(The spectacular Oracle Arena.)
It was a dark and stormy evening but it was also Bollywood Night at the Oracle Arena in Oakland and I had two tickets to see the Golden State Warriors play the Dallas Mavericks -- thanks to Tibco Software.
[Vivek Ranadivé, CEO of Tibco, is one of the owners of the Warriors, and the first Indian-American NBA team owner. The scrappy kid from Mumbai has done very well, arriving as a teenager in Silicon Valley many years before the recent waves of Indian engineers.
Vivek Ranadivé is also one of the most interesting personalities in Silicon Valley. I knew him when I worked at the Financial Times and he became one of my most important contacts because of his long history and extensive contacts within the valley. When I left the Financial Times he took a keen interest in my publishing venture. Tibco became a founding sponsor of Silicon Valley Watcher in 2005, and has remained our most loyal supporter. I hope my readers appreciate Tibco's important contribution to SVW.]
I'd never been to an NBA game and was looking forward to it immensely. I set off with my son Matt, and we braved the nasty cats and dogs weather, driving across the bridge to Oakland. And I'm glad we did because we had a brilliant time. Here's a taste of the event:
The Warrior Girls, the Golden State Warriors' cheerleaders got into the Bollywood spirit with colorful costumes.
Sport is theater...
The first person we ran into was Cory (Scoop) Johnson (above with Tim Draper) CNBC's original Silicon Valley reporter. He now works for Bloomberg TV.
Tim Draper, founder of venture capital firm Draper Fisher Jurvetson, is as well known for his eccentric personality as he is for his VC prowess.
Al Seracevic, sports editor for the San Francisco Chronicle, quickly took Matt and I under his wing and gave us for a whirlwind tour of the benches and the media balcony. It great catching up with Al, I hadn't seen him since a very late and very liquid North Beach adventure about a year ago.
Zach Nelson, CEO of Netsuite, who had a great seat down on the court.
Vivek Ranadivé's daughter Anjali (on screen above) sang the national anthem.
The Dallas bench...
Here's where the sports hacks perch.
Elevator to the Grandview Suites.
A very spirited crowd.
The always hardworking Tibco Comms team.
A rainy treck home.
(Pearltrees is a consulting client.)
Pearltrees, a French-based curation platform, today released an iPad app that lets users easily explore the curated collections of websites created by more than 200,000 people, via a unique visual and touch interface that serves a discovery engine based on interests.
The last couple of months I've been working with a very cool French startup called Pearltrees in an advisory capacity. It's part of my nascent consulting services business which helps me continue publishing and funding Silicon Valley Watcher.
I'm a big fan of Pearltrees because it is a fascinating media technology. It allows anyone to curate their own section of the web by using a visual metaphor that looks very much like mind maps: users create a Pearltree and attach pearls to it; each pearl represents a web page or site, a video, image, or even a Tweet.
With so much content on the Internet it is becoming very important to identify trusted sources of information and to have people curate sections of the Internet. Google tries to do it by looking at trusted sites and who links to who but it is constantly fighting spammers trying to game the sysem -- the Pearltrees approach is spam-proof.
Pearltrees are also very social, they are extremely easy to create and share. They can be Tweeted, emailed, or embedded in any web page or web document, creating a live window (see below).
One of my goals is to build a Pearltree about Silicon Valley so that people can quickly find the best information about this region. As part of that project I have put together a Pearltree that acts as a directory of Silicon Valley PR firms.
People looking for a PR firm can browse my Pearltree and hopefully find a compatible business partner. In the short space of time since I created the Silicon Valley PR firms Pearltree it has had nearly 2300 views.
But I'd like to improve it. I'd like each PR firm that does business in the Silicon Valley/Bay Area to create a Pearltree about their business and send it to me.
If you are in PR here are some reasons why you should make a Pearltree about your company:
- It puts you, rather than me, in control of the information about your firm.
- You are the one that receives notifications on who has shared it or picked it for their collection of Pearltrees.
- You can see and respond to comments on your Pearltree.
- You can be creative about how you build your Pearltree.
- By creating your own Pearltree it shows you as the author rather than me.
- You can use your Pearltree for communications with clients. Again, being in control of the information in your Pearltree is key.
- This is the important part: each Pearltree is dynamic. Any changes are updated in real-time everywhere that Pearltree is used. You won't have to wait for me, or rely on me, to update a Pearltree about your company.
Here are two examples:
I created a Pearltree for the Horn Group:
It shows clients, newsroom, blog, contact info etc.
Because each Pearltree is controlled by the author, each firm can be creative about how it organizes their Pearltree. For example, in this Pearltree about The Hoffman Agency, there are links to client web sites that Hoffman might like to highlight, rather than just a simple client list.
So please send me your Pearltree. It's the simplest way to get into my Silicon Valley PR directory. And also, send me the categories that you would like to be included in. Email foremski at Gmail or send it to me through Pearltrees.
And if you are an independent PR professional/consultant, send me your Pearltree too.
You can show who you work with, your past and current clients, and whatever else you'd like to include, such as your LinkedIn profile, portfolio, etc.
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It's a very flexible technology and I can think of a variety of ways of using it.
For example, using Pearltrees as a media kit. Here is a Pearltree about an Intel press event, containing links to media assets such as video, and also the resulting press coverage.
And Pearltrees has lots of great new features coming very soon, including a private version that controls who can view it; and a community version that enables teams to collaborate on a Pearltree.
It's also great as an organizational/research tool. I've used it for a book project, and I'm exploring other uses, including an online store.
I use it for business and for recreation, such as this Pearltree about the upcoming Outside Lands music festival in Golden Gate Park so I can get to know some of the acts before the event.
So please send me your Pearltrees so I can include them in my PR firms Pearltree directory. And send me examples of any new uses you come up with.
Just click here to start: http://www.pearltrees.com/
I'm spending some of this week in Las Vegas at Tibco's User Conference. Tibco has been a great supporter of SVW and I like the company, it is doing some very impressive things in a market that doesn't get much media exposure.
Tibco's technologies allow large corporations to bring together all their computing assets into an integration layer, which enables them to build business processes as services, that run across their entire computing platforms.
This integration layer is more important today than ever before because this is where you can create lightning fast responses to the billions of business events happening within organizations every day.
Vivek Ranadivé, Tibco's founder and CEO, likes to speak about the "2 second advantage" this is the brief amount of time a business has to respond to an event, such as a customer having problems with a dropped cell phone call. One response is to send a text message apologizing and crediting the customer account with 50 minutes of free time (a pleasant fantasy, AT&T would be providing millennia of free minutes).
Mr Ranadivé is working on a book on this subject with Kevin Maney, the former journalist with Portfolio and USA Today.
I spoke with some of Tibco's customers. Syed Kashif Qasim Ali, a project manager from the Adu Dhabi Commercial Bank, said that Tibco technology is being used to rapidly create new services. Those services can be reused among different business groups and across different channels.
The bank has to maintain two banking systems, one that is Muslim based and that adheres to Muslim principles, and a commercial banking system. The goal is to be able to provide customers with a 360 view of all their accounts and products within 5 seconds.
I also spoke with José Salinas, Vice President of Technology and Logistics at Banco do Brasil. This bank is one of the world leaders in banking IT, it has more computing power than Argentina. The bank is integrating its computer systems so that it can quickly respond to clients.
Dr Salinas says that the goal is to bring the branch to the customer. For example, if a customer is at an auto dealership, the bank wants the capability to make a loan offer within a few seconds. I'll have more on this project coming up in a future post.
Here is a Pearltree on Tibco's latest announcements.
Tuesday morning Intel (an SVW sponsor) hosted a media conference introducing a new Atom microprocessor code named Pine Trail and released Moblin Version 2 Beta into the community of open source developers.
There was little performance data on Pine Trail, it's primarily a shrink from a 3 chip to 2 chip-set, which will probably result in about a 30 per cent performance boost and extended battery life in new netbooks that come out in the fourth quarter of this year.
The more interesting announcement was the release of Moblin and its user interface, into the open source community. This mobile Linux is optimized for the Atom architecture but will run most Linux applications and Linux middleware. But to get optimal performance software developers will need to optimize their applications for Moblin. Intel says that the port will be very easy.
The user interface to Moblin is smart, it gives easy access to user's Internet activities, especially social networks. Users can see friend updates without having to log in.
More importantly, Moblin will make netbooks a lot less expensive if the manufacturers don't have to pay a license fee for a Microsoft OS. Until MSFT optimizes its OS for netbooks, Moblin should offer a faster user experience.
Intel down played any competition with MSFT, saying its OEM manufacturers wanted an option. Intel has been a long time contributor to Linux to ensure there is always a broad OS choice for its chips. And clearly, Mobil will compete with MSFT to some extent. It might even spur MSFT to produce a Moblin-like experience on netbooks, otherwise it might lose out if netbooks become more like notebooks.
Intel is trying to not make netbooks into a potential PC or notebook replacement because it's margins on notebook chips are so much greater than for netbooks. For example, it repeated that Atom is not designed for high-end games and that future versions such as Pine Trail won't play more than basic games.
