Travelling back after a week with Microsoft and its worldwide partners in a balmy (no pun intended) Houston, Texas. What impression did the 14.000 or so attendees leave with?
Posts by Dan Matthews
Chief Technology Officer
As the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) at IFS, Dan’s responsibilities encompass researching, formulating, and communicating the strategic direction for IFS Applications. To this end Dan leads the Research & Strategy unit within IFS, as well as manages IFS’s partnerships with Microsoft, Oracle and other players. With one foot deep in the IT industry and the other firmly grounded in dialogue with IFS’s customers across industries, Dan is in a unique position to see new trends in business technology both from the vendors and the customers’ point of view. Dan is a frequent speaker at IFS and industry events. Since joining IFS in 1996, Dan has held a number of positions within the company including software engineer and project manager. Early in his IFS career, Dan played a vital role in the initial development of a graphical user interface for IFS Applications. Recently he has been the driving force behind the innovative IFS Enterprise Explorer user interface with the aim of bringing good design and true user productivity to enterprise applications, and IFS Touch Apps bringing the use of Smartphones to enterprises. Prior to joining the company, Dan ran his own software development business. Having started the company during his final two years studying computer science and software engineering at the Linköping Institute of Technology, Dan chose to move on to IFS in order to be part of a larger organization and further develop his skills. Outside of the workplace, Dan pursues his hobbies of carpentry and cross-country skiing.
For a couple of years Near Field Communications (NFC) has been pushed by Google and others as the next big thing for smartphones. There has been a lot said about the merits of consumer applications for NFC, including digital wallets and replacing some of Bluetooth. But what about applications in business—what role could NFC play there? Here at IFS we’ve been looking into just that.
I have just returned from three months paternity leave, and I must say that in addition to enjoying time with my kids it has been quite refreshing to experience IT “out of business”. Rather than reading IT press, the last few months I have seen how the iPads and Windows 8 devices work in the hands of my kids, their cousins, aunts, uncles, and grandparents.
You have seen the Hollywood interpretations of artificial intelligence (AI). But what about AI in the real world? What about automating some of the decisions that we do manually in our businesses today? Or what about using AI to provide a better alternative to rule based processing which we use so much of in our business applications?
One thing I always make sure to do a few days after is to spend a couple of hours reflecting on what the event actually meant to me, IFS, and our customers.
My biggest takeaway from the day though had nothing to do with the questions asked, nor with the statements made by our competitors. Instead it was the opening presentation by Arild Saastad from Bertel O. Steen. What really stuck with me were the comments he made about how important it is for an ERP vendor to earn the trust of the organizations using their systems.
It is easy to dismiss Windows 8 as being nothing new—just an iPad (or Windows Phone) copy slammed into the same box as good old Windows 7—and therefore doomed to failure.
There has been a lot of talk about in-memory databases in recent months. Recently the discussion has broadened with SAP trying to position their in-memory HANA database as a revolutionary replacement for traditional relational databases (RDBMS) – in particular arch enemy Oracle’s database.
Good time for a reality check.
There are two aspects of business travel, especially on the long haul flights, I still enjoy. One is the hours without any inflow of e-mails or other communication. The second is the chance encounter with an interesting person. On my way to IFS development center in Colombo, Sri Lanka the other week I ended up next to bald middle aged lady wearing a turban. This will make for an interesting few hours I thought, and sure it did.
Yesterday I commented on the fact that the first thing I have realized in recent months discussions with customers and colleagues about what apps we should build for our enterprise applications suite, is what apps we should NOT build.
In all fairness I guess I should also explain what I have realized that customers DO want and what I think we should build.