Frustration over my ISIS enabled iPhone

I am getting a bit tired with my ISIS enabled iPhone. The case added weight to my iPhone. Most of the ISIS transactions didn’t work well. The only good thing is that I am getting free drinks from Jamba Juice until the end of March. Other than card emulation mode, none of the other NFC modes work. I can’t tap an NFC tag or an NFC enabled phone with the case to get the full benefits of NFC.  I think I might switch to an Android phone. Most of the Android smartphones are NFC enabled.

Looking back at the history of NFC’s development, I find the situation kind of ironic.  We had an NFC enthusiast, Google, demonstrate NFC card emulation mode’s value by implementing mobile wallet. Telecoms disabled the capability from the phones because they were developing their own mobile wallet solutions and wanted to control SIM-based NFC. So Google dropped SIM-based NFC, the most direct and secured way to protect security and privacy with Secure Element, and implemented HCE (Host Card Emulation) based mobile wallet. Even though it’s not as secure as a SIM-based solution, the HCE solution is beyond the control of telecoms.

Control provokes innovation by requiring creative solutions to market dominant. History repeats!

On the other end, Apple has been filing patents for NFC communication technology but still hasn’t added NFC capability into their devices. Their blue ocean strategy is to find a market space with no competitors. At the same time, their actions have slowed down the adoption of NFC technology and pushed BLE forward. Apple is also exercising a control with its vast user market. Again, innovation will emerge to escape the control. History will repeat.

NFC Solutions Summit 2014 will be held in Austin, TX on June 2-4. I trust that the NFC ecosystem will demonstrate strength and creativity on mobile wallet solutions through collaboration and innovation. Extreme early discount to purchase a ticket is available until April 2nd. Reserve your seat now!

 

Competitive Dynamics between Azure and AWS in the Battle for the Enterprise Cloud

When enterprises are figuring out their Big Data offering, they pay attention to the competitive dynamics in the Cloud space. AWS has been ahead of the game in the Cloud space because it was the first to offer IaaS in 2006. Over the years, it continues to enhance product features and functionalities based on market demand and became the first choice of many enterprises for Cloud services.

Microsoft released Azure PaaS in 2008 and implemented some strategies in order to catch up with AWS.

  1. Released Office 365 to utilize Azure in 2011.
  2. Extended Cloud Service to IaaS in 2012.
  3. Blended SharePoint into Office 365 in 2013 to sell a highly integrated information workplace environment [1].
  4. Aligned the development model with Cloud constructs for app developers [2].

All of these moves strengthened Azure’s position in the enterprise market; especially for the ones that are using the Microsoft Office suite.

Azure and AWS both have a fair chance to win the enterprise market. It is really not an apple to apple comparison. There are five competitive advantages that they may consider to offer:

  1. Understanding the customers’ needs and addressing them with use cases and testimonies. In another words, business development is just as important as the technology differentiation in the pursuit of business.
  2. Having a strong Hybrid Cloud solution to support enterprises in order to integrate Cloud with their existing infrastructures.
  3. Providing an integration solution with mobility [3].
  4. Building a stronger ecosystem in order to promote enterprise Cloud adoption.
  5. Providing interoperability in order to allow the existence of competitors.

While AWS and Azure are competing, the price of Cloud services will be kept low, offers will be enhanced and the ecosystem will continue to grow. Enterprises will benefit from the competitive dynamics and might end up adopting both vendors’ products for different business needs. At the same time, Google’s investment in network capability will put itself into the enterprise competitive landscape [4]. And IBM is stepping up through aggressive targeted acquisitions [5]. Enterprises will not short of choices in pursue of Cloud vendors for their Big Data solutions.

[1] Rob Koplowitz, John R. Rymer, Cheryl McKinnon (2014, 1/24), Microsoft Aims SharePoint to the Cloud, Forrester, http://bit.ly/1iPlgRU

[2] John R. Rymer and James Staten (2013, 6/14), The Forrester Wave™: Enterprise Public

Cloud Platforms, Q2 2013, Forrester, http://bit.ly/1nwqcLB

[3] CloudTimes, Mobile Cloud, http://cloudtimes.org/mobile-cloud/

[4] Matt Asay (2014, 2/7) Google Secret Weapon Against Amazon, Read Write, http://bit.ly/1d9FuVo

[5] Klint Finley (2014, 2,24) IBM’s Latest Cloud Acquisition Aims Directly at Amazon, http://wrd.cm/1cJ9lne

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Big Data and Proximity Sensors

I attended “Social Data Week Seattle” hosted by the Tableau Software today. An overview of the workshop stated that “Social Data Week Seattle will explore the business opportunities and practicalities of creating a socially intelligent business by leveraging big data, social data and analytics.”

