IE8 August 29, 2008Posted by chetan in : US Wireless Market , 2 comments
Upgraded to IE8. What are the two plugins that don’t work with the upgrade – Google Toolbar and Apple Quicktime. Sheesh!AORTA,Mobile Advertising,Mobile Applications,Mobile Content,Mobile Ecosystem,Mobile Entertainment,Wireless Value Chain,Worldwide Wireless Market , 1 comment so far
Our good friend Tomi Ahonen just released his 6th book published by Futuretext. I have read all of his previous books including the recent ones – Communities Dominate Brands and Digital Korea. They are all terrific reads full with case studies, insights, and stats.
We briefly explored the mobile medium as the next advertising mass medium in our Mobile Advertising book released earlier this year. Tomi expands on the subject in much detail (322 pages, in fact) to lay out the case for Mobile as 7th of the Mass Media after print, recordings, cinema, radio, tv, and internet. He deals with the subject in 18 long chapters each including a case study to illustrate the point.
For media, marketing, and advertising folks out there who are struggling to understand the role of mobile in advertising and content consumption, this book is for you.
The cellphone is emerging as a mass media. Twice as many cellphones as TV sets, three times as many cellphone subscribers as internet users, four times as many cellphones as PC sets, five times as many cellphones as automobiles. 31% of all music dollars spent worldwide already go to a wide array of cellphone based music services. 20% of videogaming software revenues. Advertising, news, TV, internet giants, social networking and even Hollywood movies and printed books are now rushing to capture their share of the 7th of the Mass Media.
How addicted is the youth to cellphones? Why is SMS text messaging used by twice as many people as email worldwide? How can banks, libraries, dentists and airlines serve customers better through the 7th of the Mass Media? What are the seven unique benefits that none of the legacy six media, including the internet, can replicate? Why is small screen size and limited keypad only a myth? Cellphones are not the dumb little brothers to the internet; rather mobile is to the internet, like TV is to radio, a far more compelling and complete media platform that will soon dominate.
Packed with up-to-the-minute statistics and bursting with international comparisons, Mobile as 7th of the Mass Media includes media concepts, service examples and user statistics covering 40 countries. It features 16 insightful case studies from Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, China, Finland, the UK, the Netherlands and the USA including such trailblazing
7th Mass Media innovators as Blyk, Cyworld, Virgin Mobile, SeeMeTV, i-Channel and Flirtomatic. The book also provides the latest thinking on how to build successful wireless services using the 6 M’s service creation tool.
Congrats Tomi on another brilliant book.
Heading down to SF for Mobilize August 26, 2008Posted by chetan in : Speaking Engagements , add a comment
GigaOM’s Mobilize (18th Sept) is turning out to be one of the best conferences of the year with an absolutely great line up of speakers. Surj did a great job pulling various panels and speakers.
I will be moderating two great panels. Another long but interesting day in the offing.
COM #138 August 25, 2008Posted by chetan in : US Wireless Market , add a comment
is over at MobHappy by Russell Buckley. I had the opportunity to finally meet Russell in Amsterdam earlier this year. Great guy, Very knowledgeable.
First up, we have a post from Chetan Sharma about his new book â€œEnterprise Mobility: Applications, Technologies and Strategiesâ€. Chetan is obviously not one to rest on his laurels, as this is his second book this year after his excellent â€œMobile Advertising: Supercharge Your Brand in the Exploding Wireless Marketâ€ – a must-read book for those interested in mobile marketing.
Chetanâ€™s new book is based on some work he undertook for SAP with colleague, Sami Muneer and itâ€™s an interesting and unusual insight into a corporate consulting project that normally remains hidden for confidentiality reasons. You can also download a free chapter, so head of over and get enlightened.
Thanks Russell ..
Hop over there for some really good posts from last week.3G,4G,AORTA,ARPU,BRIC,Carriers,Enterprise Mobility,European Wireless Market,Indian Wireless Market,IP,IP Strategy,Japan Wireless Market,Location Based Services,Mergers and Acquisitions,Messaging,Microsoft Mobile,Mobile Applications,Mobile Content,Mobile Ecosystem,Mobile Entertainment,Mobile Gaming,Mobile Search,Mobile TV,Mobile Usability,Mobile Users,Mobile Wallet,MVNO,Networks,Patent Strategies,Patent Strategy,Patents,Privacy,Smart Phones,Strategy,Unified Messaging,US Wireless Market,Wi-Fi,WiMax,Wireless Value Chain,Worldwide Wireless Market , 2 comments
Enterprise Mobility: Applications, Technologies and Strategies
“Enterprise mobile product strategy using scenario planning”
SAMIMUNEER (SAP) and CHETANSHARMA
Each year, we work on strategies and product plans for our clients around the world that end up touching millions of consumers worldwide and do behind-the-scenes research, due-diligence, and analysis work on several critical deals and transactions that move our industry forward. But, rarely do we talk or write about them, due to obvious reasons.
