Tuesday, December 28, 2010

BPO - Next Generation!

Last week, I visited the Passport facilitation centre, that is recently launched in Bangalore. I had availed the Passport office's service couple of years ago as well. But, there is a sea change in the service experience from then and now.

The reason, the new service is being offered by a Service Provider and not by the Government directly. It is one of the largest projects under the E-Government Initiative launched by Government of India. It is a project that is first-of-its kind launched in public-private partnership model.

Some of the interesting things that caught my attention during the service experience are - process flow chart that guides the citizens thru the process, new swanky interiors, LCD display that updates the service desk assignments for applicants, Online application Forms, Document Scanning/Uploding, PC Cameras, Biometrics/Finger Printing, Bar Code Tracking for application Acknowledgements/receipts, Photocopiers to make additional copies of documents, if requried. The Service representative has a dual monitor that shows the contents of the passport application form that is being processed. And above all, the Service rep politely asked if I wanted to make any corrections in any of the particulars before committing the changes. That's wonderful!.

In this new project, the entire application processing flow is handled by a third-party, in this case, the Service Provider is Tata Consultancy Services. TCS is not only the System Integrator for the entire solution (Application/Infrastructure) but also the Operations Owner for Front-Office functions (IT and Non-IT Operations).

TCS Management owns and operates the entire physical facility where the service is being offered. The Enquiry Desk, The Service Representatives, Process Flow Coordinators are all provided and managed by TCS.

Here you see a truly 'Integrated Technology & Operations' Service in action. The typical IT services provider - TCS - not only provides the IT solution and walks away but manages the entire business process of application processing and interacts with the customer face-to-face (in this case the citizen).

While the Front office functions are managed by TCS, the back-office functions like verification, granting/dispatching all done by Government Staff. And they work in the new facility in collaboration with TCS Staff.

TCS got this contract couple of years ago to execute in Build-Operate-Transfer model and the project cost range in terms of Indian Rupees 1000 crores (close to quarter billion dollars). The solution is built on Java/J2EE technologies leveraging open source web application frameworks and hosted on IBM Websphere Portal / Application Server Stack.

I must say this is a huge feat by an IT Service Provider in India and the efforts are truly commendable!. Of course, the project had some glitches and TCS had to pay penalty for the project delays and bugs.

But, neverthess, a project of this scale that gets rolled out to the entire country would have some teething issues and am sure that would be ironed out sooner!.

In this new service model, TCS takes more risks, more responsibility, invests heavily (because of front office infra requirements) and reaches out to its customer's customers. In this case, the Citizens, the customers of Government.

Could this be the new model for Business Process Outsourcing?.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Indian R&D : (Long) Way to Go!

Yesterday, Economics Times, a Business Daily from India published a very interesting perspective on R&D spending of Indian companies sector wise.

I was curious to know the R&D spending by IT companies and the results were startling and stands evidence to my earlier post on Why we dont see a Blue Ocean in Indian IT service companies.

Here are some interesting findings:

1. No.1 Indian IT services company - Tata Consultancy Services spends a miniscule 0.3% of its total revenues in R&D.
2. Infosys - Another leading Indian IT services company leads the industry - Spends close to 1.9% of total revenues in R&D. I have worked in Infosys in the past. In my experience, Infosys is one of the very few companies that is committed to Research and Education/Learning. That is indeed commendable!
3. There is no mention of other Top 10 Indian IT service companies or product companies.
Other key sector such as Pharma/Motor R&D investments are largely driven by their MNC parents in US/other countries and there is a huge royalty payback that happens between the Indian arms and the Western Parent/Partner Firms.

The article states that though the corporate spending on R&D has increased in the past years, it is not sufficient to lead in the industry. Very True!

While the Western ecomonies focus on sustainability and recovery from recession, they look up to the East / Developing Ecomonies to lead in Research & Development and Innovation. The R&D and Innovation are important in the context of Developing economies because to drive growth in emerging regions, it is required to develop region-specific, technology-enabled new products and services.

China has realized this golden opportunity way ahead of India. In the recent past, China has revamped their entire Intellectual Property related Government Policies and started giving huge incentives for companies investing in R&D. The new policy aims to encourage Indigenous innovation that woud position the country in a Leadership position to protect its local markets and lead in global markets. The Multinational companies who were thriving on IP so far are puzzled with these new policies and redesigning their strategies for fresh investments in China. This article in Harvard Business review is a must read if someone wants to understand China's Strategy in High-Tech Industries

While many may be wondering why China is not competing in the game of IT services, my observersation is - China may be rewriting the rules of the high-tech industry game itself in next few years!.

