Cell Phone Radiation – Are You Concerned?


pokemon-1553977_1280I’ve written this post for two important reasons: 1) it’s a favour for a very dear friend of mine and; 2) this may help protect you and your loved ones.

Just before Christmas (2016) I was having a chat with an old friend, and the topic of a product that she markets came up. She’s known me long enough to know that I am somewhat sceptical when it comes to claims about everything under the sun causing cancer, rendering one sterile, or otherwise adversely affecting one’s health. That said, I’ve gone through some pretty tumultuous stuff, personally and professionally, over the last eighteen months or so. I’ve learned to be a bit more open-minded and accepting about a great many things, including health & wellness related matters.

I took a look at the product that she’s marketing, and at the science behind it. Unfortunately, the science isn’t conclusive one way or the other, as to whether or not cell phones cause cancer. Cell phone radiation causes cancer – I’m sure each of us has heard or read this at least once since whenever someone started saying it (has to be twenty years or more ago, it seems). Whatever. I still hold my mobile to my head for calls. When I use the speaker or a headset it’s generally to keep my hands free for other things (like driving – which is perhaps a greater phone related health risk) rather than out of concern for my health. I still carry my phone in my pants, in close proximity to my man parts (I’m done having kids so it’s not a big deal).

But what if there actually are health risks from cell phone radiation, electro-magnetic frequency (EMF), electro-magnetic radiation (EMR), and whatever else is emanating from our phones? I’m not going to try and convince you one way or the other. How can I when I’m not convinced? I’ll simply point you to a couple places for additional information and you can make up your own minds.

Lif3 Canada – this is the product / company my friend is doing the marketing for. Tons of info and, obviously, an easy way to buy the product.

Erica Ehm video – some high level info about the Lif3 Smartchip and EMR. Erica is the founder of the Yummy Mummy Club. She’s also a former Much Music VJ and I had a major crush on her way back when.

I’ll think about this whole thing some more, and debate whether or not to buy one of those chip things for my daughter’s phone. I’ll also be very interested to see what comes out of continued research on this topic. Not to sound too alarmist, but there was a time when smoking was okay, drinking during pregnancy was fine, and seatbelts were optional.

#BoxWorks2016 – My Thoughts


boxworks2016Two key changes from last year really made me happy:

  1. Box’s enterprise customers (at least the ones on the panel during the analyst event) are calling Box content management (advanced content management, even);
  2. Box is unequivocally stating that Platform is the base upon which the Box application is built – they weren’t so clear about that last year.

On a personal level, the first of those makes me the happiest because, along with Cheryl McKinnon of Forrester (my reaction to Box’s inclusion in the Forrest Wave), I was the first analyst / person-who-should-know type that came out and unabashedly called Box an Enterprise Content Management vendor. Here’s my post from June 2015 when I first called Box ECM (you can also get to the whitepaper I wrote on the topic via that post). Whatever. I’m just happy and gratified that Box is finally being seen as what they are. I’m guessing they’re pretty pleased about it as well.

Remember in this post I included a footnote stating that BoxWorks could be a better Information Management / Governance conference than the AIIM conference (I didn’t even mention that records management conference or organization)? Yeah, nothing took place at BoxWorks that made me change my mind.

On to my thoughts about the conference happenings … I’m not going to recap all the announcements; they’re available on the Box site over here and elsewhere on the web and on Box’s site. There were a bunch of announcements about making Box more usable, intuitive, and user friendly, but they didn’t tell me that Box Capture for Android is coming. Box Desktop, Files, and Notes are much needed improvements that are coming, and will make for a much better user (yeah, I said “user”) experience.

Platform

If I’ve got this all right, Box Platform can serve up Relay (workflow) and Governance (governance), as well as versioning and all the other mundane content management stuff as a service. While that’s very cool and all, what I really find exciting is that there is a growing ecosystem of partners / developers that include companies like Cognizant, as well as in-house IT shops, ISV’s, and small niche / boutique app developers. The potential implications are pretty cool for all the stakeholders. For example – during his session at the analyst event, Jeetu Patel (heads up Platform and Strategy for Box and is a really nice guy) mentioned that: A – all companies are becoming digital companies (glad he gave up using all companies are becoming SW companies), and; 2 – there’s no templates for digital transformation (I am summarizing). So it seems that there is an opportunity for Box to do for digital transformation on an industry basis what SAP did for ERP on an industry basis. Between in-built capabilities and partnerships, Box has the beginnings of being able to build content-centric digital transformation on-ramps / roadmaps / whateveryouwanttocallthem. The Perkins+Will demo was really cool and a harbinger of what is possible.

