Thursday, 23 December 2010

Carkean Solutions: Lean Services

Lean services are centred on two concepts: value demand and failure demand. Between these we can ascertain what the customers are expecting from the service, and, in turn, what they’re not expecting and what they could consider wasteful.

As the name would suggest; the ideal situation is to maximise what they would expect/pay for while minimising the waste.
Value demand is the demand of the service from the customers, which could roughly be translated to “what you can do right by your customers”.
Making this the hardest of the two types of demand to improve, as it’s not always easy to see where you can add value or extra layers of service. Equally sometimes it can be adverse to increase value, as you could end up making the service too complicated or extensive.
Mostly, however, this is the heart of Lean Services in many ways.
As while you may have failure demand as a second component- increasing value is your main priority.

Failure demand, in comparison, is the demand created when the initial value is lower than expected. As an example: in a call centre, value demand would be created by prompt replies and an acceptable phone manner. Failure demand would be not following up calls, not dealing with them promptly or even answering the phone in the first place.
In this way, while the two are linked quite tightly (as one is the direct result of the other) you cannot statistically compare them.
By treating failure and value demand alike in statistical analysis, failure demand can help give a quite false impression of greater productivity.

We’re all customers to some degree and we all want things from various services. Often, we want a more efficient and cost-effective service or more value for money.
However, some services are cost-intensive and cost whether we like them to or not.

This is why it helps to look from the customer’s point of view and see just what, if you were the customer, you would want from a service.
  • What things would be worth your time/money?
  • Why would you choose this service over another?
  • What does “more value for money” really mean?
Identifying these things (and more) can give you a better idea of what you are delivering, and why, as sometimes while something may work better- it’s more work. More work that may be hard to justify to those doing it, which is something you should always consider.

As the quality of the service is directly related to those delivering it. And if they are faced with the prospect of more work, for the same service, without any foreseeable gain (on their part) quality could drop there.
In order to create value you have to reduce waste, this is pretty much what Lean Services does- reduce waste.

However, that’s a rather broad interpretation so we’re going to single out seven common causes of waste. Not all of them may apply to you or your organisation, but some will do and some will apply slightly:
  1. Delay in the delivery of the service to the customer, while their time may seem “free”- you’re vying for that as much as their custom.
  2. Having to re-enter data or redo work that has been left undone, not followed up or completed to standard.
  3. Moving products, resources, services and labour unnecessarily with no given reason or purpose- time wasting, effectively.
  4. Wasted communication (or lack of) where services, labour and resources are not delivered or delivered in error.
  5. Lack of products or labour to deliver services, products and resources on time and to the standard required.
  6. Losing or failing to retain customers through either bad manners, or being unable to meet their requirements fully.
  7. Errors in the end product or service which leads to dissatisfaction and going somewhere else for the customer/party involved.
Borrowing slightly from Lean Manufacturing we can begin to see an eighth kind of waste. This waste is, quite simply, not making sure the needs of the consumer has met before delivering the service to them.
If the service doesn’t meet their requirements they won’t take it.
For example: if you were to look at smartphones and say “What do people want from them?” the answer would, most likely, vary from person to person. Although, there would be a few core features certain types of users would want.

Those would be considered your primary requirements and/or your specification. Following that would make sure you deliver the service that is required, while adding all of your usual extra functionality later.

Lean Services is not a wonder cure but an exercise in efficiency and value-enriched service. It won’t solve all of your problems- but will make your service better, overall, for your customers.
It is useful for many organisations and well worth looking into if you deliver a service regularly.
All information presented here is © copyright Carkean Solutions Ltd., 2010 - Not to be used without our permission - The views expressed here are the views of an individual not the corporation

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Aquima: Government Savings

The economy is the most talked about topic over the last two years, elections have been decided based on the state of the economy all over the world.
With the world's leading countries deciding to cut back on public spending in order to cope with the economic crisis, and the growth of debt that each country is facing- we don't have to look far with the new government promising that public cuts of several billion GBP and IT savings would be £95 million.

The proposed cuts to the IT departments can not be realised without major destruction to the services provided which can do more harm than good in the long run. With the help of Aquima software these cuts would be realised with no effect on the services provided. In fact further cuts are possible with improvement on efficiency across all departments. As Aquima uses artificial intelligence only 20% of the IT resources are required.

The problem with the current system is that even within one department many different IT systems are in use meaning that, if there was a change in legislation or regulations required, a lot of IT work is required. Wasting time and money as (for example) a customer would receive different decisions on the same day with different layouts.

Aquima can provide a clear and convenient way of handling documents. Streamlining the creation of documents and giving the flexibility and the speed necessary to respond to large change in legislation and regulations. While providing the platform for quicker responses to customer and eliminating the problem of backlogs and the extra staff required to fix it.

The Dutch Ministry of Education faced a similar problem with a budget of 20bn Euros and 9,000 institutions, where the process distribution has to be highly transparent to avoid criticism. We were able to produce a high-performance document processing and generating system which produces documents in batches and online, alongside a linked system which included an archiving system. Eliminating the need to re-enter the information several times.

The implementation of the Aquima system enabled document adaptation without the need for programming giving the flexibility and speed required for effective management. Documents are produced cheaper and faster through the central registration of knowledge and data.

Aquima enabled the Ministry of Education to have an efficient, flexible and cost effective system in record time with small adaptation. A similar system can be commissioned in the UK that would be more efficient and cost effective than any other system available, and would have a positive impact on all other departments.

Guest post for 22nd December 2010
All information presented here is © copyright Carkean Solutions Ltd., 2010 - Not to be used without our permission - The views expressed here are the views of an individual not the corporation

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Aquima: Insurance in Practice

In recent years we have seen the number of insurance providers increase substantially ranging from banks to specialist insurance services, these are all competing in a very crowded market, and insurance providers are working very hard to cut costs and make savings.
This is to ensure they are providing the best value for money insurance cover possible.

These facts were well known to a multinational Dutch insurance provider. After struggling with regular setbacks and the frustration of an inadequate system, the management team decided it was time for a change.
Facing tightened legislation and regulation problems, which lead to the rise of compliance issues when composing quotes and contracts- the main problem was that contracts were drawn up manually.

Due to the specialist nature of these quotes and contracts it meant that they had to employ a large number of specialized personnel- and this proved very costly. Drawing up contracts manually had another major problem in that mistakes were made on a regular basis, which meant that customers where over or under charged which was not in the interest of the business. The solution was that all documents had to be standardised in a way that it is easy to understand and update.

In order to proceed effectively we had to analyse the business and produce a standardised document system model, which was implemented and maintained using Aquima. Having all the complex documents such as contracts, rules and regulations standardised meant that the business was able to realise instant success.

Aquima's flexible software enabled the business to apply legislative changes immediately allowing for a more transparent process for all the parties concerned from the client to official regulators. The new system was incredibly efficient leading to fewer mistakes being made. The automation of the process meant that updates to all documents can be made in real time and from single point of entry ending the business heavy reliance on specialised insurance brokers saving time and money.

The standardising of documents and how they were recorded meant that company risk decreased significantly because the knowledge was no longer monopolised by a small number of the workforce. The information can be accessed by all employees with the authorisation now that it is recorded in Aquima.

Guest post for 21st December 2010
All information presented here is © copyright Carkean Solutions Ltd., 2010 - Not to be used without our permission - The views expressed here are the views of an idividual not the corporation

Monday, 20 December 2010

Carkean Solutions: Giving you the edge!

We at Carkean Solutions are so passionate about giving you the edge in the market that we just can't stop helping people! 2010 has been an amazing corporate year and we have worked with many new and exciting clients.

In this time we have employed some new, and valued, consultants who are helping us to help you to make your organisation stronger in the face of dynamic change.
While our online marketing managers are working around the clock to make sure the cream of the crop, the best, and most valued, news is there for you to view and access at your leisure. This has been an extraordinary year for technology and delivering our message to you.
At the same time we have seen growth in all areas of our organisation leading to more opportunities in the coming year!

But this isn't all about our sucesses and our relationships but about you, the honoured, and valued, client who we work to help.

It is thanks to you that we are able to say we have done so much.
And it will be thanks to you that 2011 will be an excellent corporate year as now (more than ever) we have new contacts coming through every day. We're here to celebrate not just our sucsses, but our strengths and weaknesses, and to celebrate the great organisations we work with.

We couldn't have done it without you!

I know this is hardly the conventional kind of post you're used to seeing but, as they say- it's the season to be jolly.
So we figured as many of you will be leaving shortly for your hard-earned Christmas vacations, a little "Thanks!" would be in order to show how much you are the center of our organisation.

Thank you for reading as always!
We hope to meet, greet and do business with many of you in the coming months that follow the start of 2011.

All information presented here is © copyright Carkean Solutions Ltd., 2010 - Not to be used without our permission - The views expressed here are the views of an idividual not the corporation

Thursday, 16 December 2010

Aquima: Putting it Plainly...

One common stereotype that comes up a lot when you look at business process management is that it lacks explanation. For this reason (amongst others) it is hard to show organisations how useful it can be.

The general consensus of opinion is that there is little specific industry information.
While there are many case studies and the like about generic topics (such as cashflow) these can be increasingly difficult to relate, or adjust, to another organisation or to their specific problems.

Which makes it hard to define: "These are the key advantages to your organisation..."

Equally when it comes to implementing the system there is a certain mysticism about how it is implemented. Or if it cost-effective or easy to do.
Without any information about how the system handles their specific problems or their implementation process it then becomes more science than marketing, or more marketing than science, which ultimately makes this something of a mystery and the lack of information leads to two situations.

One is that you comb through the internet searching for topics and could or couldn't come up with something worthwhile.
Two is that you start to take a long hard look at the different BPM packages and try to discern which is better, which is for you and which you want to buy (via price comparison).
The latter is a better approach than the former, but the problem is, quite frankly, when it comes down to systems like Aquima you can't see the benefits on paper. While ARIS, for instance, is easy to think that it will be a great package but you overlook the necessity of coding.

So how does Aquima fit into this?

As you can see from this blog- we have so much information on offer about this exciting BPM package and, were you to contact us, we have case studies and demonstrations (including webinars) that help dispel the mystery.
This is because we believe the best policy is an informative one.
And we feel that Aquima has so much use it's almost criminal not to tell people about how it works and what it could help you with in your organisation.

But we also appreciate that you're a business user and your interests lie not in riddles and jargon- but in the results.
So we try our best to say "These are the things that can help your organisation" alongside "And these are things that have helped organisations like yours" using case studies and information packs.

Just another reason that Aquima bridges the gap between business and IT!

Thank you for reading as always!
We hope this has explained how Aquima can provide another unique feature amongst the sea of BPM packages.

All information presented here is © copyright Carkean Solutions Ltd., 2010 - Not to be used without our permission - The views expressed here are the views of an idividual not the corporation

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Aquima: Out of the Box!

While most BPM software posesses similar qualities, we here at Aquima are proud to differentiate ourselves as leaders in innovative ways in realising the most practical solutions that would yield short and long term benefits to our client. The software is designed to empower a business oriented person to design the entire system and tailor it to meet their individual requirements by specifications rather then programming.

This feature is our strongest USP due to the fact that even our closest competitors are unable to provide a package that can match these features. As most of the BPM software requires a programmer to design the software process a very complicated process requiring an advanced coding knowledge. A very common issue that an organisation faces is the breakdown in communication between the IT specialist and the business oriented person leading leading to time consuming alterations that can be very costly but may still to prove ineffective. Giving the power to the client to design their software can open the door for innovative and practical solutions that can never be realised by an IT specialist.

Most organisations are expanding, whether into different fields or by vertical and horizontal integration, this means that data will need to be re-entered or shared, while it is virtually impossible to share the data effectively using the common BPM software it is simply a click away when using Aquima. For example, if a bank is using CrediCube (Aquima's risk management program) to score their customers and the bank expandeds its business into the insurance industry using CLAIM-IT (Aquima's insurance program) the data can be easily transferred saving time, money and possible mistakes when re-entering the data.

One of the most practical and unsung features of the Aquima software is cloud computing. This feature allows the user to access data from anywhere in the world, thereby eliminating the need to worry about transporting your data physically from office to office risking the data being lost or stolen. Another advantage is that data can be amended and updated easily by anyone authorised to do so at any given time enabling the firm to have relevant and up to date data at all times, giving the company the platform to make informed decisions.

Where as most of the BPM programs in the market are concerned with defining and arranging process on an abstract level Aquima covers every aspect of the modelling process meaning that we have an executable process. What this means to a business is that you are able to model the entire business process this point is truly significant in determining the future position of the company and how it can proceed to achieve its objectives.

Aquima has been described as the most dynamic BPM and at least 7 years ahead of its time by one of the most respected information technology research organisations (the Gartner Group). Due to the features offered by this package, the remarkable flexibility that gives the users limitless potential on improving every aspect of the business and the speed that is unheard of in the world of BPM packaging. Flexibility is one of the main issues contributing towards major companies going out of business, many organisations simply can't react to the rapid change in the market, and, thereby, are providing products and services that are no longer in need. Aquima's agile package gives a business the ability to react to change in real time giving the firm a competitive edge.

Guest post for 15th December 2010
All information presented here is © copyright Carkean Solutions Ltd., 2010 - Not to be used without our permission - The views expressed here are the views of an idividual not the corporation

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Aquima: Cost Saving Strategies!

With the ever more volatile economic situation, more and more businesses feel the need to find innovative ways to cut costs while maintaining, or even increasing, productivity to remain competitive. This fact has lead many businesses to abandon the traditional methods of cost cutting which tend to be less productive and may entail high initial cost to restructure the organisation.

Unlike the traditional methods Aquima software is very easy and cheap to set up and even cheaper to run. The software offers easy solutions to complex problems leaving managers time to concentrate on implementing the solutions, saving time and money. One of the many aspects of the software that differentiates it from any other BPM software is that it offers features that can only be found in bespoke programs at only a fraction of the cost.

The program's friendly user interface gives the organisation a whole new dimension in terms of staff flexibility, where most BPM software requires an IT specialist to use the software, Aquima software can be used by any employee at every level saving money on hiring a specialist. Another advantage is that companies are no longer reliant on one employee, solving the reliability problem that companies face especially during the winter season where many employees fall ill, causing the firm to lose money and miss deadlines, thereby damaging company reputation.

The Aquima software requires very little training, making it the ideal program for any business. Many employees tend to resist change especially when it is of technological nature because of the preconceived ideas that all software requires high levels of expertise to use efficiently. Aquima combats this problem by being user friendly software for anyone whether you have an IT background or not, meaning that employees will be happy and motivated, which in turn leads to higher productivity.

The software's remarkable cloud computing feature enables organisations to employ staff that work from home, saving cost on office space while maintaining real time interaction. This feature is very significant in keeping companies very flexible and agile. For example, a company may choose to employ part time staff or free lance staff to reduce the high costs associated with keeping a high number of staff in a downturn and the ability to cope with the pressure of business upturn.

One of the reasons many well-recognised companies go out of business is due to the fact that they lack innovation and have very rigged procedures limiting the company’s flexibility and the ability to react to change in time. The Aquima software encourages innovation by suggesting innovative solutions which can be tailored to suit company needs which in turn gives the company a competitive edge.

Guest post for 14th December 2010
All information presented here is © copyright Carkean Solutions Ltd., 2010 - Not to be used without our permission - The views expressed here are the views of an idividual not the corporation

Monday, 13 December 2010

Aquima: Advancements in Innovation

Technological innovation has been something of a constantly evolving phenomenon in recent years. Every year technology advances beyond previous thought limits to provide, and nurture, new ideas and previously “impossible” ideas.

Artificial intelligence is one of these revolutionary changes as it has allowed computers and software to think for itself. Not to the levels of functional intelligent machines, sentient beings or some such, but to the level where a system can work out some problems by itself without user input.
This can be likened to many of the newer features of the Windows and Mac OS operating systems which provide many tasks without the user specifying. They “just happen” and the systems take care of the rest.

While this does mean that for many they face a lack of control over some of the finer points of the systems they use- the reassurance and convenience of these systems often more than makes up for it.

This has also paved the way for a lot of the other changes which have occurred in recent years as without artificial intelligence, or that ability, these things would never have been possible.
However, thanks to these advancements there are so many things that are now achievable with mobile and computing technology that was not possible before.

Cloud computing is another aspect of constantly evolving technology and innovation which provides a benefit over traditional systems. Through this, we are no longer limited to one platform or the prospect of having to be without information- our information will follow us.
This could possibly mean that it’s harder to disconnect ourselves from that information but, at the same time, the convenience and usability we gain is definitely worth that.

It also shows advancement in internet technology and security that such a system could be, and is, to some quite successful degree, even possible.

So where does all this lead? Back to Aquima!
As these are things, two very important things, that Aquima incorporates which gives it the revolutionary edge over the competition. Artificial intelligence powers the system while cloud computing gives it the accessibility- together they provide a unique system which requires no extra components.

