Archive for the ‘conference’ Category
I explained earlier in the week that I’d never been to the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.
But that didn’t preclude me from taking in some of the Vegas geek chic tidings from afar, and last evening, take in some, I did.
For the last many years as people can count, Microsoft has been the keynoter that opened the show. But this year, Microsoft decided they had better places to show their wares, so Qualcomm was offered the opening keynote spot.
Qualcomm, yes, the mobile wireless chip manufacturer.
That’s where things got weird.
And it’s also where the Internet memes started going wildly out of control. I saw some early coverage coming from CNET and the Verge that suggested Qualcomm’s event was going off the rails. Smelling blood on the prosceneum, I ran as quick as I could to the scene of the crime.
When I saw that Qualcomm had posted the full webcast (even before the full event could have been over), I decided to go and watch for myself.
Now, mind you, I’ve seen a lot of keynotes and speeches in my time, and even participated in content development for some, and so I have a lot of respect and admiration for those who effectively pull off such techno theatre.
And after watching the Qualcomm webcast end-to-end, there’s no question there was quite a bit of the theatre of the absurd.
It was a Daliesque technology dog’s keynote breakfast.
From the “Born Mobile” theme that spawned some semi-talented Generation M-sters spouting how they’d die if they lost their mobile oxygen, to Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer apparently changing his mind and returning to CES long enough to hijack the Qualcomm stage to tell everyone how wonderful Windows8 mobile devices were, to some Sesame Street Theatre and kid’s mobile apps to help them learn how to read (where were those when *I* was a kid?!), to director Guillermo del Toro demonstrating how Qualcomm technology had helped make his movies come across even more brilliantly using Ultra HD, to NASCAR to Archbishop Desmond Tutu to Maroon 5 (the rights for whom someone failed to get for the online audience…DOH!)…oy vey, I’d like to have seen some of IBM’s keynote handlers unleashed on this one.
But let’s not forget, this wasn’t theatre intended to have some Shakespearean denouement with a three-act structure and staged fight scenes. You want a fancy, well-produced show, head down the Strip and take in a Cirques du Soleil show or David Copperfield’s illusions at the MGM.
If you were just interested in learning what one of the leading mobile wireless manufacturers had to offer in its latest products in the marketplace, well, you could actually learn a few things. I did.
In fact, as something of a mobile aficionado, I was surprised to learn how much I didn’t know about this key player in the mobile sector, and the Qualcomm keynote, despite some if its failings, I think delivered on the most important, bottom line component of a major tech keynote: to inform and educate me about its products and capabilities, and to set a strategic vision and tone for who they are and where they’re going.
Though “the vision thing” may have been made more murky by the Heinz 57 cast of characters, at the end of the 80 minutes, that itself was a statement, that their mobile technology was impacting all kinds of various and sundry lives and industries.
The information in the keynote also spurred me to want to go read more about SnapDragon and some of the virtual reality technologies Qualcomm’s been working on.
Because though at some points you may very well cringe, and though may not be nobly entertained, you will also learn a few things about Qualcomm’s recent chip and related technology breakthroughs — none of the details of which seems to have found its way into the Verge’s keynote coverage.
One of the memes that seems to be jutting out from the first hours of the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas centers around this notion of the “Smarter Home,” and IBM has jumped in head first.
Earlier today, IBM, STMicroelectronics, and Shaspa announced a collaboration to tap cloud and mobile computing for manufacturers and service providers to provide innovative ways for consumers to manage and interact with their homes’ functions and entertainment systems using multiple user interfaces such as voice recognition and physical gestures for a smarter home.
Yes, it looks as though we’ll finally be able to do something more productive with our appliances and air conditioning systems than simply yell at them!
A “smart home” brings networking functions together, creating a gateway that connects a television, computer or mobile device with smart meters, lights, appliances, plugs and sensors within the home as well as services from outside. Parks Associates forecasts that more than 8 billion devices will be connected on the home network by year-end 2015.
In Las Vegas this week during CES, the three companies mentioned will demonstrate a TV linked to ST’s Home Gateway, running software from business partner Shaspa, and connected to the IBM cloud.
Through sensors, the system can monitor home parameters such as temperature, carbon dioxide level through a wireless or batteryless IPv6 network, or human motion within the home. The data can be communicated to a smartphone or tablet via a wireless router. I
n this way, the homeowner can offload much of the home management to the cloud and interact with the system using event and time-based preset scenarios.
The companies anticipate that this initiative could allow consumers to use any device capable of running apps to manage a variety of personal activities such as viewing their home’s energy consumption; controlling security, heating and lighting systems; activating home appliances such as washing machines; monitoring health and assisted living conditions; or engaging in e-commerce.
Sony Bravia, Let The Pizza Guy In!
For example, a person with limited mobility could gesture to the TV to unlock the front door, turn up the heat or check vital signs. This project represents the future of electronics technology as sensing devices and equipment seamlessly respond to user needs and requests, emulating the way humans sense their environment.
In this project, ST’s Home Gateway and Shaspa’s embedded software acts as a bridge between the home and cloud services provided by the IBM SmartCloud Service Delivery Platform, which gives electronics manufacturers a cloud platform to manage smart devices and rapidly introduce new consumer services.
The gateway, based on a STiH416, provides the physical connectivity, provisioning and management middleware, application protocols, and interfaces for connecting and controlling the “Internet of Things.” The connected-home System-on-Chip runs software including Linux and a service management system compliant with the OSGi industry standard.
The infrastructure for the gateway-cloud service operation is provided by Shaspa’s GUI and application software.
Going Mobile In Your Living Room
IBM Worklight, in combination with the Mobile Interface of the Shaspa embedded software, is the mobile application platform that enables end users to control and manage their homes from their personal devices. The mobile platform is used to build the application, connect the app to all the sensors within the home, and manage all events that take place.
IBM software such as MQ Series and Worklight helps transmit the data to mobile devices. Data captured in the cloud supports the discovery of new insights through advanced analytics.
“Smarter buildings are an essential part of the journey towards a sustainable world, and this building-to-cloud system shows that connected living is becoming possible today,” said Oliver Goh, Founder & CEO of Shaspa. “This secure, scalable offering with be the enabler for ecosystems, enabling the fast creation and deployment of value-add services.”
The idea of an intelligent home that uses technology to enhance the lives of its occupants is far from new; in fact, it was a major theme in the 1933 Chicago World’s Fair. We are now in a position to realize the intelligent-home dream with systems that feature scalability, interoperability and security built-in from the start. This requires collaborations among leading players across the ecosystem.
The demo will be shown at two venues near the Las Vegas Convention Center: A private, invitation-only suite at The Encore Hotel (ST) and The Venetian, exhibit meeting room 2405 (IBM).
About IBM Cloud and Mobile Computing
Mobility is fundamentally transforming the way people live, work, play and make decisions. As the first new technology platform for business to emerge since the advent of the World Wide Web, mobile computing represents one of the greatest opportunities facing organizations.
With an array of solutions that connect, secure, manage and develop the networks, infrastructure and applications that run the growing number of devices. IBM is enabling governments and industries to reinvent their business and reach customers, employees, partners and other constituents in completely new ways.
You can learn more about IBM’s Mobile Enterprise solutions here.
IBM has also helped thousands of clients adopt cloud models and manages millions of cloud based transactions every day. IBM assists clients in areas as diverse as banking, communications, healthcare and government to build their own clouds or securely tap into IBM cloud-based business and infrastructure services.
IBM is unique in bringing together key cloud technologies, deep process knowledge, a broad portfolio of cloud solutions, and a network of global delivery centers. For more information about IBM cloud solutions, visit www.ibm.com/smartcloud. Follow on Twitter @cloudchat and on our blog at www.thoughtsoncloud.com.
As I mentioned in my last post, yesterday was day 3 of Information On Demand 2012 here in Las Vegas.
There was LOTS going on out here in the West.
We started the day by interviewing keynote speaker Nate Silver (see previous post) just prior to his going on stage for the morning general session. Really fascinating interview, and going in to it I learned that his book had reached #8 on The New York Times best seller list.
So congrats, Nate, and thanks again for a scintillating interview.
During the morning session, we also heard from IBM’s own Craig Rinehart about the opportunity for achieving better efficiencies in health care using enterprise content management solutions from IBM.
I nearly choked when Craig explained that thirty cents out of every dollar on healthcare in the U.S. is wasted, and despite spending more than any other country, is ranked 37th in terms of care.
