A Universal Approach to Great Success in Any Services Industry.

I was inspired by an article I read recently about recruitment. This post is predominantly a take on that. It is not surprising that how this content can be applied to virtually any service industry.

Here’s is how you could become a Great IT Consultant. The same Traits I encourage you to develop, apply to many service industries.

The 7 Traits of The Great IT Consultant  

I’ve worked with many Consultants in my IT consulting career.

During the last 20+ years, I’ve met some of the best and most inspirational IT consultants and had the privilege of working with them in many exciting, ground breaking and challenging projects.

I’ve also seen some duds too. Consultants, who can tell a good story but have no real skills to back it up on the battlefield.

From these encounters, I can tell you that there are 7 traits that distinguish the best IT Consultants from the rest.

They are:

1) The Great IT Consultant is a Giver

The Great IT Consultants openly share their knowledge and experiences. They willingly give advice. They dont hold on to secrets to keep them employed.

They are not afraid of the competition or any perceived threats. They truly believe in empowering others to be great at their jobs and lives.

2) The Great IT Consultant delivers outcomes daily

To put it bluntly, great consultants don’t muck around. They don’t complain. They dont bullshit. They simply deliver daily.

Great Consultants don’t burn bridges. They don’t think short term – they are able to win repeat business from the people they want to work with.

By delivering quality outcomes they not only generate repeat business but they also generate quality referrals.

3) The Great IT Consultant develops specialised skill sets 

Generalist IT consulting was dead and buried.

Great consultants are subject matter experts. They specialise in niche areas like K2.

They know their market intimately and understand its intricacies. Needless to say, they have developed strong networks in their space.

They can advise their clients on technology trends. They know the latest industry developments. They know the right people and can reach out accordingly.

They constantly train and form the habit of continually researching their industry to identify these trends and developments.

4) The Great IT Consultant has built up Resilience

IT consulting is one of the toughest jobs you can do.

It is very demanding. When you are a Consultant, You are actually an analyst, coder, tester, presales engineer, PM, support guy and the Infrastructure guy. You have to work hard and be smart.

I have had way too many late nights and missed family dinners thanks to my work. I love it so much I have no regrets.

Clients and users make you work very hard for your money and won’t necessarily appreciate your work. You are the first to get blamed for anything that goes south.

If you look for validation from others then you are not a great Consultant yet.

The successful consultants are able to bounce back quickly from adversity.

5) The Great IT Consultant actively builds lasting relationships

Consulting is a game of people. You have to be able to work with all sorts of people.

So you need to be able to build relationships with a variety of people. These relationships are to be built both internally and externally.

Externally, you are able to recognise and then focus on building extremely strong relationships with the Clients by helping them achieve outcomes.

Consultants live and die by their word.

The Great Consultants also don’t waste time working with people and companies that don’t deliver on what they promise.

Internally, they have the habit of working with colleagues and managers to build mutually beneficial relationships that deliver results.

6) The Great IT Consultant has abundance of energy and enthusiasm

No one likes being around lazy or negative people.

If you are a consultant having unlimited energy and enthusiasm is a must. They exercise and keep fit. They read good books and keep great company. 

If they are sick they take the day off. They don’t come to work unless they are a00%. It is also not wise to infect your coworkers. 

People want to work with people they like. Positivity and enthusiasm are contagious. So is negativity. The Great IT Consultants never gossip.

Successful consultants have the habit of applying energy and enthusiasm consistently to all their daily activities.

7) The Great IT Consultant knows the power of Leverage

The Great IT Consultants know that they don’t know everything or have all the answers.

They are the first to ask for help, say that they don’t know and admit to their mistakes. They also never repeat the same or similar mistakes.

They do this with great care. They reach out to the right people and the right time in the right way.

They also know how to return a favour.

So, If you want to be that Great IT Consultant, develop these traits intentionally.

PowerToolz 4.7.0.3 – Making Your K2 More Exciting

jEyLaBs mission is to empower people to make the most of their time at work. PowerToolz 4.7.0.3, enhances the users’ overall K2 experience while simplifying many steps.

Upgrade to PowerToolz 4.7.0.3 to administer and manage your K2 even faster using the following new features:

SmartForms Action User Functionality – Impersonating as a Different User

Using PowerToolz 4.7.0.3 the default Action User can impersonate as a different Action User so you only need to log in once when testing a process with multiple users. This saves you time and no frustration logging in as different users and remembering long passwords or forgeting them and locking those accounts  out 🙂

It used to be the case that, you need to log in as the user when testing a SmartForms app. If the App had 5 different approver users, you need to open 5 browser sessions and log in 5 times. Not the case any more!

The “Action User” can be selected from either:

  • The K2 SmartObject for Active Directory Users
  • Active Directory

SmartToolz – New User Interface

PowerToolz now includes SmartToolz, an easy to operate user interface. This enables non-technical people to complete tasks in PowerToolz.

This was developed using K2 smartforms and will now allow mass adoption of PowerToolz in your organisation.

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SmartToolz can be used with K2 4.6.11 and later versions only. If you need help upgrading let us know by emailing us (empower@jeylabs.com.au) 

Request an evaluation of PowerToolz (http://powertoolz.com.au/eval) to accelerate your K2 project success.

How are you testing your K2 apps?

How are you testing your K2 applications? If your answer doesnt include any automation, you really need to read this post.

Most organistation we speak to on a daily basis are under pressure to:

  • deliver high quality solutions on time and on budget
  • manage K2 efficiently
  • ensure your K2 environment and applications are performing optimally

But they lack a single solution to automate tests and effectively manage their K2 environments.

In addition, we see our clients spending money on manual testing, administration and troubleshooting that is only going to increase every year.

This is an unnecessary drain on IT, not only for their high costs but also for the scarce resources needed to maintain these systems.

A complication is that IT relies on traditional methods (manual testing and no regression testing) that are not only inadequate, but that have in fact added to the complexity and cost of IT development.

To compound the issue, the business loses faith in IT due to inconsistent application delivery.

The implications to relying on these traditional methods are:

  • slow, costly application delivery
  • bug ridden applications
  • risk of non-compliance if functionality is not correctly maintained
  • no time to react when systems are down
  • the loss of confidence from the business to commission IT to develop more applications

There are some key benefits to test automation when it comes to K2 apps.

These benefits span the entire user population including Information users, Administrators, Testers and App designers/developers.

Users appreciate the quality of deployments that Test automation brings. There is nothing painful like a deployment of an app update that gone wrong. Users will have to deal with the roll back and put up with a broken application.

K2 Administrators can utilise test scripts to monitor health of all K2 apps and their components. All your SmartObjects, their backend services, Forms, views, and workflow processes need careful monitoring. Admins can also troubleshoot and confidently amend process instances to reduce manual rework by users.

The key benefits for Testers include reducing errors with test setup. A consistent set of regression test cases is the ultimate goal of any test automation effort. The ability to compare test case performances through reporting and rapid turnaround with additional test case creation is priceless.

The changes and updates are part of the App lifecycle. It is actually a healthy sign of an app actually being used. But, you need to be ready to ensure the quality of the change is as expected. Test automation gives you this ability.

Developers and App Designers with access to test automation software that is purpose built for their app platform comes out as the real winners. They enjoy all the benefits of the user groups I mentioned and more. They get to use the tools very productively while they are developing the application too. This allows them to use the test cases as design aid and confirm and validate logic and changes.

Using PowerToolz for K2, Unit testing of K2 workflows can be scripted. SmartObject and K2 SmartForm interactions can be scripted. Reproducing process state across Dev/test/production environments can be scripted. Environment clean up can be scripted. Even the test script deployments can be scripted.

This ability to script gives you the power to reuse, share and also schedule execution. PowerToolz automates many aspects of K2.

PowerToolz is the only comprehensive test automation tool available for K2 that ensures integrity and quality of your critical business apps built on K2.

The benefit to your organisation is:

  • you will save time and money allowing you to build more apps or re-invest elsewhere
  • produce more reliable applications
  • ensure systems are up and running when the business requires them
  • instil confidence within the IT department

To download an evaluation version of PowerToolz, click here : http://www.powertoolz.com.au

 

Is your Active Directory letting you down?

Unfortunately, AD/AAD doesn’t maintain itself. Without accurate AD data your apps will fail.

We have seen this time and time again. We build a SharePoint application or a K2 workflow that loads user information from Active Directory to route a task or send a notification. App works in Dev and Test but fails miserably in UAT or even worse in Production.

All successful business applications and workflows rely on a well maintained database of employee and contractor personal and profile information. The source of truth is usually Microsoft Active Directory or Azure Active Directory.

Unfortunately, AD/AAD doesn’t maintain itself.

Company restructure, people being hired, fired and promoted all lead to information becoming out of date. People do not automatically update this information as they do not see it as relevant. If prompted by company policy, the process is usually time consuming and complicated.

