Apple ne vend plus de produits…

Pour tous ceux qui pensent encore qu’Apple vend des produits (iPhone 6) et ne comprennent pas leur approche "Ecosystème"…

Une très bonne analyse qui nous change des discussions sur la nouvelle "taille de l’écran"

Apple ne vend plus de produits

Pour chaque euro généré par la vente d’un iPhone, combien d’euros sont générés par les musiciens, développeurs, fabricants d’accessoires ou acteurs industriels ? Car même si Apple ne se rémunère que peu sur ce chiffre global (ce n’est pas leur objectif direct), le stabilité générée autour de chacun de leurs produits est proprement phénoménale. Chaque produit Apple est une comète avec une queue de plusieurs km de long, qui donne une assise incomparable sur le marché. Une assise qui stabilise Apple bien au-delà ce qu’un Microsoft ou un Samsung pourrait rêver avoir un jour.

Innoveo joins Pactera!

As some of you already know, we have joined the US/Chinese PacteraGroup since January 1, 2014. Innoveo Solutions will be renamed in Pactera Switzerland, our software product name remains "Innoveo Skye". The whole team remains in Zurich, Switzerland and will be empowered in the coming time. We are very happy to be able to join these 20’000 people company and to profit from Pactera’s Sales und big customers’ base! Our next coming months will be very exciting, also by entering the Asia Pacific markets. Also a very solid constellation for our existing customers.

Comme certains le savent déjà, nous avons décidé de rejoindre le Groupe sino-américain Pactera au 1er janvier 2014. Innoveo Solutions sera renommé Pactera Switzerland, le nom du logiciel reste "Innoveo Skye". Le team reste à Zürich et sera augmenté dans les prochains temps. Nous sommes très heureux de pouvoir nous joindre à ce groupe de plus de 20’000 employés et de profiter de la puissance de vente et des clients existants de Pactera! Les prochains mois s’annoncent plus qu’existants, tout comme les premières acquisitions en Asie. Cette constellation est aussi très intéressante pour nos clients existants.

Press Release English:
http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/pactera-establishes-switzerland-office-and-extends-insurance-industry-solutions-through-key-acquisition-241795041.html

Press Release en français:
http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/acquisition-de-la-societe-de-logiciels-dassurance-innoveo-solutions-par-pactera-technology-international-242694801.html

Dropbox in Forbes

via Forbes.com

As a happy customer (50GB plan) of Dropbox since years now, I was very interested by this article in Forbes. Some insights (even if I encourage you to read the full article):

  • Dropbox has today 50 million users, one new user per second joining
  • 96% of the users pay nothing
  • 325 million files saved per day
  • Steve Jobs/Apple wanted to acquire Dropbox in 2009 for a nine-digit price
  • 2008: 9 employees. 200k customers
  • 2010: 14 employees, 2 million customers
  • Revenue 2011: $240 million, already profitable, 70 employees
  • Revenue 2012: even if they would not sign one single new customer, their sales will double
  • Dropbox started with $15k from Y Combinator
  • 1st VC round from Sequoia of $1.2 million
  • VC round in 2008, $7.2 million raised
  • VC round in August 2011, $250 million raised with a valuation of around $4 billion, VCs participating: Index Ventures (lead), Sequoia, Greylock, Benchmark, Accel, Goldman Sachs and RIT Capital Partners
  • Competitors perceived: Apple iCloud, Google Drive

Impressive story, wow…

Canon vs. Nikon

via Mashable

No no, I’m not entering the religion fight between the Canon and Nikon fans ;-) As you may know, I’m a happy Canon user for years now, and with the time, you get used to the interface of Canon or Nikon cameras and, if you have some good expensive lenses, you are so or so stuck with one or the other.

There are for sure some detailed differences between both brands, but generally speaking, both have very happy users since years…

What I haven’t realized, on the other hand, is the difference of size between both companies. Actually, Canon is much bigger than Nikon and is selling 4x more DSLR than Nikon! That was not clear for me, always had the impression that both are more or less of equal size…

  Nikon Canon
Founded in 1910 1937
Number of employees ~ 26’000 ~ 197’000
Revenues on cameras
2008
2010
4.8 bn EUR
4.8 bn EUR
12.1 bn EUR
11.5 bn EUR
Revenues on DSLR
2008
2010
2.1 bn EUR
1.9 bn EUR
7.9 bn EUR
8.1 bn EUR

Mobile Trends 2011

via ReadWriteMobile

ReadWriteMobile is publishing an interesting post about the coming and emerging 10 Mobile Trends for 2011 based on a Forrester Research study. Some of them seem to be relevant also for us at Innoveo:

2) 2011 is the Year of the “Dumb” Smartphone User

Smartphones will become more affordable, thanks to handset subsidies. And these new users will be less engaged and active than smartphone early adopters. Forrester expects they’ll download fewer apps on average, but will consume more mobile media thanks to consumer education and convenience provided by the phones.

