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Wednesday, August 31, 2005
Digital Convergence : Long Road Ahead
Digital Home and Digital convergence are hot topics – these are expected to change the lifestyle of people atleast in rich countries to start with and more importantly open up new opportunities for business in allied areas. Initiatives like DAVIC, MCNS were launched to work towards standardisation and specifications.As we stock of the situation – it is clear that disarray defines the state of "digital convergence, & true convergence remains elusive and shows no sign of happening in the near future. IHT writes,"The development of a seamless digital home is happening only gradually," quoting Rudy Provoost, head of Philips Consumer Electronics, who adds “We are still a way off from the truly digital environment, but we are making progress each year." Some say the progress is haphazard and barely perceptible. Harbor Research observes, current efforts are “a fragmented landscape full of narrow-point solutions, time-sink gadgetry, entertainment obsession and software/platform incompatibility." Philips identifies two reasons why the seamless digital household was only slowly taking shape.
Mobile Middleware For The Enterprise
Mobile middleware provides the "black box" technology connecting mobile devices on the front lines of the enterprise to the back-end applications running on corporate servers located behind the firewall. Mobile middleware allows mobile devices with different capabilities to communicate with the complex programs that reside on the enterprise server, regardless of compatibility issues that might otherwise thwart a direct connection between the two. These compatibility issues include differences between operating systems and applications, or even the memory and processor characteristics of the accessing devices. Mobile middleware market includes a broad range of different application types, from customer-relationship management (CRM), field sales and service to asset management and tracking, To date,CRM covers a big part of the mobile-middleware market by leveraging customer information or helping field workers get the information they need.
Tuesday, August 30, 2005
Internet & Mobiles : Fastest Adoption
Matt Blumberg points to an interesting chart - a significant one at that - literally talking about life changing impact of technologies and their adoption. Mankind has been adopting new technologies faster and faster over the last century. The surprising element is the faster adoption of the new age technologies. The chart, from a report issued by the Dallas branch of the Federal Reserve, shows the U.S. household penetration of new technologies on the vertical axis and years from date of introduction on the horizontal axis.The adoption of internet and the mobile phone may record to be the fastest adoption by mankind of any new technology. I guess that these two may also score to be the most quickly embraced technology in big numbers globally across rich and poor nations. Pointer of things to come in the flat world?
Becoming A Marketer & Creating Passionate Users
Kathy Sierra has an interesting post on the changing face of marketing. She writes with good insights, it's so trendy to diss marketing. Especially if you're in engineering, product design, or virtually anything but marketing. In this new open-source/cluetrain world, evryone is a marketer.If you're interested in creating passionate users, or keeping your job, or breathing life into a startup, or getting others to contribute to your open source project, or getting your significant other to agree to the vacation you want to go on..Congratulations. You're in marketing. The difference between what we now consider "old-school marketing" (otherwise known as The Four P's - Product,Price, Promotion, and Placement - heavy on advertising and "branding") and the "neo-marketing" we're doing here is frickin' huge. When people are passionate about something, and in a state of flow-and you have contributed to that by helping users/members learn and grow and kick ass-these are some of the happiest moments in their lives. Trying to promote more of that is something we should feel wonderful about, not guilty.
Gmail To Provide 3GB Space By Jan 2006
Adi Oltean of Microsoft has technical insights on how GMail will evolve in the near future and concludes that GMail will offer around 3 GB around Jan 1 2006. Going by the article, Gmail already offers 2.5 GB space to users- can anyone confirm about this.
Category :Google |
Making More Legitimacy Services
Jim Moore writes, "The world of informal media now has two main legitimizing institutions, each of which has its strengths and weaknesses".
Category :Legitimacy |
The Disappearing Corporate Ladder
Paul Graham writes, "In the past there existed a corporate ladder. In the past, a position on the corporate ladder was genuinely valuable, because big companies tried not to fire people, and promoted from within based largely on seniority. A position on the corporate ladder had a value analogous to the "goodwill" that is a very real element in the valuation of companies. It meant one could expect future high paying jobs. One of main causes of the decay of the corporate ladder is the trend for takeovers that began in the 1980s. Why waste your time climbing a ladder that might disappear before you reach the top?
