I was recently listening to Johannesburg’s Classic FM to a interview with Stafford Maisie, country manager of Google in SA. Part of the discussion was on the growth of Internet access via cellphones. Because of our appalling fixed-line telco history, South Africa has become one of the innovators in cellphone deployment and use.
The population of SA is 40+ million, only 5 million have fixed-line Internet access, but almost everyone in the country has a cellphone. Research by Google found that 1 in 6 of all google searches in SA are from cellphones. SA is also one of the early adopters of Google mobile search.
In many developing countries, the situation must be similar. The problem for me is that most of the business applications have come from the developed world where PCs and a fixed-line Internet cloud are taken as the standard for Internet access.
At last however, the BBC reports that some companies are beginning to recognise the potential of the mobile Internet.
ERP applications delivered as a SaaS (software as a service) will struggle against on-premise products while the danger of a service interruption is still regarded as likely.
The major cloud computing services (Amazon, Google) have recently had problems, preventing people from using their applications. It isn’t too serious when those applications are word processing and email, but try saying that to a financial director whose company’s business relies on the ERP transactions going through.
After a PC crash last October I blogged about the network computers that were being touted 10+ years ago.
Now I see that they might be making a return, but now they are being called netbooks.
My wife recently bought the Asus version, the Eee PC. It cost her R 2,700 (about US$300) and runs Linux with OpenOffice software. The storage option is to plug in a USB flash drive. She bought it so she has a light PC to work on when she travels.
A bit delayed, I read Dennis’s post about the Oracle EMEA marketing event. I wonder if he remembered attending the JDE EMEA marketing events (in the old days).
I am intrigued how Oracle handles its marketing events, it’s not a company with only a database and an ERP application anymore; as I learnt as SAPICS when I met up with a couple of my former colleagues from JDE.
The Oracle sales people now have to be able to contend with BEA, Hyperion, JDE and Peoplesoft, and Siebel (which has 104 modules!).
Another joy about selling for Oracle is that it takes three weeks to provide a customer with a quote; apparently all pricing has to be done by Oracle corporate.
Writer’s block is a well-known issue for authors – an inability to write resulting in feelings of frustration, which seems to create a vicious cycle making it even harder to start writing.
I think I have been experiencing a blogger’s version of that? Is it also writer’s block, or should we create a sub-category for boggers?
I have been through a phase of nearly two months where I just didn’t have any interest in updating my blog. Partly I think it was due to a very intense project workload, but also I was also stressed waiting for my first performance review since I joined my company last year.
The stress is partly over as the performance review has been done and I did OK, but I am now waiting for a follow-up as my role is being changed to a more business development position.
I was criticised during my performance review for some actions I didn’t take as a project manager on a large project, and on another project I went ahead with an implementation that could have had a high risk for the company. The latter project I did get in on time, and its under budget, and no longer a risk, but the comment was I should have raised the flag early.
The experience has taught me some useful lessons, but it lowers my project management profile in the company, and I really want to grow my PM skills for my CV (that’s resumé for Americans).
I think I will have to be content with getting smaller projects, and in the meantime improve my SYSPRO knowledge so that I can be more valuable when discussing issues with clients.
South Africans often complain about the quality and attitudes of healthcare professionals in our public hospitals. But this disturbing story and video shows it also happens in First World countries.
The last session at the SAPICS 2008 conference was by Kevin O’Marah of AMR Research. He is a very smooth speaker, with the suit and haircut to match, drops references like an MBA from Stanford Business School, and uses words like ‘delta’ instead of difference.
What he spoke about was very interesting, starting off with the Carlota Perez thesis about the dynamics of bubbles and the subsequent golden age. He then related this to the evolution of supply chain management, from the practices based on the ‘old’ industrial age to the current practice that AMR advocates – Demand Driven Supply Networks.
At the gala dinner, this presentation was given the Terry Smee award for the best paper.
I am at the SAPICS 2008 conference in Sun City as an exhibitor showing our project software. SAPICS is the Association for Operations Management in SA.
The last time I was here was in 2002. Its been nice to meet up with people I haven’t seen in several years.