Monthly Archives: March 2010
By Andres Tapia – Chief Diversity Officer, Hewitt Associates
What’s required in order to achieve breakthrough change in the advancement of women leaders? And what are the implications for corporations if women are to make the desired gains?
The white paper linked to below discusses several ways in which corporations need to rethink their current paradigms if women are to be able to shatter the glass ceiling:
- Rethink what strong leadership and strong management looks like;
- Rethink the value of tenure;
- Rethink compensation models;
- Rethink whether competencies developed outside the workplace are not transferable inside the workplace;
- Rethink how unspoken rules around alternative work arrangements maybe detrimental to women’s advancement; and
- Rethink the women’s issue as one that also includes women of color.
Full Twelve Page Report/Study
More than ever before, change is a constant presence in the world of work and human resources (HR). Volatile economic factors and the effects of a long-term recession, as well as new legislative proposals affecting HR benefits, are forcing employers to rethink how work is performed and delivered.
Change is not necessarily a bad thing and, in fact, can create new opportunities and trends, even during “lean” business times. What if there was a proven solution to successfully managing this change, one that would reduce turnover, tardiness, and absenteeism? What if employers could increase productivity, customer satisfaction, company loyalty, and employee job satisfaction?
Workplace flexibility options have been proven to deliver the above results. Known as flexible work arrangements (FWAs), these options provide a number of work structures that alter the time and/or place that work gets performed on a regular basis. FWAs allow flexibility in scheduling of hours worked, the amount of hours worked, and/or the place of the actual work. In a volatile economy where many companies are reducing benefit offerings to employees, employers are increasingly offering FWAs to eliminate the pain of business downsizing, while also enhancing work and life balance.
The Hewitt trends bulletin linked to below defines FWAs, discusses employer concerns and the benefits of such programs, reviews the political landscape, and shares employer success stories and implementation guidelines.
Full Survey Report and Article:
After more than a year of debate, Congress has completed work on a comprehensive health care reform package.
The “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act” (PPACA) (P.L. 111-148) became law on March 23, 2010. Following House passage of the “Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010″ (H.R. 4872) on March 21, 2010, the Senate approved the reconciliation bill on March 25, 2010 by a vote of 56-43 (only 51 votes were needed to pass the reconciliation bill). However, due to some changes the Senate made to the bill (unrelated to health reform), the reconciliation bill had to go back to the House for another vote. The House approved the Senate changes to the reconciliation bill later in the evening of March 25, 2010, clearing the bill to be sent to President Obama to sign into law.
The Special Report linked to at right provides a preliminary analysis of the new law (including the reconciliation bill) and its impact on employers.
Apple confirmed the rumors today and unveiled a tablet device, which looks like a giant iPhone, called iPad. While Apple CEO Steve Jobs and his team of presenters at Apple’s iPad launch event this morning did not mention the healthcare vertical as a key market for the iPad: It looks to be just that. The iPad holds promise as a new point-of-care tool for healthcare workers and as a personal health device for patients.
The iPad will run “almost” all of the 140,000 applications currently available for the iPhone and iPod touch in the company’s iTunes AppStore, according to Jobs. Given the iPad’s much larger screen (9.7 inches diagonal), the apps can run in their normal size as a smaller window on the iPad or can be “blown up” to fit most of the screen. That means all 4,980 health and fitness apps currently available in the AppStore are immediately available to iPad users. That is the key leg up that Apple’s new iPad has on other medical tablets — a built-in application library of almost 5,000 apps. Apple said that iPhone/iPod touch users can port their already purchased apps over to the iPad without having to pay for them again, which is likely welcome news for healthcare workers currently relying on their iPhones and eyeing an iPad.
Apple is offering the iPad at a number of different price points: The WiFi only iPads (no cellular connectivity) run 16GB for $499; 32GB for $599; and 64GB for $699. With 3G the iPad is a bit pricier: 16GB for $629; 32GB for $729; and 64GB for $829.
The device is half an inch thin, weighs 1.5 pounds, and has up to 10 hours of battery life (one month in stand-by mode). Much like the iPhone and iPod touch, the iPad comes with 3G or without. Both versions of the device include WiFi (802.11n) Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR as well as an accelerometer, compass, speaker, mic and dock connector. The touchscreen also includes some 1,000 sensors for touch.
For the 3G iPads, Apple is working with AT&T (same carrier as the iPhone) to offer two data plans: $14.99 month gets iPad users up to 250MB of data, while the unlimited plan is $29.99 a month. The plans require no contract so users can cancel them anytime. AT&T is also offering free connectivity at their WiFi hotspots. The 3G device also works with unlocked GSM SIM cards, so if a carrier offers data SIMs, Apple says it will work with the iPad.
Jobs likened the new device to the netbook groups of devices that sit between smartphones and laptops in terms of functionality and use cases. While the iPad sits between smartphones and laptops as a category, Jobs said the new device is very different from a netbook.
Jobs noted that in order to be a success, the iPad needs to “far better at doing some key tasks… better than the laptop and smartphone. What kind of tasks? Things like browsing the web… enjoying and sharing photos, videos, enjoying music, playing games, reading e-books.” Jobs explained that the iPad has to be better at these tasks or it has no reason for being. While some skeptics have told Jobs that the iPad is just a netbook, he quipped that the problem with netbooks is that they aren’t better than smartphones or laptops at doing anything — “They are just cheap laptops,” he quipped.
