Intergen Smarts 19 (2009)


Published on

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.

Published in: Technology, Business
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Total views
On SlideShare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

Intergen Smarts 19 (2009)

  1. 1. I S S U E N I N E T E E N>> 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 INTERGEN & MICROSOFT >> INTERGEN SUPPORT >> >> >>CLOUD COMPUTING >> UPCOMING EVENTS: NEW PACKAGES >> 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 INTERGEN & MICROSOFT >> INTERGENITE NEWS >> New improved Intergen There is no chance you have missed the fact that the world is in a recession. There is a lot of discussion in the media about who is doing okay, who is hurting and what strategies companies might be employing to survive. So I thought I would take this opportunity to let you know about some of the things that have been changing at Intergen lately. Many of the changes have been planned for some time but certainly there is a feeling that we need to increase the intensity of our evolution. We are always striving to do things better and now it is even more important than ever. We have made some changes to the way we organise ourselves. These changes continue on from the strategy work we undertook at the beginning of last year and are designed to improve the way we do business. We have moved to become more sales focused and to revitalise our sales culture. We have introduced a new role of General Manager, Sales, and Bruce Smith has been appointed to that role. Wayne Forgesson, previously responsible for both Sales and Marketing as Director, Business Development, takes on a new role of Director, Marketing. Wayne is charged with ensuring our sales team has the best possible environment in which to engage with our customers. One of the first initiatives from Wayne’s team is the new Rapid Results suite of products. These are product and service offerings that allow clients to engage with us to receive a predetermined solution that provides value for a fixed price (see page 3 for more information). We have also changed our project delivery teams. We now have four practices: Enterprise Applications, Portals Content and Collaboration, Microsoft Dynamics Solutions and Management Consulting. These practices focus on solutions rather than disciplines, which allows us to be more focused on efficient delivery of solutions and repeatability of results, in turn reducing risk and increasing value. Our strong local focus remains, with each of our offices having its own practice leadership, but we have also improved communications and consistency nationally with the introduction of national practice principals for each practice area. We understand that in these tough times your budgets are being squeezed. We are working hard to make sure we are well placed to offer you solutions that continue to deliver you real business value. The people you have been dealing with will not change but the organisation behind them will be sharper and have a clear focus on delivering high quality, cost effective and innovative solutions. ACCESSIBILITY & SILVERLIGHT Check out our free upcoming events – register now at Cloud Computing A guide to the various online platforms and what cloud computing could mean for your business. Rapid Results Roadshows – CRM and SharePoint Customer and information management with bigger bang, fewer bucks, faster results. Including events in Hamilton. New Technologies Check out what’s on the horizon with the latest – and future – Microsoft technologies and learn what these innovations can do for you. Intergen holds regular, free informational seminars. Sign up to go on our invitation list, or check our site regularly for updates. < Copyright 2009 Intergen Limited. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the permission of Intergen Limited >
  2. 2. The pictures say it all, really. We’re a quarter of the way through 2009, and we’ve had a few yellow triumphs so far, as you might expect. You can read all about our Microsoft exploits and ventures in New Zealand and around the globe on the following pages. It’s hard to keep track of them all at the moment, but here’s the latest, for now at least. This year Intergen is excited to be a strategic partner of Microsoft’s Imagine Cup, “the world’s premiere student software design competition.” Graduate recruitment has always been really important to us, and fostering young IT talent is a big part of our driving force – so Imagine Cup is a great way for us to get involved and spot new talent. And it just so happens we’re fortunate to have one of last year’s Imagine Cup NewZealandwinners,YuganYugaraja,onstaff. And our esteemed Managing Director, Tony Stewart, and Auckland developer Hamish Hill are also on the judging panel. Every year in the dragonboating season the Wellington Harbour is ablaze with yellow and this year was no exception. Once again, the Intergen Raptors outdid themselves, coming third overall in the B finals in the New Zealand Dragon Boat Nationals in Rotorua this year, beating even NZ Army, who pipped them at the post in the regional finals. The surf was up at Webstock this year, with Intergen putting on a surf shack complete with smoothies and a ride-on surfboard which provided much amusement (and prizes) for the punters. It’s great for us to get involved in the interactive web space, and Webstock is an event much anticipated each year by our interactive designers. This year we were fortunate enough to sponsor online community gurus, Heather Champ (of Flickr fame) and Derek Powazek. We even had them along to chat to our staff – which could have gone on for hours if there wasn’t work to be done! Watch this space for the next Intergen photo gallery. Intergen’s Yellow Raptors battle their way to third place in the National Dragon Boating B Finals. Intergen hangs 10 at Webstock. >> INTERGENITE: Bruce Smith What do you do? I am General Manager National Sales (before that I was a Wellington Business Development Manager with Intergen since 2004). I’m responsible for revenue generation and developing Intergen’s sales culture. How do you make a difference? My main goal in life is to make sure we’re establishing value for our clients and doing everything we can to become their partner of preference. Internally, I’m here to coach, mentor and encourage high performance. What do you love about your job? Everything! You could say I have sales in my blood... I’m really passionate about Intergen and everything Intergen stands for and will do anything I can to make us second to none in the industry. A bit about yourself... I was born in Christchurch, the middle child with an older brother and younger sister. I’ve been in professional sales all my working life (25 years and counting). I live on a lifestyle block half an hour out of Wellington and indulge in a bit of weekend farming. I have two lovely daughters, aged six and nine, and in my spare time enjoy a spot of skiing, football, hunting and shooting. < 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 N I N E T E E N >>> I N T E R G E N I T E N E W S>>2 Raptorous
  3. 3. Give your systems a check-up Take advantage of new opportunities – faster than before >>3>> N E W P A C K A G E 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 N I N E T E E N > Despite the media’s negative preoccupation with the economy, tough times can also create opportunities. As the needs of our customers, partners and competitors evolve, opportunities to create new relationships will inevitably arise, and the smart organisations are those that are ready to take advantage of them. Intergen has created a set of packaged consulting offerings to help organisations capitalise on opportunities in the marketplace. Introduced in the last issue of SMARTS, our Rapid Results offerings are now available, delivering a fixed cost service that gets organisations up and running quickly in a variety of solutions. Our philosophy behind Rapid Results? We believe customers want predictability – of outcome and of cost – while not sacrificing future opportunities for growth. Rapid Results allows us to provide a core set of functionality across a number of offerings, and while we have standardised these as much as possible, they all give our customers a foundation upon which further customisation can be added in the future. Intergen’s Rapid Results for CRM delivers a core set of sales and marketing capabilities that utilise Microsoft Dynamics CRM. Primarily targeted at smaller companies – those with five to15 employees – this offering is also ideal for larger organisations wanting to implement CRM within a department, or wanting a solid foundation for a proof of concept project. We work with you to quickly get the project up and running, using software installed on- premise or in the cloud, and work with you to configure it to meet your needs. A similar approach is used for our other initial offering, Rapid Results for SharePoint. This package is designed for organisations utilising Microsoft SharePoint as the basis of an intranet solution. Once again, we work with you to configure a SharePoint solution across a number of key functional areas, giving you a solution that can be rolled out to your users. Want to move quickly to get an edge on your competitors? Talk to an Intergen salesperson now,orgoto The medical industry has long recommended that we all get regular check-ups. Our IT systems are no different – we regularly need to see how they perform with new technologies, or how well they work as the needs of our organisations evolve. Sometimes we may know what’s wrong, through poor performance or glitches in appearance. At other times, we may be trying to determine the impact of new technology, without yet having access to it. At Intergen we are cognisant of these challenges, and of an increasing desire by many organisations to get more out of their existing investments. Bundled together under the HealthCheck brand, these offerings provide a low cost, quick review, and a series of recommendations, if required, as to how any issues could be addressed. Currently we have two HealthCheck offerings available. Our Microsoft Internet Explorer 8 HealthCheck is designed to help organisations understand how the latest version of Microsoft’s web browser will render pages on their website or in their applications. Priced at only $750, an Intergen consultant will test nominated pages or templates on your site, and then provide a report detailing findings – using the most recently available version of IE8, and comparing it to how IE7 renders the site. This is ideal for anyone who has invested in a website, and who’s not aware of the issues that IE8 could expose. The second initiative is our CRM HealthCheck, designed for existing Microsoft Dynamics CRM implementations. Working to a fixed cost and timeframe, we will come in and analyse your system across a range of areas and provide a report of findings, within a two day period. This is ideal for any organisation that has implemented CRM and is either finding it’s not being adopted widely, or has certain technical issues. Both these solutions are designed to help your organisation get more out of its existing technology investments. Over the next few months we’ll be introducing more of these. For more information, go to
  4. 4. Chris Auld is Intergen’s Director of Strategy and Innovation. < 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 N I N E T E E N >>>4 >> I N T E R G E N & M I C R O S O F T then I encourage you to watch the video of my session at http:/ to learn just how easy it is to get a great looking SharePoint site. Our Intergen designers have been hard at work designing a set of ten SharePoint themes for Microsoft, now openly available to SharePoint designers and developers worldwide (see opposite page). I also used this session to announce a new version of a key development tool for SharePoint (see opposite page). If you’d like to discuss how Silverlight can boost the accessibility of your website, please contact Intergen’s Lead Solution Architect, Andrew Tokeley If you’d like some help theming your SharePoint site then please get in touch with Portals, Content and Collaboration Practice Principal, Mark Orange “ButtercupReader shows us a future where web applications can rival the interactivity and usability of desktop applications and still be accessible to a wide audience.” Andrew Tokeley, Lead Solution Architect and Buttercup Team Lead. Working with Microsoft At Intergen we’re unashamedly ‘mad about Microsoft.’ They’re our biggest business partner and we work with Microsoft people both here in New Zealand and around the globe each and every day to deliver fantastic solutions to our clients. Microsoft is also one of our largest customers – it’s really an extension of the whole concept of partnership: working together for mutual benefit. We’re proud of the breadth of our Microsoft practice at Intergen and that breadth really shines through in the work we do with Microsoft themselves. We obviously can’t talk I started writing this at 30,000 feet, somewhere out over the Pacific Ocean on my way back from the fourth Microsoft MIX Conference. MIX09 This event is held yearly in Las Vegas, the city synonymous with conspicuous consumption, although it’s fair to say the city has been humbled by recent economic events around the world. For the second year running, Intergen spent the past few months building up a great sample application to launch at MIX. Last year it was TextGlow, our Word document renderer for Silverlight. This year we announced ButtercupReader, a fully featured talking book reader for people with visual disabilities. We’ve written Buttercup using Microsoft Silverlight as a showcase of how to do truly accessible applications on the web. We officially launched Buttercup during a breakout session at MIX09 (see page 6 for more information). I also presented a one-hour session this year on building SharePoint themes. If you’re still using one of the out-of-the-box SharePoint themes on your intranet or extranet, What we’ve been doing with Microsoft about all the work we do publicly – for many of our projects strict ‘Chinese walls’ limit awareness even within Intergen. But, we’ve put together a sample of some of the things we’ve done over the past few months to give you an idea of what we’ve been up to. Training the World The Intergen team has been travelling the world training other partners in Microsoft technologies. The focus for the first few months of 2009 has been the new Azure Services platform and the more established Dynamics CRM platform. In both cases Intergen has been delivering events from Bangalore to Beijing and every latitude in between. We’ve delivered content not only in English but also Mandarin Chinese. “It’s a fascinating opportunity and experience to travel to my home country and share our expertise of the Dynamics CRM platform with my fellow country men and women.” Jian Sun Dynamics CRM Developer and Trainer. Be sure to come along to my upcoming Twilight session on Cloud Computing Platforms and Mark Orange’s session covering the latest Microsoft Technologies. See Conjuring CRM Content For the past few months our Dynamics Practice has been working hard on a new two-day training course on Dynamics CRM. Designed toshowcasethepowerofDynamicsCRMasanapplicationdevelopment platform, this intensive two-day course, including presentations and labs, is presented in cities around the world from April to June. “At Intergen we’re keen proponents of XRM, the idea that CRM can be used to build Line of Business applications. The course we’ve developed is really an embodiment of that vision.” Rex Wessels, CRM Developer and Project Lead.
