How IT Leadership Can Fundamentally Change or Affect the Culture of Your Company

October 27 2017

Mark Roden and I spoke at the October 13th IT Leadership Strategies event run by Camp IT.

This session will challenge the tendency of IT leaders to focus on the technology. Meaningful organizational impact starts with changing the culture, not changing technology.

In this session, we will discuss how to cast a vision for your organization, take a realistic inventory of where you are today and build an attainable implementation roadmap. We will draw from specific examples where culture change has impacted an organization more than any technology change (for better and for worse). Key topics will include productivity, efficiency, empowered talent, and the ‘cool’ factor in transforming how IT is perceived.


How IT Leadership Can Fundamentally Change or Affect the Culture of Your Company from John Head

Thoughts on the IBM announement on Notes and Domino #domino2025

October 25 2017

IBM today announced IBM Notes & Domino 10, coming in the second half of 2018, along with a strategic partnership with HCL to develop the release, along with the following products:

  • IBM Notes and Domino
  • IBM SmartCloud Notes
  • IBM Notes Traveler
  • IBM Mobile Connect
  • IBM Verse
  • IBM Mail Support for Microsoft Outlook (IMSMO)
  • IBM WISPR
  • IBM Enterprise Integrator (LEI)
  • IBM Sametime portfolio
  • IBM Connections Chat/Meetings
  • IBM Client Access (ICAA)

This does not cover IBM Connections, the 'Pink' release, and IBM Watson Workspace. It seems the Cisco and Box relationships stay within IBM as well, but I did not confirm that.

There will be a 'jam' for all of those who want to participate in what the Notes & Domino 10 release looks like, including influencing the road map. RSVP for the Jam here.

My thoughts: I am excited to see new life and attention put into the products and a new major release coming next year. But reality sets in and you realize that to get that life and attention, IBM had to enter a strategic partnership i.e. outsource to one of the large outsource vendors in the marketplace. That means that for whatever the pot of money being invested, it gets spread around much farther. That means current developers at IBM will move to HCL, which will include new developers in locations other than the US or Ireland. This also includes support, which is moving to HCL. Product Management, Sales, and marketing all remain with IBM. As many of us know, when things are outsourced to teams outside the sphere of influence of the main company, quality and service can take deep declines. I don't want to be a debbie downer here. I am happy that IBM found a way to get new life into the products. Will the quality move forward? Will customers trust an outsourced development team? Will IBM be able to manage remote developers? Will the renewed energy stop the migrations off the platform? These are all great questions that need to be answered. No one knows the answer today. I am willing to keep an open mind and give IBM the chance to reenergize the product.

What I would like to see from IBM is more than a roadmap. We need a strategic plan on how they are competing with Office365, Slack, Salesforce, and GSuite. How will a new Notes and Domino release, along with the Cisco and Box integrations, connected with Connections PINK and Watson Workspace. The power of Office365 and GSuite are not the individual products, but how they integrate together. Making the parts more powerful when they all integrate with each other. That strategic plan also needs to be specific on cloud and application development, both which have severely fallen on the wayside the past 24 months. I am doing what I can to provide my input - both externally and internally - and will continue to do so.

Speaking at XChange 2017 - Keynote: Livin’ On The Edge: The Tech Solutions That Will Drive Tomorrow’s Revenue

August 15 2017

I am excited to be part of the panel keynote at XChange 2017 entitled Keynote: Livin’ On The Edge: The Tech Solutions That Will Drive Tomorrow’s Revenue. The abstract:

Solution providers are always looking for the next big thing when it comes to tech solutions they can offer their customers. But placing bets isn’t so easy especially when it comes to the risk-reward ratio. Being too far out in front of a trend could spell disaster but missing out on one could result in a lost opportunity and boost to margins. Any new tech solution requires an investment in skills, sales, marketing, customer support and vendor acquisition. This panel discussion will feature partners who are the first movers adopting technologies ahead of the mainstream market and had positive results or learned valuable lessons. This panel will discuss the benefits of adopting such tech solutions as IoT; DevOps; containers; hyperconvergence; public cloud; next-gen security and mobile. Today’s reality is that solution providers must adapt or they could be swept away.
The panel is moderated by Robert Faletra, CEO of The Channel Company.

