Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Dave Ulrich on HR's arrival - or not

Dave Ulrich is famous enough in the HR game - at least amongst those who study HR, anyway - that he's always worth reading just in case. In this article in Workforce Week he stresses the need for HR to remember to explain the value it is adding to the business as well as trumpeting what it does. Selling HR, is how I'd put it.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

The Business of Virtuality

The most obvious business connection is with Second Life - if only because it's had good media coverage and many corporates like IBM and Dell have built virtual spaces there already. IBM in particular (yes, yes, I work for IBM and these are my opinions, not necessarily the company's) has made a name for itself with virtual representations of open-level pro tennis matches that re-create reality ball by ball. But a metaverse of 3D worlds is being used by small and large compaines alike to promote products, hold special events, generate innovation and generally just "be there" in case it does take off. Consider these metaverse-related options...

Octaga... very business oriented, building visualisations in 3D of major projects like highways and corporate training simulations.

The Torque Game engine... very much a games engine but capable of relatively easy development and with low-latency Internetworkability - so bringing lots of people together in a virtual world - perhaps a business world - over 56kbit modems or better is a reality. C2C Simulation use TGE in their military and 'cultural' simulations.

An alternative games engine is Unreal... and it has an extensive portfolio of successful games to demonstrate its impact on the market.

Or consider the big player in MMOG, BigWorld... offering what appears to be a comprehensive suite of development and server-based operating environments that will robustly support massive multiplayer online gaming, or perhaps your corporate virtual needs.

Perhaps Open Source is your preference? Check out the Croquet Consortium... and Qwaq, a virtual corporate collaborative forum built on OpenCroquet.

Or, lastly, how about the big-iron MMOG BitVerse? Yes, I know, more IBM content but it is an interesting take on what can be done with Linux running on some big-iron servers. Taikodom from Brazil's Hoplon is the offshoot virtual social, or perhaps sci-fi, world.

Anyway, if none of that interests you I'll let you go and do some Google searches of your own... maybe start with Kaneva?

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Did I mention Ford?

Ford continues to divest... after picking up all sorts of problem children that don't fit the Ford brand, and then finding that they don't actually, umm, fit, Ford has been dumping them whilst it can, and desperately using the cash released to bolster itself in a losing global play. Aston Martin is the latest to be sold. Did Ford really think Aston fitted under its wing?

I get annoyed at this rubbish

Ok, I just get annoyed, period. We all learnt about the greenhouse effect at school, right? It has never been a secret that burning coal and gas released greenhouse gases. We've known this for a few hundred years, and we've "buried" the problem until it got so bad we had to do something about it. No amount of hoping that the Earth is so big and we are so small we make it go away. We are small in comparison with the entire planet but are so numerous and voracious that inevitably we will - if we haven't already - reach the point where our consumption and pollution will impact the planet's thin but vital atmosphere. So here we are.

And yet car companies like GM still want us to believe there's a place for fat cars and big engines. Yeah, right. Like a museum.

Now GM wants us to believe that such big cars 'have a future' and indeed there is a market, so they will sell. But this is a shrinking market. GM says it has learnt from the 80s and 90s and is now aimed 'in the right direction', but how can we believe this when publicly they say the opposite? If GM wants to tie its future to the past, fine, I like tradition and history too; but it's a long way from being relevant to the marketplace. Either this GM rep (in the link above) is telling tales to bolster local (Aussie) off-shoot Holden (likely), or the company is so obsessed with itself that it can't figure out what the market wants. Let me tell you: high quality, refined, less thirsty and more efficient cars.