Daily Archives: February 23, 2011

How do you choose – Collaboration and ECM Solutions

Collaboration, Portals, Social Networking (SN), Document Management (DM), Content Management (CM), Web Content Management (WCM) and Record Management (RM), Digital Assets Management (DAM) – these are the elements and components of Enterprise Content Management (ECM) and we hear these key words day-in-day-out. It’s very incomprehensible to align and prioritize these in proper order for end-user usage, adoption and design enterprise solutions to achieve business goals.

As per Gartner report on “Technologies you can’t ignore”, Unified Communication & Collaboration was in TOP 5 in 2009, but for 2010 the scenario has changed to Social Computing – combination of Collaboration and Content Management. What was seen as 2 distinct areas – Collaboration and Content Management in 2009, have merged into one in 2010 as ECM solution. This scenario may further change in 2011 and beyond (wait for latest 2011 report from Gartner). Now, the attention of every CIO/CTO is diverted towards ECM solutions aligned with Cloud Computing and Green IT initiative.

SharePoint” from Microsoft is known to us as a Collaboration tool and it has evolved from earlier version of 2001, 2003 to 2007 as Portal solutions and new release of SharePoint (MOSS) 2010 is due in April (subject to change by Microsoft) as a complete ECM solution-based package. Most of the techies (MSDN Members, Partners and others), who have the privilege to get beta version and build some Proof of Concepts (PoCs), touch and feel MOSS2010 have expressed and blogged, what is there in new release, functions and features, sample code, sample applications, do and don’t. It’s anticipated MOSS2010 with 64-Bit architecture will make a major shift in Performance and Scalability. Now it can be re-claimed as Enterprise ECM tool.

Interesting phenomena are evolving here and market scenario is changing rapidly. Microsoft’s baby (SPS2001) has now become a mammoth (MOSS) with giant installation base, competing with old players like Documentum, FileNet, OpenText, Oracle UCM, Alfresco and others. Similar enhancements – features and functions are being released as new upgrades by all these ECM tool providers.

Historically, all the products have evolved from single featured tool to a bundled package as ECM. By watching one-another, new releases are planned by each provider at regular interval; this is of-course a major headache for enterprises to upgrade each time. If not done on time, you will be too late in the game and it will cost you more to switch over. That’s why you will see more of migration and upgrade project and very few fresh installations. (For e.g. Microsoft will stop SPS2003 support after the release of MOSS 2010, so by virtue, its mandate to move to MOSS 2010, soon or later)

The Big Question in front of CIO/CTO and IT– What tools is right and how do I select one? Thereby justify the cost and ROI. SharePoint is top most in the list, as choice of tool. We are seeing similar trends and requests from IT, related to:

Ø Replacing in-house tools with new ECM solutions using SharePoint, Documentum or Oracle UCM

Ø Replacing small/mid-sized 3rd Party tools like Sitecore, Kentico, DotNetNuke, dotCMS and etc.

Ø Migration from Jahia, Plumtree, Coldfusion, LotusNotes to SharePoint

Ø Integrating (LoB) Line-of-Business Applications (including SAP and PeopleSoft) and CMS solutions with SharePoint

Until yesterday, in an Enterprise, IT department was more responsible for providing technical solutions for business needs and major focus was on development, support and maintenance. Each project was looked in isolation, based on the project cost and implementation schedule. In due course, these small projects have grown into desperate systems, therefore integrating with LoB and up-scaling is major challenge. Now, IT needs a one-stop-solution. But there is no “one-fit-for-all” kind of miracle, which can solve all these year’s piled-up issues.

Following are some of the recommendations, can help in resolving the chronic issues related to Collaboration and ECM needs of an enterprise.

· ECM tool selection should be based and aligned to core tool features i.e. use maximum OOB (out-of-box) feature as against custom build. (Pure custom build should be bare minimum otherwise; issues may arise during product upgrades and new releases).

· Interface and integration with LoB (line-of-business) application is must to avoid additional project cost and implementation schedule. The product should have APIs to support all kinds of data exchange.

· ECM tool provider should have a strong roadmap aligned with Technology trends and upgrades like, options for cloud computing and hosting solutions with Green IT. Otherwise, in next coming years, one has to spend again for technology changes.

· ECM Tool selection process should be done with due-diligence and assessment exercise: mapping current and future business needs to available product features. PoC is recommended to test the assumptions related to integration, reliability, performance and scalability.

· Regional / Localization aligned with global setting as single instance (avoid having separate instances for each region or division).