But, Atom netbooks aren't that great at streaming video, at least not the ones I've played with. If Intel gives Atom good streaming video capabilities then netbooks might become a potential notebook replacement for more people. Streaming video capability might then become be the trojan horse for cannibalizing notebook sales. And if Intel doesn't do it, Nvidia could do it with its graphics chips for netbooks.
Will Atom-based netbooks become notebook competitors? Can Intel keep Atom down? History shows that low-end technologies will always become ever more powerful.
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You can see a video of Moblin here.
Intel (an SVW sponsor) on Monday morning (May 11) is launching its largest marketing campaign in 3 years and its first promoting the company and not a product.
The "Sponsors of Tomorrow" campaign is focused on the people of Intel and will be initially launched in the US, Germany, and UK, then rolled out to more than two dozen countries, reaching Brazil and Japan in the third quarter. It is expected to run 3 to 5 years.
The campaign is being launched at NASDAQ in New York's Times Square.
In honor of the occasion, Heather Dixon, Consumer Marketing Manager of Intel Corporation [INTC], and Intel engineers featured in some of the advertising will ring the Opening Bell to launch "Sponsors of Tomorrow," the new global campaign emphasizing Intel’s future-focused brand. This is the first time that NASDAQ’s traditional bell has been replaced by another sound, the familiar Intel bong.
Vivek Ranadive, CEO of Tibco Software (Tibco is a sponsor of SVW) has been in Silicon Valley for more than 25 years and is one of its top entrepreneurs and very well connected. Here are some notes from our conversation:
- I'm a little saddened to see Sun go. Scott McNealy (Sun co-founder) helped me when I was starting my business by giving me a Sun workstation.
- Sun should have kept innovating. It was when it stopped that its problems began and top people such as Eric Schmidt started leaving.
- Larry Ellison seems to be putting all his energies into building an ever larger dinosaur. He just seems to be interested in the maintenance revenues that a business can bring in. Oracle doesn't invest in innovation.
- The new entrants such as Cisco Systems benefit from this deal because customers will be looking for alternative suppliers, they won't want to give Oracle all of their business. The same is true for Tibco, this deal is fantastic for us, we will benefit because customers don't want all their eggs in one basket.
- Java is a big a loser. SAP put a lot of work behind Java, this will hurt them.
- Oracle may have to sell MySQL because of anti-trust concerns.
- Open source is a big loser. 'Oracle and open source' has always been an oxymoron.
- Larry Ellison needs to show that he can reinvent Oracle for this new era of virtualization, and cloud computing. It's not clear that he can, he seems just to be interested in the maintenance revenues. He's said before that he doesn't believe in cloud computing.
- Larry Ellison has transformed Oracle into a private equity firm, and he's doing better than any of the private equity firms.
- Oracle might buy Accenture next, it needs a strong services company if it is going to go up against IBM. But there is just one IBM.
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Intel has been a long time supporter of SVW for many years. Intel has also been a pioneer in social media among large companies thanks to Ken Kaplan, Bill Kircos, Bryan Rhoads, Bill Calder, and many others at Intel.
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By Bryan Rhoads
We introduced Intel's blog program 2 years ago this month. I'd like to use this Intel anniversary as an opportunity to reflect and look back at some of our social media efforts over the past decade.
Its not possible to go into every project and program in one blog post. Nor can I properly speak to all of the hard work from our various social media teams. So, I look to others to help fill in those gaps, but here's a high-level overview of just some of the activities to date at Intel.
We created Blogs@Intel as a new business tool for our customers and employees to directly communicate and collaborate from keyboard to keyboard. We launched the blogs on April 10th 2007.
Yet in fact, our social media story started much earlier. 8 months prior, we launched our IT@Intel pilot blog. It was a big success, so we launched more blogs, including this one. Moreover, the Intel Software Network started our popular developer blogs and wikis for software collaboration back in May of 2006.
Internally, grassroots employee blogging started as early as 2003 consisting mainly of self-maintained servers under desks. These internal employee blogs gained a tremendous following. Intel CEO Paul Otellini launched his employee blog in 2004. Other top execs and leaders followed throughout 2005 culminating in a fully IT-supported platform that same year.
Team-based wiki collaboration started in 2004, culminating in our enterprise-wide "Intelpedia" created by Josh Bancroft in November of 2005. Today, Intelpedia contains over
15K 30K articles from Intel employees defining, collaborating and documenting their part of the vast Intel workplace. Intelpedia was founded in the spirit of open information sharing and community moderation of content, much like the very popular Wikipedia.
We created all of these social spaces to foster dialogue and make important contributions to a widening range of issues relevant to our customers, to our employees and to the future of technology.
Since then, we were the first to offer a corporate blog in the People's Republic of China with Blogs@Intel China (ok, Dell may have beaten us by a few days in May ‘07, but I'll need to exchange notes with Lionel about that). We soon followed with Russian, Portuguese, Spanish, Japanese and English blogs on topics ranging from corporate social responsibility and research to jobs and customer support. Intel's on-domain social media offering now totals over 35 blogs and vibrant communities.
[Intel is a sponsor of SVW]
Intel today revealed impressive benchmarks for its new Nehalem Xeon 5500 server microprocessor, calling it "transformational" in terms of it's expected effect on customer's applications.
The new chip represents a large jump in performance when used in data center applications due to integrated support for IT technologies such as virtualization and from Intel's ability to pack more transistors onto the chip using its latest 45nm manufacturing technology. It also reduces power consumption.
"This is the big one," said Pat Geslinger, senior VP at Intel. He demonstrated one Xeon 5500 based server out performing nine servers. Intel expects that the large cost savings data centers can achieve through consolidating servers and also from lower administration costs, lower power bills, represents a compelling reason for data centers to retire their old gear.
The performance and total cost of ownership numbers certainly do point towards a massive reboot by data centers installing Xeon 5500 servers, especially since current economic conditions are creating enormous pressure to aggressively reduce business costs. However, IT managers are very conservative and it can take many months for them to qualify a system and make sure it works with all applications. To help speed this process, IT vendors have already seeded Nehalem based systems with large customers months ahead of today's official launch.
Dell, HP, IBM, Cisco Systems, and many other IT vendors today announced Xeon 5500 based servers.
The high performance provided by the Nehalem microprocessor architecture makes the chip more competitive with RISC based microprocessors such as Sun Microsystems SPARC and IBM's POWER microprocessors. Nearly half of the server market is RISC based. This represents a massive market opportunity.
It is this threat to the RISC server market that could be behind reports that Sun has been actively seeking a buyer for the past few months. It is very expensive to maintain a roadmap for SPARC that keeps pace with Intel's performance improvements in its server family.
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Intel highlighted some performance benchmarks, looked at specific servers, compared the performance against the previous generation chip, and found performance benchmarks that increased by more than 150 percent in some cases.
The company also pointed to enhancements in the memory subsystem, as well as the I/O subsystems. And it made note of the improvements that will enhance virtualization benchmarks.
(Tibco is a founding sponsor of SVW)
Tibco Software has launched its first hardware product -- a messaging appliance that can do the work of ten servers for one-tenth the cost. Its an interesting move for Tibco and it will be interesting to see how data centers react to it.
In terms of performance and cost, it is lucky timing since the market is predisposed to such things. Capital efficiency in data centers is more valuable now than it ever was.
The Tibco Messaging Appliance P-7500 encapsulates the Tibco messaging software within chips. That means the hardware doesn't need to deal with latency from operating system tasks -- it runs at the speed of Moore's Law.
Software running on general purpose microprocessors, as in servers, suffers from a lot of system latency. By incorporating the software into silicon, the messaging software can execute 10 times faster.
Also, the Tibco hardware appliance is perfectly tuned to the task. Normally, data centers have to provision servers and fine-tune them for running each software application -- that takes time and is far less efficient than doing it with hardware.
Tibco can update the software in the hardware through simple online connections thanks to reprogrammable silicon. Any improvements in software performance can be automatically transmitted and updated on customer installations.
Tibco's labs have tested the P-7500 handling 10 million messages per second -- software apps on a server top out at 1 million messages per second.
Tibco says that the hardware appliance replaces up to ten servers, and at a fraction of their cost, power consumption, licensing costs, plus no administration, and lower maintenance costs.
The hardware was developed as a response to customer behavior. Tibco noticed that its customers in financial services were moving IT equipment from New Jersey to Manhattan--some of the most expensive real-estate in the country. They were doing it to try to remove some of the latency in their messaging applications.
Vivek Ranadive, CEO of Tibco, says that for many of his customers, "the speed of light was not fast enough." The short distance between Manhattan and New Jersey was too long for some of Tibco's customers.
That's what led to discussions with those customers and the genesis of the the P-7500 -- Tibco's first hardware product.
Financial services companies are a target market for Tibco and they have been battered by financial events, which should make them a prime market for the P-7500. And there are other sectors that have similar needs. Ram Menon, Executive Vice President, Worldwide Marketing says Tibco's customer base has common requirements.
"It's not only financial companies but also large manufacturers who have high speed messaging needs. They are running large logistic chains and that generates a large number of messages."
It'll be interesting to see how Tibco's novel approach will be accepted by enterprise IT. These are tough times to sell infrastructure IT, but so far, Tibco has been doing very well. It recently had a stellar financial quarter with record profits.
Tibco is one of those companies that has been thriving despite the gloom.
