Archives For Componence

In my opinion the 2.0 trend is about:
– the technologies (AJAX, Webservices, widgets, gadgets) allowed internet users to:
— enjoy the ease of use of web applications in browsers
— to create their own desktops (iGoogle) and communities (Facebook)
— to create mashups (a location based content table and Google maps is most used)
– the valuation of such a trend has some pillars:
— there is a value in a network
— and if the network is open enough, new value (actions / ideas / collaboration) will be generated
— the power of virals
— if something is cool / hot / funny is introduced to a social network
— there is a chance that millions of people will see / enjoy it – without any marketing
— you need people who normally don’t have time / knowledge to contact each other to participate
— so new nodes / connections are introduced to the network
— increasing the chance of new ideas / collaboration etc.

Web 2.0 – that’s the fun / social stuff – goes faster than Enterprise
– sharing (Flickrs etc., Delicious, YouTube, Twitter, Blogs)
– staying in touch with friends / acquaintances with just a click a way (Facebook, PerfSpot, MySpace)
– social games that pull millions of people from social networks to play along (MafiaWars)
– collaboration – wikipedia

Enterprise 2.0 – the same Web 2.0 ideas introduced – mainly to improve collaboration
– collaboration (Blogs, Confluence, BaseCamp, Jira, SalesFroce, ZohoCRM)
– staying in touch (Linkedin, Xing)
– mashups: integrating Google maps with your CRM client list

– it provides and manages the content – not really 2.0
— in Web 2.0 – you do not control the content, it’s user Generated
– enterprises should find 2.0 ways to get their content used more in social networks
— this would enlarge the lifecycle and value of the content
— a thought that you can creat your own social network around content – small chance
— works better if your content can be taken into iGoogle / Linkedin / Slideshare
– so ECM is in my opinion not really Web 2.0
— I mean, how many organizations really like the WebCMS module of Documentum?
— I’ve seen many projects moving away from it
— because it’s not userfriendly enough to get people to use it
— that’s the key of 2.0 – getting more people on board

2.0 business case is often hard
– but it surely needs to be lead by pioneers with support of management (top-down)
— it makes no sense if new ideas that are generated will take months / years to get approval
— then there is no use the form new ideas
– highlight positive cases of good results of 2.0
— when for instance people who normally would never meet, have launched a very successful idea and the execution generated great ROI
— create workshops or presentations about internal wikis, issue tracking tools
— do this regularly, managers must take the lead
– people need to be stimulated to change their way of working
— allow people to work more from home, check their progress through the tool, not based on their availability at the office
— this also saves some C02 by the way

There are many chances in Health 2.0. But like anywhere else, you need visionary leaders. And in the Netherlands the current Minister Ab Klink doesn’t really show the right vision nor does he communicate / collaborate the right way. What can you say … he’s just not ready for the 2.0 stuff.

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The bigger the crisis, the more we must innovate to get passed it. And after that we’ll be stronger than ever. Companies can use the crisis to increase the alertness, pro-activity, collaboration and innovation of their workforce. That in essence is the key of crisis solving, not by just putting more money in.

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Years have passed in which so many of us have prospered and profited from the growth of the world economy and the positive side of globalization. Now things are getting worse, but we should not forget how well life is to us. We must learn to live with more balance.

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Millions of people living here, but no highrise to disturb this hard working city

Monday evening Yonathan and I arrived in the City of Jaipur. We had just come from Mumbai, from a meeting with Ravan Boddu, CEO of a partner who wants to do sales with us in UK. Upon arriving we found Jaipur to be very tranquil and well organized. Kumar and Naren, the two directors of our Jaipur unit, were there to pick us up and drove us back to the apartment.

Back to basic
On our way back Kumar started to manage our expectations and warned us that the appartment might not be to our liking. But we insured him that we would agree quite easily after having staid at a very small double room at the Kamran Residency in Mumbai. The appartment turned out to be very spacious and had 4 rooms, 2 bedrooms, 1 living room and a kitchen. Kumar was kind of nervous showing us the 2 bathrooms, 1 toilet and the 4 beds that were ready.

Kumar was happy to see us again as we were happy to see him again

Just after we said that the appartment was really fine for the tenth time, Kumar announced us that there was no warm water, but that it would be there by tomorrow. So the next morning I could experience a cold wash, with water from the bucket. The last time I had an unwanted cold shower was in Lviv, Ukraine about 3 years ago. The breakfast was simple, the next day I was all fresh and ready for a hot day at work 🙂

Good results from the team
Of course Kumar was proud to show that he had grown to practically double the amount of people working at the office. The additional office space was painted with the same orange / blueish style to match Componence colors.

New office space was added to fit the 100% growth since March 2008

In the coming days we would find ourselves in different meetings that resulted some clear lessons learned that showed that we in the Netherlands would sometimes behave the same towards our Indian colleagues, like our clients do. And other talks would show that they had the same issue as ourselves; the developers who were not getting the right information on time from our Dutch team also showed the same behavior towards their internal QA team.

Another exiting meeting was the kickoff session for a new product, a caching layer that will allow portals to perform much faster than it is now. This time it was not just a technical talk, but the complete picture was discussed starting from the businesscase. This new product is really exciting, as it’s results can really improve the throughput of any Weblogic or Websphere portal with at least 10 times. That’s solution thinking! The team was really excited about this development, as the whole project will lie in their hands, from requirements to delivery. Of course we’ll help out, but it’s exciting to see if our Indian unit can do total job like this.

