Are Your Employees Among the 160 Million Users Stuck on XP?

With 40% of computers still running Windows XP on a global scale, companies need a reliable resource to step in, manually uninstall, install, and deploy enterprise-wide updates in multiple locations around world. Do you have adequate resources? What global services are available outside your company? How much time will it take to complete? How do you best coordinate such massive changes globally?   Good questions that business decision makers everywhere are asking, looking for a cost effective, streamlined way to accomplish this major transition of migrating from XP.   April 8, 2014 — the deadline has come and gone. Microsoft will no longer release any patches or updates for XP, even if critical bugs are found. The only exceptions will be for large corporate customers willing to pay $200 per computer for a year’s extension of “premier” support for hundreds, or thousands of machines. Definitely not cost effective.   Since you’re going to have to migrate anyway, you might as well as move toward an XP-free future now, instead of waiting for attackers to wreak havoc with your digital life. Take into consideration some of the XP migration challenges ahead that could include:   1) A lack of governance over their application library and the pervasiveness of rogue applications that are not managed by IT, but are critical to the business; 2) Overcoming application compatibility issues associated with both third-party and custom developed software 3) Overcoming web-based application compatibility issues associated with the upgrade to a modern browser 4) Automating a “zero touch” deployment strategy 5) Preparing for future cloud computing and application and desktop virtualization strategies 6) Determining...

Collaborative Intelligence Drives Effective Teams.

In 2006, Gartner predicted a shift toward more collaborative working models for businesses. Eight years later, it looks like they were right. Collaborative intelligence is part of every successful business model, emphasizing the value of collaborative decision making.   By definition, Wiki says: Collaborative intelligence characterizes multi-agent, distributed systems where each agent, human or machine, is uniquely positioned, with autonomy to contribute to a problem-solving network.   A more in-depth definition reads: Collaborative intelligence characterizes the attributes of cross-disciplinary problem-solving teams – a distributed group mind at peak performance in solving creative problems, dynamics that occur when people from different disciplines with diverse skills, agendas and priorities produce outcomes that a majority of participants and stakeholders in the process view as more effective than what independent individuals, or single discipline groups, could have produced alone. A method to guide processes that require collaborative intelligence can benefit from tools, such as evolvable templates, problem-maps, online process tracking, improved search, visualization and decision support.   Now that we know the definition of collaborative intelligence, let’s look at some of the characteristics and skill sets that make an outstanding, collaborative team member.   1. Willingness to collaborate You are willing to engage with others for mutual benefit, or to help get to a specific goal.   2. Willingness to share Are you a knowledge hoarder? These are people who believe that their value is their knowledge and to share it would diminish their value, when it would actually increase it.   3. How to build trust One of the ways trust is built is through sharing. Also being consistent in your words and behaviors and...

Bring Your Own Challenge – Scheduling Changes

CHALLENGE: Our biggest challenge comes from scheduling. Very often a schedule will change, sometimes in the middle of a project. That’s very disruptive to the workforce, planning and priorities.   Without enough people to accommodate the scheduling challenges, we’re faced with being unable to meet demand and stay on deadline. Managing this kind of challenge at one location is bad enough, but sometimes this happens simultaneously in more than one location. When we have competing priorities, it really puts us behind the eight ball.  What’s the solution?   SOLUTION:   Scheduling changes are bound to occur. Timelines change but the demand for deliverables remains first priority. Here’s what you can do to alleviate the disruption and get back on track:   Create contingency plans up front that identify potential scheduling changes, possible alternative resources and acceptable scope modifications. Ensure that all stakeholders, including clients, accept and buy into the schedule in advance of the project, coaching them so they understand the impacts from schedule changes. Establish clearly defined procedures for performing pre-project activities, steps and resource arrangements to avoid last minute snafus. Use a reliable, complementary resource partner with ‘feet on the street’ in the respective locations, making schedule changes easier and more cost effective.   A strong collaborative process is an essential part of the scheduling solution, so be sure that your complementary resources can work seamlessly with your project team.   Share your fixed asset management challenges with us and we’ll help you find the...

Bring Your Own Challenge: Localized IT and Asset Management

How to Make Localized IT and Asset Management Part of the Success of Global Offices   Challenge:   Your company has the chance to take on some amazing new business by opening a call center in Costa Rica. Office space has been selected and the account management team is excited to get started, but you are having trouble making decisions about how to handle the IT asset management functions necessary to make the project a success.   In your domestic offices, you may have a “go-to” guy that can handle all your asset management and maintenance needs. And now, with new offices coming on board all over the globe, you want to make sure that your staff still has the excellent support that you have relied on at home, but you aren’t sure how to make it work.   Do you send your local expert all over the globe? This could get costly in a hurry, and may also spread personnel too thin to maintain the level of service your home office requires. Do you try to find new staff, sourced in your new locale? This might be great if you knew whom you could trust and knew that there were no language or cultural barriers that might impact expectations in regard to efficiency and cost. What if things don’t go right, do you have any recourse? Can you afford a full time staff member for asset management in the new office?   Solution:   This is where partnering with a company that can provide specialized technicians and administrators only when you need them can help. Working with a...