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Asia Press (December 1999)

Friday, December 17, 1999
Sending time with the press is always a pleasure. I always feel like I learn more than they do! Hearing their questions, interacting with them, and especially reading the stories they write really refines my thinking. Follwing is some of the coverage that resulted and a list of the publications and reporters I met with. My discussion with them focused on IBM’s vision of the next generation of the Internet which you can learn more about at http://www.ibm.com/us/en/.

Lianhe Zaobao, Singapore: Net Man from IBM Predicts Future Web Sites will be Filled with Sound and Pictures, By Zhang Xiao Zhong (Dec. 02, 1999)

Two years later, if a web site has no sound or images, it will face extinction.

This may sound insulting, however IBM’s “Net Man” John Patrick, thinks this is the trend.

He says, “If two years later, your web site has no sound or images, that’s like you watching shows on a black and white television, very outdated.”

He predicts that future multimedia will incorporate broadcasts and the Internet.

John Patrick was in Singapore yesterday to talk about the future development of Next Generation Internet.

At the press conference, he demonstrated an IBM new generation music appliance. It looks like any other music appliance sold in an electronics shop, but its secret lies in the microchip.

If you look closely, the machine is actually an Internet machine, its top has all the worldwide radio stations which you can enjoy or download music from.

Patrick tells the reporters, “Soon, you’ll notice that almost all machines will have Internet capabilities, you can find the information you need anytime. If my home has an air conditioner hooked on the Internet, I can easily control the temperature wherever I am.”

As the chairman of the Global Internet Project, he thinks that Internet development is still in the early stages. “Even though we say there are many people online nowadays, compared with the world population, it’s only a small portion.”

Analysing the development of the Internet, he thinks that there are many miracles happening. The most obvious example is instant messaging.

He says, American students will log on when they reach home to “talk” on the Internet. “In the future, you will se more and more companies using instant messaging, using it as a business tool.”

Instant messaging and e-mail can co-exist If everyone starts using instant messaging, will e-mail activity become outdated? His reply: instant messaging and e-mail can co-exist. People will use instant messaging to immediately contact the other party because you can instantly converse with the other person.

He also demonstrated an instant messaging operating system which is intelligent and could translate other languages.

He points out that artificial intelligence and multi language translation capabilities will be the features of the Next Generation Internet. Users can use the language they’re most familiar with to communicate with others.

Will historically significant companies disappear because of the many online business cropping up?

He says: “These traditional companies will still exist, in fact, they have a special advantage. Firstly, they have the financial resources, manpower, if they can follow the trend and make the necessary changes, they will still have a bright future.”

“The question is whether they will be able to change quickly, developing products at the right price which will meet customer satisfaction. Otherwise, they will be replaced by other companies.”

Commercial Times, Taiwan: IBM Helps Set Up Next Generation Net Standard, By Zhang Qiu Rong (Dec. 07, 1999)

Vice-president of IBM’s Internet Technology, John Patrick, pointed out yesterday that IBM is currently helping to set up the Next Generation Internet ticket, including assisting Internet Service Providers promote differential services with information on the Internet in different forms such as e-mail, mailbags which determine management of information, to raise the Qos. IBM plans to organise an experiment next June with ISPs.

Moreover, IBM is also up-to-date with current technologies, moving into telecommunications and information services, technologies which enable information to be sent home or to school through the Internet. It’s currently being integrated with products.

Patrick is vice-president of IBM’s Internet Technology whose main responsibility is to develop innovative Internet technology. Currently, he’s leading a research group in developing Next Generation Internet technology use. He’s also the chairman of the Global Internet Project and also the founding member of W3C. Patrick is the main spokesperson for this month’s Internet Month and will be participating in today’s Internet Business seminar.

With “The Future of e-business and Internet” as the theme, Patrick shared some of his thoughts with the reporters. He points out that even though the Internet has matured there are only 2% of people online and this is just the beginning.

He says traditional firms have the brand name, partners, financial backing; if they can change their online strategy quickly, they may not be replaced by dot.com companies. He stresses that speed is important in developing online. If a company waits until the millennium to start planning their online strategy, it’ll be too late by then.

Patrick also suggests that a company has to look in from the outside, from the viewpoint of the customers if they want to survive online.

Regarding IBM’s e-business strategy, Patrick says it’s the integration of software and hardware products and services into e-business solutions to assist the customer. In 1999, IBM’s e-business takings are 25%.

Patrick points out that 10% of people who are Internet users log on through their home PCs. This figure will drop by half in two years’ time, with people accessing the Internet from television sets, mobile phones, PDAs, public information kiosks and other devices.

Patrick also points that the second generation Internet will be more natural, pervasive, easy, intelligent, fast and accessible anytime, anywhere. Current more important technology being researched includes XML, RFD, P3P, PICS, WAP and
Bluetooth.

