Posts Tagged ‘Google’

News Analysis: Acquisition Of Fiberlink Fills Key Gap In IBM’s One-Stop Mobile First Strategy

IBM Acquires Fiberlink (MaaS360) For Mobile Management And Security

On November 13th, Blue Bell, PA based Fiberlink Communications signed a definitive agreement to be acquired by Armonk, NY based IBM for an undisclosed sum.  Fiberlink has over 3500 clients in key verticals such as financial, retail, public sector, education, and healthcare.  IBM expects to close the acquisition at year’s end.  The deal is significant to customers because:

  • IBM is committed to deliver one stop mobility via acquisitions and organic growth. IBM has made eight acquisitions in the last 18 months (see Figure 1).  In 2012, IBM acquired Emptoris, Worklight, and Tealeaf Mobile. Urban Code, The Now Factory, Xtify, Trusteer, and Fiberlink formed the 2013 acquisition list.  Along the way in 2012, IBM launched three mobile offerings: IBM Endpoint Manager for mobile devices, IBM Connections Mobile, and IBM Security Access Manager for Cloud and Mobile.  In 2013, IBM made the IBM Mobile First announcement along with the IBM Message Sight solution.

    Point of View (POV):
    Mobile is the key onramp to digital business.  The average individual is no further than three feet from their devices and always on 14 to 15 hours a day.  Unfortunately, today’s mobile offerings often are piecemeal and incomplete.  IBM has made a strategic bet to provide the end to end mobile first life cycle.  IBM sees four key entry points for mobile: build, engage, transform, and optimize.  Worklight and Urban code addresses build.  IBM Connections Mobile, Tealeaf CX Mobile, and IBM Xtify enable human interaction for engage while IBM MessageSight enables machine to machine (M2M) communications.  Meanwhile, the Now Factory provides big data insights to support the transform entry point.  Emptoris Rivermine Telecom expense management, IBM Endpoint Manager, IBM Security Access Manager, Trusteer end point security, and IBM Urban Code release automation are part of the optimize entry point.
  • Mobile management is a critical function for successful BYOD and IBM’s Mobile First strategy. MaaS360 provides a cloud based mobility management platform and an on-premises version will be available shortly.  The solution is policy based to support a wide range of BYOD security and privacy requirements.  MaaS360 supports mobile device management (MDM), mobile content management, and mobile applicant management including containerization.

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News Analysis: Oracle’s Cloud Strategy – Revisionist History or Cloud Genius?

This is a joint post with my colleague Holger Mueller who looks at IaaS/PaaS and Future of Work technologies for Constellation Research.

At a press conference on June 24th, 2013 with Microsoft’s CEO, Steve Ballmer ,and Oracle’s President Mark Hurd announced a cloud partnership where Azure customers will be able to run Oracle Database (no version mentioned, but Constellation expects this to be 12c), Oracle Weblogic, and Java.

Oracle also announced availability of Oracle Linux for Azure customers. Constellation believes that the deployments of the Oracle 12c, Weblogic and Java stack pieces will be deployed on Oracle’s Linux.  Should this be true, the approach makes sense, as this is a tested and proven hardware and software combination. Further, Microsoft has already begun to run parts of Azure on Linux.

The partnership alliance poses significant implications for both vendors and more importantly customers moving to the cloud for three reasons:

  • Java comes to Azure, a sign of pax in the .NET vs Java wars. For Applications to run on Azure, they needed to be built in C# or compatible languages. Now, with the licensing of Java by Microsoft as part of this partnership, Java applications will run on Azure. This opens doors for Java applications on the Azure cloud, as well as general more portability for Java applications. And Azure becomes a friendly cloud for the 9 million+ Java developers out there. .

    Point Of View:
    Microsoft and Oracle strike a win-win here.  Microsoft gains more language derived potential for expanding Azure and Oracle adds a marquee cloud stack to support Java.  Given the substantial overlap of enterprise customers on both Microsoft and Oracle, customers will benefit from more cross cloud compatibility for Java while supporting Azure for IaaS.
  • Azure will run Oracle Weblogic and the Oracle Database. Microsoft will support Oracle Linux in Azure as the foundation to run the middleware and the database stack.  Though the press release and the press conference did not specify which Oracle database, Constellation speculates this is for Oracle Database 12c. In addition, Oracle announced license mobility for customers who want to run software on Azure and bring Oracle Linux to Azure..

    (POV):
    Interesting enough when Larry Ellison spilled the news for this announcement during the Q4 Oracle earnings call, this was not about the Oracle Database, but very specifically about Oracle 12c. It’s not clear why 12c is not specifically referenced in the press release – but with the ORacle 12c general availability slotted for June 25h, 2013, this moment may not have been the time to steal the thunder.  Of note, it is not only the database, but also the Weblogic application server which will be deployed on Azure. This comes as a surprise at first, but given the work Oracle has done to integrate the former BEA flagship product with 12c and Java – it was a question of taking whole technology building and avoiding too many interfaces. Why run Java apps through Biztalk to an Oracle database?  Constellation views this as a smart move by both companies, as it allows Azure customers to utilize more of the Oracle products, that are more and more entwined due to the Fusion and Exaxxx products.
  • The hypervisor is where Microsoft and Oracle draw a line in the sand. Oracle will support Microsoft’s hypervisor Hyper-V to be the demarcation line between higher level application code and the Oracle products that now run in Azure.  The combined offering will be running on Hyper-V, which creates some headaches for Oracle on the hypervisor level as Constellation predicted, and will be supported by Oracle support as running on Windows Azure. .

    (POV):
    This poses some engineering work for the Oracle hypervisor teams, but nothing impossible to achieve. And the benefits are tangible, Hyper-V built applications will now be able to run on the Oracle Database (12c, and on Oracle Linux). This will give a lot of performance critical (think Dynamics) applications that were limited by SQL Server scalability before, new breathing room.  Microsoft was able to protect higher level applications of its technology stack with this agreement and at the same time Oracle benefits from a whole ecosystem of Hyper-V compatible applications. The cost of supporting Hyper-V for Oracle, which is tangible, is however dwarfed by this additional market potential. And it gives Mircosoft an important leg up against VMware’s vSphere.  Constellation believes this has significant implications in the cloud stack wars among Amazon, Google, HP, IBM, and VMware.  In unusual candidness for these  Oracle listed the current and future deliverables for the alliance in an blog post here.

Why did this happen?

As previously mentioned, this would have been a very good April Fool’s headline – even back on April 1st 2013. So this alliance comes as a surprise pretty much to all industry observers, at least we have not seen anyone claiming to see this one coming.

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Monday’s Musings: The New Engagement Platform Drives The Shift From Transactions

Convergence In The Five Forces Of Consumerization Of Technology Drives The Next Big Thing

Social has given us the tools to connect.  Mobile has given us the ability to interact any time and anywhere.  Cloud delivers access points to us with a rich array of content and information.  Big data provides us with the context and information to make decisions.  Unified communications and video transform how we share ideas.  This convergence of the five forces of consumerization drives the next shifts in technology.  The move from transaction to engagement and from engagement to experience is happening now.  The era of transactional apps rapidly makes way for the era of engagement.

If Business Value And Outcomes Are The Goal, Then We Need An Engagement Platform For The Enterprise

The arrival of engagement platforms does not signify time to throw out the transactional systems. In fact, those systems provide the foundation required for engagement.  The engagement layer exposes transactions and allow for deeper interaction and richer sources of information.  However, the transactional systems lack the ability to support engagement.