Category : Corporate Ladder |
Costs Precede Expertise As Driver For Offshoring
(Via Silicon.com) New research indicates that companies providing IT products and services will continue to increase their use of outsourcing agreements in order to lower overhead expenses. Evans Data survey finds, 33 per cent of businesses surveyed intend to increase their use of outsourcing during the next year, while only 6 per cent said they are planning to decrease their number of outsourcing pacts. In terms of overall workload, 45 per cent of respondents to the Evans survey said they outsource less than a quarter of their development operations, with only 7 per cent reporting that they farm out better than 50 per cent of that sort of work. Companies are focused increasingly on outsourcing as a way to cut costs rather than find specific expertise, reversing a trend of years past. A significant number of enterprises said that saving money was their primary goal in adopting outsourcing pacts, while a lesser number specified expertise as their objective.The situation has changed in five years – while in 2000 only 15 per cent of the companies surveyed in 2000 listed cost cutting as a main driver for outsourcing, while 44 per cent said they used the arrangements specifically to garner skilled talent. Researchers at Evans said that they expect the trend toward budget-related outsourcing to continue to grow. Another interesting result of the survey highlights lot more companies planning to spend more on IT over the next year.
Category : Offshoring |
Monday, August 29, 2005
The Ping Folly
Ben Trott provides a fresh perspective on Ping mechanisms. Generally tools have pinged weblogs.com and blo.gs for years. But of late, there are more and more parties interested in receiving direct pings, rather than federating based off of the updates that weblogs.com and blo.gs have always propagated. It's a bit ridiculous to suggest that direct pinging is the only possible technical way to find out about updates to a site. Google and other search engines seem to do pretty well in keeping their indexes current, even though they don't receive any pings. And they're indexing billions of web sites, while there are only tens of millions of weblogs. The ping federation was expected to solve at least some of the problems, but has not done till now . With Services like TypePad and LiveJournal, the issue of authentication & spam pings is not as problematic – they can now on – with a stream of updates to blogs on services that listeners can watch.
Category : Ping |
A.T.Kearney Still Finding A Suitor
Talks to sell A.T. Kearney, the high-end consulting arm to another consulting firm, Monitor Group, collapsed after negotiations failed to yield an acceptable agreement.EDS bought A.T.Kearney about a decade ago for around $600 million. A.T. Kearney had revenue of $806 million for all of last year employs over 3,200 people in 35 countries, had an operating loss of $10 million in the period. Earlier, EDS in a bid to make A.T.Kearney independent, the company's headquarters was shifted to Chicago and new advertising campaign was launched that didn't include the "An EDS company" tagline. As the move did not yield results,EDS believes "it's in the best interest of A.T. Kearney to have a new ownership”. In June EDS said it had shifted its plans for A.T. Kearney, opting to sell the business to an outside party and abandoning pursuit of a management buyout. Who could be the takers? How about offshoring companies- they may be worried about the high cost structure and negative cash flow - but this also opens up a fresh question - what specific value can A.T.Kearney provide to acquirers .In the consulting arena, just as in technology sector, the cost structures are changing - India HQ vendors are definitely attempting newer ways of providing services in the consulting space as well.They would be concerned about mucking their profitability streams, if they plan to acquire A.T.Kearney with its existing cost structure and its mode of operations.Some one not having a established consulting practice - trying to move up the value chain,can perhaps consider - even though the cost may appear to be high.
Category :A.T.Kearney |
Context Specific Personalised Search Results
(Via New Scientist) Personalising searches has long been a challenge. Search engine Vivisimo allows searchers to personalise pages manually by clustering the results of ambiguous searches. This allows subsequent searches for "jaguar", for example, to group pages into separate categories for cats and cars. An upcoming search tool will comb hard drive and work out personal interests before serving up web pages tailored to one’s taste. The search engine shall automatically ranks results according to information about your personal interests it gathers from your PC. Wow - Same query may result in varied results depending on the machine from which you are searching - one result in office desktop, another in blackberry and yet another at home. Different results in Office goer's PC, College goer's PC, Teenager's PC.. Quite interesting - it may become the case that a person is better known by the system that he carries/uses.. Interesting indeed.