Congratulations to the PSC team for being selected to develop AADE’s Technology Institute portal

August 14 2017

Congratulations to the entire PSC Group team for being selected to build American Association of Diabetes Educators' (AADE) their Technology Institute portal. You can read more in the press release posted to PRNewsWire:

SCHAUMBURG, Ill., Aug. 10, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- PSC Group, a leading business technology consulting firm, is proud to announce an agreement with the American Association of Diabetes Educators (AADE) to develop AADE's Technology Institute portal. Details can be found at: https://www.diabeteseducator.org/techinstitute.

The AADE's Technology Institute seeks to offer Diabetes Educators best practices in implementing technology solutions. The latest product and device information and training will be made available along with CE and non-CE online courses and certificate programs, relevant research, discussion boards and other resources.
"PSC is proud to help AADE design and build the Technology Institute to intelligently serve its educator members," said Tony Fremarek, Partner at PSC Group. "The PSC team will ensure the project is delivered to help AADE make a significant impact on patient outcomes now and in the future as the cadence of new treatments and technology continue to rapidly evolve."
"By partnering with PSC Group for technical and aesthetic aspects of the project, our team can focus on the strategic content required for successful adoption," said Crystal Broj, Chief Technology & Innovation Officer, AADE. "This will be a leading resource for sharing emerging diabetes technology, late-breaking innovation and market intelligence with educators."
About PSC Group, Inc. 
Founded in 1990, PSC Group, LLC is a business technology consulting firm focused on enabling strategic technology driven tools, processes and objectives that help companies improve and grow their value. Our process begins in the way we listen and ends with our clients experiencing a greater return on their technology investment. With offices in Chicago and Kansas City, PSC has a proud history with our clientele that is based on mutual respect, integrity and honesty. www.psclistens.com
About the American Association of Diabetes Educators
AADE is a multi-disciplinary professional membership organization dedicated to improving diabetes care through innovative education, management and support. With more than 14,000 professional members including nurses, dietitians, pharmacists, exercise specialists, and others, AADE has a vast network of practitioners working with people who have, are affected by or are at risk for diabetes. www.diabeteseducator.org

MWLUG 2017 BP102 Collaboration and Productivity from the other side  

August 14 2017

I presented BP102 - Collaboration and Productivity from the other side on Thursday, August 10, 2017 at 1:00 PM EDT at MWLUG 2017. Here is the session abstract:

The IBM Collaboration and Productivity experience is well known to this community, but there are other options. The Microsoft experience, including Office 365, SharePoint Online, Groups, Teams, Dynamics CRM, MS Graph, PowerBI and more. This session will give an overview of the offering and how the cloud is allowing for rapid delivery of functionality. We will showcase customer solutions built on top of the platform, including intranets, document management, workflow, and business solutions. We will highlight the customization and development options available, including Office add-ins, MS Teams toolkit, Nintex Workflow, Winward document generation, and Azure custom .Net development. We will highlight a day in the life demo for sales, knowledge worker, and executives.


MWLUG 2017 - Collaboration and Productivity from the other side from John Head

MWLUG 2017 BP110 The Data and Analytics Journey Why it’s more attainable for your company than ever before

August 14 2017

I presented The Data & Analytics Journey – Why it’s more attainable for your company than ever before on Wednesday, August 9, 2017 at 1:00 PM EDT at MWLUG 2017. Here is the session abstract:

The typical perception of Big Data, Analytics, and Predicative/AI is that only the big companies can reap the benefits. Many believe they need a data warehouse, expensive reporting software, & an army of data scientists to get any value out of effort and cost. This session will explore and debunk that myth and showcase how companies of any size can participate. While there are many maturity models available, most are not designed to be practical guides to solving common business problems. Because of the explosion in cloud services, the barrier to entry has eroded significantly. We will look at some practical steps to access these capabilities and provide examples to where market-leading and growth companies have seen large benefits. Attendees will walk away with broader understanding of what’s possible to move their company through the journey in 2017. We will take a close look at IBM Watson solutions and how they integrate with IBM Collaboration and Social solutions.


