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Intergen Smarts 21 (2009)


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

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

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Intergen Smarts 21 (2009)

  1. 1. < Copyright 2009 Intergen Limited. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the permission of Intergen Limited > SHAREPOINT SHOWCASE >> 6 NEW PARTNERSHIPS >> 7 CRM SHOWCASE >> 8 MICROSOFT ONLINE SERVICES >> 9 THE VALUE OF SEARCH >>10 USER EXPERIENCE DESIGN >> 11 TOUCH COMPUTING >> 12 >> HOT NEWS: INTERGENITE PHOTO GALLERY >> 2 PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPERS CONFERENCE 3 INTRODUCING SHAREPOINT 2010 >> 4 As another eventful year comes to a close, and with our longstanding SMARTS newsletter turning 21, it’s worthwhile looking at some of the recent highlights about how we are engaging with the wider world as we all look forward to 2010. Events are a key way for us to engage with the Microsoft community. We were larger than life at Microsoft TechEd in Auckland again this year, running the Hands on Labs for the fourth year in a row. It is great to be able to share our enthusiasm for recent Microsoft releases and give people the opportunity to gain skills and experience the latest software firsthand. During October we ran Dynamics Day, our own two-day conference for users of Microsoft Dynamics applications. Due to the success of the event, plans for Dynamics Day 2010 are already underway. Internationally we have also been involved in several key conferences and projects. We developed a lot of the content for the Microsoft SharePoint Conference held in Las Vegas and our one and only Chris Auld presented a session in front of the international audience. We have been doing a lot of work lately for Microsoft around their new technologies and new releases. SMARTS turns This work has led to us helping to develop one of the keynote demonstrations for Microsoft’s premiere developer event, PDC09 (Professional Developer Conference 2009), in Los Angeles in mid November. It is a huge thrill to see things we’ve done on display in front of thousands of our peers. But it has not all been conferences and beta software. We have continued to execute on our strategy, and have been working hard to improve our capability and capacity within our Managed Services team in order to continue to offer you the best support possible for your solutions. Our goal, and our main focus, is to ensure that you receive maximum return on your investments in IT solutions. One way we can help with this is to ensure that the Application Support and Maintenance services you receive from us are top quality, proactive and that we are always easy to deal with. Our recently introduced role of Client Service Manager within Managed Services aims to provide you with a dedicated person who understands and supports your business from day one. As this will be the last issue of SMARTS for 2009, on behalf of all the staff at Intergen, I would like to extend best wishes to you and your family for the holiday season and look forward to working with you in 2010. >> 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 21 >> Intergen creates the Fastest Ticketing System in the World We’ve all experienced frustration with online ticket purchasing – overloaded, crashing sites and missing out on a ticket regardless of being up at the crack of dawn to book. Thanks to the scale and elasticity of the cloud, this is soon to be a thing of the past. Built on Windows Azure technology, the world first TicketDirect preview site has met with international acclaim. Watch out for the new site in early 2010.
  2. 2. >>2 >> I N T E R G E N I T E P H O T O G A L L E R Y < 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 O N E > Hard rock, surfboards, moustaches, strawberries and chicken challenges (and who said life was boring?) Variety is the spice of life, so they say, and you might not be surprised to hear we’ve been busy mixing things up – when we’ve been away from our computers, that is. We’ve grown moustaches for Movember. We’ve celebrated Intergen’s annual Rocktober celebration with our very own Golden Axes providing some very loud entertainment. We’ve picked up an award or two, hosted international speakers, brought IT to the world... and that’s all just since the last instalment of SMARTS. From TechEd to the Microsoft Partner Awards, where we received the Microsoft Partner Award for Enterprise Content Management, to the immensely popular inaugural Intergen Dynamics Day (see sidebar), we’ve all of a sudden found ourselves at the end of the year and wondering where the months have gone. So here’s a flavour of what we’ve been up to, in pictures. Intergen Dynamics Day 09 – the start of something Recognising the market popularity of Microsoft Dynamics ERP and CRM products, and with a 40-strong team of Dynamics professionals on the Intergen team, we decided to host a conference in the name of Microsoft Dynamics and bring together existing and future users for a one and a half day event in Wellington for a mixture of networking, one-on-ones, Q&As and education. With three streams comprising more than 20 Intergen speaker slots, a number of trusty clients on the agenda speaking from their personal experience, and with six key sponsors, we knew the event would pack a punch. But even we were surprised by a full house – more than a hundred people, with standing room only at the keynote, presented by Microsoft’s Sandie Overtveld, Microsoft’s Director, Asia Pacific ERP Partners. The success of the event means only one thing: there will be an Intergen Dynamics Day ’10. And while we’re talking about news on the Dynamics front, Intergen has recently been named New Zealand’s only member of Microsoft’s AxPact, a world-wide affiliation of leading Dynamics AX partners. Intergenites bring a touch of yellow to the Mary Potter Hospice Annual Appeal Intergenites get tropical at Intergen’s Surf Patrol at this year’s TechEd Intergen’s Rocktober festivities, featuring compères Wayne and Garth (aka Bruce Smith and Wayne Forgesson) arth I M Intergen accepts award at Microsoft PartnerAwards: Brent Colbert (Microsoft), WayneForgesson, Tony Stewart, Kevin Ackhurst(Microsoft) Rex Wessels in Chicken Challenge headgear at this year’s Dynamics Day.