Earlier this month, details about Epic Systems’ partnership with Apple for a mobile phone-based electronic health record (EHR) application came to light when Epic System’s iPhone application, Haiku, became available on Apple’s AppStore. Like all iPhone apps, Haiku will work on the iPad device, too. For mobile EHR apps though, the increased screen size will likely be very helpful for those clinicians aiming to use images on the platform for making any kind of diagnostic decisions.
Of course, healthcare providers may also see the iPad as another platform they could use to connect with their patients: Mayo Clinic recently partnered with smartphone application developer DoApps to form a new start-up, called mRemedy, which is focused on creating health apps for smartphones. mRemedy, which formed just a few weeks ago, is creating apps with Mayo based on the provider’s research and services.
While more physicians are adopting smartphones and iPhones’ popularity is growing at the fastest clip, we wonder if the iPad will cannibalize iPhone usage inside care facilities. Will the iPad replace the iPhone for clinicians? Will it find strong adoption among care providers? What’s your take?
Google VP Bradley Horowitz Talks Buzz’s Future, Gmail Innovation and More – Article by Jason Kincaid
Google VP Bradley Horowitz Talks Buzz’s Future, Gmail Innovation, And More
by Jason Kincaid
Last night dozens of entrepreneurs and investors met up in Palo Alto for Startup2Startup, a program founded by Dave McClure and Leonard Speiser that’s meant to help new entrepreneurs connect with their peers, and perhaps meet some potential investors. Each month, Startup2Startup invites a seasoned entrepreneur or tech executive to speak to the attendees; this month’s guest was Google VP Product for Google Apps Bradley Horowitz, who is charged with managing a big chunk of Google’s services, including Docs, Gmail, Calendar, Voice, and more. We’ve embedded the full video of the talk below.
During his talk, Horowitz spoke at length about Google’s new Apps Marketplace, which allows businesses using Google Apps to easily sign up for a variety of third party services like TripIt and Aviary, directly linking them to their Google accounts. He then sat down for a fireside chat with Dave McClure, who asked him about a variety of issues pertaining to Buzz, Gmail, and other topics.
Here are some of my notes from the fireside chat:
Horowitz says the Buzz team accomplished “extraordinary” feats in the first 48 hours after Buzz’s release to deal with the initial concerns
The launch of Buzz and the experiences of the team are extending not just to the Buzz and Gmail teams, but to all of Google as they think about the opportunity that social brings.
Google is thinking about how to make following less Boolean (either on or off). Wouldn’t it be great if there was a personal relevance, that allows me to get the parts of your life that I’m interested in, and filter out other parts. Google is really good at relevance and ranking. It’s one of our core competencies, and it’s something we want to bring to this space.”
“I ought to be able to follow nodes in an attention graph that aren’t just people, but imagine following a product, a place, a brand.” Twitter has done a great job at this in the sense that their profile is a proxy for an entity.
“Ultimately we’d like to provide something that is a tool for managing attention.” There are too many inboxes (several Email, social network silos, etc.).
Through the course of 2010, the lines between Google’s Docs products will continue to blur as they work better in tandem.
With regard to payments, Google has a lot of different marketplaces (Apps Marketplace, Android, etc.) and there’s an opportunity for Google to re-factor them, build more trust with users, allow users to pay in situ. There’s also opportunities in being open, allowing users to pay with whatever methodology they’re comfortable with.
With regard to policing applications on the App Marketplace (users on Google Apps can now hand their data over to third party apps using OAuth, and there’s a risk that they could be hacked or do something malicious), Horowitz says that Google “hasn’t ironed out all the eventualities in this process that might occur”. But administrators are given choice over what data they are handing over. It’s possible that this data could be abused/hacked. “In many ways you’re only as strong as the weakest link in the chain.” Companies will have to establish reputations with how they handle data and get better at disclosure. “We need to get better as an industry with helping users understand the flow of data”.
Number two app on the Apps Marketplace is Aviary, the free image editor, which surprised Horowitz
App Stores on mobile seem obvious, and until there’s a way to compile for all these devices, there’s going to be these different flavors of App Store. The opportunity to get beyond that is HTML5 and web apps.
Bradley Horowitz – Bio
Bradley oversees Google’s communications products and social applications including Google Talk, GrandCentral, Blogger and Picasa. Before joining Google, Bradley led Yahoo’s advanced development division, which developed new products such as Yahoo! Pipes, and drove the acquisition of products such as Flickr and MyBlogLog.
Bradley Horowitz is the former vice president of Yahoo’s product strategy group. He led Yahoo’s efforts in building innovative products and technologies across the company. Horowitz drove innovation and leveraged Yahoo’s platform to deliver compelling Yahoo products and services to a community of 500 million users. In addition, he was responsible for the company’s initiative to open up its platform which included overseeing the Yahoo Developer Network (YDN). Prior to that, he managed a portfolio of products for Yahoo including media search, desktop search and the Yahoo Toolbar.
Prior to joining Yahoo, Horowitz served as both the chief technical officer and the vice president of engineering for the Virage division of Autonomy, where he was responsible for the technical delivery of five major product lines. Prior to Autonomy, he founded Virage, the company widely recognized as the market creator and leader for advanced media indexing and analysis. Horowitz helped grow the company from “a garage startup” through its NASDAQ IPO.
Horowitz was a PhD candidate at the MIT Media Lab. While at the Media Lab, he worked on a number of topics related to computer vision, graphics and image processing, which resulted in a patented new technique for the recovery of structure, motion and camera parameters from video sequences.
Horowitz holds an MS in Media Science from MIT and a BS in Computer Science from the University of Michigan.