Intergen Smarts 26 (2011)


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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 26 (2011)

  1. 1. >> T H E I N T E L L I G E N T B U S I N E S S M AG A Z I N E I S S U E 2 6 < Copyright 2011 Intergen Limited. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the permission of Intergen Limited > INTERGENITE PHOTO GALLERY >> 2 WEB UPDATE >> 6MICROSOFT DYNAMICS AX 2012 >> 7 8CONSULTING SERVICES 9OFFICE 365 >> 10MOBILITY >> 11POST PC COMPUTING >> 12 >> HOT NEWS UX DESIGN FOR MOBILITY >> 3 WORLDWIDE PARTNER CONFERENCE >> 4 >> INTERGEN'S DECADE {1.0} >> 5 Out with {decade 1.0}, in with {decade 2.0} The Christchurch team has a new home After months of cramped quarters, saintly quantities of patience and plenty of team morale to buoy them along, the team (pictured, centre) moved into their commodious new office in June. Intergen celebrates its 10-year milestone In June we turned 10… and we celebrated and reflected accordingly. See page 12 for photos. MICROSOFT DYNAMICS AX 2012 >> 10 years ago a group of 38 people emerged from the Advantage Group and Intergen was born. Since then, we’ve grown to almost 300 people in six locations across New Zealand and Australia. We’ve completed thousands of projects for hundreds of clients, using an ever-increasing range of Microsoft technologies. The staff of Intergen have become known as Intergenites. Intergenites are dedicated to delivering the absolute best solution to their clients and take great pride in being innovative and technically excellent. They love to see the difference they make, and people benefiting from the solutions they deliver. In terms of other recent achievements, we were also incredibly proud to achieve recognition from Microsoft at the annual Worldwide Partner Conference in July, where we were awarded both Presidents Club and Inner Circle status for 2011, both accolades reserved for the top Microsoft Dynamics Partners worldwide. Inner Circle recognises us as being both the largest Dynamics licence revenue provider in New Zealand and for achieving greater than 5% licence revenue growth, placing us in the top 1% of Dynamics partners globally. As part of these achievements, we receive attention from Microsoft executives at the highest level. This is extremely valuable to us and to our clients. Attending Microsoft’s Worldwide Partner Conference is an amazing experience, not just for the scale but also for the insights. Microsoft showed off some fantastic new developments, including updates in Microsoft System Center. This is a relatively new area for us but one in which we see a lot of opportunity. We have assembled significant experience in Microsoft System Center and we are already starting to deliver some great solutions to help IT departments deploy and manage their desktop and server environments. Our annual Dynamics Day moved to Auckland this year. The event allows us to share with the Dynamics community some of the insights we have about the future of the products and explore some ideas and possibilities that may help businesses get even more benefit from their Dynamics investment. This year’s event is the biggest yet, with well over 200 attendees registered from all over New Zealand, some coming from as far as Australia. We have very much enjoyed working with our clients over the past 10 years, delivering solutions that have helped you achieve your goals. From where we sit the future looks every bit as exciting and challenging as the past. We look forward to continuing to help you achieve your goals for years to come. In June we celebrated our 10-year anniversary. More than anything, the past 10 years have been about people. We have a great team and we’re incredibly proud of what we have achieved. Photo: The Christchurch team
  2. 2. >>2 1. Sydney Intergenites celebrate their new spacious work quarters with a spot of indoor cricket. 2. And a spot of Xbox. 3. A Perth office social night out involves Craig Keenan demonstrating his climbing skills (with a less than successful result). 4. Aiden, the Intergen guide dog, visits the Auckland office. 5. Organisers Lucy O'Neill and Josephine Hall reap the fruits of their labour at the Wellington Young Professionals Cocktail party. 6/7. First day in the new Christchurch office. 8. Eugen Buzoianu celebrates one year at Intergen (and one year and one day in New Zealand) with a giant yellow cake. 9. The Intergen Social Club Bake-Off winning entry. 10. Aaron Sinclair and Lee Herd put their tastebuds to the test as bake-off judges. 11. The Christchurch indoor soccer team. 12. The Auckland team celebrates a mid-winter shared lunch. >> I N T E R G E N I T E P H O T O G A L L E R Y 987 432 65 121110 1 >>2 < 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 S I X >
  3. 3. Designing the Mobile User Experience (UX) The mobile web is different. Companies are hungry to know what to do with mobile but many teams aren’t sure where to begin. With an increasing number of mobile devices available, you must now plan your online channel with mobile devices in mind, ensuring you have the capability to be responsive to multiple display dimensions. Mobile user experience presents us with the opportunity to craft new ways for people to interact with your systems and content. As a web designer, the good news is that the design methodology is similar to designing for traditional browser-based user interfaces — of course with some additional mobile-only considerations for smaller screen displays. Designing a website that works seamlessly on both full-sized screens and mobile devices can be challenging. Content that fits just fine on a large screen may not quite work on smaller devices, and you cannot rely solely on doing