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November 10, 2008


Chris Ward

So what can we do for Sam ?

He sits in a unique position, right at the apex of the 'Hardware, Software, and Services' pyramid that is IBM. His vision of what is right for his customers ... and their customers ... should be clearest.

Further down the pyramid, we're working our hardest to bring it about, in all our different ways. Will he tell us more of what he'd like done ?

OS/2 is gone, that's clear. Linux can do all that it could, and more.

SmartSuite is going; IBM seems to be celebrating the arrival of OpenOffice.org by jumping on the bandwagon with 'IBM Lotus Symphony'.

But those are obvious competitive whirlwinds; not every business will survive the 'hurricane'.

Are we to blow harder ? Batten the hatches ? Stand by and observe ? Plan the stronger rebuild for when it's all over ?

All Sam has to do is let is know what will drive his business forward. We're ready to help.

Henry Engler


Thank you for sharing Sam Palmisano's vision of a smarter global community. While I would agree that today we have at our disposal tools to enhance our understanding of the workings of the global economy more than ever, what the current financial crisis underscores is that decision-making by individuals still ultimately counts in terms of creating, or in this case, destroying value.

Increased information and transparency of business processes should in theory allow us to make better and informed business decisions, but not necessarily. Risk managers at some of our largest financial institutions have volumes of more data and analytical tools than in prior business cycles, yet this did not prevent one of the worst financial crises to unfold.

How information is used; how risk is assessed, and how past experience guides future decision-making are equally important.

Thanks and regards

H. Engler

Gilad Langer


Let me start by saying that I always enjoy reading your blog. I found this post quite interesting also because it has some personal significance. I was in my past heavily involved in research around this concept although it was specifically in the manufacturing domain. The main effort was driven by an international consortium of academic and industrial organization under the umbrella of “Intelligent Manufacturing Systems – IMS” (see: http://manufacturingintelligence.blogspot.com/2008/07/research-about-agile-manufacturing.html).

In the mid 90’s we were predicting that it will take 10 to 15 years before these concept emerge - and guess what we were right! IBM has always stricken me as a company that has been in the forefront in respects to embracing new concepts, at least in the domains that I have been involved in. In regard to adoption of these concepts I have always believed that every change needs a crisis and therefore, as your blog post points out, this might indeed by the right time. I certainly hope so.

- Gilad

Michael Saunby

Perhaps I can offer one example where such efforts have already been made, and I hope created great benefit. For several decades the meteorological community has been automating the collection and processing of weather information. From my desk here in Devon, UK. I can see the latest weather information from the Arctic to Antarctic and everywhere in-between and see it processed into forecasts from minutes to decades into the future. And from the oceans into space.

Right now many of my colleagues are working hard to move our forecasting and climate models onto a new IBM supercomputer.

In the past I've been asked how I feel about the damage technology has done to our planet. My response was that without this technology we wouldn't even know that damage was being done to the climate, and most likely other damage wouldn't be detected either.

Weather forecasting systems are still very much driven by the data, not by the questions customers might wish to ask. This is where I see us going next as we try to answer complex questions about the impacts of climate change.

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Very nice and excellent informative post. I found this post quite interesting also because it has some personal significance.Thank you for sharing....


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Great article, thanks !


Excellent post! thanks for sharing!


I agree we need leaders that are optimistic but I don't see any politician right now who could help us make a better world through education and knowledge... specially in France where sarkozy is cutting the education budget... very sad

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