As a cycling fan, I am excited by the start of each new season particularly spring time as the “Spring Classics” get underway and everyone starts to look towards the summer blockbuster, the Tour de France. This is also the season in which I start to seriously ramp up my training as I look forward to the Tour de France stage (Annecy to Annecy-Semnoz) I will be riding on 7th July. With this in mind, I will share what I consider similarities in learning the necessary skills to power tailor and customize SYSPRO, and training for such a gruelling endurance event.
You may have heard of the term ‘big data’ – it’s one of those technologies that some people are making a lot of noise about. It’s been written about in many publications, e.g., Harvard Business Review blog, Forbes, MIT Sloan Management Review, McKinsey Quarterly. However, as one analyst has commented, the hype about it is reaching “the levels of SOA in the early 2000’s, cloud in the late 2000’s, and social in the past few years.”
Regardless of what business you happen to be in, the end of the year is a natural time to reflect on what’s happened in our lives, our organisations and around the world. Although the global manufacturing sector has shown erratic and generally slow performance this year, the economic powerhouses of the US and China managed to register slight improvements in manufacturing activity in October. However, many other economies around the world suffered further contraction or flat growth across their manufacturing industries.
During my 13 years at SYSPRO I have been involved in a range of software development projects, but have never tried my hand at implementation. Over the past few months I have been fortunate enough to work with the iPlan team on the SYSPRO implementation at the Mopani Copper Mines (MCM) in Kitwe, Zambia.
It’s fascinating to be living in a time where the world is not ruled by tyranny or dictatorship, socialism or capitalism, but instead by technology. The Arab Spring which began more than a year ago is a classic example of how technology (such as social media) is proving more powerful than any one government’s laws, or one society’s philosophies. The power being created here is happening through giving the man in the street access to a sophisticated mass communication mouthpiece, something that historically was the exclusive domain of the elite and powerful.
Childhood and adolescence, for example, are both important and often frenetic phases in life, where any and every change dramatically impacts our development and invariably teaches us a lesson or two.
Later in life, as our experience of change grows, we either accept it, coming to terms with the truth that ‘change is the only constant’, or waste precious resources fighting to remain set in our ways.
I found it interesting to note how two recent and completely unrelated events, both emphasized the growing impact of mobile devices in the world of computer technology. The first was a product survey that SYSPRO conducted amongst its customers across the globe. It produced an extensive number of individual responses to a wide range of questions; offering ample evidence of SYSPRO’s ability to understand and address the needs of its customers. Our intention was to listen to what our customers regarded as the key needs to be addressed in Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solutions, to help equip them better for the future. We were also keen to get their honest comments on our existing products and services.
I was fortunate enough to attend the Microsoft BUILD conference in Los Angeles recently, along with one of my colleagues. Now, I don’t make a habit of regularly attending such conferences as I have a number of talented developers who would get great value out of these sorts of events. But I have to say that I am really pleased (no, read ‘delighted’) that I made the effort to attend this particular event, especially considering that it took me about 28 hours to get to LA (it’s a long way from Johannesburg).