In fact, organizations around the world struggle with building the right engagement strategy for their customers and employees.  While crafting the right strategy should be designed prior to any technology selection, once completed, the technology to support the strategy does not exist out of the box from ANY solution provider.  Unfortunately, the technologies to achieve engagement remain disparate and hodge podge.   Many solution providers seek to achieve the engagement layer from different heritages:

  • Pure play social solutions morph to engagement apps.  Vendors such as Broadvision, Jive, Moxie, Lithium, Tibco, and Yammer have delivered many elements of the engagement layer.  These horizontal offerings provide an opportunity to assimilate disparate offerings across multiple processes and roles.  The challenge is finding the tools that support consistent integration at the process, meta data, and data layer.  Gamification vendors such as Badgeville, Bunchball, BigDoor, Crowdtwist, and Gigya play a key role in delivering outcomes and influencing behavior through engagement.  Platforms such as Atlasian, Box, GoodData, and Tidemark open the door to a new era of engagement apps.
  • Legacy transactional systems in transition to engagement. Major ERP and CRM vendors seek to address engagement with “social” and “mobile” features.  While many of the vendors have the components for engagement, the struggle will be to embed a sense and respond design point into both the interaction layer and process flows.  Salesforce embraces the social enterprise and uses Chatter as its entry point in creating engagement.  SAP attempts this with its CubeTree/SuccessFactors acquisition in Project Robus.  Oracle attacks this problem through a customer experience suite.  Microsoft acquired Yammer to create this layer inside Office and its Business Solutions portfolio. IBM embraces social business with a series of acquisitions and product enhancements to its IBM Connections product.  More importantly, IBM has built and acquired a portfolio of software solutions that sit on top of the legacy transactional systems, delivering high value and high impact.
  • Consumer offerings could enter the enterprise. With consumerization of IT increasing, platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Twitter provide a rich engagement platform that could be adopted in the enterprise.  Meanwhile, solutions providers such as Adobe blend consumer with enterprise as they provide the tools for engagement on the web and in mobile.  The challenge is dealing with societal norms between work and personal information.  The challenge is meeting enterprise class requirements for safety, security, and sustainability.
  • Vertically integrated prosumer platforms already deliver engagement. Google, Amazon, Apple, and Microsoft have the unique capability of delivering an end to end solution from hardware, consumer device, operating system, database, applications, and partner ecosystem.  Engagement platforms form the basis of future business models as consumer and enterprise blend into prosumers.  The challenge is meeting the disparate needs of enterprise and consumer.
  • Marketing and advertising networks provide rich profiles and targeting.  The ad networks are moving fast to shift engagement and offers.  While daily deal sites play one role, companies like Glam Networks also now deliver key components for ad targeting and optimization that compete with Google, Apple, Yahoo, and other media properties.   Marketing automation platforms such as
    Eloqua, Hubspot, InfusionSoft, Marketo, NeoLane, Pardot, and Parature already have may key components.  The challenge is engendering trust among the users or consumers to share more information in exchange for deemed value.

Figure 1. Technologies Will Evolve  From Transactions to P2P

The Engagement Platform Requires Nine Main Technology Components

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Trends: The Battle For CMO Mind Share

Marketing and Advertising Budgets Are The New Land Grab

Constellation Research, Inc. predicts that the global advertising market (paid search, display, and classified) will hit $125B by 2015.   While IT budgets continue to stay flat, marketing budgets are up.  Warc’s recent Global Marketing Index (GMI) entered positive territory in March 2012.  Consequently, the heat up in marketing and advertising market attracts not only start-ups, but also tech vendors looking to enter this lucrative market.

Solution Providers Rediscover The CMO Budget

In just less than 28 months, enterprise software vendors have bolstered their presence with Chief Marketing Officers mostly through acquisitions and partnerships.  The goal – capture budgets allocated for digital creation, marketing automation and revenue optimization, advertising, CRM and customer experience, analytics, and information brokering (see Figure 1).

Figure 1.  The Battle For The CMO Budget Comes From Six Fronts

Why the change? Marketing sits at the cross roads between the old analog world and the new shift to digital transformation.  With each big shift, organizations will change what technologies they invest in, who they decide to partner with, and how quickly they will make the shift.  This new battle for CMO mind share started when IBM purchased Unica for $480M in August 13, 2010 (Figure 2).  The frenzied activity by Adobe, Dell, Eloqua, Google, Hubspot, Kana, Marketo, Oracle, Salesforce.com, and SAS Institute reflect the desire to be top of mind among CMO budgets.

