Interoperability is increasingly seen as critical for business success, but what is it? Simply put, it is the ability to work together.
Interoperable organizations are those that can easily exchange information and subsequently make use of that information.
Interoperability allows organizations to work without barriers and without extra effort with other systems or organizations.
Individuals have already become highly interoperable, thanks to tools such as the social networks Facebook and Instagram, which both have hundreds of millions of users. These networks add value insofar as they promote communication and the exchange of information, making our lives feel more fulfilled. Without such tools, how would we keep in touch in a world where less time exists to socialize? Of course, connecting online shouldn’t be a substitute for face-to-face, but it does help us feel connected to something bigger than ourselves and to see other things happening around us more clearly.
In the business context, technologies that facilitate interoperability drive innovation. If businesses don’t innovate, they are doomed, even in the short term. Interoperability between enterprises is thus important, as it enhances collaboration and innovation.
Enterprise interoperability can be defined as a collaboration competence, occurring between business partners, and through which value is created. The oftentimes very close business relationships that result are supported by information technology, which acts as more than an enabler or a simple conduit, providing an efficient means whereby relationships can evolve to a higher level.Interoperability can focus on different aspects of these relationships, which organizations must leverage to the fullest in order to produce the innovation they need to survive:Communication—exchanging information.Coordination—aligning activities.
Channeling—involving the Internet.
One should not only look to the Internet (channel interoperability) as a solution to organizational problems. We increasingly need to know how to share (cooperation interoperability) among individuals, teams, and organizations, as this fosters knowledge creation. We need to be aligned so as not to repeat activities that have already been performed, and not to forget to do other activities that cannot be left undone (coordination interoperability).
Collaborating in teams means that more can be accomplished. Teams are collections of individual talents, which need to be celebrated, but individual stars should not be seen as being more important than the team’s overall talent to produce innovation. The IDEO Design Thinking approach, building on teamwork and on the principle that “enlightened trial and error succeeds over the planning of the lone genius,” stresses the relevance of teamwork. Communicating effectively is a form of interoperability. Information needs to be exchanged and circulated if it is to be of value.
Companies are increasingly leveraging more interoperability types at their disposal, and this will lead to more forms of innovation.Innovation comes in several forms, such as products and services, processes, organizational structure, and marketing. Companies need to introduce as many forms of innovation as possible: New products and services increase sales, process innovations decrease costs, organizational innovations increase morale and motivation, and marketing innovations increase visibility.Interoperability may perhaps come more naturally to smaller entrepreneurial firms, which need to be innovative and to have alliances and partnerships in order to survive and gain market presence. Small entrepreneurial companies communicate based on trust, with an open attitude to the environment. However, larger firms like Apple and Samsung are also innovating, suggesting that they, too, are capable of being interoperable—even if mainly on an internal basis to avoid sharing knowledge and company secrets outside the firm.
In the decades ahead, accelerating technological innovation will lead to paradigm shifts in the economy, causing certain jobs to disappear. Continuous learning will be necessary to keep people competitive and employable. So individuals, much like companies, will also be leveraging as many interoperability types at their disposal as possible, in both their personal and professional networks, to stay ahead.
Never before will being connected mean so much. In a world where we are increasingly seen as personal brands of our capabilities and unique competencies, teamwork and the honest and earnest exchange of knowledge will be paramount to the success of the multiple teams in which we move. The world is increasingly mobile, and that actually means that the world is increasingly interoperable.
Lenovo’s innovation lies in its technology, products, business model and cultural management, according to Liu Chuanzhi, founder of the Lenovo Group and president of Legend Holdings Ltd., and Yang Yuanqing, CEO of Lenovo.
International acquisitions fueling global innovation
Referring to Lenovo’s innovation history, people tend to indulge in the story of Lenovo’s buying IBM’s PC business in 2004. “At that time, Lenovo didn’t expect to become the global leader of PC industry”, said Yang Yuanqing with emotions.
