Monday, April 30, 2012

Nationwide Tour Comes to Athens

The Stadion Classic at UGA will be played this week at the UGA Golf Course. The tournament primarily benefits need based schollys at UGA, but through the Tickets Fore CharityTM program, Athens area non-profits can benefit as well.  

If you are going and haven't bought your tickets yet, simply go here, select your charity of choice, and purchase. The options range from children advocacy organizations to local churches and the proceeds directly benefit the Athens area organization you select.


Sunday, April 29, 2012

Big Bad Legacy EHR Products

IBM "cloud" computing - circa 1975
There is no self-respecting innovator in Health Information Technology (HIT) who has not spoken or written about the horrific state of Legacy EHR products, which are slowly but surely being deployed in more and more health care facilities as a result of Meaningful Use incentives and changing reimbursement models. A couple of months ago I saw an EMR in a small practice. They’ve been using it for 15 years and it was a DOS based system with the ubiquitous neon green text glaring on a black and sometimes blue background. Aha! That must be a Legacy EMR, and sure enough the doctor was looking to replace it with a more modern product, but which one should he get now? After all, the last thing you’d want is to have him buy yet another Legacy EMR.

According to, a Legacy system is a “computer system or application program which continues to be used because of the cost of replacing or redesigning it and often despite its poor competitiveness and compatibility with modern equivalents. The implication is that the system is large, monolithic and difficult to modify”.  Well that little DOS EMR was anything but large and monolithic, but nobody was going to invest a penny in redesigning it, and competitiveness wasn’t a term that came to mind when you looked at it, and replacing it is sure going to be an expensive proposition. The DOS EMR is definitely out then. The only question remaining is what it should be replaced with. Which EMRs in the marketplace should be avoided since they are truly Legacy EMRs sold under false premises to unsuspecting buyers? Well, it depends on who you ask.

You could separate the various EHR constituencies based on programming technology (e.g. MUMPS vs. .NET), based on promotional labels (e.g. Cloud hype vs. everything else), based on software architecture (e.g. integrated vs. modular), and a host of other technical criteria, most of which are overlapping to various degrees. A much clearer and natural separation occurs if you divide Health Information Technology (HIT) companies into two groups: those who have lots of customers and those who don’t. According to the latter, the former are all peddling Legacy systems. It seems that a veritable tsunami of innovation is building up outside the infamous walled gardens of existing, Legacy EHR vendors, threatening to bring those walls down any minute now.

As with any worthwhile technology innovators, the newcomers to the EHR marketplace have brilliant Silicon Valley pedigrees and beautiful Web 2.0 style websites, along with iPhone/iPad/Android native (i.e. client/server proprietary) apps to complement, or even supersede, the web offering. Actually using an “old fashioned” computer or laptop is starting to feel a bit Legacy in and of itself. The innovative products themselves can be divided into two categories as well: full-fledged EHRs and a variety of self-contained pieces, or modules, of what is currently considered a complete EHR. [Note: I am not including products like athenahealth here, since they are not new, do have a respectable customer base, and had no disruptive effects on the rest of the market.]

The innovative new EHRs are all Cloud-based, intuitive and easy to use, built from scratch by user-centered designers, and are offered at a fraction of current prices, or so the ads say. These are the Southwest Airlines of health care, coming in below market pricing, with bare-bones, friendly solutions for the non-customer segment and they have two insurmountable problems. First, almost none of them are actually below market price, which in the ambulatory sector stands now at about $500 per provider/per month for a fully loaded, gold-standard integrated EHR and practice management solution. This is an extremely difficult number to beat. Second, even a bare-bones solution should have all the bones. My guess is that Southwest Airlines would not exist today if their first flight service consisted of boarding passengers in Houston and then proceeding to cheerfully shove them out of the aircraft 150 miles outside of Dallas, expecting them to arrange for their own transportation into the city. And yet, this seems to be the preferred model of our innovative HIT products, and as ePocrates (a household name in health care), painfully discovered, there are no customers lining up for this type of experience no matter how innovative it is touted to be.

