Allegient Blog

Collaboration in the Cloud with Office 365

Posted by Albert Chan | October 21, 2014

How many of you have heard these types of things while working in collaboration with a group of people on a presentation, document, etc.:

  • "Who has the "real" copy?"
  • "Can you send it to me?"
  • "I did send it, did you not get it?"
  • "I don't like how this was written, I'm going to change it. Let me send you back my edits."
  • "I haven't received the updated version yet."
  • "Is this the "latest and greatest" version?"
  • "Oh wait, I haven't made my changes yet! Can someone send the latest version to me?"
  • "It's on my computer somewhere... Let me find it and I'll send it to you."

... Yeah... not very fun, is it?

Working at Allegient has given me my first real chance of using Microsoft Office 365 in a collaborative environment working primarily in the cloud. In the past, if I was working collaboratively with a group of people on a document I would usually save a copy to my computer, make my edits, and then send out a new version to the group. This has a some obvious pitfalls:

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What is ServiceNow?

Posted by Axel Ortiz | October 16, 2014

A short while ago I was tasked with working on a pilot that required me to learn a new software product (well, at least it was new to me) and provide evaluations of this product.

The product I am referring to is the cloud-based, Software as a Service (SaaS) solution called ServiceNow that manages and automates IT enterprise services. Sounds boring? It really isn't…that is, once you get past that familiar Salesforce.com-like look and feel and learn your way around the product. 

I would like to share some details of what ServiceNow can do for any business looking to automate their IT services, whether it is through change management, incident management, project portfolio management, configuration management, or resource management among other practices.

ServiceNow is offered solely as an online solution that does not require the customer to incur in hardware expenses. In contrast, RemedyForce (Salesforce.com's nemesis to ServiceNow) does offer on premise solutions as well as Computer Associates (CA).

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Four Steps to a Successful Change

Posted by Khurram Chaudhry | October 13, 2014

In order for a company to gain competitive advantage in today’s world; through business optimization, increased productivity, more efficiency and better business intelligence; Allegient as a consulting company identified four key areas:

  •          Cloud Platform
  •          Mobility
  •          Data & Insights
  •          Social & Productivity

However gaining this advantage is not like installing a new system or a simple upgrade. It requires a transformation in how a particular organization views and reacts to change, and how this change is managed.

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Bridging the Analytics Divide One Student at a Time

Posted by Andy Brockett | October 1, 2014

From September 9th through the 11th, the Allegient team hosted the second session of the Business Intelligence Analytics with the Microsoft Stack course. The Allegient team always enjoys hosting clients in our Immersion Center, but this session was especially exciting as we hosted a sold-out session of 14 attendees representing 5 companies. The students were led through three days of cutting-edge material by leading professors from Indiana University's Kelley School of Business. They were introduced to a business analytics framework that served as the foundation for the design and creation of self-service business intelligence reports and dashboards. As a result, attendees left the course with a firm understanding of data-driven business decisioning and the impact this process has on how the data is prepared, visualized, and distributed to business stakeholders.

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It's a Small SharePoint World

Posted by Kelli Ellis | September 22, 2014

I remember the first time I attended a chess tournament. My son was interested in the chess club at school, and since he was only in fourth grade at the time my husband and I joined him. I was fascinated to find that it was somewhat a world of its own – like a world within our own world. Everyone had the same collapsible chess board in a blue carrying bag with a chess clock. They seemed to have a language of their own, see this very long glossary of chess terms. One sign said, “Skittles here” but I didn’t see any candy (see definition below). I felt like an interloper. My son enjoyed the day, but determined chess was just not the thing for him.

Skittles - A casual or "pick-up" game, usually played without a chess clock. At chess tournaments, a skittles room is where one goes to play for fun while waiting for the next formal game.

 

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Allegient - A Two Week Perspective

Posted by Albert Chan | September 16, 2014

Hello! My name is Albert Chan, and I’m a new Business Analyst in the Platform Solutions group here at Allegient. I started about 2 weeks ago, and since then I have been considering writing a blog that would detail my experiences for a very important reason; I think my experiences may be helpful to others who may be looking at Allegient as a place to advance their career. Some things that I plan on writing about include: my background, life at Allegient and its culture, working with clients, what new stuff I’ve learned, and perhaps just general thoughts about the industry. I’m sure other topics will come and go as well, but this blog will mostly be about my time at Allegient as a new team member.

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Work Hard, Play Hard: Super Smash Brothers Melee Tournament

Posted by Albert Chan | September 12, 2014

During my first day at Allegient, I was introduced to the Big Board. The Big Board is a slide show display of recent and important company information. Events such as new hire announcements, company metrics, company outings, and other interesting news. One such announcement was that there was a Super Smash Brothers Melee Tournament on September 4th, 2014. I think one of my first questions during orientation were, “So what’s with this Super Smash Brothers Tournament?”

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How To Make It Easier To Create A Plugin For The XrmToolBox

Posted by Daryl LaBar | September 8, 2014

The XrmToolBox is an awesome collection of tools for CRM (both CRM 2011 and CRM 2013).  If you haven’t used it before, stop reading this and download it now.  Go ahead.  I’ll wait.

Welcome back…

To date I’ve created 2 plugins for XrmToolBox, Option Set Converter and Early Bound Generator.  While developing them I discovered that there really needed to be a base plugin control to make it simpler to perform CRM calls and perform asynchronous calls. The base class that I ended up with made development a lot easier for me, and could be very helpful for the rest of the community, so I’m going to highlight it now, the PluginUserControlBase.  (I sent this blog to Tanguy and it looks like it will be added to the actual code base!)

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Less Confusion – More Accuracy: Collaboration and RM

Posted by Kelli Ellis | September 2, 2014

I’ve been researching lately about requirements management tools (see previous blog here) and one cannot help but notice the emphasis that has been placed on collaboration over the last few years. Not only is this a newer technology that has begun to soar in corporations, but I now see the strong advantage of utilizing collaboration with requirements management.

It’s difficult to sit in a conference room with someone you’ve never met and talk to them about a system they use every single day while truly capturing what they think and how they feel about the system. A Business Analyst may listen, but hear something that doesn’t exactly match what the person was trying to convey. With collaboration, requirements can be read and then discussed online for everyone to see. As the discussion takes place, the requirement can be updated and massaged until it accurately reflects the need.

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Remove Dynamics CRM 2013 Business Process Flow

Posted by Jeremiah Theurer | August 26, 2014

Recently, a client asked us to perform a Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 On Premises to CRM 2013 On Premises upgrade.  After reading through pages of upgrade guides and how to articles, I felt our team was very prepared for the upgrade. We conducted the upgrade in a test environment without any trouble, but as we were investigating our newly upgraded system, we noticed some of the entities had the new Business Process Flows enabled and these flows were appearing at the top of the entity forms.  For most clients who are upgrading to CRM 2013, this is a huge plus as it is added functionality and can help members of the sales team conduct their sales in a standardized manor. This client, however, did not want to add the Business Process Flows feature to the system.  Our team was then tasked with removing this feature from the upgraded system.

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