Tag Archives: technology

Why Apple’s Announcement this week is More than Just About a New Phone

Apple (NASDAQ: $APPL) will make a splash this week with a number of new product and innovation releases.  In fact if you want to track the announcement you can subscribe to a meeting request and a countdown clock on the Apple website.  For those of us scanning the analyst reviews for trends and earnings directions, the event should reveal the largest one-day announcement of new Apple product in the company’s history.  The new phone, a new watch (these days the proper term is “wearable” since a wristwatch is so passe), and a new “phablet” – a large screen phone not quite the same size and use portfolio as the iPad – will all emerge.

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According to Forbes writer Ewan Spence there is a lot of spectacle over this product release:

For fans and followers, journalists and analysts, to pop culture experts, celebrities, and late night chat show hosts, this Tuesday is going to be just like Christmas Day.

For me I am more interested in the location-based service and commercial wallet components that will begin to make their way into the full Apple line of products.  Most users have been accustomed to using apps to provide 2-D and 3-D barcodes to check in to airline flights, buy coffee, or secure reward points in loyalty programs.  This next step is akin to making your phone an actual commercial wallet where the funds are loaded into the wallet via smart chip and app to enable users to make purchases with appropriately enabled point of sale (POS) systems.

I have written about this topic as part of my coverage on #ConvergenceForces last year.  In my opinion, this is the most significant step of a tech vendor to date to really push that vision into a device-ready reality.

Comment or post below your thoughts on the Apple announcement.

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Filed under Cloud Computing, Innovation, Mobile Society, Technology

2012 Blogging Year in Review

Thank you to my readers and fans for making 2012 a great blogging year!  WordPress pulled together this snappy report, including several stat notes such as this one:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 5,100 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 9 years to get that many views.

Special thanks to everyone who commented or shared my blog.  Click here to see the complete report.  May 20-13 be a great year for all!  Warm regards – WDN

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Filed under Business Analytics, Change Management and Leadership, Cloud Computing, Compliance, Mobile Society, Operations, Risk Management, Strategy, Technology

How Analytics Shaped an Obama Win, Romney Defeat

The stories are slowly coming out of the election night landscape where an overly confident Governor and an equally confident incumbent President basked in the glow of a hard fought campaign.  As the election results trickled in one thing was becoming clearer by the hour, one candidate had correlated the demographics of the citizen vote particularly in key battleground states – and the other had not.

If 2008 were the election year that President Obama won with a solid push of social media, 2012 could be the year that the incumbent President had a competitive advantage with clear transparency of the voting population based on his use of advanced, cloud-based analytics.  Hosted largely by Amazon Web Services (AWS) as described in this New York Times piece by Steve Lohr, the AWS platform allowed for canvassing, massive phone poling, and real-time forecast projections which painted a very different view particularly of the ground game than what the GOP was predicting based on 2008 demographics.  A completely different ground attack resulting in a largely unpredictable election outcome that even as the key battleground state of Ohio was being called for the President, few Romney supporters would believe the numbers staring in front of them.

This time, the Obama campaign’s data center was mainly Amazon Web Services, the leading supplier of cloud services. The campaign’s engineers built about 200 different programs that ran on the Amazon service including Dashboard, the remote calling tool, the campaign Web site, donation processing and data analytics applications.

These data analytics applications gave the Obama team a clearer vision of the ground game which became painfully obvious in the key state of Ohio:

  • The Obama team had a higher number of voters in their turnout model in the key metropolitan areas surrounding Cleveland, Cincinnati, and the college city of Columbus.  GOP models accounted for a lower overall turnout particularly with historically minority groups.  In short, the Romney camp had too small a denominator for their projections.
  • GOP models also incorrectly accounted for the Libertarian candidate, Governor Gary Johnson, who took most of the 1.6% “other” vote in the Buckeye state.  Conventional thinking in the Romney camp was that these conservatives would “come home” on election night.  They didn’t. Advanced voter forecasting particularly in rural counties where the Governor won overwhelmingly would have showed that the GOP didn’t win “enough” to take the state.