What’s really cool and significant is that, if the implementation gets done properly, that whole thing about putting governance in the background and letting users just focus on their jobs will actually happen.

There’s also some other stuff happening with Platform and the application that, if done correctly, could make the whole auto-classification thing a reality. There are other ECM providers that have been working on it for years, to very little uptake. What’s happening, I believe, is that Box is trying to solve the same problems, but in a different way.

One of the product managers told me something to the effect that she was talking to her team and they were telling her they knew nothing about Information Management or Governance. She responded by telling them that they were actually delivering it. There’s a whole bunch more detail, but that’s actually a very cool story. It’s possible because Platform takes care of it in the back end.

Innovation

Regardless of the size of a company, if they operate in a regulated industry they have to comply with the relevant regulations and legislation. At the same time, if you’re one of the smaller players you likely need to do more with less and can’t afford dedicated compliance solutions. Where Box fits is that they don’t know how to do it the legacy way, and this is a very good thing.

During the customer panel at the analyst session, one of the customers, in a highly regulated industry, was lamenting that they could not use Box for some of their controlled documents. The issue is that Box brings out new stuff too fast and the regulators and legislators simply cannot keep pace. That just sucks.

I asked Aaron Levie something along the lines of “do you think that current legislation and regulations hamper your ability to innovate?” I liked that he acknowledged that it’s the customers, not Box, that are actually being hampered. Box’s approach is to innovate to the spirit of the legislation or regulation, rather than to the letter. I.e.: they’ll satisfy the what, but the how may look a little different.

Odds ‘n’ Enns

  • One of the most interesting, to me, integrations I saw at the conference had to do with SAP (apparently you don’t pronounce it “sap”). There’s this company based in Calgary, Alberta, Canada that effectively does for Box-SAP what OpenText Extended ECM does for OT-SAP. I don’t know a ton about it yet, but it is something I will be looking into and getting more familiar with. The fact that the folks at e-Wave Solutions have put effort into building a Box-SAP integration in addition to their Filenet-SAP integration (I think I have that right) is significant. They’re not just chucking up content that’s relevant to stuff happening in SAP. No, they’re doing it in an intelligent way that leverages / manages metadata and preserves the integrity of the “records”. That’s kinda cool. Like I said, I’ll be looking into this a bit more.
  • One of the really good things about being an analyst at an event like BoxWorks is that you get one-on-one time with some key people at Box. The normal scenario is the analyst asks questions and the company person answers them. What I love about the people at Box is that we both get to ask questions and have an open, frank discussion.
  • Thanks to the Box Governance Product Marketing people (thanks, Veena!!!) for inviting me to share some of my thoughts on Box Governance.
  • Thanks to Aaron Levie for taking the time to come and chat with us analysts. I’m a bit of a sceptic at times, and I sometimes wonder if certain tech CEO’s are putting on a show for analysts, the press, prospects, etc. After sitting less than thirty feet from him and being able to look into his eyes, I’m pretty certain that Aaron Levie truly believes in what he and the rest of Box are doing.
  • Lastly, a huge thank you to Joely, Signe, and Megan for making the analyst day and,boxworks2016-analyst-dinner especially, the analyst dinner truly excellent. The whole idea of going to a chef’s residence and having a home made meal in a more intimate setting … loved it.
  • That pic is what greeted us as we walked into the chef’s home. There were leftovers.

The one thing that I didn’t hear anything about is a service organization that can make it (all this next generation ECMness) happen (Box Shuttle aside). I still believe that without the right services capabilities, things will not progress as smoothly as they could. Overall I’m pleased about Box’s progress over the last 12 months. You could even say I’m optimistic and excited for what they can achieve and change about ECM in the future. The recently announced OpenText acquisition of Dell EMC ECD (ya know, Documentum and LEAP) just made Box a more attractive option for ECM buyers. As one industry analyst type mentioned, it’s a changing of the guard in the ECM space. Among others, Box is leading the charge. Not to say I told ya so, but I told ya so.

