The KIT ─ Knowledge & Information Technology
Issue No. 3 - 1 July 2009
In This Issue
Is the Semantic Web Hitting Its Stride?
Document and Records Management
Supplier Contract Negotiation
Inexpensive Consulting by MBA Students
SOA Case Study Contest: New Deadline
Seen Recently
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A trip to New England two weeks ago allowed me to meet with colleagues and partners at Cutter Consortium (IT Research and Consulting), Kiron Consulting (Strategic Innovation), and Quoin Inc (Application Development for KM/ECM)/..., as well as with professors at Dartmouth College. I thank them all for their time and hope to have the opportunity to collaborate with them.
Claude Baudoin
Is the Semantic Web Hitting its Stride?
The Semantic Web seemed to be just a buzzword, but two recent developments hint at actual progress. First was Wolfram Alpha, which answers questions requiring an understanding of units and a knowledge base of scientific and historical data ("What was the temperature in Dallas the day JFK was assassinated?"). Next is Hunch, whose users can build decision trees for other users to answer requests for recommendations ("Should I buy a hybrid car?")
Document and Records Management
My former colleague Michael Elkins started a blog for his company, the Kestral Group, which consults in these areas.
Supplier Contract Negotiation
As a client of a major IT vendor, how do you negotiate the final price of your enterprise contract? Even very professional supply chain personnel may not have the data or know the approaches can can save you money over the life of the contract. That's when large companies like Gartner or small ones like ForceLight come in. These companies, large or small, tend to charge a percentage of the savings, making it a no-risk proposition: they get nothing if they don't save you anything.
Inexpensive Consulting by MBA Students
I like the "TuckGlobal Consultancy" program run by Prof. John Owens at the Center for International Business, part of the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth. Teams of MBA students (who already had 5-6 years of business experience before starting their MBA studies) perform international consulting assignments for 13 weeks, including 3 weeks on-site, for a smallish fixed fee plus expenses. Could be as good as a major consulting firm, and a lot cheaper. I had a similar if more limited experience in 2007 with a team of MIT Sloan School students. Ask me if you want details or advice about this.
SOA Case Study Contest: New Deadline
The SOA Consortium and CIO Magazine have extended to July 20, 2009, the deadline for submissions to the 2009 SOA Case Study Contest. See I am one of the judges, so I have to remain objective, but contact me if you have questions about the contest or the Consortium.
Seen Recently...
" the majority of firms, process management is mediocre at best. While over half of the companies surveyed conduct process improvement projects, only one-third exercise comprehensive process management. Lack of a standard improvement approach and the absence of performance metrics are the most cited reasons for lackluster process management."
-- From a 2004 survey of 32 U.S. companies by the Rummler-Bache Group

"Fortune 500 companies need a real cloud computing case study, not the cute little stories that vendors brag about today."
-- Mike Kavis, CTO of M-Dot, in a Twitter post on 21 June 2009.
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