As mentioned in ET, "As customers become more demanding, and the business environment more competitive, companies will have no choice but to rely more on R&D".

While the Indian IT Service companies are busy in fighting the war for talent to sustain their existing service lines, it remains to be seen how they would respond to these emerging challenges. They largely see People as their products or channels for service delivery and invests heavily on Leadership / People Development Courses. These courses will prepare oneself to become a business-savvy consultant who not only knows business or technology but also has the capability to sell / communicate / convince the clients. And some other companies are doing reverse-acquisition. They are sitting on a huge pile of cash that they go ahead and acquire technology from a US startup / product company. While there is certainly nothing wrong with these approaches, lot needs to be done to create a sustainable and organic innovation ecosystem.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

End of Powerpoints? - Follow-up

Few weeks ago, I had blogged about Gaming as one of viable alternatives for Powerpoint presentations. In the post, I had summarized, in future, management consultants may start using Gaming for simulating the business scenarios rather than presenting their thoughts in canned presentations. Similar views were reflected in Gartner blogs as well.

Today I came across a real story from a management consulting company. An US based consulting company called Aveus, has renewed its marketing initiatives by demonstrating short-simulated stories/case studies replacing Powerpoint presentations. And in the interview, the consulting partner explains the results are encouraging and generates more sales leads than before.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Social eCommerce Ramping up...!

Looks like Facebook is fast becoming the Second Home for most people in the world...:-).

Here is a news on how Facebook is ramping up its E-Commerce Drive. It is stated that Facebook is talking to lots of big/small vendors to introduce new eCommerce services in the social networking site. Though Facebook has a tiny market compared to Amazon or eBay in eCommerce, the future looks promising when looking at the possibilities of the platform.

Some of the interesting ideas that we could see in Facebook around eCommerce - recommendations of products by friends, more personalized recommendations based on individual's preferences, feedback on people's walls on the products that are bought/sold from specific vendors - All these can complement a conventional online puchasing experience. And I believe this emerging paradigm will shift the focus from product to the person (buyer) and his preferences.

One of the latest innovation that caught my attention is the GroupGift idea by eBay. It lets people pool in their money to buy a collective Gift, like people usually do in real life.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Pace Layering and SAP On-Demand Architecture!

I have been following SAP new generation architecture for quite sometime now. In addition to business reasons, I was following SAP on my personal interest as well purely because of SAP's architectural approach in their product roadmaps. After Vishal Sikka joined as the CTO of SAP, the technology strategies of several products have been articulated much more clearly than before.

SAP has acquired quite a lot of companies in the last few years. And in the process, it has also acquired handful of technologies and frameworks in its product lines. If you are an SAP customer leveraging their products in several portfolios, am sure you would be wondering what their technology strategy is!. They have ABAP, Microsoft .NET, Java, Business Objects, Sybase Mobile Technologies, NetWeaver Mobile, etc. Using these bunch of technologies, they were also trying to come up with their home-grown mult-tenant architecture to host their on-demand offerings. Now, if someone wants to integrate any of their edge (e.g. mobile) applications with their core ERP, they need to be really aware of the multitude of choices and make a suitable decision.

Sometime back, Vishal Sikka had mentioned that SAP is following a Pace Layering approach to their architecture. What is meant by Pace Layering?. Here is an excellent explanation by James Governor of Redmonk. If you are an IT architect, you don't want to miss this one. According to SAP, SAP will abstract its software into multiple horizontal layers, which will allow for the evolution of each layer at its own pace, while at the same time preserving consistency.

Of course, Customers wouldn't like to leave behind emerging technologies when it comes to 'edge' applications. At the same time, they wouldn't want their systems to be constantly disrupted to adapt to the accelerating pace of changes. So, the challenge is - How do they preserve consistency and adopt to new technologies?. And that's where SAP's Architecture comes in.