By and large the final embarrassment came on Fox news when a disbelieving election night crew went to confront their own projections room for a final answer on Ohio.  The analysts – realizing they were the messengers about to be shot – sheepishly stood by their projections with “99.95% accuracy” in calling Ohio for the President.  At that point even the Fox News projection room was apparently working with more sophisticated analytics tools than even the Romney campaign had available.

Even national trends escaped the GOP which is cause for much needed reflection.  While the GOP took a larger percentage of the Caucasian vote in 2012 by 2% over 2008, the overall electorate had shifted by nearly 5% of population swing to minority groups, particularly Latinos.  While the Obama camp likely saw this trend emerging, the Romney camp was completely oblivious to the fact that by achieving their own campaign objectives it would cost them 2 million votes.

In the end one could argue that the campaign outcome in the final days would be changed much differently. However the Romney camp, bouyed by its own inaccurate portrayal of the ground game, believed that states like Pennsylvania and Michigan might be in play and diverted much needed funds for advertising and events into those markets.  Romney played the safe “incumbent” role in both Ohio and Virginia since their forecast models showed victories in those states – as well as Florida.  In each case the suburban and urban vote came out strong for the President.  Again, Team Romney was simply working with the wrong denominator.

Much can be said about the candidate profiles and the Republican party will spend months dissecting what went wrong and what should have been.  In the end though, their strategies and ground tactics were flawed due to an inadequate use of available data analytics and forecasting technology which cast a very unrealistic image of what was actually happening in the nation.

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Filed under Business Analytics, Change Management and Leadership, Cloud Computing, Cloud Readiness, Communication Planning, Community and Municipal Outreach, Marketing and Social Business, Operations, Technology

New SAP EPM OnDemand apps focus on Planning, Cost Control, Profit

Over the next month I will be working on a three-part eBook series for Tech Target’s searchSAP.com, I review the new mobile Enterprise Performance Management suite, known as EPM OnDemand (EPMOD) and the impact to those organizations looking to mobilize the finance and purchasing functions.  In this second article of the series I take a closer look at the specific applications of the initial EPMOD stack and how these apps provide a seamless user experience from on-premises to mobile environments.

SAP is moving to address the mobile computing needs of its financial management customers with a new set of on-demand mobile apps available directly from the SAP marketplace and other online application markets.

The initial three apps released as part of the SAP enterprise performance management (EPM) OnDemand suite announced last month at the SAP BusinessObjects User Conference. They are built on the EPM Unwired stack — SAP’s new Mobile Business Objects layer powered by the Sybase Unwired Platform (SUP) — which bring full-function analytics and visualization to the user experience. The platform can run on a HANA database hosted in the cloud or on-premises based on the needs of the customer.

The initial EPM OnDemand includes three apps: real-time profit and loss analysis, capital project planning and expense insight. Supported by multiple language environments, these apps are designed primarily for tablet and smartphone Android and iOS users and offer full visual capability similar to that of desktop or laptop screens, allowing users to create content in a mobile environment. Previous apps were limited to simple authorizations and approvals because of limited computing power, data availability and user interface.

Read the full version of the article on searchSAP.com here.  In the third and final article I will consider how to architect HANA and non-HANA environments so these mobile apps can consume the proper financial and non-financial information.

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Filed under Business Analytics, Cloud Computing, Cloud Readiness, Enterprise Performance Management, Financial Management, Information Technology, Mobile Society, Operations, Strategy, Technology

Can SAP Win with Windows 8?

See on Scoop.itCloud Operations Readiness

Great overview of Windows 8 and the interoperability between on-premesis and mobile platforms.  HT to Josh Greenbaum (@JoshEAC) and Insider Learning Network (@ILN4SAP). You can follow more on this topic and how SAP is focusing this interoperability in the financial management space in my eBook series this month at searchSAP.com.

See on insiderprofiles.wispubs.com

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Filed under Business Analytics, Cloud Computing, Cloud Readiness, Information Technology, Mobile Society, Operations, Technology

The Jury is Still Out on Digital Media Across Industries

Earlier this month I teamed up with former Booz Allen Hamilton colleague Scott Golas and staff writer Nancy Hala for a three-part interview on Dig-it-all media on the effectiveness of digital media and the need for social business outsourcing to build high growth companies and manage brands.  Based on some of the recent stories on effectiveness of Google Ads and Facebook advertising, some markets respond and others don’t regarding social media advertising for business.