Thanks to it being platform-independent and useful on so many devices there’s no need to upgrade hardware, buy extras or spend needlessly on new components.

Everything that Aquima can do it does straight out of the box and with exceptional results thanks to technological innovation. And, of course, a need to provide a BPM package that is more technology than marketing.
Something that is universally useful to all organisations.
But without the feeling that you’re getting a half-baked cookie cutter system which tries to force you in a preset profile or system.

Whatever you want- whatever you need- innovation and Aquima can deliver every single time.

Thank you for reading as always! If you have anything you would like to add, any questions or just want to give a quick heads up- feel free to comment.

All information presented here is © copyright Carkean Solutions Ltd., 2010 - Not to be used without our permission - The views expressed here are the views of an idividual not the corporation

Thursday, 9 December 2010

Aquima: Full of Good Ideas!

Today I'd like to refresh our minds with a newly updated product approach for Aquima. We talk about it a lot, but as we use it more, as we see it working for more clients- we feel we should give you more of an idea.

Truly agile and versatile it can be used for everything from a local shop chain to a multinational global investment bank. This is because it is designed to be used by those that have the necessary information for creating models/applications- not just the technologically savvy employees.
Not to mention it provides unheard of functionality and depth for something that isn’t bespoke and costs as this does.

This is because Aquima is an all-inclusive software package which works straight out of the box- no messy implementation, no hours of loading software in, no hassle and no fuss!

On top of this there are extra modules added to Aquima to further its functionality:

o An in-built document creator which allows you to turn the information in your models or applications into a report, invoice or just about anything.
o A runtime engine to create, deploy and update applications/models in real time and be able to see the changes immediately.
o A deployment system that allows you to test for errors, check functionality, check for bugs and make sure your model and application is perfect before going live.
o In-built web deployment functionality as standard. Allowing you to create effective and professional online applications.
o Best of all- all of these modules are fully customisable!

These reasons (and more) are why Aquima is changing the face of the BPM market permanently and positively- proving that powerful functionality doesn’t always have to be complex, but rather that innovation outshines following the pack.

While there is a greater appreciation for technology and computing in general in modern business, they are still regarded as problematic. Many organisations struggle to find computing solutions to their business problems beyond everyday software.

Often this is because of rigid and static software, or the feeling that you're paying for something that is too complex for anyone in your organisation to use. Not to mention paying for implementation, updates, changes, training and so many costs it may just make you wonder what it’s all worth. But these are rather old stereotypes that don't really apply as much in the current generation as they did in the previous.

There are many reasons why technology is beneficial to organisations:

o Up to date technology is more useful now than ever- most systems are backwards compatible and have in-built protection/backup systems
o The initial outlay may seem high but the continual savings are comparable
o "Future proofing" an organisation is always a good idea as at least they won't have to pay even more to implement new systems, if/when they want to
o Online technology has revolutionised networking and promotion
o And much more! There are too many benefits to name and some will only apply to some organisations- so the best way to find out how it works for you is to let it work for you

This is why Aquima is such a great BPM system for any organisation.
It exemplifies these points and more to create something that analyses the weaknesses of CRM and BPM systems, strengthens them and releases something with more power and versatility than previously thought possible. That allows you to mix the necessary human resources with technological brilliance to create a truly dynamic organisation.

Thank you for reading as always!
We hope this comes a refreshing update for all the things that Aquima could do for you (and your organisation).

All information presented here is © copyright Carkean Solutions Ltd., 2010 - Not to be used without our permission - The views expressed here are the views of an idividual not the corporation

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Aquima: Empowered with Cloud Computing

Cloud computing is a platform-independent internet based technology which allows you to share resources, information and services across a wide network of users and devices.

Storing the information is easy and is often done via the use of servers which are later accessed, by users, from any device which supports it. This can include web browsers, web clients and mobile devices.
Quick, easy and incredibly effective this technology allows you to have greater ability to distribute and utilise your information.

Due to the nature of cloud computing it cuts costs across the organisation time and again. Starting with the cost of storing the information and buying the physical systems yourself, all the way to maintaining and backing up the information on your own servers- you can save, save some more and keep saving!
There are no hidden costs and you don’t have to worry about long contract fees.

We understand that you might not appreciate your information being available to the masses without a little privacy. This is why cloud computing comes with two lines of defence:

o Physical systems to stop viruses, spyware, malware and other nasty bugs

o Privacy laws which restrict the redistribution or transmittance data

Together this not only makes cloud computing one of the cheapest, most widely available and innovative systems- but one of the safest.

Cloud computing is not something that has appeared in recent years and will disappear in the same fashion. It’s something that has been becoming steadily more popular for several years and, without even knowing it, it’s something that you probably already use. Facebook, Google utilities and Windows Live utilities all incorporate a subset of cloud computing technology!

Thank you for reading!
We hope this has opened your eyes to some of the exciting features Aquima empowered with cloud computing can bring to you.

All information presented here is © copyright Carkean Solutions Ltd., 2010 - Not to be used without our permission - The views expressed here are the views of an idividual not the corporation

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Aquima: New Development Methodologies

In previous development methodologies there was a very clear focus on rigid development processes. Clearly outlined and structured to be carried out sequentially- this was the standard for a while.

However, many had begun to question whether such ideas still worked.

This led to a series of new development methodologies which were more flexible and lacked the standardised approach, but still, they were pretty rigid. Of course, some still use this traditional methodology but many realised projects could not be blanketed together.
Each project needed to have a different goal or focus in order to be successful.
And so many of the developers, during the coming years, set about to create dynamic methodologies where development could still reach the desired goal but in a tailored fashion.

Aquima leads the way in this fashion for your organisation.
Long gone are the days where software development is ruled by complex coding processes and extremely long implementation times. With Aquima you can set the standards for your models- you can create the systems that will support your organisation.

But how is this possible?

Isn't Aquima a package in itself?

Aquima is a software package much like many other BPM packages but with one key difference- dynamic flexibility.
This is our design methodology. To create with the information you use, for you, in your way and to your specification. Through this we can destroy the old stereotypes of "long implementation time" and "rigid project structure" as you, the business user, or the IT user, can define how it works for you.

Also because of a few key features on Aquima's side (incredibly high success rate, real time updating, lack of re-implementation costs etc.) you can get even more from this, and the design methodology, to propel your organisation into a brighter technological tomorrow.

So think about your current design methodologies. Do they work? Can they be improved? What do you require from them?

Thank you for reading, as always, and we hope that you have found this to be informative. If you have any comments, suggestions or questions feel free to comment!

All information presented here is © copyright Carkean Solutions Ltd., 2010 - Not to be used without our permission - The views expressed here are the views of an idividual not the corporation

Monday, 6 December 2010

Aquima: Software Versioning.

Flexibility is required for you to have dynamic software versioning and while, in traditional software development, there is usually very little need for this- with Aquima it provides one of the unique features.

Software versioning is (traditionally) the process by which a piece of software becomes further developed, or upgraded. Often starting with a low number such as 0.1 or 1.0, as the software develops it will grow to higher numbers such as 4.5 for example.
While some software packages which have had continual development also use a different versioning system to denote new versions.
Finally in the process of developing software a project will go through alpha and beta stages, which feature "fixes", and will use a further different versioning system until the process is complete and the software is released.

In short, and for the purposes of this blog, and Aquima in general, versioning systems allow you to have several versions of the same software running.

This is something for which Aquima is highly regarded as sometimes you need to have different versions of the same model running.
In the case of a sale, for example, it is good practice to have a secondary model.
Unfortunately changing back and forth is manual, right? Wrong. With Aquima you can change from model to model without having to do a thing. The power of artificial intelligence only requires that you specify which dates to activate the secondary, or however many more models, that you require and the system will do the rest.

With this technology you can do anything from set up a summer sale to set up your entire marketing processes for the year.
Never having to worrry about whether or not someone has remembered to put out the new information, or having to painstakingly update each thing- or lack the ability to update them- as Aquima provides you with easy to use tools that do just that.

As a more explanatory example:

Version 1.0.5 Standard Operations
Version 1.0.8 Summer Sale

You work with your standard operations model from January 2011 to June 2011 and between July 2011 and September 2011 you are having a sale.

The artificial intelligence behind Aquima would work as follows, that, on the 1st July 2011 it would upgrade the system to 1.0.8 while leaving the other system intact. Then, on the 1st of September 2011 it would downgrade, much as it did updgrade, to 1.0.5 while leaving 1.0.8 safely locked away.

We hope that this explains a rather difficult to grasp concept, as the idea of having several versions running at once is akin to having several documents open at once- it's hard to see how it works.

Hopefully, with Aquima, you can see how easy a process it is.

