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No modern enterprise stands alone; each is dependent upon a network of trading partners to remain competitive in today's global marketplace.  But in most cases, the lack of business to business (B2B) integration is holding back efforts to evolve into a true digital business. A high-performing supply chain is essentially a dynamic digital network, and every link in the supply chain is vital for business. But, remarkably, "over 50 percent of the information exchanged among business partners is still done so manually - not automatically - via email, phone calls and faxes."1 Many enterprises are stymied by silos of data, complex linear processes and disparate application landscapes. Moreover, each enterprise is reliant on its own unique set of applications, further exacerbating the struggle to exchange key information with partners. B2B integration maturity Advancing B2B... (more)

Apple’s Rubber-Band Snaps Back into Samsung’s Eye

The US Patent and Trademark Office has reinstated Apple's famous so-called rubber-banding patent (US No. 7,469,381) and confirmed four claims, including claim 19 that Apple asserted last summer in the California trial that initially led a jury to dun Samsung $1.05 billion in damages. Samsung presumably made the anonymous request that the patent be re-examined and the PTO last October threw the whole patent out. Then the agency changed its mind and disallowed all but three claims, including the crucial claim 19. Now it's changed its mind again and upheld another four claims including claim 19. Apparently the prior art the PTO was using to invalidate wasn't good enough. Samsung has tried to get presiding Judge Lucy Koh to find the patent invalid although the jury didn't and she didn't early on. So, if the November retrial scheduled to sort out the damages Samsung owes ... (more)

Apple to Make Cheap iPhone at Pegatron, Not Foxconn

Foxconn is losing its Apple monopoly. Apple has signed up $7.4 billion-a-year Pegatron to build the low-cost iPhone it's expected to bring to market later this year, according to the Wall Street Journal. Pegatron, which started making iPad minis last year and made some iPhones the year before, is another Taiwan-based contract manufacturer with factories in China. Actually it's an Asustek spin-off. Foxconn had manufacturing problems with the iPhone 5 last year that scratched the metal cases and limited availability. It's also not getting the cost advantages of scale like it used to because it's been raising wages and improving working conditions following a string of suicides. And Pegatron, which will up its Chinese workforce by 40% to handle the Apple order, has reportedly accepted thinner margins. The paper says because Foxconn became the world's largest electronic... (more)

Apple Ban Approaches

Apple only has 10 more days before an International Trade Commission's import ban on the iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, iPad 2 and earlier takes effect on Monday, August 5. That is unless the White House vetoes it, something that hasn't happened since President Reagan over 25 years ago, or, in a pinch, like now, by the Court of Appeals. Two months ago the ITC found that the widgets violate a Samsung standards-essential encoding patent. In a recent filing with ITC seeking a stay, Apple said that the ban will "sweep away an entire segment of Apple's product offering." There's still pretty lively traffic in the older widgets. Only AT&T will be affected by the ban because the devices only run on its network but rival Verizon, wary of the precedent it would set, ran an open letter in the Wall Street Journal this week asking the Obama administration to intervene arguing that App... (more)

Apple Guilty of Colluding on E-Book Pricing, Judge Says

A US federal judge Wednesday found Apple guilty of colluding with five publishers and artificially driving up the price of e-books before it entered the market with the debut of the iPad in 2010. Apple is bound to appeal after the court fixes on a penalty next week. The Justice Department claimed Apple let the publisher set higher prices on bestsellers and new releases as a way to offset Amazon's low $9.99 price point on the same books. As a result the DOJ said e-book prices in general rose to $12.99-$14.99. The publishers settled with the government ahead of trial but a resolute Apple, apparently acting on principle, refused to settle and denied any price-fixing. It did settle with the European Commission last year without admitting any wrongdoing. The judge's 160-page ruling said, "The plaintiffs have shown that the publisher defendants conspired with each other... (more)

ITC Clears Apple of Patent Infringement

A panel of the six commissioners at the International Trace Commission Monday tossed out a Motorola claim that Apple's iPhone 4 was in patent violation, foiling its attempt to get the widget banned in America. Motorola and its parent Google can appeal to the Federal Circuit and Google said it was evaluating its options. Apple was absolved of infringing the fourth of four remaining Motorola patents in the suit, which the ITC ultimately found invalid for want of novelty and obviousness. It was about sensors and programming touch screens so a user's head doesn't interfere while talking on the phone. Motorola started with six patents covering IP stuff like signal noise. The Federal Circuit has already been asked to attest to the validity of three other Motorola patents the ITC threw out. Motorola filed suit before it was acquired by Google for $12.4 billion mostly for ... (more)

