Challenges of Mergers – Changes

If you have ever been involved in a corporate merger, or your company was acquired by another, you understand that the integration of the companies is a complex effort. Mergers can fail for a variety of reasons including culture, technology, politics or power struggles. My father worked for Burroughs back in the 70s and 80s and they merges with Sperry/Univac (when) to become Unisys. The joke at the time was the merger was the combination of two $5 Billion firms into one larger $5 Billion firm.merger

I have seen cases where the big company absorbs little company, and years later the ex-employees of the smaller company still refer to themselves as affiliated with the old company. There is a pride to the nimbleness and success of the smaller company (there had to be success as “They” were acquired.) There is also a sense that they did things better at the smaller company. “When we were own our own, we didn’t have all of this administration.” This pride and sometimes resentfulness can slow the integration of the companies and can limit the success of the integrated companies.

The obvious goal of acquisitions is to be better combined company. This combined company is better as a result of revenue growth, or competitive advantages, or increased geographic coverage, or expanded markets or a combination of any of these.
Key to any successful acquisition is to keep the sales of the acquired company growing during as the companies become integrated. Sounds easy, you tell the sales team of the acquired company that they are the best thing since Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch and that everyone will be taken care of on the other side and to go out and sell sell sell. Right? Riiiiggghht. Seems the experience of today’s worker or sales team doesn’t always continue to focus and achieve the sales results once an acquisition occurs. People are concerned about changes.

Change is disruptive. Change is often met with resistance. During the integration of acquired companies, people are unsure of how things will work as the companies come together. There is fear of job loss, there is fear of loss of autonomy. Fear of new management, processes, team mates and more. All this leads to declined productivity of the acquired company.

What can you do about it? Honestly, not much. Like they used to say about Philadelphia elections “vote early and often”, companies should communicate early and often. The challenge is you don’t have all of the answers immediately and the vision of the combined company is great, but people want details. They want to know the impact to them right away. Best is to pull the band aid off quickly. One suggestion to keep sales going of the acquired company would be short term sales incentives that are significant enough to get the sales team’s attention vs. focusing on the changes.

I may continue the acquisition theme as this is such a huge topic, so stay tuned! As expected the musical reference for this writing has to be David Bowie’s Changes. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pl3vxEudif8
Ch-ch-ch-ch-Changes
(Turn and face the stranger)
Ch-ch-Changes
Don’t tell them to grow up and out of it
Ch-ch-ch-ch-Changes
(Turn and face the stranger)
Ch-ch-Changes
Where’s your shame
You’ve left us up to our necks in it
Time may change me
But you can’t trace time

 

Posted in Channel Sales, Totally Random | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

It’s Hard. Very Very Very Very Hard.

It was recently announced that Trend Micro will be reducing the number of partners they have through a formal review program.  The company cut 600 U.S. partners in 2013 as a result of the review process, and may cut another 12 percent to 15 percent of its 6,000 partners this year – which means that another 700-900 are on the chopping block.

tug of warIt is extremely hard to cut partners (just writing that line reminded me of the song I will reference at the bottom, and now it rings through my head as I type – which is fun but distracting much like this little insert in the post.).  Many companies continue to keep non-performing partners in perpetuity (which means a really long time or an annuity that has no end).  These companies feel that the partners are not a risk and offer upside and are a captured audience to market their wares.

On the surface, it seems there may be little cost to maintaining partners that do not perform.  However there are a number of risks associated with doing such.  This includes dissemination of competitive information, the increased cost of maintenance and sales cycles spent trying to increase these partners’ sales, increased cost of marketing communications, and the devaluing of the relations with your performing partners.

Lou Gerstner, during his tenure at IBM, was famous for revitalizing the company. One of the strategies he used was to annually cut the bottom performing 10% of the staff.  This was viewed as harsh, but the results were very positive.  It can be argued that the impact of such across the board cuts punishes the most efficient units most, the least efficient units least.  Applied to the channel, making a ten percent cut to a low or non performing channel makes sense.

Focused efforts on the top performers and the next tier of performers will lead to greater sales results.  There will always be the up and coming partners and those with great potential that need attention and care to evolve into the sales dynamo that you expect.  Those can be part of the program, but after investment of time and resources, if performance does not increase its time to move on.  These are hard choices and in the end Trend Micro will be better off for making these choices.

It’s Hard by The Who (1982)Its Hard

Any tough can fight – few can play

Any fool can fall – few can lay

Any stud can reproduce – few can please

Anyone can pay – few can lease

It’s hard

(It’s a hard hard hand to hold

It’s a hard land to control)

Any man can claim – few can find

Any girl can blink – few can lie

Anyone can promise – few can raise

Anyone can try – but a few can stay

Any brain can hide – few can stand

Any kid can fly – few can land

Any gang can scatter – few can form

Any kid can chatter – few can inform

It’s hard – It’s very very very very hard – so very hard

Posted in Channel Sales | Tagged | Leave a comment

We will be Invincible

InvincibleContinuing the trend of IT Security topics in my writings (you might think that I am doing some work that somehow ties to IT Security…), I ran across an article in Forbes posted on March 4thSecurity Statistics Show That We Need To Reinvent Enterprise IT”.  In this article, there are some staggering statistics regarding first the number of security breaches in large companies last year – “During 2013, at any given time, between 68% and 82% of the S&P 500 companies had been compromised with an externally observable event”.  Further in the article a survey revealed that IT employees of these large firms state that “Businesses Put the Blinders On: 73% of respondents believe their organization is safe from security threats”.

In my last post (“In The City”) I stated “Organizations pay for virus protection based on Lockhow they value the risk to the organization and how clients or customers would view their decision.”  I am thinking now that I should rephrase this to add the word “should”.  Organizations SHOULD pay for virus protection based on how they value the risk to the organization and how clients or customers would view their decision.  As it may be that organizations are willing to tolerate security risks to deploy new systems, tools and technologies to meet shareholders profitability demands.

Gosh, big companies taking risks in the name of profits.  Shocking, eye opening, and happens every day.

In some industries, such as Pharmaceutical, Healthcare and even Financial, have to meet government imposed regulatory requirements and this now includes some requirements around data security.  Non-compliance with these regulations can lead to severe penalties.  These regulations do not consider many of the ever evolving threats in IT security.  Thus the corporations are on their own to decide their risk tolerance and determine investments in security.

Many companies now utilize a GRC program or board (governance, risk and compliance) to ensure that the company is operating ethically, address regulatory compliance and it is being applied to IT departments to ensure they support the current and future needs of the business and complies with all IT-related mandates.  The challenge is this is not an automated process that continually monitors progress.  In most cases it is an audit based function that reveals problems only after the audit takes place (if it even reveals all problems).  In general the GRC program team does not have the technical expertise to ensure proper measure are taken to avoid breaches and rely on the IT departments’ assurance.  The IT department is driven to meet budgets and support the needs of the business.

Security is not a need of the business until an event has occurred.  Therein lies the problem. So here is your bad 80’s tune reference:

It’s a do or die situation – (until then) we will be invincible.

Enjoy!

Posted in Security | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

In The City

This week is a tale of two cities in the technology conference world, Orlando and San Francisco.  One is the city of endless family fun and the other is known for its famous prison, Sea lions, great food and alternative lifestyles.  Two conferences overlapped this week, HIMSS (http://www.himssconference.org/) in the home of NBA’s Magic and the RSA Conference (http://www.rsaconference.com/) in the land of Giants and Forty-Niners.

Usually I attend one or both of tin the cityhese events, but this year I just stayed home.  I miss the camaraderie, the networking, endless meetings and over-indulging dinners. However, staying home has me keeping up with my ongoing projects and is probably the right choice this year to improve productivity.  Just keeping up with the social media and the blogs of either of these events is almost impossible as there is just so much information. Let’s do a little virtual traveling to the RSA conference.

