Microsoft Windows runs Linux?


Windows running Linux, are we surprised ?

If your an observer of history, you wont be.

It had to happen one day, and today is apparently that day.

Most of us are not surprised by Microsoft’s recent change of heart announcing it “Loves Linux” as it announces a series of initiatives to incorporate Linux functionality into its kernel.

The latest new being the announcement of its intention to provide the Linux Bash command line interface to use Ubuntu binaries that sit on top of Windows 10.
https://channel9.msdn.com/Events/Build/2016/P488/player

Microsoft appears to be quite committed to this initiative, although it’s probable that for early versions of this technology using the Linux kernel to access the underlying machine platform through windows drivers, will be effected by the inherent performance, security, comparability and resource requirements issues facing any Windows platform. It is still good news for the business and development communities, in that there will be at some stage in the future a Windows platform that will bring some or all of the efficiency’s and technologies enjoyed by the open source communities into Windows environments.

The important point is that it is accomplishing this without using any kind of a Virtual machine. Linux is running as a native process on top of Windows. But for those of us contemplating the idea of the minimalist nature of Linux coming to Windows, don’t hold your breath. You still have the full Windows footprint on the underlying host machine, along with the start up times and administrative overhead. The good news is the Linux kernel and Windows run independently and share the file system and local host IP, which makes this a handy for Microsoft developers building systems with open source tools (Ruby , Git, Python and NIX tools).

 

 

 

How to use Social Media to Market Your Business


You can consume hours working through the many on line blogs, videos and resources available on line to help you make the most of Social media and if you have looked at enough of these you eventually come to the conclusion (as have I) that the very best strategies usually involve the creation of good content. So Blogs, social media posts must contain information that other people will get value from using.

If you have already tried your hand at writing “good content” you will of also realized that it takes time. Time that you must weigh up in value against time spent on “real work”. Talking to customers, colleagues and performing tasks is what pays the bills, so for most going through the time and effort needed to build and maintain a social media presence is prohibitive.

It was this truth that lured me in to watch a Video from Guy Kawasaki video where he explained the process he uses which considering he has a following of over 5 million people is obviously working (for him at least).

He also makes mention that this procedure consumes about 2-3 hours of his time daily (which most of us probably can’t justify), and he has the assistance 2 x full time equivalent people helping him.

However there are some elements that use mortals could use, and I have downloaded and tested some of the software programs he suggested to try the Guy Kawasaki technique for myself for a few months.

In the video he demonstrates the process he uses to repost suitable content that is appropriate for his brand and uses the process shown below.

SocialMedia_BuildBrand

 

 

Xero – Share price good value does MYOB need to rebound?


Found an interesting article from the Motley Fool blog on Xero growth prospects and documented a few personal observations for discussion.

March 2015
Cloud computing accounting software provider, XERO FPO NZ (ASX: XRO) (http://www.fool.com.au/company/?ticker=ASX-XRO), today announced it has surpassed 200,000 Australian customers as it continues on its impressive growth trajectory.

Shares of the New Zealand-based company have been on a volatile ride since it listed on the ASX in late 2012. Its shares soared to almost $42 in early 2014, but have retreated to $23.60 today.

However, Xero’s operational growth has been impressive.

For example, here in Australia, the company has almost doubled its paying customer base since 31 March 2014, when it had **109,000 customers**.

Chris Ridd, Xero Australia’s Managing Director said, “We believe we are now truly in the “early majority phase of adoption.”

Which if we are to use accepted research principles could indicate an expected penetration in excess of 400,000 customers by the end of the Late Majority phase?

Image result for early adoption phase

“We expect to see significantly more small businesses upgrade from traditional accounting products in the coming months and years,” Mr Ridd said.

In another article published June 2014 in response to MYOB claims it has 250,000 customers Ridd (of Xero) is not convinced by MYOB’s numbers, stating that Xero is signing up 400 Australian customers / day where 40% are 1st time users and 60% are former MYOB customers.

That being the case, and assuming this happens 40 weeks of the year, would be a trend of 48,000 per year switching from MYOB to Xero, diminishing MYOB customer base which lets say for arguments sake is 200,000 of to a mere 28% of its former self in 3 years (slow death).

Image result for early adoption phase

Looking at the pattern we observed as Sales Force replaced Siebel as the “new kid on the block” for corporate CRM, Xero also has a degree of novelty fueling its penetration, coupled with a vision for “beautiful software”. Xero was the first to promote itself as being a platform for the businessmen and accountant to collaborate in managing finances. But Xero and MYOB UI will date, and both will need to remain nimble enough to innovate if the want to return to or sustain growth in multiples in the coming 5 years.

Xero is currently expanding across New Zealand, Australia, the USA and UK.

After a slow start in the huge U.S. market, Xero recently announced (http://www.fool.com.au/2015/02/25/heres-why-xero-fpo-nz-has-rocketed-up-25-today/) the appointment of experienced key management personnel and welcomed a US$100 million cash injection from Silicon Valley-based venture capital firm, Accel Partners

It will be interesting to see how things play out with Xero attracting the next round of capital, it would appear some of that 100 million has already been put into brand development, and we would hope it would also be used for operational capability and innovation.

