Updates from January, 2012 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Joe Wichowski 9:26 pm on January 24, 2012 Permalink | Reply  

    Traction @ IMPACT 2012… 

    For those in the Detroit area, we will be exhibiting at IMPACT 2012 at the Automation Alley headquarters in Troy.  We’ll have some of our new Mobile stuff on display (namely BizBoard Mobile).  If you are in the area, you should consider attending – the agenda looks really good.

     
  • Joe Wichowski 9:12 am on January 19, 2012 Permalink | Reply
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    Updates on Lotus Notes & Domino (Lotuspehere 2012) 

    Some interesting news from Lotusphere 2012:

    IBM has announced a couple interesting items at this week’s Lotusphere – namely, the new “Social” edition of the Lotus Notes client, as well as extended email capabilities within their IBM Connections product (their Social Business tool).

    I’ve summarized some of the highlights below – if you would like some additional information on them, please don’t hesitate to shoot us a call.

    IBM Connections 3.0

    Social in the business setting is an interesting proposition. Most notably, it can help larger corporations engage disparate resource teams, and help them better mine innovation that already may already exist within another business unit.

    IBM’s version of Social is pretty much the same as Facebook – users can make profiles of themselves, tell colleagues “what” they are working on, share files and start discussion threads with specific groups, and so on. However, one thing that sets Social Business apart from Facebook is in the “Activities” department.

    IBM Connections allow you to create centralized activities, and “invite” other users to participate in the task in a Social way. So if you envision the “email overload” that most companies face, this might just be the solution – If your users can take an incoming email, and turn it into a larger “work effort” through Activities, you can essentially eliminate all of the spreadsheets and “FYI” emails that cripple today’s Inbox’s.

    What makes this more compelling is that before you were required to have Lotus Notes email in order to “move” an email into IBM Connections. Otherwise, users were required to “copy and paste” the email information inside the Activity. Now, with their direct “Inbox app”, IBM Connections can link directly to the Inbox of Microsoft Exchange as well as Lotus Notes & Domino. So just about any company can now benefit from the Workspaces and Activities apps within IBM Connections.

    IBM Lotus Notes 8.5.4 – Social Edition

    The new Lotus Notes release, called “Social Edition”, has a new feature set called “Embedded Experiences”.  This capability should let developers make applications that can “live” inside a Lotus Notes email message.  For example – if a customer emails in an order into your Customer Service Inbox, there can be an embedded “What would you like to do?” type application directly inside the email.  The embedded application could prompt the user what to do – automatically initiate the order inside ERP, start a new collaborative Activity regarding the order, “snooze it” for later review, and so on.  These embedded applications can be dynamic to the content that it is “reading” – so you can make Smart Email by comparing the From of an email with your CRM system, to provide different actions and capabilities for Vendors and Customers alike.  Pretty powerful stuff.

    Lotus Notes Plug-In Lets You Run Standard (Legacy) Lotus Notes Applications Inside A Web Browser

    Also in 8.5.4 will be a Firefox plug-in to let you run Lotus Notes application directly inside the web browser (no conversion required).  This can help companies eliminate the Lotus Notes Client entirely, yet still utilize their old Lotus Notes applications unchanged.  From what they are saying, these will be standard Notes applications.  This poses some difficulty, as a lot of the development in Lotus Notes is now utilizing XPages and Composite Applications.  The plug-in will not work for these apps (which is why we believe the plug-in will not work for Lotus Notes email).  In addition, it will be a 100meg download – not huge with cable modems these days.  But the size is something to consider (to be fair, Java is about 125megs, and Adobe Reader is close to 70megs – so the idea of a “small plug-in” has been abandoned long ago).

    IBM XWork Server

    On a side note, IBM has a new, “slimmed down” license for IBM Lotus Domino.  If you have moved off of Lotus Notes email, but still have some applications running inside the Lotus Notes client, the IBM XWork Server allows you to reduce your cost.  The charge is $2,000 fixed-price yearly.  So if you have over 100 users, this would make sense.  Or, if you have an old Domino server that is not currently under maintenance, this is a good way to get back to current without having to repurchase full Lotus Notes client licenses.

     
  • Ian Leu 8:55 am on January 6, 2012 Permalink | Reply  

    Disabling all “TextBoxes” and “DropDownLists” on an Ironspeed ASPX page programmatically 

    I recently had a requirement to make all but one field on an Ironspeed ASPX page ready only when certain conditions are met on the form. I could have easily hardcoded the controls I wanted to disable, but this had to be dynamic for new fields that may be added to the form in the future. I wrote this function to loop through all of the controls (and the many nested controls) and disable all of the text boxes and drop down lists.

     I added this function to Region #1 of the CS file for the page:

    Once this is set, I just call this function passing in the top level control on the page from the prerender event if the record was flagged as an “Order” and the current user was not an administrator.

     

     
  • Joe Wichowski 1:22 pm on January 3, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Data Integration, ,   

    Talend Components for Lotus Notes released… 

    We have just released our Talend Components for Lotus Notes.  What is Talend?  It is an ETL (Extract, Transform, Load) tool, that allows us to perform better data integration than just utilizing tools like Lotus Domino Enterprise Connection Services (DECS).

    With Talend and our components for Lotus Notes, we are able to offer true integration to just about ANY system – cloud services, web services, Big Data, traditional databases, excel worksheets, and more.

    If you have a project that requires data integration, give us a call.  We’d love to explain how we can eliminate the “swivel chair” within your company.

    Download the components here:

    • tNotesInput – Reads data from a View (or @Function Select formula) and exposes as rows within Talend.
    • tNotesOutput – Write data to a database (Inserts and Updates)
    • tNotesRunAgent – Runs a background agent in Lotus Notes
     
  • Joe Wichowski 12:39 pm on January 3, 2012 Permalink | Reply
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    Twitter, Facebook, Intellectual Property – Who Owns YOUR Data? 

    Recently in The New York Times, it was reported that Noah Kravitz was being sued for taking his 17,000 Twitter contacts “with him” once he left his employer.  This raises an interesting question – if a company has a signed non-compete and an intellectual property privacy clause, is it possible that they could still “lose” their IP on Facebook and Twitter because they don’t personally “own” the account?

    Certainly, PhoneDog will have its hand full. It appears they let this go on for some 8 months. Unless they have some “cease and desist” emails they can dig up, they will have to explain why it took them so long to actually care about it.

    On the other hand, this leads to the more important issue – as companies leverage free Cloud tools to reach out to customers in new ways, are they selling their IP claims short? In the end, will this only come back to bite them when their employees leave for a competitor?

    It is our belief that companies should keep all Twitter and Facebook accounts of the company as “house accounts”, only giving access those marketing people who need to connect in that manner. Also, the email addresses linked to these accounts should be reachable by IT. This way, as an employee leaves, IT can simply “request a new password”, with the request able to be fetched within the companies email system directly.

    Going further, specifically stating Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and so on in your non-complete can help eliminate the “gray area” that currently surrounds these types of lists. What do we do when a sales guy “connects” via LinedIn to all of his sales contacts? What happens when a salesforce leverages Google+ Hangouts for monthly video conferences with customers? Who owns that data?

    Leveraging these new social connections can definately help you market and sell more.  In fact, if you are not doing it, then you are already way behind the curve.  But this doesn’t mean we should lose our IP.  Until the courts rule in July, we just don’t know who truly “owns” the information.  Stay tuned…

    (If you are looking for alternatives – we use WordPress for our own private blogging/twitter-like stuff.  We own it, we control it, and if someone leaves the company, we retain it.  For social/facebook type features, have a look at Salesfore.com Chatter.  Its easy to set up, its free, and it allows you to make “private” groups to engage and discuss issues and services with clients.)

     
  • Joe Wichowski 9:10 am on January 2, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , ,   

    TCG – The year ahead… 

    Happy New Year!  On behalf of all of us here at Traction Consulting Group, we hope your holiday was awesome, and you are ready to get-after-it in the new year!  As a primer to some of the innovations we have set for our customers in 2012, here are some of the exciting things we are working on:

    1. BizBoard – Our streamlined web-enabled metrics system is ready to engage your management team. With it, teams will be able to combine metrics from ERP, CRM, Spreadsheets, and other database applications – all into a single dashboarding solution. In addition, each metric will have an associated “Action List”. So not only will the metrics help you better understand your company, but they will also prove as a central hub of activity to improve where there is work to be done. This solution works from any web browser, including iPads and other tablets.
    2. BizBoard Mobile – We don’t want your iPhone or Android to be left out.  To that, we have created BizBoard Mobile, specifically formatted for phones with web browsers, to better react to just-in-time information while on-the-go.  Alerts are set up to push to users on a daily or hourly basis.  For example: customers and orders requiring follow-up, salesmen not performing to goals, opportunity not closing, and more.  Users can then interact with these alerts, and track them over time, giving them mobile tools to quickly react to changing business data.
    3. Traction LMS– As part of our ongoing focus of Mentoring & Training as an extension of the Development & Support services we perform for our customers, Traction has created a Learning Management System (LMS) to help customers gain traction within their educational initiatives.  No longer will your employees struggle to find policies, procedures, instruction, and expectations.  With our LMS, teams will find a one-stop-shop for everything – Instructions and procedures, policies, how-to’s, tips and tricks, videos, and more.
    4. Traction Alerts – Don’t hunt for information – have the information find you.  Our alerts/reporting system for Salesforce.com, Microsoft CRM, and SugarCRM delivers just-in-time information directly to a user’s inbox.  So instead of salesmen “searching” CRM for information, the information is pro-actively delivered to them.  We have many generic reports, like:  This week’s customers & activities, Customers you haven’t visited in a while, This week’s birthdays, and Opportunity Follow-up; but we can also customize these or add any additional as needs arise.  We also include these services free-of-charge with our Managed CRM Service Agreement.
    5. Traction Intelligence – For Microsoft CRM Online and Salesforce.com customers, it is often best to have a “local copy” of the information in order to do extended reporting, analysis, and data integration.  Traction Intelligence provides you with exactly that – a copy of your Online information, directly in a local database your resources can quickly reach.  You can choose your database – our data pumping system does the rest.

    Thanks again for all your support in 2011, and we look forward to continuing our rock-solid quality, service, and value for you in 2012.

     
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