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Enterprise Agility

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Edifying E-commerce Solutions: Success Factors and ROI Analysis at a glance

Posted by | Blog, Enterprise Agility, Enterprise Services, Enterprise Software | No Comments

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In my previous article, I talked a bit about the values, capabilities and features that an e-commerce solution should entail. Considering the importance of e-commerce websites nowadays, I feel that an in-depth look at the factors that lead to a successful e-commerce solution is nothing less than necessary. With the growing popularity of online shopping, web sales have a major impact on the overall success of the business. Easier said than done, creation and management of an online business is a rewarding, yet an overall challenging endeavor.

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An Ideal e-commerce solution from a third-party: Myth or Reality?

Posted by | Blog, Enterprise Agility, Enterprise Services, Enterprise Software | No Comments

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Online stores are the latest in mission-critical businesses – owing to their being significant revenue drivers, the e-commerce websites are gaining traction and attention. Now, it is not just important to have an e-commerce website, but instead the struggle for a more sophisticated application that best meets their current and future needs should carry on.

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Defining successful e-commerce integration strategies with JD Edwards

Posted by | Blog, Enterprise Agility, Enterprise Services, Enterprise Software | No Comments

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With e-commerce innovation on the rise, and because there has been more growth during the past year than there has been during the last decade, organizations will be seen adjusting their strategies to meet the changing environment in which they operate. Nothing is more transformative to operations than an ERP Implementation – and when the ERP Implementation is JD Edwards, proper integration and better operations can be counted on.

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How to go about a multi-channel mobile strategy for your enterprise

Posted by | Blog, Enterprise Agility, Enterprise Services, Enterprise Software, mobile application development | No Comments

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As there is an increase in the use of mobile devices within the workplace, your focus should clearly be on building mobile enterprise applications. The trouble arises when you get stuck between the decision of making a one for all app/website or having to develop separately for individual devices. Here you’re looking for a multi-channel approach, a single process that can be deployed intelligently on any device.

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Is your Organization Ready for the new Enterprise Mobility Reality?

Posted by | Blog, Enterprise Agility, Enterprise Services, Enterprise Software | No Comments

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It’s highly recommended that your organization develops plans for transitioning from Blackberry to other mobile devices and enterprise mobility management platforms within the next year. Surprised? You would be if you’ve stayed with Blackberry even through its dark hours during the past few years.

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Enterprise Mobile Apps – The new age for mobile working

Posted by | Blog, Enterprise Agility, Enterprise Software | No Comments

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Mobile enterprise apps, that’s what’s the hot topic is today. Mobile Application Management (MAM) is a new part of the still young Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM). Although young, it’s exciting to see as growth is expected in large numbers in this area, especially when you look at the growth from Mobile Device Management (MDM).

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Oracle EBS for Mobile Apps – Making Waves in the Enterprise World

Posted by | Blog, business process automation, Enterprise Agility, Enterprise Services, Enterprise Software, Integration, SaaS | No Comments

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Change has been accepted in the technology industry more openly than any other industry has ever dreamed of. Well, that’s because technology has always seemed to have made work more efficient and convenient for the users. The corporate industry has always given in to new solutions for data management – those that make more work automatic, data secure and reports readily available. Now, the latest hard sell is ‘mobile business’ – being able to run corporate applications and processes on the go!

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Oracle Cloud | Fusion Apps = power of cloud, SOA, social, mobile and big-data combined!

Posted by | Blog, Enterprise Agility, Enterprise Software, SOA & Agile Applications | 5 Comments

The niche cloud service providers have long been providing  ’software-as-a-service’ offerings. However, standing in the way of mass enterprise-grade adoption of such offerings have been the concerns over security, inter-operability, lack of open-standards and most importantly the inability of these offerings to provide an agile enterprise architecture – an enterprise architecture that can seamlessly integrate the 3rd party cloud offerings with in-house IT assets and can orchestrate business processes that span within and beyond the enterprise boundaries.

Launch of Oracle Weblogic 12c – and c stands for cloud!

Posted by | Blog, Enterprise Agility, Enterprise Software, Global Technology Market, SOA & Agile Applications | No Comments

With Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c already in Market Oracle now launches WebLogic Server 12c, in which the ‘C’ appears to be shorthand for “cloud,” will succeed version 11g, which was first released in July 2009.

Upcoming features include:

  • Java EE 6,
  • Active GridLink for RAC (Real Application Clusters),
  • Traffic Director, and
  • Virtual Assembly Builder, as per oracle.

