Archives for February 2013

Think Cloud Computing is not big business...think again

By Steve Simmerman | 02/05/2013 | 12:03 PM

A very interesting story about the battle for cloud computing market dominance came out today. The battle is on, and Google, Microsoft and Amazon are really slugging it out.  Pretty astonishing numbers at play as well.  Research firm IDC was guoted in the story saying that estimates for ' "public cloud" services are among the fastest-growing areas of information technology, with a total market size of $40 billion last year.'  That's right 40, as in BILLION, 40 BILLION!

The battle is a nasty one involving pricing wars, poaching employees (leading to lawsuits) and more.  On the pricing front, Amazon has cut prices 25 times on it's AWS (Amazon Web Services)!  The story goes on to say that these companies "companies immediately began battling in pricing. Within roughly one week last fall, Google announced it was dropping prices on its computing-storage by about 20%, to a starting price of 9.5 cents a month for each gigabyte. Amazon quickly matched Google's lowered starting price, prompting Google to announce a further price cut to a starting monthly price of 8.5 cents per gigabyte. Microsoft followed a few days later by announcing it was slashing Azure costs to similar levels."

The battle for developers and customers in the cloud is on! The economics are certainly worth looking into.  The story goes on to present findings by McKinsey & Co. who "last fall calculated a small computer server would cost a company an average of $31.55 a month to buy and maintain, while a comparable amount of cloud service from AWS or others costs an average of $16.06 a month."

What is your experience with cloud computing and how do you see this battle helping your organization?  We'd love to hear from those of you that have ventured into the cloud.

Right Tool for the Right Job - ProMat 2013

By Steve Simmerman | 02/03/2013 | 10:49 AM

Most of us have now returned home from ProMat 2013 with all sorts of new ideas for improving processes in your operations.  There were a lot of exciting new products at ProMat including some innovative high density storage solutions from from Dematic, as well as a new solution from Opex that seemed to garner a lot of attention.  Mobile and tablet-based software applications were quite prevalent as well and clearly seem to be a reality in the supply chain technology world for the foreseeable future. ProMat 2013

All of these new tools and technology remind me of the old saying, use the right tool for the right job.  While many of these tools seem to offer great advantages to us, it's always important to make sure we properly assess the overall fit and application of the tool for the job.  I recently received a call from a friend of mine that needed some help hanging some new interior doors in his home as part of a remodeling project.  He purchased the doors and under the advice of the local 'big box' DIY store associate, tried to hand chisel the doors to fit the butt hinges. After nearly ruining one door, he called asking for some advice.  When he showed me the results of his chiseling "skills", I suggested that he use a router.  He only had a few doors to hang and did not want to invest in a router, so I suggested that he use my Dremel tool and buy an affordable, but effective router attachment. After a quick trip to the DYI, "voila"...doors with butt hinges that look like a pro did it.  So as you assess tools and technologies seen at ProMat, don't be afraid to reach out to industry consultants and friends to help make sure you are putting the right tool to work for the right job in your operations. There are a lot of great resources out there that can save you a lot of time and money when looking at new tools.

The opinions expressed herein are those solely of the participants, and do not necessarily represent the views of Agile Business Media, LLC., its properties or its employees.

About Steve Simmerman

Steve Simmerman

Steve Simmerman is a Senior Director with JDA. Simmerman has more than 25 years of experience in the supply chain industry including software, consulting and material handling. He has focused his efforts on working with clients to achieve high performance supply chain results through partnerships and creative solutions. He is a member of CSCMP, WERC, and MHIA and is a regular contributor to several industry publications and events. Simmerman holds his undergraduate and MBA degrees from The University of Notre Dame.


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