Going Google Apps

Going Google AppsPaperback, Jan 2013, 104 pages, ISBN 978-1-907453-15-1

Authors: Frank Bennett and Dr Peter Chadha

Available from Amazon.com

SUMMARY

Are you responsible for technology in a small or medium sized business, nonprofit or education? Are you frustrated knowing that bigger organisations have better technology, leaving you to feel like yours is second best? That no longer need be the case. It is a certain bet you know Google, and you may know something about the ‘cloud’. On the other hand you are perhaps more interested in knowing how to make your business more efficient and dynamic. Being able to work anywhere without the hassle of complex, fiddly technology that comes at a high cost. Read on to discover what Google’s software engineers have developed to make IT more accessible and affordable so you can compete and grow your business.

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Buying a Cloud Solution

SQ Buying CloudPaperback, May 2009, 150 pages, ISBN 978-0-9561556-4-1

Authors: Ian Gotts and Stephen Parker

Available at Amazon.com

REVIEWS

Cloud Computing is a new business model that requires new thinking for our customers. How they architect the solution, how they secure the applications and how they federate their on-premise computing with the cloud are all extremely critical success factors for Cloud Computing adoption. Ian and Stephen have done a great job of exposing the questions that our customers need to be asking their cloud services vendors to ensure a successful project.

Shannon Day, Marketing Manager Software plus Services (Microsoft, http://www.microsoft.com)

This is one of the most valuable and informative technology books for professionals that I have read. Finally the mystery of ―Cloud Computing‖ has been solved. This is a must read for anyone in IT or in a management position within a business that is considering or wants to know the straight facts about Cloud Computing. A good common sense review of what Cloud Computing is and is not, coupled with a detailed list of questions to help you decide on the right approach for your particular needs.

Toby Tarczy, Managing Director (Calvella, http://www.calvella.com)

This book parts the clouds on an exciting and inevitable evolution of information services and the way we work and play. It reminds all of us that the devil is in the detail and that the benefits to be realized, which are many, are won through effective planning and preparation and the effective execution of the implementation plan. Above all the book is practical, insightful and pragmatic. It will look strangely familiar to anyone experienced in managing change in systems and organizations. It is a valuable resource as its cuts through the mystery and explains it in plain language.

David E Alexander, Managing Director (Solutions Make The Difference, http://www.solutionsmtd.com)

There are many sources of information, but not one source for all the information that buyers need to conduct their evaluation of Cloud Computing. Until now that is – ―Thinking of… Buying Cloud Computing? Ask the Smart Questions‖ puts buyers in the driving seat. Caveat Emptor becomes Caveat Venditor!

Frank Bennett, Founder (SaaSDeal, http://www.saasdeal.co.uk)

Offering a Cloud Solution

Paperback, 10 July 2009, 160 pages, ISBN 978-0-9561556-1-0

Authors: Ian Gotts & Stephen Parker

Available on Amazon.com

REVIEWS

The whole Thinking of series focusing on the Smart Questions is a brilliant concept. These books encourage an informed debate rather than prescribing a specific path which may not be the right one for your business. This book is an invaluable resource for ISVs. The authors have done a great job in articulating the opportunities and the challenges ISVs face in this transition to a Software plus Services world. Although targeted at ISVs, in my view, it is equally valuable for customers so they can assess the capability of their software suppliers in providing resilient and capable Cloud services.
Gurprit Singh, Director Emerging Technologies, Microsoft

Salesforce.com, with its Force.com platform, has always believed in the power of Cloud Computing to deliver enterprise scale apps to businesses of every size.  We see it every day with our 60,000 customers. What Ian and Stephen have put together is the most comprehensive list of all the questions that an ISV should answer before ‘launching into the Clouds’.
Tim Knight, Senior Director, Force.com

Ian and Stephen have written an insightful book that takes a refreshing research-driven approach to helping businesses understand, navigate and take advantage of this dynamic Cloud Compute market.  Ask the Smart Questions provides practical advice on how to stay nimble and flexible in an ever-morphing cloud landscape and offers a paint-by-numbers Q&A session for decision makers looking to transform themselves and successfully claim a stake in the ‘Cloud pie’.
Steve O’Deegan, Managing Partner, Laurel Group 

Ian and Stephen have created a great handbook for all software developers looking to build solutions in the Cloud. If you are a software developer planning a Cloud Computing solution, then this book should be part of your planning process. If you are a software developer who hasn’t yet thought about how you will address the opportunity and threat that Cloud Computing creates for you, then Thinking of offering a Cloud solution is a great place to start and could help you to not be left behind by your peers. Whichever you are, answer the questions in Chapters 8 and 9 carefully as they are based on real world experience that has seen others succeed and fail. If you ignore any of these key questions, you will only have to answer them later and that could be too late.
Jeremy Roche, Chief Executive, CODA

This book offers ISVs a great entry into the new world of S+S. Ever wondered how, why or what? If so then the questions in this book and the thought it provokes are for you as it will stimulate your decisions as you consider moving all or part of your business to Software+Services.
Richard Phillips, ISV Partner Manager, Microsoft

An ISV usually realizes that moving to the Cloud isn’t optional, before they come to Navatar Group for help. The ISV doesn’t realize, however, that simply Cloud-enabling their On-Premise software won’t translate into a profitable business model. We recommend this book as a ‘must-read’ for every ISV so you can make an informed choice between selling a ‘product’ and providing a ‘service’, based on your customer needs and your ability to change. Answering the Smart Questions will provide a basis for a realistic cost benefit analysis as well as help you understand what will resonate with your customers and where you will need advice or partnerships.
Alok Misra, Principal, Navatar Group

Selling Microsoft Office 365

Office 365Paperback, June 2011, 148 pages, ISBN 978-1907453113

Authors: Frank Bennett and Dan Lewis

Available at Amazon.co.uk

REVIEWS

The conversation about Microsoft Office 365 is yours to initiate or ignore. This book will help you engage in a conversation with your customers rather than leave the door open for somebody else.
MARTIN WALKER, EMEA Director Microsoft Online Services

This book is an essential read for all partners. Read it, make it your own and be successful in the Online Services world.
DANNY BURLAGE, Founder and CTO, Wortell

Read it, share it with your team and watch the penny drop, this IS the guide for Microsoft Partners who want to participate in the new economy of cloud.
BRAD RAPPELL, Managing Director, Productiv Australia

Online Services such as Microsoft Office 365 are more than a trend; it’s the beginning of an evolution of change to desktop and infrastructure services.
DAVID HALL, CTO , CompuCom Systems Inc.

Microsoft Office 365 will be disruptive. This book provides the background and questions to help you understand the opportunities this disruption creates.
STEPHEN PARKER, Head of Cloud Strategy, NewLease

It is our choices that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.
J.K ROWLING, Author, Harry Potter books

The conversation about Microsoft Office 365 is yours to initiate or ignore. This book will help you engage in a conversation with your customers rather than leave the door open for somebody else.
MARTIN WALKER, EMEA Director Microsoft Online Services

This book is an essential read for all partners. Read it, make it your own and be successful in the Online Services world.
DANNY BURLAGE, Founder and CTO, Wortell

Read it, share it with your team and watch the penny drop, this IS the guide for Microsoft Partners who want to participate in the new economy of cloud.
BRAD RAPPELL, Managing Director, Productiv Australia

Online Services such as Microsoft Office 365 are more than a trend; it’s the beginning of an evolution of change to desktop and infrastructure services.
DAVID HALL, CTO , CompuCom Systems Inc.

Microsoft Office 365 will be disruptive. This book provides the background and questions to help you understand the opportunities this disruption creates.
STEPHEN PARKER, Head of Cloud Strategy, NewLease

It is our choices that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.
J.K ROWLING, Author, Harry Potter books

Delivering solutions on the Windows Azure platform

SQ AzurePaperback, July 2009, 160 pages, ISBN 978-0-9561556-3-4

Authors: Dan Scarfe, Marcus Tillett and Stephen Parker

Available at Amazon.com

REVIEWS

Smart Questions raises the most important considerations for evaluating cloud platforms. With such a fundamental change, there are few simple answers that can be stamped onto every firm. It is more important for IT leaders to consider their own unique environment, and this book provides the tools to conduct that analysis.

