Allegient Blog

Knowing Success Factors Yields Success

Posted by Jimmy Burkhart | July 28, 2014

It is inevitable in today’s business environment that you have had some involvement or been impacted by a technology related project at your company.  And most likely you know of technology projects that have spent countless amounts of time, material and resources that were abandoned.  How can you ensure that your project will succeed and be seen as value add? 

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Visio 2013: Top 10 Tips and Tricks Everyone Should Know (Part 2 of 2)

Posted by Lindsey LaBerge | July 24, 2014

This is the second part in a two part series titled "Visio 2013: Top 10 Tips and Tricks Everyone Should Know". The first part can be found here

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Visio 2013: Top 10 Tips and Tricks Everyone Should Know (Part 1 of 2)

Posted by Lindsey LaBerge | July 21, 2014

As the Marketing Manager at Allegient, my experience as a Business Analyst isn’t the typical career path. In a previous job, I helped model processes for revenue management at a major airline. At that time our business process modeling consisted of hand drawn notes, sent offshore to be transformed into diagrams in Powerpoint. Imagine our confusion when these slides were provided with no key and no definitions for the shapes being used. I knew there was some serious room for improvement.

A year after joining Allegient, I sat down with our Business Solutions Manager, Louise Hughes to develop a marketing piece. We reviewed my projects that reflected some experience in the realm of process modeling. Like many at Allegient, my skills for this service area were discovered somewhat accidentally, but utilized for the benefit of our client (link to a culture blog). This discovery led to three months of business analysis work with her group.

Throughout that experience, I had the pleasure of working with Jason DePasquale, a Senior Business Analyst here at Allegient. He provided the oversight that helped align our diagrams with the approved standards within BPMN 2.0.  BPMN 2.0 is a standard process modeling notation that everyone can understand. From this experience, I have come away with 10 Tips & Tricks for Visio that may prove valuable for the new learner as well as the experienced Visio pro. 

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Salesforce Vs. Dynamics: A Comparative Look at a New Partnership

Posted by Andy Brockett | July 17, 2014

When Microsoft announced their partnership with Salesforce.com a month ago, many of their partners were left scratching their heads. I’ll be honest: I cringed when hearing the news. Why would Microsoft freely solve their top competitor’s biggest shortcoming (namely, Salesforce’s poor integration with Microsoft Office)? This sudden shift from foe to friend seemed so counterintuitive and so debilitating to Microsoft. Salesforce, I thought at the time, now had all the necessary tools it needed to overtake Microsoft Dynamics and become the only competitive CRM product on the market.

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Deductive and Inductive Problem Solving

Posted by Khurram Chaudhry | July 14, 2014

There are two primary approaches to deal with any problem, deductive and inductive problem solving. There are clear trade offs between the two. While the inductive approach is more thorough, potentially leading to useful insights and a broader systematic perspective, it has the potential of wasting time and often ends up hard to justify.

On the contrary, the deductive approach is much less likely to collect data that you don’t need and help you reach a solution much faster.

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Five Reasons to Attend a SharePoint Saturday

Posted by Kelli Ellis | July 11, 2014

SharePoint Saturdays (SPS) are free one-day events that are put on around the globe by volunteers in each location.  Though they are available throughout the world, there are often many here in the United States that are close enough to drive to – or fly to if you're so inclined. Chicago will be hosting its own Sharepoint Saturday, originally scheduled for July 19th, now rescheduled for September 6th (http://www.spsevents.org/city/Chicago/Chicago2014/). Here are a few reasons to attend:

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Impacting the Customer Experience Through Web Personalization

Posted by Alex Bulman | July 8, 2014

Just recently I was browsing the web and came across an article discussing Amazon’s recent patent on anticipatory shipping. Yep, you heard me correctly: Anticipatory Shipping. Through the use of predictive analysis, Amazon is ready to package a product and postmark it with your address before you click ‘purchase item.’

Seems risky, right? What if they make a mistake and send me something I had no intention of ordering? Does that mean free stuff for me? Well yes, it does—but Amazon isn’t worried about it. For one, a customer that receives something for free isn’t likely to file a complaint. On the contrary, an occasional ‘gift’ from Amazon will only increase customer loyalty. More importantly though, Amazon is confident that their predictions will significantly limit the possibility of that ever happening.

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Predictive Index, What's In It For Me?

Posted by Josh Burkhead | July 3, 2014

“In Summary, Josh is an intense, results-oriented person, whose drive and sense of urgency are tempered and disciplined by his strong concern for the accuracy and quality of the details of any work for which he is responsible. His approach to any work he does will be based on thorough analysis and detailed knowledge of all pertinent facts."

Now I’m a little freaked out. This went on for 2 ½ pages covering everything from my strongest behaviors, to management style, influencing style, management strategies and more. In my case, the report was spot-on.

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Amazon: A Strategic Approach

Posted by Khurram Chaudhry | June 30, 2014

“Strategy used to be about protecting existing competitive advantage, but not anymore. Today it is about finding the next advantage.” Vijay Govindarajan

Jeff Bezos not only came up with a practical demonstration of this statement but rather pushed it to the limits. He founded a company, Amazon, with its roots in innovation. Initially, Amazon.com positioned itself as “Variety Based Positioning” as it focused on selling books online. As their business model expanded they positioned themselves as “Earth’s most Customer Centric Company”. Amazon spent a considerable effort in developing capabilities around its core competency. i.e., online sales. And coupled this with a considerable effort to build an ecosystem around it to drive a unique experience for its customers.

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The Foundation of Trust

Posted by Kelli Ellis | June 26, 2014

We all know trust is an integral part of doing business successfully. Just check out Amazon, a bookstore, or library and you find that business books on this subject abound. But it is easier said than done. To say we trust one another is one thing, but to truly trust and work together comfortably often eludes people.

So far, after just a few weeks in my new position at Allegient, I am reminded of how fundamentally important this is to me and how important this is to all of our customers. One of the 12 principles listed in The Agile Manifesto (see here for more) is as follows:

“Build projects around motivated individuals.
Give them the environment and support
they need, and trust them to get the job done.”

 

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