Craig explained the IBM Patient Care and Insights tool was intended to bring advanced analytics out of the lab and into the hospital to help start driving down some of those costs, and more importantly, to help save lives.
We also heard from IBM Fellow and CTO of IBM Watson Solutions’ organization, Rob High, about some of the recent advancements made on the Watson front.
High explained the distinction between programmatic and cognitive computing, the latter being the direction computing is now taking, and an approach that provides for much more “discoverability” even as it’s more probabilistic in nature.
High walked through a fascinating call center demonstration, whereby Watson helped a call center agent more quickly respond to a customer query by filtering through thousands of possible answers in a few second, then honed in on the ones most likely that would answer the customer’s question.
Next, we heard from Jeff Jonas, IBM’s entity analytics “Ironman” (Jeff also just competed his 27th Ironman triathlon last weekend), who explained his latest technology, context accumulation.
Jeff observed that context accumulation was the “incremental process of integrating new observations with previous ones.”
Or, in other words, developing a better understanding of something by taking more into account the things around it.
Too often, Jeff suggested, analytics has been done in isolation, but that “the future of Big Data is the diverse integration of data” where “data finds data.”
His new method allows for self-correction, and a high tolerance for disagreement, confusion and uncertainty, and where new observations can “reverse earlier assertions.”
For now, he’s calling the technology “G2,” and explains it as a “general purpose context accumulating engine.”
Of course, there was also the Nate Silver keynote, the capstone of yesterday’s morning session, to which I’ll refer you back to the interview Scott and I conducted to get a summary taste of all the ideas Nate discussed. Your best bet is to buy his book, if you really want to understand where he thinks we need to take the promise of prediction.
After months of build up and market anticipation, the IBM InterConnect event got kick started here at Royal Sentosa Resorts on Sentosa Island in Singapore, and after a quick introduction by IBM growth markets executive, John Dunderdale, IBM senior vice president Steve Mills hit the stage and outlined the core value proposition behind the event and, more broadly, behind IT circa 2012.
“We know all of you involved in running businesses are challenged with delivering outcome and results,” said Mills. “We clearly love technology, but the end goal is improving your business and business model.”
Delivering real, discernible business outcomes. IT as a means to an end, not an end in and of itself.
Mills’ talk, entitled “Smarter Planet Solutions increasing Demands of IT,” then went on to explain and support that core thesis for the next 40 minutes, along the way sharing some eye-opening sound bytes and anecdotes.
Mills indicated that the IBM InterConnect event was designed “to give you more insight and more contacts and relationships that you can take advantage of to support your businesses.”
So yes, there would be plenty of best practices and lessons learned to come, but this convocation was also an opportunity to share and network with your peers and colleagues.
Information Technology: A Transformative Tool Of The Past 60 Years
Then Mills began to provide a big picture backdrop of IT, explaining that “technology is the transformative tool of the last 60 years, and no tool has ever done so much for humans as IT.”
But, Mills warned, we humans “sometimes get out ahead of ourselves,” and we become enraptured with the tools instead of focusing on what we can do with those tools.
The core questions, Mills went on to explain, that IT and business executives everywhere should be asking themselves is, “How do I use IT effectively, and at a price my business can afford, and in a way I can measure those discernible outcomes?”
Anything else, my own thought bubble indicated, is nothing more than snake oil off the back of a covered wagon!
Mills then went on to explain the specifics behind the IT challenge. More servers, more users, more scenarios…more everything except, perhaps, more money and people!
Moving Away From Mundane Administration And Towards Increased Business Value And Innovation
And therein lies the core of the issue. So much technology requires management and administration and focus by humans. And yet, oftentimes we’re not even making full use of the IT we have.
By way of example: There are an estimated 32.6 million servers worldwide, but 85 percent of them are often idle, and 15 percent run 24/7 without being actively used.
They’re also energy hogs — data centers alone have doubled the energy use in the past five years, and most expect an 18 percent increase moving forward in data center energy costs.
And all the numbers trend upwards, Mills noted: Between 2000 and 2010, servers grew 6X and storage 69X, so if what’s past is prologue…
But it’s not even just that, all the growth we’ve witnessed in IT hardware and software. All of this has a cumulative effect — it’s not simply the money you spent in the current year, but in ALL the investments you’ve made over an extended period of time.
