< Copyright 2009 Intergen Limited. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the permissi...
>>2 >> I N T E R G E N I T E P H O T O G A L L E R Y
Melanie Highet
What do you do?
As a Business Development Manager
>>3>> WO R L DW I D E PA R T N E R CO N F E R E N C E
Every year I look forward to the WPC with great
anticipation. And ev...
>>4 >> M A N A G E M E N T C O N S U L T I N G
Change Management
For most people, change is an everyday
occurrence. It hap...
< S M A R T S - T H E I N T E L L I G E N T B U S I N E S S M A G A Z I N E . I S S U E T W E N T Y > >>5>> U N I F I E D ...
>>6 >> T H E P U R P O S E O F A B O A R D
What difference does a
Board make?
Now, more than ever, it seems companies need...
>>7< S M A R T S - T H E I N T E L L I G E N T B U S I N E S S M A G A Z I N E . I S S U E T W E N T Y >>> C A S E S T U D...
>>8 >> S O C I A L M E D I A
Embracing Social Media
Last year we were heartened – and somewhat
pleasantly surprised – to h...
>>9< S M A R T S - T H E I N T E L L I G E N T B U S I N E S S M A G A Z I N E . I S S U E T W E N T Y >
Microsoft has a h...
>>10 >> PA C K A G E S A N D PA R T N E R S H I P S
Rapid Results and
HealthCheck Update
Intergen forms partnership
with F...
>>11>> B A C K S T A G E W I T H O F F I C E 2 010
It seems Intergen is getting a bit of a name for
itself around Microsof...
Auckland: +64 9 966 3070 info@intergen.co.nz
Wellington: +64 4 472 2021 www.intergen.co.nz
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Intergen Smarts 20 (2009)


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Intergen's newsletter, Smarts, now available for online reading.

Intergen provides information technology solutions across Australia, New Zealand and the world based exclusively on Microsoft’s tools and technologies.

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Intergen Smarts 20 (2009)

  1. 1. < Copyright 2009 Intergen Limited. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the permission of Intergen Limited > The same trade, more tools. The global economy may have slowed but Intergen continues at pace. We have had a busy three months with lots of new initiatives, new projects, new technologies, new people, new relationships and new clients. Whilst it is certainly tough out there, I don’t ever remember it being easy. We have always fought hard for everything we have got and when things have got harder we have knuckled down and fought even harder. Our Rapid Results and HealthCheck initiatives have been very successful. So much so that our initial Rapid Results for CRM offering has been joined by Rapid Results for SharePoint, Rapid Results for iGovt Logon service and Rapid Results for Enterprise Search. These offerings provide certainty over price and deliverables and allow you to take the first steps without having to bet the farm. Just what you need to keep moving ahead in these uncertain times. We have been working on some fantastic projects across all of our practices. We have a number of significant Dynamics AX projects underway and some exciting Dynamics CRM projects. We have recently completed a new website for New Zealand Trade and Enterprise using Microsoft SharePoint and have another significant website nearing completion along with some great intranets being delivered using SharePoint. We have extended our experience in Microsoft Silverlight by delivering – in a very short timeframe – a website for Microsoft’s up-and-coming Office 2010. The www.office2010themovie.com website was developed entirely in Silverlight in less than three weeks and displays our talents fairly and squarely on the global stage. As we continue to extend our capabilities to ensure that we are able to offer our clients a range of services across the Microsoft “Stack,” we are very keen to help our clients exploit the full potential of Unified Communications, not just as a stand-alone concept but as a truly embedded business solution. We are pleased to have David Porta join us as our Service Line Leader for Unified Communications to provide us with a strong platform of experience for us to build upon. Our goal is to extend our clients’ investment in the Microsoft Platform and Unified Communications through application integration and innovative solutions. Watch this space. In July, we welcomed Richard Westlake to our Board of Directors. Richard brings with him a wealth of experience in corporate governance and will greatly assist Intergen in becoming world class, not just in our solution delivery, but also as a company. We have a huge number of opportunities in front of us and having Richard on board will help ensure we follow the best opportunities and take maximum advantage of them. The year is more than halfway through and there is an awful lot to do before it’s over. We have some exciting things happening and look forward to sharing more with you and helping you to achieve your goals over the coming months. tony.stewart@intergen.co.nz THE PURPOSE OF A BOARD >> 6 CASE STUDY >> 7 SOCIAL MEDIA >> 8 NEW TECHNOLOGY >> 9 PACKAGES AND PARTNERSHIPS >>10 BACKSTAGE WITH OFFICE 2010 >> 11 THOUGHTS ON THE INDUSTRY >> 12 >> HOT NEWS: Microsoft Partner Awards 2009 Intergen is a finalist in four categories – Enterprise Content Management, Dynamics CRM, Dynamics NAV and Solution of the Year. Watch this space! Microsoft TechEd TechEd is just around the corner and yet again Intergen is gearing up for another great event with some great Hands on Labs and plenty of yellow. Intergen Dynamics Day It’s free, and you’re invited. See overleaf for more details. INTERGENITE PHOTO GALLERY >> 2 WORLDWIDE PARTNER CONFERENCE >> 3 MANAGEMENT CONSULTING >> 4 UNIFIED COMMUNICATIONS >> 5
