About Robert Houdeshell

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So far Robert Houdeshell has created 19 blog entries.

News from Microsoft's Worldwide Partner Conference

I have the Microsoft WPC App installed in my Facebook. This morning, I eagerly poured a cup of coffee, got onto the app and began watching the Keynotes. Steve Ballmer spoke extensively about the new Surface tablet coming out soon. Then he turned over the presentation to Tami Reller -- VP at Microsoft. Tami and I worked together when I was at FRx Software and she was at Great Plains. She demonstrated the Windows 8 applications, OS and hardware. She announced that Windows 8 will release to manufacturing in August and on machines by end of October, 2012. She demonstrated many touchscreen machines and one that I liked a lot, the Lenovo Yoga -- a laptop that folds into a Tablet form factor. If you buy a Windows 7 PC today you can upgrade to Windows 8 Pro for $14.99 (she said 1499... I believe that would be $14.99 and [...]

By | 2018-07-18T11:26:05+00:00 July 9th, 2012|Cloud, Events, Ramblings, Social Media|

Acumatica 3.0 Review of Financials, Distribution and Project Accounting

Subtitled:  What I Do On WeekendsIt was a dark and stormy night.  Okay, it really was a dark and stormy day or two this weekend.  Having planned to take the popup camper out for a test run, my plans changed.  My wife was agreeable, so we both decided to do some things that we have been putting off.  My weekend project was to spend some quality time with Acumatica 3.0.  Yes, just me, a cup of coffee and my keyboard.  Here is what I have concluded from my weekend excursion.The Acumatica setup actually began last week with a botched attempt.  Before blaming Acumatica, I confess, it was my fault.  Having worked with ERP Software for 20 years now, my trepidation was that I would have a hard time undoing my damage.  So, I uninstalled Acumatica, deleted my databases and then reinstalled.  Much to my amazement, everything worked without fail!  Yay! [...]

By | 2018-07-18T11:27:01+00:00 April 29th, 2012|Cloud|

State of the Technology Union

What is the state of the Technology Sector today?  With unemployment at 8.2 percent, what is the future for technology experts?  I am pleased to say that "The future's so bright, I gotta wear shades!"  (Reference to a favorite 80's song)As I was reading this BusinessWeek article, I thought this would be an interesting topic to address.  Although published in August of 2011, this article is even more applicable.  I believe that as an industry, we live and thrive when the sector as a whole is successful.  There is a great deal of competition in the Tech Sector, iCloud, Windows Azure, Google and Amazon's Cloud are all vying for customers who are interested in the Cloud.However, reflect back to just three years ago.  In 2009, the terminology of Cloud Computing was just catching on.  Now, a mere three years later, Cloud Computing is such a defacto term that even non-Tech people get [...]

By | 2018-07-18T11:27:01+00:00 April 20th, 2012|Cloud, Ramblings|

IT Teams grow their Cloud Knowledgebase

This newsfeed came across my desk about an IT Team that had to grow their internal knowledge or Office 365 (BPOS as it was previously called).  http://www.itworld.com/it-managementstrategy/267024/cloud-computing-skills-shortage-forces-cios-grow-their-ownI find it encouraging that IT Teams are taking the Cloud seriously, honing their skills and finding how to integrate in-house custom programs with the Cloud.  This is an encouraging sign for Cloud Computing as well, as it foretells of a significant rise in the level of IT knowledge which traditionally focused only on On Premise solutions.

By | 2018-07-18T11:27:01+00:00 April 15th, 2012|Cloud|

The Cloud Office of Today

Okay, confession time:  this blog is late.  I usually publish my blogs on Friday’s and an endless number of things have gotten in my way.  However, the biggest thing that has gotten in my way is simply this:  Writer’s Block!  Oh yeah, good old Writer’s Block!  But then, recent events have brought me to thinking about the Cloud Office of today.  To quantify this, I am speaking of the physical office and how it can be fully deployed in the Cloud.  Is it reasonable to expect a Cloud solution to be fully deployable at your office?  My recent conclusions are:  yes.  It is recent that I have had the need to investigate some of the critical elements of a Cloud office that until now have been undefined.  The critical element missing has been an online phone system such as Lync Online.  So we begin there: In my quest for the [...]

