post office

Process Automation Hard to Achieve With Software Changes

There’s the human factor to consider.  Photo: Workers at the Jamaica Plain Post Office, 71 Green Street, Boston, 1920.  Boston Public Library, CC license Have you ever spent, say, half a million dollars and nine months of effort with new software or changes to existing systems for purposes of automating processes, only to discover that afterwards […]


Packaged Applications 101

Photo by Official GDC A packaged application is not ready-to-use, in any sense of the word. The word “packaged” is kind of a misnomer. You won’t find a warehouse management system in a shrink-wrapped box on the shelf at Best Buy. A packaged application is simply one whose features and functions match in general terms […]


Why Should I Care About Master Data?

Photo: Data Center, by Bob Mical, CC license Early in my career I couldn’t stand anyone talking to me about master data. It just wasn’t interesting, and seemed to be just a minor detail in how systems run. I have since learned that (incorrect or inconsistent) master data can stop in its tracks the coolest, […]


Case Study: Denver Airport Baggage System

Photo: Denver Airport pano, by Doug Waldron, CC license “Denver Airport” has become synonymous with epic technology failure for those who remember the colossal breakdown of that airport’s ambitious new automated baggage handling system in 1995. Just two numbers explain the magnitude of the failure: 16 months — the delay in opening Denver’s new airport […]

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Internet of Things: Hype or Hope?

An LG Smart Refrigerator.  Photo by David Berkowitz, CC license IoT is, as a breakthrough technology, not that exciting, but it does have some practical possibilities. The Internet of Things describes a network connected to physical objects.  These objects are either passive (another device must be used to detect them) or active (the object is […]


Software Choices Are More Confusing Today

Image: all of the two- and four-door model cars offered by Dodge in 1974 (excludes station wagons), by John Lloyd, CC license. It used to be that if you wanted a certain type of software application, you would identify the 2 or 3 companies that specialized in what you needed. That specialization still exists today, […]


Why Order Checks Don’t Belong in Your ERP System

If you visit OmPrompt in the UK you can stay in the nearby dreamy, historic, and beautiful town of Oxford. Photo by Tejvan Pettinger, CC license. What if you want to make sure all of the data on a customer’s order is correct before it is processed in your systems?  Or if you want to […]

Have a Strategy!

If you don’t know where you are going, you will wind up somewhere else. – Yogi Berra IT strategy is not a topic reserved for lofty white papers. It is something you see in action (or not in action) every day and every time you have a decision to make about your company’s enterprise software. […]

Why Wouldn’t I Want SaaS?

Software-as-a-Service is challenging the paradigm that software is a thing you buy, take back to your office and install. Looking back some day, we might shake our heads and wonder why any enterprise ever thought it had to purchase and physically install a copy of millions of lines of code that ran on a computer […]


Ten Ways to Drive Project Success

Photo: astronaut Eugene Cernan salutes American flag on the surface of the moon, December 1972, Goddard Space Flight Center, CC license. Our team felt pretty good one day in early March, 2012, when we went live on an SAP system — manufacturing, inventory, order processing, MRP, demand planning, purchasing, shipping and receiving, and finance – […]