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Reforma from Mexico

Mexico reports on ibm.com
June 16, 2004

ibm.com came alive ten years ago (May 24, 1994) and I was very fortunate to have been part of the effort. There was a small team that shared a common vision that we called “Get Connected”. On this anniversary, various publications wanted to talk about the history and more importantly the future and I had a great time speaking with them about it. In particular, it was a great pleasure to talk with a handful of major Latin American publications. Following is an English translation of what appeared in Reforma, the most important daily newspaper in Mexico.

Wi Fi Technology Will Change the Internet by Jorge Taboada

According to the creator of the ibm.com site, with wireless communications, people will have access to the Internet anywhere, from any device.
The web is changing in unimagined ways—it is difficult to guess what we will find in a website tomorrow.
According to John Patrick, creator of the ibm.com site on its tenth anniversary, it is very hard to predict what the web will look like ten years from now, just as hard as it was ten years ago, when he conceived the website that the company uses for communication.
“No-one could predict what will happen 10 years from now, not even two years from now, because the Internet has a huge innovation capacity,” said the executive.
In an interview, Patrick mentioned as an example voice over the Internet, a capability whose potential had been scarcely anticipated by a few people a couple of years ago.
Today, one thinks about voice over the Internet not only as a tool for lowering the expense of telephone calls, but also for integrating voice packages with transactional processes, calendars, contact lists and virtually with all kinds of data.
Another driver for change currently facing the web, he added, is wireless communications, particularly, Wi-Fi technology, offering the possibility to access the Internet in public hotspots like coffee-shops with a computer, and to do business and create training and educational services, even using a cell phone.
This will add a substantial change in access devices, enabling people to rely on the Internet whenever and wherever they are.
Biometrics based on fingerprints or any other means of identification, such as smart cards based on a chip, will drive this access anywhere, at the user’s convenience.
As regards content, as broadband connections are adopted, the user will see more multimedia content on the network, which will be useful not only to present information in a more visually friendly way, but also to do business.
Putting the Internet in Context
Patrick believes that today’s Internet is very different from what IBM and other companies could expect.
The creator of the IBM website explained that content was first based on documents, and then evolved to e-business applications and data transmission.
One of the immediate steps, he added, will be to provide context for the documents posted on the web, in order to extend them further and offer a more complete user experience.
As regards the Dell.com website, which established an innovative business model based on the web as the point of direct contact with customers, Patrick views it as having less strategic vision than ibm.com.
“What IBM is doing is much more profound. It is growing our hardware, software, services, research and ISV offerings,” he said. “We have a very strategic vision, more strategic than that of dell.com.”
Get Connected
Learn more about these 10 years and the characteristics of this site in: www.ibm.com