To date, Lenovo’s Innovation Triangle Teams in the USA, Japan, and China collaborate have been fusing together different cultures of different countries and collaborating in a 24-hour non-stop manner to ensure leading position of Lenovo’s innovation in the world.
After successfully absorbing IBM’s PC business, Lenovo’s international acquisitions have been unstoppable. Lenovo’s international mergers, from single business like PC and server to comprehensive business like cloud computing, serve not only as effective strategies for Lenovo to strengthen its operation volume and optimize market distribution, but also a way for Lenovo to bring in talented people from different fields and fill its innovation teams with new blood.
At present, Lenovo owns about 11,000 patents globally, about 2/3 of them coming from China and 1/3 from oversea teams. According to Zhang Dekui, director of Lenovo’s Innovation division, Lenovo spends USD500 million on R&D every year, and has 5,000 product developers, including engineers, researchers, and designers, and more than 100 advanced labs around the globe. These constitute Lenovo’s unique innovation and quality guarantee system.
Complete industry chain supporting innovations on multiple levels
Liu Chuanzhi has said that “Lenovo’s first innovation is to combine technology with the high-tech industry”. In 2012, when sales of Lenovo’s PCs were thriving across the world, Lenovo keenly grasped the new trend of the mobile internet and started its PC+ strategy, beginning to increase investment in mobile internet terminals like smartphones, tablet computers, and smart TVs in the meantime of consolidating its advantages in the PC industry.
Today, the fall of some traditional PC manufacturers and the achievement of Lenovo in the PC+ area have proved that Lenovo has made a right decision. In the Q2 of the 2013 fiscal year, the global market share of Lenovo’s smartphone increased to 5.1 percent, behind only Apple and Samsung, and the growth of its tablet computers was even higher. Also, sales of Lenovo’s tablet computer and smartphones had exceeded that of its PCs for two quarters in a row, their revenue accounting for 15 percent of total revenue of the company and profit margin steadily on the rise.
In Lenovo’s Innovation Center, Lenovo’s employees, from system design engineer to software application researcher, from part technology R&D director to product design director, demonstrated Lenovo’s innovation industry chain to the reporter. Lenovo has set up technologies in four major fields to bolster the entire Lenovo business innovation endeavor, including part technology and system innovation, natural interaction technology, cloud service and big data technology, and new materials and design innovation. These make up Lenovo’s core R&D innovation strategy, dubbed “one cloud and multiple screens”, and they are also the source of Lenovo’s business innovation.
Independent manufacture and protection of innovation achievements
In October 2013, Lenovo’s industry base in Wuhan was completed and put into operation. This is a comprehensive industry base that integrates R&D, production, and sales of mobile internet terminals, with a total investment of more than RMB5 billion Yuan. “In this base, a product will need to go through dozens of labs before it is finally put onto the market, and it will be examined and checked repeatedly during production. This is the advantage of independent production and development. It can protect our innovations”, said Yang Yuanqing.
There used to be doubt that Lenovo was a computer assembler and not a core technology innovator. For this, in 2011 Lenovo began to shift its focus onto parts and components, striving to achieve breakthroughs in component technologies and walk ahead of competitors in terms of system innovation. This requires Lenovo to attach more importance to working with upstream manufacturers, extensively consolidate upstream and downstream technologies, and provide parts for system innovation. Lenovo’s independent manufacturing enables it to communicate directly with upstream manufacturers, which would increase its leverage for innovation.
10 years ago, Lenovo introduced a relation-type business model that targeted at corporate customers and government customers, to go along with its consumption business model that targeted consumers. That was a business model innovation. Now, Lenovo again introduced a new-era dual business models, with one online model and one offline model, and its marketing campaign is moving from traditional advertising to internet marketing, digital marketing, and micro-blogging marketing, etc.
In 2012, Lenovo added “Pioneer” to its 4P corporate culture, showing its intention to be a pioneer of the time. Internally, Lenovo has its unique innovation mechanism, including CEO innovation discussion, ideas management, etc, so as to promote the realization of technology and product R&D.
