Global Mobile App Platforms

July 15, 2009 7:33 AM

Dave Barnes, the CIO of UPS, made the Top 50 CIO list.

There's a lesson to be learnt from UPS's Delivery Information Acquisition Device.

You know the one-- every UPS delivery person has one.

The latest version of this device was the first in the industry to use personal area (Bluetooth), local area (WiFi) and wide area (GPRS or CDMA) wireless connectivity options; and to introduce GPS to the handheld computer market.

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I recently highlighted Coke's new Freestyle dispenser.

Bob Evans made some great observations: "Coke's new ultrahigh-tech Freestyle dispensers are also new-product labs, customer-experience workshops, wireless repositories, data warehouse gateways, merchandising machines, inventory managers, and, perhaps above all else, truly transformative devices that shift more and more choice, options, and freedom from the seller to the buyer."

He also highlights the fact that Freestyle is the result of the first-ever deep collaboratiuon between Coke's research arm and its IT organization.

There are lots of IT lessons to be learnt here, not the least of which is thta IT needs to understand the business.

TiVo'ing Conference Calls

July 10, 2009 6:30 AM

An IDC study sponsored by Nortel found that 16 percent of the global information work force is already hyperconnected, and that another 36 percent are poised to join them soon.

One interesting result is that more than 1 in 3 business users would like to be able to "TiVo" their conference calls.

TiVo, if you are not familiar with it, is a subscription service, that can bring you all your favorite TV shows, ready to watch whenever you want and wherever you are. It's a Digital Video Recorder, effectively a disk-based VCR, which can connect to the Internet, to deliver movies to your PC, laptop or Netbook and video, music, photos, and more--right to your TV.

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Kim Tae Keuk, the CIO of LG Electronics gets it.

"A lot of CEOs want their CIO to be a business partner, not just a master technician. One way to do that is to become true experts at the company's business processes and then help innovate those processes"

To me, the business value of Unified Communications comes when UC is integrated into business processes leveraging vendor-agnostic integration software such as Nortel's ACE. It's all about accelerating these business processes by reducing human latency.

Kim is right when he says that CIO can mean Chief Innovation Officer... and software-centric UC can be a key enabler.

John McHugh, who runs Nortel's Enterprise Data business apparently wants to bring back Bay Networks, not just as a brand, but as a stand-alone business (stand-alone, as opposed to one part of an larger VoIP, UC or Application business).

He claims that his business is a corporate "afterthought", and has been obscured by Nortel's push into UC, though Nortel has done some creative marketing with respect to energy efficiencies of both its Data and UC portfolios.

The ultimate criteria will be decided by whether splitting Nortel Enterprise in two will bring in more money or not.

This will depend in turn on the value that any prospective buyer puts on Nortel Data business.

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Wireless "Practical" Bandwidth

July 2, 2009 8:37 AM

The Swedish Consumer Ombudsman has announced that wireless operators in Sweden must stop making bandwidth claims that don't align with what the customer will get.

For example, a service with a theoretical bandwidth of 7.2Mbit/s (including all sorts of overheads, will now be marketed as having "a practical maximum speed of 6M bps."

This "practical" claim is not all that practical, since it assumes optimal conditions (no other users and best location).

While this is a step in the right direction, at least for enterprises, how about a minimum committed rate at peak hours, reflecting some sort of engineering criteria?

This would allow IT to start making choices on price/performance.

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A Plug from HP, but not for them

June 29, 2009 9:03 AM

At first I thought this was neat, but then I thought about it some more.

\HP wall socket.jpg

This fits into a standard wall junction and includes
> four 10/100 Ethernet ports (why so many?)
> a pass-through standard phone jack and
> a WiFi access point.

All I would ever want is good WiFi access.

But HP's WiFi offer has no 802.11n, just a/b.

At US$349, you might want something with longer life.

That was Coke's slogan back in the 70s.

With 1.6B consumer servings per day, Coca-Cola is always looking for new ways to serve their customers.

Enter Freestyle Coke, a hyperconnected vending machine that can give you 100 drink choices, while giving Coke better on-line inventory control and first hand market research.

FreeStyle Coke.jpg

How? By embedding 30 flavor cartridges (example that come to mind: caffiene, sugar, fruits) that network back to HQ.

Is a hamburger dispenser next?

The Nortel User Association held its annual conference, Global Connect, in Pittsburgh earlier this month, just before the 7th and final game for the Stanley Cup between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Detroit Red Wings in Detroit

Henry Dewing of Forrester Research provided a well-balanced view on this event on his blog.

Henry observed that "customers wanted to compare them (Nortel) to the Pittsburgh Penguins wondering whether they could pull off one more win to take the Cup."

Ánd they did!

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Blackberry is Tops

June 22, 2009 6:37 AM

Blackberry is tops in 3 of the top 5 smartphone categories.

Why such success in the enterprise hyperconnected world?

Three reasons why it beat out the iPhone:

1) Enterprise fit, apps and security- R3 of iPhone will narrow the gap.
2) Carrier support: Blackberry is available from all top 4 US carriers, while iPhone is only available from AT&T. Remember that many enterprises have a preferred wireless provider, so this is a big deal for those that aren't with AT&T.
3) Blackberry is a more mature product in a market that they have created (at least in enterprise).

As the smartphone market matures, driven by consumers, expect to see more competition in the enterprise segment.

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Zafirovski Comes To Ottawa

June 19, 2009 3:44 PM

I attended a Canadian Parliamentary Finance Committee yesterday at which Mike Zafirovski, the CEO of Nortel, defended bonuses for execs, and Nortel Pensioners presented their case. One headline read "Zafirovski faces MPs, angry Nortel pensioners".

You can read Zafirovski's opening remarks yourself.

The stated perception from Nortel Pensioners was that all of Nortel will be sold off.

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UC Enhances Your IQ

June 17, 2009 6:41 AM

A few years back, a psychiatrist at King's College London University, monitored the IQ of workers in 80 clinical trials.

What he found is that workers distracted by phone calls, e-mails and text messages suffer a greater loss of IQ than a person smoking marijuana or losing a nights sleep. That's the down side of hyperconnectivity.

The upside exists in unified communications.

In simplifying and integrated a person's communications environment, UC can be viewed as an IQ enhancer, as compared to today's environment where employees need to juggle messages and work.

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The CEO of Siemens Enterprise Networks has left Siemens. The new interim CEO is from Gores Group, the private equity firm that owns SEN..

No reason has been given, but could it be due to a disagreement on details associated with potentially acquiring Nortel's enterprise business?

And if that happened, would this open the door for Joel Hackney, Nortel Enterprise's current President, to head the combined business?

I have already suggested this might be an interesting marriage.

Five months have passed without a word from Nortel.

Maybe Nortel is waiting the full nine months to announce who the father will be for its Enterprise business? I hope not.

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Nortel just released Release 2 of their Agile Communication Environment, communications integration middleware that can help create communications enabled applications across multivendor communications environments. In my mind ACE represents one of the crown jewels of Nortel technology.


Multivendor Hotdesking is highlighted as a key new capability, which had been developed for HSBC as a lead user.

Of course, single vendor hot desking is a feature of most IP Telephony systems, allowing users to walk up to any IP phone.

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Cisco Too Will Fall

June 8, 2009 7:05 AM

Who would have predicted a year ago that GM would be in Chapter 11? Nothing is forever.

Cisco too will fall... someday.

What might bring it to this state?

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