The RSA Conference is marketed as “Where the world talks Security”.  This 23 year old conference on information security provides opportunities to learn about IT security’s most important issues.  An interesting article recently appeared in a peer’s blog.  Larry Walsh and his organization, Channelnomics, published the article “RSA: Too Much Spent on Antivirus Tech”.  By the title alone, you can surmise that many companies are spending a small fortune to combat the ever present threat of viruses infiltrating their company and causing productivity losses and even worse.  If your computer has ever had a virus, which estimated rates vary wildly based on the source (Google “computer virus infection rates” and see the close to 4M results), you know the trouble they can cause.logo_rsac

I have had viruses in the past (after re-reading that line – it could be taken the wrong way!).  I once registered for a networking meeting and contracted a virus from the site that completely shut my system down.  I was at a client site when it occurred and had to calmly close the computer and then leave earlier than I had planned so that I could resolve the issue.  I ended up having to pay to have the virus removed and system restored.  Using a local vendor in my home town, I was introduced to AVG.  AVG was started in 1991 and provides a variety of security softwares.  AVG is widely accepted and used by many individuals and organizations.  They have a free version (which is what I use for my personal devices and highly recommend) at http://free.avg.com/us-en/homepage

Organizations pay for virus protection based on how they value the risk to the organization and how clients or customers would view their decision.  If your financial institution used the free version of AVG to protect their systems against viruses, you probably would consider a different financial institution.

Personally, I think virus protection costs too much.  Annual license fees for products from McAfee, Norton and others range from $29.00 per year per machine to $79.99 and even more (here is a good review of antivirus software http://www.pcmag.com/products/1594?Price=[0%20TO%202425] My recommendation is to go with something that works and is easy to use. Try some of the free versions to see if they meet your needs.

Wrapping up this little visit to the RSA conference there are hundreds of topics covered, please let me know if there is something you would like me to cover.

As you may have guessed by the title of the blog, this week’s song reference is by “Uncle” Joe Walsh (long story about my father marring a Walsh that makes Joe an “uncle”) and the classic tune “In The City”

Somewhere out on that horizon

Out beyond the neon lights

I know there must be somethin’ better

But there’s nowhere else in sight

It’s survival in the city

When you live from day to day

City streets don’t have much pity

When you’re down, that’s where you’ll stay

In the city, oh, oh.

In the city

From the truly bad (but somehow good) movie “The Warriors” here’s the video of the song http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sVqktmlik4A

Enjoy!

Posted in Channel Sales, Security | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Frontiers without Games

Frontiers vegasThis week I did some traveling west.  I flew out to Las Vegas with two close friends and joined with some others to play some golf in the small town of Mesquite Nevada.  I didn’t want to let everyone know I went to Las Vegas, as most people think “oh yeah he went to Vegas, partied, stay up late, etc.”   Now I am not trying to state that we didn’t have fun, but it wasn’t about Vegas.

The trip was tied to a trade show, the Digital Signage Expo that one of the friends mentioned above his employer has a significant presence.  The company is AppSpace. Appspace helps companies transform the way they engage with customers and employees. They have an information management platform that makes it easy to develop business apps that operate across smartphones, tablets, kiosks, video walls, wayfinders, desktops, and digital signs.

The three of us flew into Las Vegas on Saturday and planned to stay one night, then drive 90 miles to Mesquite on Sunday AM.  We landed around 1:30PM local Las Vegas time and decided to go directly from the airport to a driving range/golf super store.  Vegas Golf  PlaneThis driving range was directly before the landing strip at the Las Vegas Airport.  The planes coming in flew directly over us and it felt like we could hit them with golf balls as they landed.  (insert picture).  We spent a surprisingly long time at the range, enjoying a sunny 65 degree day, vs. the 15 degree day we left back in the Philadelphia area.  We stopped for a quick dinner at Gordon Biersch and then we were off the House of Blues to see a rock show.

If you have not been to a House of Blues (“HoB”) for a show, I highly recommend them, as it is an intimate place to see a show.  We have enjoyed acts like Steve Winwood, the Wallflowers, Jack White and others in these venues.  There are a few HOBs scattered around the country, Chicago, Myrtle Beach, Atlantic City, New Orleans, etc.  (Insert HOB photo) Great venues with a floor area for standing room only that seems to be able to accommodate 500 people or more and the a balcony level that surround the stage and Vegas HOB roof 1floor area on all sides creating a U shape.  The balcony had very comfortable wide seats all surrounded by colorful, whimsical decorations that are musically themed. A giant crystal chandelier hangs from the ceiling, with its bowed Vegas HOB roof 2strands of crystal stretching from the top of the ceiling well above the balcony reflecting the colored lights all around the room. This was topped off with a visit to Foundation Room at the top of Mandalay Bay.  Each of the HOBs has one, but Vegas’ views are probably the most spectacular at night.

