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The Voice of the Customer (VOC) and Why it Goes Beyond Lean Six Sigma

Customers “pay the bills,” so it’s important to understand their needs. Customers behavior as key input to strategy and process design. Value driver “levers” are pulled by an external customer. They define the “playing field”. Serve as referee for all competitors. Define “value-added” activity or service. They are always right, even if we cannot meet their needs, or do so profitably.

Who are the customers? Any person or organization that receives a product or service (Output) from the work activities. Those whose needs must be met for a process to be successful? They are…

Voice of the Customer
Tuesday, October 3rd 2023
Unlock your website's full potential with our expert SiteFinity development services, ensuring seamless functionality and user-friendly content management.

Before Progress bought Sitefinity I met with the lead developer and we had a conversation about the CMS architecture. What a surprise it was to learn that focus was on low code but a ton of interfaces are available allowing organizations to customize the CMS to specific needs. I mean down to the level of form controls there are abstractions allowing for custom inputs and labels.

Let’s look at some key points.


The run rate of…

Special Offer
Thursday, September 28th 2023
Who does Starlink serve? Can your organization benefit?

Starlink is a satellite internet constellation project developed by SpaceX, the private aerospace company founded by Elon Musk. The goal of Starlink is to provide global internet coverage by deploying thousands of small satellites in low Earth orbit (LEO). Can your organization benefit?

The project's ambition is to offer internet access to virtually every corner of the globe, including remote and rural regions where traditional infrastructure is challenging to deploy. This is potentially a paradigm shift in HR sourcing. Skilled workers are scarce and even more difficult to find in…

Application Rationalization
Thursday, September 21st 2023
The Dark Side of Crypto: Unmasking the Risks and Realities of Using Cryptocurrency as Payment

Over 80% of the failed Silicone Valley Bank depositors are involved in crypto startups. When fear set in, SVB depositors lined up to get US dollars out. The main reason being is that wealth from dollar purchases of crypto coins was stored at Silicone Valley Bank in US dollars. The message was clear. Even leaders in the crypto space are saying the dollar is wealth and crypto is whatever you want it to be. Yes, SVB ran out of cash. Cash that purchases crypto and finances the company. If crypto had value nobody would have cared much about SVB failing. Further more, during the SVB crash, there…

Crypto Payment
Monday, September 4th 2023
Disaster Recovery easy peasy method. Stay ahead of the game like Novak Djokovic.

Preparing for eventual misfortune is as a burden at times. Staff are at capacity. Committing weekend time to an unlikely event is aggravating. Burden is accentuated by a final report showing critical operations  fully restored. What employee wants to hear that? After a nuclear bomb they want to go home. Focus on "Identify" so everybody has a sense of value.

Identifying Critical Systems 
It is a straight forward excercise. Although every department will claim they can not operate without Outlook, first ask if the department is critical to the…

Disaster Recovery
Tuesday, August 29th 2023
Supporting Remote Workers Quickly Is The New Norm. Citrix or VPN?

Here's a cost benefits comparison between using a Virtual Private Network (VPN) and Citrix for supporting remote workers:

Virtual Private Network (VPN):


Security: VPNs provide encrypted connections, ensuring secure data transmission over the internet. This is crucial for protecting sensitive company information and preventing unauthorized access.

Familiarity: VPNs are a well-established technology and are often already implemented within organizations. Employees may be more comfortable using VPNs since they are…

Remote Work
Tuesday, August 22nd 2023
Software Runtime Budget – Ask The People Who Make It How Much It Will Cost To Maintain It.

Executive management has approved the development of a chatbot for your help desk team. You schedule meetings to gather requirements and plan resources and cost. The green light is given and the kick-off meeting generates much excitement. Four weeks later final testing is done and stakeholders have signed off. Go-live is around the corner! The development lead reaches out to you and asks for a session with the application owner so they can hand off knowledge to the team that will maintain the application. “Aren’t you guys maintaining the application?”, you ask yourself in silence. You…

Software Budget
Wednesday, August 16th 2023
The GDPR Right to Data Portability Act is being enforced. Bring awareness to your enterprise employees.

The Right to Data Portability is part of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is an Act stipulate by the European Union in 2018. The Act targets unfair marketing practices executed by holding personal user information in silos to the end effect of imprisoning users to a specific OSP (Online Service Provider). Big OSPs such as Google, Facebook and Microsoft hold the majority of personal information and only share it among themselves. In the case of Facebook and Google honor among thieves does not apply since Facebook does not give Google access to its Contacts API. So even among…

Data Protability
Tuesday, August 1st 2023
ESG Accountability. Why you will need a digital marketing professional soon.

