Posts Tagged ‘att’
Earlier today, here at the IBM InterConnect event being held at the Royal Sentosa Resorts in Singapore, IBM made two significant announcements that will help IBM clients derive more value from their IT investments via improved cloud computing solutions, even as they work to gain new business insights through enhanced analytics capabilities.
To help global organizations make sense of the massive influx of data being created daily, IBM first announced an expansion of its PureSystems family of expert integrated systems with the introduction of PureData System.
Now, clients can more efficiently manage and quickly analyze petabytes of data in minutes and intelligently use those insights to support specific business goals across their organization including marketing, sales and business operations.
IBM estimates that 2.5 exabytes of data is created every day — so much that 90 percent of the data in the world today has been created in the last two years alone.
Given this data deluge, clients can use the new PureData System for high performance data services for traditional or cloud environments. The new system builds on the initial PureSystems family of offerings that can deploy Web applications in less than 10 days, a task that once took at least six months. The PureSystems family is the result of $2 billion in R&D and acquisitions over four years.
PureData System will start shipping to customers at the end of October. For more information about these offerings, visit the IBM PureSystems PureData Website.
IBM Partners With AT&T On Expanded Cloud Computing Capabilities
IBM also announced today that it had partnered with global telecommunications leader AT&T to deliver a highly secure, first-of-its-kind “network-enabled” cloud service that uses private networks rather than the public Internet.
The companies are combining AT&T virtual private networking and IBM SmartCloud Enterprise cloud capabilities with breakthrough technology from AT&T Labs to create a new, fast and highly-secure shared cloud service.
Targeted to Fortune 1000 companies globally, the service will be offered in early 2013 as a powerful new option for clients who are deploying cloud solutions that demand high levels of security and availability. Many businesses often cite security as a key inhibitor to cloud computing adoption.
You can learn more about this new cloud capability here.
I have some really sad news.
After four+ years of a sometimes tumultuous, sometimes steady, relationship, I broke up with AT&T last night.
Break ups are always difficult, but this one really came from the gut and didn’t take a lot of doing. It was an act of passion, if you will.
What led to the break up was this: My iPhone froze up. I had dropped the iPhone over Christmas, and cracked the screen just mildly, but discovered to my chagrin when I went to the AT&T store that I had not bought the phone insurance.
I found that hard to believe. I ALWAYS buy that insurance. For my Macs, for my phones…it’s just generally been a good investment, at least for me.
No, nada. Which meant I couldn’t get my phone fixed or replaced.
Fine. I’ll live with the cracked screen.
But then yesterday, iPhone 4 froze up on me. It wouldn’t unfreeze. It was locked. Like, frozen in time. No off button worked. No reboot.
So I went surfing around AT&T’s site, and found I could get an iPhone 4S for like $500. Or an iPhone 4 for about $400.
Are you kiddin’ me?
I called the AT&T guy. Hector, let’s call him. Hector was very nice, but after looking up my information, explained I wasn’t due for an upgrade until April.
“Okay,” I said politely. What are my options?
“Well, what do you mean?”
Uh oh. We’ve got an Einstein on the line!
“Uh, regarding my phone. What are my options? Can I get a replacement iPhone, can I get a phone to tide me over until I’m eligible for an upgrade, what?”
He explained my upgrade date wasn’t until April, and because I had no insurance, there was no way of replacing my iPhone without paying several hundred dollars. Which I had already done.
“Are you sure there’s nothing you can do?” I asked. I could feel myself stepping up to the precipice. Now the question was whether or not I was prepared to leap. My blood started simmering. All those iPhone apps I’d bought. All that time I’d spent tuning the iPhone.
I didn’t care.
“How much would it cost to buy out of the contract?”
He paused. “Mr. Watson, we don’t…”
“$185,” he seemed to say reluctantly.
I was ready to jump. I didn’t know what was at the bottom, but I didn’t care. This wasn’t a rational decision, mind you. But just this one customer experience, combined with all the other times I’d been put on hold by AT&T, asked to wait and wait and wait…No, we’re done, baby. It’s OVER.
“Do it,” I said. He tried to intervene. “Do it now, please.”
“Yes, sir, Mr. Watson.”
Finally, some respect.
He assured me my number would be retroactively portable. I wanted to explain I would retroactively not be an AT&T customer again anytime soon.
So, it was time to go phone shopping. WOO HOO, I get to go buy something new. That always feels GREAT after a breakup!
I started hopping around Web sites: Verizon, Sprint, Tracphone…I was convinced I didn’t want a monthly contract anymore. I was paying roughly $70 a month to AT&T, getting 450 minutes and 200MB of data. By God, I have more worth than that!
My one criteria was I didn’t want to worry about how much data I used. I was ready to go on a data consumption binge!
Voice minutes, I didn’t need a lot of. People really don’t like talking to me.
So I set out for my local Best Buy. I needed some face-to-phone shopping time.
I looked in the “No Contract” phone section, and my only other demand was I have some sort of semblance of a smartphone. I was checking out some LG Androids when a sales guy told me to go with Virgin Mobile.
“Why?” I asked.
“Unlimited data,” he said. For $35 a month. I almost started laughing right there in the store. $35 a month? Unlimited text messaging and Web data?
“Yeah, and if you want to top up and get unlimited voice, it’s only $20 more. And no contract.”
Ah, I see. That’s why they call it the “No Contract” section!
