Turbotodd

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

Posts Tagged ‘globalization

Live @ IBM Smarter Commerce Global Summit Madrid: Steve Cowley On The Smarter Commerce Opportunity

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IBM vice president Steve Cowley sits down with Scott and Todd at the IBM Smarter Commerce Global Summit in Madrid for a Q&A on all things Smarter Commerce, among other topics.

IBM vice president of worldwide sales, IBM Industry Solutions group, Steve Cowley, has worn a number of leadership hats at IBM, but most recently, he’s been busy helping make over the IBM Smarter Commerce play and help his global team take the Smarter Commerce solutions to market.

In his role, Steve is responsible for acquiring, growing and selling a portfolio of industry specific solutions to meet client’s needs in todays’ rapidly changing marketplace.  If you push him, he’ll also explain that he has a passion for Formula One racing

Previously, Steve was General Manager for IBM Central & Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa, based in Dubai, where he was responsible for driving sales and helping clients to maximize their IT investments across the region.

Responsible for all of IBM’s business with some one hundred countries from the Czech Republic to Russia, all Africa and the Middle East, the CEEMEA region was at the heart of IBM’s Growth Markets strategy.

Scott and I queried Steve about a number of topics, including the evolution of the Smarter Commerce opportunity, what’s going on IBM’s growth markets, and the need for increased focus on enterprise mobile computing.

No More Business As Usual: The Road To Smarter Commerce

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I mentioned in my last post that I must have been dreaming on the way over to Madrid. Or maybe it was just all these thoughts running through my head before I actually drifted off to some semblance of jet-engine-drone-induced slumber.

The English East India Company was an English and later (from 1707) British joint-stock company formed for pursuing trade with the East Indies but which ended up trading mainly with the Indian subcontinent. The Company was granted a Royal Charter in 1600, making it the oldest among several similarly formed European East India Companies. Shares of the company were owned by wealthy merchants and aristocrats. The government owned no shares and had only indirect control. The Company operated its own large army with which it controlled major portions of India.

One of those thoughts reminded me of the guy in the YouTube video who reminded us all what an amazing time we live in. That we can climb into what essentially constitutes a rather large beer can and zoom a few thousand miles away in only a matter of hours. In a journey that, once upon a time, would have taken a Benjamin Franklin or a Thomas Jefferson weeks by sea, and likely would have been filled with seasickness, scurvy, or worse, when all they wanted to do was get there.

That was one of my thoughts: Then I fell asleep somewhere near Dallas and woke up somewhere over lovely Spain.

Be Amazed By This Amazing Opportunity

But I also dreamed of commerce. Of its history, and its evolution, and what an amazing time we live in terms of how we conduct business.

I went and looked up “commerce” on Wikipedia, curious as to what the “crowd” out there had to say. That, too, is another relatively new concept, to be able to “crowdsource” information from people around the globe.

Their definition goes something like this: Commerce is the whole system of an economy that constitutes an environment for business. The system includes legal, economic, political, social, cultural, and technological systems that are in operation in any country. Thus, commerce is a system or an environment that affects the business prospects of an economy or a nation-state.

First, there were barter economies, where trading was the principal “facility” in which peoples bartered for goods and services from one another.

Then, currency was introduced as a standardized money, which, facilitated a wider exchange of goods and services — everything from coins to lumps of precious metals to, today, even virtualized currency like “Bitcoin.”

But these days, as the Wikipedia entry observes, commere also includes a complex system of companies that try to maximize their profits by offering products and services to the market (consisting of both individuals and other companies) at the lowest production cost.

The Early Road To Smarter Commerce

So what did some of those early commerce scenarios look like? Imagine, for example, how the domestication of camels allowed Arabian nomads to control long distance trade in spices and silk from the Far East.

Or the “Silk Road,” which was established after the diplomatic travels of the Han Dynasty Chinese envoy Zhang Qian to Central Asia, which allowed Chinese goods to make their way to India, Persia, the Roman Empire — and vice versa.