  3. 3. >>3>> P R O F E S S I O N A L D E V E L O P E R S CO N F E R E N C E < 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 O N E > When Microsoft decided on a motorsport themed demonstration for the keynote at this year’s Professional Developers Conference (PDC) it was all but inevitable that they’d come to Intergen. With deep SharePoint 2010 knowledge, a proven track record of shipping under tight deadlines – and our very own race car – we had all the attributes to deliver something great. A broad team of Wellington-based Intergenites worked long hours to design and build the ‘Blue Yonder Airlines Racing’ team site in SharePoint 2010. Working closely with the Microsoft SharePoint product group and a US-based partner we built a site that combines many of the key features of SharePoint 2010 with rich Silverlight visualisation and Windows Azure. The demonstration featured the Intergen Motorsport RX7 rebranded for Blue Yonder Airlines and includes real in car video and vehicle telemetry. Wanted: Microsoft SharePoint Experts with in-house motor racing team SharePoint wasn’t the only place where Intergen shone at PDC. The Microsoft Dynamics CRM team took the covers off the forthcoming CRM 5 release and showed the Intergen-built ‘The Phone Company’ demonstration application that features CRM 5 coupled with ASP.NET, Windows Azure and Silverlight in a full xRM customer service and logistics scenario. Please get in touch if you would like to schedule an early briefing on CRM 5. PDC also signified the ‘Go Live’ date for the Windows Azure Platform. I delivered a full day Azure Architecture workshop to over 300 attendees to share many of the extensive Azure best practices that we’ve developed at Intergen over the past 18 months. We also unveiled an early preview of a new Azure-based application for TicketDirect. If you’re a sports or culture fan then TicketDirect will be a familiar name – their software drove 45% of professionally ticketed events in New Zealand this year. Ticketing really is the canonical Cloud application – the ability to add more computing capacity on Chris Auld is Intergen’s Director of Strategy and Innovation. demand means that mornings of frustration trying to buy tickets for a big event will soon be a thing of the past. TicketDirect is a wholly New Zealand owned company and we’re excited to be helping them innovate and take on the multinationals. If you’d like to discuss anything that was announced by Microsoft at the PDC Conference please do feel free to get in touch with either myself or your Business Development Manager. TicketDirect: Fastest Ticketing System in the WorldKeynote demo: Blue Yonder Airlines Racing Demo launching CRM 5: The Phone Company
  4. 4. >>4 >> I N T R O D U C I N G S H A R E P O I N T 2 010 < 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 O N E > Mark Orange is the Practice Principal for Intergen’s Portals, Content and Collaboration team. People of Europe once said, “All roads lead to Rome!” People working with Microsoft technologies can now say, “All roads lead to SharePoint!” I’ve had some time to reflect now since the Microsoft SharePoint Conference, held in Las Vegas earlier this year. While I’m excited about the new and improved features that I’ve seen, it’s this sense of being at the epicentre of tomorrow’s Microsoft business solutions that has really stood out to me. Whether it’s business intelligence with PerformancePoint Services, customer management with Dynamics CRM, procurement with Dynamics AX, it’s happening in, on and through SharePoint. If you are managing Office files, publishing an internet site, enabling social networking, interacting with data from SAP, publishing reports over your data warehouse, orchestrating business processes, you can do it leveraging SharePoint. And whether it’s on-premise or in the cloud it all happens on, in and through SharePoint. And the new version being released next year makes it all easier for everyone: end users, power users, knowledge managers, developers and system administrators. Introducing SharePoint 2010 Power users are empowered through improved tooling in SharePoint Designer 2010 and InfoPath 2010. As a small example, SharePoint Designer workflows can now be configured and published for use on many lists, a personal point of frustration for me with 2007. InfoPath, combined with the new Business Connectivity Services (BCS), allows rapid development of more complex forms that can read and write to line of business applications. Ribbon Interface End users get a range of social networking features and a new user interface that introduces the contextual Ribbon, providing a consistent editing experience across all the Office clients and Office web applications. Speaking of Office web applications, these are now baked into SharePoint so users can open and view Word documents, PowerPoint presentations and Excel spreadsheets directly in the browser within SharePoint regardless of whether they have the Office desktop installed or not. This means access from any device with a browser, no more waiting for a client application to load, and no worrying about having the right version just to view a Word document! I write to line of business applications. Ribbon Interface INSIGHTS SITES SEARC COMPOSITES SHAREPO FOUNDAT FROM BDC TO BCS Business Connectivity Services is the evolution of the Business Data Catalog that now gives us push and pull data capabilities rather than just pull.
