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Angus McDonald on User Stories

I really liked Angus’ recent post on User Stories (Wikipedia link about User Stories here) and how he grapples with question of whether they are even needed. User Stories feature prominently in the upcoming Visual Studio 2010 releases, so you’re sure to hear more about them (in the Microsoft space that is). The value in Angus’ post is how he outlines the issues (and thoughts from a variety of sources) without dividing it into a ponderous project-specific debate. Methodologies and approaches (hello Planning Poker) are usually horses for courses decisions in my experience. They’ll work in some places and not in others – there’s no one-size-fits-all answer. And perhaps even if a methodology […]

Elcom Intranet Manager launch

One of the mistakes I made when I started at Elcom was in thinking we were just a web company. You know, web sites and not much else. But as I quickly learned, we’re also in the business of intranets – in fact we’ve been building significant Intranets for clients for a while now. Turns out I wasn’t alone in my thinking – many people assume we are just focussed on web sites. It’s another reminder that we need to improve our message. So, with that in mind, next week we are launching a new product: IntranetManager.NET   Why a new product? You may be familiar with our […]

By |November 11th, 2008|Elcom, Main|0 Comments

Leaving Elcom – looking for my next role

Last week, following probably the worst IT downturn in the last 8 years I decided to leave Elcom. Crazy huh? Yeah, it may turn out to be foolish, but in this post I aim to explain why, and in the following post, what I‘m looking for as my next step. I thought I’d put this out there and see if it opens the door to any opportunities.   Have I resigned? No I haven’t actually resigned as yet. But I spent time last week chatting with our CEO, covering why it was time for me to move on. Yesterday I spent most of the day individually informing my team, […]

ELCOM: Web Content Management

Product good. Marketing… not so good It’s been an interesting exercise thinking about marketing at Elcom over the last few months. In my opinion (biased as I am) I think we have an excellent product. However, something we haven’t been very good at is the marketing side of things. Often people have heard of us, but they don’t really know what we do. We mention that we have  a content management system (CMS) product and they ask how it compares to WordPress…  We’ve obviously not communicated our differentiation very well! (And conversely WordPress has been very good at getting its brand out)   A change is coming […]

By |September 16th, 2008|Elcom, Main|8 Comments

Atlassian and Microsoft Office

The links between Atlassian and Microsoft Office grow stronger with Atlassian’s latest Connector between Confluence (their Wiki product) and Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint. In this case the Connector allows content on the Confluence Wiki to be imported, edited and updated from Word, Excel or PowerPoint. Check out the super simple 3 and half minute video to gain a good understanding. The thing I like about the Atlassian offering is how damn simple it is! (Note: This is different to their SharePoint connector beta that they released last October) This is of particular interest to us at Elcom because we’ve recently started work on a Microsoft Word Connector for our Community Manager […]

Microsoft’s new Green Strategy – it’s called Vista 64 bit

The Techies at Elcom completely reformatted my machine a few weeks back and installed Vista 64bit. This has been great because I can now access all 4GB of RAM (woo hoo!). But there’s been another unexpected benefit… It turns out that there’s no printer drivers for our Elcom printers that work on Vista 64. So, for the last 4 weeks I’ve been unable to print anything. Here’s the thing: For the first few days I found it really annoying – I’d lost a part of my normal daily processes. But after that I didn’t notice it all. In fact, I haven’t printed a single thing for almost a month. And I don’t […]

ELCOM: New product launch – Elcom TrainingManager.NET

We’re launching a new product this week. This Thursday morning to be exact. You may know that Elcom, where I work, is a web company that builds products for medium to large companies. We do intranets, extranets, portals, web sites, etc. Plus we do a fair bit of customisation. Over the last few months we’ve been turning things around a little and ‘productizing’ our custom projects into products in their own right. TrainingManager.NET is one such product. Although it’s already live in two reasonably large companies, we’re only now doing the official launch. It’s a breakfast this Thursday and I hear the food is going to be good! […]

CodeCampOz and SBTUG this month

I’m heading home from the US of A today, which sees me arrive back in Sydney (hopefully) on Thursday morning 24 April. CodeCampOz The next day I head down to Wagga for CodeCampOz. That finishes up on Sunday (27 April) and I fly back to Sydney that night. Elcom On Monday I’m back in the office, ready to start spreading the good news to the team (within NDA guidelines of course – the best comment I read on Twitter regarding disclosure was this: What happens in Seattle, stays in Seattle). It’s going to be an interesting week. We’ve been working through the Elcom strategy lately, and it’s […]

Elcom upgrade of Microsoft CRM 3.0 to 4.0

Brad Marsh has a few screenshots of our upgrade experience from Microsoft CRM 3.0 to 4.0 Summary: it went extremely well. My comment: CRM 4.0 seems to be slower than 3.0 but since it’s running on an old server, it was expected (new server infrastructure coming in the next few weeks – Yay!). Overall, no real problems. Our CRM scenario is pretty standard with only a few customizations, so we aren’t really representative of companies that have lots of changes. Technorati Tags: Elcom, Microsoft, CRM

ELCOM: More Microsoft 2008 Stack testing results

We've done a little more testing of our product on the Microsoft 2008 stack and I'm pleased (and a little worried) with the results.

The pleasing part: we are now showing results on the 2008 stack as being 16X faster than the 2003/2005 stack.

The worrying part: results of 16X faster are very high – what if we've tested something incorrectly…

So, the goal of this post is to explain what we did and how we measured the results. Then, I'm after your feedback on what else we should be checking.



First, the background.

In January we moved our Elcom web site over to the 2008 stack. That is, we recompiled our entire Community Manager application to target the […]