The English East India Company was an English and, later (from 1707), British joint-stock company formed for pursuing trade with the East Indies, but which ended up trading mainly with the Indian subcontinent. Shares of the company were owned by wealthy merchants and aristocrats. The government owned no shares and had only indirect control. The Company operated its own large army with which it controlled major portions of India.

In more recent times, we saw the introduction of 23 countries agreeing to the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, in 1947, which attempted to rationalize trade among nations.

Going All In…For Your Customer

Today’s smart consumers expect to engage with companies when and how they want, through physical, digital, and mobile means, and they want a consistent experience across all channels. Because they are empowered and connected, they can compare notes, quickly, and they can champion a brand or sully a reputation with the click of a mouse or the stroke of their tablet computer.

Today, circa 2012, we find ourselves at another inflection point in the history of commerce, one which begins and ends with the customer. Today’s commerce environment features a customer who is dictating a new set of terms in the dynamic between buyers and sellers, and these are very smart consumers, ones empowered by technology, transparency, and an abundance of information.

Just simply walk through your closest local retailer or your nearest airport, and you’ll see signs of this new and smarter consumer. Via smartphones and other mobile devices, they are connected real-time to an absurd amount of information that empowers them as buyers, and, in turn, requires an accelerated sophistication on the part of sellers, no matter the product or service.

These consumers expect to engage with companies when and how they want, through physical, digital, and mobile means, and they want a consistent experience across all channels.

Because they are empowered and connected, they can compare notes, quickly, and they can champion a brand or sully a reputation with the click of a mouse or the stroke of their tablet computer.

No More Business As Usual

This ultimately means, of course, that there is no longer such a thing as “business as usual.” Empowered and connected consumers are deeply linked — to their friends, colleagues, and the world at large — and they evaluate and compare the quality of their experiences with those of others. And they are the ones who can reward, or penalize, the businesses that do, or do not, give them what they want.

This is new trading crossroads of the 21st Century, and it is those companies who are interested and compelled to act to enable and encourage this new consumer who are in attendance here at the IBM Smarter Commerce Global Summit here in Madrid this week.

To thrive in this new age of the customer, they recognize they must understand the motivations of each individual purchaser. They must predict, and not merely react to, customers’ needs and preferences.

They must understand not only what they buy and where, but also why and how they choose to buy it.

That’s what this new world demands. That we need not only a better system of doing business.

But, also, a “smarter commerce” environment, one that puts the customer at the center of all operations, and that helps companies better buy, market, sell and service their offerings accordingly.

IBM: Top Global Company For Leadership

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Some noteworthy news on the wire this morning.

IBM was named #1 in FORTUNE magazine’s 2011 Global Top Company for Leaders study — the first company ever to earn this recognition two consecutive times.

IBM was recently named #1 in FORTUNE magazine's 2011 "Global Top Company for Leaders" study -- the first company ever to earn this recognition two consecutive times.

Released today, the Global Top Companies for Leaders is the most comprehensive study of organizational leadership in the world.

An expert panel of independent judges selected and ranked winners based on criteria including strength of leadership practices and culture, examples of leader development on a global scale, impact of leadership in communities in which companies operate, business performance and company reputation.

IBM topped a list of 470 global companies that are committed to building leadership capabilities within their organizations.

The FORTUNE survey notes that leadership, more than ever, is the single largest determinant of competitiveness in business, and that the demand for leaders will only intensify in the current business environment.

According to the study, creating a pipeline of emerging business leaders is essential to developing a strong leadership brand, and critical to helping organizations sustain business performance.

“This recognition reflects IBM’s ongoing commitment to developing leaders from deep within our global organization. This is a discipline that is both world class and uniquely IBM,” said Randy MacDonald, IBM’s Senior Vice President of Human Resources.

“As we enter our second century, leadership development will remain at the top of our agenda as we groom the next generation of leaders skilled at collaborating across teams, cultures, countries and businesses.”