Thank you for reading as always! And if you have anything you wish to add, wish to say or just a heads up- feel free to comment.

All information presented here is © copyright Carkean Solutions Ltd., 2010 - Not to be used without our permission - The views expressed here are the views of an idividual not the corporation

Thursday, 2 December 2010

Carkean Solutions: Working with Us.

We have spent some time recently adding different ways you can get in touch with us, recieve information from us and work with us- today we would like to highlight those.

First new feature is our weekly newsletter which compiles hot topics and key issues in many industries. Be it technology, politics or finance- there's five topics and it is easily digested in under ten minutes.
Catch up with the latest news without having to search for hours!
Posted weekly, on Thursday, on Twitter and available to subscribe to for free with extra benefits for all of our subscribers.

The second is our new Contact Us form which allows you to do just that- contact us.
If you're someone who wants to work with us then this is the way you can get in touch with our consultants in one click. No hassle, no fuss and no mess. Just fill in the form and within hours you will be speaking with our experts.
This is exclusive to the Carkean Solutions website and is a really exciting new feature for us. Get clicking now!

The third is related to our newsletter but is something rather unique- free advertising!
As our newsletter is a growing publication and is getting more viewers every week this is a good opportunity to get seen, for free, for six months. If you're interested e-mail us at and we'll talk it over with you.
Get yourself seen and for absolutely nothing- what could be better?

The fourth is our entirely redesigned corporate website that is soon to be updated with even better information!

As you can see, everything is coming together for Carkean Solutions Ltd. this festive season. And, best of all, in the new year we'll have even more features for you.
So be on the lookout for more seminars and updates in January 2011.

Thank you for reading!
We hope to hear from every one of you very soon and to get some great information from our devoted readers.

All information presented here is © copyright Carkean Solutions Ltd., 2010 - Not to be used without our permission - The views expressed here are the views of an idividual not the corporation

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Technological Failures.

This morning our London office was without internet for a brief period of time and, well, to be honest, it showed us just how much we had become used to systems that rarely (if ever) fail.

The result was that many of us sat in bemusement at the lack of internet and contemplated what we were going to do next.
Lucky for us, this only lasted for about an hour and I was mostly the only one affected as my position requires I be connected to the internet more than my laptop currently is. But it's a real eye opener.

Just what would you do if you had this kind of problem?

What if it was worse- what if you couldn't use any of your techonlogy?

Could you continue to function and be profitable?

Well, the good news is, with Aquima, this is never a problem as Aquima is one of the most stable systems available. Not to mention, one of its key features is that it has a 0% failure rate.
This is partly due to the power of cloud computing.
And partly thanks to our amazing developers.
But in either case, take a minute to ask yourself- can you really afford this kind of failure? And moreso, is your system as secure as Aquima? If you can't answer these questions positively and BPM/CRM is your thing- maybe you should contact us today and talk to us about Aquima.

A system that quite honestly takes care of itself via the power of artificial intelligence where it can think, work and even change itself without any input.
But by the same token isn't prone to the usual "set up and go" systems that are rife with bugs and errors that ultimately make the entire process an exercise in futility.

Again, as his been the trend recently, this is more food for thought than rather straight cut information. And if you really believe Aquima isn't for you- don't feel like we're forcing it on you.
Just that we're looking from a different angle and offering an alternative solution to the most daunting question:

What would you do without your technology?

Thank you for reading as always!
We hope this has proved to be an interesting bit of information infused goodness. As usual, if you have anything to add, well, the comment box is there for a very good reason!

All information presented here is © copyright Carkean Solutions Ltd., 2010 - Not to be used without our permission - The views expressed here are the views of an idividual not the corporation

Tuesday, 30 November 2010

So Many Clouds!

I'm sure we all remember the days where we used to lay and watch pretty cloud formations and how much fun it was. Well, I never have- but that's neither here nor there- what we're talking about is cloud computing!

Like everything there's good sides and bad sides to this technology.

The good sides we have covered several times before and we can really see the benefits, I'm sure, but it must have a downside...right?
And it does. (But only a few!)
Some technology which uses cloud computing wasn't actually made from that, but adapted, from standard technology, to provide the same features. However, this can be detrimental compared to that which was made from it.
This is because the essence of cloud computing is in the technology, were it not "in the cloud" it would just be another piece of software.

Due to the recent boom of "in the cloud" technology a lot of new developers have begun to adapt older technology to make it similar.
On the other hand, some of the larger corporations like Microsoft are making some of their legacy software do a similar thing. Older tech in the cloud- new tech in the cloud, right?

Developing "in the cloud" is not as easy as it would seem. It's not a case of just making the information available to all, or to be accessed anywhere, a lot of it is to do with security and functionality.
Things built for cloud computing will always have the best security.
Not to mention, these will probably be the most stable choices.
And it will most likely be the easiest to work with.

All of these things are because the technology was made for cloud computing so it doesn't need to strain, or stretch, to put in security and durability- it's already there!

The ease of use comes from the fact that it is built to use the input of cloud computing. It hasn't been built for PC use and changed to fit cloud computing leading to frustration, things that don't work and certain features that are disabled due to incompatibility issues.

So always be sure of what you're buying when it comes to cloud computing and whether or not it was made "in the cloud".
If it was- it's probably the best investment you will make!

Thank you for reading, as always, we hope this has been an interesting insight into cloud computing!

All information presented here is © copyright Carkean Solutions Ltd., 2010 - Not to be used without our permission - The views expressed here are the views of an idividual not the corporation

Monday, 29 November 2010

Aquima: Workflow Friendly!

We all know that workflow can be problematic at times. There's so many things to consider and only so many hours in the data, whilst data duplication plagues the very systems we use.

With Aquima- many of these problems are a thing of the past!

The technology behind Aquima, cloud computing, means that you can access all of your information from anywhere at any time. However, it also means that all of your information only needs to be entered once.
And that anyone who has access to the system can use it for their job.
But, at the same time, means that you can restrict certain users from being able to use it if you don't wish them to have access to it.

In this way you're given complete control over your information and who can access it, while also removing the element of data duplication and lowering the possibility of losing information.

Not to mention, thanks to the usability of Aquima it is now possible for every employee at every level to get the information to work for them.

Due to being able to build your own models, whoever you are, even managing directors, with ease you not only have greater control but greater ability to use your information than before.
Each link in the workflow chain can develop its own model to help it overcome those particular problems.
While it will increase speed and productivity as it will all be interconnected.

No need to use several packages to get the job done- we can do it with just the one!

Which is another unique feature of Aquima that other BPM packages lack: everything you need to make it work, all together, in one box- no extra software or plugins required.

Saving you time, money, effort and workload while increase productivity and profitability.

Thank you for reading, as always, about how Aquima can make workflow work for you and improve the existing (albeit throttled) systems!

All information presented here is © copyright Carkean Solutions Ltd., 2010 - Not to be used without our permission - The views expressed here are the views of an idividual not the corporation

Thursday, 25 November 2010

Innovation through processes.

You know, we at Carkean Solutions love innovation so much that we don't stop talking about it! But, never fear- it's all good information and you'd be wise to stay a while and listen.

As part of our management consultancy services we offer innovation management.

Innovation management can be used for developing both product and organisational innovation, for developing innovative processes and to make research and development more effective. We at Carkean believe that innovation management should include a set of tools that allow managers and engineers to cooperate with a common understanding of goals and processes.

The focus of innovation management is to allow the organisation to respond to an external, or internal, opportunity and to use its creative efforts to introduce new ideas, processes or products.
Importantly, innovation management is not confined to research and development- it involves employees at every level in contributing creatively to an organisation's development, manufacturing, and marketing.

By utilising appropriate innovation management tools, organisations can trigger and deploy the creative skills of the employees towards the continuous development of the organisation.

Innovation processes can either be pushed or pulled through development.
A pushed process is based on existing or newly invented technology, that the organisation has access to, and tries to find profitable applications for.
While a pulled process tries to find areas where customers’ needs are not met, and then focus development efforts to find solutions to those needs.

Through this theory we can help your organisation become more productive and develop effective strategies for everyday problems. Not to mention, increase your innovation several fold.

Thank you for reading, as always!
Feel free to comment if you have something to add about innovation management or you want to share your experiences.

All information presented here is © copyright Carkean Solutions Ltd., 2010 - Not to be used without our permission - The views expressed here are the views of an idividual not the corporation

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Aquima: Endless Innovation.

We've talked about innovation quite a bit recently and it's quite an important topic, but today we're talking more practically about how you can use innovation.

In the form of a neat little BPM package known as Aquima.