Despite the fact that these former “dumb phone” users may download fewer apps than early adopters, the overall app forecast is still good. In fact, Gartner also just released a report that stated mobile app store revenue will pass $15 billion in 2011.

3) The Mobile Fragmentation Problem will Continue

Forrester says it expects fragmentation to continue, but it’s not just referring to the multiple variations of a single OS. It means that some customers have smartphones, some have feature phones, some use apps, some use SMS, plus there are multiple OS’s in existence, in multiple versions, with multiple screen sizes and there are a higher number of devices out there. In short: fragmentation. The costs of porting, maintaining and promoting apps will remain high.

4) The “Apps vs. Internet” Debate Will Continue…to be Irrelevant

Says Forrester, it’s not a question of “either/or” when it comes to a choice between apps vs. the mobile Web, but both. Frequent and intense users of services like banking and brokerage will want curated experiences in the form of apps, but the Internet will remain the fallback for more occasional information and needs.

8) Companies will Invest First in Convenient Services for Consumers

Forrester says that mobile product and service professionals, particularly in the travel industry, will invest first to keep their most lucrative customers happy. And in the hierarchy of benefits that mobile offers – revenue generation, cost savings and convenience – convenience will reign during 2011.

10) “Mobile” Will Mean More than Mobile Phones

Consumer adoption of tablets, eReaders, portable media devices and other mobile products has grown in 2010 and this will continue in 2011. Apps and services will need to work across devices and consumers will want ubiquitous access to content and services.  This will force service providers to sync content via the cloud to maintain a consistent experience across platforms.

cross-posted on the Innoveo Blog

Seth Godin –The business of Software

via Seth Godin

If you are reading this post, you may know how far I like all the super valuable inputs of Seth Godin. Really inspiring! So, when Seth was publishing a post about the business of software, I was super excited.

First I have learnt that Seth’s first job was to lead a team that created 5 games for …. the Commodore64!!

Some, to my point of view, very interesting abstracts from his post. Although I *really* encourage you to read the whole post (even a bit long, really great!):

[…] Clearly, just writing a piece of software no longer makes it a business.
So if it’s not about avoiding fatal bugs, what’s the business of software?

At its heart, you need to imagine (and then execute) a business that just happens to involve a piece of software, because it’s become clear that software alone isn’t the point. There isn’t a supply issue–it’s about demand. The business of software is now marketing (which includes design). […]

COMMUNICATE TO USERS: As we’ve seen in just about every industry, marketing involves effectively communicating a story about benefits to (and among) the people who will appreciate them. For software entrepreneurs, this means identifying a group of people who need the utility of what you can offer them and who are willing to give you permission to educate them about why they should buy. Without either element, the software is dead. […]

I think niche opportunities for software are largely unexploited. […]

So, the questions I’d ask:

  • Who can I reach?
  • Is the product so remarkable that they will talk about my product with their peers?
  • Can I earn and maintain permission to continue the conversation?
  • Once they learn about the utility offered, will they pay for it? [...]

ENABLE COMMUNICATION BETWEEN USERS: This is the holy grail of software. […] The network effect is the increased utility of a device that enables communication. […] If you can improve productivity or satisfaction by connecting people, then people will selfishly help you do your marketing.

When building a software business that uses the network effect, I’d ask:

  • Does the connection this enables create demonstrable value?
  • Is there an easy and obvious way for someone who benefits to recruit someone else to join in?
  • Is it open enough to be easy to use but closed enough to avoid becoming a zero-cost commodity? […]

LAST THING: Paying for it. In a competitive market where the marginal cost of an item is zero, the price will move to and eventually reach zero. […] The goal, then, is to create a dynamic where the market isn’t competitive. […] The other condition that’s necessary, though, is that users have to believe that payment is an option. The web has trained the vast majority that interactions online should be free. That makes the act of selling software, particularly to people who haven’t used it yet, really difficult. There are two ways around this:

  1. Free samples. Many software companies (37signals being an obvious one) have discovered the drug dealer model, in which the software is free for a month, connections are built, utility is created and then it begins to cost money.
  2. Move to a platform where commerce is expected. […] The app store for the iPad is like that. The expectation is that this software is going to cost money. It’s far easier to sell a serious app for the iPad than it is on the web, because the platform is organized around commerce.

[…] I wanted to help you realize that just because you can code something that doesn’t mean it’s a good idea. The issues of permission, of networks, of scarcity and of the desire to pay are inherent in the business part of the business of software. […]

Wow, really really impressive analysis!

Jobping goes global!

via Jobping blog

I’ve just realized that I have forgotten to post about this important news concerning Jobping (public beta launched in April 2010) : you can now use their services from everywhere, not just Australia anymore!

News of a niche Job board for Microsoft Professionals spread quicker than we thought and we have received multiple requests from people in the U.S and Europe who want to advertise onJobping. Having initially intended to only advertise positions within Australia we’ve now enabledJobping to accept posts from anywhere in the world.

For both Advertisers and Jobseekers this will make no difference to the way you already use the site, although you will may notice a sprinkle of extra options here and there.