Here is the Tibco news release:
Tibco Software is a founding sponsor of SVW and one of the top supporters of SVW--keeping it free to all readers. Its user conference TUCON 08 is on this week in San Francisco April 29 to May 2.
TUCON®, San Francisco, April 30, 2008 – TIBCO Software Inc. (NASDAQ: TIBX) today announced it has added new functionality to its ActiveMatrix™ Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) platform to automatically predict and fix IT service problems before they slow down access to mission critical business information. The new TIBCO ActiveMatrix™ Service Performance Manager capabilities mark the next wave of SOA infrastructure software technology from TIBCO by moving into the realm of predicatively taking action to solve technology problems before they occur.
TUCON®, San Francisco, April 30, 2008 – TIBCO Software Inc. (NASDAQ: TIBX) today announced a significant addition to the company's market-leading messaging technology, unveiling a hardware messaging appliance specifically designed to accelerate the capabilities and performance of TIBCO Rendezvous® software. Building on TIBCO Rendezvous' breakthrough reliability, predictability and manageability, this tightly integrated hardware/software combination will offer improved application-to-application, ultra-low latency messaging throughput for mission critical data.
TUCON®, San Francisco, April 30, 2008 – TIBCO Software Inc. (NASDAQ: TIBX) today announced that BMC Software will embed TIBCO ActiveMatrix™ in its Business Service Management (BSM) platform. BMC selected TIBCO ActiveMatrix because of its ease of use and ability to provide service enablement and management on a single platform.
TUCON®, San Francisco, April 30, 2008 – TIBCO Software Inc. (NASDAQ: TIBX) today announced that it has expanded its existing eight-year relationship with Infosys Technologies (NASDAQ: INFY), the global IT consulting company. Infosys CEO, Kris Gopalakrishnan, will use his keynote speech at TUCON to outline how the strategic alliance has enabled TIBCO and Infosys to win new customers by delivering a unique value proposition based on the two companies' combined experience and market knowledge.
TIBCO Selects Silverlight for Rich Internet Application Development
TUCON®, San Francisco, April 30, 2008 – TIBCO Software Inc. (NASDAQ: TIBX) today announced that the company is working closely with Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) to make it easier for customers to use their respective technologies together – giving them more power and flexibility over their service-oriented architectures.
TUCON®, San Francisco, April 29, 2008 – Spotfire, a division of TIBCO Software Inc. (NASDAQ: TIBX), today announced TIBCO Spotfire® Operations Analytics, which allows customers to deploy real-time process-specific analytics applications and streamline business process control across the organization. The new software embeds event processing into Spotfire's next generation business intelligence platform. With this announcement, TIBCO offers the only event-driven, closed-loop analytics software on the market for achieving actionable, real-time business intelligence (BI).
Conference Gathers Leading Architects to Explore Best Practices and New Technology Across SOA, BPM and Business Optimization
PALO ALTO, Calif., April 24, 2008 – TIBCO Software Inc. (NASDAQ: TIBX) today announced TUCON® 08, the company's annual user conference, is being held April 29-May 2, 2008 at the San Francisco Marriott Hotel.
TUCON 08 will feature keynotes from global business leaders at Allstate Corp. (NYSE: ALL), BMC Software (NYSE: BMC), The Carphone Warehouse (LON: CPW), Citigroup (NYSE: C) and Infosys Technologies (NASDAQ: INFY) . They will discuss how they are leveraging TIBCO's software infrastructure to achieve business innovation and agility to stay ahead of the competition.
TUCON 08 features:
- A choice of over 60 in-depth educational sessions across TIBCO Products and Technology including:
- TIBCO's Product and Technology Direction
- Service Oriented Architecture: From Principles to Best Practices
- Development: From Ajax to low latency messaging to standards like SCA
- Optimization: Event processing based solutions to Next Generation Analytics
- Process Improvement: Success Stories, Best Practices, and Implementation Methodologies
- A Solutions Showcase that offers a place to engage in one-on-one discussions with TIBCO product managers, professional services consultants, engineers and other experts
- More than 60 partners from 24 countries form TIBCO's partner ecosystem
Intel is challenging modders (hobbyists who alter the standard PC) to show off their creative skills in building Intel processor-based mods for an online competition. Intel delivers the unrivaled performance and energy efficient processors that modders can then build just about anything from, including an 18-wheeler Mac truck. Get a glimpse at these creations and vote on your favorite one by visiting the Intel Modding Competition Group on Channel Intel. Check out the contest
Now that you can stick a high performance PC in just about anything, I wonder what there is out there that you can't stick a high performance PC into? It would be interesting to see a category of modds that would be unbelievable. Such as a plate of Jello?! You'd certainly need a low-power chip for that one...
Or take advantage of the power dissipation and create a PC that also toasts Pop-Tarts...!
Technorati Tags: puppy
This comes from Intel's publicist Burson-Marsteller, I haven't had a chance to check it out yet... (Intel is a sponsor of Silicon Valley Watcher.)
Cool Software.com (http://coolsw.intel.com) is a forum where people -- from software developers, ISVs and end-users -- can submit and vote for their favorite software company or product. The site taps into the collective intelligence of the community and, much like the popular site Digg.com, utilizes user ratings to assign levels of importance or relevance to each company or product.
These votes and conversations provide everyone with the latest and greatest on software companies and possible engagement with Intel, and supports Intel’s efforts to encourage emerging technologies and companies. Additionally, the CoolSW site provides a forum where ISVs can raise awareness for their product and/or services.
Also from IDF:
Over on the Intel blog (http://blogs.intel.com/views/ ):
Kirk Skaugen, Intel vice president and Co-General Manager of the Server Products Group at Intel announced information about Intel’s new MP server platform Codenamed ‘Caneland’.
* Caneland is Intel’s new Xeon MP platform. It is composed of the ‘Clarksboro’ chipset and the ‘Tigerton’ processor.
* The earnings call last week saw double-digit growth in servers, both units and revenue. Both year-year and quarter on quarter.
* Quad-core has already ramped with over 1 Million shipped in volume servers
* The Caneland platform is tracking extremely well towards launch his quarter.
The main points of new information that Kirk disclosed in the 6 min video:
[Intel is a sponsor of SVW}
On Wednesday I went to Intel's launch of its latest Centrino chipset for notebooks. Everything, of course, is a lot faster, but what caught my eye was a new technology embedded in the chips which, although aimed squarely at business users, would be a god-send for consumers.
Take a look:
Intel® vPro™ processor technology. IT departments will be able to reliably manage both desktops and notebooks and deal with what plagues them most – security threats, cost of ownership, resource allocation, and asset management – and do so wirelessly.
One of the key innovations designed in Intel Centrino Pro – Intel® Active Management Technology – provides business-class notebook PCs with wireless PC management, protection and remote repair work thereby increasing productivity, IT savings and uptime.
For example, if a virus or other type of malware gets into the notebook, the Intel technology will shut it off from the network, and the IT department is notified, downloads software to get rid of the problem and repair any damaged files. It's all done in a minute or two.
This technique can be used for other things too, installing software across hundreds of clients etc, etc.
At first glance it sounds like many other remote management software applications/utilities that provide similar capabilities, what's new here?
It turns out there is a microcontroller (a separate chip) that creates a wireless back channel to a central location. This back-channel remains unaffected and is used to deliver new software and repairs--even if the notebook is disconnected from its main network and has been completely taken over by hordes of malware!
This Active Management Technology is inside every one of the new Centrino chipsets, but it is only used in business-class notebooks. It allows the notebook vendors to charge corporations a premium. However, it is there in the consumer notebooks too, it is just not turned on.
But it could be turned on with the right software and it could become a platform to deliver repair and maintenance services to millions of consumers! It's potentially a massive business for some future companies. Who will be the first to do this?
Best Buy and its fleet of Geek Squads running out to people's homes to fix their machines might soon become a thing of the past...
Multitude Of Innovations Boost New Intel–Based Laptops›
NEW YORK and SAN FRANCISCO, May 9, 2007 – Faster processors and chipsets. Great-looking video and graphics. Stronger and faster wireless signals. Better security and manageability. Designed for energy efficiency to enable great battery life.
I really should spend more time with my sponsors. I spent most of Tuesday at Tibco's user conference, catching up with the the company's business strategy team and having some great conversations, and thinking I really should spend more time with my sponsors.
Tibco, Infineon Systems, Intel, Edelman and Cohn & Wolfe are part of a small, courageous band of of SVW sponsors. Tibco in particular, has been vital to this venture.
Vivek Ranadive, the CEO and founder of Tibco is one of Silicon Valley's key players and one of its quintessential figures. He "got" what I was trying to do with Silicon Valley Watcher earlier than anybody else, when it was just a gleam in my eye.
Conversely, I feel that I "get" what Tibco is trying to do, as it forges ahead into new territory. And it is a complex new territory that goes beyond information technology as we've known it.
Tibco's focus is on enabling large corporations to move into the next phase of business automation, into the automation of the deployment of business processes.
This is not about enterprise applications, ERP, CRM, etc. and the dozens of acronyms and terms that became common in the lexicon of enterprise IT for the past 2 decades.
