Monday, May 31, 2010

Keys to a successful BI implementation

Business intelligence (BI) can provide incredible advantages when implemented correctly, such as agility, better decision-making, and even increased profitability. BI is not without risks, however, as evidenced by this article on

How can you implement a BI solution with the greatest chance for success? Let’s take a look at our options. In the past, there were really only two: Build it yourself or buy a pre-packaged solution.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Leadership lesson: Let go to succeed

I’m curious: If I held an informal survey, how many managers would describe themselves as “micro-managers?” How many of your employees would describe you as a micro-manager? If you are a micro-manager, is that a bad thing?

You might look at micro-managing as an annoyance or a personality trait. But you may not realize just how much harm it causes. I believe micro-managing damages your business in a few ways:

Thursday, May 27, 2010

10 essential BlackBerry apps for travel

Have you been in an airport recently? It’s difficult avoiding the hordes of business people blindly walking around staring at their smartphones. While annoying, it also highlights an important trend: Smartphones are bringing the business anywhere.

For example, if your sales staff needs to check product availability on the road, it should be accessible from a smartphone. Need to send or receive those quarterly reports? Use your phone. Smartphones give companies the opportunity to operate more quickly and efficiently than ever. Here’s a great example of one IT guy taking advantage of his company’s iPhone adoption to empower the sales staff.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Is going "green" good for business?

I saw a ridiculous commercial the other day. A bank advertised they were "green" because they no longer send paper statements. Really? That’s not green. That’s a cost-cutting measure thinly veiled as a green initiative.

Does anyone not see right through commercials like that? Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for going green. If every company in America committed to bettering the environment, the benefits would be enormous. Unfortunately though, I believe many companies refuse because they don’t believe it will help the bottom line.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Stop motivating your employees

Do you spend time and energy trying to motivate your employees? According to this article on, you’re doing it wrong. Instead of motivating your employees, you should be trying not to unmotivate them.

The article postulates that we are wired to work hard, but gradually lose motivation in certain work environments. Unmotivation occurs in work environments where employees lack direction, resources, or respect.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

5 low-risk, high-reward experiments for IT

This article on gives some great advice for IT departments. It gives you ideas of things you can try to make IT more strategic to your business. As long as the business views IT as an order-taker, IT is at risk for outsourcing. When IT starts providing business benefits and technology ideas that help the bottom line, the business will start to see IT as a valuable asset.

Monday, May 17, 2010

mrc's 2010 Giveaway!

Thank you to all those who stopped by our booth at the recent COMMON Conference and took our short survey. Anyone who took our survey is entered into our 2010 giveaway for two $50 Amazon gift cards!

If you weren’t at the COMMON conference, there’s still time to enter our giveaway. Just take our short 3-question survey and you will be automatically entered!

Your answers do not affect your chances of winning. Make sure you answer every question, as incomplete surveys are not eligible to win. This giveaway is limited to subscribers of the Cup of Joe blog weekly email. If you’re not a current subscriber, you may sign up over on the right hand side of this page. If you currently receive the weekly "Cup of Joe Recap" in your inbox, you're already a subscriber.

Friday, May 14, 2010

New m-Power feature: Pivot-table reporting!

I’m excited to announce m-Power’s newest reporting template: The pivot table reporting template! (If you are unfamiliar with our template/model based approach to application development, please read our "build process" page.)

What are pivot tables? Pivot tables are interactive tables that automatically extract, organize, and summarize data. Pivot tables are usually Excel™-based and most often used to analyze data, make comparisons, and discover trends.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

5 ways businesses can use tech to save money

If I surveyed every business leader in America, 100% of them would say they want to save money. Why then do I run across so many businesses that don’t act like it? They use outdated and wasteful processes. They grossly overpay for consultants.

I don’t think they want to waste money. Rather, I believe they honestly don’t know any better. They don’t realize there’s a more productive way. They don’t realize there’s a cheaper option. For example, if I didn’t know software existed that let me create web applications for my business without any programming knowledge, I’d probably overpay for consultants too.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Does IT need to please the end user? has some interesting things to say on this subject.

Is it your job to make sure your end users can use new software or systems? Or, do you find the best solution for your company and hope the end users catch on?

It’s a tricky question, because while you can’t please every single end user, you must find solutions that they can and will use. You must find solutions that are easy for the technical and non-technical employees to pick up.

Friday, May 07, 2010

Customer alert: End of monthly newsletter

We are ending our monthly customer newsletter because we feel it has become an inefficient method for communicating news. Things are happening so much faster today. We currently have other options in place for communicating the same information as it becomes available, rather than on a monthly basis.

As you know, we update m-Power frequently. Rather than a once a month recap, the best way to stay on top of all the updates is with one of the links below.

Thursday, May 06, 2010

How to attract and retain the best employees

Does your company have trouble attracting or retaining good employees? If so, Techrepublic offers some "food for thought". What are you doing to keep them? Do you cut back benefits to save a few bucks? Do you create an attractive work environment?

Remember, the talented are always the first to leave because they have options. The unmotivated, unproductive employees will typically stick around because they don’t believe they can do any better. Obviously, you don’t want an office full of unmotivated, unproductive employees. So, how do you attract and retain the best? Here are a few ideas:

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