Hemmer said one reason his company is optimistic despite the condition of the broader economy is that Antenna's software lets customers make what they already have in the way of CRM, ERP or custom applications more efficient. "It's not a replacement strategy," he said.
Money matters also permeated sessions on "Eco-Efficient IT" and open source software.
Michael Crouch, software delivery manager for Wachovia, said that while much of the talk about IT-related energy consumption strategies has focused on the data center, saving energy at the desktop is the really low-hanging fruit. He talked about targeting more than 100,000 desktops that previously were on all the time even though they were only being used five or six days a week. Putting technology in place that can automatically shut down or wake up machines can save a company millions of dollars a year (though he noted in his case, the savings might show up under real estate, not IT). Crouch said Wachovia was able to roll out technology in about six months and found the main challenge to be political issues with various lines of business, not the technology.
On the open source software front, speakers said that it's not all about cost savings. For example, Jack Steadman, manager of architectural development for Smarter Travel Media, said his outfit would gladly have paid Red Hat for support if the value was there. But he said Smarter Travel ditched Red Hat support in favor of handling software maintenance internally because his company had to spend so much time dealing with Red Hat's front line support that it made more sense to just do the support itself.
Raven Zachary, 451's open source research director, said one interesting result of the economic downturn is that more open source projects will be adopted, and down the road that should lead to more commercial open source products.