martes, 7 de junio de 2016

Why I Don't Believe in Country Branch Consolidation in Big Corporations (Closing a Country Corporate Branch)

I know it from my own experience with big corporations here in Ecuador. Sometimes an idea shows up that says that a bigger corporate country branch (Like Perú or Colombia) can manage the small country operation or even overtake complete all the branch office.

They will sell the benefits to the corporate headquarters like:
  • The bigger country branch will give resources to the smaller one to have better business opportunities.
  • The skilled people of the bigger branch will help the smaller one that does not have all the people with required skills.
  • We will save costs on staff like consolidating finance, management, etc.
  • The corporate headquarter will not have to worry about the small country operation request, because that branch represents only the 0.001% of the stock,  the bigger country will consolidate it.
Everything sound nice, logical and beautiful. But I have seen the results of this kind of “taking over”. It does not work and it is just a lie.

  • The bigger branch has bigger projects and they do not want to send the skilled people to the small country.
  • The bigger branch has bigger deals and sales the manager simple does not care what will happen on that small country.
  • The sales manager of the bigger country just sees the small country as the extra thing that will help him to get to the sales quota, but will not make any strategic efforts for the small one.
  • The smaller country branch just gets ignored with all their needs, and the bigger country manager only replies that your small country does not have enough sales to invest more on them.
  • The promises and plans that the bigger branch CEO made for the small one just vanishes with time.
  • Instead of saving costs the corporation lost profits, but since it is too small the corporate headquarters do not notice it.
In general terms the sales, image and service of that big corporation get affected on the small country allowing local competition to take advantage.


Real Life Example

Let me put this example over the table:
Let's spin-off this division of the company

XYZ corporation spinned-off the SmartPhones and Tablets division of his company to a new company called “Phone-vo”.  Phone-vo starts the worldwide hard work to operate in an independent way from XYZ corporation.

At that moment the Phone-vo local CEO in the Colombia branch says:
-    Why maintain the 6 people operation in Ecuador? We can take it over from here.
-    Are you sure? – Says the worldwide CEO of the new Phone-vo corporation.
-    Yes, we can take over the work from here and work directly with the Partners in Ecuador – replies the CEO with confidence – We will reduce costs and help the Ecuadorian market grow with my blah blah blah marketing strategy.

At that moment they decide that Phone-vo Ecuador company branch does not need a local CEO and the remaining five people starts working with the Colombian staff.

The Colombian staff are just too overwhelmed with the spin-off, their day-to-day work and now they also have to put orders for an additional territory that has his own laws, merchandise importation rules and little details that you have to notice all the time. And the Colombian staff has their CEO always breathing on their back telling that the number one priority is “Colombia” because it is the bigger market with bigger deals and more money.

Even if there are people in Colombia that are hired to work exclusively for Ecuador, when Colombia have a peak of workload the CEO just says to drop Ecuador and focus on the Colombian branch business.

Result: The Ecuadorian orders for Phones and Tablets starts taking 6 months to get to Ecuador because of the lack of interest and focus of Colombia team on that business.
The Phone-vo Ecuador company, without a manager, starts reducing his staff from five to four and three, until the last one is only the finance guy in charge of closing the company in legal papers with a local outsourced attorney.
The customers complained on how it is possible to take that long to bring an order to Ecuador and started to look for other brand alternatives.  The local Phone-vo partners in Ecuador also complained about that 6 months it is too much time to get the products and that they are losing sales opportunities. Since the partners cannot live just by selling one single brand that takes too much to get into the market, they start selling products of the competition to the loyal “Phone-vo” customers in Ecuador.

The “Phone-vo” brand is today a faraway memory on the Ecuadorian market, that shows from time to time with a disconnected marketing strategy to promote a product or two.  From a business that was good (not incredible excellent) in Ecuador, the operation got reduced and the sales started dropping because of this great idea (sarcasm).

What are the factors for doing this?

How do you manage the balance between reducing costs without losing operational ground? From a good business you can reduce it to a bad business just because trying to reduce costs.