It also has more exalogic like features:

  • Parallel muxers with Java NIO APIs for low-level I/O based operations
  • An optimized work scheduler providing improvements to the Increment Advisor used to manage the size of WebLogic Server’s Self-Tuning Thread Pool
  • “Lazy” de-serialization of session data on the replica server until required.
  • Multiple replication channels for synchronous in-memory session replication between servers in a WebLogic cluster
  • Adjustments for supporting the  Infiniband and SDP

With the emergence of cloud computing Oracle also puts its way forward by making common platform for all of its products and this is where Oracle Weblogic 12c comes in where all of the Oracle family products can reside and talk to each other.  In addition to this, we already have Oracle Fusion applications in the markets which  are designed as a complete suite of modular applications.  This cloud architecture help customer to improve performanace, lower IT costs and enables the customer to have the business solution which will be completely aligned to their needs and can grow with their business.

For further information www.ephlux.com/integration/

How to Increase Traffic to your Blogs?

Posted by | Blog, Business Dynamics, Communication, Corporate Culture, Enterprise Agility, Internet, Relationship management, Requirement Analysis, social networks | 7 Comments

Blogging has its own importance these days because companies can easily and cheaply promote their products and services through it. This way, they can stay connected with their customers and can also get their precious feedbacks. Blogging

Blogging not only helps in bringing traffic to your site but also facilitates in building a positive brand image and increasing one’s reliability. Besides, it also assists in strengthening relationship with the prospective customers. It is however very imperative to put relevant information that creates interest among the readers so that more people can find it useful and can participate on it. In addition, bloggers usually opt for informal mode of communication in order to be more effective and produce desirable results.

Please share your thoughts on this. Besides, what suggestions would you give in order to increase traffic to your blogs?

Avoiding Hiring Mistakes

Posted by | Blog, Communication, Corporate Culture, Enterprise Agility, Human Resource Management, Relationship management, Requirement Analysis | 7 Comments

Recruitment and selection are important HR functions and hiring the right resource is equally significant as it helps in developing a stronger, competitive and productive organization. Effective Hiring

For this reason, interview scheduling and screening candidates are important phases in order to shortlist competent applicants. However, it is often seen that companies make mistakes during this phase and are not able to hire the right resource as per the requirements of the company due to multiple reasons. For e.g. not doing proper background check, setting irrelevant criteria of selection or setting too many selection criteria, evaluating candidate’s personality more than his / her aptitude etc.

Human resources play a pivotal role in achieving organizational objectives therefore companies need to be careful with their hiring process in order to achieve positive results.

What are the common hiring mistakes that a firm usually makes? Moreover, what tips would you give in order to avoid these mistakes?

Effectiveness of Internet Marketing

Posted by | Blog, Business Dynamics, Communication, Enterprise Agility, Internet, Marketing and Sales, Relationship management, Requirement Analysis, Search Marketing | 2 Comments

Internet Marketing or web marketing is of huge significance these days as it offers swifter and cost effective methods of marketing one’s products and services online. Internet Marketing Plan

Social network marketing, Search Engine Marketing and blogging are some of its key methods that are utilized by the companies efficiently and effectively. Internet marketing popularity has increased over the years because it offers broad reach to its customers globally. Besides it is cheaper, convenient and speedier as compare to traditional marketing techniques. Moreover, the companies can communicate effectively with its customers and can get rapid feedback from them, this way they can serve their customers better.

What are your thoughts on internet marketing’s success? Apart from its success, how can it be more productive?

Top 6 Ways to Hire Competent Resources Faster

Posted by | Blog, Corporate Culture, Enterprise Agility, Human Resource Management, Relationship management, Requirement Analysis, Time Management | 6 Comments

Making the right resource available at the right time is an important HR activity. Usually HR is given the task to make the resources available within a specified time which is sometimes difficult because at times required resources are hard to come by therefore the hiring process can sometimes be time consuming.Effective Hiring

Therefore, in order to be precise and make the right selection at the right time, an assessment of the job requirement is usually done. For e.g. level of required skills set, experience, motivation etc in the form of job description and specification is formulated by HR along with the respective department head before posting an add. This practice is generally followed by most of the companies. Therefore, in order to avoid hiring mistakes, companies should first complete their groundwork to achieve positive results.

My question is, what top 6 ways would you suggest in order to hire competent resources faster and at a lower cost?

5 Most Important Qualities to Look for in a Candidate

Posted by | Blog, Enterprise Agility, Human Resource Management, Requirement Analysis | 7 Comments

As a recruiter, we receive heaps of resumes for a given position. Therefore, the selection process can at times be time consuming because the primary aim is to shortlist the right candidates for the job by balancing company’s resource requirements with the attitude, aptitude and experience of the applicant.Selecting Best Candidate

Besides, before finalizing anyone, there are a lot of other aspects to be considered apart from one’s technical expertise. For e.g. candidate’s attitude, compatibility, reliability, leadership skills, communication skills etc have its own importance.

Please advise if you were given an opportunity to finalize an applicant, what 5 most important things would you look for in a  candidate apart from his / her technical abilities and why?

Would welcome your participation…

Changing Role of CIO – From Chief Geek to the Chief Impact Officer

Posted by | Agile Project Management, Blog, Business Dynamics, business process automation, Career Growth, Client Relations, Communication, Corporate Culture, Enterprise Agility, Entrepreneurship Profiles, Financial Management, Global Technology Market, Human Resource Management, Relationship management, World Economics | One Comment

Changing Role of CIOIn the past, when businesses were experiencing shifts from the profit-seeking to the value-addition phase, CIOs were seen as followers as information technology was only acting as a supporting agent. Today, it is still working as a supporting agent, but the varying trends and coevolving of business and technology have changed the roles of CIOs from followers to technical leaders of their enterprises.

Their core job responsibilities included the defining and carpeting of the enterprise IT architecture and establishing its enterprise-wide technical standards. However, this frequently changing business environment requires them to literally justify their designations as being the Chief ‘information’ officers. Information regarding financial compatibility, customer assistance, advertising trends, supply chain management or the social media ought to be gathered, processes and mixed up with a main ingredient: Technology to create value for the business stakeholders.

Coming to the conclusion – CIOs are expected to join the executive team as a strategic partner to influence the company’s overall vision of success. They along with maintaining the respect of the IT department also have to master the ‘change agent’ role in order to find new ways to facilitate emerging opportunities within an organization. To sum up, CIO is not always an all-technology role, but it is about thinking strategic and as a business leader role.

What do you think – how is the changing business environment facilitating a role-shift from the chief information to the chief impact officer? What changes might come in the future and how are the CIOs going to respond?

Pros and Cons of having Flexible Work Shifts

Posted by | Blog, Corporate Culture, Enterprise Agility, Human Resource Management, Relationship management, Requirement Analysis | No Comments

Some companies offer the facility of flexible work shifts to their employees provided if the nature of their business operations permit them. Flexible Work Shift

An employee is allowed to select work hours as per his/her convenience. Many employees find it beneficial because it allows them to meet their personal obligations which otherwise wouldn’t have been possible particularly during the weekdays.

There are few benefits of having a flexible work shift for e.g. it can assist in reducing absenteeism and can also facilitate in keeping the workforce contended and more devoted towards the company. On the other hand, it can be comparatively costly for the company, as a conventional 9am – 5pm work shift can be more cost-effective. Besides, it should meet the needs of the business.

Please advise, what are the pros and cons of having a flexible work shift particularly on the part of the company?

Significance of Self Assessment

Posted by | Blog, Career Growth, Corporate Culture, Enterprise Agility, Human Resource Management, Requirement Analysis | 10 Comments

Self Career AssessmentSelf assessment has a lot of significance. It helps in identifying the direction one is heading towards. We are usually keen in seeking other’s feedback on our work but we somehow forget the importance of self assessment that can be very useful indeed to raise one’s own performance standards.

It can help in achieving superior results if we frequently evaluate ourselves by asking relevant questions regarding our own technical expertise, organizational and management capabilities, attitude towards others and work, confidence level, sense of responsibility, professionalism etc.

Self realization is the key here to find out what have we achieved and what improvements can we make to further excel in our careers.

Please share what efforts do you make towards self improvement and development? Furthermore, how can its importance be realized by others for achieving overall excellence both at the individual and organizational levels?

Importance of Appreciation at Workplace

Posted by | Blog, Career Growth, Communication, Corporate Culture, Enterprise Agility, Human Resource Management, Relationship management | 19 Comments

We all require admiration for the efforts we put into our work. It is important for anyone to know which direction one is heading towards. Furthermore, it is always useful to get rapid feedbacks, not only from your supervisors but more importantly from your peers and subordinates (who can liberally provide their honest opinions).

It is generally observed that the feedbacks are not given when it is critically required which can foster de-motivation among employees. Especially from an employee point of view, there’s nothing better than being recognized for the work they do and every little effort they put in their work to make it a success.

Recognition can be both monetary and non monetary, it’s not always the monetary benefits that one desires to get; at times verbal appreciation can do wonders which is normally considered as an under rated method of praising somebody’s work.

Would like to know, what suggestions based on your personal experience would you give on how to honor/praise employees’ efforts, thereby maintaining a contented and motivated workforce?

Linux Doesn't Cost Anything – But Should It?

Posted by | Blog, Enterprise Agility, Enterprise Software, Global Technology Market, Innovative Business Models, linux, Management, open source | 35 Comments

Linux is easy to learn, highly capable of fulfilling a typical computer user’s needs, and 100 percent free. So why is it that Linux still has such a miniscule share of the overall desktop market? Maybe its gratis nature has been keeping it down. It seems that when consumers don’t know enough about a product, they judge it by its cost — and “free,” at least on a subconscious level, translates to “not as good.”

Free Is Bad? Why?

Why, you wonder, when all along we’ve sung the FOSS praises of GNU/Linux (hereafter referred to as the more simple “Linux,” with all deference to Stallman) and that Linux is free? What could be better than free?linuxbasic

If Linux Desktop is free and can’t gain more marketshare (estimates range somewhere around 1 percent Linux Desktop market penetration) then one or a combination of the above reasons must be why Linux fails. If Linux passes all points in the opening paragraph, what gives?

It turns out that when customers don’t know enough about a product, or the gestalt of a product, their only second best way to guess about the quality or value of that product is by price. It also turns out that for Linux Desktops and computers, how and why they work (or don’t), really is rocket-science hard. Heck, computers are what’s used to do rocket science, and general users don’t have the background to really know what determines “quality” in computers. This is especially true for the computer desktop.

Users know little about underlying technology that holds a desktop together, and they shouldn’t have to. That leaves users to more typical means to decide “quality.” One of the most universal is price. Since users can’t evaluate the technical underpinnings, they can decide that if it costs a lot, it must be superior. Or, in contrast (and this is Linux’s bane), if it is inexpensive (or FREE) it must be because it’s not as good.

But Is Linux Really Good Enough?

Glad you asked. Let’s revisit the opening common claims to Linux’s failings:

  • Linux is too hard to learn: Fail. Linux, especially Linux Desktop, couldn’t be easier to learn. In the last 10 years Linux usability work has exploded with ideas and implementations. A Linux Desktop may be different (think Ubuntu vs. RedHat, Gnome vs. KDE), but it’s only different. I’ve never had to abandon teaching someone how to use a Linux Desktop.
  • Linux is deficient: Nope. Not even close. As an anecdotal example, I recently connected an old XP laptop to my 1920×1200 monitor to make work on that computer easier. Alas, the video drivers available could not drive the resolution on my monitor — even after downloading and installing updates for XP and the vendor drivers. However, the Linux side of that dual-boot laptop happily fired up and handled the screen resolution perfectly. This is one example of many times I’ve seen Linux rise to a technical challenge while Windows failed.
  • This point begs more discussion. In future articles I promise to drill more deeply into this topic. For now, I submit that in my (more than anecdotal) opinion, Linux Desktop is far from deficient.

  • Linux wasn’t meant for the general user: Uh-uh! Geek elites are confusing technical obfuscation of what is possible to do (Unix command line, etc.) with what is transparently easy to do today on any Linux Desktop (browse and manage files, surf the Internet, write and manage documents, handle e-mail, etc.). Linux can be as difficult as you want it to be to learn, but for general desktop use and day-to-day tasks, Linux Desktop couldn’t be more appropriate for general use.
  • Linux (per Microsoft) is evil: Consider the source. ‘Nuff said.

Why Don’t Linux Servers Suffer Same Fate?

The users of Linux Server technology are extremely technical, and with good reason. They support technology on which businesses run.

Users of Linux Server barely blink that Linux is free — they’re much more interested that Linux is excellent. Their measuring stick is based on deep technological understanding, and hence they do not need to look to alternate valuations. And in the server market, Linux thrives in spite of being free.

Any Examples?

What about Mac OS X? I won’t argue the nuances of good, better and best, but really? Is OS X that much better than XP, Vista or 7? I happen to think OS X is better and Mac systems are well-designed and implemented, but is a US$2,000 MacBook Pro really $1,000 better than a comparably configured Windows 7 laptop (I’m being generous — you can find $600 comparable machines)? Much of Apple’s (Nasdaq: AAPL) finesse is their marketing and the cachet it creates.

Furthermore, is “FREE” Linux, in comparison, as stature-less in value? Again, without getting all fanboy about any of the three, it’s clear in my opinion that Linux Desktop competes on par with 7 and OS X. But users looking for options wonder “Why free?” and shuffle Linux down the list — free must mean inferior!

Also consider the new Droid smartphones. Their Android operating systems are Linux-based. And the Droid smartphones are as expensive as Apple’s iPhone, as well as all other smartphones. People, these are Linux-based! And they’re wildly popular! And expensive. And popular. And Linux.

But Linux Has to Be Free!

Yes, Linux is Open Source and Linux is free. But there are myriad ways to combine the free Linux with added value. Water is free too (kind of), and you don’t find people hesitate to pay a buck-fifty for 12 ounces of it because it’s in a pretty plastic bottle! There are ways.

Then how?

I wish I knew, but I’m in the opinion business. I do think Linux Desktop gains main street cred when someone finds a way to cut, polish and mount a Linux Desktop diamond in the rough. Polished, packaged and priced like a real product, Linux Desktop offers attractive marketing opportunities. Linux Desktop is ready for prime time. Linux Desktop needs to look, feel, smell and cost like prime time. We’re more likely to proudly show off our shiny new desktop we bought. And that is how we create a Linux Desktop buzz.

Linux Desktop buzz is what’s been missing. Really. And the company that finds a way to create the buzz puts Linux a chip shot away from real market share. Linux Desktop — it’s going to cost you. And it should

Reference: http://www.technewsworld.com/story/Linux-Doesnt-Cost-Anything—But-Maybe-It-Should-70377.html

Disaster Recovery & Cloud Computing– Real Recovery or a Catastrophe?

Posted by | Blog, Cloud computing, Enterprise Agility | 5 Comments

Disaster Recovery in Cloud Computing– Real Recovery or a Catastrophe?When the top management at ‘Help at Home’ set down to look over a complete BCP/DR solution, they were confronted by an undeniable truth – all of them were really very expensive.

Help at Home, a company of 13,000 workers, having a presence in nine states, assisted the elderly and disabled with household chores and health care.

They had all their operations automated with VMware servers, and backups were with SonicWall’s continuous data-protection appliance. However, the standby systems weren’t backing up operating systems or imaging any servers. Result – in case of an outage the system could only retrieve files and databases, whereas they had to lose all the major application configurations.

Their first consideration was to make one of their 85 offices a fail over site. But duplicating the infrastructure and maintaining the site was a bit costly – $190,000 over three years, almost a dead investment until some disaster struck. Instead, they found a Texas – based cloud infrastructure vendor. It pulls up their data via a VPN and syncs it with the databases usually on nightly basis or depending on the criticality of the information. The best part – all this happens in only $48,000 over three years saving almost $140,000.

No doubt it seems easy and money-saving to let others handle your data backups in a cloud, well there is always a different side too. Making critical business information backups via third-party makes it vulnerable and increases security risks, whereas size limitation, availability of bandwidth, and data retrieval capability is an additional issue.

If making backups at cloud services is inexpensive, it’s insecure too. If you had been given an option to sort out a disaster recovery plan for a company like Help at Home, what would be your main consideration points and how will you arrive at a decision? Comments appreciated.

References:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cloud_computing

http://www.cio.com.au/article/307442/pros_cons_cloud_computing_cio_view/?pp=2

http://www.cio.com/article/596972/Disaster_Recovery_in_the_Cloud_Yields_ROI

http://www.net-security.org/secworld.php?id=8541

Maintaining Ideal Payroll Percentage over Companys Turnover

Posted by | Blog, Business Dynamics, Enterprise Agility, Financial Management, Human Resource Management, Management, Requirement Analysis | 10 Comments

Human resource budgeting and planning is a crucial activity to achieve strategic goals. To start with, an understanding about the whole budgeting process is required which can help in identifying resource allocation to various divisions. Payroll and Turnover Percentages

Let’s consider two scenarios, scenario # 1: if a company assigns a greater percentage of its revenue to its payroll (across all departments), it would definitely be able to hire better resources. However, there’s a possibility that in the future it might not be able to expand its business, increase its profitability or retain resources by maintaining their expectation levels. Retention via further monetary increments over the years would further reduce profitability over time.

Scenario # 2: Let’s take an example of another company who is maintaining a strong percentage of its turnover as revenue. Let’s assume it minimizes its payroll to 1/4th of its turnover. This places them in a far better position to expand their business, increase capital and profit margin which can facilitate them to reward employees with perks and various other benefits, nevertheless, making certain that they don’t surpass that threshold %.  However, this scales down initial payouts to employees, which makes it difficult to hire/retain good resources during the preliminary years. It also somewhat reduces growth possibilities for resources due to the threshold scale.

What according to you should be a company’s ideal payroll percentage over its revenue considering today’s world economy and its financial limitations? Please support your answers with personal experiences/facts.

Supply Push to Demand Pull – How much is IT putting in?

Posted by | Agile Applications, Blog, Enterprise Agility, Enterprise Software, Global Technology Market | 5 Comments

Supply push to Demand pull – How much is IT putting in?Companies, in the ‘historic’ days, based their supply chains on a simple formula: ‘Push in more and the supply is gonna make its own demand’. Today, supply has been deprived of this ‘demand-creating autonomy’. A lot of things along with higher availability are required to push up demands. Advertising, broadcasting, promoting and not to forget – twittering are some examples. Here, producers need to make more, stack up shelves and then wait till their makings get in the shopping carts.

However, if this model is turned upside down – the customer asks for a product, the company makes it and it is delivered – It becomes a demand-pull. Somewhat like a ‘dial-up’ pizza shop, where you can get the topping of your choice.

However, it seemed impossible for big companies to switch over to the demand-pull model, most of them were worried about drop in sales or high implementation costs. When Dell Inc. introduced the mass customization order processing systems, others followed. Since then, a large number of companies are giving preference to get customer orders first instead of piling up huge inventories.

However, getting orders is just a slice, making it fast and delivering it fast makes the whole cake. And to make this cake, companies require highly integrated business process workflows to keep their suppliers, distributors and customers at their tips – all at once.

This demand – pull model is not only helping companies reduce inventories, but also helps achieve high levels of customer satisfaction through responsiveness and flexibility. However, there are some drawbacks to going Rambo with ‘demand-pull’. Companies need to spend a fortune for a responsive – ad hoc system. Next is to persuade suppliers and distributors to join the ‘make-over’ – one of the most difficult matters to deal with.

What do you think –Is demand-pull applicable to every business model, or is there room for the supply-push strategy today? How can IT contribute towards automating both paradigms effectively, and efficient transition between them? Comments appreciated.

Why General Agile Is Not Enough – Why Scrum Wins

Posted by | Agile Applications, Agile Project Management, Agile Quality Assurance, Blog, Business Dynamics, Communication, Enterprise Agility, Requirement Analysis, Scrum, Uncategorized | 10 Comments

The simplicity of Scrum. The high visibility. The collaborative approach. The frequent delivery of product. All in all, Scrum really did transform the relationship between IT and the business units. And transformed our ability to deliver.

However general agile is more loose ended with less control and prone to unstable delivery and project management. What are your thoughts?

Performance Appraisal

Posted by | Blog, Business Dynamics, Career Growth, Communication, Enterprise Agility, Human Resource Management, Relationship management, Requirement Analysis | 18 Comments

Although performance appraisals have a lot of benefits, they require a lot of effort for successful implementation. Normally, pay for performance (PRP) along with individual and organizational professional development are among the crucial motivational activities behind it that make it productive.Performance Appraisal Process

However, it’s very first impact on the employees is not very encouraging (most of the times) since they tend to assume that now their performance will be measured/evaluated, resulting in a ‘defensive’ attitude towards evaluation.
Therefore, to make it fruitful, performance expectations (targets) should preferably be discussed with the employees beforehand. Furthermore, alignment of individual performance with organizational goals holds the key to make this system yield positive results.

My question is how can the negative effects of this system be reduced or addressed. This is usually correlated to performance appraisals because if they aren’t being addressed then there is a possibility that the whole purpose behind implementing such a system might be defeated. Would appreciate your views in this regard.

Is 'Agile Outsourcing' just a marketing gimmick or a solid improvement to a traditional outsourcing model?

Posted by | Agile Project Management, Blog, Enterprise Agility, IT/BPO Bundled Services, Outsourcing & Agility, Outsourcing Advice | 10 Comments

Can your outsourcing vendor really add value and bring insights and agility in to your business?… OR are you dead sure that they just need to be a sweat-shop enslaved in a tight contract and trained to follow the commands and deliver accordingly?

My take on this: Just like some employees end up becoming strategic assets to the company and ultimately lead its strategy while others are more than happy to work within their defined JDs. Same is the case with outsourcing vendors. Some can really become your strategic partners while most will remain a shop where you can offload your mundane workload.

We’ve set up a LinkedIn group to follow up on this and similar discussions. Agile Outsourcing Group: http://www.linkedin.com/groups?gid=1659127

Clarification added:
Thanks for the responses so far. I would agree with most of you that outsourcing should be measured by the results i.e. good or bad. But also please elaborate on your perception about the role and scope of outsourcing. Can it be only (or mostly) used for well-defined run-of-the-mill processes OR can you also depend on the outsourcing provider to provide insights based on their experience within a particular industry vertical or an exceptional expertise in a horizontal functional process.

When I am referring to ‘agile’ I am NOT just referring to the agile software development methodology and agile manifesto – but a more encompassing concept of whether the provider is flexible, business-savvy and responsive to the ongoing market trends and whether such qualities can be utilized for the customer’s benefit.

Succession Planning

Posted by | Blog, Business Dynamics, Career Growth, Enterprise Agility, Human Resource Management, Requirement Analysis | 11 Comments

It refers to making an employee eligible for a planned change in role within the organization. It is of huge significance because if a crucial employee departs unexpectedly then somebody is immediately needed to takeover his/her position since hiring someone from outside can be time consuming and the new recruit may take time to adjust in the environment plus understanding the ongoing business practices.Succession Planning

Besides, it can also facilitate when a company feels that there is a possibility that their business might expand in the near or distant future. Therefore, they need to identify talented employees, beforehand and provide them with essential training thus preparing them for broader responsibilities and superior roles. As a result, it opens more expansion opportunities for the companies who have adopted this process.

On the other hand, it may not be that simple to implement, as it tends to increase employee expectation levels and can sometimes de-motivate candidates not promoted during the process. Its success is also linked with employee development plans, particularly with the support of the management.

Have your say – what according to you are the pros and cons associated with succession planning? Moreover, how it can be made more effective for short and long term success of the business.

Agile Development ……the dynamic way for the dynamic world

Posted by | Agile Applications, Agile Project Management, Agile Quality Assurance, Blog, Business Dynamics, Communication, Enterprise Agility, Microsoft, Outsourcing & Agility, Requirement Analysis, SOA & Agile Applications | No Comments

Agile Software Development is a methodology for software development that promotes development iterations, open collaboration, and adaptability throughout the life-cycle of the project. With Ernst…

Technology’s Significance in your Life

Posted by | Blog, Business Dynamics, Enterprise Agility | 17 Comments

Technology has had an overwhelming impact in today’s business since it is considered as an essential factor in achieving decisive organizational goals.Technology

Whether at workplace or otherwise, people have been utilizing it for their convenience. Particularly in the organizational context, it is considered as an imperative component to gain and sustain necessary competitive edge especially in this environment of severe competition. Therefore, it requires people working at the different places to be completely acquainted with the latest technological developments which can have a direct impact on achieving efficacy in their performances.

For this reason, automating and integrating the business practices with respect to the latest developments is the key to success today, along with providing employees with essential training so that they are in a good enough position to perform daily activities/tasks without any hesitations.

Kindly share your thoughts – to which extent, are you tech savvy? What efforts are you taking, personally to keep yourself updated with the latest technological developments?

PS: name any one or two devices/technological contraptions which are most important to you and why..

My pick would be PC and television since I like spending most of my spare time using them.

Google and open source, who needs who more?

Posted by | Blog, Business Dynamics, Enterprise Agility, Global Technology Market, Google Chrome, Google OS, SOA & Agile Applications, Web 2.0, Web Broswers, Web Browsing | 13 Comments

Many important open source projects, like Firefox, are dependent on Google. The Mozilla Foundation draws most of its budget from the Google box on its software, even after Google has gone into competition with its Chrome browser.

Google is proof that the open source way is the profitable way. It has aggressively pushed code out the door, mainly under the Apache license, and has regularly hosted (even hired) important open source developers.

But Google is not dependent on open source. Google’s contributions can easily dominate a project simply because of Google’s size. The Chrome browser could have come out closed-source — it still lags in the area of add-ons, which are a key benefit to being open source.

Google has grown beyond the open source movement in other ways. Its Android project has evolved into a corporate club of carriers and manufacturers, as it needed to in order to gain market traction. HTC doesn’t support Google because Android is open source, they do so because it’s profitable.

The same could be said of Google’s Chromium project, a full operating system based on Chrome. Here again what Google is looking for is not the help of individual programmers, but of corporations, makers of hardware and complete applications.

There have always been two strategies in to open source, a business strategy and a development strategy. A development strategy, the kind Mozilla is based upon, depends on having a collection of allies, large and small, none of them dominant. A business strategy, the kind Google engages in, depends on leadership and control of a corporate ecosystem.

You can see the conflict. What is good for Google and good for an open source project may not always be the same thing. Google is big enough to deliver its own complete projects, licensed as open source, in order to fulfill its business goals. Open source project developers need more balance to their force.