· ECM solutions must be aligned with best practices, standards, guidelines, governance, regulatory and legal compliance.

Today, most of these ECM tool providers trumpet that they support all features and functionality with future roadmap; therefore it has become more difficult to validate and verify them before selecting the right-one.

In summary, when you are planning for ECM solutions, look at Performance, Scalability, Maintainability, Reliability, Security and finally the cost of tool – Licenses, Implementation and Support cost. Prepare a business case, Investment plan and roadmap to implement ECM solutions. Collaboration/ECM is not a single project but a series of small ones rolled out in phased manner thru a single tool as a Platform.


Planning your website? Decide on best Designing & Development

Are you thinking to create a website but clueless about what point to keep in mind? Then you are on the right page. Every website is meant for individual purpose hence, the design or format of the website plays an important role. Appearance and content of the website often decides the rate of traffic. No doubt, creating attractive webpage design is the key factor, but before you go ahead it is important to take care of few important aspects. Knowing about what to look for makes your planning process easier.

Point out your needs

If you have clear understanding of the overall goals and objectives, it means you are putting foundation of a successful online project. Your primary objective must be focused referring to your needs. Short term and long term goals must be considered like advertising services, reporting results etc. Your website should be so clear about your services that it should reduce the time taken to transfer information given on phone or by post. Flexibility of the website should ease off day-to-day activity like allowing geographically-diverse associates to collaborate on projects.

Take care of audience’s need

Your audience might not be Internet savvy and not know about the services you provide. Therefore, your website should have enough information to give out idea about your services. However, it should be simple, concise, clear and relevant for the easy understanding. So, you can promote your organisation and its service by giving a small space in your website.

Designing a website

Based on the above points, now you can focus on designing a website. Keeping these things in mind you can get an idea of what should it look like. Few are the things to be considered before staring up your work like logotype or corporate colour scheme and reflecting any existing marketing materials (if any). You can get experience from already existing websites. Referring to those websites will help to pick ideas about what to choose and what to avoid while designing. The websites you are creating should represent some qualities as an identity of that organization. Qualities may include fun, traditional, simple, casual, funky and so on depending on organization’s identity.

Designing and developing a website means it should be easily understandable by the visitors. It should reflect your purpose and should take minimum time to get relevant information about the services you provide. Taking these things in consideration you can design and develop a successful website.

So you must choose a good company to get your website designed with excellence. You may also Hire your own virtual team at special prices.



Get the best for your businesses with Web Design Development Solutions

There is no denying the verity that grabbing an eminent presence in the arena of online business is all about a quality website. And then are the upgraded graphics, the latest color schemes and navigation as the customary traits of web design development solutions to format your website as the chosen one.
With no scarcity of the web development company in the global arena of web design and development; advancements know no limitations. Leaving behind the customary strategies, today there are the modes for evaluation of your websites’ information architecture, the sites’ usability, the interactive flash web developments and the innovative utilization of DHTML.
Assisting you to let you express your online business by the most paragons and heightening quality websites are the teams of enthusiastic, adroit, extremely talented and experienced graphics designers and programmers in the web development company. You will be privileged with the experiences and talent of theirs.
The very first session of your consultation itself, will let you discuss the diversified detailed inquiries of your business website; and no doubt these along with your niche preferences will be rendered a conscious consideration in the design and development process.
Verity itself reveals that websites formatted by the design development solutions; are illustrious for being search engine friendly.  Within reasonable tariffs you are assisted to submit your site to esteemed search engines.
A bunch of strategies for design and development of the database, the skilled graphic design, its customization, the diversification in the layout, hosting, onsite training, support and many other significant aspects too are incorporated in the agile services of web design development solutions. 
Depicting the significance of e-commerce shopping cart, one can clearly reveal that it is the gist of an e commerce store and to a great extent the success of the store is dependent on the effectiveness with which the shopping cart is formatted, designed and is then finally implemented.  A shopping cart which is not designed properly leads to the frustration of the users and also to a higher bounce rate.
With the data stored in the database of MySQL, the shopping cart is mainly laid on the Smart Applications of Asp.net and PHP. And obviously, it leads to a flexible and easily modified shopping cart.  This will henceforth result in developing a state of art solution for ecommerce and as a boost up for your existing business too.
An informative description of the shipping and packing policies and charges, a whole confirmation of the initial and final level, with few formalities before checkout, an easy access to find and add products are the traits of a well designed shopping cart that affirms no chances of losing the sale.
With an acknowledgment of these verities you must opt for an ecommerce shopping cart which is rich in these robust traits; and obviously this will lead to your possession of the key for success in the online business.  So let your internet shop heighten and run fast, with the cart which will efficaciously format many browsers to buyers.



