I totally forgot to tell you that the book is live now in Amazon:
I would appreciate a candid review!
I totally forgot to tell you that the book is live now in Amazon:
I would appreciate a candid review!
By poplar demand I’ve now rearranged the interviews alphabetically instead of by the dates taken. I also added two pictures two clarify some details in the “Evolution of Cloud” section.
Interaction costs are money and time that are expended whenever people and companies exchange goods, services, or ideas. The exchanges can occur within companies, among companies, or between companies and customers. They can take many everyday forms, including management meetings, conferences, handset conversations, sales calls, reports, and memos. In 1999 John Hagel and Marc Singer published an article in the Harvard Business Review called Unbundling the Corporation . The article is focusing on the economic transformation of verticals across the sectors of the global economy, something telecoms should be familiar with by now. In a nutshell, Hagel and Singer found that all business processes of any enterprise fall into three core categories – they call them processes – and that reduced interaction costs leads to an unbundling of these three core categories:
However, the business mechanics for these three core business processes are competing, and their divergent economic, cultural, and competition-related imperatives inevitably conflict and lead to compromises and trade-offs. A specialized competitor who does not have to make these compromises can offer specific elements of a core business much more effectively than a fully integrated company. Telecoms know this all too well: other companies seem to innovate quicker, Facebook seems to be able to build a deeper emotional customer relationship on a larger scale, and so on. That wasn’t an issue as long as interaction costs were quite high, as interaction costs could be used as market entrance barriers.
Web 2.0 accelerates business unbundling by reducing interaction costs. Its customer-centric approach, .harnessing collective intelligence and creating an environment or platform of intellectual exchange., lead to app stores and open development initiatives. In a way, Web 2.0 opened the doors to cost effective out-sourcing. In order to prevail in the acceleration of business unbundling and market fragmentation even lower interaction costs are required, fueling the operational model of Web 2.0. Constant change of suppliers, services, vendors, and technologies is not something telecoms were very fond of so far, as a natural result of their focus on long- term strategic network investments. What they needed was a design framework. And not just any framework, but one that is
Like so often such a framework already existed since the early nineties. This design framework was called the Service Oriented Architecture (SOA).
You need to align your IT with a very specific Service Oriented Architecture to be compatible with the operational model of Web 2.0, while being able to source specific flexible and agile services from specialized external companies – 3rd parties – and to unbundle and re-bundle your business as needed. However, ASPs moved the complexity from your basement to their basement – you are now running the servers somewhere else, but they are still run on specific servers. You also usually only pay for the hosting, not the software itself, and ASPs also usually host one customer per instance of the software. The complexity remains. What is missing is the business design of the operational aspects as well as architectural design: you probably need to do something different or new in order to engage and disengage quicker with 3rd parties and cater to the Web 2.0 operational model. These challenges along with some changed economics of datacenter and network operations created six characteristics for the Cloud-way to consume or offer services: virtualized resources, elastic resource utilization, automation, utility pricing, self-service provisioning, and managed operations.
For telecoms, Cloud is a business model (again: in a broad sense) of providing services that caters to a Web 2.0 operational model and is manufactured within a Service Oriented Architecture (the free eBook describes the evolution of Cloud in more in detail).
I’m not a historian. So to paraphrase Feynman: “What I am telling you is a sort of conventionalized myth-story that the consultants tell to their clients, and those clients tell to their clients, and is not necessarily related to the actual historical development, which I do not really know!”
This is the nutshell version of a much longer section:
At its core, any business has three main business processes: customer relationship management, product innovation, and infrastructure management. Business Unbundling describes the effect when these three core business processes become separated by specialized companies due to reduced interaction costs within and between companies and customers. The operational model of Web 2.0 is helping to massively reduce interaction costs, subsequently increasing market fragmentation. In order to deal with the operational model of Web 2.0 and the associated fragmentation, the ICT industry required a design framework that allows flexibility while providing operational stability. The principles of Service Oriented Architectures (SOA) from the early 90ties flourished. If Web 2.0 is an operational model, and SOA its design framework, then Cloud is the (business) model for service provisioning and exposure to external and internal parties.
There are, in fact, many Cloud business models, each with its own value proposition, key resources and activities, revenue streams and costs, but I am alluding to the fact that Cloud is merely a new way of doing IT business, and not necessarily a new technology or service. At least not initially – but we will get to that.
I uploaded a new version of the book that now is also searchable and copy-able. You might have noticed that in the previous version you got some nice unicode characters when copy+pasting. Michael Spiller (LinkedIn, Facebook) notified me this morning that search also doesn’t work then. That’s not good.
Let me now if you find any other problems or issues with the version – you should be able to copy text and images from it…
I put the site live. You can download the 224 pages, full color, 8.5MB PDF e-book for free. Yes. The book is free. You will be able to order a soft-cover version at Amazon soon at print-cost (probably around $30) [2010-09-27 UPDATE: Amazon Link Here] , otherwise knock yourself out and print 224 yourself :) But…
The book is free, but we would like to hear from you! The interviews included in this book took place over the course of nine months. Many things happened since we began. People changed jobs and positions, companies were acquired, others failed and went out of business. We set out to gain insights and intelligence on a long-term roadmap for telecom technology, product, and service innovations. As always with long-term outlooks, we probably got a few things wrong (hopefully only a few). Please tell us!
We want to add another chapter to this book where you – the reader – get your voice. To tell us where we were right; where things are more complex and layered than we thought; and where we were plain-out wrong.
But we need your help! Call us! Email us! Leave a comment on our website! Contact us on LinkedIn, Xing, Twitter, Facebook, etc.! We are looking forward to hearing from you. Continue reading →
After some sleepless nights about the formatting and fitting all the interviews into the maximum of 250 pages (full color, full bleed) I finally hold a proof in my hand that looks pretty good – I think I’m going to go with it :)
I changed the line spacing back to 11pt and all fonts to 10pt – which of course means I had to change the locations of all pictures as well. Easy done in WinWord, of course, which is great for book layouts. (I hope you get my irony here…). Also a nice touch of WinWord: If you enter custom page sizes you would think that if you select “Page Size: Custom” and enter “7.125 x 10.250″ it would actually be that custom size. But Noooooooo, not so fast. WinWord is very helpful: Hey buddy, your format is really close to something called “B5 (JIS)” – a Japanese B5 version – so without even telling you I’ll correct that for you to the right format. ARGH. So finally I figured out how to prevent that (define a new page size in your PDF printer). Of course you have to re-do all margins again. And that means that you have to do all image locations again…
Anyhow. Proof is done. The pictures look great in print, really better than I expected. I’ll put the website live over the weekend so you can download the book (for free, of course!). The book should be available in Amazon by the end of next week, in case anyone wants to read it “offline” (and not print 250 pages yourself).
Timo Bauer, GM Americas for NewBay, was so nice to give me a very detailed picture of their product roadmap. Yes, he sneaked into the book in the very last minute, but it’s one of the best telecom-centric interviews I had.
One quote regarding Access:
Today most people think about how to get content onto certain devices. The “Sync” paradigm is all over the place. We think that the “sync” paradigm is actually “anti the cloud”. It is not about “syncing” content rather about enabling easy “Access” to content that sits in the cloud.
and another one regarding Trust:
I think this is a huge opportunity for carriers. I personally am more than happy and even prefer to use a trusted Tier 1 carrier brand to do that for me rather than a Web Service with questionable [terms and conditions]. Who do I trust to manage my personal content for the next 30 years? There are not many companies with the right intentions and capabilities to do that. [...]. The Facebook privacy discussion is just the beginning in this regard. So why not provide a technology platform to carriers that allows them to share all the user generated data with third parties, BUT also allows them technically as well as policy driven to retrieve the data back. The carrier will act as your trusted partner in this case and I believe no one in the value chain is better suited to do this better than the carrier.
After two months of crazy work schedules, followed by two months of moving from the East Coast back to the West Coast I’m finally back on track – and almost done. I’ve got a few edits to do for the strategic impact on emerging and mature carriers, and the interviews with VMWare and Yahoo! need to be formatted.
Then, of course, there’s the final proof reading, which will probably take a week – and then it’s time for the pre-print. So I hope to wrap things up and have the first book in my local Barnes & Noble by end of August. I’ll post a free PDF of the book on this website, though – so no worries, it took long enough now.
It was interesting to see how the closely knit community of eComm already arrived in the Cloud. Of course, these are all people focusing on developing and running services around “Emerging Communication”. But for me the interesting thing to see is how application architectures change and are designed with the deep understanding of necessary interactions between Cloud layers.
I interviewed Prof. Dr. Gunter Dueck, Chief Technologist at IBM (amongst many other things) on Wednesday morning. He had an inspiring view on how application architectures have to adjust to new interaction and transaction models, very timely. It made me understand the undercurrents and sociological background of this change much better.
In http://www.playoutintelligence.com/2009/09/cloud-economics-saas-paas-iaas/ I wrote about one way to abstract different layers of cloud beyond Service, Platform, and Computing. Most communication-centric services I have seen already provide stable and scalable solutions in the Network-as-a-Service layer as well as in the Relationship layer. Great examples are Ringio, Ribbit, and Rebelvox.
But the Augmented Reality sessions clearly showed the understanding of the Information Cloud on data and meta data – more than I could ever have imagined.
We decided to put some 2,000 word excerpts of my interviews on the web to get some first feedback and also discuss the impact and implications of the views of my interviewees publicly. They can be found at:
Let me know what you think at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me at +1-415-830-4161.
I’ve made up my mind about the focus of the book and will set it to things I know best: innovations in technology, products, and services. We discussed a lot about the specific focus on telecoms, but I think there are many lessons learned on how telecoms and other operators are going through a transformation that will impact all other markets and industries – and I’m not just talking about fixed-mobile convergence or triple-play or 3DTV, etc. The transformation of telecoms into media and computing enablers and drivers with existing brand recognition and strong customer relationships will have a strong impact on new media industries and other information and communication technology (ICT) industries.
I had some long editing hours of all the interviews I have so far. From the conversation with Aneesh Chopra I found that especially the financial support and nurturing from the government will create a new ecosystem and accelerate the – what we call in the telecoms word – “horizontalization”: the forming of a SalesCo focusing on sales and bundling and pricing, a ServCo focusing on product innovation and service provisioning, and an AssetCo focusing on infrastructure and operations…
Of course this is a fairly broad categorization, and I’m not saying that a company cannot cover more than one of these horizontal layers (and there will be companies that offer the complete stack). The interesting finding from my interviews is how every interviewee is at one point mentioning telecoms as a major player in Cloud. But in most cases the roles of telecoms are very different. From my exposure in some of the Cloud intiatives of some of the largest global telecom players I know that these telecoms, in turn, only cover a very small area of these enablers and roles so far. In many cases, they actually have no clear idea yet about the power and assets they have and can leverage in these markets, and that’s of course because the market is still too fragmented at this point.
I think that will be something interesting to write about.
So far I’ve got Salesforce, Iterasi, Intalio, NSV, Microsoft, Sofinnova, Sun, Aruba Networks. I’ve got Cisco, IBM, Amazon, VMWare, Google, and GoGrid scheduled, and there might be the great opportunity to get some face time with Aneesh Chopra, the first Federal Chief Technology Officer of the United States…
One big lesson learned, though: It is not easy for publicly noted companies to talk about the future – of course I’m not a journalist but an analyst, and any forward looking statement is dangerous or could give me some insights I’m not supposed to have. I learned about the details of Salesforce Chatter a good six weeks before it was public, and I got some hints about what’s going to happen with Sun’s Cloud once the merger with Oracle is approved in very early December.
Also people move chairs right now, you can see how the Cloud market(s) become more structured and subsequently people move to positions and areas where they feel more comfortable right now. That reminds me that whatever I try and write about in the Book I should really focus on the future beyond 2010 – otherwise this book would have been nice to read about six months ago.
Which brings me back to my first point: how do you get people on the record about the future without talking about concrete product roadmaps? You also don’t just want to talk about big visions, like “everything is going to be connected”, or “the future is mobile”, or “Cloud will become increasingly important”, or “connectivity will become a challenge and an opportunity”… you will be able to read that a lot of the time in any blog, so I’ll try and spare you that…
I looked a bit around for online publishers. Lulu.com and CreateSpace.com seem to be pretty common, but I really have to get up to speed on their terminology. Setting a book in Microsoft Word also seems to be complicated – the margins don’t do 3 digits after the comma, like paper sizes of 10.125 inches, etc.
Also, I discovered a nasty “feature” of Word 2007: You can ‘compress’ pictures – throw away the cropped parts and re-sample to 220dpi, etc. However, in Word 2007 the standard behavior is to do exactly that every time you save the document. Not really suitable for print, as I still need the 600dpi original picture, and I don’t want Word to do any – potentially crappy – resampling… The option is well hidden. You actually have to select a picture, go to the Picture ribbon, select compress (even though that’s not what you want to do), select “advanced options”, and clear the check mark on “do this at every save”.
I hope I’ll remember…
In the past few days I had some awesome interviews with people in the Cloud space, from VCs to small startups to large computing providers. I initially thought I would just use the interviews for some of the innovative projects we’re running at Detecon. But the interviews are far too cool and interesting to end up as “lessons-learned” in a couple of slides.
Maybe I should publish them on a website. But then again, who is going to read 8,000+ words online? Sounds more like a book to me… I checked with corporate marketing, and the interviews are far to long for any other format we currently have. I also checked on Amazon on current and upcoming books. There are lots of books about cloud computing, but I have seen none that focuses on the future of Cloud and the impact on telecom carriers… maybe I should write about that…