Microsoft has purchased Nokia’s devices and services unit, bringing the Lumia lineup under the Redmond roof. The move unites Windows Phone 8 with its biggest hardware supporter, giving the company the integrated mobile offering it’s been looking for with Surface and other devices. When the deal closes in the first quarter of 2014, Microsoft will pay €3.79 billion for Nokia’s business, plus another €1.65 billion to license its portfolio of patents. 32,000 people are expected to transfer from Nokia to Microsoft, including 18,300 that are “directly involved in manufacturing.”
The purchase comes on the heels of what appeared to be a failed acquisition in June, at which point it seemed conversations had broken off entirely. Now the two come together, in what outgoing Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer called “a bold step into the future.”
A driving force behind the sale seems to be Nokia’s low-end Asha brand, which Microsoft has acquired outright. Asha gives Microsoft a far larger footprint for Windows Phone, and access to millions of customers in developing countries that it plans to use as an “on-ramp to Windows Phone.” The emphasis also lends some credibility to the notion that Nokia’s high-end strategy isn’t working — analysts predicted a horrific Q3 for the company, and its struggles to find a foothold are well-documented. In fact, Microsoft’s licensing deal for the Nokia brand doesn’t include future Lumias — Nokia as a smartphone brand is effectively dead, as Microsoft takes the lineup in-house.
Though Nokia was by leaps and bounds Microsoft’s best hardware partner for Windows Phone 8, EVP of operating systems Terry Myerson was careful to note that Microsoft’s purchase doesn’t come with nepotism. As Google has with Motorola, Myerson promised every partner would be treated the same, even quoting a song by The Killers to make his point. And from Huawei to HTC, there are still other partners — Nokia’s coming in-house, but Windows Phone 8 isn’t being walled off.
- Microsoft: Nokia kept some of its Lumia hardware features secret from us (neowin.net)
- Nokia kept secrets from Microsoft over its Windows Phone plans (theverge.com)
- Microsoft Purchases Nokia’s Device and Services Division to Unite Windows Phone Hardware and Software (macrumors.com)
- Even with its purchase of Nokia, Microsoft won’t forget its Windows Phone partners (phonearena.com)
- Microsoft’s Nokia Deal by the Numbers (allthingsd.com)
- Microsoft: This is why we bought Nokia (wpcentral.com)
- Microsoft purchases Nokia for $7.2 billion (digitaltrends.com)
One of the best ways for Microsoft to jump-start its lagging mobile business is to buy struggling BlackBerry. Why buy a mobile company quickly going south? There are plenty of reasons — here are the top six why Microsoft should pay up and take over BlackBerry.
Reason 1: Microsoft’s enterprise focus
Microsoft’s core business is in the enterprise — Windows, Office, servers and tools, Exchange, and more. BlackBerry’s core business is in the enterprise as well. But Microsoft has been hurt by the BYOD movement, because it allows iOS and Android devices to make their way into enterprises. BlackBerry is valued by enterprises for its secure networks and servers. The New York Times reports that “In its most recent quarterly report, BlackBerry reported having roughly 72 million users worldwide, most of whom were still generating monthly services fees by sending data over the company’s special closed network.” There’s clearly great synergy here for Microsoft.
Reason 2: increase market share
The latest figures from IDC show Windows Phone with a 3.7% worldwide market share, up from 3.1% a year ago. BlackBerry has 2.9% market share. Buying BlackBerry would give Microsoft a 6.6% market share. Given that it took Windows Phone a year to grow by only .6%, this would be a big increase. Over time, Microsoft would switch users from the BlackBerry to the Windows Phone platform, and grow Windows Phone that way, especially in enterprises.
Reason 3: hardware engineers
Steve Ballmer’s vision for Microsoft is to turn it into a devices-and-services company. Microsoft has not primarily been a hardware company up until now, and so it is not rich in hardware engineers. It takes a long time to recruit and hire them. Buying BlackBerry would immediately bring to Microsoft a sizable core of experienced mobile engineers and designers, who could work not just on smartphones but on other Microsoft devices.