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Monday’s Musing: Avoiding Social Media Fatigue Through Engagement

Social Media Moves From Ubiquitous Usage To Relevant Rationalization

Have we hit a social media plateau?  In recent client conversations on usage of social media, the trendsetters appear to be “socialed out”.   Most early adopters seem to be overwhelmed with their personal (Facebook, Google+), corporate (Yammer, Jive, Chatter, SharePoint), and professional (LinkedIn) social networks.  In fact, respondents feel that adding any additional network for anything social is quite overwhelming.  While early adopters are moving from ubiquitous usage to relevant rationalization, the majority remains in ubiquitous usage (see Figure 1).  Recent data on number of users at the Big 4 of social media show that we are in the middle of ubiquitous usage:

  • Facebook (901M users as of Feb 2012)
  • Twitter (500M users as of March 2012)
  • LinkedIn (161M users as of March 2012)
  • Google+ (100M users as of Feb 2012)

Early Adopters Facing Social Media Fatigue

As early adopters start rationalizing their networks, some are even pulling out.  From loss of interest in Google+, Empire Avenue, to even FaceBook, people have started to selectively choose networks to combat overload and social media fatigue.  The common theme – relevant rationalization by self-interest.   These trends parallel those for mail, phone, email, web and other disruptive technologies.  Going forward, users will move towards desensitization when the advertisers and companies abuse the channel by spamming users with an unwanted deluge of irrelevant offers.

The Bottom Line: Engage Users To Combat Fatal Fatigue In The Disruptive Tech Adoption Life Cycle

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Monday’s Musings: Seven Basic Privacy Rights Users Should Demand For Social Business

Public Outrage Grows Over Lax Privacy Polices At Popular Social Networking Sites

Recent actions by social networking leaders in the market place have brought new attention to a user’s privacy rights.  Despite the fact that these sites provide a freemium service to users, abuse and arrogance of a user’s privacy rights combined with user ignorance has led to not only a public outrage, but also increasing action from privacy advocacy groups to petition government agencies.  Three public examples include:

Figure 1. US Social Networking Sites Market Share By Page Views

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Monday’s Musings: A Working Vendor Landscape For Social Business

Confusion Persists In The Social Business Market

As with any new disruptive technology, the social business solution landscape faces a dynamic, confusing, and converging market. As vendors seek to grab mind share and market share, customers and prospects remain confused as to what are the right business problems to address with social business. However, rampant confusion among users hampers efforts to solve business issues. Three key factors accelerate this level of confusion:

  1. Early adopter market. Constantly changing conditions force customers to alter original plans as executive sponsorship fluctuates from intense to pensive and back to intense in short cycles. Projects remain secretive for competitive advantage reasons. Consequently, prospects lack strong case studies to build off of despite peer groups, adoption networks. Prospects seek metrics that matter and relevant use cases.
  2. Consumerization of IT. With increased social media penetration, success in consumer grade products highlight the potential for enterprise adoption. However, most enterprise class products remain one to two generations behind in achieving similar capabilities. As business users gravitate towards simple, scalable, and sexy attributes; IT departments seek to rein in shadow IT efforts with safety, security, and sustainability requirements.
  3. Marketing mayhem. Fast paced markets always generate hype in marketing messages. Hence, legacy collaboration, community platform, CRM, unified communications, integration platform, and office productivity vendors seek to reposition themselves and address the emerging and trendy social business use cases customers seek.

Social Business Vendors Converge Towards Business Value Sweet Spot

The vendor landscape for social business market represents a diverse and broad collection of solutions.  Vendors approach the market from multiple heritage points, technologies, and markets.  Four key criteria cut across two axes (see Figure 1):

  1. External facing vs internal facing.  External facing includes customers, partners, and suppliers.  Internal facing include employees and trusted networks within the corporate firewall.
  2. Platforms and infrastructure vs purpose built solutions.  Platforms and infrastructure referred to core technology solutions.  Purpose built solutions address specific applications.

Figure 1. Social Business Vendors Converge Towards Business Value Sweet Spot (Working Draft)

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Monday’s Musings: Auction Sites Such As Deal Umpire May Level The Playing Field Among Daily Deal Sites


Merchants Must Break Free From Daily Deal Site Hysteria

Following up on the April 4th post about the damage caused by daily deal sites such as Groupon, merchants continued to send feedback about the challenges they face.  Those who use daily deal sites express the following:

  • Peer pressure to participate. Customers and prospects flooded by daily deals try out competitors.  Merchants afraid that lack of participation will hurt the business. A large restaurant chain VP noted, “Dammed if you do, dammed if you don’t.  We need to raise awareness above the fray, but the prize for winning is a losing business model”
  • Attraction of a low value, price sensitive customer base. Instead of attracting brand conscious, high value customers, merchants end up with bargain hunters.  Over time, merchants have had to raise prices to make up for losses with daily deal sites.  A high end spa owner complained, “I’m attracting the wrong customers and aggravating my loyal customer base.  Everyone now wants a bargain and we’ve got no more margin to give”
  • Inability to negotiate favorable terms. A lack of transparency on terms results in higher takes of percentage of revenue. Merchants lack visibility and expertise to secure better terms.  CMO of a large hospitality chain stated, “The terms for the deals stink.  We need some pricing pressure to move the pendulum back towards the center”.

New Daily Deal Auction Sites Create Win-Wins for Merchants And Daily Deal Sites

Auction sites such as Deal Umpire provide a market between merchants and daily deal sites.  These market places, if successful, will deliver two key benefits for merchants such as:

  • Visibility in deal terms among various daily deal sites. Deal site profiles include key information such as revenue split, payout terms, subscriber reach, subscriber demographics, deal site business model, credit card fees, media coverage, marketing materials, and when a deal can be featured.
  • Competition for daily deal business. The market place concept brings together multiple deal site programs into once place.   With competitive forces in play, merchants can drive pricing pressure on daily deal sites for lower revenue share and more favorable terms.

Merchants using a market place benefit with:

Product Review: Google+, Consumerization of IT, and Crossing The Chasm For Enterprise Social Business

Timing of Google+ Bodes Well For Enterprise Users And Google

Lately, one could say Google’s been a bit absent from the social business party.  The premature launch of Google Wave exposed a canvas looking for a masterpiece painting.  Failing fast and learning from the Google Wave lesson, Google’s latest offering, Google+ shows promise in bringing similar disruptive technology concepts to market, yet packaged in easier to adopt metaphors such as activity streams, walls, hangouts, and circles (see Figure 1).

As part of Google’s aspirations to deliver enterprise offerings, it’s flagship Google Apps continues to gain traction in enterprises despite a market position that places the product between a very strong pro-sumer play and an almost enterprise app.  The good news – a constant stream of incremental changes shows an evolution to an enterprise class offering built from a strong consumer bent.  As of this posting, Google Apps isn’t integrated with G+, but Google’s enterprise ambitions have been strengthened with the new offering.

Figure 1.  Logging Into Google+

Convergence And Shift To A P2P World Enables GooglePlus To Go After Both Consumers And Enterprises

Google+ launch comes at an exciting time of convergence among the mega trends for the decade: social business, mobile enterprise, cloud computing, and unified communications.  The five pillars of Consumerization of IT (CoIT) fall in Google’s favor as consumer users rapidly seek to bring these innovations into their enterprises.  Subsequently, Google+ already takes advantage of Google’s assets to:

