Thursday, September 03, 2009

Enterprise Social Networking for Business

Greetings from the 2009 International Young ICT Professionals Conference in Sydney. The program is designed for young professionals, recent graduates and university students to advance their career in Information Communications Technology (ICT), focusing on business issues. I am speaking Social Networking for Business" at the social networking stream. Currently Benjamin Patey, CIO of CSC Australia is talking on "Enterprise Social Networking for Business". He is taking an interesting and entertaining approach of some role playing and participation. I was worried that my talk may repeat what Benjamin was talking about, but it appears the two talks are complementary: he is talking from the corporate point of view, whereas I am talking from the individual professional and their development.

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Saturday, July 11, 2009

Leadership Training for the Australian Government

Austrade have issued a Request for Tender for "Harvard Business Publishing Online Content". Perhaps they should have made the RFT about materials for leadership and management education, not specifically the material which only one company has the rights to supply. Harvard Business Publishing supply the materials Austrade has asked for, so it is not clear how Austrade were planning to have a competitive tender process.

The contractor is required to provide Harvard ManageMentor, Essential Leader, Case in Point, Stepping Up To Management, Leadership Transitions, Harvard Business Publishing Centres, Leading for Results, Fifty Lessons, Harvard Business Review Reprints and Faculty Seminar Series. These are all good materials, but other organisations provide other similar material. In addition, Austrade might want to consider online collaborative education for their staff, rather than just passive reading of web pages.

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Monday, June 29, 2009

Social Networking for Business

I will be speaking on "Social Networking for Business" at the 2009 International Young ICT Professionals Conference, 3 to 4 September 2009 in Sydney. Another speaker is Fiona Balfour, former CIO of Qantas and Telstra. The program is designed for young professionals, recent graduates and university students to advance their career in Information Communications Technology (ICT), focusing on business issues. It is interesting to see that TATA are one of the sponsors.

Social networking web sites, such as Facebook are popular for keeping in touch with friends. But the same technology can be applied to promoting a young ICT professional's career and in the workplace to help run a business. Business orientated social networking systems will be demonstrated, along with the software used for this by the ACS in its education courses. The application of the this technology on a smartphone will also be demonstrated.

See how to:

  1. Use social networking to promote your career
  2. Implement social networking software in your workplace
  3. Run a business, or a nation, from your phone
  4. Benefit from free open source software

2009 International Young ICT Professionals Conference

3 to 4 September 2009 in Sydney


Day 1 – Thursday 3 September 2009




Conference Welcome
Jason Ming, NSW Young IT Chair


ACS Welcome
Anthony Wong, ACS NSW Branch Chair and National Board Member


Richard White
CEO and founder of CargoWise edi Pty Ltd


Creative ICT Futures
Graeme Wood- Wotif Founder


Morning Tea





Standing out from the crowd while maintaining your work life balance
Debbie Timmins – Young Professional of the Year 2005 and Yohan Ramasundara- Immediate Past Director of Young IT Professionals Board

What does Computer Science have to offer to the Young IT Professionals
Dr Chris Johnson - Associate Professor, Australian National University and Director Computer Science Board of ACS





Skills Development



Essential communication skills for today’s IT workplace
Jill Noble – Principal, Pivotal HR

Express IT

Social Networking for Business
Tom Worthington- Author, Net Traveler




Internationalisation of the ICT Industry
Varun Kumar – Head, TCS Operations in Australia and New Zealand


Accelerating your Career and ACS Foundation Opportunities
John Ridge – Executive Director ACS Foundation


Panel Discussion – How to be Successful in the ICT industry?


Afternoon Tea


Innovative Software Development – An Australian Perspective
Glenn Wightwick – Director, IBM Australian Development Lab


Executive Leadership - Transforming Businesses through investment in Information Technology
Fiona Balfour (Former CIO Qantas and Telstra)




Wrap Up
Jason Ming, NSW Young IT Chair


Networking Dinner

Chief Guest – Kumar Parakala – President Australian Computer Society and Global COO - IT Advisory practice, KPMG
MC – Yasas V. Abeywickrama – Director Young IT

Day 2 – Friday 4 September 2009


Jason Ming, NSW Young IT Chair




Where is technology going?
Dr Paul Scully-Power – Executive Chairman, Prime Solutions Pacific and Australia’s first astronaut


Morning Tea


ACS Exciting Membership Pathways


Green ICT – The Impact & Opportunities for Future ICT Leaders
Bianca Wirth – A Green IT advocate and Advisory Board Member, Computers off Australia


Establishing IT Services Businesses and Exit Strategies
Julie Irwin - A Winner of IT's Million $ Babes Award 2007








Leadership - Today’s Leader
Sarma Rajaraman – CIO Genworth Financial


Afternoon Tea


International Aspects of ICT
Neville Roach - Chairman, Smart Services CRC, Former Chairman Fujitsu Australia, an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) and 2008 Overseas Indian Honour Award recipient from the President of India


