Atlanta Startup Weekend 2008

October 22, 2008

ATDC is once again pleased to serve as host sponsor of Atlanta Startup Weekend!  Friday Nov 7-th to Sunday Nov 9-th 2008 at the ATDC in Atlanta, GA

There is huge interest for Startup Weekend in Atlanta.  The city garnered over 1,700 votes on the Startup Weekend City Vote page.  I expect this event to sell out in short order.  It costs $39.99 to register which basically helps offset the costs of putting on the event.  If you want to attend but the forty bills is beyond your means let me know and we will figure something out.

This year the number of participants will be increased to over 100.  We are able to do this as the format is changing from last year.  We will not be focusing on a single concept as we did with last year with Skribit.  This year we will move as many concepts forward as the community is willing to support, hence we can have more people involved without getting too many cooks in one kitchen.

If you want to play I suggest you register soon.  This is going to sell out quick.

Post from Lance Weatherby – http://atlanta2.startupweekend.com/

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TAG Enterprise 2.0 Society – November 5, 2008 Meeting

October 8, 2008

TAG Enterprise 2.0 Society – November 5, 2008 Meeting    http://www.tagonline.org/events.php

Cloud Computing – Amazon Web Services

In this session, Seattle-based Jinesh Varia, Evangelist for Amazon Web Services, will discuss the latest innovations and new technology trends like Utility computing (Paying by the hour, paying by the Gigabyte usage), Virtualization and Web Services in the Cloud and most importantly, discuss some of the innovative business models for Start-Ups and Enterprise companies.

In this session, we will learn how aspiring entrepreneurs and enterprises can take advantage of these technologies to quickly scale up their infrastructure programmatically without any upfront heavy infrastructure investment. Often termed as Cloud Computing, we will see how these technologies are changing the way we do business today.
 
Amazon Web Services provides Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) that allows requisition of machines on-demand using simple web service call and paying for computation by the hour. Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) which is infinite storage in the cloud and Amazon SimpleDB which is the Database in the cloud and how these services can help local companies to scale-out and go live quickly. Also, we will see some exciting apps and some unique business models that are built on AWS that have become profitable businesses and others that are just simply cool to see.

PRESENTER
JINESH VARIA, TECHNOLOGY EVANGELIST, AMAZON WEB SERVICES, AMAZON.COM
As a Technology Evangelist at Amazon, Jinesh Varia helps developers take advantage of disruptive technologies that are going to change the way we think about computer applications, and the way businesses compete in the new web world. Jinesh has spoken at more than 50 conferences/User Groups. He is focused on furthering awareness of web services and often helps developers on 1:1 basis in implementing their own ideas using Amazon’s innovative services.
Jinesh has over 9 years experience in XML and Web services and has worked with standards-based working groups in XBRL. Prior to joining Amazon as an evangelist, he held several positions in UBmatrix including Solutions Architect, Enterprise Team Lead and Software engineer, working on various financial services projects including Call Modernization Project at FDIC. He was also lead developer at Penn State Data Center, Institute of Regional Affairs. Jinesh’s publications have been published in ACM and IEEE. Jinesh is originally from India and holds a Master’s degree in Information Systems from Penn State University


Application of Social Computing to the Enterprise

October 4, 2008

Initiatives, programs, and day-to-day business operations are critical to the success of the enterprise.  Large companies have invested a significant amount of resources in IT tools, business processes, and technologies to gather critical information from a variety of sources about their business operations and business processes. 

Businesses rely on people to receive and analyze information, make decisions, and initiate and coordinate the appropriate tasks and activities.  Managers are responsible for assimilating information, managing/supporting their key personnel, marshaling resources, making decisions, following up to verify that the appropriate tasks and activities were undertaken, and insuring that objectives and milestones are being meet.

 

Individuals, managers and workers are facing a cognitive overload.  It is estimated that a Sunday newspaper contains more information than the average 17th century citizen encountered in a lifetime. Today, the amount of worldwide information doubles approximately every 1.5 years, and corporate files double every 3 to 4 years.

The one biggest challenges to the enterprise is making better (smarter, faster) use of information about its business processes.  The problem lies in the large volume of information that is presented to managers, the wide range of disparate sources from which it comes, and the fact that it is too often dispersed in ‘information silos’ across the enterprise.  All of this makes it difficult for managers to assimilate information and data, and rapidly make (informed/accurate) decisions.  Also, managers are getting so much ‘information’ that they are having difficulty keeping informed (up to date) about key topics and issues.

 

Information gathering, communication, collaboration and decision making in most companies relies on a ‘conventional’ set of tools and processes: conversations, meeting, emails, voice mails, basic messaging, conferencing, and office documents mailed as attachments. 

In the increasingly rapid pace and the complexity of today’s enterprise, the use of conventional tools and processes leads to inevitable latencies in business processes, activities and decisions.  Delays in communication and decision making and slow response to critical problems and issues can have a significant impact on business performance.

Dependency on Email has put up fences to efficient communication and decision making.  Consider the manager that has hundreds of unread Emails in their InBox; how quickly can they be expected to respond to a request for information, provide guidance and feedback, or make a decision? 

Meeting and conference calls can have less than optimal efficiency – they can create bottlenecks as managers may wait until the meeting to discuss and resolve issues.

Person to person communication can induce latencies.  If the contacted party is busy then the request is put in a queue.  If may people are trying to contact the same person then that person becomes a bottleneck.  How much time, energy and effort are expended (often wasted) playing ‘phone tag’ to get in contact with a key resource to have an important discussion or make a critical decision.

 

A large percentage of business data and business information is stored in ‘information silos’.  In general, these systems cannot exchange information with other related systems within its own organization, or with the management systems of its customers, vendors or business partners. The same can be said of the knowledge and experience of individuals within an organization or an enterprise.  Their knowledge and expertise cannot be easily shared (exchanged) with other individuals within the enterprise or with their partners or vendors. The skills, knowledge and experience cannot be easily shared for a number of reasons.  People have few ways of making their knowledge and experience known outside their peer group, unit or department. And, individuals that have need of specific knowledge and expertise have few channels to find or discover those individuals.  There is no framework for connecting individuals, sharing information and knowledge, managing the utilization of resources, affecting the successful resolution of a problem or issues, and ultimately, successfully completing tasks and projects

 

As the pace of business accelerates, the use of conventional tools and processes are becoming less and less efficient and effective helping business communicate, collaborate and make decisions.

We need to enhance the competiveness and responsiveness of the enterprise by improving the efficiency and effectiveness of the enterprise all levels:

 

Connections and Communication

More efficient communication – finding and connecting to the ‘best resource’ (most appropriate & most available) to address our problems and/or issues. 

Targeted Collaboration

Creation, sharing and utilization of business knowledge and expertise.  Leverage internal and external knowledge and expertise.  More effective utilization of enterprise resources. 

Knowledge Access

Timely and universal access to resources, information, knowledge and solutions (from both internal and external sources).

Organization, Visibility and Management

Single location (space) where information associated with task, project, or program can be viewed and managed.  Provide a framework for the management of tasks/projects

Responsiveness and Resolution

Faster and more productive response to problems & issues.  Better (more accurate/informed) decision making and problem resolution.  Link people processes to business processes. Sustaining progress; drive tasks and projects toward completion.

Accountability

Link business decisions and actions to work flow and processes.