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

Clinton Jones

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Top Stories by Clinton Jones

Two articles that I read recently, by Jakob Nielsen and by John Brinkman, got me thinking that it was probably time to revisit the very topical subject of form design. In the world of SAP, it comes as no surprise that people want to retain the rich functionality of the ERP system but get away with doing less in terms of data entry or at the very least spend less time entering data. Technologists will conjure up an infinite number of ways for you to achieve your business objectives and the web, mobile or form enablement of some of the entry and extract methods people want to use to get to their SAP data seems to be a very obvious choice. I'd assert that this isn't a true situation. Web enabling a process is not necessarily a way to save time or effort in the entry of data in particular. In fact, sometimes web enabling something actually hinders the process. As Niels... (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)

Don't Blame Batch Processing for Your Business Process Failures

The recent train wreck that was the CA batch process failure at RBS should probably be ringing alarm bells for some folks running batch processes into their systems; however, more importantly it should remind us of a couple of different things: Batch processing is real and present in many facets of IT data processing and systems at large Never take short cuts on adequate testing of changes and test planning A call I participated on a couple of months back with some students from an esteemed college in North America resulted in a conclusion that what I was talking about and showi... (more)

Business Process Outsourcing and the Shared Services Center

Business process outsourcing (BPO) of shared services centers (SSC) is not really something new, but lately BPOs and SSCs have become particularly popular as discussion topics in large organizations with complex and simple business processes. In reality, the BPO function is nothing more than the contracting of specific business tasks, typically back office business tasks, to a 3rd party service provider. Companies like a payroll bureau and recruitment agencies have been effectively performing these kinds of services for decades. In the late 1990's improvements in computing techn... (more)

Don’t Let Your Fixed Assets Sink Your Business

One of my professors used to always tell his students a story about a company that he performed a work study at and discovered an elderly gentleman, let's call him "Thomas Bean",  who produced colorful graphs every month on the performance of a business-related resource or asset. I don't recall the specifics of the work, but I do remember that these graphs were meticulously produced every month, manually, and that they involved bar charts, pie charts and tables of data. The gentleman was relegated to some back office in the planning department. During the study, Mr. Bean was in... (more)