However, last year, I got an opportunity to briefly write about some of the strategy work. On the request of Dr. Basole at Georgia Tech, my colleague Sami Muneer (Sr. Director, Enabling Solutions at SAP â€“ responsible for all things mobile) and I drew from some of the long-term strategy and product planning work we had done for SAP to put together a paper on â€œEnterprise mobile product strategy using scenario planning.â€ SAP is the leading global enterprise player and their view of the world is both comprehensive and long-term. It was a privilege to work with their global team on the project.
Our paper is being published as a chapter in the just released book â€œEnterprise Mobility: Applications, Technologies and Strategiesâ€ (IOS Press, Amsterdam. 272 pages, Editor R. Basole, 2008) as part of The Tennenbaum Institute Series on Enterprise Systems. The chapter is also being published in the special issue of peer-reviewed International Knowledge Systems Management (IKSM) journal published by Georgia Tech.
The book is a collection of 13 chapters from academics and practitioners in enterprise mobility. I often use scenario planning techniques when doing long-term strategic assessment and forecasting. In this chapter, we hope to provide a framework for scenario planning in mobile that can go across verticals, applications, and services.
IKSM is making available all the chapters online (for free) if you register for a free one year subscription.
For those interested in reading the paper copy can order the book here.
As the number of enterprises using mobile ICT increases, it becomes imperative to have a more complete understanding of what value and impact enterprise mobility has, what drives and enables it, and in what ways it can and will transform the nature and practices of work, organizational cultures, business processes, supply chains, enterprises, and potentially entire markets. Enterprise mobility is therefore a topic of great interest to both scholars and practitioners. Enterprise Mobility: Researching a new paradigm aims to contribute to and extend both our theoretical and practical understanding of enterprise mobility by exploring the necessary strategic, technological, and economic considerations, adoption and implementation motivators and inhibitors, usage contexts, social implications, human-centered design issues, support requirements, and transformative impacts. The main objective is to discuss applications, technologies, strategies, theories, frameworks, contexts, case studies, and analyses that provide insights into the growing reality of enterprise mobility for scholars and practicing managers. This volume contains thirteen articles from leading scholars and practitioners and includes an examination of the changing nature of work, work practices, and the work environment; a discussion of critical enablers of enterprise mobility; authors exploring strategic considerations; and insightful case studies of enterprise mobility across multiple domains. Together, the articles explore enterprise mobility across the entire continuum.
Enterprise mobile product strategy using scenario planning
Author(s): Sami Muneer and Chetan Sharma
The Mobile industry is changing at a rapid pace and so is the behavior of enterprise workforce which uses mobile technologies. When planning for a long-term product roadmap, one has to consider a myriad of evolution trends and forecasts to determine the probable list of product functionality and their introduction timing in the lifecycle of the product. One has to look at the technology trends by market, the competitive landscape, and the mobile worker adoption trends. However, one can only come up with a prioritized list of capabilities by taking into context the companyâ€™s own core competencies, skill sets, and overall mission. This paper looks at how mobile product companies can use scenario-planning methodology to formulate their product strategy and roadmap.
The listing of the chapters is as follows:
Enterprise mobility: Researching a new paradigm
The convergence of wireless, mobility, and the Internet and its relevance to enterprises
Business mobility: A changing ecosystem
A socio-technical perspective of mobile work
Designing productive spaces for mobile workers: Role insights from network analysis
Telecommuting and corporate culture: Implications for the mobile enterprise
User requirements of mobile technology: A summary of research results
Mobile interaction design: Integrating individual and organizational perspectives
A comparative anatomy of mobile enterprise applications: Towards a framework of software reuse
Protecting data on mobile devices: A taxonomy of security threats to mobile computing and review of applicable defenses
Enterprise mobility and support outsourcing: A research model and initial findings
Enterprise mobile product strategy using scenario planning
The strategic value of enterprise mobility: Case study insights
Exploring enterprise mobility: Lessons from the field
Your feedback is always welcome.
Chetan SharmaUS Wireless Market , add a comment
Just finished watching the closing ceremony on CBC (full 12 hrs before NBC airs it tonight .. yes, take that .. ). Olympics is my favorite sporting event as we get to watch the best of the best for so many sports that you normally don’t see – Volleyball, Rowing, Badminton (my former love), Table Tennis, Gymnastics, Track and Field, Swimming and so many more .. Beijing put on an absolutely stunning show and nearly a perfect Olympics which should open some eyes and inspire the future cities. This experience will be hard to beat and London has its work cut out for them.
