Turbotodd

Ruminations on IT, the digital media, and some golf thrown in for good measure.

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Social Data Kickoff

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How about them Cowboys?

I’m sorry, Giants fans, but you’ve won in our house too many times lately not for me to give you a hard time when America’s team sticks it to ya.

The Giants had the most turnovers last night since 1987, and it showed. Every time I looked down at my Facebook wall, I looked back up again only to find Eli Manning wondering how the ball ended up in the hands of another Cowboy.

That’s okay, it’s early yet — it was the first game — but the smell of victory is sweet, especially against the Giants.

I’m apparently not the only one interested in monitoring my Facebook wall during football games, and so Facebook is announcing some new tools to assist news organizations (and marketers) in better understanding the real-time social data around such major events.

For example: According to The New York Times Bits Blog, the N.F.L. season start generated over 20 million likes, comments, and shares on Facebook by over 8 million people.

Knowing that 3 million people suddenly burst into an eruptive cheer of “Go Cowboys!” is, of course, invaluable market insight that media buyers up and down Madison Avenue can leverage to sell Jerry Jones more ad space for his Papa John’s commercials.

But I digress.

This is all really about trying to tamp down the Twitter real-time data stream onslaught which has only, oh let’s say, about a five-year headstart on Zuck and company.

And that is, of course, because the Twitter powers that be have tried to operate at least partially in the spirit of a more open social realm, allowing large proportions of their API to be generously offered up to the world at large.

Whereas Facebook, on the other hand, has held their API very close to the vest, letting piece parts be revealed to the greater world only when the underlying motivation of monetization looms largest.

Though the Facebook silly wabbit may have turned the faucet just enough to let some interesting drips slip out, it’s the lingering but stalwart Twitter turtle that’s best currently positioned to win the social data race.

Written by turbotodd

September 9, 2013 at 9:23 am

I’m moving!

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Hello readers! I’m moving away from wordpress.com to my own domain: turbotodd.com

Please update your bookmarks and subscriptions:

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Written by turbotodd

April 26, 2013 at 2:10 pm

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Talking Through The Cosmos

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What day is it again?

Oh, yes, Wednesday.  Hump day.

I’ve been so busy this week on back-to-back phone calls that I’ve hardly had an opportunity to lift my head and see what’s going on in the world.

I finally took a few moments this morning to do so, and discovered a couple of tidbits on the mobile front. One, the new Samsung Galaxy IV is now available, and two, the QWERTY keyboard version of the new BlackBerry, the Q10, is also available.

On the former, it’s a mixed bag according to the Verge, though a mostly positive bag but one that suggests Samsung Galaxy has plenty of “good enough” competition not to warrant the steeper price of entry for the IV.

And on the latter, TechCrunch writes the Q10 is “a QWERTY keyboard smartphone comeback worth waiting for,” which I’ll consider at least a semi-positive endorsement.

Me, I’m sticking with my LG Cosmos 2 feature phone.

Being a social and digital media guru of sorts, people look at me like I’m from another planet when carrying this phone.  That alone is a good reason to do so, as it’s a great conversation starter: “What the hell are you doing with that phone??!”

The other is, I like having a phone that works as a phone.  I have an HTC Android device, a Kindle, an iPod Touch 5th gen, an iPod Touch 2nd gen, and an iPad 1st gen for all my tablet needs. But for all the time I spend on the phone, good battery life and strong signal reception are key, and the Cosmos 2 continues to deliver day after day without fail.

“Can you hear me now?” are words rarely spoken through the Cosmos.

Speaking of the cosmos, in the social media realm IBM just announced that for the fourth consecutive year that IDC ranked them number one in worldwide market share for enterprise social software.

Yay team.

Fact is, social networking adoption continues to soar as businesses look to transform their organization into a smarter enterprise that is capable of empowering a global workforce and transforming client experiences.

According to IDC, the worldwide enterprise social market segment reached 1.0 billion in 2012, representing growth of 25 percent over 2011.

