Mobile War for China features Apple VS Samsung

Universal  Smart Phones
Universal Smart Phones

In recent consulting work in the PRC we have noticed that Apple is struggling to gain ground against Samsung. So, it is not surprising that the new CEO of Apple is wooing the large phone service providers in the PRC.  http://www.microsofttranslator.com/BV.aspx?ref=IE8Activity&a=http%3A%2F%2Ftech.sina.com.cn%2Ft%2F2013-07-31%2F02048590016.shtml

Also Apple has relied on the notorious Foxconn to deliver key iPhone products to the market.  Unfortunately because of really horrendous QA procedures and supplier bribes, Apple returned close to 8 million units back to Foxconn.  See here: http://www.microsofttranslator.com/BV.aspx?ref=IE8Activity&a=http%3A%2F%2Fnews.e23.cn%2Fcontent%2F2013-04-23%2F2013042300476.html

Samsung is winning because ofsmartphones 2 taking the time to invest in local stores and understanding the market.  Watch Lenovo, Huawei, & Samsung swing the revenue streams that Apple desires from the PRC consumer to their P&Ls from Apple’s.

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Intel & google look to Video Services as next Disruptive Technology

Both Intel and Google are eyeing the lucrative video delivery domain for possible new expansions.  This area if done properly by these two giants could provide a major disruptive technology and business set of offerings changing the face of the computer and TV industries.  This may become the major “big stakes” battlefield of the next-gen TV services domain space.

See; http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/17/business/media/google-is-said-to-mull-internet-cable-service.html?smid=li-share&goback=%2Egde_35866_member_258568352&_r=0

Apple is probably thinking in terms of the “next generation” TV service.  With its feet already wet via You Tube, they are giving strong signals that hey are serious about becoming players in this domain.

Also, http://gigaom.com/2013/07/12/intel-media-tv-service-oncue/?goback=%2Egde_35866_member_258568352

If able to pull it off, Intel will evolve to the next instantiation of this historic enterprise. This launch (probably 2014-ish) will challenge Intel’s ability to break away from its old internal models and practices to re-invent the enterprise to deal with content as an additional vehicle to achieve revenue goals rather than just HW.  If OnCue is allowed to operate as an independent company with separate iMBOs, they may have a chance.  The new blood recruited from various media sectors can help if they are given free reigns to establish a separate Intel subculture.  Has that ever really worked before for Intel????

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Internet Trends from KPCB

This is a very interesting slide deck on Internet Trends.  Specifically when you dissect digital media into audio, photo, video and audio you see we are just at the beginning of a huge growth in demand for Cloud Services to support our digital lifestyle. When you combine what we want digitally with how we use it and socialize using it, the volume of digital content will grow at an unbelievable rate through 2035. internettrends052913final-130529094939-phpapp02

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New Device Types are Driving Tech Company’s Organizational Change

The dramatic growth in smartphone, tablet and vertical market portable devices e.g., medical instrumentation is starting to drive major change at big tech companies.  If you watch product offerings and new positioning of Google, Microsoft, and Apple, you’ll see that significant investments are geared toward the mobile consumer and mobile information worker. These products require new device technologies such as flexible silicon and Thin flexible substrates for interconnect technology.

chip-flex_PR2

A good example of this is the lighting fast reorganization of Intel after Brian Krzanich’s installation as CEO.  Under Otellini’s tenure Intel missed a huge opportunity to become the chip supplier to Apple for iPhones even though the traditional conservative “number crunching/data driven” advice given to Paul Otellini went against his gut, Intel passed on the opportunity.  Their analysis misjudged the potential volume by a factor of 100 and over estimated the costs of manufacturing.  Basically the conservative mindset of “group think” there projected the iPhone as a losing business proposition.  See here  The new CEO has immediately reorganized the global enterprise to make it more agile and created a New devices Group reporting directly to him.  See here

Hopefully this will open Intel up to address new markets and new types of Si architecture along with manufacturing processes. Also the industry will hopefully follow Intel’s lead and innovate even more in this hot technology domain When you look at flexible silicon and thin film technologies, the future is clear. New companies will grow to tech giants that embrace this technology and benefit from lessons learned from the old tech giants.

Flexable Si
We will all use this soon
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New Technology Giants in the Making

The information age has brought about the rise of a new type of technology company.  These are companies where the products or services they produce/provide are intrinsically connected to the IT infrastructure required to sustain the enterprise’s day to day operations. Unlike a food processor where the consumer product is supported by technology but disconnected once it is consumed.  In these enterprises, the consumer buys a product/service that links them back into the enterprise’s IT infrastructure and the company monetizes this connection in order to perpetuate business and seduce the consumer down the path to purchasing more and more offerings to leverage the established link.

Even giants like Microsoft are going this way by eliminating free Hotmail and replacing it with free online Outlook and SkyDrive space in the cloud.  Companies who identify their current reliance on IT as a part of their business value proposition will be able to take advantage of this fact to create strategic inflection points.  They will use adjunct offerings that take the enterprise to a new level of revenue and profitability.  “Quick” tactical offerings with IT infrastructure “come-along” benefits will seed the prime rose path leading the consumer to partake in future offerings built upon a baseline infrastructure.  Emergence of these new Technology Giants will be driven by executive leadership recognizing that IT isn’t just a necessary evil but rather an important platform allowing the launch of never before revenue models and opportunities.

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Cloud Enterprise Architects must use Elasticity Guiding Enterprise Design

The IaaS and PaaS cloud models allow architects to decouple components of an application or enterprise system into the lowest functional components and design for failure how these pieces can be utilized as “independent black boxes” to form an application.  This allows for provisioning elasticity and resiliency of individual components and their states in the inevitable event of hardware or software failure.