Bottom line, one night in Vegas with my two closest friends and zero dollars gambled and in bed by around midnight.   No Mike Tyson, monkeys or lost friends, either. The games were there, but we just came for the frontier.  Leading me to my song of the week, an oldie by Peter Gabriel, Games without Frontiers as this is the reverse of this night in Vegas:

Hans plays with Lotte, Lotte plays with Jane

Jane plays with Willi, Willi is happy again

Suki plays with Leo, Sacha plays with Britt

Adolf builds a bonfire, Enrico plays with

-Whistling tunes we hid in the dunes by the seaside

-Whistling tunes we’re kissing baboons in the jungle

It’s a knockout

If looks could kill, they probably will

In games without frontiers-war without tears

Games without frontiers-war without tears

Jeux sans frontieres

Posted in Totally Random | Leave a comment

Target Paranoia

imagesTarget has been in the news since late November.  You may think I am a little late in commenting on this one, but it seems that the story is still evolving and it may only be the beginning (insert dramatic music here – da da daaa).

In Early December it is reported that Target was hit in a major credit card security breach.  The first report listed up to 40 million cards were compromised getting the card numbers, expiration dates, embedded codes on the magnetic strips and possibly even pin numbers.  It was first estimated that 30 Million Cards were breached.  Two weeks later the number rose to 70 Million, and in mid-January the estimates rose as high as 110 Million cards.

Our family shops from time to time at Target.  It is infrequent, as it is not a store that we enjoy shopping at due to a number of reasons which include limited selection, location and shopping experience.  We happened to be visiting my son, a Senior at the University of Pittsburgh (a 4.5 hour drive for us) over the Thanksgiving holiday.  It was his last home football game (he is the Mascot) and was being honored on the field on Black Friday.  On Saturday we took him to refill some supplies for his apartment, stopped at Costco for the bulk items and then went to the Target in the same shopping center for a few smaller items.  We spent less than $20 at Target and we used our personal debit card.

The story comes out and the media states the first thing to do is to check your bank statement fort any fraudulent charges.  Step one completed and we had no charges that weren’t our own.  Step two is to change the PIN number.  On some types of cards this is relatively easy to do.  However, most Banks recommended that you replace debit cards entirely.  So we go to the bank to replace the card and directly from the TD Bank commercials, the bank tells us we can have a new card in “7 to 10 business days”.  I expected to hear the teller explain that business days are Monday, Tuesday…etc.  Being a long term customer they provide us with a temporary card on the spot.

My daughter and her boyfriend also had shopped at Target during the breach time and went through similar a process, without a temporary debit card being issued.  I have heard similar stories from many friends and neighbors.  We all reacted to the breach and limited any potential personal damage.  I am sure that millions of people did not heed the advice and did not replace cards, etc.  So where is the damage?  If the breach was a large as Target states, 110 Million and if the perpetrators only attempted to use just 1% of the cards, that equals 110,000 cards.  Assume that 90% of the consumers changed out their cards.  That leaves 11,000 cards vulnerable.  Use an average transaction of $200 and you have $2.2 million in fraudulent charges.

Where’s the beef? When will the other shoe drop?  Resulting stories of fraud have been minimal so far. I searched and found only one mention of consumer impact and it was “Colleen McCarthy, 26, of Cleveland, Ohio, is among those who are avoiding Target. McCarthy used her Chase debit card at a local Target on the Friday after Thanksgiving and received a notice from Chase a few days after news of the breach first broke. The letter identified her as a potential victim of the Target breach but said, “don’t worry.” At the time, she was only somewhat concerned. But Monday night McCarthy received a call from Chase, alerting her that someone tried to use her debit account twice in Michigan. The thief cleared $150, which caused her rent check to bounce. Chase restored the money to her account. “This has been a nightmare,” she said. “My rent check bounced. My debit card had to be canceled. And who’s to say what other people have access to my information?””