Marc Benioff, CEO of Salesforce.com talks all the time about "the end of software" and he is dead right. Except that he doesn't really mean it. What Salesforce is trying to say is "the end of software-on-your-server."
Tibco really is about "the end of software." The leading edge in the enterprise IT space is not about applications--server-based or delivered as a service--it is about the meta level above that layer. It is in the "wrapper" above where application companies such as Salesforce operate.
Tibco's focus is on automating and managing business processes, and building the service oriented architecture (SOA) that businesses need to quickly respond to a changing world. It's a changing world of competition, and also literally a changing world--rising temperatures, sea levels, and energy costs.
SOA is about reprogramming an entire business on-the-fly, it is about predictive intelligence, it is how large businesses will differentiate themselves from each other.
SOA makes IT strategic again because in a world where everyone has the same enterprise applications, the competitive differentiator becomes the automated business process and how quickly it can be deployed and combined.
The SOA world is a complex one because to get to that level means that a company's IT systems have to be integrated, real-time, and built on an incredibly flexible infrastructure. In the context of SOA, IT really does matter.
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Some recent Tibco news:
[I should write about my loyal and very patient sponsors more often, my apologies! They make it possible for me to do what I do, which I enjoy tremendously. They are my co-pioneers in this emerging new media world.]
Intel says that more than 5,000 people turned up to its recent Intel Developer Forum (IDF) in Beijing.
It was the largest so far for Intel, and will probably get larger because of the size of the domestic market and the growing number of developers in Asia.
I'd love to go to Beijing, one of these days. If you missed IDF in Beijing...here's a foot tapping 5 minute video from Podtech.net (an SVW content partner):
Keynotes and webcasts from IDF Beijing:
See all the coverage from PodTech.net:
Next Intel Developer Forum is in San Francisco September 18 to 20.Also, Intel blogs: Technology@Intel
. . .
Tibco User Conference This Week...
Tibco has its user conference in San Francisco this week. It works with some very large companies and what it does is not easy. Integrating IT systems and automating business processes is "heavy lifting" and hugely important for any company--if you do it right.
Some of the speakers:
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Cohn & Wolfe's Boomerang Blog
The Cohn & Wolfe office in San Francisco recently began blogging, which is a good thing, because it takes a little while to find your voice. It's a very nice looking blog but posts are not yet very regular, that will come in time.
Tony Obregon wrote the most recent post, dated April 13th: Boomerang » Blog Archive » For Your Listening Pleasure, about the agency's new green practice.
It's OK to start cautiously, the important thing is to start :-)
When people ask me to recommend PR companies that have expertise in social media I have a few favorites but I tell them to look to see if an agency has a blog and bloggers because that is the single most important marker.
And check on the blog's Technorati/Alexa rank too. The rank doesn't have to be high but it will show if it is consistently relevant within its community, and if its community has noticed.
Basically, if a PR company isn't using social media to represent itself then how can it do the same for its clients? It can't.
Yet there are lots of PR companies out there that claim such expertise but seem to have invisible bloggers.
It's not easy to blog, it takes guts--but that's good because it becomes a competitive barrier to entry.
Actually, you need guts and cojones, especially in the snippy world of PR companies, where there are many that love to leave snarky comments, but few willing to use their real names, which is very cowardly imho.
[Cohn & Wolfe is a sponsor of SVW sister site New Rules Communications - - the new rules in media and pr.]
Intel's PR agency, Burson-Marsteller says that there are some misconceptions in the mainstream media about Intel's new Quad-Core microprocessor. (Intel is a sponsor of SVW).
Samantha Saephan from Burson-Marsteller writes:
Since the launch of the Intel® Quad-Core Xeon® processor and the Intel Core™ 2 Extreme quad-core in November 2006, and the more recent Intel Core 2 Quad processor; research has suggested that there remain some misguided perceptions about performance, price and compatibility. So, in the spirit of the Final Four, and in honor of the 4th of April, we’re hoping to address what are the four biggest misperceptions about Intel Quad-Core processors.
Why pay more for Quad-Core when I don’t yet need that level of performance?
At Intel, you’re getting better performance and better energy efficiency for the same price – Quad-Core offers up to 80%* more performance for the same price as Intel’s dual-core chips. These products deliver immense speed and responsiveness for general purpose servers and workstations and for digital media creation, high-end gaming and other market segments that crave absolute performance. Software developers are also increasingly moving toward per socket licenses which will lower software costs making now the ideal time to skip Dual-Core and upgrade straight to Quad-Core. (* - For detailed system information and performance claim, please visit http://www.intel.com/performance/desktop/extreme/3d_ray_tracing.htm).
My systems are already equipped with Dual-Core – now I have to take the time and effort to install Quad-Core?
Advanced technology adoption is not a problem. Quad-Core is easy to install, with drop-in compatibility with Intel’s previous Dual-Core platform. This also makes it easier on data center managers by streamlining the path to server consolidation. In fact, business data centers can achieve significant cost savings/server thanks to the optimal utilization, lower power consumption, and lower software costs of Quad-Core systems.
Before using Quad-Core I’d rather wait until software applications can actually take advantage of the performance. Besides, when it comes to some applications, Quad-Core isn’t much better than Dual-Core.
Server software has been threaded for years. But whether it's encoding, rendering, editing, or streaming - or running a variety of applications at once, an innovative Intel processor with four processing cores will deliver more performance and responsiveness. Check out what the press have to say about Quad-Core gaming on Intel processors: Click here http://enthusiast.hardocp.com/article.html?art=MTMwNiwxMCwsaGVudGh1c2lhc3Q= and here http://www.extremetech.com/article2/0,1697,2107337,00.asp
Also check out Quad-Core gaming at the 2007 Game Developers Conference and World Series of Video Games:
Intel’s Quad-Core is ugly, and far from elegant
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. When performance is as great as it is today, customers don’t care about the intricacies of how the cores are connected inside the CPU package. Intel’s solution allowed a much faster time to market and Intel will have shipped more than a million of them before any other x86 competitor has shipped a sizeable volume. Using Intel’s industry-leading 65nm manufacturing technology also allows for smaller die size, better yields and lower cost. This also means better supply. So, it is a careful choice of performance, schedule and cost. Intel is already demonstrating 45nm processors which will further its lead in processor performance, innovation and nanotechnology.
For more information, visit: http://www.intel.com/quad-core/ and http://www.podtech.net/home/technology/1139/idf-preview-quad-core-microprocessors.
Intel's new processor families are on track to deliver faster processors without consuming more power. The Penryn family will be released this year and the Nehalam family is due next year, The New York Times reports.
The chips will have wires as thin as 45 nanometers, a scale at which 2,000 transistors will fit in the width of a human hair. The resulting chips will have as many as 820 million transistors, making it possible for Intel’s designers to add parallel computing, energy management and graphics to the computing engines that are the mainstay of its business.
This news puts Intel - which has been playing catch-up on energy efficiency and parallel computing - ahead of release schedules for AMD and IBM, which have said they'll release 45-nanometer chips in mid-2008.
AMD's Barcelona is due out in late 2007, based on 65-nanometer technology with four cores. On Wednesday, AMD said Intel won't catch up with them until Nehama comes out in '08.
Pat Gelsinger described Intel’s approach as a “tick-tock” strategy in which it would make incremental changes with the Penryn processors and then more sweeping design changes with the Nehalam chips. The Nehalam chips will have as many as eight or more processing cores, as well as the potential for built-in graphics and memory control processing and networking.
Intel is a SVW sponsor.
Intel (an SVW sponsor) has encouraged PC makers to go beyond the beige box for many years. Here is Intel's latest challenge to PC makers, and this time Intel is seeking help from PC users to vote and comment on a variety of PC designs.
You can win $100 in a random drawing by taking part in Intel® Core™ Processor Challenge PC Design People's Choice Awards.
Intel will open a $2.5 billion wafer fabrication plant in China, the first major production facility there, according to the New York Times.
Labeled Fab 68, the new plant will join just seven other plants in the world capable of producing Intel 300mm wafers when it opens in 2010. But Fab 68 will produce only chipsets. Microprocessors themselves will not be produced in China. That's a distinction that won US government approval for the plant.
The move is a huge win for China, which is trying to become a high-tech center.
“The Intel plant is very symbolic,” said Li Ke, a senior analyst at the Semiconductor Industry Research Center in Beijing, a government body. “It is inspiring and will help to expand the production scale of the industry.”
Private industry has been relucant to move to China because of weak protection for intellectual property and the federal government is very concerned about China getting a hold of private sector technology that it can use for military operations. But by the time Intel opens its facility in the northeastern city of Dalian, the company will have opened production lines of at least two generations of more advanced equipment, Intel officials said.
While other companies have assembly facilities in China, Intel stands alone in the size of the investment and the nature of the operation. It's just Intel's third 300mm wafer facility outside the US. The others are in Ireland and Israel.
The judge in the Intel-AMD lawsuit ordered both sides to work with a mediator to figure out how serious Intel's loss of email is, InfoWeek reports.
Intel admitted recently that it had deleted some of the emails AMD had requested in discovery in the case.
The judge gave Intel 30 days to determine whether any of the lost email was relevant to AMD's suit and how important they are. After that, AMD will have two weeks to respond and Intel will have 10 days to answer AMD's response. All of this to be done under the eye of a mediator, who will report to the judge. Intel could face sanctions for the destruction of the email.