  2. 2. >>2 >> I N T E R G E N I T E P H O T O G A L L E R Y Melanie Highet What do you do? As a Business Development Manager here in the north, my job is to help customers see and realise their potential by partnering with Intergen. How do you make a difference? I focus on the business outcomes and try to demystify technology, breaking things down into business problems and opportunities that our customers understand. What do you love about your job? Winning! I’m pretty competitive and I like the thrill of the chase. I also love the fact that our customers come in all shapes and sizes and across many different industries. A bit about yourself… I’m a bit of an extrovert, married to Scott, and I’m a Warriors fan, a skier and wannabe chef. Intergen Dynamics Day 2009 Intergen is running a special event for users of Microsoft’s Dynamics products in Wellington on October 15-16. Whether you’re a user of Microsoft Dynamics AX, NAV or CRM, you’ll get value attending this free user- oriented event. During a day and a half of presentations, we will cover a broad range of areas, including: • Presentations from Microsoft detailing the current and future directions of the Dynamics product range, including a keynote from a Microsoft regional executive. • Case studies from customers using these solutions, how they implemented them and what benefits they’ve realised. • Third party products and how they can help you get more out of your Dynamics investments. • Presentations covering a broad range of topics, including business intelligence, integration opportunities and how to get the most out of your solutions. In addition, consultants from Intergen and our partners will be on hand to answer any questions and to help with any requests. This free event will run from 9am on Thursday 15 October through to 2pm on Friday 16 October. We’re taking bookings now – email dynamicsday@intergen.co.nz to secure your place. More information will be available soon – keep an eye on our website. < S M A R T S - T H E I N T E L L I G E N T B U S I N E S S M A G A Z I N E . I S S U E T W E N T Y > >> INTERGENITE: Chris Auld gets to work in Mumbai. Jian Sun delivers training in his homeland in Mandarin Chinese. Deb Auld and the ubiquitous, Intergen-infamous yellow Croc. Coming soon: Mark Orange impresses at the inaugural SharePoint Conference.
  3. 3. >>3>> WO R L DW I D E PA R T N E R CO N F E R E N C E Every year I look forward to the WPC with great anticipation. And every year I come home from the four-day event exhausted, with lots of ideas and numerous items on my to-do list. We are entering one of the biggest release cycles ever for Microsoft and as a result there was a very intense agenda. In any given year there are always at least three sessions you could attend at any one time, in a venue spanning 1.2 miles, and this year there was more to see than ever. At times I felt a little like a possum in the headlights, not knowing where to look. In an attempt to keep abreast of everything I saw and share my adventures, I eagerly tweeted and wrote daily postcards for our blog and intranet. I could fill this entire issue of SMARTS (and then some) with updates from the conference, but in the interests of brevity, I will leave you with some short snippets from my WPC postcards. For the full version, visit our blog (www.intergen.co.nz/blog) or www.digitalwpc.com. Day 1 After participating in the Day of Giving the day before (that’s me way in the background), doing my bit for the city by planting trees, we were off to a good start. To give you an idea of scale: 8000 attendees (approximately 6000 delegates and 2000 Microsoft employees) – that’s half of the total population of Levin! Key aspects/cool stuff covered included: • Excel 2010 – “Sparklines” which allow you to view ‘mini’ charts within a cell • Outlook 2010 – an ‘ignore’ function where you can ignore a conversation going on • Outlook 2010 – tips when you are doing something (like presenting you with an Out of Office message before you send an email to someone) • Dynamics CRM – social networking integration, including accessing Twitter data within and from CRM • Office Web Applications • Voice to text features of Exchange, as part of Microsoft’s expanding Unified Communications vision I also had the pleasure of being part of a roundtable discussion with Stephen Elop (President, Microsoft Business Division). It was great to get the chance to meet and have discussions with a senior Microsoft executive. Well done Microsoft New Zealand. Day 2 Everyone was geared up for Steve Ballmer’s keynote. Key topics he covered in his talk were Bing, social networking and the economy. The way he described our current world situation is as an ‘economic reset.’ Day 3 On day three we looked into the future. We took a look at the Mobile Marketplace and an impressive Surface-based health application. I then heard the ‘father of multi-touch,’ Bill Buxton, explain that Microsoft Surface isn’t a product – it’s a way of thinking. Microsoft’s Chief Operating Officer, Kevin Turner, covered Microsoft’s FY2010 strategy with impressive openness. After this, I went to the public sector value keynote, where Rob Wolf from eSponder showed off the video from the All Stars game, which just so happened to feature the multi-touch work that our team worked on. Day 4 On the final day, I attended the regional keynote (APAC), which included a panel discussion with two Kiwi companies, where we discussed a number of differing views on Microsoft’s Cloud/Online offerings. In the afternoon we covered Microsoft and the Web, and in my last WPC session we got to see some real world applications from the partners that made them – a good chance to see the end use of products. All in all a great WPC, with lots of messages, updates, interaction and jazz. wayne.forgesson@intergen.co.nz Wayne Forgesson is Intergen’s Director of Marketing. Postcards from the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference 13 – 16 July 2009, New Orleans < S M A R T S - T H E I N T E L L I G E N T B U S I N E S S M A G A Z I N E . I S S U E T W E N T Y > That’s me at the Day of Giving. Steve Ballmer evangelises. Feeding the thousands.
  4. 4. >>4 >> M A N A G E M E N T C O N S U L T I N G Change Management For most people, change is an everyday occurrence. It happens in small, almost incidental increments that, while not always agreed with, raise little resistance. Large-scale, or transformational change, is a different kettle of fish. From rethinking an organisational process to wholesale restructuring – the only thing that is guaranteed with change is that it won’t be easy. In fact, 60% of organisational change efforts fail. Despite advances in management science, most leaders still view organisations as machines – tinkering and streamlining to leverage opportunities and improve efficiency. But organisations and machines are fundamentally different – the major point of difference is people. So it’s unsurprising that the most common points of failure for change projects are human related. What can organisations do to give change initiatives the best chance of success? Our top six tips are to: 1) Adopt a well regarded change model and follow it: John Kotter achieved incredible success with his eight-step change model. While the extent to which you implement each step may change depending on the extent of your change effort, it is important that each step is considered and adapted to suit your purpose. 2) Allow individuals time to ‘process’: Most change efforts start as the well kept secret of a small number of high level executives. During the initial planning stage, these individuals become ‘acclimatised’ to the change. The same cannot be said for the rest of the organisation. Ensure staff have sufficient time and information to process the change and reach considered conclusions. 1 Ford, J. & Ford, L. (2009). “Decoding Resistance to Change”. Harvard Business Review 2 Stevenson, D. (2008) “Original Thinking”. Toolbox for IT. 3) Treat ‘resistance’ as a key information resource1 : A common reaction to negative feedback is to treat it as resistance and batten down the hatches. Re-framing ‘resistance’ as a valid source of information can lead to improved change options. 4) All organisations have ‘change agents’ – identify yours and work with them2 : Change agents do not have to be those formally leading the change. These are individuals at any level of the organisation who understand people, are strong self-starters with the ability to influence and motivate change in others. 5) Be realistic about what to expect: Despite the best planning and effort on your part, if your change initiative will negatively impact some or all individuals, you must be realistic about how that change will be received. 6) Be prepared to ‘change the change’: Don’t be afraid to deviate from the plan. Effective consultation and dialogue with staff may identify information or issues that may not have been apparent. There is no golden rule that the best change plans come from the top. Be open to new ideas and approaches wherever they come from. These tips will not guarantee an easy ride, but they will make you better prepared for the change journey. >>Intergen is proud to introduce its newest addition in the form of a dedicated Management Consultancy practice. Our team of experienced consultants specialise in providing high quality services around change management, organisational capability, knowledge management, collaboration and strategic planning. As a close knit team, we offer extensive peer support and are constantly engaged in extending our knowledge to make sure we provide you, our clients, with traditional and leading edge management thinking and practices. We know that it’s not just ‘what’ you do, but ‘how’ you do it that makes the difference. < S M A R T S - T H E I N T E L L I G E N T B U S I N E S S M A G A Z I N E . I S S U E T W E N T Y > Intergen’s Management Consulting team: Alex Natelli, Sally Jansen van Vuuren, Jennifer Wray, Paddy Payne.
