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Posts Tagged ‘enterprise applications’

Business Ontologies and Semantic Technologies Class

Sunday, May 9th, 2010

Last week I had the pleasure of attending Semantic Arts’ training class entitled, “Designing and Building Business Ontologies.”  The course, led by Dave McComb and Simon Robe, provided an excellent introduction to semantic technologies and tools as well as coverage of ontological best practices.  I thoroughly enjoyed the 4-day class and achieved my principle goals in attending; namely to understand the semantic web landscape, including technologies such as RDF, RDFS, OWL, SPARQL, as well as the current state of tools and products in this space.

Both Dave and Simon have a deep understanding of this subject area.  They also work with clients using this technology so they bring real-world examples of where the technology shines and where it has limitations.  I recommend this class to anyone who is seeking to reach a baseline understanding of semantic technologies and ontology strategies.

Why am I so interested in semantic web technology?  I am convinced that structuring information such that it can be consumed by systems, in ways more automated than current data storage and association techniques allow, is required in order to achieve any meaningful advancement in the field of information technology (IT). Whether wiring together web services or setting up ETL jobs to create data marts, too much IT energy is wasted on repeatedly integrating data sources; essentially manually wiring together related information in the absence of the computer being able to wire it together autonomously!


Anticipating the 2009 Business Rules Forum

Tuesday, September 22nd, 2009

The annual Business Rules Forum is right around the corner… starting on November 1.  For the third year Blue Slate has been invited to share our insights with the attendees.  I will have an opportunity to speak about the importance of viewing all data through the lens of  a company’s business rules.  The title of my talk is, ‘Business Rules in the Integration Tier: The System of Record‘.  It is scheduled for Wednesday, November 4 at 2pm (moved from 3:05pm).

I am excited and honored to be given another opportunity to speak at the preeminent conference for business rules.  Beyond sharing my thoughts I am looking forward to learning from the many practitioners that will be discussing their insights as well.  The variety of experts, topics and industries creates a valuable opportunity for anyone looking to begin or expand the use of rule-based approaches within his or her business.

In addition to the sessions, I highly recommend attending one or more of the “Fun Labs”.  They provide an opportunity to use the vendors’ products and get your questions answered.  The chance to explore these tools and see the entire process of creating, editing and running rules is powerful.

Read on for details about how this conference provides many great opportunities for learning about the techniques, tools and products that support effective application of rule-centric approaches.

About the Business Rules Forum Conference

**The only conference world-wide with all the vendors under one roof at one time!**

** Special 10% Conference Discount Courtesy of Blue Slate Solutions **

Use code “9SPDR” when you register

See details below

Have a look at this year’s program. Find out what the excitement is all about!

Download a copy of our new Conference Brochure featuring highlights of this year’s unparalleled event.


Why Do So Many Information Systems Implementations Fail and What Can Be Done to Improve Our Success Rate?

Thursday, May 7th, 2009

Information Systems (IS) implementations normally fail due to a lack of ownership, planning and execution by the organization.  The software and hardware tend to do what they are supposed to do.  Their features and limitations are typically known, at least if we take the time to investigate.  However, it is the organizational issues among and between business units and teams that actually require most of the effort when running an IS project.

The root causes of IS project failures include weak scoping, lack of executive management ownership, poor project management, lack of scope controls, improper infrastructure and inappropriate technology choices.

Weak scope leads to a project whose requirements are too broad to be met by any single system.  Similarly the team will be too broad with differing opinions as to the ultimate purpose of the project and therefore application.  After all, if the team members are each interpreting the goal(s) of the project in different ways it will be difficult, and time consuming, to arrive at consensus on each aspect of the project.

Lack of executive management ownership leaves the project team without an effective sponsor.  Having such a sponsor helps mitigate the various issues that will arise as the project team seeks to design and implement a new system.  Maintaining focus on the business goals of the system along with championing the system and breaking down barriers between groups are major functions for the executive owner.

Project management is key to delivering on any sort of solution, technology or otherwise.  Knowing the team roles, responsibilities, timelines and dependencies allows for issues to be identified proactively and resolved in a timely manner.  Exit strategies must be defined that rely on understanding the current project risks.  Without effective project management the actual status of the project remains hidden.