no one was predicting a boom reminiscent of the late
1990s, a trio of top technology journalists was
encouraging about sales and the prospects for new
technologies during a panel discussion held earlier this
month at the New York Software Industry Association's
Sales & Marketing Special Interest Group (Click
here for web site).
The panel was moderated by Trylon Communications, Inc.
President Lloyd P. Trufelman.
(This is part two of two - for part one
Although the three tech
editors who participated in the discussion – Stephen
Lynch of the New York Post, Erick Schonfeld of Business
2.0 and Josh Weinberger of Ziff Davis’ Baseline – cover
the tech arena from different angles, they all expect a
modest upswing in corporate tech spending this year.
They did, however, have
divergent views regarding e-mail spam.
Steve Lynch of the Post
doesn’t feel that the problem is as widespread as is
being reported. “It is definitely overstated. If people
weren’t buying, the spammers wouldn’t be sending,” he
said, pointing out that most spam filters catch the
majority of unwanted messages. He doesn’t believe that
spam is a serious drag on productivity in the workplace.
Weinberg says that while
filters can catch about 80 percent of spam, going
through the unwanted messages takes time. “And now that
spammers are looking to move offshore in response to the
recent CAN-SPAM legislation, the problem is not going to
The panelists did agree on
another topic: search engine technology needs to
improve, and recent moves by Google, Microsoft and
Yahoo! should spark some competition.
“There is definitely room
for better search technology,” Weinberg said. “It is not
about finding everything, it is about finding what you
need.” He also pointed out that paid search is the only
form of online advertising that has yielded results, so
there is plenty of incentive to improve search engines.
improvement the panelists are hoping for: better
wireless Internet access. “Since most new laptops come
with cards for wireless access, broadband wireless
access nationwide is key,” according to Lynch.
As Wi-Fi technology becomes
more widely available, the panel predicted that
corporate buyers will see it as a cost-saving tool that
can be implemented on the corporate campus, allowing
users to connect through traditional means or by Wi-Fi,
based on network traffic and costs at the time.
While keeping telecom costs
down is one way that corporations will be looking to
control technology costs, Baseline’s Weinberger noted
that outsourcing as a cost-saving measure may have hit
“It used to be a question of
what can be outsourced,” Weinberger said. “Now, it is a
question of what not to outsource, because once
something is outsourced it is never coming back. There
is some backlash against outsourcing now.”
In wrapping up the
discussion, panelists were asked specifically about
trends in technology in New York. Schonfeld pointed to
FreshDirect, which is one of the few e-commerce success
stories, as proof that the sector is not dead.
Weinberger pointed out that
the bid for the Olympics in 2012 will have a huge and
lasting impact on technology investment in New York.
“The plan is for $100 million to be invested in
technology,” he said, providing a much-needed boost to
the New York tech sector.