Archive for the ‘Technology’ Category
When Virginia Rommety – the first female President and CEO of IBM – declared that the 101-year-old company’s mission and aspiration for the next 100 years is to become “essential” to the clients, investors, country (where IBM operates), and employees, IBM Philippines took such declaration to a personalized – and glocalized level.
Mariels Almeda Winhoffer – who was only appointed early 2012 as IBM Philippines 14th and the first female Country Manager and CEO – cites that for the company’s 75th year in the country, they are ensuring that the whole business model is supporting such mission and aspiration, anchored on the platform, “Transformation through Information.”
To be essential to the country, community, customers, and people, IBM’s four identified growth areas – Smarter Cities, geo-expansion, Cloud, and Analytics – have been aligned with the Philippine government’s priorities.
Smarter Cities is an initiative that apply many of IBM’s Smarter Planet principles and innovations in public safety, transportation, water, building, social services, and agencies. Last month, IBM inked a PHP128 million project with the Davao City government to scale up its existing Public Safety and Security Command Center (PSSCC) through IBM’s Intelligent Operations Center (IOC) solutions. IBM’s IOC is geared to help create Davao City a smart and safe city by applying advanced technologies like Geographic Information System (GIS), video analytics capabilities, early warning system, simplified dashboard, among relevant technologies.
Second is geo-expansion. Incorporated on July 20, 1937, IBM Philippines remains essential to IBM’s overall growth strategy. As it celebrates its diamond anniversary today, the company leaders pride that the Philippines has been identified as one of IBM Corporation’s 20 focus countries, aligned with the company’s geographic expansion strategy in identified growth market units worldwide.
“The Philippines is a growth market and our geo-expansions include Davao, Calamba, and Subic and Clark. That’s our commitment [along] with the government’s ‘New Wave Cities,’ initiative. We’re enabling the transformation that this country is going through [now],” Almeda highlights during today’s media luncheon.
As a globally-integrated enterprise, IBM Philippines expands its industry leadership in Sales and Distribution for IT and IT-enabled services, Global Delivery Center for Application Services, Global Process Services (the Business Process Outsourcing [BPO] arm of IBM), and an Innovation Center. As one of the highlights of its 75th year, IBM Philippines announced that it has renewed its commitment to the country through the establishment of the first Philippine Systems and Technology R&D Laboratory.
In collaboration with the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), the R&D Lab is geared to advance four critical areas for the Philippines: BPO, governance for anti-corruption, talent development, and innovation for a knowledge-based economy. “… It’s not just us doing research and development for the sake of technology or for the sake of researching or developing something … [we’re] very focused on responding to the practical, essential needs of our Filipino people. Things [about] flood management, rice production, education: How has IBM got involved in these big issues that drive the way Filipinos live their lives here? It’s through technology. Our involvement in [these issues] will manifest itself through the [use] of our Analytics tools,” Winhoffer cites.
Watson is also an example how IBM has committed its resources to pursue advancement, Winhoffer cites. The AI (artificial intelligence) computer system capable of answering questions posed in natural language, bested Jeopardy! quiz show champions last year (thus becoming one of the highlights of IBM’s centennial celebration in 2011). But Watson is more than just a quiz show champ, Winhoffer stresses. “Watson [is] really, fundamentally IBM’s mission and aspiration: To use technology to solve the most complex issues that face mankind,” Winhoffer shares.
“Analytics will give us the platform to become more essential to the country, through our relationship with DOST, non-government organizations (NGOs), and through other means, to address, to give us a better understanding of the [issues],” Winhoffer says.
It’s Only the Beginning
Currently, the 75-year-old IBM Philippines has over 5,000 clients, 400 business partners, 130 authorized service centers, and operates from 12 world-class facilities nationwide.
While 75 years speak a lot of the success and longevity of the company in the Philippines and in the region, as well as IBM’s rise from its near-death experience in the 90s, Winhoffer says that things are only “starting” for IBM Philippines.
In line with such, Winhoffer shares that the Philippines has been chosen by global IBM to become the center for providing integrated health services. “We’re recognizing the skill sets of the nurses here in the Philippines. We’re going to elevate that and from here, we’re going to [virtually] support them in the United States … just like providing them with the support of highly talented and skilled professionals. It was just announced yesterday and we’re very proud of that because they chose us over Latin America and other continents, over other ASEAN countries,” she beams.
“The confidence and excitement of our global company is somehow pouring [here] in IBM Philippines: bringing operations here, further investing in our capacity, not only to support our revenue, but really to support the global business. In fact, this requires higher level skills, [like] providing Level 2 to 3 support from here for software and Level 2 to 3 support from here for hardware, so that really means Filipinos do possess the skills,” Winhoffer says.
On a personal note, Winhoffer says she is very blessed and honored to be part of IBM. “I’m pretty much a tool, an enabler, of what my predecessors did. I’m the 14th [Country Manager and CEO] and I’m building on the foundation built by my predecessors. [And] as one IBM in the Philippines, we will be better, bigger, and we will be very essential to the country,” she ends.
OH WOW. OH WOW. OH WOW.
Sounds very strange yet ecstatic to be the last words of a dying man, but apparently, those were the last words of Steve Jobs, the man who was thought mad and genius at the same time, the very man responsible for the modern Apple, which revolutionary products we’re enjoying during our leisure time or driving us to perform excellently.
