The Roundup: A New Model for Enterprise Data Sharing

Feb 20, 2002

David Aponovich

Peer-to-peer and Web services -used together- could be the next technologies that help IT execs wring efficiencies from their enterprises. Tech analysts at Gartner say the union of Web services and P2P "will turn desktop files into a corporate resource" by permitting the efficient exchange of and access to variety of corporate documents and data.

Gartner analysts are touting the "service station" model, which involves accessing data through Web services and P2P applications. They say it will do for corporate file sharing with Napster did for sharing music.

"A critical factor is that an organization's documents usually exist throughout the organization rather than on centralized servers," says Daryl Plummer, group vice president and research group director for Gartner. "The advantage... is that it allows data captured in files on desktop PCs to be available throughout an enterprise or to anyone who subscribes as a user to the files, making individual files a corporate resource."

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The "service station" model would be used for projects where many people contribute to the final output (such as reporting company-wide spending or combining slides for a presentation). Gartner says with each project, individual documents would be created, updated and maintained to produce the final document. A service station would provide the means to do that by subscribing to each of the individual documents to produce the finished product, complete with all changes and updates made to the individual files throughout the process. The technology could also be used across company boundaries.

Webcasts Rank Third for Tech Buyers
For IT pros involved with researching or making tech purchases, webcasts now rank third as the most useful tool in helping them make decisions, according to a survey results released by Two-thirds of nearly 2,000 IT pros surveyed said they had viewed a webcast to help with the decision process.

The upshot is that more IT execs are feeling comfortable viewing webcasts and using them as a key part of their decision-making process. According to the survey, webcasts rank third behind product reviews and vendor information (white papers, technical publications).

Wireless LAN "Hot Spots" to Surge
More than 21 million Americans will be using public wireless local area networks (WLANs) in 2007, attracted by the cheap and superfast remote Internet access provided in airports, shopping malls, coffee bars and hotels, according to a report by Analysys.

Public WLAN services enable users to hook up their laptops and PDAs to their Internet service provider (ISP) or company intranet at speeds of up to 11 Mb/s.

"The appeal of these services means that the number of hot-spot locations in the U.S. will grow from 3,700 this year to 41,000 by 2007," said Monica Paolini, a co-author of the report. "This will, in turn, generate over $3 billion in service revenues."

The development of the WLAN market has been spurred on by the industry-wide adoption of a common technical platform based on the IEEE 802.11b standard. A rapidly growing number of devices (forecast to top 91 million in the next five years), such as PDAs and laptops, are now being shipped with cards already installed that can make use of public WLAN networks.

According to the report, the most notable issue to be resolved is the ability of public WLAN operators to provide a wide coverage for potential users. These operators need to pursue roaming agreements with each other to minimize the cost of deploying access gateways in every possible hot-spot location.

--This item from's CyberAtlas.


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