There are many reasons why Aquima is innovative and we couldn't hope to cover them all here, but what we will do, for your viewing pleasure, is pick out the best of the innovation:
  • One thing that makes Aquima stand out is that it can bridge the gap between IT and business, to connect two (seemingly incredibly different) cultures together for the benefit of your organisation.
  • It provides your organisation with dynamic agility, allowing it to adapt to just about any situation or happening. Even in the event of something catastrophic- Aquima has your back.
  • Worry not about having a sea of wires in your office to run this powerful package, Aquima uses cloud computing technologies which means you don't need to worry about your information- but can still control it- while using it to improve your productivity.
  • It isn't a bespoke solution but it has enough power to dwarf five bespoke systems. Aquima is a platform-independent, fully customisable, all inclusive solution to your problems.
  • Aquima isn't about hidden costs which is why they don't have any- unlike other BPM packages, Aquima is all inclusive and doesn't require any external systems to run any of its features.
And these are just some of the reasons that Aquima breathes innovation in to your organisation.
There are many more reasons, much deeper, and more specific, to almost any organisation in any industry out there. Using Aquima not only makes you more effective, efficient and dynamic- but innovative- and cost-effective and even more!

Thanks for reading, as always, everyone.
We hope this has proved to be an interesting look into what makes for an endlessly innovative and attractive BPM package!

All information presented here is © copyright Carkean Solutions Ltd., 2010 - Not to be used without our permission - The views expressed here are the views of an idividual not the corporation

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Innovation and success!

We've spoken before about how innovation needs both depth and a function before it can be used effectively, while this is true and very important- what is innovation and how can it help you?

Innovation is a fancy way of saying "something new and exciting" but that doesn't mean it's a bad thing, it's actually a very good thing to have in your organisation and in your general everyday life.
It can provide, most prominently, a very strong competitive advantage.
Which is (generally speaking) why people put so much time and effort into making sure that they are innovative. As the rewards for being "one step ahead" are manyfold and sometimes innovation doesn't come in grand packages. Sometimes being innovative takes just one small step.

Innovation can also allow you to exploit new areas of the market quickly and effectively before your competition notices they are there.
This is often the case in the automobile market as many large organisations there have begun to innovate with new engines and technology, which, in turn, has given them a rather unique selling point over their competition. It also would help to save costs, build reputations and so on.
Some were innovating with their services by offering previously unheard of warranty periods which gave them an edge, something that cost-conscious customers were taking on board.

That said, the majority of innovation is technological.
This is because (as we mentioned yesterday) technology has exploded in recent years (figuratively speaking) and that's where most new ground is won or lost.
It also stretches as far back to the days where automated factories were a marvel, as there, through mass production theories, innovation was making it possible (through economies of scale) that some organisations were beating their competition quite confidently.
However, as noted above there is a great deal of service innovation where organisations are working to provide the best customer service.

Often you will find banks and mortgage providers with this level of service innovation as essentially their services are homogenous. You can get a loan from anywhere, or a mortgage, but what matters to them is how you get it- what they can do for you and so on.

Therefore, we're just starting to scratch the surface of innovation and will (tomorrow) start to look deeper into how Aquima can help you be more innovative.

Thank you for reading, as always.
Feel free to comment and add your thoughts to this exciting subject.

All information presented here is © copyright Carkean Solutions Ltd., 2010 - Not to be used without our permission - The views expressed here are the views of an idividual not the corporation

Monday, 22 November 2010

Changing Times.

Change is a constantly evolving element of business. You can't avoid it, try as you might, and it always catches up with you and forces you to go with it. Today, we're going to talk about change and what it really means for you.

Any organisation which has been around in the last 10 years will have felt a rather big change in recent years: the shift to technology.
Technology has always been there but it has never been as prominent or as widespread as it is today, which is why it is such a rippling change for organisation. Starting at one level and slowly working down layer by layer.

This is a change that hasn't so much introduced itself to organisations but has cut to the heart of them. You can't avoid it, even if you don't want/need technology or new systems.

And that is the nature of change in many respects.

New laws have always changed the way organisations do business and these change regularly to suit new government rulings. This is unavoidable change in many respects, as one cannot live outside the law even if they're honest.

So what we can tell from the two situations above is that change happens, quite often, and you have to either change with it or be left behind.
And there's no competitive advantage in being left behind.
So, how can you, as an organisation, face the prospect of change without being left behind? Well, we at Carkean Solutions may be able to help with our range of change management services.

Change management is the time-tested theory of working with change in the face of new and quite daunting territory. We understand you're not always prepared for large corporate change, nor are adequately trained to deal with it.

But equally, we understand the necessity of change. How it happens and can be an incredibly lucrative (if not confusing) process whereby more opportunities may become available.
If you think about it, in the last few years what we're doing (with our social media) has revolutionised promotion. Social media is free, easy to use and has multiple platforms whilst allowing you to get in touch with your clients.
Years ago organisations would have had to pay thousands for a similar service or for contact with that many clients/potential clients.

Change can also help you develop your skills and abilities further as with new opportunities comes new expertise. This provides an attractive incentive for your employees as they can now do more, perhaps work harder, and feel more valued as they are a part of the change.
The expression "It's all technology and I don't understand how that works" should never be used as every employee should be conversant with change. Whichever change.

Which is what change management is all about- empowering your organisation and staff with the abilities, confidence and vision for a bright everchanging future in business.

And hopefully a profitable future, too!

Thanks for reading, as always- feel free to comment if you something to add. Maybe you've got your own story about change you'd like to share?

All information presented here is © copyright Carkean Solutions Ltd., 2010 - Not to be used without our permission - The views expressed here are the views of an idividual not the corporation

Thursday, 18 November 2010

Too small for IT?

One of the things we hear with smaller organisations is that they're "too small for IT" and "don't need those systems as we don't have the manpower"- but can you really be too small for technology?

I'd argue not.

If you think about it, at the heart of it, there are hundreds of startup organisations which are using software every single day.
Agreeably, if you're still small you don't need a global IT system.
But, at the same time, with the advent of cloud computing running a good portion of today's systems- is there such a thing as too big, too small or too anything when it comes to IT? It's not like you're going to have to pay an exponential amount to use them, nor are you going to pay much at all unless you do have quite a corporate footprint.

But the benefits are endless.
If you think from the perspective of a small organisation- they lack the ability to reach out and spread their wings like a multinational. Plus, they probably haven't got offices around the globe or around the country. So they need to be able to touch ground with a lot of clients (to influence growth) without much cost.

The ability to use Skype for free (or darn cheap) business calls to anyone around the globe is an incentive.
Spend £10 on a headset and you're ready to go- free calls!
Doesn't replace a landline charge, as they can't be used for everything a landline can, but you will save hundreds in actual call and connection charges instead.

Not to mention social media. You have a need to influence growth, you want clients, you'd prefer not to pay or pay as little as possible- so why not use social media for advertising. Get to know the customers before they're your customers.
Influence partnerships and collaborations over these networks with other organisations like you. There's a lot out there. Although, as a small organisation you're not a startup, there's a lot of resources for startups (and/or emerging organisations) which you could use. Often offered for free and you can even get in on the act by guest posting.
Aside from this, there's advertising in the form of Google AdWords which is perhaps the fairest advertising there is. You pay when someone clicks, you don't when they don't!

And where does this all come from? IT- the very thing that you're "too small" to use when someone offers you a service.

In this generation, more than any other, technology is at the heart of everything we do and it doesn't replace traditional business methods- it just makes them even better!

Thanks for reading, as always, and we hope you have enjoyed this rather sporadic content segment!

All information presented here is © copyright Carkean Solutions Ltd., 2010 - Not to be used without our permission - The views expressed here are the views of an idividual not the corporation

Wednesday, 17 November 2010


What's HootSuite you may wonder? And what does it have to do with you? Well, if you're interested in any way about social media networking- you should know what HootSuite is!

HootSuite is a revolutionary online networking tool that allows you to combine all of your social media sites in one easy to use interface.
Manage streams, feeds, ReTweets, mentions, replies and much more across all of your sites with the click of a button. Featuring a simple and effective interface and a range of analytical tools- there's never been a better way to manage your social media sites.

I'm one of those Twitter users that wishes I could schedule Tweets as often I have things that will always be out on one day of the week. But unfortunately, Twitter doesn't have such a feature built in.
So I have to remember to log in and post the link- but sometimes I'm so busy I never really think about it, until around 4pm, and then realise I should have sent that hours ago and rush to do it. That situation is, most thankfully, a thing of the past with the power of HootSuite. I can schedule important Tweets (like the weekly newsletter) and let them post themselves!
Not to mention, I can save and draft Tweets that I may want to post but haven't yet finished- or maybe they're just possible ideas- and again, through HootSuite this is entirely possible.