In the meantime the Legacy EHR market seems to be thriving, and no, the recent Allscripts misfortune (or mismanagement) is not an indication of an impending disaster any more than this year’s snowfall in Texas is a sign of global cooling. The reason for this seemingly inexplicable prosperity is threefold: a) the government is subsidizing EHR purchase b) there are no viable alternatives to existing products c) innovation is occurring within the established market leaders. Let’s look for example at one of the more popular ambulatory EHRs, which shall remain unnamed. A few short years ago, the product consisted of a basic integrated EMR/practice management system, with very few bells and whistles and lots of bugs. Today, the product comes with a solid Patient Portal with iPhone apps for patients, a full featured disease registry, an iPad version, natural language processing, disconnected mode operations, peer-to-peer communications, and of course a much improved EHR and all sorts of other features and modules. I don’t know about other folks, but somehow this does not seem like a Legacy product to me, and there are a few more just like this one. There may be Legacy products out there, but today’s top selling EHRs do not fit the description.

A very unfortunate side effect of the forced march to HIT innovation is the confusion created by the constant barrage of misleading statements from the various Southwest Airlines wannabes. I sometimes wonder if these new folks have ever seen an EHR, let alone use one or participate in building one. A quality EHR is much more than a handful of rudimentary web pages allowing patients to communicate with providers, no matter how loud and trendy the consumer movement is. A modular architecture is much more than a collection of disparate bits of software interfaced together with duct tape, no matter how standardized the duct tape is. There is a reason why the new iEHR for the VA and DoD was allocated $4 Billion for development over five to six years. There is a reason why it took Kaiser about the same amount of time and money to take Epic from its original state to the powerhouse product it is today. There is no room for Southwest Airlines type of innovation in an industry where the routes, the meals, the fuel and the seating arrangements are regulated by the Federal Government. Innovation is coming and will continue to come from within the established systems, NASA style.

So if you are still looking to replace that little DOS EMR, or an aging and no longer supported practice management system, find a good size EHR vendor, with a hefty customer base, who develops its software in-house, instead of randomly buying shiny things, and hitch your wagon to theirs. It will not be a perfect ride because there are no perfect rides, but it will get you where you need to be. There are no miracles, there will be no miracles, and every day you waste looking for one, will make it harder to catch up, because whether we like it or not, whether it is a smart thing or not, health care is moving up the IT escalator at a very brisk pace. It’s too late for partial, gradual or “lite” solutions. The time for dabbling with a little electronic prescribing and a little email, has long since passed. You’re either all in, or all out, and your patients desperately need you to be all in.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Georgia Basketball Recruiting

I have kept relatively quiet on this blog (although not on the hoops board) about my thoughts regarding Fox's recruiting.  Why?  Because it's not a simple topic. It requires a longer post than I've been interested in writing.

Let's start with the positive
The 2012 class has a few nice players in Charles Mann, Kenny Gaines and Brandon Morris.  They are more athletic and explosive than some of our recent signees, and they are going to help us down the road.  Charles Mann in particular is intriguing given his height and size to potentially play PG.

However, the big man recruiting continues to be an absolute dumpster fire.

Rather than jump into why things are they are...I would first strongly encourage you to read Dean Legge's article about Fox's AAU recruiting.  It's a must read if you follow this topic. Having read that...let's talk about Fox's recruiting overall.

Let's start with the Korey McCray issue. The worst thing for Fox was to have Parker sign with UCLA.  He would've been much better off had he inked with Kansas or Duke.  Inking with UCLA and Korey McCray says loudly what I've been saying quietly for a while which is...

Fox's recruiting struggles are entirely avoidable. 
And they are entirely of his own creation.

As you probably know by know, Korey is an assistant coach with UCLA.  As Dean Legge said, Korey grew up playing AAU ball in Atlanta 20 years ago.  He has been in and around the basketball scene in this state for almost his entire life.

He played his college ball for Mark Slonaker at Mercer and coached with Slonaker at Mercer before later working as a graduate assistant at FSU.  Slonaker is currently the radio color man for UGA and one of our top fundraisers for athletics. So, it's not like UGA didn't know who Korey was.

Korey has a masters degree in Adult Education from FSU, and his undergrad is from Mercer.  He has also been the CEO and Head Coach at various times for the bulk of the past 10 years with the Atlanta Celtics...the state's premier AAU program which his father founded in 1990.

