Category: "Business"

Cisco, Apple Settle iPhone Dispute - WSJ.com

According to the Wall Street Journal, Cisco and Apple have come to an aggreement over the use of the iPhone trademark.

Apple Inc. and Cisco Systems Inc. agreed to resolve a trademark dispute over the term iPhone, which had threatened to put a damper on the introduction of Apple's most eagerly anticipated new electronics products in years.

Under their agreement, Cisco and Apple said both companies are free to use the iPhone trademark on their respective products throughout the world. Cisco will drop a lawsuit it filed in January against Apple in federal court in San Francisco, accusing Apple of infringing a Cisco trademark with a forthcoming cellphone called the iPhone, due out in June.

In a joint statement issued by the companies, Apple and Cisco said they will explore opportunities for making their products work better together "n the areas of security, and consumer and enterprise communications."

The companies said other terms of the settlement are confidential, and declined further comment.end quotation
-- Cisco, Apple Settle iPhone Dispute By NICK WINGFIELD, February 21, 2007 10:01 p.m.

Cisco Sues Apple of iPhone Trademark

According to the Wall Street Journal, from the Associated Press

Cisco sued Apple for trademark infringement over the "iPhone" name Apple chose for its new cellphone, unveiled yesterday. Cisco obtained the iPhone trademark in 2000, and had been in talks with Apple over rights to the name.

"Cisco entered into negotiations with Apple in good faith after Apple repeatedly asked permission to use Cisco's iPhone name," said Mark Chandler, Cisco's general counsel. "There is no doubt that Apple's new phone is very exciting, but they should not be using our trademark without our permission."end quotation
-- Wall Street Journal, "Cisco Files Suit Against Apple Over iPhone Trademark"

Asynchronous Communication for Project Management

At tonight's PMI meeting, the main presentation involved customizing and deploying project management methodologies within an organization. One of Leon Herszon's key points for the Model of the Unified Project Management Methodology was that a modern PM methodology needed to be web-enabled. Discussing this point with the speaker made it clear that this was a read-only web portal/intranet and that the benefits of the read-write web such as blogs, wikis and forums, or of Web2.0 technologies weren't recognized.

A post-meeting discussion with a PM who was having problems with communication among distributed workgroups and stakeholders through muliple time zones was very interesting in light of the previous observation. Some points from that discussion:

  • synchronous communication, whether voice [teleconference], video or text either inconvenienced or left out one group or another
  • attempts at asynchronous voice/video communication using recordings of teleconferences didn't work well, and even where the capability was given to record feedback, the results were inconsistent and could led to further isolation of some groups
  • recordings of teleconferences are difficult to track, the thread of the conversation is easily lost, and current search tools aren't effective
  • in our experience asynchronous text communications such as building support through blogs, developing documentation through wikis, and providing support and conversations through forums overcame all of the above difficulties
  • collaboration and online PM tools such as ServiceCycle and dotProject enhanced access and communication for all users
  • building information communities [as discussed with Rick Mortensen, CEO of MARVELit in an upcoming Mer^ienda podcast] using portlets and dashboards might streamline communication and effectiveness among distributed workgroups even more
  • MMORPGs can replace interpersonal team building boon dogles to make everyone feel included, so what if you're a high elf instead of a Malibu racer - maybe Second Life could help even more
  • Open Source Solutions, such as those linked herein and others can allow an organization to quickly and cost effectively prototype business processes and supporting tools, i.e. methodologies, to solve remote, asynchronous communication challenges

As I've been up since 5 this morning, so if the above isn't that coherent, well... We can discuss it later. &#59;) And for anything not linked, like phpBB, there's always Google.

Managing Distributed Workgroups

Since the earliest days of InterActive Systems & Consulting, Inc. we've been concerned with how to support and manage distributed workgroups, whether comprised completely of employees, or including "outsourced" team members, whether all members are "distributed" locally or globally. This was a subject of conversation at our first joint Board of Directors and Advisors meeting in December of 2000. [We celebrated six years as a separate corporate entity on June 16th.] The discussion ranged [and still considers] topics as diverse as tracking time spent and resource usage to making all members feel like a part of the team. Todd McGrath was a member of our Board of Advisors, and from that IASC meeting, the idea for ServiceCycle was germinated in Todd's fertile brain. We had some input into the early direction of ServiceCycle, and, I believe, some influence on Todd's decision earlier this year to open source the code for ServiceCycle. Recently, Todd wrote:

Reasons for my questions and thoughts relate to an application I've been developing over the years - a collaboration platform called ServiceCycle. Frankly speaking, a thing that has always bothered me about ServiceCycle is that is not focused on a particular industry or niche. The industries that use ServiceCycle are all over the board."

"Perhaps ServiceCycle could fill a void in outsource management? It could be customized to provide SLA management/enforcement, RFP distribution and monitoring, service contract templates, preferred vendor list organization and ratings, monitor and measurement of milestones, issue tracking, key dates, communication archiving and of course, tracking and reporting.end quotation
- Todd McGrath in Flat World Software Development » Outsource Management Software

Since it's inception, ServiceCycle has been a integral part of our TeleInterActive Lifestyle™ toolkit, along with open source, web based software for project tracking and certain MMORPGs for team building.

ServiceCycle can most definitely fill a the void in outsource management. In addition to its current collaboration capabilities, it could also help improve/archive communications, using XMPP, OPML and SIP. [Todd - remember that one joint proposal we did to a Sheriff of the realm?] Some of Todd's other ideas could be implemented by incorporating workflow engines and reporting or decision support tools. One challenge with globally distributed workgroups is the problem of asynchronous communications - different time zones. Problems can seem less urgent when they arose while you were sleeping. If ServiceCylce can help bring immediacy to these types of communications, it would plug a gaping hole in outsourced projects.

Open Source and Offshore Development

Recently, my friend Todd McGrath has written about the symbiotic relationship of open source software and offshore development. He builds a case for the relationship between building trust in developers you might never meet (or mitigating risk in an offsourced project) with the use of open source software in the project.

In combining Open Source software and offshore development, high quality, cost effective software is more easily obtainable... Open Source provides a foundation of trust and confidence when using and/or providing offshore software development services.

In this article, my definition of Open Source is intended to mean complete products, tools, libraries, etc. with a vibrant community.

When implementing an outsource development strategy, choose developers that will use Open Source software in the overall solution. Using Open Source in the solution provides a shorter path to confidence and trust in outsourced software developers. Put another way, open source plays a positive part in the risk management of the decision to outsource. By choosing offshore software development partners that deliver based on community established Open Source with appropriate license for your needs, quality and the most competitive cost can be obtained.end quotation
-- Todd McGrath in Flat World Software Development » Open Source and Offshore Development

Those excerpts give his premise and conclusion, but you must read the whole article to see how he builds his case.

Todd focuses on outsourced, especially offshore, software development. There are, however, other things being offshored by businesses today. Business processes such as accounting and human resources, IT operations & maintenance, telecommunications management, design and development projects, and manufacturing are only a few examples. And there are many reasons for businesses to outsource. Some of these are reducing cost, enhancing skills, suplementing personnel, and taking advantage of economies of scale.

Having a common architecture or framework can be important in mitigating risk. But the assumption here is that if the first outsourced project fails, another team can pick it up because open source software provides common themes throughout software development, and you can find other developers with familiarity with the open source software that forms the basis of the project. I don't believe that this constitutes bulding trust in the original team, or even in the offsourcing tactic. So, I disagree with the premise that bulding trust is equivalent to mitigating risk. I would agree that using open source software in a software development project can help mitigate risk.

More importantly to building trust and to mitigating risk is assuring that the culture of the outsourcing partner matches your own culture. Can both partners truly communicate? Not just speak the same language, or a dialect of the same language, but truly understand each other's written and spoken dialogues, specifications, emails, messages and meeting notes. When offsourcing, societal, cultural and language barriers will complicate matters, and you may not have much control over these factors. [Excepting some artificial and unsustainable rules, such as a USA firm should only choose offsourcing partners in the Philippines because of the good blend of cultural match and economics.] You do have control over corporate culture aspects that affect the project, process, program or people being outsourced. For the type of software development projects of which Todd is speaking, you might want to consider:

  • decision making
  • documentation
  • specification
  • in-code comments
  • project management
  • QA
  • configuration control
  • version & release management
  • testing
  • bug fixes, enhancements and problem escalation/resolution
  • meeting protocol
  • team structure/team building
  • interfaces across and interactions among business untis/users, operations personnel and developers

I think these types of factors will be more important in building trust across distributed workgroups than the software architecture to be used.

Having said that, I do agree that there is a symbiotic relationship between offsourcing and open source development methodologies, in that both use the priciples of distributed workgroups, both are enhanced by the TeleInterActive Lifestyle™ and the two movements have feed off each other to a certain extent.

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The TeleInterActive Lifestyle is about the business processes, life choices, management challenges and technical issues facing organizations and individuals as individuals and organizations adopt the Internet of Things, Mixed Reality, wireless networks of all levels, mobile devices, long-distance collaboration, social networks, digital transformation, and adjust to growing urbanization.

Sensor Analytics Ecosystems for the Internet of Things (SAEIoT) brings value from emerging technologies through data management and analytics, advances in data science, as the IoT matures through the 5Cs: Connection, Communication, Contextualization, Collaboration and Cognition. The socialization of machines will allow for Privacy, Transparency, Security and Convenience to be flexibly provided with two-way accountability to build Trust among Humans and Machines.

AsDataArchon, we have evolved our consulting data scientist work from learning how to incorporate sensor analytics into data warehouses, business intelligence and analytics to focusing on IoT data management and forming sensor analytics ecosystems.

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