Jeanne Vickery Frank, I figured you would disagree with that. I know a lot people who started off on the business side of the house and moved into systems design, architecture, database design, etc. Conversely, I know a lot of people who started off on the tech side of the house who moved into marketing, product management, sales engineering, etc. It depends on where your interests lay and how you define your career path, providing the company you work for thinks in terms of career paths.
Jeanne Vickery When I first entered the work force there was not the 'IT/Business' mindset. You identified the team members by the areas they represented: marketing, sales, customer service, network, product, legal (regulatory), programming (application specific), etc.
Jeanne Vickery Frank, I agree with what you are saying. However, that's not the way it is for a lot of companies. Many are trying to move in that direction and 'old timers' are having a hard time making the adjustment. "Did you talk to the business?" is heard frequently in some companies. Depending on the size of the organization and the frequency of layoffs, insert name is insert department. The reason why they do this is names change and it's difficult to track down a process 'owner' if the only thing you have is a name who is no longer with the company and no one knows what area owns the process at the moment. Another fun one is, "did you talk to IT?" Depending on the platform, interface, frequency of layoffs, function, etc., tracking down the right team member can be a treat. That's why you start with a list of the team members.
Jeanne Vickery Frank, depending on the hiring authority I've talked to and the job function, hard tech skills has been described as the ability to run wires; the ability to run/build a query; the ability to design a network and/or and install equipment (including power supply, cooling, etc.), the ability to run a program or application (e.g., sharepoint development), the ability to build a report, etc.
Jeanne Vickery Frank, I've found that it is just as easy to teach a business person technology as it is a technology person about business. It goes back to understanding the adult learning process and how each person learns. The IT Project Manager term depends on the organizational structure of the company. A highly matrixed environ uses the job title IT Project Manager. Otherwise, they're just PM's.
Jeanne Vickery Frank, bringing the team together and eliminating terms like business and IT works in some environs. When you are working in a highly matrixed eviron it becomes more difficult as the terms always come through. Companies also need to shift to developing hard tech skills for business leaders. Companies who employ a dual strategy find themselves in a better position to compete long term.
Jeanne Vickery Exactly, Gavin. Christie cares which is why we've seen the windbreaker and not the suit. He's on the ground finding out what is needed and has been from the beginning: http://www.policymic.com/articles/18152/hurricane-sandy-relief-efforts-latest-updates-fema-gas-rationing-and-nyc-power-outage http://www.policymic.com/articles/18148/hurricane-sandy-recovery-has-been-better-than-hurricane-katrina
Jeanne Vickery Frank, I have a background in both business and tech. Increasingly, the technology side of the house had been driving the user requirements as opposed to the users driving the requirements. I've spent some time re-introducing technologists to the concept of TCO (they had, and I quote, "read about it"). JAD (joint application design) is also a concept that has been re-introduced. Companies tried to save costs and combine job functions.
Jeanne Vickery James, is that the best argument you can present? In light of the fact that Jeb has extensive experience in managing hurricane relief from his two terms as governor of the state of Florida (I believe FL is known for their hurricanes) and the fact that Cuomo fired his 'man on the ground' a little bi-partisan outside consultancy may be a good thing for NY, right now.
Jeanne Vickery I'm in touch with one of the principles who remains thrilled with the applications that were delivered. Because I look for scalability that includes technology shifts, they've been able to adapt without breaking the budget.
Jeanne Vickery Frank, you've inadvertently identified the cost overruns that occur (and one that you and Alison touched upon below) - 'only a professional technology integrator can navigate and understand the total cost of ownership.' That's not completely true. You have to first understand the business need and surrounding regulations. Once that's identified, you look at the system's need and skill sets of the developers. The school I worked with had several false starts before I was brought in. The technologists brought in vendors that simply did not meet the need of the teacher, parent, or student with the blended curricula the school employed. I did a reset and resourced the vendors with the applications needed and identified the adhoc systems interfaces that needed to be developed. Their technologists also botched a phone system cut-over (three times) so I was pulled into that, as well. (cont'd)
Jeanne Vickery Frank/Alison, if I may. Based on my experience with educators of all ages, making the educator comfortable with new technologies is no different than the challenge the corp world has with new releases and new platforms. If you understand the ADULT learning process, it's a gap that is easily closed. Additionally, if you bring them into the planning via user interviews, brain storming sessions, etc., you obtain immediate buy-in because they have a sense of ownership in the final product. Once you identify how the adult learns and allow them a little 'ownership' then you find they're actually excited because there are so many new tools at their disposal. There are some that will never adapt and, unfortunately, fall behind.
Jeanne Vickery Frank invited me to join his panel. You get more characters when that happens. I think the reason why I was invited is I set-up the same infrastructure St. Paul is looking to implement for a school system that had a multitude of learning models- this included managing the RFP process, driving down the system, business, and functional requirements, interviewing and managing the vendor contract negotiations, etc., etc....
