March 2008 Archives
By Erika Tapalla INQUIRER.net AS you can see from the link we have on the right sidebar of this INQUIRER.net blog, the official Morph Code website is at www.morphXcode.com, which will be updated within the week with today's presentations. Keep checking out that site, and e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org if you have questions or conc erns. *** George Telenko, director for marketing for Morph Accelerator, gave more reminde rs on what to expect on Day 2. He reminded the participants to just give an elevator pitch, meaning a presenta tion of about a minute, that will give an executive overview of their business. This will be followed by a 15-minute Q&A. "Expect the unexpected. There will always be that one question to throw you off ," Telenko said. He added that even if they are not presenting a business idea, people can still attend the event to watch the presentations.
By Erika Tapalla INQUIRER.net ELEVATOR pitches, which originally referred to selling ideas within 60 seconds while riding in an elevator with a prospective investor or venture capitalist, have now become pitches you can deliver anywhere, whether on the street or at a cocktail party. It must be presented in simple language, "like you're talking to your mother," Federico Gonzalez, president and CEO of Philippine Emerging Startups Open Inc. , said. As the crowd laughed, he stressed the importance of chance and the opportunity of meeting anyone anywhere, which is why you have to be prepared at all times. "Body language communicates more than 50 percent of the message you intend to g ive. Do more than give recitations," Gonzalez said. So, know your stuff.
By Erika Tapalla INQUIRER.net MORPH LABS CEO David Abramowski said software as a service (SaaS) is not so muc h about creating software from the ground up, but of "mashing up" existing Web- based services. To better understand what "mashups" are, he cited the simple concept of file sh aring for photographs. On a superficial level, it is just software that enables users based all over the globe to send, view, and get images from each other. On a business level, however, he said one could go deeper into this software an d look at it as a method for generating revenue. After all, file sharing for photographs can also be a means for users to create products like books, mugs, and T-shirts. Name where you want your photo or you r grandma's to appear, and consider developing that software. In the end, it's all about mashing up the right functions to build your ideal s oftware.
By Erika Tapalla INQUIRER.net MORPH LABS CEO David Abramowski's talk gave us the lowdown on setting up a succ essful software as a service (SaaS) business. He started by identifying the need to know your customer and your target market , otherwise you will be kaput. Abramowski emphasized that it's not just knowing the people involved, but also considering the bigger picture, which deals with regions, countries, and langua ges. Focusing on why users should care is another step toward conceptualizing your S aaS. This boils down to how much you know your target market -- identifying wha t their needs and concerns are. Once you have done extensive research on your target market, presenting your Sa aS business is equally as crucial. Instead of recounting all the hardships one has encountered while constructing the software/application, he suggested presenting it in an interesting fashion and talking about how exciting that new software or technology is. "Do that in 20 seconds," he quipped. Also, think of revenue. How you are going to earn revenue? How can others use y our software to earn revenue? Again, the key thing here is to think big, think global. One way to do so, Abra mowski said, is to take advantage of the social media frenzy to tell people abo ut your work. "Find out who blogs to your target market and use Google to find out who's who in the blogosphere," he said. Eventually, these bloggers will start contacting you to record podcasts with th em. Take advantage of every opportunity to market to your target market instead of relying on only one channel. Reach out to other audiences by tapping all sorts of media.
By Erika Tapalla INQUIRER.net AFTER quipping that lunch may induce a "food coma," Morph Labs CEO David Abramo wski went ahead and talked about different strategies for growing software as a service (SaaS) businesses. He said SaaS has four key aspects:
- They are Internet-based applications
- They enable anywhere, anytime access
- Users may rent instead of buying, so a great amount of capital is n o longer a necessity
- They require patience for a long tail revenue.
By Erwin Oliva INQUIRER.net DAVID ABRAMOWSKI, CEO of Morph Labs, explained that software as a service is ab out "stealing" business from the incumbents. He said companies like Salesforce.com have captured the customer relations mana gement market from giants like Siebel. Recently, more companies are even challe nging Salesforce.com, such as SugarCRM. Software as a service is also not about creating software from the ground up, h e said. It could be a simple software application that mashes up existing Web-b ased services.
HERE'S Commission on Informa tion and Communications Technology Commissioner Tim Diaz de Rivera citing t he ICT infrastructure problems the Philippines faces, particularly when it come s to broadband connections. Photo by INQUIRER.net online videographer Janie Christine Octia.
By Erwin Oliva INQUIRER.net UNIVERSITY OF THE PHILIPPINES professor Hector Manaligod said most teachers in the Philippines today are knowledgeable in information and communications techn ology, but they are not using it in teaching and learning. Sometimes, the students know more about ICT than their teachers, he said. Manaligod said the process of learning is changing thanks to the Internet. Technology, however, remains a tool or an aid in learning, he said, stressing t hat ICT only facilitates or supplements the learning process.
By Erika Tapalla INQUIRER.net UNIVERSITY OF THE PHILIPPINES professor Hector Manaligod said the age bracket o f the student may be a challenge or constraint to information and communication s technology. As technopreneurs, the goal would be to develop a virtual learning community th at is for anyone, anytime, anywhere -- education for everybody. He cited these thoughtful leads in developing software for education:
- Why? What is the reason?
- What does it mean?
- What is the same about... and?
By Erika Tapalla INQUIRER.net SOFTWARE as a service provides a solution to physical medical records by utiliz ing the Internet and providing an Electronic Health Record, portions of which t he patients can access. Such records would include CT scans, X-ray results and ultrasounds. This expedites access to these records, Dr. Alvin Marcelo said. "Maybe we could just send URLs to our doctors like in Facebook, and say, 'Hey, Doc, this is my Facebook account, please check out my health here."
By Erika Tapalla INQUIRER.net THE PRESENTATION of Dr. Alvin Marcelo on e-Health stressed the opportunities fo r technopreneurs in the health industry because of the immense amount of inform ation. "Information on health is multimedia," he said, adding that information on heal th can no longer be just text or charts. He said that recently there was a need to record sound, such as the murmurs of a heartbeat and gurgles of the intestines since this information is vital to do ctors and medical experts. Images are just as important, hence the continuous development on MRIs and CT s cans and microscope slides, among others. In terms of video, Marcelo stressed the need to view ultrasounds and 3D renderi ng of CT scans for MRI.
By Erwin Oliva INQUIRER.net DR. Alvin Marcelo, who is the director of the National Telehealth Center at the University of the Philippines-Manila, said health "is one of the most profitab le sectors of society." Thus it presents opportunities for companies that want to enter the e-health industry. Marcelo talked about the opportunities in e-hea lth for software companies. "Health is an information-intensive field, and it relies mostly on its operator s," he said. Marcelo has been pushing the idea of e-health as a means to deliver better heal thcare services to Filipinos. Information systems should be developed for publi c hospitals and clinics that are now overwhelmed with patients, he said. E-health is not just about hospitals, he added, as he stressed that much work h as to be done in making electronic versions of patient records.
By Erika Tapalla INQUIRER.net IN HIS presentation, "E-Government: Harnessing Software Technologies to Improve Governance," Commission on I nformation and Communications Technology (CICT) Commissioner Tim Diaz de Ri vera noted that infrastructure in the Philippines ranked strikingly low. Infrastructure refers to the availability of Internet and broadband connections . He cited the ZTE-national broadband network scandal, saying that in spite of th e obvious failure in execution, it attests to the dire need for broadband in th e country.
By Erwin Oliva INQUIRER.net YOU don't have to create a big software product. You can create a module that c an connect to an existing web-based software, said Morph Labs CEO David Abramow ski. He said a plug-in in Facebook that involves a mini-game that allows people to t urn other Facebook users into vampires is an example. Abramowski said local firms have to find an idea or a product or even a Web-bas ed service that will disrupt the market.
By Erwin Oliva INQUIRER.net GIVING tips on how to break into the global market of software as a service, Mo rph Labs CEO David Abramowski said companies should start small, but use the In ternet as a distribution medium. "Push small increments out to your customers." "Let your product grow organically and let your customers see this," he added, as he listed down "winning strategies." He said firms have to know how to get to the customers. In today's age, Abramowski said companies have to think about these "agents of change," namely, rapid growth of consumer technology markets, the rise of globa l competitors, and declining barriers to entry due to outsourcing on-demand bus iness models.
By Erwin Oliva INQUIRER.net DAVID ABRAMOWSKI, CEO of Morph Labs, surprised attendees at the Morph Code boot camp, as he started talking from the back of the room. He started off with the idea of how smaller, garage-based companies can now com pete with giants like Microsoft and Oracle because of a relatively new model du bbed software as a service. Software as a service simply means taking software and making it available to anyone through the Internet, he said.
