Summit Notebook

Exclusive outtakes from industry leaders

Going green!


Fujitsu is going green with a vengeance. Executive Vice President Chiaki Ito said at the Reuters Global Technology, Media and Telecoms summit that there is a business opportunity in making products that help cut carbon emissions.

Q: Will the technology sector use more or less energy a decade
from now?

I see the computer side of the industry using less energy due to
advances in semiconductor and virtualization technology. I am not
pessimistic. Consumption of energy can be restrained.

On the other hand, the network side which will consume more
energy as demand for and use of bandwidth increases — heavy
traffic will lead to higher energy consumption.

In the IP (intellectual property) world, everything is handled by
routers and switches. If you replace those current electrical
routers and switches with optical ones, that can save energy.

Demystifying the iPhone

sachio-semmoto.jpgeAccess Chairman Sachio Semmoto – a veteran in the Japanese telecommunications industry — is quite critical about the iPhone. Here’s what he has to say about Apple’s cult touchscreen phone:

Apple has sold about 4-5 million iPhone handsets and, to my eye, that is a failure. Look at how many handsets Nokia and Motorola have sold. The problem was in choosing the carrier. AT&T is not a broadband focused service provider.

VMWare’s Diane Greene staying put

With one high-profile female Silicon Valley CEO swapping her executive office for a more political challenge, another — VMWare co-founder Diane Greene — says she’s sticking around.

I have built VMware. I am really excited about where we are going to be able to take this company and I am quite engaged in doing that. I am here for the foreseeable future.

Wanted Urgently: Currency Risk Manager

diane-greene.jpg VMware may be one of the most successful enterprise software companies of its generation with revenue continuing to grow at more than 50 percent even after it hit $1 billion, but they sure do seem to need a currency risk manager.

The company disclosed last month that its operating margins were hit by $10 million, or 2.25 percentage points, because of the weak dollar. That’s because, unlike many big technology companies which are benefiting from the impact of the declining American currency, VMware prices its products in U.S. dollars rather than the euro and other local currencies where it sells.

Hulu and the best job in the world

Hulu Chief Executive Jason Kilar was at the Reuters Technology Media and Telecommunications Summit in New York on Tuesday, where he told us about the best job in the entire world. Read on:

During the course of the beta, we actually had film school grads that are on the team, that actually cherrypicked the best moments from [shows like] “30 Rock” and “Prison Break” and “The Simpsons,” and we now have over 600 clips, for example, from “Saturday Night Live.”

Hulu by numbers

Hulu CEO Jason Kilar stopped by the Reuters Global Technology, Media and Telecoms Summit to discuss the future of online video advertising and why giving users what they want trumps having it stolen.

Lambasted by blogs and analysts as a has-been even before it launched, the online video joint venture of News Corp and NBC Universal first full month as a publicly available company will probably change some minds. Its monthly usage in April beat every major U.S. television network including those of its founders. More details below:

No escape from billboards in Internet age

jean-francois-decaux.jpgBillboard advertising is more than a century old but the medium will survive while TV ad revenues fade in the face of the Internet, says veteran advertising executive Jean-Francois Decaux. The JCDecaux co-CEO told the Reuters Global Technology, Media and Telecoms summit he didn’t care whether broadcasters or Internet companies won the battle of the living room or the bedroom, because once people leave their houses they’re faced with outdoor advertising they can’t escape, and where space is limited. “As soon as you leave your home and your children leave your home, they are basically facing our panels.”

What telcos can learn from Cheerios cereal

rtx5wtm.jpgWhat does the telecoms industry have in common with Cheerios? Sol Trujillo, CEO of Australian telecoms group Telstra, told the Reuters Global Technology, Media and Telecoms summit in Paris telcos can learn a lot from those tasty little wheat rings. Cheerios cereal was stuck in a rut years back with people bored of the same old thing. “General Mills saved Cheerios by adding honey and developing many different flavours over the years.” A simple change kept Cheerios on the shelves. Telcos, Trujillo says, need to do the same: Differentiate themselves yet keep it simple. The man with the golden phone whips out his Telstra flip mobile and points to one button that allows users to make video calls or download a song in no time. “I can get you to learn how to make a video call in 5 seconds.” Simple. Seems Trujillo is making inroads, Australians are using more video calls than anyone else.

Your company makes money? The stock market don’t care.

akhavan.jpgIf you thought a company flush with cash was a pretty good thing, you couldn’t be more wrong, Hamid Akhavan, head of Deutsche Telekom’s wireless business T-Mobile, told the Reuters Global Technology, Media and Telecoms summit in Paris. “The stock markets, the financial markets overproportionally reward growth. Growth to them is the sexiest thing on earth. You can produce truck loads of cash, it’s unexciting. But you could produce a little bit of growth and it’s just the coolest thing. All you have to do is take a look at Google and look at the valuation of Google and then you see how much the stock markets love growth.”

It’s mating season again for Tech and Telecoms

penguin.jpgHear that distinctive call of the software maker wooing its kind? See the mobile carrier flirting with its rival in the corner? Our guests at the Reuters Global Technology, Media and Telecoms Summit keep talking about consolidation in their industries.

Some of them expect their markets to winnow out to a handful of players. Others say slim valuations may give their companies more reasons to seek joint manufacturing partnerships. Either way, it’s hard to ignore the romance. Here are some of the things we have heard this week: