2019年12月11日 12:40:46|来源:国际在线|编辑:京东网
DARJEELING, India — The tea plantations here in the shadow of the cloud-shrouded valleys of the Himalayan mountains may be the last place to find technological innovation. Many of the colonial-era practices involved in tea-growing and processing still follow the time-honored manual labor and handwritten bookkeeping.印度大吉岭——这里的茶叶种植园位于喜马拉雅山麓云雾笼罩的山谷里,从这样的地方找到科技创新的影子恐怕并不容易。很多殖民地时期就已经采用的茶叶种植及加工方法依然沿用至今,比如人工采摘茶叶和手写的账目。But as global consumers increasingly become connoisseurs of high-quality products, one entrepreneur is seeking to give the industry a Silicon Valley makeover.但是随着全球愈来愈多的消费者成了品鉴高档茶叶的行家,一位创业者正在尝试对茶叶产业开展一番硅谷式的改造。India is the world#39;s second-largest tea grower after China. Yet, even as the country produces quality specialty varietals that are as highly regarded as wines from France and whisky from Scotland, its industry is antiquated.印度仅次于中国,是全球第二大茶叶种植国。虽然印度出产特有品种的优质茶叶,可与法国的葡萄酒和苏格兰的威士忌相媲美,但是当地的制茶产业已经过时了。With the backing of one of Silicon Valley#39;s biggest venture capital firms, Accel Partners, Kaushal Dugar, a Singapore-trained financial analyst, is among those slowly bringing the sector into the modern era via his online tea retailing start-up, Teabox.曾在新加坡受过教育的金融分析师考沙尔·杜伽尔(Kaushal Dugar),在硅谷最大的风险投资企业之一,阿克塞尔合伙公司(Accel Partners)的持下,正在通过在线销售茶叶的初创企业Teabox逐步让制茶产业现代化。The bulk of India#39;s production — about one billion of the total 1.2 billion kilograms (2.6 billion pounds) — is consumed by the domestic market, where mass-market brands from the Indian conglomerate Tata and the multinational Unilever hold sway. But the remaining 200 million kilograms is a market ripe for shake-up.大部分印度出产的茶叶都由国内市场消费,在12亿公斤(约合26亿磅)的总产量里,印度消费者购买了约10亿公斤。其中,大众市场由印度塔塔集团(Tata)和跨国企业联合利华(Unilever)这样的品牌控制,而余下的2亿公斤所面向的市场则亟需变革。;We grow some of the best teas in the world, but our processes are archaic and marketing is nonexistent,; said Arun Kumar Gomden, a tea industry consultant who managed tea estates for 35 years.As is the case with other successful e-commerce sites, technology forms the core of Teabox#39;s online operations. Algorithms predict demand based on such factors as past sales, internal ranking of tea varieties and pricing. Information about a tea#39;s picking date, season and origins is made available to online customers.制茶产业顾问阿伦·库马尔·戈穆登(Arun Kumar Gomden)说,“我们种植的茶叶在全球名列前茅,但加工手段落后,也谈不上有什么营销,”戈穆登已有35年管理茶园的经验。与其他成功的电子商务网站一样,科技是Teabox网络运营的核心。该公司利用算法,根据价格、以往销量,以及内部对茶叶品种的评级等因素,来预测消费者的需求。消费者可以在网上查看茶叶的采摘日期、季节和产地等信息。Taking a cue from the successful wine industry, Teabox is bringing in wine tasters to provide engaging online descriptions for its products. Gone are the flowery but opaque descriptions like ;distinctly high-grown character; and ;surprising malty nuance.; They have been replaced by more consumer-friendly taster phrases like ;light-bodied tea with a slight woodiness in its flavor,; along with detailed steeping instructions.Teabox借鉴葡萄酒行业的成功经验,邀请品酒师为网站编写引人入胜的产品介绍。那些辞藻华丽但晦涩难懂的描述不见了,例如“鲜明的高海拔种植特征”、“有一丝出人意料的麦芽口感”。取而代之的是一些读者比较容易明白的措辞,例如“含有一丝木头清香的淡茶”,还附有详细的冲泡说明。Teabox, which started in mid-2012, is introducing a subscription model offering personalized tea selections, replicating similar successes of online sites selling wine, razor blades, cosmetics and organic products.创立于2012年中期的Teabox,还效仿销售葡萄酒、剃须刀片、化妆品和有机产品的网站的成功做法,推出了一套提供个性化选择的订购模式。All of these steps aim to hook a new generation of customers in countries such as Russia and the ed States. As consumers on a quest for the latest niche food products veer toward drinking the brew in upscale salons and tea bars, Indian tea could tap into the large addressable global tea market, estimated to be billion in size.