By Erika Tapalla INQUIRER.net ALTHOUGH being primarily a Philippine web-based Web 2.0 technology company focu sed on providing innovative technologies and applications to support software a s a service globally, Morph Labs is reaching out to aspiring students and entre preneurs to develop Web-based software. To kick off the bootcamp eat the Institute of Social Order building in the Aten eo de Manila University, Federico C. "Dickie" Gonzalez, president and CEO of Ph ilippine Emerging Startups Open Inc. (PESO), which runs the PESO Challenge, a t echnology business plan competition, talked about developing great ideas. He said great ideas can come from anywhere at any time but the key is shaping t hem to make them world-class, since we are living in a global economy. Gonzalez offered 12 dimensions of innovating businesses; however, he said the b est way is to learn from the prime examples today. What do you have to offer? Think iTunes and the iPhone -- how can your product can be relevant and how can it cater to certain customers? In developing any id ea, think of the underserved needs and wants of your customer and discover how you can solve it. Another suggestion he made was to maximize platforms and use common components to create derivative offerings. Social networks like Multiply, Facebook, and Fr iendster rooted from the concept of simply keeping in touch with friends and re latives in different parts of the globe. Today, they have evolved to become mor e than a platform for leaving messages. Pets can be "petted" on Facebook; calen dars, videos and pictures can be shared on Multiply; a web of friends can be cr eated on Friendster. He hit it on the spot when he said in his presentation that it is no longer is about learning about technology or utilizing these tools available to you. "It's about making meaning in the functions of life so you could make it better for you and perhaps, the people around you," he said.
THE MORPH CODE bootcamp kicks off on March 29 with a one-day workshop at the Wa lter Hogan Conference Center, Institute of Social Order Social Development Comp lex at the Ateneo de Manila. The registration opens at 8 a.m. and the sessions will start at 8:30 a.m. Click here for a map of the location. . The "Stand and Deliver" elevator pitches will be held in the same location on A pril 5, while the final awards and presentations will be held on May 3. Click he re for the complete schedule.
By Erwin Oliva INQUIRER.net MORPH LABS, a Filipino software company, is pushing through with its initial pu blic offering at the Philippine Stock Exchange in mid-April, an executive told reporters. The Morph Labs executive made this announcement despite the ongoing economic sl owdown in the US, which is the biggest market for software companies in the Phi lippines. Winston Damarillo, executive chairman of Morph Labs and a vocal open source adv ocate, said the company hopes to generate about P500 million from the IPO. Part of the money will be used by the company to fund software startups it inte nds to help nurture this year, according to Damarillo. Hoping to attract more companies to develop software as a service, Morph Labs i s holding a free Asia-wide boot camp, dubbed Morph Code, this month to recruit startups that can develop web-based applications for its virtual data center. Damarillo said the boot camp cum workshop would lead to an offer of two years' worth of capital, infrastructure, mentorship and marketing to companies that pl an to generate $1 million in total gross revenues in the next two years. "This is a starting point for software startups and not a dole-out," Damarillo said. The executive admitted that past efforts of venture capitalists to seed local s tartups have not been very successful because startups are often left on their own. Morph Labs will offer $100,000 to $200,000 worth of capital to at least 20 to 3 0 software companies."But there is really no cap [on the funding]," he stressed . The boot camp, which is scheduled on March 29, is open to three- to five-member teams of students or entrepreneurs, the company said. "We will also teach startups how to be in business for free and help them find and filter business," the executive said. "We want to see them through, and mak e you a business in two years, and ensure entrepreneurs will own a majority of the company." The local software company is looking for startups that can develop web-based a pplications for e-health, e-learning, and e-government. Damarillo has been funding startups. He currently has started several firms, in cluding DevZuz and Exist Global. Morph Labs is currently based in Cebu.
MORPH LABS is holding a boot camp starting March 29 to encourage students and e ntrepreneurs to develop web-based software following the "software as a service " model, according to executive chairman Winston Damarillo. At the end of the b oot camp, Morph Labs is giving up to two years' worth of capital, infrastructur e, mentorship and marketing to deserving startups. Video taken by INQUIRER.net technology reporter Erwin Oliva.
DAVID ABRAMOWSKI, CEO of Morph Labs Inc., gives a demonstration of the Morph Ap plication Platform, which facilitates the development of Web 2.0 services using open source technology. Video courtesy of Morph Labs.