As the importance of Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) factors grows, so does the need for effective governance frameworks to guide and oversee ESG-related practices. ESG governance plays a pivotal role in ensuring that companies, investors, and other stakeholders incorporate sustainability and social responsibility into their decision-making processes. In this article, we explore how ESG is governed and how managing ESG profiles will be the next big thing.

International trade could not function without insurance coverage.  Most private individuals with mortgages are…

Wednesday, July 26th 2023
Assessing CodeBeamer

As software development becomes increasingly complex and challenging, organizations require a reliable and efficient tool to manage their projects, collaborate with teams, and track progress seamlessly. CodeBeamer, developed by Intland Software, has emerged as a popular solution, encompassing a vast range of features designed to streamline the software development lifecycle. In this article, we will thoroughly assess CodeBeamer and evaluate its key capabilities.

User-Friendly Interface:
One distinguishing feature of CodeBeamer is its intuitive and user-friendly…

Application Life Cycle Management
Monday, July 24th 2023
Microsoft Access End of Life. Time is Running Out

The go to application framework for many small businesses is approaching a juncture. The last release of Microsoft Access will continue to be supported by Microsoft until Oct 13, 2026. If your organization has a version older than 2021 it already is out of support. The risk is that as long as Access is running on a physical desktop and not supported it is subject to breaking because of an OS update. This makes owning Access a risk worthy of future state discussions. What does a…

Runtime Crash
Thursday, July 13th 2023
You Just Learned Half of Your Application Portfolio is Underperforming. Sucks to be You.

IT Departments are custodians of an organization's application portfolio. As the business changes so does application business fit. The alignment between applications and business needs needs be gauged regularly.

Who doesn't recall having MS Office installed on their PC desktop? Very useful application deployed on many PCs across the planet. How useful was MS Office Desktop during the pandemic? Not so much. The example illustrates the need to conduct regular application rationalization efforts before circumstances dictate it. Why does it take unpredictable circumstances to make us…

Tuesday, July 4th 2023
If code is generally readable, can everybody code?

Common are discussions around writing code these days. General interest in coding and the process of delivering code is not only limited to IT professionals. Business managers are a high percentage of coder camp students. Managers are looking to understand the coding process better and how to introduce efficiencies to it.

Much modern code is logical and managed by their environment. Some code is functional and requires understanding of the business needs being addresses. Some code is scripted and calls for an understanding of the underlying environment running it. However, most code…

Wednesday, June 28th 2023
Chrome is about to disrupt online advertising

Privacy concerns and new laws are changing the online advertising industry. Much advertising cash is at stake and Google has tech'd up. Google is moving forward with its new interest-based advertising platform, Privacy Sandbox. As such Ad-Tech architecture is going to change.

The new advertising platform contains three fundamental components all of which have API driven architectures. The concept of "Topics" or areas of interest is introduced. Topics are interests generated by the browser using AI technology based on the user's online activity…

Online Advertising
Thursday, June 22nd 2023
Data Pipes Are Not Contraband

Data Pipes are queues of information with specific business purposes. That information is moved in and out of Data Pipes by message brokers. An example of such a message broker is Azure Service Bus.

From a high level view, Data Pipe architecture integrates systems without requiring them to know much about one another. Typically large corporations deploy them to move a large amount of data across systems and drive ingestion processes used for analytics and reporting.

Data Pipes
Monday, June 12th 2023
No Such Thing as a Cloud Solution

There are several cloud architecture types. Each architecture type has its unique benefits and drawbacks. The public cloud offers scalability and agility, private cloud solutions offer security, and the hybrid cloud combines the best of both worlds. Organizations must assess their needs to determine which architecture best suits their specific requirements.

Netflix began its rise to the top on a monolithic architecture.  In 2008 Netflix experienced an outage that impacted over 8 million customers. The hit to revenue and reputation set the company in a different direction. The…

Cloud Journey
Tuesday, June 6th 2023
Personal Productivity Piracy - Social Media

Lost CommsRecall the last time you stood near your mother and told her you love her. Was there ever any doubt that she got the message? Regardless of her reaction, she understood the sentiment conveyed in words, gestures, and posture.

Now recall the last time you sent your mother an IM in which you wrote you love her. What sort of sentiment…

Tuesday, May 30th 2023
QuickBooks Online Integration for $1 per Month

Small and mid-sized businesses are growing at an ever-increasing rate in the global economy. This growth is often attributed to the access that small and mid-sized businesses now have to powerful and effective tools and services, such as QuickBooks Online. QuickBooks Online is an accounting software system that has been designed specifically for small and mid-sized businesses. It helps them to keep track of their finances quickly and accurately, and it is becoming increasingly popular among business owners and entrepreneurs alike.


Monday, May 22nd 2023
How Low Can No-Code Go

Low-code and no-code solutions are becoming popular to business as they seek to simplify their development processes and reduce costs. Low-code and no-code solutions offer businesses the ability to quickly develop and deploy applications without the need for a team of developers or a lengthy process. These platforms can reduce costs in time and materials as well as licensing and infrastructure. Low-code and no-code platforms can make integrating other systems easier.

From a business perspective low-code and no-code solutions can lower IT costs, supporting operations…

Low-Code No-Code
Monday, May 15th 2023
FedNow Has Arrived

 FedNow will have a major impact on IT departments, as it will create the demand for more specialized hardware and software to enable faster payments. Additionally, IT departments will need to ensure that their internal systems are compatible with the new system and make sure that data is properly secured. Human: Write an article on hoe FedNow will impact IT departments AI: The introduction of FedNow, a new interbank payment service from the Federal Reserve Bank, represents a major shift in the world of payments…

Sunday, May 7th 2023
Microsoft Access End of Life. What to do?

When it comes to database management, Microsoft Access has had a long and influential reign. Launched in 1992, it offered an accessible and user-friendly solution for small-scale data organization and manipulation. However, in today's rapidly evolving technological landscape, where efficiency, scalability, and security are paramount, it is high time that Microsoft Access is retired and replaced with more modern and versatile alternatives.

Limited Scalability and Performance

One of the major drawbacks of MS Access is its inherent limitations in terms of…

Wednesday, April 26th 2023

I recently had the opportunity to use Wrike project management software and I must say that I was impressed. The software is incredibly user-friendly and intuitive, making it easy to get up and running quickly. The interface is well-designed and organized, allowing me to quickly find what I need and get to work.

The features are comprehensive and powerful, allowing me to easily manage projects, assign tasks, track progress, and collaborate with my team. I especially appreciate the ability to integrate with other popular tools, such as Google Drive and Dropbox, which makes it easy…

Saturday, February 25th 2023
ChatGPT3 Coder

Gogi: write code in c# that integrates with dropbox

using Dropbox.Api;
using System.IO;

public async Task UploadFileToDropbox(string file, string path) 
    using (var dbx = new DropboxClient("<accessToken>")) 
        using (var mem = new MemoryStream(File.ReadAllBytes(file))) 
            var updated = await dbx.Files.UploadAsync(
                body: mem);

Saturday, February 18th 2023
Tech Helping Business Grow

AI: Artificial Intelligence helps businesses to make intelligent decisions and implement automated solutions to effectively reduce the time taken to perform tasks, while saving on costs. Examples of AI technology include machine learning, natural language processing (NLP), and robotic automation.

IoT: Internet of Things (IoT) technology enables businesses to collect real-time data from interconnected devices, allowing them to automate systems and gain actionable insights. These insights can help businesses optimize their processes, reduce costs, and increase customer engagement.…

Sunday, February 12th 2023
Plex Sytems ERP

Our manufacturing expert had the opportunity to take a look at a deployment of the Plex Manufacturing System. Like many enterprise solutions they do many things. But only a couple are done well. We found that the Business Management Modules were of medium effort to deploy and worked to expectations. The modules related to manufacturing seem adequate. They do require more customization and the help of an outside consultant. In particular, the Inventor Management module does have off the shelf integration components to keep track of consumed items. However, the hardware offered does put the…

Sunday, March 8th 2020
What Happened to the Visual Studio License?

Years ago developing on the MS plaform was  an exclusive activity. First you needed a version of Visual Studio to write code and compile it. That alone ran about 2500 per year. At the time MS had a licesning agreement that gave them rights to all code compiled using VS. It was and elitist club indeed. So what happened? Like capitalism tends to do, people were driven to innovation to free themselves from code tyranny. Hence Mono arrived on the scene. Mono is a compiler that works with MS languages thus removing some of the licensing shackles. Mono is well adapted and deployed across the…

Sunday, March 8th 2020
The End For Bitcoin Draws Near (SegWit2x)

The Blockchain algorithm is running without issue on nodes across the globe for nearly two decades. Like all things technology, the time comes for an upgrade. That time has arrived for the Blockchain. SegWit2X is an upgrade to the Blockchain set to deploy on the Aug 1, 2017. The upgrade will double the size of the block and increase the Bitcoin network performance which is very much in need now and more so in the future. So, what is the problem? Just click the upgrade package and wait for it to install. There is fear that some crypto current platforms will not support the new blocks.…

Sunday, March 8th 2020
Working with Sitefinity MVC Widgets (Pure, Hybrid or Classic)

We are currently building custom MVC widgets for a client, and noticed a couple of things. First is that the development environment with Sitefinity Thunder is not the best. The provided Visual Studio project is part of the site installation. Since this client pushes content changes from their development installation, we would have to work from the same site. Work would be checked from the physical site and not in a development environment.  This slowed us down a great deal. What we did is to create a standard MVC project in Visual Studio and use pre and post build scripts to package…

Sunday, March 8th 2020
Blockchain - The Average Joe Explanation

This blog will be the beginning of a series to frame the inner workings of Blockchains and how they are evolving in modern society.

