December, 2017


The Director Speaks - " AV/VR Changes the Way We Relate to Technology"

JerryFor anyone who has experienced either AR or VR technology, it is a transformational experience. It does not take long to understand the power of this technology and its ability to transform the way we interact with Data and Applications. Yes, it is true that costs need to come down, and quality needs to be improved, but that can be said of any emergent technology. When the conversation shifts from technology to the applications that drive technology, the immediate focus is often the impact on the gaming market. Other markets that are often considered as driver markets include the entertainment market and the industrial application markets (employee training, product design, etc). However, it would be wrong to discount the impact AR/VR technology will have to the way companies brand themselves for their current and prospective customers.

As a holiday present for those of you that follow the activities of USC-Marshall’s CTM (The Institute for Communication Technology Management), we have arranged a special presentation and demonstration session featuring Eden Chen of Fishermen Labs. For those of you that do not know Eden, he is one of the founders of Fishermen Labs, a software development company that is dedicated to creating software systems that allow companies to engage with their customers and future-customers in new and exciting ways. We will be covering how AR/VR technology can change the way customers think about and interact with a company; changes that increase the value of the company's brand value for the customer.  The conversation will include topics such as the enablers of the AR/VR market, the current state-of-the-art, and some potential on future market directions.   Demonstrations will be used to reinforced conceptual perspectives.   

The event is free as our holiday gift to you, our supporters, but we do ask that you bring an unwrapped gift that we will be able to donate to the Toys-for-Tots program as a way to give back to the community. Space will be limited so please register to attend in advance via Eventbrite.

  • Dec 13-15 2017Data West San Diego.  A conference that focuses on the collection and use of large scale data.  
  • Dec 18 2017CTM AR/VR as a Marketing Tool. Downtown Los Agenels, 1pm.  A conference to look at how AR/VR changes the way people interact with technology and impacts our understanding of brand value.
  • Jan 10 2018. Applying non-healthcare data in a healthcare setting.  This workshop is in the formative stages.  The goal is to consider how data that originates outside the healthcare system can be leveraged within the healthcare system to provide incremental patient contextual clues.  

If you have an event that you would like us to include in our newsletter, please send an email to

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IN CONVERSATION WITH JIM SHORT, CTM Research and Research Director for The Global Information Industry Center at UCSD

Jim1) Jim, you do research for CTM and you also work at UCSD’s Supercomputer Center.    Can you tell us a bit about the Supercomputer Center and what it does?

SDSC was established as one of the nation’s first supercomputing centers under a cooperative agreement by the National Science Foundation (NSF), GA Technologies, and UC San Diego. The Center is a leader in data-intensive computing and cyberinfrastructure, providing resources, services, and expertise to the national research community including academia and industry. Cyberinfrastructure refers to an accessible, integrated network of computer-based resources and expertise, focused on accelerating scientific inquiry and discovery. SDSC supports hundreds of multidisciplinary scientific programs covering a wide variety of domains, from earth sciences and biology to astrophysics, bioinformatics, and health IT. SDSC is an organized research unit (ORU) of the University, staffed by approximately 200 professionals, half PhD research scientists and faculty, and half computing engineers and IT operations staff.

2) You are one of the hosts for the Upcoming DataWest Conference.   Can you tell us about the conference?

Data West is a unique industry and academic conference with the goal of bringing together diverse thought leaders from industry, government and academia to address some of the more complex problems in technology-driven innovation and organizational change. As more and more data becomes available, there needs to be a simultaneous progression of factors driving value: adoption and use of advanced data technologies providing the necessary systems of discovery, analytics and record, tools that make data usable by other people and machines, and third, the understanding by those people of what the tools are actually allowing them to do. The topics and work sessions at Data West focus on these areas and how they interact to create new economic, scientific and social value. The conference dates this year are Dec 13-15. The conference website is at:

3) You have just completed a major CTM research project where you built an economic model/simulation for the IOT market.  Can you tell us about a few of the surprising things you discovered while driving that program.

There were a number, but if I had to select three, they would be: first, since IOT systems generally serve multiple functions in a consumer or industrial environment, they often have complex and varied usage patterns.  For example, a health monitoring device may need to run continuously 24/7/365, and that data may need to be saved in such a way it can be accessed immediately, at any time, at any place, and especially in situations where emergency or chronic care is involved.  These monitoring systems are limited only by the technical characteristics of the system. As a result, the composite bandwidth requirements can be huge, potentially in the TB and PB range for even simple IOT medical monitoring systems. A second important result of the study was to remind us that IOT device adoption does not guarantee use.  For example, the data shows that a large percentage of FitBit users lose interest in their devices in a few weeks and our ability to predict usage is limited.  A final observation is that the usage patterns of the initial adopters might not reflect composite usage over time.  This is because as incremental users are added to an established IOT device/application/service, the population characteristics change the average possibly significantly.   

 4) Part of the CTM mantra revolves about looking ahead in anticipation of future markets.  What are some of the unanswered questions that you think will be instrumental issues for companies as the strive to take their game to the next level?

An understanding of future markets requires that we first understand the current market so the potential disruptive economic impact potentials of a new market or new value realization paradigm can be properly valued.  When a company has the benefit of operating in a relatively stable market environment and the number of new entrants in that market can be managed by traditional barriers.  Jeff Immelt’s once said the likelihood of new entrants in the jet engine business is limited and therefore ones strategic positioning can be based on managing around expected innovation curves. But over time we are seeing more and more industries facing disruption that occurs when digital technology is introduced undermining such legacy mindsets.  Based upon the work I have done with CTM, it seems clear that the seeds for new markets are already there; these markets will first come to life as fragments, struggle to achieve a minimum economic size, and then scale profitably with assurance.  As a part of that process, more innovations will fail than those that will succeed.  The ability to discover future markets also requires we understand the markets that face hurdles that may be inescapable.  Telling which opportunities are which requires more and better data analytics; it requires that we look past simple forecasts but provide the means to determine how to make those forecasts realizable.  So in the end, companies have to focus on 3 things: 1) the data needed to discover opportunities, 2) the analytics that allow you to discover possible paths forward, and 3) tools needed to act decisively once the plan is determined.  

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THINKING AMP: Changing the Rules of Communications
Steven Shepard
Steven Shepard

I’ve been around long enough to remember the sound of a modem dialing, as it attempted to connect me to the Internet. I heard that sound many times a day and remember feeling excited when we got to the silence part, because it meant that I had successfully connected to the network at the blazingly fast speed of 4800 bits-per-second. How times have changed.

Today, the conversation is all about 5G, the latest and greatest wireless or mobile technology. The pace at which wireless evolves is breathtaking—it seems as if we just got 4G which is often called LTE. But as we continue to grow our use of the network we are pushing to get to the next generation, 5G.

First, for those of you who aren’t addicted to technology acronyms, it’s called 5G because it’s recognized as the fifth generation of wireless technology. The current generation of wireless technology is sometimes called the Fourth Generation or LTE - an acronym for Long Term Evolution. LTE. 4G was a real game-changer for both wireless providers and their customers when it was introduced because it was built on the assumption that the underlying network is based on the Internet Protocol, or IP, which is the set of networking rules that make the global Internet work so well. And it’s really fast—that’s why you can stream movies to your phone or play interactive games so well.

All day long, people do stuff and they have their cellphone at their side. They wake to an alarm on their phone, they check social media and e-mail and the weather, they go out for a run or head to the gym, and they drive to work, stopping at their favorite coffee shop for a drink. Once they arrive at work they badge into their company’s building, and for the rest of the workday they move around, attend client meetings, go to lunch, meet friends after work for a drink and perhaps dinner, and finally go home in the evening. Every such action either is already or could be detected by a sensor, reported across the internet, and used to improve efficiency of related actions in the future. That exercise band on your wrist, your smart phone, the tracking devices in your car, your music player—anything that’s connected or could be connected to the Web is a thing in the Internet of Things. Those things generate data, all day long, in response to human activity. That data makes its way to a data center, where sophisticated software analyzes it for relevant information, and then sends the results off to a decision-maker, or executive, or a sales person, or a marketing organization, for action. What kind of action? Lower the price. Order more of those. Show the person that they’re lagging behind their friends on steps and should get a move on. Call a nurse to raise that patient’s bed to improve respiration. Go get that car fixed. Lock that elbow on your swing. And for heaven’s sake, go change that diaper.

So what does this have to do with 5G? Today, mobile devices connect via the cellular network, and to make that work, your phone connects wirelessly to a local antenna that sits on top of a cell tower. And while the number varies, a typical cell tower can handle hundreds of connections. But what happens when IoT rears its head and starts vying for thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of connections? We’re talking about a data tsunami that would overwhelm the existing infrastructure. Keep in mind is that IoT devices don’t always need a lot of bandwidth. They might not be data hogs, like streaming video or interactive gaming but they need to be connected all the time.

To provide all these connections with low delay and high bandwidth, 5G will be based on a large array of small cells—as in, cell sites that live in your house or distributed throughout the workplace. The sheer number of cells means that 5G will take time to deploy and evolve, it will coexist with 4G for a long time to come with 4G LTE providing traditional, wide area coverage, while 5G begins as a supplement to 4G in select areas, like high-density cities, stadiums, conference centers, amusement parks, and shopping areas.

When 5G begins to get here, it will be a massive game-changer in terms of bandwidth availability and support for media-rich applications like streaming video and TV, interactive gaming, support for virtual and augmented reality, and support for the hyper-connected IOT world. But don’t expect 4G to disappear; the two will work in concert to guarantee that service is ubiquitous, seamless, and rich. And that pretty much covers the waterfront.

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When Google studied project teams to determine what makes a winning team, they expected to discover that that the teams with the best people made the best teams. This proved to be wrong – what they found was that team effectiveness dependent on the way the team members interact with each other (and with management). Safety, Dependability, Clarity, Meaning, and Impact were some of the indicator flags that characterize the best teams. The Results of Google's Team-Effectiveness Research Will Make You Rethink How You Build Teams
Many studies have shown that trust is a necessary component, an enabler of any kind of commerce. That is not newsworthy but this article talks about trust as an enabler for innovation. This idea implies that innovation can be thought of as an exchange and a building of knowledge. Perhaps it would be interested to think of knowledge as a form of currency and the exchange of ideas can be considered akin to a transaction. Julain Stodd's Learning Blog: The Need for Trust
This article focuses on IOT in the agriculture space but with the appreciation that IOT is only one of the enabling technologies that are working to change our concept of business. IOT, AI, social networks, robotics, drones, and data analytics all work together to create data, to convert data to business insights, and then to take meaningful action that drives progress. Growing Agriculture with IoT
If a company/organization wants to take a leadership position, it needs to move beyond the idea of incremental growth or incremental operational improvements. Leadership comes from a desire, a drive to look beyond the prevailing conventions and to reinvent or redefine an industry or an environment. Everyday Matters: In praise of corporate innovation
USC announced a smart-community initiative which can be used as a component to create smarter-campus’s, smarter-cities, smarter shopping districts, smarter health environments, smarter-states, and smarter economic development zones. The point being that specific applications can be smart but enabling infrastructure is needed to create a sustainable community. Smart City Consortium Formed at USC
This article is interesting in that defines Smart Cities as being based on an integrated operating system that allows a city to operate in real-time. It goes on to offer that the SmartCities nomenclature is being misapplied to cities with cities with smart projects that serve to test specific applications. The Inconvenient Truth about Smart Cities
Ericsson released a new Mobility Report that forecasts continued mobility growth driven by 1) lower device costs, 2) greater device capabilities, 3) lower cost for service when measured on a per bit basis (e.g. service bundles and zero cost services), and 4) more mobile device types (including mobile IOT devices).  Ericsson Mobility Report November 2017

Featured Events

18 Dec More

CTM Holiday Cookie Party -AR/VR Workshop

  • Los Angeles, CA
  • 01:00 pm — 04:00 pm
  • Eden Chen, Founding partner at Fishermen Labs

Got a Business Research/Strategy Need?

The CTM team is dedicated to working with its member companies to better understand the increasingly dynamic business world in which we live. We believe that companies must lead in order to prosper in a world where the threats and opportunities facing us are constantly evolving. Feel free to reach out to the CTM team at if you would like to start a conversation.

Institute for Communication Technology Management

USC Marshall Business School

1149 S Hill Street, 9th floor, 

Los Angeles CA 90015  Map