Business lessons from the Pokémon Go phenomenon

(This article is also published in Computerworld Hong Kong on August 1, 2016)

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Image source: Internet

Hong Kong appears to be invaded by Pokémon Go players. We’ll no doubt be bumping into avid players all over the place. In case you’ve been entirely cut off from news this month, Pokémon Go is a mobile game app, in which players move around in the real world looking for digital creatures overlaid on the streets around them.

Less than two weeks after the initial release, Pokémon Go has become the most successful mobile game ever. It is also generating newspaper headlines about users and their experiences on a daily basis. The share price of Nintendo – which originated the Pokémon characters back in the ‘90s but is just a part owner of the app – was doubled. But it has fallen back as in reality, its profits from the game will be limited.

There is much more in this groundbreaking game. Such application and massive acceptance in augmented reality is expected to trigger a wave of adoption in other areas. Meanwhile, however, Pokémon Go’s massive adoption has been accompanied by reports of server overloads, players being locked out and rumors of security issues.

While details have not been disclosed, it seems pretty clear that such issues have delayed the game’s rollout, especially to Japan and other game-crazy Asian markets, slowing down revenue generation. Simply put, it appears that the operation team was unprepared for the success of Pokémon Go.

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How Can We Get The ‘Star Trek’ Factor Into Enterprise IT?

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Image source: Internet

Anyone familiar with “Star Trek” knows that technology plays a central role in the science fiction franchise. On the Starship Enterprise, the onboard computer is almost a character in its own right, interacting naturally with the crew members through spoken language and thoroughly embedded in all activities like any other shipmate.

When the Romulans de-cloak off the starboard beam and prepare to attack, Mr. Spock asks the computer to divert more power to the forward shields and prepare a full spread of photon torpedoes in response. The computer does so instantly and effortlessly, casually responding, “All taken care of, Mr. Spock, is there anything else I can do for you today?”

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企業內外部署 應付突發流量

(原文於2016年1月28日在香港經濟日報刊登)

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羊群效應的威力,我們當然不陌生。舉例:網民蜂湧訂購某陶瓷煲、觀賞一條街頭影片,或潑冰水作籌款等。突發都市話題,可透過社交網絡,製造爆炸性流量。

偶發的網絡容量需求中,有些可預測,例如節日的銷售;有些卻事先沒預兆,像大型災害。當網站遇上激增的瀏覽量,對系統資源的突發需求,可達日常的幾何倍數。

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採購「混合架構」 企業吃力不討好

(原文於2016年1月27日在香港經濟日報刊登)

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Photo source: www.popoptiq.com

還記得「星空奇遇記」中,冼樸命令「企業號」防衞並發動攻勢?「企業號」的經典對答:「全辦妥了,冼樸先生。還有其他吩咐?」

今天我們能否像冼樸般,透過手機簡單口述,要求用飛行里數換取指定航班的機票?答案是:仍需努力。

若獨立看待當中環節,像語音辨識或網上付款等,其技術及體驗尚算成熟。但如將所有環節整合,整體用戶體驗仍未到位。

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