Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Autonomous Systems And Intelligent Agents In Power System Control And Operation or Digital Capital

Autonomous Systems And Intelligent Agents In Power System Control And Operation

Author: C Rehtanz

Autonomous systems are one of the most important trends for the next generation of control systems. This book is the first to transfer autonomous systems concepts and intelligent agents theory into the control and operation environment of power systems. The focus of this book is to design a future control system architecture for electrical power systems, which copes with the changed requirements concerning complexity and flexibility and includes several applications for power systems. This book draws the whole circle from the theoretical and IT-concept of autonomous systems for power system control over the required knowledge-based methods and their capabilities to concrete applications within this field.

New interesting textbook: Real World Compositing with Adobe Photoshop CS4 or HTML

Digital Capital: Harnessing the Power of Business Webs

Author: Don Tapscott

When Transmeta unveiled its remarkable new microprocessors earlier this year, the company's founder, David Ditzel, told the media: "The Internet changes everything. In the future you will no more want to leave your home without your Internet connection than you do without your cell phone today."

The Transmeta chips are designed from scratch to facilitate wireless Internet access from Web appliances and ultra-light laptops. Scores of other corporations are scrambling to come up with similar devices.

In Japan, the revolutionary "i-mode" mobile phone is soaring in popularity. These svelte phones are constantly connected to the Internet. You don't have to 'logon' to the Web as you do in North America. The display screen is the size of a business card. More than 350 companies have built a vast array of Web sites for the gadget. Users can receive email, chat, buy and sell securities, download video and music, swap photos, read train schedules, look up their horoscopes, check movie listings, and on and on. The Japanese are hooked.

This constant connectivity to the Net will profoundly effect how we go about our lives. At the early stages we will download straightforward content like music, newspaper clipping and ebooks.

Soon wireless devices that pinpoint your location will be able to answer any questions on services and amenities in the neighbourhood. As you drive through a neighbourhood that you would like to move to, you will be alerted to any houses for sale with the right number of bedrooms and bathrooms. Naturally the device will tell you how to get to each house.

These gadgets will be our constant companions and co-pilots as we go about our work and play. Their ability to extract useful information from the blizzard of digital data will be key. We will insist these devices intimately understand our needs and wants.

As we explore in Digital Capital: Harnessing the Power of Business Webs, corporations are reinventing their business models around the ubiquitous, deep, rich and increasingly functional Internet. Large and diverse sets of people scattered around the world can now, easily and cheaply, gain near real-time access to the information they need to make safe decisions and coordinate complex activities.

Different companies can add knowledge value to a product or service - through innovation, enhancement, cost reduction, or customization - at each step in its lifecycle. Often, specialists do a better value-adding job than vertically integrated firms. In the digital economy, the notion of a separate, electronically negotiated deal at each step of the value cycle becomes a reasonable, often compelling, proposition.

Successful corporations are now distinguished by their ability to identify and accumulate digital capital. They use the Net to blend their intellectual acumen with other companies and leverage the combined insight. They use the Web to develop much deeper relationships with their customers. And they jettison the business models of the industrial age to reinvent their corporations for success in the digital economy.

To repeat: The Internet changes everything. Digital Capital shows how.

Publishers Weekly

Building on concepts that have been around for more than a decade, the authors argue convincingly that the age of the trillion-dollar enterprise, where two or more companies come together to complete one project, and then go their separate ways, competing against one another for the next, may finally be at hand. Managers who are grappling with ways to expand rapidly with limited resources--a description that fits just about every manager--are bound to be intrigued by the argument that Tapscott (The Digital Economy), Ticoll and Lowy--partners at the Alliance for Converging Technologies consulting firm--put forth. As they see it, the Internet eliminates almost all of the transaction problems that have plagued alliances up until now. Alliance partners no longer have to be in the same location, since the Web makes communication instantaneous, which in turn makes managing enterprises easier. Continuous market feedback is possible, since customers can be plugged into the network, along with suppliers and subcontractors. That's intriguing enough, but the authors go further and outline how five possible types of alliances, or "business webs," can be tailored to suit virtually any company. While the authors give relatively short shrift to the "how to" component of constructing these webs and they don't spend as much time as they might on exactly where employees fit into them, those shortcomings don't distract too much from their otherwise trenchant and absorbing presentation. While the future may evolve differently than the authors envision it, they have provided a workable interim blueprint for getting from here to there. (July) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.|

The Standard

Digital Capital, the new book coauthored by Web guru Don Tapscott, functions much like a classic economics primer: It takes a fascinating topic and drains the excitement from it.

Business webs, or b-webs, the authors argue, have emerged as a powerful and profound new form of economic organization. "If the corporation embodied capital in the industrial age, then the b-web does the same for the digital economy," they write.

Tapscott and crew essentially posit b-webs as ubercorporations - amalgams of businesses that join up to reduce transaction costs and inefficiencies. "The b-web is emerging as the generic, universal platform for creating value and wealth," they assure.

There's nothing egregiously wrong with this thoughtful and authoritative book. In fact, the authors provide solid analysis of the new shape of competition. But they do so with such earnestness and heavy-handedness that the book sags.

For example, the authors provide a "b-web taxonomy" with dense descriptions of what they classify as agoras, aggregations, value chains, alliances and distributive networks. They then address how such organizations affect human capital and what they call relationship capital (otherwise known as marketing). The book closes with prescriptions for how to build and profit from b-webs.

Such talk comes across as a complicated and static lecture from gurus with ideas to sell. The turgid vocabulary and tech-heavy content make for intellectual speed bumps to anyone seeking a quick read. And the nature of the book is a mismatch with the environment it describes: The dynamic, fast-moving world of rapidly emerging business models and innovative online companies can't be captured by such an academic and ponderous take.

Moreover, the book's basic premise - the rise of b-webs - assumes that these nascent environments will actually take shape. The largest and most ambitious b-webs, such as AutoExchange, or those in the aerospace or health care industries, have yet to have a meaningful impact on the economy. Like the early venture investments in IT or biotechnology, much of these businesses' value lies in an increasingly uncertain future.

The book's argument rests heavily on the example of MP3.com as a thriving b-web that has "shaken the foundations of an entire industry." While arguably true, MP3.com isn't the success story it used to be after the recording industry's successful court ruling against it, which hammered the company's stock and revealed flaws in this new business' structure. Likewise, the authors use the rise of another threatened company - Webvan - as an example of a successful aggregation form of b-web.

Ultimately, this book delivers insight into a profound new economic form, but it's not the final word. Livelier and more relevant reading on Net economics is the 1998 book Information Rules. Hal Varian and Carl Shapiro's primer lends historical context to the economic rules that govern the new economy, as well as gives crisp managerial guidelines for this changed world. Tapscott's book is too self-important and rooted in yesterday's examples to deliver more lasting benefits.

Tom Ehrenfeld writes the Just Managing column for TheStandard.com.

Internet Book Watch

Ebay, Schwab and others have created revolutionary offerings which have stolen customers from more traditional venues, working with transaction partners which enabled them to move quickly in the changing Internet environment. Digital Capital describes and explains the emerging business web phenomenon and its influences, using key players and detailed information to expose the untold stories behind big successes and offering a strategy for competitive action. Essential for any who would conduct or build a web business.

Business Week - Kirsanov

...the book's research is extensive, and it's surprisingly saavy about technology...if you are trying to understand why some companies are flourishing and others are struggling under old-fashioned business models, Digital Capital is pure enlightenment.

What People Are Saying

Warren Bennis
Digital Capital is unarguably the single best guide to corporate survival in the new economy. If your company wants to be in the phone book in the year 2003 and beyond, read this book.
—Warren Bennis, University Professor and Distinguished Professor of Business Administration, University of Southern California, and Coauthor, Organizing Genius and Co-Leaders

Robert Eaton
The seminal book on business webs and how they can help move your business units into the new, new economy. Every business leader should read this book!
—Robert Eaton, Chairman, DaimlerChrysler

John Chambers
The Internet revolution waits for no one-no country, no company, and no individual. The key to success in this revolution is harnessing the power of the Internet to gain sustainable competitive advantage and to create value for your customers. Tapscott, Ticoll, and Lowy show you how to do this by defining the business model for your company's survival in today's economy. Read this book to stay ahead.
—John Chambers, President and CEO, Cisco Systems

Larry Downes
Exciting and compelling, Digital Capital concisely captures important new thinking on Internet business models and how to apply them today.
—Larry Downes, Coauthor, Unleashing the Killer App

Noel Tichy
Digital Capital is the guidebook for any business leader who wants to win in the e-business world. Well written and provocative, this book provides us with the first practical navigation system for what the authors coin as 'b-webs'-the new platform for winning in the twenty-first century.
—Noel Tichy, Professor, University of Michigan, and Coauthor, The Leadership Engine and Every Business Is a Growth Business

Jeff Papows
Simply a must-read. Digital Capital provides real out-of-the-box insights, and, even more, excites and captivates you.
—Jeff Papows, Author, Enterprise.com

William T. Esrey
With a surgeon's precision, Tapscott, Ticoll, and Lowy define and explore new business models and opportunities coming to light in the emerging virtual 'agora.' Digital Capital is the guide to the new world of Internet work.
—William T. Esrey, Chairman and CEO, Sprint Corporation

Michael S. Dell
Digital Capital is an insightful guide to the rules of engagement in the new economy. Its explanation of collaborative business webs-the emerging market models for value creation-should be required reading for anyone who wants to reach the digital customer.
—Michael S. Dell, Chairman and CEO, Dell Computer Corporation

J. Bruce Harreld
By far, the best work on the new business models required to compete in e-business. Pray that your competitors don't read it!
—J. Bruce Harreld, Senior Vice President of Strategy, IBM

Mark Hogan
We created eGM to transform General Motors into a major force in the digital economy. Don Tapscott and the Alliance for Converging Technologies team have greatly influenced out business design and are helping us to chart the future. Digital Capital does a great job of putting the task at hand in clear focus.
—Mark Hogan, President, eGM

Kim Polese
Tired of all the hype and clichĐšs about e-business? Still don't know how to compete in a dot-com world? You just found your secret weapon. Tapscott, Ticoll, and Lowy cut to the core of what really matters-how to use the Internet for creating powerful business partnerships. You can't find a better guide to winning in the new digital economy.
—Kim Polese, President, Chief Executive Officer, and Cofounder, Marimba, Inc.

Durk Jager
One of the most important challenges facing today's executives is the need to disaggregate and reaggregate their firms to harness the power of business webs. Digital Capital presents an actionable blueprint for meeting this challenge. If you have any responsibility for the future of your business, read this book.
—Durk Jager, Chairman and CEO, Procter & Gamble

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