The team over at Sena has created a new blog where they will provide some UCM based content on occasion as well as some other “sound bites” to help out the community. The first post, provided by Troy Allen, is very in depth and hopefully a great example of things to come. I have worked with Troy before and each experience has been great. I am excited to see a new outlet for him to provide some knowledge as he certainly has a lot to share.
Troy also has a good team around him and the names on the blog present a lot of promise. I am always excited to see growth in the online community. It helps us move from mystical black art to a more mainstream product set.
I went to Collaborate 2010 with constrained expectations. I wondered aloud to my colleagues on the way out about customers that might be participating. Would attendance be up or down? Would the venue distract from the value of the conference? I would say I heavily managed my own expectations. It turns out my concerns were unfounded.
I was surprised by an assortment of factors. Several of our customers actually made it out to Collaborate. We were able to take time with them at dinner throughout the week as well as meet with them during the day between sessions. I had several discussions with friends and competitors about overall market consolidation and industry status quo. I was also impressed with the ingenuity and fervor with which customers are applying new releases in the areas of WebCenter Framework, WebCenter Spaces, IPM and IRM.
The Industry of Enterprise Content Management as a whole has been very busy in the last few years. Several software manufacturers have been gobbled up and you can read scads of articles on the internet full of opinions about market consolidation. If you are a frequent reader here you know that the one affecting us the most is Oracle’s acquisition of Stellent. Despite that focus, we still have to continually be aware of the rest of the market. You may remember that Autonomy bought Interwoven, EMC bought Documentum and Open Text bought Vignette just to name a few.
Software Manufacturers are not the only ones consolidating. Have you checked in with your Systems Integrator lately? Times are changing. Over in Indiana Front Line Logic was acquired by our friends at TEAM Informatics. Just this week, at Collaborate 2010, Bex Huff and Jason Clarkin announced the merger of Bezzotech and ImplementRAdvantage. As these and other potential events unfold your choices may dwindle. However, I believe the quality of options will remain high.
During all this activity Oracle is certainly not holding still. Out at the AIIM Conference (held the same week as Collaborate) Oracle won the Content Management Product of the Year Award. And one of our good friends, Brian Dirking, won a prestigious Distinguished Service Award.
Fellow Redstone Content Solutions founder John Klein has setup shop on the internet posting tips, information, etc., about how you can use Oracle ECM and other Oracle Fusion Middleware products to add Business Value to your organization. He is currently running a series that dovetails with his Collaborate 2010 panel session about how to select an implementation partner for your projects and initiatives.
Check it out at businessvalue.corecontentonly.com.
VS2010 is now officially roaming the streets. Great coverage of what all this means over at the Scott Hanselman Blog.
I generally promote Oracle “stuff” on this blog, but I am a true believer in being aware of the rest of the world at the same time, as much as a single person can be “aware of everything” anyway.
Today I was setting up a VMWare Workstation instance. I tried to ping the host. It did not work. Figures. I thought to myself, what’s the setting to enable that again? I get tired of hunting this down for the Windows Firewall and my Norton Firewall.
I also wanted an excuse to play with creating HD quality YouTube videos. So here goes.
How do you say "I don't know"? More often than I would like I am presented with an opportunity to tell a client or potential client how little I know about topic XYZ. In consulting, each opportunity presents itself as new twists to an old problem or some completely new animal that catches you totally off guard.
If you have had success in your past endeavors you usually have an answer or a process that quickly derives an answer in your back pocket. For those days when you get blind-sided, just how do you say you are clueless without coming off as inept?
Since I am always looking for new ways to not look totally moronic, how do you say "I don't know" gracefully?
I typically have a hard time in meetings and conference calls when the term Best Practice springs to life. What is a Best Practice? Perhaps I should ask what it means in the context of this post. You can read all about what Best Practice might mean here. 50% of the time I view this as one of the eighty thousand buzzwords that get tossed around during requirements gathering or the whole RFP, RFI, RF* process.
