MWLUG 2015 - The Cloud and You - the ’as a service’ disruption you can’t ignore

August 26 2015

Here are my slides from last week's MWLUG 2015 event. My first session solely focused on the cloud space, with an IBM slant of course. And it's not every day you get to include Metallica in a technical presentation!

The Cloud and You - the 'as a service' disruption you can't ignore from John Head

PSC Group turns 25 TODAY!

August 21 2015

Image:PSC Group turns 25 TODAY!

25 years ago today, Andrew Lauter and Bruce Bellak started PSC. And here we are. I am proud to have been around for the past 14.5 years - and looking forward to what is to come. Congratulations to all of my coworkers, current and past!

PSC Group at MWLUG 2015

July 28 2015

PSC is excited to be a Gold Sponsor at MWLUG 2015 in Atlanta August 19th throught 21st. MWLUG is the only user group in North America for 2015 - and the session list and speakers are out of this world. PSC is excited to be delivering 5 sessions. Come see us speak and say hi!

Sessions:

IBM Bluemix: Expand Your Horizons
As a developer, you always need to add new tools to your developer tool belt.  Bluemix gives you many options to take what you already know and build upon it, allowing you to continuously reinvent yourself and your apps. Whether you are an XPages developer looking to leverage new technologies like Watson or Docker, or you want to start exploring new languages and frameworks like the MEAN stack, Bluemix has something to offer you.  Using the powerful deployment models and integration services in Bluemix, it is also easy to build solutions that combine the new with the old making it easy to build upon the work you have already done.  Expand your horizons, improve yourself and join us for a whirlwind tour of what Bluemix has to offer you!

Thursday, August 20th 2015 : Cabinet/Caucus Room : 3:30 PM

Ryan Baxter
Developer Advocate
IBM

Marky Roden
Senior Solutions Architect
PSC Group

WebSockets - "Pushing" the web forward
Since it's inception XHR has been an asynchronous process of browsers requesting data from servers and waiting for a response. The constant polling to ask "Has something changed?", "No". "Has something changed?", "No" is such a waste! WebSockets changes the paradigm and allows the server to "push" information to the browser, as an when it needs to. This reduces network traffic, allows multiple users to get notified at the same time, speeds up applications, makes developers happy and makes users happy. In this presentation Mark will introduce the concepts of WebSockets as a modern web technology, demonstrate how it works and provide numerous examples. Come and see how WebSockets will change your perception on how applications will work in the future.

Friday, August 21st 2015 : Committee Room : 9 AM

Mark Roden
Senior Solutions Architect
PSC Group LLC

The Cloud and You - the 'as a service' disruption you can't ignore
In any discussion about cloud, there are lots of buzzwords being thrown out by analysts and vendors. "Digital Transformation", "Democratization of IT", "Citizen Developer", and many more. Add in the 'as a Service" explosion and it is hard to make heads and tails over what will add value to your business. This session will cut through the hype and help bring a reality check to how the Cloud can help you. This session is for everyone: Administrator, Developer, IT Executive, or Business User. Plan on leaving with a deeper understanding and ideas of where you can take advantage.

Friday, August 21st 2015 : Cabinet/Caucus Room : 9 AM

John Head
Director
PSC Group, LLC

Take Your XPages Development To the Next Level
Are you ready to take your XPages development to the next level? If you know the basics, then you're ready to dig deeper and find great features that are built into XPages, but aren't as well known. Join Paul and Brad to learn about at a wide range of techniques that can help you improve application performance, take control of the HTML output, enhance your use of event handlers, and much more.

Friday, August 21st 2015 : Cabinet/Caucus Room : 11:30 AM

Brad Balassaitis
Sr. Consultant
PSC Group

Paul Calhoun
NetNotes Solutions Unlimited

Ten Lines Or Less: Interesting Things You Can Do In Java With Minimal Code
Don’t be afraid of Java! Many IBM Notes/Domino developers, both new and seasoned have an irrational fear of learning and using Java because it seems overwhelming. We’ll help you over this stumbling block with several short, understandable, and useful examples of Java that you can learn from. All of the examples will be ten lines of code or less, making them approachable and easy to understand. And we will show you how to integrate the Java code with an XPages application so you can get started right away.

