IT Business Process Improvement Projects

To stay competitive in today's market, companies continuously improve their processes. In improving processes, it is important to understand, to streamline and measure the requirements, and to minimize losing money or value through inefficient, obsolete or inappropriate activities. For an information technology implementation project, the objective is to understand the processes that are being automated, and ensuring that the appropriate technology and resources are selected, configured and implemented to support them.

A business process improvement project is iterative. In our business process improvement projects, we follow our methodology of documenting current processes, documenting a future process, identifying and measuring the gaps and identifying improvement opportunities based on what was gathered. The future process is implemented, measured and improved.

Some of the key success factors for a Business Process Improvement IT project include:

  • Strong and Consistent Executive Sponsorship
  • Strategic Alignment with Company Objectives
  • Defined, Measurable and Compelling Business Case
  • Strong Business User Involvement
  • Proven Business Process Improvement Methodology
  • Strong project team with collaborative partnership with IT and business users
  • Effective Change Management process
  • Communication Plan and Education

Age Demographics of Bloggers

My partner showed me this article Filipino Firm to Push Blogging as Business Tool. The article states Philippine businesses might take time to catch on to blogging. I believe that this is not only true in the Philippines but everywhere. There are still a lot of people who do not know what blogs are.

Consider the demographics of the age group of bloggers. According to “The Blogosphere By the Numbers: Perseus study - over 90 percent of blogs are authored by people between the ages of 13 and 29, with 51.5 percent between the ages of 13 and 19.” . From this article, I created the following graph:
Bloggers Age

My nephew, in his early 20s and my niece, in her teens, have started blogging before me. :oops: This only shows how the youth of today are so technologically advance and are the early adapters. I guess it is not only businesses that need to catch up... oldies need to catch up with the young. :))

Pepper Wireless Pad

Pepper Computer is showing off their Pepper Wireless Pad at CES. It looks like an interesting addition to the tool kit of those leading the TeleInterActive Lifestyle and others wanting to web surf from the couch while using the Pepper to channel surf at the same time. &#59;D However, their approach to software is reminiscent of the defunct 3Com Audrey, as described by C|Net.

Here is the Pepper, linked to their specifications page...
Pepper Pad Specifications

The Audrey was a great wiki(Internet appliance). And it was the tool I used to get my parents, both in their 70's, onto the Internet, so that they could stay in touch with family and friends when they moved to SF from Pennsylvania.

One reason that the Audrey failed, and one reason for misgivings about the Pepper, is locked-in software. The Pepper is a linux based tablet, slate or pad computer. [They call it a "Pad", others might like the term "tablet" or the older term "slate".] They've written their apps in Java, using the Mozilla framework (a.k.a. Gecko Runtime Environment). The Pepper is not due until the Spring 2005, so we can't be certain until then, but from their web site, it appears that...

  • There seems to be no way to install additional software [unless downloaded from Pepper] nor any command-line interface or GUI to the underlying OS. (MontaVista ™ CEE 3.1.1) The spec sheet contradicts the marketing in that a "Customizable & extensible user experience available" is promised. Let's hope so, as the Audrey also only allowed new software from 3Com downloads.
  • The Pepper Desktop 2.0 (interestingly enough also available for MS Windows) seems to provide standard and enhanced web-browsing, email, IM (AOL only) and media tools.
  • The collaboration software, available for download in the spring with more in the summer 2005, appear to allow for collaboration primarily with other Pepper users.

Why use open software to build a closed system?

Hopefully, the above is more marketing than reality, and Pepper will provide a more open approach to user add-ons and customizations. Otherwise, I fear that this neat looking device will fall into the same pit of disuse as the Audrey, and other Internet appliances.

Engadget recently posetd their impressions of this Pepper, and had also posted earlier about the Pepper Pad 2, which is not on the Pepper website. The only difference between the two seems to be that the 2 has 802.11g, while the Pepper has 802.11b WiFi. The Pepper 2 was promised for "around $800" when announced, the Pepper is $899. Perhaps, just speculating, the fall from 802.11g to 802.11b is for price reasons.

BTW, my parents still use the Internet - through a laptop now. The mouse and the touch pad gives them problems both physically and intuitively. If I can add Y!M rather than AIM to the Pepper, it might be the next device I try for them. A touchscreen is much more intuitive than a mouse.