If you have any questions or requests then we’d love to hear from you.

Good job Mathieu and Laurent ;-)

Software industry

via Judith Hurwitz (first and second articles)

As usual, very interesting feed for thoughts coming from Judith.

Some abstracts:

The definition of an application is changing. The traditional view that the packaged application is hermetically sealed is going away. More of the new packaged applications will be based on service orientation based on best practices. These applications will be parameter-driven so that they can be changed in real time. And yes, Service Oriented Architectures (SOA) didn’t die after all.

Exactly what we are doing at Innoveo with our product Innoveo Skye since years!

Managing end points will be one of the key technology drivers in 2011. Smart phones, sensors, and tablet computers are refining what computing means. It will drive the requirement for a new approach to role and process based security.

Totally agree, we are working on that also at Innoveo. Cannot disclose yet.

Cloud computing moves to the front office. Two years ago IT and business leaders saw cloud computing as a way to improve back office efficiency. This is beginning to change. With the flexibility of cloud computing, management is now looking at the potential for to quickly innovate business processes that touch partners and customers.

Also something we feel coming out of the market and as new business need. Why not working on that too ;-)

cross-posted on the Innoveo Blog

Lean, Agile & Scrum conference in Zurich

As you may know, Oli (our VP Product at Innoveo) and myself participated last week to the 2nd “Lean, Agile & Scrum” Conference in Zurich, also called LAS 2010.

The topic this year: From the Scrum project to lean enterprise.

Interesting, isn’t it?

Summary

  • For me the clear highlight of the day was the presentation of Mary Poppendieck (she has written the first book about Lean development in the Software industry with her husband) – The tyranny of “The Plan” (presentation here). She explained almost all principles and bases that led to the creation of the Scrum methodology. Very convincing ;-)
  • I’ve heard now for three times quite in a row that experienced companies using Scrum are implementing very strictly the Scrum frame (no adaptation and/or tinkering), but are very careful with other Scrum best practices and lessons learnt that cannot be always replicated.
  • Again, we have heard very often how far it is absolutely central to have the software engineering and automatization parts under control by introducing such kind of agile approach. What they call “software craftsmanship”.
  • All were also confirming how long it takes to transform deeply a company ;-)
  • Some speakers were explaining how far they are still struggling with Agile Software Architecture. Seems that maturity in this field is coming quite at the end of the transformation process.
  • Heard also that Scrum doesn’t fit well to Maintenance & Support, and that Kanban is more accurate for organizing these activities (but not enough experience yet to confirm Kanban in this field).
  • Anecdote: the CTO of bbv (about 110 developers using Scrum since 5 years) said that it is not so easy to spread this kind of agile approach, as “Swiss managers like very much to command & control, which is absolutely against the aim of agile approach”. Not sure that this is so particular to Switzerland actually :-)

Mary Poppendieck

The thinking tool called Agile

Henrik Kniberg, presentation

The illusion of a “good tool”, Don’t blame the tool

Good tools are helping to:

  • visualize the workflow
  • limit work in progress
  • focus on quality
  • prioritize
  • empower
  • support continuous improvements

Using the wrong tool vs. using the tool wrong (both have nothing to do with the tool itself)

The aim of going agile has to be linked with the vision and values of the company => be careful to solve the right problem, i.e. the root causes and not symptoms

Agile is simple but hard!

Transforming BBV into an agile company

Marcel Bauman, presentation

Why changing to agile?

  • business requirements are changing a lot, customers are asking for very short projects where you can show step-by-step results, reqs are changing during the projects
  • fun for people and developers
  • young people are coming more and more on the market with agile teaching

Why Scrum?

  • standard method, most used in Europe

Bbv favors (manifesto):

  • individuals and interactions over processes and tools
  • working software over comprehensive documentation
  • customer collaboration over contract negotiation
  • responding to a change over following a plan

Scrum works only with:

  • source mgt, continuous integration, wiki, test env
  • need a lot of virtual machines and processing power
  • automate everything that can be automated
  • remote access (VPN) for all employees
  • XP as a base! => 40% of developers don’t like pair programming

HR:

  • no reporting on individual level, just project-level
  • incentive on team-level
  • pair programming interviews

The tyranny of “The Plan”

Mary Poppendieck, presentation

Key Success Factors for successful projects:

  • teamwork
  • deeply experienced people
  • focus on key constraint
  • decoupling
  • cash-flow thinking

In other words:

  • design the system to meet the constraints; do not derive constraints from the design
  • break dependencies
  • manage the workflow

Schedules based on experience are reliable. Schedules summed up from task breakdowns are guesses, hypothesis about the future.

Optimize Throughput, not utilization (coming from Queuing theory)!

  • minimize the number of things in process
  • minimize the size of things in process

Level the workload:

  • manage workflow, not tasks
  • establish a regular cadence

Limit work to capacity

  • timebox, don’t scopebox
  • pull, don’t push

Cross-posted on the Innoveo blog.