"We had an incident", the engineer tells me. These four words get your attention in Iraq. We're in the northern outskirts of Baghdad, in a spotless white conference room at the new Quds power station. We're out in the Red Zone, the area surrounding central Baghdad's massively guarded Green Zone enclave. There are probably people nearby, perhaps as close as the sprawling crude-oil pumping facility across the road, who would kill us if they got the chance. That's why we've arrived at the plant in two convoys, each with three heavily armored SUVs and a security contingent of eight men outfitted with assault rifles, grenades, body armor, radios, electronic beacons, navigational and medical equipment, and other gear. It's a lot of men, guns, and hardware for a routine meeting at a power plant. But the statistics bear out the caution. As of this past November, at least 412 civilian contractors had been killed in Iraq, according to U.S. Department of Labor figures cited in a recent report to … [Read more...] about Re-engineering Iraq
Pitfalls in master data management
A few years ago, says Jeff Jonas, a friend arranged for him to give a talk at the secretive National Security Agency, widely renowned as the most technology-savvy spy shop in the world. He wasn’t quite sure what to expect. “I had never even set foot in Washington,” says Jonas, founder and chief scientist of Systems Research and Development, a Las Vegas maker of custom software that was being used by casinos and other companies to screen employees and prevent theft. True, Jonas was proud of NORA, his company’s Non-Obvious Relationships Awareness analytic software. The system can cross-correlate millions of transactions per day, extracting such items of interest as the info nugget that a particular applicant for a casino job has a sister who shares a telephone number with a known underworld figure. But Jonas reckoned that this would seem like routine stuff to the wizards of the NSA. Wrong. “I was shocked,” Jonas says. After his talk, several members … [Read more...] about Can Sensemaking Keep Us Safe?
Let's focus in on two major pillars of proper and successful data center transformation (DCT) projects and some proven methods that have aided productive and cost-efficient projects to reshape and modernize enterprise data centers.Specific trends are buttressing the need for DCT. It's important to fully understand the current state of an organization's IT landscape and data center composition in order to then properly chart a strategy for transformation.However, there are pitfalls that can be avoided by balancing long-term goals with short-term flexibility. The key is to know how to constantly evaluate based on metrics and to reassess execution plans as DCT projects unfold. This avoids being too rigidly aligned with long-term plans and roadmaps and potentially losing sight of how actual progress is being made -- or not.This is the first in a series of podcasts on DCT best practices and is presented in conjunction with a complementary video series.With us now to explain why DCT makes … [Read more...] about PODCAST Limbering Up for a Data Center Makeover
Microsoft SharePoint Server is an incredibly versatile tool for setting up portals and Web sites that facilitate communication and collaboration within a company, between companies, and with Internet users at large.This versatility and the ability of SharePoint to boost productivity has made it the fastest-growing product in the history of Microsoft.Many of the benefits associated with SharePoint are made possible by its tight integration with Microsoft Exchange, Internet Information Server, SQL Server and other complex Microsoft infrastructure products. As a result, managing and keeping SharePoint available and finely tuned can be challenging and time-consuming. The following five tips, tricks and shortcuts help make SharePoint easier to deploy and manage regardless of the size of your configuration, or whether you are using a physical or virtual server implementation.Far too many companies initially implement a SharePoint configuration that is not adapted to their specific business … [Read more...] about EXPERT ADVICE The 5 Best-Kept SharePoint Management Secrets
Many organizations spend months and endure significant costs to obtain the reporting and analysis capabilities that BI (business intelligence) technology promises, only to find that different "versions of the truth" still exist without any definite way of determining which one is real or accurate. This raises the question: Is "One Version of the Truth" achievable? The answer is a qualified "Yes," according to recent research from The Aberdeen Group.Managers are questioning their level of trust in corporate data: Do the reports, charts and analytic tools in use today represent "the truth?" During August and September 2008, Aberdeen Group surveyed over 200 professionals from 155 companies and interviewed a diverse range of senior executives and operational management professionals working in different industries and geographies. Aberdeen's research study, "One Version of the Truth 2.0: Are Your Decisions Based on Reality?", uncovers what Best-in-Class companies (those that have achieved … [Read more...] about ANALYSIS BI: Is One Version of the Truth Still Out There?