Category :Search |
The Power Of Mobiles : Breaking Barriers
(Via IHT) In Japan, Yahoo has already made 50 percent of its PC content available on Yahoo Mobileincluding news, finance, shopping and travel services. The need for mobile readiness is particularly acute for certain services like auctions. About 10 percent of bidding at Yahoo Japan is already conducted via mobile phone. The phone screen and the Internet content underneath is almost always controlled by the mobile carrier. Yahoo and the other major Japanese portals, like Excite Japan, MSN and Goo, see that barrier breaking down, and they are investing heavily in their mobile phone content. The number of Web sites designed for viewing on cellphones is starting to catch up with the number of pages designed for PCs. There are 400 million to 500 million searchable Japanese-language Web pages, compared with 60 million mobile Web pages. Including carriers' pages, the cellphone total goes up to an estimated 100 million. The proliferation of cellphone Web pages is likely to surge again with the advent of "number portability," which allows subscribers to hold on to their phone numbers when switching service providers, and is likely to be introduced next year. When that happens, competition among carriers will increase and subscribers will gravitate to content from portals like Yahoo, which users can get irrespective of their carriers.
Category :Mobiles |
Sunday, August 28, 2005
Telecom Industry - Changing Landscape
OECD’s Communications Outlook 2005 report finds the communications industry has returned to profitability but developments in Internet technology are challenging the role and business model of traditional telecoms companies, creating pressures for a new approach to industry regulation. Some key findings:
Category : Telecom |
SOA - Businessification, SaaS, and Integration
we had been covering the advancements in SOA and mulitple perspectives in adopting SOA within the enterprise. In respect of business, SOA is fast becoming vital to the enterprise not just as this gives insight into the right way to approach IT - platform independence, reusable code, and so on - but because it furthers the ongoing "business-ification" of IT.For most companies today, IT doesn't just serve the business, as increasingly IT becomes the business. SOA permits the rapid realignment of that nervous system to suit the organism's needs without limiting its ability to change again tomorrow as the economy and competitive environment evolve. In this context, we see that the process of initiating SOA is always challenged along the lines of How to do application partitioning and decompose into granular components and the means to develop/extend and deploy these. After all new platforms and tools have always characterized new phase advancements in IT. SOA adoptions inside the enterprise - the applications may be enhancements/integration of existing applications or in few cases new set of applications. The adoption seems to be a rising curve – meaning we may get to see a lot more of this in the days to come.
Category :SaaS, SOA |
Google Set To Create A New Desktop & Internet World
Rajesh points to a guest post in Om Malik's Blogsite by Robert Young wherein Bob highlights that the internet has a deflationary effect on every industry it touches, whether it be financial services, travel, printing & publishing, media & entertainment, or telephony. Google’s strategic plan it seems is to obviously leverage deflation to its own advantage. He adds, "Google’s recent moves show that they are using “free” to gradually devalue of Microsoft’s assets, and thus its market cap. This is part of a mutation of the OS into a whole new animal. Google with their desire to build a comprehensive “platform will make Microsoft’s entire strategic plan and mission, which revolves around the continued proliferation and dominance of the desktop PC operating system, obsolete by making Google itself the (virtual)operating system". In the future, all computing devices, whether it be the PC, mobile phone, TV, etc., will simply be terminals that “plug-in” to Google’s massive server grid and application services. With the increasing price/performance of CPUs, memory, bandwidth, and storage, Google’s strategic edge will be based on their advantageous cost of processing bits. Free services, supported by advertsing become the new model (user should be comfortable sharing data & behavious though). In future google shall provide solutions for meeting all computing needs & Bob writes tantalisingly that hardware devices shall be bought based on such criteria. This way, Google is using the internet to systematically devalue Microsoft’s assets, forcing a “Microsoft’s Black Monday” on the wall street in future. David card adds Google is leveraging themantra that built Microsoft: who controls the UI controls the user; who controls the API controls the programmer. Great businesses are made of this.
Category : Google, Desktop |
Saturday, August 27, 2005
Hosted CRM Solutions - IWeek Comparison
Informationweek has come out with a report om comparing Hosted CRM Solutions. The article prefaces by writing that this is not an endorsement to use hosted CRM within enterprises and asks enteprises to assess by deciding whether to turn over something as critical as CRM to an outside party calls for soul-searching on both the IT and business sides- as customer relationships are the core of your business. A careful consideration about whether getting a single CRM system from an outsourcer help salespeople do their jobs better is neesed. Questions like should entire customer database reside in the hands of a third party? Would the CRM provider stick around? What are its service-level agreements- won't it have service-provider or software problem that may not be fixed right away? For business processes that are unique, can an outsider offer the flexibility you need?. All need to be answered beforehand.