  5. 5. The 10 SharePoint themes designed by Intergen. If you would like to download these or learn more, contact >>5>> I N T E R G E N & M I C R O S O F T < 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 N I N E T E E N > Inspiring Community Faced with a difficult challenge or an unknown problem, most developers will turn to the web for answers. Often answers can be found in online community sites but what is the catalyst that helps drive those sites? Over the past few months, Intergen has been working to build and support the community of expertise around the Office Open XML file formats. This has involved not only building out interesting content and samples that demonstrate the use of the technology but also dealing with the softer side of managing a community of thousands of developers from around the world. “I’m excited about taking what we’ve learnt from running the Office Open XML communities and sharing it with our customers around the country who are looking to run their own community sites.” Jennifer Wray, Consultant, Management Consulting Practice and site Community Manager. For developers building applications for Microsoft SharePoint, a tool called the Visual Studio Extensions for Windows SharePoint Services (VSeWSS) is an invaluable aid. Late last year we began working with Microsoft to build a new version of this tool, incorporating feedback from developers around the world. While the final release will not be available for another month or so, the Community Technical Preview has been released. “It’s pretty exciting to work on building a tool that you know will be used by thousands of your fellow developers around the world.” Clive Vermeulen, VSeWSS v1.3 Lead Developer.
  6. 6. Accessibility is a pretty hot topic in the world of website creation, and ButtercupReader, developed by Intergen for Microsoft, is a living example of the way in which innovative technologies can enable breakthroughs and remove barriers. ButtercupReader is a Silverlight application that allows visually impaired people to read DAISY (digital accessible information system) “talking books” and better access the information contained within Word documents. No special hardware required, and no cost to the user. The only thing needed is Microsoft Silverlight, which is free and just takes a few minutes to download. There are a number of readers on the market, but none so accessible or easy to obtain. All you need to do is open your browser. Intergen was commissioned by Microsoft to develop the reader, based on our extensive experience developing TextGlow. Intergen enlisted the expertise of the Royal New Zealand Foundation of the Blind to provide valuable consultancy on the project. Kevin Prince, the Foundation’s Adaptive Technology Services Manager, comments, “Buttercup’s design is exciting and intuitive to use. Intergen has done really clever things with all the interactive design interfaces and the result is a really sharp, well- designed experience. The key to it all is that it’s absolutely accessible – it can be there, ready to go on a web browser, with no special applications or expense required." ButtercupReader is proof that rich internet applications such as Silverlight can truly deliver a compelling and engaging experience within a web browser, rich in interactivity, usability and simple to run. Some of ButtercupReader’s innovations include the concept of self-voicing (in Internet Explorer), touch screen actions, keyboard shortcut keys, word search, resizing and contrast capabilities. Silverlight’s rich visual elements make for seamless “zoomability.” Making accessibility a reality: introducing ButtercupReader Tony Stewart presents a donation at Braille House to Leanne Thompson at Royal New Zealand Foundation of the Blind. Chris Auld says, “ButtercupReader shows that not only can we build an application that is accessible, we can build an application whose sole purpose in life is to be accessible – and that’s very much where the future is heading.” Try the application yourself at ButtercupReader in action. >> INTERGENITE: Naomi Lind What do you do? I’m the Delivery Manager for the Northern region. I’m responsible for ensuring quality of project delivery for our clients with the most efficient use of our great team here in Auckland. How do you make a difference? It’s really about optimising our people and processes. I work closely with the project managers, practice leads and sales team to gain a broad view of a customer’s business and the project. This is critical in the current climate as our projects are tightly linked to quicker ROI and also allows us to make sure the right people are on the project team. What do you love about my job? It’s all about the people. We have a great team who are the best at what they do, and are focused on delivering the best solutions for our clients. A bit about yourself... I was born in Matamata and grew up on a dairy farm. Deciding against a dairy farming career early in my life, I pursued a career in the IT industry and I have spent most of my working life in Auckland. Although Auckland is the place I now call home, I am also a Waikato girl at heart. During my career I also went to the UK on my OE, where I operated as a project director for software development companies in the United Kingdom. < 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 N I N E T E E N >>> A C C E S S I B I L I T Y & S I L V E R L I G H T>>6
  7. 7. We take customer support seriously, and in line with our strategy implementations and organisation- wide realignments, we’ve overhauled our incumbent support system, replacing it with Neocase, a leading customer service solution based on Microsoft Dynamics CRM technology. Our end goal at the end of many months of hard work is ultimately just one thing: to serve you better. We want to give you the best support possible, and with our CRM and Neocase systems honed and at the ready, we’re better positioned to do this than ever. What’s different? If you’re familiar with our support team and systems, you won’t notice any radical changes right off the bat. We’re hoping the only changes you notice are good ones – greater responsiveness and timeliness, and – most of all – faster resolutions to cases. You’ll still be dealing with the same Intergenites, people who understand your business, but the transmission of information will be a lot more effective with Neocase in place. There will be several ongoing improvements over time too, such as a self service portal for customers. Charged with managing the Neocase implementation, Intergen Service Desk Manager, Brent Wimmers, says: “Neocase offers some great features and improvements – increased security, improved SLA management, a client portal and enhanced email management and tracking.” As you’ll know, we’re committed to Microsoft technologies, and there is a wealth of reputable third party providers out there who extend the Microsoft offering, making your product even more effective and broad-reaching. Intergen has forged strong relationships with a number of these providers in recent years, and this allows us to extend our service offering to you and make sure you’re getting the most out of your investment. Neocase is just one example of the ways Microsoft products can be successfully On the case with Neocase extended, and we’re proud to be the first in New Zealand to lead with an integration of this type. As Intergen is an established software developer, you may be wondering why we decided to purchase software rather than write it ourselves. The answer to this is simple. We wanted to offer first class, best of breed customer service, and the best way for us to do this was to look to the collective wisdom of other contact centres globally. And the stand-out choice was Neocase. We look forward to supporting you, and supporting you better. For any information on Neocase or Intergen’s support offering, please email . David Roys co-authored ’Implementing Microsoft Dynamics 2009.‘ For further information, email >> AUTHOR PROFILE David Roys What do I do? I work in the Dynamics Solutions Practice and am a developer and consultant for the Microsoft Dynamics NAV product in the Christchurch office. How do I make a difference? I have worked with Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems for many years as both an application consultant and developer. My application consulting experience makes me a better developer because I understand how people use ERP and how they carry out their business processes. My development knowledge makes me a better consultant because I understand the application at an extremely low level and can always look at the source code to figure things out. I am one of a few Microsoft Most Valued Professionals (MVP)fortheDynamicsNAVproductwhich means I get to chat with the team at Microsoft that build the product about upcoming features and I also get opportunities to see pre-release versions. What do I love about my job? I love to solve problems. Working with businesses and their unique processes means there are always new challenges to >> I N T E R G E N S U P P O R T >>7< SMART S - TH E IN TELLIGEN T B U SIN ESS MAG AZIN E . ISSU E N IN ETEE N > be met. Programming in NAV’s application language and using the built-in development environment means I get all of the fun of programming without the hard work of making simple things happen (like making my data appear in a form). The new NAV 2009 architecture means I alsogettoplaywith.NETandVisualStudio. A bit about myself... I have co-written a book entitled “Implementing Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2009.” This was an incredible experience and took up a lot of my free time in 2008. I made a great friend in my co-author, although I have never met or spoken to him. All communication surrounding the book was done through emails and a few instantmessages.Writingabookhashelped me learn how to take criticism and to not take my work too seriously. I try to spend some of my free time helping people in the NAV community by answering forum questions and blogging from my experiences. I like to play music at home and, between my kids telling me to stop, I play drums and classical guitar.
  8. 8. +64 9 966 3070 +64 4 472 2021 +64 3 964 0017 +64 3 477 5648 +61 2 9969 0088 +61 434 122 880 FIND OUT MORE ABOUT INTERGEN: Auckland: Wellington: Christchurch: Dunedin: Sydney: Perth: Rick Rashid, head of Microsoft Research, recently commented in the Financial Times that about 20 percent of all the server computers being sold in the world “are now being bought by a small handful of internet companies,” including Microsoft, Google, Yahoo and Amazon. Reminiscent of the mainframe era of the past, there is an increasing – and very active – movement towards having applications and infrastructure that resides remotely, accessed across a network. This movement is being driven by many of the current technology leaders, particularly those mentioned above. Welcome to the age of cloud computing. The “cloud,” whether it’s talking about ‘cloud services’ or ‘cloud computing’, is the buzzword du jour, usurping “Web 2.0” as one of the most over- used terms in the technology industry, but is an area where most of the larger technology companies are committing to invest billions of dollars over the next few years. Getting ahead in the cloud Despite its widespread use, the concept of the cloud conveys several meanings depending on the vendors and technologies involved. Is it web hosting of your application code? Is it a software platform as an on-demand service? Do Software as a Service and Software + Services applications count as cloud computing? The answer to all these questions are a qualified “yes” – the answer revolves around the outsourcing of computing of any kind – storage, CPU, applications – using a shared cost, commodity model. Besides representing yet another bandwagon for technologists to talk and tweet about, cloud computing is worthy of consideration for organisations of all sizes. The opportunity to use shared, pre-installed and implemented infrastructure that is available anywhere, at any time and is charged for on a pay-as-you-use basis provides numerous benefits to organisations – large and small. Microsoft and the Cloud Microsoft is one of the many companies investing in the cloud, on many levels. Windows Azure is Microsoft’s platform for building and deploying cloud-based applications, delivering organisations on-demand computing and storage capabilities, all of which are hosted in Microsoft’s data centres. Don’t underestimate the importance of the cloud to Microsoft. Despite Google becoming known for its hosted applications, and the widespread discussion around the supposed impact they may have on Microsoft’s business, particularly Office, Microsoft has placed significant investment in cloud services and is embracing it right across the organisation. Reportedly, all product groups within Microsoft have been instructed to ensure cloud computing – utilising Windows Azure – features in their product roadmaps. Many observers have compared this edict to the one made when Microsoft’s product groups were instructed to incorporate the internet into their products, at the time the internet was just emerging – an indication of how significant the cloud, and Azure in particular, is in Microsoft’s future plans. Intergen has been closely aligned with Microsoft and its Azure cloud computing platform since it was originally announced. Confirmed by Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer as being released late 2009, Intergen’s Chris Auld, Director Strategy and Innovation, has been closely involved in understanding how Azure works, and training Microsoft partners across the Asia region – an indication of how Intergen’s experience in this area is being received. In addition to Windows Azure, the notion of hosted applications has already been embraced by Microsoft. Now available in New Zealand, Microsoft’s Online Services suite of applications includes hosted versions of Microsoft Exchange, SharePoint, Office Communications Server and Live Meeting. These applications enable organisations to deploy market-leading solutions without the need to purchase additional hardware or software – users connect to the applications over the web, and can also utilise the power of Microsoft’s client software – such as Microsoft Office – to take advantage of the services offline as well as online. It is anticipated these applications will also make their way into Microsoft’s cloud infrastructure, taking advantage of Azure, if they are not already. Office 14, the next release of Microsoft Office, is purportedly going to be available in a hosted version, likely in a cut-down form, utilising an underlying Azure platform. While cloud applications won’t replace on-premise applications for many organisations, they do represent a further shift in how technology is deployed, accessed and adopted. To find out more, attend our upcoming Twilight seminar where Chris Auld will provide an update on Azure and its capabilities and benefits; email or go to for more information. Alternatively, contact Intergen to arrange a briefing on these offerings if you would like to discuss how these services can benefit your organisation. >> C L O U D C O M P U T I N G < 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 N I N E T E E N >