Happy Birthday facebook! Love it or Hate it, facebook changed your life…

Facebook is only 10 years old today, but in a decade it moved from being a social network to being much more like a platform of all thinks internet.happy bday facebook

Whatever you like it or hate it, whatever you are an addict, a casual user, a curious user that just tried it, has a profile but don’t really use it, or did not like at all, felt an invasion of privacy and just deleted your profile or if you are one of those stubborn deniers who still refuses to join despite the pressure from friends and family, despite the isolation you may feel from not being part of that trend, group and communication, whatever type you are, I am pretty shire that facebook did touch and change your life in one way or another way.

Facebook has evolved quickly from just a place to share photos, videos, music or just a status of where I am and what I am doing at that moment, or a way to say “Happy Birthday!”, to a internet hub, a full platform, a content aggregator of all things internet, a platform which companies are using to build on top of it, and actually the best platform to sell you anything as anything you post, like, comment becomes an element on Facebook database, and they know more about you as a person and as a consumer than anyone in the world, and the new business model is based on revenue generated by this data-mining.

fb-billionairesMore people today use facebook from a mobile device than from a computer, so facebook follows you wherever you go.

So after blowing its 10 candle on the new billionaires’ cake, what’s next for facebook? Despite the fact that some obscure Princeton searcher, probably avid to come into light, predict the end on facebook, based on a nonsense model (and that facebook predicts the end of Princeton, based on the same model!), despite the fact that more serious studies show that teenagers are moving away from facebook to use others networks as Instagram (even is facebook actually owns Instagram), mainly because their parents are using facebook and not Instagram (yet), in the future facebook plan is to keep growing in the part of the world not yet saturated, and to make everyone connected. A glance to the future of facebook is the newly created internet.org, a new global coalition to connect everyone on the planet, “making the internet affordable, a global partnership dedicated to making internet access available to the two thirds of the world not yet connected” as they defined themselves.internetorg

So in my view from facebook to internet.org or whatever it will become, facebook is here to stay, until something that we can’t even imagine today comes to replace it. By then facebook will probably be blowing its 20 candles on a bigger cake.

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Finally a new technology to restore sound quality and cure my ears!

Strangely, as technology generally is supposed to improve quality and performance, it has been the opposite in the music/audio industry. death of sound Quality

Sound reproduction quality reduced when technology moved from vinyl to CDs, and again reduced even more dramatically when moving from CDs to mp3 or other compressed digital audio format. Sound quality regular music listeners on most personal users devices, be it smartphone, mp3 player, computers, TV, audio system etc are worst today that it was 50 years ago… mp3 compression or streaming audio loses as much as 80 to 90% of original recorded sound quality…and it seems young generation does not really care, even when they spend more time than any other generation before listening to music, specially on their smartphone. Clearly mobility is more important.
Most young people don’t buy CDs anymore but download compressed digital music or listen to streaming music; Beyonce last album for the holidays was downloaded 2 Millions time in 2 weeks, a new record, but not for long. CDs sales are going down and down and down.
ponoAs I was a sound engineer in a past life, this keeps bothering me… I have been looking for a long time at Neil Young "PONO" project of trying to launch and market for a download service with a new technology reproducing high quality studio recordings, but it has been delayed and delayed, as it seems he did not find the right investor, probably due to a weak business model and a high price point … everybody does not have Steve Jobs Marketing genius.
BUT TIME HAS FINALLY COME! signal doctor
Harman International announced yesterday at CES a software solution "HARMAN Signal Doctor", based on HTML5, Java and CSS, that automatically analyze and upgrade the audio quality of of compressed digital music files to restore the original sounds as it was recorded !
I have not been trying it yet but it seems this doctor is finally going to cure my hears.
Problem is, to be cured by Signal Doctor, you will have to buy a new Harman product for your home or for your car. However I suppose in a short term they may OEM their technology broadly to be embedded on other audio brands, and they even talk about marketing it as a mobile phone app, this could make this company rich, as I suppose everyone is going to want it, finally reuniting  Mobility and Audio Quality, this is THE Solution I was looking for, or am I the lonely  survivor concerned about sound quality ?

