Welcome to BoB Partners

February 25, 2010

Where Social Media and Mobile Converge!

Best of Breed Technology Partners is a Systems Integration and Consulting firm delivering software solutions using market leading products and open source technologies for reliable and scalable enterprise systems.

By leveraging your existing investments, lowering your acquisition, maintenance and cost of ownership, we provide your organization a competitive edge through the use of best of breed products and services.

We specialize in Social Computing, Portal, Content Management, Business Process, Collaboration & Mobile Computing.

We’ve created this new interactive website so we can all be active participants in the Social revolution.  Your questions and feedback can be submitted almost anywhere on our site, and we’ll respond right away.  Social and Mobile really do make a difference!

Salesforce Developers – Join our Team

June 30, 2010

BoB Partners is continuing to grow and we’re looking for experienced Salesforce or Force.com developers.  If you have experience in developing applications on Salesforce, we have great opportunities for you.  We are looking for multiple consultants to join our team.

send email to:  bob@bobpartners.com

WebSphere Portal Admins – Join our team

June 30, 2010

BoB Partners is continuing to grow and we’re looking for experienced WebSphere Portal Administrators.  If you have experience in configuring, deploying and managing WAS and Portal in a medium to large enterprise, we have great opportunities for you.  We are looking for three to five new consultants to join our team.

Send your resume to:  bob@bobpartners.com

Social Media Revolution 2 (refresh)

May 24, 2010

Recently I was invited to speak to the Sacramento Area CIO roundtable group about Social Media in the enterprise.  My message to CIO’s – Get ready for the “facebook” era to change how your employees, partners and customers communicate.  Much like we saw with the beginning of the internet, IT organizations are letting marketing lead the way to social computing while IT spends time “locking out” the social networks.  IT needs to take the lead in embracing Social computing in being open, secure and providing the proper policies and procedures.

Think Social is a fad?  Here’s the latest update video about the Social Media Revolution… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lFZ0z5Fm-Ng&feature=related

Want to understand more about how social is working in organizations like yours?  Contact me for a personal presentation about Social, the key players in the market, and what is in store in the next twelve months.

The Facebook effect…what does a CIO do?

March 10, 2010

I found this post from Marc Benioff, CEO at Salesforce.com thought provoking.  While Marc is biased towards his products and the fact they are launching their own social software, Chatter, I believe these are points all IT leaders need to be thinking about today and acting on tomorrow.    The point here is that your Web or Portal is the foundation by which institutional memory (knowledge) will transform your company into a learning organization that works smart, agile, cohesive, and with higher productivity than their competition.

Enjoy the reading and I look forward to discussing these and other aspects of your IT strategy in the future.

Editor’s note: This guest post is written by Marc Benioff, chairman and CEO of salesforce.com. In it, he responds to critics of his last guest post arguing that enterprise software should be more like Facebook.

Two weeks ago on TechCrunch I posted “The Facebook Imperative,” which posed a simple question, “Why isn’t all enterprise software like Facebook?” It was the next iteration of the question I asked in 1999 that spawned salesforce.com, “Why isn’t all enterprise software like Amazon.com.” If you have read my book, Behind The Cloud, you are well aware how that one question launched a company, and a movement. Its been an exciting decade. But the real excitement is just starting.

Frankly, I’ve been amazed by the huge amount of responses, tweets, and comments (aka “the ruckus across the blogoshere,” as Joe McKendrick calls it). It only strengthens my conviction that we are about to see the greatest revolution in enterprise software, ever. Well, really, the most exciting revolution in computing, ever. It will create more value for users, customers, and vendors by an order of magnitude over what we saw in the last wave. And, it’s really starting to happen right now. It is realtime. It is social. It is mobile. And, it is about time. Literally, it is about productivity.

I’m energized by the excitement I see for a new generation of collaboration software in the enterprise to replace antiquated Microsoft Sharepoint servers and IBM’s Lotus Notes. I’ve enjoyed seeing my observation—that Lotus Notes was conceived before Mark Zuckerberg—reverberate around the web. But, the reality is the Facebook Imperative contained more than a funny line. It hit a nerve. We are all responding—debating—a question that is an imperative because we all need to take software to a new level, and now is the time. Microsoft and IBM have maintained the status quo on enterprise collaboration software too long, and it’s time for a change.

There are an overwhelming number of you who agree that its time to transform the business conversation the same way Facebook has changed the consumer conversation. We are betting salesforce.com’s future on it. Approximately 40% of companies are already deploying or planning to deploy a social computing platform, a number that’s expected to rise, says Irwin Lazar of Nemeretes Research. Not everyone agrees, mostly the vendors that are milking their cash cows. But, make no mistake about it, this generation of social platforms is very different than the last.

Charles Zedlewski emerged from a long blogging hiatus to argue that Facebook is designed for entertainment—not productivity. Well, that’s not surprising given that he works for SAP, one of the companies I have previously referred to as “innovationless”—in my view they remain the Anti-Cloud. Their actions speak for themselves. Still, I’m astounded that more enterprises haven’t figured out how to tap into the real collaborative power of Facebook and Twitter, and the new social models that they have pioneered.

I consider Facebook and Twitter—and the ability to tap into my network of friends and followers—one the most productive ways I can start my day. Using these new Internet phenoms, I’ve tested new ad campaigns and elicited great customer responses, promoted my book to a large audience of people who cared, and with the help of my network, even named new products—all before I sat down for breakfast. I’m not alone; ask Vinnie Mirchandani for a sneak preview of his new book and read how Starbucks, Avon, and Pepsi are using these new social services to increase productivity in their enterprises. Or, look at how Causes, one of Facebook’s most popular apps, is having a fascinating impact on the future of philanthropy.

While my admiration for Facebook is no secret, the fact is that the Facebook Imperative—much like The Amazon Imperative of 1999—is just a metaphor. Like all metaphors, they are terrific catalysts to introduce an idea and orient people. They are rooted in inspiration, but they do not funnel down to the granular details. And, there are details that make this movement entirely new in practice. The power of this new model is to create the next level of productivity, collaboration, and learning in the enterprise. And, I see it happening now in our own company.

For years we’ve been reading about the potential for institutional memory to transform a corporation into a learning organization. But, have we seen it happen beyond very few unique organizations? A true paradigm shift occurs when the barriers of entry are removed for everyone. That is changing fast. With these new social models, there is a way to immediately leverage the knowledge of an organization. People with expertise and relevance are instantly looped in, can participate in the conversation, collaborate, and make contributions more simply than ever before. That will be the catalyst of this new productivity revolution—delivered through these new social enterprise platforms.

We have deployed Salesforce Chatter internally through our own beta program, and we are now using the social models proven by Facebook and Twitter to run our company. Our new social enterprise is built atop our existing business information and applications. It’s not partitioned off from other enterprise applications, but is an integrated part of it—offering a new view of the data that is more productive and easier to use. Through enterprise sharing models, filtering and discovery tools, users have full flexibility over which people and data they follow—allowing them to fully maximize the value of their own feeds and eliminating the risk of “pollutants” some critics fear.

I have learned more about my own company in the last three weeks using Salesforce Chatter than I have in the last three years. It reminds me of the time we went live with http://ideas.salesforce.com. The awareness I have today of what is happening with our employees, our customers, our products, our customer service escalations, and even the deals we are closing is spectacular. Social computing for the enterprise is about seeing what matters to your company, what is happening with your products, and among your people. It’s about the information you need to make decisions finding you. I’m amazed at the potential of this technology. There is just no way I can explain it to you in writing, so here is an actual screen shot that I took off my desktop to give you an idea of the flow (click to enlarge):

It is time to let go of the past and start to create a compelling future for the software industry. I’m energized by the skeptics. It’s familiar. They all eventually convert to what’s important to customers, or become increasingly irrelevant. You don’t have to look any farther than last week when Steve Ballmer spoke to the University of Washington telling them Microsoft was finally “All-In” the cloud. Well, that only took a decade or two. No more software plus services, now they are 100% cloud too. Sure.

I’m living in the post-PC revolution. I’m in a desktopless world that is about feeds and profiles running in all my browsers and mobile devices, and interacting in exciting new ways. It doesn’t matter if I am in the office, at home, or at Starbucks—I am productive wherever I am. The enterprise is not just going to the cloud, it’s now going social, and it’s going mobile. Facebook and Twitter have shown us the way. Like Microsoft, and IBM, not everyone has to get it yet, but eventually they all will. As they say: Shift happens.

Mobile Surpasses the Desktop for Social Networking

February 19, 2010

A recent study from Ruder Finn revealed that Americans are spending nearly three hours per day on their mobile phones. And what are they doing there? Educating themselves, conducting business, managing finances, instant messaging, emailing? All of the above, as it turns out, and then some. But perhaps the most interesting finding from the new data is the fact that more people are using the mobile web to socialize (91%) compared to the 79% of desktop users who do the same. It appears that the mobile phone is actually a better platform for social networking than the PC.

But Social Networking is not just about friends and families.  Organizations need to “host” this dynamic environment for the employees, business partners and customers.  If they don’t, customers will leave and employees will follow close behind.

How are your employees communicating across hierarchical boundaries?  Can you employees simply look-up contacts, like colleagues and business partners, on their company directory and quickly message them with a question?  Can they set up a virtual workgroup to solve a project or problem?

Let me know how your company is addressing this.

Has your company answered the Mobile Phone?

February 17, 2010

BoB Partners will get you connected with business mobile applications.   BoB Partners is offering world-class mobile application development and testing services for our clients at introductory pricing. We are offering 50% off your first application.  Many sophisticated applications can be completed for under $10,000 with this introductory pricing.

Like we saw in the internet boom, IT departments need to take the lead in choosing how to develop, integrate and secure Mobility. Our consultants specialize in Enterprise Mobile Application design, development, porting, converting web based applications, and outsourced product development.

Based on your Mobile solution needs, our consultants will recommend the right mobile applications, hardware and software platforms. Our dedicated mobile application team has extensive experience developing applications for iPhone, Android, Blackberry, and Mobile web browser based platforms.

Solution examples include:

  • Current Enterprise Business Applications
  • Customer Relationship Management
  • Remote services
  • Social Networking
  • Content Management
  • Geo Applications
  • Entertainment and Games

Our Team’s Domain Expertise includes:

  • Retail
  • Construction
  • Auto
  • Banking
  • Services
  • Healthcare
  • Travel
  • Information Technology
  • Business to Business
  • Consumer

So what have you done with Mobile in your organization?  What is keeping your organization from moving forward with Mobile?  Is it Marketing, security, expertise?  We’d like to know your thoughts.