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"The IMS Scoop"-newsline report -

Moore's (More's) Law -revisited
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I like food. Hot and spicy. So I observe with fascination the zany search for the world's hottest pepper. I read that the Red Savina Habanero cranks out 570,000 Scoville Units -- the clockspeed, if you will, of a diminutive fruit that apparently can inflict third-degree burns on the roof of your mouth.

As the leader of a sleepless "Web Work" company, this seems a lot like the quest for the fastest microprocessor or highest speed internet connection. Why I think this, and what it means to everyone considering a business to business VPN or intranet, I'll explain.

With remarkable staying power, Gordon Moore's famous maxim - that computing horsepower doubles every 18 months -- has remained true through countless cycles of high-tech development. There's no end in sight. Desktop PCs will soon sprout Gigahertz engines. Zero to sixty in,... oh, already there!!

But as the world frenziedly adds 0's to its Y2K millennium calendars, Moore's Law is less than suitable for the new universe of connected computing. Making individual PCs go faster at some point is like driving an F-16 to the mall. Therefore, we need new conceptual legislation to govern our assumptions about the pace of technology and the impact it has on our lives. Giving a "broadband" pipeline to a home or remote office doesn't require investment in a 500MHZ Intel P-III to realize immediate gains. Is there really a measurable gain in online performance and experience between a "middle of the road" Pentium 350MHZ system and the latest speed demon CPU?

More's Law -Or, more to the point, the Law of More.

We wanted it and now we have it. More compute power. More bandwidth. More cellular towers. More satellites. More cable modems. More fiber optic trunks. More gadgets of all kinds running on our more-faster processors. More ways to connect then disconnect.

Before you impeach my theory on the absence of reliable data to support my intuition, consider these points:

Total available Internet bandwidth (i.e., usable transport, not PR promises) is growing 20% a year. More will be spent on this bandwidth rollout in 2000 than on any  other single industry.
Cable modems--despite the attention deficit disorder suffered by their creators--are streaming into the market. Forrester predicts 25.8 million households will have broadband Internet access in a couple of years.
According to Gecko Research, the pace of broadband access (ie. cable modems and xDSL breeds) will "increase dramatically" in 2000 as issues of standards and retail distribution are solved. The FTC will make sure of that and look whose pushing "broadband! Everyone from Uncle Sam, the utility companys and now AT&T, Nortel, AOL, Time Warner and ..more.
Infrastructure is building; end-user appetites are building even faster. A recent study by The Yankee Group shows that Internet-user interest in high-speed access has doubled in the past year. AOL predicts 30% of it's 18 million members would sign up today, and that doesn't really address business users who currently pay $300+ per month for slow ISDN lines.
Prices are dropping, boding not only confidence about the adoption rate, but implying that the numbers could explode upward when the sense of elitism and high-cost evaporate from the broadband image.
-   According to Strategis Group Worldwide, a research firm, demand for high-speed connectivity would jump 85% if providers cut monthly costs to $35 a month. No one ever though that  IMS's idea of a "FreePc" would ever be adopted a year ago... to bad they never got the full plan..only an RFQ and a invitation to become a supplier for the first phase. Now they can all wonder what was on page two of the plan that included highspeed access as they boxed themselves into just pushing the loss leader.
The infectious possibilities of broadband have begun migrating to the business side of the house. Technology developers and end users alike have begun the ritual dance of early adoption.
My own quest and research into xDSL for IMS clients and a new startup distribution firm is a perfect example.  This Impulse Ads web site is itself progressive evidence that the rules have changed. These Ads are currently getting 20 million page views a day for the merchants. Wait till they have streaming TV like videos and sound clips and are transported to the new "broadband portals" being developed by Snap.com, Yahoo, MSN and Disney. Basically.. Broadband means business. Business is broadband! (Do I sound like Scott McNeely yet?)

So what do we do with MORE bandwidth? That's the query that underlies the new More's Law. Just ask AT& T or MCI Worldcom what they plan to do with the billions just invested in TCI, Sprint, Media One and Time Warner cable systems to marry the Telephone and TV to the Internet !!

Answer: harness it.

