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The Wireless Tornado

Having written extensively about high-tech in a series of bestsellers that include Crossing the Chasm, Inside the Tornado, The Gorilla Game and his latest, Dealing with Darwin: How Great Companies Inn...


May 1, 2007  


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Having written extensively about high-tech in a series of bestsellers that include Crossing the Chasm, Inside the Tornado, The Gorilla Game and his latest, Dealing with Darwin: How Great Companies Innovate at Every Phase of their Evolution, author Geoffrey Moore will no doubt have already referenced the rising wireless tide.

Based in Silicon Valley, his works include colourful metaphors to describe the high-tech marketplace. An item on the author contained on the Wikipedia Web site states that his key insight is that the groups adopt innovations for different reasons: “Early adopters are technology enthusiasts looking for a radical shift, where the early majority want a productivity improvement. The latter group want a whole product, where the earlier group only needs the core product, and has the technical competence and financial resources to make the rest themselves.”

A search of Moore on Google includes an interview he conducted several years ago with Amazon.com. The piece itself also contains a “glossary of some key terms and concepts central to his interpretation of how the high-tech market works.” These include the Gorillas, which are the high-tech giants such as Microsoft, Intel and Cisco.

The Early Market is comprised of technology enthusiasts and visionaries, The Early Majority is the leading edge of the mainstream market and The Chasm is the period between each and often fraught with slow sales.

The Bowling Alley is a period of niche-based adoption and finally, there is The Tornado, a period of mass-market adoption that is marked by high growth rates of 100% or more.

It is not quite at this stage yet, but wireless is quickly heading in that direction as more sophisticated technology comes on stream thanks in part to such standards as 802.11n, which is now forecast to arrive in the third quarter of 2008.

This issue’s cover story includes several examples of sophisticated wireless installations either in operation now or will soon be. CN Rail, for example, turned to tracking and managing assets wirelessly with a Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) installation last September at its largest intermodal terminal located in Brampton, Ont.

And the Bell Centre in Montreal is now undergoing a major overhaul with the installation of a secure wireless network that will result in faster admittance for spectators, quicker transaction processing at concession stands and more flexible payment options.

As for cable installers, in order to successfully ride the oncoming wireless wave, clearly it appears that many will need to be re-trained.

On the subject of training, it will be interesting to see if Bill Graham’s two-page viewpoint starting on p. 20 generates any reaction from installers and/or copper cabling manufacturers.

It is fair to say that the owner of Mississauga Training Consultants who is also an electrician by trade, is not at all impressed with the copper side of the training equation.

“A new organization, and a long awaited breath of fresh air to the industry, called the Structured Cabling Association (SCA) recently hit the ground running as the industry’s first “non-profit professional society” focusing specifically on education, certification and standards,” he writes.

Further information on the SCA is available at www.scausa.org.