On top of this the Suite features a number of innovative apps for most mobile devices, web browsers and operating systems. Meaning you're never without that clever little owl in that you could really grow to love.

Which, though a personal preference, is another thing I love about HootSuite- it's so adorable. It's so impersonal and easy to use. And you really feel that when you leave it for a while and you come back to your owl taking a nap.
Makes you feel a lot better about using it as, initially, if you think about it, the idea of managing many sites under one roof is daunting. So to be met with a quirky owl, an easy to use menu and a tab-based interface? Best thing since sliced bread.

So what can you combine with HootSuite? I guess "everything" is a bit broad so here's a list:
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Facebook Pages
  • MySpace
  • Wordpress
  • LinkedIn
  • FourSquare
All in all, you can put just about anything you use in it and be able to access and submit information to any of these sites through the main interface.
It's a godsend if you're someone who likes to scatter updates and use different ones for all of your sites, plus, it makes it easy to simply throw a new update onto your Facebook Page without having to log out of this and into that- just click the tab and start writing.

Now, I guess at this point you're thinking "That sounds great, I bet I could find all sorts of uses for it" but, you're probably also thinking "How much is it going to set me back?"

Wait for it- absolutely nothing!

HootSuite has a free option which allows you to manage up to five social media sites, to access all of the features of the service, to have analytical information for 30 days and much more!

So there we have it. I know I'm usually not talking about this sort of thing on the blog, but this is a really great application for anyone who does social media networking and shows a lot of technological innovation.
Thank you for reading, as always. And if you have any comments/questions- feel free to comment!

All information presented here is © copyright Carkean Solutions Ltd., 2010 - Not to be used without our permission - The views expressed here are the views of an idividual not the corporation

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Management Consultancy.

Seeing as that is what we at Carkean Solutions do, besides promote innovation, it's probably a good idea soooner rather than later to talk about it. Management consultancy is both the industry in which we work, but also the trade which we ply.

As our trade, management consultancy often involves working closely with organisations and providing an analysis of their operations and objectives. Looking for possible problems and working to provide solutions. Sustainable, long-lasting and competitive solutions which do more than just deliver a service.
Working in this trade are many specialised consultants with a great deal of expertise and experience, which is primarily the reason that organisations hire the service.
That and the benefits of having an internally or externally sourced operation hitting hard at the efficiency of an organisation. Trying to make it more efficient, more balanced and more profitable.

Although, management consultancy is not without its naysayers and dissenters.
Due to the common ideal of using the "best practices" there is sometimes a clash of corporate cultures resulting in failed translation. Some practices, though highly lucrative and successful, are not easy to apply to some industries and often that lets the side down.
That said- that's not the only way management consultants work with clients and often to pigeon hole them into that mindset would be folly.

Often management consultants are responsible for strategic and technological implementation. Mostly using models, guidelines or a framework to develop a new direction for organisations to help streamline trivial corporate tasks. While providing secondary approaches to major corporate tasks.
The aspect of consulting comes from the rather spoken and suggested approach to advising on more efficient/profitable methods of doing business. Not simply telling- but suggesting, discussing and developing solutions for organisations often singularly for them.
As, like we said above, the lack of corporate culture cross-intergration makes it hard to provide a "one solution fits all" practice.

In general, the services they provide are either through technology or through process management (which can also be done via technology). In this way, there are several classifications of management consultancy organisations and together they can provide a range of services.

Which is one of their stronger advantages, in that, through working with so many large organisations, they have a wealth of experience and expertise they can share relating to how others in their industry are dealing with the same challenges.
Though, of course, this will be done without sharing the name of the organisation as that would be breaching all kinds of laws.

Thank you for reading, as always!
We hope this has proved to be an interesting insight into what our industry and consultants can do for you.

All information presented here is © copyright Carkean Solutions Ltd., 2010 - Not to be used without our permission - The views expressed here are the views of an idividual not the corporation

Monday, 15 November 2010

People or Skills?

Employment is a fun time for all- jobs for the unemployed, a new member of staff for the employer and less stress on the government. But what do most employers look for? People or simply suppliers of skills?

It's arguable that they're one and the same.
Any decent employee would have a decent blend of both, but in the age of graduate-required jobs are we looking at people anymore?

Skills are the bread and butter of what makes an organisation flow.
If you look at any large organisation you will see there are a number of skilled and experienced employees in key positions. This is because, quite frankly, over the years, they have built up the knowhow and the necessary expertise to be the best at what they do.
Not to mention, skills are something that everyone can use to their advantage and can learned by others with dedication.
Although, in fairness, not everyone is an academic so adjusting to the idea of learning new skills and new opportunities, well, it doesn't suit everyone- and that's fine- because some people aren't that way inclined.

People, however, are also the bread and butter of an organisation.
As is often the case with graduates; they have the skills and they can do the job, but they just aren't the right type of people. They don't have the experience or the required outlook.
Best in their class and very good at what they do, but they aren't at the level (yet) to lead groups and supervise others. Because, to be honest, some people are born leaders and some people are born marketeers etc. Some people are just good at what they do and that can never be replaced by skills.
As skills can be learned, over time, and with effort, but the fundamental groundwork of being that type of person cannot.

You can't change someone that much that they will become someone entirely different. But you can influence and help them, to teach them new things that they will use to become better people.

For instance, using myself as an example, I'm not one of these people that can stand up in front of thousands and present. Never have been. I get nervous with so many people paying attention to me- probably because I'm not used to it- but in any case, it's not something I would be employed to do.
I have learned to become a better person when it comes to presentations after many years, but still, even with that knowledge- you're not getting me up on that stage.
I also have a wee problem with being thanked for things/getting recognition. I don't do things because I like to be recognised/loved/adored/thanked- I do things because they help people. Which, all in all, means you're never going to get me in a position where I'm going to present and be recognised.
I could, quite possibly, play the role but I wouldn't be able to do that as well as I could one-to-one speak and encourage someone. Or to sit behind my laptop doing nerdy things all day.

From that we can see that, despite my ability to- I'm still not the best person for the role and perhaps in time I will be. But, you're rather playing a wildcard there in comparison to say asking me to design or find some fiendish coding thing.

It also highlights that while I may have the skills required for the role and can use them adequately, I'm not the best user when it comes down to it.

Thereby, the original question still stands: people or skills?

Personally, and in my opinion, I'd rather have a bit of each and have someone that not only possesses the skills but the right mindset for the task at hand.
I've always felt differently about people in that they can't be managed, but only lead, rather than allocated, for they are people and that gives them one thing that most managed situations don't have- unpredictability.
You never know what someone is capable of and sometimes you can be pleasantly surprised because "I didn't think they were that kind of person." Well, sometimes people are and sometimes they are beneficial for that reason. But, at the same time, you need to balance that with a great deal of skills in order to make someone that not only inspires but works to their goals efficiently.

Again, this is just something to think about. Food for thought.
Thank you for reading (as always) and I hope you've enjoyed the content. You're free to comment, retweet or perform any other gratifying action- we'd love to hear from you!

All information presented here is © copyright Carkean Solutions Ltd., 2010 - Not to be used without our permission - The views expressed here are the views of an idividual not the corporation

Thursday, 11 November 2010

Information Flows.

Arguably the best looking waterfall is one where the water rushes down into a cascading explosion of foam at the base. Information is quite similar- the best kind of information is the kind that rushes through the organisation!

How do we achieve this?

We need to streamline information!
Streamlining information isn't hard, or expensive, in fact most business process management software packages do it as standard. In short, it is allowing the information to move effectively between layers in the organisation. Those who need it have it, those who want it can access it and those who want more of it can enter it. Simplicity in theory. Efficiency in practicality.

It also promotes a higher level of productivity.
Think of the time, money and effort that you could save by entering all the information in the organisation at once, only once, and letting everybody use their job-specific sections of it to their fullest.
Not to mention how simple and effective that solution will be over having two-dozen applications all doing the same thing. It's mind boggling!

Although, this isn't all down to the IT systems in place.
A lot of it also comes down to how much collaboration and thought there is in the initial information gathered and entered. While an IT system can make you more efficient and more productive- initial garbage in will only produce end result garbage out. And that's not what we want!
Good example, the organisation I previously worked for had stacks of old information that they wanted on a computerised database. A process that took an insane amount of time, quite simply, and quite frankly, because the original information was practically useless. Multiple choices of abbreviations for the same thing, missing information and sometimes entire pages of deleted information.
In the end it took months just to wade through all of this invaluable information- and make it usable- once more!