the technical work to tell the mobile browser to serve up the presentation layer correctly. Creating a mobile-ready website is not simply about removing the design ‘candy’ from your carefully crafted designs. We can’t just add in bigger call- to-action buttons and expect our mobile experience to be a success. We need to stay mindful of UX design principles in order to appeal to a mobile audience. Here are some key considerations to bear in mind. Know thy user The best thing a mobile designer can do is observe human behaviour. It’s a common misconception that UX for mobile is all about creating something for users that are time poor, checking their mobile on the bus, train or >> U X D E S I G N F O R M O B I L I T Y >> INTERGENITE April Hague-Smith What do you do? I’m a Web Strategist and User Experience Designer in the Wellington office. How do you make a difference? I love problem solving and finding solutions that the entire team is proud of and passionate about. I have been working as an Information Architect and Usability Specialist since 2004. I'm passionate about what I do for a living and believe it can benefit those who use the experiences I design. I enjoy helping public sector organisations, commercial businesses and individuals deliver the best possible online experience for their customers and stakeholders. I have achieved this through my knowledge and practice of interaction design combined with my experience involving customers throughout the project lifecycle using a range of user-centered design research techniques. What do you love about your job? I have been in agency land most of my career, so it's great to see how the other side tackles the same sort of project! It's great to work with a team of people that have such experience and knowledge within the digital space and to be able to bring my own knowledge and experience to the table. walking along the street. In actual fact, people are now using their mobiles at home as they would a laptop, preferring specific tools (or apps) available to them on mobile. Understand the medium When you’re using your mobile phone to consume the web, rather than your PC or laptop, instead of navigating via your mouse to interact with the web, you’re now using your fingertips. This, of course, provides its own unique challenges. You need to ensure that your design accommodates fingertip navigation. Designers need to rethink conventional mouse-based interaction – i.e. rollovers and dropdown menus. Be mindful of your own thinking and age-old habits – don’t be constrained by past conventions. Participate in the culture If you don’t already own a mobile device, go out and buy one. You need to participate in the culture that you are designing for. Embrace the chaos and experience the ways in which this dynamic and interesting space is changing each and every day. Stumble on your own usability frustrations and learn from these in your own designs. Prototype, prototype, prototype Prototyping is important in an iterative user-centred design process. Prototyping provides us with a space where we can test design alternatives, generate new and better ideas, and gradually refine them into final design solutions. Prototype early and often through the design process, continually testing with users and iterating based on their feedback. Mobile isn’t a fad. Forecasts predict that smartphones will outsell personal computers this year. We need to ensure that our designs meet this increasing demand and provide positive online mobile user experiences. If you’d like to chat about your questions and concerns about how to design for mobile user experience, we’re always keen to talk. Mobile design application requires a different approach. >>3< 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 S I X >
  4. 4. >> W O R L D W I D E PA R T N E R C O N F E R E N C E >> INTERGENITE The curtains have fallen on another Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC). Held in Los Angeles this year, this was the biggest WPC ever, with over 16,000 attendees converging from around the world. For those of us travelling long distance, having the conference one stop away in LA was a bonus. As always, Microsoft was an excellent host and looked after the large contingent of partners, especially those new to the WPC experience. I was joined at WPC this year by our CEO, Tony Stewart, and our Chief Operating Officer, Simon Bright. For me, WPC can be broken down into three key components, each of which is equally valuable: • Keynote and session updates. The opportunity to hear from Microsoft executives including Steve Ballmer, Kevin Turner, Kirill Tatarinov and many others about Microsoft’s vision for the future, and upcoming activities and plans. • Networking with Microsoft Executives and fellow partners from around the world. The opportunity to hear first-hand about future plans and how we are best positioned to leverage them. • The Expo, renamed this year to the Solution Innovation Center. The opportunity to meet key partners from all around the world that we represent and work with. While 2011 wasn’t a major ‘wave’ year for Microsoft, there was still plenty of new stuff to discuss, see and hear about. Key technologies discussed included: Wayne’s highlights from Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference 2011 • Cloud (Azure and Office 365) • Windows Phone 7 ‘Mango’ release • Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 • Windows Intune/Systems Center There were two key highlights for me at this year’s event: • Seeing the demo created by the Intergen team utilising CRM 2011, Office 365 and Azure at the Tuesday keynote. • Receiving recognition for achieving Inner Circle status for the second year in a row. This recognises Intergen’s position in the top 1% of Dynamics partners worldwide. Plus we received Presidents Club status, recognising the top 5% of Dynamics partners worldwide. As with every other WPC I’ve attended, there were always more things to do than time allowed, which is a shame when there are several important things happening at the same time. That is an unfortunate reality of attending an event of this scale. All in all another successful WPC. Next year WPC heads back to Toronto (it was last there in 2004) and I’m sure it will be another memorable event. 