The other observation I have is (I personally felt) that the first MYOB applications looked and operated as if it was a rushed attempt to “create something that works in the cloud”. At that time the MYOB website seemed to offer Cloud, and on-premise solutions as if they were comparable options. This is of concern because unlike MYOB, Xero is apologetically a cloud only solution, and this is in part a successful strategy as it indicates company “focus”. Now Xero was first to add innovation that made it simple to use gateways to financial institutions (i.e. bank reconciliation), improved software for reporting and bank reconciliation, and the UI is generally well designed from a heuristic and cognitive stand point. Whereas the MYOB I reviewed was clunky and appeared incomplete. Sitting in a restaurant in Sutherland I could not help but overhear two businessmen discussing the differences. One man was frustrated by the way MYOB handled BAS, the other encouraging him to switch to Xero and explaining how Xero handles this.

The other difference is the Xero API appears to of attracted third party developers to create their own applications that work with Xero. MYOB also provide this but again I found the Xero API easy to follow. Sales Force successfully used this technique to build initial channel, but I have troubling reports from a few CEO’s I met, who built add on applications to partner with Sales force. The impression left on me by these reports was that Sales Force still have lessons to learn about “playing nice” with their friends, putting adoption ahead of quarterly returns would be a good start.

Putting all this together one could summarize by saying that Xero already has operational capabilities and competitive advantage that MYOB does not have and may not even be aware that it needs yet (as far as could be perceived from their website).

One thing is certain that as our world moves out of its fascination and attraction to the novelty of cloud computing, and begins to face the stark reality of making profit with it or from it, all cloud technology companies will be presented with the challenge of making the customers perception of value central to business strategy, and history will repeat itself making operations capability central to business strategy and competitive advantage.

For my money I have divested myself of Xero in all portfolios for the short term, but I agree with Owen Raszkiewicz if they can sustain momentum make profit and/or MYOB drop the ball they are worth having a look at again.

PMO team training – Sessions from PMXPO 2015 (Marketing, eXtreme, PPM process)


A number of the sessions from the 2015 PMXPO conference are beneficial for training, directing and / or introducing new team members to the company or projects.

The following resources are both an indication and a distillation of the areas getting attention in the PMI community at present, and serve as a reminder of how the tried and tested PM principles are merging with new technologies and progressive thinking.

Recorded Sessions

Video name Comments
Marketing Projects Elizabeth Harron explains how to use regular communications within a project to enlist the stakeholder community for greater effectiveness
PPM the Process owner PPM Process management and the role of the PPM process owner
eXtreme projects Do or Die Leadership practices for Todays eXtreme projects

 Related Downloads

Customer Relationship Management – Maturity Model


Research findings from the Ventana group on its customer relationship maturity model, compared 150 companies from a cross section of industries comparing Customer Relationship as a core organizational competency and introducing a model than can form a basis to benchmark and track performance.

CRMMaturity_Fig1_1

Whilst 100% of respondents considered themselves to be customer focused, the findings showed 44% of the respondents had a more tactical approach to CRM, and over 50% had started to adopt more innovative processes people and technologies to help them build better customer relationships. It showed that 12% could be seen as innovative as they use the latest techniques, people, processes and technologies and have trained and incentivized their employees to use these.

The link (Customer Relationship Maturity Research findings) contains a snapshot of “takeaway” issues from the survey along with a link to the webinar that presented the findings.

Project Kick start phase – BPR – Finance and Administration – Discovery Workshop


Project initiation steps for Finance and Admin involve preliminary “getting to know you sessions”, followed by a pre BPR “Discovery workshops”, where the stakeholders (who may not of seen the software since the original demo’s) get another chance to familiarize themselves with the software, and the vendor goes through a preliminary check list of items that will be used to construct a configuration profile for the software and to select specific test cases and key processes that will be included in forthcoming BPR sessions.

Video samples Comments
Finance – Day 1 Introductions, demos and scope review
Finance – Day 2 BPR checklist for configuration / setup and BPR agenda
Finance – Day 3 Identification and scope of reform in transaction based processes
Finance – Day 4 Project accounting, Activity based accounting, Government projects, funding

Note: Similar workshops are conducted for Membership, Professional services, Events, Training, Web and Marketing operations.

Related samples

Why the boss needs an iPad


Over the last few weeks I have been struggling with the notion of getting and iPad. The practical person says, it’s just another toy. The finance person says where is the justification. The technologist says your a software company and need to understand it.

But the practical person won with the idea that I just can’t keep up with the organizations need for useful content for website, news, blogs, Twitter, linked in, facebook, you name it we use it all.

I justified it based on the notion that I can create content where and when I the think of it.

And guess what, over the last 3 days of travel I have managed to write in airplanes, airport terminals, waiting rooms and more.

I am pleased to say my hunch that iPad would improve my content productivity is actually correct.

You will never guess where I am now as I create this blog…..

Under the covers waiting for my 2 year old to finally fall asleep so I can go down the dinner…

We have all been there I suspect….