这些举措的目的是从俄罗斯、美国等国家,吸引新一代的顾客。对新近流行的小众饮食趋之若鹜的消费者们,现在开始在高档沙龙或茶吧里喝茶,因此印度茶有望打入全球商机巨大的潜在市场,其规模估计高达900亿美元(约合5500亿元人民币)。;Tea is a time-sensitive product, but the industry#39;s supply chain is quite broken and has many intermediaries,; said Prashanth Prakash, a partner at Accel India, which along with Singapore#39;s Horizon Ventures has provided some million in early-stage funding to Teabox. ;The business is ripe for disruption, both in terms of price and quality,; he said.阿克塞尔印度公司的合伙人普拉申特·普拉卡什(Prashanth Prakash)说,“茶这种产品对时间很敏感,但业内的供应链相当低效,而且涉及过多中间环节。”这家公司连同新加坡的Horizon Ventures为Teabox提供了100万美元的前期资助。他说,“从价格和质量两方面而言,颠覆这个行业的时机都已经成熟。”The venture capital approach is helping Teabox change operations. It was Accel Partners that suggested the wine industry method to ;product discovery; — industry jargon for helping shoppers discern and select products online.风险投资的持,帮助Teabox改变了经营模式。正是阿克塞尔建议采用葡萄酒行业的“产品发掘”手段。“产品发掘”是指帮助顾客在网站上查看和选择产品的过程。;By employing tactics used by the wine industry, we want to demystify tea and present it in a more accessible manner along with how-to brewing directions so that buyers can explore varieties, regions and flavors,; said Mr. Dugar, 31, founder and chief executive of Teabox, which is based in Siliguri, Darjeeling, the heart of India#39;s tea-growing region.杜伽尔表示,“通过使用葡萄酒行业的手法,我们想让茶在顾客眼中不再陌生,以更容易领会的方式推介茶,并且给出冲泡指示,这样一来顾客就能探究茶的品种、产地和口味。”31岁的杜伽尔是Teabox的创始人和首席执行官。这家公司的总部位于印度产茶区域的中心,大吉岭的西里古里(Siliguri)。His family#39;s trade connections go back four decades and give Mr. Dugar access to high-quality teas from the estates of Assam and Darjeeling. From his childhood summers spent on plantations, he recalls the tea pluckers picking two leaves and a bud that was transformed into brewed tea within hours. ;I imagined that the workers in tea plantations were magicians.;Mr. Dugar had worked for a few years as a corporate finance analyst at consultancy firm KPMG in Singapore, but he then returned to India to become an entrepreneur. He and his backers quickly discovered that the industry first organized by British colonizers about 200 years ago has not changed at all. Many plantations are controlled by third- or fourth-generation owners, using machines dating back a half-century or more.杜伽尔家族与茶的渊源已有40年了,这也让他在栽种阿萨姆茶和大吉岭茶的茶园里,品尝到了优质的茶叶。杜伽尔童年时,夏天会在茶园里度过。他回忆起当时情景说,采茶工摘下两片叶子和一朵花蕾,几个小时后就变成了沏好的茶。“我觉得茶园里的工人都是魔法师。”杜伽尔曾在咨询公司毕马威(KPMG)的新加坡分公司工作数年,担任企业财务分析师,后来返回印度开始创业。他和投资人很快就发现,这个大约200年前由英国殖民者组织起来的产业,至今仍然没有任何改变。很多茶园都是由第三或第四代老板经营,他们所用的机器已有至少半个世纪甚至更长的历史。;Traditional processes such as withering, rolling, drying are all manually monitored just like it was when the tea industry was first established in this region centuries ago,; said Amar Nath Jha, a senior manager of the 162-year old Steinthal Tea Estate in Darjeeling, a supplier to Teabox.阿马尔·纳特·杰哈(Amar Nath Jha)说,“传统的制茶工序,例如萎凋、揉捻、干燥都是人手处理,就像很多个世纪以前,这个产业刚刚在这里形成时一样。”杰哈在大吉岭已有162年历史的斯坦塔茶园(Steinthal Tea Estate)担任高级经理,这家茶园也是Teabox的供应商。Because of the lengthy auction and distribution process, it can take up to six months for the tea to reach a consumer overseas.由于拍卖和分销茶叶所需时间很长,因此可能需要长达六个月的时间才能到达海外消费者手上。;The lack of modern infrastructure leads to tea quality deteriorating and losing aroma along the way,; said Mr. Gomden, the tea consultant.制茶产业顾问戈穆登表示,“在整个过程中,由于缺乏现代化的设施,茶叶的质量会下降,茶香也会流失。”To change that, Teabox set up sourcing centers in Darjeeling and Assam, within a few hours from the gardens where the leaves are plucked and processed. (Other buyers have also begun to bypass the auction system and buy premium teas directly from producers).