EconomicologyThe movement of environmentalists becoming business-savvy is well under way, but continues to fly below the radar of most media outlets. Ironically, it is in the heart of manufacturing territory - - MI - - where most of the impact is being felt. Some may say this is due to the guilty feelings built up from polluting practices, but this is a naive point of view, for it has long been the way of manufacturers to claim a competitive advantage for providing ever increasing environmental practices. However, it is only recently that the proof has been evident that environmental practices are good solid business, with the impact being felt on the bottom-line. No longer is it correct to de-value environmental practices as luxuries reserved for the flamboyant tree-huggers, now is the era when it is clear that environmentalism can have far reaching benefits toward achieving certain business goals. The first among them being customer adoption. Customers are driving the efforts to become more eco-friendly by checking to see whether producers are adhering to their claims of being environmentall y sound. More customers should check for real proof that there is more than just words behind the claims. The main customers that are seeking to find an environmentalism within their purchasing are corporate customers that have the financial clout to make the producers live up to their claims. It is no longer valid for a producer to make statements of 99% recyclability without demonstrating that it is truly possible to recycle 99% of the content of a product.
SUNW made an interesting announcement below the radar, not related to environmentalism, around their Blade Servers. They have exited the business, and its not because of market demand issues, for the Blader Server market continues to double year-year. Whatever there reasoning it is bound to have far-reaching implications for the next fiscal year, as it destroys the value proposition on two of the most important software assets: N1 and AS8.1 EE. Both N1 and the Clustra functionality of the app. server are tailor made for instances on blade servers, and both have been trumpeted in marketing and implementations, such as references architectures. I would hope that Sun has a better reasoning than hardware advancement to knock down two of the potentially competitive disrupters in the Sun software portfolio. In fact, is not the blade server, with or without Opteron, the core value proposition of a Sun end-end story. Sun-Rays are for end-users, Blades are for the Datacenter. As with Solaris x86, maybe Sun could re-consider. Otherwise they risk losing out on a part of the market that they definitely need to compete in. Opteron is great and all, but it is tactical. N1 and AS 8.1 EE are strategic.
As for the business I am in today, I have great optimism for the impact that Biotech is going to have on the business model of many types of organizations, not least among them the manufacturing base of MI. It is not too far out of sight to see manufacturing prowess and technical expertise being utilized in the creation of medical device industries. But even more relevant could be the oppportunity to sell in to these Biotech customers that seem to be multiplying with the growing opportunities around drug development. Only time will tell who the real winners are, but it seems that those who can pick the winners in the Biotech world will have a great advantage over their competitors regardless of the industry in which they compete.