Welcome to the first article in a series on moving enterprise systems from a mainframe-based platform to something else. That “something else” could be any number of things, but our default assumption (unless I say otherwise) is going to be a transaction processing system based on a platform like Microsoft’s .NET Framework.  While I expect that there will eventually be some technical content, the initial focus is going to be on planning, methodology, defining solutions and project management.  Moving a […]

In today’s mobile society, the current and future generation of “mobile” devices (i.e. smartphones, tablets, “phablets,” special purpose devices, etc.) and the applications that can be hosted on them provide a significant opportunity to improve the way we work. This is especially true for those workers whose job involves traveling during the day to work directly with customers “in the field.” In this post, I’ll share some recent experiences we’ve had in working with mobile field workers as part of […]

70% of all devices sold in 2012 were tablets or smartphones. Tablet purchases by businesses will grow three times by 2016. These numbers, provided by Gartner, confirm what we already know from walking in the mall or sitting at a cafe…and the news for PC sales doesn’t appear to be improving any time soon. Navigating this post-PC world can a frightening experience when your corporate lifeblood relies on the dominance of PCs. Compounding this is the fragmentation of the emerging market […]

Technology is advancing rapidly, and with its advance comes new and useful ways to complete everyday tasks. In this post I’d like to talk about some of the benefits of replacing the paper- or desktop-based ways of an employee whose job is performed primarily in the field. (Home health workers or field service technicians, for example.) Quality custom software that’s designed to meet the specific needs of a business is easy to adapt and should have minimal adoption time and […]

I was rushing out of my house on a Thursday afternoon and my phone fell squarely onto the pavement. As I picked it up and gingerly turned it over in my hands, I gasped. The screen was cracked, utterly and completely. It was a moment so steeped in idiocy that I almost laughed at myself. If you drop a phone it breaks, right? Except that it hadn’t and I’d dropped it a million times before. Maybe this was just its […]

Good question. And we’ve got the answer. Here at AIS, we’ve spent hundreds of thousands of hours envisioning, designing and constructing SharePoint-based solutions for our clients. With each new version of SharePoint, we make additional investments to deeply understand the new release’s capabilities. We’ve taken a look at all the changes and enhancements in the latest version — and you just have to look at our blog archives to realize that a LOT has changed in 2013 — and put […]

Have you ever attended a technical training event, and three days later, couldn’t really remember what you were trained on? In trying to recall what you just sat through, your mind comes up with the mental equivalent of a desolate Wild Wild West ghost town, perhaps with a sad tumbleweed or two passing through. You are not alone! At one point or another, we’ve all fallen victim to a training presentation that simply does not stick. As a training developer, it’s […]

In order to meet ever-increasing customer demands and compete on a global scale, many organizations need to be able to fold new systems and/or new features into existing systems quickly and cheaply. These organizations — and perhaps yours — have portfolios of existing systems and infrastructures that were implemented literally decades ago. These “legacy” systems, while well-architected for the demands and market conditions of the past, have often become increasingly complex through the years and more costly to maintain. What’s […]

In my job, I have an opportunity not afforded to most: I get to listen to all of the risks, challenges, and issues (a.k.a. problems) that other organizations face. (I know, you’re jealous, right?)  From issues with large-scale hardware deployments to the risks of implementing new federal bureaucratic form processing, I get to hear it all.  Without fail, nearly all of those discussions start with someone in the room declaring, “We do it different here.” If I had a dollar […]

With the SharePoint Conference 2012 behind us, I have been reflecting on our SharePoint journey so far…and on the road ahead. And what an incredible journey it has been! SharePoint has allowed AIS to build mission-critical applications for various large federal government agencies and commercial organizations. And not just ECM or document management systems (which are great workloads enabled by SharePoint) but enterprise-class applications for tens of thousands users (such as the FBI’s Delta Project), built using SharePoint platform elements such as […]