Friday, August 21st 2015 : Cabinet/Caucus Room : 3 PM

Kathy Brown
Senior Consultant
PSC Group LLC

Julian Robichaux
Senior Software Developer
panagenda

SocialbizUG.org 5 Questions with me - DevOps, PSC, Star Wars and more

July 27 2015

I was interviewed by Stephen Gainer for the Member of the Month over at SocialBizUG.org. Have a listen!

41

July 11 2015

Another year wiser, another year of more fun. Here is to 41 :)

The Application Modernization discussion is taking hold - TechTarget interview

June 24 2015

Back in February, I was contacted online by a journalist after she found some of my writings on this blog and my slides on Slideshare around Application Modernization. Crystal Bedell and I had a great conversation and I proceeded to completely forget the discussion. :-)

Low and behold she published her research on June 2nd, 2015 in a great TechTarget article discussing application modernization. Crystal did a wonderful job talking to a customer, an analyst, and a service provider in myself. I won't paste the entire article into this blog entry, you can read it here. But here are some of my thoughts:

Eighty percent of legacy application modernization projects today are just migration, according to John David Head, director of enterprise collaboration, PSC Group, a technical and business consultancy largely focused on software modernization. He said PSC sees businesses that have a legacy platform that's problematic -- in costs, performance, etc. -- and they are not looking to vendor updates as solutions. For various reasons, he said, they want to go to another platform. "That's not modernization," he said.


I am really excited that this discussion is taking place in the marketplace. I am also honored to be in the same discussion as Gartner analyst Dale Vecchio and Capgemini's Ron Tolido. Special thanks to Crystal for reaching out and interviewing me for the article.

PSC named for the fourth time to Chicago’s 101 Best and Brightest Companies to Work For

June 23 2015

PSC is proud to announce that we have been named one of "Chicago's 101 Best and Brightest Companies to Work for" for the fourth year in a row. Here is the press release:

PSC Named One of Chicago's Best and Brightest
PSC Group, LLC is pleased to announce that they have, for the fourth year in a row, been named one of Chicago’s 101 Best and Brightest Companies to Work For™ by the National Association for Business Resources.

Chicago, IL (PRWEB) June 11, 2015

PSC Group, LLC is pleased to announce that they have, for the fourth year in a row, been named one of Chicago’s 101 Best and Brightest Companies to Work For™ by the National Association for Business Resources. Chicago’s Best and Brightest Companies to Work For® is a designation that hundreds of companies pursue. This year, the winners proved to be companies that deliver exceptional human resources practices. These winners will be honored at a symposium and awards celebration on Friday, July 10, 2015 at the Oak Brook Marriot.

An independent research firm evaluates each company’s entry based on key measures in various categories. They include Compensation, Benefits and Employee Solutions; Employee Enrichment, Engagement and Retention; Employee Education and Development; Recruitment, Selection and Orientation; Employee Achievement and Recognition; Communication and Shared Vision; Diversity and Inclusion; Work-Life Balance; Community Initiatives; Strategic Company Performance and the Best of the Best Small Business.
The winning companies also vie for 11 elite awards, one granted for each category. Also, an overall winner that excelled in all categories will be honored with a “Best of the Best Overall” award. The elite award winners will be announced during the luncheon. Judy Hsu from ABC 7 Chicago News and Pat Cassidy from WBBM-AM News Radio will emcee the awards ceremony.

The event starts at 8:00 a.m. with registration and a networking continental breakfast. The morning continues with a series of interactive educational sessions on human resource practices starting at 9:00 a.m., followed by the awards luncheon honoring all winners and announcement of the 12 elite winners.

This year’s educational speakers include Tom Gimbel, LaSalle Network, Maria Coons, Harper College, Ron Wilkins, Wilkins Fitness Corp, and Denise W. Barreto, Relationships Matter Now, LLC. “We are honored to recognize the efforts of this year’s Best and Brightest companies. These companies have created impressive organizational value and business results through their policies and best practices in human resource management. This award is a powerful recruitment tool in the drive to attract and retain exceptional employees in the Chicagoland area,” said Jennifer Kluge, NABR president.

