Three (and more) disruptive changes in the media landscape


Changes in media landscape (newspaper)I am a news junkie; I eat, drink, snack, swallow and dine copiously on any news source. My starter is the newspaper in the morning, followed by a quick look at some of my favorites online. During the day, when work allows it, I will visit some other sites and during lunch I might have a second look at the morning newspaper. The evening paper I read after dinner and around 8 or 10, I will watch the evening news on television. Just before turning in, I will check my usual favorite websites again. About 3 or 4 times a week I will check out new background stories on YouTube, TED or some local news sites – they will mostly serve the news in a video format, which is a good break from just reading about stuff.

Still, I am apparently an old fashioned guy:

“Smart mobility is opening up the media market in two dimensions. It is enabling personalized engagement with audience segments previously un-reached, and it is creating the opportunity for a near unlimited range of multi-screen services that enable the users to interact via the second screen.”

In a white paper published by the Atos Scientific community about disruptive changes in media, an overview is given of the impact of these changes and the increased use of smart mobile devices is the first one mentioned; I myself still like the paper format of the news, but am also increasingly drawn to using my phone or tablet.

 “Socially connected dynamic content creates the opportunity for mass media experiences that are unique to any social graph.”

Secondly the authors indicate a strong increase in the interactions between producers and consumers of news. This need for direct interaction was already existing with radio – many “shock-jocks” have chosen this format to increase the impact of their radio-shows in the past, but the social interaction allows for a much larger amount of interactions and sometimes, through the interactions, creates its own new news stories. We have seen this when web logs publish videos of a bank-robber or some hooligan beating up innocent people and the readers actively participate to find the identity of these persons.

“Any individual has the opportunity to become their own broadcaster, and there are millions of examples of successful user generated channels (…). In this new world, the sole barriers to entry are an idea and basic production skills.”

Thirdly the paper explains the impact of user generated content. This used to be a very modest part of the media landscape and most often initiated by the professionals – for example CNN or BBC asking their viewers to upload pictures and movies, but is now exploding into semi-professional channels on video services like YouTube and Vimeo. With the rise of consumer friendly video equipment paired with HD quality, it is no longer expensive to be a creator and I expect that when technologies like Google Glass become mainstream we will see (no pun intended) an ever bigger growth in user generated content.

The paper shows at least 4 more disruptive changes in the short/medium term, which you will need to discover when it is finally published (hint: Intellectual property, real time advertising, personalization, network capacity).

This blog post was previously published at  


The Ultimate Question of life, the Universe, and Everything

[This blog post is a repost of ]

If you are thinking about the number 42 after reading the title of this blog entry, I compliment you about your knowledge of classic science fiction literature – for you there is no reason to read on as you already know everything.

The vision in Journey 2014: Challenges and BuildingblocksFor all others, please keep reading because I am about to give you access to a better answer. In late 2009 a group of smart people in Atos sat together and defined 10 challenges for our IT industry that will play an important role in the coming 5 years. Each of these challenges were thoroughly discussed and examined. The reason we did this was to support Atos in its changing strategy to become a more global organization with a clear view on the future . Since then the results have also been shared with customers and in 2011 the result was bundled in the book “Journey 2014” (it is available as a download on the Atos website).

There is no particular order in the priority of the challenges that was set, so I will present them in alphabetical order and quote from the book to give you a preview of the conclusions – after that I will give you a view on how this all comes together;  

1. Alternative Delivery Models

“Organizations should make rapid progress on realizing the benefits of cloud services…” “Cloud computing is such a broad and diverse phenomenon that it is easy to become confused about its many forms and the way organizations can benefit…”

2. Business Process Management

“…Within 3 to 5 years, Business Process Management will become the dominant process change tool used by business stakeholders, working at two levels: first on Business Process within an organization (Orchestration) but also considering End to End processes involving interaction among different players (partners, customers and suppliers) and their systems (Choreography).…”

“A close eye has to be kept on the BPMN 2.0 evolution which may address BPEL and BPMN 1.0 short comings…” “An increasing number of BPM vendors are starting to offer BPM software-as-a-service (BPMSaaS). BPM services represent the highest level in the Cloud services. BPMaaS provides the complete end to end business process management needed for the creation and follow-on management of unique business processes.”

3. Context Aware Computing

“The Hyper Inter-Connected world faces an even greater challenge (…) to make sense of the literally trillions of data sources that could influence any given situation. Coupling this with the maturing of the smart phone (…) it paves the way for a new generation of intelligent applications that adapt to the user’s context on time to enrich the delivered experience…”

“…services enabled by context aware computing will anticipate and react to the needs of user, providing relevant, useful information to be able to make better informed decisions. These services will supersede the existing (…) applications and revolutionize how providers interact with consumers, organizations with employees, governments with employees and people with their social networks.”

4. Collaboration

“It is time for companies to catch up and stop ignoring modern collaboration methods that have proved to be very effective in the consumer world. The same way that social networks connect people with common interests, organizations have to take advantage of these solutions to connect people for a given purpose. It is not only a matter of cost saving it is also about improving the Decision Process, empowering employees and reaching consistent and supported consensus.”

