Agile 2018

Agile 2018
Speaking at Agile 2018

Monday, January 27, 2014

We were mobile before mobile was cool

The future is mobile computing
Last week, I discussed a few trends you missed. I want to follow up on that blog post because we are depending on technology more.  The technology with the most influence is mobile technology and it grew last year by 115%.  This week in the blog I want to remind you why you should pay attention to this.

In 2013, mobile application use increased by 115%. The use of smart phones and the dominance of data means that as a professional and business person your business is going to depend more on how you view your information.  This means, that systems should not be tethered to desk top computers and clunky systems.  Today, it should be possible to follow up on invoices, bills of lading and other important activities inside your organization via your mobile device.  So software vendors who sell you solutions which do not work on mobile devices are not doing their job correctly.

At E3 systems we have two major releases which work on both a laptop, tablet, and mobile device.  Our Sully 2.0 system helps you keep track of bills of lading, invoices, and purchase orders from the desktop to the phone.  We have also made the transition from Microsoft Tag to QR coding which gives us way to connect pieces of paper to the web.  We are also proud to announce the release of our Tony software which makes managing your fleet of vehicles easy.  Now drivers and upload documents via their phones, receipts are accessible and you can track the maintenance of your vehicles.  This will help you with your insurance premiums and when accidents happen protect you from liability.

At E3 systems we saw this trend years ago and it has shaped how we have created software ever since. Contact us today and find out more.  This is one trend you should not miss.

Until next time.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Three trends you may have missed

You missed something pretty important
this week if you were not paying attention.
This is a bad week to be a technology entrepreneur.  Three things happened this week which both taint the image of tech professionals am make it harder to do business.  This week, I want to discuss how security guards for Google, a loss of net-neutrality and the growth of mobile computing are creating a witches brew of discontent.  

I have make a pretty big bet financially and professionally on net neutrality.  This week a judge threw out FFC regulations which prevents phone companies and broadband operators from giving preferential treatment to one kind of content over another.  This is the antithesis of how the web is supposed to work.  All content is supposed to be equal it is up to consumers to determine what is popular and what is not.  Thanks to this ruling that is going to change.  

Now big content providers like Facebook, Google and the NYTimes can pay bribes to your cable company or mobile phone provider to give their content preferential treatment over those who did not pay the bribe.  Thanks to the ruling from the U.S. Court of Appeals this is perfectly legal conduct.  This hurts bloggers and small entrepreneurs like me because it will hurt us growing traffic and gaining venture capital.  This decision is bad for business and will not liberate the invisible hand of the marketplace; instead, with will unleash a hammer of big money and it will crush innovation.  I hope that the local chamber of commerce organization will help lobby for net neutrality.  

Next Will Oremus and Reuters are reporting that Google is using private security to protect its employees from protesters.  This has a faint whiff of similar behavior from the Pullman train car company.  Relations between locals and technology firms have grown sour over the last 10 years in the San Francisco Bay area.  This break down has occurred because those in the technology business are making tremendous wealth.  This wealth has driven up housing costs.  In addition, the libertarian world view of many tech professionals has created a serious gap with locals who see tech professionals as people who gentrify neighborhoods and could not give a flying leap about their neighbors who do not work in the profession.  

The optics of that are just bad; educated, wealthy professionals running roughshod over an existing community while the locals harbor deep resentment of the wealth and privilege of these professionals.  From a business perspective, I understand why Google is chartering the private buses and hiring the security guards to make it easier for employees to get into the office.  This creates a need for serious outreach to the community because I feel that a successful business should be a cause for celebration instead of a source of civil unrest.  As my business grows, we will make an effort that we will try to share the wealth and become a respected member of the community.  We say so on our mission statement.  

Finally, CNET.com has reported that mobile application use has grown by over 115% in 2013.  This says, if you are a small or medium sized business your website and applications are going to need to work on mobile devices.  The mobile web is no longer optional.  

So what do these three stories have in common?  The Net-Neutrality ruling gives your wireless phone carrier tremendous power to pick winners and losers in the technology marketplace.  The reason why they will have this power is because more of us are using our mobile devices to gather information.  What this will do is eventually create more income inequity and tension between those who understand technology and those which don’t.  

At E3 systems we can help your organization take advantage of the mobile web. Contact us to learn more.  These three trends together represent a huge challenge to the National economy and the local one in Joliet.  Together working with the Chamber of Commerce and our elected representatives we will win back net-neutrality.  E3 systems wants to be part of this community rather than apart from it and we want to build your mobile web application to make your organizations more successful.  

The witches brew of discontent could be a recipe for success we just have to make sure we watch the pot and make sure it does not boil over.  

Until next time. 

Monday, January 13, 2014

What real entrepreneurs have on their phone.

Applications for the Entrepreneur on the go.
I love my local chamber of commerce.  I love them so much that each year I pay them dues and attend many of the functions they host.  This week there was a bit of a kerfuffle on social media when they posted an article from thenextweb.com about the top 13 mobile applications an entrepreneur should have on their smart phone.  Crestfallen, I replied, “May-be you should ask one of your members who writes mobile apps?” They replied saying that I should write something up so this week on the blog for my regular readers and members of the Joliet Chamber of Commerce here are some of the web application I can’t live without and I am an entrepreneur.