In the eulogy of Mona Simpson (Steve’s sister) published yesterday in The New York Times, she painted a picture of Steve as truly human — as a brother, a husband, and a father. Such was the facets of Steve mostly unknown to the world, as the world best knows him as the co-founder of an innovative computer turned high-technology company, which products — from the hits and misses and from the original Macintosh to the iPhone 4S (which was unveiled a day before Steve died of respiratory arrest on October 5, 2011, after years of fighting pancreatic cancer), the world live in Steve Jobs’ idea. Including my world.
Personally, my first Apple product was the first generation iPod shuffle (yes, the white, with a USB connector and a lanyard, which thickness made it look like a stack of chewing gum). I won it in a raffle from a press conference I attended to in early 2005. I was with a colleague who was quick to spread the news the following day in our office. My iPod Shuffle also graced the cover of the first issue of Computerworld Philippines campus edition.
I was the “It” girl then, having the latest gadget around. But toward the end of 2005, Apple released the iPod Nano to replace the unsuccessful iPod Mini. Coolness gone, tech-fashion wise. But my iPod shuffle is keeping me company for six years now.
I have my iPod Shuffle with me while beating my deadlines. I keep myself plugged when I find myself alone, even with a company. I use this when I jog. It put me to sleep when I am alone and in a foreign place. The original ear phones gave up on me (with the right ear plug not working anymore) and was replaced by a Sennheiser head phones, a Valentine’s gift to me in 2008. Two years after, it just started to wither, with the wires already showing, and last year, I replaced it with a Philips ear plugs. My iPod Shuffle, filled with my most eclectic collection of songs (at 512MB) kept me sane and company when I needed them most and I am proudest to have it as my first ever Apple product.
Then, upon bullying, eh, convincing from my youngest brother, I was swayed to buy the iPad 2 (32G, WiFi) in May 2011. Originally, it was for my brother. But the shop he ordered this from was not able to release this on time. So after work and on his way home, he dropped by the Mac store in Greenbelt and got himself a 32G WiFi and 3G. Amazed by how iPad 2 looks like and how easy it is to use, I agreed to buy his original purchase and paid it on an installment basis (which payment I completed September 30).
While at first I thought it set me back by PHP26,990 (it is sold at PHP28,990, my brother got it with a discount and a free screen protector), my brother was right in saying that I should get myself something nice and expensive (before this, I think my most expensive purchase is PHP3,000 plus worth of clothing). I used to bring this to the office to listen to my songs, but stopped bringing it with me as this is one of the audio-visual devices not allowed in our operations area per workplace security guidelines. Thus, my iPod Shuffle remains very handy these days.
While I think this contributes to my constant neck and shoulder blades pain (always head down using it, that’s why), my iPad 2 keeps me company to a whole new level. I Skype, I FaceTime, use Yahoo! Messenger with it and connect with my friends, especially overseas. I uploaded my favorite series like Family Guy, Doctor Who, and Castle and watch them either on travel or before going to sleep. I Twit, I Facebook, I email with it. I browse the Internet for the latest news and I Google for matters of interest. I use Weather HD to check the real time weather in my favorite cities here and in Australia.
For productivity, I read MS Word files through DocstoGo and I use Moleskine app to blog a bit. For quite a time, I also got hooked with Bakery Story, City Story, Fashion Story, and Restaurant Story. Those games. I also played Angry Birds, Angry Birds Rio, and Angry Birds Seasons. I also play once in a while Doodle Find, Who Wants to be a Millionaire, and of course, Solitaire.
I get my daily dose of news from ABC News, BBC News, CNN app, SBS World News, Triple J, Time app (where I first purchased my e-magazine, their October 17, 2011 edition with Steve Jobs on the cover). When I upgraded to iOS 5 (which was sort of a nightmare, as I wasn’t able to back-up my files and apps and I had to reinstall them again after the upgrade), I find the iMessage, Notification Center, Reminders very useful while I fill my Newsstand apps with my selection of readings, and I downloaded the classics from iBooks for free. This iPad 2 purchase makes me so proud — this served as an end goal of my disciplined spending, at the same time, makes this my most expensive purchase to date. Not to mention that I think this is the last of the Apple products that truly has the Steve Jobs’ mark all over it — the shiny, metallic black of perfection, the fully-loaded thinness, the elegant simplicity of how it works. And I am a proud owner of it.
I want to know how Steve Jobs worked. How he made his grand ideas into the realities of today. That’s why I immediately reserved the Steve Jobs biography by Walter Isaacson and claimed the hard-bound edition last Saturday from Powerbooks SM Megamall:
This copy is actually my brother’s copy (looks like I have to get my own). He’s the one who really likes Steve Jobs — I would often wake up to his full-blast watching of Steve Jobs’ product launchings, his commencement speech at Stanford University in 2005, and reads anything and everything about this American Icon. When the biography came out last October 24, he was quick to purchase the e-book from Amazon. He also bought the audio book. And had he have the chance, I am sure he would like to work for Steve Jobs.
Apple and Steve Jobs’ influence on us and my brother might be irrelevant compared to those who revered the company, the products, and Steve Jobs’ genius from the start. It is indeed a “WOW” experience to have a part of the man through his creations, through his innovations. Even if he is gone, and even if his biography penned by Isaacson might reveal more about the man (good or bad), Apple and Steve Jobs already secured their place in history.
Apple and Steve Jobs personalized the technological experience for us, and that is something we truly appreciate about him. Unwittingly, we learned from the man how to let go of the things we are used to and quick to embrace the innovations for our own convenience. And that indeed is “oh, wow, oh, wow, oh wow.”