Stewardship the Profession Requires from Tomorrow’s Leaders to Make a Difference
Mark Lloyd – A national ICT identity and thought leader


Scholarships Presentation, Wrap up and Closing Remarks
Yasas V. Abeywickrama MACS, Director, ACS Young IT Professionals Board

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Thursday, October 30, 2008

Stapler with Security Cable Loop

Stapler with Security Cable LoopFound myself having a discussion with a group of highly trained ICT experts trying to work out how to secure a stapler to a desk. After such options as looping a chain around it, drilling holes and using screws (even replacing paper with e-documents), I typed "stapler security" into the web and found that what was needed was a "Stapler with Security Cable Loop". This makes me wonder why staplers and other office items are not made with a Kensington Security Slot.

Bizarre as it seems you can buy stick on Kensington Security Slots (officially called a Security Slot Adapter Kit) . This is a small pad with a slot in it and a tube of high strength glue. You glue the pad to the item to be secured and then attach a security cable to the standard slot. This is a bit like a hole kit from Acme Corporation. One catch is that the kit costs more than the average occice stapler you might secuere with it.

See also on


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Friday, March 21, 2008

Rethinking business process management

CSIRO's ICT Center is having a talk by Professor Benatallah on From Business Processes to Service-based Process Spaces, 25 March at ANU in Canberra. IP Australia issued a request for tender for Services Oriented Architecture components on 20 March. It would be interesting to apply Professor Benatallah's techniques to that project.


From Business Processes to Service-based Process Spaces
Professor Boualem Benatallah (CSE, UNSW)
DATE: 2008-03-25
TIME: 14:00:00 - 15:00:00 ...

Over the last decade, capabilities arising from advances in online technologies, especially Service Oriented Architectures (SOA), enabled enterprises to increase productivity, simplify automation, and extend business to locations far beyond their normal operations. Enterprises also embraced emergent process-aware services that enabled automation to gain more visibility in process executions.

The focus of process improvement has expanded to include monitoring, analysis and understanding of business processes. Now, at all levels, business process monitoring and management is firmly recognised as a strategic priority for modern enterprises. However, while business process management and monitoring have enabled enterprises to increase efficiency, new usability challenges have also emerged. These challenges are increasing the pressure for enterprises to look at business processes from an end user's perspective.

In this talk, we propose Process Views as new abstractions focusing on re-conceptualising the form and function of existing business process management systems to create a new generation of service and process-centric systems to better support the management of personal, ad-hoc, and as well as structured business processes over multiple applications and data sources.

We further define and propose Process Spaces as a new research agenda for the business process research community. The term Process Space refers to the superimposition of Process Views over heterogeneous IT systems for the purposes of simplifying access to multiple applications and data sources and to provide the means to manage process views in a unified and flexible manner.

From: From Business Processes to Service-based Process Spaces, CSIRO, 2008

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Wednesday, October 03, 2007

The Business of IT

Last night Dave Thomas presented "IT as a Business" at the ACS in Canberra. He talked about what IT people needed to do to go into business. He nominated 457 visas as something which needed streamlining by the federal government to help ICT business.

Dave is giving the talk around Australia: Adelaide 15 October, Melbourne 17 October, Wollongong 29 October, Sydney 30 October, Brisbane 14 November, Darwin 15 November, and Perth 20 November.
Dave Thomas has run the gamut in the world of business and in our last Education across the Nation series for 2007, shares the secrets to creating and building a successful business - not from a textbook, but from real life experience! ...

Dave Thomas is the founder and Managing Director of Consultants Exchange (CXC), a global IT contractor management company. He started his career in accounting and seconded to ICT area where he spent the next 35 years as a contractor and entrepreneur. Also founder of Softpac and dave is also a member of the Australian Computer Society (MACS), a founding member of Australian Contract Professions Management Association (ACPMA) and Associate Member of the Inofrmartion Technology Contract Recruiters Association (ITCRA).

From: IT as a Business, ACS 2007.

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Monday, May 14, 2007

Did the shipping container change the world?

Cover of The Box: How the Shipping Container Made the World Smaller and the World Economy Bigger by Marc LevinsonThe book "The Box: How the Shipping Container Made the World Smaller and the World Economy Bigger" by Marc Levinson says it all in the subtitle. This is a book about how standardization of containers for transporting goods lowered shipping costs. This made it possible for factories in China to compete internationally. The book is worth a read for those interested in the interplay between business and technology. Technologists may want to skip some of the chapters on the economics of shipping.

The book is mostly about Malcolm McLean, "the father of containerization". It is argued that as an outsider, McLean was able to see the value of shipping goods in standardised boxes on ships. The boxes could be loaded from trucks and trains onto ships by crane, without the need to unpack and repack each load.

Levinson argues that standardized containers forced a rationalization in manufacturing as well as shipping. He also makes the point that the early adopters were not the most successful. Those who waited until the container was developed and then invested had the more successful business.