  5. 5. < S M A R T S - T H E I N T E L L I G E N T B U S I N E S S M A G A Z I N E . I S S U E T W E N T Y > >>5>> U N I F I E D C O M M U N I C A T I O N S Introducing Intergen’s Unified Communications Practice David Porta What do you do? I am the Unified Communications (UC) Business Line Lead. I am responsible for developing an end-to-end UC practice using Office Communications Server, Exchange Unified Messaging (UM) and Business Productivity Online Suite (BPOS) while also developing value-add UC offerings within our existing core products, including Dynamics CRM and NAV and SharePoint, as UC has a symbiotic relationship with all of them. By integrating OCS with other existing Microsoft products, organisations are able to offer powerful collaboration services that produce significant cost savings and enhance the efficiency of staff. How do you make a difference? By listening to the customer and to fellow Intergenites to develop and nurture long term relationships and by making sure we understand the business requirements and create solutions that are aligned to those needs. What do you love about your job? I’m very passionate about Unified Communications and I’m also very passionate about people. I love the culture, drive and enthusiasm here at Intergen, and I genuinely believe that we have tremendous potential for a fantastic future together. A bit about yourself I am originally from Mexico. I lived in the United States for six years where I attended university and worked as a Network Architect. I lived in Japan for three years where I completed my studies and worked as a Network Administrator. After September 11, I migrated to New Zealand and I am now a proud new Mexi-Kiwi citizen! I have spent the last nine years working with Cisco and Microsoft Unified Communications, working for the Ministry of Social Development, IBM and Microsoft prior to joining Intergen. I have a 10 year-old son named Sammy, and I love movies, games, cooking and red wine. While many people have heard the term ‘Unified Communications,’ not everyone is clear as to what it means or the value it can bring to an organisation. Unified Communications (UC) refers to a solution that facilitates seamless interaction for inbound and outbound communications between various communications systems and applications. These include Instant Messaging, texting, e-mail, calendaring, voice, video, web collaboration, CRM solutions, portals, document management systems and bespoke desktop and mobile applications. Microsoft is now embedding UC functionality into the various products in its portfolio, right from the code, which means that Microsoft solutions are in essence becoming purpose built to deliver UC services. As a result this eliminates the need for integration exercises in pure Microsoft UC solutions and significantly reduces the effort when integrating with compatible PBX and IP PBX solutions. The UC strategy from Microsoft aims at benefiting organisations in numerous ways. In simplifying the delivery of UC functionality, it is more cost effective for clients to implement, maintain or consume. UC services can be delivered using already deployed infrastructure. As applications are already familiar, operational and administrative staff won’t experience excessive change or require large amounts of training. In essence, by deploying Microsoft Unified Communications, organisations will be able to deliver more functionality and re-use the majority of their infrastructure and corporate intellectual property. Intergen understands that the future of Unified Communications lies in the software, such as the enterprise applications used to support the business processes, like Office, SharePoint, CRM, NAV, Exchange and Office Communications Server. Intergen has created a Unified Communications Business Line through which we can offer and deliver end-to-end UC solutions to clients. Leveraging the success and proven value of our Rapid Results packaged solutions, we are currently developing a number of Rapid Results UC offerings which focus on helping organisations take advantage of the benefits that UC offers through a quick and cost effective engagement model. If you have any questions or would like to know how your organisation could benefit from UC, please don’t hesitate to contact me at david.porta@intergen.co.nz. >> INTERGENITE:
  6. 6. >>6 >> T H E P U R P O S E O F A B O A R D What difference does a Board make? Now, more than ever, it seems companies need to give especially careful consideration to how they ensure their ongoing success. Good governance and a robust business model are imperative. Intergen is pleased to have recently appointed its first Independent Director to the Intergen Board. Richard Westlake joins Intergen’s Board of Directors, Tony Stewart, Paddy Payne, Wayne Forgesson and Chris Auld, and brings invaluable directorial experience and a fresh external perspective to the Board table. We caught up with Richard to ask him about the contribution a Board makes to an organisation, what it is there to do and how an independent director plays a part. We learn that mistakes are compulsory and how “a few grey hairs” can make all the difference. What difference does a Board make to an organisation? A Board is there to give management and owners greater confidence. We’re there to agree strategies, how we are going to get there, and then hold management accountable. The Board’s role is to build tomorrow’s company out of today’s and be ready for tomorrow. How good you have been in the past is irrelevant. We look at how we are positioned, what the trends are, what the risks are and then think through the possible scenarios and how we will react. What a lot of Boards lose sight of is that we’re all in the same waka trying to paddle in the same direction. Often in an organisation there can be a ‘collective inevitability.’ It’s a Board’s role to test organisational thinking, question if there is a better way of doing something and recognise if we’re stuck in a train of thought. Having a Board isn’t just about having a talkfest. We need to ask ourselves, “Is the company better off for having had a meeting today? How have we helped empower the CEO to do what needs to be done?” I once worked with a man who made a vast fortune and until we formed a Board around him his biggest fear was making a mistake and losing everything. Once there was a Board in place, with people he could bounce ideas off, this was a weight off his shoulders. That’s what a Board is there to do. What value does an Independent Director bring to a Board? What do you bring to Intergen? Perhaps the greatest value I bring is that I’m not an IT professional. I bring the independence of someone who is not too close to the family, so to speak. I’ve had experience in a broad range of businesses. I’ve seen the pitfalls and made mistakes along the way – which is important – and can say, “I’ve seen this before; let’s not do that.” I bring the advantage of a few grey hairs. By coming from the ‘outside,’ I also have a sense of how the organisation is being seen without such a vested interest, and can see plain business opportunities and issues without being ‘close in the weeds.’ This is the role of an Independent Director, to provide a level of oversight, apply a commonsense overlay and a reality check. I’m there as a sounding board to the rest of the Board. Why are mistakes so important? When you always get things right, nothing changes. When things go wrong, you have life experience and learnings. The New Zealand psyche seems very intolerant of failure. I prefer the American approach to failure, where if you get rich one more time than you go broke, you’re okay. In New Zealand you see Directors who have had spectacular failures and they become untouchable, when really they may be the ones who can provide the greatest value to a Board. In your opinion, how is the economic downturn affecting New Zealand businesses? Now is a time of tremendous opportunity. When you think about it, most fortunes start in times like these. I’ve always been a glass three quarters full sort of person. There will be life after this, and 95% of companies won’t go broke. There’s a saying, ‘Even a dead fish can swim downstream.’ If a company has a good business model and runs in a cost effective manner, this is just a part of life. Times like these sort out those who can manage and those who can’t, and it’s a great time to sort out competitors and focus on increasing productivity. ABOUT RICHARD WESTLAKE MA (OXON), AFINSTD, FNZIM Richard has more than 15 years’ experience as a Director and Board Chairman. In addition to Richard’s directorship with Intergen, he is Chairman of the Standards Council of New Zealand and of the New Zealand Telecommunications Carriers’ Forum. He has also been an Independent Director of Kiwibank since its establishment in 2001. Richard is Director of Westlake Consulting Limited, advising on organisational governance, strategy and board management relations. < S M A R T S - T H E I N T E L L I G E N T B U S I N E S S M A G A Z I N E . I S S U E T W E N T Y >
  7. 7. >>7< S M A R T S - T H E I N T E L L I G E N T B U S I N E S S M A G A Z I N E . I S S U E T W E N T Y >>> C A S E S T U D Y Blackbay reels in awards for real-time mobile worker solutions How does a New Zealand based company have such kudos with world-leading customers? The answer is by forging innovative partnerships in their own back yard. Christchurch-based mobile solutions provider, Blackbay, is right at home on the world stage. The international pedigree of their clients speaks for itself, including DHL, Australia Post, Konica Minolta and Royal Mail. Blackbay partners with the best, providing real-time mobile worker solutions in supply chain and field service industries. Blackbay’s leading edge mobility solutions have been integral in cutting costs, slashing delivery timeframes and improving operational efficiency in companies with thousands of mobile workers. Blackbay has relished seeing their partners win international accolades for service delivery. Blackbay customer, Royal Mail, was recently named the winner of the Wireless & Mobile Excellence award at the Gartner Summit, based on its delivery of business value and best practices within its wireless initiative. The Pain “As Blackbay continues to mature its business model in a highly competitive arena, we need to retain agility and add more capacity and capability. That capacity needs to come from a true partner with as much commitment to our success as we have,” says Lisa Miles-Heal, Chief Operating Officer of Blackbay. Intergen has a clear view of our business goals. “When you share a view on the end game, there is freedom for the partner to respond and react not “according to the letter” of the contract, instead doing what’s best in any given circumstance. Intergen has amazing capability in the market, but it’s far more than that; it’s about a partnership we can trust,” she continues. “Intergen always aligns the right resources and people with what needs to be done, so we’re all driving towards the same outcome. The energy and innovation is evident in everything they do and they understand our culture, the business of our customers and the way we work. By working with one partner, over time, you build trust, confidence and respect that is invaluable commercially, and that increases efficiencies on specific engagements.” Intergen’s Business Development Manager, Mark Ginnever, agrees that a great synergy has developed. “We have supplied a variety of resources over time to augment the talent at Blackbay. We now have a range of people who are familiar with the Blackbay products and direction. For us, it is all about helping clients succeed.” Mobile solutions technology is making a difference in real-time. As a market leader in the rapidly developing enterprise mobility market, Blackbay has remained at the top through innovation and commitment to excellence. By staying at the leading edge of Microsoft technology adoption, and having a willingness to push the boundaries, Blackbay has achieved a point of difference through which they continue to achieve success. This is an approach that fits well with Intergen and has been the basis for a successful partnership, allowing Intergen to enhance Blackbay’s solution offering and expand their capabilities by adding high end .NET skills, system interface design and development expertise. Lisa comments, “It is Intergen’s market edge in specialist areas such as Business Intelligence which enables the two companies to work together and leverage skills and individuals strengths to deliver results for Blackbay.” Intergen and Blackbay are currently working on enhancing Business Intelligence within their product. Lisa comments, “We recognise Intergen’s market edge in BI, and it’s now a case of giving them the freedom to do what they do best.” The Gain Punching above their weight in international size, but heavyweights in product creation and service delivery, Blackbay’s world class mobile solutions will continue to support premium customers in performing smarter and faster.