I was told years ago by a reliable source that Korey began lobbying for an assistant coaching position at UGA before Coach Felton was terminated.  Over the subsequent years, he was apparently not offered an opportunity to coach at UGA so he packed his bags for UCLA.  At UCLA he pulled two of the top prospects from this state's recruiting class in Jordan Adams (4 stars) and Tony Parker (5 stars). 

Various reports have said unequivocally that Jordan Adams, a one time a UGA prospect, would not have signed with UCLA had Korey McCray not been on staff.  Following the Tony Parker press conference last week, I was told that Parker spent more time talking about McCray than he did talking about head coach Ben Howland.

Why bring that up now?
We hired a coach from Nevada with zero ties to the Southeastern US.  His first hire of Phillip Pearson was smart.  Coach Pearson has Gottfried's top recruiter at Alabama, and was known in the area.  His second hire was Stacey Palmore from Va Tech.  Palmore, a hard worker, was the top recruiter at Virginia Tech with some responsibilities for Atlanta.

Let's just pause right here.  Quickly name all the great VT basketball players over the past 10 years.  Being the best recruiter at a school that lacks any real recruiting juice, isn't exactly the kind of resume you need to blast open an ATL to Athens talent pipeline. And the crazy thing...various reports suggest Palmore is our top recruiter.

Fox's other hires are Kwanza Johnson who has great ties to Oklahoma and Nevada recruiting. And his Director of Operations is Kent Davidson.  Davidson's last job was head basketball coach of the Qatar National team.  Prior to that he was head coach for 10 seasons in the NBA Development League. recruiting ties to the Southeast.

Fox is a very strong X and Os guy.  But you can't make chicken salad without chicken.

So there sits Korey McCray.  Korey apparently isn't good enough for UGA, but he's good enough for UCLA.  Wrap your head around that briefly. Then step back and think...why in the hell would you not want to hire a smart, charismatic young coach, with a Masters Degree who has known the state's top recruits and their parents since they were around 12 years old.

In case you are curious, Shaq Goodwin also played for the Celtics.

My question isn't...."Why didn't we hire Korey McCray?  My question is...why haven't we hired THREE Korey McCrays."  The blue print is right there. There's nothing remotely sleazy about it.  It's common  sense.

Until Fox staffs for recruiting excellence, he'll recruit at his current pace.

Fox's recruiting overall is NOT terrible.  
It's just not good enough quickly enough.

The current recruiting pace won't blast the ceiling off this program.  Additionally, Fox's life is about to get much tougher with Frank Martin at South Carolina. The Gamecocks don't have the in state talent base to win at the level Martin will demand, and he is known as a bare knuckles recruiter.  SC can't go north for talent, and they can't go East.  If they want players, Martin will have to come through Georgia and likely directly to Atlanta.  Just like every other coach within 500 miles is doing.

Fox made progress with this class, and he does deserve credit for signing Kentavious Caldwell-Pope.  But he hasn't made enough progress fast enough to break away from the pack.  Something has to change and it has to change fast, or he will have no one to blame but himself at his exit interview.

I'm pulling for the guy because I like his offense, and because hiring his replacement would be a nightmare.  But it is what it is.  He's got to step it up.


Friday, April 27, 2012

Mark Richt, Poker Player

Aces didn't lose...this time. (Image: Hipple)
No, I don't think Coach Richt plays poker, you know with casting lots and whatnot. However, as a poker player, it is easy for me to see what type of player Coach Richt would be. He is a NIT. 

For those not into poker lingo, go here. In fact, I'd say he is a Super NIT. He plays premium hands, won't bet to force someone to make a bad decision even when he knows he's got the best of it, and will fold the second he thinks his hand has been beat, regardless of situation or reasoning. He doesn't do anything differently in hopes his big hands won't lose.

He plays to not lose.  

We saw that at it's best and worst at the Outback Bowl. The offense was unspectacular in the first half, save one 80 yard play and a drive that ended in a missed blocking assignment on 4th down inside Michigan State's five.  The defense was spectacular and more, scoring a safety, having a hand in the punt return TD, and holding Michigan State on their side of mid-field the entire first half.  In the first half, Georgia rode the strength of their defense and outside a couple of home runs, didn't take any down field shots against the rest of the half. 