为了改变这种情况,Teabox在大吉岭和阿萨姆邦设立了采购中心,距离采摘和加工的茶园只有数小时路程。(其他买家也开始跳过拍卖体系,直接通过生产商采购优质茶叶。)Almost as soon as the teas are procured fresh from the production centers, Teabox stores them in temperature- and humidity-controlled warehouses. Then, within 48 hours, the teas are checked, vacuum-packed and dispatched to fulfillment centers in major markets such as Russia, the ed States and Australia.Teabox从生产中心将新鲜的茶叶采购到手,就会立即储存在能够调节温度和湿度的仓库里。然后在48小时以内,茶叶就会经过检查和真空包装,发往俄罗斯、美国、澳大利亚等主要市场的配送中心。Data analytics also help. When they log into the website, buyers are served personalized recommendations according to one of Teabox#39;s 53 tea profiles.数据分析也很有帮助。买家登录之后,网站便会依据Teabox供应的53种茶叶的特征,给出个性化的推荐。Customer feedback goes quickly back to the producers. For example, Teabox now sells tea only in 100-gram vacuum packs after complaints that tea in larger packs lost aroma.生产商很快就能收到顾客的反馈。比如,由于有顾客投诉称,包装容量太大以致茶香流失,Teabox现在只出售100克真空包装的茶叶。The company tries to win over customer share its audience by offering high-end teas at a discount to established brands like Twinings and upscale European, Asian and American tea salons, all of which sell online (Teabox#39;s products can sell for as much as ,099 per kilogram).Teabox试图通过以优惠价格出售川宁(Twinings)等知名公司,以及欧洲、亚洲和美洲的高档茶店所出售的茶叶,来吸引消费者。这些产品都在网上出售。(Teabox产品的售价每公斤可高达1099美元)。For instance, a French tea salon called Palais des Thés sells the Mission Hill tea at 0 per kilogram, but Teabox sells the same product about 60 percent less at 6 per kilogram. TWG, a high-end tea bar in Singapore, sells the Okayti at 0 per kilogram while Teabox sells it as 0, less than half the price.例如,一家名为茶宫(Palais des Thés)的法国茶庄以每公斤340美元的价格销售Mission Hill的茶叶,而Teabox的售价是每公斤126美元,价格低近六成。新加坡的高级茶吧TWG以每公斤390美元的价格出售欧凯帝(Okayti)茶园的茶叶,而Teabox则只售180美元,低于其价格的一半。Teabox is still a small player in the industry: It has shipped 10 million cups#39; worth of tea to customers in 65 countries so far. The challenges are many. Traditional distributors have blocked access to plantations and Teabox has had to counter rumors from rivals that it is an unreliable buyer.Teabox在茶叶产业中仍然是个小角色。迄今为止,它已向65个国家的顾客出售了相当于1000万杯的茶。该公司面临很多挑战:传统分销商阻挠他们接触茶园,竞争对手造谣称他们是个不可靠的买家,Teabox需要进行反驳。Mohan Chirimar, 53, of Raghunath Exports, a bulk supplier to Starbucks as well as retail chains and supermarkets in 30 countries, said Teabox was chasing a big opportunity that had room for other entrepreneurs.拉古拿夫出口公司(Raghunath Exports)向星巴克(Starbucks)以及全球30个国家的零售商和超市供货。该公司现年53岁创始人莫汉·其利马(Mohan Chirimar)说,Teabox正在追求的这个巨大商机,其他企业也可以参与其中。Raghunath Exports is itself gearing up to compete online as Mr. Chirimar#39;s 23-year old son, Aditya, a recent graduate from Cornell University, has returned this month to join the business. ;He is going to expand our business online; it offers more opportunities and will speed up our growth,; Mr. Chirimar said.拉古拿夫出口公司正准备参与网上竞争。其利马23岁的儿子阿迪蒂亚(Aditya)最近刚从康奈尔大学(Cornell University)毕业,并于本月回国参与公司经营。其利马说,“他将会扩展网上业务,这能给我们提供更多机会,加快业务增长。”Teabox does have an early-mover advantage but must now build its name. Regular access to financing will help Teabox ramp up its brand in crucial markets like the ed States where tea drinking growth rates are overtaking coffee. The start-up aims to grow 300 to 500 percent in the coming year and cross million in annual revenue.Teabox的确有率先进入这一市场的优势,但它现在必须建立自己的品牌。定期融资能帮助Teabox加速进军美国等重要市场,美国的茶叶消耗增长率正在赶超咖啡。这家初创公司明年的业务增长目标是300%到500%,年收入超过100万美元。;With cash in the bank and support from investors, we can dream about quickly building a billion-dollar tea brand from India, something that has never been attempted before,; Mr. Dugar said.杜伽尔说,“利用里的现金和投资者的持,我们希望可以迅速建立一个价值十亿美元的印度茶叶品牌,以前没人尝试做过这些。” /201409/325538