  8. 8. >>8 >> S O C I A L M E D I A Embracing Social Media Last year we were heartened – and somewhat pleasantly surprised – to host more than 80 people at an event talking about online communities. Many people are familiar with the personal benefits that can be gained from using online services such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter and what many people are realising is that many of the same tools used by these services can be utilised by organisations – to develop and grow communities and spheres of influence inside and outside organisations. No longer is the web a one-way publishing mechanism: it’s now a two-way method of communication. While most organisations have a web presence, there is significant opportunity to evolve this presence to engage with your audience. Within the organisation, the intranet can be extended to better understand staff issues and needs; externally, there are opportunities to put an interactive presence out to the market, using the web to engage with visitors to understand what they are looking for. From these understandings you may develop new ways of researching needs and wants, or differentiate yourself from other organisations. At the very least, you create a reason for people to return. This isn’t all about marketing either. By becoming more engaged with your visitors you have a better chance to understand their needs more fully, which can provide useful input into new products or services. You can listen to < S M A R T S - T H E I N T E L L I G E N T B U S I N E S S M A G A Z I N E . I S S U E T W E N T Y > PU BL I C ED I TI O N customers to find out what they like or dislike about your offerings. You can encourage and reward people for helping each other, creating a sense of belonging and, ultimately, a self-managing community. And these people can contribute their opinions, ideas and content to make the experience better for others – without the sanitisation that can sometimes come from a marketing or communications team. So how can your organisation implement one of these solutions? Intergen has a range of offerings for organisations looking to embrace social media. As always, which offering you select depends on what you want to do. EPiServer’s Community and Relate+ offerings enable organisations to create web and intranet communities – either on their own or by supplementing an existing site. Similarly, Microsoft SharePoint is also broadly deployed, and we can customise this, utilise the EPiServer offerings, or take advantage of NewsGator Social Sites which tightly integrates with SharePoint. Intergen has recently partnered with US-based NewsGator, which has a long history in RSS aggregation and online community development. Ultimately, whichever solution you choose depends on what you want to achieve – talk to us to discuss your options. Email: marketing@intergen.co.nz Intergen’s walking the talk and is on Twitter – get real-time updates by following www.twitter.com/teamintergen.
  9. 9. >>9< S M A R T S - T H E I N T E L L I G E N T B U S I N E S S M A G A Z I N E . I S S U E T W E N T Y > Microsoft has a heritage in creating developer tools, and Visual Studio 2010 is the latest version of Microsoft’s Integrated Development Environment (IDE). Designed to help developers create applications that utilise the full gamut of Microsoft technologies, the latest release of Visual Studio adds a raft of new features and refines some old ones. One of the exciting new additions is the support for parallel development. “As demands for application performance increased, customers have traditionally solved the problem by simply increasing the underlying power of the hardware that the application is running on. Over the last several years developers have seen the CPUs that their applications run on start to include 2, 4 or more cores. While the power of the hardware has increased, the transition to a multi-core environment has impacted the applications that developers write. The majority of applications will not be able to automatically take advantage of this multi-core hardware change.” (Source: Microsoft) Writing robust parallel capable code with the tools that are currently available is not a trivial exercise. There is no support within these tools to debug multiple paths of execution; there is no built in support to identify areas of the code that might present concurrency issues; and there are other issues such as thread affinity and ordering expectatations that need to be considered. Add to this the fact that sometimes parallelising a process can actually reduce its performance due to the overhead involved in managing the multiple paths of execution and it is easy to see why many customers often choose to avoid this problem altogether and opt for a single-threaded solution. Visual Studio 2010 addresses these concerns head-on: • The debugger is now aware of the parallel nature of code and can present the state of the application execution during debugging across the different parallel execution units. • Concurrency issues can be identified using the Parallel Capable Performance Analyzer that enables you to extensively instrument your code to visually see the concurrency issues that are in your applications. • .NET Framework additions such as Parallel Language Integrated Query (PLINQ) provide the next generation of components for our solutions. At Intergen we understand the significance of these additions to Visual Studio. Many of our customers have solved their performance issues in the same way that Microsoft has described above – by adding more powerful hardware. We see Visual Studio 2010 as providing us with a great opportunity to deliver vastly improved performance for new and existing applications to our customers, whether those solutions are online transaction processing systems, e-commerce websites or line-of-business applications. In times where customers want to get more for less, this approach will enable all of us to get more value out of our existing hardware. joe.newton@intergen.co.nz >> N E W T E C H N O L O G Y Joe Newton is Practice Principal, Enterprise Applications.A preview of Visual Studio 2010
  10. 10. >>10 >> PA C K A G E S A N D PA R T N E R S H I P S Rapid Results and HealthCheck Update Intergen forms partnership with Fuji Xerox The humble photocopier has changed significantly in the past few years. Devices that deliver fast copying, faxing, scanning and printing are now commonplace in most mid-sized offices. Now, with the next generation of multifunction devices from Fuji Xerox, any preconceptions about photocopiers need to be reset again. With the ApeosPort range of multifunction devices from Fuji Xerox, you can not only copy, fax, scan and print, but the device can now be integrated into your business processes. The underlying technology used in these devices allows them to access the internet to send and retrieve data, connecting to your organisation’s business applications to simplify and streamline document workflows. A key differentiator is the inclusion of a web browser – these devices can now access resources on the web, or on the intranet, without the intervention of a PC, while using the familiarity and ease of use of a browser. So what does this mean for Intergen? At Intergen, our goal is to add value to the applications we implement and develop, and the ApeosPort devices allow us to extend their reach. For instance, documents can be scanned and automatically uploaded to a SharePoint portal; or, using the web browser in the device, documents can be retrieved from the portal and printed – again, no PC required. Intergen is partnering with Fuji Xerox to provide implementation services for Fuji Xerox customers that want to go to the next level and integrate their devices with their applications. Devices such as these represent a new opportunity to further integrate technology into a business, adding demonstrable value to business processes and to create efficiencies that had only previously been imagined a few years ago. Over the past few months we have introduced several offerings designed to provide our customers predictable results for a predictable cost, taking advantage of the knowledge and experience we have in a number of key products. Our Rapid Results offerings are targeted at those organisations that want to get a solution up and running quickly, with a fixed scope and price, while our HealthChecks are like a vehicle Warrant of Fitness – enabling you to check your software to see if it’s delivering the results you need. Since our original Rapid Results and HealthCheck releases we have recently added some more offerings to the mix. In addition to the original Rapid Results offerings for Dynamics CRM and SharePoint, Rapid Results for Enterprise Search is now available. Designed for those organisations that want to find and utilise the information and knowledge they have stored in disparate locations – on file servers, on SharePoint servers, on websites – this offering utilises Microsoft Search Server to deliver a single, cohesive way of finding and accessing this information. This solution can also form the basis of a more powerful search solution, either immediately or as your needs evolve. In the HealthCheck area we have three new offerings. Our Microsoft Dynamics CRM HealthCheck allows organisations to get a comprehensive understanding of how they use Microsoft’s customer management product and whether they are getting full value out of their system. We also have two offerings for SQL Server, which is the database platform underpinning many of Microsoft’s enterprise solutions. The SQL Server Configuration HealthCheck is a short exercise where one of our consultants reviews the configuration of a SQL Server instance and reports on any configuration issues that they find. Our SQL Server Application Performance HealthCheck provides a more detailed and rigorous investigation of your SQL Server database and the performance of applications running on it. As well as checking the overall configuration of your SQL Server, we look at its performance, common operational tasks, and your development practices. All solutions are available now. Visit www.intergen.co.nz for more information. < S M A R T S - T H E I N T E L L I G E N T B U S I N E S S M A G A Z I N E . I S S U E T W E N T Y >
  11. 11. >>11>> B A C K S T A G E W I T H O F F I C E 2 010 It seems Intergen is getting a bit of a name for itself around Microsoft Corp as the go-to Silverlight guys. With our work with TextGlow – a browser- based document reader – and ButtercupReader – a digital talking book reader for the visually impaired – we’ve been lucky enough to take Silverlight to some pretty cool places. With only a couple of weeks until the big reveal of the latest version of Office, Microsoft Office 2010, at the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference in July, Microsoft Corp needed a ‘Backstage’ website with all the bells and whistles, built entirely in Silverlight, inside two weeks. Ever keen to get their hands on the technology and make ground breaking stuff, our Backstage project team set to work, using every minute available to them to get the job done. James Newton-King, a trusty member of the team, runs through the features of the site. Backstage is full of videos from the Office 2010 team who go behind the scenes of Office development and talk about what they have been busy working on since 2007. The main Backstage website is 100% Silverlight and shows off lots of great features, including: • 100% Silverlight design • Smooth streaming – videos will scale from HD for awesome broadband connections down to speed-optimised resolutions for mobile devices • Embedded social links to those sites all the cool kids are using (Twitter, Facebook, Delicious, Digg, Live) 100% Silverlight website, high profile global launch, two weeks’ notice – who you gonna call? < S M A R T S - T H E I N T E L L I G E N T B U S I N E S S M A G A Z I N E . I S S U E T W E N T Y > • Deep linking directly to videos • Commenting and rating videos, video view counts As well as the main site we have created an RSS feed of recently added videos. Not only can you subscribe to it via an RSS reader but the feed also works with iTunes and other video podcast clients. Finally, visiting mobile users will automatically be redirected to an HTML mobile version of the site, complete with low resolution videos for 3G mobile devices. It looks fantastic on my iPhone. It was a crazy ride getting everything done in time for the launch but the end result was worth it. Check out Backstage With Office 2010 at office2010themovie.com. james.newton-king@intergen.co.nz The mobile version of Backstage viewed on the iPhoneThe Backstage video podcast playing inside iTunes. The Backstage website for PCs, 100% Silverlight design.
