Category Archives: Uncategorized

Serverless Computing on Cloud Platforms – The Game Changer

Amazon’s Lambda and Google Cloud Functions are ushering in the next generation computational model, which in my opinion will have a profound impact on how applications will be developed, operated and maintained. As the capabilities of Lambda and Cloud Functions improve there will be less incentive for developing applications based on virtual machines and containers. We are closing in on the iOS application model on Cloud platforms.

What You Need In An IoT Platform

Despite some overzealous efforts related Internet of Things (IoT) the trend has legs and real business value. Internet of Things is one of the foundational elements of Digital Transformation. Advances in IoT are transforming products into connected experiences and services.

An End-to-End Internet of Things (IoT) platform, however, needs to provide more than just data collection and data analysis capabilities. Based on my experience with a real world (cost constrained, patchy connectivity, low power) IoT scenario I found the need for following capabilities in an end-to-end IoT (software only) platform. Hardware aspects are omitted in this post because of the diversity of use cases and design considerations that cannot easily be generalized. Continue reading What You Need In An IoT Platform

Architecting An Enterprise Document Management System With Google Drive And Google Object Storage

There is no doubt that Google Drive is a great document management and collaboration system for individuals and teams. Google Drive does start to show its limitations when you begin to use it as a document management system for the whole organization.

Organizations use an enterprise document management (like Documentum, Alfresco…) to support key business processes in marketing, sales, product development, manufacturing, quality management, customer service, etc. In addition, proper document management is necessary to meet regulatory requirements in many industries. Some of the expected capabilities of an enterprise document management include the following

  • Storage capability for terabytes of data and millions of documents
  • Sophisticated access control
  • Audit trail
  • Workflow
  • Archiving
  • Collaboration (internal and external)
  • Revision control
  • Search, Full text indexing, etc.

While Drive has some of the above capabilities, some of the limitations can make it difficult to use it as the enterprise document management system. This is where Google Cloud Storage comes into the picture. You can learn more about Google Cloud Storage here.

The figure below shows the high-level architecture of how to leverage Drive and Google Cloud Storage to create your enterprise document storage management system.

google-drive-cloud-storage-01

In the example above, users (Homer Simpson and Lisa Simpson) use Google Drive for local storage and collaboration and Google Cloud Storage as the central enterprise wide data storage.

However, certain amount of integration and application code needs to be written between Google Drive and Google Cloud Storage to complete the enterprise document management system. We will cover the integration and application code in a later post.

In summary, the combination of Google Drive and Google Cloud Storage creates a compelling enterprise document management solution for organizations of all sizes that users will love to use and CIOs approve.

Amazon’s NICE move

Nice move, Amazon. High Performance Computing (Simulation, Computer Aided Engineering (CAE), Graphics rendering, etc.) has been one of the earliest use cases and for Cloud Computing. This was true even before the advent of AWS and the likes. The computers and infrastructure that were traditionally used for these jobs were Super Computers from Department of Energy, Super Computing Centers and/or clusters of computers. Move over, DoE. We have a new super computing cluster in the town.

The Platform Test for Public Cloud Computing Platforms

The paper by Dr. Cusunamo and Dr. Gawer on “Industry Platforms and Ecosystem Innovation” is a good resource to understand platform strategies and their impact on innovation in various industry ecosystems. In this post we will use some of the key points of the paper to evaluate Public Cloud Computing Platform strategies of Amazon, Google and Microsoft.

Dr. Cusunamo and Dr. Gawer define external (industry) platforms as products, services or technologies that provide the foundation upon which outside firms (organized as a ‘business ecosystem’) can develop their own complementary products, technologies, or services.

The paper identifies a number of different types of platforms, including internally focused product platforms, supply chain platforms and external platforms. But the focus is on external platforms and their characteristics. This post applies the analysis from the paper to the 3 dominant Public Cloud Computing platforms – Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud Platform and Microsoft Azure – and see which one fares best as an external platform. Continue reading The Platform Test for Public Cloud Computing Platforms

Brexit and Supply Chain Management

It’s time to revisit supply chain design and optimization books, software and research papers

Here is the initial list. Please revisit this page as I will continue to add to the list.

Books

Supply chain design software

Papers

Adding Clicks to Bricks, and Vice Versa

The omnipresence and influence of Amazon is felt everywhere by the retail industry, even though actual e-commerce volume is currently less than 10% of the overall retail volume. With e-commerce expected to grow at a healthy clip the next several years, the urgency to develop cost-effective omni-channel capabilities for traditional retailers cannot be overstated. Continue reading Adding Clicks to Bricks, and Vice Versa

Can Connected And Smart Products Reduce Bullwhip Effect in the Supply Chain

Amazon’s collaboration with Brita on the Smart Pitcher is what busy parents have been waiting for a long time. It brings us closer to the Jetsons era and “The Autonomous House”. There is, however, one group that will be even more thrilled than busy parents with this development – Supply Chain Planners.

To understand why this is the case we revisit the Bullwhip effect. You can review the background in the seminal paper on The Bullwhip Effect in Supply Chains. Continue reading Can Connected And Smart Products Reduce Bullwhip Effect in the Supply Chain

Zara’s Agile Manufacturing And Supply Chain Operations Have Toyota Production System Written All Over

Inditex, the parent company of Zara, at one point in 2015 was worth over $100 Billion in market cap. It is unusual for a company in Fast Fashion to be so valuable. Only Nike comes close. Obviously, such performance attracts all kinds of interest to understand the secret to its success. I read a number of research papers and case studies, which are listed below, to understand the secret sauce. After reading the papers and case studies, it became apparent to me that Zara practices a version of Toyota Production System suited for Fast Fashion industry. Continue reading Zara’s Agile Manufacturing And Supply Chain Operations Have Toyota Production System Written All Over