Allegient Blog

So Many Possibilities: The Apple Watch, Innovation from New Knowledge

Posted by Sarah Boswell | May 14, 2015

This is the final post in a new blog series inspired by Peter Drucker’s book Innovation and Entrepreneurship. To see the previous post, please click here.

My FitBit tells me I’ve walked 250 miles since Christmas – the length of the London Underground, the world’s first underground railroad. I’ll admit I’m starting to get obsessed with counting steps, especially since my friend Martin invited me to the Workweek Hustle, a challenge where the objective is to reach your daily step goal during the workweek. Martin racks up steps by parking at the far end of the parking lot, and I try to get extra steps by taking the stairs a few times a day. Anything to feel that buzz on your wrist saying, “Woo, you reached your goal!”

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Craft Brewed - Changes in Perception, Meaning, and Mood

Posted by Martin J. Wagner | May 6, 2015

This is the seventh post in a new blog series inspired by Peter Drucker’s book Innovation and Entrepreneurship. To see the previous post, please click here .

My wife and I went out to lunch while we were enjoying our last day of our staycation together. The server was taking our drink orders and I inquired about the draft selection. I made my selection, a Sam Adams Boston Lager. When it arrived in a signature MIT designed Sam Adams glass, I noticed the color was more of a hazy gold and not the amber I was expecting. I took a deep breath through the nose and I didn’t get that familiar aroma of hops, it was more of an orange peel scent. I took one sip, looked at my wife, and said this is Cold Snap. It turns out the lines were switched in the back and Cold Snap was coming out of the Boston Lager tap. I was rewarded with a free drink for being able to tell the difference between the two. Like many Hoosiers, I love craft beer.

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Allegient Career Transition: From One Side of Technology to Another

Posted by Brent Lacy | April 30, 2015

I am at the beginning of what most people would consider middle age. At this same time I am thinking that I want to shift what I do in I.T. as a career. For at least the past 15 years I have been on the IT infrastructure side of IT. Some help desk, some desktop support, some server support, some application support, even mainframe support, a little of everything. I am ready for a change.

I work for great company (of course I am biased, they gave me an opportunity), and I have expressed an interest in leaving the support or infrastructure side of I.T. and move into the programming side of I.T. They didn't say that I am crazy, what they said was how can we help. For me this opportunity will be a big stretch and a chance to grow in ways I have not attempted in a while. This stretch goal and personal growth are common themes here at Allegient. It is in the company life blood and shows to me how much our company cares for us as employees but also as community members. I think this helps explain why Allegient has once again been voted as one of "Indiana's Best Places To Work" in 2015.

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Metaprogramming and the Importance of Convention

Posted by Preston Sego | April 20, 2015

 

Metaprogramming is a powerful feature that exists in many popular programming languages. It exists broadly in the forms of Reflection (Obj-C, C#, Java, Ruby, ...), Templates (C++, D) and many others. Metaprogramming opens up a whole new world of code simplification and enables the programmer to truly enforce conventions.  This article will focus on using Ruby to provide high-level metaprogramming concepts and will provide several examples to investigate.

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2015 Microsoft Visio Olympics, Grand Champions!

Posted by Anjulia Urasky | April 14, 2015

Allegient participated for its second year in Microsoft’s Visio Olympics and came out the Grand Challenge Winners! The Olympics consisted of three challenges, culminating with an on-site visit to Seattle where partners asked detailed questions about both sales and technical functions.

Microsoft utilizes the Visio Olympics to strengthen its partnerships and provide support. The partners use the challenges and on-site program to gain input from Microsoft about functionality and product placement. Microsoft provides the training sessions and on-site visit only to its partners – making it an exclusive and useful experience in gaining a competitive edge!

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Cool Strollers for Hip Parents - The Innovation for Demographics

Posted by Martin J. Wagner | April 9, 2015

This is the sixth post in a new blog series inspired by Peter Drucker’s book Innovation and Entrepreneurship. To see the previous post, please click here.

Microsoft knew what they were doing when they put Microsoft Office at my fingertips for the first time. Like many alumni of Indiana University, I am incredibly proficient in Word, Access, PowerPoint, and Excel. It is no surprise that I have used these tools at my first job after college. My first course as adjunct faculty for the Kelley School of Business, I taught the BUS K201, The Computer in Business.  Students in K201 learned advanced Access and Excel in my class. Would I have the same preference for another office suite if it was not Microsoft Office? I doubt it. 

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An Introduction to Feature Extraction and Implementation in Accord.NET

Posted by Evan Kirsch | April 6, 2015

The concept of machine learning is that, given a set of data, you can generalize and predict output of the system given additional inputs. If you’ve ever used a linear regression, you’ve used a simple form of machine learning. Regressions are part of a subset of the field called supervised machine learning, which also contains decision trees and certain aspects of neural networks. These are collectively known as supervised learning techniques because you already know the desired output value when you apply them. On the other hand, what if you don’t know what you’re looking for? This is when you use unsupervised learning techniques. Unsupervised learning does not know what the desired output value is, using algorithms to try to explain key features of the data set provided. In this article I will use an unsupervised learning technique called principal component analysis using Accord.NET. If you’re not interested in the theory behind principal component analysis, please feel free to jump directly to the case study.

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Visio: It's Not Just for Flowcharts Anymore

Posted by Geoff Lynch | March 25, 2015

Recently a colleague and I had the honor of attending the 2015 Visio Onsite Continuation Program hosted by Microsoft in Seattle. This unique offering was made available to Allegient as well as several other Microsoft business partners from all over the country. What was special about this exclusive gathering was that we were all there to explorer the depths of functionality and interoperability of Visio.  Much more than an online training course could have ever provided, ours was a consortium of colleagues who desired to ask more detailed questions, such as the development sequences for building dashboards, how to tightly integrate Visio, Excel, and SharePoint into a dashboard powerhouse, and debugging strategies (to name a few). 

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Even Your Mattress Can Be an Innovation

Posted by Sarah Boswell | March 23, 2015

This is the fifth post in a new blog series inspired by Peter Drucker’s book Innovation and Entrepreneurship. To see the previous post, please click here.

Buying online is interesting, isn’t it? Sometimes we want extreme customization, sometimes extreme simplicity. Either way, we just want something that works.

I was thinking about this the other day when I was browsing online for a window seat cushion. (I have this idea that I’ll sit in the window and read a book and enjoy the sunlight.) Unfortunately, I didn’t find what I was looking for at local stores. But my favorite result on Google was a site called Cushion Source. It guides you through choosing the quality, style, and size of your seat cushion, and then offers hundreds of upholstery options. It would have been a great online shopping experience, maybe even an impulse buy, but I stopped at the price tag. I decided I can keep looking for a better deal. Absence of a window seat isn’t what’s keeping me up at night.

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Speaking in Idioms – The Innovation of Process Needs

Posted by Martin J. Wagner | March 12, 2015

This is the fourth post in a new blog series inspired by Peter Drucker’s book Innovation and Entrepreneurship. To see the previous post, please click here.

Up next in Peter Drucker’s seven sources of innovation is process. I like to think about this source of innovation as the elephant in the room. This metaphorical idiom is the obvious truth that is either being ignored or unaddressed. We all know the elephant is there; it is impossible to ignore. Bill Hogan tells us what to do with this elephant: we take one bite at a time. Drucker tells us that we all know about the need, but usually no one does anything about it.

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