“Information Management remains a key priority for enterprises to compete in local and global markets and collaboration is expected to generate even more strategic information which will need to be managed."

5. Control and Command

“Several strategies are being devised to synthesize a large system into a not-too-complex model, such as filtering events based on relevance, or aggregating data at different hierarchical level. Dealing with events coming out too fast is a stressful situation where an operator is more likely to make a mistake. Providing him with the appropriate information, at the right time and the right level of detail is a requirement to have him make an informed decision in time.”

“As the next generation of connected devices has started coalescing into an Internet of Things, control-command techniques will be required to bridge gaps and monitor the massive amount of information these will generate.”

6. Decision Support

“Decision Support has to deal with huge amounts of information, often unstructured, that change dynamically, and whose relevance and timeliness depend on the problem to be solved.” “By combining Business Intelligence capability for analytical insights and measures with collaboration tools and social software, they allow decision on no
n-structured problems to be made in a collective way.”

7. Electronic Entertainment and Gaming

“Media consumers tend to become actors while consuming media, which has an important impact on the way media is consumed and edited..” “The trends and technologies developed for the electronic entertainment and gaming market tend to gain other markets, benefitting from the mass market effect to become affordable in the industrial or business world.”

8. Green IT

“The know-how obtained in these practical experiences, if appropriately transferred, would enable IT departments and IT companies to accelerate their capability to serve clients in designing, engineering and operating IT for Green services” “There is a need for Business Transformation capabilities to manage the necessary behavioral change to leverage benefits from Green for IT and IT for Green.”

9. Social Networking

“Effectively using social platforms will be a key objective for companies coping with changing customer and employee relations…” “Creating an reward program to an agile, social, engagement that boosts user interaction is not so much a technical as a philosophical or political problem, going from authority to collaboration, from obscurity to transparency, from direct marketing to community management.”

10. Working Environment

“For the foreseeable future, offshoring will remain an effective strategy for reducing cost of service delivery and hence attracting and retaining talent is an issue that equally applies to offshore locations. Organizations must extend the working environment vision to apply to offshore locations.”

“Organizations will have to go beyond traditional financial incentives as the majority of employees look beyond money to find a meaning for their lives. With work life encroaching on home life, benefits from employers must reflect personal needs too.”

Bringing it all together When we look at the various challenges, and BTW there is much more info in the book, there is a need to understand how we can connect the dots – what is the overall idea or even vision that drives our behavior to these challenges. While we were discussing all of the different components it became very clear that 2 things are at the heart of our preferred way of interacting with the challenges. Handling the results should be simple and allow for a level of control.

This statement of “Simplicity with Control” became a mantra for further investigation and has driven many proof of concepts since.  

The second point of clarity came when we made the decision to put the user at the heart of our set of challenges (and the underlying building blocks). Through collaboration and social networking, the user wants to reach its objectives. If we look at the challenges in this way we conclude that they are not about solving technology questions, but about addressing the user’s needs.  

By combining simplicity, control and the needs of the user we have defined the starting point and the context for answering the question that is in the title of this blog. The philosophical statement is that the answer lies within ourselves; and to be honest, I prefer it that way. 

The Atos Journey 2014 whitepaper can be downloaded


Forget about getting a new phone – get your BrainCap today

a human brain in a jar


During my summer holidays, I re-read Arthur C. Clarke’s books; 2001, 2010, 2061 and 3001. The last one in the series, 3001:The Final Odyssey is arguably the weakest book in the series when you compare to its predecessors. But as always Clark gives us, also in this book, new technology wonders and marvels, he envisions to enrich our lives.

Most notably for my blog post today, in his book Clarke introduces the concept of a “BrainCap”, ‘a technology which interfaces computers directly with the human brain’ (Wikipedia).

Today, I encountered a similar device on TED.COM. In the video, Mrs. Tan Le, shows how far we have come in new computer interfaces. With a device costing no more than a couple of hundred dollars, she shows in minutes, what can be expected when we all would be wearing these devices.

Arthur C. Clark of course suggested that the devices would be implanted, but hey, he is a science fiction writer. Btw, he wrote the book ‘3001’ in 1997 and that is 13 years ago.

Anyhow, enjoy the video – it is about 10 minutes long and next to the awesome demo, the presenter also clarifies very well how everybody’s brain is different (sigh of relief).


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2 Videos of Microsoft Courier available


Remember I blogged about Windows Phone 7 Series? I also mentioned a Windows ‘Slate’ – obviously that was not the right term. The good folks at Engadget have now posted information on Microsoft Courier. Although the video shows some exiting new interface features – I bet you some of those features are also in the Windows Phone 7 Series making the combination of the two devices very strong. Courier is built on Tegra 2 and runs on the same OS as the Zune HD, Pink, and Windows Mobile 7 Series. In the second video you will see it has a camera. I really liked the suggestion of the commenter in the video; it is “an infinite journal”.

I really believe Microsoft is up to something here – this feels way better than iPad – see for yourself:



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