June 16, 2013
Collaboration is the centre of every successful business. Workplace collaboration is becoming more social everyday and the internet is influencing our interaction habits. These days, our professional and personal worlds collide more often than they used to. I just received a call from one of my friends and we realised that we both knew a lot more about our recent past through our facebook interactions.
We leverage our networks much more effectively than we used to thanks to social networks. We are sharing more. We are collaborating more. We are doing great things with a swipe, a tap and a click by liking, voting and donating through social media. Our colleagues express their passion, their views, their activities on the internet to their selected networks. We are part of some. We want to be part of others. And sometimes we really dont care However, we cannot ignore the importance of Social technologies at workplaces anymore. Their impact is massive.
Microsoft SharePoint is a collaboration technology that is pervasive in our workplaces. With its latest release of SharePoint 2013, Microsoft has a lot to offer in the Social collaboration space. Microsoft’s acquisition of Yammer and Skype and the imminent integration of these technologies and more into Microsoft products have created quite a lot of new opportunities for the typical Microsoft customer to innovate in their Workplace collaboration methods. jEyLaBs is excited to continue to service the Microsoft customer base as a focused system integrator because we see great potential for Social innovation in the Microsoft SharePoint platform.
IT departments should focus on how best to satisfy social workplace collaboration needs of their Information workers. Ignoring these needs or blocking the users’ efforts in fear of privacy, loss of control, etc will simply cause more harm to the organisation than any good. SaaS offerings and freemiums are changing the buying and decision making habits of business units. Cloud has the potential of wiping out IT departments in the near future. It is best to work with the users and help them leverage existing, proven and popular workplace collaboration technologies such as SharePoint to deliver the social solutions they need. While a Social policy should be the responsibility of management, the implementation of it should be an organisation wide responsibility led by business units. If IT to survive and thrive, using SharePoint to delivering social is the best option available to it.
Micro blogging and Sharing are core to Social interactions. Microsoft has improved these features in SharePoint 2013 immensely. Mobile delivery of these features are a necessity for the take up your Social SharePoint. Your workflow applications can be very effective with Social and Gamification features. jEyLaBs specialises on this aspect and can provide you expert advise and guidance. jEyLaBs partners with DELL software and K2 to bring many social scenarios to SharePoint a reality very effectively. Like it? Share this post on Facebook, Linkedin or Tweet to us via @jeylabs. You can also email us at email@example.com
June 10, 2013
Training is very important for anyone who is serious about their career in IT. Technology changes practically every other day and being good and staying good requires ongoing learning. Whether you are training for something very specific or as part of a larger learning program, it is important you train with the best. I was fortunate enough to have some great mentors and team members throughout my career. I also had some inspirational people around me through the memberships I have had at various coaching programs. I was able to connect with a lot of the participants and forge partnerships. These helped me learn well and learn fast.
I was part of the training delivery team for the consulting companies I worked for. Microsoft SharePoint and K2 were my focus areas and I have been delivering custom training programs for customers on these technologies for some years now. I had the chance to enhance both my consulting skills and training approach throughout these years. When I reflect on this journey, I would say the best training programs I did were all paid courses delivered by the best.
I still attend training programs as a paid participant in these technologies to ensure that I continue to train myself with the best in business. Unfortunately the best don’t come cheap.
The benefits I see from this approach to training is access to the collective knowledge of a lot of talented people. Let me explain. The best trainers are not alone. They are good. They are smart. They are also well connected. They belong to other networks. Their knowledge is shaped through the interactions, applications and innovations that come out of these tight-knit communities of expert learners and teachers. They also work hard. They sweat. They shed tears and they are passionate.
Find these people and pay to attend their courses.
Let me give you another tip. To get the most out of your IT training, ensure that you are continuing your learning after the official training course. Attending a training course doesn’t make you an expert. It is the ongoing connections that makes you motivated and passionate about your training. This is what does the magic of turning you into a shining star. You can start this process by joining interest groups and continue to attend networking events. With the internet, it is so easy to be connected to these useful groups. Join a select few groups. Participate in the discussions. To get trained in IT is to train with the best and stay connected with them.
I am also part of a select group of individuals called the K2 Insiders. I had to work so hard for years to earn this membership. These people are the most committed bunch of caring and sharing people I have come across. They are a global group and I often part-take in discussions past my bedtime from my bed thanks to my always-on iPhone. These interactions have improved many customers using SharePoint and K2 technology. I am honoured to be part of this group.