Matt Rogers, Director, Global Sales Strategy Windows Azure, Microsoft

If you need an introduction to Azure and you’ve only got time to read one book, make sure it’s this one. I will be recommending it to suits and jeans alike in my organization. It strikes exactly the right balance between the technical and non-technical and is an excellent primer that answers key questions at many levels in a clear and concise manner.Bert Craven, Enterprise Architect, easyJet

When I was at school, the 3Rs were Reading, wRiting and aRithmetic. Now, for an IT professional thinking about cloud computing, we have a new definition, “Reinforced, Remind and Revealed”. Based on an evolving set of the right questions to ask, this book seeks to Reinforce your current model, Remind you of key points and Reveal new insights. Don’t start an Azure project without reading this.

Richard Prodger, Technical Director, Active Web Solutions

The potential of the Cloud is starting to be understood by enterprises. We have been delivering hosted BPM projects to Fortune1000 customers for 5 years, but now customers are asking us to provide long-term production capabilities. Our solutions are based on Microsoft technologies, so Azure seems the perfect platform. However, this is early stages for Azure and the wrong approach would be terminal for Nimbus. By offering questions that we can consider in the context of our business, rather than pre-canned answers, this book has massively de-risked our decision-making process.

Paul Linsell, Founder & CTO, Nimbus

The Windows Azure Platform is a strategic investment for Microsoft and its success is at the heart of our long-term plans. It is critical that we help our partners and customers understand the opportunities that are available, but just as importantly to manage the challenges.

Azure is part of Microsoft’s Software plus Services vision, providing partners and customers with the power of choice to deliver applications in the Cloud as well as on-premises. Microsoft wants businesses to invest in Azure because it is the right solution for them, not just because it is new.

The Smart Questions approach provides the questions, both business and technical, that you need to ask yourself so you can successfully take advantage of the power of Azure.

Alistair Beagley, Platform Strategy Advisor, Microsoft

Applying for a patent in Australia

Applying for a patent in Australia (Spruson)Paperback, June 2012, 150 pages, ISBN 978-1-907453-14-4

Authors: Matt Lohmeyer and Philip Heuzenroeder

Available at Amazon.com

REVIEWS

For any individual or small business considering filing an Australian patent application, investing the time to read Thinking of Applying for a Patent in Australia? is an investment that will pay dividends.”

Yasmin King, Inaugural NSW Small Business Commissioner

“Applying for a patent in Australia brings a new level of clarity to the question ‘to patent or not to patent?’. Many Australian Organisations are not intimately aware of the power that intangible assets can provide them in the global marketplace. This book provides a fantastic first port of call for those pondering this question, and will provide insight into the key questions that need to be considered.”

Marcus Tarrant, Managing Director, Mission HQ Pty Ltd

“An enjoyable romp through the normally dry landscape of patenting! The book should be required reading for budding inventors.”

Andrew Baker, Partner, GBS Venture Partners

“Most engineers and scientists would agree that the difference between success and failure in technical matters is usually the time taken to honestly answer a few smart questions. IP protection and commercialisation is no different. This book takes the masses of information available on the patent system and distils it into a simple, concrete methodology for evaluating and protecting any new idea. Matt and Philip have done a fantastic job in creating a useful tool for people of all levels of experience who want to make smart decisions about patent protection.”

Warwick Bagnall, Chief Engineer, Cavitus Pty Ltd

“This book is exactly what we need. Hopefully it will encourage many inventors to ‘unlock the bottom drawer’ and let their inventions and IP take a breath of life. The approach is engaging and intelligent and will assist many entrepreneurs and angel investors to navigate the complexities of IP.”

Christine Kaine, Founder, Business Angels Pty Ltd

“I wish I had read this book before I engaged an IP lawyer, I could have saved thousands in legal fees by being better prepared. Money which would have been better spent on marketing.”

Jonathan Weinberg, Serial Entrepreneur and Owner, HeartCall Pty Ltd

“Thinking of Applying for a Patent in Australia? answers all the questions you already have, and a few more you didn’t know to ask, about this daunting process. I would make this required reading for anyone that asks about what to do with their invention. Well done to Matt and Philip for finally clearing the air on this tricky issue.”

Dr David Andrews, technology commercialisation executive

“If you are looking to patent, reading Smart Questions will improve your chances of getting a return on your investment.”

