Archive | October 5, 2012

Windows phone 8 to challenge blackberry for Business users?

For years, blackberry has been the cellphone companies gave to their business users. The reasons were simple. Unlike iOS and Android devices, RIM offered a full enterprise suite that allows system administrators to manage and secure blackberries used in a business context. With blackberry enterprise server, a system administrator can secure, track, and remotely wipe any device linked to the server. Furthermore, all transmissions from and to a blackberry is encrypted. Needless to say, companies that want their data, stored on mobile devices, to remain as secure as possible highly value these options.

However, blackberry OS has not caught up with iOS and Android in terms of user friendliness and has been loosing market share rapidly. For businesses, the main trade-off for mobile devices has become increasingly more between security and user experience. Where the latter has been on the rise for importance and the main reason Blackberry is losing out.

The Microsoft mobile OS’s have not been a real contender in the market for the past few years. But with the new Windows phone 8, this may all be about to change. Unlike the previous versions, phone 8 has integrated the security features systems administrators looked for in Blackberries. And unlike Blackberry OS, Windows phone 8 seems to be much more user-friendly. Will the Microsoft’s new mobile OS become a real contender in the cell phone market?


You have to know something about your customers if you want to be able to personalize your information products (this is one of the lessons of the first article of this 41th week). One way to get information about your users is through the observation of their online behavior. More particularly, you can focus on their clicks. This method has been somewhat neglected in the article because of the complexity of the analysis of data collected (clicks). This complexity is a reality, but I would like to return to the relevance of the analysis of clicks.

Often, by analyzing the web, you can learn things like where visitors come from, how long they stay on your page, why they leave… But you can go further. By recording what parts of a web page a user clicks, you can know what he is doing. That is called a “clickstream analysis”.

A clickstream is the recording of the parts of the screen a user clicks on while browsing the web. Actually, we can also see it as the route that a visitor chooses when navigating through sites or through pages in a site. Every time he clicks on something (a link, an image…), that information is recorded and stored. So we can also get an ordered list of all the pages that he views.

By analyzing the clickstream historic of a user for a specific site, you can know when and where he come on in to this site, all the pages he views, which specific elements, the time spent on each page, and when and where he leaves. You can also know how often he returns on the page. It will also tell you which pages are his favorites. At the end, you can completely find out the habits of one individual. You can extract specific information about what a user is doing on your site. Examining individual clickstreams will give you the information you need for making the best decision regarding the content of your pages.

Clickstream has especially many implications for the marketing.  A goal is to understand and / or predict the navigation and so the purchase behavior of a user. In online shopping, clickstream can indeed allow developing models which predict the purchase conversion behavior of users. These models enable also to better understand the impact that design and structure elements of a site may have on purchase conversion. In the same idea, clickstream can also enable to understand the consumer response to banner advertisements for example.

Eventually, applications for clickstream analysis are broad and this is almost a must for optimizing a site, meeting clients’ needs, and perhaps giving them a personalized content. This is the reason why many companies offer tools to analyze clicks.

References and further reading:

B. Parr, 2009, “Clickstreams: What They Are and Why You Should Track Them”, Mashable Business, available at

“Clickstream”, Wikipedia, available at

R. E. Bucklin & C. Sismeiro, 2009, “Click Here for Internet Insight: Advances in Clickstream Data Analysis in Marketing”, Journal of Interactive Marketing, 23, pp.35–48.

M2M Communications

M2M Communications

The concept of M2M is related with the transition of data between machines and machines and eventually machines and people. The main goal of the M2M hardware is to bridge the intelligence in the machine with the communication network and to connect it with other interaction parties. There is great potential for M2M technologies to provide companies operating internationally in all sectors with instant access to data, making businesses run better and improving the customer experience.

Despite the type of data or machine, information has a strict flow: it is transported from a machine though a network, over a gateway to a system where it can be reviewed and performed on. M2M enables organizations for remote monitoring, control and data acquisition. There are four basic stages that are common to just about every M2M application:

1) Collection of data– A so-called intelligent wireless data module is physically integrated with the main machine and programmed to understand the machine’s way of receiving and sending data. Furthermore, the application should be designed to send data updates at a specific point of time, according to a pre-programmed schedule or request form a web server.

2) Transmission of selected data through a communication network- There are several appropriate options for transporting data from the remote equipment to the network operation center such as: cellular network, telephone lines, and communication satellites. M2M technology is using cellular network due to its wide-spread coverage. Connecting to the cellular or satellite network requires the use of a gateway which receives the data from the wireless communication network and converts it so that it can be sent to the network operation center over the Internet or by a phone line. Also, data security features like authentication and access control can be regulated by the gateway and the application software.

3) Assessment of the data– M2M provides opportunities for remote monitoring and integration of   the machines data with operational data for more elaborate usage.

4) Response to the available information-M2M aims of automating the data flow between people and machines, therefore sending the right data to the right place is from crucial importance.