In the recently held, SAP summit, SAP has unvield the architecture strategy for their On-Demand solutions. According to the strategy, "SAP's OnDemand architecture will be standardized on a Platform as a Service (PaaS) offering that includes "Next Generation Core," based on the Business ByDesign architecture, and "Next Generation Edge," a lightweight platform that merges SAP's lighter weight SaaS technologies". And all these would get deployed on SAP's next generation application server SAP NetWeaver 8.0. And the picture depicted in the above mentioned SAP article is worth a mention. It portrays the division of responsibilities across the on-demand stack. Sure, SAP has a long way to go in delivering this architecture. But, I believe the vision would streamline the architecture and help in delivering superior products.

Am still trying to figure out what has changed from last year to this year, to incorporate Multi-tenant capability in new SAP's On-Demand offering. Has SAP acquired new companies/new products or home-grown capability that is on par with SalesForce.com's multi-tenant architecture?. Will keep you posted, if I find it something interesting. My last impression on SalesForce.com multi-tenant architecture was that it is highly Database centric and good for lightweight applications. I don't believe the same approach can be scaled to complex transactional applications.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

iPad Application of the Year 2010

How do u create a compelling mobile application or to be precise a tablet application?. You can learn a tip or two from FlipBoard, that has been chosen as the best iPad application of the year, by none other than Apple itself.

Flipboard helps someone to create a personalized news magazine from leveraging his/her social network. The user interface almost looks like Windows Mobile 7 Tiles interface. It grabs images from various sources such as Twitter/Facebook, etc. Whatever the user follows in various social networking sites, that would be presented in a nicely organized magazine format.

That sounds cool!. Actually, I have been using Netvibes for quite sometime now and I found it definitely useful as it serves the single, integrated dashboard for my news needs in a day. I have not integrated social feeds though. Flipboard does the other way around - Its largely social, and recently started to integrate with generic RSS feeds from Google Reader. If that happens, then it would become a highly personalized magazine. It would be a magazine created by me, for me, one stop shop for social / general information needs.

What makes Flipboard impressive?. My observations - Flipboard has the following characteristics - highly visual, interactive, social, personalized, customizable, quick to install, stays up-to-date/current, serves information. And these are the characteristics are embraced by large number of users in the market and they are sure to demand those characteristics from Enterprise applications as well in coming years. It could just be the beginning of change in the way the applications are conceptualized and delivered to end customers within the enterprises.

Collaboration to Collective Action!

Are you of the opinion that Social networking within Enterprise is a huge waste of time?. Even I thought so until I heard about SAP's new offering 'StreamWork'.

I have been a member of LinkedIn for long and member of several Enterprise Architecture and Technology Groups within the site. I have had the opportunity to connect with some great individuals in the Architecture/Technology Space. However, I should admit that most of the groups are inactive or the discussions are very shallow, fighting over the semantics of the actual thread itself. I had initiated few conversations in those groups last year and contributed to many. But, generally the activity was lacklustre. I have not personally experienced any Collective Consciousness or Collective Intelligence in those networking sites!. May be I am not a network freak!. :-)

Having said that, I felt there must be a genuine issue when I heard similar opinions from my fellow colleagues/users of such networking sites.

It looks like SAP has figured out a solution. They have come up with a new offering for Enterprise Social Networking called 'StreamWork'. It is a Web based application offered as a Service to end users. People can signup to the basic version for free and start inviting friends into the network. Ok, How does this new solution brings novelty?. As an SAP executive rightly puts it, most of these enterprise networking conversations are screaming for context. Yes, Screaming! :-). And in the social setup (like LinkedIn/Facebook), the context setting and moderation becomes an issue as everybody screams and it takes significant amount of time for an accepted protocol to emerge from conversations from unknown people.

In the new solution, SAP takes collaboration to the next level which is Decision Making. I signed up for the free service today and played around with the options. In addition to all the basic networking features like profile, following others, etc, One can create 'Activities' and invite relevant people into the activities for collectively making some decisions. And once they have decided, they can lock the conversations, close the decision and archive the entire conversations for later perusal. In the corporate world, BlackBerry device has become extremely important purely because of the fact that 'Email' is being used as the conversation and collective decision making tool. Isn't it?. But, Truly speaking, Email was not designed or meant to be a collective decision making tool. And that was exactly solved by StreamWork.

Above all, SAP scores by providing activity templates for structuring the conversations. One can create as many activities as required. And the solution also has typical bells and whistles - conenctivity to blackberry, integration with enterprise security, connectivity to other feeds, integration with BO/SAP/Enterprise Systems. Now, that sounds really enterprisy!. And innovative!.