Let us begin with this question, “What is a Blockchain”.  A Blockchain is a continuous record of individual transactions or “Blocks”. We might look at a Block as a receipt. When you make a purchase at a store, you are given a receipt for that purchase. When you think about it, that receipt is a record of two things. First it records how much money escaped your pocket. Next, it is proof of how much money was placed into a stores cash register.  It…

Sunday, March 8th 2020
Progress - Sitefinity CMS Development

When Progress bought Telerik and as Sitefinity consultants, we were concerned that the commitment to MVC might be lost. The .ASP life cycle has served its purpose for many years; however, modern client side complexities are better tackled with architecture capable of offering flexible client side packages and proven server side frameworks to handle the business needs.

Over the years we have made a number of custom Modules for Sitefinity.  The unusual ability for Sitefinity to allow custom development while giving content administrators creative control has made working with it…

Sunday, March 8th 2020
SiteFinity Developers/Architects – (Module or Control)

Sitefinity offers many ways for developers to add custom features. Often we find ourselves asking, “What would work best”? Create custom controls or a custom module. From our experience working with the CMS on various client projects, the answer resolves to the question, “Native logic and custom controls or custom logic and native controls”?   With a module there will be an entire configuration section that gets built for users to set global configuration. This may be a necessity, for example, when integrating Sitefinity to other applications such as SalesForce. Also, a Module’s native…

Sunday, March 8th 2020
Survey Says - Food Trucks

We did a survey of food truck operators while researching features for an on-line web application which will serve that industry. We found some interesting things.

We asked if they needed an application to let their customers know where they are. All responded in the negative. The next question was if their customers needed an online menu. All responded in the negative. Intuitively, one would think these two questions are the two most important to that industry. They are not as you will see.

The next question was if their customers would like to place and order…

Sunday, March 8th 2020
Twitter Has Lost Its Twang

The rapid growth of social media has been amazing no question. If you recall MySpace when it was an IPO, the model for raising a social media network was established with some concrete definition. First Hollywood was called upon to show the public how they regularly stay in touch with each other. The younger generation jumped on board quickly and blew up the number of users. Shortly after those younger users, came the small businesses looking to attract customers. Then after business adopted social media, came the politicians. Even with that many people MySpace still struggled to cash in…

Sunday, March 8th 2020
H1B Changes for IT

With the current administration’s intent to revamp the H1B program, this is a good time to have a look at what is in play.
The IT industry claims a need for H1B workers due to labor shortages. However, other views see the industry simply abusing opportunities for cheap labor at the expense of domestic works. This issue has been around for a while and not of much interest in the scope of this blog, so we will leave it alone.

What are of interest are the influences affecting the US IT industry for the longer term. Domestically we have an administration driving an “…

Sunday, March 8th 2020
Are Your Apps "Appy" Enough?

How much native code is required for the app stores? “As much as you can get”.

A client recently asked us to make an existing app more “appy”. That is the word they used. Strangely though, the app was already deployed to Google Play and iTunes. It was based on a cross platform framework and they were having difficulty getting changes published because of insufficient native code. So there seems to be the case that there can be just too much framework and not enough “appyness”. Hmm, what should a growing business which connects with its customers through an app do? Make it more…

Sunday, March 8th 2020
Cheap SalesForce and Sitefinity Integration

Antyhing SalesForce related is not cheap. Not consider integrating your CMS with SalesForce and the letter "c" drops right out of the alphabet. There is exponential effort in getting a sales lead started as there is maintaining the contact. Why not let customers interested in your services or products start their own contant information. This Sitefinity module is just the thing. It lets you convert the standard Sitefinity forms builder into a self help SalesForce kiosk that allows customers to create their own contact information. It really is worth the money.

Sunday, March 8th 2020
ProcessWire CMS

If I had to pick right now which CMS is best, the answer would come from two questions. The first is, “Is it Windows based or LAMP?” The next question is, “how capable is the person/s managing the content?” There are not many Windows based CMS’s available in the market. Partially, because Sharepoint fills the need and smaller businesses mostly run on LAMP environments at a 30% discount from a Windows platform. However, PHP applications can run on IIS and so most of the emphasis moves to the second question.