In terms of sports themselves, some incredible moments – Michael Phelps, Bolt, Wanjiru, Abhinav Bindra, US Volleyball team, and on and on .. China took over the mantle of the most celebrated Olympics nation completely powering the US which has dominated since the fall of Soviet empire.
When I was in China last year, the construction frenzy was in full swing. One could feel the energy and a sense of urgency. I really think people will see this beyond sports as Chinese focus on different roles and industries.
Finally, congrats to our client China Mobile who was heavily involved in making the games a success and to all involved. And of course, thanks to CBC and BBC for providing great live coverage in the face of NBC blackout.
Looking forward to Vancouver in 2010 and London in 2012.
Mobile Startup visibility August 21, 2008Posted by chetan in : US Wireless Market , 1 comment so far
If you are looking to get your startup noticed, there are a couple of events coming up next month that might be useful.
First one is on Sept 9th, just before CTIA organized by Techcoire in Mountain View, CA
MobiTechFest: Innovation Meets Investmentâ„¢
Featuring Promising Innovations From Mobile/Wireless
September 9, 2008
Microsoft Conference Center, Mountain View, CA
Join leading investors, innovators and industry executives as we showcase promising early to mid stage innovations from the mobile/wireless ecosystem. This conference is open to entrepreneurs, investors and qualified professionals from the mobile/wireless ecosystem.
MobiTechFest is seeking early to mid-stage innovations seeking angel or venture capital (from $500K to $20M) across the four major segments.
Mobile Infrastructure (Core/Access devices, FMCs, Appliances, RF, Internet, Software)
Mobile Platforms & User Experience (Handsets, CPEs, FCTs Software, Graphics, Tools)
Mobile Content & Infotainment (Content, Advertizing, Games, Entertainment, Infotainment)
Mobile Enterprise (Applications focused on business and enterprise, LBS etc.)
Click here to learn more and to apply to be considered as a presenter.
A limited number of seats are available on a first-come first-serve mode for non-presenting entrepreneurs and mobile industry professionals. Visit the registration page for more details.
Then, on Sept 18th, Om Malik and Surj Patel are putting together a pretty good conference on Mobile – Mobilize
GigaOM is looking for twelve of the most promising mobile web startups to strut their stuff at the Mobilize Startup Launchpad. These startups should focus on the emerging technologies upon which the new era of the mobile web will be built. If your startup has the right stuff, get in touch with them. Just keep in mind the following:
- The idea or product must be good. No J2ME creations of 80s arcade classics, please.
- The startup or idea must be less than 12 months old.
- A working product has either been launched or will launch at Mobilize (preference given to latter).
- Someone from the company must be able to attend the Startup Launchpad ceremony in person.
- Funding status is immaterial.
Deadline for submission is Wednesday, August 20, 2008 (TODAY). GigaOM will announce the winners by Monday, August 25th.
COM #137 August 18, 2008Posted by chetan in : US Wireless Market , add a comment
Carnival of the Mobilists #137 is over at MobileJones. As usual, great collection of articles from last week. Lots of debate around iPhone and Twitter.
Apologies August 17, 2008Posted by chetan in : US Wireless Market , add a comment
If you tried to access chetansharma.com and associated links including the blog last week, you might have encountered empty pages. I was out of commission for most of the week and couldn’t address the outage. Apparently, some PHP script was running amok on wordpress which was creating server reboot problem at the ISP. I couldn’t verify that or had the time to debug but after much coaxing and cajoling was able to get the site back online in a couple of days and the blog online this weekend.
Looks like wordpress 2.6 has some nasty bug which can create some issues. The upgrade has been more trouble than it was worth, kind of like the Vista experience but hopefully, things will stay online ..
Apologies for any inconvenience.
I will be back with some exciting announcements in the coming days.
Another good reason to live in Seattle August 11, 2008Posted by chetan in : US Wireless Market , add a comment
Access to the Canadian CBC channel which is doing a terrific job covering the Olympics as compared to the pathetic NBC coverage. I understand the business reasons but c’mon.US Wireless Market , 1 comment so far
Btw, i have a free ticket to the conference to give to one of our readers. First come first served.US Wireless Market , add a comment
Want to be the first to know who Obama picks as a veepester? TXT VP to 62262
TMO US to Open up the Gardens. Tricia at Moconews does a good summary of the efforts underway at TMO to open up the platform for developers and do a straightforward “Apple-like” rev-share. I have also heard from other sources that the launch is coming shortly.
Apple’s App store is doing $1M/day business reports WSJ.
