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

Archive for July 2009

The Test, The Tour, and the Tiger

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For those of you who celebrated American Independence over the long weekend, I hope you and yours enjoyed yourself and didn’t find yourself impacted by any stray fireworks.

The heat wave continued here in Austin, apparently reaching at least 105 degrees Fahrenheit in some parts of town…but that didn’t seem to put a damper on the celebration.

It certainly made for good weather to stay indoors and watch Roger Federer take his 15th Grand Slam tennis major, this time at Wimbledon.

Austin’s own Andy Roddick played an unbelievable match, pouring his heart and soul into taking on RF, but it just wasn’t to be.

Keep your chin up, Andy.  You made us Austinites incredibly proud!

And back at the ATT Congressional, just after texting Roger Federer his congrats for breaking Pete Sampras’ record of 14 tennis majors, Tiger Woods continued his reign of golf terror at the tournament he also hosts.

Upstart Anthony Kim got his wish to be paired with the Great Golf One, but then promptly watch his tied lead go promptly south as Tiger plopped one approach after the other, proving once again that golf is as much a game of strategy as it is of “grip and rip.”

When Tiger didn’t take a second shot run on the par-5 16th, a hole he eagled on Saturday — instead deciding to lay up 100+ yards out from the green — I knew it was all over but the crying, and that I was once again watching a golf maestro.

Speaking of maestros, I would be remiss in also not recognizing the comeback efforts of another Austin sports great, our own Lance Armstrong, as he returns to the Tour de France to seek his record-breaking eighth title.

After the first two stages, Lance was only 40 seconds off the pace and in a very strong tenth position, although rivaled by his Astana teammate, Levi Leipheimer.

It remains to be seen if Lance has enough stuff to take the eighth, but no matter the ultimate outcome, his continued rallying cry to continue emphasizing healthier lifestyles and cancer survivorship will echo during Le Tour around the globe.

If you want to hear directly from Lance, check out his Tour blog.

As for technology use this weekend…well, I did my level best to stay away from it, and mostly succeeded (although I do admit I’m a BlackBerry junkie on the golf course, if for no other reason than to kill time between slow holes).

As for my own golf game, I turned in an 83 in the searing heat yesterday out at Riverside, the golf course where Little Red Book golf master Harvey Penick taught the game for so many years, and where Tom Kite and Ben Crenshaw cut their golf teeth.

In 100+ degrees, I’ll take an 83 every day of the week!

Written by turbotodd

July 6, 2009 at 5:26 pm

That Huge IT Spend Sucking Sound

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That Huge IT Spend Sucking Sound

Okay, we’ve got some good news, and we’ve got some bad news.

Which do you want first?

Okay, I’ll start with the bad news and get that outta the way.

In its recent “U.S. and Global IT Market Outlook: Q2 2009,” Forrester Research has forecasted that global IT spending will decline by nearly 11% in 2009.

According to coverage in NetworkWorld, the U.S. drop will be down 5.1% (two percentage points more than previously forecast).

The reason? A “ghastly” first quarter (I thought it was relatively ghastly myself), and “likely similarly poor results in Q2” (Doh!…Can’t comment on those Q2 numbers just yet.).

Now for the good news.

Vendors and end-user organizations apparently believe we’ll start to see some signs of recovery later this year and early next.

The Forrester report also suggests that the pullback is reducing spend across all categories of IT: Software, hardware, telco equipment.

It’s an equal opportunity IT spending pullback.

Can you hear the giant sucking sound?

Shhh, just listen….There it is, can you hear it? It’s slowing down, bit by bit.

According to Forrester, the even better news is that the bad news could have been so much worse.

It’s no small privilege for me to help deliver such bad tidings when it could have been sooooo much worse.

Further, nominal GDP growth helped prevent a further decline, but the credit crunch “caused IT capital purchases to drop like a stone,” with “companies large and small” being shut out of credit markets.

So what’s a poor hungry tech vendor to do?

In 2H09, it’s time to restart those IT marketing engines.

However, focus not only on the efficiency story (always great in a slowdown), but also highlight the opportunity your products and solutions can provide to drive growth.

Coming out of a downturn, it’s always all about revving up growth.

This also presents an opportunity to highlight reference clients (including word-of-mouth via the social media!) which are leveraging IT for real and distinct competitive advantage.

Okay, we’ll bite.

Here’s one from the European Horticultural industry, Danish company Container Centralen.

Europe’s largest provider of re-usable transport equipment and services, Container Centralen is now using IBM sensor technology (including RFID tags) to allow its horticultural supply chain participants to track the progress of shipments of flowers and plants from wholesalers to retailers across 40 countries in Europe.

As former U.S. First Lady and fellow Texan Lady Bird Johnson once said, “Where flowers bloom so does hope.”

Kudos to Container Centralen for their very smart transportation solution.

And here’s hoping a few million new IT projects bloom across the globe very soon!

Written by turbotodd

July 1, 2009 at 2:28 pm

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