Category Archives: North America

What are the top 3 trends that will shape globally the aerospace and defense industry in the coming year?

The Aerospace Industry has faced huge challenges on a worldwide level mainly due to economic and environment pressure changes. This scenario is creating some new trends and opening opportunities to the main Players to search for innovations and development of new technologies.

One of these trends is the Carbon emission reduction for the entire aircraft production chain, specially for the engine design. This policy was set by IATA (International Air Transport Association) which has recently established a new index of Carbon reduction for Aerospace Industry and drives fuel efficiency improvement in 1,5% per year until 2020.

In this way some aviation companies have already been looking for alternative fuels (“green fuels”) to replace the current aviation kerosene. This allows the dependency reduction of the fossil fuel which has also high volatility due to oil price. Among Bio-fuels it is possible to highlight the biokerosene extracted from sugar cane. This new fuel has already been tested on an experimental flight in the EMBRAER E195 aircraft from Azul Airlines in July 2012 in Brazil using a fuel mixture of 50% biokerosene and 50% aviation kerosene. This preliminary test revealed that by filling jets with biokerosene might be able to reduce up to 80% carbon emissions in the atmosphere.

Another trend of Aerospace segment is to develop innovative processes so as to mitigate failure risk. Large investment on incorrect technologies in a highly competitive industry can impact the financials and profit of the companies. For example, the automation (or even robotization!) of big parts of the aircraft, like fuselage, wing or command surfaces that requires a complex structural assembly, brings a substantial gain and savings to the business. On this route, it was recently announced by GKN Aerospace, in partnership with Bombardier, a successful try-out of an automated manufacturing process of the wing box assembly, which according to them should reduce the current time cycle assembly up to 30%. It is worth mentioning this technology has been developed to fit different structural assemblies (hybrid) what would also generate savings in the tooling manufacturing.

The global market has also signaled to the growth of LCC (Low Cost Carrier) airlines specially driven by the emerging markets, such as Asia, Latin America, Middle East and lesser extent Africa, due to the rising economic power of these regions. This growth has generated greater competition between the airline companies challenging the business and its profitability. So the industry is faced with the challenge to make more efficient airplanes, loaded with new technologies and less cost and maintenance time than the current ones.

Thus, the Aerospace industry as a whole has been moving towards not only to maintain its constant evolution, but also to reinvent itself. Surely soon we will be surprised with others technological innovations that will be created from this fantastic industry!

What is the outlook for the shale gas industry outside of the US over the coming 3-5 years?

Victor Hugo’s sentence “Nothing is stronger than an idea whose time has come” also counts the same way for a technology. Even if there are strong market participants, who want to protect their ground for the usage only of conventional natural gas; and even if these are in some countries with some public opinions against shale gas, there will be at least one company in one country who will break this fragile price / quantities construct by using fracking. The consequence will be a continously decreasing price level, down to a point where the demand (maybe of power production) will be strong enough to pick up all the big quantities. 

What are the 2014 global SaaS trends that will shape the industry?

Cloud Market Overview for 2014

2014 is set to be a stellar year for Cloud Computing in general and SaaS in particular. An estimated 70% of SaaS customers are from “Small to Medium Businesses” with 80% of Enterprises still concerned with the Risk issues of both Security & Compliance. With 2013 being hailed as the “Year of the Internet Breaches” where everyone from Amazon to Ebay, Facebook and Forbes, IRS to Target being hacked and literally hundreds of millions of customer data being compromised, it’s no wonder “Steve Wozniak” in his now famous 2012 statement, in respect to the public cloud saw “…horrible problems…” with the cloud due primarily to the blatant lies in marketing which claim the cloud is “safer than your own private enterprise infrastructure”, an actual claim on numerous websites and in interviews by executives at Amazon, Google and other major Public Cloud companies which, in my opinion (just like Steve said) has definitely harmed the whole cloud market from a trust perspective. As executives become more educated about the realities of cloud computing and the public cloud in particular, they realize those kinds of statements are far from the truth it, and it has left a bad taste in many executives mouths for the public cloud, which I’ve experienced first hand. What it has done is made enterprise executives who see these blatant lies for what they are, much more cautious which, in the long run is a good thing since, I believe, they should take time and not jump into the public cloud without careful consideration, a lot of planning and a complete & unbiased third party risk assessment.

So, although cloud sales are steadily increasing, with total Global Cloud spending expected to reach $75B-$100B globally (depending on which analyst you speak to) in 2014, I believe the frequent and highly publicized breaches have hurt the market and so, look for a slow-down in the SaaS market overall, as companies take stock to address the security and compliance concerns before they stick their big toe into the swamp that has become the cloud market, to “test the waters” so to speak.

SaaS Service Management

According to new research by Enterprise Management Associates (EMA), most IT organizations have limited visibility into the usage and cost of public SaaS applications. I believe in 2014 you will see more organizations seeking solutions to this problem and for that reason I see the “SaaS management” market as one to keep an eye on in 2014. Both new startups and existing “SaaS Management” businesses should see an increase in sales over the next few years and you should also see a market consolidation with the best players acquiring or putting out of business the lesser product/service vendors.

Security & Compliance

Security & Compliance will be the real winner in 2014. Again with 2013 being named the “Year of the Security Breaches” and hundreds of millions of private data being compromised at mainstream websites, look for SaaS Enterprise growth to slow down even more while start-ups race to secure market share of this massive new “Public Cloud Security & Compliance” emerging market.

Currently an estimated 80% of Enterprises fear to enter the Public SaaS market (according to multiple surveys), and for good reason as the risks have been shown to be astronomical indeed. As new software, hardware and services begin to appear to address these concerns such as the new CSPComply service by Compass Solutions, LLC of Washington DC and others, we should begin to see an uptick in SaaS adoption starting to appear, however I would not hold my breath for that to occur in 2014, look for this increase to be more pronounced in 2016 and beyond.

Medical-Device Technology

Another emerging market which is expected to be massive indeed is the so-called medical-device market. Products such as the FitBit Flex wrist band and FitBit Aria wireless scale seem to motivate people to reduce weight and exercise more, as studies are beginning to show us. Currently there are socks, ankle bracelets and even sneakers which all work together as a unit with embedded sensor technology to show your heat dispersion pattern on your feet, how many miles you’ve walked, your average rate of speed, how many calories you’ve burned, your heart-rate and other data including your travel patterns.

Many of these devices utilize a SaaS infrastructure, which along with additional factors will lead to more “service” oriented SaaS business models being developed in 2014 and through the next few years, with the Medical-Device Market being a major influence.

“Hyperconverged Network Paradigm”

As technologies such as the next wave in wireless 802.11ac begin to take hold bandwidth in the first-wave 80MHz products will deliver throughout from 433 megabits per second on the low end to a maximum of 1.3 gigabits per second at the physical layer & more dense modulation schemes of up to up to 256 quadrature amplitude modulation (QAM), compared to 802.11n’s 64 QAM, for a 33 percent improvement. The new protocol doubles multiple input, multiple output (MIMO) capabilities. The increase moves from 802.11n’s four spatial streams to eight streams. For users, this means a speed boost, greater up-link reliability and opportunities for improved down-link reliability as well. For the internet this means massive increased bandwidth issues which, was why the IPv6 Protocol was developed in the first place…Look for IPv6 to also be a big winner in 2014 and beyond as more and more ISP’s, Backbone Providers and Telco’s begin migrating over from IPv4 do to the massive increase in bandwidth demands in 2014 and beyond.