Reason 4: increase intellectual property
The Times notes that “Analysts generally suggested that BlackBerry’s most attractive asset is its intellectual property, including some of its software and its various cellphone patents.” In today’s litigious tech world, patents can be used to harm competitors and get very serious licensing revenue from them. Microsoft uses its patent to extract licensing fees from many Android device makers. It’s not clear that BlackBerry has any patents that could be used in this way. But it’s certainly possible, and growing your patent war chest is always a good thing.
Reason 5: Smartcar strategy
One massive mobile market is currently up for grabs: Automobiles. There’s no doubt that all cars will soon become rolling networks and smart devices. No one dominates that market yet. Buying BlackBerry would give Microsoft a headstart on owning it. BlackBerry owns QNX Software Systems, which built the operating system that powers the BlackBerry 10. More important, though, is that the same operating system is being used by GE, Cisco, and notably General Motors. General Motors uses it for its OnStar service, as well as for its Audi and BMW lines.
The Times says that BlackBerry has plans to “use QNX’s automotive ties and its unique global data network to allow car companies to update vehicle software through wireless networks and to monitor vehicles’ mechanical state.” Microsoft could do that and go beyond it, looking to make Windows Phone or Windows the smartcar operating system.
Reason 6: cheapest cost
It’s clear that by itself, BlackBerry has no future. So the company can likely be bought at a bargain price, rather than at a premium. Microsoft is cash rich. It’s time to put that cash to good use, and BlackBerry would be a very good mobile investment at a reasonable cost.
- Six reasons Microsoft should buy BlackBerry (blogs.computerworld.com)
- Speed is the key: How Windows Phone jumped ahead of BlackBerry (zdnet.com)
- Report: BlackBerry Advisers Eyeing Microsoft (hispanicbusiness.com)
- Where Will BlackBerry’s American Tale End? (fool.com)
- BlackBerry’s biggest strength (news.yahoo.com)
- Verizon pushing Bing app to BlackBerry Storm (reviews.cnet.com)
- The Enemy of My Enemy is My Friend: Should Microsoft buy Blackberry? (mayo615.com)
These are slides and speaking notes from a presentation I made recently to a corporate training group.
I passionately believe…
1) That any information architecture (iA)needs to span more than one insular organization or it, in and of itself, just becomes one more stand-alone methodology…
2) That structure paradoxically engenders freedom by eliminating useless redundancy of content and effort…
- "Developing Researcher Skills in Research Data Management: Training for the Future - A DataPool Project Report" (digital-scholarship.org)
- Getting Your Web Site's Structure Right (tc.eserver.org)
- No matter how big it gets, data still demands management and quality checks (blogs.techworld.com)
- Easy Enterprise Architecture (xpdianea.wordpress.com)
The power of asking the right questions
One of the most powerful ways of getting the best ideas from brainstorming and sparking creativity is to start with the right question.
The opposite is also true - you can spin your wheels, and kill ideation by asking the wrong question.
Too often, brainstorming meetings get stuck in a rut. They either cycling over the same ideas, go off on a tangent that ends up miles from your business, or is simply uninspired and flat.
Innovation over-highlighted in companies?
On the web, we can read articles saying that companies & people overrated Innovation. Arguments are clear: consumers that would like some products do not especially want innovative products. These consumers need very good products, with the right price – depending on level of life of consumers & at the right moment – accessible during the seasons, the locations, the time and so on… It seems to be absolutely true, isn’t it?
We are not buying a car because there is tablet inside but because the design of the car is what’s we expected, the fiability and global quality is very good and the car bought is in relation with what’s we would like to do with it: driving in cities, driving in the nature or allowing us to drive with 4 children.
Does it means that cars produced do not require important innovations to build the best car for the smallest price?
What is innovation?
Wikipedia answers to this question: “Innovation is the development of new values through solutions that meet new requirements, inarticulate needs, or old customer and market needs in value adding new ways. This is accomplished through more effective products, processes, services, technologies, or ideas that are readily available to markets, governments, and society.”
It means that reducing company’s innovation to innovative products is really viewing it as a small piece of what can be innovation. Innovation concept is larger.