Whether you are learning a life skill, working on a particular goal or on your IT career, training should be done with the people who have done it in real life. Do not go for someone with all the certifications. Go with the person who has trained a lot of people and still practising what they preach out there in the field. Ask your trainer when was the last time they applied these techniques in real life? It is important that you choose your trainer wisely. Training is an investment of your time and money so that you can leverage it for the betterment of your own self in the upcoming months and years. If you can’t train with the best then do not train. Find the best. It is worth more than what you will ever end up paying for them.
We at jEyLaBs offer custom training courses on K2, SharePoint and selected DELL products. So, Please checkout
OR contact firstname.lastname@example.org for learning more about our training solutions.
June 2, 2013
From our experience working on workflow/eForms automation projects over many years, we can comfortably say that we have a recipe for success. This recipe has 5 key ingredients. They need to be mixed correctly, carefully and at the right levels at the right time. They are:
1. Clear Vision
2. Buy-in from Key players
3. Passionate Team
4. Awesome Tools
5. Time tested Techniques
Without a clear vision any mission cannot succeed. Even if you do, you will not know whether you have got to that point or not. How much you have deviated from your goals will not be clear and therefore it will be impossible to get back on track. It is important to be clear about the workflow automation project/program’s vision. This must be written down so that it can be referred to during your journey.
Buy-in from the key players is important to not just get the funding but to have positive PR around your project. Funding should not be pulled out until the critical milestones are achieved and to ensure this that positive PR is very important. Once you have buy-in from the key players this PR and funding will come. It will open the doors and help you navigate any complex political situations around your project. Find the key players and get them on your side. Convince them. Continue to check that this buy-in is still at the required level to help you overcome any obstacles.
A passionate team is important even if your team size is small. Passion for automation is very important so that you can attract great people into your team and continue to grow it. Successfully delivering workflow automation projects in any organisation requires a variety of skills. These skills are hard to find in a single person. You will need a team of analysts, managers, technical people and support personnel to complete the execution. People with passion should be part of your team to make this journey a success story.
When you have the right tools the job at hand becomes almost effortless. You need to be conscious about finding and sourcing the right tools. jEyLaBs spends a lot of time keeping ourselves abreast of the developments happening in this fast moving world of technology so that we can advise our customers on the right tool-sets to future-proof their workflow automation journey. Make sure you have awesome tools on your toolkit when you embark on the project.
Technique is actually more important than your tools. Time-tested techniques will help you not make common mistakes and follow a path that is less painful to get where you want to go. There are methodologies for delivering projects but delivering workflow automation projects require fine tuned techniques. Requirements gathering, prototyping, testing, integration and deployment as well as change management requires “variations” that are tuned to your workflow projects. It is important you look at specifics that will work for your program, your organisation and their training needs.
To learn more about and how to put together a successful workflow project recipe for your specific needs please contact us via email@example.com. We are here to help you succeed.
May 29, 2013
When did you go see the doc recently? Not seeing a doc is not necessarily a good thing. I like to see the doc when I am not sick. Yes, prevention is better than cure. Just make sure you don’t catch something from the clinic though.
Anyway, the point is, checking to see how things are going is important to keep healthy and improve well being. It is also true for your car, your house and the enterprise apps you are using. It is important to execute your DR plan time to time. It is important to see how you are using your apps and whether they are meeting your goals.
jEyLaBs takes a pro-active approach and we provide health checks and tuning of our apps. All our customers under gold support contracts receive automatic health check reports every quarter.
It is important to keep tabs on your databases, CMS and workflow system as well as Apps. If you haven’t done a health check recently, get in touch with us and we will be happy to help you with a free 2 hour health check.
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org and mention this blog post.
May 19, 2013
blackpearl, Business Process, General, PowerToolz
K2 Migration Upgrade
Moving active business processes from one environment to another is not an every day task. It is complicated and painful. It does happen though and we are seeing this occurring more and more due to typical system upgrades, platform changes and mergers & acquisitions.
Recently jEyLaBs assisted with migrating over many thousands of active business process instances from one Active Directory environment to another. We have also worked with two other projects relating to Active Directory changes, SharePoint and K2 platform upgrades at the same time.
There are many aspects to migrating processes. Completed, Active and Future instances all have to be analysed for migration impact. The volume of these instances also has an impact on the time required to analyse and implement the change.
Our consultants are currently engaged on a project involving SQL, K2 and SharePoint clusters undergoing a migration. We deployed our PowerToolz to great effect on this project. We were able to complete the analysis, integrity and validation checks as well as the migration process of two pre-production environments within 15 hours.
If the system uses many process applications, multiple versions of process definitions and many thousands of instances then the project cannot be delivered within a meaningful timeframe unless you use some tooling such as the PowerToolz. It is simply impossible to be able to repeat the migration steps with confidence and have proper coverage of all migration best practices.
jEyLaBs uses DELL software products and our jEyLaBs PowerToolz along with our consulting services to manage and deliver these migration projects. There will be a need for support services around the migration period and it is important you plan for that as well. Our remote support teams provide critical migration and post-migration support.
Are you planning a migration sometime soon? If you are looking for some expert advice or general tips and tricks please do get in touch with us.
May 13, 2013
I am all for building applications for business users by business users. It is the scalable way to enable the enterprise to achieve efficiency gains. In all jEyLaBs projects we look at addressing the change management and the continuous improvement aspects required to sustain the project’s momentum properly.
Often we see organisations finding it difficult to go beyond the first project or two. They stall as soon as the consultants handover and move on. The reason why they get stuck at trying to get the program of works moving forward is that they do not address IT projects from an ROI perspective.
All IT projects should be looked at from the point of view of business investment and return, just like any other capital or operational investment. Unfortunately Project managers are trained to run IT projects as cost centres and to the allocated budget. They are not measuring or bench-marking against as-is and to-be processes and the efficiency gains the business is aiming to realise by these automation projects.
jEyLaBs is focused on delivering IT solutions with measurable and guaranteed net ROI gains. We are really keen to help project managers, business decision makers and technical implementers understand this approach so that they can be truly successful in implementing IT projects.
We are hosting an information event on this topic of ROI in Melbourne and would love you to join us. Come and participate in this great event with experts from the industry on Tuesday, May 28th at the Rialto. Event starts at 8:30 am with morning tea. Presentation and discussions will finish by 10:30. Come, learn and share something great. Register for free at http://jeylabsevents.eventbrite.com.au
May 8, 2013
jEyLaBs is proud to make our PowerToolz LITE utility available on the K2Underground. You can download the tool and request a free license key from us. Go to http://www.k2underground.com/groups/powertoolz_lite/Default.aspx
If you are keen to learn about automated testing of processes and smartobjects then checkout our PowerToolz product. It helps you with scripting test cases, test results visualisation, analysis of processes and more including migration. Goto: http://www.jeylabs.com/SharePoint-workflow-experts-PowerToolz-Tester
April 18, 2013
Building applications to solve business problems is what we do. Our team of Consultants come to work every day with enthusiasm because we know we make a difference. We pride in the output we produce – the Value we deliver daily to our clients.
This is why we don’t give up on continuing to find better ways to improve application delivery. We dont stop innovating. Evolution cannot stop.
When it comes to Delivering business apps, We have more than one way of doing things. We have solutions that fit different requirements perfectly well.
For the projects we work in the SharePoint centric environment we found quick apps from DELL software to be very powerful.
Simple requirements from a user point of view typically ends up being custom coded webparts in SharePoint projects, adding to costly change requests and upgrades.
Quick apps solves this nightmare by offering a powerful suite of webparts for SharePoint. These are super webparts that allow users to self-service their requirements.
Quick apps provide you with 21 generic, customisable, easy to use webparts. These are available in your webpart gallery.
You can use them to configure graphs, cascading lists, provide filters and roll ups, create custom look and feel for editing and viewing of list information, and aggregate media from multiple sites among many things.
There is compelling ROI arguments behind this approach of building solutions.
Come and learn more at our SharePoint event in Melbourne being held next week. Register here now to grab those last few seats available: http://tinyurl.com/jeylabs0413
April 9, 2013
Please check out this exclusive breakfast event on SharePoint hosted by jEyLaBs in Melbourne this April. Register now to reserve your seat!
April 4, 2013
One of the repeating topics of my 10+ years of SharePoint work is Migration. No matter how good our architecture or solution or application was, the platform does get upgraded in a few years and we have to look at how to get it migrated across to the new technology. In the early days things weren’t trivial and migration was a nightmare. Over time SharePoint got better and the SharePoint community including partners brought great offerings to ease this pain.
With SharePoint’s latest release users are wanting to move and take advantage of the great features and benefits available in SharePoint 2013. jEyLaBs is participating in the SharePoint conference in Sydney next week and we will be chatting to community members on SharePoint 2013 and in particular the migration aspects, sharing our tales from the trenches.
jEyLaBs partner DELL software has updated their Quest migration tools offering to support SharePoint 2013 on-premise and cloud. jEyLaBs consultants have been assisting with SharePoint migration for some years now and our migration services include Quest tools as a standard offering now.
Check out the offering and let us know if you need any assistance with migration.