Tag Archives: cloud services

ipad, upad everybody pad

3 Mar

I wonder at times whether we in the technology industry create all the hooha around products and services and everyone else laughs at us, the death of one format the creation of another, predicting the downfall of certain technologies. it all seems just a little bit dramatic to me.

Lets just take print as an example, specifically newspapers. The iPad is now touted as the next big thing for newspapers and Apple are going to slice massive margin and the whole industry is in turmoil and the print page is dead and so on and so forth.

Now I’m not sure what the UK sales of iPad were but the global total is believed to be around 15m units, this is about the average daily sales of Newspapers in the UK, get that daily, just in the UK!! Now I’m no statistician but that doesn’t sound like an industry that is about to implode overnight, granted there is a clear threat but from those numbers I wouldn’t be expecting the press to go and tie up the noose just yet, surely. Is this just the Apple machine, once again, trying to make everyone nervous? The more you keep saying it then the more people believe and it then becomes an urban myth. I agree the web is eating some of the newspaper business, no doubt, and advertising is getting diverted but it still only 15m units globally which is a drop in the ocean. Are you seriously telling me that the 2m daily Sun readers are about to go and spend £500 on a gadget to read the paper, if anyone wants to take a bet then I’m willing to put my money up.

The iPad is another gadget. The only people I see with them are those that want to be seen with it, the ones that rest the gadget on the newspaper in the morning once they have read it! I think my children’s comments were interesting, when I tried to explain the ‘need’ for it, they just shrugged and said I’d rather have a book to read, it’s just a big iPod, small sample I know but it makes you think.

Now I’m the first in line for new gadgets if I were to be given the budget by my partner I’m sure we would have just about everything going but that’s all it is another gadget, that’s slim and looks good. The iPod I really got, great product, great idea, the Ipad….what for?

Are we in a danger here of living in our own little technology bubble and the outside world is looking in thinking what are they talking about. Why do intelligent people get hot under the collar about a computer, with no keyboard, it’s smacks of sheep being herded and grown ups should know better. And please , please don’t mention ‘game-changer’ this is not a game changer just as the e-reader wasn’t. Could this be a solution just looking for a problem?

Good luck to Apple, not that they need my appreciation, they clearly make great looking, desirable products, but don’t everyone rush to disassemble a whole industry because someone has brought out a shiny object.

The power of ‘OK’

7 Jan

The cost of set-top boxes and all consumer electronics is falling rapidly and these low-cost units have another life and purpose, not just the blind following of media to the living room but low-cost, reliable, efficient services to the living room, with the ‘OK’ button at its heart.

Social inclusion in the digital age and allowing all of those less fortunate than ourselves to be part of the post PC era, is of real importance for a number of reasons.

1. Cost to deliver services for local, regional and national government has to reduce

2. Inclusion and removal of isolation for a large proportion of those in lower socio-economic groups

3. Community creation both online and in the real world

4. Using the power of TV and electronics to make a real difference to people’s lives

5. Real business to case to cut the cost of delivery

I have thought for quite sometime that we need to consider the wider implications of connectivity to society at large being able to deliver NHS, Local Council or national government services using low-cost equipment must be the way forwards if we are going to address the cost reduction agenda as well as service improvement. In previous years this would have been impossible, doing more with less, but it’s a reality and the possibilities are enormous.

This is the turning point where technology, telecoms and IT can meet to make a difference. We should and must help government take advantage of this new era, removing the old ‘money pit’ of IT spend and deliver quality services, thinking a little bit beyond the old ways and embracing the emerging converged world to improve service delivery and the quality of living for so many in our society.

I was given an example in a meeting before christmas about the effort involved in checking people’s safety and health in the big snow falls, the effort of those volunteers was immense, but could have been made so much easier with connected council services using an all-powerful ‘OK’ button on the  remote control, a message to the TV, press ‘OK’ if you’re ok, really simple, really efficient and allows resources to be used to greater benefit.

There are a large number of teenage home carers in the UK, wouldn’t this technology make their lives just a little more bearable, creating inclusion communities, video calling peers for advice or just a chance to talk about problems, improving their lives, that of those who are being cared for and so reducing the state burden, everyone wins.

The business case is clear, reducing face to face, physical house calls, has got to reduce cost, and I’m not talking about those calls that are both necessary and critical but those that can be avoided. Nobody wants to only have someone on a video screen, and I’m not advocating that either, but just being able to cut out a couple of avoidable visits each month would be the business case in its own right. Again the ‘OK’ button proving it’s worth.   

All of this reduces the burden on government spend at all levels, improves service, improves people’s lives and get’s to the holy grail of more with less. Let’s hope those in higher places can take note and can be advised correctly so society at large can enjoy the benefits technology can bring, improving the lives of everyone but especially those in need.

Comments welcome

Paul…