How capable is the person/s managing the content? OK, sure Joomla,…

Sunday, March 8th 2020
SalesForce REST Integration – Objects and JSON

I really like the way SalesForce setup its REST API. The intuitive nature makes it simple and unnecessarily complex. Two main principles are involved. The first is the URL path to the SalesForce object. Next is the JSON serialization of that object posted to the URL. That’s it. SalesForce knows if it is an update insert, delete, or anything else. The reverse is true also. GET from the URL path to the object and de-serialize from the JSON string. Of course NOQL queries can be uses as well with the same technique. CRUD interfaces for the standard objects can be built in less than an hour on…

Sunday, March 8th 2020
SiteFinity - Me Likes

Joomla, DNN and other content management systems, once the high hopes of user experience and company information dispensing, are now just past memories. What they lacked was that ability to present information in a very specific way that only worked for that particular organization. They failed because many were designed as modular components. Yes they quickly changed content and gave more control over the content presentation but still confined the user to a pre-programmed experience.

Then came the SiteFinity CMS. Not long ago, we did a SalesForce integration project with it…

Sunday, March 8th 2020
Immutability InAction - How To Recognized It

Object reference is a common topic in software development. I don’t recall ever reading how to recognize it in an actual application outside of the code. So, this is good to add as part of my "Live and Learn" articles. We wrote a custom application for a manufacturer. That application had objects representing factory parts used to assemble widgets. Hand scanners were used to associate specific control numbers to each part and once the part objects got all of their properties populate they were sent off to another part of the application for migration into the Account and QA applications.…

Sunday, March 8th 2020
User Acceptance Testing - Do Nots

Do not let anyone change functionality during testing. This should be the later stage of preparations for going live and the business logic hopefully is determined by this time if all has gone well.

One of our projects generated over 70 test cases that the client had only one resource for. That resource happened to be a manager. During testing the manager noticed bugs of course, but also insisted on adding and changing features. I explained to them that doing so may invalidate previous test cases that will have to be re-checked. The manager agreed, and so feature changes were…

Sunday, March 8th 2020
SQL Service Broker Focus Case

A client bought a third party application that needed to share data with two others. Our task was to create an integration layer for the applications to move data back and forth with reliability. All of the others used integration tables as endpoints. This means they consumed data from special tables and perform internal adjustments as needed before finally committing the data to production. The thing to understand is that the data entered is not necessarily that committed to production. Polling the database would work most of the time, however this approached also…

Sunday, March 8th 2020
Traffic Conversions From 10000 to 3

We launched and new app a few weeks ago. Now the tedious task of marketing and driving traffic is undergoing. Some of the metrics are surprising so far. Social media currently accounts for about 31% of all web traffic referrers as Shareaholics sees it. This is a huge amount of traffic coming from Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and etc. So far we are seeing about 3 referrers from about 10K+ viewers. Only a few years ago we would have expected at least 1% of the viewers come over to our site. Is Guerrilla marketing…

Sunday, March 8th 2020
Mysticism in Web Design

The divine ratio (1.618). Although the number itself has minimal meaning in web design, The construction of magic rectangles with divine ratios is a strong web design approach. Creating magic rectangles using Fibonacci sequences creates a visible framework to work in. It also mirrors what we naturally see in the world around us and naturally attracts the eyes to the web site message.

How to do this? Draw two 1x1 squares next to each other. Next draw one 2x2 square adjacent to the previous squares. Now do a 3x3 square next to the previous. Finally do a 5x5 square next to the…

Sunday, March 8th 2020
Is Microsoft Going Open Source?

The new Visual Studio 2015 has built-in GIT integration as well as Python support. The previous version included Bootstrap and other Open Source libraries. More so, the new VS supports mobile development across platforms. Is Microsoft going Open Source? Hardly! It's all about attracting developers. Microsoft was great at attracting developers to their platform, who in turn promoted their solutions. Back in the day, MS claimed partial ownership of software just because it was created on their platform. So the two worked together to the greater benefit of MS.

Things have changed…

Sunday, March 8th 2020
Requirements? Who Needs Them?

Requirements Assessment. Often the first process of many development cycles. The first of a linear sequence of processes within a cycle. Does it really need to be a linear sequential process? It does not! A current project was framed under a typical agile development cycle. However, when it came time to test, stake holders struggled to work with features without the entire production application as a reference. This generated a lot of additional code to proxy missing features and pushed the project past budget and delivery dates. I think part of the problem was the stake holders were not…

Sunday, March 8th 2020