InfoPath (codename XDocs) a new product in the Microsoft Office family,
streamlines the process of gathering ...
Domainz: You name it,
they can do it
The Challenge
When an individual or organisation wants to register a domain name, whe...
>> P R O F I L E>>4
Intergen’s Development and Integration Services team have developed and
>> P R O F I L E >>5
Andrew Jamieson
What do you do?
I am an analyst, I help customers to
disclose their solution requirem...
“The beer list please”
Thanks to beer writers such as Geoff Griggs, we all know a Blonde Mac isn’t
the latest desktop.
In ...
Making sense of OLAP
>> T E C H N I C A L
OLAP, or Online Analytical Processing, is a technology used to capture high
>> S T R A T E G Y
Such thinking gives organisations and communi...
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Intergen Smarts 3 (2003)


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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 3 (2003)

  1. 1. BUSINESS SOLUTIONS >> PROJECT CASE STUDY >> PROFILE >> PROFILE >> NEWS & LEISURE >> TECHNICAL >> STRATEGY >> 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Where to from here? I S S U E T H R E E >> HOT NEWS: Intergen has been ranked as the 6th best place to work for the second year running. The just released Unlimited magazine Best Places to Work survey involved over 10,000 staff from 117 organisations. For more information see the next edition of SMARTS, or check out for results, tips and much more. >> 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 SMARTSmagazinedesignandproductionbyIntergenCreativeStudio Welcome to 2003 and our third edition of SMARTS. Typically at this time of the year we have an opportunity to look back at our achievements over the past year and to set some objectives for the coming 12 months. From a technology point of view, the .NET Framework has been huge. We spent much of 2001 preparing for its launch and we really hit the ground running in 2002. We have now completed more than 20 applications based on .NET. We have developed applications using ASP.NET, VB.NET and C#. We have also gained a lot of experience with web services. I'm looking forward to .NET solidifying its position in 2003 with the release of more .NET enabled server products from Microsoft and a growing adoption of web services as a standard for inter- application/inter-company communications. It's not all been .NET though. 2002 was the year that pure bespoke development started to give way to implementation and customisation of products. Where we would have previously developed Portals and Intranets from scratch we are now building on the features provided by Microsoft SharePoint Portal Server and Microsoft Content Management Server. We have had a lot of success with these two products, including provision of them in a hosted environment, and look forward to doing even more in 2003. Other projects in 2002 included; Business Intelligence solutions based on OLAP cubes provided by SQL Analysis Services and Enterprise Application Integrations using BizTalk Server to interface to legacy applications. We also made several forays into Mobility, primarily with SMS enabled applications. We begin 2003 as a growing company. Our revenues are up more than 25% and our staff numbers are up 15% on last year. Most new staff have been added toouralreadystrongdeveloperteam,buttheprojectmanagement, creative and business development areas have also been supplemented. We have achieved the requirements to retain our Microsoft Gold Certification for E-Commerce Solutions for 2003 and we are well on the way to achieving Gold Certification for Collaborative Solutions as well. We continue to be at the forefront of Microsoft technologies and are currently working with Beta versions of new software due for release later this year. I trust you had an enjoyable Christmas and we look forward to helping you make 2003 a prosperous new year. < Copyright 2003 Intergen Limited. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without permission of Intergen Limited >
  2. 2. >>2 InfoPath InfoPath (codename XDocs) a new product in the Microsoft Office family, streamlines the process of gathering information by enabling teams and organisations to easily create and work with rich, dynamic forms. The information collected can be integrated with a broad range of business processes because InfoPath supports any customer-defined XML schema and integrates with XML Web services. As a result, InfoPath helps to connect information workers directly to organisational information and gives them the ability to act on it, which leads to greater business impact. InfoPath is expected to be available mid-2003. Source: Office The next version of Microsoft Office, code-named "Office 11” is expected to ship in mid-2003. "Office 11" is a significant step forward in the delivery of Microsoft's vision for improving information worker productivity. "Office 11" makes connecting and using data simpler through its broad support for standards-based Extensible Markup Language (XML), enabling the exchange of any form of data across heterogeneous systems, platforms and applications. "Office 11" creates a more productive work environment by enabling information workers to access the right data when and how they need it, and then apply that knowledge within the familiar Office environment to better serve customers, partners and employees. Source: 09SmartOfficePR.asp CRM Microsoft Customer Relationship Management helps midmarket businesses build profitable customer relationships. Integrated Sales and Customer Service modules enable employees to share information to improve sales success and deliver consistent, efficient customer service. Sales and customer service features include leads and opportunity management, a complete view of customer history, automated incident management, and a searchable knowledgebase. Microsoft CRM also includes reporting tools for accurate forecasting and measurement of business activity and employee performance. Microsoft CRM ensures consistency of data across teams and departments, streamlines processes, and empowers employees with a complete, accurate view of customer information. Built using Microsoft®.NET technologies. Source: OneNote OneNote, an application designed to allow people to capture notes in one place and then organise and use them more effectively. OneNote is a new application that enables you to capture, organise, reuse and share your notes the way you want, so you can organise and use your information more productively. OneNote will enable people to take typewritten notes on a desktop or laptop computer. In addition, Tablet PC users will be able to capture handwritten notes, pictures and diagrams. This new application is tailored to meet the needs of note-takers who want a better solution for organising, accessing and sharing notes. OneNote builds on the easy-to-use tools and features found in Microsoft Office to enhance the way people take notes, which is often the first step in creating a formal document. Two other significant releases due in 2003: Microsoft SQL Server 2003. The first major revamp of the industrial strength SQL Server product from Microsoft for three years. We expect this will be significant and look forward to seeing early betas. SharePoint Portal Server 2003. This is one of the most successful products released by Microsoft. Intergen has worked a lot with SharePoint Portal Server and is one of two hundred companies currently beta testing this new version. We believe SharePoint Portal Server continues to be well suited to the New Zealand environment and such is our belief in the product, we have developed CustodianRMS, a Records Management plug-in. What’s new and cool? >> B U S I N E S S S O L U T I O N S < 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 H R E E > >> INTERGENITE: Mark Orange What do you do? I’m a developer specialising in Microsoft Content Management Server. I helped build some of the first deployed CMS sites in NZ, and was picked by Microsoft to join an early adopter course for the new CMS2002 in Seattle. What are you known for? I am known for having a real passion for creating things and improving existing processes. How do you make a difference? My mix of developer and creative skills helps me see the big picture. This is important in large content managed solutions as the sites are all about how non IT users interact with them. What do you love about your job? I work in a really great team environment with people willing to go above and beyond to help you out. I enjoy coming into work each morning with a sense of anticipation of doing new and cool things. Tell us about yourself? When I can escape from my kids for an afternoon I like to do a bit of computer gaming. I was even in the Listener in November with a gaming article (under the alias AgentOrange).
  3. 3. Domainz: You name it, they can do it The Challenge When an individual or organisation wants to register a domain name, where’s the first place to turn to, or should we say click to? The name most of us know is Domainz. New Zealand’s biggest registrar of domain names with over 100,000 registered names alone. But the registry environment is changing and new competitive players will enter the market. Domainz were determined to be streamlined and ready for the new environment. Much needed to be reviewed - from the way Domainz interacted with customers, to improving internal financial accounting processes and looking at the whole design and usability of the site. “Our focus was to make Domainz a viable company in the competitive market. We’re not just talking about a facelift to the way the site looks. It’s about proactively giving our customers more service. It's vital to keep our customers rather than see them leave for our competitors”. Tim John, IT Manager, Domainz Limited. To retain and grow business, Domainz wanted to remain the top of mind choice with internet users. Working within Domainz’s Domain Discussing the implications of what’s possible and making it happen doesn’t just happen from a distance. “Intergen seconded staff to work on site with us which really made it a total success. They understood our business inside out, and Intergen got it absolutely right in matching the development team and us together”. Tim John, Domainz. When personalities click, you know you’ve got the relationship right. Time spent working together on projects that had their ups and downs meant Intergen and Domainz knew what was required to make things work. Jointly turning things around has cemented the partnership and laid the basis for why the redesign was able to achieve an incredible amount in such a short time. As Domainz puts it, “this wasn’t just a facelift, but going back to the foundations of customer service. Without our history together, or without the resources they put onsite, we wouldn’t have achieved what we did”. Let’s name some new developments >> Registering a name is simpler and more streamlined than ever. >> The new design can acknowledge customers with a password. >> The customer sees an easy, simple to use format. >> Behind the scenes, the internal structures for payment are quick and responsive. >> Content Management tools have also been a big factor - Domainz can manage all content themselves with no ongoing cost. More than ready for the competitive environment, Domainz also have a host of other customer services imminent in the pipeline. Feedback is highly positive. Domainz hopes to remain the domain registrar of choice whether it be,, .maori, .govt or one of 8 other different registration choices – you name it they can do it. Sharon Ross I currently work as a Solution Manager in the Professional Services team but started as a developer four years ago with Glazier Systems. How do you make a difference? As a Solution Manger I am particularly interested in seeing the customer’s concept come to life. Delivering a solution which is of value, and bringing together all the necessary elements to produce the solution is rewarding. What do you love about your job? We have the ability to go as far as we want with our careers. The support is there to continue to learn and new concepts or ideas are always listened to. The people here are a major draw card as they are all passionate about their work which is inspiring. Tell us about yourself? I have a very active role with the social club organising, with the help of others, the staff Christmas party, work conferences, and other smaller events. After a lot of hard(ish) training, I have just completed the Speights Coast to Coast. >> INTERGENITE: >> C A S E S T U D Y < 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 H R E E > >>3
