Thought Leadership from Georgia: Spanning the Bahamas and the world at large

Benn Konsynsky speaking at the CIO Forum

Emory Professor Says U.S. to Lose Position as Innovation Center

By Babs Sachdeva

Atlanta kicked off the New Year in with several January events in its Technology Circles focused on different dimensions of the new world order that is being shaped by technological advances. As the world gets closer, thought leaders in Georgia are spreading the word on how entrepreneurs worldwide can benefit from it. Dr. Narsi Narsimhan, CEO of Paalam Inc, and formerly faculty at Georgia Tech was invited by the Govt. of Bahamas to speak on how to use technology to enhance the customer experience at every touch-point. Speaking at the annual Bahamas Tourism week, Dr Narsimhan provided an overarching view of how Web 2.0, IPTV, and the general trend in enabling technologies is empowering the customer as opposed to yesterday’s controlled environment where the seller dictated the rules. “In any exchange, the rules should not and no longer stack up against you as society balances itself within online communities. There is a self-adjusting system that produces quality work out of user-generated data.” Citing how community polices itself, he talks about Wikipedia as the ultimate validation of how this balance can be achieved as bias gets rejected by systems developed and monitored by the millions of users on the web. Narsi points to the richness in the internet medium as being largely a vehicle for such change because he says “what we are witnessing and will witness flourishing even more is the productivity of the end user itself. What companies like Amazon have realized is that all the seller needs to do now is to provide a framework where content comes from the community (like its Book Reviews) and the policing too is done by the same group who provides and relies on that information”. Mallika Gaddepalli, Senior Manager of Business Intelligence at Indusa Global also shared her findings with the Ministry of Tourism, at the same event in the Bahamas providing a Six Sigma perspective on enhancing customer service using new kinds of consumer data.

In another event, speaking at the CIO Forum, an invitation-only luncheon event at the Buckhead Club, Dr. Benn Konsynski, George S. Craft Emory University Professor of Business Administration and Decision and Information Analysis; and Les Ottolenghi, CEO, INTENT MediaWorks, led the discussion on rapid changes in the way we use and deliver information and the effect these changes have on corporate strategy. Dr. Konsynski, formerly on the faculty of Harvard University and consultant to major corporations, told the assembled group of technology executives that Internet Protocol based television (IPTV) and other trends are yet to be put to real use. “For example, the traditional broadcast industry is in for a surprise with this disruptive technology. Much like newspapers are scrambling to compete with Internet based delivery of news and classifieds, TV networks are coming under pressure,” he said.

Les Ottolenghi has already built a company in Atlanta which is revolutionizing peer-to-peer Internet media-sharing, by innovating upon a business process that allows such downloads to be profitable for the producers of the media products. Ottolenghi spoke about the increasing pace of change in the media delivery industry, especially focusing on the new potential for rich media consumption which combines digital music and TV…all made possible by emerging technologies.

“The change in distribution of media products, made possible by emerging technologies is such that we won’t recognize the music and TV distribution system in five to seven years,” Ottolenghi said. “When you tie in the growth in the new consumer populations in India and China, it will be an explosion.” Adding to Konsynski’s IPTV comments, he said, “New web services allow owners of large libraries of useful multi-media content, such as AAA maps, to monetize these valuable assets. Not all firms seem to know how to thrive in the new world order.”