Problems with best practices:
Sure, there really is such a thing as a good course of action or a Best Practice for various issues. News Flash: Not every problem HAS a Best Practice. In fact, a fairly large number of the problems we are trying to solve are likely not going to be solvable by a Best Practice. If there was a specific, well known, highly adopted and strongly verified process to solve the issue we are dealing with it would likely mean our company is not doing anything unique or special. That would be bad because then we would have no competitive edge now would we?
Having established that a Best Practice cannot solve at least a portion of our roadblocks, and having noted we should not avoid tough, lengthy discussions we need to be aware of one more danger. Occasionally there IS a Best Practice that fits fairly well with the problem on the table. Please do not just follow the process blindly. Think for yourself. Sometimes you can just tell that there is a fundamental flaw in the process for your special scenario.
Finally, an example. I tell you, when I was a small child my parents would get upset if I would yell across the house at them. It was quickly set forth as a rule that you went and found them and talked to them normally instead of yelling at them. I offer this as a Best Practice. Now I offer an example where following the Best Practice was not the Best Solution:
Directory: C:\ProgramData\VMware\VMware Workstation
sched.mem.pshare.enable = "FALSE"
mainMem.useNamedFile = "FALSE"
prefvmx.minVmMemPct = "100"
There has been a fair bit of banter on the concept of Enterprise 2.0. If you want to find out more about what it is or the core concepts behind the subject then follow up over at Billy Cripe's blog. You will find his explanations and the links he provides a good place to get started. He has even collaborated on an entire book with a lot of information about it.
The problem as I see it lies less with whether or not Enterprise 2.0 is a good idea and more with how the economy is driving corporate structure away from adopting new process. Certainly everyone wants to hear about how to accomplish more with less or all about new ways of intelligence discovery. The crux, however, is not many feel like funding a foray into this new frontier.
With the economic uncertainty attaching itself like the proverbial 800 pound gorilla there will still be market leaders that forge ahead, willing to take risks like introducing new technologies and fundamentally different approaches to interoffice communications, but a majority will not at this time. Those that do make an attempt and survive may enjoy a competitive edge in the end.
Most will shy away. This may mean the sound of the death knell for Enterprise 2.0, a premature ending to a promising approach. I for one suspect this will only slow or postpone adoptions instead of kill this direction all together. Ultimately, I find the whole process fascinating and I find the fervor with which people discuss the usefulness or lack thereof even more fascinating.
I was reading "OMG… Ford Motor Company Admits They Are Just An OEM" over at Bex Huff's blog and I started thinking about the concept of OEM. I suppose developers act in a sort of OEM capacity every day.
I take jQuery and make it part of a larger solution. I might throw in some JSP. Perhaps I will use a little JDBC. And maybe I will decide to run it on a Windows platform. There, now I have covered the gamut from "free" to "for pay" and rolled it into a single solution. Now I wrap it with support, you know, so I can say I actually provide something more than a software dating service.
So far this does not seem like too much of a stretch to me. Let's go one level further down the stack and get a little more fine grained about our OEM discussion. Something further down than say products or projects and talk about methods and classes.
If I was a fairly new guy/gal (I'm a guy, and I don't plan on switching, not that there is anything wrong with being a gal, but I was trying to be PC, and how about we just move on, ok?), and I wanted to create a component that added a new navigation element to the menus in Content Server what would I do? Well, I AM new right, so I do not have this memorized. I hit google.com, live.com, pick your poison. I happen upon a recent article by John Sim, right about here. John talks about and shows code illustrating how to accomplish this task. I think finding, acquiring and making this work in your overall solution is a skill.
Let the flames begin. Some people call this a copy-monkey, no brains, couldn't figure it out for yourself, code PLAGERISM, etc., take your pick. That's all fine and dandy. I call it a skill. If I can get a person in an interview to demonstrate that they can exercise several avenues to find solutions, acquire and adapt these previous solutions into our current problem set and produce results for my paying customers I will hire that person every day of the week. Oh, and some people also call this ability to draw on previously solved issues something else…what is that…ah yes, experience.
I think this post was sufficiently random so I guess I will call it a day.