A New Bubble?

We all remember the Internet bubble back in 1999-2000 era. Start-ups were getting huge valuations. The joke then was – if you are 27 years old and not a millionaire, then you are a failure. All you needed was a sign-board saying “new internet company” and stand on Sand Hill Road. Several cars will stop and within hours, you should have a check worth millions as investment.

This is an exaggeration of course. Jeff Bezos of Amazon even said – we spell profit as “prophet”. Then the bubble burst one day and the debris was huge. Hundreds of B2C and B2B companies went belly up.

Now after a decade, we see a bit of a bubble again. The landscape is somewhat different. There is no rush to an IPO, which was the only way to make the founders and investors very rich. Now there is a secondary market that buys stocks off the founders and early employees (and some investors as well). So we see Zynga planning to raise $500m. Groupon raised a huge amount. Kleiner Perkins which missed out on the hottest social networking companies, by focusing on green technology, decided to make up for lost time. Hence they invested $120m in Twitter and also $35m in Facebook at an astronomical valuation of $52B. It sounded like KP just wanted a check mark on its portfolio by investing in Zynga, Twitter, and Facebook. In the latter two, they have no board seat nor significant influence on the management. Everyone seems to come up with another “discount coupon” type company after the success of Groupon. While there is no technological differentiation, it’s an “early-to-market” advantage in building a brand. Zynga, a virtual gaming company, is valued around $10B, while Twitter is rumored to be values at $4B. Google was offering Groupon $6B as a purchase price.

When president Barack Obama visited the Silicon Valley last week, he had dinner with a power group of 12 leaders. Besides the leaders of Cisco, Yahoo, Apple, Oracle, and Genentech, there were the CEO’s of Facebook, Twitter, Netflix, and Google.

For an enterprise software guy like me, it is hard to understand the valuations of social networking and gaming companies. By building a huge clientele, these companies make money on advertising. However, sustainability is another issue. The original Facebook founders and investors are worth obscene amount of money, even before its IPO next year. The only company likely to go for an IPO this year seems to be Linked-In. With huge investment dollars pouring in, these companies do not feel the pressure of seeking an IPO soon. But we may see another mini-bubble building up. So caution is the keyword.

source: http://websphere.sys-con.com/node/1724486

10 tips for boosting your career in 2011

1: Look out for number 1

Take responsibility for your own career development. Many large organizations have scaled back on training and development — a common outcome of the economic downturn — and small companies can rarely provide significant support. Simply put, your career rests in one set of hands: yours.

2: Be strategic

Have a long-term career strategy, or at the very least, a sense of where you’re headed. Ask yourself, “What do I really want to do?” or “Where do I see myself in five to 10 years?” Seek people in similar roles and ask for their advice.

3: Work in step with your company’s goals

Connect the dots from your role to your company’s vision and key objectives. How does your work align with the organization’s goals? What can you do to maximize your contributions?

4: Be customer-centric

Whether your customers are internal or external, know their wants and needs and be fervent about meeting them. Bring the voice of the customer into your day-to-day work and let it enhance your decisions and deliverables.

5: Collaborate

Working with and through others is requisite to innovating, creating, and producing business results. Adopt a mindset for teaming and collaborating and put it into daily practice.

6: Hone your communication skills

Communication skills can make or break careers. Pick one area that needs your attention — considering skills such as listening, presenting, influencing, persuading, or distilling messages — and commit to improvement. Take a class, practice with a trusted friend or colleague, or join a group such as Toastmasters.

7: Cross over functionally

Many successful executives have risen through the ranks by taking cross-functional roles, such as moving from finance to sales or from marketing to IT. Follow their lead and you can grow your skills, your network, and your political capital.

8: Expand your experience

Volunteer for special projects or assignments that are outside your everyday role. Discuss your goals with your boss, an HR representative, or a senior leader and ask for help in finding opportunities to broaden your experience base.

9: Find a guide

Mentors can serve as influential role models and provide important guidance for your career. Reach out to a potential mentor within your company or industry and see if he or she would be open to mentoring you for a specific purpose and timeframe.

10: Network — now

The best time to increase your network is… today. Starting now, get involved in groups such as professional associations, charitable organizations, or even sports leagues. Step into leadership roles and make your expertise known.

source: http://www.techrepublic.com/blog/10things/10-tips-for-boosting-your-career-in-2011/2148