  5. 5. < S M A R T S - T H E I N T E L L I G E N T B U S I N E S S M A G A Z I N E . I S S U E T W E N T Y O N E > >>5>> I N T R O D U C I N G S H A R E P O I N T 2 010 Knowledge managers can take advantage of significant improvements around the management of global metadata and content types, metadata- driven navigation, and extended document and records management capabilities. A formal corporate taxonomy can be centrally managed, while end users can populate the informal folksonomy, and knowledge managers can promote folksonomy terms up to the taxonomy when appropriate. We have improved Form Services and Excel Services and now have the new Visio Services. Want to visualise data, processes, or architectures through the browser using the Microsoft tool users know? Visio Services lets users publish diagrams from the Visio client application to SharePoint, allowing other users to view them through a browser without requiring the Visio client. Provide these diagrams with dynamic data feeds and you now have a rich visual reporting and monitoring tool. Need to more easily deploy custom web parts and modules? You need a Sandbox. Developers now have vastly improved tooling through Visual Studio 2010 and another deployment option provided by the new Sandbox framework, essentially a quarantine zone for custom code. There is a new lightweight theming model, improved accessibility and browser compliance, and additional user interface features to help improve the editing and collaboration experience. For those managing the SharePoint infrastructure and platform there is improved tooling for monitoring, backup and restore, and geographic distribution. Shared Service Providers (SSP) are now gone, with a more easily managed farm services model in their place, and there is more published guidance and best practices. These are a few highlights that show there has been as much focus on improving core capabilities, such as document management, web content editing and search, as there has been to adding new features like Visio Services and social networking tools. For more information and demonstrations of these and all the other new features and improvements, you’ll have to come and see us! al andbox he SharePoint 2010 capabilities Chakkaradeep Chandran What do you do? As a SharePoint Developer in the Portals, Content and Collaboration team, I build and design SharePoint applications that help our customers to cut costs with a unified infrastructure and rapidly respond to business needs. How do you make a difference? Being a SharePoint developer, I not only write code but also understand the underlying business problem and the 'hidden gems' within SharePoint. What do you love about your job? Working with the cutting edge technologies! This is something I love and I’m lucky to work on some awesome projects here at Intergen. I also love the challenge of leveraging other existing technologies which complement these new technologies. A bit about yourself... I am passionate about working with Microsoft technologies and you can find me blogging, tweeting and also speaking at some of the SharePoint conferences. I love movies and music, and enjoy them as I work. I also like to explore the various walks and reserves around Wellington during weekends. >> INTERGENITE: Sh P i t 2010 biliti SITES COMMUNITIES CONTENT SEARCH AREPOINT UNDATION VISIO SERVICES Publish dynamic visual diagrams of reports and processes from Visio to SharePoint so any user can view them with just a browser.