Intel in court filings on Monday acknowledged that for three and a half months after AMD filed its suit on June 27, 2005, a small number of employees whose e-mails were considered potential evidence failed to move all messages to their hard drives, which means they would have been purged automatically from Intel's system. In addition, "a few" employees believed erroneously that Intel's IT group was automatically saving their e-mails.
The judge considers the deletion unintentional but AMD is fuming.
"Given the obvious implications to the administration of justice, it is exactly right that Intel must now prepare a full accounting, fashion an effective remedy, and be accountable for the loss of evidence," Thomas M. McCoy, chief administrative officer and executive VP of legal affairs for AMD, said in an e-mailed statement.
If the judge rules against Intel on this discovery issue, Intel could be fined millions of dollars, or the jury could be told to presume the emails were damaging to Intel.
Intel's already delivered 17 million pages of potential evidence and will deliver 30 million more before the trial resumes in May.
We are pleased to announce Cohn & Wolfe as a sponsor of our new sister site: New Rules Communications - reporting on the new rules in media and pr.
It also marks the launch of Cohn & Wolfe's blog: Boomerang - What goes around, comes around.
I think it is important for PR firms to show how they are using new media in their business in order for them to be able to show clients that they understand the new media and how it works. This type of understanding can only be had by doing and not by saying or reading about it.
Tony Obregon at Cohn & Wolfe has been spearheading new media practices, along with Chris Knight and Annie Longsworth. I'm impressed with the team at the San Francisco office and the mix of clients they have been working with. And it is a much different culture than the valley PR firms.
I'm always keen to be associated with companies and organizations that are trying out new things and there are many new things to try out these days. And I've turned down sponsorship opportunities with companies that I felt were not trying out anything new but just wanted to be seen as if they were.
Media and PR are changing rapidly because of all the new media technologies pouring out of Silicon Valley and beyond, and the new rules that are emerging will set the format for the next decade. I want to help discover and establish the new rules, the best practices and work with others that share these goals. That is why it is great to have sponsors such as Cohn & Wolfe, Edelman, Intel, and Tibco Software. All of them, in different ways are trying new ways of communicating and conversing with their peers, customers, and consumers.
New Rules Communications will be a place to showcase thought leadership through submitted columns and posts.
We will be announcing some additional sponsors for New Rules Comunications very shortly. If you are interested in discussing a sponsorship slot let me know: tom at SiliconValleyWatcher.com
The New York Times reports that on Monday Intel will demonstrate a computer chip with 80 separate cores.
While the chip is not compatible with Intel’s current chips, the company said it had already begun design work on a commercial version that would essentially have dozens or even hundreds of Intel-compatible microprocessors laid out in a tiled pattern on a single chip.
The chip’s design is meant to exploit a new generation of manufacturing technology the company introduced last month. Intel said that it had changed the basic design of transistors in such a way that it would be able to continue to shrink them to smaller sizes — offering lower power and higher speeds — for at least a half-decade or more.
During a briefing on Thursday in a hotel room here, Nitin Borkar, one of the chip’s designers, showed an air-cooled computer based on the chip running a simple scientific calculation at speeds above one trillion mathematical calculations a second.
During the demonstration, Justin R. Rattner, the company’s chief technology officer, showed several futuristic computing applications that he said the new chip design would help make possible. One of the applications was an automated video editing tool that would, for example, allow a computer to create a digital sports highlights video featuring a user’s favorite players.
A second demonstration showed motion capture technology — a technique widely used by the videogame industry to reproduce human forms in action — relying only on digital video cameras and computers. Conventional motion capture technology requires a complex array of sensors pinned to an actor’s body and face to record a digital video that can be used interactively.
The shift toward systems with hundreds or even thousands of computing cores is both an opportunity and a potential crisis, computer scientists said, because no one has proved how to program such chips for many applications.
“If we can figure out how to program thousands of cores on a chip, the future looks rosy,” said David A. Patterson, a University of California, Berkeley computer scientist who is a co-author of one of the standard textbooks on microprocessor design. “If we can’t figure it out, then things look dark.”
During the briefing last week Mr. Rattner essentially endorsed the Berkeley view, saying that the company believed that its Teraflop chip was the best way to solve a set of computing problems he described as “recognition, mining and synthesis,” computing techniques that use artificial intelligence.
In addition to new kinds of computing applications, Mr. Rattner said that the so-called network-on-chip Teraflop processor would be ideal for the kind of heterogeneous computing that is increasingly common in the corporate world.
One of the most impressive technical achievements made by the Intel researchers was the speed with which they are able to move data among the separate processors on the chip, Mr. Patterson said.
The Teraflop chip, which consumes just 62 watts at teraflop speeds and which is air-cooled, contains an internal data packet router in each processor tile. It is able to move data among tiles in as little as 1.25 nanoseconds, making it possible to transfer 80 billion bytes a second among the internal cores.
[Intel is an SVW sponsor.]
[UPDATE: Please also see: IBM says Intel not alone in solving 45nm chip roadblock]
People mistake Intel for being a microprocessor manufacturer. That's just an application of what it does best: it knows how to make the world's most advanced chips in massive quantities.
Late last week Intel briefed reporters and analysts on what is likely the most significant breakthrough in chip making since the late 1960s.
Intel said it had discovered materials that would enable it to make the world's tiniest chips in high volumes--and place it years ahead of competitors seeking to do the same.
With the its new materials, Intel is able to make chips with geometries of 45 nanometers, half the size of most leading edge chips at 90nm.
Intel shares a lot of its chip research but it said it will keep these materials secret. If the information leaked out, it would enable competitors to shave years off their R&D efforts and enter lucrative chip markets years earlier.
Quite rightly, Intel is racing to take advantage of this lead. It is building three giant chip fabs which will use its secret process on silicon wafers the size of large dinner plates, 300mm (12 inch) across.
By the end of this year two fabs will be completed and ramping into high volume production, closely followed by a third in Israel, in early 2008--all using this advanced chip making process. This means servers, desktops, and notebooks will run faster and cooler and will be less expensive.
With more smaller chips being able to be squeezed onto giant silicon wafers Intel will be able to do a combination of several things:
Intel makes microprocessors because they are the most profitable high volume application of its core ability: to make chips cheaper, faster, smaller, and in vast quantities.
All of the above means that rival Advanced Micro Devices is in for a tough time. It won market shares against Intel in server markets because it spotted a trend in low power consuming microprocessors. That was great because it brought Intel into that market and now server buyers have a choice of two very good server chip families.
Mind the Gap
But the gap between the two server product families is set to widen into a chasm. Quite simply, AMD cannot fight it out with Intel on the basis of design.
The chip business is always talking about making chips in smaller sizes because:
AMD's manufacturing prowess is good but not great. Manufacturing prowess has historically been a highly volatile characteristic at AMD.
Yes, clever designs can boost performance incrementally, but fundamentally, it is the laws of physics that govern every performance characteristic of a chip. And the laws of physics can only be exploited by knowing how to manipulate the material world.
It is through chemistry that we manipulate the material world. Intel co-founder Gordon Moore is a chemist. Andy Grove has a degree in chemical engineering. (BTW, I have a chemistry degree :-)
Moore was born in San Francisco, California. He received a B.S. degree in Chemistry from the University of California, Berkeley in 1950 and a Ph.D. in Chemistry and Physics from the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) in 1954. (Source: Wikipedia.)
Chemistry is something that Intel knows very well. And like an alchemist of yore--it has succeeded in transforming baser materials into gold, lots of it, it is a highly profitable company with margins that sometimes approach those of a software company.
I think it is safe to say that the chip industry uses more of the periodic table of elements in its production process than any other industry in the world. Because it has to, it has to develop new types of materials in order to make ever smaller chips.
Elements are the fundamental building blocks of the physical world. Elements combine to form material compounds, and each compound has specific physical characteristics.
The chip industry needs materials that can guide electrons at high speeds through an incredibly complex maze of wires just a few atoms wide.
But as everything shrinks in size, materials behave differently. For the chip industry to move to a smaller chip size, 45nm, it needed to find new materials that behave in the correct way.
Finding these materials for 45nm had stumped the industry. It threatened to slow Moore's Law.
Top chip experts had been predicting that 2010 would be the earliest date for a solution to be found. Which means Intel could very well be more than two years ahead...a huge achievement.
That's why Intel's discovery of these materials constitutes what must be the most valuable secret in the world today. Because it dramatically improves the fundamental performance of all silicon chips--the bedrock and building blocks of our current and future worlds.
A two or more year lead into the future is an incredible competitive advantage, imho.
Additional info from Intel:
(Intel is a sponsor of SVW) Monday's news that Sun will make Intel Xeon servers and Intel will promote Solaris shocked some observers.
Sun's former CEO Scott McNealy used to say nasty things about Intel's Itanium 64-bit microprocessor, a competitor to Sun's SPARC chip. But that was then, when Sun still thought it had to own the stack.
These days, it is less about the microprocessor and more about the system. Sun realizes that it is in the business of selling data center systems to data centers. And customers are asking for Xeon servers along with AMD, and SPARC servers, that Sun sells. And selling is a good thing.
