Excuse the immodesty, because I have a chapter in the book, but I wanted to announce pre-publication pricing of a book with contributions from some of the thought leaders in the HR field. The 24 chapters cover a broad range of topics from HR Strategy, Innovation (my chapter is focused on that), Organization, Technology to Measurement and Governance.
Contributors represent a wide range of points of view - consultants and advisers (like Dr. Jac Fitz-enz, Karen Beaman and fellow EIs Brian Sommer and Thomas Otter - formerly SAP, now Gartner); academics (Harvard Business School, U of Michigan, London Business School) , technology vendors (Oracle, SuccessFactors, Workday, NetSuite), implementation firms (IBM, CedarCrestone) and more.
I love titles like this one. Like Four Seasons has not buried Marriott. Gucci has not buried Samsonite. Rolex has not buried Swatch. iPhone is a high-end, status-symbol product and likely will never break single digit market share at its significant TCO
Folks, if it has not dented Blackberry, Nokia worldwide has not even broken a sweat. It continues to dominate in the fastest growing markets in the world - where the mobile phone needs to be a functional, affordable device - not a status symbol.
Is Business By Design, SAP's next-gen SaaS offering the most exciting innovation to come out of its labs as its executives were promising just a few months ago, or a cannibalization threat to its staple existing products?
As it confirms what Dennis Howlett speculated earlier in week - a delay in rollout and a cut in investment in BBD - it will likely be the focus of many questions at Sapphire coming up this weekend.
Last week I wrote about Zoho's torrid pace of product and feature launches and said next destination after process functionality and geographic extensions could be vertical functionality.
Instead Zoho goes back to core Office functionality - with something that should interest advanced Excel users. Features like macros and pivot tables - something Google and other Office 2.0 have not tackled- is what Zoho just announced. Zoli has a write up here.
Viable objections to SaaS versions of Office continue to decline.
for unlimited voice and $ 89.99 a month to cover data, GPS etc as Sprint does for $ 99.99 - was my advice to AT&T and Verizon on their unlimited wireless prices.
Two stories in the NY Times add ammunition to my price points. The first says Verizon had only 4% of its customers paying in excess of $ 99 a month before it introduced its unlimited plan - now it is up to 13%. The article says "Americans consistently choose a fixed monthly bill for many services over pay-as-you-go plans, even when it costs them more."
So why should the AT&T and Verizon move unlimited pricing down from $ 99.99? Because many consumers consider cell service a mature one - this survey shows price is a growing factor for consumers in carrier switching. The average cell phone bill will come under growing pressure and it would be smart to lock up a larger percent of the customer base at the likely point of equilibrium. Not to mention benefit from lower waste at the fixed prices - fewer customer billing queries, shorter sales cycles, simpler invoices to print etc etc.
So I book an award stay at an AmeriSuites place I used to location for a client. With Hyatt's acquisition it has been renovated to a Hyatt Place. And Hyatt wants 66% more award points per night. Annoying.
And I show up and am delighted by the new lobby, the 42 inch HD TV in each room, the nice Hyatt bed, the oversized sofa, free Wi-Fi and lots of other nice touches. Well worth the additional points. And instead of a hot breakfast I don't need they serve a healthier continental breakfast, but many have a mini-Starbucks in each location.
So, in a number of technology acquisitions, customers report maintenance and other annual fees go up post-acquisition but product often starts to atrophy and knowledgeable customer service disappears. So the equivalent of the Hyatt Place price, but the old, aging AmeriSuites infrastructure. And of course, no award points accepted.
So finding ourselves in Cocoa Beach for a chess tournament, I drag my son to the Kennedy Space Center. I try to go anytime I am within 50 miles of it. He protests "it's all old stuff". I think he means the Apollo program and the grainy black and white images from the moon visits.
Once we get there, I almost start to agree with him about the getting old part. The rockets on display could use a touch of paint - some are rusting from the Florida humidity. Monitors in many of the exhibits could use a HD upgrade. Staff seems skeletal. An IMAX movie shows kids not knowing who the first man on the moon was. One says Lance Armstrong. Most accents we hear around us are foreign. Almost as if US kids have little interest in NASA.
But by the end of the visit, having seen what NASA is doing with the International Space Station and the next-generation Orion space craft program, my son had perked up quite a bit. He even asked to go to the Astronaut Hall of Fame a short drive away and see it honor Glenn, Borman, Crippen, Ride and many of our space heroes.
I did not mention that we are about to enter a black hole of a few years where the Space Shuttle will be retired and Orion vehicles become viable. In the interim, we will be very dependent on the aging and erratic Soviet Soyuz transport.
I sure hope my son someday proudly talks about "his generation's space program" as he brings his kids to Cape Canaveral.
He has just been named CIO of Google, he worked on Google's IPO at Morgan Stanley...but Benjamin Fried is a partner in Fra' Mani Handcrafted Salumi, a purveyor of fine Italian cured food. Diversifying his investments? Or perhaps the famed Google cafeteria helped in the recruiting process?
Seriously though he fits well into the Web 2.0 world. He has a LinkedIn profile, a Columbia University web page, a Facebook profile. And he worked in IT for a decade at the University and appears equally comfortable in Unix and Mac environments. If he had come from a pure Microsoft background, you think it may have been a slightly tougher sell?