  6. 6. >>6 >> S H A R E P O I N T S H O W C A S E < 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 O N E > Mega scale events in the USA, such as the Presidential Debate and the Super Bowl, are well- charted territory for emergency management gurus E·Sponder, LLC, based in St Louis. New Zealand’s game of choice happens to be rugby, yet this innovative American company and Intergen have come together from opposite sides of the world as partners on a common playing field – in the Microsoft SharePoint space. E·Sponder is a market leader in the creation of software to deliver real-time tactical response tools to manage large-scale events and emergency situations worldwide, involving millions of people. The collective eyes of thousands of emergency response personnel, including federal and government agencies, are brought together onto an information hub that E·Sponder delivers on Microsoft SharePoint Server, calling on Intergen’s SharePoint know-how from across the world. The hub is a real-time command centre, powered by highly visual tools such as 3D Geographic Information Systems (GIS) mapping and layers of documents, web forms and communication feeds, often represented on a Microsoft Surface table for instant touch response to any given scenario (see page 12 for more thoughts on touch). E·Sponder’s President, Rob Wolf says, “Intergen came to our attention through a successful project involving SharePoint integration for one of our clients in New Zealand, and they more than proved they had exceptional SharePoint understanding and capability. The relationship is going from strength to strength, due largely to their innovation, willingness to get involved and their agile way of delivering smart outcomes.” With some runs on the board for E·Sponder, Intergen is proud to be regarded as a partnering resource for a company that leads the way in emergency management and communication technologies. As Wayne Forgesson, Intergen’s Director of Marketing, puts it, “With technology breaking down geographical barriers, it just goes to show you can form deep partnerships and complete world-leading work wherever in the world you are.” US emergency management gurus turn to Kiwi SharePoint talent In this year’s Microsoft New Zealand Partner Awards, Intergen won the Business Productivity Enterprise Content Management Partner of the Year Award, based on Intergen’s work on the development of New Zealand Trade and Enterprise’s website. For New Zealand businesses operating internationally, one of the most accessible vehicles for information is NZTE’s corporate website: As the government’s national economic agency, tasked with improving the international competitiveness and sustained profitability of New Zealand business, NZTE needed to consolidate several existing websites into one in order to interact with businesses on the most customer-centric footing. Replacing ageing homegrown technology whose maintenance costs were mounting, NZTE needed to select a strong technology foundation for their path ahead, with national and internationally targeted websites on the cards. In making the decision to Winning SharePoint solution provides “a platform for the future” go with SharePoint, rather than simply selecting a content management system, they thought it more important to look for a platform that set them up for the future. NZTE’s Applications Architect, Mike Gilbert says: “SharePoint stands out as a single enterprise-wide solution that delivers on so many levels, be it internet, intranet, shared information or business intelligence applications.” Now supported by a robust and extendable SharePoint platform – one of the first SharePoint public-facing internet sites to be developed in the country – the new website has provided a single, integrated and content rich platform, reflecting the diversity and complexity of the various business streams underpinning it. NZTE project sponsor, Julian Moore, says: “The new site is all about the users, about the market information, products and services that our clients require, and meeting the needs of other New Zealand businesses. The SharePoint platform enables us to do this today, and gives us tremendous capability to build on this in the future.”
  7. 7. >>7< S M A R T S - T H E I N T E L L I G E N T B U S I N E S S M A G A Z I N E . I S S U E T W E N T Y O N E >>> N E W PA R T N E R S H I P S Jaana Krause What do you do? I’m the Service Lead for Microsoft Dynamics. Based in Wellington, I am responsible for delivering Application Support and Maintenance Services for our Microsoft Dynamics customers throughout the country. How do you make a difference? Our project teams are doing a great job of delivering the best solutions for our clients. My goal is to ensure that, after a successful implementation, our customers receive support services which will bring value to their business and foster long- term relationships. What do you love about your job? It’s all about people and relationships. For me the job means making the best use of my skills and working together with a great team to ensure we do our best to make customers happy. A bit about yourself… I grew up in Germany. After studying and working in Kiel – which is in the northern part of the country – for about eight years, I decided to come to New Zealand to gain experience and explore the beautiful country. In my spare time I like to be active, travel a lot and spend time outdoors in the amazing New Zealand countryside as much as possible. >> INTERGENITE: The partnerships we form with like-minded, forward- thinking technology providers are critical to the quality, and breadth, of solutions we offer, and nowhere is this more evident than in the Microsoft Dynamics space. Getting the data in is easy; using it to drive your business decision making has always been the challenge. Zap Business Intelligence software offers the advantages of new generation technology – powerful, simple and practical. It is a user friendly, web-based, highly scalable BI solution tightly integrated with Dynamics NAV, AX and CRM. Zap unites your business with a common picture for understanding and improving corporate performance: Focus your business through a centralised information portal. Zap allows you to define business objectives that are visible and measurable across the whole company. This brings your plans and budgets to life with a central system that can be reviewed hourly, daily, weekly. Proactively detect issues and opportunities at the earliest possible stage. When objectives aren’t met, the system will alert you and allow you to analyse, understand and report on the underlying problems. Reduce manual reports and processes with automation. Many businesses spend a huge amount of staff time and money on creating manual reports and spreadsheets, particularly for end-of-month financial reports. Zap lets you automate the reporting process in a central system that can be accessed across the business. Provide self-service information. Managers and executives can access information anytime, anywhere. No longer do they need to make successive requests through others who may have alternate priorities or limited resources at peak times. Enable fact-based decision-making. With accurate company information at their fingertips, employees at all levels can make more informed decisions to maximise performance. Extending the Intergen partner ecosystem, extending the value from your investment Putting the clientclient in Client Relationship Management Introducing CRM4Legal Client Relationship Management (CRM) is an important business strategy that differentiates a law firm from its competition. Historically, however, law firms have built their structures around the services they provide – like practice groups, service innovation, marketing and branding – rather than the client experience. By providing a complete view of the client experience within a law firm, using the core technologies provided by Dynamics CRM and CRM4Legal, a firm can get a complete picture of the relationships that form the client experience. This information can then be used to help the firm become more effective at meeting clients’ current and future needs. When a firm can anticipate and respond to the needs of clients, and align its services accordingly, it can begin to build client value. It’s important to understand that CRM is a business strategy, and a platform with enormous potential. CRM4Legal is an application designed to help firms achieve this strategy by providing targeted, tactical tools. CRM4Legal supports the entire law firm through a set of modules organised by functional area: marketing, business development and client care. These form the centralised database through which all practice groups and service areas in the firm can access the information and the tools they need to be more effective with clients. By placing the client at the very centre of the CRM solution, communications and interdepartmental teamwork and information sharing can be improved and a winning firm-wide client relationship management strategy implemented, ultimately increasing profits and reducing costs. If you would like to know more about how CRM4Legal or Zap can add value to your business, please email
  8. 8. >>8 >> C R M S H O W C A S E < 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 O N E > Innovation at the right price for Waikato Milking Systems As a New Zealand-owned business with 30% of their equipment sold outside of New Zealand, Waikato Milking Systems competes on an international playing field that is price and market conscious to the extreme. Key to their success is competitive, accurate and timely pricing. For Waikato Milking Systems, winning contracts is very much driven by the ability to quote and price competitively for the unique characteristics of each individual market, which is in turn influenced by different market mechanisms, currencies and dealer arrangements. With this in mind, Waikato Milking Systems needed to replace their ageing bespoke price book solution for pricing management. Their platform was increasingly unsupportable, not easy to update and it couldn’t deliver the rapid turnaround in quoting and pricing that was required. They needed a world class CRM-driven solution capable of integrating with a CRM provides a platform for flexibility and growth MedRecruit stitches up the competition in Deloitte Fast 50 Innovation and forward-thinking in technology have been core to MedRecruit’s business strategy – and the benefits are striking and quick to materialise. Coming second in this year’s Deloitte Fast 50, MedRecruit’s Managing Director, Dr Sam Hazledine, attributes a large part of the success to this innovative outlook and having the right core systems in place to make it all happen. Whether it’s a case of matching doctors with great jobs and great lifestyles, or helping hospitals fill vacancies with the right doctors and minimum fuss, MedRecruit proves it can be done very successfully. Their point of difference is the ease of making it happen, which again comes down to the technology behind the scenes, by bringing doctors and hospitals together in a one-stop online web space where it’s easy to connect with opportunities. Early on, MedRecruit invested in the latest Microsoft Dynamics CRM platform to manage all the extensive interactions and communications that happen in a job placement process. Sam Hazledine says, “We wanted something that was understandable and absolutely simple because we didn’t want the technology to get in the way.” Having the ‘engine’ firmly in place, MedRecruit and Intergen then came up with an interactive website built around CRM as the core technology, creating a site that would be the hub for smart and easy recruitment online. With clever technology and a great user experience combined, MedRecruit has created a winning formula, unique to Australasia – so winning, in fact, that they were named the second fastest growing company, and the fastest growing services business in the country. As a one- stop web shop, saves money, time and valuable hospital administrative resources. And the practice of matching doctors not just to jobs but to lifestyles leads to 57% better retention. customised pricing management system. They identified Microsoft Dynamics CRM as an out-of- the-box solution that could be tailored to their specific pricing requirements through integration with the third party Experlogix quote configurator. Waikato Milking Systems General Manager, Dean Bell, says: “We felt confident that we were investing in a state of the art platform, but not one that we had to fit our business to – rather, one that fit all the drivers of our business.” The upshot? A mobile salesforce can apply price adjustments, fine-tune sales prices, currencies and margins. Tasks that were previously measured in days are now capable of happening automatically, and new products can be released quickly to the market. The downstream effects of greater accuracy, faster turnaround of quotes and speed to market are enormous, proving the grass really can be greener with the right technology in place.
  9. 9. >>9< S M A R T S - T H E I N T E L L I G E N T B U S I N E S S M A G A Z I N E . I S S U E T W E N T Y O N E >>> M I C R O S O F T O N L I N E S E R V I C E S Over the course of the past two years, the raised market awareness of cloud computing, combined with tough economic and market conditions, have contributed to a significant shift in the way we think about IT services. For years we have been used to using software installed on our PCs or within our organisation’s walls. There is now an increasing movement towards having these solutions delivered through online services. One model of delivering cloud-based solutions is called Software as a Service (SaaS). This model has been available to the market for many years and relies completely on internet access for its delivery. Customers and organisations do not pay for ownership of any software; instead they only pay for the consumption of the services provided by the software that is hosted in the cloud. The consumption of such services by the customers is only possible over the internet through a web-based interface. About two years ago, Microsoft unveiled a new model of cloud-based offerings called Software + Services. This model differentiates itself from SaaS in a number of ways. Software + Services solutions combine the scalability and accessibility provided by cloud-hosted services with the power, flexibility and rich experiences provided by software running locally. Software + Services also gives organisations a “middle ground option” by supporting the deployment of hybrid solutions. These particular solutions deliver a portion of the services using traditional on-premise systems, while delivering the remaining services through cloud-hosted systems. This strategic and architectural flexibility produces a framework through which security of information storage can be achieved by housing sensitive data on local systems, while non-sensitive data can be stored in hosted infrastructures. The ins and outs of Microsoft Online Services and BPOS Microsoft’s Business Productivity Online Standard Suite (BPOS) is a Software + Services offering made available to the market through Microsoft Online Services. These services are hosted by Microsoft and supplied to organisations throughout the world over the internet. BPOS currently comprises several products: Microsoft Exchange Online Standard, Microsoft SharePoint Online Standard, Microsoft Office Communicator Online Standard and Microsoft Live Meeting Online Standard. Microsoft is betting big on online services such as BPOS and Azure (see page 3 for more information), and it’s a safe assumption that within a few years, the applications that information workers use will increasingly have a cloud component to them – if they’re not hosted online in their entirety. In the meantime, however, there are a number of reasons why organisations should at least be trialling BPOS now to see if the business case makes sense. There are a number of opportunities to utilise some or all of the BPOS applications, for organisations of all sizes. These include: • Outsourcing email. For many organisations, and IT shops in general, running an Exchange Server – or any mail server – can be a complex endeavour, requiring significant infrastructure and skill. Migrating to a hosted service such as Exchange Online often makes sense, and could save significant operational capital. • Trialling Unified Communications. If you are interested in understanding how unified communications could benefit your organisation, trialling Office Communications Online is the way to go: by testing out the online presence, instant messaging and voice capabilities, you and your organisation can quickly determine the benefits that will be accrued. While there are some limitations (e.g. integration with PABX telephony solutions is not currently possible), this is an ideal way for organisations to quickly improve productivity with minimal effort and outlay. • Online conferencing. Most organisations are facing travel restrictions, so being able to meet virtually online, sharing desktops and viewing presentations and documents can all minimise the need to travel – across town or across the country. To find out more about how Microsoft’s Online Services – and BPOS in particular – can help your organisation, feel free to contact us. Alternatively you can also visit: nz/default.mspx. David Porta is Intergen’s Unified Communications Service Lead >> M I C T nified ead
  10. 10. >>10 >> T H E V A L U E O F S E A R C H < 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 O N E > If it’s 10 times more expensive to find a new customer than to better serve an existing one, then it must cost at least that much to recreate a document instead of searching – and finding – an existing one. Search technologies have revolutionised how we locate and use information. How many of us have wanted to know the answer to something have resorted to typing the question into a web search engine to get what we need? Forget using our brain – searching’s so much easier. While ‘Google’ has become a verb due to its pre-eminence in internet web searching, the ability to search for information within an organisation is often overlooked, even though the ability to search represents an obvious way of increasing productivity and making better use of existing resources. Search technologies have been around for years, but adoption is still relatively limited – organisations that implement portal and collaboration solutions typically implement the packaged search tools that come with their core solution, but beyond that, there appear to be few organisations that go to the extent of implementing a specialised search solution. And this is when virtually all of us use a web search engine every day. The business case is easy: While the adoption of search tools is lower than it should be, those tools can deliver myriad ways of locating and navigating through the volumes of information that exist, enabling reuse of information, empowering users and increasing productivity, or even to help the legal discovery process. Any organisation that can improve how its users locate, use and reuse information must also achieve an advantage over organisations that don’t allow this. That said, search engine adoption rates are due to increase. Not only are we likely to see an increased adoption for reasons of efficiency and effectiveness, there are a myriad of products which are designed to solve the challenge of locating information and data – and Microsoft is in the middle of this activity. Over the past few years, Microsoft has invested significantly in search. At a consumer level, Bing is Microsoft’s foray into global web search and is growing market share against the incumbent providers – an area where it has publically stated it wants traction and market share. At an enterprise level, Microsoft has grown its range of search products that are designed to search across multiple information repositories and data sources. Whether you’re looking to search across the data contained in a SharePoint solution, across an enterprise, or provide large-scale search services to thousands of simultaneous users, Microsoft has a search solution to fit the requirement. Currently Microsoft’s search solutions comprise three core offerings: SharePoint Search, allowing search within and across SharePoint, websites and email and traditional file stores; Search Server Express, a free solution; and finally, at the high end, there are the Microsoft FAST offerings – designed for high-volume, large-scale requirements where there are thousands of simultaneous users, but also applicable for many innovative search uses. More than text When we think of search, many of us probably think of typing a keyword into a text box and getting a list of textual responses in return – after all, that is the typical way in which search engines are used. These days, search engines can not only access and make sense of a plethora of types of data, they can also enable different ways of navigating this information. Spatial search in particular has started to gain traction within the enterprise. Not only are online mapping services useful for obtaining directions, they also provide a real world method of displaying and accessing information. Want to know how many customers are located in a particular suburb? Display a map with their addresses plotted on it. The visualisation of data over a map enables us to navigate and think of data in new ways. For a solutions provider such as Intergen, we see a growing need for search based on a number of key drivers: the need to increase productivity and react faster to customer and market needs; the ability to locate and reuse information, saving hours of productive time; and the ability to empower users – at all levels – to access and utilise data in new and interesting ways, allowing more informed decisions to be made. As an organisation dependent on the access and sharing of knowledge, we expect to increase our investments in these areas ourselves, and we also expect to see similar interest amongst other organisations looking to better use their resources. ng Value Using Search >>10 >> T H If it’s 10 expensive customer than t an existing one, then it must c that much to recreate a docum of searching – and finding – a Search technologies have rev we locate and use informatio How many of us have wanted to know the ans into a web search engi ng VaFindi Tim Howell is Intergen’s Marketing Manager O N E >
  11. 11. >> INTERGENITE PROFILE >> U S E R E X P E R I E N C E D E S I G N < 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 O N E > >>11 What have those gun UX designers been getting up to lately? In short, we ve been busy! It s been an exciting year for our Experience Design team with a full and varied workload. It s been heads down, bums up as we have delved into some interesting and exciting projects. Of greatest significance this year for the UXD team is the change in the way that we now organise ourselves, with the User Experience Designers now residing in the Portals, Content and Collaboration practice. This is a natural place for us and strengthens our relationship with the more technology-focused disciplines and naturally leads to better communication, providing more value to you — and, of course, your customers! We haven t been very good lately at bragging about what we have been doing so thought it high time we provided a brief snapshot of the breadth of what we have been producing over the last few months. Royal New Zealand Navy As part of the Navy s recruitment activity, Intergen has worked closely with the Navy to design, build and deliver the new recruitment website, This was an important project for Navy recruitment and has produced an effective and tailored online channel. The result of this collaboration is a website that provides a wealth of dynamic content and interactive experiences that act as a powerful tool to inspire potential recruits to join the Royal New Zealand Navy. Student Job Search (SJS) In this current economic climate there are fewer job vacancies and the competition in the market is fierce. Employers are receiving as many as 100 applicants for single jobs that they advertise. This is where Student Job Search comes in. SJS is a free service that pre-screens and shortlists candidates as part of their service to employers. The Intergen