Archive for April, 2013

Gateway to Innovation Conference Update

April 27th, 2013




I made my way to St Louis the same week that a huge Robot competition was happening at the downtown convention center – so the whole city was buzzing with activity. The g2i technology event is really big – I would estimate over a thousand people including sponsors and vendors.



Tony La Russa speaks at the CIO reception

The first night was a VIP reception for IT executives which was on the 20th floor downtown (the room had views everywhere of St Louis). Everything about the evening was first class – and the technology leaders of the city were there to network and to hear the guest speaker – Tony La Russa.

Tony managed the St Louis Cardinals from 1996 to 2011 – and he is a hero to folks in St Louis. Tony and his teams have won the World Series three times! He was a great speaker – telling old baseball stories and relating them back to management and leadership. He also signed balls, shirts, and posters which were used to raise money in a silent auction after he was finished speaking.



A full house was normal for the morning keynotes

The event had so many good sessions and speakers is difficult to even begin to write about everything which was covered. I took pages of notes – so I’ll summarize the better material into some future postings.

One of the many highlights was the IT executive panel which focused on business alignment and support. The four panelists were well prepared and the room was completely full with many people standing in the back.

One quote I especially liked was from Matt Spyers who is the VP & CIO of Ralcorp, he said “Business sponsored ask for pull projects will beat out IT sponsored  push projects every time” – a great way to make the key point of the panel.


Jeff Vilmer – InteliSpend - Chris Stephen – Emerson - Ian Patterson – Scottrade - Matt Spyers – Ralcorp

IT Executive Panel – Are you focused on the business?

Jeff Vilmer – InteliSpend

Chris Stephen – Emerson

Ian Patterson – Scottrade

Matt Spyers – Ralcorp


Another highlight was an excellent panel which covered Agile & Beyond. The panel members were Nate McKie, CTO, Asynchrony, Gint Grabauskas, Senior Director, Savvis, John Flagler, IT Director, Hallmark Cards, and Michael Shelley, Release Manager, Perceptive Software. I will write-up their discussion in another posting.


Managers Desk Innovation 02

My presentation above was about How to Create Innovation from the IT Manager’s Desk. Since my time slot was near the end of the day I lightened it up by filling the slide deck with images of many of the amazing innovations I saw while working in the semiconductor industry. I also showed some surprising and interesting statistics from very recent CEO research – and I talked about how direct and creative actions can be taken from within the IT department itself to foster and support enterprise level innovation from technological change.


Keep an eye on this page for downloadable research reports which will be available in the future:



Real-time Twitter Board powered by:

These days I am seeing these twitter boards more frequently at larger conferences – no exception at g2i – the event had boards up all over the place which were displaying hash tagged images and tweets from the event.


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Research | Advisory | Speaking


Using Agile Methods with Microsoft Visual Studio 2012

April 14th, 2013


Microsoft ALM

(Microsoft ALM – Application Lifecycle Management)


Microsoft has built support for Agile / Kanban into Visual Studio 2012 Update 2.

Most of the essential components are there – and the tools generally integrate back to Project Server.


Microsoft ALM Agile


I would not say that the current version is as flashy or robust as other offerings – but if you are working in a .NET environment and want to get started working using well established Scrum or Kanban Agile development methods this product release gives you some of the basics.


More information here:


A deeper look at the VS 2012 Kanban Board:


Our service offerings for Agile are here:



SharePoint 2013 Training for IT Pros

April 10th, 2013


SharePoint Architecture


All of the training videos and PowerPoint slides from Microsoft can be found here:


The SharePoint 2013 homepage is here:


Our service offerings for SharePoint 2013 are here:


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Research | Advisory | Speaking


The Colossus Rebuild Project

April 5th, 2013



(Reposted by Request)


Colossus was a famous and top secret code breaking computer from WW II.

The Colossus Rebuild Project was started by Team Leader Anthony E Sale Hon FBCS and has taken 10 years and has involved over 6,000 man-days of volunteer effort. At a conservative daily rate of £200 this gives a value of £1.2 Million for the Colossus Mk 2 Rebuild.

The Rebuild is now working and can demonstrate most of the code breaking work against the German Lorenz cipher in WW II.

The Rebuild stands in its historically correct place, the room in H Block, in Bletchley Park, UK where Colossus No. 9 stood in WW II.


More information here:


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Research | Advisory | Speaking