By Rob van den Dam
For years, Communications Service Providers (CSPs) dictated the products and services consumers would pay for and adopt. The problem is, they weren’t always the most creative or innovative. In more recent times, the more interesting services such as free video, television and messaging served over traditional networks, have come from so-called, over-the-top (OTT) providers like Skype or What’s App.
In the process, the CSP has largely been relegated to middleman status. But that’s about to change. Continue Reading »
By Randy Golden
When I joined IBM’s corporate design department in 1992, I drew a dream assignment: to be the liaison with Paul Rand, the renowned graphic designer and IBM consultant. But before I started with him, I faced a high hurdle: he had to sign off on me getting the job.
So I was understandably nervous when I showed up at his home studio for our initial meeting–partly because he had asked to review my own design portfolio. Fortunately, he liked what I showed him. He even gave me a couple of pointers. Then he said: “Let’s go to lunch.” Continue Reading »
By Judith E. Glaser
About 30 years ago I wrote an article for IBM managers that talked about “navigational communications.” It was my first major piece that captured my current thinking about the power of listening to influence success in business. It said,
“For a leader, listening is perhaps the most important skill. As a leader, we must learn to listen while navigating along with the speaker toward a common destination – mutual understanding. Whether your talents are in sales, systems engineering, administration, technical support, or leadership, listening to connect with others – requires a new and powerful form of deep, non-judgmental listening.”
Fast forward to 2013, and the world has transformed. While technology and globalization have reshaped much of business, it’s surprising how little the basics of communication have actually changed, and how much listening is still the cornerstone to navigating successfully with others. Continue Reading »
Teddy Goff led a team of more than 200 people focused on digital media for President Obama’s re-election campaign. They generated more than 133 million video views, developed innovative tools to build grassroots communities, and raised more than $690 million. Recently, he and two colleagues formed a strategic marketing consultancy, Precision Strategies. Here, Goff talks about the importance of cultivating relationships and how President Obama’s re-election campaign ultimately relied on the effective use of predictive analytics.
What was the digital campaign’s key contribution to President Obama’s re-election?
It put supporters back into a primary role. We realized the most important thing we could do on the digital side was to cultivate relationships with the supporters on e-mail, Facebook, Twitter. We wanted to keep them inspired, engaged and informed. If we gave those people a reason to hit the retweet button every now and again, hit the share button, they could reach almost everyone in the United States more powerfully than we as a campaign operation ever could. President Obama on election day had about 34 million Facebook fans. Those people were friends with 98 percent of the U.S.-based Facebook population, which is more than the number of people who vote. Continue Reading »
By Alfred Vanderpuije
This week at the World Economic Forum on Africa in Cape Town, leaders will come together to discuss Africa’s future. One of the three focus themes is the importance of ‘Strategic Infrastructure’ as a foundation for the continent’s growth. As Mayor of Accra and Chief Executive of the Accra Metropolitan Assembly, I would say that there are few areas as crucial for infrastructure investment as cities.
Buoyed by an emerging oil and gas industry and a rapidly growing consumer class, Ghana’s economy is one of the fastest growing in the world. Investors are flocking to the country’s capital Accra to take advantage of new business opportunities and become part of this success story. Mastercard recently identified Accra as one of Africa’s top cities in terms of economic growth potential over the next few years. Local and foreign firms are also driving a number of urban development opportunities such as Ghana Cyber City, King City and Appolonia City which aim to set up modern, high-tech hubs within and around Accra. Continue Reading »
By Richard Silberman, Writer/Researcher, IBM Communications
During the past year, we’ve profiled nine exceptional “People for a Smarter Planet” who exemplify the spirit of change, innovation, creativity and curiosity that lie at the core of building a smarter planet. They are inventors and researchers, academics and executives, thought leaders, dreamers, risk-takers, pioneers.
These individuals come from a wide range of fields and possess an array of interests and expertise. What they all have in common is a passion for their work and a commitment to make the world a better place.
They include Ruhong Zhou, whose avian flu research may help prevent a global pandemic; Dave Bartlett, IBM’s smarter buildings guru; Bill Reichert, a Silicon Valley venture capitalist with novel advice for entrepreneurs; and sustainability expert Sarah Slaughter.
If you haven’t met them yet, here are nine People for a Smarter Planet you should know.
By Paul Brody
People have been talking and writing about the “Internet of Things” for more than a decade. It’s the idea that at some point billions of electronic devices and sensors will be connected to the Internet in parallel to the hundreds of millions of people who have access to the Net. But, unlike so many of the whiz-bang technologies that are forever predicted but never arrive, such as flying cars and time machines, the Internet of Things is on the verge of becoming a reality.
So, what exactly is bringing the Internet of Things to fruition? A big factor is the plunging cost of connectivity, which is being driven by the emergence of Heterogeneous Networks (often referred to as “HetNets”). HetNets offer a way to increase the density and bandwidth available to mobile devices. Continue Reading »
By Cindy Geng, Market Development & Insights, IBM Research, China
Telecom operators in China have their hands full.
The rapid rise of data being generated from smart phones throughout the country is creating profound challenges, from unbalanced network loads and low frequency spectrum utilization, to increasing network construction, maintenance and upgrade costs. What the industry needs is a more flexible, smart network architecture.
According to market researcher, IDC’s 2012 Top 10 Predictions report, “big data will join mobile and cloud as the next ‘must have’ competency as digital content grows to 2.7 zettabytes this year (48 percent over 2011), and will reach 8 zettabytes by 2015.”