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Looking For Feedback On IT Innovation ResourcesCase Details

 

Closed: 30 May 2010, 11:59PM PT

Earn up to $200 for Insights on this case.

As you know, we've been running the ITInnovation.com tab within Techdirt since last year, sponsored by Sun (now Oracle) and Intel.  We've had a series of fascinating discussions within blog posts and webinars during that time.  We've also continued to regularly refresh the IT Innovation Resource Center, which includes a rotating list of useful tools and white papers provided either by us or the sponsors of IT Innovation.

We'd like to get some feedback and insight into the quality of these resources and how they might be improved upon.  Listed below are six currently available white papers in the Resource Center.  If you are familiar with these topics (i.e., you work in IT), please review the white papers and write up your insights and comments on the whitepapers: what's good about them, what could be improved, what would make them more useful, etc.  You are free to provide insights on as many of the white papers as you would like, but we ask that you submit insights on each white paper as a separate insight, rather than combining them into a single response.

  • Best Practices for Managing Datacenter Costs via Application and Server Consolidation

    Server sprawl, software licensing fees, and facilities costs are sending datacenter operational expenses through the roof at a time when every penny is being scrutinized. As a result, low utilization rates and wasted power/cooling resources are no longer acceptable, and smart companies are looking to consolidation and virtualization to trim expenses and increase operating efficiency.

  • Why Solid-State Drives Usage Scenarios Are Expanding for the Datacenter

    To accomplish the objectives of making more-efficient use of IT resources, lowering power consumption, and reducing operating expenses, many companies are turning to server consolidation and virtualization efforts—endeavors that increase server CPU utilization and reduce the number of discrete servers in a datacenter.

  • The New Economics of Midsize Enterprise Computing: Oracle’s Sun Systems Based on the Intel® Xeon® Processor 5500 Series

    Midsize companies often face the same competitive pressures as large-scale enterprises. However, they may not possess the resources and staff to invest heavily in complex computing systems. Yet it’s critical for IT organizations within these companies to ensure that they have the strongest, most expandable systems in place, so that their companies have the requisite flexibility to adapt quickly to changing market conditions, roll out new products and services in shorter cycles, and become more effective competitors.

  • New Blades and Networking Solutions Ensure Solid Return on Investment

    Traditionally, when companies need more computing power to deal with expanding amounts of data, they increase the number of servers, the number of compute cores per server, and the memory capacity of each server. Today’s high-powered blade servers save space and help enable significant gains in computing performance, especially when workloads are consolidated efficiently and datacenter resources are utilized most effectively. To accommodate this increase in capacity, however, the network infrastructure carrying the data must also be upgraded.

  • Reassessing Server Costs for Midsize Companies

    Most companies keep their servers for three to five years—a time frame that seems reasonable given current economic conditions. Despite the savings this would seem to imply, however, extending server life in the datacenter in this way may not be the best strategy, even in the toughest economic times.

  • Oracle Solaris Operating System — Optimized for the Intel® Xeon® Processor 5600 and 7500 series

    This document is intended as a technical guide for developers and system administrators that want to understand the precise details of how Oracle® Solaris and the Intel® Xeon® processor 5600 and 7500 series can improve your application solution environment.

     

     

20 Insights

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We're on the hunt for organizations (companies, non-profits, schools, etc) that encourage innovation in a unique or interesting way.  Sure, every company claims to foster innovation, but few truly do.  So we're looking for those rare gems.  Nominate your favorite examples, and tell us why you think your nominee deserves to get some recognition. 

Obviously, innovation itself is a complex concept that isn't easily quantified.  But as we build up a list of examples, we may find common themes and quantifiable criteria that will help to define measures of innovative efforts.  With your help, we may be able to identify the best methodologies for generating innovative ideas.

8 Insights

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Navigating The New Business World After This RecessionCase Details

 

Closed: 16 Sep 2009, 11:59PM PT

Earn up to $200 for Insights on this case.

The usual economic indicators suggest things aren't getting worse as fast as before, and the more cautious forecasters are offering some less-than-optimistic predictions of a long road ahead for recovery. Several analysts (in reports from McKinsey Quarterly, Harvard Business Review and the like) point out that business has fundamentally changed and that the current downturn is not simply part of a regular business cycle. On the upside, though, the preceding decades have developed an incredible collection of enabling technologies that businesses may have only scratched the surface of -- which have laid the foundations for future long-term economic growth.

In this environment, employees look for real leadership and direction from their corporate executives. So this case sponsor, HP, is looking to inspire forward-looking discussions with essays aimed at executive level managers. We're looking for insightful articles that may help guide executives towards success during uncertain times. What does an executive need to do or need to know to be more effective nowadays? What does the future of business look like? How can an organization thrive under pressure? What innovative technologies or services will help companies stay competitive? What techniques can be used to motivate and promote innovation? How can workflows be optimized to be smarter, more efficient and productive? These are just some example starting topics to give you a general sense of what we're looking for -- we're not expecting point-by-point answers. We encourage unique (and even entertaining) submissions on related topics.

The best insights will be used as posts on an HP website that will be announced later. Please submit essays that are at least 500 words in length.

UPDATE: The sponsor is more accurately "HP Enterprise" -- so the target audience is specifically executives and decision makers (CEOs, CFOs, COOs, etc) at large companies.

13 Insights

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Implementing Big Ideas During A RecessionCase Details

 

Closed: 10 Jun 2009, 11:59PM PT

Earn up to $100 for Insights on this case.

The current economic situation has certainly reduced the financing prospects of a good number of big ideas, but that doesn't mean the development of innovative businesses and technologies should (or will) grind to a halt. Obviously, though, starting up during a boom is a bit different than bootstrapping during a recession. But that just means more garage startups get created in actual garages -- focused on creating truly valuable services and technology.

So what kind of big ideas are possible to develop during a recession? How can government help (or hinder) economic growth under the current financial conditions? What kinds of technology revolutions may be primed to go right now -- and what can help give them a boost? What areas of business are thriving currently and are poised to continue to grow even when the economy recovers? How do companies plan for long-term growth and avoid pessimistic short-term thinking?

Microsoft People Ready Business is sponsoring this case to create interesting discussions at BigThink's section on Navigating Today's Economy. We're looking for unique perspectives that will inspire further conversations, and selected insights will be published on BigThink.com.

16 Insights

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Rules For Cautious ExpansionCase Details

 

Closed: 27 May 2009, 11:59PM PT

Earn up to $200 for Insights on this case.

Continuing from our earlier cases, American Express is sponsoring more conversations here in the Insight Community concerning how small businesses can handle the current economic environment. Contributions to our past discussions have made their way to American Express' OPEN Forum blog, and we're looking for further insights that will complement the topics on the economy section of the OPEN Forum blog.

While the headlines are still somewhat gloomy, there are some signs that the economy may be starting to turn around, and some businesses are trying to start up or grow. If you're a part of this group, there are obvious reasons to be cautious. So what steps are you taking to make sure your plans for growth are not foolhardy in this environment? What kinds of expansion are justifable? What resources are available to small businesses that are trying to expand during economic hard times? These are just a few topic suggestions, feel free to contribute your own recommendations.

Ideally, submissions will contain specific examples and personal experience. Any insight that is selected to be published on the American Express OpenForum blog will be awarded a payment. You may submit multiple insights, but make each submission a post that can stand alone.

6 Insights

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Businesses In Symbiotic RelationshipsCase Details

 

Closed: 14 Apr 2009, 11:59PM PT

Earn up to $200 for Insights on this case.

Continuing from our earlier cases, American Express is sponsoring more conversations here in the Insight Community concerning how small businesses can handle the current economic environment. Contributions to our past discussions have made their way to American Express' OPEN Forum blog, and we're looking for further insights that will complement the topics on the economy section of the OPEN Forum blog.

For this case, we're looking for small business owners who have found that teaming up with other business has improved both organizations. If you've experienced this phenomenon, tell us how you developed the relationship. How did it evolve? Why do you think the match was successful? Did you actively search out another business to help out yours? If so, how did you go about doing so? What do you think are the most important criteria to evaluate before partnering with another operation?

