I had eagerly awaited the day. And when I came to know that what I sought was available, I looked forward to the evening to go and grab a copy. I cannot recall such anticipation since I was a kid. I knew that it was only a minor improvement, but I was looking forward to it all the same. The desire to get my hands on it, and make a change to my laptop was irresistible.
As the evening rolled by, and I drove the required distance and rushed to get my copy of Snow Leopard. I am now updated, and am using the most advanced OS.
Apart from the speed enhancements, I am yet to discover the other attributes the upgrade has added. I am to try out the ease of adding an Exchange mail account to Mail. That is in my schedule of must tries, especially after the Search feature in Entourage failed.
I have been noticing a few issues and hiccups to my regular applications after the installation. Entourage search being one time saving and critical feature that I have lost. Some of my HP printers, that allowed “two side” printing no longer permits it. There were a lot of drivers uploaded as part of the installation and update, but none helped. Neither did a visit to the site, which did not have drivers for Snow Leopard.
Some applications needed patches to be downloaded. But once downloaded worked fine. While some still do not have a version that runs on Snow Leopard. I am waiting those to have updates soon, so I can explore the full potential of the upgrade. Until then it is matter of wallowing in the snow and enjoying the leopard without getting snowed under.
A year back I had commented on the genius of Ross Brawn, when he executed a tyre strategy during raining conditions in Silverstone to help Barichello achieve more than was expected in the British Grand Prix. Yesterday, at Monza the Brawn GP cars on single stop strategy outclassed the rest of the field, despite not being fastest, nor qualifying higher up.
But what does this have to do with IT?
Nearly everything. Apart from the use of technology in taking decisions guided by inputs received through technologically proficient systems, implementation of strategy in a successful manner is important. When depending on IT solutions, it is important to review/ assess solutions based on requirements. Very rarely do we find ready to use solutions. Most solutions, in a corporate environment (and increasingly in personal, as well) require tweaking to suit requirements.
While there are inherent problems in modifying an established solution to suit requirements, the end user should not shy away from that option. It is best to evaluate all options and decide on a solution that would cover all, or most, needs. One can expect to be faced with trade-off options, and should be willing to evaluate all of those before making a final decision. But when evaluated right and with no bias, the solution option that can be adapted is likely to have higher chances of success.
Customised solutions have their own set of problems, but are most likely to meet requirement demands. These can be configured in any way the user, with the sole purpose of meeting results. The best way forward for IT solutions is to decide on a strategy and stick by it. Evaluation and analysis of the strategy would need periodic review but unless something goes terribly wrong it might be better to run the process through it’s paces, to understand who the strategy fared.
Such an approach could appear risky, where costs are the driving factor and risk is high. To manage such projects, short term strategies with smaller task/ project components can be considered. Review of these small packets would allow for modified strategies, with risk mitigation options early on. Such an approach would require higher monitoring and more review hours.
Weighing off the risk against delivery timeline, availability of resources (human and otherwise), and cost, should be part of the initial strategy and should be used as a guiding rule for the IT Project. Finally, clear milestones with expected returns/ outcomes should be decided early on to be used as flags or checks that would be used to evaluate progress and would signal the need for revising strategy.
If all goes well, and the strategy pays for itself, all that would be needed is the time for monitoring, and the pleasure of reaping the benefits – like it was with Brawn GP at Monza.
Abu Dhabi, UAE: Jotun Paints reported that a SMS based loyalty program implemented with SMSXprez.com ( www.smsxprez.com) has driven sales double to that of retail market growth, in over 10 countries in the MENA region in the last six months. Speaking at “Customer Meet 2007 ” , an event organized for customers of Ontrack Systems (UAE) Limited , Mr. Ashish Vasudev, Trade Manager, Jotun Paints, MENA Region said ” It was team work between our marketing team, our advertising agency and the IT vendor which made this program very successful. We had evaluated number of plans to reach out to painters and other end users who typically are our dealer’s customers and we decided to use SMSXprez as the platform for running a SMS based loyalty program. The program helped us achieve a remarkable increase in sales as well as establish customer loyalty in a big way. We have implemented this software in 10 countries in Middle East and India and I am delighted with the experience. We now have the complete demographics of our users and have been able to create a community of our end users and interact with them. Based on popular demand from our network, we are starting another campaign called Fortune Points which will be announced shortly ”
Speaking on the UAE recruitment market Mr. Oneal Hector D’Cunha , General Manager of First Select UAE said ” The Oil & Gas sector continues to be the dominating sector in the GCC job market followed by construction industry. However inflation and booming salaries in South Asia are posing a serious problem for recruiters and companies. Salaries have been reviewed by several clients of ours, but we are still finding it tough to get the right profiles for our clients”. Commenting on their experience in working with Ontrack , Mr. D’Cunha said ” Ontrack is a very reliable partner for us. We have been able to work very well with them and our web based application for recruitment management which was developed by Ontrack , now has over 200,000 active profiles is growing on a day to day basis and the software has been a great help in our business operations.”
Mr. Ayman B Tamim, Asst Regional Manager of Al Masaood Oil industry Supplies & Service Company. While talking about his experience said “ESS, the system that is developed specially for equipment hire to the Oil & Gas sector has been appreciated by Oil Companies who are our major clients. We have now received requests to productize OSS for distribution of the software to other vendors of the Oil companies and we are very glad to partner with Ontrack for the ongoing development and support of this application”.
Customer Meet 2007 brought customers of Ontrack in UAE in one forum together for a networking session. Several customers spoke about their experience in working in partnership with Ontrack and how it has brought business benefits to their organization.
In a survey conducted by Ontrack at the meet 70 % of respondents believed that e-governance initiatives in the UAE have really benefited the common man. Also 70 % of respondents have already implemented mobile / SMS based software applications linked to their main software systems. Only 30 % of respondents have implemented ERP ( Enterprise Resource Planning ) software like SAP, ORACLE in their business and the balance 70% are using custom made software systems which need replacement. 50 % respondents felt information security was a very critical business issue for them today while the balance 50% do not think it is a very critical issue in their business today. 90 % of respondents stated that ecommerce and internet based transactions are an inherent part of their current and future business.
Speaking on this event Shaik Hamdan , Vice President of Ontrack Systems (UAE) limited said ” This event was an excellent forum for us and our clients to interact and exchange ideas and business opportunities. All our customers who turned up enjoyed the interaction and networking and we will organize this event every year from now on”.