Sir James Dyson is the world’s most famous vacuum maker. His “never loses suction” vacuum is the top-selling vacuum cleaner in the world, and his company has since expanded into making better fans and hand dryers as well. He founded the James Dyson foundation in 2002 to nurture young engineers.
James Dyson said: “I made 5,127 prototypes of my vacuum before I got it right. There were 5,126 failures. But I learned from each one. That’s how I came up with a solution.”
Few British designers can claim to have had as much impact on the cleanliness of our homes as James Dyson – but the man’s achievements go far beyond hard-sucking vacuum cleaners.
A decade after the Cyclon came the DA001 (quickly renamed the DC01), the first vacuum cleaner sold under the Dyson name and, to put it mildly, a real game-changer (despite being a very similar design to the Cyclon). Dyson’s patented Dual Cyclone technology gave the DC01 huge suction power compared to its rivals (90 airwatts, to be precise) – although this came at a premium price.
Dyson has been working on a robotic vacuum cleaner for seemingly forever – but has never put it into production. James Dyson claims that the DC06 worked fantastically well thanks to an amazing complement of electronic brains and more suction power than rivals, but its 70 sensors and three on-board computers meant it was also fantastically expensive to build – it would have cost something like £2,500. The company put the project on ice, with James Dyson saying he wouldn’t build a cheap robotic vacuum that didn’t work as well as the pricey prototypes.
Dyson’s air-moving expertise wasn’t to be restricted to vacuum cleaners, and in 2006 it was applied to commercial hand dryers with the Airblade. Rather than using a wide stream of heated air to dry your sodden mitts, it produces a single layer of cool air moving at a speed of 400mph that dries hands in 10 seconds. Dyson says the Airblade uses less electricity than its competitors as well as working far more quickly, while the cooler air doesn’t increase bacteria to the same degree as traditional dryers.
In 2013, Dyson squeezed Airblade tech into a water tap, allowing people to wash and then dry their hands at the basin.
And in 2014, we can be sure that Dyson will continue to innovate with new tests, new failures and of course new products.
2013: Global SMARTPHONE market share: Samsung 32.3%, Apple 15.5%, Huawei 5.1%, LG 4.8% Lenovo 4.6%.
Global Smartphone Shipments Reach a Record 990 Million Units in 2013.
Global smartphone shipments grew 41 percent annually to reach a record 990 million units in 2013. Huawei, Lenovo and LG were the star performers, capturing a combined 14 percent marketshare worldwide and closing the gap on Apple.
Global smartphone shipments grew 34 percent annually from 217.0 million units in Q4 2012 to 290.2 million in Q4 2013. Global smartphone shipments for the full year were just shy of the 1 billion level, but they nonetheless reached a record 990.0 million units in 2013, increasing from 700.1 million in 2012. Global smartphone shipment growth decreased slightly from 43 percent in 2012 to 41% in 2013, due to high penetration in some major markets like the United States.
Samsung shipped a record 319.8 million smartphones worldwide and captured 32 percent marketshare in 2013. This was the largest number of units ever shipped by a smartphone vendor in a single year. Despite tough competition from a long tail of Chinese and American brands, Samsung continued to deliver numerous hit models, such as the Galaxy S4 and Note 3.
Apple grew a sluggish 13 percent annually and shipped 153.4 million smartphones worldwide for 15 percent marketshare in 2013, dipping from the 19 percent level recorded in 2012. Apple remains strong in the high-end smartphone segment, but a lack of presence in the low-end category is costing it lost volumes in fast-growing emerging markets such as India.
Samsung and Apple together accounted for almost half of all smartphones shipped worldwide in 2013. Large marketing budgets, extensive distribution channels and attractive product portfolios have enabled Samsung and Apple to maintain their grip on the smartphone industry. However, there is clearly now more competition coming from the second-tier smartphone brands.
