Bizdex is a project that I am beginning to get my head around. It is essentially a collaboration between government (eg NOIE), standards bodies (eg Standards Australia), and industry (eg Aust Post, AWB, Microsoft, Red Wahoo, SAP, Sun, Tradegate, Quicken, etc) to develop a collection of open infrastructure components that will hopefully provide the environment necessary for B2B collaborations to flourish in this country.
One of the challenges I think many of us are facing is: now that many of our larger enterprises are "e-enabled", how do we create a framework where they can trade electronically, not only with each other more effectively, but also with their smaller trading partners?
Perhaps an initiative like Bizdex is one step in the right direction.
Another tool I am eager to see come to Australia is the Microsoft Business Network. I'm talking to the guys locally who work in our Microsoft Business Solutions team (the same team who look after Great Plains, Axapta, and our cool new CRM solution) about how soon we can bring this to Australia.
Here's an interesting article on last week's launch of the RFID trial by Marks & Spencer.
Althought M&S insist they are only inserting the RFID tags into removable clothing lables, it makes you wonder about the possibilities of having RFID tags in the clothes you wear every day.
Kind of like the scenes in Speilberg's film "Minority Report" where Cruise's character walks into a store and personalized video screens greet him by name, welcome him back, etc., (although I think in the film this happens via iris-scanning technology). Imagine if store clerks could identify you from the moment you walked into their store, simply by picking up on a unique identifier embedded somewhere on your person. They could then tailor the level of service you require to a public shopping profile. As long as you could choose to "opt-out", I'd love this idea (I think).
I'm still frustrated that, in the last ten years, the amount of "bricks and mortar" stores who have bothered to capture my email address at the moment of sale and then provide me with some post-sale communication of value could be counted on the fingers of one hand... in fact, on one finger of one hand.
Imagine if stores could implement CRM processes which took this a step further... sales clerks could greet you by name, knowing something about what you last purchased from their store or if you are totally new to their store... know something about your shopping profile (from information you've posted into a public database)... and then provide you with value as an individual, instead of treating you like just another head...
With Flare, Apple Extends Its Reach Into Online Music Apple launched the Windows version of their apparently popular iTunes service last night. Steve Jobs (photographed posing under a VERY large Windows logo) is quoted as saying they have sold 13 million songs since the service launched in April last year and they have sold over 1.4 million iPods. Wow. I love the fact that Apple are pushing the boundaries of digital music. I personally bought a Creative nomad Zen 20G about six months ago and it has changed my life for the better. I now carry around my favourite 5000 tracks with me wherever I go and can pull up a track to listen to in seconds. The big time-waster, however, is now I obsess over the accuracy of the naming of my tracks and am currently spending hours adding the year that each album came out to the name of the album. Why? Because I am always trying to figure out which came first, who influenced who, and this means I don't have to run to www.allmusic.com every time the bug to know hits me.
The other interesting thing about having a Zen is that having a CD is an anachronism. When I buy new music, I don't really want the CD, I just want high quality files and access to digital collateral about the music and the artist... which makes the Apple (and the recently-launched Musicmatch) services very attractive.
... of course, iTunes would be a lot MORE attractive to me personally if you could use it from Australia! I just installed it, tried to grab one of the new tracks of Bowie's "Reality" CD... and was informed by a delightfully designed message box that the service is not yet available outside of the good ol' US of A!
Anyways.... let me ask you - five years ago, if someone had suggest that by 2003 Apple would be a major force in the music industry and yet wouldn't be own or use a single recording studio, wouldn't manage a single artist, wouldn't own a chain of record stores... would you have believed it?
EE Times - Bluetooth is dead Hey, this makes me feel less bad about my new Pocket PC Phone not having Bluetooth (I didn't have the patience to wait for the new version of the hardware). On a more serious note, it will be interesting to see how this pans out. I was just talking to my old pre-Microsoft boss Mike Vallender yesterday about a world where our main PC looks something like my Creative Nomad Zen, that is, a portable hard drive which interfaces (we thought using a descendant of Bluetooth) to the nearest screen and keyboard. So... will this still happen but using UWB?
Here's an interesting idea: integration between Microsoft Office 2003 and Amazon.com. The idea seems to be that you will soon be able to access Amazon.com's inventory from the Task Pane in Office, and then will be able to buy items without launching a browser.
As someone who lives in Office most of the day (and night, unfortunately for my social life), I love the idea of tighter integration between the application I spend most of my time in and the services I need to run my life.
I'll be thinking hard about what other services could fit into this category...
Great news from Jakob Nielsen... "Half the winners used some variant of Microsoft technology as a major platform component. This is the first year we've seen such widespread use of Microsoft, which traditionally was not considered robust enough for enterprise-wide solutions."
He also notes:
"...Several projects chose unified technology to support both their intranet and extranet, sometimes even adding the external website to the unified solution. Unification lets users update information once and have it reflected in multiple systems. Designers typically add filtering to ensure that internal information stays on the intranet, and only client-related information is published on a client's extranet site. "
However, "...Simultaneous with this growing Microsoft influence, however, we saw an opposing trend: some winning projects abandoned proprietary servers and platforms in favor of open-source tools that provide added flexibility, lower cost, and perceived long-term stability relative to commercial products."
So I guess half used Microsoft and the rest either used a non-Microsoft technology or built their own.
Welcome to my new new blog... the basic idea is to track e-business news and issues which may be of interest to the people I know. If anyone knows somewhere else I can post this (preferably which has an RSS feed), let me know.