  12. 12. FIND OUT MORE ABOUT INTERGEN: Auckland: +64 9 966 3070 info@intergen.co.nz Wellington: +64 4 472 2021 www.intergen.co.nz Christchurch: +64 3 964 0017 Dunedin: +64 3 477 5648 Sydney: +61 2 9969 0088 www.intergen.com.au Perth: +61 434 122 880 < S M A R T S - T H E I N T E L L I G E N T B U S I N E S S M A G A Z I N E . I S S U E T W E N T Y > >> T H O U G H T S O N T H E I N D U S T R Y Microsoft’s roadmap – What does it mean for us? In the technology industry, there’s always something new. Software and hardware companies are perennially announcing or releasing products intended to be the “next big thing,” expecting us – consumers and information workers alike – to readily embrace the latest and greatest. As a company that prides itself on keeping up with the latest trends, Intergen invests significant time and effort into understanding these new offerings and – above all – what benefits they can provide. And as a leading Microsoft partner, we’re continually tracking new products and services that come from the software giant. The next 12 months are a watershed year for Microsoft as several major products are scheduled for release, including updates of flagship products Windows and Office. But while it’s always exciting to have new products to implement and talk about, the real value of any offering is determined by the value it brings. Microsoft watchers are in for a busy year. In addition to updating its key Office and Windows franchises, Microsoft is also driving change in other parts of the industry. The company’s investment in online services is starting to come to market, and indications are that this will be a significant focus for the company over the next few years – the multi-billion dollar investment in data centres alone go a long way to proving this. New versions of Windows and Office – both client and server products – are scheduled for launch, with Windows 7 due to appear on October 22, and Office 2010 in the first half of next year. Not only are they important products, they’re also products which are facing increased competition, with organisations such as Google starting to venture into both the operating system and office application arenas. Beyond the desktop, after months of testing, Windows Azure, Microsoft’s foray into cloud computing, will be released in its final form towards the end of 2009, not only delivering a new platform for the development community, but also establishing it as the technology that underpins many of Microsoft’s online offerings. Enterprise implications Based on what was shown at Microsoft’s recent Worldwide Partner Conference, the company is doing everything it can to appease the early adopters who believe that online applications are the way to go, while presenting a cohesive upgrade path to its existing – and largely enterprise-focused – customers, who are seeking an evolution and not a revolution. While no easy task, indications are that Microsoft is being successful at walking this narrow tightrope. Office 2010 features both traditional client software and web-based versions and regardless of the version, Office has embraced collaboration in an online world, and organisations that are sufficiently equipped can share and work together – whether they are in the same office or in a different country. It’s also important to realise that solutions don’t have to be deployed entirely in the cloud or on-premise – hybrid deployment models enable organisations to trial these solutions, or seek to gradually migrate to a cloud-only model. The themes of connectivity and communication are core to many of Microsoft’s recent moves. By embracing online connectivity and multiple business models, how we communicate and collaborate will change, regardless of where we are, what we’re doing and what device we’re using. Whether its connecting to cloud-based services or other users, Microsoft is demonstrating that significant value can be added to applications that communicate and transact across a network, which more often than not is the World Wide Web. Having a variety of deployment options provide organisations of all sizes and abilities to select an option that meets their budgets, timeframes, requirements and internal abilities. Whether organisations are looking to move to the latest products, use these products as part of a larger deployment, or just to test out the features and functions of an offering, organisations can now have a choice as to how they work, often with minimal upfront cost. Here at Intergen we are embracing all these developments and can see many ways we can add value. Regardless of the deployment option or application involved, the solution still needs to meet the needs of the organisation using it, and by understanding how these latest offerings fit together we can help our customers choose the best option for their requirements.