Culture of innovation
The standard structures of the company are managing the recurrent operations. We do not have to reduce the importance of these structures: financial results made with them, allow companies to have an innovation structure.
But innovation cannot be processed as in standard structures: there is no recurrent action in its management. Innovation needs its own organization with dedicated managers and experts. Innovation does not have to be separated from the rest of the company: people in the standard structure needs to participate to innovations.
Innovation structures need their own budget with dedicated KPIs, radically different from other budgets. Another key point is the sponsorship. It must clearly be sponsored by executive board members. Steering committees, less structured, must be put in place.
At the end, all collaborators of the company, employees, directors, board members and CEO must contribute to innovation process. Putting a culture of innovation is a key element in a company.
Is Innovation really overrated?
For a company, innovation is larger than having innovative products. Having a process reducing time to proceed operations, having new product with new services more adapted to the market or using new technologies for selling or for having better products is innovation!
I have already heard that coming back to the root of project management is probably more important than having innovation focus. I have to say that there is no link between project management and innovation. Both are required in different steps in any company.
Since 5 years, innovation is entered in all companies, the small ones as the big ones, companies from every countries and from all sectors. It is not a fashion way that will disappear within 5 years. Innovation is a key element that companies have right now to integrate in their strategy for a long time.
It is really simple to think in terms of innovation as a “closed” activity where the company owns the information by different means. Research is performed, new ideas come up, and new businesses are developed. This linear analysis however is missing several advantages than can be obtained by shifting the process to an open innovation model. Some of those advantages are:
- More amount of ideas: it sounds obvious, but it’s necessary to comment that the more people involved in the innovation process, the more ideas one can get to select from
- Wider reach: it’s related with the previous advantage. When more people and with more different backgrounds are implicated, ideas tend to be more diverse and rich. Having people with backgrounds in art or architecture, for designing computers, for example, can be necessary, and provide with experience that computer designers may not have.
- More focused target: Involving customers, final users, and suppliers, will ensure that targets are reached. Their opinion is of great importance. Many ideas are developed, and then rejected because of final user tastes, or supplier’s impossibility of achieving expected results. Having them making suggestions in the beginning of the process will ensure that ideas that are being developed are on the right track.
- Resources efficiency: the amount of infrastructure necessary in a “closed innovation” business model to achieve the same results as an open innovation one is prohibitive. Companies can’t afford that amount of money. If they want those results, they should use an open model.
But, which are the steps to follow? It’s rather simple to think about them but not executing:
- Change the mind model of people in the company. This is the most difficult part, and yet, the most necessary.
- Select your partners. Thinking wider is better in this stage. Who can bring more ideas? Making a diagram on how the business model is, can be good for leaving no one behind.
- Make the rules: make a contract setting what can and can’t be done. Is necessary to reduce risks.
- Execute the process. Work platforms are necessary. Think on their impact in the process.
- Monitor and improve. As in every process, things can (and must) be improved.
Who is doing this now? What are their results?
Media related companies, such as movie making, or advertising, and fashion, have been doing it for a while, but also Oil&Gas companies and Automotive companies, specially in relation with their suppliers, or B2B customers.
Results are cheaper and more focused ideas. For example, wider approaches lead to the use of medicine images technology for oil fields exploration.
People can access internet from anywhere in the world. Right now, companies can take profit from the ideas that a potential customer comes out while travelling in the metro.
To wrap up, open your mind, open your company process to the rest of the world, and the results you will find, are greater than you can imagine.
- open-innovation-shifting-to-a-more-efficient-business-model (eoi.es)
- Business Model Innovation (risingwiththecloud.wordpress.com)
- Problemsourcing initiative gets the academic once-over (sticknz.net)
- 5 Business Models That Are Driving The Circular Economy (millennialambitions.com)
- Creative ‘deconstruction’::Innovate Your Business Model (fitforrandomness.wordpress.com)
How learn if robots run the world?
Science fiction writers and blockbuster movies have been predicting a world run by robots for decades, and for most of us, the fantasy has stayed in the realm of fiction. But artificial intelligence has made rapid progress and robots are becoming more a part of everyday life than many people realize. Those who study robots and their impact on life foresee a day not too far off when many jobs now held by people will be automated.
Computers & incremental creativity
As artificial intelligence improves and slowly takes over aspects of daily life, the only way for people to continue to be useful is to “up-skill” — and that takes creativity. “Incremental creativity is just improving on something, but radical creativity is thinking something up,”. We can believe that, in time, computers will be capable of incremental creativity, slowly improving a process and building on its success. What they will never be able to do is generate a radically new idea.
The role of educators
“The role of the educator is to channel and guide what is fundamentally an improvisational process”. Education has to focus on learning how to learn – metacognition. School will still be important, but not to impart what happened during the Revolutionary War or to teach the quadratic formula. School, he said, should focus on teaching young people the intangibles, the things that make humans unique: relationships, flexibility, humanity, how to make discriminating decisions, resilience, innovation, adaptability, wisdom, ethics, curiosity, how to ask good questions, synthesizing and integrating information, and of course, creating. In the future, computers and humans will be working together to create the next big invention and when that happens, people can distinguish themselves by controlling the process and the strategy. Humans will define the goals and will think creatively about solutions.
To produce more creative thinkers
Most political leaders and education experts agree that the education system needs to adapt to the technological realities of the age and work to produce more creative thinkers. “The whole culture is coming out with support for more and greater creativity in students,” said R. Keith Sawyer, professor of education and psychology studying creativity and learning at Washington University in St. Louis, at the same conference.
Recognizing that much of the creative work generated comes out of collaborative group work, teachers can think about their classrooms as places for improvisational flow, where teachers and students are building knowledge together. Structure is needed, but some flexibility as well.
An incremental learning model
To arrive at an improvisational classroom, educators can move away from an instructional model for the classroom. The traditional model clings to the notion that children need to learn particular facts and it’s the teacher’s job to impart that information to students. Facts and information build incrementally and turn into more complex ideas, and learning is measured by testing knowledge of facts.
But many argue that this model results in superficial knowledge and low retention, weak transfer to new situations, inability to integrate facts and apply to other situations, Sawyer said.
Sawyer proposes that schooling should be constructionist, focusing on a deeper, conceptual understanding of topics with the ability to build new knowledge in new situations. To do this, students need to take facts, skills, and concepts and apply them to real-word problems. Learning should start with a driving question. This way, students can explore the topic through inquiry and discussion, working in teams, just as they would in the workplace or other life situations. Students create a tangible product that addresses the issue at hand, and along the way an instructor guides the process.
Every teacher as creative professional
Every teacher is a creative professional,” Sawyer said. “And in the ideal world, every teacher is contributing these small ideas, engaging in mutual tinkering. But we have to share with others, we can’t keep it in the classroom.” The creative act of teaching needs to be a collaborative one, like a startup team working on the next innovative product. If each teacher continues to tinker and offer ideas to the larger group, a creative breakthrough will emerge.
“It’s going to be every one of us that contributes ideas along the way,” Sawyer said. And in doing so, teachers everywhere can create the institutional change that stands between them and implementing the ideas that to many are obvious and instinctual.
- If robots will run the world what should student learn (kqed.org)
- Let’s Hire Robots Instead of Human Teachers (jcsprenger.com)
- Robots to ‘Teach’ in Experiments in New York and California (theepochtimes.com)
- Gates Foundation wants cameras in every classroom – to help, of course (notthesingularity.com)
- 5 Practical Uses of Social Media in the Classroom (revolutionarypaideia.com)
In 2013, French government is trying to find a way to push France to be more innovative. France is considered a moderately innovative country in Europe (see more details with the previous article TOP4 Leaders in Europe). French government is focusing on education aspect: how to infuse the spirit of innovation at school?
Art and Engineering Can Co-Exist
At the beginning, people thought she was nuts. Sue Mellon, working in United States, gifted support coordinator for Springdale Junior and Senior High/Colfax School in the Allegheny Valley School District, thought 7th and 8th graders could develop a deeper understanding of poetry by playing around with robotics.
“Originally, people looked at me like I was crazy,” Mellon said. Now, two years later, Robotics Poetry is a staple of language arts classes at Springdale and a new grant has students preparing to be peer mentors.
Poetry isn’t always easy for students. But with hands-on engagement, they gain new understanding. Take Robert Frost’s “Pasture.” Instead of just reading and discussing the work in a typical classroom setting, students made 21st-century dioramas with robotic tool kits containing sensors, motors, LEDs, and a controller. One student made a blue plastic wrap lake in an old cardboard photocopy-paper box that vibrated, thanks to the motor, and, lit up, thanks to the LED. When the student said the word “water”—students record themselves reading the poems aloud in the audio-editing program Audacity—the LED turned the plastic wrap a deeper shade of blue. When he got to the bit about the “tottering” calf, the motor made the toy calf vibrate.
Critical for Innovation
The move to include art and design in the push to advance science, engineering, and math is not just a “feel-good” move. It’s critical to the future economy and families’ standard of living. Researchers are finding that although children’s IQ scores have been steadily rising, results on the Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking—a key measure of creativity—have been on the decline since 1990, just as the demand for more creative thinkers is rising. In a 2010 IBM survey, 1,500 CEOs identified creativity as a top leadership competency of the future.
At a professional development event for local superintendents, the participants had all read Daniel Pink’s book, “A Whole New Mind,” and then Pink came in to discuss the importance of creativity. An executive director of state agency that support the Sue Mellon’s school, spoke to the participants about the importance of “right-brain qualities” like empathy and inventiveness. “The message was loud and clear, and that’s when the movement started. Being strong in math and science wasn’t enough. To meet future workforce needs, we had to address the whole-brain needs of our students.”
See more details on original article
- More Poetry For Gamers (voidpoetry.com)
- The Kiski School’s David (DJ) Gress Wins Poetry Out Loud Contest (prweb.com)
- Poetry For Gamers (voidpoetry.com)
- Robotics gets respect as an undergraduate major (stanforddaily.com)
- FIRST Student Robotics Teams Wrap Up 2013 Build Season (prweb.com)
Innovation isn’t this abstract thing that some companies have and some don’t. Innovation is actually a business skill that executives and employees can develop and master.
No. 1: Everybody might be an innovator
Innovative companies believe that all employees should be creative. That means that all employees are looking for better ways to do things in their jobs. They are rewarded, not shunned, when they try to alter the status quo. With that as a corporate culture, new ideas thrive and so do new products.
No. 2: idea-generation measured
Whatever a company values, it measures. Companies that value innovation measure how many of the ideas they generate turn into development projects. Most companies Booz surveyed convert fewer than 20 percent of their ideas into products, but a few say they convert up to 60 percent. Size matters here in a surprising way. The smaller the company, the more likely they are to act on their ideas, the report said. That’s because even though smaller companies have fewer resources, they also have less bureaucracy.
No. 3: Ideas change a lot before becoming a product
The magic of innovation doesn’t really come at the idea stage or the winnowing stage. It comes at the feedback stage where iterations of the idea are developed and tried. Successful companies incorporate what a customer asks for with new things that the customer didn’t know were possible, so the iteration stage is as much about education as it is about feedback.
No. 4: Ideas tested with customers
Innovation isn’t just about coming up with ideas, it’s about choosing between them. The best companies know how to pick which ideas to pursue because they have good idea-picking systems in place. Many of them line up customers to be guinea pigs, trying things out for them. They find risk-taker customers who are likely to buy new things. They also build a network of internal employees and partners to be guinea pigs, too.
No. 5: An internal “idea Caesar”
Innovative companies make one or more execs responsible for finding new ideas and turning them into products and services. The Booz report calls these folks “innovation champions” and says they are assigned “to coordinate the capture, development, and internal promotion of new ideas.”
No. 6: Customers & partners associated to innovations
Creating ideas means knowing customers really well. Most creative companies say they find their best ideas by talking to customers. And “talking” means having senior execs converse with actual people about new ideas. It doesn’t mean hiring a market research firm to talk to people, although one-third of the most innovative companies do that, too. Nothing beats direct, unfiltered input from real-life customers.
No. 7: Ideas found everywhere
Innovative companies don’t care where ideas come from. They look inside their company and they look outside. Acquisitions can be a way of bringing in innovation. A company might make a purchase to open up a new area of expertise, a new market, or to bring in entrepreneurs with cutting-edge thinking.
No. 8: Ideas generated in 3 basic ways
Innovative companies fall into three categories, according to how they most frequently generate ideas, Booz finds:
- Need Seekers talk to customers to find out what they want and generate new products based on that.
- Market Readers closely watch the market and then quickly create incremental improvements on hot up-and-coming ideas already in the market.
- Technology Drivers create brand-new stuff by letting their tech experts experiment.
No. 9: R&D spent thoughtfully & not reckless
The 10 most innovative companies aren’t the ones that spend the most on R&D.
Of the list of the most innovative (Apple, Google, 3M, Samsung, General Electric, Microsoft, Toyota, Procter & Gamble, IBM, and Amazon), only three of them — Toyota, Microsoft, and Samsung — are among the companies with the biggest R&D budgets, as listed in this chart from Booz. (Click here to see the chart.)
For example, Apple, Google, and 3M together spent $9.2 billion on R&D. Samsung alone spent $9.0 billion in total. Yet Samsung was ranked as more innovative.
No. 10: New ideas created systematically
Any company can come up with one or two great ideas. But to do so year after year requires systems for:
- Generating ideas.
- Choosing which ideas to pursue.
- Iterating on those ideas in response to feedback.
- Knowing that customers will buy new products before investing in production.
- Measuring success.
Simply put, innovative companies create systems for all five steps.
See more details
- Getting Crazy Ideas Off the Ground (blogs.hbr.org)
- 4 Ways to Turn Your Company Into an Innovation Machine (printforms.wordpress.com)
- Innovation for Small Businesses (prweb.com)
- 5 Customer Experience Innovation Killers (business2community.com)
- 4 Rules of Innovation: What Nike And SAP Know (business2community.com)
- Is Samsung sacrificing innovation for marketing? (ibnlive.in.com)
When faced with something new, we usually look for similarities to the familiar. And the more commonalities we find, the more readily we accept the new.
But is creating similarities to the familiar always a good approach? Surprisingly, the answer may be no. Following analogies too closely can cause similarities to remain undetected or, even worse, be falsely assumed to exist.
Alternatively, a close-fitting analogy may make the new seem overly familiar. Concentrating too much on similarities can cause organizations to overlook what is unique about the new — particularly those aspects that might offer important advantages and opportunities.
Organizations can rely too heavily and too long on a favored analogy, which carries significant risks. One analogy might be a poor fit relative to others; by using it too long, the company might deprive itself of the insight a better analogy would provide. This may result in diminished competitive advantage, since rivals that use better analogies can adapt more rapidly to change and innovation.
Lessons for Leaders
To better understand the full meaning of anything new, employ a wide range of diverse analogies and maintain an open mind. This is much easier to achieve with a staff that can draw from a broad spectrum of work, personal, educational and cultural experiences. Depth of experience in one area may be more harmful than helpful, as it may prevent the richly diverse analogies that breadth of experience frequently engenders.
Avoid relying too heavily on certain analogies and overlooking the benefits of others. Developing a list of diverse analogies makes it less likely that any specific one will be associated with a particular individual or group, limiting its perceived applicability.
To build momentum during the assimilation phase, concentrate on analogies that emphasize the familiar. Focus on similarity of function, rather than appearance. Obvious surface features may obscure important similarities at more structural levels.
Be prepared to change analogies as the new technology becomes more familiar. Transition to analogies that highlight what is distinctive about the innovation. This will help ensure that high-potential attributes are not overlooked.
See the complete article related to this post
- Change Management: Using analogies to overcome resistance (business.financialpost.com)
- Are analogies the best way to describe innovations? (smartplanet.com)
- Analogies and Innovation (enterpriseresilienceblog.typepad.com)