SF Event by Ajit Jaokar August 10, 2008Posted by chetan in : Speaking Engagements , 2 comments
SF seems to be the Sept Mobile HQ of the world with several events planned. Another interesting event – Mobile Web Megatrends Conference is being chaired by our friend Ajit Jaokar in Berkeley on Sept 8th.3G,4G,AORTA,ARPU,BRIC,Carriers,CTIA,Devices,Enterprise Mobility,European Wireless Market,Indian Wireless Market,Japan Wireless Market,Location Based Services,M&A,Mergers and Acquisitions,Mobile Advertising,Mobile Applications,Mobile Content,Mobile Ecosystem,Mobile Entertainment,Mobile Gaming,Mobile Search,Mobile Usability,Smart Phones,Speaking Engagements,US Wireless Market,Wireless Value Chain,Worldwide Wireless Market , 4 comments
The US wireless data market grew 40% in Q208 compared to Q207 to reach $8.2B in data revenues. The total for 2008 stands at $15.7B for the first six months, 38% higher than the total for the same time period in 2007. The news of Alltel acquisition, iPhone 3G, and the flat rate pricing wars dominated the news. Though the infatuation for iPhone was a few degrees lower, Apple managed to keep the device front and center of the news cycles. US again exceeded Japan in mobile data service revenues for the quarter and the market is on track to reach $34B in data revenues for 2008.
- The US Wireless data service revenues grew 8.6% Q/Q to $8.2B in Q208. Compared to Q107, the data service revenues grew 40%.
- Overall ARPU increased by $0.46. Average voice ARPU declined by $0.05 while average data ARPU grew by $0.50 or 5%.
- Verizon lead in data ARPU with $12.58 (or 24.41% of the revenues) closely followed by Sprint at $12 (or 21.4354%), AT&T at $11.59 (or 22.91%) and T-Mobile at $8.60 (or 17%).
- The strongest growth in Q208 came from Verizon with 13% increase in data revenues from Q108. Verizon generated an industry record $2.6B in data revenues closely followed by AT&T at $2.5B. Both AT&T and Verizon are on target to exceed $10B in data revenues for the year for the first time by any operator worldwide besides NTT DoCoMo (the two US carriers are already close to 50% of the target). AT&T and Verizon now account for 62% of the market data services revenues. Sprint reversed its decline in data revenues during last quarter to increase its data revenues by 3% in Q208. T-Mobile registered a 5% uptick.
- The average industry % contribution of data to service revenues exceeded 21% and now stands at 21.41%. A year ago, the % contribution stood at approximately 17%.
- The number of data subscribers has been on the rise with Verizon leading the way. At the end of Q208, Verizon had that 49.6M (or 72%) data subscribers. Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile subscribers joined to send over 169 Billion text messages in Q208 translating into almost a message every 2 hours or so. This compared to users in Philippines where average routinely surpasses a message every hour.
- In terms of net-adds, Verizon continued to lead with 1.5M net-adds again edging AT&T by 200K subscribers for the quarter.
- For the first time, T-Mobile USA entered the top 10 rankings of global mobile operators by data revenues replacing SK Telecom which suffered decline for the second straight quarter. In fact, SKT got pushed to the 12th spot by Orange France. The top three US carriers again maintained their respective rankings amongst the top 10 global carriers in terms of data revenues. For the quarter, Verizon, AT&T, and Sprint Nextel stood at #4, 5, and 6 respectively with Verizon and AT&T closing in on China Mobile (2nd) and KDDI (3rd). AT&T and Verizon are in the select group of five global operators who are now generating $2B or more in data revenues/quarter (the other three are NTT DoCoMo, China Mobile, and KDDI).
- Non-messaging continues to grab 50-60% of the data revenues for the US carriers.
- The flat-rate pricing movement that was started by Willcom in Japan which moved to Europe started to enter the US market with industry wide flat-rate pricing plans that included data. Sprint has been the most aggressive with its â€œSimply Everythingâ€ plans that include data services. 30% of its $100 plan is assigned to data revenues (for accounting purposes).
- Q208 saw the blockbuster acquisition of Alltel by Verizon which is likely to close by end of the year. The $28B acquisition will catapult Verizon ahead of AT&T in total number of subscribers by a big margin (10M or so) and make it a leader in almost all major categories.
- There continues to be tremendous activity in the area of Mobile Advertising. AdInfuse, Admob, Amobee, Millennial Media, Nokia, Rhythm New Media, Yahoo, and others ran compelling campaigns. There was also meaningful activity on the carrier front with industry wide initiatives.