1. The red carpet treatment. 2. They must have heard we were coming? 3. We slummed it on a trip to Santa Monica. 2 3 4 5 4. A visit to the Microsoft store. 5. We built this demo. >>4 < 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 S I X > Tristyan Lebrun What do you do? I am a Senior CRM Consultant in Intergen’s Sydney office. How do you make a difference? I love finding elegant solutions to complex problems. I have been working in the CRM space for over seven years now and have a strong background in business analysis and project management. I pride myself on developing strong relationships with my customers and as my background is in contact centre-based CRM systems, I’m heavily focused on the user experience when delivering projects. What do you love about your job? I am extremely excited to be part of the Sydney office. I’m a self-confessed start-up junkie so for me Intergen provides the best of both worlds because for once, this “start-up” comes with the added advantage of having a fully established New Zealand practice behind it. A bit about yourself… I was born in Sydney and have lived most of my life in the Inner West. I’m an amateur musician and supporter of the local Sydney music community. I make an effort to try and see as much live music as possible in my spare time. In the not so distant past I had a brief stint as a professional poker player, however I realised quickly that the seedy underworld of the poker lifestyle was not for me, and now I only play casually these days. Tristyan Lebrun What do you do? I am a Senior CRM Consultant in Intergen’s Sydney office. How do you make a difference? I love finding elegant solutions to complex problems. I have been working in the CRM space for over seven years now and have a strong background in business analysis and project management. I pride myself on developing strong relationships with my customers and as my background is in contact centre-based CRM systems, I’m heavily focused on the user experience when delivering projects. What do you love about your job? I am extremely excited to be part of the Sydney office. I’m a self-confessed start-up junkie so for me Intergen provides the best of both worlds because for once, this “start-up” comes with the added advantage of having a fully established New Zealand practice behind it. A bit about yourself… I was born in Sydney and have lived most of my life in the Inner West. I’m an amateur musician and supporter of the local Sydney music community. I make an effort to try and see as much live music as possible in my spare time. In the not so distant past I had a brief stint as a professional poker player, however I realised quickly that the seedy underworld of the poker lifestyle was not for me, and now I only play casually these days.
  5. 5. >> W E B U P D A T E The Government of Western Australia Department of Culture and the Arts (DCA) enriches and supports Western Australians in the culture and arts sectors, helping to support these sectors to provide unique and transforming experiences. To help in doing this, DCA’s website needed to undergo its own transformational experience. A user friendly, good looking and manageable solution, attractive to users and staff alike, was the order of the day, and DCA chose EPiServer as the web platform to make this happen. “What we needed could have been achieved on many platforms, but EPiServer provided a user-friendly interface for the end user and an intuitive and simple CMS tool for staff,” says Richard Denboer, DCA’s Web Systems Manager. Staff had found the old web solution difficult to update and to learn the ropes on, and “the result was a clunky, messy website,” Richard explains. Ease of use in the new system was paramount. The new content management system needed to empower a wide range of content creators, the support needed to be professional and responsive, and the product releases needed to be kept on track. Having a local website provider was also important to DCA. Richard says: “With a solution selected that ticked all the boxes, we needed to find a local provider that would provide a good quality service, good communication and ongoing support.” Having Intergen on the ground in Perth proved useful. “Intergen was excellent to deal with and provided great results. The communication was excellent and the solution was delivered on time,” Richard says. DCA now has a website its staff are proud of and confident in. As a CMS tool, EPiServer is more intuitive, and as a destination it offers a far greater and more dynamic user experience. DCA can now direct its users to a friendly, up-to-date website that reflects its true purpose and provides a fitting showcase for local arts and culture. In summarising the greatest gains EPiServer has brought DCA, Richard says: “It’s now really simple for us to change content on our website, and our people are very well trained and confident. And that’s the reason why we purchased EPiServer creates a fitting showcase for Western Australian arts and culture Getting personal online Customer engagement is critical for any website. With the explosion of social media and web media in general, how users are