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Archive for March, 2011

  • Learned

The Tablet Debate

It seems that I ignited a bit of a debate around tablets in the Enterprise.

First, let’s be clear there will be an exciting opportunity to serve enterprises and consumers alike with devices of all shapes and sizes, including tablets and smartphones. But the key to delivering solutions that meet the needs of the enterprise market remains grounded in the notion of open, capable and affordable.

  • Open means open. Apps and content can be written and easily deployed – without vendor intervention. Carriers freely selected. Service partners and channels chosen based on relevance to the Enterprise, not relevance to the vendor. There is a choice of OS.
  • Affordable isn’t just referring to the single solution, it means the total bundle – virtual desktop, virtual apps, system, carrier plans, accessories are beneath the price bands seen today from the market leader. In part, that’s why we partner with Google and Microsoft and others to ensure we are enabling a comprehensive solution.
  • Capable means existing workloads run well – whether virtualized or through the browser. It also means the device is packaged with comprehensive enterprise services – from the remote recovery and termination through global remote support. And many Enterprises are looking for the same lifecycle and lifecycle management they have seen on the notebook.

Just because a device is doing well in the consumer market isn’t a proxy for success in the Enterprise market or for meeting all the needs of the Enterprise user. This is because there are a raft of issues that enterprises struggle with. Security is a big one and extends to being able to remotely manage the workloads they need (install, update, wipe, cloud base sensitive data, run Office, etc). As is the complexity of managing so many devices per user.

What I outlined yesterday was that some of our competitors in the consumer market have products that are doing well there and rightfully being looked at – as are ours – by enterprise buyers. 

What I didn’t say competitors would fail. Not even close. But then interviewees don’t write headlines and rarely do journalists.

A few folks had questions on my pricing comparison. First, the reporting is in Australia and being down under I was using $NZ based on a trip that morning to a retailer with a CIO customer to check out how they were merchandising computers. Take a look online and you will see 3G tablets around NZ$ 1,875.01 or, without the keyboard and a cheaper cover you are looking at NZ$ 1,634.00. Why would you want a keyboard? Well, the only way most Enterprises can justify that price is to set it up as the primary device.

Liberal headlining aside, innovation around tablets is opening the door to a raft of new technology and shining a light on the needs of users in the enterprise market. And that market – our largest – is one that we are very focused on and aim to compete in with purpose built solutions.

Also posted over on the Dell Blogs.

  • Connect

New AC boats

They look amazing.

  • Connect

Blood, Bones & Butter

I don’t often give a book five stars. Gabrielle Hamilton’s Blood, bones and butter gets six.

Simply one of the best books I’ve read in years. The storytelling is as remarkable and the writing. Thought provoking, stimulating and heart-stirring. A brilliant, brilliant book. Not just about the transition to becoming a chef – but also a map of a journey through life.

If you love cooking. If you love life at the edge. You will love this book.

Can’t wait to dine at Prune.

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  • Connect

Enchantment

Like David, I’m in the middle of Enchantment – Guy’s new book. And really enjoying it. His many ideas combine old stalwarts with some fresh thinking. David pulled out four I liked and I’ll add more over the week. I especially liked the second one:

  • Build an ecosystem. If the offering can be surrounded by a meaningful system of entities and complement (add value) and support the brand, it will have a more solid connection and will have created barriers to competitors. Apple is the gold standard with the huge number of apps, the communities of users, the blogs, the consultants, the Apple store, the conferences, and on and on. To create an ecosystem, a firm needs to find a worthy concept, communicate, create evangelists, encourage involved communities, and be open to participation and criticism.
  • Separate the believers. In implementing a concept intended to achieve enchantment make sure all the employees and partners are on-board. You cannot create enchantment if the “sellers” are not all drinking the Kool-Aid. The Macintosh in the mid-1980s put the division in a separate building with Steve Jobs in charge so that the effort was not contaminated by the rest of the firm with their “mass market” mentality. Zappos.com discourages non-believers by offering $4,000 to new recruits to leave the firm.
  • Frame the competition. The focus is always on managing our own brand, making sure that we know what it stands for, and that this vision is communicated to the marketplace. But framing the competition can have an equally strong impact on preference. In 2010, Steve Jobs responded to critics that thought that Apple excessively controlled iPhone applications, by pointing out that it was true that those who want porn are better off with Google’s Android products. Android phones were thus positioned for porn users.
  • Illustrate the salient point. There is a tendency to focus on factual data supporting functional benefits because it seems persuasive, credible, and informative. But it is usually boring and hard to connect. So bring the data to life by illustrations. Talk about cost of few per year instead of miles per gallon. How long a donation will feed a child instead of monetary amount.
  • Connect

Amazing Twitter numbers

The Twitter growth numbers are amazing:

tweets

  • 3 years, 2 months and 1 day. The time it took from the first Tweet to the billionth Tweet.
  • 1 week. The time it now takes for users to send a billion Tweets.
  • 50 million. The average number of Tweets people sent per day, one year ago.
  • 140 million. The average number of Tweets people sent per day, in the last month.
  • 177 million. Tweets sent on March 11, 2011.
  • 456. Tweets per second (TPS) when Michael Jackson died on June 25, 2009 (a record at that time).
  • 6,939. Current TPS record, set 4 seconds after midnight in Japan on New Year’s Day.
    • accounts

      • 572,000. Number of new accounts created on March 12, 2011.
      • 460,000. Average number of new accounts per day over the last month.
      • 182%. Increase in number of mobile users over the past year.
        • #employees

          • 8. 29. 130. 350. 400. Number of Twitter employees in Jan 2008, Jan 2009, Jan 2010, Jan 2011 and today.
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