  4. 4. >> P R O F I L E>>4 DEVELOPMENT & INTEGRATION Intergen’s Development and Integration Services team have developed and deployed some of the largest E-commerce and Internet application projects in New Zealand. Our team has extensive technical strengths specialising in the Microsoft product set. Intergen supports the latest development technologies, exclusively delivering applications using the Microsoft .NET framework and Microsoft .NET enterprise server suite including: Content Management Server, SQL Server, SharePoint Portal Server, BizTalk, Exchange, Commerce Server BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT Intergen’s client services model focuses on providing clients with structured account management that ensures a strong partnering relationship is built up and maintained across projects. We offer many years of experience with staff in this area including company directors, account managers and support staff. We believe time spent by the Business Development team is critical to the success of your business and therefore do not charge our time to clients. Consulting and analysis skills in this group range from Market Strategy Development and Internet Strategy Development through to project based Business Analysis and Requirements Development. < 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 H R E E > Intelligent Integration Intergen integrates the disciplines of business knowledge, information technology and creativity. We are small enough to work together seamlessly, and large enough to have the breadth and depth of experience to offer a comprehensive range of services.
  5. 5. >> P R O F I L E >>5 Andrew Jamieson What do you do? I am an analyst, I help customers to disclose their solution requirements in terms of their business issues, priorities, processes, customer and information needs. What are you known for (famously of infamously)? Being the Methuselah of the tech-set, and the oldest cyclist in the company. What do other people call you? AJ, grandad, and some even less complimentary names. How do you make a difference? As a business resource I make small but numerous contributions to projects and business development where understanding business drivers and having experience is useful. What do you love about your job? Being a part of a highly energetic team, whose sole focus is consistently beating the odds, being successful and achieving leadership with its solutions. Tell us about yourself? I've done a lot of things; VSA in Sarawak, a lawyer, company secretary, operated a microcomputer solution development company, a principal in Ernst and Young. I joined Glazier Systems in 1997 and have been here ever since - through its various guises. >> INTERGENITE: CREATIVE STUDIO Intergen Creative Studio specialises in the design of interactive user experiences for business tools and visual communications. The Intergen Creative team is made up of the hottest new media talent combined with proven senior brand and design skill from conventional media. The outcome of this approach is one of the strongest web design teams in New Zealand. We have an enviably close relationship with our Development, Project Management and QA colleagues, ensuring powerful interface design solutions. Our pragmatic approach to website design is based on one simple and fundamental fact: “The web is a navigational system”. We firmly believe that best of type interface solutions are not simply the product of creative genius. Our project successes are the result of disciplined understanding of navigation design, browser limitations and audience suitability. The strong on-line brands we create deliver memorable user experience as well as being intuitively simple. Our experience ranges from stunning website brochure ware, multimedia and motion graphics, to user interface design for web enabled applications. We create, design and build intelligent web interface solutions that work. TECHNICAL SERVICES Intergen’s Technical Services team maintain a purpose built computer and Internet hosting facility located on site. We offer skilled technical services capability delivering specialist: technical consulting; Internet hosting; and facilities management services. The Technical Services team also deliver a breadth of technical infrastructure services including – computer systems design and implementation, systems upgrades, database and back-office management, and security consultation. PROFESSIONAL SERVICES Professional Services make up Intergen’s professional project managers, business analysts and consultants. They are responsible for ensuring projects are delivered within budgeted time and cost, and meeting client expectations. This team also assumes responsibility for consulting and facilitation on matters of scope, architecture choices, development approach, requirements gathering and analysis, and solutions design. While they perform an important solution facilitation role for our projects, they are also retained specifically by clients for the investigation of options, research of requirements and solution-specific consulting. < 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 H R E E >
  6. 6. “The beer list please” Thanks to beer writers such as Geoff Griggs, we all know a Blonde Mac isn’t the latest desktop. In recent times Geoff has introduced staff and clients of Intergen to some exceptional brews and blown the froth off a few good stories at beer tasting events. Here’s what ales him about dining out and a few tips about enjoying beer this summer. “If there's one thing guaranteed to wind me up when I'm dining out, it's the feeble range of beers offered by most restaurants.” If you’re really lucky, the back page of the wine list will sometimes reveal a list of half a dozen or so premium lagers and ‘big name’ draughts. If you’re unlucky there’ll be no mention of beer at all. A meal out is a special occasion for me and, just like the wine drinker, I’m looking for a decent choice of different styles to match with the food I am about to order. Wheat beers, Pilsener lagers, lambics, India Pale Ales, Trappist ales, Black beers and stouts; all have their place at the meal table and in some situations perform better than wines. Chocolate dishes can be difficult to pair with wine, but the beer world offers rich Trappistes (like Rochefort 8 and 10) and roasty stouts and even a tricky vegetable like asparagus can be well matched with a spicy Belgian Ale (try Westmalle Tripel). Northern Germany’s hoppier Pilseners (like Holsten, Beck’s and Jever) have a pleasing palate-cleansing astringency that can be utilised in exactly the same way as the grassy acidity of a Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc. As for cheeses and heavily spiced curries, well they’re just made for beer! And that’s just scratching the surface. >> INTERGENITE: Andrew Tokely What do you do? I am a senior developer. I am particularly interested in the software development cycle and how best to apply the theory with the reality of software design. How do you make a difference? Developing software is more than lines of code; it requires an understanding of the entire development cycle. I have worked in the IT industry for over 8 years and have gained a lot of real world experience. What do you love about your job? As a kid I found nothing more satisfying than solving puzzles, jigsaws, Rubik’s cube, crosswords, I loved them all. Now I get to solve puzzles for a living. Tell us about yourself? I studied statistics at Victoria University and before embarking on an IT career was a freelance statistical consultant. Besides work I am a keen traveller, I’ve cycled through the Canadian Rockies, picked bananas on a Kibbutz in Israel, skied in the French Alps, been a cycle courier in London and explored ancient ruins in Peru. >> N E W S & L E I S U R E>>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 H R E E > Intergen Auckland Intergen Auckland has had an active couple of months including the appointment of Paul Quirk as Professional Services Consultant. Paul was previously based in our Wellington office and has been with the company for over a year. With our focus on .NET including Sharepoint, BizTalk and Content Management Server, Paul's experience is welcomed - he has been involved in six major implementations of these platforms over the last eight months. Don't forget that we are also running the highly successful Twilight Seminars in Auckland. We utilise Totem on the Viaduct for the sessions, providing a convenient central venue. Twilights start again in February 2003. If you would like to be placed on the invitation list please send me an e-mail: If you'd like to know more about what makes us different in the Auckland marketplace and the skills and expertise we can provide, please call me, Shaun Donaghey, directly on (09) 488 1604. I look forward to talking to you. CustodianRMS Our locally developed records management product, CustodianRMS, is now available for sale. CustodianRMS works within the “digital dashboard” environment of Microsoft’s SharePoint Portal Server and provides the ability to search and store metadata for electronic records as well as physical files and publications. Last year we shipped the product to a large Australian corporate and our goal for 2003 is to have CustodianRMS included in Microsoft’s webpart gallery. For more information:
  7. 7. Making sense of OLAP >> T E C H N I C A L OLAP, or Online Analytical Processing, is a technology used to capture high volumes of data from transactional systems and produce aggregated results for analytical purposes. It provides speedy results for ad-hoc, real-time analytical queries. OLAP technologies are used to implement data structures referred to as (OLAP) cubes. Each cube represents a single subject area of the business. The cube contains aggregate data of interest (for the given subject area), which are referred to as measures. These measures are aggregated according to attributes associated with these measures, which are referred to as dimensions. Examples of measures include quantity and price; while time, region and product are examples of dimensions that could be associated with such measures. Regardless of the specific technology used, there are a number of core stages in the implementation of an OLAP based data warehouse. 1) Requirements analysis to identify the core business subject areas to be modelled in the OLAP system. 2) Identification of data sources required by each subject area. 3) Design and build star-schema data models where data from the OLTP (Online Transaction Processing) source systems will eventually be placed. 4) Design and build Extract, Transform and Load (ETL) processes for extracting data from the source OLTP system(s) into a staging area, then transforming it, before loading it into the star-schemas. 5) Design and build OLAP multidimensional cube structures by defining the 2) All operation key fields have been replaced by surrogate keys. Maintaining history as changes occur within the source system and in our case to avoid collision between primary keys of the source. 3) The date/time field in the source system has been replaced by a date dimension with the appropriate data hierarchies required. The next step is to design and build ETL processes using SQL Server’s Data Transformation Services (DTS) or alternative development tools. Analysis Manager should then be used to build shared dimensions for product, date, region and customer and define mappings to appropriate columns in the underlying star- schema dimension tables. Lastly Analysis Manager is used to process the OLAP cube which will produce the aggregated data. For more information about OLAP, its functions and how to deploy it contact Roshan Perera mappings to the underlying star-schemas 6) Evaluate, choose and deploy the necessary OLAP end-user analytical tools. To illustrate what is required for stages 2-5 we will use an example based on sourcing data from a single (fictitious) OLTP source called InterFIN. InterFIN is a large, highly scalable financial system. It includes AR, AP, payroll, order entry, inventory, job management, fixed assets and timesheet modules. Marketing staff are interested in sales data entered into the Order Entry system. The quantity and sales total (=unit price * quantity) have been determined as the measures of interest for the OLAP cube. Examination of the data model has also determined that the product, product-category, date, store, region and customer are attributes associated with the sale and should be included as the cube’s dimensions. A star-schema data model below is then designed to hold this information. A number of things should be noted about this model. 1) Unlike the highly normalised data model of the source system, the star-schema is de-normalised resulting in a lot of data redundancy. There are several reasons why data warehouse and OLAP modelling requires deliberate de-normalisation. Firstly, most OLAP engines perform the aggregation process significantly faster when the data is held in a de-normalised form as there are fewer table joins to perform. This is an important consideration when pre-aggregating large volumes of data. Secondly, many data warehouse architectures not only employ OLAP cubes, but may also use the star- schema directly for traditional SQL-based reporting. Constructing simplified star-schemas result in data models that are easily understood by end users and can be queried with simpler SQL statements. >>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 H R E E > FK1 SurrogateCustomerID FK3 SurrogateProductID FK4 SurrogateRegionID FK2 DateID QuantitySold SalesTotal Sales _Fact Product_Dimension PK SurrogateProductID FK1 ParentProductID Description Product_Dimension PK SurrogateCustomerID CustomerName Date_Dimension PK DateID Year Quarter Month Week Date YearText QuarterText MonthText WeekText DateText Region_Dimension PK SurrogateRegionID FK1 ParentRegionID Description
  8. 8. >> S T R A T E G Y SMARTSmagazinedesignandproductionbyIntergenCreativeStudio Such thinking gives organisations and communities a head start in understanding: >> What these road signs mean? >> What they can do when future scanning helps identify the existence of such road signs? Since August, the Global Foresight Network research team have been tracking over 30 topic areas, hunting for the early signals of significant future trends and discontinuities. When viewed individually each “future thread” can only ever be a small and very weak signal of future shifts. When clustered together – the insights can be profound. Take for example, the topic of “mobility and wireless”. It is now clear that the information rich wireless mobility solutionshave crossed the “tipping point”. They have moved from expensive early adopter business and consumer niches, to the beginnings of mainstream volume demand in the home, and at work and play. Knowledge workers and consumers across Asia, Europe and America are buying into smart mobile devices in droves and will expect their information and transaction providers to provide easy connection and access yesterday. The momentum of this market demand will be unforgiving of late adopting suppliers. How well is your organisation positioned to provide information to its newly wiring customers? Can you afford to be a wireless laggard? How could wireless services lower your costs or improve your competitive value proposition? What are your competitors doing with wireless? The wireless mobility trend is one of many tsunami change waves about to crash around us. The speed of change is accelerating. Future trend watching is no longer an interesting hobby. I commend it as critical business tool for remaining competitive and relevant on this shrinking planet. (Mark Fowler is an Intergen Associate and Director of Global Foresight Network. See for more Future Threads) Strategic thinking can be likened to the headlights of a car while driving in darkness. The headlights assist the driver navigate through what is often uncharted territory. In order to assist the driver it is necessary to scan the future - to imagine and visualise what the road looks like beyond the next corner. Or to extend the driving analogy - what are some of the road signs (key points in the future which can lead to possible conclusions) to help me on this journey? Strategy: Wireless Threads < 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 H R E E > Twilight Seminar Series Time: 4.20 for a 4.30 Start, 4.30 – 5.30 Presentation, 5.30 – 6.15 Discussion/Drinks Refer to the Intergen website for subjects/topics. Wellington: Feb – Aug February 19th March 12th & 26th April 9th May 7th & 25th July 9th & 23rd Auckland: Feb – Aug February 27th April 3rd August 21st Other dates and events will be scheduled as appropriate. To be added to the Twilight Seminar invitation list contact Gina Harper at or (04) 472 2021 Intergen’s popular Twilight Seminars continue in 2003. A series of informal late afternoon sessions are planned to inform you about current trends, technologies and initiatives in the space where business and information technology overlap. >> EVENTS: