Saturday, June 02, 2007

How to Become the Top IT Outsourcing Company in China

David on IT Outsourcing in China
Saturday, 2 June 2007
Dateline: Qingdao, China

"How to Become the Top IT Outsourcing Company in China"

Well, it's just a teaser. I plan to write an article about this for an issue (or two) of Forbes China (in Chinese, which most of those reading this will appreciate). I'll do a cross-post here (in Chinese), if Forbes allows this. If not, I'll point to the online article in a separate post.

In the interim, I'll likely write an English-language equivalent (with much more of my satirical humor) for my Sand Hill Group and AlwaysOn Network "Letter from China" columns; expect this to appear a month or two before a Forbes piece.

I also want to point to a couple of things. First, a hot Computerworld post on the ITO scene in China. Read it. It has already been quoted in several other sources: It has generated quite a bit of interest. The two Sand Hill columns on IPR that I referenced and wrote took a look at IPR from two different angles: One was on what Chinese read and hear; the other was on what the Chinese government wants Westerners to read and hear. Some overlap, but very different in tone.

Second, my "Letter from China" columns first get posted on the Sand Hill Group, and then get cross-posted to a separate blog (with it's own feed) and the AlwaysOn Network. will likely be picking up my columns, too. For those of you in the China-based ITO biz, you'll likely find some useful ammunition -- for sales, marketing, and planning -- in my "Letter from China" columns, especially as ammunition against India.

Finally, I don't plan to publish to this blog very often, but at least a bit more frequently than I have over the past year. But read my "Letter from China" columns if you want a strategic perspective on ITO and ESO and where China plays -- and where China should play. Going forward, I'll be focusing this blog on software development methodologies, basically, how to better compete against Indian firms and have more satisfied clients. It will sometimes get geeky, but so be it. I'll also venture a bit into the ESO space. That's the hottest new area ... and it's an area where China will kick India's butt. ESO (for those not in the know): Engineering services outsourcing.

David Scott Lewis
Senior Vice President
Startech Global Corporation (the outsourcing hub for Tsinghua University, China's MIT)
Beijing, China & Los Angeles, California (access to blog content archives in China) (public blogroll) (top 20 blogs on China) (top 20 blogs on China as a river of news)

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Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Call for "The Best in China" for SOFTWARE 2007, the world's premier C-level software industry event

David on IT Outsourcing in China
Wednesday, 20 December 2006
Dateline: Beijing, China

"China's Leaders in Outsourcing & Software Innovation"

In early May the Sand Hill Group will continue it's successful annual C-level industry conference series with SOFTWARE 2007.  The event will be held in the heart of Silicon Valley, with an expected attendance of 2,000 or so.  A PDF describing this event is available at the Yahoo Group for this blog/e-newsletter; you can also contact me directly to request a copy of the PDF, but please put "PDF" (without quotation marks) somewhere in the "Subject" line (although I much prefer that you access the PDF from the "Files" section at the Yahoo Group).

We're not necessarily looking for firms that are truly innovative themselves, but firms that can help American ISVs (independent software vendors) innovate.  If your firm has an innovative product (or product line), we'd like to hear from you:  We're not limiting "The Best in China" to outsourcing firms.  But outsourcing firms are rarely innovative.  There are exceptions:  In the early days of the graphical web, firms like Presence, Organic, Digital Planet, CKS.  And the various services arms of IBM still pioneer in many ways and across the spectrum.  Yet, there are plenty of firms with their primary development centers in China that help U.S. firms with their innovation-driven endeavors, such as Startech (in our case, for example, with the most advanced Linux-based telecommunications architecture, both hardware and software) or Augmentum (in their case, for some of their "SIGCHI"-ish developments ranging from kiosks to site development; BTW, Startech is making a major push in this space as well -- and taking it a few steps further, with a major focus on the entertainment industry given our L.A.-based technical support team lead by Caltech and Stanford CS grads ... and don't be fooled by our web site since we're somewhat operating in stealth mode until next month).  Bottom line:  If your IT outsourcing or engineering services outsourcing firm helps U.S. firms with their innovation-driven endeavors, then we'd like to hear from you.

Although the "China Pavilion" at SOFTWARE 2007 is still a work-in-progress, we're very confident that we will get the blessing of MOST, China's Ministry of Science and Technology.  Hey, it's all about guanxi in China.  However, we're reaching out to Torch members directly and also to selected software parks, i.e., those housing the best and brightest firms in China.  Think zPark, DLSP, SPSP, among others.

We're not sure if we're going to pick a "Top Ten" or a "Top Twelve"; this will be determined based upon the quality and quantity of the submissions that we receive.

We're also going to try to arrange for some FTF (face-to-face, in person) time with Steve Ballmer and Marc Benioff, both keynoters at SOFTWARE 2007.  Steve, of course, is CEO of Microsoft and Marc is CEO of, the leading SaaS player.  Marc is a first degree connection of mine on LinkedIn and Steve B. might remember me from my days at Microsoft.  (What happened wasn't a pretty picture, but it ultimately led to a lot of changes at a money-losing Microsoft division.)  At the very least, perhaps photo opportunities in front of our China pavilion; at the very best, 15-60 minutes to discuss the future of software and outsourcing in China with two industry stalwarts.  FTR, this is something that I'm going to attempt to arrange independently of support from the Sand Hill Group (they have too many other issues to deal with).  No promises regarding Steve B. or Marc B., but I'll do my best.

There is a nominal cost associated for participation in the "Pavilion."  Selected firms will have to pay between US$3,500 and US$4,000 (depending on whether we choose ten or twelve firms).  This is to cover expenses, nothing more.  Perhaps local software parks or municipal governments will help with partial funding as they have in the past, although this is out of our hands and we don't want to get involved with too much administrivia.

For mechanicals, we will have a 20' x 10' pavilion (really two adjacent 10' x 10' booths).  The "Best" will be highlighted on a banner and one representative from each selected firm will be allowed to "man" the pavilion.

If your firm is interested in giving this a shot, let me know ASAP.  Your firm will be required to demonstrate that they are helping American ISVs innovate -- or that your firm itself is truly innovative.  After having held two senior positions in the two largest U.S.-focused, China-based IT outsourcing firms, I know that some firms may be attempted to pile on BS.  However, this time I will not be so easily fooled, so it's important to make your best case.  And to make it real.

BTW, size does NOT matter.  Smaller firms are welcome, perhaps even preferred.  And although the focus in on enterprise applications, embedded-focused firms are definitely in play.  Innovation is the key.  If you're another one of the gazillion firms in China offering L10N/G18N or manual software testing, don't bother applying.  But if you have innovative products or can assist American ISVs in their innovation and R&D processes, then you're a prime candidate for this event.

Expect a lot of media coverage, too -- although we can't promise anything.  We will also try to arrange for site visits to Stanford, PARC (where the PC was essentially created), IBM Almaden (arguably the world's leading research center in nanotechnology), Google, perhaps some others.  (We're open to suggestions.  Possibilities include Microsoft's Silicon Valley campus, the headquarters for Oracle, HP, Yahoo, EBay, Sun, Intel, Cisco, Apple, AMD, EA, Adobe, Symantec, and dozens/hundreds of Web 2.0 leaders.  Let's face it, Silicon Valley is the center of the IT universe.)

To be considered for "The Best in China," please drop a message to me at:  thebestinchina <at> gmail <dot> com.  (Do NOT reply to this message.)  Send/provide as much supporting evidence as you can; prove that you are indeed one of "The Best in China."  The application deadline is 15 January, but the sooner, the better.  If great firms can be found before the 15 January deadline, we'll likely run with said firms.  Godspeed and good luck ...

David Scott Lewis
Senior Vice President
Startech Global Corporation (the outsourcing hub for Tsinghua University, China's MIT)
Beijing, China & Los Angeles, California

P.S.--Expect a fascinating main stage "debate" on the innovativeness of China versus India versus Israel (and perhaps versus the U.K. or Russia).  I will be debating the issue on behalf of China.  I have some ammo that will make Indians squirm in their chairs.  When it comes to R&D and engineering services outsourcing, China beats India.  No comparison.  And I have proof -- proof that I will share during the panel discussion. (access to blog content archives in China)
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Monday, July 11, 2005

Is It Really China vs. India: The Unspoken Criteria and Other Lessons from SIMChina

David on IT Outsourcing in China
blog, e-newsletter , XML content feed & AvantGo channel (for PDAs & smartphones)
Monday, July 11, 2004
Dateline: China
Stanford Summit & Panel on China
Before I get to today's topic, I'd like to remind all subscribers of an upcoming conference at Stanford starting next Tuesday night, 19 July and going through Thursday afternoon.  It is the AlwaysOn Network Stanford Innovation Summit.  For background, the AlwaysOn Network is the largest professional and social online network based in Silicon Valley.  I write a weekly or so column titled, "Letter from China" and I will be the moderator for the panel on China.  The title for the session, "Are you ready for the Chinese revolt?" was not my choosing, but such is life.  Matter of fact, five of the six panelists are definitely pro-China and even the one detractor has an objective take on things.
My panelists fall into three buckets:  Two venture capitalists, both with portfolio companies in China; two outsourcing specialists (one is the CEO of a Beijing-based solution provider, the other heads Tsinghua's outsourcing efforts); and, two policy wonks.  To me, all six are "star" panelists, but the best know is certainly Sandy Berger.  In a previous life, Sandy was the White House National Security Advisor.  At over US$2,000 per person, the 600 or so attendees will be mostly C-level executives.  (US$2,000 is a rather high hurdle these days, even by U.S. standards.)  Top venture capitalists, hottest Silicon Valley firms and chief execs.  I will summarize my panel in the August issue of this blog/e-newsletter.  For more information, click here or go to
Lessons from SIMChina: Is It Really China vs. India?
My last two AlwaysOn Network "Letter from China" columns focused on lessons for Westerners, but are also applicable management lessons for China's solution providers, systems integrators and contract software development shops.  I don't want to rehash what I wrote.  You can read the first part here and the second part here.  Alternative links: (part one) and (part two).
In this posting, I'm going to elaborate a bit beyond what I wrote for my AO columns.  And I'm going to focus on India and Indians.
First, most firms in China should know the reality:  If an Indian firm is in the bidding process, the odds are overwhelming that the China firm is being used as a bargaining chip against the Indian firm.  Something that evidently isn't widely understood by China's solution providers is that most American firms require at least three competitive bids.  However, if an Indian firm is already in the bidding process, it is quite likely that they have already been selected and all other firms, from China, Russia, the Czech Republic, wherever, are being used to provide a lower bid and benchmark which in turn is used to get a lower price from the Indian firm.  Like it or not, that's reality. 
Bottom line:  Before spending too many resources on proposal preparation, find out if an Indian IT outsourcing firm is in the bidding process.  If so, adjust your efforts and pricing accordingly.  There may still be strategic reasons for competing; however, it may also be a signal to walk from the bidding process.
Second, is the key decision maker an Indian?  I'm going to write about this at length for an article in Forbes China, but I'll touch upon it here (as I did at SIMChina).  I've heard from more than a few Indians that there's very little chance that they would let a contract to a non-Indian solution provider.  For one thing, it's easier to do due diligence on the Indian providers (sans Western providers).  More transparency and geographically far more convenient:  It's nice to scope out a half-dozen CMMi5 providers in the same city.  Also, American management realizes that there is closer cultural affinity for their project manager.  (How much this really matters varies by company and the internal relationships of the PM.)  It's also hard to get fired for choosing an Indian global.  TCS, Wipro, Infosys, Satyam, Cognizant.  Can't get fired for choosing one of these.  Finally, a little known secret:  A confession that when the Indian PM chooses an Indian provider, he gets free trips to visit his extended family in India.  This is more important than many may think.  I call this the "unspoken criteria."
Bottom line:  Your mileage may vary, but be wary when the key decision maker on an outsourcing/offshoring contract is an Indian.  This plays a bit into the above recommendation since there will likely be an Indian provider in the bidding loop.  If the key decision maker is Indian and if there is at least one Indian solution provider in the bidding process, your bidding efforts might be better spent on other RFPs/RFQs.
Worksoft hits a Grand Slam
Okay, maybe a three-run homer.  But still pretty good.  Everyone reading this already knows (or should know) that Beijing-based Worksoft received an infusion of capital from DCM.  DCM (Doll Capital Management) is considered one of the most forward-looking Silicon Valley-based venture capital firms and a leader in the China market.  Other venture firms look to DCM for guidance.  For Worksoft to bag them says a lot about their senior management team.  Kudos to Chris and David!!  You can read the release here or click on  Also, read the related piece in USA Today.  Very nice.
Although the idea of choosing PeopleSoft as their preferred partner was an obviously bad decision -- even three years ago, it was clear to any analyst that PeopleSoft was living on borrowed time -- at least Worksoft demonstrated (and quite effectively I might add) that they had a real, workable strategy.  Also, I realize that picking partners is often opportunistic; one vendor may be an obviously better choice, but it might be nearly impossible to get traction with them versus another vendor.
Bottom line:  Expect more Silicon Valley-based venture firms to follow in DCM's footsteps.  Tremendous opportunities for many domestic (in China) solution providers.  I will get a better read on this in my FTF (face-to-face) discussions at the AO Stanford Summit. 
A Pat on the Back
I want to thank Vinnie Mirchandani for putting me in good company.  In one of his recent postings, he listed his choices for the top seven "global ambassadors for our (U.S.) technology industry."  The eight include Bill Gates, Larry Ellison (Oracle), John Chambers (Cisco), Jeff Immelt (GE), a couple of others, and yours truly.  Thanks Vinnie!!  See his posting here or click on .
New Marketing Strategies
Prussian (the spelling is correct) outsourcing firms take a new approach to marketing.  Best to download and watch this.  Click here to download or click on .  I can't wait to see the NeuSoft music video!!
Finally, China reaches out to Silicon Valley and America.  Who are China's best known living pair and ambassadors for peace?  Well, they're not who you think.  Try these guys, or click on  I want to dedicate their song to my someone special; she's the ultimate cutie!!
Enjoy ...
David Scott Lewis
President & Principal Analyst
Qingdao, China & Menlo Park, California (current blog postings optimized for MSIE6.x) (access to blog content archives in China) (David on Enterprise Software podcast feed)
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Tuesday, June 14, 2005

NEW DiamondCluster report on ITO + SIMChina & CSIO BOFs

David on IT Outsourcing in China
blog, e-newsletter , XML content feed & AvantGo channel (for PDAs & smartphones)
Monday, June 13, 2004
Dateline: China
DiamondCluster has released its new annual survey on ITO.  The press release is a pretty good synopsis; the 20 page PDF can be downloaded here.  I made a comment about the survey on the CIO magazine blog.
The first of my two-part series on IT sourcing options in China appeared in the current issue of BusinessForum China, the largest circulation English-language business magazine in China.  An edited version of my article appears as an AlwaysOn Network "Letter from China" column.
I will be giving a "main tent" presentation this Wednesday (the 15th) at the SIMChina conference in Beijing.  (Sometimes this link works better.)  My topic: Sourcing Business Capability Improvement: How to Succeed in Global Markets.  I will also be giving a talk next Thursday (the 23rd) at the CSIO conference in Dalian.  My topic: Opportunities & Business Characteristics of European & American Outsourcing Markets: How to Navigate the EU & US ITO Markets.
Frankly, they're the same slide deck, sans a few cosmetic changes.  However, I will focus on management issues at SIMChina and marketing issues at CSIO.  In a few weeks, I'll upload my presentation to the Y! Group site.
>>> If you're reading this and are planning to attend either SIMChina or CSIO, please look me up.  If enough of us gather, we can have an informal BOF bash.
David Scott Lewis
President & Principal Analyst
Qingdao, China & Menlo Park, California (current blog postings optimized for MSIE6.x) (access to blog content archives in China) (current blog postings for viewing in other browsers and for access to blog content archives in the US & ROW) (AvantGo channel) (David on Enterprise Software podcast feed) (David on Enterprise Software notes feed)
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Wednesday, April 06, 2005

A "How-to" for Determining Whether or When an Emerging Technology is "Real"

David on IT Outsourcing in China
blog, e-newsletter , XML content feed & AvantGo channel (for PDAs & smartphones)
Wednesday, April 6, 2004
Dateline: China
A Rule of Thumb for Determining Whether or When an Emerging Technology is "Real"
Let's face it, the IT advisory services and management consultancies are way too expensive.  Fortunately, firms in China haven't fallen prey to their hypnotic chants.  However, this doesn't negate the need for periodic technological forecasting.  This issue is addressed with a relatively simple solution in my current AlwaysOn Network "Letter from China" column; the permanent link is here.
Update on Grid Computing
Grid computing is one of the most missed opportunities by China's solution providers.  Of course, it might help to have a bit of web services experience under one's belt.  And XML expertise, too.  Crawl, walk, run.  But it's still important to track what is happening in this space.
The current issue of the Proceedings of the IEEE, the world's most prestigious EE/CS journal according to scientometric measures, is a special issue on grid computing.  Here are some of the links:
Enjoy ...
David Scott Lewis
President & Principal Analyst
Qingdao, China & Menlo Park, California (current blog postings optimized for MSIE6.x) (access to blog content archives in China) (current blog postings for viewing in other browsers and for access to blog content archives in the US & ROW) (AvantGo channel) (David on Enterprise Software podcast feed) (David on Enterprise Software notes feed)
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Friday, March 11, 2005

Utility Computing, Knowledge Management & IBM's RUP

David on IT Outsourcing in China
blog, e-newsletter, XML content feed & AvantGo channel (for PDAs & smartphones)

Friday, March 10, 2004
Dateline: China

Much has happened over the past four months since my last posting.

For one thing, I've taken over as the AlwaysOn Network "Letter from China" columnist. I'm writing about three columns each month.

I've also launched a podcast titled, "David on Enterprise Software." I'm also writing a series of articles on numerous IT- and China-related topics.

As far as this blog/e-newsletter is concerned, I'm going to take the highlights from my "David on Enterprise Software" podcast and put them in written form with a bottom line reflecting a China perspective. So let's begin.

In my inaugural podcast, I focused on three items:

* Utility computing, from both a virtualization and software-as-a-service perspective,

* A knowledge management reality check, and

* IBM's Rational Unified Process.

Utility Computing: Virtualization

As a reminder, utility computing provides access to corporate IT assets on demand, when you want them. The hardware side focuses on servers and storage; the software side, more often than not, looks at applications. Yes, applications, such as SFA (sales force automation) and even ERP.

Even though utility computing offerings continue to grow and multiply, the utility computing space is still in the pre-chasm crossing phase. A recent article in an influential trade magazine, Government Procurement, has a three page "101"-type article. For those not familiar with the English-language slang, a "101" article is an introductory-level article. Hence, there is still a lot of education that needs to be done. If you get into this space, don't expect potential customers to get it the first time. Expect that you'll need to do some hand-holding and a lot of education.

Note that server utilization is poor, about 20 percent at best; optimizing server utilization is a prime candidate for a virtualization solution. Of course, this also includes storage and pooling of storage resources. There's also a de facto fault tolerance with this approach.

The U.S. government has a Federal Enterprise Architecture (FEA) blueprint which reads a lot like a utility computing solution. It's worth reading. U.S. government agencies also need to consider Continuity of Operations Planning (COOP), although it's a pretty good strategy for many types of firms, spanning from the financial services to the chemical process industries.

Bottom line (on virtualization): Utility computing means less infrastructure, reduced costs, and more highly optimized utilization of IT resources. In the case of virtualization, with its hardware focus, the benefits apply equally to firms in China as they do to firms in the States.

Utility Computing: Software-as-a-Service

The next article was published in the January issue of one of my favorite trades, CIO Insight. It appears to have been written by Oracle's marketing department, but it wasn't. It was about the very successful arrangement between JDS Uniphase and Oracle, probably for ERP and related database hosting. (It's not exactly clear in the article.) It's a solution provided by Oracle's On Demand business unit.