Sound-Quality-300x187

Gartner Hype Cycle for Emerging Technologies- Hype or Reality?

You probably know about Gartner Hype Cycles, and just in case you don’t it is communicated as an infographic produced regularly by famous IT research and advisory firm, Gartner, “to represent graphically the maturity, adoption and social application of specific technologies” (wikipedia), in a nutshell the lifecycle of innovations and products in the markets.

I just wanted to share with you theGartner hype-cycle-for emerging technologies 2013 latest Gartner Hype Cycle chart for Emerging Technologies (Image attached- dated August 8, 2013). It is of course a very interesting diagram, including a lot of technologies, and based on the collection of lots of data, which does not mean everything is thru and that we have to drink their coolaid, straight“on the rocks”.

What is predominant this year is the hype around smart machines, machine-to-machine (M2M), cognitive computing and the Internet of Things, all the Human/Machine relationship stuff and it’s impact on the enterprise of the future. There are so many innovations and emerging technologies and growing markets in that space, this is no surprise. (I just want to know more about SmartDust!)

Hype-Cycle-GeneralHowever, and more specifically, based on my focus at my present job,  I am looking with some level of skepticism, with all due respect to Gartner analysts, at two of these technologies: Cloud Computing and Big Data.

Gartner shows Cloud Computing as having passed the Peak of Expectation and already falling way down the Trough of Disillusionment ! I certainly don’t agree with that assessment. In my view Cloud is delivering on premises and on planned schedule, with a steady adoption and with little failure rate and not much negative press and still has with a huge potential growth.

Also Gartner shows Big Data almost at the mastering the hype cyclePeak of Inflated Expectation and again I would not embrace this idea; Big data is still in very early stage, it is transforming if not revolutioning all enterprise information management and business processes, and much more is  to come before it come to this peak.

Where I would agree, however is on the positioning of predictive Analytics, welcome to the Plateau of Productivity, my company should be able to make money out of it in the short term.

 

PlanetHype_1024So Hype or Reality?

I am no Nostradamus… Feel free to comment and provide your own vision, as your real life experience within your company or your customers if you’re a consultant or a technology vendor, may be as valid as Gartner’s survey and interpretation. No offense, we are talking about predictions and there is no such thing as Magic! and as my charming wife would say “Everyone is entitled to his own opinion."

5 New Technologies to change your life in 2013

Toronto toyota-20130222-00247My Jan 2011 blog post “11 new technologies to impact our life in 2011” has been my most successful topic in term of audience and traffic, so I thought I will do it again. With the explosion and acceleration of science and technologies, 2 years is already a long time, so here is a short highlight of 10 new technologies that will change your life in 2013:

1- 3D printing

A 3D printer is a device able of outputting physical objects meaning they can create real, solid objects from digital data. They have been in development labs for quite some time but are now hitting our real life and are starting to revolution prototyping and digital manufacturing. There are several technologies enabling 3D printers, such as stereolithography, material jetting, polyjet matrix, DLP projection, Fused Deposition Modelling, Binder Jetting, selective laser sintering or selective laser melting, etc… and a wide range of 3D printers and online services are now available for industrial and manufacturing applications. This is only the first step, in the second step it is already becoming available to the public consumer with Personal 3D Printers or kits ranging between $1.000 to $3,000. We can predict a Desktop 3D printer will cost a few hundred dollars in 2015 …imagine a future where instead of going in a store to buy an object, it will be delivered electronically to your computer and created on your home 3D printer… 3D printing is going mainstream, future is coming to your door!

2- Mobile Payments and Mobile Wallets

Mobile payment or mobile wallet refer to a payment performed via a mobile device and managed by a financial institution (bank, credit card) or service providers (internet providers, wireless communications providers), enabled by technologies as Near Mobile-walletField Communications or NFC. Newcomers are rushing to this huge market too and Paypal (owned by eBay) will be announcing next week it’s new mobile Point-of-Sale (available first in UK) at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona where Mobile Payment will be a big Buzz. Samsung and Visa are announcing a new global alliance to boost mobile payment and NFC. Technology has been available and secure for quite some time, banks and operators have been preparing for few years, and time has come for wide market adoption by shoppers and end users, as a very convenient alternative payment method to cash, check or credit card, carry digital coupons etc. Adoption has been spreading from Asia to Europe and is starting in North America, slower for regulations and technical reasons. In parallel social Commerce is also growing and American Express customers who link their cards to their Twitter accounts are now able make purchases with a tweet, I like that! A good justification to upgrade my Blackberry Torch to the Blackberry Z10 J

