Wednesday, April 20, 2011

IT training

I tend to complain about training and how bad most IT departments are at it. Well we had a cool session today on Visio 2010. Our  Microsoft team recomended a local company called "Tips and Technologies" to do a 90 minute training class.

I didn't think we would have that much demand but I thought :hey if we can fill a room with 8 or 10 people why not right?" So we chatted it on salesforce and actually got over 100 responses asking to take the class. Now we only have 400 visio users so that clearly showed a huge pent up demand. We did provide breakfast and lunch but still that's a lot of people. 75 showed up for the class, which again is pretty good. 40 on sirte and 35 on web conference.

The training was great. Pretty fast paced, which was good. I've been to some classes where we spend 10 minutes learning to hit ctrl-p to print. I wasn't bored and learned a ton of cool tips.

I talked to Matt Roderman, the instructor and CEO of the company, and he has a great business model. The classes are $995, paid for by a credit card. No long drawn out statement of work, kegal contract etc and it's guaranteed. If the evaluations don't rate the trainer at least a 7.5 out of 10, you don't pay.  Even better you can have as many people in the class as you want.

We're already planning the next round f training to use him for. If, like me, you want to do a better job educating users on the software you probably pay millions of dollars for, check out

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Microsoft cloud

We had a call yesterday with one of the Microsoft PM's for exchange online and I may have to re-define my take on the MS cloud strategy. It seems like they may actually have one after all.

OK that may be a bit harsh, but when we had talked to them before they really didn't seem to get it. In fact they would say things like "You don't want innovation, you want better QA", or "Cloud fixes the licensing challenges". While Google's message was a lot crisper.

I'm thinking now that MS just hasn't done a good job sharing their cloud strategy throughout the company. Of course with 8 billion products it's got to be hard to share all that expertise. (Yes I made up the 8 billion number)...

The product manager yesterday though said things like "Cloud will always get the new features first", "We plan on releasing new features monthly to the online version", and showed us some cool features that are coming down the line that rival what we saw with Google.

Which puts me in an awkward position. Up until this point, going google was a no brainer, but now it requires some thinking... Sigh.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Jolicloud rocks!

I'm not sure what I did, or if it was one of the magic updates you get when you are on a cloud OS, but yesterday I noticed a whole new folder of applications called "local apps".

Inside of that is all the cool gadgets I have been looking for, including network tools (like portscan, traceroute, ping etc), disk utility, monitors. Using the monitors application it was easy to setup dual displays. It works just like the windows 7 dual displays. I so happy to have my dual screens back!

I did also learn how to move icons between screens. Not that it's tricky I just hadn't done it, drag it to the side of the screen and wait a second and it will scroll over.

Of course now I'll need to find something else to complain about...

Monday, April 4, 2011

ipad -vs- cloud OS

Ok I realize comparing an ipad to a Dell running Joli isn't really an apples to apples comparison but when I decided to try giving up Windows 7 and going to something lighter I made it 4 hours on my ipad before booting up my windows machine, I've been almost two weeks on my Joli OS.

Now don't get me wrong I love my ipad, even though now that the ipad2 is out I feel less cool than I did when I first got it. It's great for kicking back on the couch using flipbook, facebook, twitter, or just goofing around on the web. The email is good, not great and there are so many apps I don't even know what all the ones I have installed do, let alone all the millions in the app store.

When it come time to really work I just don't like the virtual keyboard. Maybe I haven't really given it a fair chance, but when I need to write a doc, or create a srpeadsheet or template, I just find it harder to use than a laptop. I still fight with me HTC EVO 4G even with swype so I think that's why I don't like the ipad. Now before you tell me I could use a bluetooth keyboard or a doc, yes I know, but then I have to carry something else around with it. Not to mention talk about not looking cool. That would be like having training wheels on a harley... just doesn't go...

With Joli OS (or Jolicloud, never remember what it's called now) I get the fast bootup like an ipad, I don't need itunes, and get the laptop form factor I've grown used to.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Week two in the cloud

This ends my second week of being pretty much entirely in the cloud.

Gmail continues to "tune itself" and does a good job figuring out which emails are important and putting them in the priority inbox. Spam it seems to struggle with a little but and I haven't figured out how to whitelist some sites, like say linkedin, facebook, or google.

I didn't get any time to play around with google gadgets yet which I really want to do, but we did enable something called "Cloudworks" from Appirio that is very cool. By default it gives us salesforce integration and some gadgets for chatter, which we use all the time, and pulls in contact data. I think it does opportunities and leads too but since I don't email with customers on a regular basis, I haven't seen that yet.

Jolicloud released a few updates that got added for me automatically and I figured out how to lock my screen. Turns out it's Ctrl-Alt-L.... They also added two cool features that I just started with. The first is google docs integration so all my google documents show up as a folder on my desktop. They did the same thing with dropbox so I had to break down and create an account.

I'm still waiting on the ipad version and the dual display version.