Category :Hosted CRM |
The Evolving Corporate Blogs
Several people ask me on norms & guidlines for corporate communications blogging. Deutsche Bank has come out with a crisp report on blogging for corporate communications. Corporate blogs are still in their infancy. Their number is estimated to total 5,000 in the USA. The trend is booming, though. Traditional media, such as newspapers or television, have begun to integrate blogs in their websites. Companies are assigning employees or external authors to deploy blogs as a public-relations tool or as a way to disseminate product information.
Category :Corporate Blogs |
Open Source : A Good Marketing Slogan
We have been covering in this blog about the downside of opensource questioning its maturity, lack of business model, some some perspectives and Reality Check.Forbes writes about VA Software - claiming to be “at the center of the open source technology revolution” operating SourceForge.net, a site where developers collaborate on open source projects and it also runs Web sites, like Slashdot and NewsForge, where the anti-Microsoft crowd rails against the evils of proprietary, closed source software. Forbes says that it turns out VA Software's main product, SourceForge Enterprise Edition, is as closed-source and non-free. Customers cannot view or modify the program's source code or basic underlying instructions (a hallmark of open source software), and they definitely can't share the code with others. Officials at VA Software say they can't release SourceForge Enterprise Edition as an open source program, because, if they did, copycats could create knockoffs of the program, and that would hurt sales.
Friday, August 26, 2005
WiMax : Stage Set For Disruption
We are regularly tracking the developments around Wimax here, here, here. Wired writes, going by what was spoken about in the recently concluded Intel developer’s conference – within the next10 years - we will sit in our living rooms watching films as they premiere at local theaters, carry on video conferences across the globe and chat using VOIP services. Intel envisions that wireless internet networks will eventually be ubiquitous and ultra-fast, enabled by WiMax that allows for citywide broadband networks. Instead of the services we use today for voice and video, we'll turn to wideband audio and new systems for transmitting movies online. Intel's disruptive bets go beyond wireless technology. With a stake in Skype, - intel is well positioned provide a boon to makers of home-theater systems and providers of next-generation voice-over-IP services. "Their dedication to the use of WiMax for the delivery of high-quality content is an interesting shift," said Andy Castonguay, senior analyst with the Yankee Group. "Essentially what that's going to do is really drive a number of competitive delivery models in a way that could potentially shake up a number of industries here in the U.S. and potentially overseas."
Category : Emerging Technology, Emerging Trends , Wimax |
Abolish H1B Cap : WSJ
Rather than trying to guess the number of foreign workers the US economy needs year-to-year, Congress would be better off removing the cap altogether and letting the market decide, writes the WSJ. Each year, the U.S. issues a set number of H-1B visas to educated foreign professionals with specialized skills. Earlier it was announced that the annual H-1B cap of 65,000 already has been reached for next year. What this effectively means is that any number of fields dependent on high-skilled labor could be facing worker shortages: science, medicine, engineering, computer programming. It also means that tens of thousands of foreigners - who've graduated from U.S. universities and applied for the visas to stay here and work for American firms - will be shipped home to start companies or work for our global competitors.
Category :H1B Visa |
Ajax, Rails & Web 2.0 : A New Era Of Web Applications
This blog has been covering the developments centered aroun Ajax, Web 2.0 and their impact on the environment. As I begin to delve deeply into the world of Ajax, Web 2.0 & Ruby On Rails, it is becoming increasingly clear to me that these technologies really transform the web into a more effective applications platform; and jazzy frameworks like Rails facilitate bringing down the application development time and effort to a situation where something special becomes so common. With application development becoming faster, cheaper and easier, new avenues of design, development, enhancements and collaboration gets opened up:
Category :New Web Applications |
The Peaked Google, Embattled Microsoft & Disruptive Apple
Cringley thinks that with more than $2.5 billion in cash already on-hand, Google may not have any plans at all for that extra $4 billion. The company may be raising the money as a cheap insurance policy against some later day when Wall Street might not be so enamored of the giant search company. Google may not go after big acquisitions but will roll-out incremental products at a blinding pace. PayPal co-founder Max Levchin explains that rapid development is an important key to market dominance. That pace of technical development, which probably isn't sustainable for long at any company, isn't possible at all at more mature companies like AOL, Yahoo, and especially Microsoft. Google’s plans are not clear – including the rumoured dark fiber, data center etc. Google needs ever more bandwidth, sure, so dark fiber makes sense to buy when it is probably as cheap as it is ever going to get. It will take the company another five years just to mature the businesses they already have.
Category :Apple & Microsoft |
Indian Ocean Tsunami's Puzzling Waves
The tsunami that ricocheted around the world following the Indian Ocean earthquake last year left a puzzling pattern of waves in its wake. Beaches in Peru and Mexico, nearly 20,000 kilometres from the earthquake, received waves that were three times larger than those hitting the shores of the Cocos Islands, just 1700 km away. Now it turns out that the waves were funnelled along underwater structures, such as mid-ocean ridges and continental shelves.Researchers find that there were two main factors affecting the manner in which the tsunami wave spread – focusing from the source, and guidance from the topography of the sea floor. Close to the epicentre the waves were controlled mostly by the shape of the earthquake fault and the long-thin rectangle of water it violently displaced. “Cocos Island lies to one side, so it didn’t receive much direct energy,” explains Titov. Meanwhile, waves further afield were shaped more by sea floor topography. The energy shot along mid-ocean ridges and continental shelves, to reach far-field locations like Peru and Mexico. The simulation also explains why some nearby islands, like Nias, did not suffer much initially, but were hit by a large wave many hours later. New scientist has compiled tons of data and a lot of analysis – excellent read for those interested.
Category : Tsunami |
China : Myth Of Manufacturing Excellence
(Via Jeff)A forbes article captures the real state of small scale manufacturing in China. Michael Allen’s Jolida (joe-LEE-da) makes amplifiers and CD players that were burning out and breaking down; paint bubbled and peeled, volume knobs made buzzing sounds. Overwhelmed by returns of faulty products, in 2001 Allen was losing money, being hounded by creditors, struggling to make payroll and fending off his wife, who insisted he should flip the "off" switch on his crazy hi-fi venture and find something else to do for a living. "Americans think they're just going to start sending orders to some factory in China and bing-bang start getting whatever they want for 80% less,"says Allen, chief executive of Jolida in Annapolis Junction, Md. "It doesn't work that way.You're dealing with people who grew up in a communist system. Quality control?There is none." Chinese-made diodes, resistors and circuit boards were cheap, but 15% of them were defective. So Allen started buying parts from Germany,Japan, Malaysia and South Korea and shipping them to Shanghai. This adds $10 to the cost of an amplifier, but it cut the return rate from 5% to 1%. Definitely worth it for these costly appliances (priced from $350 for a 30-watt amp to $9,500 for a three-piece system that puts out 200 watts per channel). “A lot of American companies are propelled by fear "he says. "They think, ‘I've got to get into this lower-cost structure because everyone else is.' They imagine China is going to be just like here, that they'll just look in the Yellow Pages and find a good supplier. His message to U.S. entrepreneurs rushing over: Slow down Important read for all those interested in china.
Category : China |
Small As Efficient As Big Via Technology
(Via IHT)While the likes of Amazon, eBay, Google & Yahoo come to anyone’s mind when we think about the economic impact of information technology, the biggest impact on the economy may well show up in small and medium-size enterprises. As computers get cheaper, more powerful and more connected, technologies that were only available to the WalMarts of the world become available to the small fry. By the late 1980s cash registers had become just another computer application. They could add up receipts, compare sales with inventory, create order lists - in short, they could do just about everything that the big chains could do. In the 1990s, cash registers became networked, allowing the small stores to download records in a form suitable for spreadsheet analysis and accounting software. Big chains like Wal-Mart could use satellite networks and mainframe computers to track purchases, manage inventory and record customer behavior. These intelligent cash registers allowed small companies to adopt business models that had previously been available only to large enterprises. Equipped with a scanner, a cash register could be used to verify the sale of each item, allowing companies to share data on revenue with the supplier. Some ice cream manufacturers effectively contract for space for a freezer in a store and share the revenue from purchases each time a sale is made.
