11/23/2005 06:47:00 PM|W|P|BRAFury|W|P|Brazil Weighs Costs and Benefits of Alliance With China - New York Times My mother sent me this article about Brazil and asked me if I sensed an ironic tone in the words of Larry Rohter, the journalist who covered the story. First I saught an explanation of what exactly irony was and I guess she meant what I thought she did: that by using expressions such as "satisfying appetite", there was this possibility that the reporter was diminishing Brazil and its "roaring" industrial leverage (now that's sarcasm). I don't believe he was. First, because when he mentioned appetite, he was referring to China, and second because even in ethnocentric America, people are starting to recognize the role of emerging economies in world trade and how important they are rapidly becoming, even for the developed economies and just by publishing this article, he demonstrates that. The article however, didn't quite paint the great picture most people are accustomed to when they think about Brazil. Not to say that is a bad thing, as I believe that it is the New York Times duty (and of other major publications too) to expose the realities of other countries that are often ignored. And he does that with Brazil. The magic of it is that he manages to remain neutral in the situation, just as a reporter should do while exposing all the facts of a matter. He talks about the political scandals, our semi-illiterate president, his promises for social reforms which never became reality, his quest for reelection, the struggle of native Brazilians (who are totally OK with being called "indians") and the non-stop exploitation of the resource-rich Amazon. Overall, I like the article, even though it shows the world the not so glamorous parts of my country. It shows the world the part that doesn't include top models or football stars. It shows them the dirt that constantly blows in the people's face. As far as the Chinese investment goes, I have mixed feelings about it. It is certainly good that Brazil is taking advantage of its natural resources but I can't help to associate this matter with colonial exploitation, the roots in which my country was settled. Indians being swept of their natural habitats, so that foreigners may take advantage of resources that cannot be found in their own countries. An all too familiar story... |W|P|113280046995373030|W|P|Brazil Weighs Costs and Benefits of Alliance With China - New York Times|W|P|11/23/2005 01:12:00 AM|W|P|BRAFury|W|P|I recently wrote a paper based on a Case Study involving CRM for my IT class. I figured I would publish excerpts of it because it isn't always that I actually come up with decent academic material and I have to say that although it isn't perfect, this paper certainly had some quality points. Here's a few of them: - Cost cutting efforts have been shown not to be enough to offset the effects of the industry-wide crisis that plagues the airline industry. Could CRM be the answer to the problem of customer retention that airlines face today? - KLM thought CRM was indeed the answer and launched a heavy investment a few years ago in order to gain the loyalty of existing consumers while capturing potential new ones. - Most IT project failures, especially those of great magnitude tend to fail because a) management happens to see the IT project as an IT project and not a management one and b) the lack of input by users of the solution. In the KLM case, these two major failure traps were avoided by the complete alignment between the project and the company's vision and most importantly, the constant feedback of management in tailoring the project objectives. - The CRM solution helped KLM achieve very tangible goals such as improved customer expenditure numbers, increased customer base and more effective marketing campaigns. - The CRM system generated an extensive amount of data that was used by management to make important realizations such as the fact that frequent-flyer miles are a terrible indicative of future value of a customer. This article was written a couple of years ago. It keeps me wondering whether CRM initiatives are not strategic decisions but necessary measures for a company's survival in the current airline industry chaos. So, in conclusion, I have to ask: has CRM become simply another cost of doing business? I'll wait for the answer while airlines make the flying experience less and less desirable all in the name of cutting costs. I wonder if paying for peanuts are next. |W|P|113273727937170860|W|P|Can CRM help a struggling industry?|W|P|11/16/2005 08:58:00 PM|W|P|BRAFury|W|P| It's amazing how Information Technology articles have this marking characteristic that resembles old prophecies. Maybe I'm being a bit too sarcastic but almost every article I've been reading for this information technology class have this future-telling tone. I had to stop reading this one MIT article , "Evolving from information to insight" and blog about it, because it struck to me that I was still on page 3 and according to the text, my UPS courier could track me down wherever I was using my PDA calendar to give me a package, information overload and computing capacity would revolutionize the way we've been doing business for God only knows how many years, not to mention the ability for a computer to tell a doctor what the hell it should or shouldn't prescribe to a patient. Sure, it's understandable that technology is simply nothing if it can't evolve or think ahead but I just don't buy it when I read sentences that basically tell me tomorrow I will have to go back to school and learn business all over again because technology and all this data being created have suddenly changed the way I tell Bob from down the hall why we are letting him go. I'm gonna keep reading and maybe the article will tell me how it will be done|W|P|113220328538858689|W|P|IT and Nostradamus: Predicting tomorrow|W|P|11/15/2005 05:53:00 PM|W|P|BRAFury|W|P|It's been quite sometime since my last post. I wish I could write more often but the case is that I simply don't have time to do so. Sure, I could scribble some lines, filled with mere text that sums up what I did during the day but truth is that, if anyone is going to see what I wrote and that includes me, I have to at least make it sound decent. So what's new? Well, many things in fact. For once, I can say I am 100% adapted to a) my routine and b) my new city. School is certainly taking the greatest share of my time right now and basically if I'm not doing work, I'm either thinking about doing it or mad at myself for not doing it. There has been many interesting topics covered this quarter but the workload is so intense that it seems like you can't prove your best in any of them. Instead, you just need to find a way to get through everything. Which is not necessarily a bad thing. Certainly, in the end of the day, it pays off. I don't wanna say it with all the words yet but apparently I have the internship thing figured out for this upcoming summer. I can't say how excited I am about this. Small company, Brazilian markets, marketing experience, it all comes together. Let's sure hope that it works out and until then, the focus is 100% on my classes. Buckeyes and Freakonomics Ohio State has been playing great football lately, with the same explosion offensively we had against Michigan last year. And speaking of Michigan, it's time once again for the Big Game, at Michigan, this coming Saturday. Even Levitt and Dubner, two of my current favorite writers, recognize the importance of this game. Even though the Buckeyes have been winning big and had a pretty decent season, it all once again comes down to whether we can do it: Beat the Wolverines in their own house. Let's sure hope so.|W|P|113210600988754474|W|P|Career Moves, Football Talk|W|P|11/03/2005 11:55:00 AM|W|P|BRAFury|W|P|Tedd Waitt, founder of Gateway computers was at Pepperdine University last night, addressing students, alumni and faculty On The 10 Things You Might Not Learn in Graduate School. Who is Ted Waitt? Ted is your typical entrepreneurial success story. In his road to success, he demonstrated excellent vision (seeing what others don't see) and execution skills (getting it done). The speech itself was OK but failed to captivate my attention. It isn't that success stories like his don't do it for me but after you heard one, two, three, you pretty much get the idea. After his speech, he started taking questions, many about the current state of the US economy. Ted and his (dis)beliefs on the American "service economy". Ted doesn't believe in a100% "service economy". He believes the US needs to produce something to balance the huge trade deficit it finds itself into right now. He gave a few interesting ideas of where Americans should be thinking of investing in times when, as he exposed: "you can find people working at call centers in India that speak better English than the folks in Sioux City did". Ted mentioned that in such situation, the US should be focusing on intellectual property issues and find business opportunities within such market. "We could entertain the world" said the man behind Gateway's success. In addition, Ted mentioned areas in which we would be "going back to basics" by focusing in areas such as:
  • Food & Water
  • Energy - Ted advocates it is our duty to invest in fuel alternatives.
At that point, I wanted to ask him about what I wrote my last post: if companies are getting rid of more and more lower level employees and middlemen and middle managers are disappearing quite fast (just look at what Dell and Gateway did in regards to bringing producers and consumers together) then tell me Ted: Who in the hell will be left for us to manage out there?|W|P|113099765653234197|W|P|Ted Waitt speaks at Pepperdine|W|P|