Look at that paragraph. Two shots down field, 140 of Georgia's 210 yards in the first half came on two plays. You may ask, what does it matter, Georgia's defense had the Spartans strangled. 16-0, bitches. Can't get the ball up-field past us.

Except they did.  

Georgia came out, ran the ball and dared Michigan State to catch up. Like a NIT who is ahead, but won't bet the flop, Georgia just checked and called. We had a winner, right?

So the second half happened and we saw the defense get figured out some. Grantham's bunch still played fairly well, but not nearly as well as they did in the first half. For one, Kirk Cousins threw the ball over twice as much in the second half, with Michigan State recognizing that the short swing passes and the running plays weren't working (and recognizing the underneath drag routes that had vexed Georgia early in the season were still vexing, especially on one side of the defense). 

Georgia for its part, kept running the ball into the middle of the defense that was top ten nationaly in rush defense. We rushed the ball 15 times in the first half, compared to 20 in the second half. That accounted for 32 of our 51 yards rushing. If you are doing the math, that is a drop off of over a yard per carry. The long down field passes? Nothing doing. Bad shit goes down when you throw deep. To Michigan State's credit, they ramped up the pressure on Murray, which wasn't hard to do (I did promise snark). However, we didn't give any looks to the TEs or the RBs in the second half. Our counter to the strong pass rush was more running? 

We became as vanilla as could be at the worst possible time. In poker parlance, we checked and called all the way down hoping our winner would stand up.

Just maddening. Our coaches are if nothing else, consistent. We'd won all season running the ball late into games and asking our defense to win. In that regard, we'd done ok with that strategy. Not in Tampa. Michigan State drew out on us because we didn't put them away with a little gambling.

Even his reasoning for the place kicking was NITy. He went with the 'safe' call by asking Blair to go back out. My thoughts on that remain the same and were elocuted much better and at more length by Michael Elkon (h/t Blutarsky).

I do know that if Coach Richt did play poker, I feel pretty confident I could tell you what his cards are within a one or two hand range every time. I also feel comfortable he'd let me (and the table) draw to my hands, because he wouldn't want to get burned win a strong hand.  In that way, football coaching and poker  takes some gamble. However with football, you can control your cards a bit with recruiting. 

We keep hoping Coach Richt will coach differently. The sample size is large enough to say he won't. Can he recruit the players it'll take to win it all playing his style of football? I don't know.


Editorial note: I wrote this post within 24 hours of the Outback Bowl, but decided not to post it. After spending the last three weeks pondering why I haven't felt like writing about football, it seemed this was pretty on point, at least in regard to last season. I simply updated the grammar to reflect the passage of time.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Sometimes I Doubt Your Commitment to Sparkle Motion

Yeah, it has been three weeks.  I know.  I'd feed you a line about how busy I've been, what is going on, and life getting in the way, but frankly it is trite excuse making, the kind that has led to my malaise about writing. I haven't written because I haven't felt like it.

I've go the blahs. Not that I don't think Georgia athletics are necessarily blah. I remain as irrationally excited about them as ever.  However, the past month has also dealt a cold dose of reality to me:

  • Unless we change our drug testing policy to either do what we want it to, really keeping athletes from smoking the reefer, or change our policy directives, we are just hurting the program and the athletes.
  • Basketball recruiting is broken or was never fixed.
  • Gymnastics has fallen off and isn't on the direction it needs to be for us to continue to be viewed as The Program in the sport.
  • The baseball program has talent, but Perno continues to make crazy decisions and throw his players under the bus when those decisions don't work out.
  • Lady's basketball peaked eight to ten years ago.

  • The only bright spots this spring have been how well tennis is doing and the incredible football recruiting class that is shaping up for football, especially if five to seven of the early commits enroll early. And Bubba Watson winning The Masters. I don't care who you are, if you are a Dawg fan and don't get excited about that story, you have a lump of German Industripop music where your heart is.

    Now that I've gotten that off my chest. On to the Kentucky Derby. And some snark.

    Friday, April 20, 2012

    Exploring the Trends in Global Business Communications

    Today, most important executive relationships are globally distributed, but many business leaders still say that they want more collaboration in person. Particularly during activities such as brainstorming for new ideas, managing a specific crisis or making presentations. This is among the key findings from a new Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) survey.

