Friday, July 31, 2009

Do less with less (but accomplish more)

I just read an interesting article in, entitled, “Slow IT: Do Less with Less.” It was a very good read, but the title is a bit misleading.

The article is not really focused on doing less so much as it’s focused on working smarter. Sometimes working smarter involves doing less of the menial tasks and more of the business sensitive tasks. It involves finding ways to cut out those things which waste your time, while finding new ways to save time.

Here's a very common example: Many IT departments waste countless hours running ad hoc reports. I’ve known IT professionals who hated their jobs because they were just running ad hoc reports all the time. The solution: Let your users run their own reports and everyone will be happy.

If you’re not quite sure how to let your users run their own reports, or think it would be a long process, we can help. We will show you how to quickly set up reporting solutions for end users like the kind of reports you can find here (or here). Just fill out this short form for more information.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

New Feature: Google maps integration!

We have recently released a new update which adds Google map integration into m-Power. This enhancement applies to all web application templates in m-Power.

How will this help? There are really many, many ways to use an integrated map in your web apps, but here are a couple that come to mind:

  • If you are a manufacturer, you could create a web app with an integrated map to show potential customers where your products may be purchased.
  • A map could be embedded into an executive dashboard to show which areas are doing well and which are doing poorly.
Feel free to check out a live demo of a web app with Google map integration here.>>

Monday, July 27, 2009

9 hot IT jobs

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: If you are in the IT industry, you must make an effort to keep your skills up to date - or risk unemployment. I know it’s not easy, but a current skill set will drastically improve your chances of employment when times get tough. Even in the worst economic conditions, there are always certain skill sets that are still in demand.

Want to know what they are right now? Check out this list on that lists 9 IT jobs that are currently in high demand.

The one IT job this list is missing is m-Power developer - the job that lets you take advantage of and keep current on changing technologies as they are happening.

Friday, July 24, 2009

The NYPD and their new typewriters

Did you see the news article last week about the NYPD and their new typewriters? Basically, New York is shelling out nearly $1 million to buy new typewriters for their police force. Stories like this only illustrate just how hard it is to change, especially in IT.

Why is change so hard in IT? Besides the whole issue of time and money, I believe the biggest roadblocks to change in IT are the people themselves. “The old way works just fine”, is the refrain I’m sure many an IT professional has heard in their career. Unfortunately, the old way is usually the more expensive way.

I believe that change is necessary, and can be easy if done right. In fact, if anyone from the NYPD is reading this, we can create web applications for you in one month that will completely eliminate the need for typewriters. Give us a call and we’ll get started.

If your company is hanging onto old technology, I would like to show you just how easy change can be. Just fill out this short form and let us know what old technology your company is holding onto.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Better Business Intelligence is now available

As I promised in a post a couple of weeks ago, the new ranking report template is now available to m-Power customers. Just log into the customer portal and download the latest update.

This new ranking report template allows you to run reports with variable rankings while specifying selection criteria at run-time. Check out the live demo area to learn more about its functionality.

You may be surprised to hear that the demo area you just viewed was created in under 5 minutes. Don’t believe me? I’ve written up a step-by-step walkthrough of the build process complete with screenshots, which can be found in our forums.

Monday, July 20, 2009

10 dirty little secrets you should know about working in IT

I heard an unintentionally hilarious commercial on the radio the other day. I won’t try to quote it word for word, but it went something like this: Tired of poor job security and low pay? Take our 6 month training class and you will become a Microsoft certified IT professional. You will be an indispensible employee with great job security and a high salary.

I had to laugh. In 6 months I could have great job security and a high salary? Sign me up! That certainly sounds great, but I’m afraid it’s far from accurate. In fact, this article entitled, “10 dirty little secrets you should know about working in IT” probably describes the industry a little better.

What do you think? Who described the IT industry better: The commercial or the article?

Friday, July 17, 2009

Increasing efficiency in the enterprise

There is no excuse for inefficiency in the enterprise these days. Never before have we had so many tools at our disposable aimed at making us more efficient. And it will only become more important in the coming years.

According to this article in, efficiency will be the theme of the next decade. IT departments will be tasked with making all aspects of the enterprise more efficient in the next few years, but it won't be easy. According to the author, they will run into a few distinct problems ranging from old data to inefficient application development.

If you want to develop applications more efficiently, m-Power will help. Just fill out this short form and let us know what you have on your plate, and we’ll show you how m-Power will make you more efficient.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Sneak peek: New m-Power UI

We have some great new m-Power features coming in the near future that I’m really excited about. I can’t contain my excitement any longer for one in particular: m-Power is getting a new interface!