Esponce QR Code Reader – I am a big fan of QR codes and using them to have pieces of paper communicate with the internet.  Esponse QR code makes this as easy as taking a picture on your phone.  What makes Esponce so good is that in addition to reading QR codes you can create them on the fly from your phone.  Finally Esponce offers a tracking service and a history of all the codes you have scanned.  Download the application here.

Ubersocial Pro Twitter Client - If you are on the go staying on top of your Facebook and Twitter reputation can be a full time job.  Ubersocial makes using Twitter and Facebook is a snap. You can follow particular users or hashtags update both Facebook and Twitter with one touch from your phone and be instantly notified when someone talks about your organization.  There is a pro version with advertising and then Pro version for $4.99.  Ditch the ads and pay for the pro version, you can thank us later. Download it here. 

Google Keep - It is hard to take notes and save them electronically.  Google Keep is a simple introductory tool to save notes on your phone of tablet.  If you find a web page you want to read later you can share it with Keep to read later.  Grocery or to do lists can be set up with a click.  You can even set up reminders to send e-mails or text messages to do something.  Even if you lose your phone or tab let you can access your Keep notes via the web.  It is not the biggest or must fully feature note taking tool but for someone learning to take electronic notes it is a great start.  Find it here.

Kindle Book Reader – Entrepreneurs spend a great deal of time traveling.  Lugging around books and magazines can be a hassle.  The Kindle reader app allows you to have an entire newsstand and bookstore at your fingertips the next time you are on a long flight. The reader automatically hooks into Amazon.com’s website and you can get the latest best sellers with a swipe.  For people who love to read or need to keep up this is a must have.  Download your version here.

Google Drive - Being an entrepreneur means sales presentations, demonstrations, and lots of travel.  It would be nice if your spreadsheets, documents, and presentations could be accessed in one place.  Google Drive makes this a reality.  The Google drive behaves like a regular hard drive but instead of physically existing on your phone, tablet or PC it exists on Google's servers safe and secure.  So if you change a spreadsheet on your tablet when you view it on your phone or PC the changes are saved.  This is easier to use and safer than a thumb drive. Learn more here.

Songza – All work and no play make the life of an entrepreneur dull.  Songza is a music application which helps find music for any mood or moment.  Instead of playlists and stations being managed by computers, Songza employees human being to keep the music selections fresh so if your tastes range from early sixties jazz bebop to the latest hits you have your pick of quality commercial free music.  I especially like the Space Age Bachelor Pad channel playing lounge music from the Mad Men era of history and College Memories 1980 – 1989.  Try out Songza an you will not use another streaming music service.

As an entrepreneur those are the application I have to have on my smart phone.  At E3 systems we also make mobile and web applications which might help you.  Our first application is called Sully and it is an inventory management system which can produce Bills of Lading, Invoices, and packing slips from your phone, tablet or PC.  We also have an application named Tony which helps you track the care and maintenance of item in your fleet of vehicles.  It also works on a phone, tablet and PC.  This system will help you stay on top of insurance risks and maintenance warranties with the swipe of a finger.  To learn more about E3 systems and our products please click here.

Kerfuffles are a good thing and I hope this one helps you find the applications to make doing business easier.

Until next time.

Monday, January 6, 2014

What is so great about 2014?

Looking forward to 2014 are you?
There are plenty of reasons to get excited about 2014.  A new year is a clean slate and it firers up an organization with the inspiration to come out fighting; like a punch drunk boxer.  This week on the blog I want to talk about some things we are looking forward to as an organization.

First, customer outreach; E3 systems has been making efforts to reach out tour local community.  We were concentrating our products to a very narrow market.  This year, we will apply our products to any business that can use fleet management or inventory control software. Contact us today and ask how our systems can help your business today.

Next, we are graduating from Microsoft BizSpark. Three years ago someon I knew in the Chicagoland Application Lifecycle Management group told me about the BizSpark program. This company could not have started without the generous help and support.  I am looking forward to the time when I will be able to boast about our success to the tech media.  There is a place in the start-up world for Microsoft Technologies and we are proof.

Third, the continuing maturity of BootStrap and MVC means that the web is catching up to our vision.  When, I founded this organization I wanted to build web applications which worked on a variety of devices. Thanks to the Twitter BootStrap library, it is not possible for more people to make that a reality.  This is a good thing because it will be easier for my little start-up to find developer who understand what we are trying to accomplish.  We are also excited about the release of MVC5.  The embrace of BootStrap by Microsoft along with the security improvements and Web API means that the web is only going to get more interesting and we cannot wait to see that happen.

Next, Google has better unity between YouTube and Google+.  When Google+ first came out it was hard to get pages and YouTube channels to play nice with each other.  This made marketing and branding efforts a huge headache.  Fortunately, Google listen to its consumers and now pages and YouTube channels work together seamlessly.  Thanks Google and stay tuned as we make improvements to our YouTube channel.

Finally, the general economy is improving and with it the chance to grow our customer base.  The last three years have shown tremendous growth in web technology.  We at E3 systems have stayed focused on those improvements to provide the best product for our customers.  With customers willing to spend on technology solutions we will see an uptick in customer and business.

So that is what we have to look forward to in 2014, we hope you will join us.

Until next time.