Following the Grid

It's clear that the smart grid still has some challenges to overcome in developed regions such as the US. Securing the grid is becoming a growing concern, and the great number of legacy agencies already involved in the US grid makes a single solution unlikely, at least in the near-term. (See: Securing the Smart Grid.)…

Outlook 2012: Mobility & Platform War Begins

Monumental changes are occurring and accelerating in the IT industry, and events over the next years will determine winners and losers in what could be a nearly $2 trillion market by 2012, according to {complink 7014|IDC}. All indications are that established companies across various segments of high-tech in Western nations (IBM, Microsoft, and Oracle) will…

Flextronics, Huawei Expand Alliance

HUNGARY — Flextronics (NASDAQ: FLEX) and Huawei today announced that they have expanded their existing supply chain partnership to include services such as reverse logistics and configure-to-order (CTO) products in Hungary. Today's announcement marks the fifth major region where the companies partner globally. Flextronics currently provides a wide array of product manufacturing and services to…

Estonia: Tech’s New Innovation Hub

Every once in a while in this space, we talk about places turning heads with their budding entrepreneurial communities and technological innovations. Lately, Estonia is popping up on the radar screen. Estonia, a Northern European country with the highest GDP per person among former Soviet republics, is earning a reputation as a startup country and…

Will Global Economic Problems Hurt Electronics?

Our collective economic migraine is back, and this time it's hammering even the global regions and business sectors that avoided the worst of the 2008 financial meltdown. The electronics sector is already feeling the chill. Companies like NXP, Freescale, Philips, HP, and others in the consumer electronics market have already indicated the third quarter and…

The Other Europe: A Look at Hungary

After writing my post last week about Poland, I got to thinking about other places in Europe that haven't been much in the news recently but which are also trying to increase their role in the electronics supply chain. Hungary came immediately to mind. (See: The Other Europe: A Look at Poland.) Much like Poland,…

The Other Europe: A Look at Poland

Scan any of the European front pages lately, and you're likely to see reports on Greece, France, Germany, and the debt crisis crammed in there somehow. But as manufacturers know, there's more to Europe than just what's coming off the newsfeed or TweetDeck. Take Poland, for instance. When was the last time you heard about…

Systemic Fragility Haunts Europe

If you think the economic and political crisis in the United States is unnerving, you should check out the view across the pond. The mood in Europe is grim. On the streets of European capitals, at family gatherings, and in corporate boardrooms, what could turn out to be the panic of the decade is simmering…

Central Europe: Where Opportunities Equal Challenges

Significant sales opportunities exist in Central and Eastern Europe for medical equipment manufacturers as the region begins to evaluate the advantages of integrating and expands its IT-based services into health care delivery and implementation programs, according to a new research report from {complink 7014|IDC}. This is good news for electronics component vendors in the medical…

How Škoda Changed Gears

My recent blog about manufacturing trends in Central and Eastern Europe sparked a couple of comments about Škoda Auto, a Czech Republic-based carmaker and wholly-owned subsidiary of the Volkswagen Group. I thought it deserved some follow-up attention. Škoda, with about 110 years of history under its hood, has essentially recreated itself this past decade. It…