influenced, consume information, and make purchasing decisions has been altered forever. Our expectations have changed significantly from the days when one set of content sufficed for all. Users are increasingly expecting company websites, products, and services to be tailored to their individual preferences, past experiences, and what they happen to be doing – at that moment, in real-time. This puts new demands on organisations to create personalised and engaging experiences for their audiences. Returning visitors to a website want to see a page based on all the information collected from previous visits, while new visitors are expecting customised messages based on their location or activity. EPiServer – because it’s simple and easy to use, and allows us to change our content quickly and confidently – and we’re happy with that!” EPiServer has recently updated its core EPiServer platform, combining personalisation capabilities across content, community, commerce, and communication ensuring organisations can target personalised content on their websites, online stores and communities. Organisations using the latest version of EPiServer can now allow their marketing teams to deliver targeted and personalised content across any of these properties, ensuring information is relevant and timely – giving visitors the information they need to make decisions, or perform transactions. Demographic and behavioural data such as location, the number of visits they have had, the pages that have been viewed, search terms, and many other factors are used to easily and clearly identify visitors and use these factors to tailor experiences. We see potential for organisations of all kinds to adopt these solutions and ensure they deliver a tailored experience for their audiences – internal or external. These capabilities deliver the flexibility to ensure the right information is reaching the right people, ensuring your investment in your web solutions delivers maximum value. If you'd like to talk about the latest offerings from EPiServer, email >>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 S I X >
  6. 6. Introducing Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 has reached “General Availability” and is soon to be officially launched at a virtual global event. In recent months Intergen has been working with several customers who have been eager to get on board early with the latest release of AX. And while it’s early days, we can see some excellent business productivity stories emerging already. We look forward to being able to tell some of these soon. There are plenty of Dynamics partners to choose from. Why choose the Intergen Dynamics team? A successful implementation is about more than just technology. It’s about forming a trusted partnership with your technology provider and knowing that they “get” the unique needs of your business – and that they can build solutions that meet and can continue to evolve with them. In the Microsoft world we often talk about leveraging the stack. Interoperability is key to Dynamics AX, and it’s a platform that works at its best when drawing upon and working with Microsoft’s other complementary technologies. To make the most of the Dynamics range, you need to have a depth and breadth of specialist Microsoft resources on hand. Gone are the days of a single Dynamics consultant backed by a team of multi-purpose developers. And this is where we can do what our competitors can’t, drawing on deep Microsoft expertise right across the business, bringing specialist knowledge to all areas of your project. Finding a partner who is as passionate as we are about the strategic application of Microsoft technology is key to the success of any project. Plus we inSure a great result. As well as bringing the scope and depth of resources you need to a project, we also give you the assurance that your solution is in good hands with us. We’ve taken Microsoft’s SureStep methodology and melded this with Intergen’s own tried and true application and governance model to create inSure. inSure combines our existing business process focused approach and extends the Microsoft SureStep methodology. The Dynamics AX 2012 proposition. With more than 1,000 new features and enhancements to talk about, we’ll keep it simple here. After all, for all these new features, AX is still all about simplicity. And familiarity. And ‘pervasive interoperability’. (And power and value.) Darren Wilson of Westland Milk Product explains Westland’s consideration of Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012: “We intend on implementing Process Industries for Dynamics AX2012, and have entered the design phase for this. We evaluated our options and an upgrade to Dynamics AX 2012 was the ideal all-in-one solution for our process manufacturing, product traceability and wireless warehousing needs." >> M I C R O S O F T D Y N A M I C S A X 2 012 James Page is Intergen's Practice Principal, Dynamics Solutions. >>6 < 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 S I X >
  7. 7. Here are some of the key features, as we see them: 1. RoleTailored User Interface The new user interface works just like the familiar Microsoft Office products. Enhancements to the RoleTailored user interface include FactBoxes, Fast Tabs and Preview Panes that let you view data from multiple sources without leaving the current form. Word and Excel work bi-directionally with AX 2012, and Microsoft Office add-ins allow you to view, analyse and update information within AX. And collaboration through SharePoint workspaces allows teams to quickly organise and share information. 2. Built-in Industry Capabilities Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 offers industry-specific capabilities out of the box, with support for public sector, manufacturing, services, retail, wholesale and distribution businesses included in this latest release. AX 2012 combines and makes these capabilities available to all customers, which is a bonus for complex organisations requiring capabilities for more than one industry. 3. Core ERP Suite Capabilities In a nutshell: there are more capabilities than ever, and they’re better than ever. New capabilities include supplier relationship management, case management and the Audit Work Bench, as well as enhancements in finance, sales and marketing, procurement, project accounting, human capital management, supply chain management, inventory management, and global risk and compliance. 4. The Application Foundation Master data, reference data and global engines are the foundation of the application. The enhancements in these three areas simplify the definition of master and reference data and the use of global engines across the multi-entity enterprise. 5. Business Intelligence and Reporting Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 BI and Reporting includes more than 800 Microsoft SQL Server Reporting Services reports, 11 SQL Server Analytics Server data cubes and enhancements to the framework, providing out of the box KPIs for different roles. 6. The Framework There are a number of structural enhancements in this release designed for increased IT efficiency and value. These include a graphical workflow editor and cloud-based services that help reduce IT complexity and front-end capital requirements. New programming concepts help IT professionals write less code. Role-based security accelerates the implementation of internal controls, and a host of new and improved Enterprise Portal features deliver the benefits of Microsoft AX 2012 through the internet and a web browser. In all, Dynamics AX is a product designed for agility, so you can “adapt quickly to change, expand into new markets and develop innovative products and services.” Sound like something you’d like to know more about? We’d love to talk to you about your next step into the “new generation” of ERP. >> M I C R O S O F T D Y N A M I C S A X 2 012 Couldn’t make it to this year’s Dynamics Day? If you couldn’t make it to Intergen’s Dynamics Day this year, but still want to learn about the latest developments in the world of Microsoft Dynamics, never fear. We’ll be making post- event synopses and highlights available at for you to peruse at your leisure. (And, of course, we have a team of Dynamics experts on hand year-round who will happily talk through your questions at any stage.) As the biggest event of its kind in New Zealand – a business-focused event tailored to ERP and CRM users – Dynamics Day has proved to be a sell-out success (even though the event is free) for three years running, with delegate numbers well in excess of 200 this year. Look out for Dynamics Day ’11 updates, highlights and photos in the next edition of SMARTS, due out later this year. Members of Intergen’s Dynamics team, Steven Foster and Derek Lamb, spreading the word about Microsoft Dynamics at a recent New Zealand Institute of Chartered Accountants’ event, held at Microsoft New Zealand. >>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 S I X >
  8. 8. >> C O N S U L T I N G S E R V I C E S We help our clients get maximum value from their improved (or new) processes and systems by ensuring they are deployed properly. At the end of the day it is usually people who are using the systems, and they need to be supported through training, communications, and change management to help them adopt improved ways of working. We help ensure change initiatives are successful by managing the cultural, behavioural and organisational changes required. We help our clients ensure they will continue to get added value from their systems and processes by defining effective governance structures so they continue to gain additional value throughout the life of the system. We help our clients by performing business and technology health checks – of their technology plans and their alignment with their business goals; of their current technology and how well it supports their business; of specific business processes to identify quick-win improvements; and of their information management and collaboration strategies. If you would like to find out more about how we can help you unlock the value in your business, contact our experienced business and technical consultants in our Consulting and Architecture Services team. Most of our clients are introducing new systems and processes so they can operate at an increased level of effectiveness and efficiency, or offer new services to their markets. Simply put, they are in the business of transforming their own business. But sometimes we see decisions being made that reduce the value an organisation will get from its technology investments, such as: • Parochial interests, where one business unit focusses on their own needs and opportunities are missed to work with other units to build something that is greater than the sum of the parts. • Automating inefficient processes that should really be redesigned or optimised before any systems are built. • Not bringing the users of the system along on the ride, and the benefits of the investment becoming diluted from low user uptake. Unlocking the value in your business We help our clients avoid these issues and help them unlock the value in their business. We achieve this by working with them at a strategic level to unlock value by aligning their use of technology with their business objectives through the development of strategies, roadmaps and transformation plans. We then work with our clients at an operational level to help them translate their strategies into effective and executable programmes of work and projects that will unlock the value in their business. We help our clients look at the big picture – looking across their business from all angles such as strategy, technology, process and people. We have business and technology architects and analysts that help develop an enterprise-wide view. Think of the construction business. The architect gets involved at the start of the project to help the client understand their needs, conceptualise how those needs can be met, to design a solution that will meet those needs and then to monitor and advise the builders and other parties to ensure the original vision is achieved. And that’s what we do, both from a business and technical perspective. We work with our clients at the big picture level, looking across the organisation, helping them clarify their high level requirements and then defining and framing them so that all participants have a clear, shared understanding. We help our clients prioritise their projects to give them the best bang for their buck, to identify the key benefits and to gain early success by picking low hanging fruit. Although many people think of Intergen as a “technology company,” that is actually far from the whole truth. Yes, we’re passionate about technology, but we are equally passionate about helping organisations become more successful and delivering more value for their customers and staff. In fact our vision statement doesn’t even mention technology – “Everyone, every day, is touched positively by the things we do.” We are driven by making the world a better place! Paddy Payne is Intergen's Director, Consulting and Architecture Services. >>8 < 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 S I X >
  9. 9. >> O F F I C E 3 6 5 Microsoft’s latest cloud offering brings together online versions of its best communications and collaboration tools. With a range of packages catering for all business scenarios – from small business to enterprise level solutions – and with pricing plans starting at less than $10 per person per month, there are a number of reasons to sit up and take notice of Office 365. Why consider Office 365? Work from anywhere, at any time, on virtually any device. Gone are the traditional ‘four walls’ of the office. Work how you want, where you want. Spend less on IT, and know exactly what you’re spending. Save your IT budget for the big projects. With Office 365 you pay only for the services you need. Take organisational collaboration to new heights. Conduct online meetings with colleagues and customers, making the most of the latest audio, video and screen sharing technologies. Share your calendar; important business information and documents; create sites for collaboration. Free up your IT resources. Office 365 fully manages and supports its offerings, providing 24/7 IT-level phone support. Stay online and stay protected. 99.9% uptime guaranteed, the latest virus and spam protection, and geographically-distributed data centres with backup and disaster recovery. What does Office 365 include? It’s not one size fits all – there are multiple plans available to fit different company needs, including: Microsoft Office Web Apps or Microsoft Office Professional Plus, Microsoft Lync Online, Microsoft Exchange Online and Microsoft SharePoint Online. Big business benefits on a small business budget with Office 365 Why MedRecruit leapt at the chance to get on board with Office 365 Queenstown-based medical recruitment company MedRecruit is all about offering doctors work-life balance and the chance to see the world while working. With 20 staff spread across Australasia, and a network of international contacts, MedRecruit needs low-maintenance and highly flexible IT systems that “just work”. As a company in growth mode, first- rate international collaboration was becoming increasingly important. For MedRecruit, no matter where in the world a MedRecruit staff member or customer happens to be, the smooth running of business processes and uninterrupted communications are a must. And as a small business with huge reach and big aspirations, Office 365 perfectly fitted MedRecruit’s brief. As very early adopters of Office 365, MedRecruit founder, Sam Hazeldine, is already counting the benefits Office 365 is bringing. “We needed a platform that didn’t require us to run our own servers, something low maintenance and 100% reliable that we didn’t have to think about. Our email is critical to the operation of our business. If it goes down, business stops, we can’t access our records and there are all sorts of things that can’t proceed. Before Office 365, these downtimes were time-consuming for us, and an inefficient use of our resources. We wanted to get rid of the overhead and time wastage that was causing strain on our processes,” he says. Having the latest communication and collaboration technologies on hand is proving a boon for business, too. “We’re already fully utilising our solution amongst our Australasian operation,” Sam continues, “and we’re looking at various other international opportunities, so having a robust communication platform is critical for us; it’s a support mechanism for our international expansion plans. Communication amongst our team is super important and now we can support our team no matter where they are. Through Office 365 we’re able to talk to and message each other, which allows us to stay in touch with what’s happening in both countries. This improved communication definitely gives us a competitive advantage.” Office 365’s benefits lie in the numerous simple things that make working life easier, Sam points out. “There are so many little things that help improve efficiencies and are absolutely useful, like instead of walking down the hall – or calling someone overseas – to see if someone is free, you can check their calendar online, and see their availability via ‘presence',” he says. MedRecruit's founder, Dr Sam Hazledine, shows how work-life balance can be achieved. >>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 S I X >
  10. 10. 8 reasons Mango tastes so good 5. Social Integration. Windows Live, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are seamlessly linked to your contacts and updates in Windows Phone Mango. Viewing a contact with linked social information will show you their Facebook updates, photo uploads, and phone history (calls, text messages, emails and everything else in one list). If that’s not enough, when communicating with a friend, it’s super-simple to switch between communication modes on the fly. 6. Contact Groups. Take the social networking features mentioned above, add in calls and text messages, then link them all together with contact groups. Click on your “Family” group tile, and you’ll see recent status updates, photos, and communications from that group. Hit one button to send a group email or text message to all the group members. 7. Bing Audio and Bing Vision. Hold your phone up to a music source and Bing Audio will identify it for you. Likewise, show Bing Vision some text or a bar code using the integrated camera on your Windows Phone, and Bing Vision will recognise the text (or bar code, or QR code). 8. Xbox Live Updates. With the Mango update, Windows Phone cements its place as the phone to have for gamers. The Xbox hub is completely redesigned, bringing your Xbox avatar, friends, games and achievements to the fore. Overall, Microsoft has added in the order of 500 new features and 1,500 new developer APIs to Mango, so whichever way you look at it, it’s one heck of a juicy update. >> M O B I L I T Y Microsoft is about to release a major update to its new Windows Phone platform. Codenamed “Mango," this new update will include a swathe of new features designed to catch up with, and surpass, competitors in the smartphone market. Why does Mango taste so good? Let me count the ways… 1. Live Tiles. Windows Phone uses a unique tile-based layout on the home screen. Tiles provide you with “glance and go” information, showing you everything from unread message counts to Facebook updates. Developers can now create additional tiles for applications which take you straight to the information you need. 2. Advanced Multi-tasking. Microsoft has worked hard to combine the functionality of background processing with the battery life and performance we expect from our phones. The result in Mango is a rich background processing framework which allows developers to offload tasks like large downloads and status updates to the operating system. 3. New Hardware Features. The new Mango hardware specification adds faster processors, better 3D graphics, and a sensitive gyroscope to the Windows Phone hardware. With new phones coming from Nokia, Samsung, HTC and others, there’ll be plenty of sexy hardware available by the end of 2011. But wait: if you already have a Windows Phone, Mango will work perfectly on your device too. Microsoft has promised the software update will be available for all existing hardware. 4. Internet Explorer 9. Using the same underlying engine as Microsoft’s flagship desktop web browser, Internet Explorer 9 on Windows Phone brings HTML5 compatibility and blazing-fast Javascript performance to the phone. Ben Gracewood What do you do? I’m a Solutions Architect in Intergen’s Auckland office. I make ideas into reality, whether that’s by crystallising ideas into concrete plans, or actually building software. How do you make a difference? My background in banking, operational IT and management has taught me that pragmatism and solid code are the roots of great solutions. I help ensure that we don’t over-engineer solutions, while at the same time focusing on the bits that truly matter: security, stability and solution-fit. What do you love about your job? I call myself a recovering manager. Having successfully led teams of developers and watched them deliver great software, I’ve come to the realisation that I truly love building software. I love that this role lets me get my hands dirty! A bit about yourself… I’m a geek, and I’m proud of it. My Lego space shuttle has pride of place on my desk, I change phones more often than most people change shoes, and I blog about gadgets and software. I’m married to my high-school sweetheart, and we have two gorgeous kids. >> INTERGENITE >>10 < 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 S I X >
  11. 11. >> POST PC COMPUTING Computing is changing. For the best part of three decades, information workers have been accustomed to creating and consuming data and information through desktop personal computers. Hardware and software makers have benefitted from this trend, and now the PC is entrenched in our daily lives – both business and personal. Leading analyst firms are now predicting that shipments of smartphone devices will soon surpass personal computers for the first time. Tablet devices are also selling in the tens of millions of units, adding fuel to the argument that the industry is entering a phase where the personal computer is no longer the dominant computing device. Does this mean the PC is dead? Reports of the PC's death are exaggerated Borrowing from Mark Twain, the rise of smartphone and tablet devices will not kill but will rather complement the desktop PC and laptop form factors for many years to come. Whilst Microsoft has long been a proponent of slate, or tablet, devices, it’s been the smart