Huawei, LG and Lenovo each grew their smartphone shipments around two times faster than the global industry average and captured a combined 14 percent marketshare. Huawei is expanding swiftly in Europe, while LG’s Optimus range is proving popular in Latin America, and Lenovo’s Android models are selling at competitive price-points across China. Samsung and Apple will need to fight hard to hold off these and other hungry challengers during 2014.
Ever wonder why some run with passion at work, while others stick like Velcro to problems? When innovation opportunities stir, why do some dash forward with new talents, while others dash for cover? It could be as small as reorganizing work shifts for flexibility. Or it could be bold new acquisitions that link diverse cultures. Good news is, the human brain comes equipped to build and sustain innovative cultures. The kind of community people crave and productivity feeds on.
Yet passion’s at an all time low in today’s workplaces? Why? Consider mental equipment that typically goes hidden or unused at work:
1. To kindle new ideas takes circles of trust. Teams that consciously cultivate trust, open spaces for new ideas. The iPod’s inception, for instance, started with an innovative idea that Steve Jobs’ team kindled into revolutionized communication. Similarly, Fast Company’s awesome design moments unveiled original ideas that emerged from committed teams. Passionate communities, such as Apple and Fast Company, differ mentally from typical workplaces, just as brains of genius inventors vary from minds of complacent masses. How so? The brain’s hippocampus releases a shot of dopamine the brain chemical for kindling novelty.
2. To mimic innovative talent takes passionate people who speak up and feel heard. Believe it or not, we literally adopt another person’s talents by observing them. The innate process of mirror neurons creates innovative cultures through mimicking talents cultivated by others. Deep inside your brain cells are neurons that will fire in reaction to another’s beliefs as they roll into activity. See any new opportunities for building communities of passion where you work? How does it play out in an innovator’s actions, and in those who observe the results?
3. To build originality takes linking opposites together to generate novelty from both sides. Passion for novelty builds across racism and stomps out flame wars by taming the amygdala to harness brilliance. Luckily the human brain builds new neuron pathways for different kinds of thinkers when we engage many to prosper a wider community.
4. To introduce innovative technology takes game-changing guides. Innovation springs from workplaces that bubble over with pools just outside of prevailing thought where all participants can hook difficult facts or barriers onto solutions that others live. Just as one talented member of my group tweaked the technology, any of us can ensure that technology sparks rather than stops progress.
5. To end up with innovation takes starting with opposing or wide angled views. Passionate teams rarely wait for situations to improve. They refuel by engaging opposing views to discover original designs built from different angles. They come to problems equipped to lead in a multifaceted world. To benefit from multiple talents is to share a common vision, and then go for different offerings!
6. To develop and reward talent takes more than a few leaders. Leaders emerge when encouraged to ask – What if…? or Have you thought about …? Simple prompts from all corners go a long way toward talent growth. People bring multiple intelligences to work daily, and mindful leaders help to unwrap those gifts. As part of that process we often survey unique intelligences to help workplaces awaken new abilities that stand a chance to blossom across differences.
7. To build innovative cultures takes altering practices that stagnate workers. Here at the brain center – we pose two-footed questions to cultivate passion for solutions. Our approach integrates passionate solutions and improves existing practices when we question current barriers. With one foot we confront problems, and with the other we leap toward creative solutions. In and MBA course on innovative leadership, we challenge novice leaders with a two-footed question: What innovation will you propose that will gain followers and facilitate inventions?
8. To pull through downturns takes tone tools for tough times. Fervor for innovation gets lost in climates where tone toxins such as bullying or intimidation exist. Simply put, tone makes or breaks passion for innovation. Passion flees when stress, negativity or ego shoots down lofty ideas. Participants hang up their cleats and revert to bare routines. Luckily the brain comes with equipment to restore passion! Tone tactics tend to tug innovation and purpose back into play. Start by asking trusted peers what tone they hear in your words and then compare their responses to what your words meant to convey.