But there is another factor on it called “greed”. The Sales Manager thinks on the sales bonus check at the end of the month and sometimes it became their only motivation. When they see that their country just reached their sales potential, they may have the great idea to annex more territory to their sales scope to get a bigger commission check and not necessary to close more sales for the corporation. It does not matter if the other territory already has a good sales and management team, a decent sales record or if the local market can grow or not, it just matters the sales bonus that the Sales Manager and country CEO are going to get, because the sales number will be bigger for them individually but not increasing the net sales for the corporation.



It may sound like a good idea to close a country branch to be taken over by a bigger one, it even may look great on a PowerPoint slide. The CEO of the bigger country branch may have a cost saving strategy and list of good wills for the smaller country, but that is not enough.

The corporation or regional CEO will only have to make himself this little questions.
-    It is really going to give more profit to the corporation? Or is only going to help the sales bonus check of the bigger branch CEO? 


jueves, 2 de junio de 2016

TVCable ya debe subir la velocidad del Internet.

Como que llegó la hora de que TVCable suba la velocidad de sus planes.


Proveedor Velocidad Tec Precio Precio con IVA
CNT 15 Mbps Fibra  $  26,90  $  30,67
TVCable 15 Mbps Cable  $  49,90  $  56,89
Netlife 20Mbps Fibra  $  34,99  $  39,89

lunes, 9 de mayo de 2016

Thinkpad Compact Bluetooth Keyboard with Trackpoint (KT-1255)

  • Model: KT-1255
  • Rev: 02 
  • FRU PN: 03X8697
  • P/N Box: 0B47189
  • Support site: URL

Windows 10 - 64bits:

Android TV 5.1.1 / Sony TV:

I also tested this device on Android TV 5.1.1.
The device is working fine as a keyboard:
  • Volume buttons and Mute button works - F1, F2, F3
  • Bright buttons work - F5, F6
  • Camera button, F7, plays music (It ask you which app to put as default)
  • Search Button, F10 turns on Google search
  • Esc button (Back)
  • Enter Button (good for play and pause on videos)
  • Windows button, also search. 
  • Left Alt, emoticons keyboard on screen
  • Right Alt, symbol keyboard on screen  
  • PrtSc: Takes a snapshot picture of the screen. 
  • PageUp / PageDown, Moves the screen of the desktop/launcher if you have more than one screen.

Apple iOS 9.3.1 / Some iPad:

I tested this device paired to an Apple iPad. The mouse does not work but seems a limitation of iOS. As a keyboard works it fine. 
  • Volume buttons and Mute button works - F1, F2, F3
  • Bright buttons work - F5, F6
  •  Search Button, F10 goes to search and to Home. 

Some Windows Pictures:

domingo, 10 de abril de 2016

Asus Gamepad TV500BG

Windows 10 (64bits) Drivers:

Windows 10 Installation
1.- Install the Driver.

2.- Put the controller on Pairing
  • Press the "Power button". The four lights will start blinking in order. 
  • Press the "Circle + back arrow" at the same time for three seconds. All the lights will start blinking at the same time.

3.- Look for Windows 10 Bluetooth pairing options

 Find the Asus controller.

Select "Pair"

You will be asked for the passcode. Leave it blank and press next.
Windows will start to update something.

In a while you will see the device as "Connected"
The controller will now have only the first light square lighted up.

If you go now to "Control Panel - Game Controller" you may find your controller to test that it is working.

Windows 10 Normal use after you install it.
When you turn off the Gamepad by pressing the power button Windows will make the disconnect device sound.

If you turn it on again, the four lights will blink in other again and Windows will catch it fast and make the "connecting sound" and the first light of the controller will remain lighted up. 


viernes, 8 de abril de 2016

Cloud-First, Mobile-First is not your business strategy, is "their business strategy".

Is it good? is it bad? Yes it is good, the cloud will help business to reduce costs and driving your applications to mobile device it is also good because your customers will interact with your business by using the "new PC" called "SmartPhone". But Cloud-First and Mobile-First it is not a business strategy for your business, it is a business strategy for IT Vendors (HP, Amazon, IBM, Microsoft, others...). 

There is no doubt, no question about it, all major IT vendors are on a "Cloud-First, Mobile-First". It don't even deserve explanation. It means trying to move all data to a cloud and all application to a mobile device.