As this demand grows, organizations are looking to introduce social capabilities into all key areas, from marketing and research innovation to sales and human resources. The challenge is that many lack the ability to capture and share the unique insights from each employee and use it to help drive real value to the business.

IBM’s social business software and services pair powerful social networking capabilities with analytics that help companies engage all key stakeholders whether an employee, customer or partners in order to accelerate innovation and deliver results.

Today, more than 60 percent of Fortune 100 companies have licensed IBM’s solutions for social business, including eight of the top 10 retailers and banks.

IBM’s social networking platform, IBM Connections, allows for instant collaboration with one simple click and the ability to build social communities both inside and outside the organization. We live by it inside IBM these days, and it’s available both on premise and in the IBM SmartCloud for Social Business. IBM currently has three IBM SmartCloud for Social Business facilities based in North America, Europe and Asia Pacific.

You can learn more about the latest version of IBM Connections in the video below.

IBM Acquires UrbanCode For Rapid Delivery Of Mobile, Cloud, Big Data & Social Software

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IBM today announced it has acquired UrbanCode Inc.

Based in Cleveland, Ohio, UrbanCode automates the delivery of software, helping businesses quickly release and update mobile, social, big data, cloud applications.

Mobile, social, big data and cloud technologies are driving demand for new, faster and more frequent approaches to software delivery. Waiting days or even months to get an update to clients is no longer acceptable.

With UrbanCode’s technology, businesses can reduce the cycle time it takes to get updates or new applications into market, from months to minutes. This approach is designed to help reduce cost and risk, while helping address changing client needs by enabling a company to rapidly incorporate feedback into and improve the overall quality of their applications and services.

Software Development As Competitive Advantage

A recent study by the IBM Institute for Business Value uncovered that almost 70 percent of companies using software development for competitive advantage outperform their peers in profitability. As innovation in software becomes more and more critical to success, businesses need a collaborative, intuitive and continual approach to development, testing and delivery.

More than half of surveyed companies agree effective software development is crucial to competitive advantage. Yet, only a quarter of companies feel they have effective methods. UrbanCode’s capabilities will help solve this execution gap with the ability to accelerate software delivery.

IBM plans to continue to support UrbanCode clients and enhance their technologies while allowing these organizations to take advantage of the broader IBM portfolio.

UrbanCode’s software is a natural extension of IBM’s DevOps strategy, designed to simplify and speed the entire software development and delivery process for businesses.

The new capabilities also enhance IBM SmartCloud and IBM MobileFirst initiatives by making it easier and faster for clients to deliver software through those channels. For example, by combining UrbanCode software with the IBM MobileFirst Worklight technology, businesses can now author and deploy an application for any mobile device in hours, versus a previous multi-day timeline.

The UrbanCode solution also works with traditional applications including middleware, databases and business intelligence.

“Companies that master effective software development and delivery in rapidly changing environments such as cloud, mobile and social will have a significant competitive advantage,” said Kristof Kloeckner, general manager, IBM Rational Software. “With the acquisition of UrbanCode, IBM is uniquely positioned to help businesses from every industry accelerate delivery of their products and services to better meet client demands.”  

“Together UrbanCode and IBM technology will be unmatched in the industry, providing businesses a continuous process for developing, testing, and delivering new and updated software,” said Maciej Zawadzki, chief executive officer, UrbanCode. “By removing the bottlenecks that traditionally exist between development teams and production systems, businesses can drive rapid innovation.”

For more information visit the IBM Rational site.

Sweet Caroline’s New High Tech Glasses

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I wasn’t in Boston over the weekend, so I wasn’t there to see Neil Diamond sing “Sweet Caroline” live and in person at Fenway Park.

But I was introduced to the tradition during my own first visit to Fenway a year ago this May, and I can’t think of a more fitting way to kick away the dust of fear and horror last week than something as American as having Neil Diamond show up at the ball park to sing “Sweet Caroline”!