MWLUG2017 - The Data & Analytics Journey 2.0 from John Head

MWLUG 2017 BP102 - Collaboration and Productivity from the other side  

August 9 2017

I will be presenting BP102 - Collaboration and Productivity from the other side on Thursday, August 10, 2017 at 1:00 PM EDT in Beech Room at MWLUG 2017. Here is the session abstract:

The IBM Collaboration and Productivity experience is well known to this community, but there are other options. The Microsoft experience, including Office 365, SharePoint Online, Groups, Teams, Dynamics CRM, MS Graph, PowerBI and more. This session will give an overview of the offering and how the cloud is allowing for rapid delivery of functionality. We will showcase customer solutions built on top of the platform, including intranets, document management, workflow, and business solutions. We will highlight the customization and development options available, including Office add-ins, MS Teams toolkit, Nintex Workflow, Winward document generation, and Azure custom .Net development. We will highlight a day in the life demo for sales, knowledge worker, and executives.

See you there! Remember to bring your PSC ad from the conference guide to get stamped for a chance to win an Amazon Echo Show!

MWLUG 2017: AD109 - Making the Shift - From Notes Dev to Web Dev with Angular and Node

August 9 2017

Kathy will be presenting AD109 - Making the Shift - From Notes Dev to Web Dev with Angular and Node on Thursday, August 10, 2017 at 10:00 AM EDT in Beech Room at MWLUG 2017. Here is the session abstract:

In this session, Kathy will take an XPages/Domino application and create the same app with Angular and Node. She will show you how to build the application, but she’ll also discuss the differences between the two. While you can port many of the skills you’ve learned for XPages, there are shifts that need to be made to get those skills to work with Angular and Node. Kathy will discuss differences in architecture and design between Notes/Domino and Angular/Node. Kathy will discuss IDEs and how they differ from Designer. She will cover pitfalls and how to overcome them to help you make the shift from a Notes developer to a modern web developer.

See you there! Remember to bring your PSC ad from the conference guide to get stamped for a chance to win an Amazon Echo Show!

MWLUG 2017: BP110 - The Data & Analytics Journey – Why it’s more attainable for your company than ever before

August 8 2017

I will be presenting another version of The Data & Analytics Journey – Why it’s more attainable for your company than ever before on Wednesday, August 9, 2017 at 1:00 PM EDT in Plaza Ballroom 2 at MWLUG 2017. Here is the session abstract:

The typical perception of Big Data, Analytics, and Predicative/AI is that only the big companies can reap the benefits. Many believe they need a data warehouse, expensive reporting software, & an army of data scientists to get any value out of effort and cost. This session will explore and debunk that myth and showcase how companies of any size can participate. While there are many maturity models available, most are not designed to be practical guides to solving common business problems. Because of the explosion in cloud services, the barrier to entry has eroded significantly. We will look at some practical steps to access these capabilities and provide examples to where market-leading and growth companies have seen large benefits. Attendees will walk away with broader understanding of what’s possible to move their company through the journey in 2017. We will take a close look at IBM Watson solutions and how they integrate with IBM Collaboration and Social solutions.

See you there! Remember to bring your PSC ad from the conference guide to get stamped for a chance to win an Amazon Echo Show!

Come see PSC at MWLUG 2017!

August 7 2017

I hope to see everyone at MWLUG 2017 in the Washington D.C. area this week! Kathy Brown and I will be doing three sessions combined, and we have a great prize to give away. The key to winning the prize - and Amazon Echo Show - is that you need to come to all three of our sessions and the booth! See everyone soon!

Image:Come see PSC at MWLUG 2017!

Social Connections 11: The Data & Analytics Journey – Why it’s more attainable for your company than ever before

August 4 2017

At Social Connections 11 in Chicago on June 2nd, 2017, Mark Roden and I delivered our second pass of the session The Data & Analytics Journey – Why it’s more attainable for your company than ever before - and it is different than the version we gave at CampIT. Better slides, edited for a shorter time period, and honestly - it just flowed better a second time live. The session abstract:

The typical perception of Big Data, Analytics, and Predicative/AI is that only the big companies can reap the benefits. Many believe they need a data warehouse, expensive reporting software, & an army of data scientists to get any value out of effort and cost. This session will explore and debunk that myth and showcase how companies of any size can participate. While there are many maturity models available, most are not designed to be practical guides to solving common business problems. Because of the explosion in cloud services, the barrier to entry has eroded significantly. We will look at some practical steps to access these capabilities and provide examples to where market-leading and growth companies have seen large benefits. Attendees will walk away with broader understanding of what’s possible to move their company through the journey in 2017. We will take a close look at IBM Watson solutions and how they integrate with IBM Collaboration and Social solutions.