Experience Design team was tasked with designing a website that helps SJS achieve their goal of bringing students and employers together in an intuitive, compelling and seamless manner. AXA AXA s existing website had become outdated and was in need of a refresh, both for internal content contributers and public website visitors. AXA identified the value of their web presence and wanted to leverage it, thereby getting closer to their existing and prospective customers. The user-centered methodolgy that the Experience Design team employed combined nicely with the new AXA global positioning standard which encapsulated customer-centric values. AXA is all about people, not products, and now getting expert advice has never been easier. Michelle O Loughlin What do you do? I m a User Experience Designer. My role within a project is to make sure that everything looks great and is totally usable. This often involves creating prototypes and several design concepts before refining the design into something that really works. How do you make a difference? I try to identify and understand what the user wants or needs from a website and — coupled with the functional requirements — I base my designs around that. I try not to design for design s sake and believe that things should not only look good but also serve a valuable purpose. What do you love about your job? I love the variety I get in my work. Each project is completely different and has its own unique challenges. I also get to experiment with new design trends and push the capabilities of technology within my designs. A bit about yourself I m from Bristol in England and have been a designer for almost 10 years now. I worked in London for four years before moving over to Wellington 18 months ago. I m now enjoying a much more balanced lifestyle here and trying to see as much of New Zealand as possible. Find out how Intergen s User-Centred Design approach can benefit your web or application project. Contact Mark Delaney at Smarts 21_Final.indd 11 11/19/09 11:21:54 AM
  12. 12. FIND OUT MORE ABOUT INTERGEN: Auckland: +64 9 966 3070 Wellington: +64 4 472 2021 Christchurch: +64 3 964 0017 Dunedin: +64 3 477 5648 Sydney: +61 2 9969 0088 Perth: +61 434 122 880 < S M A R T S - T H E I N T E L L I G E N T B U S I N E S S M A G A Z I N E . I S S U E T W E N T Y O N E > >> T O U C H C O M P U T I N G The recent release of Windows 7 has signalled a wave of new devices that support the concept of multi-touch: the ability to physically touch the screen of a device, and control and manipulate data and images on- screen using one’s fingers. Both laptop and desktop PCs are being provided with these. While popularised by Apple’s iPhone, the concept of touch-based computing has been around for many years; in fact, Microsoft, through its tablet PC initiatives, has long trumpeted the usefulness of touch computing, albeit using a stylus instead of a finger. With multi-touch capabilities built into the core capabilities of the operating system, and major PC and notebook manufacturers, including HP, Dell and Acer, delivering these Touch computing: Is it the business? devices to the market, the reality is that many information workers could be contemplating using a touch-screen device in the near future. Whilst the hardware manufacturers are hopeful the arrival of Windows 7 and its new capabilities will spark a new round of PC upgrades, the question being asked by many observers relates to the benefits these multi-touch devices will deliver to the wider market. No doubt consumers are a key target market for these solutions, and there are numerous ways in which end users can take advantage of the multi-touch user interface – if not for productivity reasons, definitely for entertainment. The ability to flick through music, videos and documents, zoom into and manipulate photos, and “flick” though music album covers are all made more enjoyable through a touch-based user interface – as has been proven by the widespread adoption of Apple’s iPhone and iPod touch devices. For business users the value is less clear. For what uses will we replace the keyboard or mouse with a touch-driven interface? Those of us who are information workers are unlikely to replace our trusty keyboards with an on-screen version – we simply won’t be productive enough. And while “flipping” through files and pictures is no doubt fun – it’s hardly going to increase anyone’s productivity. For basic tasks, then, touch could be seen as a novelty more than anything else. That said, there are opportunities to rethink how we interact with complex information, such as data and volumes of information, touching the screen to sweep, zoom and dive into data – bringing to life some of the concepts first demonstrated in movies such as Minority Report. Right now, scenarios such as these are still fictional, but it’s only a matter of time – and probably not much time – before software vendors start to leverage touch to showcase a new range of capabilities. For user experience designers and software developers such as Intergen, we need to become cognisant of how these technologies affect what we do. How do people interact with pages and content now, and how could this change if they are using a touch-based user interface? What other new usage scenarios arise when using this kind of technology? To what extent will this type of technology take off, or will it remain a bit player amongst the numerous other ways to interact with applications and the web? Regardless of the answers to these questions, the multi-touch capabilities of Windows 7 create new opportunities for developers and users alike, giving us all another way of creating and consuming information and data.