Cloud and Mobility – Notes from Convergence 2012

Why do we care about Cloud Computing and Mobility?Where are you now?  Are you at your desktop?  Are you reading this on a tablet?  A phone?  What is your preference?The same considerations need to be made when considering your consumption of business data.  Let's face it, we are all (or at least in my circle of friends and colleagues) afflicted with some sort of attention disorder.  Most of us, as business people, will be honest with ourselves and acknowledge that we live, breathe and eat business.  That means that during our business meetings someone will bring up a topic and we'll wonder to ourselves "how is my cash position?" or how are my "receivables"?  How we answer that depends on where we are at and which device we have at our disposal.  Microsoft at their highly successful Convergence 2012 with a record attendance of 10,500 people, announced that their strategy [...]

By | 2018-07-18T11:27:01+00:00 March 30th, 2012|Cloud, Mobility|

Acumatica 3.0 Professional Services Release Review!

Professional Services employees make up a large demographic of our workforce.  They are architects, engineers, contractors and consultants like me.  We are a highly mobile workforce, often flying to work on projects or working at our client’s offices.  This creates a need for us to be able to manage our work, projects, resources and time from anywhere.  However, most solutions for project management, until today, have been legacy technology with very little mobility built in. Today, Acumatica’s version 3.0 is available.  Acumatica has significantly augmented their application with numerous new features that improve business intelligence, customer processing and most notably Project Accounting.  Project Accounting and its associated capabilities such as time and expense entry, allocation processing, billing and project management are critical functions for someone in a professional services role.  For the professional, mobility is critical.  The typical workday of a professional begins with reviewing the tasks he or she [...]

By | 2018-07-18T11:27:01+00:00 March 23rd, 2012|Business Intelligence, Cloud|

Cloud Computing and Mobility Apps The perfect storm of mobile ERP, CRM and BI

Continuing the conversation about Cloud Computing, I ran into this article through a Google Newsfeed this week.  It seems to me and to the author of this post http://www.wired.com/cloudline/2012/03/personal-cloud-2014/ that some companies are not taking Cloud seriously.  Tagging onto my post from a couple of weeks ago, the author agrees with my conclusion that deploying enterprise applications through the Cloud is really the "secret sauce" (my words).  Cloud Computing's core components have been with us for years.  Virtualization, service provider licensing, remote access, .net development platform.  However, it's only been the past few years that we, as a Cloud Computing Industry, have been able to fully deploy the Cloud.  The next evolution of Cloud is "app-ifying" specific components of ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning), CRM (Customer Relationship Management) and BI (Business Intelligence).  We have seen CRM become one of the first applications to app-ify components such as Accounts, Opportunities, Tasks and Activity Management [...]

The Future of Business Intelligence

Let us explore the future of Business Intelligence.  Last week I spoke about Windows 8 and it's impact on computing.  However, let's further explore the problems, yes problems, with Business Intelligence.Until today, Business Intelligence has been primarily provided by Hyperion, Cognos and other solutions.  Many years back, Microsoft introduced Microsoft Analysis Services.  However these solutions have been either expensive in their software purchase and/or their implementation.  Further complicating things are the differing requirements from the user to the manager to the executive.Therefore, we have seen an emerging trend in business solutions in which we believe you should know about.  They are:Audience -- the audience or consumer of the business intelligence will always be the number one concern in Business Intelligence.  For example, the CEO and CFO will have a varying set of requirements of what they want to see.  The manager of purchasing will want to see something different from [...]

Windows 8 is coming! The impact of Cloud, Office 365 and Dynamics ERP and CRM

What do you do when you are Microsoft, the 800 pound gorilla in the marketplace when both Google and Apple are taking your customers?  In 2007, Apple released the iPhone and subsequently in 2010, the iPad mobile devices.   Apple's strategy is to have a single OS on all devices, Mac, iPhone and iPad.Google is no different.  Taking the lead from Apple, Google's Android OS on the phone, tablet and now Chromebook is moving in that same direction.  However, Google is not as sophisticated in their marketing and positioning as Apple.  Complicating things further is that Google, unlike Apple, is not controlling the device like Apple.  Now enter Microsoft's Windows 8 operating system.  Let's take a look at what they are up against and look historically for answers to where they go.  For many years, Microsoft has struggled with devices like phones and tablets.  I have witnessed over the years [...]

By | 2018-07-18T11:27:02+00:00 March 2nd, 2012|Cloud, Mobility, Ramblings|