Oct
16
2008
0

Process Optimization Bound To Fail?

A recent survey from consultants Logica and the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) reveals that about one in three projects to improve business processes fails. The expenses of businesses have run at a hefty $10bn.

The findings also show that winners tend to be more ambitious in their planning and to run cross-regional and cross-departmental projects as opposed to their less successful counterparts. They also show a more proactive approach towards possible problems and involve customers and partners in their planning.

The survey was conducted among 380 managers from nine European countries.

Written by michael in: Business,Technology | Tags: ,
Oct
13
2008
0

BI: How Intelligent Is It?

As we all know, most of the household concepts in IT are very much talked about and very little understood and the marketing hacks seize the opportunity to promise everything to everybody and the big players are poaching for innovation among specialized vendors, mostly in a rush to fill their game pockets faster than the competition before actually asserting the benefits of the acquisition for themselves or their customers.

In today’s enterprise there is a lot of messy data, duplicate or plain wrong information scattered around in ERPs, custom applications and user-generated spreadsheets across all departments. The resulting silo effect is worsened by quick changes across the board and even timely and accurate information soon becomes a rare luxury item. Worse still, most BI tools are far from intelligent in the sense of smart like this article (in German) of revised profit expectations of ERP (and BI) vendor SAP illustrates.

What is the problem?

The problem of most current BI tools is that they are limited to aggregate data in a warehouse-like manner without being able to show proper connections and run current analytics because of limited metrics. The result is usually incomplete information that is delivered too late and therefore provides no reliable input for real-time decision-making.

BI: Downward Bound

BI: Downward Bound

Written by michael in: Business,Technology | Tags: , , ,
Oct
06
2008
0

D?ja-Vu

For its tenth anniversary Google has brought up its oldest index dating back to 2001. Check it out how the internet could be searched back then.

Written by michael in: Technology | Tags: ,
Oct
02
2008
0

Cloud Computing Unveiled

As you may probably know from my previous writing I unveil very little, especially when there is nothing to unveil. As with many other hypes, Cloud Computing can be everything to everybody as long as it promises sales opportunities and increasing profit margins. But still to this day there are people making serious attempts to navigate their way through the seemingly endless buzz clouds that evaporate from heated marketing departments.

Marketing Hype Beyond Stupidity

At least, that’s the way Richard Stallman sees it. In a recent interview the founder of the Free Software Foundation continues to say among other things:

Somebody is saying this is inevitable ? and whenever you hear somebody saying that, it’s very likely to be a set of businesses campaigning to make it true.

It seems obvious that Stallman then goes on to warn of proprietary systems but it’s just as obvious that any proprietary vendor rebuffs his opinion as biased. Ha! With the sole exception of Oracle CEO Larry Ellison that is, who was cited as vigorously opposing the notion of Cloud Computing as such, but nevertheless insisting that he would accept it anyway as long as he can sell it. But even this rare bluntness has seen him falling from other people’s grace who dismiss it as Oracle’s failure to deliver the “real thing” and maintaining the cloud is the future of IT. The future of IT, my god, how many similar claims have we heard already! And aren’t we currently in the umpteenth of these futures that haven’t materialized?

Small wonder that with all the attention on another would-be next big thing, Microsoft has come up with their version of the cloud. And may I say so, we are all lucky this happens because it indicates that the heat might go down again pretty soon, at least for a short while. Maybe.

Oct
02
2008
0

Management and Innovation

If people are not required doing chore jobs that require eternally the same routine it is always worthwhile from time to time to think how they go about it. Do they stick their heads out risking more work in return or do they comply with their duties for the sake of not being bothered with anything else? Goth Sedin has illustrated the range between these attitudes in a recent post. In response Lisa Junker has come up with more details and a warning that what might me considered as innovative at a given moment may turn into obfuscation in a different situation. Obviously, it is good from a common sense point-of-view to see both the big picture and the nitty-gritty details of how to put it all together. But then again, isn’t it like eating the pie and having it?

Written by michael in: Management | Tags: ,
Oct
01
2008
0

Google: It’s Not Only the Ads

Here is some news about the most recent step in Google’s bid to diversify its business model. Apart from the casual snubs in the article, CMS Watch also provides the following excerpt from their in-depth report:

Even Google’s marketing won’t go so far as to call their implementation “enterprise-class security,” instead favoring to highlight single sign-on (which the Appliance supports quite well). Document-level security is handled late-binding – the result sets are filtered for hits a searcher is allowed to see, which requires the system to fire off separate requests for each hit to see if it may be displayed. This has only one advantage – the authorization will be up-to-date to the second – but, certainly in Google’s implementation, several drawbacks.

More insights can also be found in this knowledgeable comment.

Written by michael in: Business,Technology | Tags: , ,
Sep
30
2008
0

The Cult of The Amateur: What Other People Say

Oh well, now here’s the rage going down on Andrew Keen from the anonymous blogheads from across the swamp of evil in the form of a narcissist hydra he set off to decapitate. I swear not to be single-sided in my selection, but that’s just what it is so far:

Here is a book review, here’s an opinion about professionalism and gatekeepers (by the way, I never was aware that people depend so much on movie reviews, which says a lot of the “democracy” created by mainstream media and the media literacy of its audience) and here is something about journalism. Markos Z?niga claims Keen has got it completely wrong with his research concerning the credentials of the creator of dailykos.com.