Few words raise more consternation than ‘this time is different.’ Yet in the world of enterprise tech today, times are different — and they are likely to stay that way for a while.很少有哪句话比“这次不一样”更让人紧张。在如今的企业科技领域,时代的确是不同了,而且这样一个时代很可能会驻留一阵子。It’s not everyday that 0-plus billion companies split themselves in two. Recall late last month, eBay’s decided to spin off its fast-growing payments division, PayPal; last week, Hewlett-Packard HP -5.89% moved to separate its PC and printer divisions off from its enterprise hardware and service groups. And most recently, Symantec’s potential split into security and data storage.不是每天都上演资产超千亿美元的大企业的分拆大戏。但就在上个月,eBay公司决定剥离其快速增长的付部门PayPal;就在上周,惠普公司(Hewlett-Packard)决定将PC和打印机部门与企业硬件和务部门分拆。最新消息是,赛门铁克(Symantec)很可能会分拆为两家分别从事安全与数据存储业务的公司。On the other end, we just witnessed the largest acquisition in the history of cloud computing — where one of the largest software companies in the world, SAP SAP -0.77% , is buying Concur, a provider of on-demand travel and expense management software-as-a-service, for .3 billion.另一方面,我们刚刚见了云计算历史上最大的一笔收购交易:全球最大的软件公司之一SAP,正在收购企业报销管理务商,软件即务类公司Concur。Beyond the question of what these tech companies are worth, it’s important to ask what’s going on here? The developments can only be described as an “inversion” caused by a new shift in cloud computing. And I say inversion because the pattern we see today is almost the reverse of developments evident in the past.我们暂且不去讨论这些公司价值多少钱,目前亟需搞清楚一个问题:究竟发生了什么?这些新动向只能用云计算的新转变所引发的“逆变”来解释。我之所以用“逆变”这个词,是因为今天我们所见到的模式,与过去的发展轨迹几乎截然相反。The last time technology dominated the news cycle was in 1999-2000, during which we saw something interesting happen in the years leading up to the collapse of the tech bubble — we witnessed the simultaneous rise of not just new tech companies, but established ones too. While the number of companies going public eclipsed 300, the dominant players, such as Akamai AKAM -1.77% , BEA, Cisco CSCO -1.76% , EMC EMC -1.57% , Exodus, Level 3 LVLT -2.31% , Oracle ORCL 0.34% , Sun, etc. were able to sell both the technology infrastructure picks and shovels to both new and existing companies within the Fortune 500 (many of whom were busy preparing for what turned out to be the over-hyped Y2Kopalypse).上一次科技话题主宰媒体圈,还是1999年到2000年的事情。在科技泡沫破裂前的那几年,我们看到了一些有趣的现象: 科技新贵强势崛起崛起,但老牌科技公司的表现也相当不错。当时扎堆上市的新科技公司超过了300家。另一方面,一些市场主宰者,比如阿卡迈(Akamai)、BEA、思科(Cisco)、EMC、Exodus、Level 3、甲骨文(Oracle)和Sun,也能够把自家的技术架构工具卖给新兴和老牌《财富》500强企业(其中很多公司当年都在忙着应战被过度炒作的“千年虫”问题)。A rising tide was indeed floating all boats back then: As big established companies provided fundamental technological infrastructure to new tech firms, the businesses of existing firms grew rapidly. Cisco, for example, grew its revenue at rates of 50% to 60%, topping 0 billion in market cap; it was widely expected to become the first trillion market cap company.所谓水涨船高。随着老牌软件公司积极向新型科技公司提供基本技术架构,这些企业也在迅速壮大。比如,思科公司的营收以50%至60%的速度增长,市值一度高达5000亿美元。很多人认为它有可能成为史上第一家市值超万亿美元的公司。As evident today, that didn’t happen: Cisco’s market cap stands nearly 80% below its peak level. Meanwhile, the other large established companies that benefited greatly in the 1999 to 2000 run-up are either out of business (e.g., Exodus) or have been acquired (e.g., Sun, BEA, and Peoplesoft — all by Oracle). And if they’re still standalone companies (such as Akamai, Cisco, EMC, Oracle, Microsoft, IBM, HP), then they’re showing very slow, if any, organic growth in their core computing businesses.正如你今天所见,这一幕并未发生。目前思科的市值只有全盛时期的20%。与此同时,其他在1999年到2000年大赚特赚的老牌软件公司要么退市(如Exodus),要么被收购(如Sun、BEA和Peoplesoft——这三家正好都被甲骨文收购)。如果他们目前还是独立存在的公司(如阿卡迈、思科、EMC、甲骨文、微软、IBM和惠普等),其核心计算业务的内生增长也是非常缓慢的,甚或没有任何增长。While all this is going on, what’s particularly interesting is that the number of companies being formed and amount of dollars invested in new enterprise technologies is growing significantly. Why the disconnect? How can enterprise tech be both out of favor and wildly in favor?与此同时,特别令人感兴趣的是,现在无论是新成立公司的数量,还是新型企业科技所吸引的投资额,都呈现出显著的增长。为什么会产生这种“脱节”现象?企业科技为什么一方面遇冷,一方面又倍受青睐?The obvious answer is that there’s a classic technology platform shift happening, driven by the move toward cloud-based computing. But perhaps less obvious is where, and how, this platform shift is happening. And what does it tell us about what may be coming next?最明显的是,经典的技术平台正在发生变革,它正朝着云计算平台方向转型。但另一个不太明显的问题是,这种平台变革正在什么地方,以什么方式发生?它是否预示着下一步将会发生什么事情?The first elements of the cloud-computing shift took place at the applications level: New companies were created to deliver existing application functionality via a cloud-based, software-as-a-service (SaaS) model. Think of examples like Salesforce.com CRM -2.81% for customer relationship management, or Workday for human resources.向云计算平台的转型首先发生在应用层面上。近年来,一批新建立的公司开始通过基于云技术的“软件即务”模式向用户交付现有应用功能,比如客户关系管理应用Salesforce.com和人力资源应用Workday。The second elements of the cloud-computing shift are being seen at more infrastructural levels of the technology stack: databases, networking technologies, storage technologies, and so on. Think of examples like Nicira (acquired by VMware for .25 billion) in software-defined networking; Servicenow (a recent IPO) in systems management; or Arista Networks (another recent IPO) in networking equipment.向云计算平台转型的第二波发生在基础架构层面,如数据库、网络技术和存储技术等等。比如Nicira(已被VMware以12.5亿美元收购)的软件定义网络;Servicenow(最近刚刚上市)的系统管理技术;Arista Network(另一家最近刚刚上市的公司)的网络设备等等。But here’s the thing: Unlike in the 1999 to 2000 era, where established tech companies were the natural beneficiaries of venture capital investment into new companies (and turned out to be the survivors after all the dust settled), this time the established firms are potential casualties of a cloud-computing platform shift.与1999年至2000年那个时代不同的是,在那股风投资本进入新公司的热潮中,老牌科技公司是自然而然的受益者,也是尘埃落定后的幸存者。然而这一次,在向云计算平台的转型中,老牌科技公司很可能成为受害者。To be fair, established technology platforms haven’t entirely disappeared. As we’ve seen in past platform shifts, enterprises have big investments in existing applications that rely on this infrastructure — so obsoleting them overnight is never an option.必须承认,传统的技术平台并没有完全消失。我们在过去几次平台转型中也曾发现,企业对依赖于这种技术架构的现有应用做了大量投资,所以要想一夜之间让它们退出历史舞台是不可能的。But as new applications take advantage of modern technologies, the existing technologies go largely into “maintenance” mode. That means that new revenue from licenses at legacy businesses starts growing more slowly and declines over time, while the annual maintenance and support streams from existing customers becomes the primary source of revenue. For example, IBM IBM -1.30% has reported nine straight quarters of declining top-line growth in its core business. And we are seeing early signs of this for most other established tech companies: Strong cash flows are being generated by the maintenance revenue streams, but new license revenue growth from the legacy businesses is slowing substantially.但是随着运用现代技术的新型应用不断出现,现有技术在很大程度上进入了“维护”模式。这意味着传统软件的销售收入将增长得越来越慢,最终会逐渐衰退,而维护与持现有客户所产生的收益将成为其主要收入来源。比如,IBM公司的核心业务增长率连续9个季度下滑,其它大多数老牌科技公司也显现出了这种状况的早期征兆:大量现金流来自维护收入,而传统业务的销售收入显著减缓。So who will remain standing in the aftermath of the current shift? Acquisition activity is one great indicator. That’s where news that SAP decided to acquire Concur, coupled with its previous acquisition of SuccessFactors (which was founded byAndreessen Horowitz partner Lars Dalgaard), signals that the company is leading the charge in evolving to the cloud-computing paradigm. Their acquisition strategy to date illustrates that SAP is committed to being a leading player in cloud applications in the same way as it created a massive enterprise applications franchise by riding the previous client-server platform shift.那么在这波转型彻度完成后,谁将会继续屹立不倒呢?收购行为可以被视为一个很好的指标。比如SAP决定收购Concur,再加上此前它已经收购了SuccessFactors(该公司由安德里森o霍洛维茨基金合伙人拉尔斯o达尔加德创办),说明这家公司正在全力向云计算领域进军。SAP的收购战略说明它致力于成为云应用领域的领军者,正如上一次在向用户—务器平台转型过程中,它在企业应用领域大获成功一样。SAP is not standing idly by. Why? Because the financial consequences of being on the wrong side of technology platform shifts can be monumental.SAP并没有坐以待毙。为什么?因为在科技平台的转型中,“站错队”的经济后果可能极为严重。Take a look at the market cap of the 10 largest enterprise incumbents (of which SAP is a member): There’s more than .3 trillion of market cap in this group. But if you look at the 2012 to 2014 class of enterprise IPOs, we’ve created only about billion in new market cap (and one company, Workday WDAY -1.08% , is around 25% of that amount). Add in enterprise Mamp;A by the top incumbents in that same timeframe (before the .3 billion SAP-Concur acquisition) and we’ve seen only billion in acquisitions. And most of those acquisitions were not really of modern cloud-based technologies. There’s much more to come.我们不妨看一下目前十家最大的企业科技巨头的市值(SAP也是其中之一):它们的总市值超过1.3万亿美元。但如果再看看2012年到2014年的IPO数据,你就会发现,这些IPO只创造了600亿美元的市值(Workday一家公司就贡献了其中的25%)。如果把同一时期十巨头的并购行为也计算在内(在SAP以83亿美元收购Concur之前),我们发现收购总额只有300亿美元。其中大多数收购标的并不是真正意义上的云技术。So despite all the excitement about the number of new enterprise technology IPOs of late, we haven’t seen the final salvo in the battle. Not even close. As the above numbers illustrated, there’s more than 10 times the amount of legacy market cap outstanding compared with the amount of new market cap created through IPOs or acquisitions to date.所以说,尽管最近企业科技领域的一连串IPO让很多人兴奋不已,但现在还没有到云技术向传统平台发起“总攻”的时候,甚至差得还远。正如前文数字所说,传统技术占据的市值与最近的IPO和并购所创造的市值相比,相差何止十倍。That means we’re going to see the acquisition ‘arms race’ escalate, and number of new enterprise IPOs continue to grow. And not only will we see the legacy players engage in more acquisitions, but we will likely see acquisitions from some of the larger new incumbents — like Saleforce.com and Workday — as they seek to stay ahead of the curve.这意味着,我们将会看到收购领域的“军备竞赛”持续升级,同时,加入IPO大军的企业科技公司也会越来越多。不仅传统科技公司会进行更多的收购行为,一些新兴科技巨头很可能也要大举收购,以保持竞争优势,比如Saleforce.com和Workday。Acquisitions alone don’t tell the entire story, though. Perhaps even more interesting is the corporate splits and spinoffs I mentioned earlier. The legacy enterprise players are now reconfiguring themselves into more focused, slimmer, and presumably more agile players so they can better compete in the brave new world. (To further complicate things, making targeted acquisitions of new technology companies will most certainly be part of the legacy players’ post-split strategy, too).不过,收购并不等于全部。更有意思的是前文提到的企业分拆与剥离。传统企业科技公司现在正想方设法地使自己变得更专注,更苗条,进而成为更灵活的竞争者,以便更好地在这个全新的世界中竞争致胜。(对新型科技公司进行定向收购,几乎肯定是这些传统科技公司在分拆后会采取的策略。)