If you’ve never experienced it firsthand, basically here’s how it goes: In the middle of the eighth inning, since 2002, “Sweet Caroline” is played over the loudspeakers at Fenway, and the great citizens of Bostons (and Red Sox fans everywhere) do a little audience participation. It’s not quite a “Rocky Horror Picture Show” level of audience participation, but then again, this is baseball and we’re between innings people!

Go find some of the video recaps to see for yourself, but if you did see Diamond out there on the diamond doing it live this weekend, amd if that didn’t send a couple of tears to your eyes, you’d better check to make sure the drones from Tom Cruise’s new movie “Oblivion” (and which I saw this weekeend…two thumbs up!) haven’t taken over.

Of course, I guess if you didn’t want anyone to see you cry you could invest in some of these new techno glasses, Google’s or otherwise.

According to The New York Times, Oakley’s also getting into the act, working to introduce goggles that can display incoming text messages, have embedded GPS, Bluetooth, and video cameras.

Skiers, please, keep your eyes on the slopes at all times!

That goes for you cyclists looking to check your heartbeat in your newfangled high tech cycling glasses every five seconds.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for having performance biometrics, even in real-time, but I think we have to think very carefully about how that information is presented back to athletes, especially those mid-mountain or mid-peloton.

If you’ve ever nearly been run over by someone who was texting while driving, you know exactly what I’m talking about.

I texted while driving for a time. But about the fourth time I nearly rear-ended someone, it dawned on me that texting while driving was a bad idea. Very bad. And this was well before any of those anti-texting public ad campaigns had emerged.

These days, I find myself constantly scanning my rear-view mirror in fear of some other idiot not having come around to a similar conclusion, which is its own kind of dangerous distraction.

So what’s going to happen on the ski mountains across the globe when folks are too busy checking their optimum heart rate to see those trees racing up towards their performance glasses?

There will be an inordinate demand for well trained ski patrol professionals, that’s what!

Written by turbotodd

April 22, 2013 at 8:43 am

IBM 1Q 2013 Earnings

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I was sitting here at JFK waitin’ on a plane and IBM’s 1Q 2013 earnings came across the wire, so here goes:

  • Diluted EPS: GAAP: $2.70, up 3 percent; Operating (non-GAAP): $3.00, up 8 percent
  • Net income: GAAP: $3.0 billion, down 1 percent; Operating (non-GAAP): $3.4 billion, up 3 percent
  • Gross profit margin: GAAP: 45.6 percent, up 0.6 points; Operating (non-GAAP): 46.7 percent, up 1.0 points
  • Revenue: $23.4 billion, down 5 percent, down 3 percent adjusting for currency
  • Free cash flow of $1.7 billion, down $0.2 billion
  • Software revenue flat, up 1 percent adjusting for currency; Pre-tax: income up 4 percent; margin up 1.2 points
  • Services revenue down 4 percent, down 1 percent adjusting for currency; Pre-tax: income up 10 percent; margin up 2.0 points
  • Services backlog of $141 billion, up 1 percent, up 5 percent adjusting for currency; Closed 22 deals of more than $100 million in the quarter
  • Systems and Technology revenue down 17 percent, down 16 percent adjusting for currency
  • Growth markets revenue down 1 percent, up 1 percent adjusting for currency
  • Business analytics revenue up 7 percent; Smarter Planet revenue up more than 25 percent; Cloud revenue up more than 70 percent
  • Reiterating full-year 2013 operating (non-GAAP) EPS expectation of at least $16.70.

IBM announced first-quarter 2013 diluted earnings of $2.70 per share, a year-to-year increase of 3 percent.  Operating (non-GAAP) diluted earnings were $3.00 per share, compared with operating diluted earnings of $2.78 per share in the first quarter of 2012, an increase of 8 percent.

