Wes 2008 Keynote: Jim Balsillie, the Wireless Leadership Awards, Bob Picciano and Ray Kurzweil (Live Blog!)

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Jim Balsillie and Douglas SoltysTo make up for yesterday, I’m at the keynote early, and in great position right up front. Compared to yesterday, the general session room is nearly empty, but that’s not going to deter me from live blogging my face off. Keep refreshing this page for the latest updates!

1:58pm Now it’s starting to fill up. I guess everyone was trying to squeeze in one more hallway meeting before we get started. At WES, you basically have to do everything on the move, or you will never get anywhere or do anything.

2:02pm BBCool Simon has just arrived, a very tall head in the crowd. Same format as yesterday: I’m on the blog, Simon on the Twitter and the Flckr.

2:07pm More people filling in, although I don’t think it will fill up completely like yesterday. One thing I’ve noted about this year’s WES is that someone seems to really love Fleetwood Mac, because that’s the only music they play here other than John Mayer.

2:13pm Starting again with a video. Jim Dog is talking about the Wireless Leadership Awards. What is Jim looking for? Products that “push boundaries and really have an effect on the market.”2:15pm hmmm, looks like one of the winners is British American Tobacco. That’s kind of a tough cookie to swallow. Does RIM really want to be promoting innovation in cancer?

2:16pm NYC/TeleNav also won, as wells as JP Morgan for ‘Equity on the Spot’.

2:17pm Balsillie’s taking the stage of ‘the hardest working show in wireless’ to introduce the winners…. Going off on a spiel about ‘media types’… Explaining how BlackBerrys get a negative image but are really calming (i.e. you can now enjoy bad meetings, red lights).

2:20pm Wow. Jim Dog’s making ‘BlackBerrys in the Bathroom’ jokes. He’s really working the crowd this year.

2:22pm Discussing winner of Innovation in the Public Sector: TeleNav and the city of New York. Cool stuff, they log potholes and grafitti on maps, and then shoot off that data to the appropriate department. The representative: Girish Chhugani. Good job, NYC! Shout out to Mayor Bloomburg as well.

2:26pm Moving onto Innovation in the Private Sector now. Jim’s going on about palm trees, and I’m starting to dose off. Hard to stay focused when there’s no new device to unveil.

British American Tobacco won, for a bunch of apps, one of them in partnership with our friends at Viigo. Dave Sampson and Lauren Dale are taking the stage now. They’re talking about rolling out things as varied as games, Viigo, SAP, and Neverfail to their IT customers, to cater all aspects of their needs.

2:31 Business Impact award now. JP Morgan has won for ‘Equity on the Spot’. Talking about a 30-40x increase in sales just by being able to fill out a form that’s on your mobile rather than on paper. Wow, talk about a productivity increase. Jim agrees: “When you can take an application and put it in a place where it can seriously torque your revenue, you’re taking things to another level.”

2:38pm That’s the end of the awards ceremony, and Bob Picciano, GM of Lotus Software at IBM is about to follow the Jim Dog.

Title of the talk: “Collaboration Enabled Business Optimization”. Say that 10x fast… ‘Innovation is fueled when we have great challenge and opportunity.”

So what’s happening in the marketplace today? 4.2 billion internet address today. 35 trillion subnets to be added to that number… In 2006, the world economy shipped more transistors than it planted and harvested grains of rice. That’s actually kind of scary.

Wow, by 2010, 15 petabytes of new information generated every day (that’s 3.7 trillion pages of text). The future is now(ish)!

2:43pm BUT!!! Business Challenges: globalization, mergers and acquisitions, supply chain complexity, eroding customer loyalty and cost cutting. Collaboration Challenges: agility, virtual workforce, generational differences, the environment (word) and globalization.

That’s a lot of challenges.

2:44pm Opportunities? Web 2.0 for collaboration and empowerment… I’m actually Web 5.0 for the Twitter fans keeping score at home.

This collaboration is going to lead to better corporate optimization if done properly.

So what’s the strategy? Apparently it’s the most complex looking slide I’ve ever seen in my life (check Flickr in a bit)… I mean, he is from IBM.

4 core areas, however, to take care of customers: desktops, web, LoB Apps, and Mobile.

2:48pm He’s talking about Lotus Connections, and it’s ability to allow enterprises to collaborate, without using methods (Facebook, etc.) that you don’t want sensitive information on.

However, you have to get this working properly on mobile (obviously).

2:51pm Oh! Announcing Lotus Connections for the BlackBerry (my BB just got the PR as well). Exprect more about this on the site as well. This is great, but I still want a LinkedIn app for my BB. Like, today.

2:54pm Next step? Receiving and interacting with IBM Cognos 8 Business Intelligence content on your BlackBerry. This keynote is certainly turning into a product spiel, but it’s also one hell of a product chain, and working with RIM to get ‘rich client’ capabilities on the BB is a huge coup.

2:58pm Onto the next speaker: Ray Kurzweil. He’s an inventor, entrepreneur, author and futurist. Hmm, he invented the flatbed scanner and rich speech voice recognition and is a 5-time bestselling author… Inducted into the inventors hall of fame.
3:01pm, Kurzweil is taking the stage now. He kind of looks like a genius/your favorite high school physics professor… He’s discussion how the BlackBerry Curve in his hand is a million times cheaper and more powerful than what he had when he was a student at MIT.

An “exponential increase in function, with an exponential decrease in size.”

People’s intuition is linear, but progress is exponential. For example, 5-6 years ago, people didn’t use search engines!!

Now he’s talking about how this exponential development affects people too, by turning off fat insulin receptor genes so that your body doesn’t store calories, allowing people to be thinner, healthier and live longer.

An example that information technology influences everything that we care about. I am both excited and weirded out by this strange man.

3:12pm Kurzweil is the overall impact of these technologies is amazingly predictable.

Ok folks, same deal as yesterday. Not much more happening that is relevant to BlackBerrys, so we’re going to recommend you just pick up one of Kurzweil’s books if what you read above was titillating.

3:19pm One last thing. Kurzweil just demoed a phone that can take a picture of a document, and within seconds have the image pull out the text and verbalize it (or do a bunch of other things). Now that is an exponential development of technology from the old RIM email pager.

  • Shawn

    Not true about the music. They played Thin Lizzy earlier.

  • Shawn

    Not true about the music. They played Thin Lizzy earlier.

  • sgossard34

    My fab was the ladies who kept forcing everyone to the front. I made sure my very elusive eye condition acted up so I could sit on the end in the middle row.

    Hey I see the blackberrycool guys right in front of me. Doug I going to take your mac and throw it away…. Shame on you!

  • sgossard34

    My fab was the ladies who kept forcing everyone to the front. I made sure my very elusive eye condition acted up so I could sit on the end in the middle row.

    Hey I see the blackberrycool guys right in front of me. Doug I going to take your mac and throw it away…. Shame on you!

  • sgossard34

    My fab was the ladies who kept forcing everyone to the front. I made sure my very elusive eye condition acted up so I could sit on the end in the middle row.

    Hey I see the blackberrycool guys right in front of me. Doug I going to take your mac and throw it away…. Shame on you!

  • DocKlein

    Do you have a pic of the slide you mentioned here, didnt see it on flickr?

    2:44pm

    “Apparently it’s the most complex looking slide I’ve ever seen in my life (check Flickr in a bit)”

    Thanks for the blog commentary.

  • DocKlein

    Do you have a pic of the slide you mentioned here, didnt see it on flickr?

    2:44pm

    “Apparently it’s the most complex looking slide I’ve ever seen in my life (check Flickr in a bit)”

    Thanks for the blog commentary.