There's a great line by JDS Uniphase's CIO: "Our information technology falls into two buckets, either advancing the business or running the business, and we want somebody else to do the running-the-business stuff." (My emphasis.) Yes, this says it all. It also says where firms should look for end user buy-in., NetLedger and yes, Oracle's On Demand offering are all showing respectable growth. Matter of fact, Oracle's On Demand unit "has been Oracle's fastest-growing business segment for several quarters in a row." What's more amazing is that through forty (40) acquisitions and restructurings, the JDS Uniphase business units were able to get up and running in relatively short order with their Oracle solution. Very impressive.

Bottom line (on software-as-a-service): Expect to see a lot more of this. It's the niche players, but even the larger vendors such as Oracle. And target marketing efforts at running-the-business solutions. One problem in China, however: Most domestic (in China) firms will not give up their corporate data to a third party. Hence, target Western firms in China or coming to China.

Knowledge Management

The phrase "knowledge management" is one of the most misused and misunderstood phrases in the IT industry. The way I've used it is the way most industry analysts use it, i.e., "business intelligence" is for working with structured data and "knowledge management" is for working with unstructured and semi-structured data. However, a respected analyst and author of an article titled, "Knowledge management: Reality at last?" takes a very different (and interesting) position. The article appeared in the February issue of DM Review.

The author suggests that KM is a superset of BI and incorporates BI, data warehousing, collaboration, content management and portals. He also goes on to define the "knowledge" aspect as that of turning raw data and information into something useful. He goes on to challenge the dyadic choice between top-down versus bottom-up approaches and instead proposes that KM systems should be built around communities, i.e., communities of users. For example, a firm's marketing department may be its own community, but a cross-functional product development team, which may include representatives from engineering, manufacturing and marketing, form their own community as well.

Bottom line: I'm going to stick with my definition of KM, but listen to the author's advice, i.e., "KM" systems should be built around communities and must integrate a myriad of technologies, including DW, CMS, portals and collaboration tools.

IBM's Rational Unified Process

A couple of pointers to some tools available from Baseline, another one of my favorite trades. The first is a premium subscription tool for calculating the cost of installing a workflow management system. IBM provided the data. (Unfortunately, the online version of the article is a weak rendition of the printed version. FYI, it was published in the January issue.) Another premium subscription article looks at the cost savings utilizing the RUP approach to software development. This includes another tool -- and I highly recommend this too, especially for SIs and solution providers based in China. It can help make a business case. It should be noted that the RUP approach may help firms overcome not having a CMMi-5 certification by demonstrating to prospective clients that potential fears are probably unwarranted -- assuming, of course, that the solution provider is indeed using the RUP approach.

Bottom line: The RUP approach to software development makes a lot of sense, especially for 99.9% of China's SIs and solution providers.

Accessing Podcasts

The links to the podcasts are fairly solid, but if they don't work, please check this Group's messages (or blog's archives) for an update. In all likelihood, I'll copy the files to the Internet Archive and Ourmedia. (For what it's worth, uploading to the Internet Archive from China is painfully show; several hours at best. And although I'm experimenting with Ourmedia, it's still invitation-only -- and not working very well.) I'll also be transferring my podcast hosting to libsyn, but the podcasts referenced for this post are already up on another service.

The podcast specifically for this message/post can be accessed here.
A podcast describing the mission for David on Enterprise Software can be downloaded here.


David Scott Lewis
President & Principal Analyst
IT E-Strategies, Inc.
Qingdao, China & Menlo Park, California
e-mail: click on
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Thursday, November 11, 2004

[urls/news] The Global Grid: China's HPC Opportunity

Thursday, November 11, 2004
Dateline: China
For this posting, I'm using an annotated urls format.  Let's begin.
The Global Grid
Grid computing.  HPC (high-performance computing).  Lots of trade press coverage.  Lots of academic papers.  Generally, this is a GREAT convergence.  Didn't hold with AI (artificial intelligence), but the coverage of grid computing is much more pervasive.  Also, it's an area where I believe that systems integrators (SIs) in China can play with the globals.  It's new enough that there are no clear leaders.  Okay, maybe IBM is a clear leader, but it's certainly not an established market.
It's also a market where Chinese SIs can leverage work done for domestic applications for Western clients.  This is NOT true in areas such as banking applications; the apps used in China are very different from the apps used in the States.  Fundamentally different systems.  But a lot of grid work is more about infrastructure and custom development.  There's also a lot of open source in the grid sphere.
I've selected some of the best papers and sites for review.  This is certainly not meant to be comprehensive, but simply follow the links for more info.
One last note:  Clicking on any of the following links will likely lead you to an abstract and possibly to some personal commentary not included in this posting.  You may also find related links found by other Furl users.
The "Bible" of the grid world.  The home page will lead to many other relevant papers and reports.  See also The Anatomy of the Grid (PDF).
Hottest journal issue in town!!  Papers may be downloaded for free.  See also Grid computing: Conceptual flyover for developers.
One of the better conferences; covers applications and provides links to several excellent papers and presentations.
Well, the link has been replaced.  Try to get a hold of this paper.  It WAS available for free.  SOA meets the grid.  The lead author, Liang-Jie Zhang, is a researcher at IBM T.J.Watson Research Center and chair of the IEEE Computer Society Technical Steering Committee (technical community) for Services Computing. Contact him at .  Ask for his related papers, too.
Several excellent papers; recent conference.  Middleware:  Yes, middleware is the key to SI opportunities.
Conference held earlier this month!!  See who is doing what in China.
Want a competitive edge in the grid space?  This is it!!
NOTE:  A search for "grid computing" in my Furl archive yields 164 hits (and most are publicly searchable).  See .
Other News
Outsourcing & Offshoring:
I don't agree with this, but it's worth reading, especially considering the source.  I agree that China shouldn't try to be a clone of India, but the arguments in support of the domestic market don't consider margins.
I'll be writing a column for the AlwaysOn Network about the disconnect between China's foreign policy initiatives and the realities of the IT sector.  Suffice it to say that SIs in China should NOT chase after the EU.  Again, do NOT confuse foreign policy with corporate policy!!
More of the same.  Read my comments about Romania by clicking the link ...
Google is coming to China, too.  Think MS Research in Beijing.
Another great move by IBM; they're clearly leading the pack.
This article is a bit confusing.  I suspect that TCS is simply copying the IGS China strategy.  But it's worth noting that they're moving beyond servicing their American clients with a presence in China.
Yes, yes and yes.  Expect a lot more of this.  I wouldn't be surprised to see China's SIs forced to move a bit lower on the U.S. SI food chain for partnerships.  Move up the chain by thinking verticals!!
No need to click; it's all about security.
No, not really a new model; more about a new certification!!  Just what the world needs ...
Enterprise Software:
The title says it all.
Maybe the "P" in "LAMP" should stand for "Plone"?
A strategy for USERS, i.e., SIs in China.
Marketing & Management:
Product Management 101, courtesy of the Harvard Business School.
Spread this throughout your organization ... and then ramp up with some paid tools.
SCM (supply chain management) meets marketing, but with a general management and strategy slant.
G2 planning strategies.  A wee bit mathematical, but still fairly easy to follow.
Expect the next original posting in two or three weeks; my next column for the AlwaysOn Network will be sent to this list.  Off to HK/SZ/ZH/GZ next week.
David Scott Lewis
President & Principal Analyst
IT E-Strategies, Inc.
Menlo Park, CA & Qingdao, China (current blog postings optimized for MSIE6.x) (access to blog content archives in China) (current blog postings for viewing in other browsers and for access to blog content archives in the US & ROW) (AvantGo channel)
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Thursday, October 07, 2004

[commentary] "The New Yellow Peril" (from the Yale Center for the Study of Globalization)

Wednesday, October 6, 2004
Dateline: (back in) China
Yes, I'm back from a two-week trip to sunny California.
A few observations which I'll be writing about for the AlwaysOn Network:
1)  Life in China is miserable compared to life in California (and compared to life in the States in general).  Nevertheless, there are opportunities in China which simply do not exist in the States.
2)  OTOH (on the other hand), I'd vote for Hu/Wen over Bush/Cheney or Kerry/Edwards.  Hey, it's a democracy:  I can vote for them as write-in candidates on my absentee ballot!!  Frankly, my gut tells me that China has better leadership at the top, regardless which party wins the general election.
3)  Beijing must be going crazy.  Beijing despises the Bush administration's foreign policy, but the Democratic Party rhetoric against outsourcing and offshoring is, at least to me, a much more serious issue for China.  The fact remains, however, that there is little that a Kerry administration could do to stop offshoring.  Maybe it's not a serious issue after all ...
Some of the best stuff I've read in defense of outsourcing/offshoring, courtesy of Yale's Center for the Study of Globalization.  See .
Back to regular blogging next week; I'm planning to enjoy the last day of this week's national holiday (in China).  Kind of like Independence Week here in China.
David Scott Lewis
President & Principal Analyst
IT E-Strategies, Inc.
Menlo Park, CA & Qingdao, China

