Wednesday, August 24, 2005





Effective use of your online time








Information Technology

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Effective use of your online time

Author: Nowshade Kabir

The Internet is increasingly becoming a major time killer for
many of us. Involuntarily, we started to spend more time online
than we really can afford. Here is how it goes: you were sitting
at work, you needed to find some crucial information to finish
that project at hand, you went on the Internet to look for the
information, you run a web search or started browsing through
web directory, and suddenly you noticed something that seems
very interesting, it could be a banner ad, a link, just a piece
of information, or some related ideas that came up that instant
and required immediate attention. You clicked on the link to
check it out thinking this won�t take too long. This link took
you to another seemingly more interesting page. Before you knew
it, you started to ramble through the Internet aimlessly wasting
your precious work time.

Then, of course, there is this sports news that you must read,
stock portfolio that you must check constantly, vacation place
you need to choose for your next holidays, the list goes on and
on, and what about those emails? Sounds familiar! You are not
alone! Most of the Internet users are in the same boat.

If you feel trapped and frustrated with your handling of the
time spent online, you need to stand back, take a break, and
look into the problem from a different perspective. Actually,
what you need is more than a break; you need a balanced approach
to your Internet activities. In order to understand where you
online time goes, the first thing you should do is log everything
that you do on the Internet for several days.

Log your online activities

If you scrupulously write down everything you do on the Internet
for a day, you will, truly, be amazed to see how much time you
waste on unnecessary things like reading spam, browsing through
inconsequential websites, etc.

By thoroughly analyzing your online activities with the help of
the logs you make, you will be able to pinpoint and resolve the
problems � online activities that are unproductive and time
wasters. The idea is to stay focused and do the things that you
ought to do and stay out of impulsive moves.

To do lists

Like your daily life, you should make a �To Do� list of the
things you need to do on the Internet. First, make a list of all
the tasks that you have to do online including routine activities
like checking emails, etc. A generic activity such as working
with your emails should be broken down into small
tasks � answering to a specific email, making an online order
for office supplies, etc. Add every single job related to the
Internet to this list. Once you created the list, sort it
according to the priority. This becomes your master list of
online tasks. Select the tasks you are planning to do in a day.
Transfer those tasks to a separate list.

Make sure this list is precise and not too long, so that you can
finish most of the tasks from the list - at least the ones with
high priority � within the chosen day. Armed with this list you
will be able to tackle the problem of productive use of your
online time with confidence.

Resources
Many major portals have free personal information management
programs that you can be used to create daily schedules and to
do lists.

Yahoo PIM: http://calendar.yahoo.com

MSN PIM: http://www.hotmail.com

If you rather use a desktop PIM, here is one that you can
download from the Internet for free: http://www.essentialpim.com

Organizing your computer files

As recently as last year, in order to keep your computer files
accessible you needed to properly categorize the folders, save
the files in the right folders, and up-to-date them regularly.
Even with all these troubles, you still used to have problems
in finding files when you most needed them, wasting precious
work time. Thanks to the desktop search programs, finding a file
on your computer, certainly, became painlessly easy.

Although, you still should try to maintain computer files
organized; you no longer have to waste valuable time on finding
them. All you have to do is download one of the available
desktop search utilities and let it index your computer.

A search tool can help you find any file on your computer,
whether is an email or a DOC file, just like an Internet search.
You only need to know one word, which you may encounter in that
file in order to use the tool.

Resources
Google Desktop Search Tool:
Find information on your computer as fast as you do with the
help of Google search.
http://desktop.google.com/

MSN Desktop Search Tool:
MSN desktop search utility comes along with a toolbar that you
can download from
http://toolbar.msn.com/

Yahoo Desktop Search Tool:
Still at beta stage, it�s a very comprehensive desktop search
program.
http://desktop.yahoo.com/

Copernic Desktop Search Program:
This one came out long before the search engine heavyweights
figured out the need for getting your computer files at your
fingertips and still one of the best.
Free download: http://www.copernic.com

Organizing links of important websites

While browsing through the Internet often, you come across
sites that you would like to visit again. All browsers have
the options to add the page you are viewing to a list of
favorite links, commonly known as �Bookmark�. If you want to
bring substantial efficiency to your browsing skill, you should
create folders according to your interest and add links you
intend to visit again to those folders. On the Internet Explorer
you create a bookmark using the icon �Favorites�, and on Firefox
�Bookmarks�. You should keep those folders organized for easier
access to required links.

Another good option is to use Amazon�s Meta Search
Engine A9.com. Once you install the A9.com tool bar, all your
web browsing history gets saved. A9.com uses this information
to recommend you new sites, alert you to new search results,
and notifies you when the last time you visited a page. When you
make a query, A9.com searches through you own history, diary,
and bookmarks.

A9.com has a neat feature called diary. It allows you to keep
notes on any web page you visit. You will see the notes,
whenever you revisit that page. It�s a very handy tool for avid
Internet users.

Another great thing about A9.com is your bookmarks reside on
A9 servers. This allows you to access them from any computer
you use.

Resources
A9.com search results are essentially supplied by Google.
You can download and install A9.com from the page:
http://toolbar.a9.com/

About the Author

Nowshade Kabir is the founder, primary developer and present
CEO of Rusbiz.com. A Ph. D. in Information Technology, he
has wide experience in Business Consulting, International
Trade and Web Marketing. Rusbiz is a Global B2B Emarketplace
with solutions to start and run online business.
You can contact him at mailto:nowshade[at]rusbiz.com
http://ezine.rusbiz.com

...








Breaking the Growth Barriers in the Information Technology and Software Sector
Theres nothing automatic about corporate growth particularly in the information technology industry build it and they will come is a myth In the real world there is either a structured processdriven growth cycle or stagnationand stagnation is automatic Inherent to growth cycles are barri

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Career Advice








Information Technology

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Career Advice

Author: Richard Lowe

I often get asked questions about careers in IT (Information Technology).
After all, I've been a Vice President of Consulting (twice for two different
companies), Vice President of Development, Senior Technical specialist many
times and now I am a Director Of Technical Services. I've been working with
computers for 23 years as of 2001 and plan on continuing my education and
career in a positive direction until the day that I die.

So what would I recommend to anyone seeking or currently holding a career in
IT? What are the qualities that make an IT person invaluable to a company?

I think one of the most valuable traits that anyone in any career can foster
is simple communication. This is especially true of IT people, as many of us
tended to get into the field in the first place because we are introverts. I
don't know about you, but when I started with computers over 23 years ago, I
didn't want to talk with anyone. Computers I could understand, but people?
That was a different question.

In college I had a professor named Fredrick. He taught a class in assembly
language - which was very advanced for the school. I excelled in this class
and spent a great deal of time talking to the teacher. When Fredrick started
a new consulting company he needed to get someone on board who could program
but was also very inexpensive. Because I had been communicating with the man
during his class, he offered me a job as a programmer in his new company. I
stayed there for six years, and by the time the company was purchased by a
British conglomerate I was the Vice President of Development.

As I matured I began to open up to people, and after a few years I found
that the more I communicated, the better my career progressed. Don't get me
wrong, communication is not always fun and definitely isn't easy sometimes,
but it is absolutely vital to any kind of career movement.

