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The New World of LogisticsCase Details

 

Closed: 15 Dec 2010, 11:59PM PT

Earn up to $100 for Insights on this case.

UPS loves logistics and is looking to start engaging with others who share its passion -- and who have an appreciation for the modern complexities of combining the latest technology with efficient supply chains. The global economy is more interconnected than ever before, and global logistics can make the difference between success and failure. The competitive advantage that integrated global logistics provides can help to improve customer service, to expand into new markets and to improve the bottom line -- and we'd like to hear about your stories.

To start off this conversation, we're interested in hearing about "new logistics" -- such as experiences involving small businesses that have leveraged logistics to take advantage of international markets, or how logistics helped you and your company to better compete with larger companies by creating new opportunities, or simply explanations of what "new logistics" means to you and how it has helped build up your company's operations.

Relevant information to include in your insights:

  • The type of business you're describing and how logistical obstacles are met
  • Summaries of how your logistical challenges were ultimately successfully resolved
  • Examples of modern logistics -- describing the challenges for smaller businesses just starting out
  • Technologies that have advanced (or will improve) logistic operations (eg. RFID, 4G wireless networks, etc)
Based on the responses we receive, we'll follow up with future cases on other topics -- or cases that further delve into viewpoints on related subjects.

 

6 Insights

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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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IT Predictions for 2010 And BeyondCase Details

 

Closed: 28 Dec 2009, 11:59PM PT

Earn up to $100 for Insights on this case.

As 2010 looms, we're continuing our series of cases here to develop interesting, engaging and useful discussions for our new sub-site, IT Innovations. We're looking for insights that might help IT managers stay informed and keep their operations competitive.  

For this case, we're looking for your predictions for the upcoming year for data centers or IT management.  What changes do you anticipate for 2010?  What are you most looking forward to?  What trends from 2009 will really pick up in 2010?  What events are you planning for in 2010?  These are just a few of the questions we'd like to see answered.  It's hard to look into the crystal ball and predict the future with certainty, so if you want to evaluate past predictions and correct the predictions of popular IT pundits, feel free to do that, too.  Our main goal is to try to offer an insightful and practical outlook for the year ahead. 

This case isn't necessarily restricted to just 2010, either.  If you have predictions for the distant future, please share your thoughts on what you think will happen in the next decade and beyond as well.

7 Insights

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A Look Back At 2009 For ITCase Details

 

Closed: 28 Dec 2009, 11:59PM PT

Earn up to $100 for Insights on this case.

We're continuing our series of cases here to develop interesting, engaging and useful discussions for our new sub-site, IT Innovations. We're looking for insights that might help IT managers stay informed and keep their operations competitive.  

As the end of the year approaches, we're looking for your views regarding significant trends or events that happened in 2009 that will affect (or have already affected) data centers or IT management.  If you have a list of the "top 10" IT milestones for 2009, that would be great.  But if you only think there was *one* major event, and you'd like to delve into that topic -- we're open to that discussion, too.

If you're really ambitious, an overview of the past decade could be interesting as well.  Looking back at the past can help everyone plan for the future, so recent lessons from the past year (or even the last few years) could be enlightening.  How has the financial crisis affected the IT landscape?  How does the current environment compare to the dot-com bust?  What were the most game-changing products/services/concepts that were introduced in the recent past?  These are just a few of the topics we'd love to hear your opinions on....

4 Insights

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Picking The Right Spot For A Data CenterCase Details

 

Closed: 16 Dec 2009, 11:59PM PT

Earn up to $100 for Insights on this case.

If you haven't noticed, we're starting an ongoing series of cases here to develop interesting, engaging and useful discussions for our new sub-site, IT Innovations.  We're looking for insights that might help IT managers stay informed and keep their operations competitive.  

So for this case's topic, we'd like to delve into the subject of picking a data center location. We're not too interested in lengthy narratives about horror stories in selecting a server farm back in 1998.  But that's not to say we don't want to hear your personal experiences.  We're just aiming more for concise, non-generic advice that might help your fellow IT gurus (or gurus in training).  A few hundred words should suffice.

