Summit Notebook

Exclusive outtakes from industry leaders

from Sakthi Prasad:

New Contracts are like honeymoon

L.Ravichandran of Tech MahindraAs the old adage goes, it is easy to build a new house as compared to remodeling an old one. If one would like to extend this adage to the new-age IT industry, then we could use what L. Ravichandran, president, IT Services of Tech Mahindra, told the Journalists at Reuters India Investment Summit in Bangalore: it is easy to negotiate new contracts with the clients rather than renegotiating old ones. He likened the new contracts to that of a honeymoon -- both the customer and the service provider are happy. But, of course, he did not extend his metaphor to old contracts by likening it to a marriage gone vinegary.

Ravichandran also pondered over the fate of fixed lines telephones. According to him, the fixed line phone will not be done away with altogether. Instead, it will be increasingly used to deliver other digital services like broadband internet, IPTV etc.  So in a perverse way, landlines may continue to be used, but not much to make phone calls though.

from Sakthi Prasad:

Old business in New bottle

J.C. Sharma of Sobha DevelopersWhen the term “real estate” is mentioned, people immediately get images of bricks, cement, sand, gravel, dusty construction sites and so on. And the business is rightfully termed as “brick-and-mortar” or categorized as “old economy.”

 Many youngsters nowadays would prefer to work in swanky offices of a software company or an investment bank instead of sweating it out in dust and heat at construction locations.

Intel, HP: TVs should get smarter

Intel, Sony and Google are expected to unveil on Thursday a “smart TV”: an Internet-ready, super content machine that — if the hype is to be believed — will let viewers watch Celebrity Apprentice, tweet, and respond to emails at the same time. On Wednesday, Intel’s sales and marketing chief — while keeping his cards close to the vest — couldn’t resist a little plug for the general concept of Internet TVs.

“The smart TV category is going to take off.  It just makes all the sense in the world,” Thomas Kilroy told the Reuters Global Technology Summit. “Why would you want to compromise when you’ve got a nice big screen, you’re watching TV and you want to access information and keep that program on instead of bringing in another device. ”

from MediaFile:

Twitter’s Costolo: not quite footloose and fancy free

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You'd think fast-racing Twitter would keep one eye firmly fixed on the rearview and side mirrors.

With the Internet landscape littered with also-rans -- from pets.com to AskJeeves.com to a Facebook-steamrolled MySpace -- you'd imagine the one thing overnight Internet microblogging phenomenon Twitter would fear the most would be to get displaced by an up-and-comer with the same alarming speed.

Recession’s perfect storm speeds up change in ad industry

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Why is it that the United States’ advertising as a proportion of marketing services is at its lowest point since 1977, maybe even lower than since the Second World War?

You may have guessed it it’s the recession.

But it will get better, Martin Sorrell, CEO of advertising giant WPP, said.

“The recession is less worse,” Sorrell said, repeating a favourite phrase of late, and while it’s the biggest recession since 1929 it is also “a perfect storm” that has brought forward change. 

200MB? It’s only human nature to want more

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Broadband subscribers want as much speed as they can get their hands on, even if it’s way beyond what’s needed by the most avid downloader of music, keen watcher of video or biggest Facebook addict, reckons cable operator Liberty Global’s CEO.

Maybe he would say that, but Mike Fries says today’s subscribers are signing up for speeds of 100-200 MB to be safe in the knowledge they won’t be left behind whatever the next stage of the Internet — a bit like owning a car with a top speed way beyond the limit.

Watch out school kids, big brother will soon be watching you

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By Paul Sandle

Sit back a minute and think back to your school days — doing homework on the bus, skipping double physics on a Friday afternoon…nice, huh? Well, no more if Pearson prevails.

The reluctant student skulking at the back of the class, copying homework at the last minute or taking a day off, like Ferris Bueller, could find school a lot tougher if his college starts using the publisher’s latest education products.  

IBM skips around China Internet censorship

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Foreign companies in China, which has the world’s biggest online community, have faced allegations of bowing to censorship rules in their hunt for market access. To be careful, they usually avoid questions on the subject altogether or deflect them with humour.

“I don’t think I am the expert to comment on this,” Shirley Yu-Tsui, a vice president of strategy for IBM greater China, said at the Reuters China Investment Summit.

Draper’s Valley Girl

She’s interviewed tech luminaries from Eric Schmidt to Scott McNealy. She dresses in shocking pink. Her dad was one of the VCs behind Skype and Hotmail. Who is she? She’s, like, the Valley Girl.

Jesse Draper, formerly of the short-lived Nickelodeon series “Naked Brothers Band”, and Sharon Lee are the brains, and the feather boas, behind “Valley Girl”: a 60 minutes-meets-MTV online chat show that in just one season has hosted some of the biggest names in Silicon Valley on its pink satin sofa. Or, as Jesse herself puts it: “Where Silicon Valley’s Best meet Hollywood”. Totally.

Yahoo cedes search game to Google, for now

(Updated with more quotes)

If you’re losing the game, time to change the playing field. Yahoo is counting on exactly that.

Ari Balogh, Yahoo’s chief technology officer and product development czar, would be among the first to admit that Google reigns supreme in the search space.

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