Asia Computer Weekly, Singapore: Internet Access to Become Ubiquitous, By Jorina Choy (Dec. 20, 1999)

The pervasiveness of the Internet around the world will be accelerated by the proliferation of a wide variety of Internet-acess-enabled devices in the coming years, according to two Internet gurus who were in Singapore recently.

And the bulk of these devices will not even be PCs.

“Today, 95% of Internet access is through PCs and browsers. In the next two to three years, that percentage is going to drop to less than 50%. PCs will continue to grow but other devices for accessing the Internet will emerge – PDAs, pagers, mobile phones, kiosks, new information appliances that will have browsing capabilities and an OS,” said John Patrick, VP of Internet Technology, IBM.

Patrick leads the company in its efforts to create innovative technologies to Web-enable computers.

“There will not just be pervasive computing in the mobile phones but also connectivity in all devices – you turn the device on and it works – making accessing the Internet a very natural thing to do.”

According to Vinton Cerf, senior VP for Internet Architecture and Technology, MCI WorldCom, who is also known as a “Father of the Internet”, there will be almost 900 million devices which can accessed the Internet by 2006, from about 300 million today.

Besides the conventional Internet-enabled devices currently beinbg developed which we are already seeing today, Cerf pointed to more unusual devices like video gaming consoles, automobiles, refrigerators, and Web-server-on-a-chip.

Certain applications are going to rise up as next-generation Internet technologies, such as instant messaging, video streaming , and 24×7 learning, stated Patrick.

“Ninety-five per cent of instant messaging users are aged 15 on the average. But over the next few years, instant messaging will increase in importance as a business tool. Businesses will be able to have phone conferences and have instant messaging as a backchannel. E-mail is not going to go away,” he added.

Economic Daily News, Taiwan: IBM’s New Generation E-Business Solution Leader, By Lin Li Mei (Dec. 07, 1999)

Will assist enterprises in setting up e-business, providing software and hardware services.

American company, IBM’s Internet Technology vice-president, John Patrick points out that IBM’s e-business strategy is very simple – that is assisting customers to build their business online, IBM will not compete with its customer. IBM will be the new generation e-business solution leader, providing the software and hardware products and services.

Patrick says that 25% of IBM’s profits this year will be from e-business. Among all the businesses, IBM thinks that the software and services for e-business will be the
fastest growing units. IBM is currently involved in the Global Internet Project.

Patrick says that IBM is one of the earliest companies to come up with the e-business
concept, implementation stage. There are already many business partners in Taiwan
using IBM leased technology, servers, software as well as other products.

Patrick thinks that in future, there will be a thousand times more users on the
Internet using pictures in e-mail as well as for transactions including:

  1. Computing will reach a stage when machines will be able to “talk” with each other, communicating and storing information.
  2. Researchers worldwide will be able to access large volumes of information at the same time, in real time, without break ups in connection or slow moving pictures.
  3. Library, catalogue users can store and retrieve large volumes of high quality multimedia discs and quickly send it out.
  4. People globally will be able to enjoy the same information and respond to it at the same time which will bring about changes in education, science and innovation.

Patrick points out IBM has many plans underway in the new e-business roadmap including a research centre in California dedicated to distributing storage technology, an innovative Internet Research Centre in Chicago, Singapore’s innovative research and education facility, in cooperation with SingAREN.

HK Economic Journal, Hong Kong: IBM Internet Expert Thinks All-Purpose Web Site Still has Room to Survive (Dec. 04, 1999)

Vice-president of IBM’s Internet Technology, John Patrick points out that even though recent research figures show that the flow of information on the Internet and the number of Internet users have decreased, future all-purpose Web sites will still be important, but compared with the world population, it’s only a small portion. Citing himself as an example, even though he seldom uses Yahoo now, instead he goes directly to his favourite Web sites through his bookmarks, Patrick thinks that Web sites like Yahoo will still be useful for the millions, even billions of new users.

He says that other all-purpose Web sites will be able to develop further; the first types is a specialised all-purpose Web site like e-chemical whose main target audience are medical professionals. Patrick says this type of Web site may charge a fee or develop into an industrial transaction centre.

The second type is a “people” Web site, for example Shi Qun Wu’s Web site is everchanging with children having their own piece of heaven, adults also have their own interests; such as sina.com – a Chinese Web site specifically for people interested in China, Chinese news. Patrick points out that this is the kind of Web site which people participate in. He advises them to put their names in favourite web sites of their targeted customers.

Lastly, Patrick says people’s hopes are the final decision on what things will fail or succeed. It is not the present rules of a corporation; if an enterprise puts up its regular information on the Internet and not according to what the customer requires, it will be a mistake. He says that enterprises should hire 16 year old teenagers to look at the e-business strategy to see if they will be interested in the Web site even though they have no idea about how the business works.

Liberty Times, Taiwan: IBM Internet Vice-President..Development of Future Enterprises will Speed Up, By Zhuo Yi Jun (Dec. 07, 1999)

Patrick espouses the seven features of next generation Internet, pointing out that enterprises have to find their own style and survival.

Responsible for developing IBM’s next generation Internet, John Patrick, IBM’s Internet Technology vice-president was here for an interview yesterday. He points out that the ever changing Internet tools will bring down the number of Internet users accessing the Net from PCs – from 97% to less than 50% in two years. The Next Generation Internet will become the biggest focus of enterprises, moreover the ability of enterprises in finding their own personality in the Web culture will be a matter of survival.

John Patrick is here for IBM’s Technology Month and will be participating in the e-business seminar. He will also give a speech on e-business. Patrick thinks that the Internet is sweeping the whole world by storm, changing people’s lives, enterprises and so on. E-business enterprises are already the moving force in the business world, many companies are fighting to be dot.com companies, however, not all companies will be successful. The failure of many dot.com companies will be evident next year.

Patrick points out there will be seven features of Next Generation Internet, namely it will be natural, easy, pervasive, speedy, reliable and forever. IBM is currently involved in the Global Internet Project. IBM is a solution provider in the Internet world, assisting customers in setting up e-businesses, providing software and hardware products and services. This year, 25% of IBM’s profits will be from e-business. Lastly, Patrick stresses that enterprises in facing the Internet Age should totally change their business concepts and corporate culture. The strength of the enterprise and their speed will determine if they will succeed.

United Daily News: Success in e-business depends on initiative (Dec. 07, 1999)

IBM vice-president John R Patrick: Next Generation Internet applications will be new and quick

IBM’s Internet Technology vice-president, John Patrick, here for Internet Month, pointed out yesterday that the success of future e-businesses will depend on these companies providing initiative and useful services; and IBM will be the company providing all-encompassing solutions. He points out that e-business is developing very quickly the Next Generation Internet. Future Internet information will become the trend and Internet devices will become more pervasive.

John Patrick is one of the founding members of W3C. With the rapid advancement of the Internet in the past five years, John Patrick develops Internet technologies at IBM and has jointly developed solutions for the American Government and enterprises.

He explains that the Next Generation Internet referred to will include current Internet technology, a faster speed, building a new standard as well as providing new application solutions. For example, future Internet connection speed will be almost as fast as the speed of light. For this reason, sound, video, pictures will be included in information in the future Internet. He points out that Internet business users in America are now able to consolidate business standards and he hopes in future a new standard will be built allowing different types of information to be sent in different forms such as e-mail, video or Internet mailboxes to users.

John Patrick thinks that future e-businesses will depend mainly on software and services. For example, American Internet users are already studying, researching and conferencing online. With a faster Internet connection speed, users will be able to obtain information anytime, anywhere.

Moreover, the Internet provides personalised information, John Patrick thinks that the PDA, mobile phone, pager and other mobile device markets will transform rapidly. Enterprises will move towards dot.com development, however, only those companies providing initiative and services will succeed. He thinks that effective Internet education, training, information services and other related Internet services will be the next direction for enterprises’ survival in the online world.

Computerworld, Hong Kong: Some portals may come unhinged in 2000, By Alan Soon (Dec. 07, 1999)

The portal sector could see some tightening in the coming year.

According to John Patrick, IBM’s vice-president of Internet technology, business economics could start to weed out poorly-envisaged portal sites.

At a press briefing in Hong Kong last week, Patrick identified two areas of “casualties” in 2000: dot-coms with business models that don’t make sense, and companies that were too cautious to carve a big presence on the Internet.

Patrick, who is responsible for shaping IBM’s Internet strategy, expects all-purpose portals to find greater difficulty in the market, while vertically-integrated portals could be increasingly popular. In particular, he sees community portals as gaining a higher profile. “Hanging out has emerged in my mind as an important business,”
said Patrick.

He also cautioned businesses to take the expectations of customers more seriously. “Expectations of people will drive the next wave of the Internet,” he said. “People, not companies.”

Looking ahead, Patrick sees a move toward “ubiquitous access.” Presently, more than 95 percent of all Web pages are viewed using a PC and a browser. In two years, he expects that level to drop to less than 50 percent as the market moves toward Web-enabled mobile phones, personal digital assistants, pagers, kiosks, and a new class of personal information appliances.

The Straits Times, Singapore: Life will be easier, says IBM’s chief dreamer – By Tan Hwee Ann (Dec. 04, 1999)

LIFE in the future will be easier. People will have more free time even though they may be on the job and connected every minute.

This is what Mr John Patrick, International Business Machines’ (IBM) vice-president of Internet technology, thinks will happen and this is all thanks to the new Internet that is rolling out.

Painting a future where the Internet underpins “every aspect of life”, he said that the software “will make things easier, not just software that is easier to use, but life”.

Acknowledging that a more connected world so far has meant “more squeeze” on people’s time, he said new technology will make the Internet so natural, intelligent and easy that it will turn things around.

Corporate road warriors will not travel but do video- conferencing. People will have access to specialists worldwide.

One of the key changes will be due to more bandwidth — the channel on which information is conveyed. This means
Internet traffic will be able to travel 1,000 times faster.

With that, video will become the norm on the Web. And the faster speed and the more “intuitive approach” that video will bring to what IBM is calling the Next Generation Internet will mean a new way of doing business.

“With video coming to the Web, there is a broad range of opportunities,” said the veteran who has been with IBM for 31
years.

Right at the bottom will be firms providing the infrastructure, such as cables and servers. Higher up the chain will be firms selling software and providing services such as e-mail and utilities.

On top of that are the old businesses such as banks and retailers, all online. And then further up the hierarchy are the most people-oriented businesses such as education and entertainment.

In other words, the Internet will be the economy.

In that kind of world, Asia will do well too. He dismissed concerns that Asian start-ups lacked the verve of those in
Silicon Valley.

“The speed and business model is the same. It’s just like San Francisco. The only difference is that it’s dot.com.sg,” he said. Such a broad expanse of outlook comes easily to Mr Patrick. He is, after all, also known as the chief dreamer of the world’s most well-known personal computer maker.

Computer Times, Singapore: Browse the Web from your mobile phone, By Ong Boon Kiat (December 8, 1999)

Eight billion webpages will be on the World Wide Web in two years – an eightfold increase from today, according to Internet expert John Patrick’s estimate. Yet two developments will make the Internet easier to use: a new webpage construction language called XML (eXtended Markup Language), and a diversity of Web-access mechanisms.

Unlike the incumbent HTML (HyperText Markup Language), XML labels virtually any item on a webpage – text, graphics and transaction data like shipping codes, customer information and price catalogues. This paves the way for e-merchants to monitor and manage the flow of Web-based transactions which will function like a database. With XML, the Web will be better organised. “Searching for the desired information will be much easier in future,” said Mr Patrick.

He is also confident there will be enough bandwidth to cater to the deluge of Web traffic in the future. “In fact, I consider Internet bandwidth to be a given in the next few years,” he added. This is because the ways of receiving Web content will proliferate, relieving the dial-up modem. These different Web access mechanisms including wireless, satellite and cable technologies, will spread the costs and induce competition.

“The best part is that the different delivery channels will compete with each other resulting in cheaper rates for consumers,” he said. The increased variety of delivery channels will also be complemented by the diversity of access devices. “Today more than 95 per cent of Internet access is through the PC. In a few years, that will drop to 50 per cent,” said Mr Patrick. Competing with the PC will be mobile phones, set-top boxes, Web kiosks and handheld devices. “If you ask me two years from now who makes Web browsers, I will probably have to say Nokia, Ericsson and Motorola,” he said.

Press Activities – CNBC TV: Next Generation Internet (program: dot.com) – (Dec. 2, 1999)

Summary: “If you think the Internet is slow now, it won’t be for much longer with the Next Generation Internet…” Three minute feature on NGi and what trends, technologies and aps will come with it. Interview with Keith Liu

Press ActivitiesSingapore: Press roundtable (Wednesday, Dec 1, 1999)

Publication Reporter
CEO IT Anna Yap
Smart Investor Priya Khiatani
e.com Asia/Datatele Anthony Rozario
Computer Times Ong Boon Kiat
Asian Entrepreneur Wong Souk Yee
Wong Souk Yee Gerald Wee
ZDNet Asia Victor Ng
Asia Computer Weekly Jorina Choy
Radio Corporation of Spore Jean Chua
CIO Magazine Teng Fang Yih
Intelligent Enterprise Leong Khay Mun
Arima Research / Financial Planner Maurice Chia
IT Singapore Mohd Daud
Lianhe Zaobao Zhang Xiaozhong
Publication Reporter

Press ActivitiesHong Kong: Press roundtable (Friday, Dec 3, 1999)

Publication Reporter
ComputerWorld Alan Soon
PCWeek Asia Katherine Lam
PCWorld HK Peter Gloster
The New Century Group Catherine Khaw
HK Economic Journal Joyce Wong
HK Economic Journal Sherman So
HKStandard (PCNet Life) Bien Perez
Sing Tao (PCMarket) Ken Chan
PC Home Ailie Chan
Publication Reporter

Press ActivitiesTaiwan: Press roundtable (Monday, Dec 6, 1999)

Publication Reporter
China Times Lin-Fai Lin
United Daily News Whitney Peng
Commercial Times Jessica Chang
Economic Daily News Maria Lin
Liberty Times Veneessa Jwo
Business Next Magazine John Wang
Publication Reporter