If you're not exactly a writer, you could submit something like a mashed-up map for where data center locations are optimally located -- just as long as your contribution is relevant and useful.  A picture can be worth a thousand words -- and is sometimes more illustrative of a point.  

And this topic isn't restricted only to geographic factors.  There are likely a multitude of reasons for choosing a data center, and we'd like to hear what you think are some of the most important.  

 

7 Insights

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The Importance Of Skilled Immigrants To The American EconomyCase Details

 

Closed: 27 Oct 2009, 11:59PM PT

Earn up to $50 for Insights on this case.

One of the most difficult concepts to grasp, at times, is the difference between a zero-sum game and a non-zero-sum game. This becomes especially evident when discussing skilled immigration in America. There are many who are quite against the idea of giving visas to skilled foreigners to come to the US, believing that these individuals "take away jobs" from Americans. The only problem is that this is not supported by the data. That's because jobs are not a zero-sum game. There is not a set number of jobs that cannot change. And skilled immigrants have a long history of not just coming to the US, but also in creating a significant number of new jobs.

The importance of skilled immigrants in driving new jobs has been known for years, but the trend has only accelerated over the past decade. That older study found that 25% of Silicon Valley companies were founded by immigrants. A more recent Duke study found that this number has spread throughout the US: of tech- or engineering-related companies founded across the US, over 25% were founded by immigrants. In Silicon Valley, the number is now 52.4%. These companies are creating tremendous new job opportunities, not taking them away. Growing jobs is quite important.

Furthermore, it's difficult to see how keeping skilled immigrant labor out of the country helps the US. Those same workers do not disappear. Instead, they join tech companies in their homeland, where they end up competing against US companies. Shouldn't we want the best and smartest individuals working for US companies and helping to create US jobs, rather than the alternative?

Many of the concerns about skilled labor immigration tend to focus on the controversial H-1b program, with most of the complaints pointing to various abuses with the program. But we shouldn't be throwing out a good idea (encouraging skilled labor to come build companies in the US) with the fact that the program itself has been abused at times. If there are abuses, let's fix the abuses, while looking at better ways to encourage immigration from those we want to help us building our economy.

The Innovation Movement is an effort by the Consumer Electronics Association to make more people aware of such issues, and to make sure that Congress actually takes these issues into account, rather than just focusing on the patriotic headline while ignoring the unpatriotic results.

In this Insight Community Conversation, we're looking for thoughtful and well-written discussions on skilled labor immigration, and how to best encourage it. These can be ideas on how to respond to critics of skilled immigration programs, how to improve our current programs (such as the H-1b), or even brand new ideas for how the US could best encourage skilled immigration and enabling the creation of more jobs in the high tech sector. The best results will be used as posts on the Innovation Movement website.

10 Insights

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Mandates To Buy American Should Be More Carefully ConsideredCase Details

 

Closed: 23 Sep 2009, 11:59PM PT

Earn up to $100 for Insights on this case.

We all know that the economy is in tough shape these days, and (as always happens in such situations) there's often a misguided push to put up trade barriers to try to force people to "Buy American." Of course, time and time again, such trade barriers have proven to actually do tremendous harm to Americans, rather than help them. We're already seeing this with friendly trading partners like Canada threatening to retaliate. That retaliation harms American jobs much more than any jobs "gained" from such protectionist barriers (as pointed out by the non-partisan and highly respected Peterson Institute). On top of that, by adding barriers on goods that Americans want, the end result is only that Americans end up paying *more* for their goods -- not exactly an outcome consumers are likely to appreciate during an economic downturn.

Granted, it's quite easy to understand the patriotic feeling behind a "Buy American" clause -- and we all want to support our country. But the problem is that in not paying attention to the actual impact, and pretending that there are no "unintended consequences," a Buy American clause can be detrimental to America in the long run. That doesn't seem particularly patriotic.

The Innovation Movement is an effort by the Consumer Electronics Association to make more people aware of important policy issues, and to make sure that Congress actually takes relevant data into account, rather than just focusing on the patriotic headline while ignoring the unpatriotic results.

In this Insight Community Conversation, we're looking for thoughtful and well-written discussions on the pros and cons of a "Buy American" clause for US policies. The best results will be used as posts on the Innovation Movement website.

12 Insights

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