Friday, September 24, 2004

[AO] The Tsingtao Advantage: Western Expats in a City with Few

Thursday, September 23, 2004
Dateline: Los Angeles
My third "Letter from China" column has been published.  For the next few days, it can be accessed at ; the permanent link is .
My last column on outsourcing can be accessed at .  I was in good company last week:  The column was featured along with a blog posting by the FCC Chairman.
My first column on Shanghai can be accessed at .
For all the Chinese government officials on my e-newsletter distribution list, follow Qingdao's lead as described in this week's AO "Letter from China" column.  BTW, the publications referenced are Red Star and Qingdao Expat.
David Scott Lewis
President & Principal Analyst
IT E-Strategies, Inc.
Menlo Park, CA & Qingdao, China

Sunday, September 19, 2004

[urls] Measuring the ROI of Software Process Improvement

Saturday, September 18, 2004
Dateline: China
The following is a sampling of my top ten "urls" for the past couple/few weeks.  By signing up with Furl (it's free), anyone can subscribe to an e-mail feed of ALL my urls (about 100-250 per week) -- AND limit by subject (e.g., ITO) and/or rating (e.g., articles rated "Very Good" or "Excellent").  It's also possible to receive new urls as an RSS feed.
All of the top ten are PDFsClick on the link to read the abstract for each paper.
Note: Off to California for a couple of weeks.  Probably no new, original postings until after the October national holiday in China.  (I get a three week break from writing for this blog, but I'll still be writing columns for the AlwaysOn Network.)
Top Honors:
Measuring the ROI of Software Process Improvement (relatively speaking, very popular among Furl viewers; highly accessible article with a lot of substance and pointers)
Other best new selections (in order of popularity as determined by Furl views, then alphabetically):
A Framework for Off-The-Shelf Software Component Development and Maintenance Processes (this was THE most popular paper, although I liked the ROI article better; superb info, good guidelines, lots of food for thought)
Agent-Based e-Supply Chain Decision Support (not as geeky as it sounds; lead author is with Carnegie Mellon's e-Supply Chain Management Laboratory & Institute for e-Commerce)
B2B E-Commerce Stages of Growth: the Strategic Imperatives (a look at some case studies; provides some insights into B2B adoption and diffusion)
Creating an Open Agent Environment for Context-Aware M-Commerce (from the Mobile Commerce Laboratory at Carnegie Mellon <no, this isn't necessarily CMU week>; I have a lot of doubts about this stuff, but it's worth firing a few neurons and giving it a spin)
Development and Evaluation of Software Process Improvement Methods (Dissertation, 190 pp.) (superb overviews sprinkled with case studies; it was tough to choose between this dissertation and the ROI paper for top honors)
Deriving a Diffusion Framework for Web-Based Shopping Systems (a bit of a technical flavor, but not too technical; puts e-shopping in a broader perspective, e.g., relative to EDI)
* Exploring Defect Causes in Products Developed by Virtual Teams (to all SIs developing a GDM - global delivery model - READ THIS!!; perhaps the most important paper among my top ten)
* Intelligent Support for Software Release Planning (a corporate technical paper describing a very useful software development management tool; see also the Release Planner (tm) home page)
And my PERSONAL favorite:
> The Banality of Google (good for some laughs)
and many, many more ...
David Scott Lewis
President & Principal Analyst
IT E-Strategies, Inc.
Menlo Park, CA & Qingdao, China (current blog postings optimized for MSIE6.x) (access to blog content archives in China) (current blog postings for viewing in other browsers and for access to blog content archives in the US & ROW) (AvantGo channel)
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