ESCape összes bejegyzése

Remote work can be fun, if you act voluntarily

I asked one my workmates’ viewpoint about a voluntary remote work. Whether he likes it, or not and why. Guess what he said 🙂

1, Why do you personally prefer the homework, instead of working in an office?

Working from home has many positive aspects, which would not normally be available to an employee working in an office.

One can choose his or her own schedule, choose exactly when to work – or when not to work. If there is an important task that needs to be done in the middle of the work day, it can be easily done: just do it – and work another time. It’s the ultimate flexible time.

One can also choose a work location. Whether it’s from the comfort of a home, or from a balcony or a backyard – there are plenty of opportunities to make the work environment as enjoyable and efficient as possible. It doesn’t have to be limited to a home either – I have worked from a train, from an airplane, from a friend’s house, from a food court in a mall, and from a small tourist hotel in the mountains.

Another advantage is that some people spend a long time traveling to/from work. These two of three travel hours can be better spend for other things.

Working from home does require a certain level of personal discipline. One needs to be productive and efficient on your own, since there is no one watching over the shoulder to directly make sure the work gets done. One also cannot just “go home and leave work” – in other words, leave all thoughts of work at the office.

Working from home is therefore most suitable for people who are independent and professional.

2, Could it be a better solution for a client to have the work to be done with someone who works remotely, than working with a traditional (office type) supplier?

Working from home obviously only fits certain fields or jobs. A store clerk cannot escape from facing his customers. A company receptionist cannot welcome the visitors from her living room.

But an IT professional or software development is in a much different position. Of course, this type of work requires a fair amount of people contact – to determine what needs to be done, to co-ordinate work, to report on progress, and to stay in contact with a client or a supervisor, as needed.

But anyone developing software is essentially working mostly with their computer. The concepts and ideas in the real world need to be converted into a program, which is basically a series of instructions to tell a computer (or a web site, or a mobile phone), to do something. The developer’s job is to convert these real world concepts and processes into software.

This is best done in private, alone with the computer, and perhaps with a piece of paper and/or a planning tool. It’s ideal for working from home.

 3, How do you see the future of IT or software development?

We are living in a world where more and more tasks are being automated.

Some people may dislike the idea. A 95-year old man complained to me once that electricity was a bad invention, because it took away jobs of people who previously had to carry bricks on their backs. From that limited viewpoint, he was right – but he wasn’t seeing the tremendous advantages that came with it.

Software and computers, if used correctly, can dramatically simplify and speed up many actions. A modern computer is a distant descendant of the abacus, but today, not many people would use an abacus – or carry a load of bricks on their backs.

Software will continue to improve and get better at doing what it’s intended for: to improve and make more efficient the lives of people and businesses. There is a large world-wide community of software developers, who have as their goal making things work, and making things work better. Many an idea that was created 10 years ago has been – by today – analyzed and optimized, to work in the best way it can. A mobile phone from 10 years ago cannot compare well to one from today. Some software programming methods from 10 years ago are out-of-date today, they have been replaced by something newer, better, faster, more secure – and faster to develop.

As programmers continue to improve their skills, to find better solutions to common (or uncommon) problems, they will find it easier to develop software that fits exactly the real-world ideas or processes that people and companies are facing. Better, faster, more user-friendly and more intuitive software continues – and will continue – to be created. I expect this trend to continue for many, many years.

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An example of a failed digital transformation

Democratic voting conducted in the Iowa state of the USA the other day. This was a preliminary election (for the candidates) for the upcoming presidental election in 2020. Usual election in modern suite: let”s use an application! One and half day elapsed and only 71% of the votes had been processed. I think it”s far from acceptable.

Fault No 1.

The majority of the people in that particular state use and old school cell phone. The application simply doesn”t run on that mobile.

*conclusion: before installing a new service, or product, always make a profound survey, to get to know the appropriate skills of the target audience. Otherwise no would use it.

Fault No. 2.

People mostly downloaded the app during the night of the voting and not before. If you say, to download the app and try it out on your own, is a perfect recipe for failure. So voters began to vote over land line phone, or mobile.

*conclusion: take time to educate and train, or else users would be afraid of the new.

Fault No. 3.

the whole system had serious performance issues. It means, more people used it than developers predicted before. They might said, it”s gonna” be okay. But it didn”t 🙂

*conclusion: to perform testing procedures are less expensive than loosing money and valuable time over a malfunctioning system.

In all, we can see, the solutions behalf the Digital Transformation are not free from the good old human failures.  So let”s learn from the faults, or else the new and proudly announced solution doesn”t live up to our expectations at the end.

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Customized is NOT Custom-Made!

Customized is NOT Custom-Made!

3 expressions:

  • Ready to wear
  • Made-to-measure
  • Bespoke

These are the three expressions we distinguish when we are about to buy a new suit.

In case of „ready to wear” we walk into a store, take it off the hanger, heading to to fitting room and we check how good it fits to us. We also ask our dad, mom, girlfriend or wife. Yeah yeah this is not bad, altough it’s a bit tight here, loose in the waist and short in the sleeve. Whatever, the point is we have to make compromises, just accept it how it is or we can decide not to buy it.

The next we are talking about is the „made-to-measure”. This type is made by a pre-tailored pattern that can be modified for the needs of costumers later. People look for a tailor to loosen here, sew in there and remodel it. Yeah…It fits you a bit better now than the previous option, but it is still not the ideal for you. Laymans often mix it up with the unique suits, but for the professionals these two types mean two different things.

And now we have come to the type called „bespoke”, namely the realy unique, handmade suits that is tailored for the costumers strictly by their specific needs. We walk into a tailor who measures our dimensions and discuss every little details of the desired suit. Then he starts working on it, probably requires a few other meetings to refine the discussion and secure we get what we ordered. Then eventually OUR suit will be born that no one else has and it is going to fit perfectly.

Let’s take a look at the same thread in case of ERP systems:

For the first, we open our browser, like we just walk into a store, search for some software then we watch some videos about it, we download the 7 days free trial (fitting room 🙂 ), we try to pick the one that can fulfill our requirements on some level and we are good to go..Its fast, cheap but we have to force our company and its processes into it.

The next ones are the premade ERP systems that are usually modular, so they are open for some kind of smaller-bigger changes. Just like these kind of suits, its a bit tight here, loose there but mehh…it’s gonna be ok. In the same way, they are often mixed up with the custom developed softvers as well.

But in case of custom developed ERP systems, we tailor the „suit” fully for your company needs and processes. As in the tailor store, we meet personally to assess the detailed, specific needs. We talk and discuss your goals, reveal the problems and obstacles and find the best solutions for you, just like the tailor measure our dimensions. Knowing these, we start the develpoment, stay in touch for the whole time, test until our own suit is completely done, that is unique, only ours and it fits us perfectly.

Consequently, if you do not mind making compromises, changing and adapting your processes so your company can fulfill the requirements of a softwer, or you make this decision considering only the cost, then a premade ERP system is an option for you. If this is not enough and you would like a system that satisfy the needs of our company 100% and serves you, then it is not a question, the optimal choice is the custom-made ERP system.

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Robot Coworker, aka cobots?

You can imagine a state-of-the-art and fancy looking car making factory. As we proceed from one place to another, a machine shows up suddenly in front of us. It”s rolling, beeping and carring a heavy stuff. As soon as it gets in close proximity, slows down and finally stops. Right after this, it carefuly bypasses us and continue the work.

Now this is the reality: human and machine work together, making the production more effective. In a company like this, more people needed, not less. Moreover the job environments is also more comfortable for the human.

In all, when it comes to usual “human, contra machines in the future” question, it”s quite easy. We work together and let the robots do what they are good at.

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ERP implementation is an IT job, right? Maybe not..

The other day I met an IT guy. He is a professional expert and he said, he’s boss appointed him to do the entire ERP setup from now on. Find the best solution and take care of the implementation.

In this particular case, it means, no one wants to manage this task, although it’s a must-have software, so let’s entrust the IT guy because he is the most talented person in this field. Apparently.

We might think it’s correct, right? But let’s dig a little bit deeper. What skills does a person to set up an ERP need?

1, clear vision of the future goals

2, see the present state of the firm

Nevertheless, the IT guy mostly knows well the IT related issues and sees the whole picture from an IT viewpoint. Which is absolutely right! But far from enough for a decent ERP set-up.

So unless we wanna’ have a very logical solution (which is unusable for us, consequently we use on our Excel tables instead), please do not let the IT guy manage the cumbersome procedure of an ERP set-up.

I recommend appointing someone who is aware of the 2 mentioned points above and who is inviting to the ERP interviews the proper persons just at the right time, including the IT expert. Later.


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You’re fired!

I’ve been to an organization to survey the business processes and provide a decent quote for ERP implementation. Everything went just well and next time we handed our profound offer and explained the details to the representative woman. She also shared a secret with us: there is only one competitor left apart from us.

Everything goes well – I thought unless I got a text from the representative lady in the same evening (!), with the following information: “I’m fired, and my ex-boss also asked me to let you know, he chose the other company to implement the ERP software.”

I asked for more info politely so she replied, that the leader knows someone in the other competitor company, that’s why he decided to lay her off. Even though she was recruited half a year, so to coordinate the whole implementation, ’till the successful finish.

Well, each and every ERP implementation requires 2 project managers;  1 from the part of supplier, and 1 on the other side, in the buyer company. Since this is a crucial fact, the mentioned boss’s decision is something like this: we have a bus and a driver. When everyone is on board and the bus is on the move already, he asks the driver to leave the bus, just because he is needless in the future apparently.

The ERP implementation is definitely cumbersome and the road is bumpy. And it doesn’t end when you select the right supplier. What’s more, it’s just the beginning of an ordeal! This painful procedure needs someone who coordinates and manages every aspect of the implementation. Otherwise, we just strengthen the 37% of the unsuccessful ERP implementations worldwide.

So watch out for the necessary roles in the ERP procedure, because this is the proper way to increase our chance to have great software at the end!

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Brief personal introductory video in the signature?

As we all know, time is money.  It may sound boring, but true. Why does it worth for our clients to meet us? Well, in my opinion, it’s definitely important to let our counterpart know who we are, what our values are and what sort of company we are representing.

The reason is easy. As the title depicts, time is money. As for me I also would like to know the person I’m about to meet.

Now 2 of our sales colleagues are video-ready and have a nice brief (Hungarian) video in their signature.

Video of Andor Jelinek:

Video of Peter Molnár:


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Why is it important to have client testominals?

First of all, it’s the best way to have a new client to find their own problems in the video.

As one of our clients said the other day: “as I watching the video, I’m getting pretty sure, that you guys can provide a solution to my problems too. Because it’s a quite similar situation”

And what do you need to have in a video like this? Basically 2 things: what was the situation like before our product, and what is it like now? A typical before/after video just in 2 minutes at most. I also recommend mentioning the reason they chose us.

And of course, the more testimonial video we have, the more credible we are. This is the miracle of the PR!

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Viva the web based applications!

Once upon a time, there were basically 2 types of software: Desktop and web-based. Of course, we also recommended to our clients to choose according to their specific needs.

In those times the Windows-based software was faster, reliable and more robust. Moreover, you could build practically whatever you wanted, without limitations. Nevertheless, the list of advantages and the clear benefits have gone by now, and there is no valid reason to offer and prefer these types of applications (thick client, only Windows desktop software).

What we can offer honestly nowadays is the web-based applications, because it’s FAST, SECURE, YOU CAN BUILD ANYTHING, RUNS ON ANY PLATFORM (LAPTOP, TABLET, MOBILE) and ABSOLUTELY NO NEED TO INSTALL at all.

Disadvantages? Well, not really. I mean, I can’t name any. So let’s admin: Windows-based desktop applications are obsolete. Yes, there is much such software out there, but here in Amtech Systemhouse we only develop ERP systems to the web from now on, because this is really future-proof!

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Functions, or business value?

Just think about it! Do you really want to have a drill or you just want to have a working lamp to get light? Or who cares about the paper ticket itself, when you just want to get to the other bank of the river?

First, define the goal, then choose the right asset to reach it.

Okay, you might say, we all know this pretty well. Nevertheless, we forget to apply in practice. It’s mostly true in the case of the IT suppliers, unfortunately. The IT shows up and begins to demonstrate and detail the functions of the ERP software. Yes, it matters, right after we all realize the goal, which is the real business value. Without this information, how anyone could know if it is the proper solution to the problem? Can we reach our goal with this asset?

So, how should it look like then?  It’s pretty simple, if you really care about your client, not just about the sale. The right question is: “what is your problem in the company, what would you like to optimize?” Check the Achilles heel of different business processes.

And that’s all actually. Every CEO replies eagerly and enumerates the problems, just because we care about it. Then the IT guy can present the possible solution to the problems. I have to admit that a unique ERP can handle this situation more easily than a ready to use (packed) software. This gonna’ be an interesting and useful conversation from the viewpoint of the client as well, unlike watching different and boring software functions without a purpose..

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