RIM is attempting to preserve its hold over the business customer even as more of them leave the BlackBerry fold for other flashier devices. Mobile Fusion allows RIM to play a role in companies and government agencies, even if its BlackBerrys are no longer used. For … Read more

For iPads in the enterprise, hassles aplenty

Technology execs are toting iPads and trying to figure out how to deploy them en masse, but there are significant issues to ponder.

In various talks yesterday, Gartner analysts highlighted a series of gotchas that need to be considered before jumping on the enterprise tablet bandwagon. Among the key issues:

Apple iPads and tablets may require a Microsoft license. Even user-owned devices may require a license for things like accessing Microsoft servers and running Office and Outlook. How does Microsoft play a role in iPad licensing costs? There are two licenses to server access--Direct Client Access Licenses and User Client … Read more

Android to get enterprise friendlier

Android smartphones and tablets are getting ready to go to work.

3LM, a unit of Motorola Mobility, is ready to release a set of enterprise-grade security and management tools to a number of Android phone manufacturers.

The tools allow corporate IT departments to integrate Android devices into their systems. It also makes it easier for individuals to take their personal Android phones and tablets and use them for work.

3LM's work ties into the broader trend known as the consumerization of IT, in which people bring in their own devices for work, rather than have a separate company-assigned device. … Read more

AT&T to usher in split-personality mobile devices

Your mobile device could soon go the route of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.

AT&T today unveiled AT&T Toggle, a service that allows you to create two separate and distinct identities on your smartphone or tablet. The first would be a personal account where you can freely browse the Internet, text your friends, and watch videos. A second, more secure identity would house your business apps and documents and can be managed by your company's IT department.

AT&T is using an app called Divide, which was created by start-up Enterproid.

The service will help aid the trend of individuals bringing their own devices to use at work, which kicked off with the iPhone a few years back and has spread to other smartphones and tablets. The announcement comes ahead of the CTIA Enterprise & Applications conference, which kicks off tomorrow in San Diego.

"When it comes to connected devices, one size doesn't fit all," said Chris Hill, vice president of advanced mobility services in AT&T's business services group. "People want to use their own smartphones and tablets for work, but that practice can create major headaches for businesses' IT departments."

Individuals like it because they're no longer constrained to the few options that companies give them on smartphones. Companies like it because they no longer have to bear the financial burden of outfitting their employees with mobile devices.

AT&T is hoping Toggle will provide a boost to this trend. The service will be available by the end of the year to phones running on Android 2.2, also known as Froyo, or higher. AT&T said it plans to expand the accessibility to other mobile operating systems next year. In addition, the service can work on phones running on any carrier.

AT&T plans to charge businesses a license fee of $5 per device each month on top of any other service fees. Once the company buys the license, it can assign it to an employee, who will be able to download the Toggle app from Android Marketplace or AT&T's application store.

Companies using the service will be able to allow certain employees the ability to access corporate data depending on their responsibilities. They will also be able to add, update, or delete business applications on their employees' personal devices, and remotely wipe corporate information on the device if it is lost or stolen. … Read more

Can PostgreSQL pickup where MySQL left off?

EnterpriseDB, a provider of enterprise-class products and services based on PostgreSQL, today announced Postgres Plus Cloud Server, which the company has billed as "a full-featured, Oracle-compatible, enterprise-class PostgreSQL database-as-a-service for public and private clouds with support for Amazon EC2, Eucalyptus, Rackspace, and GoGrid."

We've seen other database-as-a-service offerings come on the scene from the likes of Salesforce.com's Database.com, Amazon RDS, as well as from startup Xeround. But they're not based on PostgreSQL, which has had years of hardening and development by a committed community. The other databases are not "Oracle compatible," … Read more