Category : Internet & Business |
Thursday, August 25, 2005
The Intensifying Global Race For R&D
Recently came across this series India’s rise as an R&D hub. Technology companies must first win the battle for R&D talentbefore they can win the battle for market share. The cliché that "the company's most valuable assets walk out the door each night" has never been truer. Time and time again, companies with the best R&D talent win the battle for market dominance. Companies ranging from unproven tech start-ups to Silicon Valley giants are now trolling campuses in search of the best talentin the world. Much as GEis considered a top recruiting ground for future CEO candidates, companies like Google, Microsoft, Yahoo and IBM are among the top places to recruit top technology talent. With China looming in the distance as a competitive threat in the tech sector, companies realize that they must recruit at Microsoft and Google just as they once recruited at General Electric. From a macroeconomic perspective, it is clear that R&D spending matters. The U.S. spends 2.59% of its GDP on R&D, while the European Union designates a relatively paltry 1.93% of its GDP to scientific and technological development. China, by comparison, spends only 1.3% of its GDP on R&D spending. Clearly, countries (like companies) can only become leaders in a global knowledge-based economy by paying more attention to innovation and creativity. With that in mind, both Europe and China are trying to catch up with the U.S. by increasing their R&D spending. More than just pouring millions of dollars into R&D initiatives, companies must adopt a comprehensive view of talent that places a premium on the ability to come up with new ideas and new business approaches. The fact that R&D talent is in such demand is perhaps not so surprising, considering the potential impact that creativity and innovation could have on the next round of global economic development. As Daniel Pink, shows in his new book. "A Whole New Mind: Moving from the Information Age to the Conceptual Age," the key competitive differentiator in the coming years will be the ability of companies to tap into right-brain thinking. Factors like creativity, intuitiveness and design will be more highly prized than linear, analytical thinking. Being able to see the whole picture will be more important than being able to crunch numbers. By moving their talent to the front lines in the R&D war, companies are able to integrate their talent strategy with their business strategy, giving them the best chance to leverage the innovative thinking of their best researchers.
Category :Global R&D |
TIBCO & Time Based Pricing
Jason Stamper earlier scooped about the integration vendor Tibco's plans to roll out a rental-style pricing model last week. Tibco says that this applies to all products and will be made available to all customers - both new and existing. The company is already incrementally rolling out its "Time-Based" pricing model, which enables customers to pay for a bundle of software, services and maintenance over time. Vivek Ranadive insists that it in no way replaces its more traditional license sales model, but rather is complementary. As it already makes substantial% of its revenue from a combination of ongoing maintenance revenue and services – this move is not to be seen in place of Tibco's traditional software sales, but in addition to. This is not a wholesale move to subscriptions - some customers who may prefer to consume software packaged with services on a more utility-style basis, they now have that option.
Category : Time Based Pricing |
Manmohanomics : A Good Perspective
In an interview with Mr.Rajat Gupta, Dr.Manmohan Singh,Prime Minister of India discusses his plans to modernize the country's infrastructure, attract FDI, and create jobs - all in the service of eliminating chronic poverty and disease in India. Dr.Singh rates his government achievements at six out of ten, a performance he said was unsatisfactory. I sort of liked reading this as what came out looked like a clear perspective of what the country should be aiming for and a certain amount of big hat thinking with doses of moderation and reality. Some key points from the interview:
Category :India |
Wednesday, August 24, 2005
The Internet Movement Pioneers – More To Come
The Week has an interesting article by Sabeer Bhatia and an equally interesting profile of Rajesh Jain. Highly timely , it covers the evolution of the internet thus fare and related opportunities and give a look ahead in terms of what could be in store. Sabeer Bhatia writes, The growth in Internet usage did not happen in a steady manner. The inflexion point happened in the late 90s precipitated by two innovations — the availability of the ubiquitous Web browser and e-mail services such as Hotmail. Since then, the Internet has evolved into a platform for free speech that is now accessed by nearly a billion users worldwide, and its influence and impact on communications, commerce and intellectual freedom is unprecedented. In India, this opened up opportunities for consumers—the medium could be leveraged to achieve social, business and development objectives—and for software creators to craft technology solutions based around the Internet to establish India as a powerhouse for innovation. India’s performance on the first front has been middling. The Internet user population in India is estimated at around 25 million - it is an anaemic figure. Also, this growth is concentrated almost exclusively within large cities. I am often asked a question: "Could you have done Hotmail in India?" And my answer has inevitably been, "No!" Had I attempted to create Hotmail in India, somebody would have come to me claiming that I was taking away the revenues of phone or fax companies! The Internet can be a powerful democratising force, offering greater social, economic and political participation to communities that have traditionally been overlooked. While there have been several attempts to bring down the cost of PCs to an affordable level, these efforts have been largely misplaced. I do not believe that bringing down the cost of a PC, to say Rs 10,000, would magically facilitate a ‘tipping point’ that would unleash wide adoption. Mobile networks, that are increasingly pervasive in India, will provide the last-mile channel for individuals to access the public Internet network and these will increasingly be broadband in nature. To boot, Internet access can be provided by upgrading the many privately-run public telephone offices in the country today. This blog covered about challenges and unique solutions in improving teledensity in India.