The computerized systems which allow shipping containers to be scheduled and tracked around the world get mentioned in several places in the book, as does Toyota's "Just in Time" manufacturing process. Currently another revolution may, or may not be taking place, as businesses adopt web based standards and learn to tightly integrate their processes.

The book covers the actual process by which the process McLean demonstrated was turned into a formal standard, in only a few pages. Anyone who has been on a standards committee will be familiar with the agony of slow standards processes, competing interests and egos which Levinson discusses. I would have liked some more detail on the details of the shipping container standard and some of the more unusual things people do with them.

empoHousing two bedroom four TEU homeOne of the more unusual spinoffs of shipping containers, are containerized apartment blocks. You can order a six story apartment block of six hundred units from a factory in China. It will arrive on a ship as six hundred containers and be erected in a few days.

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Monday, February 05, 2007

Corporate social networking with web 2.0?

The IT business media seem to be taking Web 2 seriously, so perhaps it is time to look at it. But there seem to be several concepts mixed up together (or perhaps "mashed up"?). Sorting this out may solve some problems in corporate document management and academic publishing.

One is the use of AJAX and similar technology to provide a more interactive interface via the web. Another is traditional office applications provided via the AJAX interface (such as word processors and spreadsheets). The third is on-line meeting places, such as MySpace.

There is also YouTube, a video sharing web site, which usually gets mentioned in the same articles but does not seem to have anything to do with social networking or corporate applications, but just gets included because it is popular.

Capitalizing on Interactivity, Mobility and Personalization by Donna Bogatin, January 22nd, 2007:
Categories: Business Models, Web 2.0, Culture, Google, Blogs, User-Generated Content, MySpace, Social Web, Amateur Content, Self-Promotion, Google Software Applications, Social Networking, Social Media

Is MySpace coming to the enterprise? According to Business Week it is.

On what does Steve Hamm base his assertion? IBM's announcement today of “Lotus Connections.”

IBM describes its offering as “the industry's first platform for business-grade social computing”:

Lotus Connections facilitates the gathering and exchange of information through professional networks, provides a dashboard-like view of current projects and connects users to like-minded communities. In addition, Lotus Connections removes the need for multiple social software applications, providing businesses with a single destination for building professional communities. ...
Corporate social networking is name of game with Lotus Connections, By Stan Beer, 24 January 2007 :
While Microsoft has been trying to win Web 2.0 corporate hearts and minds with Sharepoint Server, IBM threatens to steal the show with a new corporate tested offering called Lotus Connections. Web 2.0 in the consumer space is all about social networking as exemplified by sites such as MySpace, YouTube and FaceBook. Users of these sites with common interests can network, share ideas and provide each other with information that builds upon their mutual knowledge base.
The idea of using more interactive web applications makes sense in the corporate environment, provided you have the bandwidth and processing power to do it and accept its limitations. In some ways this is a step back to centralized mainframe computing, with the web application running on the server. If the central application stops, no one can do any work. This would be a good way to go if you have a new application to introduce across a wide network.

The extreme case seems to be to run your corporate service on someone else's web server. Google have a service called "Google Apps for Your Domain" which provides online tools for email, instant messaging and shared calendar. The idea is that the same tools used for Google's Gmail and others are available for use by companies, educational institutions and other organisations. They use the Google system in place of their own in-house software.

Google are not charging for these services, but presumably are doing it to make people more familiar with Google's services which have advertising on them:

Google Apps for Your Domain lets you offer private-labeled email, instant messaging and calendar accounts to all of your users, so they can share ideas and work more effectively. These services are all unified by the start page, a unique, dynamic page where your users can preview their inboxes and calendars, browse content and links that you choose, search the web, and further customize the page to their liking. You can also design and publish web pages for your domain.
I remain a bit skeptical of online meeting places as a business tool. Any form of collaboration requires skills from the participants. Not everyone has these skills and corporations will need to invest in training and staff to make them work. As well as cooperation, workplace involve competition. Perhaps rather than a social network, an information market would be a better model for the on-line workplace. Also much social networking takes place outside the organisation.

Are companies prepared to formalize and document online the process by which their staff trade information with other organisations? In many cases these contacts take place verbally and informally, while tacitly endorsed by superiors. If the contacts took place via a computer system, all transactions would be recorded and could be used in evidence in court. Much of these contacts would be considered unethical or illegal, limiting the scope for using a formal system.

What has this to do with corporate document management or academic publishing? Organisations, particularly governments, are having difficulty with staff filing electronic documents properly. Academia are having difficulty over the role of academic publishing. In both these cases the problem is that the records manager or librarian sees the document or publication as an end in itself.

But the office worker or academic author sees them just as part of a process; a byproduct of doing some work or some research. By incorporating the social network process in the system used to produce the document, keeping good records or publications will be a natural by product of the work. This is more than just an automated work flow which prompts you for some keywords before you can save a document.

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