QISKIT Quantum Computing Platform

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Small vs. Big

In a column, Steven Sinofsky, former President of the Windows Division at Microsoft, cites various examples from the past to suggest that it is often when incumbents in technology space have established market dominance that new startups rise and displace them.

Why is it that just when large companies seem the most successful there is also the biggest opportunity for small companies to innovate so much and create formidable competition? It does seem counter-intuitive and especially today when so much attention has shifted from the startup world to big companies.

The opportunity exists because when big companies becomes successful is when collective leadership becomes most focused on maintaining success. Leadership tends to see more risk in downside of the current plan and than upside in taking on new things. Importantly, they are also greatly influenced by customers, press, and public markets reinforcing the near-term financial success. The scale of success and accolades really get into leaders’ heads and impact the ability to take on real risk or more importantly to see the futility of piling on more resources to the currently successful products.

It turns out, regardless of the type of product  or even industry, operating a company in the midst of product-market fit (PMF) drives four main focus areas:

  • Monetizing Endpoints (Quantity). If the only thing that matters is PMF, then the only thing that matters after that is the number of end-points your business has.
  • Optimizing Pricing (Price). The next metric is how much money is collected at each of those endpoints. The dominant motion is to “deliver more value” to customers and either hope to maintain pricing in the face of competition or raise pricing in mature markets.
  • Enhancing Bundles (Bundles). In a startup, there’s one product. By the time a company reaches PMF the product almost certainly has expanded (organically or otherwise) and crosses into several categories.
  • Operating Efficiency (Margin). Finally, all of these have a cost side of the ledger and it is no surprise but operating at efficiency becomes a massive focus. The internal view is that this is all about allocating resources to new and important things but almost all the time any savings are funneled right back into executing on the mainline product and revenue stream. In fact, even if there are rogue forces somewhere (creative product people that dream up something new, marketing with an idea for customers with a product variant, sales people with a new channel approach) the ability to get all of the other parts of the team aligned to make such an idea a success is rather constrained. If you’ve ever tried to allocate resources away from engineering or sales of a successful product the you know the immediate reaction is dire straights of unmet roadmaps, low product quality, or unfilled quota.

One can almost think of the overall gross profitability of a company to simply be Q*P*M for each of the bundles, and most companies have just one bundle that matters.

Where does innovation fit in this “framework”? First and foremost, innovation is viewed through the lens of working on each of these items. At the extreme for example, most internal rewards (financial or otherwise) are given to people for saving money or making the team more efficient. Marketing people get promoted for coming up with a new way to explain the existing products. Engineering is focused on optimization and likely integration across components of the growing product bundle. And of course finance is modeling how to raise prices without actually being seen as raising prices. That’s what innovation is — and that isn’t being cynical but it is precisely what the company is asking of everyone. The goal is definitely growth, but growth that comes from changing as little as possible.

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Big Data In The Cloud

Through 2020, IDC predicts cloud-based Big Data and analytics technology spending will grow 4.5x faster than spending for on-premises solutions.

It became evident that “throwing more hardware at Hadoop” wasn’t as easy or fast as it should be. The cloud enables data growth in real time—just flip a switch and new machines come online. Improve business agility with near instant access to hardware resources, creating a platform that scales rapidly to meet growing business needs.
Also, you pay for the compute and storage you use, when you use it. Spin up a Hadoop cluster, analyze your data, then shut it down to stop the meter.

Undoubtedly, the cloud is beneficial for running ephemeral use cases where you want to spin up a job, get the results and shut things down. The longer running or always on use cases for streaming analytics, online applications and interactive reporting enrich this ephemeral world and typically extend into a “hybrid” architecture that spans both the data center and the cloud. Using a hybrid approach of running workloads to deliver these insights in both the data center and the cloud is becoming a more common strategy.

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Microsoft Quantum Development Kit: Introduction and step-by-step demo

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Implementing Crowd in the Innovation Strategy

Like the creation of any good strategy, the process of developing an innovation strategy should start with a clear understanding and articulation of specific objectives related to helping the company achieve a sustainable competitive advantage. This requires going beyond all-too-common generalities, such as “We must innovate to grow,” “We innovate to create value,” or “We need to innovate to stay ahead of competitors.” Those are not strategies. They provide no sense of the types of innovation that might matter (and those that won’t).


The crowdsourcing idea is that rather than relying on a few experts (perhaps your own employees) to solve specific innovation problems, you open up the process to anyone (the crowd). One common example is when an organization posts a problem on a web platform (like InnoCentive) and invites solutions, perhaps offering a financial prize. Crowdsourcing has a lot of merits: By inviting a vast number of people, most of whom you probably could not have found on your own, to address your challenges, you increase the probability of developing a novel solution.

The most prevelant strategies for competitive advantage fell into one of the three categories below:

  • Low Cost—The first group focuses on having lower production costs, and thus lower prices, than their competitors. Their business models are predicated on efficiency, which becomes the foremost priority for producers.
  • Customer Intimacy—The second group strives to form close relationships with their customers. This gives them advantages in areas such as quality and service.
  • Best Product—The third group takes a product leadership position. Their competitive advantage stems from their creative skills, emphasizing and pursuing quality design of products that satisfy customers’ unmet needs. They distinguish themselves from the aforementioned groups by going to greater lengths to meet customers’ needs.

Marginal Ideas Are Key
Anyone—without preapproval or vetting or criteria—can create and contribute. In fact, it is crucial that they do. Recent research (http://dl.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=1862443) of 166 science challenges involving 12,000 scientists shows that novel ideas come from “marginality”—a source of different perspectives and heuristics, play an important role in performance. This idea inclusion— across ages, genders, geographies, cultures, sexual orientation, and all the other ways in which new ways of thinking can manifest —is essential for solving new problems as well as integral in finding new solutions to old problems.

The element starts with celebrating each human and, more specifically, something Nilofer Merchant recently termed “onlyness”. Onlyness recognize that each of us stands in a spot that fits only them, and is a function of history and experiences, visions and hopes.
That unique point of view is the genesis of new ideas, the ones that challenge the status quo, or improve upon the existing condition.

The more traditional formulation of the source of ideas was considered “talent”. Talent, however, was often credential-dependent. We relied on gates to determine just whose ideas were worth considering as valid contributions. Now, it is more commonly accepted that actual capability can come from anywhere, because each of us is standing in a spot no one else stands in, a function of our history and experiences, visions and hopes. And from that place, we create: not because of our accolades but because “we” see something no one else can see. Thus onlyness is an advancement on the idea of talent. Oftentimes, talent is defined as those with a specific degree or experience conferred by others, when onlyness points to inherent capacity. Those can overlap, of course but if you are the one to enable onlyness in your efforts, through systems and leadership, then you draw on the fuller potential of what exists.

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SAP Version Releases

SAP Version



SAP R/1 System RF


Financial Accounting system. Runs on IBM Servers and the DOS operating system.

SAP R/2 Mainframe System


Mainframe based real time data processing across accounting, manufacturing processes, supply chain logistics and human resources.

SAP R/3 Enterprise Edition 1.0 A


Three tire architecture ERP Solutions, enabling SAP to be used by enterprises.

SAP R/3 Enterprise Edition 2.0



SAP R/3 Enterprise Edition 3.0



SAP R/3 Enterprise Edition 4.0B



SAP R/3 Enterprise Edition 4.3



SAP R/3 Enterprise Edition 4.5B


Client Server / mySAP

SAP R/3 Enterprise Edition 4.6C

April 2001


SAP R/3 Enterprise Edition 4.6F



SAP R/3 Enterprise Edition 4.7



SAP ERP Central Component (ECC) 5.0


SAP ERP constitutes the foundation of SAP’s industry solutions and a spring board to enterprise SOA. It includes SAP ECC (successor of SAP R/3) and EhP

SAP ERP Central Component (ECC) 6.0



SAP enhancement package 1 for SAP ERP 6.0
Business All-in-One


SAP started focusing on Mid-Sized enterprises and developed this product on the same code base of SAP R/3 on SAP Netweaver platform.

SAP enhancement package 2 for SAP ERP 6.0


It is designed to help businesses optimize their performance and reduce IT costs. It compresses SRM, CRM, SCM, PLM and ERP on one platform.

SAP enhancement package 5 for SAP ERP 6.0
Business Suite 7



SAP enhancement package 6 for SAP ERP 6.0



SAP enhancement package 7 for SAP ERP 6.0



SAP enhancement package 8 for SAP ERP 6.0


Delivers innovations and serves as a foundation to transition to S/4HANA

SAP S/4 Simple Suite for HANA


Imagined platform that combines data processing, database and in-memory processing, provides libraries for planning, text processing, predictive, spatial and business analytics

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Disruption in the SW industry

My son is in the third grade and in school he learns robotics by programming the robot to turn left, accelerate, turn right and the like. For example, he just realized what is the meaning of the “for loop”. I think that such knowledge is quite unnecessary (except to learn the discipline for problem solving).

Please see the link below – there is a big disruption in the SW industry because deep learning removes the need for large part of SW development.

Imagine this: you tell a computer system how the pieces move — nothing more. Then you tell it to learn to play the game. And a day later — yes, just 24 hours — it has figured it out to the level that beats the strongest programs in the world convincingly! DeepMind, the company that recently created the strongest Go program in the world, turned its attention to chess, and came up with this spectacular result.

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