You can download a copy of the Top Global Companies for Leadership study here.

To read Randy MacDonald’s personal perspectives on leadership, visit http://ibm.co/v4Aed2

Written by turbotodd

November 3, 2011 at 2:20 pm

Cyber RATS

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It’s been a bad computer hair week.

My MacBook Pro, which is an early ‘08 model, took a hard drive nose dive earlier this week, and, of course, my Apple Care expired in March.

This after the same machine did a hard drive nose dive last summer (along with the motherboard), when both were still under Apple Care.

Here’s the irony: I have a Dell Latitude E4300 that I’d been running Ubuntu Linux on, and decided to go back to Windows 7, and was literally in the midst of rebuilding a productive machine with all the stuff I need to, you know, do actual work, and THAT was the time Mr. Turbo MBP decided to jump off into the bottom of an empty pool.

Thank you, Mactronics, here in Austin, for fixing the MBP in two days.  Those folks are some of the most awesome tech repair teams I’ve ever dealt with.

So we’re beyond the Debt Ceiling deal, finally.  Now, if we can just keep the economic skies from falling.

And there was more bad news today.  MacAfee, the now Intel-owned security firm, issued a jaw-dropping report about a five-year cyber security exposure that impacted 74 organizations and governments around the world.

If you want to get caught up on this story, go straight to the source, a blog post by MacAfee VP Dmitri Alperovitch.  If you had any second thoughts about the severity of industrial espionage and security break-ins online, this ought to put those thoughts to rest.

The list of victims is a veritable “Who’s Who” of nation-states and institutions. Impacted were the U.S., Taiwan, India, South Korea, Vietnam, Canada, ASEAN, the International Olympic Committee, the World Anti-Doping Agency, and a host of companies, including defense contractors and high-tech firms.

Wrote Alperovitch in his blog post, “This is the biggest transfer of wealth in terms of intellectual property in history…The scale at which this is occurring is really, really frightening.”

Probably not a bad time to remind folks of IBM’s security solutions.

In the meantime, I’m sitting here inside Turboville downloading Mac OS X Lion and in the process of rebuilding my MBP so I don’t have a “No Mac Attack.” 

Wish me luck!

Written by turbotodd

August 4, 2011 at 12:21 am

IBM Industry Summit: John Kao On Getting Innovation Done

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If you’ve never had the opportunity to see John Kao speak in the flesh, then you’ve probably never heard a greater champion of innovation (and improvisation as one means to that end…Kao was once a student of Frank Zappa, and a longtime pianist).

Innovation expert John Kao speaks about innovation disruption at the 2010 IBM Industry Summit in Barcelona, Spain.

I first saw Kao speak about his book, Jamming: The Art and Discipline of Business Creativity, the ideas from which helped lead to IBM’s own massive internal jam that helped we IBMers reinvent T.J. Watson’s core business values for the 21st century.

Kao keynoted the morning session today and explained he went out to Google the word “innovation” earlier today, and there were over 92M results! His point was that innovation continues to be important, but the word is used so often, it becomes a meaningless term.

Kao asserted in his talk that we need to restore meaning to the word, to bring “innovation to innovation,” and that his life’s work has been dedicated to understanding it as both a science and discipline.

With a little audience Q&A, Kao discovered that though 98% of the Industry Forum audience in attendance asserted that innovation was key to their business success, only about 5% of the hands went up when he asked how many had a system for innovation.

He then observed why the IBM smarter planet agenda was so compelling to him, because, he said, “it’s putting a map of innovation on top of the whole world.”

Kao used that as an elegant launching point for providing his own five point perspectives on innovation:

Definition, Disruption, Dissemination, Design, Digital

By definition, Kao explained that we have to be specific about what we mean, that creativity and innovation, for example, are not the same thing.

Creativity is enabling the human ability to be able to generate new ideas, and innovation is creativity applied to a specific purpose to realize value. Innovation is the muscle that brings creativity towards some intended end.