9. To avoid problems at meetings takes gathering possibilities ahead. It can be as simple as tossing out a good question, or as complex as launching a web discussion at work. Recently I started a simple back-and-forth on Twitter to toss around insights and brain facts about multi-tasking as it affects innovation. I expected to see how people view multi-tasking as it relates to their own innovation. Social networks added new colors and textures for an ASTD leadership session I facilitated, because people held up lived experiences to the rainbow for shared look.
10. To navigate past cynicism without yielding to pessimism takes running past skeptics. Have you noticed how stocks rise when people speak hope? While it seems trite to say hope lies beyond the sea of cynicism, it’s true that passion and purpose are fueled with serotonin, a hormone for well being. You spark curiosity by cultivating serotonin, while you fuel cynicism with dangerous cortisol chemicals of cynics. When passionate creators spark curiosity, imagination tends to kick into drive.
If you agree that we need more passion for original breakthroughs at work, you’ll likely also agree that passion starts with choice to be tested out-of-the-box. What do you think?
Science fiction? Well, no. All this and much more is feasible today. Internet-enabled white goods and wine coolers, remotely controlled lighting systems, alarms controlled from the internet, health reading devices and so on are all available today. Bringing them all together in a connected world is not the stuff of the future. It is in the here-and-now.
The Internet of Things is THE most exciting trend in the world can affect our daily lives. The trend is termed The Internet of Things (IoT) and it will affect every single human on the planet in time. It will allow connected cities, connected countries, more efficient allocation of resources and fundamentally change the way we live. It may even help us save the planet. It is that fundamental. And, according to one thought leader, 2014 will be the tipping point.
The market impact from the IoT is mind-boggling. Gartner believes that in just 6 short years the economic value-add from internet-enabling devices and delivering a connected world will amount to nearly $2 Trillion.
As it gains momentum the IoT is going to drive a tsunami of data. The growth in data that we have been experiencing in the last decade has largely been fueled by social media and unstructured content, with the proportion of enterprise data growth being relatively limited.
If businesses and governments are already struggling to keep up with data growth, and balancing the opportunities afforded with various cloud architectures, imagine what it is going to be like in 5 years’ time when they’ll be 500 billion connected devices all generating data! Some of this data will be ephemeral of course, but most will need storing, managing and mining.
In the last few years’ data storage as a topic has moved from an IT budget line item into a potential strategic enabler of growth. The CIO is keenly aware of this. However, as the tsunami of data hits, every C-suiter is going to need to understand this. NetApp has long been at the forefront of data storage efficiency technologies (such as snapshotting, de-duplication, compression and thin provisioning) and these will remain the foundation in this new world of IoT. There is no other way to address the need to store the quantity at an affordable cost. But it will also need highly sophisticated data analytics engines and mining applications. SAP Hana, Hadoop, MapR are just the tip of the iceberg. Making these apps effective requires a robust, highly scalable and performant underlying data management platform which can span private, public and hybrid clouds flexibly and transparently. The #1 storage operating system, Data ONTAP has been designed with these goals in mind from day 1. As every Sunday School attendee knows – the wise man built his house upon a rock, and as a every grown up CEO will get to know – the wise CIO builds his data center on a rock-solid data management platform.
50 years ago this week Isaac Asimov presented his vision of what the world might be like in 2014. Back in 1964 he outlined his predictions in an article for the New York Times. Asimov was a science fiction author and chemist, and although I don’t suppose anyone would have understood the term back then, he could well labelled a “futurologist” in today’s parlance. He was surprisingly accurate in those predictions. In some of them he was half-right and obviously he missed some completely, but in the main, he called a lot right. He may not have got the terminology completely correct but he essentially predicted the ubiquity of smart phones, the fledgling nature of robotics, the role of nuclear power and the advances in 3-D technology amongst many others. He predicted a world of wireless devices. By that he meant they would not use a conventional electrical cord and get power from a grid, but actually be powered by nuclear-charged long-lived batteries. Well he got those details a little wrong, but a world of internet-enabled wireless connected devices is precisely what we are talking about with the IoT. Read his predictions here. Given the rate of change in technology in the last decade, it would be pretty challenging to try and predict what the world might be like in 2064, so hats off to Asimov for his perspicuity.
