Thursday, August 30, 2007

Enterprise Content Management (ECM), Cobalt 1, Ritz- Carlton, KL, Aug 28-29, 2007

I did not put my expectation too high for a conference like this as I walked down towards the hotel from Bkt Bintang monorail station. However looking at the list of the presenters I am hopeful and at the very least I would like to talk to them personally. The first thing I learned was that it is definitely shorter and easier to walk down Jalan Bukit Bintang towards Starhill rather then along Jalan Imbi. The conference rooms of Ritz-Carlton are actually linked to Starhill. I forgot actually I was there in the exact room for one masterclass before.

Cobalt 1 is small room and one look at the list of participants it is a very small conference despite the line-up of good speakers.

Before the conference starts I booted my laptop and discovered there is a free WIFI. So I was connected the rest of the day and it was useful to check for information and reference. I thought of blogging the conference live but decided not to.

Mr. Nagendran M. Perumal, Head of Semantic Technology Platform, MIMOS Berhad, MALAYSIA

The first speaker, Mr Nagendran, was from MIMOS and he supposed to talk about Semantic instead he talked more about KM and KM in Malaysia. The first two slides were really a nice surprise to me as he had historical items on KM Journey at MDC and KMAM. Both that I led and part off in a big way in 1999 and 2003 respectively. The speaker just did not realize that he has the person as his listener when he talked about it. MIMOS is using Sharepoints Portal with all the features and I sense the reality is that all of them not highly utilised.

Prof. Eric Tsui, Professor of Knowledge Management, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, HONG KONG

What Prof Eric shared with us is something that, more or less, we have journeyed through. His ECM framework comprises of Knowledge Audit, Taxonomy Creation and Maintenance, and RSS Feeds. For the knowledge audit he uses SNA to explore and understand the relationship of the subject he is dealing with. The result of the exercise also provides him with the map of what is the best possible way to structure his Enterprise Portal. He put emphasis on the development or adopting a very good taxanomy framework. However his facilitation workshop to develop the initial taxonomy was a bit simplistic to me. According to Prof Eric the combination of manual and automatic tagging is the best option to properly manage any critical assets. We also share the same believe that it is important to get everybody to tag their own information. The third component of his framework is RSS Feed and he proposed us to explore the newly launched Yahoo Pipes.

Mr. Tho Chee Kin, Practice Manager – Enterprise Content Management, Siemens Malaysia, MALAYSIA

I met Mr Tho when we visited Siemens a year ago and during his presentation he mentioned my name twice in emphasizing certain points. The first order of the day in implementing ECM according to him is to sell the business case to the management. Sustainable competitive advantage is one option and the other could be making the organization Agile, Efficient, and Compliant.

He defines ECM as the technologies used to capture, manage, store, preserve, and deliver content and documents related to organizational processes.

The issues mentioned and the business case put into place were common issues argued from the point of view of KM and we have been addressing some of them through various initiatives. However the concept of ECM is very important to understand, internalize and implement.

His suggested ECM Roadmap.

1 Understand the Technology and Capability
2. Identify Processes to be Implemented
3. Prioratise based on Need and ROI
4. Prepare Overall Plan (3-5 years)
5. Select Technology and Implementation Partner/s

He also stressed Change Management as key component for successful implementation.

Mr. Keith De La Rue, Knowledge Manager, Telstra, AUSTRALIA

Keith, whose works I used to read about, shared his KM experience at Telstra through implementing Online Document Library, iStore, ; a weekly web-based Sales KnowHow Bulletin; and Knowledeg Bites.

He called his strategy as a Middle-out strategy.

He started with no clear policy on storage and access; multiple sources of content, no single target audience view, start small and think big. Tow major key success factors are adopting an Open policy – Trust and instituting Reward for Knowledge Sharing. He admitted that most just fall into places and lucky that their Lotus Notes based system is scalable and easy to use.

Learning: It does not have to be big but only something practical and make sense to most. Trust is also key.

Mr. Kemal Hasandedic, National President, Records Management Association of Australasia, AUSTRALIA

ECM is defines as – Seamless integration of People, Content and Processes at Internet Speed.

Advocate continuous selling and communicating

Start with a pilot project and ‘seek opportunity’ – content management policy – emails management.

Mr. Alan Pelz-Sharpe, Principal, CMS Watch, USA

If you have heard CMS Watch you must have heard Alan and of course vice versa.

1. Basic question to ask is - Why we manage content?
2. To him ECM without Business Process Mgt is useless
3. WCM is always separate from ECM – taxonomy for web content is navigational whereas the ECM is internal.
4. Integration is key and ways to integrate – Portals, Workflow/Routing, BPM, EAI, ESB, EDI
5. Also the need to see ECM as a platform.
6. The right metadata, standard, policy in day one would help
7. Pay more attention to information or document life cycle.

Mr. Alok Shende, Vice President – ICT Practice, Frost & Sullivan, INDIA

Future of ECM

Most of the content of his presentation have been covered by otherspeakers.

1. DRM = ECM
2. Records Mgt is no longer just document but might be process and a piece of a document
3. ECM/BI – Analytics - content usage behaviour
4. Value to corporate knowledge and low complexity – Blogs, wikis
5. Benefits – tangible

Panels Discussion:

1. Ms. Melissa Heng
Practice Manager – Business Intelligence, Siemens Malaysia, MALAYSIA
2. Mr. Arijit Chowdhury
Senior Business Intelligence Manager, Dell Inc., MALAYSIA
3. Prof Eric Tsui
4. Alan Pelz-Sharpe

Q: Who own content, content mgt and the portal?

Eric: Depends on governance models. Content Mgt – broken between dept, not clear within the industry
Alan: Governance – no owner, finding on is a nightmare. Content mgt – dept take ownership. Platform – IT

Q: Strategic roles within ECM value chain?

Eric: The importance of contents

Q: Challenges to implement BI?

Arjit, Eric: Structured data. Content analytics for unstructured data is the biggest challenge.
Alan: context of structured data sit within unstructured data
Eric: External content is also important. RSS, Links, reference are important to keep and track
Alan: Web content analytics is really taking off

Q: How to go about creating a policy?

Alan: Really slowly and patiently. Difficult stuff
Eric: Contextualise

Q: Implementation?

Alan: Involve as many as possible within the value chain
Eric: Agreed with Alan and part of change management
Alan, Eric: Hype is real in ECM.
Alan: Web Service enabled means nothing. Archive storage must be vendor natural


1. Framework of ECM – overview
2. Map what we already have
3. Operationalise Content Management policy
4. Ensure standardization – metadata, taxonomy
5 Give due consideration to external content

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

On The Train (Reactive Nation), Aug 24, 2007

Here we go again! The entire government engine related to transportation was making the front page of most dailies the last few days. We could read all sort reaction and measures were talked about and said going to be implemented. But after all these years one main thing escaped Malaysians was the need to at least think proactively. We said it all the times but we never do it. Again and again we see and read this happening. The latest is of course the ‘Bus Tragedy’ that I blogged about dew days ago.

Give me one good reason how possibly can Malaysia achieve the Knowledge Economy vision.

On The Train, Aug 23, 2007

There was no firework display today so I left the office a bit late. The train and I arrived at the same time at the platform and in one motion I booted up my laptop as soon as I sat down. Due to the school holiday the train was a bit packed when we got to KL Sentral. Just imagine this me sitting my laptop typing nonstop like nobody business and on my left a young Chinese lady texting non-stop on her handphone. Both crazy and oblivious of the surrounding for most of the time. But the crowd tonight was a bit happy crowd. Making the train a bit fun place to be.

Fireworks, Aug 22, 2007

Kak Cik, Baqir and myself left for Putrajaya via Bangi Lama around 2030. I knew that there would be a lot of people there already but I was surprise I got in around PICC fairly easy and part along the road just around the first ring going up PICC. By chance it was a good spot as we had only to walk a bit down to a decent viewing area. As it was our first time we did not know what to expect and not sure whether the spot we picked was a good one to capture the fireworks. We gambled at the edge of a bank over looking an irrigation and Gemilang Bridges. I though it was a good spot as the bridge gave me a nice foreground as a frame. I setup my tripod and waited. At around 2130 teasers fireworks were fired up at the interval of five minutes. This, apart from milking the appetite of the spectators, gave photographers to adjust our shot. I got a sense that my spot was not the best and I scouted a new one. Satisfying myself I decided to remain there for the first few burst before moving to a new site.

Five minutes to 2200 all the lights around the bridge and our area were turned off signaling the coming of the actual fireworks. It came slowly like a dancer dancing lights next to the Gemilang Bridge followed by one or two bursts of a big one. After a few shot I found out I was right about the spot being not suitable and quickly asked everyone to move to the second spot that I have identified before and there we stayed for the entire 20 minutes duration of the show. Just on sentence, it was magnificent.

Walking back towards our car after the show I knew I would come back again on Aug 24, 30, 31, Sept 1 and 2. I would want to try a variety of locations

Not On The Train But in PD Witnessing (or should I say photographing) a Wedding, Aug 18, 2007

The morning was early for me and as soon as I walked out my room I saw bodies laying in the living room like refugee camp. I peeped carefully trying to identify Mar and there she was curled in the middle of the pack. The newly wed was on the floor sleeping soundly.

I went out with my dear wife to explore what we should get for breakfast. It was drizzling cold morning and I did not think I would be driving far for breakfast. We ended up at the usual place just after the Dataran where we used to buy breakfast before. It was convenience as we can get most of the things there. A nice surprise though I stumbled upon Anis who was buying breakfast there as well. Anis did her practical at our place few months back and now working for the PD Poly.

We came back to the apartment with 10 packets of nasi lemak, 8 pieces of roti canai and a lot of karipap and other kueh. I thought that was overdoing it but in the end it was just nice to feed my platoon. After a long hibernation they sure were hungry. Since it was still early I decided to take a nap and the children jump into the pool.

Let me just breakdown the kenduri into the followings;

1. Berarak and bersanding
2. Speedboat ride
3. Cake cutting, and
4. Continuous eating

Of course I was involved through out as the photographer. The most exciting was actually the boat ride and the three photographers had to follow in another boat. I just wish then I had a longer lens.

The day ended with everyone so tired and we went back to our apartment to rest. The rest went home.

I decided to try the new Tom Yam restaurant next to the Petronas at Batu 4 before walking through the pasar malam (since it was Saturday night). I asked at the entrance what their specialties are and I was told confidently everything. When we finished eating all of us were disappointed and agreed that would be the last time we would be there. You can get testier ones from the roadside stalls. When we ordered we specifically said we could not eat certain seafood and why I was not surprise when the food came they still included those things. I sent them back of course.

1. The wedding was an experience
2. There should be more family outing just to be together
3. PD is becoming monotonous to all of us and there is nothing more interesting to see or experience. I also doubt whether it is a good place to relax anymore.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Not On The Train But in PD Witnessing (or should I say photographing) a Wedding, Aug 17, 2007

We checked in into Laguna Condo Resort just before 1400 as I promised the girl when I called the day before. As we walked towards our unit on the 4th floor of block A I could not but felt that the place was neglected and obviously not popular among tourists. However for the price I was paying, considering the beginning of the school break and I am being I am always making my reservation late that was the best for us. The building was pathetic with lift not working on certain floors, pools that were murky and walls that need paint job very badly. Our spirit was lifted a bit once we were inside our unit. Since we had had our lunch all decided to try for forty winks. Not wanting to disappoint the groom I set the alarm at 1530.

Everyone was already at the entrance to the colony when we arrived and as soon as we were alighted we walked to the bride’s house for the akad nikah. The Khadi and his two witnesses were already inside waiting. Without missing a beat the Khadi started the ceremony by welcoming us, little information to explain to An on how it was going to go down and started on the khutbah nikah. At this point I already passed the camera to Baqir as I anticipated I was going to be the witness as well. Apparently I did not have to and I let Baqir continued to be the photographer with me giving constant instruction. I do not wish to make fun of the groom but before the akad he fumbled on few easy questions. Nervous? Or too eager to get married and forgot everything that he memorized while driving there J))). Whatever it was clues and hints coming from me from behind didn’t register on him either. In the end the Khadi helped out. To his credit though he nailed the akad nikah in one go. Looking at his bride seating not far away I could see relieve on her face. My theory is that the Khadi must have another wedding to do that was why An had it easy J)). I am very sure best practices would not do it here as the situation could be very complex. You may think you nailed the procedure after witnessing several weddings and attending courses but the reality was totally unexpected. For one the ceremony that was supposed to be conducted in the mosque was moved to their resident that adds additional anxiety to the groom. Secondly, expecting the Khadi going to be tough he delivered you a curve ball by being nonchalant in his way. Thirdly, you were caught of guard by the speed of the events. Thus, you forgot what you supposed to answer. Well, the small number of people in the house worked in An’s favour. Ensuing photography session took place in the bride’s holding bedroom and I decided on the normal shots and avoiding the cliché. I just love to shoot as things are happening not really waiting for my subject to get ready to pose. Posing for the camera for me is just for classroom or football team shots.

In any case congratulation to both of you, An and Gie, and remember marriage is something you work at, about compromises and understanding of each other. Accept each other shortcomings and; husband and wife spat. Do not put materials first or in between both of you as those things would not last but your love to each other will. The most important thing of all jangan tinggal sembahyang. That is how your Ucu and I survive all these years.

The rest went home but three cars turned left towards our apartment for a night stay in PD. Even though the water was murky we decided to do the pool before Maghrib where I managed a few laps.

We do not have any specific plan for the night but one thing for sure all of us do not wish to stay in our rooms. So after Maghrib we drove out towards PD town and ended up having our meals at our usual hawker place in town. It was not so much of the meal but sitting together talking among families that made being there a worthwhile thing. Family relationship, trust and the moment, if not environment, enable us to share each other stories and perspectives. In my younger days it would mean during a kenduri kahwin with the main house lighted just by gasoline lamps we sad among the older village folks to hear their tales. In fact we ordered whatever we fancied and stayed talking until quite late even for Mar and Qhila. We tried to find something interesting to do on the way back to the apartment but we can’t find any.