Naren and Abhay are discussing if it's possible to implement the page cache as a separate application

And as the week ended we were able to win back some time on a crucial project, I guess we could expect nothing less as most of the days were from 10:00 – 21:00. Yonathan was very pleased to see all the progress and Krishan seemed to be happy too.

Yonathan and Krishan seem to be satisfied after a week of hard work

Great vegetarian at Urban Bistro


Urban Bistro made sure that we were well served every time, trying out their complete menu by the end of the week

Since last March a small restaurant had settled in the Anchor mall at Jaipur, Urban Bistro. Upon first sight it looked like a small diner, with just a few simple fast food dishes. But after returning for the 3rd time it became apparent to us that the owner knew our unit quite well, we had custom menu’s made for us every time we got in. So after 5 days of vegetarian food we have tasted many delicious dishes from different regions of India. Indian cuisine has a strong vegetarian side and is quite satisfying in this climate. Personally I thought I would crave for at least 1 piece of meat during my stay, but none of such … The place was even so good that we went out to celebrate the birthday of Coen, the support coordinator who is working closely with our Indian unit 🙂

Urban Bistro serves food good enough for a birthday party

It’s Componence time!

Just a few reasons why working at Componence is so cool

And of course the week could not end without a presentation and a company diner. As 18:00 was approaching I could just see every one standing and waiting for Naren, Kumar, Yonathan and me to leave to office towards Hotel Hawa Mahal (wind palace). In March we also had the presentation here and for Yonathan it was a trip down memory lane as he was staying at this hotel last time. This time the group was bigger, no more U-shaped conference setup, but just straight rows to give enough space.

Almost 40 people were sitting in the conference room waiting for my presentation to start.

And this time I was acquainted with the surrounding and gave a presentation with some new slides about Componence, why we’re so cool, about Portletsuite 1.x and 2.x and some slides about why we need our Jaipur unit to increase their quality and individual capacity.

This time I was better prepared and the people are more familliar

And probably Yonathan and I performed a good job as this time more hands were shown and there were definitely some people standing up to give some discussion. That´s what we´re aiming for, more initiative! One of the persons that I´ve met during this trip showed me that this unit is really going in the right direction. Sudesh, our system administration, turned out to be a powerful personality who really wants to contribute to this world through his work.

A new shining personality within our Jaipur team, an system administrator with good potential

So talks and foods followed, giving me some chance to speak with more of young team members. It was definitely a big releaf to see that here India women do IT!

Last time I think we only had Megha, now we have 7 Componence ladies in Jaipur

Ok … that’s all for now, time to go to bed (it’s already 02:23). Tomorrow we’ll hit the road to New Delhi, as Mumbai would not allow our relatives to be at ease. Anyhow, terrorism is a part of life in India and it can happen anywhere. Hopefully just not tomorrow in New Delhi 🙂

If you’re having problems with the performance of your Weblogic Portal, then you’re definitely not the only one. Read this article if you want to see how you can increase your throughput up to 10 times!

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More rules and regulations make people feel more like it’s not their problem and responsibility. It’s time to get people responsible again for collective causes, it’s time to get more concrete results!

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So many criticism towards the Chinese economopolitics, but should we put things into perspective and see how much has been done for a great deal of the Chinese? The West should stop be so condescending and must start to show more equal respect towards former 2nd world economies.

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European companies need to be more innovative and creative as they’re dealing with smaller markets. This is probably the reason why we hear and see more integrated full service portal concepts in Europe, while the US can still focus more on dedicated web applications.

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After a long struggle of internal discussions and problems at the service provider, last July Componence finally introduced Exchange and Outlook in our Dutch office. Internally some of our technical minds were anti-Microsoft and rather used Google Mail and Calendar. But finally the reasoning to synchronize with our PDA’s won and Exchange became a fact.

Personal doubts at the start
Personally I had doubts because I just loved the search tooling in Gmail, it allowed me to abandon my habit to create ‘folders’. And going back to Outlook meant I would have a lesser search tool. And just within weeks me and another colleague experienced the Calendar crash, making it really bad to use Outlook. But luckily the Web showed me how to use commands like ‘outlook /cleanviews’ and the problem was fixed.

And in the meanwhile the ‘luxury’ to easily create tasks and appointments with colleagues soon proofed that I was making appointments a LOT FASTER! And when you have to do this dozens of times a week, then you really feel that your productivity and response towards your relations goes up. My wife has always been telling how easy and fast she did her work with Outlook and in this case I should have listened to her a long time ago.

But after having used Outlook for just over a month, the waiting for search results really started to become annoying. It doesn’t only take a long time search, but the search results also appear very slow. Slowly I was remembering the times again for good old Gmail, that I still use to search through old archives …

Will Xobni save me my Outlook experience?

Xobni user interface - on th left the analytics, on the right the search results of mails to my brother Hai

Xobni user interface - on th left the analytics, on the right the search results of mails to my brother Hai

A week ago I was discussing some things with a good client of mine behind his desk. And as he was mailing and I saw this strange vertical toolbar in his Outlook, it was Xobni, the reverse of Inbox. This program has a lot to offer for Outlook user:

  • better & faster search
  • results per conctact person
  • analytics about your email activity
  • Linked Integration getting some basic Linked data

I like the fact that it analyzes how your mailing activities are, who bothers you the most, how many emails you get / send, who you mail most with. Having such numbers and being able to view them through different reports allows me to think how to manage my mailing activities.