The Future of Point of Sale

Great presentation this morning from Sid and Sharise from our client Snows Home and Garden at the Cape Cod Technology Council @CapeCodTech

 

Software/App Company 101

This is great article about one of our clients about how she started her company and launched her first app, congrats MJ!

http://www.burlingtonfreepress.com/story/money/2014/07/24/vermont-mobile-phone-apps-wellness-teens/13067789/

 

WEBINAR: The Evolving Role of the CIO

Hear how Cloud technologies and Big Data are causing major changes to the CIO role.

Are Big Data and Cloud Services a threat to CIOs? In the past, CIOs have served primarily as custodians of IT infrastructure. Big Data – together with social, mobile, and Cloud (SOMOCO) computing – throws the value of legacy IT infrastructure into question and undermines the traditional authority of CIOs. For corporate CIOs, getting comfortable with IT infrastructure and services outside their four walls and raised floors, will require reaching beyond the traditional comfort zone of IT. It will require a multi-disciplinary approach including business management, math, and behavioral science with far less emphasis on traditional IT practices. And add to the mix, the mindset of a venture capitalist!

Click link to view http://www.everynetwork.com/thought-leadership/overview?upcoming_webinars=true

Takeaway: 
Understanding and preparing for the new roles and responsibilities of tomorrow’s CIO.

Turning talk into action – What we will cover: 
The IT role through a different lens
How Cloud technologies are shifting decision-making and how CIOs can add value
Big Data: who will be responsible for harnessing its potential?
The CIOs department as a profit center

Who should watch? 
CIOs, CTOs, IT managers, CFOs and business managers responsible for their organization’s technology.

Speaker – Peter Karlson
Peter is the President/CEO of NeuEon Inc. Peter is a serial entrepreneur with experience in bootstrapping, strategic investments and angel financing. NeuEon specializes in providing strategic guidance and advice to entrepreneurs and established organizations looking to create and use technology more effectively.  As a former chief technology officer for two Massachusetts based technology services firms, Peter has gained diverse industry expertise in healthcare, non-profit, manufacturing, pharmaceuticals and publishing.  He has been involved with developing Internet technologies since 1991 with the creation of the first Internet browser, the InterNavigator™

Webinar presented in conjunction with EveryNetwork Inc.

LearnLaunchX Second Cohort Launches

We would like to congratulate all the companies in the second cohort of LearnLaunchX, the premier ed tech accelerator.   We had the privilege to work with LLX and the cohort over the past three months.

The demo day was a great success last night, Boston Business Journal did a great write-up on the event.

LLX Demo Day

 

Healthcare data, cost transparency, and @TeamFloriDUH

Last month, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services released a data set describing Medicare payments to healthcare providers and other organizations in fiscal 2012. While shockingly detailed in some ways – it includes the name and address of every doctor who billed Medicare for at least 10 unique patients – it also proved to be frustratingly incomplete and misleading, even for those of us who more-or-less know what all the numbers and codes mean. While we welcome any data that will help people understand how our healthcare system works, we found it difficult to see how this data could be used to help patients “get the best value for their healthcare dollar,” as the press release announcing the dataset asserted.

Concurrent with the release of the data, and receiving much less notice, the Health Data Consortium announced it would base its Code-a-Palooza contest associated with the upcoming Health Datapalooza conference on the new dataset. Last week, HDC announced the finalists. While most of the list could be considered the “usual suspects,” one stands out: Team FloriDUH, three individuals with a love of healthcare IT and a scrappy attitude. While the application is still under wraps, they’ve announced the formation of a 501c3 foundation and, today, a crowdfunding initiative through Medstartr. They aim to use the funds they raise to “Fill the Void” of healthcare data by marrying CMS payment data to other data sets, and publishing that data on the Internet, along with an API that will allow other people to build on their work.

This is the kind of activity that gets us excited. Data transparency will not cure all of healthcare’s woes, but it will go a long way toward helping all of us figure out what we need to change about the current system, and how we should go about changing it. We hope you’ll join us in supporting Team FloriDUH.

Lessons from a Launch

One of our clients recently asked us to lead a review of an application launch that went less well than everyone involved would have liked. Re-living the experience through post-mortem dissection isn’t my idea of a good time, but such exercises are critical for figuring out how to avoid repeating mistakes. After spending several hours with the team, we came up with  three themes that cover the main issues:

Understand the whole environment. In this case, the team was hired to re-vamp an e-commerce site based on an older version of Magento. They did a bang-up job with the main project, but made some changes that interrupted order processing flow after the site went live. This caused a couple of days of tail-chasing to get the warehouse and financial systems integration back online. Surprisingly, no one on the outsourced team thought to ask about integration, and no one from the customer thought to tell the team about it. We live in a connected age, and systems hardly, if ever, operate in isolation. In any development project, the delivery team must take time to understand where the system fits into the larger picture, and figure out how planned changes might affect those integrations.

Test your assumptions. On launch, the application experienced serious performance issues and functional failures that sent the team scrambling for fixes. This occurred despite the fact that the application had undergone extensive acceptance testing in a staging environment prior to launch. Post-launch discussions revealed that the staging environment, which was a pre-existing environment from previous development efforts, differed from the production environment in a few significant ways. Those differences made it impossible to catch the fatal issues during testing. The outsourced team took the staging environment at face value, and didn’t question whether or not it reflected the production environment.

Think of the (customer’s) customers. The outsourced team’s go-live approach involved taking the old application offline for a period of time while the new application was deployed. The team anticipated that the site would be offline for no more than an hour, and scheduled the downtime for business hours, for the convenience of the team. Of course, Murphy’s law prevailed, and the tasks expected to take less than an hour ended up taking most of the day. This cost the direct customer thousands of dollars of lost revenue and, no doubt, annoyed the consumers who wanted to use the site. This situation probably could have been avoided entirely through the application of some technical know-how and a few hundred dollars in additional hosting fees for new virtual servers to run the new site temporarily alongside the old site, a deal the customer would have made gladly if the outsourced team had presented the option.

These lessons seem obvious in retrospect, but isn’t that always the case? Fortunately, this team has taken the experience seriously, engaged in frank and open discussion of what went wrong, and has changed the environment and their techniques to avoid making the same mistakes again. The customer, to their credit, has given the team another bite at the apple in the form of a follow-on project. I expect this one will have a much more positive outcome.

 

2014 Berkshire Executive Technology Briefing

1Berkshire Building

NeuEon is proud to sponsor the 2014 Berkshire Executive Technology Briefing.  The technology landscape for small and medium business is changing rapidly.  Join your fellow business leaders in this intimate briefing session to address the need for alignment of your business and technology goals that will not only impact your business today and into the future, but the economics of what and how you spend on technology.  The wide array of topics will include build vs. buy, cloud computing, infrastructure as a service (IaaS), software as a service (SaaS).  In addition, we will address the evolution of business solutions such as customer relationship management (CRM), voice over Internet protocol (VOIP) and others.  Experts from the technology advisory firm NeuEon will outline:

  • The Present: Proven technologies that are ready to go right now
  • The Future: Technologies to plan for in 2014
  • Emerging: New technologies to plan for in the coming years

NeuEon will be on hand afterwards answering your specific questions and providing advice for your situation.

When: Thursday, May 1st, 2014 - 8:00-9:30am
Location:
1Berkshire Office
66 Allen St.
Pittsfield, MA 01201

Space is limited, RSVP by emailing events@neueon.com

If you’re not awesome, Amazon can teach you how to be!

Amazon web services is coming to Boston for a one day free education session.   This is based on their AWS essentials class and is a must for anyone trying to deploy their apps on AWS for the first time.

http://aws.amazon.com/events/awsome-day/boston-01

Amazon will teach you how to be more awesome!

Amazon will teach you how to be more awesome!

Obama’s Trauma Team: Inside the Nightmare Launch of HealthCare.Gov – TIME

This article in Time magazine does a good job of dissecting the events that led to the failure and restart of the Affordable Care Act website. There are several themes in here that all businesses should take heed of including being willing to understand the details of a large project, having a clear set of responsible parties and individuals, having the right mix of skills and experience, and of course making sure communication is always open, honest and accurate.

Some good development techniques are discussed and some not so good ones. This was in the end a “heroic” programming effort and heroism in commercial software development is frowned upon as the last gasp of a broken process. So learn from their mistakes where you can and hopefully you won’t have to read about your project being saved in Time magazine.

There is much to be gleaned from this article so I hope you get a chance to read it.

Obama’s Trauma TeamHow an unlikely group of high-tech wizards revived Obama’s troubled HealthCare.gov website

via Obama’s Trauma Team: Inside the Nightmare Launch of HealthCare.Gov – TIME.

 

Git turns 2(.0)

Yesterday brought news of the availability of Git 2.0.0. Despite the major version update, the changes are incremental. Git push now uses the “simple” behavior as its default, which removes a gotcha and better adheres to the principle of least astonishment. However, the changes to git add may catch a few people off guard.

If you’re already using git, there’s probably no compelling reason to run out and upgrade. If you’re not using git, this is an excellent opportunity to plan a migration. Git is now a de facto standard for open- and closed-source development; I’ll venture to say that it’s the most widely-adopted version-control system in the history of software. It’s supported by a wide variety of IDEs on all major operating systems. Even Microsoft has seen the light, and the git support in Visual Studio 2013 is quite decent. So no matter what your platform, there’s really no reason not to adopt git.

If your team is accustomed to a centralized version-control system, git will feel strange at first. But with a little coaching and some time to get comfortable, they’ll quickly see the value in git’s distributed model. We’ve helped more than one team make the leap from subversion, CVS and TFS, so if you’d like some help with getting your team converted, don’t hesitate to get in touch.