But in many cases, most organisations are a bit more organised than this and have their information neatly sorted.
So for you, you lovely people, all your concerns are in whether or not the system will deliver and what streamlining is. Well, it's a buzz word but when not doing that it's also a really good way of saying "makes everything faster, better, more efficient and transparent." So that you can see where the information is going, what the information is and help it to get there yesterday.

As for the delivery? I'd bet you that you could reap the benefits almost immediately as you will feel a lot more organised, far more reassured and like you can finally use this information.
No longer will you be questioning what you have, where it is, how you can use it or what use it really is to your organisation. You'll know.

Not to mention- you just broke the computing and business barrier!

Thank you for reading, as always! I hope this has been informative and again, as is the trend in recent posts, more a casual information post over a particularly themed post.

Feel free to comment if you have something to share!

All information presented here is © copyright Carkean Solutions Ltd., 2010 - Not to be used without our permission - The views expressed here are the views of an idividual not the corporation

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Keeping in Touch.

With social media networking taking off as it has done, new smartphone techology, worldwide internet access and much more- it's never been a better time to keep in touch. But we're not talking about Facebook, or Twitter, we're talking about corporate contacts.

Services like LinkedIn make it easy to keep all of your corporate information and contacts under one neatly packaged roof. You can access a wealth of information just by logging in, not to mention find others who share similar interests/industry experience to work with.
But, at the same time, there's the looming issue of privacy.
One thing that seems to put a lot of people off and something that we have actually spoken about before. Privacy is, and will always be, a big issue amongst organisations but as we've discovered recently while looking at cloud computing there is a lot of focus on it. This is important with any information but perhaps moreso with corporate information- you wouldn't want your competitors knowing sensitive information, would you?

But we're not really looking at privacy today. Nor, are we keeping a list of sites/services to keep in touch with- we're talking about why.

Most of time people give you heaps of what and where, but never why.
And that's a good question. Why should I keep in touch? Why would someone who I worked with ten years ago care what I'm doing now? And so on.

Well, have some easy to digest bullet points that explain why:
  1. Friends in high places has never been so true when it comes to organisations and job opportunities. Many of you reading this will be (hopefully happily) employed and won't worry about job opportunities- but what about tomorrow? In this economy, for nothing else besides financial security, it's good to have people in the know you can contact and who can personally recommend you.
  2. Ever had one of those moments where you know someone who would absolutely love something don't know how to contact them? Well, this is no different in business. Having contacts can be mutually beneficial if you have a product that they can use as they get something useful and you get revenue. Win/win.
  3. The best business is a strong business. Working together, in any capacity, is the underlying focus of many organisations- so why not use your contacts to strengthen alliances with other organisations? This way, you can approach new opportunities with more funding, support and backing. Success in the making!
  4. And when you're not using your friends (I jest) you can actually just send them a message asking them how things are, what they're up to and you may just meet up with them somewhere down the line.
I know some of the reasons above may seem, well, one sided to a degree- but everyone can benefit from them.
And that is one of the stronger reasons why it's good to keep in touch. Organisations sometimes would prefer to employ someone they know will get the job done, or that has experience, even if you don't advocate that experience at every given opportunity. Equally, partnerships in large corporations add a lot of combined power and bring heavier bartering rights.
Not to mention, sometimes, it's just good to know someone you can rely on to get things done and who will deliver time after time.

I think if you look at the largest organisations and the most profitable, they are such because they have contacts. Clients, fellow businessmen, customers, stakeholders or whatever else. Point is- they have them. You should too!

Never pass up the opportunity to make a new friendship- who knows where it may lead?

And that's all for today.
I hope this has been interesting and more of a consideration, than an information, post. Thank you (as always) for reading!

All information presented here is © copyright Carkean Solutions Ltd., 2010 - Not to be used without our permission - The views expressed here are the views of an idividual not the corporation

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

The Importance of Corporate IT

As a management consultancy who specialise in innovation through technology it's not surprising we value IT. But, you know, you should too. It does a lot more good than it is given credit for.

As we mentioned yesterday when we spoke about cloud computing- lots of organisations and individuals use that without realising it.
This is true of most IT. Most people will have frequent dealings with Microsoft Office or something of that ilk, but more people will have worked with online communication or storage without realising it. For instance Skype, that is a great example of how (on a corporate level) that IT can be entirely beneficial to organisations.

Free calls to internal numbers, done through computers, using headsets and without having to leave the office or have pesky ringtones going off. What more could you ask for?

In the same way, online technology is boon to most organisations we just don't appreciate it when we use it. Any of us who use social media networking (e-Networking) will practically rely on technology alone. With that one service, that one application- we can connect to millions of people at a time.
It's partly the fault of this being such a common occurance in the modern age.
Even when I was growing up there wasn't as much technological integration as there is now, and I'm not that old. (They're not grey hairs, that's just...flair. My hair has flair.)

These days we are constantly connected to all forms of technology from news streams to online RSS feeds, to 24/7 news broadcasts via sattelite technology and not to mention the benefits of Microsoft Office and so on.
Therefore, now, more than ever, there is a greater appreciation for IT but the gap is widening between those who use it and those who don't. If you're not an avid or even casual user, you get left behind a lot with the fancy bells and whistles that come with it. In one way, were I to say I spent the afternoon working on a PHP based form for a HTML website- well, I think I lost you at "P" if you're not technologically savvy.

And I think that, sometimes, is why more organisations don't embrace IT- they get lost with a lot of it.
Too many grifters and hustlers on the market trying to tell you that one piece of wonder software will make you more powerful than Microsoft, in half the time, and with better benefits.
But, on the optimistic side of technology, it has a very useful and advantageous quality in that it doesn't replace but augment the initial traditional processes. Software doesn't instantly make you a better organisation- it makes you do, what you do, better and faster than before by stream lining processes and taking care of all those niggling leftovers.

All in all, with a decent IT system you can't go much more wrong than you could by putting your faith in people.

That's all for now. Consider it, well, food for thought.

If you have anything you'd like to share or would like to know feel free to comment. And as always, thank you for reading!

All information presented here is © copyright Carkean Solutions Ltd., 2010 - Not to be used without our permission - The views expressed here are the views of an idividual not the corporation

Monday, 8 November 2010

Cloud Computing

This is something we briefly touched on before when talking about the repeated cost savings of Aquima, but, in truth, it deserves to be explored in its own right as it's such a great idea.

The basics
And one that has taken off with great propulsion recently.
So what is Cloud Computing? Well, it's a form of technology where you can access information and documents from anywhere and everywhere you can connect to the internet. Many sites like Facebook, Hotmail and Twitter have been using this technology for years- we just never realised.
Why would we use that over traditional systems? Well, that is a question that is met by a few more barriers. It's faster, cheaper, more efficient and easier to use in many cases- but it's not as well integrated as other services. Microsoft Office, for instance, could be replaced with a Cloud Computing solution- but people may not take to it as quickly. Learning the new interface and services is mostly what puts a large percentage of people off using it.

Best of all, it has incredibly reliability for organisations of all levels.
In traditional systems you're likely to be limited to just what you can do which sometimes leads to errors, malfunctions and a drop in productivity. With Cloud Computing you are given a solution that can handle the spikes in activity you may sometimes experience.
For instance, if you're a large electronics organisation and a film like Avatar is released on Blu Ray you may have a large spike in web visits. People wishing to buy new systems, new players etc. With Cloud Computing you don't have to worry about this "once every six months" spike when the rest of the time its quiet and slow. Better than this it comes at no extra quest to deal with this spike of activity- it's there. If you use it you use it, if you don't you don't.

Security and safety
One of the concerns about Cloud Computing is that if you have all your information online- what does that say about security? Is it secure? What backup and restore options do you have?
Well, the beauty of Cloud Computing is it's very much like a cake. It's layered, comprehensive and a great thing to have around if you use (eat) it. However, you wouldn't back up a cake (the recipe maybe) and that's where Cloud Computing has an advantage- it's very hard to lose your cake, I mean, information.
Through layers of backups you are able to keep comprehensive copies of your information that are entirely secure.

The highest levels of encryption are used to protect your precious information.

Multiple organisations
Often in the case of smaller organisations the kind of protection that is offered is comparable to that of a large organisation. And certainly outside of their budget.

This provides a great opportunity to get a world class system at a knockdown price for smaller organisations, while larger organisations will benefit from the reassurance they won't lose their information.
Two-fold this makes everyone's lives easier as Cloud Computing is the new age solution to information management in all organisations.

And that's all for now!
Thank you for reading, as always- we hope this has been insightful.