3- In Car Digital connection, Connected-to-Cloud cars and Self Controlled cars

I visited the Toronto Auto Show last week, and ff you have been in the market for a new car, you probably realised that Connected Cars are becoming ubiquitous with increased deployment of telematics and infotainment services. The Connected car is out in the streets, industry targets and predictions are: connected-car

 Over 20% of global vehicle sales in 2015 to include embedded connectivity solutions

 Over 50% of global vehicles sales in 2015 to be connected (either by embedded tethered or smart phone integration)

 Every car to be connected in multiple manners by 2025

As examples, Ford’s Cloud-Connected Car, the Evos Concept was announced at CES 2012, and

AT&T+General Motors are announcing to sell 4G LTE-connected cars, smart-cars with built-in Wi-Fi hot spots.

Leveraging several wireless technologies as Bluetooth, 4G, LTE, Satellite, Wi-Fi, Wimax, and M2M (Machine-to-Machine) embedded technologies, Your car is becoming a mobile device, with constant connectivity. Applications cover safety systems such as intersection collision, avoidance and platooning, emergency services, as well as non-safety systems as local chat room, traffic, weather, music streaming, emails, social media, broadcast, connected games, infotainment…

About Self Controlled cars: US government believes wireless systems could address 81% of all light-vehicle target crashes, this number seems very high to me, and very controversial, specially when most people believe being good drivers, needing automated systems only in extreme situation.

In any case, your next vehicle will do much more than taking you from A to B, it will connect you, direct you and protect you. Are losing control of our cars ???

4- Wearable and Bearable computers

With the advance of miniaturization, new display technologies, sensors, smaller and faster chips are now enabling us to wear computers just like we would wear clotheswearable Google-glass or glasses or watches, and to interact with you based on the context of the situation, this new generation of miniature computers are called Wearable or Bearable computers, they are unobtrusive internet-connected multimedia computers built within clothes, glasses, watches or belt and to become a seamless extension of the body and mind. Wearable or Bearable Computing applications include seeing aids, memory aids, photographic memory, wayfinding, Personal Safety Devices (PSDs), heart and health monitoring, augmented reality, diminished reality, mediated reality, glogging, surveillance, smart badges, language translator, music and video streaming, visual and audio email, social networking, gaming, and overall will replace a smartphone, a tablet or a laptop. Until now most devices are used in the military, commercial, industrial, financial, and medical industries, however it is now coming to the consumer mass market with Google Glasses, Clothing+ sensors, MicroVision displays, Xybernaut Poma optical mobile assistant, Nike+ gear, internet connected shoes, Neptune Pine android SmartWatch, Pebble Wirstwatch, Apple iWatch and many more soon to come. Some may feel reluctant to being assimilated into a cybernetic relationship with computer technology, and but let’s face it, resistance is futile, it will happen.

Wearing computers will make you feel like a SuperHero with ubiquity power !

5- Micro-Networks

Don’t be shy, from 7 to 107 years old, most of us already use Social Networks, but the rise of Micro-Networks is going to change the social game and outreach.micro-networks Path Social networking is about sharing, but sometime there is stuff you don’t want to share with all your social network, and the group or circles functions do not allow you to the full extent of sharing only specific topics of interest to the relevant people. Micro-Networks are the solution, they are more intimate and private communication social networks focusing on a common point of interest or topic, a local community, a political group, a club, a sport, a shared passion or hobby etc.

Social platforms such as Quora and Facebook are already at the top of the micro-network trend, but new platforms such as Path, Change.org, Neighborland, Collective Action Toolkit (Frog), are ramping up and many more will follow.

These micro-social-platforms are the new wave of social networking, go for it and share your passion, or may be just create your own !superhero

In conclusion, those are only a very few 5 of the new technologies impacting our life in the short term, there are so many more, time goes faster and faster, if you don’t surf at the top of the wave, there is no way you will be able to catch-up, The Future Is Now, Embrace it, Ride it !

