Posts Tagged "automotive"

Rise of the robots: blessing or threat?

Posted in Automotive, Cloud, English

Rise of the robots: blessing or threat?

Robots are rrrising! While this could be a variant to a psychedelic Bob Marley song, in reality robots really are rising.  Although most robots are found in the automotive industry and don’t even come close to humanoids like those in Blade Runner, they definitively are getting more ‘human’. Stay with us and discover how a Japanese hotel is ’employing’ robots as hosts. And how the military is already using them.   Military robots DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) has been funding robot research for years. This past summer they showcased “one of the most advanced humanoid robots ever built”: a 6 foot 2 behemoth of a bot called by the name of “Atlas.” It’s creators at Boston Dynamics (a company recently acquired by Google) say it is designed for disaster response, such as nuclear and chemical incidents. Atlas has no weapons, but it’s not hard not to blink your eyes and imagine a potential military future. And how do you like this little mule like robot, the LS3? Pretty awesome huh? For those who are not familiar with DARPA: they designed / invented the foundation of the Internet in the early 70’s. Humanoids Huis Ten Bosch, a theme park in Japan’s Nagasaki Prefecture modeled after Huis Ten Bosch here in the Netherlands , has announced plans to open a hotel with robot staff and other advanced technologies. The hotel will be called Henn-na Hotel, which translates as Strange Hotel. According to the park, the first phrase of the two-story hotel will open on July 17 2015 with 72 rooms. The second phrase will be completed in 2016 with an additional 72 rooms. Operating under the motto “a commitment for evolution,” the hotel will feature three “actroids” (robots with strong human likeness) that will act as receptionists. They’ll be able to engage in intelligent conversations with human guests. These robots take on a much more human look,  like this one. The hotel will also employ four service and porter robots, and others engaged in tasks like cleaning. Robots in healthcare Some see robots as the perfect match and solution for the rapidly growing number of patients in healthcare. And if you take a look at the more friendly robots like the one hotel Henn-na is going to employ, it might not be such a strange solution as it initially sounds. Trials and experience have shown that people tend to have feelings of attachment to friendly humanoids. Cars as robots Robots come in many different forms. Basically any autonomous moving machine could be defined as a robot. According to this definition Google’s car is a robot too. Still sounds a bit strange doesn’t it, Google as a car maker. Or  is it simply ‘Google as a provider of software and systems for autonomous cars?’ Robots and the cloud Whether it’s humanoids, drones, autonomous driving cars or military robots, they all have one thing in common: they need to communicate with each other and the outside world. While most robots have local communications capabilities,  more and more of them are able to hook up to the Internet aka the cloud to communicate. The age of the intelligent connected machines is here. Only the future can tell where this robot evolution will lead us and how fast it’ll take place. Blessing or threat? Depends from which angle you view this question. But one thing is for sure: it will go faster than you and I think. Inventor, scientist and best selling author of books like ‘The age of Spiritual Machines’ and ‘How to create a mind’ Ray Kurzweil was once self employed. Now for the first time in his life he has a job. Since end 2012 he...

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Video Interview with CEO Rob vd Boogaard Autoradam

Posted in Application and desktop virtualization, Automotive, Citrix, English, Outsourcing, Smart terminals, Thin clients

Video Interview with CEO Rob vd Boogaard Autoradam

In this video CEO Rob van den Boogaard of Dutch mobility company Autoradam is interviewed by John Duynhouwer, CEO of iTRACTION. This post gives you a summary of the interview. This is not a slick promo video. It’s about the advantages of outsourcing from a very practical customer’s point of view.      12 years After doing business for more than 12 years together I thought it would be a great idea to interview one of our oldest and most loyal customers. So I sat down with CEO Rob van den Boogaard of mobility company Autoradam and asked him a couple of questions with regards to his experiences with outsourcing and hosted desktops. I am very thankful Rob took the time off from his busy agenda to answer my questions. Nothing was scripted in this interview and Rob didn’t see the questions in advance. About Autoradam Amsterdam based Autoradam was founded in 1881 as a coal company by Rob’s grandfather and rapidly moved on to oil and later gasoline. In the 90’s the company rapidly transformed from a gas station into a mobility company with multiple locations in Amsterdam and Almere and today they are still expanding. Autoradam offers customers a range of automotive services, including flexible short-term car leasing and rental services from its fleet of reliable and high quality vehicles, along with competitively priced fuel and one of the largest and most modern car washes in the Netherlands No more capital costs and waste In the interview Rob explains how happy he is that he doesn’t have to buy hardware anymore. “I’m so happy I’don’t have to spend money on computers that will be hopelessly outdated within 3 years” he says.  “No more worries and wasted time about having to buy new computers, and no more ‘locked up’ capital either.” Fast and easy expansion Rob goes on to explain that due to outsourcing with WorkingOnline he and his staff can spend all his time on growing their business. Rolling out a new rental desk, shop, carwash or gas station is as easy as clicking it into the existing infrastructure. Due to the simple smart terminals the company uses since 2002, it’s literally plug and play. All that is needed is the data-communication lines and network  equipment and this too is rented from Itraction. Login from anywhere in the world “One of the things I really appreciate about WorkingOnline”, Rob says, “is the fact that my desktop just roams with me wherever I go. It’s so convenient that I can work anywhere and access not only company data but also my Line of Business applications like Rentsoft and Oribi from every device, wherever I am.” Security “I really appreciate the heavy security” Rob says. “Occasionally we’re unable to view a website and then Itraction says, well that’s because we don’t trust that site so it’s blocked, and well, then we’re not too happy because sometimes we have to wait, but overall I’m very satisfied and impressed by the level of security. If we ran our own systems I’m sure we would have bypassed the firewall. It gives me a good feeling that we can fully trust Itraction to take care of our data”.   Please let us know about your thoughts on outsourcing and it’s benefits. How do you think outsourcing or app virtualisation  would be valuable for your company? Do you have a customer case you would like to share with us? We really appreciate your feedback, please go ahead and tell our readers in the box...

