Saturday, December 31, 2011

And I'm Back...

Sorry for the radio silence. Been a month full of 16 hour days (seriously).

Just to catch up...
  • Welcome to the SEC. Not Mizzu or aTm. South Carolina. The closest I've come to breaking my self-imposed moratorium on writing was the eruption of outrage from Gamecock fans over the new schedules and moving Georgia/SC to October. Seriously, 'tradition' is something that is older than Britney Spears. Delicious.
  • Urbanbowl! Ok, the Urban vs. UF thing is fun, but over played. Is this what it has come to in Gatornation? Seriously, focus on not becoming the first SEC team in forever to lose to tOSU while they are playing with eligible players (Gene Smith assures us). Or you can crappants yourself in the bowl game named for your mascot. Either is fine with me.
  • Dooley. Hey, I get it. Loyalty is rewarded. Lack thereof is not. Have fun recruiting kids from more than a three hour drive from Knoxville when you can't even look them in the face and tell them they can go home if their father is dying.
  • Illinois' assistants. Some Illini assistant coaches threatened to not coach in the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl (I had to look it up to make sure it was real) over a contract dispute. I'm not debating the merits of the argument, one way or another, but it sure doesn't make getting assistants to coach in Champaign any easier when you look at both sides' points.
  • Iowa State. Any argument about Oklahoma State deserving a shot at LSU went out the window at Yankee Stadium yesterday. There should be a specific rule in the BCS selection procedures that states if you lose to a team that gets dominated by the fourth place team in the Big East, you are ineligible for the BCS. That is all.
  • B1G/Pac-1X collaboration. I like it. I've long thought there should be more AQC teams playing each other and fewer Coastal Carolina's on schedules. Scott and Delaney looked at the landscape and figured they need to have more big games of national relevance to make a dent in the SEC monopoly on football. They also get more recognition for their other sports by putting them in the big venues in their footprints (ie, Ford Field, Dodger Stadium). Well played.
  • Richt to coach at (fill in the blank). Seriously?
Finally, I've had nearly three weeks to think about the running back situation and am glad I have been unplugged for this time. 

Go Dawgs!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

UGA 2012 Schedule: No Bama

The SEC just released the 2012 SEC football schedule.  The Bulldogs will avoid playing Bama and will instead pick up Ole Miss. Georgia will not get a bye week before the Cocktail Party as the SEC moved the UK game back a week.  The bye week is currently Oct. 13th.   On the other hand, the Gators don't have a bye week either.  They play at South Carolina prior to our match-up.

More later from one of us.


Saturday, December 24, 2011

The F Words of Health Care

Vassily Kandinsky, 1923
Fragmentation, Fee-for-service and Futile care are the trifecta of what is supposedly ailing our health care system, or non-system, as it is fashionably described nowadays. Modern health care has reached its crisis point not due to hordes of people keeling over and dying in the streets, as they did during historical health care crises brought on by plagues and famine, but due to exploding costs of delivering decent care to all people. Since the issue now is mostly financial, health care as a discipline is attracting the interests of those who practice the dismal science of Economics. Over the last two centuries, economists have successfully addressed the F words in other industries with spectacular results in developed countries, so why not apply lessons learned to health care? 

The obvious reason to treat economists with suspicion in health care is the quintessential argument that people are not widgets, but there is another problem. Most tried-and-true solutions for increasing availability and quality while lowering costs of products are not accounting for the other explosion occurring as we speak – the Internet.  How can this assertion be true when we are in the midst of a government sponsored spending spree to computerize medical records and adopt Health Information Technology (HIT)? Apparently, even those who lead and define the HIT revolution are reluctant (or unable) to grasp its full implication, thus they are consistently underestimating the power of the Internet to serve the individual, and as a result are hedging their bets on technology with classic industrial models from days gone by.

In a 2008 Health Affairs article, Dr. Donald Berwick has defined what has become the official goal of policy making for the Secretary of Health and Human Services. Better known as the Triple Aim, the goals are to create better health, provide better care and lower costs of care. If you look at health care as just another industry, the Triple Aim translates into a better product with a better process at a lower cost. Well, when put this way, the solution is pretty obvious and it has been obvious for over two centuries. We must address the F words: eliminate Fragmentation by aggregating independent artisans in one physical location, stop paying Fee-for-service (piecework) and pay salaries instead, and most important, eliminate Futile work by standardizing the process. In short, apply the industrial revolution to health care and realize the economies of scale that brought prosperity and happiness to the developed world. Except that for some strange reason, this solution doesn’t quite work in health care.

Case in point: Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHC). FQHCs started out in the early 1960s as community run clinics to provide medical care to the poor. By the mid-nineties, and with the best of intentions, the Federal government and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), created funding grants and reimbursement methods to support these clinics. Today there are thousands of FQHCs of different types, operating in health care shortage areas and providing team-based comprehensive care including preventative care, basic primary care, behavioral care, dental care, lab and pharmacy services, mostly to Medicaid beneficiaries and the uninsured, but also to small numbers of Medicare and privately insured patients. FQHCs must use mid-levels to provide and coordinate care and must report on quality measures. In return, FQHCs receive millions of dollars in grants for building and improvements, have access to cost effective workforce, can obtain free malpractice protection, are tax exempt and are paid more than double what a private practice is paid for Medicaid services. By all accounts, FQHC are addressing the triple Fs of health care rather well, but how are they doing against the Triple Aim objectives?

Studies are mixed regarding quality of care provided by FQHCs, and patients cared for by FQHC are largely sicker than those seen in private practice. Interestingly enough, neither Medicare, nor privately insured patients are flocking to FQHCs, in spite of the financial advantages offered, particularly to Medicare patients, and in spite of the spiffy state of the art facilities. This may, or may not be, an indicator for perceived quality of care. How about lowering costs? Do FQHCs provide care at a lower cost than, say, an independent solo private practice?  Adding direct reimbursement rates, grants, tax breaks and other benefits, FQHCs visits cost more than twice the amount paid by Medicaid to private practices, which cannot compete with FQHCs and all but disappeared from areas where FQHCs operate. What would have been the results if twenty years ago CMS would have decided to increase Medicaid fees and pay for uninsured visits to independent practices, instead of exclusively backing the creation and operations of a separate but equal clinic system for the poor? We may never know for sure.