- Venture money experienced a decline into the mobile sector. During the first half of the year, private wireless companies announced $1.8B in 173 financings, compared to $2.7B in 209 financings for the same time period last year. (Source: Rutberg)
- Nokia eclipsed 100M unit sale in Q208 for the fifth straight quarter. It sold over 122M handsets in Q208 (out of the total 297M), almost as many as the next four combined. Nokiaâ€™s global market share edged past 41%. Samsung at 15%, Motorola with 9.5%, LG with 9.3% and Sony Ericsson with 8% rounded out the top five. For the year, the industry looks to again eclipse the 1 billion handset mark for 2008
- 3G penetration in the US went past 30% in Q208, with Verizon leading the pack with over 60% 3G subscriber penetration compared to 25% 3G subscriber penetration at AT&T. T-Mobile is slowly expanding its 3G coverage. 3G subs have over $23 in data ARPU. These trends are expected and the diffusion of mobile broadband will continue to create new opportunities and revenues for the ecosystem.
- Apple announced a 3G iPhone in June and launched an aggressive expansion plan to reach 70+ countries. The broadband and appstore capabilities are quite attractive to consumers and it shows. VPN and direct access to Exchange will get many more users into the mix and IT folks less apprehensive. The clearcut business model of 30/70 split is also attractive. Apple is likely to announce in Sept (may wait for its quarterly results in Oct) that it has reached the 10M goal for iPhone.
- Feeling the threat from Apple and Google, Nokia bought the remaining portion of Symbian and announced the plan to open-source the OS, making things interesting in the wireless ecosystem. It puts Microsoft on the defensive and will be forced to reduce its licensing fee per device closer to zero. While Apple basked in the glow of iPhone 2.0, Google spent time swatting rumors of Android delay. Giving the changing dynamics in the industry, Google might be forced to play its gPhone hand earlier than it had anticipated.
- After raising $14.5B from friends and family, Clearwireâ€™s net-adds dropped in Q208. It needs to get its content and handset strategy in place in short-order.
- In a sign of convergence battles to come, T-Mobileâ€™s @Home and Sprintâ€™s Femto cell initiatives started to take hold. Cable operators are also aggressively seeking triple-play by providing the wireless component of the service.
- China and India added approximately 52M subscriptions combined in Q208 with China marginally edging out India. For the year, both countries have added almost identical number of subscriptions (53M). By comparison, US added 7.5M for the same time period.
- NTT DoCoMo continues to dominate the wireless data revenues rankings with almost $3.4B in data services revenue in Q208. Almost 40% of its revenue now comes from data services. DoCoMo also crossed 84% in 3G penetration in Q208 and is expected to cross 90% by early 2009.
- Most of the major carriers around the world have double digit percentage contribution to their overall ARPU from data services. Operators like KDDI, DoCoMo, and O2 UK are consistently topping 30%.
More details in our worldwide wireless data market update in our Global Wireless Data Market Update Sept 2008.
Your feedback is always welcome.
Disclaimer: Some of the companies mentioned in this note are our clients.
Let the games begin August 8, 2008Posted by chetan in : US Wireless Market , add a comment
8.8.8 at 8pm in Beijing
The most expensive opening ever was four years ago in Athens, when the Greeks spent a reported $30 million on their torch-lighting rite. The Chinese have surpassed them by a factor of 10. With an estimated $300 million budget, a seemingly never-ending cast of 15,000, and a fireworks display that’s rumored to be the biggest in history, the Bird’s Nest will redefine Olympic spectacle.
Sept – San Francisco event August 6, 2008Posted by chetan in : Speaking Engagements , add a comment
San Francisco is one of my favorite cities to visit. Will be spending sometime in SF next month for some events
Sept 8th – Speaking at Mobile Search Experts Group gathering in Napa Valley
Sept 9th – Mobile Entertainment Live
Sept 10-12th – CTIA
Sept 18th – Moderating a panel at GigaOM’s Mobilize
Hope to see some of you down there.US Wireless Market , 1 comment so far
Upgraded the blog to wordpress 2.6. All went smooth except the categories. They got wiped out so had to spend sometime bringing them back to life – running sql queries and all. Haven’t done that in a while.
If you are upgrading be sure to make good backups otherwise it will be very hard to recreate. If you run into problems, read this for fix.3G,AORTA,Carriers,European Wireless Market,Intellectual Property,Microsoft Mobile,Mobile Advertising,Mobile Applications,Mobile Content,Mobile Ecosystem,Mobile Entertainment,Mobile Gaming,Mobile Search,Mobile TV,Speaking Engagements,US Wireless Market,Wireless Value Chain,Worldwide Wireless Market , add a comment
The legendary Larry Weber interviewed me for his Show “MarketEdge with Larry Weber.” It is live now over at Webmaster Radio. The topic of discussion was of course “Mobile Advertising and its implications to the mobile ecosystem.”