To advance in your career it is necessary to make sure people understand
your intentions. More importantly, it is critical that they understand that
you understand. You want people (those you supervise as well as your
supervisors) to know your capabilities and how those can aid them and the
company that you all work for.

What you do is talk to your boss regularly. Ensure that he or she fully
understands what you can do and what you want to do (thus greasing the skids
for additional training and promotions). Discuss how your talents can help
the company achieve it's goals and how you can help your boss achieve those
goals. Do the same with people who work for you, customers, vendors, and
other co-workers.

Use email to your advantage. Email is just another form of communication,
and it's best used to ensure that others are on the same page as you. For
example, it's usually a good idea to send an email after a meeting to those
who were in attendance, briefly explaining what was discussed and what
you've committed to produce. As you meet those commitments, you can also use
email to make it known.

If you are a supervisor, you need to let the people who work for you know
not only exactly what is expected of them, but also other details such as
how they fit into the organization, how their efforts contribute to the
bottom line and the goals and objectives of the company, department,
sub-department and group. This allows your people to be more effective,
which in turn allows you to be more effective.

Use performance reviews as a method of letting your people know where they
are doing well and where they need to improve. This is a very legal, highly
controlled method of communicating with your people (or your boss) and must
be done correctly to be effective. One golden rule of reviews is nothing
should ever be a surprise to the employee. If a person is not doing well, he
must know about it long before the review so he has a chance to correct his
mistakes.

Another rule of mine is that all critical comments must be done in private,
one on one (unless there are legal reasons, such as a reprimand for sexual
harassment, for witnesses). Never give reprimands, no matter how minor, in a
public location. Conversely, it's great to give positive remarks and
reinforcement in public - in fact, generally the more public the better.

Remember that communication is very powerful, and used properly it, combined
with your knowledge, talents and abilities, can propel you up the corporate
ladder.

On the other hand, when used improperly you will certainly succeed in
stalling your career. Use communication very poorly and you may find
yourself jobless in short order.

If you use your emails to cover your behind, you will soon find it is
exposed and ready to be kicked. If you try and sling mud at others around
you, it's very possible you will find yourself not only covered in mud, but
even tarred and feathered.

For example, I had a boss a number of years ago who thought the main purpose
of email was to ensure that everyone understood whatever had gone wrong was
someone else's fault. I remember on several occasions our department had
failed to provide service to the users, and our boss had us write emails
that went on for pages, patiently explaining how these failures were the
fault of someone else. My god, we all got so tired of protecting our bosses
behind. In fact, when he finally left the company, we felt such a feeling of
relief that it was amusing.

This same man is a great example at how a lack of communication can doom a
person. He tried to build a wall between our department and the rest of the
company. All communications between our group and the outside world had to
be approved by him, and he often insisted on performing the communication
himself. Thus, it became impossible for any of us to do our job - and it
became very difficult for anyone in the department to understand how they
fit into the overall company business.

So to sum it all up, what's my advice? Use communication to your advantage.
Ensure your boss knows that you want to contribute to the success of the
group and, more importantly, that he completely understands how valuable you
can be. Use communication to give positive feedback and to let everyone know
your commitments and understandings, as well as other areas in which you
could be helpful.

Equally important, don't abuse communications. This is a very powerful tool,
and if you've ever been on the wrong end of a public reprimand or the
subject of water-cooler gossip you understand exactly what I mean.

The managers who excel in their career have learned these lessons and apply
daily to their jobs without even thinking. That's the main tool of the
trade. Simple communication.

About the Author

Richard Lowe Jr. is the webmaster of Internet Tips And Secrets at
http://www.internet-tips.net - Visit our website any time to read
over 1,000 complete FREE articles about how to improve your internet
profits, enjoyment and knowledge.

...








Product Positioning for Enterprise Software and Information Technology Companies
Good marketing positioning is like good lying No were not suggesting that you lie when creating your company and product positioning Anything but in fact But its remarkable how much the properties of good positioning resemble the properties of a good lie Like an effective lie an e

Search technologies
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Mapping Software Putting Data Visualization on the Map
Mapping Software Improves Data Visualization From the outset it is important to clarify exactly what mapping software is and what it has to do with data visualization If you are looking for driving dir






Breaking the Growth Barriers in the Information Technology and Software Sector








Information Technology

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Breaking the Growth Barriers in the Information Technology and Software Sector

Author: Ash Seha

There's nothing automatic about corporate growth, particularly in the information technology industry; build it and they will come is a myth. In the real world there is either a structured, process-driven growth cycle, or stagnation�and stagnation is automatic. Inherent to growth cycles are barriers, real-world business challenges that put some software companies out of business and spur others on to break through those barriers to higher levels of success. Overcoming those barriers is the very definition of growth; when you break through a barrier, you've achieved growth.

You're a software or information technology company, prosperous in 2005, which means that you have a good product, you've made some smart decisions and you've already broken through some growth barriers. You're successful. Now what?

Any company, regardless of age or size can experience barriers to growth: if you find it hard to develop and maintain market momentum; are tied to your entrepreneurial management style and unable to scale; have reached a level of revenue or income and stagnation is settling in; or if your revenue is generated from one product, service, client, or industry, then you're at the next growth barrier, you need to be able recognize it, and you need to prepare to cross it. This overview discusses the typical growth barriers that confront many IT and software companies, and how external consultants can be used effectively to break through those barriers.

Strategy Constrained

At this point your company or product is in the early stages of its evolution. You've landed a handful of key accounts, and you're encouraged by your early success. Now you need a plan, a strategy, a concrete agenda that will move your information technology company from being a collection of talented people with a common goal, to being a team with a common goal and a battle-tested strategy for achieving that goal.

This stage is characterized by:

    � Perpetual realignment of company strategy

By delivering guidance on corporate strategy, a marketing strategy consultant may be able to help a company like yours to:

    � Define untapped solution areas
    � Make technological platform decisions
    � Select appropriate geographic markets
    � Write actionable business plans

Capital Constrained

You've taken your software company or product as far as you can on your savings. Or perhaps you've made a few key sales that have kept you afloat. In order to move your company on to the next phase of development you need an infusion of capital to hire skilled employees, make key acquisitions and fuel your growth. Technology is your specialty, not prospectus writing for venture capitalists.

This stage is characterized by:

    � Inability to fund business strategies
    � Decision-making based upon short-term cash-flow issues rather than long-term strategy

Through road-show ready business plan development and introduction to network of VCs and angel investors, a strategy consultant may be able to help a company like yours to:

    � Author compelling investment prospectuses
    � Define immediate and long-term financial requirements
    � Execute successful finance road shows

Skills Constrained

Typically a company finds themselves at this stage of development with a great product built on sound technology aimed at a particular industry, and their first round of financing secured. They also find themselves with a weak or non-existent positioning statement, a reactive product management process, exhausted or ineffective sales skills, and a strictly opportunistic business development strategy. Company growth is limited in part by the notion that the product will sell itself because it is superior to any other on the market�indeed, it may be the only offering. Revenue growth is limited because the product is defined in terms of its functionality, not its value to the customer.