design and polished execution of the Apple iPhone and iPad that have triggered a new wave of innovation within the computing industry and have largely been responsible for the “post PC” discussion. Despite the impact of these devices, and the waves of devices that will come into the market, the PC is by no means dead. Forrester Research forecasts that, even in the US where this change is occurring most rapidly and the PC is a mature market, consumer laptop sales will still grow at a compound annual growth rate of 8% between 2010 and 2015, while desktop PC sales will only slightly decline. By 2015 though, while Forrester estimates 140 million US consumers will possess laptops, 82 million consumers will own a tablet or slate device. In other words, there’s room for all kinds of devices. Microsoft has always talked of the proverbial “three screens”: the phone, the PC and the television. Inevitably, this story has evolved to include tablets as well – as it must, as this is what the market wants. There is a significant groundswell towards tablet devices and Microsoft is evolving its story to counter its increasingly popular and influential competitors. Head in the sand strategy? But while the PC still has years of life left in it, the next release of Windows – Windows 8 – will be carefully monitored to see if it embraces the change towards mobile computing or tries to ignore it. Early previews of Windows 8 have shown that Microsoft is fully aware of the market desire to adopt tablet devices and is building an OS that can be used in multiple form factors. More will be revealed at Microsoft’s Build conference in September. Critics of Microsoft believe it has to think radically differently in order to maintain its pivotal role in the computing ecosystem. By religiously maintaining its focus on Windows, Microsoft has been accused of being hell-bent on protecting its Windows franchise, risking it all by adopting the proverbial “head in the sand” strategy. Putting aside the financial implications of weakening its Windows franchise (which are significant), is Microsoft wanting to protect the short-term while ignoring the long-term? Should it rethink its dependencies and pursue a strategy less dependent on Windows? Whatever Microsoft does, it’s being closely watched. With 400 million PCs now running Windows 7, there is a significant user base that will deliver value for the company for many years to come – and that’s ignoring the earlier versions of the operating system out there. Enterprises are a proven market for Microsoft and its offerings. Enterprises rely on a familiar, stable and – importantly – manageable operating system, something that other OS vendors can’t currently rival. While consumers may be attracted by the hardware and software of other vendors, priorities are different in the enterprise, where productivity and stability remain topmost in enterprise CIOs’ minds. Enterprises have also invested significant sums in Is the personal computer dead? management tools and employee training, so any purchasing decision needs to take a broad cross- section of considerations into account. In other words, in the enterprise where the real money is for Microsoft and where Windows 8 could quickly build up some serious momentum. Hardware makers are also going to support Microsoft. While the likes of HP and Dell will produce non-Microsoft-based devices, for true mass adoption – particularly in the enterprise – Microsoft will never not be in the mix, and these manufacturers will create new hardware designs to differentiate in the market, creating more choice for purchasers. It’s about the users Ultimately, the success of any technology offering is dependent on the marketplace and what the users want. The reality is we’re all going to create and consume information in different ways, at different times and in different places – and we’re going to use a range of devices in the process. Tablet devices are going to make their way into organisations either by design or accident, and the next few years will be critical for Microsoft to show it has the vision and smarts to pivot itself and adapt to a marketplace that’s rapidly evolving. Tim Howell is Intergen's Marketing Manager. >>11< 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 S I X >
  12. 12. Intergen turns 10 and celebrates in style Intergen’s recent decade {1.0} milestone was celebrated by the team on both sides of the Tasman. We reflected on the years gone by, noting the milestones and the changes that have taken place over a decade, charging our glasses to 10 years of making a difference and painting the IT scene yellow. Suffice to say, Intergen 2001 and Intergen 2011 are markedly different, and yet much has stayed the same. Over the past 10 years there have been significant changes in technology, and Intergen has experienced huge growth and change. 10 years on, our staff numbers are approaching the 300 mark (with more than 800 staff having passed through the ranks over the course of a decade); our Big Hairy Audacious Goal (that everyone, every day is touched positively by the things we do) lives on; we seem have always sat naturally at a 1:3 female/male ratio; we’ve put more than $108 million in salaries back into the economy; we’ve completed thousands of projects and have provided careers for more than 72 graduates starting to make their way in the IT world. Who knows what decade 2.0 will hold? >> I N T E R G E N ' S D E C A D E { 1. 0 }>>12 < 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 S I X > < AUCKLAND +64 9 966 3070 > < WELLINGTON +64 4 472 2021 < SYDNEY +61 2 9241 6616 > < CHRISTCHURCH +64 3 964 0017 > < DUNEDIN +64 3 477 5648 > < PERTH +61 8 9228 9990 > < – – – >FIND OUT MORE ABOUT INTERGEN