I arrived 30 minutes late, and there were no seats left. In front of the packed room, Rahul Khandkar from Google was giving a presentation on “Google and Big Data”. He mentioned that smart sensors, machines and social data sources will generate large volume data which will grow with time. He also demonstrated how data collected by Google Sensing Lab is analyzed.

  • Sensors (RFID or NFC?) pick up data.
  • Endpoints/App Engine ingests and processes data.
  • Datastore stores data.
  • Compute Engine BigQuery computes data.
  • Data is visualized by a Dashboard after big data analytics work.

In a previous blog, I’ve mentioned how Google is collecting purchaser’s data. Now, I’ve learned that Google is planning to collect more data from proximity sensors. What a vision!

Daniel Hom from Tableau spoke on “Using Social Analytics for Insights”. He demonstrated analyzing social data with Tableau:

  • Datasift, a Cloud platform for extracting value from social data, collects data.
  • Googlebigquery, a web service, performs interactive analysis.
  • Tableau displays the analytics in a dashboard instantaneously.

Tableau seems to be a very robust tool at making sense of and visualizing big data.  How fortunate it is that we have these innovative companies in Seattle.

I like the idea of “creating a socially intelligent business by leveraging big data, social data and analytics.” Web2.0 provides a self-expression platform and we have a large self-expressed population. What could be easier to understand our customers than understanding their needs and wants through social data?

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Big Data and NFC Mobile Payment

Today, while I was finishing an online purchase, a window popped up on my screen to ask if I wanted a free purchase protection service from Google. (See screen shot at the end of the blog)

If I were regular online shopper, I might think, “How nice, why not to take advantage of the free protection?” However, being into Big Data, I see this as a smart attempt on behalf of Google to collect data. Currently Google collects a lot of information about their customers using Google search, Gmail, Google docs, maps and calendar. Offering free purchase protection gives them the opportunity to further develop their big data analysis by collecting information on online purchase.

In its recent blog, Google said if any information is stored in Google+, Gmail,  or Google calendar, it can instantly accessible through voice search. This information, which will be secured through encryption, includes information on flights, reservations, purchases, plans, and photos. This is how transparent our life. The more data we provide to a service provider, the more they can make our life easier. The cost, however, is that we have less privacy. For example, A Wall Street Journal article titled “NSA Reaches Deep Into U.S. To Spy on Net” reported yesterday that NSA systems have the capacity to reach roughly 75% of all US internet traffic.

When NFC mobile payment takes off, telecoms will own mobile purchase information. That data will enable them to understand their customers better. If I were a leader in the telecom industry, I would want to obtain clarity about what consumer mobile purchase data means to the bottom line of my business, to the lives of my consumers and to the whole ecosystem in order to generate the business intelligence that benefits all.

In the article “One Man’s Trash is Another Man’s Big Data”, the author pointed out ” We have a long way to go to get rid of the mindset that data is all about marketing and advertising.” I trust innovation comes from this kind of awareness, sharing and discussion. What do you think?

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Develop an NFC Strategy Through Observing Cloud Adoption Trends

NFC pioneers in the US have questions about the adoption rate of the technology and the partnership opportunities in the ecosystem.

The adoption trends of Cloud Computing perhaps provide some insight on this inquiry. Amazon started to offer Amazon Web Services (AWS) in 2006, Google added Google Docs to its Gmail offering in 2007, Microsoft launched Azure in 2009, and Apple announced iCloud in 2011.

James Staten of Forrester Research, shared recent trends from a survey on Cloud developers at the  RightScale Compute 2013 conference. The first trend is that developers seem to be lacking in experience with Cloud. The survey revealed that only 30% of developers had hands-on experience with the Cloud. Given the number of consumers utilizing the Cloud, this low percentage is surprising to me. For example, my laptop offers Acer Cloud, my iPad synchronizes with my iPhone through iCloud, and my Google calendar is in Google Cloud. Because these and other Cloud products are becoming more widely utilized, one can assume that a high percentage of the developers are using Cloud products. What could motivate these developers to create Cloud-based apps?

Another trend points to smaller organizations as leaders in Cloud innovation. The survey revealed that less than a quarter of Cloud developers are working for large enterprises. Finally the demographic of the survey itself revealed a trend that US’s adoption seems to lag behind that of other countries. Only a quarter of Cloud developers are in the US; the others are in Asia and Europe.

What can this tell us about NFC? A brief history shows some of the parallels. The first NFC enabled mobile phone was released by Nokia in 2006. Since then, quite a few NFC-enabled phones have come on the market, followed by the introduction of NFC-enabled tablets in 2012 and 2013. Asia and Europe have had a higher adoption rate of NFC, while in the US, consumers are not taking full advantage of the capability.

If you are one of the NFC pioneers in the US, will working with large enterprises present a good opportunity? Where can you make an impact as an educator of the technology? “What do we need to do together to make this work” as asked by James Staten.

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