So says Rob Carter, CIO at Fedex in this Fortune
interview. But Fedex would rather innovate and has an enviable track
record of technology innovations that have made its supply chain
efficient, tracking packages easier for customers and its drivers much
He also talks about how UPS has caught up in a number of technology areas. See my profile of UPS technology here.
Couple of years ago, Nick Carr stirred things up by saying
IT doesn’t matter. He then proceeded to launch a blog on technology topics. Now
he says corporations should not blog. Ironically, he says that on his blog and
then proceeds to provide pretty good tips on how corporation can blog well if
they decide to.
Nick is provocative and often inconsistent. But I have come to enjoy Nick’s wicked
sense of humor. I read his blog on a regular basis and often comment on his
He is the poster child for why corporations should learn to
blog. At little cost he has a powerful publishing platform – and reach
around the world.
Just like a segment of US audiences get their daily news from
Jon Stewart, many of us get our news and analysis from blogs, not MSM or industry
It could be the instant analysis and feedback. It could be
the mysterious nature of where an embedded link in a blog post may take us next.
It could be the fascinating, viral way in which blog world reacts to news and
other blogs. Psycho-analyze that to death if you want, but the reality is blog
readership – or really “readwritership” that blogging facilitates – is growing
Corporations need to learn to use this medium to reach this growing audience. For too long, corporate executives have communicated with their
customers from behind their call centers and via templatized emails on their
web sites. And relied on press releases and commercials to get their messages
No matter what Nick says – or reverses course on - blogs do
Update: I saw on Robert Scoble's blog that he has been presenting to a group of corporate and government audiences on the hows and risks of blogging. That is a healthy trend. Corporations have to explore this medium and decide on their own rules of engagement, not just ignore it.
This continues my periodic series of things sales folks say during pitches.
Earlier ones are
here , here
a) "R&D spend is not correlated to innovation"
"There are a number of studies which show that innovation is not tied to
how much you spend on R&D" is a objection handler when salespeople are
asked why only 5 -10-15% of revenues go towards R&D. True enough, but here
is something which is even more guaranteed. No - zip - product innovation ever
comes out of the 50+% that many tech vendors spend on sales, marketing and
administration. So, try reversing the proportion between R&D and SG&A.
b) "Go ahead save some money now. You will need it during the
Implication that going with a lower priced competitor is inherently risky.
Well, let's see - Southwest Airlines has consistently been a low cost
competitor. And in 30+ years of its history has the best safety record of all
major US airlines. There are outages every day at Oracle and EDS customers - it's just
if a SaaS vendor has an outage it is more publicized. Most buyers do additional
due diligence when they go with a lower cost vendor. Most come to the
conclusion that incremental risk (if any) is worth the savings.
I have a feeling we will be seeing these telecom executives more and more across the technology spectrum beyond telecom. As they take on net neutrality, as mobile applications take off, as SaaS and hosting needs explode, as global trade grows, as they get more into systems integration they will become broad based tech players and many are already bigger than the biggest tech vendor, IBM.
and plenty more on this ballot for Most Influential Communications executive in 2005.
A sign of the growing global and inter-locking market: Arun is an US citizen, born in India. His Vodafone recently sold its Japanese mobile business to Softbank, and still holds a chunk of Verizon Wireless.
I wrote before how the telecom industry sticks it to us in "fringe" services. It is particularly bad when you travel because then everyone seems to pile on - airports, hotels, and of course the "men" themselves.
So, here is what I have noticed on my trip so far:
a) Miami Mart Sheraton (near airport). WI-FI at $ 9.95 a day or you can use one of their 10+ roaming "partners". No sign of T-Mobile or Boingo on the list, both of which I already pay a monthly fee to. Sign up for the $ 9.95 service. b) Delta Crown Room Atlanta Airport. All Crown rooms have T-Mobile HotSpots, but the airport defaults to its own service and I end up having to pay a roaming premium to T-Mobile. In recent past travels paid similar premiums at Newark and Chicago O'Hare. (Have airports heard that their fellow administrators a few miles away are trying to offer free municipal WI-FI? It is particularly jarring when you are at an airport only for an hour to pay a 24 hour charge. Kudos to airports like Las Vegas, Tampa, Orlando which are offering free WI-FI) c) Land in UK - my phone recognizes 4 local mobile networks but they will not let me register. Must be an issue with Cingular. I suspect my accountant has schemed this because mobile calls back to the US range from $ 1 to 2 per minute from the places I am going this week. d) Hotel in UK. Get a break. Free WI-FI. Get on Skype. Calls to US numbers a very reasonable 2c a minute. Call to a UK mobile number a few miles from my hotel - 25c a minute! Go figure.
That's just one person, one trip. Think of how much corporations are paying for mobile employees.