Though IT has been a big labor saver on the one hand, it’s also been a very expensive proposition in that it requires new skills and labor to manage. And that was another core point of Mill’s argument, that that labor cost has grown to a size to where we need to bring the overhead down while striving to increase the value IT delivers.
An Explosion Of Big Data…And Big Insights!
Mills went on to note there’s also been an explosion of data and information. Google alone processes 24 petabytes of data in a single day, the New York Stock Exchange 1 terabyte of trading data in a single session.
What if…you could apply intelligent analysis to all that information, with an eye towards being more predictive…what if…you could be just 20 minutes ahead of your time…then what could you do???
Finding patterns in data that a single mind could never see, but with the right computing capacity…
So, both burden and opportunity, and this IT overload presents a management challenge — businesses want to be able to do more with what data they have, but they’re uncertain if they’re really getting to what the analysis could actually bring them.
Now, to the actual economics: IT operating costs were expected to have grown from $100 billion in 1996 to an estimated $217 billion in 2012, a trend NOT going in the right direction.
But as Mills explained, “The more servers you have the more servers you have to feed.” Yet that spend on mundane tasks like server administration means you have to rob Innovation Peter to pay Administrivia Paul.
All that sprawl, Mills detailed, means costs to manage growth of inventory consumes the IT budget, and in turn, only 1 in 5 organizations are able to allocate more than half their IT budgets to drive innovation.
As it is, 23 percent of new IT projects deploy late, and 55 percent experience application downtime for major infrastructure upgrades once deployed. Top causes of project delays include troubleshooting and tuning production environments (45%), and integration, configuration and testing of applications (41%).
To add insult to injury, security incidents add an additional layer of complexity and frustration here: The average cost per data breach in 2011 was $3 million, figured in terms of lost customer loyalty.
These, Mills concluded, are the challenges that lay before you, the global IT audience.
Through the remainder of the event, and via several announcements emerging this week in Singapore, Mills suggested IBM would aspire to play a key role in helping clients address the velocity of change in business and IT, and help them redouble their efforts to garner those desired business outcomes.
Greetings from Sentosa Resort Island in Singapore.
What’s past is present, except when you’re traveling on business in Asia, when what’s present is prologue. In the case of Singapore, that’s likely to be the case in more ways than one.
Yes, earthlings of the West, I now come to you from the future, some 13 hours ahead of you here in this antiseptic, futuristic city-state, where broadband is plentiful and where the world’s global diaspora lands along with the beams of light helping Singapore to lead us all into the information future.
You’ve heard of the man with the plan? Well, Singapore is a country with the plan.
“Intelligent Nation 2015,” a 10-year masterplan by the government here to help Singapore realize the potential of “infocomm,” is a blueprint for navigating the city-state’s transition “into a global city, universally recognised as an enviable synthesis of technology, infrastructure, enterprise and manpower.”
If Singapore’s future is in information communications, then it is only appropriate that IBM clients, business partners, employees and others in the IBM ecosystem began landing here over the weekend to attend the IBM InterConnect event.
As we positioned the event on the Web site, “In this era of interconnected industries, businesses and consumers, a new kind of leadership is required to turn opportunity into business outcomes. Smarter businesses are capitalizing on information as a bountiful resource and using technology as the catalyst for unleashing innovation.”
Now, for a moment, just close your eyes, and imagine the word cloud that is emerging in front of you: Interconnected. Opportunity. Smarter. Resource. Technology. Innovation. Outcomes.
Starting tomorrow, Tuesday, October 9th, we will begin exploring that word cloud in some depth — “we” being IBM clients, business partners, execs, subject matter experts and others.
First, we’ll look at the 10 hot topics that address key business imperatives in this uncertain climate, helping organizations to unleash innovation while pacing the velocity of change.
Second, we’ll share best practices that have been learned directly from successful IBM clients and partners.
Third, as is always the case at our favorite IBM events, we’ll foster a milieu for collaboration: With business decision-making peers and other like minded folks.
And we’ll enable you to meet many of these decision-makers and industry experts, face to face.
As for me, I’ll be covering some of these sessions, in particular the keynotes, here in the Turbo blog.
I’ll also be interviewing those numeourous thought leaders and partners and clients and IBM executives for our LiveStream video coverage.
So, keep your eye out here, and be sure to follow the #ibminterconnect hashtag on Twitter to get all the latest.
In future posts, I’ll convey a little more about the city-state that is Singapore.