The offering, and by extension the company, is still being defined by technologists; it has yet to be married with a solid business development plan, marketing or sales acumen. More worrisome is that the very success of your company has brought you to the attention of major players who do have personnel and strategies dedicated to driving you out of the market; they view you as a threat. Your days of flying under the radar are over.

This stage is characterized by:

    � An attractive market
    � A compelling product
    � Adequate financial resources
    � An inability to develop market momentum

Through sales, marketing, product management and business development acumen, a sales and marketing strategy consultant may be able to help a company like yours to:

    � Recruit and manage skilled personnel
    � Craft compelling product and company positioning
    � Create effective sales vehicles and sales strategy
    � Recruit and manage appropriate and motivated alliance partners

Process Constrained

A company at this stage of development is typically successful, no longer a start-up, is being run by a management team, has been accepted in the market, and is competitive. However, fundamental product development and sales and marketing management processes have not yet been accepted within the foundation of the corporate culture. This means that the solution to most situations are human-based, usually hand-crafted by the management team; the foundation of proven processes is absent.

This stage is characterized by:

    � Market acceptance
    � Ability to compete with established players
    � All actions are hand-crafted, typically by the senior management team

By introducing repeatable, best-of-breed processes for sales, marketing and product management, a sales and marketing strategy consultant may help a company like yours to:

    � Introduce effective and repeatable product management, marketing and sales processes
    � Reduce day-to-day reliance on senior management resources

Innovation Constrained

Organizations at this stage of development have achieved a great deal of success; processes are ingrained, product development is streamlined, and sales and marketing systems are in place. But by definition the market keeps shifting: your product is being eclipsed by younger companies with products that perhaps even capitalize on your R&D and experience; your market may be saturated to the point that the double-digit growth rates your investors have come to take for granted are a thing of the past. You need a new product or a new market or both.

This stage is characterized by:

    � The management team no longer involved in all decisions
    � Stagnation beginning to creep in with respect to products and markets

By introducing fresh thinking about new markets, products, and channels, a business strategy consultant may be able to help a company like yours to:

    � Author innovative channel strategies
    � Leverage existing products into new vertical and geographic markets
    � Capture requirements for nascent product lines
    � Embrace change as the source of competitive advantage

Ash Seha is a partner at The Launch Factory LLP, a consultancy specializing in marketing, sales, and product management strategy for software and IT companies. Their expertise, garnered from such IT highflyers as i2, webMethods, SAP, and Baan, is focused on breaking the growth bariers that stand between high-growth software and IT companies and their revenue and marketshare goals.

...








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Preparing for a Career in Information Technology
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What Is Knowledge Management - Knowing What We Know?








Information Technology

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What Is Knowledge Management - Knowing What We Know?

Author: Colin Mc Cullough

The paper aims to identify the role human factors play in determining the success or failure or knowledge management initiatives.

A growing realisation in both the private and public sector is the worth of human capital as an intangible asset. In a society transcending the boundaries from information to a knowledge society, it is essential to find adequate and successful means of processing and exploiting the knowledge within the heads of its members. Research literature shows a strong link between knowledge management and the creation of a sustainable competitive advantage, because of the tacit nature of an organisation�s knowledge (Gupta & McDaniel, 2002). The growing body of literature on KM has tended to emphasise the technical aspects at the expense of the people management aspects and it is indicative in itself that the vast majority of literature resides within the Information Technology (IT) field (Bank, 1996; Cole-Gomolski, 1997; Finerty, 1997). Scarbrough et al.�s (1999) IPD report provided an extensive overview of existing literature which demonstrated a growing gap in the literature in terms of people issues in favour of a concern with the technological and system aspects. Likewise Johanessen et al. (1999) explore the inadequacy of firms investing in new technology hoping that KM will simply emerge as a result. Instead they suggest it is the employees themselves who will be the impetus behind the transition from functional organisations to knowledge organisations.

Fundamentally frequent KM attempts end in failure. The assumption that knowledge is an object, and can be codified and distributed underpins the linked field of computer science and information systems. As a result of this knowledge management has been closely tied to ICT. Yet even within the computer science fields, it is increasingly recognised that most current software for knowledge management have more to do with new ways of storing and communicating information than with actual ways in which people create, acquire and use knowledge (Milton et al., 1999). Likewise as McDermott points out, using ICT rather than a solution to knowledge management may �represent the great trap in knowledge management� (McDermott, 1999: p. 104).

An analysis of current academic literature on obstacles to knowledge management reveal three main groups of factors � flaws in the organisational process, misconceptions of the role of technology in the process and lastly, and that which I seek to elucidate as a principle component � a large disregard of the importance of the human factor in achieving a successful knowledge-sharing and knowledge managing culture.

A failure to understand clearly the terms of reference (i.e. what is knowledge management?) fogs entirely the picture of what factors can enhance or reduce the chances of successful knowledge management within an organisation. As Thomas, Kellogg and Erickson (2003) point out the view of knowledge management as a passive, fact-storing procedure which ignores the context in which knowledge is embedded and which relies solely on information technologies is a common misconception of the whole process. Soo, Devinney. Midgley and Deering (2000) likewise stress that the knowledge management process is not something simple which can be bolted on to conventional business models as mere storage models.

The vast majority of academic research into knowledge management, concludes, as do Dominguez, Laverde, Lizzaralde and Arregui (2003) that while there is a general difficulty for companies to explain what they mean when they use the term knowledge management, they are in a position to identify common aspects such as the sharing of knowledge and of transforming individual into organisational knowledge. They admit, however, that a lack of clarity over the concept while generating certain confusion, has led to a greater flexibility in its application in the private sector. It simply means different things in different contexts. De Jarnett (1996) states that knowledge management is knowledge creation, which is followed by knowledge interpretation, knowledge dissemination and use, and knowledge retention and refinement. Brooking (1997), however, in his definition stresses that knowledge management is the activity which is concerned with strategy and tactics to manage human centred assets while Quintas et al (1997) in their definition claim that KM is the process is critically managing knowledge to meet existing needs, to identify and exploit existing and acquired knowledge assets and to develop new opportunities. As Ariely (2003) points out even nowadays there is no full consensus on definitions and perceptions of knowledge management. She concludes, however, that the differing definitions expose the problems industry is having with defining and commonly understanding such a combined term. For this reason she favours the definition by Brooks (2000) of organisational knowledge management through correlating the aim of KM in the organisation with those of the organisation. Ultimately the test is the success achieved in enabling knowledge creation rather than managing it. As von Krogh (2000) points out the dilemma can perhaps be best approached by managing the processes relating to the domain of knowledge management rather than presuming to manage the knowledge itself.

Knowledge management is inextricably linked to the sharing of knowledge between individuals and to the collaborative processes involved. The factors and environments which enhance this all relate to the human factor in the KM process.

About the Author

Colin Mc Cullough works in knowledge management in the public sector. He has consulted for a number of comanies including http://www.mv4men.com and http://www.trainingvillage.gr

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What is a Document Manager without Version History
Document Manager and Version History In previous articles I have discussed the usefulness of a document manager such as groupwareA

Mind Machine Interfacing
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What is a Document Manager without Version History?








Information Technology

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What is a Document Manager without Version History?

Author: Joe Miller



Document Manager and Version History



In previous articles I have discussed the usefulness of a document manager, such as groupware, in organizing document sharing. I have also discussed the role that a Version History plays in a good document manager. In this article I wish to elaborate on Version History and its ability to make or break your document manager. The reason a document manager benefits so much from Version History is that Version History presents a visual flow chart of the editorial process any document has gone through. The who, what, when, where, and how are all answered.

Having Version History as one of your document manager tools creates a three-point advantage in document collaboration, advantages that take businesses to a higher level of efficiency, organization, and communication.

Ad Hoc Management



Business communication and document collaboration move too quickly with the ease of Microsoft Outlook and other email communication, where any presentation or document can be shot back and forth between any number of parties any number of times. Because of the simplicity of this process, it is difficult for a document manager to track all of the editorial changes made to documents without Version History. In other words, the jumble of unordered, chronologically challenged changes are difficult, if not impossible to organize without Version History. Version History helps to present a chronological order of ad hoc business. A document manager that uses Version History will be able to work the way your business does.

Reference



As I mentioned before, as document versions are sent back and forth in no particular order, a document manager can only do so much without the help of Version History. Eventually deadlines fall due, and the various document versions need to be organized before they are brought together into one final draft. The most common process for organizing attached drafts is to dig through your email box and hard drive to collect all of the drafts and to sort them by date. Then, you ask everyone else to do the same and send them to you. Once all of the information comes back to you, you have to go over the same process again, this time deleting duplicate files. Already, too much time has been spent referencing all of the document changes. Version History references documents immediately upon request, displaying exactly where documents were sent, when they were sent, and how versions relate to each other. Version History helps to create a document manager that works for you.

Digital Thread Technology



Every tool a document manager utilizes has its own tricks. Version History is no exception. What is its trick? Digital Thread Technology. As a document is created, whether a budget plan, a marketing presentation, or a legal contract, Digital Thread Technology inserts tracking information into the metadata of the electronic document. This allows the document to be tracked over various email boxes and drives, even if the document has been sent to individuals who do not use your document manager. Digital Thread Technology literally threads each draft together like beads on a necklace, enabling Version History to create a simple and informative flow chart of your document�s draft genealogy.


About the Author

Joe Miller is an author of informational articles and online advertisements on business software. Read more about aDocument Manager and Version History at www.NextPage.com.

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What happened to the "Giant Sucking Sound" of Outsourcing?








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What happened to the "Giant Sucking Sound" of Outsourcing?

Author: Ian Ippolito

The conventional wisdom is that outsourcing has been very bad for the U.S. Information Technology workforce. After all, now that a company can transfer the work of a $50/hour U.S. programmer to an equally skilled programmer in India or Romania and pay only $5/hour for the same job, what are U.S. workers to do? Ross Perot once famously described the result of job loss as the �Giant Sucking Sound��from the movement of the jobs overseas. Virtually every newsgroup, blog and magazine editorial quotes anecdotal evidence of someone who has lost a job in the recent down turn as validation of this theory. Almost all make dire predictions of the end of U.S. I.T. dominance .

It�s too bad that none of these people took the time to notice that the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics survey last month showed the number of jobs in U.S. IT has rebounded to the highs of 2001. (see �Reliving the summer of 2001� in InformationWeek) If they had, we would have heard a completely different type of �Giant Sucking Sound�� a whole lot of people holding their breaths while forced to ask themsleves �If outsourcing is the awful bogey man I believe it to be�then WHY ARE THE JOBS STILL HERE?�

U.S. IT moves in cycles. 2001 was the height of the excesses of the dot com bubble (remember when people wouldn�t take a new job unless they got a 50% raise AND could bring their pet in to work?). And what goes up unfortunately must always come down. But when people lose jobs, the pain is real, and human nature is such that we need to blame something or someone for the injustice. And who is a more convenient and defenseless scapegoat than foreigners who can�t speak for themselves or defend themselves?

You�d think we�d know better about foreigner scape-goating. Remember when the Japanese were buying up marquis U.S. properties in the 1990s like Rockefeller Center? Everyone predicted they were going to own the country. That never happened. Their real-estate bubble busted, they had to leave town and haven�t been sighted since. And you�d think we�d know better from history about making simple assumption. In the 1700�s, the English gave themselves premature coronaries, because they obsessed over the fact that they couldn�t grow enough trees to power the wood power plants. The invention of the coal based steam engine propelled England into the industrial age, and reduced the dreaded �wood shortage� to a historical footnote.

Outsourcing HAS had an effect on U.S. I.T. but it has NOT been what the convention wisdom predicted. And understanding it is the key to having a real understanding of outsourcing.

The survey data shows that there are about 16% less programming jobs than in 2001. Everyone knew that heads-down coders would be affected by outsourcing (although that isn't exactly true either...something we'll examine further in another blog). On the other side of the ledger, I.T. management jobs have skyrocketed about 20% (70,000). Almost no one realized that those jobs would explode and practically offset the loss in programmers. And a person managing work tends to be paid higher than the people actually doing the work.

Where did these management jobs come from? I call it �Affordability Magnification�. Say you�re a typical IT manager in a small to midsize company with a budget of $1,000,000 for programming. Before outsourcing you ran 4-5 projects a year. Now those projects are just 1/10th the cost. If you still run 4-5 projects, you are going to have a ton of money unspent at the end of the year. The CFO would be more than happy to take it from you and give it to some other department next year�so you can�t do that. Instead, you�ll of course spend every last dime. And you�ll run 40 projects and hire a bunch of new project managers to manage them. And that is what we are seeing.

To those who think this is a surprising idea�I recommend a trip to library (or Wikiopedia) and a quick read of economics 101. Outsourcing is based on free-trade, and free trade predicts that when 2 countries trade�BOTH benefit, not just one. This is counter intuitive for all the reasons mentioned earlier. But free-trade predicts that people in each country will realign from jobs that the country can do less efficiently, to jobs the country can do more efficiently. And that makes both countries stronger. And that is what we�re seeing.

Yes, this does mean pain and problems for those affected�some of whom have invested years of training. And as a society we should be helping those people with benefits and retraining. But we also need perspective as well. Just like the economic cycle we talked about earlier�this is a cycle and not a novel thing at all. Disruptive technology is constantly displacing old industries as it creates newer and better ones. How many 8-track cassette engineers do you know of? Are any groups pushing for a ban on CDs to protect this specialized profession? And this cycle isn�t even unique to our century. For centuries, scribes (people who could write) were prestigious and highly paid for their advanced skills. But when the printing press was invented and took off in the 15th century, the scribe felt the pain of sudden unemployment. The cost of books dropped by a factor of 300, scribes made the shift to other professions, and society as a whole is more literate and better off than it was before. Today, there is no �scribe in America� program that advocates the banning of printing presses to protect the health of U.S. scribes.

So anyone that says that outsourcing has caused some unemployment is correct�and some heads-down coding jobs have left the U.S. for good. But anyone who says that outsourcing hasn't also created new jobs, and is somehow unpatriotic because of it...is simply uninformed.

About the Author

Ian Ippolito is the the creator of http://www.RentACoder.com , an open marketplace for computer programming where 2/3rd of the parties choose to outsource internationally. It has been studied by universities such as American University to learn more about outsourcing.

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The Leadership Talk As A Living Hologram
PERMISSION TO REPUBLISH This article may be republished in newsletters and on web sites provided attribution is provided to the author and it appears with the included copyright resource box and live web site link Email notice of intent to publish is appreciated but not required mail to brent

Mapping Software Putting Data Visualization on the Map
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VoIP Communications Joins Escape International as Representative of Team Manager








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VoIP Communications Joins Escape International as Representative of Team Manager

Author: VoIP Communications

Recent News and Press Releases

The Latest Announcements and Press Releases
For Immediate Release
VoIP Communications Joins Escape International as Representative of Team Manager

Making calls and talk to me with Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) becomes the newest communications provider
Published: December 6, 2004, 9:45 PM PST
By VoIP Communications Show �Talk To Me With VoIP� With Nate Perkins, http://www.nateperkinslive.com

Atlanta start-up VoIP Communications with Escape International and 8x8, Inc. (Nasdaq: EGHT), the Packet8 Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) and videophone communications service provider, announced the availability of its DTA Broadband Phone Adapter and DV 326 Broadband VideoPhone at VoIP Communications http://www.voippacket8.net with Escape International Company: http://www.escapeinternational.com/, whose broadband VideoPhone service with Freedom Unlimited U.S & Canada Video calling broadband software lets anyone become a small-scale Internet business provider, Virtual Office hosted PBX Services and a Home-based business, the Founder, Chairman and CEO of VoIP Communications, Nate Perkins, says it's close to letting people create their own miniature phone networks as well as a small home business.

The Packet8 DTA adapter and VideoPhone will be featured at Voippacket8.net�s online store, a component of its web-based information portal designed to provide consumers with a comprehensive guide to understanding Internet telephony. The latest chapter in the life of local entrepreneur Nate Perkins us VideoPhone, a Stockbridge outlet for the new Voice over Internet Protocol picture phone. Perkins, with 24 years in military telecommunications, received a MASTER in Information Technology (IT) from University of Texas, Killeen, Texas, a disabled-combat retired Army colonel and Republican activist, has closed another Stockbridge business and his Art Outlet in Riverdale to concentrate on sales of the Packet8 phones from Escape International. The phones allow subscribers to see each other as they speak. The number Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) households is expected to mushroom to 18 million by 2008 as service quality increases, already inexpensive rates continue to drop and more homes get broadband, which VoIP operators usually require.

Because the 9 Nov, ruling the Federal Communications Commission has decided not to have the states limited to regulate the new technology, there�s a chance for small businessmen like me to compete with the big companies, which will serve to keep the prices down for Voice over Internet Protocol services.
VoIP Communications� unique VoIP Packet8 service, Packet8 VoIP Phone Adapter service introduced a few months ago, lets someone buy, install, maintain, operate and resell high-speed Internet service using Packet8 VideoPhone service, which are commonly used to with a high-speed internet connection (DSL, cable) or with a DSL or cable router and a Packet8 VideoPhone and Packet8 Phone Adapter dispense high-speed Internet inside millions of schools, homes, offices, hotels and motels, retail outlets, public areas airport ports, transportation hubs and states-wide Homeland Security Act.
With the Enhanced 911 (E911) broadband AMBER Alerts states emergency communications service plans. VoIP Communications, highly recommend that our company broadband VideoPhones (business or home phone) will offer and add greater, cheaper and faster Internet Phone Service with Voice over Internet Protocol that the states receiving broadband AMBER Alert notifications via their VoIP phones just like e-mail and electronic text messages. VoIP Communications service would add an order of magnitude of functionality to security his offering. Initial deals for the customers include (2) two month�s free service free activation and rebates on the phones he will offer for about $250 during the holidays. VideoPhone price starting at $19.95 to #34.95 plus $3.00 for the E911 service if or when your states install the E911 network.

VoIP technology "We're moving fast" to start supporting Voice over Internet Protocol), a way of making phone calls over the Internet, www.VoIPPACKET8.NET web site claims. This way, broadband Internet networks, also known as "VoIP communications," could serve as a kind of giant online pay telephone booth, the resprestaive company says. Its soon-to-be potent mix of Wi-Fi, VoIP and open-source software that works on just about any Wi-Fi router "help (s) break the monopoly of regulated data and voice communications," a company spokesman said. �He has hired 25 home-based sale people already, he added, and plans to hire up to 3,000 in the Metro Atlanta and nationwide in the next several weeks to come�. Perkins informed his staff, �that this is how we are going to put American back to work, people who have suffered from traditional companies layoffs and economic ups and downs�.
While some entrepreneurs will probably use the Packet8 phones to turn their homes into small-based business, VoIP Communication�s founders believe the initial market will predominantly be businesses run out of homes, or small companies looking for any competitive advantage they can get.

We here at VoIP Communications are another example of the changing face of the telephone industry. A decade ago, nearly every phone call at one point use the expensive, privately owned and heavily taxed and regulated local phone network. But VoIP technology allows the same calls to use the Internet--a haven from taxes and regulations-- that makes them much cheaper, and Packet8 (www.VoIPPACKET8.net). See Atlanta Journal-Constitution cover story �Ask Clark Howard�, dated 16 November 2004, paged IE3. Listen Clark Howard�s radio show 1-4pm Mondays-Fridays on WSB-AM (750). Have questions about VoIP? Visit www.ajc.com/buyersedge

Traditional telephone operators first used VoIP technology to cut down on their own costs. Two years ago, commercial services such as Vonage helped seed the market for using a broadband connection to make and receive calls from any phone number. By year's end, a million U.S. homes will be using broadband to make phone calls, and 10 million by 2008, several analysts have predicted.

About VoIP Communications

Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) Communications, the Founder LTC Nate Perkins USA, Ret., the Chairman and CEO, VoIP Communications, a Broadband Videophones: http://www.voippacket8.net. Starting at $19.95 unlimited U.S. & Canada Calling. The author of the bestseller book: NATE PERKINS LIVE! WE'RE AT A CROSSROAD. TALK TO ME (see page 101). http://www.nateperkinslive.com "Is dedicated to the President of the United States, George W. Bush, and the Republican Party 2004. LTC Nate Perkins, USA, (RET) is the most controversial TV host/ Radio host in Atlanta, Georgia. He is a 24-years disabled-veteran combat veteran".

For more information, visit wed sites www.VoIPPACKET8.net or http://www.nateperkinslive.com, free call 1-866-904-VoIP, fax to 1-678-565-8733. VoIP Communications is a disabled-veteran company, located in SOCKBRIDGE VILLAGE at 893 Highway 138 W Suite 10, Stockbridge, and Georgia 30281. A member of DSL Reports Gold and The Fierce15. Representative Team Manger With Escape International.

