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."

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?

11 New Technologies to impact our lives in 2011

welcome to the futureIn this first week end of a new year, just like making new resolutions on new year day, I thought it would be a good idea to highlight new technologies or innovations that will go to market or will get market acceptance in the next 12 months and will have a significant impact on the way we live, therefore here is a list of 11 new technologies to change our life in 2011:

1. 4G wireless technology: Succeeding to 2G & 3G, this fourth generation of cellular wireless standards offer speed at 100 Mbit/s for high mobility communication (in planes, trains and cars) and 1 Gbit/s for low mobility communication (walking or seating users). And provides secure all-IP based mobile broadband solution to smart-phones, laptops & any other mobile devices. Current Mobile-WiMAX and LTE as marketed by carriers as Verizon Wireless or Sprint may not fulfill all of the 4G requirements but still will provide fantastic improvement in speed and quality required for new rich content in mobile communications (3D video and 3D games as an example).

2. Mobile 3-D: In 2011 several smart phones manufacturers as LG, Samsung, Nokia,best phone MasterImage 3D etc, will introduce 3D mobile phones and tablets, and here is the best part this is 3D technology WITHOUT GLASSSES – Market adoption will be very quick for 3D glass-free mobile devices.. (I want one for my next Christmas!)

3. 3D TVs and Game Consoles: we can already find 3D TV and Game Consoles today, but in 2011 with more 3D broadcast programs, DVD and games, more competition and cheaper prices, market adoption will come and these devices will invade our homes. Unfortunately we will have to wait few more years to watch glass-free 3D TV in our living room.

gest recognition4. Gesture recognition for hands-free devices: interprets human gestures from faces or hands via mathematical algorithms to interface with the machine (Human Machine Interface) and interact naturally with a computer or machine without any mechanical devices, replacing traditional mouses, keyboards, touch-screens, game controllers and remote controls. To me this technology means FREEDOM.

5. Augmented Reality: this technology enable live view of a physical real-world augmented_realityenvironment whose elements are augmented by virtual computer-generated sensory input such as sound, text, graphics or video to modify and enhance your perception of reality, by combining real and virtual elements, real time interactive functions and 3D technologies in devices as TV, computer screens, tablets, smart phones, touch screens kiosks, head displays in cars or planes, display in your glasses etc…and even retinal displays (Yes retinal !)

6. Text-to-Speech/Speech-to-Text: Technologies to convert text into MP3, WAV or VOX are already there, as well as Speech-Recognition has been there for some time but it is now reliable and will become common in 2011 and many of us will use it in many ways: listen to your emails and voice message while driving, send email and text message or instant message while driving, read (listen) an eBook, surf and read web pages etc.

hearing7. Real-time translation: By combining voice recognition, language text translation & text-to-speech technologies into a unified voice-to-voice translator system, this technology converts in real-time one language into another quickly enough to allow 2 speakers without a common language to communicate in real time. Which mean I can discuss over my cell phone with a customer, me being in Toronto speaking French, and him being in ShangHai speaking Chinese, the system will translate in real time, and we will understand each-other. Come to see me next month in the IBM stand at GSMA Mobile World Congress in Barcelona and I will show you a demo.

8. Radar technology in automobiles with front and rear detection to avoid collisions,audi radar adapt cruise control, monitor blind spot, line change detection and parking assistance. The technology is already there on high end luxury cars but it 2011 it will be included in a wider range of cheaper cars. That’s a short term step, but in the future this technology will take us to the driverless cars on highways.

mobile health9. Mobile Healthcare: after tele-healthcare, there is a now a series of new m-Health hardware and software solutions ready to go to market, and mHealth Regulatory Coalition, an industry group comprised of mobile health and IT companies, is working with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to eventually regulate mobile healthcare hardware and software. Those new technologies and solution will improve our life by receiving diagnostic and treatments (including life threatening urgencies) more quickly and more comfortably, remotely in our home or on the move.

10. Mobile Shopping/Mobile Banking: I have been writing on this topics techn on this blog so I encourage to read it as this will definitively change the way we shop and the way we pay for our purchases and manage our finances in our daily life. “In Store Mobile Shopping will change the way we shop”.

11. The year of the tablets: Apple created the market for tablets by launching its iPad, there were tablets available for quite some time but nobody would buy it before, that is Steve Jobs/Apple’s Magic again at creating new markets. A lot of new tablets are now coming to market from several vendors (RIM, HP, Dell, Google, Sony, Motorola, Samsung etc) in different shapes and size and running different mobile operating systems (iOS, Android, Palm OS, Symbian, Microsoft), over 50Million tablets are expected to be sold in 2010, Apple remaining dominant, followed by RIM, Sony, Google, HP and others…(I want one for my Birthday !!!)

Bonus: Last but not least, as a Green bonus, I had to choose one among all the new Green technologies that will penetrate the market in 2011, here come the Electric Cars, with Nissan Leaf, Chevrolet Volt, or Neiborough Electric Vehicules (NEV) as the GEM, Dynasty, ZENN and as GM EN-V personal vehicule or many others ones finally available at your dealership. Still a hype but a radical turn for the future of the auto-industry, slowly but definitively moving to electric. Accelleration of adoption will come with new battery technologies in the work, and building of the infrastructure. In any case in 2011 most of us (Governments, Industries, Companies, Individuals) will demonstrate more Green conscience, saving on energy, whatever fuel, gaz or electricity, and so many green technologies and energy efficient devices, or recyclable materials will invade the market, visible or not, to help us reduce the damage on our planet. (Do you know that a Canadian company, Motive Industries, is building an electric car with Cannabis or hemp, replacing all plastic and carbon fibre parts including its body? Name of the car is Kestrel, look for it! Watch this video)

Do not be surprised if many of these technologies or innovations are relevant to the telecom or mobile communications field, that is because we are entering an age where everything is getting interconnected through wireless networks and through the internet (and because it is one of my areas of expertise), embedded hardware and software making these devices more intelligent and our planet smarter.

Few years from now we may have chips embedded in our body! But be reassured not in 2011 yet…

I have not been selecting social networks and social media because it has already project_natalgrown so much, Facebook growing from 500 to 650 million users in the last few months of 2010, and all major companies using it as a marketing tool, being sufficient proofs.

There is of course many others technologies and innovations, like nanotechnologies in the medical field just to name one, that will also change and improve our lives, and you are more than welcome to add some of yours to this blog.

Happy New Year 2011.