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5 Top Strategies to Make More Money with IT

Posted in Automotive, Cloud computing strategy, English, Outsourcing

5 Top Strategies to Make More Money with IT

Most people think IT is about spending money and never seeing it back. For some companies it’s true: all the money they spend on IT tends to disappear in a ‘black hole’. It doesn’t have to be that way. Want to see how? Here’s 5 top strategies to make more money with IT.   Strategy 1: Stop spending money on hardware One of the biggest ways to ‘burn’ money is buying new hardware every 2 or 3 years. Almost nothing loses it’s value as fast as new hardware. Not even cars! Prices are still going down and what was fast and hot a year ago is slow now.  But how can you not buy hardware when you desperately need to roll out new applications? Stay tuned, we’ll get to that in a minute. Strategy 2: Stop spending money on software upgrades Software needs fast hardware to perform, well, at least in the old world. There’s one exception to this rule, I’ll get to that in Strategy 5. But let’s agree, it’s the software, the applications that count, hardware is only a means. So you need new software but do you need to spend the money on them? All those upgrades, new Windows versions, new Office versions, one thing’s sure and that is they will go on forever. But you can save here, big time in fact. More…you guessed: nr. 5. Strategy 3: Start spending money on smart apps Smart software, smart applications are what can really help a company boost it’s productivity. Help it do more with less effort. And at lower costs. I mean, isn’t that the reason why we invented IT  😉 It pays to do good research and find Line of Business apps that help your automotive company excel. This software is fully tailored to automotive businesses. Here in The Netherlands we have Rentsoft and Lodder that create great LoB software for automotive companies. Strategy 4: Start using Social Media to promote your business The power of Social Media is not only for individuals but for businesses as well. Just see how LinkedIn is being used by companies nowadays. Marketing experts agree that a blog is a great way to promote your companies products and services. But you need social media to engage with your target audience otherwise your blogs won’t get noticed. Strategy 5: Outsource! In strategies 1 and 2 we already referred to outsourcing as a powerful way to focus on your core business and keep your software updated without the high hardware costs. It’s really simple: when you outsource your IT with a full service solution like WorkingOnline hosted desktop you create the time to focus on what really matters. A hosted desktop will run on hardware as old as 1998 and since no investments are needed you can use your money wisely instead of wasting it on hardware and recurring software upgrades. These are all included in the monthly fee. Please let us know about your thoughts on IT and money. Does your company spend a lot on IT? How does it pay off? We really appreciate your feedback, go ahead and tell our readers about your experiences in the box...

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Hoe innovatie automotive bedrijven helpt winnen

Posted in Auto branche, Dutch, Outsourcing (nl)

Hoe innovatie automotive bedrijven helpt winnen

Innovatie is essentieel. Complete industrieën zijn afhankelijk van innovatie om te overleven. Kijk bijvoorbeeld naar de ICT, elk jaar en soms tweemaal jaarlijks lanceren bedrijven zoals Google en Apple spannende nieuwe producten en diensten. Sommige automotive bedrijven die auto’s produceren zijn ook erg innovatief. Maar hoe zit het met innovatie en een autodealer of autoverhuurbedrijf of een garage? Blijf bij ons en lees verder om te ontdekken waarom uw bedrijf ook kan en moet innoveren. Wat is de definitie van innovatie? Innovatie heeft vele definities, hier is er een die mij het meest aanspreekt: “Innovatie is mensen die nieuwe kennis en begrip gebruiken om te experimenteren met nieuwe mogelijkheden om nieuwe concepten te implementeren die nieuwe waarde creëert.”  Wat me aanspreekt in deze definitie is het woord nieuw wat vaak voorkomt en met name het woord ‘waarde’. Want zaken en economie gaat over waarde. Nieuw mogelijkheden creëren heel vaak waarde. Waarom is innovatie zo belangrijk? Innovatie als een manier om waarde te creëren is zo belangrijk omdat het als katalysator werkt voor de schepping van producten en diensten die echte waarde leveren. Laten we een voorbeeld nemen uit de automotive business. Toen Toyota haar hybride Prius lanceerde in 1997 was het erg innovatief omdat het een elektrische motor had naast de benzine motor. Met deze elektrische motor werd een groot probleem opgelost en wel die van brandstof verbruik. Door werkelijk innovatief te zijn en een nieuw concept te lanceren verschafte de Prius enorme waarde aan kopers. Hoe gaat uw bedrijf profiteren van innovatie? Nou, dat is dan aardig voor een fabrikant als Toyota met enorme middelen, hoor ik u zeggen. Maar hoe kan mijn bedrijf profiteren? Wel, het is niet hoe u kunt profiteren maar hoe u zult profiteren. Want als u innovatie op de juiste manier aanpakt dan zult u zeker profiteren. Laten we beginnen: maak een lijst van de top 3 problemen waar uw bedrijf mee worstelt. Kies nu de nr. 1 probleem. Brainstorm over dit probleem met uw team voor een ochtend en schrijf alle mogelijke oplossingen op. Onthoud dat buiten de geijkte kaders denken een van grootste aanjagers van innovatie is. Een makkelijke en snelle manier om buiten de kaders te denken is om zoveel mogelijke oplossingen zo snel als u kunt op te schrijven. Probeer dit spontaan te doen, vooral niet hard piekeren maar laat het team ze gewoon roepen. Het zal u verbazen hoeveel interessante oplossingen naar voren komen. Hier heeft u een gratis brainstorm innovatie tip van mij voor u. Door u zich volledig te richten op uw core business wint u meer tijd om te werken aan uw business in plaats van alleen in uw business. En tijd om te innoveren. Op deze manier houdt u een voorsprong op uw concurrenten. Mijn advies is om alles uit te besteden wat daadwerkelijk uitbesteed kan worden…zoals ICT  😉   Laat ons svp uw ervaringen weten met innovatie. Op welke gebieden innoveert uw bedrijf? Welke valkuilen kwam u tegen en hoe ging u ermee om? We stellen heel erg prijs op uw commentaar, laat het ons en onze lezers weten in het commentaarveld hier...

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How innovation helps automotive companies win the battle

Posted in Automotive, Cloud, Cloud computing strategy, English, Outsourcing

How innovation helps automotive companies win the battle

Innovation in today’s world is essential. Complete industries depend on innovation in order to survive. In IT for example, every year or sometimes even twice a year, companies like Google and Apple launch new exciting products and services. Some automotive companies that manufacture cars too are very innovative. But how about innovation and a car dealership or a car rental agency or a garage? Read on to see why your company too can and must innovate.    What’s the definition of innovation? Innovation has many definitions. Here’s one I like the most: “Innovation is people using new knowledge and understanding to experiment with new possibilities in order to implement new concepts that create new value“. What I like in this definition is the word ‘new’ and especially the word ‘value’. Because business and the economy is about value. New possibilities usually create value. Why is innovation so important? Innovation as a way to create value is so important because it jump starts the creation of products and services that deliver true value. Let’s take an example from the automotive industry. When Toyota introduced their hybrid Prius back in 1997 it was very innovative since it had an electric motor next to it’s main gasoline motor. With this electric motor the fuel efficiency problem was solved. By being innovative and introducing a new concept the Prius provided massive value to buyers. How will your company benefit from innovation? Now that’s good for a manufacturer like Toyota with massive resources, you might say, but how can my company benefit? Well, it’s not how you can benefit but how you will benefit. Because if innovation is done the right way your company will benefit for sure. To start, make a list of the 3 top problems your company is suffering from. Now choose the nr. 1 problem. Brainstorm on this problem with your team for a complete morning, writing all possible solutions down. Remember, one of the keys to innovation is thinking out of the box. An easy way to think out of the box is to write as many solutions down as fast as possible. You shouldn’t think about them, just let your team yell ‘m out. You’ll be surprised at how many interesting solutions come up. Here’s a ‘brainstorm free’  innovation tip from me for you. By focusing on your core business you gain more time to work on your business (instead of only in your business) and to innovate. That way you’ll keep a competitive advantage. My advice is to outsource what you possibly can outsource….like IT  😉 Please let us know about your experiences with innovation. In which areas has your company innovated? Which pitfalls did you encounter and how did you deal with them? We really appreciate your feedback, go ahead and tell our readers about your experiences in the box...

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