IBM Has the Most Patents – Again

January 12, 2010

Check out the results at:

http://www-03.ibm.com/press/us/en/pressrelease/29168.wss

IBM has secured more patents than any other company in the world for the 17th straight year.  While certainly the numbers impress, 4914 patents, more than 1300 than the next closest firm, what seems most compelling to me is the breadth of patents and research initiatives as well as a wider perspective about research in general.  For example IBM also publishes a journal of its research efforts that do not result in patents, which is both (a) generous sharing of research investments but also offers IBM (b) limited protection of their IP.

So view the 4914 and 17th straight year as just some of the indicators of IBM’s level of commitment to innovation.  Frankly I am equally as impressed by IBM’s new program of sharing their approach on innovation as a service to clients.  If you have scored the most patents in the world for 17 straight years you should be sharing that “service” with clients and partners. (more…)

Cloud and Virtualization – Cro-Magnon Computing

January 7, 2010

Yes, I am going to express my view on Cloud and Virtualization.  Everyone else has, why not me?  Common wisdom is that the big enterprise computing innovations for the twenty-tens will ride on the backs of Cloud and Virtualization.  Fortunately, I have been exposed to the Cloud and to Virtualization longer than most, all the way back in the Cro-Magnon Computing era of IT, during which I was born as programmer.

In fact, I figure I was one of the first to actually use the Cloud.  Was I an early beta user of Salesforce.com?  Nope, that happened 10 years ago, late-to-the-game of the Cloud era.  I am talking Cloud circa 1973.  We used National CSS, at least I think that was the name, a timesharing facility out of Stamford, CT or near there.  On our remote terminals we would load a program, load data, and run the workload (we called it a job).  It would spit out a report that we could view online or we could print.  The NCSS “data center” was 200 miles away roughly from our downtown Boston office.  Is this a whole lot different than what you can do with Amazon EC2? (more…)

IT Vendors Putting Their $44 Billion Where Their R&D Is

December 28

I did something a little crazy over the holidays:  I read through the latest couple of 10-Ks and/or annual reports from the last few years from roughly the twenty largest IT vendors in the world.  I did this in search of R&D spending – was it still happening, who was doing it.

I came up with a list that includes 16 large vendors that disclose R&D expense in their respective “Statements of Operations.”  In order by 2008 fiscal revenue, largest-to-smallest, the list includes HP, IBM, Dell, Microsoft, Cisco, Intel, Apple, Oracle, Google, EMC, SAP, Seagate, Symantec, AMD, CA and NetApp.  I also looked into Accenture, CSC, Asustek, Lenovo and Sun and a few others but for a variety of reasons, such as the lack of disclosure of R&D expenses, I decided not to include them in the analysis mix. (more…)

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