“We're honored to receive this recognition for the fourth consecutive year, and we are continually working to listen to our employees’ feedback and create a superior work environment that has lasted a quarter of a century.” said John Quirk, Partner for PSC Group. “Creating a world-class workplace for our people is the key element to our success and allows us to recruit, develop, and retain top talent.”

PSC Group celebrates 25 years in business in 2015 and is able to reach this monumental milestone with the help of their HR efforts and emphasis on people. They provide all employees with full-time employment, challenging projects, and comprehensive career development. PSC offers a strength-based management program and a best in class skill and career development program called “The Five Points of Excellence”. The program was developed by the partners of the company and is designed to create a highly professional, knowledgeable and well-rounded individual. This program offers different levels of opportunity to grow and succeed in five important areas of our business through education, mentoring and benchmark activities. The response to this program has been overwhelmingly positive among employees, candidates, clients and prospects.

For information about career opportunities with PSC Group, visit http://www.psclistens.com/jobs.

ABOUT THE BEST AND BRIGHTEST COMPANIES TO WORK FOR® 
The “Best and Brightest Companies to Work For®”, a program of the National Association for Business Resources is presented annually in several markets: Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Detroit, Grand Rapids, Houston, Milwaukee, San Francisco and Nationally. Nominations are now being accepted. Visit http://www.101bestandbrightest.com to obtain an application. Chicago’s Best and Brightest Companies to Work For® is sponsored by ABC 7 Chicago, Assurance Agency, BASIC, Baudville, Clark Hill, CORP! Magazine, FONA International, IIT Center for Research and Service, Mutual Trust, Namely, Omron Automation and Safety, Take Down Eventures, TalentWise, The Executive Group, The Management Association of Illinois, The Orsus Group, True Partners Consulting, Verizon Wireless and Wilkins Solutions Enterprises.

ABOUT PSC GROUP, LLC 
PSC Group, LLC is an information technology and business consulting firm that has been delivering high value solutions to our clients since 1990. With offices in Chicago and Kansas City, PSC Group has a history with our clientele that is based on mutual respect, integrity and honesty. We focus on solutions that help our clients achieve their strategic business objectives. Success is collaboration, creation and innovation. It’s about helping businesses take what they do best and doing it even better. Our process begins in the way we listen, and ends with our clients experiencing a greater return on their investment. When it comes to the evolution of technology and how it can help make companies successful, PSC Group is there every step of the way. For more information about PSC Group, please visit http://www.psclistens.com

SOURCE: PSC Group, LLC

IBM Digital Experience 2015 - Application Modernization in the Digital Experience World

June 3 2015

Toby Samples and myself just gave a great session at IBM Digital Experience 2015 called "Application Modernization in the Digital Experience World"

Application Modernization is the hottest buzzword in the IT world today. For many, it means the migration and transformation of an old application to a modern platform and emerging technologies. With Digital Experience solutions,
means much more. Application Modernization is about taking what consumers expect from cutting edge mobile experiences, websites and applications – Slick User Experience, Modern Workflow, Mobile Support, Social and Cloud, and
applying it to the enterprise space. This session will look at these five areas and apply them to WebSphere Portal and the IBM Digital Experience solutions. Examples will highlight how and why focusing each of these areas can have a positive
impact and upside inside your organization and recommendations on how to apply Application Modernization.


Toby is the real rock start that got both scenerios working!

Intuit Quickbase #Empower2015 FINISH STRONG - SUCCESSFULLLY ROLLING OUT YOUR KILLER APP

May 28 2015

My coworker Ken Lamey and I delivered our session at Intuit Quickbase Empower 2015 this morning. You can find the slides below:



Session abstract: You have built that killer application that perfectly meets the demands of your business users. Now what? Now is the time to finish strong and plan for a successful rollout. In this session, the PSC team will equip you with information and guidance to successfully roll out your application for maximum benefit. You'll walk away with the skills to develop a strong communication plan, improve user adoption, gather user feedback, train users, and track their usage throughout the rollout.

John Speaks 2015: SP BIZ Conference - A real world view of Application Modernization in the SharePoint world

May 8 2015

Image:John Speaks 2015: SP BIZ Conference - A real world view of Application Modernization in the SharePoint world

This June I will be one of the speakers for the free virtual conference SPBiz Conference, covering all things SharePoint on June 17th & 18th 2015. A solo session for me, but also speaking at the event is just named MVP Michael Blumenthal.

