Tom The Architect

Technology and other Interesting Stuff

links for 2007-04-30

N=C/B via Robert Metcalfe via Forbes 2007-05-07

C = the constant of proportionality of cost
B = the constant of proportionality of value
N = the number of devices in the network

Key point:
If C goes down and B goes up, the number of devices in the network required to achieve critical mass gets smaller.

The equation is a simply brilliant observation and creates lots of interesting thoughts.

Just the facts: “A Budding Network” by Frederick W. Smith

Dispensing with all commentary:

“A Budding Network” by Frederick W. Smith in Forbes 2007-05-07 (registration required)

  • FedEx spends ~1.5 billion /year on IT
  • Employs 7000 people in IT
  • FedEx Handles 3000 transactions every second
  • FedEx Receives 1000 package status inquiries every second
  • Orders are distributed to 70,000 handheld devices
  • FedEx handles 6 million shipments globally
  • FedEx has 275,000 team members
  • FedEx has 677 aircraft
  • FedEx has more than 70,000 trucks
  • The FedEx world hub in Memphis handles 400 flights / day
  • The FedEx World Hub handles 1.5 million packages / day
  • 15,000 FedEx employees can sort up to 500,000 packages / hour
  • A package sent from Miami to Phoenix will be scanned up to 2414 times

Fred Smith knew it in 1978

According to Fred Smith, in Forbes 2007-05-07 (registration required), in 1978 only 5 years after starting FedEx he said “Information about the package is as important as the package itself.” So here is an exercise fill in the blanks.

Information about ________ is as important as the __________ itself.

For example:

Information about the motor is as important as the motor itself.
Information about the customer is as important as the customer themselves.

This is a critical understanding, corporations need to consider deeply the value of their information assets. Listening to the master data discussions at Sapphire, many companies have a long way to go before they fully realize Fred Smith’s statement in 1978.

Business Research for my new position

I thought I would share my del.icio.us tag that aggregates all the research that I am doing to get better educated about my new company’s line of business.

theBusiness