About Escape International

Escape International Incorporated, a privately held company, founded in 2001 is a marketing company focused primarily on telecom products and services. A second division exists specializing in wellness products. Escape prides itself on being a legitimately free network marketing company with income opportunities ranging from stay at home part time income to full time business opportunities. Escape is managed by a strong team of highly experienced individuals with over forty years of combined experience in the industry. For additional company information, visit the Escape International Website at: http://www.escapeinternational.com/

NOTE: 8x8, the 8x8 logo, Packet8, the Packet8 logo and Packet8 Virtual Office are trademarks of 8x8, Inc. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

CONTACT: Nate Perkins of VoIP Communications, +1-800-994-VOIP, or CEO@VoIPPACTE8.NET

Web site: http://www.voippacket8.net/

Web site: http://www.escapeinternational.com/

Web site: http://www.8x8.com/

About 8x8, Inc.

VoIP (voice over internet protocol) service provider 8x8, Inc. offers internet-based telephony solutions (www.packet8.net) for individual residential and business users as well as small to medium sized business organizations. In addition to regular Packet8 VoIP service plans, priced as low as $19.95 per month for unlimited anytime calling to the U.S. and Canada, 8x8 now offers the Packet8 DV 326 VideoPhone, the industry's first stand alone broadband
-more-
Consumer videophone. Packet8 Virtual Office, 8x8's VoIP system for small to medium sized businesses, is a hosted PBX solution comprised of powerful business class features. For additional company information, visit 8x8's web site at www.8x8.com.

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Preparing for a Career in Information Technology
So you want to work in the Information Technology field In this article ill provide some advice to those seeking employment in this field Keep in mind these are my opinions others may agree or disagree Mechanic or Engineer The first question to answer is which direction do you w

Encompix EngineertoOrder Enterprise Resource Planning Meeting May 9 11
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The Leadership Talk As A Living Hologram








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The Leadership Talk As A Living Hologram

Author: Brent Filson

PERMISSION TO REPUBLISH: This article may be republished in newsletters and on web sites provided attribution is provided to the author, and it appears with the included copyright, resource box and live web site link. Email notice of intent to publish is appreciated but not required: mail to: brent@actionleadership.com

Word count: 629

Summary: A growing number of research scientists are persuaded that the universe is not made of separate things but on a deep level is a single entity. This view is called the holographic paradigm. The author takes a page from this unique point of view by asserting that the success of a leadership tool he has been teaching for 21 years is attributed to the fact that it is indeed a hologram.

The Leadership Talk As A Living Hologram
by Brent Filson

The hologram is a three-dimensional photograph made on a flat surface with laser beams.

The three-dimensionality of such an image is not the only remarkable characteristic of a hologram. If a hologram of your face is cut in half and then illuminated by a laser, each half will still contain the entire image of your face.

Indeed, even if the halves are divided again, each snippet of film will always be found to contain a smaller but intact version of the original image of your face. If we try to take apart something constructed holographically, we will not get the pieces of which it is made, we will only get smaller wholes.

To some scientific researchers, the hologram is the basis for a striking view of reality -- that the entire universe is a superhologram. Everything from the grains of sand beneath our feet to the farthest star in the outermost regions of deep space, everything is interconnected as one.

This view has come to be called the holographic paradigm, and though it is supported by findings of quantum physics and corroborates the insights of the ancient Rabbis of the Kabbala, the Buddha, Lao Tsu, Plato, the Veda mystics, and many more prophets and spiritual traditions, many scientists have greeted it with skepticism.

Still, a small but growing group of researchers believe it may be the most accurate model of reality science has arrived at thus far.

If the holographic paradigm is true, then each of us � including your best friend and your worst enemy � are all connected on a deeper level of reality. Consequently, our individual actions affect others, everywhere. The state of the world, the state of the universe for that matter, is merely the sum total of the interactions of humanity.

Let's bring the holographic paradigm into our ordinary lives, our ordinary day-to-day jobs. Because if it doesn't work in our daily lives, it's nothing more than an interesting idea. In fact, it's in the very ordinariness of our moment-to-moment experiences that the holographic paradigm finds its true manifestation.

That manifestation creates an entirely new way of understanding leadership and organizational success; for a key leadership tool that I've been teaching for many years is indeed a hologram. Not the static photo-image hologram but a living hologram of great complexity and energy.

That tool is the Leadership Talk.

There is a hierarchy of verbal persuasion, the lowest levels of which are speeches and presentations, the highest and most effective level is the Leadership Talk. Speeches and presentations communication information, but Leadership Talks do something much more, they help the leader establish deep, human emotional interactions with the audience -- so vital in motivating people to get results.

According to the holographic paradigm, we are really "receivers" participating in a kaleidoscopic flow of wondrous frequency, and what we extract from this and translate into physical reality is but one channel from many extracted out of the superhologram of the universe.

Like a hologram, The Leadership Talk is a totality -- the totality of right leadership interactions. And like a holographic totality, each part of a Leadership Talk is the whole. Whatever Leadership Talk process you choose, you'll find that it not only permeates all other processes of the Talk, it permeates time and space.

(By the way, I say "right interactions." Wrong leadership interactions are countless and have mainly to do with order-leadership. The right interactions are triggered by the Leadership Talk processes I've taught for 21 years. Those processes have one end in mind: helping leaders achieve not just average results but more results faster continually. Such "superresults" can only be achieved in penetrating human relationships.)

Ralph Waldo Emerson saw this permeation of space/time when he wrote, "There is one mind common to all individual men. Every man is an inlet to the same and to all of the same.... I believe in Eternity. I can find Greece, Asia, Italy, Spain and the Islands -- the genius and creative principle of each and of all eras in my own mind."

This idea is not arcane philosophy but most importantly, a practical leadership tool for achieving superresults.

Look at it this way: Leaders do nothing more important than get results. Yet working with thousands of leaders worldwide for the past 21 years, I've found that very few are getting the results they are capable of.

These leaders look at superficial facets of results, such as information technology, productivity loops, quality programs, human resource activities, speed, productivity, operations efficiencies, sales closes, sales leads, sales to new customers, failure prevention, health and safety advancements, quality, training, quality control, logistics efficiencies, marketing targets, new revenue streams, sales erosion, price calibrations, cost reductions, demand flow activities and technologies, inventory turns, cycle time reductions, materials and parts management, etc. -- the stuff taught in business schools.

Sure, these facets are important, and they must be developed and put to use, but without taking into account the human-interactions that animate each of the facets, the leaders stumble. And that's not taught in business schools.

All organizational challenges are ultimately challenges of human relationships. The Leadership Talk enables leaders to get those relationships right; and when they do, right results will follow. The proof may well be found in the holographic paradigm.

2005 The Filson Leadership Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


About the Author

The author of 23 books, Brent Filson's recent books are, THE LEADERSHIP TALK: THE GREATEST LEADERSHIP TOOL and 101 WAYS TO GIVE GREAT LEADERSHIP TALKS. Sign up for his free leadership e-zine and get a free white paper: "49 Ways To Turn Action Into Results," at http://www.actionleadership.com
For more about the Leadership Talk: http://theleadershiptalk.com

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The Leadership Talk As A Living Hologram
PERMISSION TO REPUBLISH This article may be republished in newsletters and on web sites provided attribution is provided to the author and it appears with the included copyright resource box and live web site link Email notice of intent to publish is appreciated but not required mail to brent

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Technology for FREE








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Technology for FREE

Author: Nicholas Windley

In a recent survey by the Mercury Consulting Group it stated that some British boards had frozen ICT budgets because they were seeing insufficient evidence of a return from their investments (ROI).