A real world view of Application Modernization in the SharePoint world

Application Modernization is a hot buzzword in the IT world today. For many, it means the migration of old application to new platforms and technology. At PSC, it means much more. Application Modernization is about taking modern consumer technology influences – User Experience, Modern Workflow, Mobile, Social and Cloud, and applying it to the enterprise space. This session will look at those five disruptive technologies and apply them to Microsoft SharePoint and Office 365. Real world customer examples will highlight how each disruption can have a positive impact inside your organization and recommendations on how to apply Application Modernization.

Why is this topic of interest to the attendees?
Attendees will leave the session with a great understanding of a methodology and deliverables and tasks on taking SharePoint from a document library to a modern web application platform. This session is designed to demonstrate the art of the possible with tangible actions to get there. Examples of customers who applied Application Modernization to their SharePoint implementations will be highlighted. This session is about excitement and idea generation.

Features Covered:
This session covers SharePoint implementations in whole and user interface items such as Master Pages and theming. It will also cover SharePoint on-premises vs. SharePoint Online/Cloud features and implementation.

Session Objectives
In this session, you will learn...

  1. how to view SP as a modern web application platform
  2. why Application Modernization is a methodology you should be applying internally
  3. how future SharePoint on-premises and SharePoint Online releases will change your application development strategy
  4. Applying Bootstrap themeing to SP can change the entire user experience
  5. Why responsive design is the most important design pattern
  6. other companies have taken an evolutionary step in user experiences

Audience Level:
Intermediate

Target Audience:
Developers, Project Managers, CxO's, IT Pro's, Business Analysts, Executives

Support STEM career readiness and maybe win a car!

May 7 2015

Image:Support STEM career readiness and maybe win a car!



STEM career readiness and connecting non-profit to vital resources. As a board member of Lumity, Chicago's premier not-for-profit in helping make STEM reality, our work takes lots of people and resources. In our effort to fund this work, we are holding a raffle. There is a chance to win a 2015 Lexus NX 200t F Sport (or $40,000) and help Lumity drive the future of STEM. Only 1,499 tickets will be available!

If you purchase your ticket before May 22nd, you will also be entered into an Early Bird drawing for $1,000. Lumity will hold the Grand Prize raffle drawing on Saturday, June 20th. Please see the official rules for more details. Thank you to our sponsor McGrath Lexus of Chicago!

Click here to support Lumity and possibly win! Thank you for supporting this effort.

John Speaks 2015: IBM Digital Experience - Application Modernization in the Digital Experience World

May 6 2015

Image:John Speaks 2015: IBM Digital Experience - Application Modernization in the Digital Experience World
Super excited to announce that I will speaking at IBM Digital Experience 2015 in Atlanta, GA on June 1st through 4th, 2015. I will be speaking with PSC's resident Java guru Toby Samples. Our session:

APPLICATION MODERNIZATION IN THE DIGITAL EXPERIENCE WORLD

Application Modernization is the hottest buzzword in the IT world today. For many, it means the migration and transformation of an old application to a modern platform and emerging technologies. With Digital Experience solutions, means much more. Application Modernization is about taking what consumers expect from cutting edge mobile experiences, websites and applications – Slick User Experience, Modern Workflow, Mobile Support, Social and Cloud, and applying it to the enterprise space. This session will look at these five areas and apply them to WebSphere Portal and the IBM Digital Experience solutions. Examples will highlight how and why focusing each of these areas can have a positive impact and upside inside your organization and recommendations on how to apply Application Modernization. (Level: introductory)

PSC launches IBM Verse Kickstart

May 6 2015

Image:PSC launches IBM Verse Kickstart

I am excited to announce that PSC Group has launched our own IBM Verse Kickstart. The press release:

PSC Group Introduces Kickstart Program for IBM Verse
Wednesday, May 6, 2015
PSC Group, LLC - technology and business consulting firm - announced today their selection as implementation experts for IBM Verse. PSC is well known as one of IBM’s top consulting partners and currently employs 4 IBM Champions, more than any other organization. PSC’s Verse Kickstart program has been developed to support the latest advancement in cloud services from IBM. IBM Verse stems from the company’s $100 million investment in design innovation and brings together its leading cloud, analytics, social and security platforms to transform the future of work.
"By deploying PSC’s Verse Kickstart program, we will be able to support organizations licensing initiatives, build their plans around the move to Connections Cloud, and make recommendations on application modernization efforts around IBM Domino, XPages, Digital Experience and Bluemix." said John Head, Director of Business Development in PSC’s Collaboration sector, "We have worked hard to be considered such an essential part of IBM's vision to usher in the next generation of collaboration tools." More details are available athttp://verse.psclistens.com
IBM Verse takes a vastly different approach to enterprise email by integrating the many ways employees connect each day – via email, meetings, calendars, file sharing, instant messaging, social updates, video chats and more – through a single collaboration environment. It is the first messaging system to feature 'faceted search,' which enables users to pinpoint and retrieve specific information they're seeking across all the various types of content within their email.
PSC has created a Kickstart program that will help clients interested in IBM Verse get everything they need in place for successful proof of concept and implementation projects. PSC’s IBM Verse Kickstart program will enable a cost effective and timely setup on Verse for any client.
As a certified IBM Connections Cloud Migration Partner, PSC will help with the setup and configuration, email move, and user configuration. They are ready to help with a mixed environment / hybrid deployment – with some users using IBM Verse in the cloud and mobile, and others using their existing email.
ABOUT PSC GROUP, LLC 
With offices in downtown Chicago, Schaumburg, IL and Overland Park, KS, PSC Group is a professional services and information technology consulting firm that understands technology is fundamental in the development of business solutions. Success is collaboration, creation and innovation. It’s about helping businesses take what they do best and doing it even better. When it comes to the evolution of technology and how it can help make companies successful, PSC is there every step of the way.
It all starts with listening, and that’s one of the things we do best. We then utilize our team of talented, experienced professionals with proven and emergent technology to design, deliver, and service solutions that meet specific and unique business needs. We turn IT into an effective, strategic resource that improves efficiencies and work streams, delivers a measurable return on investment, and helps companies grow. 


We have also launched a microsite for the Kickstart and an electronic brochure. You can find the announcement on PRWeb as well.

John Speaks 2015: Intuit Quickbase Empower - Finish strong – Successfully Rolling Out Your Killer App

May 4 2015

Image:John Speaks 2015: Intuit Quickbase Empower - Finish strong – Successfully Rolling Out Your Killer App

I am super excited about PSC's participation at Intuit QuickBase Empower 2015 - the first conference around the QuickBase product, at the Hyatt Regency Chicago May 26th through 28th, 2015. PSC is one of the Gold Sponsors, with a booth in the product showcase. You can also find out more about our involved with Quickbase when I present with my coworker Ken Lamey on Thursday, May 28th at 9 AM. Our session details:

Finish strong – Successfully Rolling Out Your Killer App


You have built that killer application that perfectly meets the demands of your business users. Now what? Now is the time to finish strong and plan for a successful rollout. In this session, the PSC team will equip you with information and guidance to successfully roll out your application for maximum benefit. You'll walk away with the skills to develop a strong communication plan, improve user adoption, gather user feedback, train users, and track their usage throughout the rollout.


You can read more about our session on the Intuit Quickbase blog here.

Hope to see you are Empower 2015!

Support STEM in Chicago and you could win a Lexus!

May 1 2015

Image:Support STEM in Chicago and you could win a Lexus!



Readers of my blog know that I am a Lumity board member and strongly believe in our efforts to make Chicagoland a better place to work and live by providing access to STEM career readiness and connecting non-profit to vital resources. In our effort to fund this work, we are holding a raffle. There is a chance to win a 2015 Lexus NX 200t F Sport (or $40,000) and help Lumity drive the future of STEM. Only 1,499 tickets will be available!

If you purchase your ticket before May 22nd, you will also be entered into an Early Bird drawing for $1,000. Lumity will hold the Grand Prize raffle drawing on Saturday, June 20th. Please see the official rules for more details. Thank you to our sponsor McGrath Lexus of Chicago!

Click here to support Lumity and possibly win! Thank you for supporting this effort.