Once in our apartment everyone started to find their own space for the night. Just like chicken going into their coop and knew exactly where their place was and we settled for the night. At least one of us was asleep contented and anxious waiting for tomorrow and the reality on just had been a husband to somebody. Me? ……..

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

On The Train (The Bus Tragedy), Aug 15, 2007

Late in the office today my colleague drop in my office to discuss about work and wile trying to analyze the issues at hand he suggested to use the recent Bus Tragedy as an example to explain about the problem of KM, even taxonomy. He was right of course it was so clear the symptoms of not knowing of what they know, no proper organization of knowledge, no collaboration among agencies and plain simple of not making the right decision at the right time. Firstly all the agencies at fault have or knew about the driver and the bus. The JPJ should have the record of the ill fated bus and they should know also about the driver. The police obviously have the records of the bus and the driver as well. The licensing board as well. But no one was aware of the value chain and the potential effect of them not taking the right decision on time. Had the police taken action the driver won’t be on the road or had the JPJ and the Vehicle Licensing Board grounded the bus the tragedy could be avoided. It could be as well that all the information stored it the respective systems were not organized using a standard taxonomy so visibility was not there for all to see the inter-linkages. So who’s at fault? All the agencies within the value chain and they all should own-up.

On The Train, Aug 14, 2007

I wanted to be a bit early going home but KTMB got a better idea. There was a ‘technical’ problem at Sg Buloh station and I had to wait for at least 45 minutes for the train. What I could not understand, knowing that the delay on the Seremban line was severe why wouldn’t the KTMB diverted one or two Sentul trains to this line. It would not be that difficult as the Sentul station is not that far. Just terminate the service there and instruct the driver to service Seremban line from there. Because they did not do it the train was worse than sardine can at KL Sentral. It they think it was not that bad the next time this happens come and join us. Maybe I could coach them on the proper conduct of being a KTMB customer. Just like the bas tragedy reported in today’s newspaper KTMB is waiting for the worst to happen before taking any action. It seems they have no pride in what they do. Visit Malaysia Year slogan and 50 years independence are useless if we still have a third class mentality and attitude. Suddenly….. Malaysia Tak Boleh.

On The Train, Aug 9, 2007

I woke to the realization it was our 19th Anniversary. I gave no indication that I remember it until when I disembarked at the station. I gave my wife a kiss on the cheek and wish her happy anniversary. She thought I forgot. But I told her the dinner would have to be tomorrow night as I was scheduled to celebrate our beloved SDAR 50th anniversary at PICC together with old boys and old girls of STAR and STF respectively. We knew this for quite sometimes already so no conflicting priority.

So many literatures have been written and no less of research on the subject either. Last night was yet another phenomenon. The beauty of the old boys (or old girls in the case of Srikandi) network prevailed. The success of the dinner was not really due to the organization or Sifu M Nasir but of the simple fact that we are bonded for life and would want to meet old school friends. Especially those that we had not met for 30 years. Young or younger we just clicked and immersed with each other. Forget the speeches, forget the dinner and forget even M Nasir, we were there just for each other. What even more interesting was that the three schools were really connected body and soul. Not only the schools were born on the same year some of us married (SDAR, STAR + STF) each other and our children also found some of us to be their parents-in-law. As expected once the dinner was served I could see a lot of people started to move around the hall to talk to their friends and it continued to be that way until even M Nasir came on stage. Our relationship is so special that a lot of people could not really understand. Actually it is so easy; because of the intensity of feeling that we shared so often trying to be the best in whatever we do the sense of brotherhood and trust were ingrained in us.

M Nasir continued to belt out the familiar and nostalgic tunes. The ladies camped themselves in front of the stage inching closer by the minutes. Some of us silently enjoying the music and very tempted to join The Sifu up stage to resurrect our funky moves. Our night continued to morning as we moved our ‘warung’ to a mamak outlet at Sect 9 Putrajaya and I was finally home at 2am.

On The Train, Aug 8, 2007

I dragged myself out of the office and walked slowly to the station. As it was late there were not many people waiting and as if all the energy was drained out of my body I sat myself down to wait. My mind out of my tired brain just managed lingering around close by. No wanting to be adventurous as before. Even when the train arrived I was not that excited only to be glad the ride home was there. The same thing on the train, I guess because I was still aching here and there after a very adventurous weekend on the fields and cycling, I was just not in a mood to do anything. For the past two days I was not really myself. My tired face was so obvious. The tiredness was compounded by the loads that I had to carry in the office.

Looking around in the train I could not see beyond my weary eyes only the obvious. I felt like I was sitting alone. Loneliness, despite having a lot of commuters around me on the train. In the end I felt so drained, closed my laptop and shut off to nap for few minutes. I was awake at Kajang and the few minutes were actually meaningful.