He then explained point number two, disruption, of which is there is no current shortage. Kao made reference to the “ghost dance” of native Americans, driven to their deaths after they denied they denied the disruption being brought about by the “white man.” A very sophisticated form of denial, that dance, but the buffalo outfits did little to stop the bullets.

Another example of disruption: Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes, who went to work for then candidate Barack Obama and social media-fied his campaign, leaving the top down, command-and-control Clinton campaign babbling in its social media fallout.

Disruption can also mean great opportunity, as Bilbao, Spain, demonstrated with its Frank Gehry-designed museum now drawing 1M tourists a year to the Basque country.

Next up, dissemination: How do we innovate from a systems perspective? After WWII, the US was the main innovation game in town, but we’ve since seen, particularly with globalization, the advent of innovation centers sprouting up around the globe.

Kao walked the audience through a series of airport pictures of advertisements for those centers: Qatar, Singapore, Shanghai…the list went on and on.

That expansion enables smart managers to now pick from a global buffet of innovation offerings, and with the innovation web including a dog’s breakfast menu of disciplines to choose from.

Call it, Kao said, “innovation arbitrage.”

Next up, the importance of innovation, another lens for how innovation needs to be reinvented. If innovation is the big answer you seek, Kao asked, what is the question? Doing the work of design thinking (user centric, using tacit knowledge, prototyping, etc.), organizations can tap into the reservoir of design depth needed to bring innovation from dream to reality.

And finally, digital. Digital with a capital “D.”

He asked the audience to remember 1998: No mobile phones. No social networks. No digital music. (Yes, but let’s remember, there WAS a whole lot of commercial Internet hype).

But his point was well taken. This is no longer your mom and dads’ innovation. H.G. Well’s “world brain” is coming to reality, and as we increase the nodes of participation in the global brain, we increase the interaction between our brain cells.

The higher the ratio of brain to body cells…well, that’s why we humans are at the top of the food chain, and this syndrome Kao referred to as “encephalization.”

Innovation will no longer be just about better, faster, cheaper, or incremental improvements. It will be about major disruption, and the ability of organizations to adapt and embrace that disruption and turn it into an enhanced capability to innovate.

And that, Kao concluded, comes about as the by-product of effective leadership.

Written by turbotodd

November 11, 2010 at 1:13 pm

New Collaboration Capabilities

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IBM introduced a new collaboration software suite in the that gives users one-click access to collaboration and social networking services for only $10 per month via the cloud.

IBM also announced today new enterprise-class email and social networking capabilities, value pricing options and third party integrations for its flagship cloud collaboration offering, LotusLive.

IBM LotusLive Communities

The Communities feature in LotusLive enables users to tag information, share bookmarks, create activities and use a discussion forum from the IBM cloud.

As I’ve mentioned in this blog previously, LotusLive is how many of us inside IBM currently manage and communicate across great distances, farflung teams, and so on, and has, in fact, just as with the original instantiation of our enterprise instant messaging system, Lotus Sametime, become integral to how we run our business.

What’s New: LotusLive, Lotus Notes, Are In The Cloud

With this announcement, IBM is making it easier for customers of all sizes to take advantage of all the collaboration capabilities of LotusLive. The new LotusLive collaboration suite combines enterprise-class email, calendaring, instant messaging, Web conferencing, file sharing and social networking services in an easy to deploy, simplified package for $10 per user per month.

IBM also unveiled a Cloud service called LotusLive Notes, based on IBM’s flagship messaging capabilities already used by millions of people worldwide.  Building on deep experience in serving the enterprise, LotusLive Notes delivers feature-rich email, shared calendar, instant messaging and personal contact services, starting at only $5 per user, per month.

I can hear the Crazy Eddie voiceover: “Only $5 per user, per month!  Are you craaazyyy?!”

Building Community With Communities

Building on its leadership in enterprise social networking, IBM is also introducing a feature within LotusLive called “Communities” to help advance organizations’ ability to work together both inside and outside their enterprise.