David Mitchell, Chief Executive Officer, X-Energy Pty Ltd

“The Smart Question structure works extremely well. The authors have successfully consolidated their considerable personal experiences of IP and commercialisation to produce an exceptionally effective and useful tool for the reader.”

David Cosgrave, Lecturer, The College of Law

“There are any number of publications available providing the fine detail on every aspect of patenting and IP due diligence. As an investor in early stage technology companies, I have struggled to find an IP user’s guide that tells me what I want to know quickly and in a form that is easy to understand. Lohmeyer and Heuzenroeder’s new book will make a great reference text or can be used as a comprehensive introduction for those wanting a broad understanding of the IP landscape in Australia.”

Mark Bonnar, Investment Director, Cleantech Ventures Pty Ltd

“An easy read format and big on content. The book helps you get to the important points quickly. The structure on topics with question / response format makes for a great reference document and is a big aid when helping others within the business. … I definitely value our IP differently and have a much clearer understanding of when to seek patent and when not too. As a mechanical engineer I have had a couple of inventions during my career that I now wish I had pursued a patent for. Your book has made me realise this.”

Paul Parry, Assistant Line Manager, Norske Skog Boyer

“An essential handbook for inventors, SME managers and anybody who wants to understand the patent world in Australia. A very enjoyable read, I highly recommend it to anyone who wants to understand the Australian IP system”

Hesham Soliman, Founder & Director, Elevate Technologies Pty Ltd

Backing up data in your business

SQ Backing up dataPaperback, June 2011, 128 pages, ISBN 978-1-907453-04-5

Authors: Guy Bunker and Gareth Fraser-King

Available at Amazon.com

SUMMARY

Although backup and recovery seems as simple as copying bits from point to point, it is far more challenging to implement properly when considering the details involved. This book captures the decades of backup and storage experience that Gareth Fraser-King and Guy Bunker have in the industry and make them ideally suited to provide the insights and questions you should be asking of your backup vendor or provider. Pat Hanavan, Vice President, Symantec Corporation

REVIEWS

As many organizations are learning these days, backup and in particular recovery have become more challenging tasks as the number and complexity of systems in the organization continue to rise. This book provides a clear and comprehensive explanation of how an organization should approach their backups and how to avoid the pitfalls which can lead to potential loss of valuable systems and data.

Lewis McMahon, Owner, Storage Online Ltd

This book will be an invaluable resource to our customers. Understanding the right questions to ask has helped us provide the right solution for the problems they have.

Wayne Cockerill, Managing Director, Aindale BMS Ltd

We had looked at backup, but the more we looked into it, the more it seemed to be a real minefield. Using the book we were able to approach our technical partner, Aindale, who quickly helped us find the right solution.

Ian Jackson, Director, Compact Software.

As data becomes the lifeblood of even small and medium sized organizations, the need for information continuity is even more important. Being able to ask the right questions gives these organizations an advantage over those who choose to work without informed help.

Clive Longbottom, Service Director, Business Process Analysis, Quocirca Ltd

I know it sounds awful, but when I had my laptop nicked I experienced grief for the first time in my life. Gareth helped me as much as he could after the event but the horse had bolted. He couldn’t believe I hadn’t backed up my data. Nor can I now. This book makes absolutely essential reading for anyone – even me, if I could read.

Math Priest, Rock God, Entrepreneur, Radio Producer and the Drummer from Dodgy

Maximising your investment as a Microsoft Partner

SQ MS PartnerPaperback, September 2009, 48 pages, ISBN 978-0-9561556-6-5

Authors: Julie Simpson and Andy Trish

Available at Amazon.com

SUMMARY

“This book is a great resource for Microsoft partners – it provides smart questions and even smarter answers in a simple and clear way. If you’re looking to build, enhance or develop your partnership with Microsoft, I would highly recommend reading this book.” Clare Barclay, Director of Partner Strategy & Programmes, Microsoft Ltd

REVIEWS

The CSAT can be a really powerful tool for assessing performance and customer opinion. If used correctly it will really benefit you rather than being a “tick in the box”.

David Irwin, Solutions Architect, Ergo Computing (Gold Certified Partner)

Keep talking at least on a weekly basis with your account manager about your business wins and about your wishes, he/she will be able to direct you to the right person/programme.

Philippe Limantour, Managing Director, YouSaaS, (Gold Certified Partner)

The segmentation and metrics have changed for FY10 (this fiscal year). Understand them completely, find the most relevant areas that positively affect your business and then utilise your account manager to drive field integration strategies and awareness.

Chris Teets, General Manager, Azaleos (Gold Certified Partner)

The internal use of licensing for production use and demos is really important. Not only to get the technical experience in using the latest products but to have sales confidence and realistic expectations of what the products do.

Doug Tutus, CEO, Newlease (Gold Certified Partner)

Work with an Account Manager on a business plan gaining commitment on the gives and gets.

Liam O’Mahony, Director, Computer Talk Ltd (Certified Partner)

To obtain increased market share in Dynamics, Microsoft and its partners will need to take an approach that requires specialisation rather than generalisation.

Garth D. Laird, President, ZAP (Gold Certified Partner)

I think it starts with being innovative – Taking Microsoft products and delivering creative and innovative solutions that demonstrate high return on investment.

Will Saville, Managing Director, Brightstarr Ltd (Gold Certified Partner)

If I had to give one piece of advice it would be „make use of what‟s on offer‟. As a Microsoft partner you have access to £££s worth of

Paul Doherty, Sales & Marketing Director, 7Global resources your business can make use of. (Gold Certified Partner)

As a startup the use of licenses and the Microsoft facilities are one of the major benefits and should be used from day one. Do whatever you can to attend the partner networking events.

Anders Trolle-Schultz, Partner, SaaS-it Consult (Registered Partner)

Microsoft is built around partnership, ignore that simple fact and the consequences are obvious.

Ben Gower, Managing Director, Perspicuity Ltd (Gold Certified Partner)

Microsoft won’t make you rich but your ability to capitalise on a quality Microsoft partnership may well do.

Jerome Mohamed, Sales & Marketing Director, OctaviaIS (Gold Certified Partner)

We were a registered partner for four years. We decided to go for Gold and achieved it in 15 months. Why on earth did we wait four years

Ian Gotts, Founder and CEO, Nimbus Partners (Gold Certified Partner)

Driving Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online

MS DynamicsPaperback, June 2011, 128 pages, ISBN 978-1-907453-10-6

Authors: Jim Sheehan and Steve Thompson

Available at Amazon.com

SUMMARY

This guide provides quick and concise guidance for customers and partners to better understand how decisions around CRM are made and how to drive high-value scenarios for Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online in an accelerated manner. It dispels some of the myths around CRM and highlights some of the critical questions to address in implementing a robust and effective CRM experience regardless of business or technology constraints. Brad Wilson, General Manager, Microsoft Dynamics CRM

REVIEWS

“A well written business book for executives who need to quickly get to the key points of CRM implementation. This will help organizations focus on the right things that ultimately help make decisions impacting the cultural change needed to ensure customer relationship management is a success. A must read if an organization has any interest in growth and sees CRM as a vehicle to take them on the journey to make it happen.”

Dave Hutchinson, Executive Vice President, Client Profiles

In our experience as a Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online partner, eSavvy has found this book reflects a lot of the practical aspects and questions we encounter every day. It is therefore a valuable resource for customers and partners to get the most from the 30 day trial process.

David Goad, Managing Director, eSavvy (Australia) Pty Ltd.

Whether public cloud, partner hosted, on-premises or a hybrid solution, Microsoft’s strength is the choice it offers customers and the partner eco-system that supports this. This book provides the insight and questions that will allow businesses to understand how to take advantage of this choice.

Warren Nolan, General Manager Sales APAC, NewLease Pty Ltd

Smart Questions for Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online is a no-nonsense way to quickly understand how to drive business with customer relationship management in an accelerated manner. For companies interested in getting in the game, here’s the playbook.

Kim Smith, Director, Cloud & CRM Partner Strategy, Microsoft Business Solutions, Microsoft Corporation

Force as your key to the Cloud Kingdom

SQ Force.comPaperback, September 2010, 180 pages, ISBN 978-0-9561556-5-8

Authors: Alok Misra and Ian Gotts

Available at Amazon.com

SUMMARY

The “Smart Questions” structure will help you to make well-informed choices. Nothing is left unexamined: Misra and Gotts explore the issues from both business and technical perspectives, but focus on the one intent that matters most: commercial success on Force.com. Parker Harris Co-founder, executive vice president, salesforce.com

REVIEWS

It‟s interesting that over the past 50 years, the software industry has not only gone through business cycles but also business model cycles. And even more interesting is that the critical issues in successful business models keep being forgotten, or assumed are being solved in the next newest iteration. What Gotts and Misra have done in their thinking here is to frame the problem well and clearly. Then by using the Q&A approach, they provide not only a great check list, but also a bite-sized chunks process to allow the reader to think about and understand the key issues at a engaged and detailed level. I‟d recommend the book to any ISV or enterprise CIO thinking about what they might or could do in the Cloud space.

Ken Horner, Principal, Deloitte

The Smart Questions approach makes the complicated simple. With its aptly labeled “Questions for Suits” and “Questions for Jeans”, this is the book that an executive needs to read before making a go/no go decision about a Cloud Computing project. Author Alok Misra, who has helped us make that decision, lives and breathes this subject. He is an excellent guide.

Michelle Nunn, CEO, Points of Light Institute

Thinking about building an app on Force.com? Well don‟t, at least not until you have read Alok and Ian‟s book. They‟ll guide you through the decisions you need to make to ensure you build a successful app, but more importantly lead you through the commercial questions you must address in order to make sure you can successfully monetize your development investment. Alok and Ian are well respected in the Force.com community and this book is a great place to start your journey with the Force.com platform.Jeremy Roche, CEO, FinancialForce.com & Chairman, CODA

This book, “Thinking of…” outlines the thinking and planning required to migrate a traditional software company to the “software as a service” model, using salesforce.com’s Force.com platform. The book presents dozens of questions an ISV must ask itself before jumping into SaaS and many case study examples of companies that have failed and succeeded at their attempts to offer software as a service. It should serve as a useful guide to any company interested in making this shift.

Penny Crosman, Executive Editor, Techweb

Cloud computing has, of course, been around for decades – the challenge has always been how you make money on the stuff. Add Marc Benioff, Force.com, and stir, and a real Cloud ecosystem started wearing long pants in 2009. In the fall, Nucleus found Force.com developers could develop apps 4.9 times on Force.com than .NET or JAVA, and few believed they were “locked in” because they would be locked in with Microsoft or IBM using another language, and likely face a much longer time to market.
But not everyone was successful in making their first million in the Cloud – largely because they hadn‟t worked out all the dumb stuff – such as their business model and development and support strategy. In Smart Questions, Alok and Ian lay out the key business and technical factors that developers enamored with (or puzzled by) Force.com should consider before they hit the sandbox. They highlight some of the inherent challenges traditional vendors face in adopting a Cloud strategy, both technical and financial. This is a good quick sanity check for new or existing companies considering a venture into the Cloud. The book highlights a lot of the business opportunities and realities facing salesforce.com partners today, and aspiring developers should take heed.

Rebecca Wetteman, Vice President, Nucleus Research

We started Salesforce.com and the Salesforce Foundation simultaneously as a new model for business. Make philanthropy a core part of the culture of the company and great things will happen. The 1-1-1 model (1 percent time; 1 percent equity;
1 percent product) has been helping nonprofits and making a difference from the very beginning. Force.com allows nonprofits to innovate in an unprecedented way. Not only have we seen them be able to become more efficient, but their innovation in areas such as social networking and campaign management is being adopted nowbybusinessestoo. NonprofitssuchasGirlsIncandPoints Of Light Institute have actually helped create commercial products such as volunteer and constituent management for nonprofits, that businesses are also interested in deploying. Who knew that ISV productswouldbecomingfromnonprofits? NavatarGrouphas been very successful in using Force.com to bring out the “entrepreneurial side” of nonprofits. Alok and Ian show us the path to bringing out the best in nonprofit innovation and entrepreneurial spirit, in this book. I strongly recommend this book to any nonprofit that seeks to save money and innovate in the Cloud.

Suzanne DiBianca, Executive Director, Salesforce.com Foundation

We all have questions about Force.com, but Alok and Ian have answers, solid answers, answers to questions that I hadn’t even thought of. Force.com can work well as a Cloud Computing platform, but only if you take into account all the issues that they cover with clarity and brevity.

David Dobrin, President, B2B Analysts

It is tempting to dismiss Cloud Computing as another product of the well-oiled technology hype machine. However, Cloud reality is catching the hype as early adopters of the technology have demonstrated compelling business benefits include higher ROI and lowered TCO. Independent Software Vendors (ISV’s) and Enterprise IT groups have many burning questions around if, how, and when they should transition from their on-premise solutions to Cloud-based offerings and whether they should consider a platform like Force.com to enable that transition. In their book, authors Alok and Ian explain not just the technology considerations – and common misconceptions -involved in building Cloud Computing applications on Force.com, but more importantly emphasize the need to understand the new business model and commercial viability of Cloud offerings. I found several insights and recommendations that at first glance appear to go against conventional wisdom but turned out to be very practical and relevant to the context. For example, the authors do not recommend an Agile Development Methodology to develop a multi-tenant Force.com application. They warn ISVs that they may not have a viable product business if 30% to 40% of their revenues come from consulting services. The book contains dozens of great questions to consider for the business and technology folks organized into separate sections for easy reference. A very timely book by well-respected veterans, Alok and Ian, who have practical experience with Cloud Computing and the Force.com platform. Highly recommended.

Kamesh Pemmaraju, Director of Cloud Research, The SandHill Group

Joining a gym

SQ GymPaperback, September  2010, 72 pages, ISBN 978-1-907453-05-2

Author: Frank Bennett

Available at Amazon.com

SUMMARY

When you are thinking about joining a gym there are important questions that you should ask yourself and your prospective club before making your decision. This book provides you with the information and questions you need to make the right choices for your personal health and fitness.

Planning for ERP in the cloud

Paperback, June 2011, 84 pages, ISBN 978-1-907453-09-0

Author: Stephen Parker

Available from Amazon.com

SUMMARY

Despite the hype and noise there would appear to be some real credibility around the delivery of Cloud services. But are we really ready to trust the Cloud with our Line of Business applications? This book will provide you with the smart questions to help your planning process as you think about using the Cloud for your ERP systems.

REVIEWS

“This is the best description and directive on Cloud, specifically ERP Cloud, that I have read to date. In less than 80 pages, the Smart Questions book gives a really nice breakdown of Cloud descriptions and priorities which helps bring order to all the “Cloud Marketing” chaos out there in the market. I think this was a tremendous idea by Microsoft, to partner on developing this content for the “Asking the Smart Questions” series. The questions proposed are right on the money and providing simple answers to “Why it matters” helps drive clarity to my evaluation of the cloud as a business owner. I would score this content as a bull‟s-eye!”

Matt Woodward, President, SMB Suite

“As Partners contemplate moving their business to the cloud, it is important to go through the right thought process to determine the needs, motivation, and important business changes and challenges such a move can potentially create. Planning for ERP in the Cloud is a great guide that will help partners take a 360 degree view of the potential effect on their customers, vendors, consultants and management team in moving to the cloud.”

Linda Rose, CPA, President/CEO, Rose Business Solutions Inc.

“The growth of customers asking about the Cloud is accelerating. Microsoft‟s commitment to the Cloud is providing credibility. Our experience in supporting an eco-system of over 700 Microsoft partners offering Cloud services is that their success is directly linked to the quality of their planning. This book will be a huge help in removing the „where do I start‟ challenge as partners consider adding Cloud ERP to their portfolio.”

