IT Conferences 2014


Qlik Visualize Your World

in Copenhagen

Post date: Oct 21, 2014 7:41:52 PM

Today Safepark attended Qlik's Visualize Your World at the Tivoli Hotel here in Copenhagen, which feature first introduction of Qlikview Sense to the Danish market. Qlikview Sense was introduced after the opening keynote on the future of visualization.

Qlikview Sense take in our view BI to a new level. It features drag-and-drop data import, as well as drag-and-drop chart creation. And to get you started you can download a desktop version for your Windows 7 or 8 computer from www.clik.com. We have done so already, and report on our experience with Qlikview Sense in the near future. The introduction of Qlikview Sense featured a live demo of the capabilities of the server version of Qlikview Sense. Envision you are given a presentation to your board using a presentation automatically created form your Qlikview Sense app, and suddenly a board members ask you a question. Normally you would have to acknowledge the question, and get back to the board member after the meeting. With Qlikview Sense server version you can go right from your presentation back to the original Qlikview Sense app on the server, highlight the chart in question and add data needed to answer the board members question. Thus the question is resolve effectively here and now, and you avoid the sending of e-mailing all board members about the question after the meeting.

Furthermore Qlikview Sense implements many of the visualization guidelines, which Stephen Few for years have been advocating in his books, and which Inspari have introduced to anyone in Denmark, who cared to listen. It features color schemes which avoid problems with color blind people. Inspari at the meeting today distributed a short guide to visualization that anyone making presentations involving data should get their hands on - unfortunately I only have a Danish version.

After the morning keynote the day continued with 3 parallel sessions. We attended a really good session featuring different demos of Qlikview solutions some in-house from Qlik and some available on the internet. One of the ones shown briefly at todays meeting was the Shift Project Data Portal, which you can access at www.tsp-data-portal.org/ and explore some of the features of Qlikview. Another is the Choke Point Index for water in California - try to google this. Another positive experience was Inspari's presentation on visualization guidelines, as well as S-Cubed presentation on using Qlikview in connection with data from clinical trials, which have special requirements on who can watch what and when, as well as the issue of data security both from the patient perspective and from the company perspective.

The day was rounded off by Swedish Futurologist Magnus Lindkvist showing us the different between horizontal development - selling more of the same in other areas - and vertical development - going from selling candles for reading to selling LED light-bulbs. Magnus Lindkivst also told us, that salespeople are good of the former, while engineers excels at the latter. During Magnus Lindkivst's talk we also learned the difference between sports and business, which is that in sports the rules usually don't change during the game. We also learned, that R & D could be interpreted in a new way: Ripoff & Duplicate, and new word: IKEAficaton.

All in all Qlik's Visualize Your World was time well spent, although some sessions could benefit from a clearer focus.

IBM Business Connect 2014

- Updated on security and mobility

Post date: Oct 9, 2014 2:55:58 PM

Yesterday Safepark participated in IBM BusinessConnect 2014 at Bella Center in Copenhagen, and we where updated on the current security threats in both conventional computing and mobile devises in the light of both the international response to the NSA surveillance and to the local case of a trusted IBM employee leaking information about credit card transactions of well known people, such as Crown Prince Frederik, to the media.

In one presentation speaker reviled how his Linux server at home within minutes of the publication of the bash shell security problem was bombarded with attempts to take over the server by exploiting this bash shell vulnerability. Luckily the server was configured not to execute bash shell scripts based on incoming requests.

The afternoon feature a panel debate about security of personal information, such as medical records, in light of the needs to use the aggregated records to develop new drugs and in general improve health services. Google told us, that very few people use the tools they have to look at the activity on their Google accounts. Unfortunately we fall in the trap, but that will change shortly.

The morning featured a presentation from Infinity Red Bull Racing, which among other things showed how their pit stop was reduced from an average of 4 seconds two years ago to less than 2 seconds this year.

At one of the talks Safepark attended the presenter told us, that one client wanted to do a trial of BYOD for about 500 employees. When the management platform was installed it discovered, that almost 3500 devices were accessing the corporate mail system. Company employees had just used a standard feature of all exchange servers to login to their company e-mail accounts from their smartphones.

This event features a large number of parallel sessions, and hence it is only possible to attend less than 10% of presentations. This meant, that this year we did not get update on Watson or the public sector. The latter partly because the details of this track was not in the printed event guide.

Windows XP Funeral

at edgemo in Farum

Post date: Apr 10, 2014 10:55:52 AM

On the very day on which Microsoft finally pulled the plug on what has properly been its most successfull OS to date Safepark Consultancy attended a funeral event at edgemo, which a local IT consultant and hardware facilitater with a focus on Microsoft and Citrix.

After a welcome by the CEO in a Danish pastors outfit Claus from Microsoft Denmark talked about the consequences of Windows XP EOL. In his presentation he mentioned a number of Microsoft tools, which could help getting to a newer and more modern platform. The first is the Application Compatibility Toolkit (ACT), which is free and the current version 5.6 also runs on Windows XP provided you have Service Pack 3 installed and also .NET Framework version 3.5. Claus also spoke for the update to Windows 8.1, which re-introduce a feature to bypass the modern GUI, and go back to the well known desktop with start menu - in a very configurable edition. The next big Microsoft EOL will be Windows Server 2003 in July 2015. Currently the number of 2003 servers in Denmark are counted in thousands, and for those wanted a planned migration to a newer platform the advice was: Start the process now!

Since I got access to my first personal computer at DTU in the early 90's we have seen quite a number of windows edtions: Windows 3.1, Windows 3.11, Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows Me - all GUI's based on DOS - and they have been put to rest some time ago. This Windows XP EOL is part of a series, which started with Windows NT 3.1 around the time of Windows 3.1. Version of Windows after the start of the new millenium are all based on NT: Windows 2000 (Februar 2000), Windows XP (October 2001), Windows Vista (November 2006), Windows 7 (July 2009) and Windows 8 (October 2012). If one look at this time-line, then it is somewhat surprising to hear, that we can expect to see Windows 9 within the next 12 months.

If you haven't allready migrated away from Windows XP, then you can improve your protection by tools such as AppSense Application Manager, which appear similar to Apparmor from openSUSE, or AppDNA, which will become a part of XenApp from Citrix.

The half day seminar ended with lunch and funeral-beer - a Danish custom to drink beer at any occasion.

An alternative to migrating from Windows XP to Windows 8, which runs but barely on our Lenovo ideaPad S-10-2, could be a migration to openSUSE 13.1, which is a free download from www.opensuse.org, and comes with a new KDE GUI aimed at small screens and the latest version of LibreOffice - my favorite tool for opening old textprocessing files, such as WordPerfect and WordPro. Unfortunately old Lotus 1-2-3 files are not handled as well, but then Gnemeric, which is also part of openSUSE, stands ready to fill the gap.

IDC Mobility Conference 2014

Safepark at 10th IDC Mobility Event in Copenhagen

Post date: Mar 27, 2014 8:38:18 PM

Today Safepark participated in the 10th IDC Mobility Conference in Copenhagen. Mobility is as you may know part of what IDC calls the 3rd IT Platform. The first platform from the mid 60's was mainframes with terminals attached. Then in the 80's the 2nd platform involving client/server systems with local area networks - called LANs. And at the end of the first decade of this millennium the 3rd platform involving mobility, cloud, big data and social business started to arrive.

Our interest in mobility is the movement from web-presence to mobile presence, which properly just started two or three years ago. At todays conference we attended a workshop on gaining business advantages with mobile innovation, at which Lars-Olof Allerhed from IBM explained how the company have started its mobile journey, which means that many of its employees over the next years will move form using smartsphones and notebooks will move to using smartphones and tablets to perform ALL their work. The transformation will involve the development of about 140 in-house mobile apps, and the typical technical employee would use around 30-40 of these. We expect a similar development within the process safety area.IBM has a mobile development platform called MobileFirst, which allows the development of a single source for delivery to four different platforms including Android, IOS and Windows Phone. This development environment is freely available at IBM DeveloperWorks. First when you want to deploy the apps do you need a paid license.

At the start of todays conference our host Charlotte Thygesen Poulsen mentioned, that 10 years ago one of the topics was management of people working from their home. Latter in the day Lars Baun from Dell explained the freedom he enjoyed in an earlier employment at a time when no had dreamed about the cellphone or the smartphone.

At the start of the day Jason Andersson from IDC showed us, that in mobile development in Denmark there is a higher focus on end user experience, than is seen in other European countries. Another presenter stated, that ROI or return-on-investment in mobile development is not always measured in dollars, pounds or kroner, but in some cases are measured in reduced CO2 emissions. Mobility does not mean that we don't need paper, as shown in the video "Paper has a great Future".

An interesting aspect of the conference was, that the security people appear to continue their focus on device security, i.e. encryption of all data on a device and the ability ot eras data remotely if a devices is lost. Which happens about 90.000 times a year in San Francisco. Safepark believe, that the focus should move to document security. If documents were secured (i.e. encrypted) then it really did not mater if a private Drop Box is used as a temporary storage. Safepark is extensively using cloud storage, and using this approach as needed to limit the risk of storing documents in the cloud.

The end of the day showed Rikke Koch from the Alaxandra Institute talk about wearables, such as arm bands measure your exercise, Google glass and even wearable built into clothes. Safepark is also getting in wearables by supporting the Kickstarter project the Dash. More about this device when we get our hands on it early next year.