Examples of Implementation

Smart vending machines:

Recently, Everything Everywhere (EE) in cooperation with Nokia Siemens Networks (NSN) presented a M2M project for smart vending machines. The project promises lower costs and greater revenues via remote stock monitoring, increased customer interaction and multiple payment methods. The smart vending machines will be linked machines through the  NSN’s VendMe application to the operator’s networks in the UK, France and Germany. The VendMe application enables vending machine owners to keep remote track on the stock levels and make efficient replenishment plans.  In addition, vending machine owners will be able to target potential customers by sending messages to people in the vicinity of a smart vending machine, and even interact with customers and their contacts through social networks.

Smart driverless vehicles:

M2M communication services are foreseen to huge role in the transport industry by introducing driverless cars by 2040. Driverless cars will work by the use communicating sensors to ensure safe and efficient travel. The coordination will be achieved through vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communication, which will eliminate the need of traffic lights and stop signs if all of the cars on the road are driverless. In addition, this will cause a shift in the motorway infrastructure: a separate travel lanes, should be adopted which would help decreasing the traffic jams and increasing energy efficiency for faster speed drivers. Last but not least, driverless cars will give opportunity to people of all ages and abilities to use these vehicles, hence eliminating the need for having a driver’s license. Several manufacturers have already started to incorporate automated features, including parallel parking assistance; automatic braking systems and drowsy driver protection, to help people slowly ease into utilizing self-driving technologies. Google became the first company in the world to obtain a license for driverless cars, after the US state of Nevada passed a law in June 2011 to allow the operation of driverless cars in the state.


BIM study trip in a few years to Russia?

Most of you will know that the study trip last year went to Silicon Valley. I guess this doesn’t need an explanation. Besides that a trip to the United States is just awesome, also Silicon Valley is the place to be for BIM students. But what do you think of a trip to Russia in a few years? Skolkovo, to be exactly.

According to the article below, Russia is working hard building a ‘new Silicon Valley’. Russia is aiming to build one of the world’s biggest high-tech cities in a few years. It will boast a research university, 40 corporate research and development centers and a ‘Technopark’ housing up to 1000 start-ups.

Why should this work? It will become a special economic zone. Great tax breaks, special treatment regarding to visas and imports and spending billions by the government should make this happen.

I’d like you to invite to read the article:

It made me think. How do you create an environment like Silicon Valley? What do you need exactly to create that? People for instance, really smart, creative and entrepreneurial people. Acces to resources: money, material, equipment and very important,  information. The people who work there also have to live there, in an inspirational, attractive environment and it seems to me that resources should be present somewhere nearby. These were the first two things that came up in my mind. Ofcourse this is really obvious. What is the magic touch what makes Sillicon Valley such an attractive place for companies like Google, LinkedIn and other technology related companies? I wonder what you have to add to this ‘list’ and in the end, if you believe that this really nice ambitious plan works out or that it will just become another office park like said in the article.

But I have to say, two weeks in Russia should be a great and wonderful experience. 😉

Getting the most out of referrals: Qipu is an online company that was founded in 2010. They have an innovative business model that appeals to price sensitive customers. Qiqu earns its money by referring customers to online retailers and gets a certain share of their revenues from the retailer. This revenue model sounds just like any other online commercial. However, Qipu shares the referral revenues with its user by offering a cashback option. It works as follows: You find a product that you would like to buy online (this has to be one of Qipus 1500 partner websites for instance Zalando, Otto, Vodafone, Ebay, DHL etc.). But instead of buying it directly you first registers with Qipu free of charge. Basic user information and bank account details are required. Then you are referred from the Qipu website to the product website and you buy the product. For this referral Qipu earns a share of the revenues. Part of these revenues (typically between 4 and 8%) are transferred to your bank account within a month. This way almost every referral from Qipu to a partner website results into a purchase, as compared to a simple advertisement because the user has an incentive to buy via Qipu.

While the benefits for to both users and Qipu, are quite obvious it is less clear why online retailers would partner with Qipu. For consumers who would probably buy the product anyways on their website, they now have to share their revenues with Qipu. Furthermore they essentially sell their products for a cheaper price to the end consumer which erodes brand image and willingness to pay for the product in the long term. But it is also a tool to maximize revenues by extracting consumer surplus. They can offer a discount to price sensitive consumers, who are willing go the extra mile for a price reduction by logging in with Qipu and waiting till they receive their money back. At the same time, less price sensitive consumers still pay the regular price. This is a kind of a mail-in-rebate. Companies have to make a trade off between these issues. We can see that with its 1500 partner retailers many companies appreciate Qipu”s services. But there are also companies like Amazon that do not want to participate for the previously named reasons.

Qipu offers an innovative business model that benefits both its users and its customers and takes advantage of the online referral system in an simple, yet effective way. It illustrates how the emergence of the Internet makes room for business models that were not possible before.

If you want to save some money yourself check out their website (unfortunately it is only available for the German market so far).

What is LTE and what it will give to the customers?

What is LTE and what it will give to the customers?

Long Term Evolution (LTE)

Everyone is talking about it, operators are embracing it but what actually does it mean  to the real world?

LTE is a 4G technology is a standard for wireless communication of high-speed data for mobile phones and data terminals often associated with WiMAX. Both LTE and WiMAX technologies can deliver wireless data connectivity that is able to compete with fixed-line broadband services provided by DSL or cable. It is extremely fast, efficient and intelligent, which are prerequisite for extreme communication experience. LTE delivers what people want profitably; it simply gives the customers a superior mobile broadband experience.

LTE is based on the GSM and Universal Mobile Telecommunication System/High Speed Package Access network technologies, which aim to increase the capacity and speed using a different radio interface together with core network improvements. The standard is created and maintained by the 3GPP (3rd Generation Partnership Project) and is publicly available since 2009 14 December 2009.

Communications nowadays mainly consist of people speaking to people, the future will be- all kind of things speaking to each other through the means of the internet, also known as the internet of things.

End-users demand their experience of mobile broadband to be continuous, uninterrupted and fast. While, the mobile data traffic is increasing exponentially, the service revenues paid by end users are either flat or falling, explained by the dynamic competition. However, providing these extra functional services increases the operating costs. LTE solves this problem by offering low cost per megabit. Long Term Evolution (LTE) technology is  the most efficient mobile broadband technology that provides outstanding quality. It offers the highest data rates and shortest latency times.

Behind LTE there is a diverse ecosystem. Many players are involved like suppliers, software developers, infrastructure vendors, chipset manufacturers.

Simple Comparison

Being the primary technology behind 4G,  LTE is considered as the new standard for speed in the network technologies of the future. Below the evolution of the High Speed Package Access technology is presented:

  • HSPA: The 3G technology that powers fast mobile broadband network
  • HSPA+Technology that enables 4G speeds up to 4x faster.
  • LTE(Long Term Evolution): Speeds up to 10x faster than 3G, with continuous improvement of speed, performance, and accessibility.

Market Development of LTE

During the past years, the technology has gained popularity and support from mobile operators around the world, specifically in North America. Over 280 of companies in more than 80 countries are investing in LTE right now. For example, several CDMA operators, including Verizon Wireless and MetroPCS in the U.S. or Bell and TELUS in Canada, have stated publicly that they will switch to LTE. Moreover, in the world’s most advanced LTE markets, such as South Korea, massive increases in LTE subscriptions are driving bandwidth demand for an additional LTE carrier. By April 2012, three operators in the US, Japan and Korea had reported more than two million LTE subscribers. LG U+ in Korea has reached an LTE penetration of more than 20 per cent of its total subscriber base. Currently, Nokia Siemens Networks are known as one of the biggest players, having LTE centers in markets all over the world.

In short, in 2012 LTE has already become a mass market.


 My question

Given the great upcoming innovations regarding data transmission, increase bandwidth, service quality and efficiency, where do you think the communications can be further developed? Is this everything end-users want or there are more undiscovered opportunities?


Internet Explorer

Have a look at the 2 video’s below. One is a commercial of IE9 and the other a funny edit.

What do you use? Will Microsoft ever be able to change IE’s horrible reputation?

Facebook: 1 billion users.

Perhaps you’ve heard: Facebook now got more than 1 billion users. This means that from every 7 people on the planet, one of them has an Facebook account. Mark gives his first television interview after Facebook went public, a major point of discussion in the media. Mark is still positive that Facebook can continue to grow and develop new products. I wonder if they will succeed.

You can watch the interview here:

Smart TV: a view of the future

The TV revolution is here. Smart TVs, HD and 3D TVs are set to transform our viewing and browsing behaviour forever. Television has entered a new dimension. This previously one-way broadcast medium is taking a lead role in the next generation of interactive multimedia, delivering a host of on-demand services.

Thanks to Smart Tv’s in-built internet technology, thousands of films and TV shows are now available to watch instantly. No need to wait for a download via another device – just select the film or TV show you want to watch and settle in. HD content is increasingly available via a rapidly growing number of HD TV channels, from free digital services to subscription TV providers.

Thanks to built-in 3D functionality  you can watch the year’s biggest blockbusters the way they are meant to be seen, from the comfort of your own home. And with a choice of super-sharp, super-slim backlit LED screens – ranging from 42-inch to a mighty 55-inch – the only thing you need to add for a genuine home-cinema experience is the popcorn.

On the social media side, the smart TV’s web functionality allows you to update your Facebook status and check out your friends’ and family’s profiles. Twitter is also built in, so it’s simple to stay in touch with friends and family on the big screen. All of this can be done via your TV remote control, or a smartphone with an easy-to-use app.

Sitting down for an evening in front of the telly just got a whole lot more exciting.

Here is a link to a video of the TV evolution and its future possibilities:

What implementations would you like to see in the new way of home entertainment?