Category :People, Pioneers |
Leadership : Context & Future
Fastcompany has a very interesting perspective on leadership and the challenges faced in the emerging future. The article starts by defining leadership as a fuse of vision and integrity, perseverance and courage, a hunger for innovation, and a willingness to take risks and goes on to cover Anthony J. Mayo and Nitin Nohria's perspective :The duo unearths an immutable attribute that's shared by all of the giants of business: They had an innate ability to read the forces that shaped the times in which they lived - and to seize on the resulting opportunities – naming it aptly as “Contextual Intelligence”. They have also come up with a ranking of the top 100 business leaders of all time.
Category :Leadership |
Tuesday, August 23, 2005
Oracle/IBM Battle Beyond The Database
(Via Javaworld)Oracle is building its middleware portfolio through R&D and acquisitions and is increasingly getting positioned as head-to-head competitor with IBM. Already locked in the database slugfest, the middleware fight seems to add a distinct flavour to it. SAP and Microsoft, also see opportunity as corporate data centers move to environments where data and systems are shared and reused in so-called service-oriented architectures. Middleware - such as application servers, business integration software, and data management systems based on open standards and Web services - provides the foundation for this new IT environment. Information and the integration of information is becoming much more important, as it helps enterprise gain insight into their own operations, their customers and their competitors. The fight is essentially controlling every possible space as the industry itself is transiting, mutating before consolidation.
Category :Enterprise Consolidation. |
WebOS & Beginning Of The End Of Microsoft Dominance
The Google desktop with sidebar is seeing rave reviews and lot of views are coming out as to how Google may move into the center of the desktop. Jason Kottke has an excellent perspective about the evolving WebOS segment. Excerpts with edits and comments:
Category :WebOS |
Intel + RIM = Exciting Future
Intel and RIM have agreed to a deal where Blackberry will use battery-saving chip technology in future versions of wireless handsets and support Intel’s push to encourage WiMAX long-distance wireless communications technology. A Research in Motion / Intel partnership may also give a glimpse of what is to come in future versions of BlackBerry handheld devices. RIM doesn’t yet offer the volumes that would normally attract the likes of Intel, they are a dominant player in the handheld market, a market that Intel has had trouble entering. The low-power Centrino chip would, of course make it easier for RIM to build Wi-Fi capabilities into future versions of the BlackBerry. When you hear about Intel getting into bed with a wireless handset maker to offer low-power, battery-saving chipsets that you could be talking about some type of Centrino technology. A Centrino powered next-gen BlackBerry that is WiMAX ready is too exciting to think of. Interesting development indeed.
Category :Emerging Trends, Emerging Technologies |
SOA : Broad & Deep Adoption Within The Enterprise
The Industry Analyst Reporter highlights that SOA used primarily by large enterprises to rescue applications and processes in distress is now reaching ubiquitous implementation in the U.S, regardless of size or vertical industry designation, according to the high tech industry analysts. The Yankee Group sees, in a matter of a few years, SOA has seen wide adoption across the market, most notably among wireless, financial services and government sectors. Survey results show that retail will show the fastest adoption rate in the next 12 months; planned use of SOA in 2006 reaches saturation for wireless, retail, financial, manufacturing and government. 2006 will be the year of initial SOA project completion on a broad basis - not a hit or miss trend, but through a rising tide of broad and deep adoption of SOA across the market. Up until now, SOA implementation has been a predominantly homegrown, in-house affair, but now plans are in place to employ comprehensive SOA solutions strategically as a foundational improvement in areas such as application integration and content aggregation. As Sandra Rogers points out,We’ve had business process technology for a while, but it’s all been proprietary. Now there’s an effort to get a view of end-to-end processes. There are many business drivers you can point to: compliance issues and regulations that require process tracking and auditing, older legacy applications, and client-server applications. The need for flexibility is driving a lot of the interest. The adaptability, the flexibility to create a system and change it as needed are important. We’ve also seen companies taking advantage of the speed to deployment and the reusability of these services. It’s a continuing learning process—they’re trying to figure out the most efficient way to develop a service. We hear from people who are turning to vendors to provide these services. The amount of vendor support behind the standards is critical. Users see continued forward movement on the part of the vendors, and that lends a lot of credibility to Web services.Enterprises ramping up their SOA initiatives indicate they are placing their focus on content, data and metadata. Amongst the standards that matter, XML tops the list and tools, directory and middleware messaging standards followed in order of importance. SOA is definitely top on the list in many enterprises - How holistically - they can be planned, executed and leveraged are the key determinants of success.
