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Rob Bamforth

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Is more bandwidth really the answer?

A former university lecturer used to say, "any problem can be beaten to death with pound notes". Many network managers looking at the impact of voice over IP on their networks might be thinking along similar lines, but is more bandwidth the answer to the performance and quality issues they are currently, or soon to be, suffering …
Rob Bamforth, 27 Jul 2007
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Silicon offsetting - the new green saviour?

IT, on the face of it, is not very sustainable. New products are introduced in rapid development cycles that encourage wasteful frequent upgrade and replacement. Not only do the products consume precious metals and other resources, but the manufacturing processes are energy intensive and systems or components are rarely sourced …
Rob Bamforth, 5 Jun 2007
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From information overload to communication overload

Most new technology goes through a number of cycles as its use evolves - the novelty of invention, the feature explosion of differentiation, then hopefully the robustness of consolidation. The third stage is generally too slow to arrive, as new features are often seen as the way to stay ahead. In the early 1990s arms race in …
Rob Bamforth, 10 May 2007
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How green is my vendor?

Environmental issues are becoming a big concern for those involved in managing IT and communications. You can tell this because just about every other supplier is touting their green credentials. Often they have only reduced their power consumption by a fraction of a megawatt, run an electric shuttle bus to their out of town …
Rob Bamforth, 26 Mar 2007
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Business travel bugbears

"Meetings, bloody meetings" - somehow the 1970s John Cleese management video appears even more relevant to business life today. While most workers have many forms of communication available, with the phone and email now the primary means for remote communication, there's nothing quite like a meeting to get the full emotion, …
Rob Bamforth, 14 Mar 2007
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'Mobile eCash' could change the face of commerce

Cash or plastic? From starting with seashells, gold coins, and rewarding soldiers with salt, payment systems have evolved to keep lowering the cost of making each transaction, and separating the real item of value from the point of the transaction. Bank notes came to represent the value of gold held somewhere else and were far …
Rob Bamforth, 8 Feb 2007
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Linux adoption - it's the ecology stupid!

Comment Why should an operating system be important for a mobile phone? It shouldn't, but of course mobile phones are no longer simple voice communicators, they are smart devices capable of many methods of communication and other sophisticated applications. Capable and complex, with a high degree of variety required to meet different …
Rob Bamforth, 5 Dec 2006

Do IT vendors gamble with their marketing budgets?

There are plenty of opportunities to "invest" a marketing budget - advertising, mailshots, events, executive influence programs - but few guides to measure their relative value to a comparison of where best to place bets. Defining or demonstrating the success of a marketing program, except perhaps by the end result - how many …
Rob Bamforth, 18 Aug 2006
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Mobile IT - commodity or value add?

Analysis Cost or complexity. It seems a bit of a Hobson's choice, but for those who have to foot the bill for the increasing business use of communications on the go – mobile phones, mobile email gadgets, and ever-connected laptops – it's a decision that increasingly has to be made. Keep it simple and pay more, or deal with a maze of …
Rob Bamforth, 17 Aug 2006
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Lax approach to mobile security

Street-wise? When you're out in public places, there are certain things to do for reasons of personal safety and security, especially in unfamiliar locations. Look before crossing the road. Keep your money and credit cards hidden from view. Destroy credit card chits with copies of signatures to keep them out of the wrong hands. …
Rob Bamforth, 20 Apr 2006
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Mobile email hits the road

Mobile communications means different things to different people, but some common meaning is starting to gather momentum. It used to be the case that when you asked employees if they had mobile access to email they would say yes if they had a modem on their laptop and dialed in to a central server from a hotel room. Hardly …
Rob Bamforth, 4 May 2005
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Unified messaging – voicemail for 3G?

Voicemail is regarded as a killer application for telephony and some would say communications killer too - too many hid behind a voicemail screen, until mobile phones became the prevalent business communication tool. This is changing: Quocirca’s recent research of 150 decision makers in enterprises in the UK, Italy and Germany …
Rob Bamforth, 19 Jan 2005
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Is enhanced voice the new mobile data?

In all the rush from mobile operators and the rest of the telecoms industry to mobile data services and the mobile Internet, it's possible that a new revenue opportunity has been missed - voice. Ok, you may say it's not that new, but as all good marketing types know, line extension is typically more rewarding than leaping …
Rob Bamforth, 12 Aug 2004
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To talk or not to talk - that is the question

Two news stories in the last few weeks highlight a mobile communications dilemma. There's a time to talk and a time to refrain from talking. One person's mobile flexibility is another's annoying conversation. First, increasing the opportunity, and the use of mobile devices while flying. The positive push is coming from two …
Rob Bamforth, 9 Aug 2004
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Mobile video must get with the programme

As yet another mobile phone vendor produces a 3G mobile phone with a camera able only to point away from the user, is it time to forget about making mobile video calls? This time it was Nokia, with the latest Symbian OS-based phone, so why have a camera if it doesn't point at the user? Even in Japan, where camera phones are …
Rob Bamforth, 25 Jun 2004
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Sony, PalmOne and the death of the PDA?

Sony pulls out of PDA market shouts the headlines - but why should they be expected to be there forever? Certainly their percentage of PDA market share figures were good, and the design of the Sony devices was excellent as always. I'm a huge fan of Sony's industrial design prowess. But as is often the case, it's not about the …
Rob Bamforth, 24 Jun 2004
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Parking your car the wireless way

For those drivers who find parking enough of a drag without having to schlep to the ticket machine in the rain, wireless technology can now take some of the pain out of the process. It's a neat concept - pay for your slot from the comfort of your vehicle - but there is a divergence between the Wi-Fi and cellular approaches to …
Rob Bamforth, 29 Apr 2004

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