I found another story that reported that BillGuard a company that specializes in finding fraudulent charges stated that of the 35,000 BillGuard customers that notified them of Target transactions during the time, only 2% were hit with fraudulent charges, which is the same ratio as those customers who were not affected or shopped at Target.

So is it possible that the thieves were after something else?  Something bigger, or was it to prove their capability.  I am no conspiracy theorist, but this one just does not seem right to me.  So that leads me to my musical reference. In my memory I had thought there was a song by the Kinks called Paranoia.  It turns out the song is called “Destroyer” and the words were a little different than I recalled as it seems to be a follow up to their hit song Lola.  Here’s the piece that applies to this blog:

Cause there’s a red, under my bed
And there’s a little yellow man in my head
And there’s a true blue inside of me
That keeps stoppin me, touchin ya, watchin ya, lovin ya

Paranoia, the destroyer.
Paranoia, the destroyer.

Listen to the song on YouTube here to see what I mean about Lola:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_WJ6FbcWYRU&feature=kp

Please let me know your thoughts, is this bigger or am I just paranoid?

Thanks!

Stan  skornaga@biztecheg.com

Please note this addendum:

Breaking News Tied to my Target Post – looks like an HVAC firm’s logon was used to get access to Target’s systems http://is.gd/PSbubN

Posted in Retail | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Best Laid Plans

plan a - bFriday was my administration day.  This is where I have to do the tasks I generally dread.  Payroll, taxes, data entry, and developing some blog topics. I could outsource these tasks, but I do not yet have them optimized into repeatable and transferable tasks, so I do them myself.  This also included a client update memo which was a review of all of the current projects active with a particularly large client.

The morning started well.  I pulled together all of the needed data for the client update memo and sent it out on time for the 10am status meeting.  At 9:45 the status meeting gets cancelled and I am pulled into a few other Client meetings and fires.  My morning is now gone and I have not touched the list of administration tasks I have to get done.

I got a quick bite of some leftovers from the fridge and went back to my office with renewed energy to tackle the list.  I have a deadline of 3:30PM due to another client call scheduled and then I am planning on jumping in the car at 4:00PM to drive 5 hours to Pittsburgh to see my son.  I did a good portion of my regular admin, payroll and taxes (which took longer as PA now requires monthly payments vs. quarterly and setting up the system was painful.)  However, I did not get to my important, but not urgent blogging and some other data entry work.

I thought I would have time to write while visiting my son in Pitt, as we were to go to Cleveland the next day and I should have time on Saturday morning.  Arrived at Pitt on Friday night around 9 and got a bite with my son.  Our plan was to go to grab a late breakfast and head to Cleveland around 10AM.  Unfortunately Saturday turned into a snow day in Pittsburgh and we never made it to Cleveland. As a result, I had to clean the car and find some entertainment for the day.  Took the boy to breakfast first, cancelled the room in Cleveland and rebooked a room in Pittsburgh.  Our first adventure was Costco.  The slow tour of Costco revealed that an 80” TV costs $3200 while a 40” TV is only $399 the cost per inch above 40” is astronomical. We tried all the free samples and bought the boy a few necessities for his apartment.

So Saturday pass and no further work was accomplished.

Sunday we woke to a sunny early morning, but the weather report advised snow was arriving by 11AM.  We made the decision to eat breakfast and get out of Pittsburgh to avoid the snow.  We hit the road by 10:30 and the snow caught us by 11 in the Somerset area and stayed with us through Harrisburg. Slowed the trip down as we did not get back home till after 3:30PM.  Feeling exhausted, I then prepared for my trip to California leaving on an 8AM flight.  Unpack the old and repack the new.  A little car maintenance and dinner and I was done for the evening.

Still no further work accomplished.

Out the door at 5:45 and off to Southern California.  Choose to pay for the internet to keep up with email and prepare for the meetings on Tuesday.  Tuesday was working at 4:30AM PST on conference calls and then meetings from 8AM till 5 followed by a quick 3.5 mile run, dinner and crash.  No blogging, no data entry.

Made the 10AM return flight and FINALLY spent some time finishing up this blog! Almost a week later than I intended.

I land at 7:30PM and I have meetings most of the day tomorrow and Friday.  The cycle continues…

And although James Blunt was referring to a relationship break up, I can relate to his song “Best Laid Plans” when he says:

Tell me why all the best laid plans

fall apart in your hands

And my good intentions never end,

the way I meant

I still have not done my data entry, but I posted this blog from the plane 😉

Posted in Totally Random, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Life Lessons at an Old Guy Lacrosse Tournament

This is a first in my blog, to write about mushy life lessons. Not really my style, but it gives me an excuse to write about my weekend and lacrosse.

I guess I need to explain an “Old Guy Lacrosse Tournament”.  There is a small subculture of immature and physically active middle aged pseudo athletes that get together regularly to beat each other with titanium sticks.  See this illustrated explanation of old guy lacrosse. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ju4bGgTX8Rw

Last weekend was the annual Florida Lacrosse Classic tournament, containing 40+ teams, playing over 100 games over three days in the Ft. Lauderdale area. The tournament raises money for youth lacrosse in Florida and has raised over $242,000 since it’s inception.  There are age divisions, 45,animal-house-group-jpg 50, 55 and now even a 60+ division.

The team I played for competed in the 50+ division.  Team is Faber College – yes from the movie “Animal House”, Faber is the fictitious college created by National Lampoon in 1978.  The team is based out of the Tampa area, with some Pennsylvania, NY and Canadian connections to some old friends.  You can tell by the name we are a bit off kilter, which takes us to the first lesson.

Lesson OneBreaking the Tension – during time outs and other stoppages of plays our team leader uses quotes from, the movie such as “Fawn Lebowitz on three”,  I say Neidermeyer and you say “Dead!” on three,  “Delta!”, “D-Day!” And many more.  The purpose of the cheers is to keep the team loose while competing.  I have seen this tactic fail miserably in the workplace as people try to pump you up or gain enthusiasm for completely mundane activities.  Alternatively, try a little comedy to relieve stress and tension to loosen up the environment and build a more fun teaming environment.

Lesson TwoGroup Communication in a Stressful Environment – During our games when the games were tighter then they should have been, teammates begin screaming at each other and confusion ensues.  Same thing in the workplace.  When there are deadlines, communication breaks down, tempers flare and mistakes are made.  During the game you are limited in time outs.  In the office you can always call time out and you probably should.  Try not to react, but to put it all in perspective and get everyone to take a step back to re-group. You can improve productivity during a stressful period by making everyone stop and relax for five minutes, take a walk, share a story, etc.

Lesson ThreeKnowing your Role on the Team – Right before the start of the Championship game on Sunday, our team leader gives the team instructions to “know your role”.  In other words we want to have the best players at their positions as much as possible, defensive players play defense and get off the field for offensive players when we have the ball.  In the work environment, it’s always good to do the same, but realize your role from group to group within the organization can be different.  You can lead one project, while being a contributor or advisor on another.  Key is to make sure all of the members roles are communicated and understood during the project.  Too many leaders of a group causes tension and decreases productivity.

Back to the weekend.  You probably figured out that the Faber team played for the championship of the 50+ division on Sunday.  After four quarters and leading in the fourth quarter by a score of 8-5, team Faber proceeded to let the evil, low down, Specialty Snappers team tie the game at the end of regulation time.  A few minutes into overtime the Snappers were called for two penalties (cheaters!) and Faber prevailed to become champions once again! Faber 2014 Champs

Those of you that have read my musings previously know I add musical references, and there is only one song I can think of that applies to this post and that is the Isley Brothers’ “Shout” as performed by Otis Day and the Knights at the Delta House.  No need to list the lyrics as you should already have the tune in your mind…a little bit softer now.

Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Back in the Saddle Again

Our website is re-built! Finally.  In my last post I told you the story of my laptop challenges and how panicked I was when it would not start from hibernation mode.  Since that writing (and those that follow me on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn know) our BizTech Enablement Group website (BizTechEG.com) was hacked and shut down.BizTech-Enablement_4c_M

I immediately thought the worst.  Somebody is out to get me.  Who did I upset to have them do this?   My frantic call to my web developer friend revealed that I was hacked, but not by a specific individual, but an evil automated bot (botnet) that was out to get bitcoins.  Pretending to understand, I repeated the word.  “Bitcoins”. I have bitcoins?  Can I cash them in?  Not really.