#TBT: Does ECM need Kevorkian or Kardashian


Not KKThis is a Throwback Thursday post. I originally wrote this back in January 2012, at the invitation of Ron Miller. Ron was with FierceCM back then, and I thought he covered the ECM space pretty well. Anyways, I was reading this recently and thought that it is still pretty accurate, mostly. I was thinking about updating it a bit, but I just left it alone.

So, is ECM all puffed, primped, pimped, buffed, glossed, sprayed, splayed, like Kim Kardashian, or is it time to summon Dr. Jack (Kevorkian, not Daniels)?

The way I see it, ECM doesn’t really exist; at least not as something I can hit with a hammer (not that I advocate hitting KK with a hammer). ECM is more of a wrapper/ label that we’ve put around a whole bunch of other related things for the sake of convenience and to make it look and sound pretty. Inside the wrapper we’ve got things like document management, records management, digital asset management, and web content management. Depending who you ask, there may or may not be business process management stuff in there as well. Go further and include content that’s stored in ERP, CRM, db, and various line of business (LOB) systems. The truth of the matter is that I don’t give a rat’s ass what’s in there as long as it can do good stuff for my business. And by that I do not mean just managing content.

Managing content is great, but if it doesn’t serve the goals of the business, if it doesn’t get stuff done, there is no point. In order to serve the goals of the business managed content, in all its forms, needs to be available when business activities are executed. It doesn’t matter whether that activity is approving invoices, publishing web content, administrating social services programs, developing new drugs, or a telco ramping up new services for subscribers.

Consider this for a moment; I recently came across an initiative to implement paperless claims processing. The organization will use ECM tools as part of the solution, but it is by no means an ECM initiative. This organization will develop what they call ECM Governance, but the reality is that it’s going to be about managing information for the enterprise. Whether or not the information is managed with ECM tools remains to be seen, My guess is that some of it will and some of it won’t. Oh, and if you want a little more justification why we should be calling Dr. K in to deal with ECM – a major ECM vendor has rebranded the ECM out of their products and now just uses the word “content”.

If we scrape away the goop that’s on the surface of Kim Kardashian, we know that underneath is a real person with the requisite components to ensure everything is in proper working order (I’m bashing on ECM, not on reality TV celebrities, remember?); can we say the same for ECM? Here’s a challenge (not open to vendors, especially their marketing folks) for implementers and clients; go find one real ECM implementation that’s in production. First person to find one, within two weeks of this article being posted, and prove it to the satisfaction of a panel of judges (me and whomever I select to help me out) can name the Canadian animal or children’s charity to which I will make a CDN$50.00 donation.

Things have changed, dramatically, over the last few years. We used to be happy with document management. If it was done well, most people in a department had the latest version of the document they needed. But it didn’t span the enterprise in the majority of cases. Web content management systems were fine because they helped to ensure that your site had the most up-to-date copy, images, videos, etc. (helped by digital asset management tools, whatever they really are). Records management systems tried to make sure that once we were done with our documents they were properly declared, stored, and disposed of. They couldn’t do diddly about the rogue copies of stuff that were all over the place just waiting for a discovery order.

Even all those pieces that are supposedly under the umbrella of ECM tools don’t really work together in an “enterprise” fashion. That is, they don’t talk to each other, their reach doesn’t extend throughout the organization, and they sure don’t play well with LOB systems. I think it’s time that we admit ECM is simply on life support and will never be what we thought it would be. Call Dr. Kevorkian and let’s do the right thing.

I’m not certain what’s going to replace ECM, but I am certain that it’s gonna be cool. We’re at a point where we need to mix together what used to be ECM with social tools, engagement tools, governance, and process management. These things need to be deconstructed and then recreated as services (as in Service Oriented Architecture) to be consumed by organizations in order to truly manage their content, holistically, across the enterprise. I’m not ignoring cloud or ?aaS, they’re just not really relevant to building the solutions, they’re delivery options.