Tools that Support the TeleInterActive Lifestyle

Information is essential. It helps us make better decisions whether it is personal or business. The TeleInterActive Lifestyle refers to the work and living habits of anyone who needs or wants to interact with information remotely.

There are many tools today that help us to remotely interact with information and people. Here are some tools that I use and find useful:

1. Cell phones: Cell phones are great. Anywhere you have a signal, you can get in touch with someone. I have participated in a conference call while watching the waves at the beach. If you have a data service for your phone, you can send email, surf the web or exchange SMS. Over the holidays, while at the Carlsbad Caverns in New Mexico, I was able to use my cell phone to get the weather in Arizona and California. Hence my sister and I were able to decide properly whether we should drive back or stay longer in New Mexico to visit White Sands National Monument.

2. Handheld Devices: Handheld devices can be used not only for calendars and contact information. With the abundant software for the Palm or PocketPC, one can use handheld devices for almost anything even as MP3 players. With the eReader for Palm, I now read novels in my Palm which is quite convenient because I don’t have to carry a thick novel around. Of course, the downside is, my Palm needs juice so when I travel, I am always on the look out for electrical outlets in hotels or the airport &#59;D

3. Instant Messaging and Webcams/video conference: Instant Messaging is good way to keep in touch. My family is geographically distributed. We have family webcams during special occasion like Christmas and birthdays to “be” with one another. Instant messaging and webcam/video conferencing can also be used as a means for business communication. For instance, a distributed project team can instantly exchange ideas or ask a project team member a question without making a phone call. If you are like me who loves "cut and paste", I use instant messaging to cut and paste a url for someone in my team to access a website. :))

4. Laptop: If one is a “road warrior”, a laptop which serves as one’s desktop replacement is essential to do one’s work. Unfortunately the form factor and capabilities of handheld devices can not replace a laptop. So, even if they are heavy or bulky, it is still a tool I need.

5. Collaboration Software: There are many collaboration software around to support a distributed workforce. Some tools we have used are Service Cycle and Collaboration software enables file exchange and group calendar management.

6. Blogs: Whether it is a personal blog or a business blog, blogs provide a means to share information. I read my nephew’s personal blog to find out what is happening with him. For work, blogs can be used to communicate ideas. E.g., project blogging is a great way for a distributed project team to find out the latest project information or a means of exchange technical information.

If you Live the TeleInteractive Lifestyle, whether you call it by another name or not, you may find the article Road Tools, February 2004 issue of PC World magazine useful. It lists “30-plus travel-worthy products, accessories, services, and strategies that can help”.

Business Process Outsourcing and Distributed Work

Last night we attended an Oracle Alumni speaker forum: "Sohaib Abbasi Off the Record". Mr. Abasi is the President and CEO of Informatica. He is a very entertaining speaker and made many interesting observations concerning the software industry. One in particular struck a chord in regards to one aspect of the TeleInterActive Lifestyle, distributed workgroups.

Mr. Abasi feels that Business Process Outsourcing will be a major driver of changes in the software industry.

Primarily, he feels that BPO will change the need for enterprise software packages such as HRIS, ERP and CRM. AFter all, companies that outsource a business process, such as HR, won't need to buy these enterprise packages, the hardware to run on, post-sales consulting to integrate them, and specialists to support them.

He also feels that this will increase the need for data integration software, such as Informatica products, and services, such as we provide.

Good for us. :D

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The TeleInterActive Lifestyle is about the business processes, life choices, management challenges and technical issues facing organizations and individuals as individuals and organizations adopt the Internet of Things, Mixed Reality, wireless networks of all levels, mobile devices, long-distance collaboration, social networks, digital transformation, and adjust to growing urbanization.

Sensor Analytics Ecosystems for the Internet of Things (SAEIoT) brings value from emerging technologies through data management and analytics, advances in data science, as the IoT matures through the 5Cs: Connection, Communication, Contextualization, Collaboration and Cognition. The socialization of machines will allow for Privacy, Transparency, Security and Convenience to be flexibly provided with two-way accountability to build Trust among Humans and Machines.

AsDataArchon, we have evolved our consulting data scientist work from learning how to incorporate sensor analytics into data warehouses, business intelligence and analytics to focusing on IoT data management and forming sensor analytics ecosystems.

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Our current thinking on sensor analytics ecosystems (SAE) bringing together critical solution spaces best addressed by Internet of Things (IoT) and advances in Data Management and Analytics (DMA) is here.

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