And the fact that Intel will promote Solaris along with Linux and other operating systems is good for Intel because it encourages sales of servers.
What this alliance shows is that Intel has made a lot of progress in catching up to AMD's lead in low-power consuming servers. Otherwise Sun would not be getting requests from customers for Intel hardware.
What this alliance needs is the addition of Hewlett-Packard, that would worry IBM. Then we'd see a West Coast/East Coast rivalry that could become very interesting to watch.
I caused quite a stir earlier this year with my Die! Press Release Die! Die! Die! post. It came about from my frustration with the usefulness of the conventional press release. I offered some characteristics of what a new media press release might have, such as more links, labels/tags to quickly find information, and have links to related news stories, etc.
Many in the PR community have been working to create a more useful press release, which is wonderful. I applaud all efforts to make my job easier.
Edelman [an SVW sponsor] just released a tool/template it calls StoryCrafter that helps produce what has come to be known as a "social media news release." Shift PR has produced one too, and so has PRX Builder.
I'm not a big fan of the term "social media" I think "new media" would have been sufficient--and a more neutral term. But as long as everyone agrees on one meaning that is fine.
PR companies are extremely competitive and so the vying over whose social media release tool/template is better than the rest is only just beginning. Will there be one standard for social media releases? Maybe, but not yet. Let's try out these and other formats. I'm sure that a set of best practices will develop and everyone will benefit.
What interests me is if the PRnewswire and Businesswire services will carry social media releases. My understanding is that they charge extra for every link carried in a news release. Since links reduce the need for long press releases, their business model is threatened.
It is clear that the newswires are facing more than one challenge to their business model and are becoming increasingly irrelevant as news distribution platforms. The Internet is so much better at distributing information, it is vastly cheaper, and has far greater reach.
PRNewswire and Businesswire charge a lot of money, money that could be better used in communicating company news through formats such as the social media news release, and technologies such as RSS.
All that is needed is a ruling by the SEC that a company's RSS enabled newsroom and its web sites, satisfy requirements for broad and immediate dissemination of material information. I don't think that we are far from such a ruling, IMHO.
By Tom Foremski for Silicon Valley Watcher
Intel (an SVW sponsor) is a strong supporter of WiMAX, the wireless broadband technology that works over a distance of several miles compared with the hundred foot or so range of WiFi. WiMAX offers the possibility of bridging the digital divide by bringing down the cost of providing Internet access.
More importantly, WiMAX could be a way of opening up the "last mile" into consumers' homes, currently guarded by the cable and telco companies. These companies have been bundling Internet access with other services, which raises the costs for many customers interested in just Internet access.
The Intel WiMAX Connection 2300 chipset design was demonstrated during Executive Vice President and Chief Sales and Marketing Officer Sean Maloney's keynote at the 3G World Congress and Mobility Marketplace in Hong Kong.
Maloney showed an Intel® Centrino® Duo mobile technology-based laptop with mobile WiMAX (IEEE 802.16e-2005), Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11n), and high-speed downlink packet access (HSDPA) 3G capabilities successfully accessing the Internet at broadband speeds over a mobile WiMAX network.
This WiMAX chipset could also help boost Intel's revenues. The company's Centrino WiFi chipset for notebook computers was hugely successful and helped support record profit margins for many quarters.
Integrating radio capabilities into chips is not an easy task because analog and digital circuits respond in different ways to the CMOS production process.
This is interesting:
For the first time, Intel incorporated multiple input/multiple output (MIMO) functionality into the baseband chip to enhance the signal quality and throughput of wireless bandwidth. The baseband chip also employs the same software for Intel's WiMAX and Wi-Fi solutions to help ensure unified management for connectivity. Over-the-air provisioning supports easy configuration and enables consumer activation of services, shifting the traditional hands on service provider business model to a direct activation one based purely on consumer purchases of mobile devices.
Making things easier for consumers is key, it appears that they will be able to choose services without needing to know how to configure their notebooks, or be tied to any one service provider. I wonder how the cable and telco companies will respond, especially since WiMAX would enable inexpensive cell phone capabilities.
WiMAX would offer far faster Internet connection speeds, which would encourage new types of applications and services, which would require more Intel based infrastructure equipment investments. WiMAX on consumer notebooks would pull through a potential revenue bonanza for Intel.
Opening up the "last mile" would also help to establish Internet neutrality--vital in creating a fair competitive arena for startups with innovative services and technologies. Clearly, there is quite a lot riding on this Intel product.
But, there is a wait:
Intel plans to focus on validating and testing the product, with plans to sample both card and module forms beginning in late 2007.
We leave for Delhi airport to travel by small chartered jet to Mumbai, formerly known by its Portuguese name Bombay, India's largest city with 19m residents. The security at the Delhi airport is multi-stage and every few yards police or military personnel are rechecking our papers and screening our baggage.
India has suffered far more terrorist attacks than the US and it seems they can't be too careful. Even though we have moved through multiple checkpoints--all in view of each other--our documents and baggage get checked again and again.
Vivek Ranadive, Tibco's CEO, notes that in the US, private jet travelers go through no security or screening at all. I'm amazed.
We drive out to the other side of the airport and board the aircraft. We're soon up in the air for the 90-minute flight to Mumbai.
I've become a big fan of the newspapers and business magazines in India and pass the time by reading. It's interesting to see things from within India (more on this in a later post.)
As we glide into the approach for the landing I can already see that this is a much different place than stately Delhi, with its broad boulevards and grand government buildings. Right next to the airport is a large brown-grey area of boxes and rectangles all jumbled up. I can't make out what it is but as we get lower I can see it is a sprawling shanty shack city.
As we drive from the airport we're embedded within a mass of humanity and traffic. Tiny two-stroke cars and taxis mix with Bentleys and Mercedes. Some are cutting at right angles across the traffic lanes and people are crossing against the traffic. And everywhere is a cacophony of car horns. Every time we stop, young children tap on the car windows selling roses or newspapers, or begging for one rupee (about two cents) for food.
Bombay is crowded because it is spread across seven islands, so everything along the road is packed in tight: the kiosk-like shops, the people, the shanty shacks, the lone cows. It's all a mashup of colorful clothes and smells. I'm completely fascinated whichever direction I look.
Mumbai seems to be decaying with rundown Portuguese colonial-era buildings and bad housing projects, yet simultaneously rising young and new with striking office buildings and apartment buildings. All mashed up together, next to each other.
We head for the evening reception and dinner at a large hotel in the western part of Bombay. Vivek Ranadive and CIO magazine are hosting an event to launch his book, "The Predictive Enterprise," and about 50 CIOs of India's largest companies will be there.
Sanjay Gupta, vice president for global alliances at Tibco, is already decked out in a sharp suit and sun glasses. Vivek jokes that he looks like a Bollywood movie star. I get changed into a suit in the hotel and then head off to the reception on the lower level.
The restaurant in the hotel is sharp and very urban - it could be a trendy night spot in New York or London. I chat with some of the CIOs, many have spent time in San Francisco and the Bay Area in years past, some have worked at startups.
I ask about the startup culture in India. There doesn't seem to be much going on. I can't get much of an answer from the people I'm speaking with.
One of them says, "We've skipped that step." I smile but say that you can't skip the startup stage, innovation happens much faster when you are not encumbered by a large organization.
After a while the room is hushed and Mr Ranadive gives an introductory welcome. He says he grew up in Mumbai, his mother and sister still live there, but he left when he was 17. He introduces his concept about the predictive enterprise and then the CIOs line up to have him autograph copies of his book.
Before dinner begins, I head back to the hotel room to get some stomach medicine. I feel like I am coming down with a local malady, despite only drinking bottled water.
I lay down on the bed for one moment and then am startled to wake up four hours later, having completely missed the dinner. And everybody has left for another hotel on the other side of Mumbai. Holly Burkhart, Tibco's very able and super-efficient corporate communications director and events organizer calls. I apologize for missing the dinner, she tells me not to worry and says I should stay there and make my way over to the other hotel the next morning.
My stomach is still churning so I'm thankful to rest and nurse my stomach cramps. I notice that the vitreous porcelain bathroom receptacle is marked "HindWare." How apt I think, but then again it could it also refer to "Hindi.- - -
in New Delhi.
[This is an account of my first trip to India, traveling as a guest of Tibco Software, an SVW sponsor. Vivek Ranadive, CEO of Tibco, is launching his business IT strategy book, "The Power to Predict," in India and he invited me to come along as he meets with politicians and some of India's top business and technology leaders. Part 1 is here.]
New Delhi is a government city, at least for now. Broad boulevards and grand government buildings seem to be everywhere. And civil servants sit outside in circles having lunch on the expansive lawns. It is a city of 14mn people but I have no idea where they live, clearly not in the British colonial palaces in the part of the city where I am staying.
I take a guided tour of the city's sights during the day. The weather is warm and humid but not oppressively hot. I'm told by my guide that this is a good time of the year to visit India.
Delhi and Rome share the distinction of being the only two cities that have been inhabited for more than 2,000 years.
Delhi is moving away from its dominance by government agencies and is building a large IT business park in its suburbs. Already, there are many US IT companies represented in India's capital city and more are expected. Bangalore, the well known Indian high-tech center is about a two-hour flight south of Delhi, closer to Mumbai (Bombay).
In the evening we head out to the Sheraton hotel, about 15 minutes away, where Vivek Ranadive, the CEO of Tibco, is due to give a keynote speech at the Dataquest India IT awards reception and dinner.
The Sheraton is teaming with men in suits as we walk along the corridor and into a cavernous, dark room and sit and watch the stage. Various awards are given for achievements in IT.
Mr Ranadive gets up and gives his speech. He talks about how he started life as a hardware engineer but got fed up with software continually lagging hardware. He spoke about how he started his first software company, making a presentation to Goldman Sachs and winning his first customer.
He explains how IT has been database-driven for many years and how this led to an "architecture of extortion" because it requires expensive consultants and processes to manage. And now the future of IT needs to be services-driven, through a services oriented architecture (SOA) as a way to escape the "extortion" of the old IT order.
With SOA, corporations can move beyond real-time processing of business data and tap into historical analysis to predict strains on their IT systems, to predict which customers need services that will keep them customers. The historical data can trigger business processes in real-time. It's all part of his predictive enterprise concept that is explained in his book, "The Power to Predict."
There is lots of applause and then the rest of the awards ceremony continues. It is soon over and we skip the dinner and head back to our hotel.
Next: Part 3: Private jet to teeming Mumbai as Vivek Ranadive returns to his home town, and a CIO magazine dinner with CIOs from India's largest corporations - India Inc. Part 1 is here.
in New Delhi.
[This is an account of my first trip to India, traveling as a guest of Tibco Software, an SVW sponsor. Vivek Ranadive, the CEO of Tibco is launching his business IT strategy book "The Power to Predict" in India, and he invited me to come along as he meets with politicians and some of India's top business and technology leaders.]
We're about to land in New Delhi when suddenly the engines of the huge American Airlines 777 rise to a roar and I'm pushed back into my seat as we gain speed and altitude.
The captain's voice is calm, "We decided to abort the landing to get out of a bad situation. We'll be taking the approach again and we'll be landing in about ten minutes."
This time the landing proceeds smoothly and I walk out of the high-tech transport and into a dowdy, provincial looking airport with threadbare carpets and walls covered with a patina of neglect. It reminds me of Warsaw airport circa 1977, before the economic changes that transformed Poland into a modern country.
Even the roads leading from the airport are similar to pre-capitalist Warsaw, with small, ancient looking cars, traveling over narrow roads with broken paving.
The analogy with Poland is an apt one but clearly on a much different scale. Poland's programmers routinely win top international competitions and India's programmers are helping to win big outsourcing contracts for the domestic IT companies--all part of a transformation of a country from a planned economy to the wild, wild west of a capitalist economy.
And while India's infrastructure is lagging its tech prowess, its IT companies are not laggards in terms of their ambitions to make their mark on a global scale. Infosys and Wipro are India's largest and best known IT companies but these are just a tip of an iceberg that I hope to find out more about on this trip.
As our driver patiently negotiates through traffic that considers lane markings as a suggestion--rather than a rule--I can see the night-time air is filled with a smoke-like haze. I'm told it is from all the two-stroke engines that are popular in many parts of Asia. I think to myself that the smog is probably good for slowing global warming by reflecting sunlight back into space but at what cost to human lungs?
It takes about 30 minutes to reach The Oberoi Hotel, a luxury resort with its own golf course close to the center of New Delhi. We pass through a security checkpoint that inspects the underside of the car, and there are security guards stationed all along the driveway that leads to the lobby entrance.
Check-in is quick and the receptionist and a porter and a butler, form an entourage that escorts me to my room. I take a quick shower and head back down to the lobby to meet with my Tibco hosts at an Italian restaurant inside the hotel.
It's interesting that we are eating Italian rather than Indian food but I'm not complaining about the quality, which is excellent. I hear a bit more about the schedule for the week-long trip. This includes a big IT awards dinner organized by Dataquest India, a flight to Bombay, a visit to the massive Infosys campus with 15,000 staff, and a visit to Tibco's India HQ in Pune, plus interviews with TV, radio, and newspapers.
Ram Menon, executive Vice President, Worldwide Marketing for Tibco meets us for dinner while Vivek skips the food so that he can work out in the gym. Ram lives in Silicon Valley with his American wife and five year old son and is very American.
Ram was raised in India in a British colonial tradition. His family owns a plantation and he was sent to boarding school when he was just 5 1/2 years old, and educated in India's top private schools. He knows many of India's business leaders because of his old school tie connections.
He tells me about all the changes he's seen in India, and the booming real estate and business markets of the past few years. He says that more recently, Indian companies have been teaming up with large private equity firms, which has fueled an M&A boom enabling them to acquire large foreign companies.
He says it all reminds him of the 1999 era dotcom boom days, and that the newspapers and the rest of India's media, are covering the trend with an uncritical eye--similar to our dotcom boom period.
It was interesting hearing about the private equity funds. On the flight over I had read the excellent BusinessWeek cover story on the corporate "gluttony" of US private equity firms and the potential problems they are causing.
The BusinessWeek article noted that it used to take five or more years for private equity firms to turn around companies and then IPO them. Now, some of them are flipping companies in less than a year. Plus, they make the companies take on massive debt so that they can award themselves huge dividends--and large consulting/management fees.
BusinessWeek said the companies are leaner and meaner, but are saddled with large debt loads that will make it more difficult for some of them to survive periods of market weakness--with shareholders and employees the ones that ultimately suffer.
When I awoke the next morning, the lead story in India's top financial newspaper, The Economic Times, announced that US private equity funds were behind plans to IPO Genpact, a large Indian BPO (business process outsourcing) company.
The deal could raise more than $1bn which would become "India's biggest listing in the US." The newspaper said that the private equity firms are likely to earn five times their initial investment made just two years ago.
It made me wonder if the booming Indian IT/BPO sector could be harmed in the future, if private equity firms were to engage in the types of excesses described in the BusinessWeek article. A slowdown in US and European outsourcing could be disastrous for some Indian companies carrying large debts because of their M&A and IPO financing.
Indian companies tend to be large conglomerates, active in several very different industries, not just tech. While this can be seen as offering a protective effect by spreading risk, it could also lead to a knock-on effect that could impact India's non-tech sectors in the event of a tech melt-down.
The Indian media would do well to take notice of our dotcom dotbomb experience and offer a critical analysis of big deals, especially those involving large private equity firms.
Quad Core is key to Intel's bid to revive profits and growth. PodTech's Jason Lopez interviewed Stephen Smith, head of Intel's desktop and platform operations:
Thursday was a very important day for Intel (a sponsor of SVW) as it introduced its Core 2 Duo family of microprocessors, representing the most important product launch since its Pentium launch 13 years ago.
"The empire strikes back," was how Nathan Brookwood, microprocessor analyst at Insight64 termed it. And that's an excellent comment on what this launch means to Intel, the world's largest chipmaker.
The Core 2 Duo launch is more than just a new microprocessor family; it represents Intel's determination to return to its core capabilities after embarrassing missed product deadlines, less than successful forays into other businesses, and an obsessive need to regain market share lost to rival Advanced Micro Devices.
It is also a return to a culture formed from a rigorous engineering discipline that doesn't tolerate missed deadlines, or *any* loss of market share--no matter how small.
To further underline the importance of this event, just days before the launch Intel appointed its most effective and aggressive senior executive, Sean Maloney to lead its global sales and marketing.
. . .
As Intel chairman Craig Barrett looked on from the front row, CEO Paul Otellini strode the stage and reported that over the past couple of years Intel's engineering teams have consistently met all their deadlines on time, and sometimes ahead of schedule. This includes the new Core family, which will form the foundation of Intel's business for the rest of the decade and beyond.
But getting to this point was not easy, it required a complete overhaul of its microprocessor designs in order to make low electric power consuming chips operating at higher performance levels. These two goals are extremely difficult to achieve with traditional microprocessor designs. Intel had to develop innovative technologies, making the chips smarter about power conservation, while providing higher performance through the use of multiple processor cores.
During this time, it was not easy watching rival AMD make significant inroads into its markets, with its Opteron family and other microprocessors.
The significance of Thursday's launch was further underlined by its location at Intel's HQ in the heart of Silicon Valley, in huge tent filled with nearly 300 journalists and analysts.
Sean Maloney, the freshly appointed senior VP of global sales and marketing, demonstrated the capabilities of the chip family, and promised further advances in lower power consumption, increased performance, and new types of applications for the digital living room.
. . .
Over the past 24 years Mr Maloney has earned a reputation as Intel's top troubleshooter. He is the one that Intel relies upon to tackle some of its most challenging business problems.
Mr Maloney used to head Intel's UK operations and then became technical assistant to CEO and chairman Andrew Grove. From 1992 to 1995 he worked side-by-side with Intel's legendary top executive, learning all aspects of the business. This is how Intel grooms executives destined for its senior ranks.
Through a series of senior positions Mr Maloney quickly became known as one of Intel's most effective and aggressive managers, tackling some of the company's most difficult jobs such as rebuilding its troubled communications chip group.