Why? Because the practitioners of every species of business activity need it, and at the same time the institutions they work for are woefully ill-equipped to saddle this wild beast for practical benefit. ( Media companies to the rescue!)

Harnessing all that bandwidth, my friends, is what deserves our attention, and is what every brain cell at IMS, a small but growing company, is dedicated to. Most potential customers and industry experts we talk to about this speed phenomenon--and about our Web and product distribution strategy--gasp.

Not because they're alarmed by our genius, but because they can't gulp down enough oxygen to keep up with the escalating demands of mobile workers, proliferating LANs and WANs and VPNs. We start talking about the stop gap tourniquet around the corporation itself, and they get it. And they immediately (if not publicly) confess the anemic results they're getting using software and cheap router tricks to jump-handle broadband connections, or any kind of blended Telco connect environment with more than a handful of users. Like they say, one ( bad ass) cable or xDSL modem can spoil a whole pool of content 56K dial-up users.

The New Business Manifesto: Batteries Included

The demarcation between managers (they manage) and workers (they work) is   catastrophically unsuitable as a guidepost for allocating modern business resources, whether those resources are paper clips, office space, computers-or, simply, information. Gasp at the number of SOHO and remote workers who'll be online daily in 2002 to see that IT/management  barriers need to be simplified. Corporate information tyranny is rooted in the Industrial Revolution and, unfortunately, human ego. The first one changed, well, because it did. The second part is changing because it has to.

The 20th century corporation was largely designed in the 18th century to succeed in the 19th. As the 20th century winds down, we are witnessing the emergence of a new breed of company that has been bred for success in the 21st century global economy . . . Management's job is no longer to oversee and supervise. It is to equip the people who are to do the work with the skills, tools and knowledge they require and then get the Hell out of the way.

Building network bandwidth with no way to effectively harness it for business operations is almost worse than a new toy without batteries. The latter creates a temporary tantrum. The former creates fundamental business (GASP) hype-driven and potentially unwise IT spending on stopgap solutions, and general panic between the already strained MIS- CEO cultures.

Like other phase shifts that have occurred in business and technology, this one requires a new approach. And like most great inventions of any century, the answer was almost obvious. Keep it simple to install and support.

xDSL speed for the massesToday, corporations have the fat pipes, they have the supercharged servers, and their clients-be they thin or pudgy-are in the hands of a user population that is accustomed to the copious and visual data fix provided by the corporate Intranet. Gone forever are the old monochrome green tubes.

So not only do we have the technical feasibility of broadband business applications, and a strengthening business argument, but a starched-out business user who will accept nothing less than remote access that is as fast and reliable and visually-rich as the computing resource inside the four walls of the office. It's a monster we've all created. Let's deal with it by putting away the water pistols and bringing out the heavy artillery.

Namely, high-performance enterprise connectivity. Affordable, high-performance connectivity over the Internet using next-generation broadband access and VPN technology. All CPE (customer premise equipment) should be endowed with standards-based security protections, and scalable architecture for future plug-n-play high speed access by the enduser. Equipment and connections should be remotely monitored and the most technology challanged person in an ISP's or clients employee pool should be able to install the access device in minutes.

There. I said it. The network equipment manufacturers and consultants will hate me for it, since most of their inventoried products don't fit the profile. But at least our clients and support teams will respect me again. Meanwhile IMS will uncover and recommend the "best of breed" immediate solutions, even if we have to become the direct distributor ourselves.

So, while you soul-search about your business year head, and all the ramifications of Y2K, downsizing and need for new business plans, consider this one in the form of a question from a fellow grunt in the ISP network/remote access wars:

"Dinosaurs were highly successful and lasted a long time.
They never really went away. They became smaller, faster, and more
agile, and now we call them vultures eating at your business."

I'm not sure if the vultures are eyeing your business, but the bandwidth you demanded and connectivity you need is certainly here. What are you going to do with it to streamline your business?

nerd.gif (618 bytes) The editor for IMS

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Part 2-  Developing the Perfect shopping engine

Part 3- What makes E-business tick

Part 4- Automatic purchasing for the Fortune  8 million!

Part 5- IMS consulting -strategy planning series

Part 6 - Broadband is the answer

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