It may just be that Google has grown up beyond open source. It’s like the tiger raised by a dog. It needs to be on its own, both for its own sake and the dog’s sake.

Reference: http://blogs.zdnet.com/open-source/?p=5732&tag=wrapper;col1 by Dana Blankenhorn

Biases in Hiring Decisions

Posted by | Blog, Corporate Culture, Enterprise Agility, Ethics, Human Resource Management, Requirement Analysis | 16 Comments

Hiring the best possible candidate for vacant positions is a crucial part of any interviewer’s job. It requires thorough analysis of every applicant’s experience and competencies aligned with the job description before making the final hiring decision. Biases in hiring

However, what is often seen is that applicants having strong references are preferred over the deserving candidates. Other than references, gender, age, religion etc often effects the hiring decision, not realizing these decisions ought to be made in the best interest of the organization and not on anything else. Another bias associated with the interviewers is that they tend to avoid to opt for somebody who is superior (in terms of proficiency) than him/her. Therefore, in order to achieve desirable results, these biases should not come in the way of the recruitment process because they aren’t in the best interest of the organization and is also a violation of the ‘Equal Opportunity Act’.

Kindly contribute your opinions/suggestions on this – how can unfairness in the recruitment phase be eliminated for the purpose of hiring the ‘right person for the right job’?

Short Term Evaluation Vs Long Term Evaluation

Posted by | Blog, Enterprise Agility, Human Resource Management, Requirement Analysis | 13 Comments

Employee evaluation is considered vital for every organization since it’s an important HR function. A comprehensive assessment of employee’s performance benefits a company in many ways. It’s a well-known method of evaluating employees’ strengths and weaknesses which further facilitates the management as it acts as a foundation on which they can work and improve the overall organizational performance. employee evaluation

Normally the scenario is that the evaluation is done at the end of the fiscal year (just before the increment period) as per the company’s policy. However, some companies evaluate performances on a short term basis (bi annually/quarterly). It has its own advantages, the reason being, if the employees’ performance is not going in the desired direction, the management can correct them mid – way rather than waiting for the whole year to end and then making corrections.

Short term evaluation Vs Long term evaluation – which one in your opinion can contribute better, as far as the end – result is concerned. Furthermore, if there are any pros and cons associated with them then kindly highlight those aspects as well.

Job Satisfaction

Posted by | Blog, Business Dynamics, Communication, Corporate Culture, Enterprise Agility, Human Resource Management, Relationship management | 16 Comments

People working at different places undoubtedly seek job satisfaction. It is imperative for anybody to feel good about the work they perform and the environment they are associated with.Job Satisfaction

Job satisfaction is based on a number of factors for e.g. job duties and responsibilities, work environment, impartial performance appraisal, career development opportunities, training and development, working hours/schedule, monetary benefits, leaves etc. These, along with many other factors also play its part in employee satisfaction and dissatisfaction.

In this regard, the management must be vigilant to work on these areas proactively and devise required strategies before this feeling of discontent arises. Several companies are conducting surveys, which can facilitate them in measuring the level of satisfaction in the employees (taking into account that the end result may not necessarily be 100% in favor of the company). However, this can help the management considerably to keep the staff contented with the work, environment and the company itself.

Would like to know your perspective on how the company can keep their workforce contented and integrated. Furthermore, share your experiences regarding the same. How would you, as an individual/manager keep motivational levels at par?

Common Hiring Mistakes by Firms

Posted by | Blog, Business Dynamics, Enterprise Agility, Human Resource Management, Requirement Analysis | 16 Comments

Hiring the right person for the right job and at the right time is a challenging task since it requires thorough evaluation on the part of the interviewer(s) in order to be spot on while selecting the best candidate for the vacant position. Employee Selection

However, we often see firms making wrong selections, perhaps (at times) they put too much emphasis on evaluating applicant’s personality and sometimes they are more concerned with the technical expertise. Ideally, it has to be a blend of both.

For this reason, firms can formulate an appropriate interview plan in which they can devise certain sets of questions, both technical and non technical and then put forward to the candidates appearing in the interview. This way, the interviewer can make note of the responses given against each question therefore this can facilitate them a great deal to evaluate the candidates on similar grounds.

Other essential characteristics that could be considered in this regard are; preparing the correct job description and job specification, doing necessary reference checks, evaluating candidates impartially, giving them reasonable time to express themselves.

Kindly share your opinions on what can be done to minimize the hiring mistakes usually made by firms in order to achieve better results without consuming a lot of precious time and resources?