Again, Mr Maloney has been handed one of the company's most challenging jobs: reigniting sales and growth for what insiders call "Intel 3.0," the next big phase of Intel's business strategy. Intel 3.0 represents the third reinvention of the company.
Very few people remember that Intel started off as "the memory chip company," then it became "the microprocessor company," and now it is set on a new course to become "the platform company."
But Intel is like a supertanker in that it takes a while for it to set up a new course; when it does, it becomes an extremely aggressive competitor.
AMD, located just a stones throw away from Intel's HQ, has done well to exploit changes in microprocessor markets at Intel's expense. Now it faces the full might of a refocused and reenergized Intel determined to win back any lost market share--and then some.
Yet AMD's response is puzzling. Earlier this week it announced plans to acquire Canadian graphics chip maker ATI Technologies in a $5.4bn deal. This is not the time to be distracted by a huge merger--unless AMD's management is looking to ATI as a life raft.
In fact, a life raft might be the best way to view this deal if you consider that AMD has to develop its own multi-core chip family, develop global sales channels, *and* invest billions of dollars in building new chip fabs, which, by the way, includes mastering a new manufacturing process at 65nm. Each one of these are extremely challenging and risky endeavors.
I cannot see how AMD can continue to gain market share and profit at Intel's expense. It is up against a competitor that just announced a record number of 550 PC/notebook design wins; and 200 server design wins for its new microprocessors. Intel has already successfully made the transition to 65nm production; plus it has one of the industry's most capable managers, Sean Maloney, leading its global sales push. This is the Empire Strikes Back--with a vengeance.
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Coming up: Sean Maloney talks to SVW on net neutrality. (I grabbed a few minutes with him for a chat before his presentation.)
Edelman, the world's largest privately held PR firm late last week announced it had acquired A&R Partners--a deal that creates Silicon Valley's largest PR firm.
It's part of a series of aggressive, strategic moves by Richard Edelman, the CEO of Edelman. Mr Edelman has also been acquiring the PR industry's top bloggers, such as Steve Rubel, who writes Micro Persuasion, and Phil Gomes. Plus a recent deal with Technorati will extend Edelman's ability to monitor the blogosphere internationally.
The acquisition of A&R comes at a time when the demand for PR services is rising rapidly as Silicon Valley VC firms fund a new generation of what some call "Web 2.0" companies. The large number of such companies is increasing the noise level which makes it difficult for them to attract attention without professional help.
Large Silicon Valley tech companies are also increasing their PR spend as traditional forms of advertising are slipping in their effectiveness because of the turmoil in the media sector. Traditional and trade media publications are transitioning to online business models but the change is disruptive and there are fewer publications.
Public relations is potentially more cost effective than some forms of advertising. Intel recently boosted its PR spending with several deals spanning its global markets.
Pam Pollace, who used to head Intel's communications team is now at Edelman as director of the US Technology Practice.
Here are some of the details from the press release:
[This stomach bug has taken the wind out of my sails for a few days, my apologies about the backed up emails I hope to get to them in the next few days...]
Edelman's deal with Technorati is interesting. For an undisclosed sum of cash Edelman, the world's largest private PR firm is financing Technorati's expansion into the rest-of-the-world blogosphere. It's a savvy move, not one without risks, but Richard Edelman has been out in the forefront in trying to understand the blogosphere and the need for tools to measure influence and reach within the entire (global) mediasphere (of which the blogosphere is a subset).
There are lots of comments on the deal out in the ether, but none seem to get it. We won't know unless we know the terms of the deal, either way its a bold move.
So far, Edelman has hired the top PR industry bloggers and it is moving ahead on a course that I do not see other PR firms following. And I think it is because they don't understand the nature of the game.
Edelman's moves are very interesting because they are potentially game changing, they are risky, and bold. Let's see if the other the-game-is-still-the-same PR firms figure things out. Can they be fast followers? I don't think so . . . but I'd love to be proved wrong.
Technorati has had problems scaling its infrastructure but that's probably because it has done a masterful job on branding. It really understands the psychology of the blogosphere and it has managed to keep that balance of being a good community citizen along with its right to monetize what it is doing.
Technorati has managed to almost privatize the trackback--a key element of the blogosphere. Trackbacks seem to have stopped working but if I look at my Technorati links there are many links that don't register as trackbacks. I've no idea why that is the case but Technorati offers a solution.
I spent a few days this week in Orlando, Florida but I didn't visit Disney's Magic Kingdom. Instead, I was at Tibco's user conference.
Usually I rarely get to go to user conferences but I wanted to see Tibco in its environment. Tibco has been one of my earliest supporters in this brave new world of online publishing/blogging at Silicon Valley Watcher, and this was good chance to learn more about the company, and the IT industry.
Tibco is a well established IT enterprise software company but what it does is complex IT. The company has technology that helps enterprises connect up multiple layers of legacy IT systems into a single, real-time business system.
And now, with the advent of the age of the services oriented architecture (SOA), as opposed to the database centric IT architecture--Tibco is addressing the upper-most layers of the enterprise stack--the business process management. This goes beyond applications and into the realm of where IBM, the world's largest services company, has strong ambitions.
Tibco might be David to IBM's Goliath but the battle doesn't require either one to lose because there is a huge potential market that can support many vendors as it expands over the next few years.
CEO Vivek Ranadive's keynote on Wednesday morning stated the case for business process automation in reasonable and rational terms. And Mr Ranadive wasn't shy about hitting out at the enterprise software application vendors. He said that IT departments had been "extorted" by enterprise applications vendors for many years.
The place to be Wednesday evening was the Asian Art museum and the launch party for Vivek Ranadive's "The Power to Predict : How Real Time Businesses Anticipate Customer Needs, Create Opportunities, and Beat the Competition" He is the CEO of Tibco, which is a founding sponsor of SVW and one of my earliest supporters.
It was a smart, cultured crowd in a smart, cultured venue. And I met several outstanding people--a perfect evening.
The Power to Predict is surprisingly good for a book about IT strategy. My former colleague at the Financial Times Louise Kehoe contributed her formidable editorial skills to the project. The book explains how enterprises can take the next step beyond real-time IT systems and take advantage of predictive patterns.
The problem with the Predictive Enterprise concept is that the message--once you get it--is very powerful. And so Tibco is finding it difficult to get its customers to talk abut how they are using its real-time predictive technologies.
It's Tuesday morning and another glorious sunny day in Palo Alto and I'm about to sit down at Il Fornio with Richard Edelman CEO of highly regarded and highly successful Edelman agency. And Mr Edelman is one of the legendary figures, and leading thinkers, of the US PR sector.
Mr Edelman is just finishing a conversation with Paul Saffo, the renowned futurist thinker at the Institute of the Future (I want a job like Mr Saffo's!). "We used to crew together at Harvard," explains Mr Edelman. "Aha, the old boy network rears its head again," I say with a smile.
I see Mr Saffo has the latest edition of the Edelman Trust Barometer report grasped in his hand. This is an interesting international study of "trust" and what types of individuals and organizations people trust.
"You'd better watch out," I tease Mr Saffo. "Third-party independent experts such as yourself are slipping in people's trust."
"That's what I spotted, I'm going to have to study this document carefully," Mr Saffo says as he prepares his farewells and then leaves Mr Edelman and I to our first meeting.
The two of us are probably the least "trustworthy" table in the restaurant. That's because the media and PR ranked extremely low in the recent Trust survey. And for the first time, respondents said they trusted their peer group the most--even more than experts such as doctors etc.
People trust their colleagues, friends and family--it is what Mr Edelman calls the Me2Revolution it is peer-to-peer trust networks. Please take a look at Mr Edelman's essay on the survey results, which are published in PR Week's February 13th edition. You can read the Me2Revolution essay here on his Richard Edelman 6 A. M. blog.
I popped over to Vivek Ranadive's holiday event at the weekend. It seems as though the holiday festivities officially start with Vivek's early December bash at the very regal, black-tie optional party at the Cantor Arts Center at Stanford University.
Vivek is CEO of Tibco, one of the first and most loyal sponsors of SVW. The least I can do is pop over once a year and eat Vivek's food and sample his wines (I offer such services to all of my sponsors and I encourage them to use them often. Sign up now...)
Vivek's book, "The Power to Predict," is due early in the new year It is the sequel to "The Power of Now" which laid out the competitive advantages of being a real-time corporation--having your IT systems run at the speed of your business--rather than in batch mode.
The Power to Predict discusses a concept that Vivek has been talking about for several years. It is the next stage: how corporations can respond in real-time to likely outcomes based on past data.
During my recent lengthy apartment/office move, I took a break and went to the Infineon Technologies media/analyst conference in Sonoma. Infineon, a founding sponsor of this site, attracts a decent-sized crowd to this annual event.
It is held at Infineon Raceway, one of the premier automotive racetracks in the US and just 40 minutes north of San Francisco.
The media and analysts are invited to listen to a few hours of presentations, updates from Bob LeFort, president of Infineon USA, and panel discussions on current issues from Infineon and third-party experts.
It's a quick and effective way to catch up with what the largest European chipmaker is doing, and the issues and trends that affect its business strategies.
And then after lunch, Infineon invites everyone to play on the racetrack in a variety of motor sports events, including the opportunity to do "hot laps" with Mario Andretti.