How do you solve this?  Check out this smart solution – https://www.jeylabs.com/hyperfish

How Does it Work?

Hyperfish uses new technologies such as machine learning, advanced analytics, and Hyperbot™ technology to dramatically improve directory content in three phases:

1) ANALYZE

Hyperfish constantly monitors directories for inconsistent, invalid, aged, and missing information identifying what needs to be updated or verified. 

2) SUGGEST

By searching profile information across internal networks, public data sources, and social networks, Hyperfish gathers suggestions to make it easier for users to validate and add information.

3) COLLECT

Hyperfish individually reaches out to users to request and validate information via a personalized email request based on the information required and user preferences.

Directory updates can then be automatically applied or sent to an Administrator for approval.

Hyperfish makes it super easy to keep information such as phone numbers, reporting lines, and profile pictures fresh with little to no IT overhead.

Try a free analysis here : https://app.hyperfish.com/?campaign=jEyLaBs

Are you achieving the best outcomes?

Are you Getting the best ROI from your K2 investment?

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Accelerate your success with our K2 Assistance Programs.

Common Problems

  • Limited technical K2 talent
  • Maintaining and updating K2 applications
  • Development costs
  • K2 application and environment quality assurance
  • K2 administration
  • Insufficient reporting capability
  • Aligning your business strategy with your IT investment

Our Solution – K2 Assistance Programs by jEyLaBs

  • Tailored Online K2 Training
  • Tailored K2 Support Packages
  • K2 Onshore and Offshore Resourcing
  • PowerToolz for K2 for Test Automation
  • Reveal data insights with Power BI integration
  • Business Coaching – How to Deliver K2 Successfully
  • General K2 Consulting

Benefits

  • K2 training at your own pace
  • K2 experts looking after your K2 environment
  • Reduce your K2 development costs
  • Instil confidence with solid QA
  • Deliver on time and on budget
  • Make informed decisions with reliable data
  • Solid ROI for your K2 investment

Contact us NOW to Accelerate your success with our K2 Assistance Programs.

PowerApps, Flow well with SharePoint!

SharePoint has been a popular application framework for organisations. It has been providing us with capabilities to build apps and automate various business processes using workflows.

Yet, it poses challenges such as;

  • Managing a portfolio of applications
  • Providing rich mobile access for multiple devices
  • Sharing applications with colleagues
  • Design and develop applications with minimal code
  • Decoupling the business logic from the application to cloud
  • Inability to access multiple data sources seamlessly

Microsoft’s PowerApps and Flow are the ideal solution to overcome the above challenges.PowerAppSamples.png

Microsoft’s PowerApps is a framework to create applications easily in the cloud. Using PowerApps we can leverage:

  • Mobile first forms
  • Easily connect to multiple data sources
  • Custom code using azure functions

Microsoft’s FLOW is used to automate business processes by using the rich capabilities of Microsoft Azure Logic Apps. With the multiple built-in templates to select in FLOW, the effort needed to build applications is minimised drastically.

FlowSamples.png

Using PowerApps, modern lists in SharePoint Online can be configured effortlessly as data sources to develop a mobile first application within minutes. To enhance the functionality of the App, just add business process automation with FLOW.

jEyLaBs has a large SharePoint delivery team which includes Microsoft Most Valuable Professionals (MVP) and certified cloud developers. Our team of experts can help you with cloud solutions and accelerate your project success.

Please contact us via cloud-success@jeylabs.com

The search for the Best Practice begins here!

“Best practices” as we know are often preached by a set of people and practised by another. We want to turn this scenario on its head and bring the people practices to the foreground and challenge the so called industry best practices.

jEyLaBs is excited to be releasing a video series on Master classes in Business Technology Consulting.

This series will be covering interesting discussions around new age app design, implementation, consulting, offshoring, infrastructure, automation, startups and business fundamentals.

We are bringing insights from Tech industry in these videos. Several experienced professionals will be featured in each of these classes and share their views on what is their practice around their favourite topic.

 

Using our vast networks of talented people we are aiming find the True best practices in Business, Technology and Consulting and present it to you unedited.

We are interested in hearing from every one of you as much giving everyone the chance to learn from the best.

Through this series we will discover what the real people’s practices are and how they compare to the established standards of practice.

We look forward to sharing this Journey with you in the coming weeks and months. If you are keen to participate as a guest or as an audience member please contact us via MCIBTC@jeylabs.com.