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

Clinton Jones

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Top Stories by Clinton Jones

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 drop a few thoughts on the subject simply because lately I have seen a resurgence of solutions where using a spreadsheet was more pivotal to solving the problem than looking exclusively at one of the newer technologies. The Enterprise Architect (for technologies) has a tough job, there's no ... (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 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)

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)

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)