Doug Tutus, CEO, NewLease

People-centric Process Management

Paperback, March 2010, 170 pages, ISBN 978-1-907453-00-7

Authors: Ian Gotts and Mark McGregor

Available from Amazon.com

REVIEWS

This is a topic that is close to my heart. I am a firm believer in engaging the people in solving problems and improving what is done.  In a world where process seems to mean technology, this book offers a timely reminder of the pivotal role that our people play in real success. We have made huge strides here over the last year particularly in changing the culture to one where staff are much more engaged in the work and continuously looking for ways to improve and to eliminate wasteful activities.  We’ve seen tremendous results in terms of efficiencies and service improvements. I would strongly recommend this book to anyone looking to improve their capability in process improvement or looking to drive real results from process improvement programmes.
Maurice Chadwick, Operations Director, Bank of Ireland

Much of the literature on business process management coming from IT vendors and consulting firms is much to do about serving up answers.  But because every company and every situation is unique isn’t it time to ask questions first? McGregor and Gotts do just that and more; they provide the right questions that will guide you along the path to achieving meaningful business results from your process initiatives.
Peter Fingar, Former CIO, Professor and author

For those with an interest in process management, make this one of the first books you read.  The book’s central lesson – that deep interaction with people is essential to improve process performance – should not be forgotten.  Although many analysts, vendors, and IT personnel enjoy discussing the range and sophistication of functionality in BPM technology, the authors remind us that all progress finally depends on human adoption. A process that uses a sharp stick to spear fish near shore is much more effective than a 60-foot fishing boat that cannot get out of dock for lack of a capable crew
Jim Boots, Senior BPM Adviser, Chevron

An insightful book about the central role that people play in any effective business process.  Automating and measuring processes are important, but in the end, it always comes down to the managers and employees who have to do the work.  This book will make sure you ask the right questions when you approach your next process project.
Paul Harmon, Executive Editor, BPTrends

This book, particularly the ‘smart questions’, reminds us that process management delivers value when people find, understand and adopt the processes in question. As a business process outsourcing provider we are custodians of the processes we deliver for our clients and our success in continuously improving the performance of these services depends on a people centric approach, with a transparent understanding of process and performance shared between service provider and client.  It’s a recipe for successful process improvement and long term client relations.  If you have an interest in this field I’d recommend you take account of the people-centric questions before considering which business process technologies to choose.
Sean Murphy, Head of BPO Performance Improvement, Steria

Although some organizations have moved forward with BPM initiatives and seen significant success, there’s still a large part of industry which sees BPM more as “yet another three-letter-IT-acronym” than as a business initiative with real value. This book helps to demystify how to get started with BPM and see it for what it can be at its best: a way for organizations to improve the process of process improvement – collaboratively driving change, sharing knowledge and empowering their workforces to participate in improvement.
Neil Ward-Dutton, Research Director, MWD Advisors

There are many books on Business Process Management, and its derivatives but few address the biggest challenge which is the People Side of Processes. It is written by two of the leading authorities in Business Process Management who are known for their depth of experience and their pragmatic approach to what is an increasingly important topic. It is a ‘must read’ for all leaders whatever the size, sector or maturity of their organisations.
Roger Cliffe, Quality Director, Vodafone Group Services

If you take a step back and look at any business process, can you imagine a business process without a person involved? No matter how much of the process is automated, at the end of the day there is always somewhere a person making use of that process. Think about it, the purpose of a business process is all about delivering value for somebody. So, the best way to look at a process is to look at the people involved. This book tells you where to look.
Frits Bussemaker, Korstmos & Founder BPM-Forum Netherlands

Technology was intended to aid human development, but its methodology gradually took on a prescriptive and restrictive role in this regard, tending to forget the people in the process. Mark and Ian through their work and this book “People-centric Process Management”, lead the way in bringing us back to the point where we remember that it is people who manage technology and people who manage process. This book is invaluable for all of us, wherever we are and whatever approaches we use. Because the book is not intended to be yet another roadmap, but instead it leads us to ask the right, smart questions and to aid us and our organizations on their journey and to keep our eyes on the end users. Keeping the issues of all our people, teams, users, stakeholders and customers as a central theme.
Hardus Snow, CEO South African Development Foundation

It’s a refreshing change to see a book solely concentrate on the ‘business’ side of Business Process Management and not only this, but the very People that make the organization run like clockwork whose opinion and input are often ignored during change. The book balances existing and new ideas side by side with some interesting case studies which the reader can instantly recognize and relate to within their own enterprise. The people-centric Smart Questions are thought provoking and guide the reader through the challenges of implementing process management, such as process governance, risk and controls, cultural change, whilst introducing new topics for consideration like Cloud BPM. Overall a good introduction to the human side of Business Process Management without the IT jargon.
Theo Priestley, Independent BPM Strategist and Analyst