First-quarter net income was $3.0 billion, down 1 percent year-to-year. Operating (non-GAAP) net income was $3.4 billion compared with $3.3 billion in the first quarter of 2012, an increase of 3 percent. Total revenues for the first quarter of 2013 of $23.4 billion were down 5 percent (down 3 percent, adjusting for currency) from the first quarter of 2012. 

“In the first quarter, we grew operating net income, earnings per share and expanded operating margins but we did not achieve all of our goals in the period. Despite a solid start and good client demand we did not close a number of software and mainframe transactions that have moved into the second quarter.  The services business performed as expected with strong profit growth and significant new business in the quarter,” said Ginni Rometty, IBM chairman, president and chief executive officer.

“Looking ahead, in addition to closing those transactions, we expect to benefit from investments we are making in our growth initiatives and from the actions we are taking to improve under-performing parts of the business.  We remain confident in this model of continuous transformation and in our ability to deliver our full-year 2013 operating earnings per share expectation of at least $16.70.” 

Pre-tax income decreased 6 percent to $3.6 billion.  Pre-tax margin decreased 0.1 points to 15.4 percent.  Operating (non-GAAP) pre-tax income decreased 1 percent to $4.1 billion and pre-tax margin was 17.4 percent, up 0.8 points.

IBM’s tax rate was 15.9 percent, down 4.1 points year over year; operating (non-GAAP) tax rate was 17.3 percent, down 3.2 points compared to the year-ago period. The lower tax rate is primarily due to benefits recorded to reflect changes in tax laws enacted during the quarter, including the reinstatement of the U.S. Research and Development Tax Credit.

Net income margin increased 0.5 points to 13.0 percent.  Total operating (non-GAAP) net income margin increased 1.2 points to 14.4 percent.

The weighted-average number of diluted common shares outstanding in the first-quarter 2013 was 1.12 billion compared with 1.17 billion shares in the same period of 2012.  As of March 31, 2013, there were 1.11 billion basic common shares outstanding.

Debt, including Global Financing, totaled $33.4 billion, compared with $33.3 billion at year-end 2012.  From a management segment view, Global Financing debt totaled $25.2 billion versus $24.5 billion at year-end 2012, resulting in a debt-to-equity ratio of 7.2 to 1.  Non-global financing debt totaled $8.2 billion, a decrease of $0.6 billion since year-end 2012, resulting in a debt-to-capitalization ratio of 34.3 percent from 36.1 percent.

IBM ended the first-quarter 2013 with $12.0 billion of cash on hand and generated free cash flow of $1.7 billion, excluding Global Financing receivables, down approximately $0.2 billion year over year.  The company returned $3.5 billion to shareholders through $0.9 billion in dividends and $2.6 billion of gross share repurchases.  The balance sheet remains strong, and the company is well positioned to support the business over the long term.

Written by turbotodd

April 18, 2013 at 3:37 pm

Thinking West

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Greetings from lovely White Plains, New York.

I’ve been up here a few days, having flown up to New York City on Monday for a series of meetings.

No sooner had I accompanied my colleague down to baggage claim at JFK than I saw the first reports emerging about the bombings in Boston.

Not long after we heard about the ricin letters.

And then this morning I woke up to the news about the fertilizer plant explosion in West, Texas.

It made me sick to my stomach, and my heart goes out to the folks in West.

I drove through there just last weekend on my to Lake Whitney just west of West to play some golf with my father.

Many of the people who live there are of Czech descent, and are known for both their hospitality to travelers and for their scrumptious kolaches.

So I wanted to pass along this “Things You Need to Know About West” list, for I and my colleagues are feeling a little homesick at the moment being up here in the Northeast while all this is going on back on our doorstep in central Texas.

Thankfully, I’ll be heading back home later this afternoon, which means I’ll likely be in a JFK queue instead of reporting on IBM earnings, as I’m normally wont to do on earnings day.

I’ll be sure to do an earnings post when I get back to Texas.

Written by turbotodd

April 18, 2013 at 9:22 am

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