Ideally, submissions will contain specific examples and personal experience. Any insight that is selected to be published on the American Express OpenForum blog will be awarded a payment. You may submit multiple insights, but make each submission a post that can stand alone.

8 Insights

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Improving Customer Service For Better SalesCase Details

 

Closed: 24 Mar 2009, 11:59PM PT

Earn up to $200 for Insights on this case.

Continuing from our earlier cases, American Express is sponsoring more conversations here in the Insight Community concerning how small businesses can handle the current economic environment. Contributions to our past discussions have made their way to American Express' OPEN Forum blog, and we're looking for further insights that will complement the topics on the economy section of the OPEN Forum blog.

Given the economic slowdown, many small businesses are putting in some extra effort to retain and gain customers. How can small business owners effectively execute improvements in customer service for this? How should any changes be measured to determine if they work? When does a small business owner know when customer service is good enough? What can managers do to encourage and inspire great customer service from employees? These are just a few topic suggestions, feel free to contribute your own recommendations.

Ideally, submissions will contain specific examples and personal experience. Any insight that is selected to be published on the American Express OpenForum blog will be awarded a payment. You may submit multiple insights, but make each submission a post that can stand alone.

20 Insights

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Finding Small Business Optimism Amid The PessimismCase Details

 

Closed: 28 Feb 2009, 11:59PM PT

Earn up to $200 for Insights on this case.

Continuing from our earlier cases, American Express is sponsoring more conversations here in the Insight Community concerning how small businesses can handle the current economic environment. Contributions to our past discussions have made their way to American Express' OPEN Forum blog, and we're looking for further insights that will complement the topics on the economy section of the OPEN Forum blog.

Recent news stories have painted a grim picture of the state of the economy, but dwelling on the negatives isn't likely to help the economy. Do you know examples of small businesses that are adapting and also keeping employee morale high? Do you know of any small businesses that are actually faring better in our current economic crisis? Do you have practical advice on how a small business can manage this recession? We're looking for optimistic insights to offset the pervasive gloom, but we don't want to sugar-coat reality. Our goal is simply to highlight small business practices that might help owners and managers. Additionally, the insights from this case could also inspire future topics and cases for American Express' OPEN Forum.

This case ends soon, so please try to submit early. Any insight that is selected to be published on the American Express OpenForum blog will be awarded a payment. You may submit multiple insights, but make each submission a post that can stand alone.

15 Insights

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Small Business Strategies For The New YearCase Details

 

Closed: 10 Dec 2008, 11:59PM PT

Earn up to $200 for Insights on this case.

As you probably know from our earlier cases, American Express is sponsoring a conversation here in the Insight Community concerning how small businesses are dealing with the financial crisis. Already, a bunch of the insights generated by those earlier discussions have made their way to American Express' OPEN Forum blog. Some great examples of the type of content include Zack Miller's post on Black Swan Contingency Planning and Dennis Howlett's Quick Tips for Small Businesses. If you decide to participate in this case, we suggest those two posts are great examples of the level of quality to strive for.

This time, we're looking for more insight from small business owners on issues as we approach the end of the year.  How are you approaching your strategy for the end of this year, as many are worried that holiday spending won't be what it's been in the past?  Alternatively, how are you gearing up for this financial climate as we head into 2009 and how would you recommend others do so.  We're also curious how the changing political environment, and the various efforts to create various stimulus packages (or bailouts) might impact the way you do business.

To enter, please submit a post around these concepts. Please try to avoid just listing out the questions here and answering each one separately. The description is just a conversation starter, from which we hope you'll craft an interesting, insightful, compelling, and relevant blog post that will be helpful to small business owners, such as yourself. The goal here is to go beyond what everyone else is talking about, and dig a little deeper.

This case uses the "claiming" system. You can claim a slot and reserve that spot for yourself, guaranteeing payment if the response actually does meet the guidelines laid out in the case description. Any insight that is selected to then be placed on the American Express OpenForum blog, also will be designated a "top insight" and the authors will be granted the additional bonus on top of the guaranteed claim amount. Please be aware that claiming a spot but failing to submit an insight will lead to a poor rating and an inability to participate in future cases.

12 Insights

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Keeping Productivity High For On The Go WorkersCase Details

 

Closed: 2 Dec 2008, 11:59PM PT

Qualifying Insights Split a $3,000 Bonus.

From both the digital nomad's perspective and the perspective of anyone who manages digital nomads, one of the biggest challenges is in maintaining productivity on the go. For some, the freedom of being a digital nomad allows them to be more productive, by letting them work at the best time and the most convenient places. However, for others, the lack of structure makes productivity difficult. For those of you who are digital nomads, what strategies do you employ to make sure you remain motivated and productive on the go. For those of you who manage digital nomads, what strategies are there to employ to keep your workforce motivated, even if they're not under the same level of supervision and communication as in-house employees?

Dell is sponsoring the conversations here, and the best results will be placed on a site sponsored by Dell: http://whitepaper.digitalnomads.com/. The content may later also be added to a whitepaper and a wiki on the subject, representing the world's first "crowdsourced whitepaper." While Dell is sponsoring the conversation, the content is vendor neutral. Just provide your insights on the question at hand.

25 Insights

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How Is Your Small Business Holding Up In This Financial Crisis?Case Details

 

Closed: 17 Nov 2008, 11:59PM PT

Earn up to $200 for Insights on this case.

As you probably know from our earlier case, American Express is sponsoring a conversation here in the Insight Community concerning how small businesses are dealing with the financial crisis. Already, a bunch of the insights generated by that first discussion have made their way to American Express' OPEN Forum blog. Some great examples of the type of content include Zack Miller's post on Black Swan Contingency Planning and Dennis Howlett's Quick Tips for Small Businesses. If you decide to participate in this case, we suggest those two posts are great examples of the level of quality to strive for.

This time, we're looking for a little reflection. Now that we're well into the financial crisis, and some of the initial concerns have been somewhat alleviated (at least temporarily), how is your small business managing? It looks like the worst fears of the financial crisis (complete economic meltdown) have been avoided, but there's still plenty to be concerned about. Now that we're past that first stage, though, what more concrete steps are you taking or would you advise other businesses to take to manage to survive the current economy? Are these steps different than what you had originally expected?

To enter, please submit a post around these concepts. Please try to avoid just listing out the questions here and answering each one separately. The description is just a conversation starter, from which we hope you'll craft an interesting, insightful, compelling, and relevant blog post that will be helpful to small business owners, such as yourself. The goal here is to go beyond what everyone else is talking about, and dig a little deeper.

This case uses the "claiming" system. You can claim a slot and reserve that spot for yourself, guaranteeing payment if the response actually does meet the guidelines laid out in the case description. Any insight that is selected to then be placed on the American Express OpenForum blog, also will be designated a "top insight" and the authors will be granted the additional bonus on top of the guaranteed claim amount. Please be aware that claiming a spot but failing to submit an insight will lead to a poor rating and an inability to participate in future cases.

8 Insights

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How Can Digital Nomads Stay Connected With Coworkers?Case Details

 

Closed: 5 Nov 2008, 11:59PM PT

Qualifying Insights Split a $4,000 Bonus.

We're looking to get insights into how individuals and the workplace are changing due to an increasingly "mobile" workforce -- thanks to things like widespread laptop and mobile device usage, as well as wireless connectivity. These days, "working" no longer means "being in the office." People and employees have truly become "Digital Nomads."  We're hosting a series of cases exploring different aspects related to this new mobile workforce. Dell is sponsoring the conversations here, and the best results will be placed on a site sponsored by Dell: http://whitepaper.digitalnomads.com/. The content may later also be added to a whitepaper and a wiki on the subject. While Dell is sponsoring the conversation, the content is vendor neutral. Just provide your insights on the question at hand.

One of the biggest challenges a digital nomad faces is keeping in touch with coworkers, team members or partners, when the group is not in the same physical space most of the time.  These days, many rely on tools like instant messaging, wikis, collaborative workspaces, email and other tools to keep everyone on the same page.  What are some tips and tricks that you've found for keeping a group of digital nomads working together well?  What were some of the downsides and challenges?  How were those overcome or minimized?

24 Insights

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