Is your datacenter ready for BYOD ? (Bring-Your-Own-Device)

byod-tshirt1I remember a time where my employer was paying for my mobile phone, my laptop and my internet provider…With the reduction of IT budgets and the evolution of mobile technologies, the times are changing and the working habits are changing: the time of carrying 2 phones, your personal phone and a phone provided by your employer, and the time of the employer providing a free smartphone you may like, those times are over, and therefore more and more people are now bringing their own mobile device, smartphone, tablet or laptop, to their workplace, and more and more companies implement a Bring-Your-Own-Device policy  (BYOD).

However it means IT has to manage new and more devices; In a budget perspective it means IT is replacing CAPEX (Capital expenses) for OPEX (Operational Expenses).

A recent survey from CDW, shows that IT managers surveyed report that 89% of their employees use personally owned mobile devices for work.

But is your enterprise ready for it? And is your Datacenter ready for BYOD?

BYOD requires a strategy, process and policies, as well as hardware BYOD_Challenges-Securityand software platforms, and applications, to secure, support and manage these new devices and endpoints.

So what are the challenges facing your organization?

What are your user’s expectations?

What are the benefits for your organisation?

What do you have to do to be successful?

 

1- The Challenges facing your organization and Datacenter

A new survey conducted in EMEA showed that 70% of the enterprises surveyed allowed their employee to bring their own devices, 40% allowing access to corporate applications and 30% allowing only access to internet.

First challenges that come to mind are, of course are bout security and bandwidth, in fact they come in that order: Employee device introducing a virus, Employee losing a device with critical data, Employee staling data.. but there are more. Here are the details results of this survey about those challenges:

– 20%: Securely connect employee deviceBYOD challenges aruba-networks-study-byod-emea-illo05

– 18%: Ensure mobile device security

– 16%: Establish a corporate policy for acceptable use

– 14%: Enforce access rights, based on user, device and application

– 11%: Build enough wireless coverage and capacity (bandwidth)

– 10%: Avoid the use of more IT resources

– 9%: Evaluate the business benefit relative to risk

We can add a few more challenges you will be facing like policy enforcement, physical theft, malware prevention, IT support increase, storage infrastructure readiness, education …

 

2- What are the benefits of BYOD for your organization?

The BYOD brings some challenges but also provide some benefits:

– Increase in employees productivity and job satisfaction

– Reduced number of devices to purchase and support

– Reduced set-up and training time and cost, employees using devices and tools they like and know how to use

– Reduce maintenance of devices (employees take better care of their personal devices)

– Improve communication between field and office personnel as well as increased availability to customers – resulting in better customer service.

– Improve Work-Life balance of your workforce

The CDW survey also shows that 67% of small business mobile device users believe their company would lose competitive ground without mobile devices, and 94% believe their mobile devices make them more efficient.

85% of IT managers believe that mobile devices make their company more efficient.

 

3- What are the users expectations?

Based on a Forester research, 60% of companies offer BYOD, and Gartner predicts it will be 90% by 2014, accessing company data with at least 2 mobile devices.

BYOD-large1Users love to be able to use their own device at work, not to carry multiple devices, they understand the security, policies and management challenges it generate, however they hate having to keep entering 8 digits passwords for each app., specially when it requires special characters (!)

The chart describe quite well some of the key users expectations:

– Users do not want their personal data to risk to be wiped-out

– Users do not want to have to enter enterprise passwords for personal apps

– Users want to be able to keep using personal apps as facebook, twitter, iCloud, Pandora, Spotify, dropbox etc.

Best scenario would be to create virtual separation on mobile devices applying different policies to personal and company data.

 

4- What do you have to do to be successful?

Define a BYOD StrategyBYOD_v2

Create and communicate clear and strong policies and guidelines

Educate your employees on Cybersecurity

Plan for network bandwith and storage

Secure personal mobile devices to protect your network and data accordingly

Implement a Mobile Device Management (MDM) solution.

Implement a Mobile Application Management (MAM) solutions

Other option is to contract a managed service solution from a service providers, ie in the cloud managed services solution

Approve any mobile device being used in your business

Have a separate network designed solely for BYOD devices

Optimize your web platform for mobile devices and offer mobile apps for your business to your employee and to your clients

Monitor results: security, performance, resources, cost, employee and customer satisfaction.

 

In summary, Does BYOD make sense for all businesses? Probably not. Different organisations have different business needs and security requirements and Risk policies.

Does it always provide all benefits promised? Probably not. Some businesses will get more benefits than others. As an example, about Capex vs Opex expenditures, Kris Lovejoy, VP of IBM IT Risk Management, declared at the recent Reboot Ottawa Conference that IBM spends more on securing and managing employees purchased devices than they do on those provided by the company, even when cost of the device has been factored in.

BYOD has become one of the main drivers of IT and Network transformation, it poses some serious challenges to IT organisations and to datacenters but it can be successfully managed and the benefits are real and worth embracing it. However One Size Does Not Fit All !

Ready-for-BYODI mainly work from my home office, but tomorrow I will bring to my company corporate office my own BlackBerry Bold and my own Blackberry Playbook tablet to work, but will still bring my company owned Lenovo laptop. They’re better be ready, I know they really are as a matter of fact, but ARE YOU READY?

and IS YOUR DATACENTER READY FOR  BYOD?

MarComNeXt Pocket Guide: Leverage LinkedIn to grow your business

linkedin-officeSocial Media is now clearly a required component of any integrated marketing mix for all companies, Large Enterprise or SMB, and among the numerous Social Media and Networks available, LinkedIn is one of the most effective, and may be underused, to help you grow your business.

I first used LinkedIn to build my personal network, and later on I also used it professionally to develop my company (IBM) Social Media Marketing tactics for my business unit and for our events, and in both case it`s been a success and rewarding experience.

First a few stats & demographics: As of February 2011,

linkedin bpo– LinkedIn has over 101 Million members, all experienced professionals, from +200 countries (3/4 in North America, followed by Europe and India), 30% of them are part of SMB companies (less than 1.000 employees), 72% of them are between 24 and 54 years old (average 41 and household income $109k), The industry sector best represented is IT and Finance followed by Manufacturing and Medical, The two most popular job functions are Sales and Administration, followed by Academic, Operations and Engineering.

– 18Million members belong to a group

– 1Million new members are signing up every week

– 45 Million visitors per month, among the top 250 web sites visited word wide

– 2Billion people searches per year

– 69% of the Fortune 100 companies use LinkedIn

– More than 1Million companies have an official Company Page on Linkedin

– LinkedIn is a favorite with lead generation companies conducting B2B campaigns: 72% of the respondents in a survey voted for LinkedIn as Number1, Facebook ranked second with 71%, while Twitter came in third with 67%

– Worldwide spending on social networks is expected to rise 71.6% to $5.97 billion, approximately 8.7% of the total amount advertisers are predicted to spend online in 2011.

LinkedIn can help you grow your business in many ways, depending on which type of business you are in, but overall here a few of them:LinkedIn-advertising-campaigns

1.Raise awareness on your profile, your brand and reputation

2. Connect with more people and engage discussions with customers and partners

3. Drive traffic to your web site and generate leads

4. Advertise job offerings and Hire qualified people

5. Trade services and grow revenue

Based on my experience, here are a few basic but useful  tips to guide you on how to leverage LinkedIn to grow your business:

  • Create your company profile on LinkedIn
  • Invite employee to connect and customers and partners to follow your company, Use LinkedIn’s email import tools to import all of your contacts
  • Advertise your LinkedIn profile on your communication, web, social media, email, newsletter
  • Tie your LinkedIn profile to your others social networks and add a LinkedIn widget on your website and blog
  • Create a LinkedIn Industry Group, and invite employees, partners, customers, prospects, industry experts and influencers to join
  • Start rich discussions and promotions on your LinkedIn Group and become a recognized expert in your market or industry
  • Advertise Jobs offerings on your LinkedIn Company Profile and Group and extend your reach to a huge pool of resources and experts
  • Search & invite your customers and prospects to connectlinkedin1 blog
  • Perform blind, “reverse,” and company reference checks
  • Get recommendations and referrals to help attract more clients
  • Join relevant LinkedIn Groups and use them to send e-mails to thousands of prospects
  • Use LinkedIn to get back-links to your web site, blogs, newsletters
  • Enhance your Search Engine results, Claim your own vanity URL for added SEO power
  • Create LinkedIn events and drive traffic to your events, conferences, workshops, webinars or virtual events
  • Automatically get your Tweets to show on your LinkedIn profile
  • Automatically get your blog posts to show on your LinkedIn Profile
  • Use polls and surveys to gather valuable market information
  • Find out who has actually viewed your profile and follow up
  • Leverage LinkedIn’s application features, share Powerpoint presentations and PDF files with your connections, with product and services information, white papers, customers cases studies, press releases
  • Advertise on LinkedIn, "pay per click", and touch hundreds of thousands of potential customers
  • Define metrics, track your results to measure your success and justify your Return on Social Media Investment.

limkedin imagesLinkedIn has grown to become an important B2B marketing and recruitment digital channel.

 Apply all these tactics to take advantage of LinkedIn and help you quickly build a valuable professional network, Improve your brand visibility, grow your reputation, raise awareness on your products and services, extend your reach and Word-of-Mouth and generate leads cost effectively.

View my profile on LinkedIn www.linkedIn.com/in/gdusastre

Key Trends for Data Centers Transformation in 2011 – Next-Gen Data Centers

Times are changing and IT is leading the transformation:

datacenter_next gen IT organizations, are pressurized between improved performances expectations, growing data and network bandwidth, cost reduction targets, converged architectures and technology innovations. As a results all large enterprises and SMB have a common short term objective to transform their data center to become a `Next-Gen Data Center. For this there are some key steps to take and here are some major trends we can predict to achieve this transformation in 2011 and beyond:

More performant, cost effective, energy efficient hardware platforms:data-center-costs

 From the silicon semi-conductor & processors, to the servers, to the data storage, to the networking switches, to the rack or data center cooling systems, at all level some very competitive and innovative offerings are coming to market from major vendors as well as start-ups with more performance, cheaper price, and more specially more energy efficient hardware platforms, helping to reduce the cost of acquisition (Capex) and of operating (OPEX) a data center.

Consolidation:

data center consolidationServers & Data Centers Consolidation simplify IT workload and the management of complex IT infrastructure, optimize floor space, power and cooling, and staffing while providing required flexibility to rapidly adapt to changing business needs. Combining multiple data centers into a single facility is a primary strategy for cutting costs while improving service levels.

 

Virtualization: server-virtualization-storage

With the economic recovery, Industry Analysts predicts an increase on IT spending in 2011,and we can predict that much of the data center transformation spending will be around virtualization. Virtualization of servers, storage, networks and applications will provide many benefits including cost savings and consolidation, energy consumption reduction, as well as the flexibility to meet new business requirements.

Cloud Computing:

cloud-computingThe Hype is over, mature and competitive offerings are available from serious vendors and providers, market acceptance is growing and SMB as well as major enterprises will be starting to deploy cloud platforms and leverage cloud architecture and services for some critical Web 2.0 applications in what some people call a “Data Center without Walls”.

 

Modular design: data_center_design

To reduce the cost and time to build a data center and to reduce the space required, a shift will operate to standard modular data center designs, instead of traditional floor-raised design, specifically built for each customer.

Key Performance Indicators:

data-center-best-practicesPerformance measurements and metrics will be more important, KPI will be developed and adopted to better measure performance, capacity planning, change control processes, system utilization, efficiency, energy consumption, and sustainability, moving to the Green Data Center vision, using renewable energy.

 

 

In summary, green data centers

Energy Efficiency, Cost Reduction, and Flexibility are the Key words for 2011 and the design and operations management of next-gen data center tends toward these requirements. Data Center transformation will be achieved through next-gen energy efficient hardware platforms, consolidation, virtualization, cloud computing, green initiatives, modular designs and best measurement practices, to enable organizations to quickly and cost effectively respond to market demands and new revenue opportunities.

Are you ready to lead  the transformation to next-gen data center ?