I had to do a “bit” of online research to kind of understand what happened.  Turns out a botnet can steal digital identities and generate bitcoins that then get computers to solve difficult calculations. To mine significant numbers of bitcoins takes a lot of computing power, requiring investment in equipment and electricity. A botnet comprising a network of penetrated computers controlled by a third party, can be used to do the job, offloading the costs onto the computers’ owners.  Very recently we saw the arrest of two Germans that hacked their way into almost $1M in bitcoins.

Good news was that we had all of the content.  Bad news was the formatting and themes were gone.  So off to the recreation of the website I went.  Trying to rebuild what I already had.  Hurdles and roadblocks, such as the theme and templates used previously no longer existed.  Add that to my complete inability to write or understand HTML.  I am limited as a developer and had not looked at the tools in WordPress since we built the site.  Long story short it’s back up and running, hopefully a little better and we added some technical magic thingys to make sure we don’t run into similar problems in the future.

So BizTech Enablement Group is back on-line or “Back in the Saddle Again” as Steven Tyler and Aerosmith once re-did the classic Gene Autry C&W song and crooned (really screamed) about his return, so too BizTechEG.com is back. Please let us know what you think of the updated site!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Computer World

I drafted this post from the seat of an Embraer 135 Delta flight on its way to Cincinnati for a layover on my way out to San Jose.  There are a total of 18 rows of seats with three seats in each row, so that makes approximately 54 of us (I say approximately as there could be less seats if they did have a row 13 or maybe lavatory took a row, etc.).  The seats are the Kraftwerksize of elementary school chairs.  The height of the cabin is under 6 foot.  We are completely crammed in this plane.  But yet I am able to type this blog because I have my new cool, small ultrabook.  But I almost didn’t…

Many of us use technology, computers and the internet almost non-stop during working hours and very heavily outside of working hours.  What happens when you’re disconnected?  Disconnected by accident, unavailability or a technology problem.

Panic.  Sweat beads on your forehead, you feel the instant fear of loss.  How will I continue working?  What will I do?  It is stressful.

On my way out to San Jose this week and I was excited to take my brand new Lenovo X1 Carbon ultrabook (weighing in at under 3lbs.) with me for its first journey outside of my office.  My back pack was light and I felt confident in it’s capability and took precautions to ensure the migration from the old laptop was seamless.  All my files are now located on my internet accessible Network Attached Storage.  I created a “briefcase” making sure I had locally saved files I might need while traveling without connection to the internet.  I was ready.  I put my computer into hibernation mode and off to the airport I went.

I arrived a bit earlier than usual, so that I could grab a bite and then catch up on any emails before takeoff.  I had a nice salad in terminal D of the Philadelphia airport (Green Fields at the end of the D terminal) and opened my laptop to get a little work done.  I opened the lid and it the power button.

Nothing.

Nothing at all.

Hmmm.  That is strange.

I try again.          Nothing.       OMG.   Nothing!

Try other buttons.       Nothing.   Control Alt Delete.  Nothing.   Crap!   Try again.  Am I an idiot?  I don’t know how to turn on my computer!   Crap!

What am I going to do?  Think…Think.

I use my phone to Google the problem.  “Lenovo X! Carbon won’t turn on”:  Gotta love Google.  Answers were there.  A known problem, that you can resolve yourself.  Good I will try it!

Still nothing.  OMG a week in California without a computer.  I am dead!  I will have to send this thing back!

Look at other Google results.  Another solution.  This one works.  Whew.  Relief!

Crazy stress, followed by huge relief.  Yes I have a problem with the new computer, but I will survive.  Whew!

Reminds me of a song (if you read any of my other posts, you knew it was coming) – since this one is a little more than unusual I have attached a link to the song on YouTube for your enjoyment and below are all of the lyrics:

“Interpol and Deutsche Bank, FBI and Scotland Yard
Interpol and Deutsche Bank, FBI and Scotland Yard
Business, Numbers, Money, People
Business, Numbers, Money, People
Computer World
Computer World”

Enjoy!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment