Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Coming Soon: Apps for your car!

This is interesting!.
If you look at the trends where the technology is progressing, it looks like the following. The devices which were once analog or mechanical are transforming to Intelligent machines.
analog-> digital -> Internet Enabled -> Information enabled -> Collaborative -> Smart -> Intelligent/Learning systems.

Joining the trend now is - Cars. In this newsclip, the car manufacturing company audi announces that future version of its cars will have computer-style dashboards that will have the capability to download apps from the Internet.

Its not just a technology innovation. Audi is also contemplating a business model, where the customers will be able to selectively download and pay to activate modular features in the car.
This will enable deep personalization of the products through Internet-enabled services.

On top of it, Audi also claims that its cars will behave like 'learning machines' that will be able to leverage the information and predict/recommend the driver's behavior.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Avatar 3D and ERP - What is so Common?

Does the above combination sound strange?...

May be...

But, that is the coincidence that came to my mind when I read Why I hate 3-D and (You Should Too) by Roger Ebert in Newsweek. In this article, Roger says that he is not opposed to 3D as an option. But he opposes 3D as the future, a way of life for movies going forward.

I didn't watch Avatar 3D version. But, recently I watched DreamWorks 'How to Train Your Dragon' in 3D version. I should say that was one of the best entertaining movies that I had watched in recent times. I felt that the script of the movie was so interesting that I would have watched it, even if it didn't have 3D features. In fact, I would have loved to watch it in 2D version. The 3D version was distracting and it didn't add any enhance the movie watching experience in any way.

I am disappointed that next Dreamworks summer release Shrek 4 is also going to be released in 3D soon.

The 3D technology is hyped up so much that its already making inroads to Home entertainment. Samsung has introdcued 3D technology in LED TVs in India. And thats not all, there is a whole bunch of movies waiting to be released in 3D. Does it worth the hype?. I dont think so. I agree with all the reasons that Roger has mentioned in the Newsweek article.

Ok, So What?. How is it related to IT? or ERP?

Will come to that observation in few mins...

In the article, Roger concludes - Whenever Hollywood is threatened, it turns to Technology like sound, color, Dolby, DTS, and 3D. This is the observation that made me to think of the correlation to ERP...

Now..cut to ERP technology...

I recently upgraded my car stereo to Pioneer music system. And One of the reasons for doing that is to listen to Audio Books. The first Audio book that I rented was 'Beyond Goal' from Dr.Goldratt. I listened to this book couple of times, purely because there so many messages in that. I could write several other blog posts just on the thought-provoking speech by Dr. Goldratt.

If anyone has read Goal/or read Dr.Goldratt's articles, one could understand that Dr.Goldratt takes a hard stand on ERP. And He clearly outlines why it is so hard to derive benefits from ERP these days... Trust me, not just ERP, any significant IT investments that a company want to make, must listen to Dr.Goldratt to understand the process of yielding benefits from it.

And he goes on to say that, Whenever ERP fails to provide any new ROI/new benefits to the company, it simply turns to ....Technology...How true is that?

If you are watching the ERP industry, you dont need a evidence to prove this statement. We are only hearing about technology "innovations" namely SOA, BPM, Composite Apps, etc. We dont hear anything at all about Business Process Innovations/New Business Solutions. And Whenever the ERP vendors are cornered for innovations, we get the answer of new technology upgrades. And you know that, People just don't buy those!.

Now lets come back to 3D technology...

Isn't it a nice correlation to say that whenever we run out of ideas to provide real value to the end customers, we turn to technology based ideas?. And We use that as the reason to "charge the customers more" because the customers get a 'seemingly premium' experience. And if you look at it, that new technology opens up a whole new market around it. In case of 3D, its the glasses, TV, projectors, etc. In case of ERP new technology - new middlewares, new visual modeling tools, new monitoring tools, etc.

And thats one of the reasons that I am not intrigued to blog so much these days...all the time we hear about smartphones, social networking, graphics and games. I dont deny that they are true innovations. But, I dont accept that they are the way of life...We are told by the media to believe that thats the only innovation happening in the industry...

And, we as consumers, when we start to focus on real issues, we will also start to see real innovations...