Am not sure whether StreamWork is available as an installable format so that someone can have it in their private cloud. If that is possible, nothing like it!. Am sure most of the SAP customers would love to embrace it in 2011!.

For other non-SAP customers, the brand 'SAP' may not strike the right chord with this truly innovative small new piece of solution!. We need to wait and watch the developments!.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Bring Your Own Device to the Enterprise!

One of the pertinent challenges of the CIO has been to respond to emerging technologies and associated opportunities. And the recent one has been Smart Phones.

The question that employees have started asking is - I have a high-end Smart Phone having Android or Windows OS. Can I access corporate emails in those devices? If not, why not?

For CIOs, this scenario brings improved capability to the enterprise enhancing the productivity of the employees, with little additional cost.

This is a perfect example of consumerization of IT, where consumer technologies try to enter into the Enterprise with major force. These technologies certainly blur the boundaries of personal and work life. Its a boon and a bane!.

Now, How do we achieve a blended experience in an optimized technical solution?. My observation with Smart Phones has been that they are becoming on par with Laptops in terms of capabilities. If we can do something on Laptops/Desktops, it should be possible in SmartPhones sooner or later.

Here is a suitable example - VMWare to virtualize Android SmartPhones for Business Users. In India, Dual Sim enabled Phones are very popular. One of my friends who is a Doctor carries a phone with Dual Sim cards, clearly assigning one for his patients/clients and another for social/friends network. Am sure many of other professionals would also like to have Dual Sim Cards. Me, being in IT world, though may not need to have dual sim card, would like to have a partitioned Smartphone where the business content is clearly separated and manageable from personal content like photos, videos, etc. And that is exactly what VMWare promises to offer using this solution. Like Desktop virtualization, one can virtualize and install two different operating systems in the same device.

Users who would like to switch between business and personal profiles can simply do so, as easy as tapping an icon for opening an application. This is certainly innovative and just the beginning of untapping the potential of smart phones.

As mentioned in the article, one of the interesting challenge that still remains to be solved is to virtualize the telephony in addition to the OS/content. For example, putting an official/personal call on hold while the other sim is currently being active!.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Cloud Computing 2.0

Interesting things happening at SalesForce.com. I believe the recent events at SalesForce.com could influence the progress of Cloud Computing industry in a big way.

1. Database.com
Its a Cloud database offering from SFDC. Using this DB, developers can write applications in any language of their choice, host it on the platform of their choice and connect to this cloud DB, as if they are connecting to on-premise database. There are news that some of the vendors are even developing database drivers (like JDBC) for database.com, so that development community can connect to the Cloud DB with ease. In fact, if those drivers become available, it will require very few changes for legacy apps to be able to talk to Cloud DB.

2. SalesForce.com acquire Heroku.com
Heroku.com is a Rails Cloud Provider. Anyone can write a Rails application and host it on Heroku cloud. With this acquisition, SFDC would have the capability to support Rails PaaS in addition to Java like Force.com platform. This would increase the choice of platforms available to end users for developing custom applications.

3. Cloud 2 Vision
In the DreamForce conference, SFDC CEO has unveiled its next version of Cloud Computing Strategy. And He goes on to say that SFDC architecture has been reworked to support mobile, cloud and social capablities. And now Enterprise business applications can acquire the capabilities of cloud/mobile and social, all three in one offering by partnering with SFDC. Sounds promising?. Its interesting to note that newly launched Database.com comes with native support for modeling social applications (such as integrating with profiles/connections) and connecting to mobile based applications. In a way, SFDC strategy is already demonstrated in databse.com offering.

It is good to see lots of traction on Cloud Computing and increased number of options becoming available to Cloud Development Community. With the rate of progression, I hope to see developers would using most of their standards languages and tool sets to work with Cloud with minimal or no changes to their existing skill sets. This will accelerate the adoption of cloud in the development community and subsequently the same community will influence the adoption within their respective organizations as well.

But, What bothers me is that - SFDC primarily is a business service provider to line of business users. But do you see the change in their course, now morphing themselves to become a platform vendor. And that transformation will only appeal to Enterprise IT and not the line of business users. No doubt, platforms are required to give rise to creation of new applications. But, I would personally like to see lots of innovative business applications served on SaaS from SFDC and others competing vendors and not just the infrastructure.

Another disturbing phenomenon is the disintegration of various layers in Cloud Computing. Now, if someone wants to develop a vanilla enterprise application from scratch, he/she can assemble various layers of the application from various clouds - application layer, database layer, [Am not sure someone provides UI layer/presentation frameworks alone on Cloud]. Now, just imagine, running a single transaction that spans across multiple networks, multiple data centers in different geographies. Am sure that would increase complexity of Enterprise Apps to multifold. And We would need a new set of tools to manage the complexity. I wouldn't be surprised if someone provides those tools also on the cloud..:-)

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

HCL CEO Vineet Nayar does a Larry Ellison on Cloud Computing!

Few weeks ago, I had raised a concern that many of the Indian IT services CxOs dont talk about Technology and merely interested in topline/bottom line issues. And few weeks later, I had also highlighted the Technology leadership displayed by Steve Jobs in Apple's earnings call.

And this week,
Here is Vineet Nayar talking about Cloud in HCL Analyst conference. Its heartening to see an Indian IT services CEO talking about technology. And not only for this instance, Vineet has been articulate and attracting media attention for quite sometime now, due to HCL's tremendous growth in recent years, renewed marketing and Vineet himself talking about company's strategy convincingly.

Now coming to the main issue of 'What' exactly Vineet talked about Cloud. And that where it gets interesting. In the interview, Vineet explains why he is not so excited about cloud. And He states the fact that there is no disruptive technology behind cloud and its just a business model that is packed in a new format. [Oracle CEO Larry Ellison ranted on Cloud few years ago on similar grounds]

Very True!. In fact, I had mentioned this very same issue in 2008 stating that Cloud is indeed a rocket science and there is no magic pill that would enable someone to become a cloud provider from day one. Pls note, anyone can become a cloud consumer instantly. But becoming a Cloud provider is not so easy!. And there are genuine technical challenges in being a authentic cloud provider.

The industry is still in early stages in discussing/debating and defining what an 'authentic' cloud means in 'technical' terms.

Leaving the semantic definitions behind, Cloud indeed brings visible economic benefits to Enterprise IT. And if Vineet, as a CEO of an IT services company, is concerned about his customers (most of them being Enterprise IT), why don't his company take the leadership and pass on the cloud benefits to them?. If Cloud is an opportunity to create a new value for Customers, why dont we adopt it? Why should he wait for a disruptive technology to arrive to create a new value?.

Vineet disputes the value proposition of Cloud, because it fundamentally conflicts with his traditional business model. And the traditional IT services business model is threatened. Period.

In his new book, Vineet reveals HCL's new strategy - Employees First. Isn't it obvious?. In a people-intensive business model, your employees have to be first!. But, then, there are umpteen number of challenges in sustaining this strategy such as Growing wages and increased attrition,etc.

Time has come to revist the linear, people-intensive IT services business model to a non-linear, technology-intensive business model. Only then, IT services can reduce the cost of existing services and introduce new value added new services. And that exactly What Cloud offers!. It provides a non-linear business services platform for end customers with no or less strings attached.

I strongly believe that Indian IT services firms can come up with service innovation backed by Technology. For example, some of the IT service companies are providing platform based BPO services or few of the companies provide business products.

Am glad that Vineet talks about 'Employee First'. But, it would be much more meaningful if Technology also takes a slot in the Strategy.

Google Chrome Web Store

Today Google has opened Google Chrome Web Store - a marketplace for installable web apps. Web Applications that are installable?. Sounds confusing?. Yes, it is. But, its interesting!.

These applications are native extensions of Chrome browser and installable as shortcuts (like you store URLs as Favorites in your browser). These applications also have the advantage of using Chrome's underlying presentation/JavaScript technologies to render a rich user experience, which otherwise wouldn't be available for traditional web applications in other browsers. And some of these web applications have the capability to work in offline mode as well (when there is no internet connectivity available). Remember, Google Chrome has built-in support for Google Gears.

Like Apple Appstore, Web apps are available for free and for a fee. You can find applications categorized in several segments, so that users can discover, install and use the applications seamlessly.

Not long ago, Google's CEO complained that Apple is not an Open System, stating that one needs to have Apple's own set of tools/standards to develop applications for iPhone ecosystem. And Here he comes in Chrome Webstore replicating exactly what Apple does!.

In the Internet world, everyone wants to be an advocate of 'Free' market where every other product/solution should follow open standards or given away for free. But, the challenge is 'Free' market doen't lead to a sustainable business model. And that's where everything starts breaking and companies start to differentiate themselves to make some money. This phenomenon applies to open source software as well. Few years ago, It was all rage and Enterprise IT departments were all geared up to use open sorce software in every possible opportunity. Now, the scenario has changed. Today, bitten by support issues/lack of rich management tools, Enterprise IT shops are wary of adopting free/open source software within their companies and prefer commercial support model/licenses. And I don't see an issue in being a so called closed business model, as long as it provides value for the money that is spent.

Ok, coming back to web app store, I was interested in finding whether Google docs is part of the app store. But, I couldn't find it. If I could, I thought I would start using it to see if could replace MS-Office Desktop experience.

It would also be interesting to see how Microsoft IE or Adobe AIR would respond to this idea from Google. With the ability to leverage local resources in the context of browser, I definitely hope to see some interesting killer apps to arrive in coming months leveraging this idea.

Friday, December 03, 2010

Wikileaks & Web 2.0 Complexity

News Media on the Net has been quite active for the past few weeks especially with Wikileaks globally and Tape leak Controversy in India.

The evolving events in Web 2.0 world shows just how unprepared we are in dealing with new issues or taking advantage of emerging opportunities.

For example, Here is a UK retailer who has started a company called InternetEyes. The company provides a service to small business owners where the CCTV security streames can be watched in real-time and the business owners can be alerted for suspicious activities for a monthly fee. The interesting fact is that the company provides this service by Crowdsourcing. Yes, the people on Internet can signup to watch the CCTV stream during their free time and alert the business owners on suspicious events. Now, this sounds like a cool idea, isn't it?. But,there are several quesions that remain to be answered - Is this legal to outsource the legal enforcement activity itself to common citizens?. Does it breach the privacy of people who visit the store?. Is it ethical or do we need to inform those visitors?

Second, Whatever Wikileaks has been doing, Is it legal? just because it is someone that uploads the leaked documents and Wikileaks do not hold any responsibility. Or whatever gets reported out of Wikileaks, is it true and authentic?. Whatz the guarantee that those uploads are not edited? Very recently, Amazon has opted to drop the Wikileaks service fearing legal issues.

And Third, the Tape controversy in India. The news broke out only in Internet and the traditional print/TV media chose to remain silent on the issue for varous reasons. Hence, large number of people remained unaware of the issue and its consequences. This proves that in a country like India, Internet as a Media, is still a minority compared to its population and the reach of traditional print/TV media. How do we distill the multitude of opinions pouring from various avenues claiming who is right and who is wrong?. How do we know the right source of truth?. How do we cut the noise and synthesize the substance?

I see these phenonmenon as evolution of Web 2.0. As the phenomenon grows and people start to contribute in unconventional/unusual ways, it starts to generate new insights, leads to new possiblities and of course, new challenges and new threats in social/legal avenues.

And that's going to be quite a lot of work for netizens. As an Individual, it is going to be expensive for someone to distill and make sense out of proliferation of information and associated opinions on various events. In user-generated content world, given the fact that published content itself could have undergone intentional, biased manipulation, the problem only could get worse. I believe we are going thru the times of information authoring and discovery and we are in need of new tools and technologies that can help us to filter/synthesize / assit in navigating the amazon of information and make suitable choices. It will all the more good, if those tools are highly personalized and understand individual needs better. "Googling" for information is just not enough..Its just the beginning and we have to find ways to move beyond Google.

In this aspect, I would like to quote 'LG App Advisor' application in the newly launched LG Android Phone - LG Optimus One. I do have a HTC Android phone and I love it. And I have downloaded quite a bit of android applications from the market place and wish to 'fish' some more suitable apps that aligns to my interests. Now, if I go to the android marketplace and do a search, I get plenty of results and that is frustrating to me to filter and shortlist the best apps that are interesting to me. Now, LG App Advisor is one that claims to assist in this area. This app can help in suggesting suitable apps accoring to our interests, mediating between us and the android marketplace. The idea is interesting and it is definitely useful. Am yet to see this app advisor demo on Youtube and the feedback. But, this is the kind of example I was talking about - There would be new breed of mediator tools/technologies/apps we will see in near future to navigate the Internet better.