In parallel of the Google Glass developed by Google and that could be sold starting 2014 or 2015, it seems that Apple is working on a new Apple patent for glasses recently discovered, detailing the project “iGlass” as we call them. Apple could work on reality augmented glasses projects since 2008.
These glasses are mounted in HMD (Head Mounted Display) or a display to the eye. HMD has an OLED screens or two with magnifying lenses and other optical elements associated. Lenses and other components are used to give the user a view image far as not to tire the eye. This is explained in the preamble Apple.
Currently, there are HMDs for military or engineers to have some first-hand information as geographical data or stereoscopic representations (techniques to reproduce a depth perception from two planar images) from CAD drawings.
The “iGlass” could, using a processor, display source images from external sources. This means that the iPhone could serve as a source eyeglasses for example. Apple glasses are therefore an accessory in addition to your device. So most of the applications running on your iPhone or iPod could work with your glasses.
To conclude, the HMD is revolutionary and allows the user to adjust the glasses to his vision and thus enjoy a unique experience.
iGlass would be probably introduced with other connected devices like iTV and iWatch, using contextual computing concepts with multi sensors management.
Google Developpers Group ( GDG ) of Cameroon organizes G DAYS Innovative Ideas Open 14 of 1 to 2 March 2014 at the Faculty of Industrial Engineering of Douala.
G DAYS Cameroon Open Innovative Ideas ( GDays IOI) is a national event which aims to create a technological lever arm in the IT ecosystem Cameroon innovation , boost students’ creativity and enhance the ability of firms to enter business opportunities.
G 14 DAYS Cameroon IOI follow the path begun by the first edition by adding a focus on the ( secondary and university ) education as a lever for innovation, the involvement of women in the technology field as strength and thinking work and efficiency in business and entrepreneurship in young as vector smarter management and the introduction of ” just in time” for better capitalizing on business opportunities.
The goal this year is to bring together more than 2,000 IT enthusiasts , students , developers, entrepreneurs and businesses around IT innovation , with an emphasis on solving social issues in Africa, especially those from Cameroon .
Powered by the slogan ” Innovation also be able to adapt existing technologies to the realities of Africa” , the IOI GDAYS 14 promises a rich set of sessions around Cloud Computing , Google Apps, the ” Smart Cities ” , robotics, mobile development , web development , etc. . led by international experts and the best local experts.
Check the web site of the event: http://gdgcameroon.org/
Worldwide, IDC estimates 76.9 million tablets were shipped in Q4 2013, which comes out to 62.4 percent growth over Q3 2013 and 28.2 percent on Q4 2012. In all of 2013, 217.1 million units were shipped, up from 144.2 million in 2012.
IDC’s latest Q4 2013 report of global tablet shipments showed only Lenovo and Samsung increased their market share among the top five brands.
Apple still holds a firm position at the top with 33.8 percent of the market, but that figure fell 4.4 percent year-on-year. South Korea’s Samsung, in second place, gained a hefty 5.8 percent of the market and shipments grew 85.9 percent year-on-year. China’s Lenovo rounded out the top five growing from 1.3 to 4.4 percent market share. That might not seem like much, but Lenovo’s shipments more than tripled in the past year.
Lenovo’s access to the Chinese whitebox manufacturing infrastructure has helped it drive more low-priced tablet products into the market; the company’s strength in emerging markets, and its increased market share in adjoining markets such as PCs and smartphones, makes it well positioned to see additional tablet gains in 2014.
Amazon and Asus make up the remaining spots in the top five. Amazon’s market share dipped from 9.9 to 7.6 percent, while Asus held a steady 5.1 percent.