Typically, to prove an ROI, ICT departments need analysis, management and monitoring tools and resource BUT sometimes no budgets are available for this either.

A slight Catch 22 situation!!

To make matters worse the Economist Intelligence Unit demonstrated in their survey that a gap between the business heads and ICT executives or suppliers still remained, and this gap needed to be addressed to improve the success of ICT projects and set expectations correctly.

Improving customer relationships and cost control were some of the main business drivers while ICT was identified as pivotal to risk management and achieving these drivers.

Bottom line is, ICT is a must have (and must be done right) in order for businesses to be competitive�.

Don�t believe me�.

Well, recently I spoke with an MD for a famous West Midlands based manufacturer and innovator who told me during an Enterprise Networking event that his business was no longer a manufacturer, it was a marketing company and the only way they could stay competitive is with their ICT investments.

Unbelievably, ICT was the second biggest spend (after patents) within their business and unsurprisingly they are doing very well indeed against their cheaper competition.

But how do businesses make the right investment when they are limited by the available finance or a gap exists between ICT and the business or they have limited resources and in-house expertise.

Well there is a solution�

Let�s address the financial element. Most businesses have already invested or continue to invest in a range of communication and information technologies and services. With advances in technology there are now new ways of providing the same or similar services at a much reduced cost.

New technology itself may bring about changes within the business that in turn brings about cost reductions.

And finally making smart use of finance makes any investment easier to budget and spreads the outlay, achieving a faster return typically.

If done correctly this can result in a system or complete solution at no additional cost to your business!!

What is the catch�.

Well, you�ve got to find the right business partner. Somebody that can be trusted, that has the knowledge of the complete sphere of ICT and where its going, that can take a consultative business approach (underpinned by technology) and provide you with a strategy to ensure the success of the project and your business.

Happy hunting...

Office Phone System : Comz4Biz Mercia

Telephone System Education Zone

Data Networks Education Zone

nic.windley@comz4biz.com

About the Author

Nicholas Windley is a strategic ICT consultant with Comz4Biz and an owner of numerous businesses. He has spent over 15 years in the technology field working in technical, sales and management roles.

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Search technologies








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Search technologies

Author: Max Maglias

Each of us has been faced with the problem of searching for information more than once. Irregardless of the data source we are using (Internet, file system on our hard drive, data base or a global information system of a big company) the problems can be multiple and include the physical volume of the data base searched, the information being unstructured, different file types and also the complexity of accurately wording the search query. We have already reached the stage when the amount of data on one single PC is comparable to the amount of text data stored in a proper library. And as to the unstructured data flows, in future they are only going to increase, and at a very rapid tempo. If for an average user this might be just a minor misfortune, for a big company absence of control over information can mean significant problems. So the necessity to create search systems and technologies simplifying and accelerating access to the necessary information, originated long ago. Such systems are numerous and moreover not every one of them is based on a unique technology. And the task of choosing the right one depends directly on the specific tasks to be solved in the future. While the demand for the perfect data searching and processing tools is steadily growing let�s consider the state of affairs with the supply side.

Not going deeply into the various peculiarities of the technology, all the searching programs and systems can be divided into three groups. These are: global Internet systems, turnkey business solutions (corporate data searching and processing technologies) and simple phrasal or file search on a local computer. Different directions presumably mean different solutions.

Local search
Everything is clear about search on a local PC. It�s not remarkable for any particular functionality features accept for the choice of file type (media, text etc.) and the search destination. Just enter the name of the searched file (or part of text, for example in the Word format) and that�s it. The speed and result depend fully on the text entered into the query line. There is zero intellectuality in this: simply looking through the available files to define their relevance. This is in its sense explicable: what�s the use of creating a sophisticated system for such uncomplicated needs.

Global search technologies
Matters stand totally different with the search systems operating in the global network. One can�t rely simply on looking through the available data. Huge volume (Yandex for instance can boast the indexing capacity of more than 11 terabyte of data) of the global chaos of unstructured information will make the simple search not only ineffective but also long and labor-consuming. That�s why lately the focus has shifted towards optimizing and improving quality characteristics of search. But the scheme is still very simple (except for the secret innovations of every separate system) - the phrasal search through the indexed data base with proper consideration for morphology and synonyms. Undoubtedly, such an approach works but doesn�t solve the problem completely. Reading dozens of various articles dedicated to improving search with the help of Google or Yandex, one can drive at the conclusion that without knowing the hidden opportunities of these systems finding a relevant document by the query is a matter of more than a minute, and sometimes more than an hour. The problem is that such a realization of search is very dependent on the query word or phrase, entered by the user. The more indistinct the query the worse is the search. This has become an axiom, or dogma, whichever you prefer.
Of course, intelligently using the key functions of the search systems and properly defining the phrase by which the documents and sites are searched, it is possible to get acceptable results. But this would be the result of painstaking mental work and time wasted on looking through irrelevant information with a hope to at least find some clues on how to upgrade the search query. In general, the scheme is the following: enter the phrase, look through several results, making sure that the query was not the right one, enter a new phrase and the stages are repeated till the relevancy of results achieves the highest possible level. But even in that case the chances to find the right document are still few. No average user will voluntary go for the sophistication of �advanced search� (although it is equipped with a number of very useful functions such as the choice of language, file format etc.). The best would be to simply insert the word or phrase and get a ready answer, without particular concern for the means of getting it. Let the horse think � it has a big head. Maybe this is not exactly up to the point, but one of the Google search functions is called �I am feeling lucky!� characterizes very well the existent searching technologies. Nevertheless, the technology works, not ideally and not always justifying the hopes, but if you allow for the complexity of searching through the chaos of Internet data volume, it could be acceptable.

Corporate systems
The third on the list are the turnkey solutions based on the searching technologies. They are meant for serious companies and corporations, possessing really large data bases and staffed with all sorts of information systems and documents. In principle, the technologies themselves can also be used for home needs. For example, a programmer working remotely from the office will make good use of the search to access randomly located on his hard drive program source codes. But these are particulars. The main application of the technology is still solving the problem of quickly and accurately searching through large data volumes and working with various information sources. Such systems usually operate by a very simple scheme (although there are undoubtedly numerous unique methods of indexing and processing queries underneath the surface): phrasal search, with proper consideration for all the stem forms, synonyms etc. which once again leads us to the problem of human resource. When using such technology the user should first word the query phrases which are going to be the search criteria and presumably met in the necessary documents to be retrieved. But there is no guarantee that the user will be able to independently choose or remember the correct phrase and furthermore, that the search by this phrase will be satisfactory.
One more key moment is the speed of processing a query. Of course, when using the whole document instead of a couple of words, the accuracy of search increases manifold. But up to date, such an opportunity has not been used because of the high capacity drain of such a process. The point is that search by words or phrases will not provide us with a highly relevant similarity of results. And the search by phrase equal in its length the whole document consumes much time and computer resources. Here is an example: while processing the query by one word there is no considerable difference in speed: whether it�s 0,1 or 0,001 second is not of crucial importance to the user. But when you take an average size document which contains about 2000 unique words, then the search with consideration for morphology (stem forms) and thesaurus (synonyms), as well as generating a relevant list of results in case of search by key words will take several dozens of minutes (which is unacceptable for a user).

