Opening plenary at Orange Business Live

We’re all ready to start at the Business Live event.  The opening plenary session is from Helmut Resinger, senior vice President, Europe, for orange Business Live, followed by Peter Sondergaard,senior Vice President at Gartner Research, and then Matthew Kantecki, Group Head of Networking from HSBC.  So it’s a high-powered start.

plenary1

I’m livebloggong the whole day so keep refreshing this page for updates.
8:40 We’re off and running and Reisenger begins by welcoming us all – from 39 countries all over the world.  And he thanks also the fact that Eyjafjallajoekull hasn’t prevented access.  He also notes that many of us landed at Schipol airport which is 4 meters below sea level.  Innovation can turn a submerged land into useable space.
8:50  Sara Coburn interviews Reisenberg, asking why the day is split up the way it has been.  Reisenberg notes that the objective of the enture event is to provide insights in to emergent technologies and then to discuss issues of B2B partnerships and sustaining innovation in undertain periods.  Reisenberg notes that last year, the optimism in the market was virtually absent, but 10 months later, optimism is returning.  Currency volatility is still impacting on possible growth, amd multinationals are still seeking new models for business.  In terms of Orange performance, there’s cautious optimism, based on OECD and World Bank studies.  Europe and USA need to improve further in terms of margin, but Asia Pacific, India, Africa  and Brazil are growing strongly, and green technology is growing worldwide.  In Spain now, 43% of electrivity is coing from wind and solar energy.  Thsi has happened just over the past few years.  But by 2020, around 20% of global electricity will be based on alternative energy.  The challenge is immense because the energy usage in the US, for instance, is enough to warm nine planets.
9:00 Reisenberg says that evolution of business needs and IT adaptability.  While cost managemnt and optmisation are important, it is flexibility and agility that is required to grow.  Planned deployment priorities are social media, video conferencing, machine to machine devices, unified remote access to apps, IPT Softphones, WAN optimisation, Consolidation and virtualisation, and private or hybrid cloud services.  Reisenberg notes that without a solid reliable network, the opportunities for cloud computing are limited.
9:03  World’s ten largest market capitalisations as of April 2010 are from China and the USA.
9:05 Yee Lay Leong now mounts the stage to discuss China’s growth.  She notes that in 20 years’ time, a child in China will be working in the world’s biggest economy, and also be contributing the largest amount of emissions and waste.  However, there are opportunities for the world to invest in Asian regions, as ‘wired’ network assets are now being opened up for privatisation and bandwidth allocation for network sevrices.  The latest trend is that manufacturing plants are moving to regional areas in China.  This means that many of the top-tier networking services are needed in these regions.  Leong notes that quick and dirty – but reliable – coverage and business services are desirable.
[JJ’s comment – this would tend to favour open source product opportunities in the Asia Pacific regions rather than brand label software and services.]
Leong says that the focus for Orange is on capabilities in China to deliver networks services.
Reisenberg wraps the session saying that the focus of internationalisation must be balanced with network optimisation in order to prpvide a context for growth.
9:15 Coburn introduces Sondergaard.
Sondergaard is up, talking about naviagting the next opportunities and threats in 2010.  He says the IT sector has tried to balance cost, growth, risk with 99% of time focused on cost.  But now the shift is toward balance of those factors with innovation – implying less of a focus on cost.  He notes that in a recent Gartner survey, the issue of information technology and IT-enabled change was identified as a key influencer of the ‘new normal’.  You can’t control the economy or pollution.  You may be able to contribute toward the economy and pollution but you can’t contorl it.  You also can’t control the proliferation of network services.  But in the IT sector, adding customer value needs to be the focus.  In global terms expected annual real GDP growth forecasts for 2010 note large growth across Asia. but not in standard world markets.
Sondergaard notes that while in the western world, cloud computing is viable, they’re not viable in lower socio-economic regions in Asia.  5 star service works in the west, but providing access is a priority in those regions.  In the global environment where you can’t control the environment but you can control your behaviours in a global economy.
So the first general trend of the IT sector is in terms of lack of control.
This morning it was announced that US$30 billion of Lehmann Brothers assets were ‘found’ in Europe.  We are in an era of business distrust.  It is so important that as organisations, we are developing a degree of authenticity and IT for green business to help regain some of the trust that has been lost from business activities. An elemnnt of managing risk is to use technology to track use of resources and to reduce needless energy use.  Carbon cost neutralisation is coming as part of performance measures.
There are a billion transistors for every person on earth NOW.  Every day more than 15 petabytes of new information is being generated.  Moore’s law, Sondergaard says. is still operational.  But we ;ack information, insight and understanding about the information and devices being produced.
Consumers now own development and information production, thus instead of creating IT services, the focus must be on facilitating social computing, not limiting access.  IT sector must look toward social abnd behavioural sciences to better understand the impacts and predict future changes to technology services and devices.
9:30am Sondergaard notes the 2nd major trend is for contextual computing.  Context aware computing is designed to respond to geographical, behavioural, and metadata information about consumers,  can focus not only on structural data but unstructured, mined and intepreted data.
He says that the focus on analytics is flawed.  Looking at what has happened in the past is not sufficient. Pattern based behaviour is more important than history.  Need to: seek patterns, model pattern impact on strategy and then adapt in accordance with likely developments of the pattern.
An additional trend is that cloud computing will evolve so that by 2012, 20% of businesses in the West will own no IT assets. And the top 10 strategic tech areas for 2010 have shifted to enable cloud computing and social computing rather than virtualisation.  He notes that Cloud based services and cloud based applications and solutins need to be developed so that they are affordable in the areas where growth is likely.  He also notes that infrastructure prvisioning and business process services to ensure continuous connectivity are the focus.
Sondergaard notes that you need to undrstand the area of focus and the area of the infrastructure.  Need to deploy particular silos that leverage unifed communication technologies.  But different constituencies have different needs.  Personal, collaborative and enterprise need to be considered in a unified communications plan, and these should be customised for private or public contexts.
By 2014, 80% of users in the western world and affluent consumers (20%) in emerging markets will have smart phones.  Don’t underestimate the role of social computing.  Putting a Facebook logo on your website and having a facebook page is simply not good enough.  Companies need to aggregate and interpret knowledge from social computing actvities.
Continuing as we always have done in the IT sector is the wrong thing.  Change is difficult but it is necessary in order to respond to the needs of consumers.  Businesses are becoming increasingly complex but they need to be presented increasingly simply.  Businesses need tpo transform from being opaque to transparent and from exclusive to participatory.
Sondergaard concludes that from an IT perspective, control needs to be reduced, IT services need to be in the cloud, information and IP needs to be sahred and complexity needs to be simplified.
10:00 Matt Kantecki responds to Sondergaard from the audience.
Kantecki says that cloud is more about when than if.  Financial organisations might have a problem with moving customer financial data to a 3rd party.  But some of the networking opportunities can and should be moved to the cloud.  You can see moving the app layer of online banking in to the cloud.  Can also look at data centre privatisation as a means of generating opportunities.
10:07 Sondergaard and Reisenberg come back to the stage to respond to questions from the floor.  Most of the questions are associated with cloud computing.  Need to understand a software business model with a services business model to ensure growth.
[JJ’s comment – this may well be an over-simplification; it’s not just software and services integration, it’s also localised agility that’s needed to ensure relevance in emergent markets.]
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