Without having power or the network connection, one looses the ability to be productive (unless you are carrying a truck load of batteries or are in the ZEN mode) on long flights.
Airlines have been harping about the ridiculous interference mantra for decades (of course it is an FAA mandated policy) but given the turbulence in the economy and soaring oil prices, airlines are looking for new sources of revenue. Network connectivity on the planes has been tried before without much success – Remember Boeing’s Connexion – the failed operation that couldn’t get lift-off.
Well, several airlines announced that they are looking to provide broadband access to domestic passengers this fall.
Airlines going Wi-Fi
Delta says it will offer Internet access on majority of its domestic seats by next summer. Other airlines pushing ahead.
By Lara Moscrip, CNNMoney.com contributing writer
Last Updated: August 5, 2008: 12:46 PM EDT
NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) — Several major airlines are planning to soon start offering Wi-Fi access to their passengers.
On Tuesday, Delta Air Lines announced that will provide broadband access to domestic passengers this fall.
Delta is pushing to have its entire mainline fleet of more than 330 planes Wi-Fi enabled by the end of next summer. The service will not be available aboard Delta’s fleet of smaller aircraft, which typically seat 50 to 75 people, according to a Delta spokeswoman. The Internet service will be available on about 60% of Delta seats flown everyday, the spokeswoman said.
Passengers will be able to connect to the Internet through Aircell’s “Gogo” portal. Wi-Fi will be available to passengers in first-class and economy seats for a flat fee of $9.95 for flights three hours or shorter and for $12.95 on longer trips, according to the airline.
Once an airplane equipped with Wi-Fi reaches 10,000 feet and the captain gives approval, passengers can turn on their electronic devices and log in, according to Gogo’s Web site.
“The advent of Air-To-Ground technology has made broadband connectivity in the cabin economically viable for the first time for commercial airlines,” Jack Blumenstein, president and CEO of Aircell, said in a statement.
A spokesperson for American Airlines saidthat the carrier will offer Gogo’s Wi-Fi service on a trial basis on cross-country flights starting this year.
Virgin America will offer the Gogo service starting this fall and plans to install Wi-Fi on its entire fleet by the end of April 2009, a spokeswoman for Virgin America said.
Southwest Airlines (LUV, Fortune 500) plans to install an airborne broadband service through its provider, Row 44, starting this fall, a Southwest spokeswoman said. Once tests are completed, the airline will provide the service on four aircraft on a trial basis, she added.BRIC,Enterprise Mobility,Indian Wireless Market,Mergers and Acquisitions,Microsoft Mobile,Smart Phones,US Wireless Market,Wireless Value Chain,Worldwide Wireless Market , 1 comment so far
Innovating from, for and with India is our mantra.
PiTech is the premier technology magazine for the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) alums and community. I had the opportunity to interview Ravi Venkatesan – Chairman, Microsoft India for the July 2008 issue of PiTech that celebrates 50 years of IIT Bombay. Below is the interview in its entirety.
Ravi Venkatesan, Chairman, Microsoft Corporation India Pvt. Ltd.
Ravi Venkatesan, Chairman, Microsoft India is responsible for Microsoft’s marketing, operational and business development efforts in the country. In partnership with the leaders of Microsoft’s other business units, Venkatesan provides a single point of leadership for the company, playing an integral role in defining Microsoft’s relationship with policy makers, customers and business partners across Microsoft’s six distinct business units in India namely: Microsoft Corporation India (Pvt) Ltd, the Marketing Subsidiary, Microsoft India Development Center, Microsoft Global Technical Support Centre, Microsoft Global Development Center India, Microsoft Global Services India and Microsoft Research India.
Prior to joining Microsoft, Venkatesan worked for over seventeen years with Cummins Inc, a US-based designer, manufacturer and distributor of engines and related technologies. He served in various leadership capacities at Cummins including Chairman of Cummins India Limited and Managing Director of Tata Cummins Limited, a joint venture between Cummins Inc. and Tata Motors. His biggest contribution at Cummins was leading the transformation of Cummins in India into the leading provider of power solutions and the largest manufacturer of automotive engines in the country.
Venkatesan has a BS in Mechanical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay (1985), an MS in Industrial Engineering from Purdue University (1986) and a MBA from Harvard University (1992) where he was a Baker Scholar. Ravi was awarded Purdue University’s Outstanding Industrial Engineer award for the year 2000 and the Distinguished Alumnus award by the Indian Institute of Technology in 2003.