All information presented here is © copyright Carkean Solutions Ltd., 2010 - Not to be used without our permission - The views expressed here are the views of an idividual not the corporation

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Aquima: Repeated Savings

One of the more unsung features of Aquima is how through its technology and innovation it saves you money at every level. We're not just talking about the purchase cost- but all costs.

Starting from the top you have the initial purchase and implementation costs which are quite pain free. Quick, easy, incredibly priced and returning several-fold value, you've already saved quite a lot.
But wait- there's more!
You need someone to run this system, right? Someone with experience and a long history in IT? Wrong. You could run this system yourself, yes, you- a business person. A managing director, shop floor worker, stock taker etc. Just about anyone and everyone can use Aquima.
So, you've saved costs on implementation and on training- there can't be many more savings, right? Wrong again. Aquima just keeps on giving.
After you've designed your new and quite fantastic model you have to implement it...but that means costs, hassle, fuss and more. Not with Aquima! You can implement the system yourself quickly and easily and for absolutely no cost. What about when I want to change my prices? Change my model? Thanks to Aquima's revolutionary version management system you can run as many versions of the model you want, at once, with no extra cost.

As for changing your model, building a new one, making a new document or application- how much do they cost? Here's a hint: absolutely nothing.

We could continue for hours highlighting just where Aquima saves you money, how much and how much you're going to idolise that intelligent little system.
But for your sake and mine- have some easy to digest bullet points:
  • Multiple implementation and upgrade costs are a thing of the past. Create, recreate, deploy, redeploy, change versions all for no extra charge.
  • Need a little more from your BPM system? Aquima comes with a fully-fledged document and report creator saving you the money (and time) of buying a second system.
  • Worried about having to transport information from office to office? No need. Aquima is fully conversant in the neat thing we call Cloud Computing. Access information anytime, anywhere and for- you guessed it- no extra cost.
These are but a few of the many benefits in cost cutting that Aquima delivers.
There's so much to this system it's incredible- you can create, innovate and deliver to the highest levels and still have time left over to do your corporate work, too.

Thank you for reading, as always!
We hope you have enjoyed reading this as much as we love to talk about the many great things about Aquima that you could take advantage of.

All information presented here is © copyright Carkean Solutions Ltd., 2010 - Not to be used without our permission - The views expressed here are the views of an individual not the corporation

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Risky Business

If I learned anything while studying business it was that risk is an inherent part of any corporate activity. It's there. It's always there but it can sometimes be a good thing.

How can risk be a good thing?
Well, most people avoid it like the plague so doing the complete opposite will open up a lot of opportunities. However, at the same time- it could be detrimental and costly if done without thought.
Capitalising on risks takes a few things and they're not too overbearing, they just take time and thought:
  1. Analyse why others are avoiding the risk. Is there any potential benefit in it? It is a one-shot idea? If you can't feasibly create something out of it- don't take it just for taking it.
  2. What kind of market is it in? Is this an over-saturated market? High barriers to entry? Intensly competitive? Sometimes there's a sure fire's just in the most difficult place.
  3. Does it have potential? A good idea is a good opportunity but it could fall on hard times if, after the initial idea, there's nowhere to develop further and you're left with a good but dwindling profit product.
  4. What's the cost? Today, tomorrow and the next day you're going to be focused on costs- how much will this cost? How many times? Even great (and profitable) ideas can prove to be too much of a cost.
I'd say, on average, if you can get three out of four of these in the positive it's probably a great idea to run with the risk.
I know especially since the global recession people have become even more risk averse but there's a lot of potential in risks. Startup organisations are considered to be incredible risks- but some are amazing popular and profitable.
Look at Twitter, for instance.
When it was set up most people did not appreciate the depth of micro blogging and sharing snippets of information. Today it has millions of users! You really can't afford to be shy in the field of infinite potential that is business. If you can think of an idea, a product or even a service that you can market- then you should give it a go!

Better to give it a go than never know, right?

Thank you for reading and feel free to share some of your corporate risk stories! It's always good when we show each other what we've been through, so that, in the future, others can realise we can succeed even in the most bleak of times.

All information presented here is © copyright Carkean Solutions Ltd., 2010 - Not to be used without our permission - The views expressed here are the views of an individual not the corporation

Monday, 1 November 2010

e-Networking: Myths and Hearsay

The first thing you usually hear of the negative side of Facebook is that “people spam my updates with so many pointless updates.” And the same for Twitter, as the prospect of being able to send updates about where you are/what you’re doing is an exciting one.

However, in light of these changes it’s not all doom and gloom.
In fact, in recent years many of these sites have added features to stop things like this happening and to reduce the amount of spam that you get, if any, and the ability to moderate your own comments etc.

Concerning spam- it happens, you can’t really get away from that, but on these sites there has been a great deal of time reducing the amount you receive. These days there’s much less than there was- and if you feel like someone is spamming you can simply remove them. If you find someone is eating up your Twitter feed with a continual pointless/uninteresting update then you can simply ignore that by not following them anymore.
Despite what some people will tell you, the internet is not a place where spam is as common as it used to be and it’s actually quite pleasant.

Concerning the numbers game- we all experience some people, sometimes, that just want to have as many friends as possible even if they don’t physically know them but again there’s a few ways to stop this happening. Privacy controls, for one. Blocking/reporting the user in question or taking them off of your list, for another.

Concerning privacy- there’s a lot of horror stories about ID theft on the internet and there’s even more stories about how someone found out something, from a page, on the internet, they were browsing. This is why privacy controls were invented!

Most, if not all, sites have these controls now and they can practically make you invisible for all intents and purposes. For example, on Facebook you can list yourself as omitted from the search. Even if they search for you by name, school, friends, interests or anything else they know about you- they’ll never find you.
Equally, you can set all of your updates to “Friends Only” meaning only those you’ve accepted requests from, or sent to, can see your updates. Although, setting yourself as nigh on impossible to find would be a bad idea for the purposes of networking but you can set your profile information to “Friends Only”. That way, people can still search you but they can’t read your

information unless you say they can.

Above all things, be sensible! They can’t take what isn’t there and if you don’t list everything about yourself from shoe size to last dental check up- they can’t see it.
Thereby the greatest lesson is to be ever vigilant with what you share, so that you share enough that people can find you but you’re not leaking inside information with people not privileged to view it.

Thank you for reading- as always!
We hope this has been an insightful look into social media and online networking.

All information presented here is © copyright Carkean Solutions Ltd., 2010 - Not to be used without our permission - The views expressed here are the views of an individual not the corporation

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

e-Networking: Less is More

There's so many sites out there- too many to count- so where do you start? The fundamental point is to research as much as you can and try to ascertain what could work and what won’t work. You should always focus your efforts on a handful of sites over the masses and try to make a good few over an average dozen.

As we started to explain above, less is a whole lot more when it comes to e-Networking.
I’m sure we’ve all had those moments where we deliberate on buying something, opt for the cheaper, opt for the cheaper and then decide to buy the expensive- all in all costing as much as twice the amount of the expensive option.

With e-Networking while you are aiming to get a lot of valued contacts do not lose sight of the things that matter. Site maintenance, for instance, do you have enough time to effectively manage your sites if something goes awry?
Equally, have you set aside enough time for them all?
The common feeling you get from many e-Networking attempts is that they’re devoid of feeling and the human touch. Often it’s more than likely that the site is not even updated, as such, but everything is scheduled and is posted when it says it should be. So don’t do this as this often shows that the owners don’t actually care about their visitors.

One of the other important points of being on these sites is that they’re social so try not to take that out of the question; otherwise you might as well have a standard website.

At the same time it’s easier to keep track of what you’re doing with your sites if you only have a few to keep updated. Too many and you might end up spamming by accident as you don’t realise this has been posted, or copied in, and thereby you’ll lose visitors for a simple mistake.
But, best of all, if you have a few well made sites that really target the users effectively and have a lot of information- you look very professional and serious about it. Visitors will recognise your devotion and actually care, as there are so many sites (it’s impossible to even count them) that are nothing but spam-filled-link-fests.

Finally, most of what happens with e-Networking is built up through trust.
It’s hard to actually see how it works from the outset as you need to actually communicate, build up a rapport and interact with clients. Much easier to find and retain contacts if you’re only trying to keep a few hundred over a few thousand, worse still- on sites you don’t even visit regularly! Anything you can do to make your sites more accessible to your visitors (or yourself) is a good idea.

Thank you for reading, as always, and happy networking!

All information presented here is © copyright Carkean Solutions Ltd., 2010 - Not to be used without our permission - The views expressed here are the views of an individual not the corporation