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

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Gartner Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Content Management 2007

Nice summary of critical vs. nice-to-have features, in this updated 2007 Gartner Magic Quadrant for ECM:

"... to be included in this Magic Quadrant the vendor must have a content management suite that addresses the following core components. The vendors should have all these capabilities and should have all the components integrated — at least four must be native; other components could be supplied through partners. To be considered for placement in the Leaders quadrant, the vendor must provide all six components natively.

Core document library services (check-in/check-out, version control, document-level security). Advanced capabilities, such as compound document support and content replication, score higher than the minimal library services.

Document imaging repository capabilities. Document imaging consists of two components. The document capture portion can be carried out via native capabilities or else met with a formal partnership with a third-party solution, such as Kofax, EMC Captiva or Datacap. But the vendor must also be able to handle images of scanned documents in the repository as just another file type in a folder, and it must be able to store, retrieve and route them.

Records management — the minimal requirement is the ability to enforce retention of critical business documents based on a records retention schedule. Higher ratings are given for certified compliance with the DoD 5015.2 standard.

Workflow — the minimal requirement is simple document review and approval workflow. Higher points are given to those with graphical process builders, and serial and
parallel routing.

Web content management (WCM) — the minimal requirement is a formal partnership with a WCM provider. Native capabilities score higher than partnerships.
Document-centric collaboration — document sharing, project team support, and support for ad hoc, threaded discussions around documents.

Optional Components

Part of our assessment involves looking at how well each vendor understands evolving requirements and market trends. Electronic forms (e-forms) and digital asset management (DAM) continue to grow in importance, and digital rights management (DRM) is becoming more important as an additional layer of content security. As part of this assessment, we look at the vendor's road map for addressing these optional components as well as integrated document archive and retrieval system (IDARS) and e-mail management/archiving..."

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Windows Vista Secret #3 Bringing Back Start - Run, by Tim Sneath

this is an oldie but goodie, or at least helpful to those of us who have somehow avoided wasting lots of time with Vista until now ;-)

(and kudos to Tim Sneath, for his meaningful and honest blog title of "Musings of a Client Platform Technical Evangelist" :-)

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Using Pligg at Work as an easy Corporate Web 2.0 site

OK, would be interesting to hear a Microsoft rebuttal about the Web 2.0 aspects of latest SharePoint-related technology. Meanwhile, fascinating to hear about the "MIMP" vs. "LAMP" implementation:

"Using Pligg at Work as an easy Corporate Web 2.0 site
: "For those who do not know the Pligg system is a digg clone site that allows people to submit and vote on stories, we run one as a way to collect social book marks and things we think are important at work, and in our general perusal of the Internet looking for stories and things that influence business. In all it has been a handy way of collecting information as a news sink, that people can later search. We use Pligg as an externally facing social bookmarking site that allows a group of people to manage and upload stories they think are interesting. The site is externally facing as we have telecommuters and other folks who access and use the site. Its purpose is two fold, our customers can upload documents that they think are important, our workers can do the same, and internal/external trusted people can also upload their stuff. We also use it as a test case, to see how many people will stumble over a site like digg clones and adopt them by adding their own stuff, or spam to the system. While it is not a critical system, it does have its uses, and is fairly heavily used by a small core group of folks who search all the major news channels for information that might be of interest to the company....

Not a bad use of corporate Web 2.0 sponsored system, we keep it off the primary network on its own domain, it is not our usual Microsoft technology, meaning the people who run it and maintain it all have to understand LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP) only small variation it is really MIMP (Microsoft Server, IIS, MySQL, PHP) just to confuse people and hackers by the way, it is not something they expect.

Overall though as an initial foray into Corporate Web 2.0, collecting news stories, and voting on them has been a successful experiment. The management has decided that the system is worth keeping, although needs to be upgraded and put into the corporate management system.... "

Inexpensive, lockable USB memory stick

One of many solutions in this growing field, thanks to :

Inexpensive, lockable USB memory stick:

"Data traveling around on memory sticks are vulnerable to compromise through loss or theft. Information on these devices often includes keys, passwords, protected health information, or identities of employees. The trick for organizations that allow the use of these devices is to find a low cost, easy to use, secure solution. The Corsair Flash Padlock USB Stick might just be the answer....

The biggest shortcoming is that Corsair isn't offering a larger-capacity version of the Flash Padlock.

The Corsair device doesn't appear to encrypt the data. It just makes it inaccessible without the user-assigned PIN."

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Getting Proactive on Disaster Communication, eWeek 27aug2007

The SaaS for alerts (provided by MessageOne's AlertFind) as described here seems interesting, definitely relevant beyond the academic world as well. But what seemed even more creative was the idea that you don't necessarily have to use your regular communications infrastructure for emergency alerts (ideally eliminating the "information overload" as suggested in the final sentence, if you use this ONLY for emergency alerts):

Colleges Getting Proactive on Disaster Communication: Page 2:

"Middlebury College, established 150 years ago, is in the process of installing AlertFind now. Located in Middlebury, Vt., Middlebury also operates the C.V. Starr-Middlebury Schools Abroad at 28 sites in 12 countries. With students, faculty and staff in Middlebury and spread around the world, it would be difficult to deliver emergency instructions or account for college community members in the event of a crisis or disaster.

Once the new system is implemented, Middlebury will be able to rapidly and automatically communicate with faculty, staff and students in the event of any crisis or disaster. Administrators will no longer have to distribute critical messages manually through a broadcast e-mail or voice mail.

When an incident occurs, Middlebury crisis managers will be able to quickly and automatically send important notifications to affected community members. As long as the recipient has access to a landline, text messaging device, cell phone or e-mail, he or she can receive an emergency notification anywhere around the world. The system, which can differentiate between a real person and voice mail, is able to deliver a spoken electronic or recorded message and even ask questions such as, 'Are you OK?' in the event of a crisis. These responses will be available to crisis managers in real time....

Unlike free text message systems backed by advertising dollars, AlertFind is a dedicated tool for text and voice-based emergency communication. Since the system is only used in emergencies, AlertFind prevents the "message fatigue" associated with ad-based systems where users may ignore important notifications, assuming they are spam."

Kudos as well to a fellow blogger whose entire "Emeregency Notification" blog focuses on this topic, lots lots more on this topic :-)
Start here:

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Total cost study for an open source ERP project

Interesting way to think about COTS vs. OpenSource for ERP (thanks to The Enterprise System Spectator for this and for pointing to the original Baseline Magazine study)

The Enterprise System Spectator: Total cost study for an open source ERP project: "...Open source is moving up the technology stack to business applications. Whether it can gain significant market share remains to be seen. ERP systems are much more specialized than operating systems and application platforms. It is not clear to me whether there are sufficient populations of developers to gain critical mass for these products, as there has been for products lower in the stack. Who should consider open source ERP today? In my opinion, these solutions today are not so much an alternative to proprietary software as they are to custom development. An organization that knows it will need to do significant customization or enhancements to an ERP system should consider open source as a starting point instead of proprietary ERP. Organizations with unique requirements or unusual business models may be in this category. Modifying core code of a proprietary ERP system generally voids the warranty and makes on-going support less relevant, since the vendor will not support your custom modifications. Why not start, then, with open source ERP, where there is little if any charge for the source code? To me, that's a better choice than to start with 100% custom development. I'm looking for more cost metrics on open source ERP implementations. If you're willing to share them with me, let me know..."

Sunday, September 2, 2007

NetworkWorld 8/07: Microsoft has a ways to go with VoIP but competitors should beware

Interesting commentary (debunk a bit of what is visible on ):

"...Our analysis: While the addition of voice and video quality management adds another arrow in the Microsoft quiver, we don’t think Microsoft has a complete VoIP solution – at least not yet. But as we’ve said before, traditional suppliers like Nortel, Siemens, Avaya and Cisco need to keep ahead of the feature curve if they don’t want to be entirely displaced by Microsoft...."