Within a Community, members have the ability to tag information, share files and bookmarks, track projects and host discussion forums securely across multiple companies.

“Businesses are looking to reduce costs, do more with less, and find ways to work more closely with their customers and partners,” said Sean Poulley, IBM vice president of cloud collaboration. “LotusLive gives them the right tools to do this, delivered by a company they trust and is focused on security and reliability.”

Businesses Big And Small: Choosing LotusLive for Competitive Advantage

Businesses around the world, such as aatranslations, SIT La Precisa and Signature Mortgage, are choosing LotusLive cloud collaboration services for the unique business value it delivers in today’s competitive landscape.

aatranslations, a mid-size pan European provider of language translation services, is taking advantage of the LotusLive licensing model to easily collaborate with 7,000 clients and 700 translators in 20 countries, without the worry of firewalls or additional costs.

Working with IBM third-party provider FreshTL, aatranslations chose IBM LotusLive over Microsoft BPOS and Google Apps because LotusLive removes barriers to working together, allowing them to conduct business and collaborate with anyone and reducing the time it takes to work on every project.

SIT La Precisa, an Italian-based company that specializes in the design and manufacturing of electronic controls and equipment uses Lotus Notes and Domino on premise in their headquarters.  They chose IBM LotusLive because of the unique hybrid value, bringing together on-premise and cloud-based services easily.

With employees working all over the world, many in small offices with just a few people, it had been difficult to provide the same email service to everyone. SIT La Precisa wanted to move its disparate staff off a variety of email systems, including Microsoft Exchange, onto one email platform without having to make expensive capital investments in infrastructure. It is currently rolling out LotusLive iNotes in several markets across the globe to provide employees with essential messaging and calendaring capabilities under one domain name.

Signature Mortgage Corporation of Canton, Ohio is using IBM LotusLive and taking advantage of the integration with third-party Silanis’ e-SignLive services, delivered by IBM business partner Silanis. By allowing their clients to electronically review and sign mortgage applications from the convenience of their home or office, Signature Mortgage hopes to improve customer experiences, generate better rates for customers and increase revenues for the company.

By filing and sharing their documents in LotusLive, customers no longer need to spend time or money on printing, shipping, returning and verifying applications. Signature Mortgage expects to reduce the time to process mortgage applications from its current seven-day track record down to 24 hours.

Today IBM also announced two new integrations with third-party providers, Tungle and Bricsys, designed to allow customers to collaborate seamlessly in their day-to-day work. These latest integrations illustrate IBM’s commitment to help mid-size businesses find new and affordable ways to apply technology to solve problems and scale for future growth.

Tungle Corp. has teamed with IBM to integrate its online scheduling and calendar services with LotusLive, and Bricsys, a provider of cloud-based document, data, task and report sharing, has teamed with IBM to integrate its Vondle services with LotusLive.

For more information on IBM LotusLive cloud collaboration services, please visit www.lotuslive.com

Written by turbotodd

October 5, 2010 at 9:43 pm

Students To IBM: Think Local, Act Global

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On the topic of globalization…last week, IBM released results of a first-of-a-kind survey that I’ve been wanting to blog about and share (but am just now getting the bandwidth to get around to).

The survey was part of the IBM 2010 Global CEO Study, but this particular component I want to tell you about was getting into the heads of university students around the globe. 

Think about some of the key current topics: BP oil spill, increased focus and investment in green energy, challenges of a global workforce, physical infrastructure challenges in a time of increased budget deficits, and so on.

Then think about the university students’ reactions and results from the study: They are extremely concerned with issues around globalization and sustainability.

However, only four out of 10 believe that their education had prepared them to address these issues.

Ouch.

Creativity Is Key

It also revealed that both students and CEOs believe that creativity is the most important emerging competency of future leaders.  It also revealed clear confidence about the ability of information technologies to address looming issues in business or society.