  •  A growing number of manufacturers are already shipping first-wave 802.11ac products for consumers and plan to expand offerings for business and enterprise network environments in the coming year. A Second Wave in Performance Speed and efficiency will ramp up even higher when Wave 2 devices for 802.11ac arrive. They’ll offer additional improvements in channel bonding by handling up to 160MHz, along with support for four spatial streams. These capabilities will help second-wave devices achieve throughput of around 3.47Gbps. (Source Cisco)
  • Worldwide smartphone shipments grew 40%, to more than 1 billion units, in 2013 and are on pace to reach 1.7 billion units by 2017.  (Source: CDW)
  • In 2014 we will see an increase of both “Smart” mobile devices, increased access to unlimited storage space on these devices via the emerging free and subscription cloud storage, and a “Quadrupling” increase in bandwidth beginning as 802.11ac takes hold, and most important of all the majority of the mobile carriers will finish large portions of their 4G/LTE infrastructure upgrades over the next three years starting with some pretty large expansions this year which most analysts seem to ignore or forget even though this will be by far the largest contributor to the “hyperconverged” market, as wherever these increased bandwidths occur, increases in sales of “smart”, “handheld” mobile device sales increased dramatically. Look for all of these emerging technologies to trigger a number of unique situations as well as opportunities and even new markets. This type of increased traffic has never been experienced before and my prediction is it will cause many problems with unprepared SaaS infrastructure capacity which you should be prepared for in 2014. However, even more important will be the emergence of the “Hyperconverged” network, the increased importance of the end-point device within the Enterprise market and the increased importance of the emerging “Bring Your Own Device” & “Bring Your Own Technology” (BYOD/BYOT) market and the management of as well as the security & compliance issues associated with it. Look for these emerging technologies and markets to become major influencers receiving large boosts in both Capital investiture as we as large sources of new ideas and SaaS solutions to address the issues which will be created by this new paradigm.

“However the reality is that all of these devices as they begin to communicate back to the cloud will begin to seriously erode the bandwidth capabilities of the current infrastructure, so look for startups with unique ideas of mitigating this increase in traffic to play a niche yet exciting and influential role as the “idea” people and “Think-Tanks”  & “Brain-Trusts” such as the new “Synapse Synergy Group” begin to come into their own in 2014 and beyond” – Quote by Jarrett Neil Ridlinghafer

 Market Consolidation

Finally, we should see a lot more consolidation of the SaaS market with the winners and losers become clearer in 2014. Look for Amazon to steam ahead and broaden their lead, Salesforce will continue to be strong although they are already looking for ways to broaden their market as their primary business slows down, Microsoft will attempt to reinvent themselves in the Cloud with their new CEO at the helm and Oracle and IBM should begin to capture more market share as both of their new services start to take hold. As for VMware it still seems a bit too early to say one way or another. They did not come out with a big splash and a few Billion Dollars to throw around like IBM and they actually do very little marketing, which makes one wonder, are they really ready or did they jump early in order to stop their slide to cloud obscurity, or are they so confident they just don’t need to advertise their cloud offering? They obviously have a massive private cloud and enterprise infrastructure base from which to draw on, so one would hope with their vendor specific offering, that all those VMware Enterprise infrastructures will pay off as Hybrid becomes a much larger player over the next 3-5 years in the Enterprise.

What are the key trends in global mHealth industry and which of its segments will be the key growth drivers over the next 12 months?

  1. Monitoring services (up to 66% of the Global mHealth market share)
  • Remote Patient monitoring
      • (e.g. Obesity Management
      • Healthy Living
      • Pregnancy Tips
      • Elderly Care
      • Smoking De-addiction
      • Infectious Diseases
      • Reproductive Health
      • Child Health / Child Care…)
  • Video conferencing and online consultations
          • e.g. Telephone-based consultations
          • Video consultations
          • Text-based consultations…
  • Personal healthcare devices
  • Wireless access to patient records and prescriptions
  • Chronic disease managementIndependent ageing applications in developed markets 
  • Post acute care monitoring services
  • Monitoring of patients with metabolic conditions such as obesity and Diabetes (is expected to comprise about 40% of the chronic disease management Segment)
  • Monitoring patients with cardiovascular conditions such as hypertension, coronary artery disease and congestive heart failure (is expected to contribute about 45% to chronic disease management revenues in the US and about 80% in China).
  • Analysis of general health and wellness data gathered by mobile devices