Venkatesan is a member of the Executive Council of NASSCOM, the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), a Director on the Board of Thermax Ltd and a member of the Advisory Council of the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay and IIIT-Bangalore. He has contributed frequently to the Harvard Business Review and some of his articles include, “Strategic Sourcing – to Make or Not to Make” and “The Strategy that Wouldn’t Travel.”
His interests include reading, travel, classical music and philanthropy.
~ ~ ~
What are some of the problems that our industry hasn’t solved? What’s holding us back?
At first, in many ways India is the centre of the IT world today and the credit only goes to the huge amount of talent that we have. However, for all the expertise that we have in IT, there is a huge underserved market in India.
The IT uptake in the domestic market has been limited. With all the challenges that lie ahead of us as a nation, are it access to education, or market access for small business or even transparency and accountability in governance, technology has the potential to solve these but we have never really applied ourselves to it. We have largely focused our energies on the global market.
The fact remains, for India to continue the economic growth it has seen in the last three years, it is imperative for us to work towards addressing these issues.
What are the key ingredients of a strategy to outsmart competition?
The only way to stay ahead in the game is to focus on the customer. You have to hear and concentrate on the spoken and unspoken needs of consumer. Take for instance the success Apple has enjoyed with iPod. It’s not a technological innovation but a brilliant execution of an innate need of a customer, connecting the device and the online music service, which had never been clearly articulated. Much like the Walkman a few decades ago. Or X Box live. We realized people were not looking to just enjoy the game in their living rooms but also wanted to play with the best of the best, whoever they may be and anywhere they may be. And in addressing that need, we were able to close the gap on Sony.
How can technology companies better understand the needs of customers?
If we can balance the obsession with our products with an obsession for our customers and really listen to them, and listen to them not only before the sale but even post the sale, it will make all the difference.
Simplistic as it may sound, it all boils down to be less internally focused and ensure our people are walking in the shoes of our customers.
How do you see PC computing evolving over the next 5-10 years?
If you look at the emerging new world of work and lifestyle, an always connected environment where users want to access data from wherever and at any time, one can safely talk about the emergence of non PC devices as the center piece of the digital era.
Likewise as technology is increasingly deployed for the next five billion and we think about enabling people in various scenarios, one will have to innovate to enable access for them. That will lead to evolution in the modality of interaction.
For instance, we will need to address issues of language and literacy, which means changes in text user interfaces, vision and speech recognition. Essentially, the devices will be more intelligent. Not only will they recognize our voice, but they’ll recognize our intent, take intelligent actions and follow commands. This means display technology will also have to evolve quite dramatically Concepts like surface computing, automotive computing and mobile computing will really become a big-big phenomenon.
Another interesting dimension will be the integration of TV software & PC software for connected-home consumer experiences across devices. IPTV will become pervasive with the integration of end-to-end multimedia and video solutions.
Needless to say, all of this will be accompanied by a fundamental re-architecting of the microprocessor. As per Moore’s law, multi-core computers will play a vital role in ushering in supercomputing.
What are some of the key “big-picture” initiatives at Microsoft?
As we all know, there are Two India’s. One is the global corporate India which is every bit as sophisticated as any other company globally. As productive, efficient and technology savvy as anyone else. And we see ourselves as partners to them and in their growth.
Then there is the other India, to be precise 2/3rd of it which is at the risk of being left behind. Ironically at one level technology can be the divider. But it is also pretty much the most significant bridge to ensure an inclusive socio economic growth for the underserved India.
Over the last couple of years the focus has intensified in three areas and is aligned with the overall national agenda:
At first Investment in human capital both by way of education and skills has been and will continue to be a key focus area. IT is key, both as a subject of study and as the key facilitator in providing affordable access to education and skills.
Secondly, as we work towards addressing the unique scenarios of our country, it is obvious we and the entire ecosystem will need to innovate. We have to create a relevant enabling environment and that requires innovation at all levels.
Last but not the least it is important to sustain the current growth of the Indian economy and create appropriate jobs and opportunities for the growing young population of our country. Again IT plays a dual role of both as a facilitator and a key provider.
And in this commitment to realize the “Unlimited Potential”, we run several initiatives in the country such as:
Project Shiksha for accelerating IT literacy and enhancing the classroom environment among government schools across the country. We have already covered over 1,10,000 school teachers and impacted the lives of over 4 million students.
Project Bhasha for promoting local language computing wherein we have tried to break down one of the barriers by providing local language interface packs for Microsoft products in 14 Indian languages.
Project Jyoti which provides lifelong learning for adults in rural communities especially women through Community Technology Learning Centers. Run in partnership with NGOs we have already impacted the lives of several women who in many instances have now become bread earners for their families or simply gained social esteem and confidence and are leading examples for women’s empowerment in their communities.