BEA & The Evolving Portal Landscape
BEA is in the news of late for matters like improved quarterly results, beefing up Business Process Integration engine and CPU pricing norms revision.Today it announced the acquisition of Plumtree portal software.
Category :Portals, Consolidation |
Execution Is The Key - Ideas Are Just A Multiplier
Derek Sivers writes, being protective about ideas has been historically felt. Ideas are worth nothing unless executed. They are just a multiplier. Execution is worth millions. Good ideas include some thinking about execution and delivery. In general moving from an interesting but vague idea, to specific and actionable is the difficult part of creation and invention.
Category : Execution & Ideas |
Monday, August 22, 2005
The Internet Ecosystem : Innovate, Create & Compensate!
The Internet is a place of innovation, creation, and communication & any regulatory mechanism need to be centered around the principle - “don't constrain the technology; constrain bad actors”, writes Greg & Susan. In an excellent article starting from first principles , they argue about the care and subtlety needed in regulating the internet environment. Excerpts with edits & comments added:
Category :DRM, Internet |
Sunday, August 21, 2005
Indian Top Four & Reigning Leaders As Old Standby's
India headquartered software companies could potentially unseat such giants as EDS, CSC, Capgemini, Unisys, Perot Systems, Accenture and BearingPoint,says a study by Katzenbach Partners LLC (New York). The study finds that the indian big four - Infosys, Wipro, Satyam and TCS will have greater market incentives and capabilities to serve customers consistently and make good on promises during the critical third and fourth years of contracts. Indian firms are motivated to grow and maintain quality, and the marketplace has taken into account the quality of their operations and cash flow. The U.S. and European players are mainly seeking to build value by cutting costs, whereas the India headquartered companies will continue to invest in clients into a contract, when half of all outsourcing deals normally would fall apart. Legacy Outsourcing players may disappoint customers deep into IT Contracts. Richard Schroth, a technology and outsourcing expert & Nathaniel J. Mass, have developed a new corporate performance metric called the Relative Value of Growth(TM) (RVG) and together with Roopa Unnikrishnan, worked on the report and its findings were shared recently. RVG determines the degree to which a company is rewarded - in terms of market capitalization - for growth and/or margin improvement. Companies with high RVGs that are predominantly rewarded by growth tend to be rewarded handsomely for achieving it - and also tend to have strong profit margin A virtuous cycle is seen with Indian outsourcing companies: Strong growth boosts valuation ratios, which, in turn, create reinforcing incentives to grow. Indian companies offer superior operating margins due to low cost of service, strong vertical market focus, high quality, reinvestment in innovation and strict conformance with global standards. The U.S. & European players will not be rewarded by Wall Street for growing and investing - only for streamlining, and that's not good for customers.A company rewarded by margin improvement tends to have an inferior profit margin and may realise less pronounced gains in shareholder value, due mainly to the difficulties of trying for cost improvements to retain long-running customers. In analysing IT and outsourcing firms, the study finds Indian players to have a high relative value of growth rating. They are highly motivated to grow and the marketplace recognizes its quality of their operations, cash flow and prospects. But American and European companies have much lower relative value of growth rating, meaning their main incentive is to build value by cutting costs.
Category : Outsourcing, Emerging Trends, Indian Big Four. |
Composites: Potential To Transform Enterprise Application Landscape
Last week, Sandhill published a piece that I wrote about the emerging world of composite applications. I had been too busy the whole of last week -could not find the time and inclination to write a brief for this blog and point to sandhill. Here's the excerpt:
Category :Composite Applications |
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