Jim Robbins, the Harvard-educated president of one of the nation's largest cable companies, was in southern California on a business trip when he decided to check his voice mail and got the stunning news that America Online had agreed to merge with Time Warner. The deal was not only the largest of its kind but one that promises to reshape how executives in a wide range of telecommunications businesses view the concept of convergence.
Next-generation signal processor technology for wireless communications is the focus of a unique research center. The Atlanta-based StarCore Technology Center combines the pooled assets of Motorola Incorporated's semiconductor products sector and Lucent Technologies' microelectronics group.
A set of software and algorithms developed to identify criminal activity in the gambling industry is now available to the federal government to help detect employee fraud and collusion. The system correlates data from a variety of sources to shed light on questionable personal relationships and transactions. In the federal sector, this system's potential uses cover internal security, background investigations and intelligence gathering.
Companies that have made their millions-and billions-in the guts and brains of information technology products are spreading their techno-tentacles into e-commerce through the gap between operation and application services. They are not leaving the world of hardware behind but rather are ensuring that their companies will continue to prosper by infusing their technical expertise into the space between the transmitter and the receiver of e-commerce messages.
The extraordinary growth of the U.S. economy since the mid-1990s has financial analysts loath to make predictions about the future and grasping for ways to assess and measure the very impetus contributing to the phenomenon-the pervasiveness of information technology. Business and government officials agree that technology has played a significant part in spurring on the sustained period of economic prosperity-from its contribution to manufacturing to its role in consumer purchasing to the impact on the work force. But success brings with it certain challenges. Companies as well as governments, while excited about today's bounty, are scrambling to address those challenges before the bubble bursts.
For Anthony K. Robbins, building a billion-dollar business is about more than high performance. Indeed, as the president of SGI's recently launched federal business subsidiary, success depends on generating images such as realistic battle scenes and high-resolution relays from outer space.
A former niche technology will greatly improve how military and commercial organizations stock and track supplies and products. The system permits the identification of equipment fitted with radio frequency devices known as tags. This capability allows quartermasters to know a cargo container's contents immediately as it enters a theater of operation. Inventory information can then be fed into a database to follow incoming parts and equipment shipments, allowing commanders to react quickly to demand spikes.
After several years of depressed revenues, the telecommunications industry is poised to recover in 2005, experts say. Rebounding from the historic lows of the past several years, the equipment manufacturing sector can expect robust growth while gains for services will remain modest. But storm clouds loom on the horizon as emerging technologies such as broadband and voice over Internet protocol threaten to radically change traditional service carrier arrangements.
Many would-be contractors sabotage their own bids with sloppy processes and mistaken notions that leave government acquisition officials no choice but to reject them for a contract award. These mistakes can run the gamut from firms' attempts to pull the wool over the eyes of government officials to honest errors that bidders do not realize are hurting their cause.
It is easy to understand why Gene Colabatistto might be tempted to get by on image. After all, ever since his company launched its first sensor-laden satellite in 1986, the international Spot system has captured and delivered millions of images of Earth-from the sands of the Sahara to the expanse of the Golden Gate Bridge.