 2. Diagnostic Services (up to 16% of the Global mHealth market share)

  • Interactive messages that help patients self-diagnose minor ailments
  • Medical call centres / help-lines manned by healthcare professionals
  • Telemedicine solutions that enable doctors to ‘see’ patients through wireless broadband
  • A majority of the revenues from Diagnosis services are expected to come from call-centre and mobile telemedicine solutions.              
  • The adoption of Diagnosis services is expected to support developing markets in bridging their healthcare access challenges.

 3. Treatment Services (up to 11% of the Global mHealth market share)

  • Emergency Response
  • Ambulance based Solutions
  • Treatment Compliance
  • Appointment Reminders
  • Use of mobile device to explain/demonstrate during office visits
  • Provide patients access to portions of their medical record
  • Drug adherence and other health-related communication

 4. Healthcare System strengthening Services (up to 7% of the Global mHealth market share)

  • Patient-centred care
  • Wellness (up to 3% of the Global mHealth market share)
  • Prevention (up to 1% of the Global mHealth market share)
      • e.g. Drug Abuse Prevention
  • Information Lookup and Decision Support
  • Health Surveys & Healthcare Surveillance
  • Healthcare Practitioner Support
  • Healthcare Administration& administrative communication

Roche Seeks Sequencing Strategy

Roche’s failed 2012 attempt to acquire Illumina for $6.7 billion has not stopped the global leader in clinical diagnostics from its intent to be a player in the high growth “nex-gen” sequencing market. Several recent moves by this diagnostics leader provide insight into Roche’s sequencing strategy. Continue reading

Clinical Labs Cut Costs but Face Future Challenges

Taking a play from many healthcare payer playbooks, hospital labs have instituted cost cutting and proactive screening programs that yield substantial bottom line benefits. Copying third party payer pre-certification programs for high-cost tests, a Florida healthcare system initiated an esoteric test approval program for any request in excess of $1,000. The result of this program was an annual savings of $220,000. The lab then went on to introduce and monitor test formularies designed to reduce the volume of send out tests to commercial labs. This saved $74,000 and utilizing “best practices” for blood products added another $412,000 in savings. Continue reading

Online Grocery Shopping vs. Physical Stores

In recent years, online shopping has grown significantly, with customers now used to buying travel, clothes, books, DVDs and other goods online thanks to their PC, tablet or Smartphone. It is estimated that the global market for e-commerce in 2012 was $4.2 trillion – an impressive figure that is growing every year. Now slowly, consumers are turning to other digital shopping categories such as groceries in a quest to save time and effort.   Continue reading

Vermillion and Quest Diagnostics Part Ways

Vermillion has long its OVA1 In Vitro Diagnostic Multi-Variant Index Assay (IVDMIA) for ovarian cancer. OVA1 is one of a handful of FDA approved IVDMIAs and was predicted to have a much greater market presence than actually occurred, despite its partnership with Quest Diagnostics, the largest commercial reference lab in the US. Now, Vermillion announced that the company has terminated its licensing agreement with Quest for OVA1 and Vasclir diagnostic tests. Continue reading

Trends in Physician Office Practices

Hospitals continue to increase their acquisition of physician practices. According to AHA statistics, hospitals employ over 212,000 doctors and this number is expected to increase as both hospitals and doctors seek mutually beneficial alignments. Currently, just over 55% of physicians remain independent. A recent survey revealed that 32% of first year residents prefer hospital employment and the HealthLeaders Media report found that 70% of US hospitals intend to employ more physicians in the next three years. Continue reading