Yep. I’m chuckin’ the binoculars and getting onto the field. The game is just too good to watch and not play.
Let me introduce my new company, BSG Alliance Corp. First, some history. As you know, my heritage is tracking IT services firms. In the 90s there was a handful of what we then called, “client/server integrators.” By far, the most animated, passionate and fun company in that space was a company called, “BSG” out of Houston (and then later, Austin). BSG was the brainchild of a zany entrepreneur who took a risk and started BSG with little more than what I once wrote, “an 800 number and a prayer.” The entrepreneur was Steve Papermaster. In the IT services sector– particularly the client/server arena— Steve’s reputation is somewhat legendary. In fact, if the IT services market had a rock-n-roll hall of fame, Steve would have been an early inductee. He doesn’t like people to talk about him this way, but today I’m writing as a blogger and a writer who followed Steve’s career from the early 90s, not an employee. He has that certain infectious enthusiasm that gets everybody in the room pumped. In BSG’s first iteration, the company’s culture was surely its greatest asset. I credit that to the sheer strength of Steve’s upbeat personality and unbridled enthusiasm.
Steve is a classic example of what I look for in a successful entrepreneur– a good sense of timing and vision. There are a lot of smart guys who start companies with one or the other, but if you don’t get the combination right, you won’t have a strong finish. Steve’s successes far outweigh his failures, and he’s right on the money with what he’s envisioning for the 21st century BSG. This time ’round Steve is older and much wiser too. He’s surrounded himself with a management team that all have had considerable entrepreneurial successes. I’m sure it won’t slow him down; in fact, it makes decision-making a lot faster.
Where the 90s BSG was about helping companies through the transformation from legacy mainframe computing to client/server architectures, the 21st century BSG is about much more. It’s not even a pure-play IT services company. It’s about helping organizations get through the transformation to on demand, web-based solutions. There’s a lot of marketing rhetoric that goes into that I won’t bore you with here, but as we’ve seen in these enterprise 2.0 blogs, the user adoption process has been slow in coming. Enterprises could use some objective advice as they try to make sense of the new web landscape and the opportunities it affords. We’ll be launching our official web site soon and making some big announcements in the next few weeks. You can see some early press on our teaser site.
So, what will my day job be exactly? I’ll be continuing to track the developments in the market, the vendors/tools/technologies, highlighting case studies– same as always, but the position will provide me deeper customer access to explore these issues. In addition, we have some incredibly interesting alliances and relationships on tap that will provide a non-stop source of new insights.
I will be phasing out ITSA, but will continue to blog here. I promise not to shill for the new company here, but will enjoy posting about what I’m learning as I continue on the enterprise 2.0 journey. I’ll also be moving to Austin in the next few months, as I mentioned a few posts ago. Now you know why.