Cloud-First is an evolution of outsourcing, when you move all that servers, apps and things that your don't understand (the stuff that IT people loves) out of your company, since your company is not making profits by having servers and paying for software itself.  It provides your company cost reducing benefits, but it is not a business strategy, just by putting you application on "the cloud" it does not mean you are going to make more money. And you can save some money but you need to make the numbers fit, it is not that you are going to save money like magic, maybe you need a migration, prepare your applications, invest more to go the cloud. So make your number rights, the cloud may assist you on reducing costs, but it is  not going to help you make money by itself. There may be examples on how to use the cloud to get more customers and more sales, but those are specific strategies and not just "The Cloud".
I remember hearing an IT salesman that it does not mean that all is going to be on the cloud and that it is expected that on companies will have a 50%/60% stuff on the cloud and the rest "on Premise". So, when we reach that day, the hype of the cloud will be over and IT vendors will be looking what is the next big things to offer.

Mobile-First, just sucks... why? Because as a IT people we already migrated from the mainframe, (centralized applications) to client-server applications to Unix. Then we migrated from Unix to Windows and migrated all applications to run on Windows. After that we thought that it will be better to migrate all to the web (client-server with a browser) and return to centralized applications. And now that the mobile smartphones worked so good, we (The IT guys) want to make more money by migrating you applications to iPhone and Android. What?. So for IT Vendors Mobile-First it is just an strategy to make you migrate to other technology again.

But don't get me wrong, a Mobile-First, strategy can really help you make increase sales if you really know your customers and if you product requires and gives value to an "always mobile" person. A banking payment tool may be a success on a Mobile-First strategy, since people want to be able to pay debts "on the go". But if the bank only wants to offers a view of your account without any ways to take action your money on that case maybe a Mobile application is not required at all.

From the technical point of view, creating stand-alone (client-server) applications for mobile phones on iPhone and Android is just getting back to the days that you have only Windows on the PCs . People that used MacOS or OS/2 was given the cold shoulder because they were a minority and developers didn't want to do application for those platforms, only Windows that had all the market share at that time. At some point developers and customers started to think that they need to be "platform independent" and moved applications to the web on open standards so it didn't matter if the final user has Windows or any other platform, he just required a browser that supported the web standard.  So, this is why smartphone developers are trying to do "hybrid" application development that with a few changes it will run on iPhone and Android. So maybe in a future we will be migrating the iPhone/Android apps to a more "hybrid" approach or maybe back to the web.

So Cloud-First and Mobile-First are real things that are happening today, we should not hide under a rock and/or ignore it. Using the mobile is a way to reach more customers, and using the cloud helps to save costs, but each case needs to be analyzed. Today the cloud and the smartphone are on the peak of the hype, but you always needs to put the strategy and numbers over the table first.

sábado, 13 de febrero de 2016

WOW!! El Gobierno esta vendiendo una "Super Cuadra"

Hace unos días vi el cartel que el Gobierno esta vendiendo una "super cuadra" muy valiosa en unos de los sectores comerciales importantes en Quito.
 Esta cuadra es ubicada en la parte posterior al Ministerio de Educación (Antiguo edificio del Banco Popular) . Es una cuadra que tiene mucho potencial para convertirse el cualquier cosa, desde oficinas (aburrido), estacionamientos, locales comerciales... cualquier cosa que se ponga ahí debe tener éxito... aunque no se debe nunca subestimar la estupidez humana.

Este terreno esta entre la calle Juan González y la Nuñez de Vela. Justo esa parte de la Nuñez de Vela también es conocido como "El Meadero de los Buseros y Taxistas" ya que al ser poco transitada y tener dos terrenos sin uso formal a los lados, se aprovecha ahí para estacionar y orinar en las paredes. 

Lamentablemente no tengo dinero para comparar ese terreno y construir algo, pero lo que yo haría ahí es cavar tan profundo hasta que salgan "Balrogs" del fondo de la tierra y construir un monstruoso estacionamiento subterráneo para la zona.

Una vez al nivel de la calle dejaría amplios espacios para que la gente camine y colocaría lugares de comida hipsters (tanto internos y externos) para que los ejecutivos pueda tomar un café y tocar los bongos después de sus horas laborales.

....he aquí algunas fotos de la idea. (copiadas del Internet).

Claro que sería un desperdicio de espacio y dinero no construir algo ahí, se podría crear un edificio de oficinas para poder recuperar la inversión. La idea es que no sea un monstruo de  concreto que cubra todos los metros cuadros del terreno. Sería bueno tener un edificio como parte central o hacia un lado del terreno, pero permitiendo tener amplios espacios para comercios.

O también podría entrar una fuente de agua...
....aunque en Quito se ha demostrado que una fuente de agua nunca puede ser bien mantenida ya que la gente tiene debilidad por desnudarse y bañarse en los espacios públicos.

O que tal si construyen un edificio más original...
....bueno, no tan original

Este terreno tiene el potencial de convertirse en algo increíble, aunque creo que lamentablemente va a terminar convirtiéndose en un bloque de cemento aburrido.

O será que los vendedores ambulantes nos ganan y a lo único que podemos aspirar es a algo así...

miércoles, 3 de febrero de 2016

El Aeropuerto de Quito necesita una “Área de Descanso Gratuita” para Autos.

En Quito se combinó la “muquería” (el verbo ecuatoriano de la acción realizada por tacaños extremos) con la falta de infraestructura. 

Resulta que las acciones por no pagar el precio del estacionamiento (parqueadero en ecuatoriano) del aeropuerto han resultado en dos hechos que resultan peligrosos: 

1)      La gente empezó a estacionar su auto a la derecha de una vía de alta velocidad. 

Resulta que cuando van a buscar a alguien al aeropuerto, estas personas intentan calcular el tiempo de llegada y estacionan para “hacer tiempo” hasta que el avión aterrice. Con eso cuando el pasajero llega, les notifican por teléfono de su llegada al chofer, y este arranca de su peligroso lugar de estacionamiento e ingresa al aeropuerto. Con esta acción logran evitar el costo del estacionamiento del aeropuerto, ya que una vez que ingresas tienes 15 minutos de gracia. Con ese tiempo es suficiente para recoger al pasajero fuera de la terminal sin incurrir en gastos. 


Esta acción de estacionar en plena vía pública de alta velocidad es peligrosa ya que puede causar accidentes y es un mal uso del carril de emergencias de la derecha.

2)      “Haciendo tiempo” con una conducción imprudente y a baja velocidad. 

La segunda acción peligrosa por la que algunos choferes han optado es seguir conduciendo a baja velocidad (20km/h) para “hacer tiempo” hasta el arribo de su pasajero. Lo más peligroso es que, aparte de ir a 20Km/h en un vía de 80Km/h, es que “para no molestar al resto” están circulando por el carril de emergencias.  

El carril de emergencias no es un carril de tamaño completo en algunos tramos, por lo tanto estos autos estorban al carril de la derecha. Solo imagínate ir a 80Km/h por la derecha y que tengas que esquivar a otro auto o “van mediana” que sobresale del carril de emergencias.

Las Soluciones:

El malvado capitalista diría: A estos HDP que hacen esto hay que multarlos y obligarlos a pagar el estacionamiento.
El malvado socialista diría: A estas personas hay que darles un premio por su lucha por la igualdad social y sus esfuerzos por encontrar alternativas viables. 

La solución puede estar en el medio. Reconocer que esta conducta es peligrosa dentro de una vía de alta velocidad y a la vez ser sensibles con la gente que espera por sus clientes o parientes.
Creo que debería crear un área de descanso, en otro países conocido como “Resting Area”, para autos, en donde básicamente es un canchón de estacionamientos temporales y algún lugar para poder comprar un snack.

Esto es un ejemplo. Yo se que en Tababela no hay un río tan grande.
Una posible solución sería que el municipio expropie (pagando, claro está) algún terreno ubicado a unos 5 – 10 minutos de la terminal. Esta área tiene que ser gratuita y su desventaja, comparada con el estacionamiento del aeropuerto, debe ser su distancia de la terminal. Con eso podríamos apoyar para que la gente no estacione en la vía rápida y ahí sí multar a los HDPs que sigan estorbando en la vía.