The More Things Change …


digital-marketing-1433427_640Last week I wrote that I’m starting to focus on a new market for my services; for a number of reasons I’ve decided to have a go at landing clients from the craft beer industry in Western Canada. Something I didn’t mention in last week’s post is that the craft beer scene in Alberta is booming. Recent rule changes and “incentives” have combined to make it easier and more feasible to start a small brewery, so plenty of small breweries are getting started. This has me excited for a few reasons:

  1. more breweries = more craft beers to try;
  2. more Alberta breweries = more Alberta jobs;
  3. a booming craft beer industry = better chances of me succeeding.

In fact, I’m so excited I started a semi-serious, but mostly not, beer related blog.

Anyways, on to the point of this post …

All brewers, regardless of size, pretty much have to comply with the same governmental regulations, do the same types of activities and quality checks, maintain equipment, clean equipment, be safe, etc. What really changes are the ability and will of the brewers to invest in IT tools and services to make these things happen in an efficient, cost effective manner. Many of the brewers I’ve spoken to are using spreadsheets, whiteboards, and loose-leaf paper to get stuff done. Even those that are using some combination of brewery management and accounting software are struggling to stay ahead of things. So I’m thinking that they’d be all over this content / information / records management thing (I didn’t really think that). It turns out that those who are interested are interested in solving business problems. Go figure.

Like Every. Other. Client. I. Have. Spoken. To. they don’t care what something is called or what tool is used as long as problems are getting solved, issues are being addressed, and opportunities aren’t wasted. And like every other industry sector I’ve worked with, the size of the organization doesn’t dictate what the requirements are.

Late the week before last week I met with the CEO and the Controller of a craft brewery. We chatted a bit about beer, the beer industry, what their goals / vision are, what I could do for them, and what their challenges are. Surprisingly, they didn’t say “we have challenges managing content.” It turns out that their most pressing priority is having the information they need to make the decisions they need to make to achieve their vision. Sound familiar?

I’m willing to bet that as I talk to more and more brewers I’ll be hearing the same things I’ve been hearing for the majority of my career. Regardless of industry or geography, for-profit businesses have challenges with making decisions, being efficient, being competitive, and being profitable. Good information and effective automation can a go a long way to help companies meet these challenges, regardless of size, industry, or geography. Information is a strategic corporate asset and must be treated accordingly. In today’s environment, automation does not necessarily mean capital investments in infrastructure, expensive software licences, and spinning up a large IT department. We’re in a time and place, thanks to cloud technologies, where smaller organizations can have the type of functionality that used to only be available to large enterprises.

Taps ‘n’ Apps: Craft Beer Meets the Cloud


Note: this post contains links to every craft brewery in British Columbia and Alberta that I could find. Sadly, I have yet to sample all of their wares.

Village Brewery - Tour 08Anyone who’s been paying attention lately, or who has met me in person, knows that I’m fairly passionate about Information Management and Craft Beer. Depending on the day, my passion for one is slightly higher than my passion for the other. What does one have to do with the other? I’m glad you asked. Please bear with me, this may take a while. Three things happened that resulted in a new vision for me:

  1. In late June at a networking event in Calgary I met Chris. Chris is one of the co-founders of Caravel Craft Brewery in Calgary. Over a couple pints of IPA from Last Best Brewing, Chris and I started chatting about beer. It turns out that we both love beer, though he knows a ton more about it than I do. My expertise is limited to knowing what I do and don’t like.
  2. A few weeks later, just prior to the Calgary Stampede, I saw a feature on CBC News about craft beer being shut out of official Stampede events because one of the Big Beer companies had the beer contract. One of the guys from Tool Shed Brewing was talking about how there is more than enough space and thirsty Stampeders for all to benefit. And, what better place and time to showcase all the wonderful Alberta craft beer producers.
  3. A snarky comment about whether a tour of Village Brewery could be used to make money led to a “why not” moment. I took the picture in this post during that tour, by the way. I also ate a cascade hop pellet – that was a mistake.

So far I’ve been able to find 156 craft brewers in British Columbia and Alberta. Starting with Alberta, I decided that I was going to reach out to all of them and pitch my services to them. I mean, they have a fair bit of paperwork to deal with, right? They produce alcoholic beverages which means much governmental regulation stuff to deal with. They use big shiny equipment which means maintenance and safety stuff. They do stuff which means various types of operating procedures. I’m betting that there is a lot of paper to deal with in a craft brewery and I want to help brewers get rid of it as much as possible. Basically, I want the brewers to be able to concentrate on brewing great craft beer, not pushing paper around.