Project Vikas to enhance the global competitiveness of the SMEs by IT enablement. Run in partnership with the national manufacturing council it entails a five year action plan to help the Indian SMEs address their ‘soft’ challenges of market access, knowledge networks and enablement of supply chain linkages in the cluster ecosystem. We have successfully seen the first phase of deployment in three sectors: Tripur (textiles), Pune (auto components) and Ahmedabad (pharmaceuticals)
In addition to all the innovative work we do at our own business units, we also work with the Indian SI, ISV and developer community to build a robust software product ecosystem in India. We are engaged with them to support them on quality, technology roadmap, business skills and mentoring, venture capital funding and provide all the end to end tools to become commercially successful. It is towards our quest of ‘Made in India’ software.
But at all times we are aware of the need to deliver affordable PC solutions and that is central to our India mission of building a digitally inclusive society. So over and above the special licensing for the government and academic community, we have in place a ‘Good-Better-Best’ segment approach. Essentially, different SKUs with different levels of functionality and therefore differentiated prices. Good example is Windows Vista Starter Edition, specially designed to spur PC usage in India it is the lowest cost Microsoft offering available today.
Or innovative models of delivery, such as the “pay-as-you-go” business model enabled by our flex go technology. It uses the familiarity and flexibility of prepaid mobile phones and applies it to personal computer, bringing down the entry barrier of costs for PC ownership.
Like I have said before, Innovation is key. Innovation in product, business models, solutions and services.
What technology (ies) is Microsoft building specifically for India?
India is the only subsidiary outside of the US where Microsoft has an end-to-end presence of its entire product lifecycle right from research to product development to support. The large talent pool is naturally empathetic to the needs and problems of our fellow citizens. Therefore we can explore various technology, tools, solutions and services which are relevant not just to India but all emerging markets. As a result we are ‘Inspired by India’ we therefore we ‘Innovate for India’.
Take the example of Microsoft Research India. It is one of the premier industrial research labs globally and as of March 2007, MSR India had already published more than 60 papers in leading international journals and conferences. While it focuses in areas including Cryptography, Security, Digital Geographics, Mobility and Multilingual Systems, it is the work they do for Emerging Markets is very heart warming.
Take MultiPoint – a simple yet powerful technology which will enable multiple children to share a single PC using multiple mice. For the purposes of primary education, it can multiply the benefit of a single computer by three, four, five, or more.
Equally inspiring is Digital StudyHall (DSH), an independent research project primarily supported by Microsoft Research, which aims to overcome both the problems of staff shortage and availability of standardized study material among underserved communities.
Simply put, it records and distributes DVDs of subject classes led by India’s best grassroots teachers. Underserved areas can access the DSH database via DVDs, while areas that are more developed will be able to access the content via the Internet.
Some other areas it is working on and very relevant to scenarios like India is Text Free User Interface to overcome the language barrier or the Split Screen UIs to multiply benefits for small businesses.
The Microsoft development centre which does end to end product development for Microsoft globally and contributes significantly to all our products, is also incubating technologies which will make computing more, far more intuitive and integrated with entertainment and therefore more compelling and more affordable.
How does India help Microsoft in the Asian markets, Global markets?
India is amongst the fastest growing markets for Microsoft both from a talent perspective and from a market perspective and it’s no surprise that we are contributing significantly to the revenues and product innovation at Microsoft corp. Our contributions are immense.
Microsoft Research, with over 50 people, is one of the premier industrial research labs globally and as of March 2007, MSR India had already published more than 60 papers in leading international journals and conferences. It focuses in six areas including Cryptography, Security, and Algorithms; Digital Geographics; Mobility Networks, and Systems, Multilingual Systems, rigorous software engineering and emerging markets and is committed to advancing the state of the art computer science research in India. It partners with a number of educational and research institutions in India and abroad to push forward the boundaries of scientific research.
The Microsoft India Development Center (MSIDC) at Hyderabad is fully integrated with the key product families of Microsoft and is the second largest MS software development center outside Redmond. It has more than 1300 employees working on over 50 products and technologies for the global Microsoft portfolio.
Team here have end-to-end responsibility on projects and cover all aspects of software development – Development, Testing and Program Management. Teams work collaboratively with Redmond on future releases of products and are constantly innovating to enhance the user experience. MSIDC is a leader in creating intellectual property from India and has filed for over 130 patents in the last two years.
The Global technical support centre, Microsoft IT and the Global consulting and services centre are also based out of India and are supporting global customers for Microsoft and contributing significantly to Microsoft revenues.
Innovating from, for and with India is our mantra.