Update:

Now wait, here is one in favor of Keen though it is not exactly clear why, but let a sublime like-minded spirit convince you about the sorrow he feels for a loss of intellectual edge that comes with the Internet. And here is another book review from one of his hailed gatekeepers, very British indeed.

And finally, here is what David Weinberger and Clay Shirky say.

Written by michael in: Web 2.0 | Tags: , ,
Sep
26
2008
0

The Cult of the Amateur: Attention not Argument!

Andrew Keen, author of The Cult of the Amateur, has been repeatedly criticized for his fervent stance against the consequences of Web 2.0 as he perceives them. Much of the criticism turns against his apparently unbalanced arguments and inconsistent examples, which mistakes most of the apparent objectives of the book. As Keen explains himself the book is “unashamedly biased” and you have to take it from there. His admittedly subjective view is that of a flat Anglican parish in a loophole of time. There is no real cultural, social, economic or historic relevance there. He takes a snapshot of his personal status quo and defies any change. All this gets him enough media (mainstream and other) attention that he can easily shrug off any criticism.

Royalty not quality

Assuming these premises of good old marketing mechanisms one can find some valuable points in Keen’s musings. However, anybody who is not flat out to embrace Web 2.0 no matter what and is concerned about the downsides may regret that there is no solid argumentative basis in the book. More regrettably still, this attitude undermines one of the major issues concerning quality of published content. But then again, would Keen go more for the subtlety and balance he might not be as ubiquitous in the media as he currently is and we all know the squitty arse never lacks for shit…

Written by michael in: Web 2.0 | Tags: , ,
Sep
24
2008
0

No Shit For Free, Please!

I am peculiar about the things I like and I know I am peculiar in some other ways, too, but I might talk about that at another time. The former peculiarity has it that I keep things as long as I can and then run constantly into trouble replacing them appropriately. Hence I fear the day when my thirty-year old road bike (which is now the merger of three bikes) will finally quit its services. But this is also not what I want to talk about today.

Brand loyalty is not for the meek

What I want to talk about was the recent loss of my 25-year old sunglasses and the ordeal and redemption that followed. Okay, so here is what happened: On a turbulent trail ride I managed to hold on to a bucking horse by sheer luck rather than any riding skills and in the process the glasses came off which I was not aware of at the time because I had other things on my mind, of course. Home we go and the damage becomes apparent. A search attempt the other day in the thick underweed proved futile. When I turned to the Internet to look for a replacement I knew I was in trouble. Although these were branded icon glasses and there were umpteen similar glasses available it seemed that the specific combination of frame, lenses and temples was not. What to do? I thought, I might ask an expert and go to an optician in the nearest mall. I entered the shop hoping they could at least give me advice on what to do. Before seeing any staff my eyes fell on a shelf full of xy glasses and soon I found one I liked, even if it was not quite the one I had lost. Up came an apprentice and I thought I was done soon. So I told him I would like to buy what I had found, only that I wanted different temples. He turned around without a word and headed to some of the senior staff at the opposite end of the shop. After a while he came back. “There is no such thing!” Nothing else. It sounded like a verdict. So I walked away with low spirits and as I passed another optician I decided only faintheartedly to try my luck again. The same procedure there: I found the shelf but I didn’t have time to look around much before a young lady came up to ask me what I wanted. As she received the answer “sunglasses” she asked me what I needed them for, leisure or sports or whatever, I couldn’t believe what I heard. Obviously she had good training and was really making an effort to get me what I could really use. But as my mind was set on that particular model I just told her the story of my loss and that I wanted an exact replacement. Again, I could barely believe what happened: She asked me to sit down at a table in a kind of department with two chairs and a little later she came back with the complete xy catalog. Then she explained to me that temples a came only with model b, instead of model c, which combination was the one I’ve had. But no problem, she said, they could order both models and change the temples, just as easy as that!

To cut it short right here: I found my glasses again, canceled the order (no problem, of course!) and lived on happily ever thereafter as I need no longer theorize about quality of service, customer experience and loyalty and such stuff for weirdos only.

Sep
23
2008
0

Democratization of Data and Content

Oh boy, so much fuzz about the term and the underlying concepts that it is hard to get ground under the feet in the swell of arguments going back and forth.
Here is one view from Hal Varian, which is – small wonder – pro. Indeed he is right when he says that IT has allowed users access to data in a way that was not thought possible or affordable not so long ago. What he doesn’t say is that mom’s and pop’s data are just crumbs from the Google data monopoly pie.

Here’s another opinion that runs more in the vein of Andrew Keen, famed for The Cult of the Amateur. Although slightly more balanced the interest is clear in this case, too.

Any preliminary conclusion is that we have entered the age of random proliferation of data and what we need more than ever are sharp senses for the cui bono and sound judgement. So what’s new?

Written by michael in: Web 2.0 | Tags: , , , ,

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