So I wrote to all the breweries in Alberta telling them what I wanted to do and why. The first response I got was a phone call from the CEO of a brewery located in Calgary. The dude called within 15 minutes of my email and we chatted for about 20 minutes. However, he wanted to chat about craft brewery specific ERP (there is such a thing) rather than content management. So now I’ve got to go and reach out to a bunch of brewery management software vendors, mobile app developers, and consultants to see if we can collaborate (I think we can).

There is a market there, but information management / governance is not the springboard (something I’ve said for some time now, frankly). It’s going to rely on solving the immediate challenges the brewers have and moving on from there. I’m not saying IM and IG aren’t important, they’re just not the immediate need.

So what does the above have to do with the Cloud? Well, a lot, actually.

One of the really cool things I’ve noticed about the craft beer community is that it’s, well, a community as much as it is an industry, maybe more. Despite being competitors, craft brewers collaborate, a lot. Not only do they get together and jointly concoct sudsy, hoppy wonderbeers, they invite others to have guest taps and share brewing facilities to help each other out.

Now, if I look at many of the companies involved in cloud content related stuff, I notice the same thing. Perhaps not with the same level of artistry and fun, but it’s there. If you look at companies like Google, Dropbox, Egnyte, Microsoft, Box, Splunk, GlassIG, …. etc., you’ll notice the level of collaboration and cooperation that exists. In fact, it’s this very collaboration and cooperation that’s going to allow many of these companies to be the core set of cloud technologies that make up the next generation of Information Management and Governance solutions. Craft brewers being what they are, I suspect that cloud apps are going to be of far more interest to them than on-premises solutions.

In the same way that craft brewers experiment with techniques and ingredients, cloud vendors experiment with features, functions, methods, and requirements. Just as brewers have an openness about them, cloud vendors (the good ones) do as well. The end result in both cases is better end products for all. This Brews Brothers collaboration from Parallel 49 Brewing was pretty cool for beer fans; cloud vendors are seemingly announcing new collaborations every week that are pretty cool for those of us interested in managing and governing content.

156 BC and AB Craft Brewers

ALBERTA

http://www.alleykatbeer.com/ http://highlinebrewing.com/
http://www.annexales.com/ http://lakelandbrewing.wix.com/beer
http://www.bambrewingco.com/ http://minhasbrewery.com/minhas-micro-brewery-calgary
http://bandedpeakbrewing.com/ http://www.norsemeninn.com/
http://www.bearhillbrewingco.ca/ https://www.oldscollege.ca/community/oc-market/olds-college-brewery/index.html
http://benchcreekbrewing.com/ https://twitter.com/outcast_brewing
https://www.facebook.com/Bent-Stick-Brewing-Co-320698708092396/ https://twitter.com/PolarBrewing
http://bigrockbeer.com/ https://www.facebook.com/prairiedogbrewing/
http://www.blindmanbrewing.com/ http://redbisonbrewery.com/
http://www.boilingoar.com/ http://ribstonecreekbrewery.ca/
http://brewery-fahr.ca/ http://situationbeer.com/
http://brewsters.ca/ http://www.sixcorners.ca/#home
https://twitter.com/canmorebrewing https://www.facebook.com/somethingbeer
http://www.caravelbrewery.ca/ http://thedandybrewingcompany.com/
http://www.coldgarden.ca/ http://www.thewellbrewing.ca/
http://commoncrown.ca/ http://theorybrew.ca/
http://couleebrew.co/ http://www.toolshedbrewing.com/
https://www.facebook.com/DogIslandBrewing/ http://trolley5.com/
http://www.federationofbeer.com/ http://www.troubledmonk.com/
https://www.facebook.com/fitzbrewing/ http://twosergeantsbrewing.ca/
http://goatlockerbeer.com/ http://www.villagebrewery.com/
http://www.gpbrewingco.com/ https://twitter.com/watershedbrew
http://www.thegrizzlypaw.com/ http://www.wildrosebrewery.com/
http://halfhitchbrewing.ca/ http://www.yellowheadbrewery.com/
http://www.hellsbasement.com/