The new UI will not only look better, but will make it even easier to create web applications. We’ve improved the navigation in a few different ways, upgraded search-ability, added links to resources, and much more.

While I don’t have a demo area to show you, I do have a screenshot if you want to see the future user interface for m-Power. I’ve added the descriptions and the arrows, so don’t think that they are part of the interface. You can see the screenshot here.>>

If you want to see just the screenshot with no descriptions, click here.>>

Monday, July 13, 2009

Celebrating 20 years of the world wide web

About 8 months ago, our communication company’s central box went down and much of the area (us included) lost internet service for a couple days. It was difficult to work and made me realize just how much we (and businesses as a whole) rely on the internet.

I was reminded of that story as I was reading an article on entitled, “Celebrating 20 years of the world wide web.” The article takes a look back from the beginning of the world wide web until now, and covers the steps taken to get where we are today.

It’s funny to think how just 20 years ago the internet had no place in the business, and now you probably couldn’t even function without it. It kind of makes me wonder what we’ll be remembering fondly 20 years from now.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Don't be a turtle

I've noticed many companies acting like turtles recently. What do I mean by that? When a turtle is scared, they retract into their shells. They shut themselves off to the outside world in hopes that the threat will go away.

It seems as though many companies are doing the same thing. They are hiding and waiting for the economy to get better. While that may be a good strategy for a turtle, it’s not for a business.

This is no time to hide and wait. This is the time to move ahead while everyone else is waiting. Look outside your comfort zone for new ways to help your business. Identify your key weaknesses and try to turn them into advantages. Sure, it might cost a little up front, but you’ll be far better off in the long run.

Take this company for example. Instead of hiding and waiting, they used new technology to turn a big weakness into an area of strength. Not only are they a stronger company because of it, but they opened up a new revenue stream as well.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Business Intelligence just got better

I’d like to give you a quick preview of a new template we have coming for m-Power that I’m pretty excited about. Basically, this new template lets you write ranking reports - on steroids.

You will be able to create a report that does variable rankings, across multiple dimensions, while specifying whatever selection criteria you want at run-time. That sounds like a mouthful, but it all makes sense when you check it out here.

Imagine the possibilities! In mere seconds, you can run a report detailing your best (or worst) selling products, salespeople, regions, etc… It’s instant information available to end users in an easy to use format.

The best part: It’s really easy to make. In fact, we made the demo in about 5 minutes. If you don’t believe that, we’ll be happy to walk you through the process.

This new feature will be available in the very near future, so stay tuned!

Monday, July 06, 2009

13 coming mobile technologies that will change your life

Do you remember back in the dark ages when cell phones were used only for phone calls? We couldn't check our email or even send text messages. How did we ever survive?

It’s funny to think how far cell phone technology has progressed over the last 10 years. Cell phones have gone from being a luxury to a necessity, in both personal and business life. Can you imagine what you would do if you couldn’t check your email or view vital business data from your smartphone these days?

While it’s interesting to look back, I like to look forward to where mobile technology is going and how it might affect the business world. Here’s an article in Computerworld that examines this very topic and details 13 future mobile technologies that will be important.

Friday, July 03, 2009

m-Power enhanced to increase productivity

We’ve recently rolled out some new enhancements to m-Power, and I’m pretty excited about them.

For instance, applications can now be imported directly into one another through m-Painter. What does that mean to you? Well, applications that contain other applications are much easier to develop. For example, creating an executive dashboard is easier than ever!

But that's not all. There are a few more new enhancements to m-Power that you should know about. Check out our latest press release to learn more about them!

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

10 ways IT wastes money on development

Throughout my years in this industry, I have seen countless examples of inefficiencies and waste in IT. While the causes may vary, wasted money is often the direct result of a failed attempt to save money.

For example, many companies decide to outsource development projects without realizing there are always hidden fees and expenses that aren't initially obvious. Unfortunately, the true cost is often discovered only when it’s too late to change directions.

Also, many managers are “Penny wise, pound foolish.” For example, pretend you owned a construction company, and in order to save money you didn’t buy any power tools for your workers. Your attempt to “save money” would produce the opposite effect. In the same way, many companies try to “save money” and not purchase tools to help their developers work more efficiently.

These are just a couple of points made in this article entitled, “10 ways IT wastes money on development.” It’s a great read and I highly recommend it for anyone involved in development. It's important to regularly analyze your development process and eliminate any waste, especially in a bad economy.

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