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
  • Ping.fm
  • 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 but...you 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 idea...it'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