February 15, 2013
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The Game Changer
Plight of Cisco reflects changing paradigms in tech sector
Networking giant Cisco Systems is finding that the recipe for success in the modern technology sector is different than in the 1990s, when the company ranked as the world's most valuable company. While Cisco continues to generate strong revenues, CEO John Chambers says he has been working for years to develop strategies for modern market demands. Analysts say the challenges facing Cisco are common to tech stalwarts, such as Microsoft and Dell, which rose to prominence in the era of the PC and now must find their place in market that demands sophisticated services in addition to hardware. The New York Times (tiered subscription model) (2/13)
Emerging Tools
Traditional phone networks face growing pressure from Skype
Microsoft's Skype communication platform is emerging as a serious contender in the voice communications market, showing traffic growth of 44% in 2012. That's twice the growth seen by all international phone carriers put together, and Skype's traffic volume is now equal to one-third of the traditional global phone market. "The pressure on carriers will continue to mount in the coming years. While Skype is the best-known voice application, it's far from the only challenger," said TeleGeography analyst Stephan Beckert said. CNET (2/14)
Security Update
Most Americans say executive branch should have cyber-response authority
A majority of Americans say the nation's critical infrastructure is vulnerable to cyberattack and say the executive branch of government should have the authority to unilaterally respond, a new survey shows. The poll of about 1,000 U.S. consumers by Tenable Network Security finds that 9 in 10 Americans say the government and corporate networks are at risk, with more than a third saying the nation's utilities sector faces the greatest threat. Mashable (2/14)
Tech Business
Technology a lucrative field for U.K. workers, survey finds
Information technology workers in the United Kingdom earn more than lawyers, chief financial officers and senior-level law enforcement officials, but less than CEOs, senior government officials and aircraft pilots, a new survey finds. The U.K.'s Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings finds that the average U.K. tech and telecom employee takes in a median income of $98,692, more than twice as much as the average U.K. worker -- and almost 8% more than they made a year ago. InformationWeek/Global CIO (2/14)
Managing IT
Analysis: Big Data is trendy, but isn't automatically useful
Big Data is difficult to define and even harder to show how useful it truly is, Dave Mandl writes. "[T]he term seems to get thrown around recklessly and cluelessly more often than not and, even when it's used appropriately, applied much more widely than is warranted," Mandl writes. "... The mere increase in the amount of data being made available for a given application, no matter how big that increase may be, doesn't automatically make it a Big Data application." The Register (U.K.) (2/13)
5 keys to building a front-line-focused organization
Senior leaders who are committed to a front-line-focused organization must establish a vision that puts customers first, respect and encourage insight from front-line employees, and "obsess over talent," among other steps, write Noel M. Tichy and Chris DeRose in this book excerpt. Executives "must imagine what the ideal customer interaction will look like and ask where breakdowns may occur throughout the process, from generating customer awareness to building post-sale relationships," they write. SmartBrief/SmartBlog on Leadership (2/12)
Geeking Out
Scientists tweak protein receptors to make mice numb to cold
Brain researchers at the University of Southern California have developed a technique to block the sensation of cold in laboratory mice, while still enabling them to feel touch and heat. In an experiment, the neuroscientists were able to manipulate a protein referred to as TRPM8 -- which is also present in humans -- that acts as a sensor of cold temperatures in neurons in the skin. The researchers say their findings could lead to a new class of pain medications that don't leave patients completely numb. Medical News Today (2/14)
Featured Press Releases
Building a cloud and wireless business eats into your traditional product lines. If you have a wireless laptop, you don’t need a desktop computer connected to your office network."
-- Erik Suppiger, an analyst with JMP Securities, as quoted by The New York Times
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