Ye Tianzheng: innovation should be "practical"
people say that when a company develops in scale, it also needs to develop ideas, otherwise it is like a person who only grows a body and lacks a soul. As a thought leader in it, IBM's preference for concepts over the years seems to have never stopped. This year, the word "innovation" has become the new highest guiding concept. A loud slogan of "innovation promotes social progress" is quite high-profile in the fierce industry. When someone began to figure out this way of "retreat", ye Tian, director of IBM China Research Institute, proved to everyone that innovation is to be "practical". They have different performances
maybe he is the most qualified person to say this sentence. As a scientist with dozens of patents, ye Tianzheng spent half his life dealing with research and development. As he said, with good processing formability, innovation will never stop. Since he came to China to establish CRL, he has been working hard to develop new technologies and cultivate innovative talents
there are many opinions in the industry about multinational companies setting up research institutes in China. Some people say that the manufacturer's research center in China is just a "vase" for public relations with the government. Ye Tianzheng explained: "IBM has been doing business in China since 1979, and officially established the company in 1992. In theory, business has been done, which does not mean that there must be a research thing here. Today we look at IBM China, in addition to the sales team, service team, and production team. Now we sell the PC production part to form a new company to produce our servers. In 1995, we had research." The research team had a development team in 1998 and a leasing team in 2000, so from this perspective, IBM has operations in more than 130 countries around the world, and China is one of the few countries where IBM has a comprehensive organizational unit, which shows that IBM attaches importance to this market. "
in 1994, IBM decided to set up a research center in China. On February 18, the stock price of IBM was $13.36, while the current price is $79. That is to say, IBM was in an extraordinary period, an era of transformation. At that time, IBM saw that with the opening of the policy, the Chinese market began to mature slowly, so there were two main reasons: the first reason was that the indication value of the experimental machine was not accurate and could not wait for the company's performance to rise. In other words, IBM took the lead in setting up a research center in China. Ye Tianzheng said, "we should have such a commitment in China to do our part to establish the whole r&d (Research and Development Center). This is the company's own strategy. I believe that in terms of the whole Chinese environment, IBM also plays a role in recognizing the Chinese environment."
before coming to Beijing, ye Tian had been doing research work at IBM Watson research center in the United States for 21 years. At that time, he gave up the existing foundation in the United States to do research and development in China. I believe many people would hesitate. Ye Tianzheng thought: it's not a bigger challenge to do research and development in China, and the innovative achievements can be used by the world's largest number of people. But it's not easy to start from scratch. When they first arrived in China, they had no experience in how to select sites, how to go through procedures, and how to recruit talents. They were groping step by step. At that time, the external environment was not mature, the infrastructure was not perfect, and many stories occurred in the early investment. At that time, there was no network in Shangdi, Beijing, where the R & D center was located. If the center wanted to connect with the world, it would need to add a "pot cover" on the roof of huahuan building behind Shangdi seventh street, and then aim at Lido Hotel (where IBM headquarters is located, and the company headquarters has network). When it's windy and rainy, it's impossible to deviate from the direction at all. No matter what the weather, you have to climb up the room to aim. Things thousands of years ago now sound like a joke, but it is a real process of gradual accumulation
from settling down in China to now, the core areas of research of the research center have also changed, from the earliest Chinese speech recognition, pervasive computing and e-commerce, to later more and more integrated with products, and then to close to customers and services. "Now, compared with five years ago, at least one third of our projects will be related to services. Five years ago, there were probably few projects related to services, mostly related to products and technology."
over the years, ye Tianzheng's own research direction has also changed many times. Do these changes also conform to the trajectory of innovation? "Change is eternal. Since you know that there will be changes, you have to go ahead of changes. You change others instead of others. If you are changed by others, it will be more painful. When you change others, events and environment, you will feel more independent. Innovation is a kind of change, which is both sides of the same body. It is like having new songs come out every day, because listening to old songs every day will be annoying. Although There are also some classic music that you never get tired of listening to, but even if you never get tired of listening to music, some people play it in different ways. " Ye Tianzheng talks about the endless innovation from the perspective of change
since innovation does not stop, what is the meaning of IBM choosing to play the "innovation" card this year
Ye Tianzheng talked about today's concept of innovation. "Looking back on the whole history of mankind today, its changes and innovations in different times, although similar, are different in essence. For example, transportation, from bicycles to steam engines, trains and planes. After the emergence of innovation, it will stabilize for a period of time, and then something new will come out. For example, from the past, pagers to the present, most of the examples we are familiar with are presented in the form of a product or technology, and we all put it As an innovation of products and technologies, it may not be enough to talk about innovation today. We believe that, in fact, the innovation transformation of enterprises may have a greater impact than just talking about the innovation of enterprises. An oil company may still be an oil company a hundred years later. If it is a software development company, there will be many transformations in the process. In other words, because the pace of science and technology is so fast, the traditional idea of innovation will become very dangerous if it only focuses on one point. Now when it comes to innovation, it is also an incentive for yourself. The current innovation is ever-changing. I can't imagine that people will run ahead of you at multiple levels. "
when it comes to enterprise transformation, I think of IBM's recent enthusiasm for "transformation technology". After its successful transformation, IBM also has a set of methods on how to help enterprises successfully transform. However, it also depends on the implementation of technology to a large extent. Ye Tianzheng believes that transformation does not necessarily have to be traumatic. In the merger and reorganization of enterprises, the ideas and methods of decision makers account for a very important factor. "Decision makers should first have a methodology, and then we can deal with it in the way of consultation. If I analyze the customer's business clearly, the consultation will be more successful, and there are technical things to support our consulting business. Whether the enterprise's decision can be implemented is a problem. For example, the merger of two companies, the merger of different liver systems, and the replacement of old and new businesses, which is like changing wheels on a running car Son, neither let the car stop, but also consider safety. Do I have this technology to change it for you? If there is this technology, the transformation can be done. "
with good methods and good technology to support, ye Tianzheng gives another example in terms of timeliness. "If I do a system integration, it may take me four months from analyzing customers' needs to practice. But today, many customers' needs are very urgent. If I can do it well in two months, customers will be very happy. What is genius? It takes four months for others, and you only need two months, with a lot of technical support. Enterprises will encounter various it changes in the implementation of transformation, when If the existing business needs to be expanded, do you want to basically change the structure of the system? This series of methods and tools are technologies that help a company transform. "
although he is fond of technology, ye Tianzheng said that he is not a technologist. He decided that the most satisfying thing now was to see the growth of newcomers in the Research Institute. "In the process of management, you can bring a lot of people up. When you bring people up, you see that the original kid was not afraid of tigers when he just came out of school. After a few years, when he was more refined and his views were very accurate, you feel that his future achievements will be great. At this time, the sense of achievement you get is no less than creating a new thing."
Ye Tianzheng has many personal patents, but he is unwilling to mention them himself. "I don't think I'm a very smart person. I didn't study physics well enough at the beginning. I know there may be no hope of winning the Nobel Prize. I think I'd better do something of higher value."
when it comes to the prospect of IBM R & D center in China, ye Tianzheng used four words "promising". He is full of confidence in China's environment, just as he was looking forward to that snowy day many years ago. On November 20th, 1998, Beijing had a rare six inch snow. Ye Tianzheng is waiting for his wife and daughter trapped in Tokyo airport. "From October to December that year, the air in Beijing suddenly improved a lot, because since then, Beijing has stipulated that all trucks are not allowed to enter the third ring road. Of course, it is much better now." (end)