BRITISH COLUMBIA

http://33acresbrewing.com/ http://www.moodyales.com/
http://www.4milebrewingco.com/ http://www.mt-begbie.com/
http://www.aframebrewing.com/ http://nelsonbrewing.com/
http://andinabrewing.ca/ http://www.oldabbeyales.com/
http://www.arrowheadbrewingcompany.ca/ http://www.oldyalebrewing.com/
http://www.axeandbarrel.com/ http://parallel49brewing.com/
http://www.badtattoobrewing.com/ http://www.persephonebrewing.com/
https://barkervillebeer.com/ https://phillipsbeer.com/
http://brbco.ca/ http://postmarkbrewing.com/
http://www.beachfirebrewing.ca/ http://www.powellbeer.com/
http://www.blackkettlebrewing.com/ http://www.prohibitionbrewingco.com/
http://www.bnabrewing.com/ http://www.randbbrewing.com/
http://www.bomberbrewing.com/ http://www.ravens.beer/
http://www.bowenislandbeer.com/ https://twitter.com/RealCask
http://bridgebrewing.com/ http://redarrowbeer.ca/
http://www.callisterbrewing.com/ http://redcollar.ca/
https://www.cannerybrewing.com/ http://www.redtruckbeer.com/
http://www.canoebrewpub.com/ http://ridgebrewing.com/
http://www.canuckempirebrewing.com/ http://riotbrewing.com/#coming-soon
http://category12beer.com/ http://rosslandbeer.com/#!/splash-page
http://centralcitybrewing.com/ http://www.russellbeer.com/index.html
http://chaosandsolacebrewing.com/ http://www.sherwoodmountain.beer/
http://coalharbourbrewing.com/ https://silvervalleybrewing.com/
http://www.crossroadscraft.com/ http://www.sookebrewing.com/
http://cumberlandbrewing.com/ https://www.facebook.com/SookeBrew
http://dageraadbrewing.com/ http://www.spinnakers.com/
http://www.deadfrog.ca/ http://www.stanleyparkbrewery.ca/
http://deepcovecraft.com/ http://www.steamworks.com/
https://www.facebook.com/doanscraftbrewing http://steelandoak.ca/
http://www.dogwoodbrew.com/ http://steeltoad.ca/
https://driftwoodbeer.com/ http://www.stormbrewing.org/
https://twitter.com/EastVanBrewing https://strangefellowsbrewing.com/
https://twitter.com/facultybrewing http://www.strathconabeer.com/
https://www.ferniebrewing.com/ https://www.facebook.com/TallShipAleCo/
http://fieldhousebrewing.com/ http://www.moonunderwater.ca/
http://firehallbrewery.com/ http://www.theparksidebrewery.com/
http://www.foamersfolly.ca/ http://www.threeranges.com/
/www.fourwindsbrewing.ca https://www.facebook.com/TinWhistleBrew?fref=ts
http://fuggleswarlock.com/ http://tofinobrewingco.com/#tofinobrewco
http://www.gladstonebrewing.ca/ http://www.torchlightbrewing.com/
http://gib.ca/# http://townsitebrewing.com/
http://www.greenleafbrew.com/ http://tradingpostbrewing.com/
http://hathibrewing.com/ http://www.treebeer.com/
http://www.hearthstonebrewery.ca/ http://www.trenchbrew.ca/
http://www.howesound.com/ http://www.twincitybrewing.ca/
http://hoynebrewing.ca/ http://twinsailsbrewing.com/
http://www.kettleriverbrewing.ca/ http://vanislandbrewery.com/
http://www.lighthousebrewing.com/ http://www.wheelhousebrewing.com/
http://www.longwoodbeer.com/ http://whistlerbeer.com/
http://luppolobrewing.ca/ http://www.whiterockbeachbeer.com/
http://mainstreetbeer.ca/ http://whitesailsbrewing.com/
http://www.maplemeadowsbrewingco.com/ http://www.whitetoothbrewing.com/
http://www.martenbrewpub.com/ http://www.yellowdogbeer.com/
http://www.missionsprings.ca/
%d bloggers like this: