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Friday, May 24, 2013

What is the IBM Enterprise System?

Take a look at this presentation by a key IBM marketing executive on the IBM Enterprise System.  It appears that IBM is looking to consolidate its zSeries mainframes with its Power Systems line of machines into a new Integrated "Enterprise System".  If you look at the reference presentation you will see that the system runs zOS, Linux, and Power OS's (meaning IBM i and AIX).

Note that IBM is looking to sell its xSeries Intel based server business to Lenovo and get out of the Intel server business.

Could the new server mean consolidating Power and zSeries into one new line of high-end servers?  Note that this is one more nudge towards LINUX and the elimination of zOS, AIX, and IBM i proprietary OS's.

It doesn't take a psychic to read the tea leaves folks, IBM is consolidating its hardware and systems software operations, lowering costs and maximizing profitability.  If your stuck on zOS or IBM i or even AIX you are in deep trouble and need to move rapidly away from IBM proprietary OS's.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Do you need your own programmers?

The more opportunities I get to work with management of large corporations, the more I see how the traditional systems development organizations we have become accustomed to in IT should be a thing of the past and be replaced by outsourced, on-demand, services.

It doesn't matter whether you utilize people in the same town or around that world!  Where you obtain resources is a function of economics.  If local vendors are competitive then by all means use them.  If not then there are excellent vendors with talented people scattered around the world.

The key issue is that is that outsourcing today enables company to obtain the specific skills they need when they need them.

The key is staffing with a core of technology independent analysts who can help you find and select the right people for each project you engage in.

The days where "COBOL", "RPG", JAVA, or any specific programming language as a standard for your company is an anachronism.  Today you must be flexible and utilize what best fits the current situation and project requirements.

Managing vendor provided resources can be challenging.  The key is having people with solid skills in vendor selection and management.  Additionally it is insuring that you do not abdicate your responsibilities such as testing, reviews, and acceptance to the vendor.

Be careful to avoid mistakes that some are making when initiating an outsourcing program.  Do not replace existing people with vendor people just to outsource.  The key to outsourcing is to pay for what you need only when you need it and to not pay when you do not need the services.

Maintenance and support is often an area of vulnerability.  Companies replace employees with higher priced vendor contractors and pay more.  A large outsourcing vendor can negotiate a support agreement where they guarantee availability of people, but only charge you when a work item is assigned to one of their people.  These agreements can be negotiated where an estimate for the work is presented before any work is performed, and contingencies int he contract enable you to go elsewhere if the vendor is not competitive in their pricing and estimates.

Monday, May 6, 2013

A day in the Internet

Internet World Statistics  is one of my favorite web sites and the work done by these folks is amazing and valuable keeping us abreast of what is going on around the world in terms of the Internet.

These statistics are mind boggling.  They also put some clarity into otherwise meaningly huge numbers.  The following all occurs in a single day!

  • Enough data is transferred (downloaded) each day to fill 168 million DVD's!
  • 294 billion emails are sent each day!  It would take 2 years to process that much snail mail.
  • 2 million blog posts are written each day.  That would fill Time Magazine for 770 years.
  • 72 million unique people visit FaceBook each day.
  • 40 million people visit Twitter
  • 22 million people visit Linkedin
  • 20 million visit Google+
  • 17 million visit Pinterest
  • There are 532 million FaceBook status updates
  • 250 million photos are uploaded to Facebook
  • People watch 22 million hours of old TV Shows and movies on Netflix
  • 864,000 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube each day.
  • 18.7 million hours of music are streamed via Pandora
  • 1288 new apps are made available and 35 million are downloaded
  • There are more new iPhones sold each day than there are babies born in the world:
    • 378,000 iphones versus 371,000 babies born

If you could obtain one dollar from a fraction of these people you will have produced a huge revenue stream.  What are you doing to reach these people?

As many cell phones as people?

Not quite, but almost.  According to Internet World Statistics There are now over 6.8 billion cellular subscribers and a world population of 7.1 billion people.  The number of cellular subscribers has grown from 2,205 million in 2005 to the current 6,835 million in 2013.  Mobile Internet is a driving force behind this growth both in personal usage and business.

The bottom line is that people want whatever it is they want and they want it now.  Your business must have a superb web presence, be search engine friendly, and above all be smart phone friendly.  If you do not make a good presentation on an iPhone or Android you will lose customers to a competitor who will.

Your customers must be able to first and foremost find you instantly when they are sitting in their car looking for your products.  When they do find you, they will leave your web site in a heart beat if it is not easily readable and easy to navigate on their phone.  Today, the impress you make on a customer's smart phone will be a lasting one.  If they don't like what they see on their phone, they will not come back via another device.

An additional significance of the growth in smart phone population is the need for extended availability.  You never know when a customer may wish to reach out and find your web site or communicate with someone on your staff.  Do you provide web based chat facilities with customer service reps?  Is this covered 24 hours a day?

Are your products attractive to foreign customers?  Can you handle foreign business?  Just a few quick thoughts on this startling new report.