    While the primary function of meetings is to build relationships with customers, some 89 percent of EIU survey respondents say communications where the parties can see and respond to each other benefit internal business functions such as employee coaching and training as well as communications with partners and customers.

    An additional 43 percent of respondents use meetings to discuss and resolve major issues with customers such as a service or product failure or dissatisfaction with the partnership. Motivations for expanding these meetings also include contract renewals, brainstorming sessions and being introduced to other clients or customers within the organization.

    This EIU survey, sponsored by Cisco, explores the challenges of global enterprise collaboration and the perceived value of different types of business communications -- including telephone, instant messaging, email and conferencing.

    Survey respondents were also asked their views on what business processes can be most impacted through in-person interaction as well as on potential productivity gains through these efforts.

    The 862 global senior executives surveyed identified a number of key trends in business communications. These insightful findings include:

    Face time is a priority -- When it comes to different stakeholders, business leaders attach greater importance to in-person meetings with customers than with colleagues, partners or suppliers. More than half (54%) of respondents to an Economist Intelligence Unit survey said they see meetings with customers as having the greatest impact on their business. This need for face time relates to how most respondents (56%) ranked the most important aspect of business collaboration: determining audience engagement and focus.

    Email is getting in the way -- Business leaders in all categories cite email as the primary tool used in collaborating with colleagues, partners and customers (as much as 66% for senior managers) with the telephone identified as the second most-used business communication tool (25%). However, neither text nor voice alone was cited as the best option in communicating critical information in a global business.

    Motivations for more meetings differ regionally -- Asked to pick their strongest motivation for meetings with colleagues outside of their own office, respondents from Asia-Pacific and Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) are most interested in resolving a problem quickly. However, U.S. business leaders are motivated more by cost reductions in meetings with colleagues. Non-U.S. respondents are also more interested in generating better long-term relationships during their meetings with partners and customers.

    Industry dictates motivations as well -- In meeting with business partners or suppliers, respondents in the consumer goods industry are most likely to meet face to face to give or receive direction, while business leaders in energy/transportation, technology and services are most likely to meet to generate better long-term relationships. Respondents in other industries are most likely to meet with partners to be motivated or inspired.

    To supplement the survey, the EIU hosted a roundtable discussion with two industry leaders, Joan Parsons, head of U.S. banking for Silicon Valley Bank, and Morten Hansen, a management professor at the University of California Berkeley School of Information and co-author of the book, Great by Choice, about their perspectives on business communications.
    An analysis of the findings will be included as part of a EIU video webcast on April 24th, sponsored by Cisco Systems, Inc.

    Monday, April 16, 2012

    Five Megatrends are Driving the Personal Cloud Era

    If you believe that you've had to learn more about the safe online operation and ongoing management of your PC than you ever wanted to know, then you'll be pleased to discover that there's relief on the horizon. According to the latest market study by Gartner, the reign of the personal computer is coming to an apparent close. By 2014, the personal cloud will replace the personal computer -- and this transition will likely include greater use of media tablets, chromebooks or other similar devices.

    Gartner analysts said the personal cloud will become the foundation for a new era that will provide users with an increased level of flexibility with the devices they use for daily activities -- leveraging the strengths of each device, ultimately enabling new levels of user satisfaction and productivity.

    However, Garner says that it will require enterprise IT leaders and their staff to fundamentally rethink how they deliver applications and services to their end-users.

    Seeking New Fundamental Ways to Achieve Goals

    "Major trends in client computing have shifted the market away from a focus on personal computers to a broader device perspective that includes smartphones, tablets and other consumer devices," said Steve Kleynhans, research vice president at Gartner.

    He says that emerging cloud computing services will become the glue that connects the various digital devices that people will choose to use during the different aspects of their daily life.

    "Many call this era the post-PC era, but it isn't really about being after the PC, but rather about a new style of personal computing that frees individuals to use computing in fundamentally new ways to improve multiple aspects of their work and personal lives," said Kleynhans.

    Transition is Defined by a Series of Megatrends

    Several driving forces are combining to create this new era. Gartner believes that these "megatrends" have roots that extend back through the past decade, but are aligning in a new way:

    1. Consumerization -- Gartner has discussed the consumerization of IT for the better part of a decade, and has seen the impact of it across various aspects of the corporate IT world. However, much of this has simply been a precursor to the major wave that is starting to take hold across all aspects of information technology as several key factors come together:
    • Users are more technologically savvy and have very different expectations of technology.
    • The Internet and social media have empowered and emboldened users.
    • The rise of powerful, affordable mobile devices changes the equation for users.
    • Users have become innovators.
    • Through the democratization of technology, users of all types and status within organizations can now have similar technology available to them.

    2. Virtualization -- it has improved flexibility and increased the options for how IT organizations can implement client environments. Virtualization has, to some extent, freed applications from the peculiarities of individual devices, operating systems or even processor architectures. Virtualization provides a way to move the legacy of applications and processes developed in the PC era forward into the new emerging world. This provides low-power devices access to much-greater processing power, thus expanding their utility and increasing the reach of processor-intensive applications.

    3. Software App-ification -- When the way that applications are designed, delivered and consumed by users changes, it has a dramatic impact on all other aspects of the market. These changes will have a profound impact on how applications are written and managed in corporate environments. They also raise the prospect of greater cross-platform portability as small user experience (UX) apps are used to adjust a server- or cloud-resident application to the unique characteristics of a specific device or scenario. One application can now be exposed in multiple ways and used in varying situations by the user.

    4. The Self-Service Cloud -- The advent of the cloud for servicing individual users opens a whole new level of opportunity. Every user can now have a scalable and nearly infinite set of resources available for whatever they need to do. The impacts for IT infrastructures are stunning, but when this is applied to the individual, there are some specific benefits that emerge. Users' digital activities are far more self-directed than ever before. Users demand to make their own choices about applications, services and content, selecting from a nearly limitless collection on the Internet. This encourages a culture of self-service that users expect in all aspects of their digital experience. Users can now store their virtual workspace or digital personality online.

    5. The Mobility Shift -- Today, mobile devices combined with the cloud can fulfill most computing tasks, and any tradeoffs are outweighed in the minds of the user by the convenience and flexibility provided by the mobile devices. The emergence of more-natural user interface experiences is making mobility practical. Touch- and gesture-based user experiences, coupled with speech and contextual awareness, are enabling rich interaction with devices and a much greater level of freedom. At any point in time, and depending on the scenario, any given device will take on the role of the user's primary device -- the one at the center of the user's constellation of devices.

    Wednesday, April 11, 2012

    G-Day is Saturday

    There are three things I am looking for on Saturday.

    1. What the rotation at LB and DB will be. With the issues in the defensive backfield, especially for the first two (and maybe longer) games, how will Grantham work in the LBs and those guys that can take a couple of steps back into safety or other nickel back types of schemes.
    2. What running back or backs will stand out in protecting the QBs? The one sure advantage Crowell has over any other running back vying for the staring job is a full year hearing about how his blocking has to improve. Will it?
    3. Will any receiver impress? This kind of ties into number 1 in that Mitchell's utilization on defense is likely to take something away from his duties at WR. Will we see any combination of Conley, Scott-Wesley, or Wyatt really step up? Same goes for watching Rome and Artie Lynch at TE.
    I'm making no prediction on the offense vs. defense or anything like that. If GDay has taught us anything, don't expect a whole lot of slinging it up and down the field. For that matter, just keeping the defense from metaphorically killing the QB with the new look offensive line will be a surprise now that I think about it.

    Hope to see you there Saturday.

    Monday, April 9, 2012

    Why Big Data Applications Adoption is Accelerating

    Big Data applications have gained new momentum in the marketplace, as the benefits of working with larger and larger data sets enables analysts to spot key business-related trends. International Data Corporation (IDC) released a worldwide forecast of Big Data opportunities, noting that the market is expected to grow from $3.2 billion in 2010 to $16.9 billion in 2015.

    This represents a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 40 percent -- or about 7 times that of the overall Information and Communications Technology (ICT) market.

    "The Big Data market is expanding rapidly as large IT companies and start-ups vie for customers and market share," said Dan Vesset, program vice president, Business Analytics Solutions at IDC.

    IDC believes that for business technology buyers, opportunities exist to use Big Data solutions to improve operational efficiency and to drive innovation. Use cases are already present across industries and geographic regions.

    "There are also Big Data opportunities for both large IT vendors and start ups," Vesset continued. "Major IT vendors are offering both database solutions and configurations supporting Big Data by evolving their own products as well as by acquisition. At the same time, more than half a billion dollars in venture capital has been invested in new Big Data technology."

    Findings from the latest IDC market study include:

    • While the five-year CAGR for the worldwide market is expected to be nearly 40 percent, the growth of individual segments varies from 27.3 percent for servers and 34.2 percent for software to 61.4 percent for storage.
    • The growth in appliances, cloud services, and outsourcing deals for Big Data technology will likely mean that over time end users will pay increasingly less attention to technology capabilities and will focus instead on the business value arguments. System performance, availability, security, and manageability will all matter greatly. However, how they are achieved will be less of a point for differentiation among vendors.
    • Today there is a shortage of trained Big Data technology experts, in addition to a shortage of analytics experts. This labor supply constraint will act as an inhibitor of adoption and use of Big Data technologies, and it will also encourage vendors to deliver Big Data technologies as cloud-based solutions.

    "While software and services make up the bulk of the market opportunity through 2015, infrastructure technology for Big Data deployments is expected to grow slightly faster at 44 percent CAGR. Storage, in particular, shows the strongest growth opportunity, growing at 61.4 percent CAGR through 2015," said Benjamin S. Woo, program vice president, Storage Systems at IDC.

    The significant growth rate in revenue is underscored by the large number of new open source projects that drive infrastructure investments.

    Focus on Big Data Deployment Methodology

    IDC methodology for sizing the Big Data technology and services market includes evaluation of current and expected deployments that follow one of the following three scenarios:

    1. Deployments where the data collected is over 100 terabytes (TB). IDC is using data collected, not stored, to account for the use of in-memory technology where data may not be stored on a disk.
    2. Deployments of ultra-high-speed messaging technology for real-time, streaming data capture and monitoring. This scenario represents Big Data in motion as opposed to Big Data at rest.
    3. Deployments where the data sets may not be very large today, but are growing very rapidly at a rate of 60 percent or more annually.

    Additionally, IDC requires that in each of these three scenarios, the technology is deployed on scale-out infrastructure and deployments that include either two or more data types or data sources or those that include high-speed data sources such as click-stream tracking or monitoring of machine-generated data.

    Our Master's Champion

    I don't think there is anything I can add to the pure joy of Bubba winning the Masters. He is everything you want in an representative of UGA. Wears his heart and his faith on his sleeve. He is Red and Black to the core.

    And all he does is win.

    Anyway, I just saw this and thought it was too good not to post it.

    My only wish is they would have let Uncle Vern do the honors in Butler Cabin last night.


    Sunday, April 1, 2012

    Hypothetical: Tofu at the Broccoli Court

    The year is 2018 and President Tofu is fortunate to have a majority in both houses of Congress. America elected President Tofu when it became weary of partisan politics and developed a taste for a President with no preconceived notions and fully capable of absorbing the flavors of whatever surrounds him at the moment; a pragmatic, businesslike President for tough and fast-changing times. American small businesses are still hurting from the lingering effects of the Great Recession, but its larger bastions of business savvy are thriving in a booming global economy bringing cheap products to the impoverished masses armed with $5 cell phones, $10 netbooks and empowered by a Khan universal education system (the other Khan, not Genghis).

    Many Americans are also benefiting from this expansion in some ways. For example, after the 2016 passage of the historical and liberating Student Protection and Affordable Education Act (SPAEA), many parents decided to take advantage of the Khan system, now owned and selflessly maintained by Google, and use the Government Education Voucher (GEV, pronounced give), minus the $15 for a cell phone and netbook for each child, to pay for the mandated health insurance penalty of 2010, thus breaking even on child mandates. This trend caught on like wildfire after some knucklehead libertarian tweet went viral on every social media outlet practically overnight, as a suggested measure to counteract the Constitutional, but still unpopular individual mandate to buy health insurance.