The interim summary
As we can see, currently existing systems and search technologies, although properly functioning, don�t solve the problem of search completely. Where speed is acceptable the relevancy leaves more to be desired. If the search is accurate and adequate, it consumes lots of time and resources. It is of course possible to solve the problem by a very obvious manner � by increasing the computer capacity. But equipping the office with dozens of ultra-fast computers which will continuously process phrasal queries consisting of thousands of unique words, struggling through gigabytes of incoming correspondence, technical literature, final reports and other information is more than irrational and disadvantageous. There is a better way.

The unique similar content search
At present many companies are intensively working on developing full text search. The calculation speeds allow creating technologies that enable queries in different exponents and wide array of supplementary conditions. The experience in creating phrasal search provides these companies with an expertise to further develop and perfect the search technology. In particular, one of the most popular searches is the Google, and namely one of its functions called the �similar pages�. Using this function enables the user to view the pages of maximum similarity in their content to the sample one. Functioning in principle, this function does not yet allow getting relevant results � they are mostly vague and of low relevancy and furthermore, sometimes utilizing this function shows complete absence of similar pages as a result. Most probably, this is the result of the chaotic and unstructured nature of information in the Internet. But once the precedent has been created, the advent of the perfect search without a hitch is just a matter of time.
What concerns the corporate data processing and knowledge retrieval systems, here the matters stand much worse. The functioning (not existing on paper) technologies are very few. And no giant or the so called search technology guru has so far succeeded in creating a real similar content search. Maybe, the reason is that it�s not desperately needed, maybe � too hard to implement. But there is a functioning one though.

SoftInform Search Technology, developed by SoftInform, is the technology of searching for documents similar in their content to the sample. It enables fast and accurate search for documents of similar content in any volume of data. The technology is based on the mathematical model of analyzing the document structure and selecting the words, word combinations and text arrays, which results in forming a list of documents of maximum similarity the sample text abstract with the relevancy percent defined. In contrast to the standard phrasal search by the similar content search there is no need to determine the key words beforehand � the search is conducted through the whole document. The technology works with several sources of information that can be stored both in text files of txt, doc, rtf, pdf, htm, html formats, and the information systems of the most popular data bases (Access, MS SQL, Oracle, as well as any SQL-supporting data bases). It also additionally supports the synonyms and important words functions that enable to carry out a more specific search.
The similar search technology enables to significantly cut time wasted on searching and reviewing the same or very similar documents, diminish the processing time at the stage of entering data into the archive by avoiding the duplicate documents and forming sets of data by a certain subject. Another advantage of the SoftInform technology is that it�s not so sensitive to the computer capacity and allows processing data at a very high speed even on ordinary office computers.
This technology is not just a theoretic development. It has been tested and successfully implemented in a project of giving legal advice via phone, where the speed of information retrieval is of crucial importance. And it will undoubtedly be more than useful in any knowledge base, analytical service and support department of any large firm. Universality and effectiveness of the SoftInform Search Technology allows solving a wide spectrum of problems, arising while processing information. These include the fuzziness of information (at the document entering stage it is possible to immediately define whether such a document already belongs to the data base or not) and the similarity analysis of the documents which are already entered into the data base, and the search for semantically similar documents which saves time spent on selecting the appropriate key words and viewing the irrelevant documents.

Perspectives
Besides its primary assignment (fast and high quality search for information in huge volume such as texts, archives, data bases) an Internet direction could also be defined. For example, it is possible to work out an expert system to process incoming correspondence and news which will become an important tool for analysts from different companies. Mainly, this will be possible due to the unique similar content search technology, absent from any of the existent systems so far except for the SearchInform. The problem of spamming search engines with the so called doorways (hidden pages with key words redirecting to the site�s main pages and used to increase the page rating with the search engines) and the e-mail spam problem (a more intellectual analysis would ensure higher level of security) would also be solved with the help of this technology. But the most interesting perspective of the SoftInform Search technology is creating a new Internet search engine, the main competitive advantage of which would be ability to search not just by key words, but also for similar web pages, which will add to the flexibility of search making it more comfortable and efficient.

To draw a conclusion, it could be stated with confidence that the future belongs to the full text search technologies, both in the Internet and the corporate search systems. Unlimited development potential, adequacy of the results and processing speed of any size of query make this technology much more comfortable and in high demand. SoftInform Search technology might not be the pioneer, but it�s a functioning, stable and unique one with no existent analogues (which can be proved by the active Eurasian patent). To my mind, even with the help of the �similar search� it will be difficult to find a similar technology.

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Product Positioning for Enterprise Software and Information Technology Companies








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Product Positioning for Enterprise Software and Information Technology Companies

Author: Ash Seha

Good marketing positioning is like good lying. No, we�re not suggesting that you lie when creating your company and product positioning. Anything but, in fact. But, it�s remarkable how much the properties of good positioning resemble the properties of a good lie.

Like an effective lie, an effective positioning statement should be:

1. Believable. A lie that no one believes is rather pointless, isn�t it? Well, the same is true of your company or product�s positioning. If it�s not believable, then it�s useless. Ensure that the key elements of your positioning statement are rooted in truth, and that the assertions that you�re making about your company�s or product�s capabilities will pass the sniff test of a jaded observer who has seen it all before when it comes to the outlandish statements that a lot of software and information technology companies insist on making.

2. Consistent. A weak lie won�t stand up to scrutiny when judged on its consistency. Internal consistency � that is, ensuring that the various elements of the lie, or positioning statement, are not in direct conflict with one another - is very important to making sure that the listener won�t just turn off their eyes and ears to your message.

3. Simple. Remember being a kid and trying to tell a lie your Mom? You�d concocted a story so convoluted and complex that it was impossible to remember as you recounted it. A positioning statement is the same way. If it�s so complicated that even you and your sales reps can�t remember it, you�re guaranteed that your customers won�t either.

4. Compelling. What�s the point in telling someone something that isn�t interesting and doesn�t apply to them? If you�re taking the risk of lying, tell a lie that is at least somewhat captivating to the listener. In the case of your company or product�s positioning, it should mean something to your target audience. Which means you better have done your homework into their hot buttons beforehand. What�s important to them? What�s not? What benefits can they not do without? Find out, and ensure that your positioning hits those notes.

Keep these caveats in mind when it comes time to position or reposition your company or product, and we can assure you that your audience will sit up and take notice.

Ash Seha is a partner at The Launch Factory LLP, a consultancy specializing in marketing, sales, and product management strategy for software and IT companies. Their expertise, garnered from such IT highflyers as i2, webMethods, SAP, and Baan, is focused on breaking the growth bariers that stand between high-growth software and IT companies and their revenue and marketshare goals.

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Product Positioning for Enterprise Software and Information Technology Companies
Good marketing positioning is like good lying No were not suggesting that you lie when creating your company and product positioning Anything but in fact But its remarkable how much the properties of good positioning resemble the properties of a good lie Like an effective lie an e

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