  • Unify the communications channels. Enterprises spend millions trying to get their fragmented communications systems to work, let alone integrate.  Google+ takes chats, emails, tweets, voice, mobile, and video and rolls it all up neatly into one offering.  More importantly, it works off of one login and its integrated.  Key video features such as Hangouts allow for impromptu video con calls without the hassle of most other video conferencing systems.
  • Provide an initial alternative to Facebook for the enterprise offerings. Procurement managers and line of business buyers face Cloud/SaaS best of breed hell as a flurry of purpose built solutions attack the enterprise IT landscape.  Should Google stream line convergent offerings for the enterprise, it will be poised to dethrone many incumbents.  Google can only succeed if they can match functional parity over the next 12 to 18 months.  Keep in mind, the long-term goal goes beyond Facebook for the enterprise.
  • Aggregate the user’s social sphere. Facing near term social networking overload, enterprise users can’t possibly fathom another social networking service.  Aggregation by a major player makes sense from a market position and user convenience. Google’s initial list allows users to notate key services in their profiles through connected accounts from Facebook, Yahoo!, Flickr, LinkedIn, Quaora, Twitter, Yelp, Hotmail, and Plaxo (see Figure 2). A quick look into the codes shows that these connection services potentially can support a Microsoft Outlook email, an SAP feed, or Salesforce.com Chatter stream and may potentially support direct integrations in future road maps.

Figure 2.  Google+ Delivers Social Sphere Aggregation With Ease

Adding Connections on GooglePlus

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Monday’s Musings: Mastering When and How High End Brands Should Use Daily Deal Sites Such As Groupon


Daily Deal Sites Claim To Bring New Customers

Chicago, Illinois based Groupon, is a consumer oriented commerce site that brings consumers looking for the ultimate deal to businesses seeking new customer bases.  Local based targeting, fun cheeky copy, and a reach in almost 600 cities powers the frenzy behind the “daily deals”.   Customers pay upfront.  Groupon takes 40 to 50% of the deal.  Businesses  supposedly gain new customers.  Other start-up competitors in the digital coupon “daily deal” space include Bloomsot, BuyWithMe, LivingSocial, Scoutmob, and Tippr. Established brands Google, Facebook, Microsoft, OpenTable, Yahoo!, and Yelp all have similar offerings in play or planned.  The idea makes sense at first on a few counts for businesses with:

  • Immediate inventory items. Perishable food items, overstocked goods, closeout merchandise.
  • Unused service capacity. Unbooked hotel rooms, open spa appointments, down time at a bar.
  • Instant gratification offers. Quick promotions, fast deals, quick foot traffic.

However, Most Orgs Face Massive Pricing And Brand Dilution

After talking to over 50 high end, high profit customers, we’ve unveiled a growing resentment with how the current model works.  Despite the advertised 95% of merchants who’d use Groupon again stats, the numbers fail to tell the story.  In fact, the top three complaints we personally heard in our informal 51 high end organization survey include:

  • Brand value dilution. The novelty and brand promise not appreciated by new customers.  Brand value not fully communicated or achieved by customers.
  • Downward price pressure. Overall perception on pricing trends downward due to lack of scarcity.  Customers now see a new price for an existing luxury service.
  • Loss of profitability among existing customer base.  Existing profitable customers wait for deals instead of pay full price.  Loyal customers feel cheated.

The Bottom Line:  Use The Customer Profitability Matrix To Determine Your Strategy

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Monday’s Musings: Reflections On Obama And The False Hope For A Tech Halo

President Obama’s Visit Reflects The Importance Of Silicon Valley To The US Economy
By now everyone’s seen and re-seen the photo showing the tech-centric dinner at John Doerr’s house in Woodside, CA on February 17th, 2011 (see Figure 1).  With a guest list that included most of the “Captains of the Tech Industry” it would have been great to be a fly on the wall that night to hear what was the secret to innovation and how we could improve education.  On many levels, the dinner and the publicity surrounding the visit did emphasize:

  • The President’s desire to rub off the tech halo. For the White House, here was a chance to highlight an area of the economy that has managed to survive the global meltdown by out innovating the competition.  President Obama’s State of the Union talked about how a tech led job creation would be a key component of recovery.  The valley served as a great backdrop to show where this was already happening.
  • How lobbying does pay off for the Valley. For tech leaders in the valley, here was a chance to bend the President’s ear on a number of policies and reap the benefits of all the money spent lobbying.  In fact, among the 10 guests, MAPlight.org showed $735,000 given to the President’s party among the overall $913,000 contributed to all political candidates.  I would expect more official economic delegations and trade missions to come from the renewed focus on tech.  Many tech firms pondering the need for strong government affairs teams regained religion.
  • The state of Steve Jobs’ health. Good news!  Steve seemed healthy enough to dine with the President. After all the trash talk in the papers, a picture proved enough to quiet the critics.  Yes, that wasn’t a stunt double like Kim Jong Il!  In fact, the picture quelled all rumors.

Figure 1. President Obama’s Tech Centric Dinner Photo Op

Credits: White House Press Office.  Attendees include: Carol Bartz, President and CEO, Yahoo!; John Chambers, CEO and Chairman, Cisco Systems; Dick Costolo, CEO, Twitter; John Doerr, Partner, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers; Larry Ellison, Co-Founder and CEO, Oracle; Reed Hastings, CEO, NetFlix; John Hennessy, President, Stanford University; Steve Jobs, Chairman and CEO, Apple; Art Levinson, Chairman and former CEO, Genentech; Eric Schmidt, Chairman and CEO, Google; Steve Westly, Managing Partner and Founder, The Westly Group; Mark Zuckerberg, Founder, President, and CEO, Facebook

Success In The Valley Stems From The Hard Work And Investment From…<GASP> Other Countries

One can only imagine the reasons punted around that night on why Silicon Valley is successful in delivering on concept to cash.  It’s true – the valley enjoys many of the assets that bring out innovation and helps the US lead with high tech jobs.  We have a top notch workforce.  We have several great universities.  We have a history of entrepreneurship.  We have access to funding and capital.  Many would think these elements were endemic to Silicon Valley.  Unfortunately, that’s not true.

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Monday’s Musings: Why I’m Unplugging From Location Based Services Until The Privacy Issue Is Resolved

Convergence Of Smart Phone Affordability And Broad Network Access Drives Growth In Location Based Services

I’ve been a big fan of location based services (LBS).  In fact, many of you have followed my whereabouts on Yelp, Tripit, and other integrated Twitter services.  As many of you know, location based services take your geographical position from your mobile device and deliver relevant information services based on your relationship to people, objects, places, etc.  In the 2010 Pew Research Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project, surveys showed, 4% of Americans utilized Location Based Services (LBS) (see Figure 1).

Figure 1. Layar’s Augmented Reality location based service (LBS).

Layar - Augmented Reality and Location Based Services

Constellation Research, Inc. estimates these services to grow and generate up to $10.7B in revenue by 2013.  Among the early adopter set, LBS is on fire.  Among the general population, growth will most likely trend with smartphone adoption, which market research firm IDC estimates a 55% growth from 2009 to 2010 (~270 million units).  You do the math!

As one of those early adopters, I and many others have enjoyed LBS from a consumer tech point of view to:

  • Navigate around places.  Use turn by turn navigation and traffic maps through services such as Google Navigation and Yahoo! Maps.
  • Identify events to attend. See where my friends are by date and location to make time to catch up using Loopt, Rummble, and Tripit.
  • Locate friends near me.  Catch up with people near me using Foursquare and Gowalla as a matter of convenience.  In some cases, track people by mobile device location.
  • Reduce traffic fines. Warn and be warned where speed traps, sobriety check points, and cameras through crowdsourcing apps such as Trapster and Phantom Alert
  • Find places to eat.  Follow foodie friends to see where they check in on Yelp.
  • Receive offers from merchants. Get rewarded for checking in to locations with discounts from merchants.  Take advantage of M-commerce (mobile).

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