One of the least understood impacts of this approach is that the message queues used by components can become the most important elements in assuring availability, scalability and ultimate reliability.  In essence the messaging infrastructure components become the most critical parts of an applications infrastructure designed to exploit elasticity. If you envision these Enterprise Apps as complex organisms, then the message queues and their reliability become mission critical organs of the living, agile enterprise architecture. Components such as controller apps, databases and such should be isolated allowing buffering of request along with replies making the network of components more durable and state independent facilitating failover and scalability.

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How IT Technology Can Affect Auto Manufacturing 2013-2015

Problems to face by all Auto Manufacturers

There are key information systems that can affect the health and profitability of an Auto enterprise over the next few years.  This is because the issues of global economics, competition and the need for agility put auto companies in a position that require ultimate flexibility and agile JIT systems.  Commodity pricing and cost sensitive third party components also stress an enterprise’s information systems forcing consolidation, analytics and visualization all be properly orchestrated in order to turn raw data into meaningful, accurate, actionable information. Market complexity is rising as is costing pressure putting the manufacturer in a “tight profitability corner”.

Some Requirements of Auto plant IT systems

Auto enterprises will need holistic information systems that all the formation of factories that are digital in nature allowing management to make quick decisions based on multiple views of data engaged as meaningful decision support information.  Because consumers are enamored with technology, software controls for electronic components are making autos a complex of silicon components demanding overall systems software integration. These systems can impact:

  • Product Design
  • Production
  • Plant Automation
  • Production Execution
  • Supply Chain Management (SCM)

If executed properly, good IT consulting can assist management to:

  • Speed the product design process,
  • Achieve faster time-to-production,
  • Enable increased manufacturing execution efficiency and production      quality, and
  • Ease the management of design and production changes.

MES

Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES) essentially use intelligence about the manufacturing process to monitor, automate and guide critical decisions of the digital auto factory. The ultimate goal is to utilize manufacturing informatics to increase the ability of operations to respond in an agile and effective manner to any situation.

More Info…

In working at Intel and designing factory systems and management decision support systems we’ve learned many things that can apply directly to the auto factory.  While working with the auto technology teams an Intel and Microsoft, we gained experience in how to integrate technology into the auto manufacturing process.

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Big Data Companies to Look to Business Experience not just “Math Chops” for Fresh Talent

The influx of companies trying to exploit “Big Data” as a new revenue source has provided a number of workforce challenges for senior managers.  Do they hire very smart math folk to devise new algorithms and create a “secret sauce” for their products? Do they develop or acquire superiors hardware that leverages new Si technology to better process big data?  Do they form teams that have practical business experience to ferret out which real problems exist in the marketplace and what approach to analytics will be truly appreciated by customers’ end users?

Well the answer is … a little of each!  The most important thing many companies are missing today is that they focus on the technology and technologist in their hiring decisions but not the business logic experience.  There is great value in having teams of technology folk embedded with thought leadership coming from experience.  Bright, eager, smart people, with minimal experience know theory and math but don’t know human behavior in business. They also don’t have the understanding of the technology assimilation hurdles that form huge barriers to rapid adoption and market share growth.  The targeted customer base will often need help understanding:

  • How much data do we have?
  • What is actionable information contained in the big data fog?
  • How much information do we need to make decisions?
  • What changes in data are significant and require action?
  • What is a practical “on ramp” to use big data technology?

The bottom line is an integrated team of smart technologist stewarded through development with experienced thought leadership will result in the “BIG THEORY” required to make big data solutions palatable and easily digested by the human organism we call an enterprise.  Where in reality, meaningful mobile visualization transforms BIG DATA into actionable information.

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Hybrid Cloud Computing Model Should dominate Enterprise Usage

As enterprises come to grips with Cloud Computing demands (both internal and external) the IT groups will soon realize that the Hybrid model is the “best fit” for the new Enterprise IT organization.  This will also force a closer alignment with various business units and provoke a rethink of the costing models for IT. can IT really stay a coast center given the inevitable variable demand curve of Cloud Services? Enterprise IT shops will consider various vendors (E.G., Azure, HP, VMware, Amazon & others) in light of the matrix created by matching customers service type needs to flexibility of leveraging a vendors Cloud Service offerings to suit the enterprise’s complex business needs. the ease of entrance and exit will be the driving forces behind vendor selection not just cost but ease of achieving true operational excellence.

Finance, Corporate Strategy, Biz Units and IT will collaborate to determine which “flavor” of Cloud Services are needed.  For example the SaaS, IaaS or PaaS models may all be needed in the view of the business objectives.  The decision of what kind of service offerings to implement will drive IT’s customers to do a functional decomposition of existing applications and distil what services are used today.  This will lead to an “applicability analysis” of which type of Cloud implementation makes good business sense.  Some may choose from Cloud Platform as a Service, Cloud Infrastructure as a Service, Cloud as a Software Service model.  These may also include convent “off ramp & on ramp” strategies to allow customers to switch as circumstances dictate.  An example of the choices is illustrated below:

Whatever Business Situation Determines That's the Right Cloud Service Choice
Whatever Business Situation Determines That’s the Right Cloud Service Choice
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Today’s Key Product Engineering Technology Requirements

As we look at today’s complex product, business and end-user requirements, some key ideas must be addressed to achieve profit margin goals.  Almost all electronic products today utilize software, hardware and multiple suppliers/vendors to complete product functionality.  The chart below is meant to trigger thinking about key items that must be included in the today’s electronic product engineering process.

These must come in to play while engineering products today.
These must come in to play while engineering products today.
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Experienced Engineering Insights into Future Tech Trends