Friday, February 26, 2010

Elicitation in Competitive Intelligence

Many research professionals invest a lot of of time sifting through electronic resources in search of meaningful information. Search engines fall short when it comes to efficiently delivering deep insight. The information primary researchers seek often doesn't exist in databases or accessible online repositories. It exists in the gray matter between the ears of other human beings.

Skilled primary researchers can glean tremendous insight through conversations with key industry participants, information that might otherwise never be found or is not available through secondary research. This is the main reason why primary researchers prefer to go to the source, and recognize the need for a deep dive into the watery recesses of other minds.

For skilled researchers seeking specific data or opinions, there is no faster path to current information than direct communication with a well-informed source.

Professionals within corporate Competitive intelligence departments are often constrained by the nature of their own employment arrangements. It is considered improper for a corporate employee to pick up the phone and elicit sensitive information from an employee of a competitor. This can raise contentious legal issues.

Read the full article by David Carpe from his drinking from the fire hose column in
Competitive Intelligence Magazine here.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Amazon EC2 pricing, billing, use cases

Here is an overview of Amazon Elastic Computing EC2 pricing, billing and use case info.

Annual Cost Comparison (100% utilization)
35 m1.small & 10 m1.large instances Linux/UNIX instances at steady state for 1 year.

__________Do-It-Yourself___EC2 On-Demand___EC2 Reserved___EC2 Reserved
________________________________________(1 Year Term)___(3 Year Term)

TOTAL COST ____$ 81,305________$ 57,951________$ 38,878.50_____$ 30,566

m1.small = 1.7 GB of memory, 1 EC2 Compute Unit (1 virtual core with 1 EC2 Compute Unit), 160 GB of local instance storage, 32-bit platform.
m1.large = 7.5 GB of memory, 4 EC2 Compute Units (2 virtual cores with 2 EC2 Compute Units each), 850 GB of local instance storage, 64-bit platform