The Data & Analytics Journey – Why it’s more attainable for your company than ever before from John Head

CampIT: The Data & Analytics Journey – Why it’s more attainable for your company than ever before

August 4 2017

On April 13th, 2017, Mark Roden and I spoke at the CampIT conference on Business Intelligence / Analytics / Big Data Strategies in the Chicagoland area. The session abstract:

The typical perception of Big Data, Analytics, and Predicative/AI is that only the big companies can reap the benefits. Many believe they need a data warehouse, expensive reporting software, and an army of data scientists to get any value out of effort and cost. This session will explore and debunk that myth and showcase how companies of any size can participate in the journey. While there are many maturity models and journey maps available, most are not designed to be practical guides to solving common business problems. Because of the explosion in availability in cloud services, the barrier to entry has eroded significantly. During this session, we will look at some practical steps to access these capabilities and provide examples to where market-leading and growth companies have seen large benefits. Attendees will walk away with broader understanding of what’s possible to move their company through the journey in 2017.


The Data & Analytics Journey – Why it’s more attainable for your company than ever before from John Head

Hey there, it’s been a while

August 4 2017

I haven't written here in almost 5 months and it's time to catch up. Expect a bunch of backlog posts and stuff about August. Sorry for the silence - life has been busy!

I found my new favorite Office365 feature - Share as Attachment as PDF

March 30 2017

This is one of the biggest time consumers for me in my daily routine is sending documents to external users (customers) and having to create a pdf of that file each time. The workflow today is:
1.        Open the document in Word
2.        File | Save As, select PDF as file type, Hit Save
3.        Create a new email in Outlook
4.        Attach the PDF, selecting it from the drop down
It's kind of wasteful as I never use the PDF's again. They just sit there in the folder, taking up space.

What I found today is that I can do this with fewer steps AND not worry about saving the PDF each time.

Here is what you do:

1. Here is a document open in Microsoft Word. Click the "Share" button in the upper right hand part of the application.

Image:I found my new favorite Office365 feature - Share as Attachment as PDF

2. That will open the Share sidebar panel. Click the "Send as attachment" link at the bottom of the panel.

Image:I found my new favorite Office365 feature - Share as Attachment as PDF

3. The panel will change giving you two options. Click the "Send a PDF" link.

Image:I found my new favorite Office365 feature - Share as Attachment as PDF

4. A new email will open with a PDF attachment of the document you had open.

Image:I found my new favorite Office365 feature - Share as Attachment as PDF

What a killer feature and time saver!

IBM Connect 2017 highlights the Negative and Emotional Impact of IBM’s Co-Location policy

February 23 2017

The effects of IBM's new co-location policy have hit close to home this week at IBM Connect 2017. I have had numerous IBMers basically say good-bye this week. They either have been given their notice and have no intention of moving, or they see the writing on the wall. Some are even leaving IBM immediately after the conference. It hit me this morning that over two-thirds of the conversations I am having with IBMers this week ends with 'I am interviewing' or 'I will not be moving and leaving sometime before summer.'

The thought that the company with the DNA of one the most successful software products ever created to facilitate remote team collaboration is requiring everyone on a team to be in the same home office is almost inconceivable. But when you look at it from a capital expense vs. operating expense, you understand what is going on. I feel like I need to shower every time I realize the facts behind the policy.

To all of my IBM friends, whom I have known for years, many decades, Thank you. Thank you for the impact on my career. But more importantly, thank you for enriching my life outside of what I do for work. Thank you for your friendship, support, and laughs. This change won't effect our friendship, but it will effect how our paths cross. I wish you all much luck. If you need a reference, please do not hesitate to contact me. Those of you just starting your journey for your next opportunity, my network is yours - please let me know what I can do to help.

Thank you.