FQHCs are only a small example* of why economies of scale are not easily achieved in health care. Large hospital organizations and even fully integrated health systems, which may be providing better care (or not) seem equally incapable of reducing costs in spite of attacking all three Fs, or seeming to do so, and there are two reasons for this failure: a) larger health care facilities have disproportionately larger overhead costs and b) large systems are better equipped to charge more for services, which renders their efficiency efforts less urgent. And this is not a matter of opinion. CMS acknowledges this built-in inefficiency as evident in the physician fee schedule which pays an additional “facility fee” for services provided in hospital owned outpatient clinics, presumably to cover the extra overhead. Surprisingly, CMS is consistently creating incentives and regulations to accelerate provider consolidation into these big inefficient and expensive systems. The only possible explanation would be that CMS is betting that elimination of the last two Fs (Fee-for-service and Futile care) will be easier in a consolidated environment and the gains will ultimately exceed the losses from doing away with independent practice (Fragmentation). What about information technology? Well, it is supposed to help with process standardization, data collection and performance measurements, similar to what computers do in every other industry.

We have all seen the infomercials for high-tech hospitals, where a bunch of doctors are seated around a conference room table, each holding a laptop or tablet, presumably discussing patients in a team environment. There is something very wrong with these pictures. First, it costs us a fortune to have all these physicians in one room. Second, there is almost no added utility for them to be using computers instead of passing around a piece of paper, and computers are expensive. Third, there is no patient in the room. Now let’s imagine a different picture: a primary care physician sitting in his office, with a patient next to him, both interacting with a computer on which a Skype conference is taking place with an oncologist sitting in his own office thirty miles away, a surgeon in a hospital lounge in the city and perhaps a radiologist half a continent away. Everybody on the call has access to the same electronic medical record, appointments can be made in real time, literature can be consulted and shared, prescriptions can be changed and a common care plan agreed upon by all and understood by all can be created and by using intelligent predictive analytics tools various options can be explored. Perhaps a family member in a different country is conferenced in and perhaps the patient is at home or in a break room at work. Perhaps there’s an electronic sign-up sheet for the oncologist, if the patient wants to ask something else later and have a physician friend in New Zealand listen in. And with one click on a PayPal button all doctors are paid for their time.

In this Internet age, manufacturing style physical consolidation is not only unnecessary, it is cost prohibitive. Modern lifestyles and modern medicine have created a need for doctors and patients to collaborate and the Internet is providing the means to accomplish such collaboration without having to physically gather everybody under one expensive roof. There is no need to obliterate the operational efficiencies of private practice and replace it with the bloated bureaucracy of large institutions, and there is no need to dispense with long lasting doctor-patient relationships in favor of computerized care coordination, and there is absolutely no need to substitute a bunch of numbers in a computer for a real patient. The Internet is decentralizing and individualizing everything from politics to manufacturing. Health care is, and always has been, decentralized, individualized and based on the local patient-doctor dyad. The resemblance is striking. We either embrace the fully aligned collaborative nature of the Internet to achieve better health, better care at lower costs, or engage in a doomed effort to impose an unnatural centralized command and control structure in health care just because it worked well for nineteen century steel manufacturing and because policy makers don’t truly understand the magnitude of the connectivity revolution.

* According to the Kaiser Family Foundation FQHCs had about $12.7 Billion in revenues in 2010, 75% of which came from Federal and State agencies. They served almost 19.5 million patients with over 77 million encounters. Simple math yields a cost of approximately $165 per encounter.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Tablet Use in Business to Gain Momentum in 2012

The early-adopter trials have begun, the commercial apps are being developed -- it's now a given, purpose-built tablets will be used in more mainstream business settings during 2012. Besides, executives and IT managers at multinational companies will likely witness this phenomenon first, particularly in the more advanced markets.

According to the latest market study by International Data Corporation (IDC), media tablet shipments in EMEA reached more than 12 million units in the first three quarters of 2011 -- growing to 20 million units by the end of the year.

Although business purchases currently represent less than 10 percent of the entire tablet market, the near-term opportunity for growth from business use is believed to be significant -- including online collaboration applications.

Functionality such as a touch screen user-interface, portability, secure LAN connectivity and more business apps for vertical industry needs, are all factors that demonstrate the potential value in commercial settings.

Introducing Media Tablets into the Enterprise

IDC recently conducted a study across businesses in Western Europe to understand the perceptions of tablet adoption, intention to purchase, applications for specific business needs, preference for features, and acquisition strategies.

The key takeaways from the IDC study include:

Adoption Trend: More than 48 percent of businesses have either already evaluated and are keen to introduce tablets or purchased a few, and many verticals pointed to interest in purchasing tablets by the first and second half of 2012. With evident uptake among the IT services, professional services industry, other sectors such as transport and storage, utilities and distribution are showing strong interest.

Perception of Adoption: More than 22 percent of businesses think that the present generation of tablets defined by Apple iPad, are more suitable to their needs -- for example, meter reading, inventory management -- rather than their present equipment, such as traditional tablet devices or vertical application devices.

App Usage in Business: Applications and usage of tablets in businesses vary depending on the industry. Mainstream business use for tablets are as presentation tools during customer meetings and to remotely check emails and calendars. But tablets are suited for several key vertical applications such as:
  • Equipment maintenance, meter-reading (water, gas, electricity), proof-of-service in the field service category.
  • Asset and inventory management, telematics and direct store delivery in the storage and logistics, travel, and distribution verticals.

Tablet User Preference: While iOS and Android receive a strong response rate, more than 30 percent of respondents would consider a Windows OS-based tablet. While some businesses are price-sensitive, others would pay up to 50 percent above the standard price to have the most suitable tablet. Features vary depending on the business use-case; whether for the choice of screen size, or ruggedized features:
  • Transport and storage and distribution sectors prefer to have barcode scanners, SD card readers, and cameras.
  • Finance sectors prefer features such as credit card readers, signature capture, and HDD with encryption.

Deployment and Acquisition Strategy: Most businesses favor partnering directly with OEMs and traditional resellers with few verticals interested in partnering with ISVs. Virtualization and cloud-based solutions are the top preferred technologies considered to support tablet devices.

IDC believes that tablets now are a credible client device option, and in some cases they better fulfill the needs which are only partially met by traditional devices. They say that while some companies are in a wait-and-see mode, the forward-thinking leaders and early-adopters are already keen to deploy solutions.