    America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) did not take very kindly to this popular trend, since most folks buying health insurance from US Health were now either elderly or sick. It should be noted that the other three health insurance providers, Liberty Health which insures elected public servants, Glamour Health which insures most sports and entertainment personalities and the Health Division of Goldman Sachs which provides discrete insurance to industry captains, were not affected by this phenomena, limited to some sectors of the currently or previously wage earning class. Most workers though, were provided health insurance through self-funded multi-national employers, as part of their wages. Unlike the misguided Liberal government of Mexico, who struck down in 2012 an early attempt by Walmart to pay their Mexican employees with store vouchers, the pragmatic administration of President Tofu, welcomed the business oriented solution of paying American workers with vouchers for the company health insurance store.

    Seeing how by definition President Tofu found himself in close proximity to US Health executives, some since early childhood, he absorbed the pain and suffering caused to this worthy corporate citizen and decided that something must be done to ensure that elderly and sick Americans can afford US Health premiums and Khan Academy freeloaders don’t dump their health care costs on the rest of society. There were several options for President Tofu and his administration. He could have mandated that GEV should be spent at one of the few private prep schools, but that would impose undue burden on those brilliantly elite institutions of education, who were also very close to President Tofu’s heart. He could have mandated that all Americans not otherwise covered by health insurance, must purchase insurance from US Health at the ongoing premium rates, but some lesser representatives in his Party were deeply concerned with backlash from voters in the upcoming midterm elections, and President Tofu as close as he was with his colleagues, immediately absorbed their pain as well. Luckily there was another way out of this impasse.

    In the summer of 2018, the landmark Life Protection and Perpetual Health Act (LPPHA) was passed in both houses with crushing bi-partisan support, and signed by the ever smiling President Tofu into law. Americans were very happy with this legislation, since all media outlets were running headlines informing the people that Congress in its wisdom is now guaranteeing health and long life for every American by 2020. For the skeptical 2012 audience, no, President Tofu was not miraculously transformed into a futuristic Indiana Jones marching out of the crumbling ancient temple with the magic challis in his raised hands, but science, particularly statistical analytics, has advanced to new heights in 2018, partially fueled by Khan Academy graduates.

    A RAND corporation study conducted in December 2017, at the behest of a global retail industry giant, clearly showed that Americans employed by multi-national corporations are healthier and projected to have a much longer quality adjusted life expectancy than their peers who were not paid with company store vouchers. After careful adjustments of all measures designed to infer worker health status from corporate economic indicators, RAND concluded that multi-national workers and their dependents have a whopping 92 quality adjusted life years expectancy, thus leaving all OECD Socialized medicine countries in the dust. Other than using innovative study measures, clearly the multi-national corporations have identified the secret sauce to long life and perpetual health. In a follow-up study commissioned by AHIP, RAND identified the preventive health measures taken by self-funded employers as the indisputable cause for the longevity and excellent health of their charges.

    Thus the LPPHA contained several provisions to spread the health amongst the rest of the Nation, which would dramatically reduce US Health costs and significantly contain taxpayer expenses for those who chose the 2012 penalty over buying health insurance. At the heart of the LPPHA (or PHA, pronounced phe or F), was a mandate for all citizens to purchase body weight, physical activity and happiness monitors, sold and administered by the corporation insuring their health. Since, most citizens insured by multi-nationals were already purchasing those monitors at the company store, as required by their employer, and since workers’ poor health clearly affects Commerce, and since all Commerce now is at least interstate Commerce, this seemed to be a very logical provision and its benefits to the millions of sedentary, overweight and demoralized Americans were self-evident. Hence the monitoring mandate gained enormous public support, according to the media. Of course, the Government would provide subsidies to those who cannot afford to pay for their own monitors, and monitors would be free to households under 200% FPL, which is really most of the unmonitored citizenry. In order to uphold the monitoring mandate a clever penalty will be imposed, modeled after the large employer health insurance rules, where people with a larger than the approved Body Mass Index (BMI), and/or a smaller than indicated daily activity level, and/or larger than normal depression quotient (as defined by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force), would have to pay a penalty proportional to their income levels. Exceptions and voluntary drug treatment options are available for all categories.

    For a fleeting moment after the beautiful ceremony of the LPPHA signing, by an obviously trim, fit and happy President Tofu, there were some thoughts in some old Liberal quarters that perhaps the LPPHA is unconstitutional and should be challenged in Court, but apprehensions died down quickly after experts read the 4562 pages of the statute and found that the Federal Government is not forcing us to buy broccoli. And America lived happily ever after. The End.