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No More Meetings April 17, 2007

Posted by wilson7 in Technology, telecommunications.

When we graduate from Bucknell we are all going to have to be present in meetings with our colleagues to discuss new products, marketing plans, ect. How many of you think that you are going to enjoy these long office meetings? What if you did not have to go to these conferences but still be able to get the necessary information? You could listen to the conference whenever was convenient for you, would you like this? I think that everyone’s answer would be yes. The world still isn’t perfect, but a few conference-call companies are definitely moving it in the right direction: New podcasting services allow the meeting-intolerant to subscribe to in-house meeting feeds. LiveOffice, a traditional conference-call provider, racked up more than 100,000 subscriber downloads in 2006 after launching its podcast service in late August. In fact, usage grew about 30 percent each month, the company says.

“People want to do business on their own time,” explains LiveOffice CEO Alexander Rusich.

“There is an absolute need for [podcasting],” agrees Elliot Gold, president of TeleSpan, a teleconferencing-industry consulting firm.

LiveOffice isn’t alone in the podcast game. Free Conferencing is among the rival call providers that have gotten into the act, and startups like TalkShoe, which originally focused on bloggers, have begun signing up businesses that want to record and distribute their meetings; TalkShoe plans to add a video version next year. What do you think about this new technology? Would you spend some of your hard earned dollars so you would not have to sit in conference meetings?


Business Week’s 50 Top Performers March 20, 2007

Posted by Stephanie in Customer Service, Finances, innovation, Internet, Manufacturing, media, pharmaceutical, Public Interest, Retail, Technology, telecommunications.


Business Week recently announced its yearly 50 Best Performers article in the March 26, 2007 edition of the magazine. When first looking even at the title of the article I was skeptical about how these companies were selected. It seems impossible to compare every company in every sector and rank their performance. I was pleased however to find their criteria for making the selections seems to be as fair as possible.

Financially they use specific criteria and what they look for in companies when making this list. The two principal financial figures Business Week uses in its analysis are average return on capital and sales growth over the past 36 months. They also consider the importance of examining sectors separately, as factors within one particular sector may inflate or deflate the appearance of a company’s performance unfairly.

Specific quotations I highlighted when reading the article regarding what BW determines as strategies for success:

“…rewriting the rules of engagement in their industries.”

“…a deep understanding of customers, a competitive advantage that has enabled them to sell more good and services than rivals.”

“…work hard to anticipate and head off potential problems well before outsiders are even aware of these looming challenges.”

Details about all 50 companies are included in the compilation of roughly 40 pages of discussion. One particular company I had not heard of before, ranked 31 is Stryker. The company manufactures artificial joints, such as knees, shoulders and hips. Part of their success is due to the baby boomer generation who show no signs of slowing down in retirement even as natural aging takes is toll. Anther interesting aspect of the company is its preparation in changing CEO’s. As the current CEO, John Brown is planning on retiring, COO, Stephen MacMillan has had roughly 4 years to shadow and plan the transition. Both the process the company has developed for the transition and the mere fact that the CEO is not being forced out of the company it seems are two incidents not seen as often anymore.

I am still hesitant to agree that companies covering the full spectrum of all organizations and industries can not only be compared but ranked in a hierarchy. Business Week does an excellent job at attempting this challenge but I feel that some subjective factors weigh into the decision, especially between close rankings, say between spot 8 and 9.


1 Google

2 Coach

3 Gilead Sciences

4 Nucor

5 Questar

6 Sunoco

7 Verizon Communications

8 Colgate-Palmolive

9 Goldman Sachs Group

10 Paccar

11 Amazon.com

12 Cognizant Technology Solutions

13 Avon Products

14 Varian Medical Systems

15 Bed Bath & Beyond

16 CB Richard Ellis Group

17 Robert Half International

18 Chicago Mercantile Exchange Holdings

19 Adobe Systems

20 EOG Resources

21 Sempra Energy

22 Sherwin-Williams

23 Lehman Brothers Holdings

24 Rockwell Collins

25 IMS Health

26 Allegheny Technologies

27 Oracle

28 Starbucks

29 Moody’s

30 PepsiCo

31 Stryker

32 Best Buy

33 United Parcel Service

34 Apple

35 T. Rowe Price Group

36 Valero Energy

37 Constellation Energy Group

38 TJX

39 Morgan Stanley

40 Paychex

41 Coventry Health Care

42 United States Steel

43 United Technologies

44 Hershey

45 Black & Decker

46 Synovus Financial

47 Linear Technology

48 AT&T

49 XTO Energy

50 PNC Financial Services Group

Vodafone to Start MySpace Service February 7, 2007

Posted by silviamocanu07 in Business-Society Issues, Internet, Networks, telecommunications.

I found an interesting article in the Wall Street Journal about the Vodafone Group, a leading European mobile-operator, who has signed a deal with MySpace through which Vodafone users will be able to access the social site via their cell-phones.  This deal is part of Vodafone’s “Mobile Plus” strategy to increase revenues by providing fixed-line internet, mobile advertising and other mobile Internet services. Vodafone is the first mobile operator to make MySpace available to European users.

This article relates to our class discussion about strategic management and I believe that this will prove to be a successful venture for Vodafone. Partnering with other companies in order to extend the offers available to customers will certainly provide them with a great advantage within the European market.

However, as is mentioned in the article, there is always the risk that part of the market segment will not like the fact that this  exclusive deal forces them to sign-up with a single mobile provider in order to access content. This is a very real possibility, and, given the fact that it is an exclusive deal, it does not allow customers many choices. If they want to access MySpace from their cell-phones, they must have a subscription with Vodafone. Do you think that this deal will greatly impact customers in their choice of mobile provider and do you think that it will increase the number of European MySpace users?