Change of Address

If I could apply the Six Sigma improvement process to a system it would be to the whole world of changing addresses.

I’ve just started the process of moving and already the list of items that need an address change continues to grow. To name a few, driver’s license, registration, magazine subscriptions, domain addresses …

At the same time, this whole process also helps me organize tons and tons of ‘things’ I should not have kept or should have thrown out ages ago. Thankfully Dave Allen’s principles are really helping now and I’m slowly getting used to the idea that I won’t need my text book from the Introduction to Computer Science class I took 6 years ago, although it’s always nice to look at my notes.

Philadelphia ASP.NET Roadshow

I had the unique priviledge of meeting Rob Howard at the the Philadelphia ASP.NET Roadshow.

Being a frequent visitor to the ASP.NET site, it was definitely worth listening to the experiences of the person who was in charge of the site.

The show on the whole was organized well. Attendees received packets with the ASP.NET Resource Kit, the ASP.NET VB Resource Kit, Infragistics promotional items and the ASP.NET Coding Strategies book.

Rob’s presentation was broken down into four sections:

– Differences between ASP and ASP.NET (Server Controls, Comparisons on Scalability)
– Tips and Tricks with ASP.NET (Caching, File Uploads, Dynamic Images)
– Security (SQL Injection Attacks, Cross Site Scripting Attacks)
– Whidbey (Naming Conventions for ASP.NET versions, Whidbey overview, Visual Studio.NET overview)

Furthermore, the hosts provided boxes and boxes of EXCELLENT pizza and gallons of soda. There were also free t-shirt giveaways, 2 pocket pc’s raffled off and 2 copies of Infragistics.

The Law of The Leadership

01 The Leadership
(Part of the series on 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing)

It’s better to be the first than it is to be better. Clearly, this has played against The Zambian. However, in recent times, we’ve strived to push new frontiers by attempting to be the first in various categories. For example the recent launch of the online Zambian community was a first in the market. Furthermore, we’re also the first to offer free advertising and website design to Zambian businesses. However, inspite of being first, I find it strange that the current market leaders do not exploit this advantage. Often, you can find a site losing its leadership position by not providing the audience with current and up to date information.

Other Zambian Firsts:

First site to use ASP.NET
First site to use RSS feeds
First site to offer free email services to all members
First site to launch an official blog

Knowledge Centered Support

Over the last year I’ve taken a much more avid interest in knowledge base solutions. During my internship at Unisys, I started working on the framework for a knowledge sharing platform. Infact, my internship timing was perfect, because Unisys was in the middle of a large roll out for the blue print marketing campaign. In essence, Unisys designed various solutions for industries and called each solution a blue print. For example, a frequent flyer program for the aviation industry was a blue print. So if Air New Airlinesio wanted a frequent flyer program, Unisys could deliver a solution based on the blue print. Common sense?

But factor in multiple languages, diverse needs, cultural restrictions, financial constraints and you see why many software consulting companies end up developing multiple solutions for a single problem.

In essence, knowledge has to be captured because you never know how valuable the knowledge is until it’s lost. Building on this concept, it seems logical therefore to assume that in various support scenarios a knowledge base of support issues can help radically reduce the time taken to solve a problem.

At a recent Help Desk Institute meeting, Judy Benda summarized a methodology for Knowledge Centered Support as:

– Create content as a by product of solving problems

– Evolve content based on demand and usage

– Develop a knowledge base of our collective experience to-date

– Reward learning, collaboration and contribution

The final goal, is to move from being reactive to proactive. In the case of a support center, the reactive center knows the answer and responds only when the customer requires help, whereas a proactive center moves the answer closer to and more accessible to the customer.

World Cup 2010

It was only a matter of time before the world’s largest sporting event came to Africa.

“The game’s ruling body FIFA chose South Africa ahead of Morocco and Egypt to stage the world’s most popular single sports event for the first time on the African continent.”

Zambia has already started making plans to build three new stadiums at Lusaka, Ndola and Livingstone. Yet another positive sign of development in Zambia.