Jeanne Vickery Frank, great insight into incorporating technology into the school system. What Silva envisions has been incorporated in many school districts, and private school systems, across the country. The ability to track the student’s home work in a traditional and ‘on-line’ environment has already been developed by a handful of companies. The systems can be hosted (cloud) or host (in house servers) and can interface with other electronic systems, like a ‘virtual’ classroom. All vendors that provide a solution for tracking student information have also been busy creating a mobile application for the schools to offer. Another advantage is the systems allow for a parent/teacher communication loop that is more efficient and easier to track than traditional e-mail (much like the PolicyMic messaging system). The students also use this feature to ask questions of the teacher that they may have forgotten to ask. There are also a handful of companies that facilitate the ‘virtual’ classroom environment. Schools can upload classroom lectures to access at any time or they can literally host a class online. Tests can be administered either on line or on location with a proxy monitoring the test taking process. As you stated, e-readers provide a streamlined method of text book updates and reduces the overhead of keeping textbook inventories. The downside to e-readers is the cost per reader and the fact that the technology changes so rapidly smaller and poor systems may not be able to keep up with the upgrade and maintenance costs. Using technology can also decrease the intervention time for struggling students. It helps pin-point lessons that seem to be the most challenging along with critical lessons/concepts that impact the students education career as the move from grade level to grade level. It can also help catch a cheater or two :) Video monitoring in the classroom should not be viewed as a bad thing. I taped all of my college lectures. Had laptops with cameras been available ‘back in the day’, I would have used that. If schools provide the equipment, they can control the access to outside applications and an e-reader/smart phone reader is no different than a text book. At this point in time, the overall cost of the equipment really is comparable to the cost of textbooks. The challenge is getting the textbook manufacturers to come down on their costs in an electronic world. Another added benefit to using technology is the school districts can track the student’s standardized test scores, ACT, SAT scores as well as which colleges the students apply to and eventually attend. Parent’s also have access to the data. I noticed St. Paul uses MAP standardized tests which are a good tool to find out where a student’s learning level lies. This helps the parent, and teacher, identify focus areas for the students in the areas they struggle with that go beyond the high level reading, writing, and math. Schools do have to be careful in selecting a solutions provider, regardless of where the application and data are housed. They also need to be mindful of the ‘hidden’ licensing fees and ancillary costs that are associated with the various products. It’s critical that the school system bring in a savvy negotiator who ‘gets’ the educators and student needs along with a solid understanding of the numerous regulations and privacy rules surrounding data.
Jeanne Vickery In summary, your case against papa johns does not hold up in a court of law. If you take it to the court of public perception to 'punish' the business owner, you're hurting all employees. If sales go down, more layoffs and an increased potential of store closures, and increased unemployment. You're also distracting from the root cause of the problem - we need to reform the tax code!
Jeanne Vickery Alison, for nearly a year now, I've maintained that companies have two plans and which plan they went with was contingent upon what was going to happen with the tax code. The unwillingness of both sides to hash it out created this uncertainty. I've also maintained that if America does not get it's tax code in order there will be layoffs at the end of the year and the layoffs will carry into 2013. Alison, all industries, regardless of political affiliation, are now implementing plan B.
Jeanne Vickery The definition of loop hole vs. credit is defined by the political stance you take. Health care providers are anticipating cuts in medicare and medicaid. Both sides have been talking about it for four years now. They are now starting to look at their budgets and, yes, they too are laying off. As france and other countries look at exponential tax rate increases on the rich, the financial sector has announced anticipated mass layoffs to begin at the end of the year and roll into 2013. The IMF adjusted their global growth estimates down all year long. These guys kept an eye on the market and simply said, if x happens, then we will have to go to plan B.
Jeanne Vickery Alison, the loopholes you mentioned have everything to do with economics and are the ones both sides are clinging onto with dear life. For example, the wind credits are set to expire with all of the other tax credits. This is a global thing that is happening. The largest wind energy mfg announced mass global layoffs of 30k by the end of the year. Here in the states, the mfg that were ramping up are now winding down and started the layoffs late this summer. Some plants are down to a shoe string staff. I talked to a wind turbine installer last month. His job ends at the end of the year because of the tax cut expiration. Alison, it's not a political move, it's the reality of the tax code we have right now. Virtually all of the 'loop holes'/'credits' are set to expire in one fail swoop. (cont'd)
Jeanne Vickery The companies have not overtly targeted their employees like I've been targeted by members of both parties. The companies stated that if Obama is re-elected then they will have to layoff employees due to anticipated increased tax burdens. They layoffs will be non-discriminatory. Given the volume of planned layoff announcements for the end of the year and bleeding over to 2013 that were in the financial pages PRIOR to the election, your current case will not hold up in court.