Successfully reported this slideshow.
We use your LinkedIn profile and activity data to personalize ads and to show you more relevant ads. You can change your ad preferences anytime.

Intergen Smarts 7 (2004)


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

Intergen Smarts 7 (2004)

  1. 1. I S S U E S E V E N >> HOT NEWS: >> 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 CASE STUDIES >> 2 3 4/5 6 7 8 All systems are go < Copyright 2004 Intergen Limited. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without permission of Intergen Limited > TECHNICAL PREVIEW >> BUSINESS SOLUTIONS >> INTERGEN NEWS >> Technical Services Team. Clockwise from left: Daniel, John, Dwayne, René, Damon, Darryl, Fulton INTERFACE DESIGN >> INTERGEN PEOPLE >> CSA for CRM in NZ. Intergen is now a Certified Software Advisor (CSA) for Microsoft CRM (Customer Relationship Management) in New Zealand. Emma Cuttance and Dwayne Bace passed three exams which covered understanding the application functionality as well as the ability to install, configure and customise Microsoft CRM. The Certification is granted by Microsoft Business Solutions to companies which demonstrate a defined level of expertise with Microsoft CRM, and are therefore better able to help customers achieve successful solutions. For Intergen’s clients, the CSA status reinforces our demonstrated expertise with Microsoft CRM and our ability to deliver successful CRM solutions. The first half of the year has seen a number of significant projects completed and many new exciting projects begun. Probably the most significant project, in terms of the number of New Zealanders affected, is the Motor Vehicle Re-licensing project we jointly undertook with Unisys. ( It is now possible to re-license your car via the internet and have the new registration label mailed to you. This application posed a special challenge for our Creative Team with potentially complex transactions by a wide cross section of the public. The results show the application of the Creative Studio’s Navigation Prototyping methodology and extensive usability testing. We are currently working on more transactions to be released later this year. We have grown again this year. Our staff numbers now exceed 75 and we have established an office in Christchurch so we can better service our South Island clients. Our Auckland office has moved in to larger premises in Takapuna that will provide us with a long term home. The move has allowed our Technical Services team to build a new computer room to enable us to provide geographical diversity in our hosting solutions. Our Professional Services team has been boosted over the past couple of months with Gavin Raine, Becky St Just and Jeff Sutherland joining us in Wellington and Shane Melton in Auckland. Jeff, in particular, brings a wealth of experience and together with Paddy Payne and Andrew Jamieson gives us a very strong Project Director, Business Process Design and Consulting capability. We have continued to actively participate in Microsoft events. We presented sessions at the recent Microsoft Security briefings around the country and at Microsoft Tech.Ed in Auckland and Canberra. Wayne Forgesson represented Intergen at the annual Microsoft partner’s conference in Toronto, this year called Velocity. We have continued our commitment to Microsoft’s Smart Client strategy with both Robert Ingledew and Paul Quirk travelling overseas for InfoPath training and cemented our commitment to Microsoft CRM with our recently earned Certified Software Advisor for Microsoft CRM status. With our mid year awards dinner, Tech.Ed and Velocity behind us, it is now full focus on the projects ahead and the inevitable push to get new applications live before the Christmas change freeze. We relish the challenge and look forward to helping you achieve your goals. New Auckland office phone and fax numbers. As a result of the recent Auckland office move to Level 1, 2 Fred Thomas Drive, Takapuna there are new phone and fax numbers: >> Phone: 09-966 3070 >> Fax: 09-966 3071
  2. 2. VS.Net – you heard it here first In the February edition of Smarts we hinted at interesting things happening in the Microsoft development technologies space. The information gained at the technology preview in Redmond is now public knowledge, so we can now share our excitement of what’s coming up. Microsoft is aiming to simplify the software development process. For you, the customer, this means reduced time and cost in the software development phase, better communication and documentation throughout the project, and an even better chance of your project getting implemented successfully. It will enable Intergen to be more dynamic in the way we work, focusing more on solving our customers’ business problem rather than the technology and process. This is made possible by a number of tools that will help in the software development life cycle, improving software quality, and guaranteeing the eventual usability of software solutions. This collection of tools is called the VisualStudio.NET Team System, and supports Microsoft’s Dynamic Systems Initiative. The VS.NET Team System will make software projects more successful by providing tools that allow systems to be designed for operations. These tools validate the software architecture of the system against the infrastructure architecture it will >> INTERGENITE: < 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 S E V E N >>> T E C H N I C A L P R E V I E W Nikolai Blackie What do you do? I’m a developer with the Development and Integration Services team. I’m currently working down on the farm at New Zealand Dairy Foods in Takanini implementing BizTalk solutions to allow B2B integration with NZDF’s business partners. It allows me to work with cutting edge technologies and have close contact with clients. How do you make a difference? I think I have an ability to understand complex processes quickly, which is good both for understanding client business processes, and for picking up new technologies. I also like to use formalised processes, which enables me to create robust applications. What do you love about your job? I enjoy building things that supply real business value. Working in the B2B sphere is great as you can see that your projects deliver immediate tangible benefit. Of course working with new and cool technologies is excellent as well. A bit about yourself? I studied BCom majoring in Information Systems, and have been working in the industry for about five years. My focus has been web applications, mostly in the Microsoft realm. For fun I am into board sports, fine cuisine, motorsport, and lots of electronic music. >>2 Intergen is very excited by the opportunities to deliver more value through these technologies and we are aligning our internal processes to fit what we know is coming from Microsoft. As a customer, you will see continued delivery of great business solutions and an improvement in quality and process. Importantly we’ll be able to ensure that we remain agile in our approach to delivery in even the largest and most complex of solutions. More info is available on the VS.NET Team System site: >> Microsoft’s Dynamic Systems Initiative: >> be used on – an important consideration in Service Oriented Architectures. The design tools produce models that stay in sync with the code of the solution, and provide a visual depiction of the components throughout its life. This ‘agile documentation’ cuts the cost of producing documentation and keeping it up to date as the solution evolves. This software development life cycle management allows better communication and reporting within software projects. It goes right from developer, to architect, to project manager, to you the customer so that everyone involved can see the status of a project at any time. Intergen previously built its own life cycle management tools, for example the i- Track application that will have been used by most of our customers to report issues with solutions we have built. Building high quality software takes a huge amount of effort. It’s great that to assist, the VS.NET Team System has built in stress testing and performance analysis tools, and can enforce quality assurance methodology across the solution. It also allows for reliable repeatable solution builds for easier deployment. The tools automate what we currently have to do manually, with the benefits being reduced time and cost, and greater coverage of the quality assurance process. In combination with the reporting tools, we have a greater measurability of software quality through the test coverage.
  3. 3. < S M A R T S - T H E I N T E L L I G E N T B U S I N E S S M A G A Z I N E . I S S U E S E V E N > >>3 >> INTERGENITE: >> I N T E R F A 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 S E V E N > Strength to strength The Creative team is the strongest it’s ever been with five of the most experienced interactive designers in the industry enthusiastically applying themselves to a plethora of juicy customer challenges. In the past two issues of Smarts we’ve concentrated on the Creative Studio’s Navigation Prototype methodology and our experience with the Government Web Guidelines (GWG). Now it’s time to catch up with some recently completed projects. in New Zealand. The only major challenge was time, or the lack of it as we helped Meridian take proactive steps to give their customers a voice. We are currently building a demonstration Forum to showcase the versatility of these applications and the business potential when used as channel for real customer interaction and communication. The Forum has come of age! New Zealand Immigration Service - Design for MCMS We have been working with the NZIS team for the past 18 months on a complete revamp of their internal and external web channels. No doubt about it, is a massive site. Our Navigation Prototype system was used to bring sense and order to navigating around the vast array of information. The NZIS team were also keen to call on our experience building compliant sites for the Government Web Guidelines. Meeting the diverse Auckland V8 International - Dual skin website design The Challenge: What challenge?! We were thrilled to be engaged by Auckland V8 International to design their official websites. The truth is, when you’re involved in a subject you are passionate about, great solutions come easily. Our mission was to create sister websites for two completely different audiences. One a formal communication vehicle ( and the other firmly targeted at the motor racing faithful ( Electricity Future Forum - Forum Design There’s no question big business has cottoned on to the value of creating effective interactive communities with Forum engines. Meridian Energy chose a moderated Forum created specifically for their need to engage in two way dialogue with the broad range of individuals with a stake in the future of electricity generation demands of the business and achieving a good GWG rating was no mean feat. State Sector Retirement Savings Scheme - Design for GWG As the creators and managers of the Government Web Guidelines the State Services Commission set high standards of compliance when it comes to their own websites. Given our experience in this arena we were more than up to the challenge and our GWG specialist thrived on making this project a benchmark outcome for the Commission. So much so that we ended up querying some of the finer points of the standards and this has resulted in rewording previously ambiguous criteria. Great to be in there really pushing the application of the standards and getting so much support from the authors at SSC. Tim Mole What do you do? I’m a member of the senior development team and I’ll be moving back to Christchurch in September to open Intergen’s office. How do you make a difference? I understand the importance of client relationships – 12 years in the IT industry has taught me that working closely with clients is critical to developing effective business solutions. In the last 10 years as a consultant here and internationally, I have had exposure to a large variety of industries and technologies. What do you love about your job? Joining the Intergen team for the second time. I returned for the culture, which is what makes Intergen so special. Working with trusted and highly competent people who have the right attitude and desire to see projects and client relationships succeed makes Intergen a highly rewarding environment. A bit about yourself? I travelled for 5 1/2 years around the Northern Hemisphere with my wife, so travel, culture and photography have been my most recent passions. I’m an avid follower of sport and a hacker at most sports especially golf. With our first child on the way and migrating back to the South Island where I grew up, our current lifestyle is in for a considerable change!! If you’d like to learn more about how the Intergen Creative Studio can add value to your web project, contact our Creative Director Eamon O’Rourke at
  4. 4. >> INTERGENITE: Shaun Donaghey What do you do? I’m General Manager, Intergen Auckland. I work with the team here to deliver quality technology solutions to our clients and have a great time doing so. How do you make a difference? I make sure we have the right skills at the right time for our clients and that, most importantly, we have the clients to begin with. I also keep a strong focus on our relationship with Microsoft and look at strategic areas where the business can grow, around both the technology and the business market in general. What do you love about your job? I launched the Auckland office back in 2002, and it’s been a great ride ever since. Strong growth is exciting and certainly a challenge that keeps me and the team busy. Also, being an integral part of a national organisation means we’re part of a bigger picture. I could also say many other things like variety, people, our great clients etc but I have to rate walking distance to Takapuna beach in the summer as a definite plus. A bit about yourself Outside of work I keep busy cleaning up after my 5-year old daughter, playing the drums (sadly my dreams of rock’n’roll stardom are fading with age) and, most importantly, skiing. < 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 S E V E N >>>4 >> C A S E S T U D I E S Timed to catch the Lord of the Rings world premier, the Capital wanted to capitalise on its image by launching a totally rejuvenated website which needed to have immense pulling power. Navigation Prototype methodology was used to overcome the diverse needs of a local and international audience. Above the surface, the site needed to feel creative, alive, and happening, yet dead simple to get around. “Wellington’s tourism traffic generates $760 million pa so the significance of this site is immense to the City. We achieved great customisation, a wow factor feel and look, and it performs exceptionally well on external search engines” Kate Clode, PWT. >> Since the website was launched site traffic has grown by 51%. >> The site has jumped to fifth place on Red Sheriff’s World Travel Category ratings. Micro views of the big picture We’ve been busy over the last few months and thought you might like to know more about some of the work we have been doing. Our BHAG: “Touching every New Zealander every day” is in evidence in the range of work and clients we have as you can see in the case studies below. On you’ll find news of the government’s new retirement savings initiative SSRSS. To reach over 120,000 eligible employees a straight-to-the-point message was needed through a dedicated website setting out the Super Scheme’s choices. A supertight deadline was met thanks to a lot of CMS (Content Management Server) experience under our belt. “Our launch date was six weeks out so we chose Intergen as they had a lot of public sector and e- govt requirements experience. They leveraged from their existing CMS experience, shortening the development timeframe – giving us a flying start into the project” Paul Parlane, SSC. POSITIVELY WELLINGTON TOURISM SITE GETS EXTREME MAKEOVER www.we SUPER SCHEME OFF TO A SUPER START More detailed information on the case studies is available from: or >> Wayne Forgesson 04 472 2021 or >> Shaun Donaghey 09 966 3070
  5. 5. >> C A S E S T U D I E S >>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 S E V E N > Need to know international visitor arrival trends? Most popular destinations? You’ll find a complete 360° window to the tourism sector on the new Tourism Research Council of New Zealand’s website. TRCNZ made Intergen their first destination and together we tackled one of the most complex CMS projects with a huge degree of automation and interaction with third party systems. With Microsoft CMS as the framework, smart design and navigation now provides a customised experience for the travel industry needing accurate data. “The solution has been a lasting one. This was a difficult project with a great degree of customisation and co-ordination with other providers. The technical work and degree of thought that went into it has proven extremely sound” Marie Nordstrand, TRCNZ. >> 20,000 arrivals to the web site per month >> Consistently in the top 100 government sites in Australasia. Building product manufacturers James Hardie are using the web to leverage exposure from their TV Showhomes infomercials to guide potential customers through the building process. Intergen partnered with Tango Communications to build and host the new website on a Microsoft Content Management Server ASP. NET platform. Now James Hardie can manage all content on the site to a time critical schedule that sees new homes and stories updated on the site every three weeks as new TV commercials go to air. An innovative on line scrapbook lets customers email their wish list straight to an architect or builder. ONE-STOP DESTINATION FOR TOURISM DATA DREAM HOMES ON JAMES HARDIE ’S www. tvs howhomes . c o. nz GLOBAL LEARNING PLATFORM ON EDRI www.ict- e The Enterprise Development Research Institute is big news for ISVs (Independent Software Vendors) around the world wanting to improve their business skills, grow networks and share best practice knowledge and information. Best described as global distance learning within a best practice framework, ISVs can enrol for on-line courses and workshops that range from high level financial management to sales, budgeting and marketing. Intergen Auckland built the EDRI site using CMS 2002, and Shaun Donaghey says it’s a great example of a client coming in with an entrepreneurial idea and ending up with an ongoing partner. “Typically when you go to a web development firm and say ‘can you build us a website’ their response is ‘what colour would you like it’. With Intergen it was a completely different conversation. Straightway they saw it from a business perspective and came up with some great ideas about how they could enable technology to achieve our goals. I now use Intergen as an outsourced IT department” Malcolm Fraser, EDRI. “Through Intergen’s Microsoft Content Management Server ASP service we have access to a powerful tool that fits the requirements of this project, within the budget” Boyd Wason, Tango.
  6. 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 S E V E N >>> I N T E R G E N P E O P L E>>6 Our regular Monday morning Work-in- Progress meeting frequently gets sidelined by tales of one-upmanship from the weekend’s competitive fixtures. The more extreme the injury or equipment failure, the greater the glory. A good score or honourable placing a mere bonus! So what drives our busy Intergenites to take on these huge personal challenges and what do they get out of it? A quick survey around the office produced some common threads. Getting into it Do our players jump out of bed one morning and decide to become a national champion, or are there other forces at work? Blood, sweat and tears! It’s true of any team that the longer you work together, the more peoples’ remarkable personal passions and private lives are revealed. Not only is Intergen a hot bed of professional over-achievers, but we’ve discovered many of our team approach their sporting goals with the same drive and determination. Jill got into multisports after thanklessly acting as support crew for her partner and concluding competing “looked way easier”. Although not her first event, Sharon admits that she only signed up for her first Coast to Coast as the result of some bravado with friends “after too many wines”. Whereas Chris says his parents got him into Karate as a child “before he could say no”, but no regrets now. The drive to compete It may not have been their first attempted sporting pursuit, but soon enough our respondents found a discipline that appealed to their own competitive needs. For Stewart, hockey “satisfies my need for competition and aggression” whereas Chris focuses on the people and travel in Karate as well as the very real life benefits: “cool hearing that some kid was able to defend himself when the school bully tried to pick on him”. There’s no missing that amongst these competitors, “fitness” itself is definitely an end goal, and the drive to achieve a greater level of fitness is likely to be expressed as the desire to “do better than last time”. As with many things in life it’s often easy to achieve a peak of performance, but sustained effort demands true discipline. Of course it can be purely physiological too. Dolan is quick to use words like “addictive” and comment on the joy of “loads of endorphins”. A sense of achievement Looking back on their achievements, all comment about “personal accomplishment” and the sense of fulfilment that comes with just competing, let alone winning. Sharon reinforces this with this sentiment on her greatest triathlon moment “realising for the first time that I could actually do it”. Whatever the benchmark set there is always an almost unimaginable goal to strive for. For Stewart that was being selected for a provincial representative side, and for Chris ranking in the top 16 at the last World Karate Championships. Jill has many accolades to her credit but cites winning the Taupo Dirty Dog (12 hours solo mountain biking) as her greatest achievement and goes on to add “it was worse than child birth”! Dolan gets the last word here having recently represented New Zealand at the world underwater hockey championships, and winning: “cannot get enough of beating other countries, Aussies, Poms or Yanks!” The greatest challenge We’re all human, so it was reasonable to assume that our group sometimes struggle to find the time and energy to sustain their chosen passion. Noble responses focussed on the sheer effort of constantly raising the bar and as Dolan observes “the more you improve, the harder it gets to reach it year after year”. More pragmatically, Stewart said that the greatest challenge can in fact be as simple as foregoing a Sunday evening “where normal people are dry and warm at home on the couch”. However “getting out of bed on cold, dark, early mornings” is undoubtedly the greatest obstacle to true sporting glory! Crystal ball gazing Finally, it had to be asked “What will you be competing for in 20 years time?” Jill is adamant she’ll come into her own as a veteran competitor applying the old adage “If you can’t beat them, outlive them”, whereas Dolan is more cautious and sees himself participating, rather than competing. Sharon is also determined she’ll still be out there in 20 years time and wants to “beat Jill in at least one race” (which may take her that long!). Last word to Stewart who would like to be in there boots ‘n all at masters representation level, however he couches this with the proviso “presuming I don’t put a hip out or catch one too many blows on the head”! Different disciplines and different perspectives, but common threads. At the end of the day all agree that the biggest benefits are the fun, friendship and stress release. JILLIAN ROSS STEWART ROBERTSON SHARON ROSS CHRIS BENNETT DOLAN MCGINLEY
  7. 7. >> 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 S E V E N > >>7 Hot propertyMicrosoft Security Summit 2004 From November, Waikato’s 13 territorial authorities will consolidate their property registers following the development of the Shared Valuation Database Service. Environment Waikato is New Zealand’s first regional council to bring its entire region’s district valuation rolls together onto one central database. Valuation service providers, who provide valuation services to territorial authorities, will be able to update the property valuation information via a web application. The intention is to open up the property valuation market to new valuers by eliminating the need for a property valuation database to manage the valuation process. In the past each territorial authority has been responsible for maintaining its own property valuation database and shared the information on an ad hoc basis with Environment Waikato and their valuation service providers. Data was Developers flocked to security briefings around the country, to get valuable information about how to write more secure applications, and harden the IT infrastructure. Jeremy Boyd and Gabriel Smith from the Development and Integration Services team presented sessions to developer audiences. Jeremy delivered two sessions on the importance of web security, and examined how web applications become vulnerable to attacks and how developers can write defensively to secure their code against these attacks. Gabe presented a session on data security and integrity for Smart Client applications, which looked at how to maintain security and integrity for both connected and disconnected states. Intergen maintains a strong focus on security in applications, and includes the use of threat modelling and defensive code as standards for delivering web applications. Jeremy Boyd: Gabriel Smith: Postscript: Gabriel spoke on Web Services Enhancements (WSE) 2.0 at Tech.Ed 2004 in Auckland and will also present at Tech.Ed in Canberra, Australia. WSE has just been released and provides greatly enhanced messaging capabilities to the .NET Web Services. This will allow further exciting developments for Intergen and our customers who are working with Services Oriented Architectures (SOA). Valuation Service Providers.... Environment Waikato Office of the Valuer-General InternalSystems Territorial Authorities (13) Web Application Shared Valuation Database Service exchanged between territorial authorities, Environment Waikato and valuation service providers using a proprietary flat file format, spreadsheets and paper. The Shared Valuation Database Service is built utilising the Microsoft.Net Framework around the core messaging application of Microsoft BizTalk Server 2004. Web Service and FTP interfaces provide connectivity to all parties concerned. The new solution will improve the accuracy, efficiency and timeliness of data being sent between the various parties. The solution will introduce an XML based messaging system using web services while continuing to support the legacy file format using FTP. An ASP.Net web application has been developed to provide a front end to the information for use by valuation service providers and territorial authorities. Intergen has just completed the development phase of the application and is conducting user testing of the site with Environment Waikato. The application is expected to go live in November this year.
  8. 8. For the third year running Intergen had a representative at the Microsoft Worldwide Partner conference. This year the conference was held in Toronto. The theme for this year’s conference was Velocity, and it built on the foundations set by the previous conferences . This is the largest partner conference of its type in the world with over 5000 attendees and 225 exhibitors. Held in a convention centre that covers 400,000 square feet across seven floors and two buildings it is easy to get a little confused as to exactly where you are (not helped by most of the floors being underground). Of particular interest this year were several breakout sessions from industry commentators and experts including representatives from Gartner Group and the Kellogg School of Management. As is often the case with conferences, there was an incredible amount of valuable information gained over the four days not all of which was during conference sessions. Key messages for me this year included Microsoft’s ongoing commitment to security, its focus on addressing partner issues and concerns and reducing total cost of ownership. A particular highlight was the Gold Partner question and answer session with Steve Ballmer. Four days of full on Velocity The night was MCed in true Hollywood style by Sha-nay-nay, who was larger than life!! Staff nominated achievers in nine categories, an eclectic mixture that ensures coverage for all areas of Intergen’s business, with judges selecting the worthy winners. Bravest in Battle went to Mark Johnson for brave and sterling work to help a client achieve their requirements. Friend of the Environment winner was Adam Green for his contribution for the Intergen Auckland culture (protecting it from a Wellington office takeover!). Fulton Hargreaves was a very popular winner of the Most Valuable Team Player Awards, as was Rebecca Cox for Technology Guruship. Andrew Jamieson (AJ) finally won the Most Notable Blunder Award for some senior moments after many years of nominations. Other winners were Nigel Parker for Customer Excellence and John-Daniel Trask for Newbie of the Year. Robert Ingledew took out the Numero Uno Award for the person who has tirelessly contributed to the Intergen Way and who has set the highest standard of professionalism. Pride of place for Best Project went to the 34 staff who worked on the NZ Immigration Service Projects. Glitz, glamour and bloopers – the IAFTA’s have it all. The Intergen Awards for Tenacious Achievement are an annual highlight for staff, and as the company grows the competition gets hotter and hotter. G L I T Z A T T H E I A F T A S >> I N T E R G E N N E W 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 S E V E N > F i n d o u t m o r e a b o u t I n t e r g e n : Auckland: 09 966 3070 Wellington: 04 472 2021 Clockwise from left: Dolan, Gabriel, Mark, Sha-nay-nay, Steven, Kurt, AJ, Jeremy, Paddy, Jeff, Sharon, Neal, Jeremy, Elaine, Gabriel, Stewart, Peter