“For products like consumer and durable goods, there are still a lot of questions about the effectiveness of buying ad space on Facebook. Some think it could be the right approach, particularly to attract younger buyers. The leader in this arena is clearly Apple, who focuses its brand and product line on digital media. But for businesses in other industries, for example those not specializing in technology or knowledge, the true power of digital remains to be seen.”

In working with high growth companies, the marketing function is often starved in terms of funding and resources.  This is self-defeating as in this digital age the adage “if you can’t link to it, it doesn’t exist” applies particularly to the new demographic of online  buyers and purchasing agents who build their bid lists by first checking Google in many cases.

“While there may be a marketing director providing overall management of activities, you still need people to develop content and place it appropriately in given markets. Since these skills are not typically found within a company – particularly in global companies operating in many different national markets – outsourcing can be an effective solution.”

Finally I look at the on-ramps to new industries, markets, segments and target customers where focused brand management can create a high-touch social experience.  In these cases, classical brick and mortar “hard” approaches may be by-passed altogether for an online user experience to education and build trust with the customer.

“Over the past two or three years, cooperation among third-party platforms and plug-ins has made it easier to coordinate messaging across multiple platforms,” Newman says. “Face-tweeting and in-tweeting – these bridges expand communication, and for businesses that means that social campaigns can be integrated with email marketing. Will we get to a place where there is one platform to rule them all? I don’t know, but that would be cool.”

Thanks again to Scott and Nancy for their work to publish the interview series which can be viewed on its entirety on Dig-it-all here.  To follow other Dig-it-all postings and interviews search on hashtag #digitallco or follow Scott on Twitter (@scott_golas).

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Filed under Cloud Readiness, Digital Content Strategy, Information Technology, Marketing and Social Business, Mobile Society, Operations, Technology

Three Reasons Why NOT to Upgrade to iOS6

Recent discussion and press have not been very flattering to the iOS6 release, Apple’s new operating system which is designed to optimize the multi-processing logic in its iPhone 4S and recently released iPhone 5 platforms.  While many have embraced the new iOS6 software release as a part of purchasing their new iPhone 5, others are more reluctant.  Here are the top three reasons why you should NOT upgrade to the new platform:

1. You are still using an iPhone 4.  iPhone 4 is designed with the on-board logic not as sophisticated as the multi-processing platform of iPhone 4S and 5.  What this means is that when you accept the new iOS6 on an iPhone 4 – which you can do – the system has to backward convert the new system software to operate on the older platform.  We call this “thunking” and it can (remember I use the word “can”) impact performance of your iPhone 4 (it may seem like it runs slower on some apps and processes). Also if your family is like mine, we finally have nearly everyone on the same platform which includes chargers, headsets and other accessories.  iPhone 5 has slightly different charger plugs meaning you need to start all that over again, another reason to hang on to your iPhone 4 or 4S if you are still using them.

2. You Really Like Google Maps.  With iOS6 we say bon voyage to Google Maps as an on-board accessory and say … hello and help me? …. to the new Apple mapping app.  This past weekend I was told the story how the new Apple maps sent a person in a completely different direction than what he was looking for, infuriating the user.  You CAN download Google Maps into iOS6 operating iPhones – and a lot of people are.  But most people use what comes on their phone and this means Apple mapping app which is new, unproven, and two years beyond on spatial data from Google Maps.  (Always note the little disclaimer that comes with the mapping app!) Apple Insider recently downplayed the issues with iOS6 and Apple Maps.

3. You Simply Don’t Need to Upgrade.  This is the ying and yang of Apple’s iOS upgrade strategy. Unlike other software operating systems Apple doesn’t force you to upgrade. And chances are they won’t, it’s just not in the behavior genetic code of Jobsian zen used at Apple.  You of course need iOS6 with the iPhone 5 (it doesn’t come any other way and you can’t hack backwards to iOS5 without a lot of effort and system performance impacts – remember thunking works both ways).  So again know that a new phone means new operating software.

So until there is a compelling reason to upgrade, just get used to that little reminder ball on your iPhone screen and try to ignore it. For now.

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