Virtualization as a business enabler
As the innovative idea transforms into a proof of concept and first release, virtualization goes from innovation enabler to innovation accelerator via the business value it brings to the mobile ecosystem:
1. Ecosystem synergy
Virtualization provides a unifying architecture that would create new synergies amongst the hardware, peripheral and software vendors, including significant cost savings and innovation. The new software architecture also allows for rapid and non-intrusive integration of the innovation whilst fueling innovation mash-ups.
2. Catalyst for the services business
The fragmentation of product platforms is a significant barrier to the establishment of the Internet services model in the mobile space. Although there are some efforts to consolidate platforms (Android), fragmentation will persist for quite some time in this market, placing a significant burden on establishing the mobile Internet services business. Virtualization can accelerate the transformation from closed consumer devices into an attractive open Internet services platform.
3. Time to market
A large amount of product delivery time is consumed by integration and system testing activities. Virtualization significantly reduces time of delivering innovation to the phone market by allowing for independent development and testing of key hardware and software components of the system, and rapid integration into heterogeneous platforms.
Mobile virtualization technology can serve as an innovation accelerator for two key reasons. Technically, it offers a new software architecture that promotes a non-intrusive way of delivering hardware and software innovation to the device for all members in the ecosystem. From a business perspective, it accelerates time to market for open innovation and serves as a catalyst for new business models and innovation mash-ups.
Early adoption of virtualization technology will most likely see the migration of existing components into a simpler architecture, creating the head room required to refuel innovation in their products. When vendors fully understand and embrace the full potential of this technology, much more radical innovation will emerge, leading to exciting new devices and new business models. Virtualization will change the game, initially, as an innovation enabler and, subsequently, as an innovation accelerator.
Michel Gien is co-founder and executive vice president of corporate strategy at Virtual Logix Inc. Michel has more than 30 years of experience in the research and software industry. His passion for technology, working with customer issues and his commitment to excellence are the foundation of VirtualLogix's culture. Prior to co-founding VirtualLogix as its first CEOin August 2002, Michel was co-founder, general manager and chief technology officer of Chorus Systems. He became the first Distinguished Engineer outside North America at Sun Microsystems when they acquired Chorus Systems in 1997.
Prior to founding Chorus Systems, Michel worked as a director at INRIA (French public IT research center) and CNET(France Telecom's research labs), leading research projects on computer networks, UNIX and distributed operating systems from 1971 to 1986. Michel also founded, co-chaired and then chaired the European Unix Association (EUUG, then EurOpen) from 1980 to 1990. Michel graduated from Ecole Centrale des Arts et Manufactures de Paris, France, in 1971. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.