Musings on personal and enterprise technology (of potential interest to professional technoids and others)

Thursday, August 30, 2007

SharePoint Deficiencies? "Social Bookmarking Apps Provide a New Knowledge Management Platform", eWeek 8/07

Interesting to see whether Microsoft will finally respond (sounds a bit different from what was suggested in a recent post here, and also different from what one sees on several of Microsoft's own blogs, e.g. the Microsoft Unified Communications Group Team Blog among many others)

Social Bookmarking Apps Provide a New Knowledge Management Platform ( full article ):

"...Microsoft has no social bookmarking solution today. Having just revised SharePoint, the company probably won't release such a package before 2009, said Burton Group analyst Mike Gotta. WSSSearch provides a bookmarking add-on for SharePoint, but representatives for the company did not return eWEEK's requests for information..."

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Nice PPM Summary by D. Entrekin: "Operations or Alterations?"

I especially like the acknowledgment of a "grey area", this is what I have heard called "stratactical" [combo of strategy and tactics, not purely 1 or the other]:

Operations or Alterations?:

"Some organizations have begun to split their portfolio into some fundamental dualistic categories. One such breakdown might be described as Operations versus Alterations. By Operations, we mean "keep the lights on" type work. By Alterations, we mean "change the business" type work. The notion here is that a two-pronged fork can inform the leadership team about how they are spending their resources in "stay the course" work versus "change the course" work.

I'd like to spend a minute on some implications of this split. First of all, from a very simple set theory standpoint, this split assumes that all work can be covered by those two categories. Let's take an IT department for example. Does all the work that IT performs fall into those two categories? How do we break down the work that needs to get done? If we break it down into change-the-course versus continue-the-course, then the first question to ask is, Does that leave anything out?

The easy answer is that we don't allow anything to be left out. We decide in advance that everything we are doing falls into one of those two buckets, and we force work into either one or the other. This forcing action in and of itself may prove to be useful.

A quick thought experiment might help. Some requests for work are clearly requests that alter the course, such as replacing our ERP. Some are clearly operational, such as a request to add new recipients to an existing report. But some requests are a bit more gray. Let's say that there is a request for new functionality in an existing system. You might call it an enhancement. You might call it a change request. Some folks might call it a system defect. And now we are already in a gray zone.

This small dilemma brings up one of the central issues in a portfolio approach to managing a project-driven organization. How do we evaluate requests for work in terms of their value? How do we compare their value to other work requests in the queue? How do we compare their value to work that is already being worked on? And finally, how do we make the tradeoffs?

In fact, once we have created the categories of stay-the-course and change-the-course, we have already created the decision-making framework for prioritizing and tradeoffs..."

Thursday, August 16, 2007

IBM, Microsoft Show Web 2.0 Wares (eWeek, 6/07)

IBM, Microsoft Show Web 2.0 Wares (eWeek, 6/07)

(also accesssible in visual display: very slightly different variant of same article by same authors)

"....Meanwhile, in a keynote at the Boston event, Derek Burney, general manager of SharePoint platform and tools at Microsoft, shared insights on how social computing is changing the way businesses work and amplifying the effect people can have within their organizations.

Microsoft, of Redmond, Wash., is seeing evidence of this firsthand from customers like The Body Shop, which is using Web 2.0 technology to connect with women 50 and older—the target audience of its new product line. Burney said Microsoft also is seeing evidence of the impact of social computing from its own internal use of tools like blogs, wikis and "My Sites."

Burney discussed early releases of several editions of Version 2.0 of the Community Kit for SharePoint, particularly the Enhanced Blog, Enhanced Wiki, ChatterBox AJAX and Tag Cloud editions, which are available on Microsoft's CodePlex community development site at The SharePoint offerings make it easier for organizations to leverage the power of social computing and to take advantage of the innovations that Microsoft's community has developed on top of the SharePoint social computing platform, Burney said..."

eWeek 21mar2007: Konica c550 etc.: Konica Minolta Launches Next-Generation Bizhub MFP Product Line

the snippet below makes me curious whether the list-price tag of $33K CAD [as per Hub Canada 8/07 issue page 44 ] is competetive to overall value, alternate manufacturers etc... if the biometrics are so cool, why didn't this succeed back in 2004?

Konica Minolta Launches Next-Generation Bizhub MFP Product Line: "...Konica Minolta's next-generation bizhub MFP product line provides business users with enhanced security features such as a biometric authentication unit, which scans a user's finger patterns and then encrypts and stores that information so that it can be used to distinguish users. 'Our next-generation bizhubs provide businesses with end-to-end security as we certify our systems by following necessary security protocol,' said Kevin Kern, vice president of product planning and development at Konica Minolta Business Solutions, based in Ramsey, N.J. Konica Minolta's bizhub product line was originally launched in 2004, but the company has since then added to it with new MFPs and advanced features. 'Our goal with our bizhub product line is to offer customers a full portfolio of MFP products that deliver improved color print quality and workflow capabilities,' said Jun Haraguchi, president and CEO of Konica Minolta Business Solutions, in a statement. The next-generation bizhub product line now uses Simitri HD (high definition) color polymerized toner, giving users strong image quality while also being energy-efficient by using induction heating, which involves less energy and heat during startup...."

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Open Text Announces Next Generation Contract Management Offering

Open Text Announces Next Generation Contract Management Offering: "...
Integration with Back-Office Applications: When building contracts, users can pull information from a clause library maintained within Livelink ECM and can also interact with line-of-business systems, such as CRM and ERP applications, in particular SAP solutions, ensuring accurate, up-to-date data is selected.

Proactive Report & Alert Management: Organizations can take advantage of proactive alerts and management reports in order to maximize the value of supplier relationships and to encourage compliance to committed contract terms and conditions..."

Oracle and SAP passed over for IFS by water desalination firm

Oracle and SAP passed over for IFS by water desalination firm:

... Seven Seas, which was founded late last year, is in the business of acquiring and building plants that make ocean saltwater suitable for drinking. The growing company, which serves resorts, municipalities and other commercial water users in the Caribbean, says that Oracle's and SAP's respective ERP offerings are simply too big and complicated.

Instead, Seven Seas chose a smaller ERP vendor, IFS AB, to manage the general ledger, project management and field services operations at its various facilities.

'I've had exposure to SAP as well as Oracle and basically we chose not to consider those two solutions just based on our prior experience and on the complexity of the implementations that we've experienced,' said John Curtis, Seven Seas' CEO. 'Oracle was the better of those two. [But] the team's conclusion very quickly and very clearly dictated going for a more user-friendly version and something that better fit our business model.'..."