Gartner Names Winshuttle a "Cool Vendor" in the SAP Ecosystem

Clinton Jones

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A recent article appeared in the IEEE spectrum on "the automation paradox" which was reflected with the question by Steven Cherry of "Would we be safer overall if we just accept a few deaths due to software?" The concept is a little funny in my mind, since for many years it seems like a lot of the software that I have worked with always carried a EULA that stated something like "...IS NOT INTENDED FOR USE IN THE OPERATION OF NUCLEAR FACILITIES, AIRCRAFT NAVIGATION OR COMMUNICATION SYSTEMS, AIR TRAFFIC CONTROL SYSTEMS, LIFE SUPPORT MACHINES OR OTHER EQUIPMENT IN WHICH THE FAILURE OF THE SOFTWARE COULD LEAD TO DEATH, PERSONAL INJURY, OR SEVERE PHYSICAL OR ENVIRONMENTAL DAMAGE" This got me to thinking about how far we have come with software and how many devices these days rely on generic software to run a multitude of devices. The question I guess comes down to the l... (more)

Quit Your Addiction to Pushing Paper

We're fortunate enough to have three kinds of waste collections in our area: regular trash, garden refuse and recycling. For those that have always had this kind of facility available, this doesn't seem particularly extraordinary. In fact, in some parts of the world, waste can involve as many as a dozen different categories or more. You can in fact spend a lot of effort and time sorting your waste to make sure that you are disposing of trash in a most efficient way. The reason I brought this up is that a recent visitor to my house commented on the fact that it was amazing how mu... (more)

Establishing Enterprise Monitoring Baselines

Enterprise monitoring gets a great deal more air time these days than it ever did in the past. Perhaps it's because our technology dependent lives have become some so reliant on the availability of systems and infrastructural services. Have things improved? How would you know? In reality, monitoring systems themselves are nothing particularly new. Consider the pressure valve on a steam boiler. At the most rudimentary level, the object of the valve is to release pressure. The way you decide whether or not to release pressure is to observe the gauge that indicates the boiler's pre... (more)

Form(ing) Standards - Recycling Old Stuff Can Be Incredibly Painful

I am on my favorite soapbox - "standards" - standards around form filling. Generally speaking, no discussion of standards could be complete without an assessment of the state of play of the not so humble Adobe Portable Document Format or as most of us know it, PDF. I debated the merits of the PDF back in the late 1990s (an astonishing 14 years ago) and with the passage of time, a few things have changed but in some respects they are the same. The reason this topic is quite focal for me at the moment, is the fact that I continue to see customers and prospects take a hard line in wa... (more)

You Can Have My Excel When You Pry It from My Cold Dead Hands

It's frustrating that business users will often articulate about IT and the enterprise technology architect, but more frequently in an environment where one of the major ERP vendor products like SAP or Oracle Business Suite have been invested in. I am talking about the general disregard and dismissal of the electronic spreadsheet. Even in this era of mobile devices and electronic forms, tweeting, ecommerce and in-memory analytics engines spreadsheets are one of those seemingly Jurassic technologies that IT still appears to have a hard time getting its head around. I thought I'd ... (more)