The Rise of the Mobile Internet Revolution

Date:   Monday , July 01, 2013

Headquartered in Milipitas, SanDisk Corporation (NASDAQ: SNDK) delivers flash memory storage solutions worldwide. Founded in 1988, the company has a market cap of $14.20 billion.

The times, they are a-changing: mobile phones have officially overtaken computers in five leading global markets. Consumers have more mobile Internet-capable devices than desktop or laptop computers. Consumer habits are quickly shifting as more people begin to use their smartphone and tablet as their first, or only, form of Internet interaction. Smartphone usage is increasing at an exponential pace. What enables them is flash memory which is highly reliable and consumes less power. The reason SanDisk was founded originally was so that someday portable, low power, high reliability storage would be needed to enable devices like digital cameras and smartphones. SanDisk recently started focusing on the OEM side where flash gets embedded in the smartphones, laptops and other such similar devices.

The other area where there is a revolution is that of the Datacenter sector. The web 2.0 companies like Facebook, Google, Apple and other similar organizations have massive amount of data for processing from their apps and products. So they are trying to figure out ways to manage all that data at low cost. This is where flash makes its way through the data center in the enterprise to lower cost of ownership. Due to this reason, they can process the data more easily and swiftly than with a hard drive. This also helps reduce power consumption.

Staying Ahead is the Challenge

Our biggest challenge is to keep SanDisk at the top of the league. But for a 25 year old company such as SanDisk to be a frontrunner in the market throughout all these years require keeping pace with the changes in technology. Although in the lead, continuing to stay in the front is the greatest challenge; it is always important for a technology company but more important for a semiconductor company. This in turn leads to the challenge of pondering over the implementation of new technology and creating higher yield, higher performance out the existing technology.

The second big challenge is the broad portfolio of products that are present. Building drives for computing applications, we are now looking into embedded products. We also focus on a supply chain optimization, sophisticated modeling systems and managing this complexity in the products becomes a challenge. Between these challenges an organization must also look at being profitable.

Innovation Transforming Business

Technology is transforming innovation at its core, allowing companies to test new ideas at speeds and prices that were unimaginable even a decade ago. Companies are able to get a much better idea of how their customers behave and what they want. This gives new offerings and marketing efforts a better shot at success.
Companies will also be willing to try new things, because the price of failure is so much lower. That will bring big changes for corporate culture making it easier to challenge accepted wisdom, for instance, and forcing managers to give more employees a say in the innovation process.

In every technology company, the lifeline is innovation and in the markets SanDisk caters to, it is critical. A very strong patent portfolio is of paramount importance. Innovation comes from different areas such as by encouraging engineers to try out industry revolutionizing solutions.

There will be even better payoffs for customers, their likes and dislikes will have much more impact on companies' decisions. In globally competitive markets, they will ultimately end up getting products and services better tailored to their needs.

We drive innovation in terms of operational solutions; we try to optimize our inventory, our supply chain management, predicting our customers’ demand even before they ask for it. There is a plethora of analytic work there so that we are able to minimize our inventory, give our customers very high customer service. The company is innovating from both these perspectives.

Already, this powerful new capability is changing the way some of the biggest companies in the world do business, inspiring new strategies and revolutionizing the research-and-development process.(As told to Sagaya)