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A brief-yet-ongoing journal of all things Carmi. You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll reach for your mouse to click back to Google. But you'll be intrigued. And you'll feel compelled to return following your next bowl of oatmeal. With brown sugar. And milk.
"It's like McDonalds releasing the recipe to its secret sauce," said Carmi Levy, senior vice-president of strategic consulting for AR Communications Inc. "Getting that ‘secret sauce recipe' out there, it's enough to stoke interest of the developer community which ensures the viability of its technology going forward."Next up, I was quoted in another article on page 3 of the same paper: RIM leaps 9% on bullish subscriber forecast. Here's what I said:
With no visible damage from the stormy U.S. economic headwinds, RIM is entering 2008 with its guns blazing and Main Street consumers square in its sights, said Carmi Levy, senior vice-president of strategic consulting for AR Communications Inc.Third, and quite likely the funniest pickup I've had in some time, Paul Thurrott, noted geek-blogger, ran this somewhat mis-targeted assessment on his Windows IT Pro site: WinInfo Short Takes: Week of February 25, 2008. Here's what he said, and it's a scream:
"A one-cylinder car only has a certain performance potential and at some point you have to diversify your offerings," Mr. Levy said. "In the last year and a half, [RIM] has done a masterful job diversifying themselves from an exclusively enterprise company to one that plays in both enterprise and consumer markets split between them."
Maintaining its close partnerships with carriers around the world has given RIM the clout of a telecom provider without the risk, said Mr. Levy.
"The more you can integrate the offerings, the easier it becomes for carriers to partner with you," said Mr. Levy. "If you can do that, it makes it much easier [for customers] to latch onto the BlackBerry brand."
Best Quote about the Microsoft Announcement: Looking over the news stories about this announcement, which usually relied very heavily on quotes from industry analysts because, you know, tech reporters are apparently too dumb to come up with their own analysis, one quote stood out. What's funny about this, however, is that the quote is great reasons even the quoter probably doesn't understand. "These announcements are like McDonald's releasing the recipe for its secret sauce," said AR Communications strategic consultant Carmi Levy. Actually, it's exactly like that, because McDonald's "secret sauce" was a big deal in the fast food market 30 years ago, when everyone in America knew the words to the Big Mac jingle the company used in commercials. That we now have Microsoft sort-of embracing open software today, a full decade after the open source movement went mainstream, kind of shows how far behind the company is when it comes to the hottest trends in computing today, including such movements as cloud computing and mashups. You know, the types of things that pretty much rely on interoperability. So let's hear it for Carmi Levy. My guess is you don't know how right you are.Looks like I managed to press some buttons this week. Neat.
"These announcements are like McDonald's releasing the recipe for its secret sauce," said AR Communications strategic consultant Carmi Levy.
"This announcement signals that Microsoft is finally ready to commit to an entirely new business model. This is a radical shift from Microsoft's traditional bull-in-a-china-shop strategy."
"Going to court is expensive, and both these companies are facing their own challenges in the market and need to keep their eye on the ball if they want to stay competitive," Carmi Levy, senior vice president of strategic consulting at AR Communications, told InternetNews.com.
RIM, Levy explained, has faced increasing competition from large players capable of "swamping the company" if the vendor loses focus.
Motorola, he notes, is already battling to stay in a leadership spot amid rumors of selling its handset unit. The company "needs to focus on regaining traction," amid recent significant losses, he adds.
One thing both Levy and Hughes believe is that neither company can afford a long legal battle like the one RIM fought with patent holding firm NTP. That lawsuit, which RIM lost, awarded $612.5 million to NTP.
For his part, Levy described the legal action as "little more than a tempest in a teacup," noting that neither vendor has the "luxury of fritting away precious resources" on legal action.
While Motorola claims that the patent dispute is not tied to its recent announcement that it was "exploring the structural and strategic realignment of its businesses to better equip Mobile Devices to recapture global market leadership and to enhance shareholder value," Levy acknowledged that patent hurdles could thwart any potential sale.
"A potential buyer would discover this kind of issue in due diligence, and the legal action also sets a tone that Motorola likely doesn't want in play if it's looking to sell," he says.
"Motorola is by far the biggest loser in all of this," says Carmi Levy, senior VP for strategic consulting at AR Communications, "because at a time when its leaders need to be focused on turning the company around, they instead choose to divert their attention to a lawsuit that promises to sap precious resources away from more important activities."
"A drawn-out intellectual property-based lawsuit will take years to resolve if Motorola doesn't politely resolve its differences with RIM," adds Levy, "by which point the mobile landscape will look very different than it does today."
Analyst Carmi Levy said HD DVD players will make good DVD players because the average DVD will still look better when played on an HD DVD player.
"Technically, it's a very good device and it will do the job but it is essentially dead-end technology," said Levy, senior vice-president of strategic consulting at Toronto's AR Communications Inc.
"This will not be the centre of your future hi-def television."
"A format war is not good for anyone," said Carmi Levy, senior vice-president of strategic consulting for AR Communications Inc. "It slows the evolution of the market down and forces people to the sideline when they really want to dive right in."
It's believed to be one of the first times that a social networking web site has been used in such a fashion in Canada. "This is the first time I've really seen individual investors or small investors using Facebook for a business related issue or goal," says Carmi Levy, senior vice-president, strategic consulting, at AR Communications Inc. in Toronto.
"This is where grassroots organization takes place today, on sites like Facebook. It allows you to rapidly assemble large groups of like-minded people in ways you simply could not accomplish using traditional tools such as email or instant messaging."
Throughout, there was speculation the site was a viral marketing tool for a movie or video game, something industry expert Carmi Levy said would likely backfire.
"At some point, a line is crossed," says Levy, a consultant with AR Communications. "Using suicide would likely be seen as going too far."
Tod said the same would likely apply to art.
Within days of the site being launched, other bloggers began linking to it and opening their own discussions about it.
Once something begins to take off on the Internet, Levy says, others jump on board to generate traffic to their own sites as a way to boost revenue.
"There's a self-serving aspect to a lot of the comments, the forum post and the blog posts," he says.
Perhaps the only real alternative is leaving the BlackBerry for another type of device and provider.
But the practicality of adopting an enterprise-wide backup in case of a RIM failure isn't a viable option for many, said Carmi Levy, senior vice-president of strategic consulting at AR Communications.
"Think of the cost of the device, another service subscription, the application work and integration work," Levy said. "That's a pretty steep price to pay to have a backup system for when and if RIM service takes a dip. It's like using a jackhammer to nail a picture on the wall."
It's necessary that security measures be holistic, encompassing software, process and behavior, said Carmi Levy, senior vice-president of strategic consulting for AR Communications "It's one thing to implement the tool, it's a quite another to make sure all employees at all levels of the organization understand all the threats that expose the organization to unnecessary risk."
But Carmi Levy, senior vice-president of strategic consulting at AR Communications, said service reliability is a serious concern for companies like RIM, because if problems become routine, they can turn customers and prospective buyers away.
"It's a big issue and it's a growing issue," he said, adding that huge outages can prove to be "a major Achilles' heel" for RIM.
"Any time you have an outage of this scale, that receives the headlines that it does, it certainly is a cause for concern," said Carmi Levy, senior vice-president of strategic consulting for AR Communications. "RIM has to figure out a way to avoid single-point-of-failure type of outages and minimize the impact."
Levy did commend RIM for informing corporate clients quickly.
Although RIM was quick to redeploy its service, the outage illustrates the company's vulnerability whenever an upgrade goes bad, said Carmi Levy, senior vice-president of strategic consulting with AR Communications Inc.
"This will happen when all of your traffic goes through a choke point in your network," Mr. Levy said.
"At some point, architecturally, it makes sense for RIM to move to a more distributed model like Google uses, where they have data centres all over the place," Mr. Levy said.
Technology consultant Carmi Levy said another crash could damage the BlackBerry brand with users.
"From the CEO all the way to IT managers and the average person walking into a wireless store at the mall, they are all going to ask the question," Levy said.
"Isn't that the device that's always going down? At some point, it is potentially damaging to the brand and RIM wants to squelch that now before it gets worse," said Levy, senior-vice president of strategic consulting at Toronto's AR Communications.
The concentration of RIM's BlackBerry service at a single network operation centre in the Ontario city of Waterloo, through which traffic such as e-mails are routed, exacerbates such problems and leaves it open to more crashes, said Levy.
"Clearly an architecture where all of your traffic is routed into a relatively small choke point is not sufficient when you are responsible for servicing tens of millions of customers," Levy said.
"Imagine if Google were suddenly unavailable - the hue and cry that would result from such an outage.
"It's not an apple-to-apple comparison because Google is a search engine and web services company and RIM is a wireless messaging company, but still imagine if Google were unavailable."
"RIM needs to look at distributing what is essentially a vulnerable, centralized architecture. It needs to decentralize that to reduce those vulnerabilities," said Levy.
He used the example of Google, which rose from obscure search engine to one of the hottest Internet companies in the world in just a few years.
Google's infrastructure is decentralized, with multiple so-called "server farms" located in different geographical areas. If the main system fails for whatever reason, traffic can simply be routed and processed at another server.
That would take longer than the nine or 10 months that have elapsed since the last outage in April, Levy added, and is also very expensive.
Reuters dug up an analyst Carmi Levy, senior vice-president of strategic consulting at AR Communications to warn that if problems like this become routine, they can turn customers and prospective buyers away.
He said that huge pendulous outages could be "a major Achilles' heel" for RIM.
One analyst believes that if Apple spurs greater application development and solves some minor form-factor issues, such as adding a keyboard, the vendor could become the mobile work device of choice.InformationWeek, February 8: Year Of The Rat Could Be Mousy For Mobile Handset Makers. Byline Richard Martin.
"All new devices come in the back door of a company. That's how the BlackBerry came into the enterprise," Carmi Levy, a senior analyst with AR Communications, told InternetNews.com. While the iPhone doesn't have the street credibility of RIM's device, the iPhone could become the mobile computer in business. Apple just has to address some issues."
Levy said the market statistics support his contention that today's mobile phones will all be smartphones within three to five years.
"It's a no-brainer as what we view as a cell phone today will be gone as everyone wants a computing device and not just a phone," he said.
Hopefully, Levy said, Apple will get busy with its design activity as well. In addition to the necessary keyboard, the vendor has to address battery life issues and revamp its stylish screen for a more business-fitting form factor.
"All the issues preventing it from truly being an enterprise smartphone can be addressed," he said. "None are showstoppers."
RIM (NSDQ: RIMM) could be protected as consumers and enterprises move toward increasingly sophisticated devices, said analyst Carmi Levy, senior VP for Strategic Consulting at AR Communications Inc. "As a smartphone-only vendor, RIM is not as vulnerable to the falloff in demand for conventional handsets," Levy said.Canadian Press, February 8: Mobile phone use will keep growing because of device's many functions. Byline LuAnn LaSalle. Also picked up by the Ottawa Sun on Feb. 9 under the headline A 'digital Swiss Army knife': As cellphone capabilities expand, so does usage.
Hardest-hit could be Palm, which as Levy points out "was in freefall even before the economy started to turn toward recession." With 75% to 80% of its sales in the North American market, Palm could be more vulnerable to an economic slowdown than any other handset vendor.
Nokia's market strength allows it to leverage economies of scale that no other vendor can match," notes Levy, enabling the company "to maintain margins through the year."
Analyst Carmi Levy said mobile, smart phones help boost productivity.
“Wherever you are it means you are not comprised by the kind and volume of work that you can do, said Levy, senior vice-president of strategic consulting at Toronto’s AR Communications. “The term digital Swiss Army knife really speaks to the utility of these devices and the fact that what you can get out of these devices is limited really by your imagination, which is a pretty powerful comment considering these things slip in your pocket,” Levy said.
Business technology trends to watch in 2008Your turn: We've built the following page on the corporate web site to kick off our drive to share all this knowledge with the world. What's in it for you? A chance to win a free iPod. No, not mine. A new one. You wouldn't like my taste in music, anyway. Click here to dive in.