I’m certainly seeing that here while in Bangalore, the IT hub of India. 

The study also revealed a decidedly optimistic new ethos, one based on an integrated view of globalization, sustainability, and belief in technology as a path towards solutions for both emerging and existing problems.

Almost 50 percent of students indicated that organizations should optimize their operations by globalizing, rather than localizing, to meet their strategic objectives.

Generation Gap, Data Driven

However, they also described a gap in this generation’s training to cope with issues that will arise in an increasingly interconnected and complex world – which is where their strong belief in IT as a gap bridger came into play.

Students surveyed indicated that they will lean more heavily on data analysis — over gut instinct or existing "best practices" — to reach their strategic and operational goals as business leaders in their own right.

And as fact-based decisions begin to prevail, they may need to pioneer an entirely new management style — one that continually enriches personal experience and education with new sources of insight based on a new ability deal with the explosion of real-time information. 

The study also revealed broad-based confidence that increased access to information, analysis, and the resulting insight can reduce uncertainty about the future.

Clearly, the students’ experience regarding globalization is different. 

Growing up more connected globally, students see the shocks and threats, but are more prone to view globalization as an opportunity to solve increasingly global problems.

They are strongly committed to a global view of shared responsibility for both environmental issues and societal prosperity.

Students, for the most part, shared their views, and even agreed on very specific courses of action: embodying creative leadership, reinventing customer relationships and building more dexterous operating models.

Nevertheless, for all the areas of agreement between students and CEOs, twice as many students selected globalization and environmental issues as one of the top three factors to impact organizations and expected major consequences to business and society from a scarcity of resources.

Bold positions like these came about because students clearly saw that globalization provides an opportunity for organizations to create new value.

Compared to all other regions, the views of students and CEOs on sustainability diverged most sharply in North America.

Students there were almost three times as likely as CEOs to expect scarcity of natural resources to have a significant impact. They were more than twice as likely to select environmental issues as a top external force.

And 60 percent more students than CEOs in this region anticipated that customer expectations for social responsibility will increase significantly. 

The Digital Deluge

Given that today’s students grew up in a digital age, intuitively understanding that economies, societies, governments and organizations are made up of interconnecting networks, it may not be surprising that seven in 10 students experienced the new economic environment as significantly more complex today, compared to six in 10 CEOs. 

But they saw far less volatility and uncertainty, in part because they were confident that access to more information could be put to better use, analyzed for patterns and predictive insights to solve the hardest problems in business or society.

Students who saw significantly more complexity, or interconnectedness in the environment, were 50 percent more likely to expect significant impact from the information explosion and 22 percent more likely to believe that a focus on analyzing information for insight would be key to organizations’ success in the future.

Views about the impact of the information explosion were fairly uniform across regions, except in China where students were 67 percent more likely to see a large impact than CEOs in China. Students in China were also far more likely to approach decision-making analytically, relying on facts more than instinct, or even experience.

Global Thinking, Local Views

Students’ attitudes toward globalization were reflected in their expectations of leadership as well.

Like CEOs, students selected creativity as the top emerging leadership quality for the successful enterprise of the future. But among the nine leadership traits CEOs and students were asked to select, students placed a higher emphasis on only two qualities -– global thinking and a focus on sustainability.

In China, 76 percent of students value global thinking as a top leadership quality, more than students anywhere else. Yet, only 38 percent of students in China believe their education has prepared them for global citizenship, which is lower than students in any other region.

Only 17 percent of students in Japan, less than any other region, believe their education has prepared them well to benefit from the growth of emerging markets.

Understanding these and other sharp differences emerging by geography is increasingly important as economies and societies become more closely linked.

Students will confront these differences as they increasingly become the future leaders of business and organizations.

It’s a set of results both heartening and yet eye-opening. 

If you’d like to read the full results and learn more, visit the IBM Future Leaders site.

Written by turbotodd

June 23, 2010 at 10:02 am

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