Someone sent me a series of ads - auto companies paying each other left handed compliments. And after the SaaS announcements, conferences and smack talk in the last couple of weeks, I said surely these are subliminal SaaS ads...what do you think?
Not BMW, it's salesforce.com saying "Analysts say SAP's BusinessByDesign legitimizes SaaS. The bastards say welcome!"
Not Audi, it's SAP saying to salesforce.com "Congratulations on approaching a billion in revenues. We did over 20 years ago!"
Not Subaru, it's NetSuite saying "wait a minute - we are the SAP for the rest of us"
I cannot wait to try out Cubic...about to launch with its core target market "aggrieved customers across the globe who
don’t understand why they can’t get value for money when making
international calls and roaming."
Does that sound like me after my bitching here, here, and everywhere?
Ok, so may be I was too quick to call him an angel. I had hoped he would do to SIM what he (finally) has done to DRM. But he reverses course and threatens unlocked iPhone customers.
Steve, listen to your customers. Many of them are telling you they love your gadget, but not the network. Could be because a Consumer Reports survey of a large sample of 43,000 users shows Cingular (now AT&T) did not do so well. Could be because while AT&T has launched a new ad campaign about "Your Seamless World" with the costs of roaming with AT&T, especially overseas, it should really be called "Your Penniless World"
Give them a choice. Their issue is not with your product.
A mention in Mike Arrington's TechCrunch can bring plenty of traffic to web sites.
But can it match the attention the Iranian President brought to the Columbia Spectator (the University student newspaper) website?
BTW - my household is split. My wife thinks University President Lee Bollinger was rude in his opening remarks to an invited guest. I agree - kinda. I get tired of our President getting heckled wherever he goes so was a bit proud to see so many New Yorkers come out to heckle.
Now I want every one to just cool down and not screw up my flight through New York later this week -)
"The big beer companies spill more beer than I brew each year" - the ads with Jim Koch of Samuel Adams from the 90s kept flashing as I made my way last week with a client on planes, trains and automobiles through a whirlwind tour of Central and Eastern Europe. While the average distance between each location was 250 miles, each brings it own rich history and sights and sounds. And beers. Like Egger. Urquell, Ursus, the 12% Zlaty Bazant, Zywiec
Never heard of them? Well, then you probably have not heard of outsourcing towns and vendors in many of these countries. Because they brew less than the bigger Western and Indian services firms spill each year. Sure if you want to rapidly scale to 500 resources they cannot deliver. No alphabet soup of CMM, ISO etc certifications. But they offer their own charm. Like easier travel and time zone access for European clients. EU IP protection in many of these markets. Multi-lingual support. The opportunity to enjoy the rich history and sights and sounds. And importantly, energy. Most of these countries and their citizens cannot wait to make up for the retarded progress during the Communist experiment.
And in our flat world, just as SABMiler and Heineken and others have been buying local breweries (each one of the brands above is owned by a global major), expect IBM and TCS and EDS to keep expanding their own footprint in these markets.
I was talking recently to an airline executive and he was fretting at the unused airline mile liability that hangs over the industry. By some accounts almost 20 trillion air miles have been issued but not used. Or better put - not allowed to be used. As I have written before they have grossly devalued that currency and destroyed the loyalty they had earned with their elite and other frequent flyers.
SAP should learn from the airline example. Its BusinessbyDesign, previously A1S, announced today is SAP's nth attempt at the middle market. But what is different and very promising is the economics it promises - at $ 149 a user a month is a fraction of cost of on-premise implementations. Not SAP being generous - just responding to benchmarks other SaaS vendors have set.
But what about its larger customers? Don't they deserve a similar break? Will SAP lower maintenance? Will it aggressively monitor its systems integrator costs? As I wrote earlier this week and several times in the last couple of years, SAP TCO is a mountain which casts a shadow on so many IT budgets - as large as the airline unextinguished mileage liability.
The airline executive had a sense of remorse when he said between all the mileage being given out around credit cards and newer affinity programs, folks who never even pay for a flight can now fight
for the same free seats as heavy travelers like me.
SAP's loyal, larger customers which made the company have a right to feel the same way as SAP chases after new markets while not offering them the same breakthrough in economics.
Charles de Gaulle, a giant of a man, was also infuriatingly impossible. So it is only fitting his namesake airport in Paris resembles him. Architecturally stunning in so many ways, it finds ways to drive you to drink or worse. There has not been a single visit, transit which has not meant missed flights, lost bags, club lounge staff who find ways to refuse entry....
...so I land this morning at CDG from the US and have 90 minutes for my connection. From previous trips, I expected a bus tour of the airport. Did not disappoint. I clear immigration - not sure why since I am leaving the country right away. Then walk, take escalators, moving walkways, steps - for 25 minutes to terminal 2D. Not sure why the bus tour did not stop there. Go through security again. Get to gate as the flight is boarding. Start to relax when they - get this - they put us on more buses. One airport rep tells me to wait for next bus since the previous one is full. 5 minutes later another rep comes along and chides me for not getting on the bus. I get on the full bus. We drive for another 10 minutes and park near the tarmac. Driver turns the engine off. 10 minutes in a full bus. Everyone's sweating and looking around, but no one complains (must have been all tourists...the locals would have revolted). Finally the driver starts ignition, only to open the doors and we have to walk back up to our gate. I notice it is in terminal 2B - I had passed that on my long walk earlier. I silently thank God I am not physically disabled. How do they manage through this airport? I must admit my mental state was pretty disabled as I slumped into my seat on the plane.
On my way over I had asked Delta what my upgrade looks like on way back. They said my flight back via Amsterdam did not look good. However, the one from Paris looked better. I called them today and said - no thanks. I will fly economy - no more CDG for me for another year, at least.
The only good thing about CDG - they allowed me to take 2 carry ons that I had from my US flight through to my connection. The icing on the cake would have been if they had like at London forced me to check the second bag...and then lost it ...