100,000 iPhone Apps. Congrats. Now Add Things Businesses Care About

Ted Schadler

Tedschadler  by Ted Schadler

It had to happen eventually. The success of iPhone (now used by 14% of US, UK, and Canadian smartphone-using information workers) is driven signficantly by "there's an app for that." So that while a huge congratulations! is in order, getting to 100,000 applications available was just a matter of time. Mostly consumer apps, of course, but a growing number of business applications, including Cisco WebEx, Oracle Business Indicators, Roambi's Visualizer data dashboard toolkit, and Salesforce Mobile.

But what IT professionals need, particularly those focused on making information workers productive with smartphones, is much better support for managing custom and prepackaged business applications. (That along with a bunch of things like more robust security, easier device management, stronger encryption, more policy-based control over the device, things that RIM does but the largely Microsoft-controlled ActiveSync solution doesn't. But more on that another time).

Focusing here on applications, it's time for us all to insist that Apple make it easy for IT professionals to:

  • Support wireless application downloads.The current iTunes or iPhone Desktop Configurator solution just doesn't cut it for businesses. They need over-the-air download and update capability.

  • Push application updates. How else can IT feel confident that a business application will work?

  • Configure applications remotely. How else can in-field changes be supported?

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As Expected, Data on Q3 2009 US IT Market Showing Continued Decline, But With Signs of Nearing Bottom

Andrew Bartels

This morning, the US Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Economic Analysis released preliminary data on the US Gross Domestic Product in Q 3 2009, which included data on business investment in computer equipment, software, and other IT equipment (principally communications equipment).  The headline news is the 3.5% increase in real GDP in the US from Q2 2009 to Q3 2009 (at a seasonally adjusted annual rate).  That is the first positive growth in US real GDP since Q2 2008, and the strongest since 2007.  Some special factors, such as the cash-for-clunkers program in autos and the tax incentives for first time home buyers, contributed to this strong growth, so growth in coming quarters will be closer to 2% since these incentives have expired or are likely to do so.  Still, the economic data does suggest that the recession is over. 

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A Third Grade Field Trip To The Apple Store

Ted Schadler

Ted-Schadler by Ted Schadler

When I stopped into an Apple Store in Palo Alto last summer, it was swarming with cute kids in hot pink tee shirts, logoed with the name of a local day camp. Okay, I figured what the heck, 8-year olds learning how Apple's stuff and software works is a cool way to kill a couple of hours.

Then I learned that my eight-year old daughter (self portrait below) was "super excited" to be going on a class field trip to the Apple Store in the local mall. The class of third graders would take the local bus to one side of town and pick up another local bus to the mall (itself an adventure in our car-centric town).

The goal was to learn iMovie, which the kids have access to at school, and to make a movie. Actually, it's a pretty good idea to outsource movie production class to someone else, especially someone passionate about making movies. Regardless of where they are. Smart guy, Mr. C. (her teacher).

But now I'm starting to think that this is a master plan coming from Cupertino, indoctrination through the school system. And it's something that HP and Dell and Microsoft can't replicate right now (though Best Buy could). So I asked my daughter to do some investigative reporting and ask how many school field trips the Apple Store has every month.

Yesterday morning, I came down at 6:30 as usual to let the dog out and empty the dishwasher. Unusually, the kitchen wasn't dark. My eight-year old was already up and ready to rock. "I couldn't go back to sleep, Dad. I was too excited," she bubbled. Ah, the Apple Store awaits.

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Telepresence Jumpstarts Video Collaboration

Claire Schooley

Claire-Schooley By Claire Schooley

Telepresence is the life-size, true color, no latency video meeting technology that creates a “wow” reaction from participants, especially those who have experienced some traditional videoconferencing that gave poor picture quality, out-of synch audio/video, and added no sense of presence to a meeting.  Here are some factors that make telepresence different:

  • Video provides high quality 1080p pictures with hidden cameras placed to achieve eye contact no matter where people are seated around the conference table.
  • Audio is full duplex with microphones and speakers that allow sound to come from the direction of the speaker.
  • The environment is purpose-built with lighting arrays, speakers, and cameras all configured for the optimum experience.  Conference tables, chairs, and even the wall paint are the same at all sites to convey a uniform sense of presence.
  • Managed service and support assure that this expensive system is going to work. Many organizations buy a concierge-type service model so participants just need to push a button to start the videoconference.
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Telepresence Jumpstarts Video Collaboration

Claire Schooley

Claire-SchooleyBy Claire Schooley

Telepresence is the life-size, true color, no latency video meeting technology that creates a “wow” reaction from participants, especially those who have experienced some traditional videoconferencing that gave poor picture quality, out-of synch audio/video, and added no sense of presence to a meeting.  Here are some factors that make telepresence different:

• Video provides high quality 1080p pictures with hidden cameras placed to achieve eye contact no matter where people are seated around the conference table.
• Audio is full duplex with microphones and speakers that allow sound to come from the direction of the speaker.
• The environment is purpose-built with lighting arrays, speakers, and cameras all configured for the optimum experience.  Conference tables, chairs, and even the wall paint are the same at all sites to convey a uniform sense of presence. Managed service and support assure that this expensive system is going to work. Many organizations buy a concierge-type service model so participants just need to push a button to start the videoconference.

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Are big companies in big cities different in emerging markets?

Jennifer Belissent, Ph.D.

Jennifer Bélissent [Posted by Jennifer Bélissent]

In a recent discussion with execs at Intel about how to position netbooks into emerging market, someone raised the question about how different technology buyers in metro areas in emerging markets are from those in mature markets.  Are tech buyers in the Tier 1 cities in China — Shanghai, for example — any different from those in New York, London, or Paris?  I was reminded of this discussion when reading one of Mark Beckford’s Disruptive Leadership blog entries, “10 Things You Must Do To Win in Emerging Markets”.

Mark looks at Shanghai and says that it is more like New York and Paris than like rural parts of China.  In my new blog entry at B2B Beyond Borders, I examine this claim and the how different economic drivers influence purchases in different markets and regions.  I encourage you to give it a read.

Videoconferencing Heats Up

Claire Schooley

by Claire Schooley and Ted Schadler

This podcast cover's Cisco's recent acquisition of Tandberg and what it means for Cisco moving forward. The podcast also covers different forms of Web conferencing from Telepresence to single computer HD conferencing. The podcast concludes with expectations for the market and advice for companies who are considering video conferencing.

http://a964.g.akamaitech.net/f/964/714/1h/www.forrester.com/role_based/images/author/imported/forresterDotCom/Podcasts/IKM/Claire%20Schooley_Ted%20Schadler_Videoconferencing_Heats_Up.mp3

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Reaching real tech buyers in emerging markets virtually. Really!

Jennifer Belissent, Ph.D.

Jennifer Bélissent [Posted by Jennifer Bélissent]

Not all technology buyers in emerging markets are accessing the internet from mobile phones or dial-up connections.  In fact, many places in countries considered "emerging markets" are rapidly resembling more mature markets, in income levels and especially in mobility, internet access, and now broadband penetration.  Shanghai, for one, is probably better connected than some cities in the middle of the US.  What does that mean for technology marketers?  It means that they can leverage their complete toolbox of marketing tools to reach those audiences -- and increasingly they are doing just that.

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Does The Federal CIO Set The Transparency Bar Higher For Everyone Else?

Sharyn Leaver

by Sharyn Leaver

Sharyn-Leaver It has been an interesting year – who would have thought that the federal government would have done such a thing – provided a Federal IT Dashboard of allocation of federal IT dollars to investments for all of us out there in citizen-land to read? Federal CIO, Vivek Kundra, announced it and the keyword of the effort that made the headlines is "radical transparency."  It’s very clever in its design and visuals – "mashup ready." It would be especially appealing if the shell of the software would be made available to anyone who wants it – since some real (taxpayer) money went into this project.

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What keeps your customers up at night?

Jennifer Belissent, Ph.D.

Jennifer Bélissent [Posted by Jennifer Bélissent]

Adapting marketing messages to specific audiences is a topic I’ve written on here and in a few of my Forrester reports.  Getting the messages right requires an understanding of the drivers and motivations of buyers.  And, going into new geographical markets means that you’ll need local knowledge; you can’t assume that you know what will resonate in a particular market.  Recently I came across an example that illustrates the point in The Blue Sweater: Bridging the Gap Between Rich and Poor in an Interconnected World, by Jacqueline Novogratz, Founder and CEO of Acumen Fund.

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