I believe technology can be exploited to greater levels than we have allowed. We are constrained by 20th century business models and ideas. Collectively, we need to move past technology for the sake of technology and truly focus on moving markets beyond the status quo!

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Let’s Do Something New in 2007
The week of January 9, 2007 is shaping up to be an eventful week. At voke, we announced our Market Snapshot report for the network equipment testing market. Fanfare announced their ability to deliver much needed commercial testing products to the network equipment market. And, Apple announced its iPhone.

OK, you can see the connection between the voke and Fanfare announcements. But, you are probably wondering why the Apple iPhone is mentioned here. Let’s make some assumptions and connect some seemingly disparate pieces.

The network equipment market is all about making hardware or devices to connect to something via a network. Simple enough, we all reap the benefits of networked printers, TiVo (my personal favorite), and our laptops in an always connected network state.

Fanfare delivers commercially available testing products to the network equipment market. This means the network equipment manufacturers no longer need to cobble together their own proprietary tools to test network equipment and the software that runs it. The network equipment market is under immense pressure to reduce time to market while increasing quality in an increasingly complex market. The fact that Fanfare can give these network equipment makers a way to automate the testing speaks volumes to solving the dilemma the manufacturers face.

In fact, the voke Market Snapshot report for network equipment testing shows that skills and processes are in an evolutionary phase while technology for the market is in the innovation phase. What does this mean? This means the people in this market have strong technical skills with a high regard for process – always a good thing when quality is demanded by customers; yet the tools are relatively newcomers.

So, we have network equipment makers needing to test more effectively. Fanfare can deliver the tools to make this happen. But let’s tell the network equipment manufacturers that we want even more connectivity and we want it to work and we want the complexity to be hidden.

This gets us to the Apple iPhone. The iPhone looks sleek but is it really doing anything different than we already have. Maybe the form factor is enough for some to salivate and move their allegiance to the iPhone. The fact still remains that network devices are still largely isolationists. Apple has not delivered on completely connecting the individual to their environment.

The iPhone does a little of this and a little of that. It has a camera, web access, phone, e-mail and widgets, yawn. Widgets have been part of every demonstration in the Valley since 1993 – how often do you really need to look at the weather or your stocks? These sample widgets are so overused and trite and well…very 20th century.

Collectively, let’s do something different in 2007! Let’s not reinvent what we already have, let’s move beyond and truly connect. We have the skills, we have the processes in place, and now we have the tools to make sure testing can be automated and more accurate.

Oh, and by the way, will the iPhone make a phone call through its Cingular network? Let’s demand the bar be raised!
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