Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Tough position to fill

Browsing one of the SQL sites just now when I came across someone looking for "a developer with at least eight years experience with SQL 2005".

I'm afraid that it's going to take them a while...


Sunday, June 14, 2009

How to cut costs

Few companies and industries have been left unaffected by the economic downturn of the past months. Everyone is focusing on cutting costs, but not everyone has really sat down and thought through where the big savings are to be made.

What’s your biggest cost centre? Almost certainly your employees. How do they work? More than likely they’re sitting behind a computer all day every day. How much time are they wasting?

I don’t mean “wasting” in the sense of reading the news online, I mean, how much time are they spending waiting for their computer to react, or for their applications to respond? This time might not seem significant – what’s twenty or thirty seconds a few times a day? – but what this delay also represents is a switch in concentration and a loss of focus. Get them a faster PC: 2GB of memory should be the minimum standard in your organization, and this will cost you a mighty 20 euro per workstation, or thereabouts, plus ten minutes per PC to carry out the upgrade. You’ll probably see significant improvements immediately and you’ll certainly make your employees happier.

That’s the easy fix. What else is there? Which processes do you have that are slow? Which operations are you still doing manually? How much time do you spend wrestling with spreadsheets? Sit down and figure out how many people are working like this, how often, and how long it takes them. Multiply that figure by what each worker is costing you per hour.

Now, figure out how much you’d save if those processes were 25-50% faster. When you’ve done that, consider getting in touch with 360Data. It could just be your next big cost-saving exercise in a year where every cent counts.

Contact details are here.


Saturday, June 13, 2009

Succesvolle implementatie

360Data feliciteert Rijk Zwaan Zaadteelt en Zaadhandel BV in De Lier met de succesvolle implementatie van de nieuwste versie van hun Agro Business System ERP oplossing.

Vanaf het begin is 360Data betrokken geweest bij dit project, beginnende bij het plannen voor en configureren van een geheel nieuw database server park. Vervolgens bij het upgraden van de back-end databases van SQL Server 2000 naar SQL Server 2005 en het upgraden van alle bestaande databases voor volledige Unicode compatibiliteit. Ook de beveiliging, het beheer en de interfaces met andere systemen zijn bijgewerkt om gebruik te kunnen maken van alle mogelijkheden van SQL Server 2005 en hun nieuwe applicatie.

360Data bedankt Rijk Zwaan en wenst ze veel succes met het nieuwe systeem.


Successful implementation

Congratulations are due to Rijk Zwaan Zaadteelt en Zaadhandel BV of De Lier, Zuid-Holland, with the successful implementation of the newest version of their ABS ERP software solution.

360Data has been involved with this project since the beginning, involving planning for and configuring a new database server park, upgrading the back-end databases from SQL Server 2000 to SQL Server 2005 and upgrading all databases for full Unicode compliance. Security, maintenance, interfaces with other systems and functional updates were also updated to make use of the features of SQL Server 2005 and the new application.

360Data wishes Rijk Zwaan every success with the new system.


Friday, June 12, 2009

Consumer Protection

I'm sure that Neelie Kroes and all the monopolies people at the European Commission mean well, but I can't see whose interests are served by having Microsoft ship operating systems that don't include a browser. Anyone reading this knows where to find and how to install every major browser within five minutes, and most of us run two or more browsers as a matter of course, and not because the EU think it's a good idea, either.

On the other hand, your mother buys a new PC from the local electrical superstore with Windows pre-installed and when she gets home she has no web browser. And that's probably the number one thing she wants from her new PC, unless she's spending her evenings playing WoW. Is the European Commission helping her?

I fully realise that the issues are complex, but remedies like these surely help no-one, least of all the consumer.

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Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Wave at your colleagues

...or your customers. Or your suppliers.

I've been a user of the superb Basecamp online collaboration tool from 37signals for the past couple of years, and I define a project account for each major new project to facilitate clear communications with clients. However, a presentation I saw this week has convinced me that Basecamp's days are numbered. And Lotus Notes is in trouble, too, not to mention another bunch of big and clumsy applications.

Wave is a new tool and communication metaphor from Google which was presented at the recent Google I/O developers conference. It's a sort of dynamic mix of the best features of e-mail, instant messaging, blogging and online whiteboarding, and it all runs from within a regular browser. It won't be released until later this year, but it already looks extremely promising.


Tuesday, June 2, 2009

System views

I used to have a dead-tree version of the SQL 2005 system views poster a couple of years ago, and very handy it was. I needed it just now but had to download a PDF version, because the printed one has vanished. Anyway, maybe you'll find it handy too. Perhaps you're more interested in the SQL 2008 equivalent? Got that too. Let it never be said that I don't look after you.

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