Posted by & filed under Human Resources, industry analysis, outsourcing.

Description: Two years after winning a contract to provide IT services to Hertz, IBM has moved much of that work from the debt-laden car rental giant’s technology center in Oklahoma City to India.

Source: Informationweek

Date: Jan 24 , 2011

About 50 former IBM employees who worked on the Hertz contract in Oklahoma are now seeking assistance under the federal government’s Trade Adjustment Assistance program, according to documents obtained by InformationWeek.
“All production support/technical support for IBM on the Hertz account has been moved to India,” states an application for TAA assistance filed with the Department of Labor on behalf of IBM’s Hertz contract workers on Nov. 12, 2010. The application specifies the total number of workers affected as 50.
Read rest of story

Questions for discussion:

  • Do you feel IS outsourcing is a good policy for Hertz? Why? or Why not?
  • Do companies need to make theses offshoring decisons with shareholders as the number one  stakeholder in mind?
  • Does this decison to offshore satisfy the shareholders?

Posted by & filed under digital divide, Digital Policy, national culture, telecomunications.

Description: New research ranks the countries with the fastest Internet connections, and all 50 U.S. states too.


Date: Jan 24 , 2011

The speed at which people around the world connect to the Internet is climbing at a 14% annual clip and now averages nearly 2 megabits per second, according Akamai’s “State of the Internet” report that is due out tomorrow.

There remain huge variations around that average speed. South Koreans hook into the Internet at 14 megabits a second, seven times the global average, earning them the top spot on Akamai’s list:   Read rest of story

Questions for discussion:

  • As you look at the list of fastest internet connections, what is the biggest surprize to you? Why?
  • Why is Canada not near the top of the list?
  • Should this be a public policy goal of the Canadian Governement? Why? or Why not?

Posted by & filed under Apple, business models, Ecommerce, Google, industry analysis, iPad, revenue model, smart phones, smartphones.

Description: Apple’s iPhone App Store launched in July 2008. In just over two and a half years, iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad users have downloaded 10,000,000,000 applications for their iOS devices.


Date: Jan 24 , 2011

“With more than … seven billion apps [downloaded] in the last year alone — the App Store has surpassed our wildest dreams,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of worldwide product marketing in a prepared statement. “The App Store has revolutionized how software is created, distributed, discovered, and sold. While others try to copy the App Store, it continues to offer developers and customers the most innovative experience on the planet.”

Apple says that the App Store has more than 350,000 applications buried inside it, with more than 60,000 dedicated to just the iPad. But what of the App Store’s competitors? Google, Research In Motion, Palm/HP, and Microsoft each run their own app stores for their respective smartphone platforms. Do any of them have even the slightest hope of matching Apple’s achievements?   Read rest of story

Questions for discussion:

  • Google, Research In Motion, Palm/HP, and Microsoft each run their own app stores for their respective smart-phone platforms. Do any of them have even the slightest hope of matching Apple’s achievements?
  • What makes Apple apps different than their competitors?  Is this a sustainable competitive advantage?

Posted by & filed under business models, M-commerce, revenue model, Software.

Description: Hoping to take a bite out of’s fast growth, Microsoft announced aggressive promotional pricing of $34 per user, per month. That’s well below the cost of


Date: Jan 18 , 2011

We give you full sales, service and marketing functionality in our standard service where does not offer marketing functionality or real-time intelligence unless you use the Enterprise edition,” explained Bill Patterson, director, Microsoft Dynamics CRM, noting that Dynamics dashboards are continuously refreshed whereas requires users to hit refresh, something they can do only twice per hour without incurring additional charges.
Salesforce counters that few customers need more than a couple of status updates per hour, and Dynamics CRM and “aren’t even close to comparable,” said an executive who described the latter as far more social, open and mobile.
“Our Chatter collaboration layer gives users a whole new social way to interact with the application, and that’s something Microsoft isn’t even close to delivering,” said Scott Holden, senior director of product marketing at “We also have mobile capabilities running on all the major platforms, including iPhone/iPad, Android and Blackberry. Microsoft is closed off in that respect, so you get what you pay for.”     Read rest of story

Questions for discussion:

  • Which of Porter’s generic strategies is Microsoft trying to utilize to compete with the industry leader
  • Which of Porter’s generic strategies is the industry leader employing ?
  • Do you feel MS strategy will be successful in this market? Why?  Why not?

Posted by & filed under Apple, business models, Copyright, Digital Policy, iPad, M-commerce.

Description: Since Apple introduced the iPad last year, publishers have poured millions of dollars into apps in the hopes that the device could revolutionize the industry by changing the way magazines are read and sold to consumers.

Source: Globe and

Date: Jan 17 , 2011

“If you look at the Apple store,” said David Carey, president of Hearst Magazines, which offers five publications on the iPad, “the most common reason that people give an app a low rating is that it lacks a subscription option. They want to subscribe, and they don’t like the idea of paying $4.99 a month.”

Subscriptions are another sticking point. A vast majority of magazines available on the iPad must be purchased per copy. Customers cannot subscribe and have it delivered as they can with other publications available on the iPad like The Economist, The Wall Street Journal or The Daily, the News Corp.’s new iPad-only venture that is to begin within the next few weeks. That means if consumers want to receive the magazine regularly, they would have to pay far above normal subscription rates.     Read rest of story

Questions for discussion:

  • Why is the print industry in such a dire situation ?
  • What type of business model would you suggest to the print industry implement  that works both for the industry and for the consumer?

Posted by & filed under Digital Policy, Ecommerce, Google, M-commerce, revenue model, WI-Fi, wireless networks.

Description: Google (GOOG) is considering building a payment and advertising service that would let users buy milk and bread by tapping or waving their mobile phones against a register at checkout


Date: Jan 4 , 2011

The service may make its debut this year, say the two, who requested anonymity because the plans haven’t been announced. It is based on near-field communication technology, which can beam and receive information wirelessly from 4 inches away.

Google joins a slew of companies that want in on the NFC market, which may account for a third of the $1.13 trillion in global mobile-payment transactions projected for 2014, according to IE Market Research    Read rest of story

Questions for discussion:

  • What is the revenuse model that Google would use to make a profit on this online payment business?
  • What are the biggest obstacles to success of this venture when so many others have failed?
  • Is the digital envioronment moving in a direction that will meke this venture a success? Why? or Why not?

Posted by & filed under business models, Ecommerce, M-commerce, revenue model.

Description: Shopping skeptics said people would never buy certain things —shoes, diamond rings, cars — online because they needed to see the products in person. They were wrong. E-commerce companies have found success in all of those fields.


Date: Jan 16 , 2011

But some purchases still happen mostly offline, including one of the most personal: prescription eyeglasses.

Warby Parker, a New York start-up, thinks it can persuade people to shop online for glasses, with a combination of fashion, low prices, technology and old-fashioned customer service. It seems to be working. In its first year of business, the company sold about 20,000 pairs of glasses; however, it would not disclose financial information.

It joins a new generation of e-commerce companies that is changing online shopping by taking a cue from, the online shoe retailer that emphasizes convenience and customer service, and which was bought by in 2009.   Read rest of story

Questions for discussion:

  • Do you feel selling glasses online has a good chance of success? Why or Why Not?
  • What are the biggest obstacles to success of this venture?
  • What products work best for e-commerc and are there any produts that just will not work in the on-line environement?

Posted by & filed under Cyberforensics, Digital Policy, Privacy.

Description: Concerned by the wave of requests for customer data from law enforcement agencies, Google last year set up an online tool showing the frequency of these requests in various countries. In the first half of 2010, it counted more than 4,200 in the United States.


Date: Jan 9 , 2011

Many Internet companies and consumer advocates say the main law governing communication privacy — enacted in 1986, before cellphone and e-mail use was widespread, and before social networking was even conceived — is outdated, affording more protection to letters in a file cabinet than e-mail on a server.

They acknowledge that access to information is important for fighting crime and terrorism, but say they are dealing with a patchwork of confusing standards that have been interpreted inconsistently by the courts, creating uncertainty. Read rest of story

Questions for discussion:

  • Do you feel current privacy laws are meeting the challenges of today’s digital world?
  • What changes do you feel should be addressed in new privacy laws?

Posted by & filed under digital divide, Digital Policy, IS ethics.

Description: Some see a new “digital divide” emerging — with Latinos and blacks being challenged by more, not less, access to technology.


Date: Jan 11 , 2011

When the personal computer revolution began decades ago, Latinos and blacks were much less likely to use one of the marvelous new machines. Then, when the Internet began to change life as we know it, these groups had less access to the Web and slower online connections — placing them on the wrong side of the “digital divide.”  Read rest of story

Questions for discussion:

  • Do you agree that a new digital divide is emerging with new technolgies?
  • Is this Digital Divide fundamentlly different than the “old” Digital Divide?
  • Who should be responsible to help bridge this new digital divide?  Who should pay for it?

Posted by & filed under Apple, business models, Google, smartphones, telecomunications.

Description: Google Inc. may lose business as Verizon Wireless starts selling Apple Inc.’s iPhone, giving the carrier’s customers a new alternative to smartphones running the Android operating system.

Source: &

Date: Jan 11 , 2011

Verizon said today it will offer Apple’s iPhone 4 as of Feb. 10, and begin taking orders a week earlier. The Verizon iPhone may cannibalize about 2 million Android shipments a year, said Dan Hays, partner at consulting firm PRTM. Gartner Inc. said 20.5 million Android phones were sold in the third quarter.

“A lot of people who bought Android phones were buying it in lieu of an iPhone because they couldn’t get one on the Verizon network,” said Charlie Wolf, a Needham & Co. analyst in New York.   Read rest of story

Questions for discussion:

  • Who are the winners and losers in iphones move to another supplier?
  • Should AT&T be worried about losing thier monopoly on the iphone in the U.S.?
  • Do you see the smart phone industry expanding or contracting in the future as far as the number of players that compete in this industry? Why?