Jobs Takes Medical Leave

Apple CEO Steve Jobs, who was apparently cured of pancreatic cancer in 2004 only to turn frail and gaunt and need a liver transplant in 2009, has gone out on medical leave again. He never lost the gauntness. COO Tim Cook will stand in for him as he has in the past. Apple issued a copy of the e-mail, signed "Steve," sent to all Apple employees Monday morning. It reads: "At my request, the board of directors has granted me a medical leave of absence so I can focus on my health. I will continue as CEO and be involved in major strategic decisions for the company. "I have asked Tim Cook to be responsible for all of Apple's day to day operations. I have great confidence that Tim and the rest of the executive management team will do a terrific job executing the exciting plans we have in place for 2011. "I love Apple so much and hope to be back as soon as I can. In the mean... (more)

Emerging IoT Markets | @ThingsExpo @UnigmaApp #IoT #M2M #DigitalTransformation

Emerging IoT Markets - MSPs, Take Notice Managed IT services wasn't even a phrase until the early 2000s and, today, there are over 75,000 IT service providers in North America alone. By 2020, there are going to be 50 billion connected devices, and managed IT services might cease to be a phrase again. Unless the MPSs adapt to the new, connected world, we are going to see diminishing returns in that space. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Kirill Bensonoff, CEO of Unigma, will discuss the different opportunities IoT will create for MSPs and IT service providers - from on-site services, to monitoring, managing and consulting. Speaker Bio Kirill Bensonoff is the CEO of Unigma, where he is helping IT service providers become cloud service providers. Prior, he co-founded, a national IT services provider. @ThingsExpo - The World's Largest 'Internet of Thi... (more)

HP Rationale Number....

HP has come up with a new reason for why it let Mark Hurd go. I forget how many this makes now but they keep getting better and better. According to the Wall Street Journal the board supposedly got ticked off because Hurd settled with the woman in question the day before he was fired, short circuiting the board's investigation of her sexual harassment claims although the board said on August 6, the day Hurd went, that its investigation had absolved Hurd of violating HP's sexual harassment policies on July 22, a month after Hurd got a demand letter from her lawyer. They were supposed to hear from Ms. Fisher. Anyway, Hurd had reportedly already decided to go and had negotiated a handsome exit package. Friends of Mark brand the latest excuse "an utter lie" and retort that he was told to settle up with the wench especially by HP's general counsel; the settlement was pu... (more)

Larry to HP: "You’re Pissing Me Off"

What do you suppose the chances are HP gets kicked out of the looming Oracle OpenWorld? After HP sued its ex-CEO Mark Hurd Tuesday seeking to stop him from working at Oracle - while Hurd was reportedly walking around Oracle shaking hands and enjoying the first flush of welcome - Oracle CEO Larry Ellison issued the following "don't tread on me" statement: "Oracle has long viewed HP as an important partner. By filing this vindictive lawsuit against Oracle and Mark Hurd, the HP board is acting with utter disregard for that partnership, our joint customers, and their own shareholders and employees. The HP board is making it virtually impossible for Oracle and HP to continue to cooperate and work together in the IT marketplace." In retaliation it's easy to imagine Oracle kicking HP out OpenWorld and rescinding its invitation to HP Enterprise Business chief Ann Livermor... (more)

RIM CMO to Leave on Eve of PlayBook Launch

So there's RIM - within sight of the launch of its unconventional ONX-based iPad-bucking PlayBook tablet, reportedly set for April 10 or thereabouts - and all of a sudden its chief marketing officer Kevin Pardy, imported from Nokia a couple of years ago, decides to leave for the conventional "personal reasons" although he's supposed to be on tap for a six-month transition to whomever replaces him. Some think the Canadian BlackBerry maker might shop for somebody with consumer experience to take on the iPhone and Android phones if it doesn't already have someone in mind. Of course Pardy once worked for Coca-Cola, and that's about as consumer as you can get. The Wall Street Journal observes that RIM "was late to recognize the importance of touch-screens, cool interfaces and the need to offer third-party applications. It has also fallen short in getting a marketing me... (more)