Either way, the signal is clear: There’s a platform shift happening. This time, the legacy players won’t survive by relying on their old lines of businesses. And as previous startups are becoming the new legacy players, some of the older incumbents are trying to reconfigure themselves into startup-like businesses. Another inversion of sorts.不管怎样,信号都是明显的:目前平台转型正在发生。这一次,传统科技公司恐怕难以依赖老旧的业务吃老本。上一批初创公司即将变成新的“传统”公司,同时一些“守成者”则试图瘦身成类似初创公司那样的企业。这又是另一种逆变。Acquire or split. No one seems to be going at this organically, from within. Something that’s been forgotten is that Concur started out as a conventional on-premise software company before making the difficult and sometimes costly shift to being a SaaS company. As its CEO noted over five years ago:不管是收购还是分拆,似乎没有人愿意自发地从内部变革自己。人们大概忘了:Concur一开始也是一家传统软件公司,后来它做了个艰难的决定,付出了高昂的代价,才转型成一家软件即务类公司。该公司CEO五年前曾表示:“I don’t believe large companies can make the conversion. Forget their genetic code. How many will take the pain? Companies won’t reinvent themselves… Cash flow will get crushed. You have to layoff. The transition is really hard and it’s very sudden. If you’re north of 0M it’s hard. Over B it’s impossible.”“我不相信大公司能实现这种转型。且不说什么‘基因密码’,有多少家公司愿意承受这种痛苦?企业都不想重塑自己……现金流会被摧毁,而且你需要裁员。转型的过程是非常艰难的,而且非常突然。如果你的市值是1亿美元以上,转型会非常艰难;如果超过10亿美元,那就是不可能的事情。”There, at least, not much has changed.至少从这个角度来看,目前还没有多大改变。 /201410/336508

Apple has finally inked a deal with one of China’s largest wireless providers, drastically increasing its potential footprint in one of the company’s most important markets.苹果公司终于跟中国最大的无线供应商之一中国移动达成合作协议。中国作为苹果最重要的销售市场之一,此次的合作也大幅增加了苹果在中国的发展前景。China Mobile will start selling Apple’s latest generation of iPhones beginning Jan. 17, the company said today, though specific details about pricing weren’t available yet. Apple was expected to launch the iPhone on China Mobile eventually, with reports coming out earlier this month that Apple had basically aly closed the deal.中国移动今日表示,将从明年1月17日起开售苹果最新一代iPhone 手机,不过关于定价的具体细节目前尚未知。苹果公司终于正式发布中国移动iPhone合约机,本月早些时候曾有报道称苹果和中国移动的协议基本达成。It gives Apple access to one of the largest subscriber bases in the world, dwarfing carriers in the U.S. and other countries with more than 760 million subscribers. While Apple hasn’t released a “cheap” iPhone, the company’s latest generation of smartphones seem to be performing quite well in China.此次协议达成,苹果将触及到世界上最大的用户群之一。要知道中国移动拥有超过7.6亿用户,比美国和其他国家的运营商都要多。虽然苹果还没有发布“廉价版” iPhone 手机,但最新一代的苹果手机iPhone 5C 在中国销量非常不错。The deal could potentially add billions of dollars of revenue to the company, which has found itself under scrutiny by investors over whether the company will continue to grow at the breakneck pace that it traditionally has. Since hitting a high of 0 in September last year, the company’s stock has dropped off significantly, falling as low as 0 in July earlier this year.这项合作达成将为苹果公司带来数十亿美元的收益。目前苹果公司的形势似乎颇为不妙,投资者们都在猜测如果苹果公司还继续以这样危险的步调发展,前景将未为可知。苹果公司股票价格在去年9月突破每股700美元后,今年持续大幅下降,今年7月更是跌到了每股400美元。 /201312/270092

THE International Cancer Genome Consortium, an alliance of laboratories that is trying to produce a definitive list of the genetic mutations that cause cancer, is accumulating data at an astonishing rate. About 3,000 individual breast tumours, for example, have now had their genotypes published. But these data will not, by themselves, help patients. For that, they have to be collected in the context of a drug trial. And this is just what Matthew Ellis and his colleagues at Washington University in St Louis have done for women suffering from breast cancer. Their methods, if they prove to work for other cancers too, may revolutionise treatment.国际癌症基因组协作组(THE International Cancer Genome Consortium)是试图建立一份会引起癌症的基因突变完整清单的实验室联盟,它积累数据的速度让人吃惊。例如,它已经发表了大约3000种不同的乳房肿瘤的基因型。但光凭这些数据本身无法帮助患者。要医治病人,人们必须结合药物试验采集数据。而这正是在圣路易斯市的华盛顿大学(Washington University in St Louis)工作的马修?埃利斯(Matthew Ellis)及其同事们为罹患乳腺癌的妇女们所作的工作。如果事实明他们的方法对其他癌症也有用的话,这可能会是癌症治疗的一次革命。Dr Ellis and his team sequenced the whole genomes of both cancerous and normal tissue from 46 women with tumours of a type called oestrogen-receptor-positive breast cancer. They also sequenced just the gene-containing regions of the genome-about 1% of total DNA-from an additional 31 women, and parts of the sequences of 240 more. They then compared the healthy and tumorous genomes of each patient, in order to discover which genes had mutated in the cancer.埃利斯士及其团队对46名身患雌激素受体阳性乳腺癌的妇女的癌组织和正常组织进行了全基因组测序。他们也对另外31名病人的基因组中含有基因的那些区域(约占整个DNA的1%)进行了测序,并对其他240名病人的这些部分做了部分测序。此后,为找出癌细胞中哪些基因发生了突变,他们比较了每个病人的健康和癌变基因组。In this, they were following the normal protocol of the cancer genome consortium. The novelty of their approach was that the women in question had each been involved in one of two clinical trials of a drug called letrozole. These trials established letrozole as a standard treatment for people with this type of breast cancer, but not all patients benefit equally from the drug. Dr Ellis hoped to find out why.他们在这一工作中是按癌症基因组协作组的标准程序操作的,但其方法的新颖之处是,他们还同时进行一种名为来曲唑的药物的临床试验。该试验有两种,每个病人都接受其中的一种。这些试验实来曲唑是这类乳腺癌的标准治疗方法,但它对每个病人的疗效并不一样。埃利斯士希望找出其原因。As they report in Nature, he and his team discovered 18 genes that were often mutated. Some were the usual suspects of cancer genetics. These included p53, a gene that, when working properly, suppresses cancer by regulating DNA repair, cell division and cellular suicide, and MAP3K1 and MAP2K4, which both promote cell growth. Others, though, were a surprise. At the top of that list were five which had previously been linked to leukaemia, but were not thought to affect solid tumours.正如他们在《自然》杂志中所报告的那样,埃利斯和他的团队发现了18种经常发生突变的基因,其中有些是癌症遗传学通常怀疑的对象。这中间包括p53,这种基因在正常工作时通过调节DNA对的修复、细胞分裂和细胞自杀来抑制癌症;还有MAP3K1和MAP2K4,它们都能促进细胞生长。但也有些令人吃惊的其他结果。高踞名单前列的5种基因是人们过去认为与白血病有关的,没想到它们也会影响实体瘤。By combining their newly acquired genetic data with clinical data from the participants, Dr Ellis and his colleagues showed that those whose tumours carried mutations in p53 (16% of the total) were less likely to have responded to letrozole than women whose tumours had normal p53. Conversely, those whose tumours had changes in either MAP3K1 or MAP2K4 (another 16%) had better than average responses to the drug.将他们新得到的基因数据与参与试验者的临床数据结合,埃利斯士等人明了,来曲唑对肿瘤中有p53基因突变的病人(占总数的16%)的疗效不如对肿瘤中p53基因正常的病人那样显著。与此相反,这一药物对肿瘤中MAP3K1或MAP2K4有变化的病人(也占总数的16%)的疗效高于平均水平。This sort of information has obvious implications for treatment. And the cheapness of modern gene-sequencing methods, particularly those that are looking for specific mutations suspected in advance, means that a tumour#39;s mutational complement can be worked out easily in an appropriately equipped pathology laboratory. In the case of oestrogen-receptor-positive breast cancer, the genetic analysis has not yet gone so far as to be able to say with certainty which drug will produce the best result for a given individual, but Dr Ellis#39;s result lays a foundation on which such an edifice might be built for breast cancer and perhaps for other types of tumour, too.这种信息对治疗的含义是明显的。而且,现代基因测序法价格低廉,寻找预先已有怀疑的某些特别的基因突变尤为便宜;这意味着,在拥有合适装备的病理实验室里,人们可以很容易地找出肿瘤基因突变的补体。就雌激素受体阳性乳腺癌来说,基因分析还无法肯定地告诉我们,哪种药物对某个病人疗效最佳;但埃利斯士的结果打下了一个基础,或许可以在此之上为乳腺癌——甚至其他种类的癌症——的治疗建立有效的预测方法。 /201207/192629

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