2012 UGA Football Schedule Rumors

The SEC announced today that they won't be finished with the 2012 football schedule until after Christmas. With that in mind, here's the UGA football schedule as I'm projecting based on the rumors and rumblings:
    Week 1: Buffalo (home)
    Week 2: Missouri (away)
    Week 3: Florida Atlantic (home)
    Week 4: Vanderbilt (home)
    Week 5: Tennessee (home)
    Week 6: South Carolina (away)
    Week 7: Kentucky (away)
    Week 8: BYE Week
    Week 9: Florida (Jax)
    Week 10: Alabama (home)
    Week 11: Auburn (away)
    Week 12: Georgia Southern (home)
    Week 13: Georgia Tech (home)
There's a chance we could see Bama at home in Week 8 before the Cocktail Party with the bye week after Florida, but that's not what I heard earlier this week. This is all still fluid to some degree so you could see even more changes. However, this is the latest as of yesterday's rumor mill.

The games that are either confirmed or darn close to being confirmed are Buffalo, Missouri, FAU, Georgia Southern and Georgia Tech. Given that Ole Miss appears to be playing Florida and Missouri from the SEC East next year, it looks very likely that Georgia does get home.

UPDATE: Various other media outlets are saying that UGA will play Ole Miss at home in Week 10 instead of Alabama. That would be great, but I'm struggling with the conflicting Ole Miss rumors which have them playing:
    Missouri and Vandy
    or Florida and Vandy
    or Missouri and Florida
    or UGA and Vandy
I had projected earlier this offseason that we'd get Ole Miss and Aubrn as our Western Teams. I would prefer to have been right then....than the post above.


Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Richt and Loyalty

If you want a further glimpse into how Richt is wired, read this article from the AJC about some of the secondary violations committed by Richt over the past few years. Most folks will focus on the $25k Richt gave former assistants. I found this note about the support staff more interesting.
In December 2009, due to “difficult economic conditions being experienced by the University,” the athletic department decided to not provide “bowl bonuses” to non-coach staff members. Richt went to senior associate AD Frank Crumley and asked him to provide a chart of who would have normally received bonuses and in what amount. Crumley provided that list and Richt paid 10 people – sports medicine director Ron Courson, video coordinator Joe Tereshinski, strength and conditioning coaches Keith Gray and Clay Walker, football operations manager Josh Brooks, high school relations director Ray Lamb and four administrative assistants — $15,227 out of his own pocket.

Richt also paid the $15,337.50 five-year longevity bonus to former assistant Dave Johnson when Johnson left Georgia in 2008 just short of his fifth anniversary and the administration refused to pay. Richt paid $6,000 to Jon Fabris in December of 2010 when Fabris was unable to find a job after his UGA severance package expired.

In each case,the payments were not considered against NCAA rules because they were done with the knowledge of the athletic administration, according to the report.
Damn Good Boss.


Thursday, December 15, 2011

UGA Working on a Cure for Cancer

This is so bad ass I had to post it. Georgia scientists are working on a Cancer Vaccine, and they are making terrific progress.


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Richt Flair Open - GSB Bowl Pick'em

Time is nigh to join the Richt Flair Open, the Georgia Sports Blog's Annual Bowl Pick'em.  Named for the winner of the 4th Annual Georgia Sports Blog College Football Pick'em, this is our chance, in some 35 glorious picks, to show Richt Flair our chops.

Or a chance to fail miserably on a big stage with a made up name.  Whatever.

First game is the majestic New Mexico Bowl on Saturday the 17th. Good luck.


Five Predictions for Managed Cloud Services in 2012

The proof-positive business impact from managed cloud services deployment, including the numerous associated productivity benefits and anticipated cost-savings, have pushed cloud computing well into the mainstream during 2011.

As we move into 2012, International Data Corporation (IDC) predicts that this evolution will continue as more users test the growing capabilities of the public cloud services that are already available.

However, by 2015, IDC envisions a very different scenario -- one where cloud services will become commonplace, thereby forcing significant changes in the ongoing adoption of progressive business technology practices throughout legacy IT organizations.

"In the next 24 months, the 'cloud' as a marketing label will cease to exist, as the success of cloud services will mean that it will permeate the sourcing strategies of the CIO and business unit manager alike," says Chris Morris, Lead Analyst for Cloud Services at IDC Asia/Pacific.

He adds, "The use of externally sourced business and IT services from the cloud will form the basis of what we see as the Outsourcing 3.0 period, and will provide an extensive portfolio of services from which innovative solutions can be constructed."

How Cloud Drives the Next Wave of Outsourcing

With Outsourcing 3.0, the cloud will metamorphose into a universal service catalog of individual cloud services. This will begin to replace both traditional information technology outsourcing (ITO) and business process outsourcing (BPO) engagements as well as on-premises infrastructure.

IDC believes that in an Outsourcing 3.0 scenario, the sourcing of business and IT services from multiple external suppliers will result in a major challenge for the enterprise CIO. They will become a service broker and aggregator, involved in sourcing, integrating and managing the services -- on behalf of their business units.

Drawing from the latest research and internal brainstorming sessions amongst IDC's regional and country analysts, the following are five cloud predictions for 2012.

These key points represent major trends with either the most significant financial impact or long-term market impact across the Asia-Pacific region, according to the IDC assessment.
  1. Less than Half of End-Users across APEJ will complete their Private Cloud Projects by 2014
  2. Making 2 + 2 = 1: Cloud Service Orchestration Services Lead the Drive to Outsourcing 3.0
  3. Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) will become Verticalized by 2013
  4. By the end of 2012, 90% of Telecom Service Providers (SPs) in the APEJ region will have brought a broad portfolio of Cloud Services to market; but, by end of 2013, their Portfolios will become Specialized as they redefine their preferred role in the Cloud Ecosystem and target specific markets
  5. Cloud SP (CSPs) strategies based on Aggregation and Resale of IT and business services will Fail to meet Profitability Goals by 2013 unless they can efficiently and effectively Manage, Support and Bill Services from Multiple Service Providers

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Richt Flair - 4th Annual College Pick'em Champion

All the women love him. All the men want to be like him.
Congrats to Richt Flair for his strong finish, picking Navy and guessing the winning score within one point.  A great season for both Richt Flair and Uganewt (who didn't miss by much, either).

This is also our official kickoff of the Richt Flair Open - Georgia Sports Blog's Annual Bowl Pool. Click on the link to join. Same deal as the regular season - assign confidence points from most confident to least confident picking winners straight up.  The spread is for information only.

Thanks to everyone who participated this season. Good luck with your bowl picks.

Friday, December 9, 2011

On the Richt to aTm Rumors

College Pick'em Tie Breaker

Each finalist was given a chance to include an avatar.  Here we go, in order of when the picks were received:

Uganewt picks Navy 31-21. 

RichtFlair picks Navy 27-20.
Tony Schiavone, you’re looking at the next GSB Picks World Champion. That’s right, Richt Flair, Slick Richt, the F-150 ridin’, mission trip flyin’, watergirl kissin’, 10 game winnin’ sonofagun. Woooooooooooooo!!!!
Good luck to you two. Feel free to put your pick in the comments.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

College Pick'em - Tie Breaker Coming

Well, we've picked 162 games and it comes down to a tie with one game left.  RichtFlair and uganewt will pick the Army-Navy game for the tie breaker, each pulling in 866 points on the season. I'll publish their picks tomorrow morning.

Hobnail_Boot, who has been at the top of the list for the past seven weeks ended up in third, one point back. Props go out to UGASmitty for getting the most correct picks (128). However, his selections only got him 863 points, good enough for 4th place.   Hunkering Hank, Updyke Tree Service, papadoc19, LuckyGuess, and ChiliDawg rounded out the top ten.

For the Commissioner's Award (something I totally just made up), I ended up smoking Quinton and PWD and ended up in the top 63...

Thanks to everyone who participated. I'll set up the bowl pick'em in the next couple of days.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

2012 Schedule Rumor: UGA vs. Bama in Athens

The SEC is a near mortal lock to operate with an 8 game SEC schedule in 2012. As I've said numerous times, this will be temporary before the SEC ultimate goes to a 9 game schedule in 2-4 years.

With that in mind, we had been projecting that UGA would drop a road game at Bama from the 2012 UGA schedule in favor of a road game at Missouri. With the new 6-1-1 divisional rotation, this seemed to make the most sense and have the smallest impact on everyone involved. In that scenario, UGA's SEC West opponents would be Auburn (road) and Ole Miss (home).

However, we've hit a snag. PowerMizzou is reporting that Missouri's SEC West schedule will include Ole Miss (road) and Texas A&M (home). This means, Ole Miss is off the table to come to Athens.

Billy Lucci of is reporting that Texas A&M's SEC East opponents will be Missouri (permanent) and Florida. Mr. SEC is reporting that Tennessee's SEC West opponents will be Bama (permanent) and Mississippi State next year. (He also theorizes on some other match-ups which aren't a done deal).

If the rumors above are correct, Ole Miss, Miss State and Texas A&M are off the table as rotational opponents for UGA next year. That only leaves Alabama, Arkansas and LSU as options. More than likely, it looks like Bama will be coming to Athens.

However, Bama doesn't have an SEC road game to give. That means some other SEC West opponent will be swapping home/away dates with Bama next year. I project that type of movement is already in the cards for the MSU vs. UK game (which will likely stay in Lexington in 2012). As well as the Vandy vs. Ole Miss game which will likely be in Nashville again this year.

More than likely, it would be Arkansas going back to Tuscaloosa in 2012. Again...this all assumes the first 3 leaks are correct.

What do you think about Bama coming to Athens in 2012?


Cisco CloudVerse: a Comprehensive Cloud Framework

Multinational company CEOs are one of the most vocal advocates of the managed cloud services phenomenon. Many have been through the painful process of watching helplessly as their CIO championed the deployment of monolithic ERP and CRM systems -- only to discover that these huge enterprise software projects failed to live up to their promise.

Meanwhile, purposeful line-of-business executives have successfully utilized software-as-a-service (SaaS), with their CEO's support, to break free from the legacy IT platforms and thereby give their employees the business technology (BT) productivity tools that they had hoped for -- or that the power-users demanded.

Forward-looking vendors and prescient BT service providers are now leading the transition to the next wave of productivity-enhancing and cost-reducing platforms. Next year, we'll likely witness increased market activity, as the next chapter of this story unfolds.

In anticipation, Cisco has pro-actively presented its cloud strategic plan and tactical roadmap to both eager channel partners and savvy enterprise customers.

Cisco CloudVerse is a framework that combines the foundational elements needed to enable organizations to build, manage and connect public, private and hybrid clouds.

Cisco CloudVerse combines these key cloud elements -- Unified Data Center, Cloud Intelligent Network, and Cloud Applications and Services -- enabling businesses to realize all of the benefits of clouds: improved agility, better economics, enhanced security and a dynamic, assured experience.

The Cisco Cloud Index, issued last week, forecasts how dramatically clouds are transforming business IT and consumer services. The study predicts that over 50 percent of computing workloads in data centers will be cloud-based by 2014, and that global cloud traffic will grow over 12 times by 2015, to 1.6 zettabytes per year -- the equivalent of over four days of business-class video for every person on earth.

The insightful study suggests that the explosive growth in clouds requires advanced capabilities that allow the data center and network to work together -- to support end-to-end cloud application delivery.

The All-Inclusive Approach to Cloud Enablement

Today, most cloud technologies exist in silos, preventing an efficient, integrated management approach. By integrating the three foundational cloud elements -- the Cisco Unified Data Center with the Cisco Intelligent Network to enable Cloud Applications and Services -- CloudVerse delivers a business-class cloud experience within the cloud, between clouds, and beyond the cloud to the end user.

A large number of enterprises, service providers, and governments have announced that they are adopting Cisco CloudVerse as the foundation of their cloud strategies, including ACS, a Xerox Company; Fujitsu; NWN; LinkedIn; Orange Business Services; Qualcomm; Silicon Valley Bank; Telecom Italia; Telefónica S.A.; Telstra; and Terremark, a Verizon Company. Today over 70 percent of leading cloud providers are using Cisco CloudVerse on their journey to the cloud.

"We're moving to a world where our business customers want to experience services anywhere, anytime on any device. Cisco CloudVerse is architected to help deliver on the promise of cloud by unifying compute, storage and network resources that can be securely and rapidly re-purposed and managed on-demand to meet the needs of different customers or applications. These capabilities are fundamental to the cloud and the Cisco Cloud Intelligent Network is purpose-built to help deliver the security, scalability and flexibility we need," said Kerry Bailey, Terremark, a Verizon Company.

The Three Core Elements of CloudVerse:

Unified Data Center changes the economics of cloud infrastructure by providing a fabric-based platform automating the "as-a-service" model across physical and virtual environments, and designed to scale with business demands by flexibly allocating resources within and between data centers using unified computing and unified fabric. Cisco is also adding new Unified Management capabilities:

Cisco Intelligent Automation for the Cloud is designed to provide automated provisioning and management of data center resources for the delivery of cloud services within and between data centers.

Cisco Network Services Manager is designed to automatically create, deploy and modify physical and virtual networking resources on demand.

Cloud Intelligent Network provides a consistent and highly secure user experience wherever the user is located and across the multiple clouds involved in delivering an application or service. Cisco now adds new "Cloud-to-Cloud Connect" capabilities:

"Cloud-to-Cloud Connect," featuring the Cisco Network Positioning System on the ASR 1000 and 9000 Series Aggregation Services Routersin 2012, will enable dynamic resource identification, allocation and optimization between data centers and clouds.

Cloud Applications and Services enable "as a service" delivery of both Cisco and third-party cloud applications. Several new capabilities are being added to Cisco's Hosted Collaboration Solution (HCS):

Private Cloud HCS empowers enterprises to build their own collaboration cloud using Cisco's validated and tested solution and full management capabilities.

Mobile HCS provides mobile service providers with an easy and cost-effective way to offer collaboration from the cloud, thus extending services from "fixed" devices to mobile phones. For example, providers can virtually connect thousands of mobile users at a company with single-number reach, or enable customers to transition a call from a desk phone to a mobile phone while the call is in progress.

Customer Collaboration makes contact center capabilities more affordable and accessible by adding Cisco Customer Collaboration offerings to HCS. These offerings are available on a limited basis now and targeted for general availability in 2012.

Cisco is supporting CloudVerse with new cloud enablement services, whichcombine Cisco's professional and technical services expertise with those of a broad ecosystem of partners, allowing organizations to accelerate their cloud success and realize the full potential of cloud.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Keith Marshall Junior Year Highlight Reel

Video of Keith Marshall's junior year. I actually think this video is even more impressive than his senior year clips.

What are your thoughts?


Keith Marshall Senior Highlights Video


What's your reaction to these Keith Marshall highlights? I like the way the future Georgia Bulldog stutter steps to let the hole open before accelerating out. Also like that he runs with a nice lean forward. Not the biggest guy obviously, but he's got a tremendous toolset.


Keith Marshall to UGA (Video)

Video from

I really believe that there's nothing wrong with Isaiah Crowell that competition with a player of Keith Marshall's caliber can't fix.

Isaiah isn't the first freshman to struggle with toughness issues. Do you remember what Reggie Brown was like as a freshman? If he dropped a pass, he'd limp off the field or have to have the doctors and training staff come tote him off. Eventually, he found his toughness.

He's also not the first kid to come in with an attitude. Remember what Arnold Harrison was like in 2001 as a freshman? Getting into fights and being thrown out of games? Harrison turned into a solid leader for the program and ended up going from 1 star recruit to a spot with the Steelers for several years.

I'm thrilled to have Keith Marshall on board. His commitment is a good decision for Marshall, for UGA and for Crowell.

Having said all of that....the pressure is really on Coach Bryan McClendon. BMac did a great job of helping us secure the #1 running back in the country in consecutive years. Now, the Dawgnation eagerly awaits to see what he can make of this situation. Will his unit lead the team in arrests and shenanigans for the fourth straight year? Or will the RBs become a source of strength for the program?

What are your thoughts? What do you think is UGA's next highest priority for 2012 recruiting?


Upon Review: LSU

I could spend a whole week writing about the third quarter, but after watching the replay, there were a few things that really jumped out at me:

  • Our first string, on whole, is every bit as talented as theirs (this was a recurring theme in the 3 Questions comments). The flip side is they have that talent level on defense in some of the key second string places, particularly on the line.  I think we are getting close, but we aren't there yet.
  • Thinking about the above point, the S&C program has paid off. As much as I couldn't tell you what was wrong last year but to say look at them, I can't tell you what is working now, but look at them. For something quantitative, Georgia had 34 non-starters play, including Mason and Bogotay. LSU had 45 and didn't use but one kicker or QB.
  • Wow, did LSU ever find a way to neutralize the linebackers in the second half. Particularly on running plays. The first half they used their basic scheme to try and get holes and got stonewalled. In the second, LSU threw a couple of wrinkles in their blocking schemes that had Georgia confused. That was most obvious on the Ford run up the middle immediately after the second long Mathieu return. Ford literally dragged John Jenkins on his back from the line of scrimmage with no one else helping until Ford goes down after 7 yards, presumably from exhaustion. We can debate execution or coaching on our side, but you have to take your hat off to LSU's coaching for that adjustment.
  • The second Mathieu return was a thing of beauty. The first was a product of one miss, some questionable no calls, and a good return guy.  The second was as well run punt return as I have seen in a while. Perfect blocking and great vision. If I'm Georgia's special teams coach, I'm showing that...never mind.
Like I said, I could go on. LSU is the best team Georgia has faced since the 90's.  Too much is made of their 'lack' of offense. Their running game is a hidden gem. Yes, they aren't going to flash and dash you like Oregon or use one stud back like South Carolina, but they are strong, they block well and whomever is calling plays is good at getting into the mind of the other team and figuring out what works and making it happen.

Monday, December 5, 2011

The Pin Factory EHR

In 1776 Adam Smith explained to posterity how specialization increases productivity using the now famous example of a pin factory. While one master pin maker could turn out anywhere between 1 and 20 pins each day, going through all the steps involved in making pins all by himself, a specialized army of laborers, each fulfilling one step in the pin making process, could increase productivity more than two hundred fold and turn out almost 5000 pins per person per day. This would have the triple benefit of enriching the factory owner, creating jobs and making pins both affordable and widely available for consumers. What happened to the master pin maker, who used to make a very nice living when pins were expensive and hard to come by? He would most likely be employed in the factory to supervise the smooth flow and quality of the new pin mass production system. He would make sure that each laborer works at a speed appropriate for feeding the next laborer in line and he would probably sample a few pins here and there to make sure they are as sharp and sturdy as the ones he used to make in the olden days. When the master pin maker passes away a new supervisor would be hired, most likely one that has never made an entire pin before, but instead has a much better understanding of the production process. The profession of pin coordinator has been born.

Although Adam Smith put forward the notion of specialized labor, Henry Ford is customarily credited with the invention of the modern assembly line. Interestingly, Ford is attributing his invention to the observation of Chicago’s meat packing industry. It seems that while no two cows are identical, the butchering of animal life lends itself rather well to disassembly line methodology. Today, manufacturing assembly lines use human labor where it is cheap and in abundant supply, and are staffed with robotic machinery where human labor is expensive and/or scarce. In all cases the process is orchestrated and controlled by sophisticated computer software. This is why we are all able to purchase a car, chat on our cell phones and enjoy perpetually fresh slices of white bread in plastic bags, amongst many other wonderful things, which were once only available to the wealthy few.

Modern medical care is increasingly out of reach of most people. It is expensive, and adequate resources are scarce in many areas. Medical care also varies widely in quality, and the costs of production are anybody’s best guess, depending on geography, time of year and even workers vacation and education schedules. This is very much the same as making pins in the eighteen century. In all fairness, some specialization of labor has already occurred in medicine, but there is no coherent method of placing each worker in his/her station of the continuum of care, and there is no standard process by which workers hand off work from station to station. According to experts, this lack of orderly processing, along with the absence of quality control, is creating a terrible waste of resources and a flurry of defects in the finished products. If the advanced methodologies of modern day manufacturing are working so well for everything from cars to pins to cows, wouldn’t it make sense that we should at least try them in medicine?

Fortunately, we already have several pieces of the puzzle in the works. As mentioned above, we do have a certain degree of specialization in medical practice. We also have hospitals, which could function very much like factories, but as Clayton Christensen observes, most have no well-defined assembly lines. And then, of course, we still have the independent small shops that take piece-work home and operate without any standardized quality control. We also have the beginnings of computerized control systems in the form of Electronic Health Records (EHRs), which, according to John Halamka, are quickly moving from just bookkeeping software to dynamic coordination of processes, complete with encyclopedic knowledge of medicine and a good measure of artificial intelligence to devise and “enforce automated care plans”. 

The only thing left to do is to lay out proper assembly lines, and we don’t really need to think outside the box too much, because manufacturing has solutions for this dilemma as well. In modern industry, there are practically no factories that start out with raw materials and end up with a finished product. Instead, some factories concentrate on producing parts and others are built to receive parts and assemble them into useful products. Exact specifications for each part, to be followed by production lines and relied upon by assembly lines, make this geographically dispersed process possible. In health care, the primary care homes will serve as production centers, where people are constantly measured, tracked, tested and evaluated, so when they are finally shipped to a hospital for a procedure, the hospital knows immediately which assembly line to place them on and the omniscient EHR will control the most minute detail in the process, from medication dosing to incision size and implantable device brand and model, thus reducing both errors and costs. Once the hospital’s work is done, patients are released back to evaluation and management in production centers, and here is where the cyclical nature of health care differs from a typical manufacturing process, and this is why it is extremely important that EHRs be interconnected and preferably Cloud based to achieve a high degree of omnipresence.

Yes, there are many more details to be worked out, like emergencies, accidents and the exact specifications that an EHR should contain on each type of person. We will have to establish quality feedback loops between hospitals and primary care centers to continuously refine processes for both entity types, so basically the EHR will need to be able to adapt to, and learn from, new information, in a manner similar to IBM’s Watson software. Since people are not pins or even cars, the tolerance levels (allowed deviation from specs) will be high initially, so line workers will need to be highly skilled as well. In all likelihood physicians will be working those lines for the foreseeable future. As the learning control system improves, portions of work would be offloaded to less skilled resources and eventually to machines, and more significantly, entire tasks could be packaged into deterministic protocols and pushed out from expensive hospitals to the less skilled primary care production centers, which will further push the most trivial tasks to consumer owned devices.

Obviously, EHRs will prove to be the heart, brain and circulatory system, of the health care industry. As we speak, EHRs are increasingly being tasked with care coordination activities (not to be confused with continuity of care, or longitudinal care), which are the precursor to the industrial line controller. Folks wondering why they should use EHRs that are not ready for prime time, should understand that we have to have an EHR in every practice, so that the system can have visibility into current processes to learn, adapt, grow and devise new methods of providing care. After all, you cannot control that which you cannot see. 

If you think this is all farfetched and disastrous, please find a senior citizen that lived through the Great Depression and ask her what she thinks about dinner being prepared moths in advance in computer controlled industrial vats, thousands of miles away from home, pumped full of preserving chemicals, freeze dried, shrink wrapped and delivered by airplane to a football field size department store, with minimal human intervention, ending up in a small irradiation chamber in your home before it hits your dining table (or couch). Yet we all buy the stuff and feed it to our kids with no apologies, because it is cheaper, faster and more convenient than tenderly preparing beef stroganoff and baking pot pie at home, after work, every day. And neither grandma nor you can even fathom the handcrafting of pins by master artisans. Is health care really that much different?

3 Questions Answered: LSU

Well, yeah, you see, what it was was, yeah.
  1. Will our coaches coach like they need the win? For a half, they did. The on sides kick was pure evil Richt genius. Bobo had the defense on their heels. Grantham's D looked like they had the playbook. Then half time came, and Bobo got scared, Grantham's D looked like he didn't think they would actually run the ball. We kicked to the Honey Badger. Just an increadible turn of events. Some certainly can be attributed the the level of talent and coaching on the other side of the field. Some has to be attributed to Georgia's coaches getting out adjusted at the half. 
  2. Can we run the ball? "I don't want to talk about the running backs." Me either coach.
  3. Can the defense stand toe to toe with them? Well, we held them to less than 20 yards in the first half. They only gained 237 total, so they had an average 2nd half.  Still, the defense got gashed on the rush in the second half.  Not sure if (or maybe 'why') Jefferson needed to pass in the second half.  Talent wise, we are very close to them, especially in our starting 14 or 15 rotation. We are a progressing towards LSU in execution and coaching.  We are not there yet.  
Give LSU their due. They won the line of scrimmage in the second half and put points on the board when we no longer could. That is the mark of a great football team.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Dawgs to Face Michigan State in Outback Bowl

Kick off is 1pm Eastern on January 2nd from Raymond James Stadium in Tampa.  ABC will cover the game with Mike Tirico and Jon Gruden (who still won't be coaching in college by then) in the booth and Lisa Salters on the sideline..

Michigan State got a way worse deal than Georgia did in the bowl selections, with two teams they beat in the regular season (Wisconsin and Michigan) making BCS games.  Of course, they did lose to Wisconsin last night in the B!G championship game.

Very tough defensive team to face. More on that later.


Where Will Georgia Go Bowling?

No matter how the BCS Championship shakes out, LSU and Alabama are going to be BCS teams.  That leaves Arkansas, South Carolina and Georgia left for the CapitolOne, Outback and Cotton bowls. For purposes of discussion, I assume those three bowls wouldn't pick a 7-5 team over a 10 win team (and I am not sure they can by rule, now that I think about it).

The CapitolOne has first pick of SEC teams after BCS teams are off the table. Outback and Cotton pick next, working together.

Conventional wisdom has Arkansas going to Dallas for the Cotton.  There is no rule requiring a West team, but only Tennessee in 2001 and 2005 has played in the Cotton Bowl from the East since the SEC tie in started. The West just makes more sense, given proximity of fan base.

However, for that to happen, CapitolOne has to pick either Georgia or South Carolina over Arkansas. Do you think that'll happen?  I don't. It looks like the B!G rep will be Nebraska, so matching Bobby Petrino and Bo Penlini is a pretty compelling opportunity. If Michigan doesn't get a BCS bid, you can expect them to play in Orlando, by the way. There is a chance they pick Georgia, since we played in the SECC or South Carolina because they are stupid, but given the match-ups and getting a top 5-6 BCS ranked team, they'll pick Arky.

So that leaves the Outback and Cotton picking between Georgia and South Carolina. I don't have anything more than a hunch, but I think we'll go to Dallas and face Oklahoma.   If I am wrong, we'll face Michigan State (or Nebraska if they don't go to Orlando).

Where would you like us to go/see us going?

In the End

It'll take me a bit to re-watch the game and have any cogent analysis.  Just from my armchair perspective, there are places we have to improve to get to the next level.  Yes, Georgia deserved to be there.  Yes, LSU is all that and a bag of chips.  We stood toe to toe with them. Then they stopped screwing around and decided to get serious.

Last night was like thinking the really hot girl was finally ready to say yes to your advances, only to find out that her abusive 300lbs boyfriend was not only still in the picture, but he was on the way over. And she doesn't know it yet, but she is pregnant by some other dude. And your new car is on fire with your brand new computer in it. And your computer just downloaded a virus that writes your hard drive with chicken porn. 

It was gut wrenching.

Georgia got beaten by a better team last night. I am very proud to call this team my team. For the first time since the Alabama game, LSU's coaches were concerned. Unfortunately for Georgia, that great team did what great teams do when facing a very good opponent that has them on the ropes: figure it out and win.


Saturday, December 3, 2011


Artwork courtesy of @GovernorofDixie.


Final Thoughts on LSU

Well, I've gotten both sides of my mind clear.  A few other thoughts rolling around in my head:
  • Playing disciplined: The Vandy game illustrated what can happen if we don't keep our heads about us. They pulled off a fake punt, got free yards on dumb penalties, and nearly won the game because they got in our kitchen. Under no circumstances can we afford to just give LSU free yardage. We have to worry about making plays instead of looking to blow someone up. If it gets personal, show them up on the field with our play, not with some out of the way late hit or stupid attempt to get in their face. You don't have to 'show them' to get respect, especially if all you have to do is point at the score board post game.
  • Getting them to play undisciplined: I don't hold out a ton of hope over this. Even with the chippiness and the level of trash talk Mathieu brings to the game, the swagger is deserved. If...IF... we can do that, they are prone to lapses. Getting 15 free yards and a first down is huge. Getting them out of their game, even more so.
  • Special special teams: No Brad Wing rolling across the Outback like Quigley. No Honeybadger returns for TDs. No one hop behind the back laterals on fake FGs. No blocked kicks allowed. Butler and Walsh kicking like the NFL is watching.
  • Lesticles and the streak ending: Think about Miles' predilection for doing stuff that makes everyone but the dude that does motorcycle jumps on New Year's Eve gasp. The fake FG against Florida. Throwing to the end zone against Auburn. Telling Michigan no. At some point, his luck has to turn. 
Finally, if the Dawgs do win today, will that make LSU just another mediocre SEC East team?


Friday, December 2, 2011

3 Questions: LSU

I hope we a lot of this Saturday (Image: Hipple)
  1. Will our coaches coach like they need the win? If LSU is to be beaten, we have to keep them off balance. We need to figure out what we can exploit on their defense and use it like our best opening line at a singles convention. We can't be afraid to run a fake punt, if the situation warrants it. We can't allow the LSU QBs the time to drop back and find receivers without bringing pressure from multiple places. We have to take shots down field and get those CBs and safeties away from the running lanes. Can we make half time adjustments that'll provide opportunity for the win in the 4th Q?
  2. Can we run the ball? We don't have to run it much, but we have to make them respect that we can when we need to. Yes, we'll have to throw to win. We also have to run some to throw it. If we get 4+ yards per carry and the average number of carries, we'll have set new highs against LSU's defense for ypc and rushing yards in a game (~160 yards). If more than 50 of those yards come in the 4th Q, Georgia wins.
  3. Can the defense stand toe to toe with them? For all national whine about how ugly the LSU-Alabama game was, we SEC fans understand this: defense wins championships. The LSU-Alabama game might not be as exciting as a WACtastic match up like Oregon vs. Stanford. For my money, it is way more compelling. I don't think we'll be in a 9-6 ball game, but if we are very low scoring and close, I like our chances.  
Simple, huh? Just control the line of scrimmage, don't make mistakes and coach brave like bull. No problem.

40 Motivational Speeches in 2 Minutes



Georgia and LSU Comparisons

After doing the comparison of Arkansas and Georgia to prove a point, I decided to see how the six common opponents between Georgia and LSU matched up.

LSU Result 
UGA Result
LSU Off/Def
UGA Off/Def
Ole Miss
Mississippi State

So, with the exception of Mississippi State, LSU routinely blew out the common opponents. Looking at the yardage, though, it was much more evenly matched:

LSU Offensive Yardage: 399.3
LSU Defensive Yardage: 207.2
LSU Differential: + 192.1

UGA Offensive Yardage: 392.5
UGA Defensive Yardage: 208.5
UGA Differential: +184

The difference? A little of this and a little of that. Some special teams and defensive scores. Some awesome field field position, due to opportunistic defense, as well as strong punt and kick returns. Some facing depleted offenses at the right time, specifically Florida. As for the lower scores for Georgia in those games, certainly you can look at the offensive philosophy when we have a lead.

I don't know if there is anything I can take away from this, other than I think this game, on paper, is much closer to a push than 13.5 points.

What are your thoughts?


Thursday, December 1, 2011

Arkansas Compared to Georgia

One thing that has stuck with me this week is the obvious comparison between the SEC's two 10-2 teams. Both lost to very good teams. So, is it enough to say Arkansas dominated one of the teams Georgia lost to and be done with it? No. Not at all.

True, Arkansas dominated the Gamecocks, but that was South Carolina's second game without Lattimore. Furthermore, when you look at the other head to heads, the picture is very different. Georgia and Arkansas faced six common opponents:

Ark Result 
UGA Result
Ark Off/Def
UGA Off/Def
Ole Miss
South Carolina
Mississippi State
If you are keeping score at home, this is very, very close. Arkansas gained about 30 more yards per game. Georgia held the common opponents to nearly 70 yards per game less than Arkans`s did.  Both teams nearly lost to Vandy in Nashville.

One thing that keeps jumping out at me is the same thing we all have been harping on.  Georgia lost to South Carolina thanks to the unholy trifecta of Interception/Fumble/Fat Guy Fake Punt touchdowns. If any one of those three don't happen, Georgia wins. If Georgia wins South Carolina, there is a strong likelihood we'd not only be having a Game of the Century of the Week discussion, it is possible this would be for a berth in the national championship game. We allow any of those Saturday, it'll be Orlando or worse for the bowl.

To put it another way, if Vandy doesn't allow a 94 yard fumble return for a TD or could hit a field goal on October 29th, the whole Arkansas is way better than Georgia conversation is laughable.

It seems apparent to me that with Arkansas' schedule, Georgia would be no worse than 9-3, and more likely at least 10-2. We certainly belong in the best of the rest conversation. We'll find out Saturday if we might belong somewhere above that.

But if your argument is Arkansas beat South Carolina and Georgia couldn't, just know how dumb that sounds when you look at the match ups.

More Thoughts on LSU

I got my 'irrational exuberance' out of the way, so here is my irrational depression. We are going to lose to LSU on Saturday.  By. A. Lot.

Ok, I don't actually believe that. I think we can lose to them. By a lot. I just don't think that'll happen unless we give them that chance.. So much has been made of the comparisons between Georgia's 10-2 and Arkansas' 10-2.  Afterall, both teams' losses are to 10+ win teams. The rub is that The Hogs lost by to the number 1 and 2 teams in the nation.  That alone is proof that Georgia isn't in the 'best of the rest' talk with Arkansas.  For what it is worth, it is probably a fair comparison.

I'm concerned about special teams play. We've seen improvement the past couple of weeks, but remains to be seen if those are fixes or a product of the competition faced. If Melvin Ingram is good for a fake punt TD, imagine what Brad Wing can do. Visions of him running freely down the side line yelling 'a dingo ate your baby' while we blindly drop into punt return make me cringe.

I'm deathly concerned about fumbles. LSU could conduct a clinic for the NFL at creating turnovers, especially after the catch. If Georgia has any chance of winning this thing, we can't let any of Murray's completions become 22 yard arm punts on second down. Even if we create our own opportunities (Arkansas had one), we have to keep what we gain. It is hugely huge that we don't fumble during runs into the line of scrimmage.

Finally, how in the world we are going to handle 4 full quarters of smash mouth football. LSU is like Georgia Tech, but with a competent passing game and fewer chop blocks. They are going to run at us, then run some more. Jefferson has two awesome running backs to hand the ball to.  Oh, he can run himself (insert your own from the police joke here). And they can throw a little, too. Jenkins and Geathers and Smith and Tyson (if he can go) are going to be tested. Ware and Hilliard aren't quite Lattimore, but they are very good running backs.

This isn't a moral victory post. It would be awesome to play them tight and make them sweat, because very few people outside of Georgia thinks it can happen.  I'm going to be depressed if we lose Saturday, though. Especially if we just give them the win.


First Thoughts on LSU

We'll see some of this Saturday (Image: Hipple)
Well, it's Thursday. I've avoided putting this in words for long enough:  I think we are going to beat LSU on Saturday.

I know, it looks crazy on paper. It sounds crazier when you say it out loud. Hell, the voices in my head say it is crazy. I still think that is what will happen. Why?

Paul hit on it earlier. We're going to hit that one time. LSU is more talented. LSU is better coached. LSU has played more tough opponents. LSU has more maturity. LSU has more All-(fill in the blank) players. LSU has faced more adversity. But there is one thing LSU hasn't faced since Alabama: A game with impact. For ten weeks, we have played with everything on the line.

Others have gotten into match ups, but the one I keep coming back to is our offensive line versus their defensive line. I think we'll see some new plays, plays designed to keep them honest on the rtn blitz and plays that will help freeze the LB blitz and hard press rush from Mingo and Montgomery. I think we will be the only SEC team to score more than one offensive TD on them. I think we'll do that by halftime. Long live the no-huddle slow down offense.

Make no mistake about this, though. Murray has to be on his game. He has to take the hits and keep on going. Also, Bobo has to call the game of his life, not be afraid of letting Murray exploit the one place we will be able to (the one on one coverage Mitchell, Bennett, Charles and/or King will be getting), and take whatever they give. I don't think we will win on a fluke, either. I think we win the same way we won several times. We play strong defense, especially against the rush, get just enough points to make them get out of their comfort zone offensively, then basically play keep away for a quarter.

Finally, I'll address the sky is falling voices in my brain later. I know we have to not fumble, not give up a fake punt for a TD, or throw the Honey Badger a ball in the flats. I just feel good, right now, about none of those things happening.