Telco’s – ‘Our’ Pain Point!

January 12, 2012

You get off your international flight ready to do business – equipped with the latest iPhone or iPad, Trouble is , you can’t (unless you have Wifi) – because your Telco’s SIM – Only Works in Your Country!

Duh!, Bloody amazing that in our highly networked always connected digital world – we the people must suffer such pain.

Of course the pain I refer to is brought about by a tightly controlled industry gripped with an intense case of rigidity that is hard for anyone (on the outside) to understand. For God sake – even my Airline understands – they got together (collaborated) to create: One World

But not the Telco’s!

As one of the worlds leading Mobility analysts Horace Dediu – Asymco says:

These odd behaviors are symptoms of an underlying absence of innovation.

Indeed – why doesn’t someone just step in and abstract the industry. So I’m betting it’ll be those on the fringe (not from within) who see the opportunity and who are best equipped to do so.

Maybe it’ll be Apple or Google or Amazon who bring about the necessary disruption and create a new virtual network.

Horace adds: The answer seems to be more and more that the future of communications must find a new, unregulated value network!

Bring it on I say!

Because for we the people – it’s a real pain in the butt!



Goodbye PC. Hello iPad 2

March 7, 2011

It’s 4.00am – Thursday 3rd March and I am awake and smile as I read my incoming ‘tweets’ from those fortunate to be live in San Francisco as Steve launches the new iPad 2…Later that morning I also watch the keynote event replay on my TV. (iTV)

If you’ve never seen Steve Jobs present then treat yourself because no one comes close to his perfect timing and flawless delivery – it’s very inspiring even if you’re not an Apple fan. View here.

So here we are now a few days later and the verdict is in – Steve and the boys at Apple have raised the bar again – just as they have done every year – for the past 10 years. Yes – every year for the past 10 years!

I’ve been reflecting on the significance of that statement. In just 10 years Apple have completely disrupted and revolutionised – two giant industry sectors and now they’re well into the third!

2001 – iPod and iTunes – MUSIC

2007 – iPhone and Apps Store – TELECOMMUNICATIONS


Some of you will question my take on the iPad disrupting the hallowed turf of the traditional IT dept, but the shift from Hi Tech to Hi Touch has already began and according to Apple we’re now entering – the ‘Post PC era!

So what exactly is the “post-PC” world? And why is it significant?

Talking to journalists last year, Steve Jobs provided a hint: “I’m trying to think of a good analogy. When we were an agrarian nation, all cars were trucks. But as people moved more towards urban centers, people started to get into cars. I think PCs are going to be like trucks. Less people will need them!

According to Joshua Topolsky – Engadget!: Apple no longer believes it needs to compete on specs and features. “There is no Mac vs. PC here” — only “the future” versus “the past.” It won’t be a debate about displays, memory, wireless options — it will be a debate about the quality of the user experience. In a post-PC world, the experience of the product is central and significant above all else. It’s not the RAM or CPU speed, screen resolution or number of ports which dictate whether a product is valuable; the focus now is more about the experience and creative freedom for the user,

Why? – because the Apple brand with its magical user experience is a clear leader achieving the ultimate Lovemark status – by capturing users hearts not just their minds!. With some 200 Million User Accounts – they are lightyears ahead of any IT competition!

Joshua again….Apple isn’t just challenging perceptions of the PC — they’re now saying that the age of the PC is over (at least for many people). They’re challenging consumers to ask if they even still want or need something called a PC (while of course making sure to point out that the competition is playing the same old game). And really, that’s all part of the plan. Apple is in the process of making the iPad the de-facto standard for what the next stage of computing looks like, both within the home AND within the workplace. From the look and feel to the kind of software and experiences you have on the device. Apple doesn’t just want to own the market — it wants to own the idea of the market. We’ve seen this all happen before, and we know how it ends.

So what brand MP3 player do you own?

In Australia this IT revolution is already underway. Informed IT managers within the Corporation, Government and SME’s are now redefining the notion that an employee gets the standard issue of desktop PC / Laptop and a Blackberry!

Informed IT professionals are beginning to Think Different and are fast realising that a great way to – improve staff morale, productivity and overall employee happiness has more to do with providing an IT lifestyle choice that integrates and delivers both the work/ life connected experience.

Thanks to genius consultants (like Rype) Informed IT professionals are now working collaboratively – to scope and deploy new enterprise level solutions that securely manage the workplace mobility environment as well as providing employees with exciting new IT lifestyle choices.

So within the savvy enterprises it’ll mean: Goodbye PC and Hello iPad 2

2011 – won’t just be the year of the iPad 2, rather it may well be remembered as the year of – an IT Renaissance!



Goodbye Microsoft. Hello Apple!

February 20, 2011
With the rise and rise of Apple its amazing to witness the decline of Microsoft. I call it the shift from Hi Tech to Hi Touch
Much of this can be pinpointed when Mr Gates handed over the reigns to Mr Ballmer. In one of my Blogosphere’s the debate rages…so let’s take a step back and see how this all developed by reviewing and highlighting the thoughts of ‘the mob’ as they echo my feelings exactly. Special thanks to: ‘FalKirk’

In 2006, Microsoft’s operating system had a desktop and notebook monopoly. They were also one of the leading smartphone makers – the favorite to dominate that category for the next decade.

In 2007, Apple introduced the iPhone. Some would argue that the iPhone was really a small tablet that happened to make phone calls. With the beneftif of hindsight, we now know that this did (at least) two things to Microsoft. First, it made Microsoft’s mobile phone offereings obsolete. There was no amount of money or effort that could make the existing Microsoft phones competitive with the iPhone. The entire line had to be abandoned. Second, Apple introduced an operating system (iOS) to compete with Microsoft’s Windows. 

In 2010, Apple introduced the iPad. Microsoft had just spent an entire decade trying, and failing, to create the tablet category. Apple created that new category in less than three months. Why did Apple succeed where Microsoft had so utterly failed?

History will show, Bill Gates was so very close to getting it right as he forsaw the coming of tablets long, long before others did. But Bill thought of tablets as a way to make desktop operating systems more mobile. If you want to move a mouse-driven desktop operating system to a tablet, the only way to do it is with a stylus. A stylus is required to provide the pixel specific input that a mouse driven operating system demands.

There are (at least) four reasons why the Apple’s tablet succeeded: a) instant on; b) all day battery life; c) a Touch (finger) Operating System; and d) because it cast the magical Apple spell. Of those four, I would contend that the loyal iFans led the charge and evangelised the experience BUT the shift from Hi Tech to Hi Touch really meant the Operating system was the most important, by far. Apple realized that a new form factor required a new input solution. and they realized that a new input solution required a wholly new Operating System.

This is the one great lesson of the iPad: A tablet requires a touch operating system built specifically for the form factor. In the Spring of 2010 you could be forgiven for not seeing this. Few people did actually many Apple supporters bemoaned the fact that Apple had choosen to go with iOS rather that a “real” operating system like OS X on Apple’s upcoming tablet.

You could also be forgiven for not seeing this one great truth in the Spring of 2011. But it would be utter folly not to see it today. And yet, that appears to be exactly what Ballmer is doing. He continues to maintian that the world is flat even as his competition circumnavigates the globe. He continues to maintain that a tablet requires a desktop Operating System optimized for the form factor rather than acknowledging that a tablet requires an Operating System that is uniquely its own.

So now it’s 2011 and from Microsoft’s perspective, what do you have? The first thing you have is the loss of your monopoly. Windows Operating System – both your Golden Goose and your impregnable fortress that could not be breached – has been flanked. Apple didn’t attack Windows – they simply bypassed it by creating an alternative Operating System. I’ll bet that if you went back to 2006 you wouldn’t have found 100 people who would have said that it was possible to create a brand spanking new Operating System that could successfully compete with Windows. And I’ll further bet that half of those people who said that it could be done, worked for Apple.

The second thing you have is a competing Operating System that is so different from your own that any software that runs on it must be built anew from the ground up. And that means that your other Golden Goose, the Windows Office Suite, is no longer the de facto standard. How can it be when it does not – and more importantly CAN NOT – run on iOS or ANY Operating System suitable for a tablet?

So wither Microsoft? They can try to catch up – a herculean task that they seem unsuited for – or they can go in a different direction. So long as Ballmer heads Microsoft, I think that Microsoft will stay the course and try to catch up. And that is why I don’t think Ballmer will be heading Microsoft for very much longer.


Apple’s bite…

October 31, 2010

Tony's Digital0002_2The image on the left is regarded as one of the first 4 colour desktop separations in Australia. Created by a wonderful designer  Andrew Harris, and output by an equally talented and pioneering team – The Xpress Group. (1986)

Back then, a QMS Colourscript printer (the first in Australia) cost us $45,000 and took about 40 minutes (if you were lucky) to rip a 20mb file just to see a colour proof. Back then we were right at the edge. But we were excited as we were  leading the analogue to digital revolution in Australia.

Back then… was about the time the time when the ‘power’ began to shift away from obese system providers to “we the mob”. But, creativity, graphic design, typography, photography did not die- its flourished.

Yes traditional analogue trades and crafts died – Typesetting was the first to go then, Compositors, Scanner operators etc…the list goes on just as it did when we moved from the horse and buggy era. Journalism did not die (well some might argue that) but newspapers now are – thanks to the Craigslist, Wikipedia, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and now the iPad. What really amazes me when you look back over past 30 years or so is just how damm clever and innovative Apple (Steve Jobs) has been.

No other company on earth has brought about such radical change to so many traditional analogue industry sectors – DTP, Music, Animation, and now commerce and trade – iTunes (Apps Store). Did the music industry die? no, it’s just morphing into a different industry supply chain model. However as an ex muso sure I too am amazed when I see a a band performing live just playing there iPhones …but heh the relentless march of anything that can be digital will be digital…is unstoppable which is why I’m such an optimist and am so excited about our future!

Yes, the challenges of the future will no doubt be novel, but they won’t be insurmountable. Whether it’s breakneck technological change, environmental sustainability, or economic turnarounds, these are issues that need to be met with radical optimism and the conviction that Nothing is Impossible.

In that same spirit the boys at Rype – are blazing a new trail following there Mobility and hi touch dream!

And so the revolution continues…



From Hi Tech to Hi Touch

September 11, 2010

I am privileged. Privileged to be at the forefront of yet another technology revolution!

The first ‘DTP’ was back in 1985 when I sat spellbound watching CEO Paul Brainerd demonstrating ‘Pagemaker’ on a Mac SE – composing a page of text, graphic and a photo which he then output to an Apple laserwriter via a new page description language called Postscript. Three companies collaborating together. Apple, Aldus and Adobe.

The Desktop Publishing revolution heralded a new shift from the analogue to digital world. Typesetters were the first to go, then film compositors, scanner operators, dark room photo editors – and along with them went the multi million dollar proprietary technologies. Hell, Crossfield, Kodak, Agfa just to name a few!

Enter the Xpress Group – Apple evangelists leading the DTP charge.

The second was in 1998 when a mate (Mark White) in his typical Tennessee drawl proclaimed – that the internet would soon spawn new – B2B marketplaces – digital hubs – business vortexes which Gartner predicted would be a multi trillion dollar industry and would streamline draconian commission riddled dysfunctional supply chains!

This time the revolution was led by a journalist and social entrepreneur- Kevin Jones and his iconic B2B event business – Net Market Makers. And so began a fast paced ride which included stratospheric peaks, black holes, bottomless pits, sharp turns and hairpin bends, and where multi millionaires were made in the blink of an eye – until the inevitable market correction – in 2001.

Enter OZeCorp Ltd – OZe evangelists leading the B2B charge.

So fast forward – to today 2010 as we witness another revolution – another shift a shift I call hi touch!

This hi touch future will again revolutionise the IT industry for you see… It’s not just about click and drag; it’s more about touch and feel. It’s not just about text and charts; it’s more about imagination and creativity. It’s not about energy sapping file servers or IT grunt, it’s about more sustainable cloud based solutions fostering real work collaboration and – the ability to always be connected.

Enter Rype hi touch IT evangelists and an endorsed member of the professional: Apple Consultants Network.

Rype’s dream is to ignite workplace creativity, to empower employees, to improve morale, to boost productivity, to increase profitability and to foster collaboration. And there commitment to you is they will reduce your IT dependence and costs associated with outdated thinking and inefficient legacy technology systems.

Welcome to the hi touch revolution

Welcome to Rype – freedom in business for life


Look mum…I’ve got a shiny new glass ‘slate’

April 17, 2010

Slate |slāt| – a flat piece of slate used for writing on, typically framed in wood, formerly used in schools.

Innovation and Creativity

The future of education, learning and communication just took on a whole new look.

It looks a lot like a shiny glass blackboard and it’s called the iPad. It’s not about typing or a mouse; it’s everything to do with interactivity – touchlook and feel.

It’s not just about text, pics or animation, it’s more about bringing a book or a newspaper to life with digial video. It’s not about a local disk a USB drive or even a desktop processor, it’s more about the ‘cloud’. It’s not just about pulling information; it’s about pushing IT. It’s not about repurposing old software, it’s more about rewriting everything from scratch.

Move over Geeks. Digital connectedness just hit the masses. We’ve now got a new tool anyone can use. From a 2 year old to a 92 year old!

At last IT will become fun.

Because – Hi Tech. Just got replaced by Hi Touch!


Apple Thinking…The iPad

January 31, 2010

Heh sorry I’ve been off line for a while…but those who know me know why. So let’s start 2010 off with bang – Apple’s new iPad which is best described by this awesome Wall Street Journal  quote:

The last time there was this much excitement about a tablet …it had a few commandments written on it!

iPad Commandments

Lot’s of knockers and doomsayers seem to be out in force, and I too was a tad disappointed that the iPad wasn’t able to cure cancer!. But heck this technology could well be a real ‘game changer! Literally.

Undaunted, I went looking for some more defining answers. You know, like delving into Apple’s head space or trying to understand there strategic thinking. Thanks NQ Logic

So I guess it’ll be interesting then to see in 12 months time who was right and who was wrong.

As an advocate of change (for the better) and especially Thinking Different I thank god I had the foresight and luck to be on such a fascinating journey with the team @ 1 Infinte Loop Cupertino, and although I come from the land Downunder, I was there with them when they first revolutionised Graphic Arts, Printing and Publishing, then again with Music, and more recently – with mobile communication. So not surprisingly I intend to be with them for a little while longer yet…because:

These folk at Apple “who are crazy enough to think they can change the world”…more often than not, are the ones who do!