Breaking up with AT&T was already paying for itself and I hadn’t even gotten a new phone yet!
For you MBA students out there, here’s what AT&T lost: A valued customer who had on several occasions spent more than $300 in roaming international data fees per month, who paid their bill regularly, and who spent nearly $100 a month for his phone service for years!
I figured all in, AT&T had generated at least $6,000 of revenue off me thus far, and averaging out at $70 month for the next 20 years, you were still talking about $25,200 in lost potential revenue.
Let’s call it an even $30,000. They call it “lifetime customer value.”
That’s okay. I call having no contract “Freedom.”
Freedom, of course, may not be entirely free, but’s one helluva lot cheaper at Virgin Mobile and it doesn’t come with any shackles!
As for what phone I got…well, we’ll just have to reserve that for another post. I need to go spend some time alone…learning how to use Android.
Scott Laningham and I got together recently for Round 2 of “TurboTech,” our new video podcast focusing on all things tech and Internets.
For this week’s episode, Scott pulled out his stopwatch to time each news segment — whatsa matter buddy, you can’t just come out and tell me I’m longwinded?
I can take a hint. You’ll also notice that Scott’s intro now also includes his famous Don Pardo-like voiceover: “It’s time for TurboooooTeeecccch!” It’s simply classic.
On this past week’s agenda: Hurricane Irene, IBM acquisitions in the fraud detection realm, AT&T v. DOJ, and Facebook v. Google+.
I mentioned last week that I broke up with my BlackBerry.
I didn’t mention what was to be my new mobile love.
Because I had to do some speed dating to figure out what was the best way forward.
Many of you have guessed, both on this blog’s home base and out at Internet Evolution. Some guessed rightly, some wrongly. I sense a new reality show in the making.
My heart has healed to the point I figured I could tell the whole story without wincing too much.
You have to understand, making a mobile phone selection decision for someone like me is like a pro golfer deciding which line of clubs to use (except they don’t pay me to select their phone!), or a Hollywood starlet trying to decide whose dress to wear on Oscar night.
This is serious stuff.
But first, the breakup.
I’d been a huge fan of my BlackBerry Bold, and prior to that, the Pearl, and had been on the RIM platform for a good four years.
Of course, there was no iPhone or Android when I first went with the Pearl, and there was no other practical way to get on to IBM’s corporate email system with a mobile device, so it was an easy decision at the time.
But a lot’s happened these past four years, and RIM just didn’t seem to be keeping up. And then, like many a relationships that go south, it was the little things: My browser would hang up, or be too slow. The operating system would slow down and not let me get to my meeting information quickly.
Like I said, the little things, but they quickly added up.
After the BlackBerry got hung up one too many times after a long bike ride last week, I decided that was it. But not wanting to be without a mobile phone for too terribly long, I needed to make a decision about what to switch to, and quickly.
It was a relatively easy landscape to surf before I narrowed it down: Android v. iPhone.
I loved the idea of having an HTC Android on Sprint at 4G speeds, but I absolutely dreaded the idea of going back to Sprint, where I said would never return as a customer (and so far, I haven’t).
They treated me very badly as a so-called customer several years ago, and I’ve never remotely considered going back into their throes.
That left Droid on Verizon, and iPhone on AT&T. Because honestly, that’s about the way the mobile decks are currently stacked, at least here in the U.S.
Sure, you can get an Android-based phone on AT&T, but it’s likely an outdated model running a back level version of the Android OS.
So which way did I go and why?
Ultimately, I chose the lesser of two evils: the new Apple iPhone. And it wasn’t because I liked dealing with AT&T any more than any of the others.
In fact, ordering the iPhone via AT&T was AN ABSOLUTE NIGHTMARE. I can’t imagine a worse online customer experience. But I suffered through it, and ultimately ordered the phone through them, even though I was told I’d have to wait 5-10 business days.
Then, AT&T forgot to put my condo unit number on the FedEx ticket, so FedEx couldn’t deliver it. I could go on and on about what a bad experience I had GETTING the phone. It’s still amazing to me in this day and age that I can have good money burning a hole in my pocket, and have such difficulty spending it with a vendor, including AT&T/Apple. But I did.
But once the iPhone arrived via the nice FedEx man on Friday afternoon, heading directly into the Labor Day weekend, the experience I had setting up the new iPhone 4 is precisely WHY I ended up buying the iPhone.
I had the phone activated (without having to speak with a human, mind you), up and running, and with all my Gmail contacts imported — along with all my iPad Touch and iPad apps — loaded into the device in about 20 minutes.
I was making phone calls, sending emails, playing games, listening to music, watching videos, etc. in 20 minutes. I remember it taking me that long just to get the BlackBerry software loaded, never mind the nightmares I had synching it to my computer.
So, once again, Apple wins on elegance and overall user customer experience (if NOT on customer pre-sales support). And make no mistake, the iPhone 4 is a technological thing of beauty.
We shall soon see if it can hang with the Turbo on all his worldly travels, but I feel as though I made the correct decision so far.
Though I fear the looming limitations of Apple’s continued proprietary development milieu, and believe that Android is much better suited for the longer-term, open cloud viability that will help mature the mobile phone market, in the near term, for MY purposes and MY current needs, I’ve no doubt that the Apple iPhone was the right choice for me.
Now if I could just find somebody else who has one and try out the new FaceTime mobile videoconferencing feature!
For a summary of my iPhone 4 experience thus far, check out the video below: