Right Stuff


Thursday, December 30, 2010

The Secret of Self Belief

A friend of mine is a very successful sales manager. After he had carefully interviewed and then selected a new salesman, he would take the salesman to a Cadillac dealership and insist that he trade in his old car for a new Cadillac. The salesman would usually balk at the idea. He would be frightened of the cost of the car and huge monthly payments involved. But the sales manager would insist that he buy the Cadillac as a condition of employment. At first, the salesman would feel guilt for buying the car, but within a few days, he would begin to see himself as the kind of person who drove a new Cadillac. He would see himself as a big money earner in his field, one of the top performers in his industry. And time after time, almost without fail, the salespeople in this organization became sales superstars.

Create the Mental Equivalent

Emmet Fox, the spiritual teacher, once said, "Your main job in life is to create the mental equivalent within yourself of what you want to realize and enjoy in your outer world." Your focus must be on creating the beliefs within yourself that are consistent with the great success you want to be in your outer world. You achieve this by challenging your self-limiting beliefs, rejecting them, and then acting as if they did not exist.

Behave Consistent with Your New Self-Image

You develop new beliefs by taking actions consistent with those beliefs. You act as if you already believe that you have these capabilities and competences. You behave like a positive, optimistic, and cheerful person toward everyone. You act as if your success is already guaranteed. You act as if you have a secret guarantee of success and only you know about it. You realize that you are developing, shaping, and controlling the evolution of your own character and personality by everything that you do and say every single day.

Make a Decision

Make a decision this very day to challenge and reject any self-limiting beliefs that you might have that could be holding you back. Look into yourself and question the areas of your life where you have doubts about your abilities or talents. You might ask your friends and family members if they see any negative beliefs that you might have. Often, they will be aware of self-limiting beliefs you have that you are not aware of yourself. In every case, once you have identified these negative beliefs, ask yourself, "What if the opposite were true?"

Keep Your Words and Actions Consistent

Your beliefs are always manifested in your words and actions. Make sure that everything you say and do from now on is consistent with the beliefs that you want to have and the person that you want to become. In time, you will replace more and more of your self-limiting beliefs with self-enhancing beliefs.


Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Five ways to risk failure and improve your career

Here are some ways to use failure to advance your career:

Don’t let it sting.
If you try something new and difficult — such as applying for a “reach job” — and then you miss the mark or get rejected, don’t think of it as failure. as my mother used to say, “failure is just a perception.” pat yourself on the back for taking the risk, and move on.

Find a problem.
If your job feels unfulfilling, find a problem at work that needs solving. then work on finding the solution. this is also a basic recipe for identifying new business ideas. if you don’t succeed, figure out why and try again.

Get unstuck.
If you hate what you’re doing, fix it. take on new tasks at work, for example, or learn a new skill. the worst thing that can happen is you’ll fail. more likely, though, you’ll figure you why you’re stuck.

Surprise yourself.
Do something completely out of character. apply for a job in a foreign country. sit in on a meeting in a different department. open your mind to new career possibilities by taking a chance at something unfamiliar.

Easy does it.
Many people get all worked up trying to come up with ways to forward their careers. great ideas often come when you stop trying so hard. pay attention to your daydreams and the things you read or see on tv that really interest you. there might be a future career or business idea there.

Bottom line, the fastest way to succeed in your career is to allow yourself to fail — early and often. the more new avenues you try and the more often you try them, the more you’ll learn about your passions, talents, and ambitions.

Contributed By:
Mohammed Sufiyan,
Software Engineer, Octaware Technologies

RFID Technology: Ten RFID Myths and Realities PART-III

I had described two RFID Myth in my last series. Let's see further three myths. It is interesting to read.

If anyone, who is reading this first time, I would request him to go through my last posts on RFID which will give clear understanding about it.

Myth #3: You can take inventory with a push of a button.
The technology does not exist today and, if it did, the cost would be prohibitive. In order to take a "push-button inventory," you would have to position RFID readers every 10 feet throughout your facility. Instead, in real systems, inventory is tracked by knowing when an item came in, where it was placed, and when it left. While RFID allows inventory to be taken much faster than with current barcode practices, taking inventory with the push of a button is not available at this time and it may not be available for quite some time.

Myth #5: You can buy RFID tags for 5¢.

The information the tag sends to the reader is only as good as the information that was put on the tag. This opens the door to human error in data entry. Information can also be affected by poor system design, unskillful or incompetent integration, poor software design, unfriendly materials such as water and metal, human error, double reads, no reads and other factors. However, a well-designed system that detects and corrects errors can provide near perfect information about your supply chain.

Myth #6: The tag cost is critical to making any deployment pay off.

You can’t purchase 5¢ tags, as of Fall 2006. Tags are not yet close to 5¢ yet, though the cost of tags has dropped considerably in the last two years. Before we see tags for a nickel,, a standard has to emerge that will allow tags to be mass produced in the billions. For instance, Gillette's ordered 500M tags from Alien at 10¢ each.
The good news, however, is that tags do not have to be 5¢ in order to derive an ROI


Opportunities with Share Point

This graph has been taken from a well-known job portal “indeed.com” that shows statistics of job opportunities in SharePoint from the year July 2005 to January 2010. As you can see the above graph, the growth of SharePoint related jobs in the past 5 years has been phenomenal. Meanwhile, technologies such as Lotus Notes and Domino, Oracle WebCenter, IBM WebSphere and others have declined or stayed about the same.

This is an obvious indication that businesses see the value in SharePoint and are deploying it in their organizations. The curve moving upward in the 2007 time frame shows that SharePoint Server 2007 was a huge decision driver, with its wide feature set. I believe we’ll see another push upward during the upcoming year 2011 as SharePoint 2010 expands on features and enriches ones already present in the former version.

Here are two other trends that have caught SharePoint user’s attention:

• Self-service BI (Business Intelligence)

• BPM (Business Process Management)

Self-service Business Intelligence gives end users (rather than IT) all the power in performing analysis to gain insight into their business. Microsoft is leveraging SharePoint and Excel tools that users are very familiar with, to deliver sophisticated results. Experts think this will continue to grow, as people don’t want to depend on a business analysts or someone else in IT to build cubes, charts, slicers and analyse their data.

BPM stands for Business Process Management. There are vendors that focus specifically on BPM. Experts think Microsoft is weak in this area right now but they had also observed Microsoft struggling along to provide their perspective on how BPM should be done. BPM uses a combination of technologies to automate business processes. Some are machine-specific (like workflows) while other actions require user interaction (forms, for example). SharePoint is Microsoft’s “human” component for BPM and, for now, they have decided to leverage partners (3rd party vendors) for the machine-specific actions. You can expect for more coming in the next 2-3 years on BPM.

To learn more on Microsoft’s approach to BPM, visit here: http://www.microsoft.com/soa/bpm/default.aspx

In conclusion, if you’re looking for a job, a way to become more valuable in the market or just expand your skillset, SharePoint is an excellent choice of technology. From the chart, you can see it’s not going anywhere, anytime soon. There are upcoming trends like cloud computing, self-service BI, and BPM. Since Microsoft leverages SharePoint for all of those, it definitely won’t be a waste of time.

Contributed By:
Zakir Chougle
Software Engineer, Octaware Technologies

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The Golden Hour

You become what you think about most of the time. And the most important part of each day is what you think about at the beginning of that day.

Start Your Day Right

Take 30 minutes each morning to sit quietly and to reflect on your goals. You'll find when you read the biographies and autobiographies of successful men and women that almost every one of them began their upward trajectory to success when they begin getting up early in the morning and spending time with themselves.

Feed Your Mind with Positive Ideas

This is called the Golden Hour. The first hour sets the tone for the day. The things that you do in the first hour prepare your mind and set you up for the entire day. During the first thirty to sixty minutes, take time to think and review your plans for the future.

Use Your Quiet Time Effectively

Here is four things that you can do during that quiet time in the morning.
Number one is to review your plans for accomplishing your goals and change your plans if necessary.
Number two is think of better ways to accomplish your goals. As an exercise, assume that the way you're going about it is totally wrong and imagine going about it totally differently. What would you do different from what you're doing right now?
Number three, reflect on the valuable lessons that you have learned and are learning as you move toward your goals.

Practice Daily Visualization

Number four, calmly visualize your goal as a reality. Close your eyes, relax, smile, and see your goal as though it were already a reality. Rewrite your major goals every day in the present tense. Rewrite them as though they already existed. Write "I earn X dollars." "I have a net worth of X." "I weigh a certain number of pounds." This exercise of writing and rewriting your goals every day is one of the most powerful you will ever learn.

Fasten Your Seatbelt

Your life will start to take off at such a speed that you'll have to put on your seatbelt. Remember, the starting point for achieving financial success is the development of an attitude of unshakable confidence in yourself and in your ability to reach your goals. Everything we've talked about is a way of building up and developing your belief system until you finally reach the point where you are absolutely convinced that nothing can stop you from achieving what you set out to achieve.

Everything Counts

No one starts out with this kind of an attitude, but you can develop it using the law of accumulation. Everything counts. No efforts are ever lost. Every extraordinary accomplishment in the result of thousands of ordinary accomplishments that no one recognizes or appreciates. The greatest challenge of all is for you to concentrate your thinking single-mindedly on your goal and by the law of attraction, you will, you must inevitably draw into your life the people, circumstances and opportunities you need to achieve your goals.

Become a Living Magnet

Once you've mastered yourself and your thinking, you will become a living magnet for ideas and opportunities to become wealthy. It's worked for every successful person I know. It will work for you if you'll begin today, now, this very minute, to think and talk about your dreams and goals as though they were already a reality. When you change your thinking, you will change your life. You will put yourself firmly on the road to financial independence.

Action Exercises……

Now, here are two things you can do every single day to keep your mind focused on your financial goals:
First, get up every morning a little bit earlier and plan your day in advance. Take some time to think about your goals and how you can best achieve them. This sets the tone for the whole day.
Second, reflect on the valuable lessons you are learning each day as you work toward your goals. Be prepared to correct your course and adjust your actions. Be absolutely convinced that you are moving rapidly toward your goals, no matter what happens temporarily on the outside. Just hang in there!

-Haroon Baig

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Email Prospecting

Though the topic of this blog sounds article related to sales team but it would be a useful read for everyone who uses email as communication means. Most of the sales people use direct mail marketing campaign as a tool to generate leads and hence writing effective email becomes important. When you invest time in writing email, your objective is to get the recipient not only read it, but to respond you. Typically in three seconds your recipient make a choice between reading and trashing your email. That means you need to find a way to get their delete barrier.

Here are few quick tips:

1. Personalize the subject line.
If you’re sending to people who won’t recognize your name or your company name, it’s critical that the subject line grab their attention and entice them to open. It’s also important the subject reflects the context of the email body. Here is one example where subject is the question that assume the prospect will meet with you and inquire about their availability, e.g. “Can we talk next Tuesday at 2pm”

2. Use a salutation.
To elicit a response your strategy is to be informal and inviting. Begin prospecting emails with a warm greeting and the contact’s first name, such as “Hi Tom.” If you don’t have a name, eliminate the company from your list until you secure one. Sending an email with no name will immediately hit the delete barrier and destroys your image of writing directly to them next time.

3. Keep them short.
Keep your initial email as brief as possible to ensure it’s at least skimmed. Ideally, you want your prospects to read the complete email, which means you need to make it a quick read.

As a rule, include no more than four sentences in a paragraph. If possible, limit your email to three paragraphs plus a one-line sentence as your closing paragraph. Insert a one line paragraph in the middle to make it appear short.

4. Essay vs Conversation.
Emails must feel personal and less formal than a business letter. Don’t try English literature with best grammar but write conversationally. The more comfortable your email, the more likely you’ll get a response.

Email is one of the most effective ways to reach your prospects today. Done right, they’ll take notice of your messages and respond when they have a need.


Friday, December 24, 2010

10 ways to keep hard drives from failing

Hardware prices have dropped considerably over the last decade, but it’s irresponsible not to care for the hardware installed on machines. This is especially true for hard drives. Hard drives are precious commodities that hold the data employees use to do their jobs, so they should be given the best of care. Inevitably, those drives will die. But you can take steps to prevent a premature hard disk death. Let’s examine 10 such steps to care for the health of your drives.

1: Run chkdsk
Hard disks are eventually going to contain errors. These errors can come in the shape of physical problems, software issues, partition table issues, and more. The Windows chkdsk program will attempt to handle any problems, such as bad sectors, lost clusters, cross-linked files, and/or directory errors. These errors can quickly lead to an unbootable drive, which will lead to downtime for the end user. The best way I have found to take advantage of chkdsk is to have it run at next boot with the commandchkdsk X: /f where X is the drive you want to check. This command will inform you the disk is locked and will ask you if you want to run chkdsk the next time the system restarts. Select Y to allow this action.

2: Add a monitor
Plenty of applications out there will monitor the health of your drives. These monitors offer a host of features that run the gamut. In my opinion, one of the best choices is theAcronis Drive Monitor, a free tool that will monitor everything from hard drive temperature to percentage of free space (and everything in between). ADM can be set up to send out email alerts if something is amiss on the drive being monitored. Getting these alerts is a simple way to remain proactive in the fight against drive failure.

3: Separate OS install from user data
With the Linux operating system, I almost always separate the user’s home directories (~/) from the OS installation onto different drives. Doing this ensures the drive the OS is installed upon will enjoy less reading/writing because so much of the I/O will happen on the user’s home drive. Doing this will easily extend the life of the drive the OS is installed on, as well as allow you to transfer the user data easily should an OS drive fail.

4: Be careful about the surrounding environment
Although this seems like it should go without saying, it often doesn’t. On a daily basis, I see PCs stuck in tiny cabinets with zero circulation. Obviously, those machines always run hot, thus shortening the lifespan of the internal components. Instead of shoving those machines into tight, unventilated spaces, give them plenty of breathing room. If you must cram a machine into a tight space, at least give it ventilation and even add a fan to pull out that stale, warm air generated by the PC. There’s a reason why so much time and money have gone into PC cooling and why we have things like liquid cooling and powerful cooling systems for data centers.

5: Watch out for static
Here’s another issue that should go without saying. Static electricity is the enemy of computer components. When you handle them, make sure you ground yourself first. This is especially true in the winter months or in areas of drier air. If you seem to get shocked every time you touch something, that’s a good sign that you must use extra caution when handling those drives. This also goes for where you set those drives down. I have actually witnessed users placing drives on stereo speakers, TVs, and other appliances/devices that can give off an electromagnetic wave. Granted, most of these appliances have magnets that are not strong enough to erase a drive. But it’s a chance no one should take.

6: Defragment that drive
A fragmented drive is a drive being pushed to work harder than it should. All hard drives should be used in their most efficient states to avoid excess wear and tear. This includes defragmenting. To be on the safe side, set your PC(s) to automatically defrag on a weekly basis. This works to extend the life of your drive by keeping the file structure more compact, so the read heads are not moving as much or as often.

7: Go with a solid state drive
Solid state drives are, for all intents and purposes, just large flash drives, so they have no moving parts. Without moving parts, the life of the drive (as a whole) is naturally going to be longer than it would if the drive included read heads, platters, and bearings. Although these drives will cost more up front, they will save you money in the long run by offering a longer lifespan. That means less likelihood of drive failure, which will cause downtime as data is recovered and transferred.

8: Take advantage of power save
On nearly every OS, you can configure your hard drive to spin down after a given time. In some older iterations of operating systems, drives would spin 24/7 — which would drastically reduce the lifespan of a drive. By default, Windows 7 uses the Balanced Power Savings plan, which will turn off the hard drive after 20 minutes of inactivity. Even if you change that by a few minutes, you are adding life to your hard drive. Just make sure you don’t shrink that number to the point where your drive is going to sleep frequently throughout the day. If you are prone to take five- to 10-minute breaks often, consider lowering that time to no less than 15 minutes. When the drive goes to sleep, the drive is not spinning. When the drive is not spinning, entropy is not working on that drive as quickly.

9: Tighten those screws
Loose mounting screws (which secure the hard drive to the PC chassis) can cause excessive vibrations. Those vibrations can damage to the platters of a standard hard disk. If you hear vibrations coming from within your PC, open it and make sure the screws securing the drive to the mounting platform are tight. If they aren’t, tighten them. Keeping your hardware nice and tight will help extend the life of that hardware.

10: Back up
Eventually, that drive will fail. No matter how careful you are, no matter how many steps you take to prevent failure, the drive will, in the end, die a painful death. If you have solid backups, at least the transition from one drive to another will be painless. And by using a backup solution such as Acronis Universal Restore, you can transfer a machine image from one piece of hardware to another piece of hardware with very little issue.

Contributed By:
Mohammed Sufiyan
Software Engineer, Octaware Technologies

Thursday, December 23, 2010

RFID Technology: Ten RFID Myths and Realities PART-II

In this series I will brief about 10 Myths in parts. Let's start with first 2.

Myth #1 –RFID is a “talking” bar code.
Some people think that RFID tags are merely barcodes that can "talk" to readers instead of having to be read by a laser or imager. While this is somewhat true, the real differences are more significant. RFID tags are much more powerful than barcode labels because a typical RFID tag can hold 2KB of data, far more than a typical barcode, which represents just 10-12 digits. RFID tags can also be programmed and reprogrammed, making them a dynamic part of a data collection solution where barcodes can be printed once and then must be reprinted each time the information changes.

Myth #2: You can read every RFID tag every time.

There are many factors that affect the read rate, including the distance the tag is from the reader, and what substance the tag is placed on. Metal and water are not very good conductors of ultra-high frequency signals, while some low-frequency tags can be embedded in metal construction parts.
The tag orientation and design are also factors that can affect a tags readability. Good engineering and system design will increase the read rate of tags and some procedures may have to be altered to obtain acceptable read rates. It is not possible to read every tag every time.


Sales Tactics: Nine Common Objections You Must Answer

Following are few common objections felt during any sales, which are very useful to know for any sales practitioner, but I think, these are also applicable when you are dealing with someone on any other grounds and hence I felt this to be shared with all.

Unspoken Objections
The first type of objection you will get is an unspoken objection. The customer has concerns with you offering but doesn't tell you anything. The solution to objections is to let the prospect talk more. Ask open-ended questions, lean forward, and listen intently to the answers. The more a prospect has an opportunity to answer your questions; the more likely it is that she will tell you exactly what might be holding her back from buying.

Excuses, Excuses
The second form of objections is excuses. These are usually instinctive reactions to any sales approach. Excuses are not really serious. The best salespeople nod, smile, agree, and then ask a question to take control of the conversation. The very best way to handle any initial sales resistance, including excuses and impulse responses is with these words: "That's all right. Most people in your situation felt the same way when I first called on them. But now they have become our best customers, and they recommend us to their friends and family."

Malicious Objections
Then there are malicious objections. Because you call on many different people, you will occasionally call on individuals who are unhappy or angry about their current situations. Since they cannot shout at their bosses or spouses, they take it out on the friendly salesperson. These people tend to be negative in their demeanor and behavior. The way to deal with malicious objections is to realize that you are not the target. Your job, as a professional, is to remain calm, confident, positive, and polite throughout.

Request For Information
The fourth most common objection is a request for information. This is the best type of objection for you to hear, because you know how to answer this as well or better than any other part of your presentation. Whenever a prospect asks for information about the results or benefits of your product or service, you are moving into an excellent field position to make a sale.

Show—Off Objections
Another type of objection is the show-off objection. Sometimes prospects try to show you how much they already know about your product or service. They make sophisticated observations or ask you complex questions about your product, service or industry. When this happens, respond by taking the low road. Show how impressed you are by how much the prospect already knows. Remember, when you make a prospect feel important by listening to him with rapt attention, he is much more likely to warm up and buy from you.

Subjective Objections
The sixth most common type of objection is subjective or personal objections. These objections are aimed to you as a person. Whenever a prospect becomes critical of you, it could be a sign that you are talking too much about yourself. If this happens, it is important to make the customer the center of attention, and the subjective objections will stop.

Objective Objections
You may also hear the objective or factual objection. These are directed at your product offering and the claims that you make in terms of what it will do for the customer. If you can answer an objective objection, you can often close the sale.

General Sales Resistance
The eighth most common form of objection is what we have called general sales resistance. This always occurs at the beginning of a presentation. Until you neutralize this general sales resistance, the customer will be listening to you with a closed mind. When the prospect relaxes and gives you permission to ask him questions, you immediately begin your pre-selected open-ended questions to qualify the prospect and find out what he really needs that you can provide for him.

Last Ditch Objections
The final most-common objection is called the last-ditch objection. You have made your presentation, and the prospect clearly sees how she would be better off with your product or service. She knows and understands what you're selling and how much you're asking. She is on the verge of making a buying decision, but she still hesitates. Listen with respect to your final objections; then assure the prospect that yours is an excellent product or service, at a good price, and that everyone else who is using it today is very happy with their decision. You have then overcome the last-ditch objection.

Action Exercises : Hear the prospect out completely each time he objects or asks a question, practice all your listening skills.

-Haroon Baig

Rivals to SharePoint 2010

Microsoft became decidedly more social with SharePoint 2010, adding social networking tools like improved wiki and blog integration, tagging and micro-blogging into its SharePoint MySites feature. As the social Web extends beyond Twitter and Facebook and into businesses, many enterprise-level companies are changing their cultures and focusing on improving communication, sharing information and connecting global workforces through social media.
Microsoft is not the only one integrating social networking features into its flagship products, of course. Big-name rivals IBM, Cisco, Google and Salesforce.com want to grab their pieces of the enterprise 2.0. These social networking and collaboration competitors will aim to differentiate themselves from SharePoint, which has the advantage of being a widely-used part of the established Microsoft ecosystem, says Forrester Research Inc. Principal Analyst Rob Koplowitz.

"SharePoint 2010 now includes more social capabilities, and the value for many businesses is that it's also included with an existing, highly-integrated platform. For many organizations, that will be the right direction," he says.

IBM Lotus Connections. Lotus Connections is IBM's social networking software for businesses. Like every platform in the enterprise 2.0 space, IBM's goal with Connections is to help companies unite workers, partners and customers through online social tools that anyone who uses Facebook, Twitter and instant messaging will recognize.

Lotus Connections profile page. Connections' user interface resembles other social networking sites from Microsoft (SharePoint MySites), Cisco's Quad and Google Buzz with its profile pages, communities, activity feeds, document posting and sharing, blogs, and wikis.

IBM has a cloud-based version of Connections through its LotusLive online productivity suite, called LotusLive Connections, that has fewer features but costs significantly less (starting at $6 per month, per user) than the on-premise version, which entails servers and licenses.

Contributed By:
Zakir Chougle
Software Engineer, Octaware Technologies

Microsoft Offers Unfinished HTML5 Features in Internet Explorer 9 for Developers Only

Microsoft is now offering features for Internet Explorer 9 for developers wishing to work with parts of HTML5 that have particularly unstable specifications. This allows Microsoft to keep Internet Explorer 9 consumer friendly by keeping only the parts of HTML5 that are "site ready" while giving developers the tools they need to learn about new technologies and give feedback. The features can be downloaded from a new site called HTML5 Labs.

HTML5 Labs is offering two prototype specifications: IndexDB and WebSockets. WebSockets support was recently pulled from Firefox and Opera due to security concerns. This is exactly why Microsoft is choosing to make features like this opt-in and for developers only.

Jean Paoli, the general manager for interoperability strategy, explains the reason for the creation of HTML5 Labs in a MSDN blog post:

In the IE9 product, developers can expect site-ready HTML5 so they can take advantage of the best of HTML5 that is ready and can still experiment with emerging HTML5 with HTML5 Labs. By keeping these separate, developers get what they need without the negative consequences of co-mingling very different things in the same browser.

IE9 offers support for the most relevant, real-world web patterns that developers are using today as well as the HTML5 patterns we expect to become more mainstream. By relevant and real-world, we mean the technologies with the broadest impact for browser users (e.g. CSS ahead of MathML). By support, we mean providing developers a consistent programming model that enables the same mark-up. The goal is supporting great new capabilities, ideally in a way that interoperates or will interoperate soon across browsers.

Installation and configuration of these specs is a manual process and requires Internet Explorer 9 Beta.

Contributed By:
Mohammed Sufiyan
Software Engineer, Octaware Technologies

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Sales - Cold Calling

We are geared up for new decade and hopeful for 2011 to be a year of growth opportunities. With improvement in the economy, companies will begin to add salespeople to their sales team. As the economy slowly recovers, sales teams will be dealing with some tough issues in the coming year. The team has to work harder to get the deal than before. The expectations and demands from top management will be more crushing than they experienced during the business decline of the past three years.

We have also started building our India and global sales team to take up the challenge for next year and hence for next few weeks, planning to blog on the subject of “Sales”. To begin with, every sales person has to do “cold call” in their professional career but in general, everyone feels a rock in the pit of their stomach when they hear the word – “Cold Calling”.

Here are four tips for effective cold calling and converting them into sales.

1: Know your prospect
First, do a little research before you walk in. Know something about the business or the person you are looking for. Maybe they won an award for some community service or are launching a new product. Find one little bit of information that you can relate to going in that doesn’t have to do with selling your product or services.

2: Cross the gatekeeper
Second, treat everyone you meet as though they are buying from you. Most likely your first contact will be a receptionist. It’s very common that on that first cold call, you may not even get to the decision maker and that’s OK. The key is to treat the front desk fellow like they are no less than the decision maker. Ultimately the receptionist will get you where you need to be. The gatekeeper is every bit as important as the decision maker!

3: Be Prepared
Third, walk in the door or dial their number. It’s that simple. Have an idea about what you want to say and don’t over think it. Just take the steps through the door.

4: Build relation
Last, be yourself! Be friendly, be respectful, be conversational, be aware of their body language and keep it short. The people are busy. Let them know who you are, where you work and why you are there. Take notice of the surroundings. You may want to comment on a photo, an award or bring up the one fact that you had ready, to connect with them. Once you feel you’ve established yourself with the person you’ve just met, ask for the contact you should be dealing with or if you can schedule a time to come back to discuss business. The point of this first call is to establish contact.


Wednesday, December 15, 2010

RFID Technology: Ten RFID Myths and Realities PART-I

A person can get a very good high level understanding of RFID Technology by reading my last 3 blogs on RFID Technology. One of my experiences I would like to share when I started exploring on RFID technology 3 years back. This is about a myth lingering in people mind about RFID.

There is so much RFID information floating around the internet and appearing in magazines and newspapers that it is easy to become confused or misinformed. I liked a list of 10 Myths created by Barcoding inc which I would like to share.

1. RFID is a "talking" barcode

2. You can read every RFID tag every time

3. You can take inventory with the push of a button

4. RFID delivers perfect information

5. You can buy RFID tags for 5¢

6. The tag cost is critical to making any deployment pay off

7. RFID is primarily a supply chain technology

8. RFID spells the end to privacy

9. RFID is easy to deploy

10. I can afford to wait

List looks interesting and sometime we feel it so. I will describe about these Myths in the next series.


Saturday, December 11, 2010

Building Your House!

I will continue writing more tips as part of “Leap from Beginner to intermediate developer” series but in this week’s blog, I would like to share this story “Building Your House”. The story is all about working with “mind’ and “heart” both. Sometime we just work to get the work done without thinking about future impact. I hope we learn a good lesson by reading this and inculcate the morale of story in our day to day life.

Building Your House:
An elderly carpenter was ready to retire. He told his employer-contractor of his plans to leave the house-building business to live a more leisurely life with his wife and enjoy his extended family.
He would miss the pay check each week, but he wanted to retire. They could get by.

The contractor was sorry to see his good worker go & asked if he could build just one more house as a personal favor.

The carpenter said yes, but over time it was easy to see that his heart was not in his work.

He resorted to shoddy workmanship and used inferior materials. It was an unfortunate way to end a dedicated career.

When the carpenter finished his work, his employer came to inspect the house.

Then he handed the front-door key to the carpenter and said, "This is your house... my gift to you."

The carpenter was shocked!

What a shame! If he had only known he was building his own house, he would have done it all so differently.

So it is with us. We build our lives, a day at a time, often putting less than our best into the building.

Then, with a shock, we realize we have to live in the house we have built.

If we could do it over, we would do it much differently.

But, you cannot go back.

You are the carpenter, and every day you hammer a nail, place a board, or erect a wall.

Someone once said, "Life is a do-it-yourself project." Your attitude, and the choices you make today, help build the "house" you will live in tomorrow.

Therefore, Build wisely!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 - New and Enhanced Features

The new and enhanced features in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 offer new levels of user productivity and collaboration. These features help you meet your specific business needs with a low total cost of ownership. Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 delivers familiar, intelligent, and connected experiences to increase the productivity and effectiveness of people inside and outside the organisation. Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 unlocks new opportunities and provides a single development environment for cloud-based and on-premise deployments.

Improved Microsoft Office interface
Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 introduces a new Office 2010 contextual ribbon for the Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online and Microsoft Dynamics CRM browser clients and for Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online for Microsoft Office Outlook. The new ribbon delivers a consistent, familiar navigation and user experience that helps you better integrate Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online with your Office 2010 environment.

Advanced user personalisation
Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 lets you configure a workspace that is personalised to meet your unique role and information needs. Personalising a workspace means that you can set the default pane and tab that display when you open Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online. You also have control over what links appear in the workplace view, how many records appear in lists, how numbers and dates display, and the language for your user interface. Combine this personalisation with the new dashboard feature to create a personalised dashboard for your default view.

Role-based forms and views
Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 displays forms and views based on user roles. This role-tailored design ensures that the business professionals in your organisation have fast access to the relevant information they need. Role-based forms and views also prevent users from viewing data that they are not authorised to view.

Inline data visualisation
In Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011, you can quickly create and share inline charts with drill-down intelligence. Using these charts, you can visually navigate data and uncover new insights that contribute to your organisation's success. View the charts you create from the main list of records or from the list of associated records for an individual record. Share your charts with other users or teams in the organisation. Import charts created by other users into your records.

Dashboards are a powerful feature in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011. Use a dashboard to see at a glance all the important information you need to make key business decisions every day. Assemble and present information from several places in Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online in a quickly-read format. This means that you do not have to search multiple areas for the information you want. Dashboards are easy to create, and are easy to revise as your changing business needs require.

Better Office Outlook experience
Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 improves the integration of Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online into Microsoft Office Outlook with the Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online for Microsoft Office Outlook. It takes full advantage of native Outlook functionality, such as previews and conditional formatting, and presents Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online areas as sub-folders in Outlook mail folders. With a few exceptions, these Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online areas in Outlook include all of the same functionality as the browser clients. In future blogs, I will be sharing in detailed how this Outlook integration is true outlook integration compare to the one given before in CRM 4.0.

Contextual document management
If your organisation uses Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010, you can easily manage documents that are related to records within a particular entity. Using Windows SharePoint as your document depository, the seamless interface in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 allows you to quickly add and edit documents that are associated with a particular record. When you set up document management, Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online creates the structure on your Windows SharePoint site that works with the entities and records that you want for document management.

Goal management
Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 gives you the ability to define key performance and business health indicators. This way you can track and measure results against your organisation's goals or metrics. Easily and quickly define goals for a campaign or fiscal period. Combine smaller goals, such as for specific teams or territories, into the overall goals for your organisation. Create a rollup of all the goals into the actuals that show how you are tracking.

Interactive process dialogs
Microsoft Dynamics CRM expands its workflow capability by adding interactive dialogs. Dialogs present a consistent message to your customers. Also, dialogs collect and process information by using step-by-step scripts to direct users through every process. At one level, you can use dialogs to guide customer interactions and internal processes. At another level, you can increase dialog performance and versatility by incorporating workflow logic. This logic invokes automated tasks by using the responses a customer or user makes during the dialog script.

Cloud development
Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 is at the leading edge of cloud computing. Developers can take advantage of the Windows Azure platform to develop and deploy custom code for Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online by using powerful tools, such as Microsoft Visual Studio. Using the Microsoft .NET Framework 4.0, developers can also incorporate Microsoft Silverlight, Windows Communication Foundation, and .NET Language Integrated Query (LINQ) into their cloud solutions. Cloud development for Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 is a powerful tool for customising your Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online solution for optimal performance and business results.

Solution management
Solutions in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 are a new way to save customisations and share them with other users. You can create a solution or import a solution created by a developer outside your organisation. It is easy to share a solution with other users. A managed solution can be edited only by specific users. An unmanaged solution can be edited by any user with an appropriate user role. A solution can have version numbering, relationships with entities and other components, and security features based on user roles.

Microsoft Dynamics Marketplace
Microsoft Dynamics Marketplace is your online solutions catalog. These solutions help you accelerate and extend your Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online implementation. Quickly discover and apply industry-specific applications and extensions from Microsoft and its partners. Then, Marketplace distributes your solution directly to you. Microsoft Dynamics Marketplace is fully integrated with Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011.

- Haroon

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

RFID Technology: Spectrum used for RFID…Sequel III

Last week, I touched on different bands of frequencies such as Low frequency, High Frequecy and Ultra high frequency. There is one question will be coming to your mind about the advantages and disadvantages of these frequencies and their usage.

Today, I will give brief about these bands of frequencies. This will complete the high level understanding of RFID technology and their usage. J

1- Low RFID frequencies (125 KHz):
In general their advantages are:
  • Least affected by their surroundings
  • Least affected by the presence of water
Their disadvantages are:
  • Can’t read tags over distances of more than about half a meter.
  • Can’t read lots of tags at the same time (lower read speeds)
  • Larger tags (may not fit on small objects)
Typical applications/usage:
  • rfid access control systems
  • point-of-sale checkouts
  • identifying animals
  • monitoring manufacturing processes, especially wet ones
2- High RFID frequencies (13.56 MHz):
In general their advantages are:
  • Cost less than most LF
  • Can read tags over a larger distance than LF
Their disadvantages are:
  • Shorter tag read range (up to 2m) than UHF
  • Not best for reading many tags at the same time, but better than LF
Typical applications/usage:
  • rfid library system
  • identification of bags at transport gateways
  • smart cards
 3- Ultra high RFID frequencies (868 -870 MHz (Europe) and 902 -928 MHz (USA)):

In general their advantages are:
  • Generally cost less than LF or HF
  • Identify objects fast because of fast read speed
  • Good range (maybe up to ten metres in the 860 to 956 MHz band, and tens of metres at 433 MHz)
 Their disadvantages are:
  • There can be more RF transmission complications
Typical applications:
  • Logistics - big operators such as Walmart
  • Making toll payments without stopping
  • Accessing car parks
 Next week I will touch base on some Myth on RFID….


Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Not to ingore our own employees!!!

Employees need to be communicated as well. Even they need to be an integral part of the Brand communications chain along with customers, stake-holders and target audience at large.

Most companies are so worried about their image to the end user that they forget about communicating this to employees which can create mixed messages when these employees are representing the company elsewhere. It is always advisable to make sure that all the staff are on board and believe passionately in the company brand and key messaging. Also, the suppliers are good advocates for a brand and they will also spread the word about the service and style of approach.

One does not have to be a genius to be good at branding. It is all about communicating, in a simple way, the messages to the audience. It will take time, money and attention to detail. The starting point is the recognition that branding is worth while. Once this is established its up to you how far you want to go.

As they say “Your Attitude Effects Your Altitude”.

- Posted By Najeeb

Saturday, December 4, 2010

SharePoint 2010 license! Confused, some details

I wanted to work on a quick license cost for one of the customer, where I realize that the software licensing cost is not straight forward. There are many tweaks and twist and how your implementation is planned. I thought of simplifying it a bit with following try

Thus as in MOSS 2007, we have following high level license breakup for SharePoint 2010. Please note the cost for INTRANET and INTERNET is separate and if you have a scenario where both can co-exist, you will end up buying license for both Intranet and Internet.

Intranet Scenario

• SharePoint Standard Edition  
   o Server License [ if there are multiple Server then each server will have a separate license]
   o CAL license equal to number of Intranet users envisaged
   o Fast Search is not available under Standard License
• SharePoint Enterprise Edition
   o Server License [if there are multiple Server then each server will have a separate license]
   o CAL license equal to number of Intranet users envisaged
   o Fast Search is available under Enterprise License but need to get separate Fast Search Server 2010 license

• SharePoint Enterprise Edition with Fast Search
   o Along with Enterprise edition, Fast Search Server separate license is required and should be equal to number of search server planned

• SharePoint Team Foundation Server 2010
   o No Cost License & Free Download available
   o Need to have license version of Windows Server OS

Internet Scenario

Now if you know exact number of users than intranet license can be exposed to extranet/intranet and Server/CAL license will work. In case you truly want internet model (Not sure about number of external users) then SharePoint for Internet License can be used

SharePoint Internet Licenses are Server only license and each Server will require one server license. Now the tricky part, if the server only license is used then intranet users can use it if they are authoring/reviewing content only related with Internet deployment. If there is a scenario where some content of intranet will be separate then internet then one has to purchase both Internet PLUS intranet (Server/CAL) license. A bit strange, but that it is

When you are looking for actual scenario, it is always good to check with your Microsoft focal to ensure nothing has changed.

Here I found a good site having a quick price calculator for SharePoint 2010 http://community.bamboosolutions.com/blogs/sharepoint-2010-price-calculator/default.aspx

Enjoy till next post


Friday, December 3, 2010

Leap from Beginner to Intermediate Developer - PART IV

TIP # 4: Be Patient and keep practicing

As I had mentioned in my earlier post in this series of “Leap from Beginner to Intermediate developer” that as per the research it takes about ten years, or twenty thousand hours of deliberate practice to become an expert. That’s a lot of time. Becoming an expert does not always mean doing the same task for 10 years; it often means doing a wide variety of tasks within a particular domain for 10 years. It will take a lot of time and energy to become an “expert”; working as a developer for a few years is not enough. Want to become a senior Architect in your early 30s? Either start your education sooner or be willing to do a lot of work, reading, and practicing in your spare time. I have seen folks who started programming in high school/college time, and devoted a lot of off-hours to keeping up with the industry, learning new skills, and so on. As a result, they hit the intermediate and senior level developer positions significantly earlier in their career than most of their peers.

Facebook Email

Facebook has announced it’s entry into Email applications arena by launching new service Facebook messaging. Facebook’s argument is, “email is too formal” and it’s product focuses on modern messaging system which needs to be lightweight, instant, informal and simple to use. It is being rolled out initially for invite only.

The key points that Facebook’s founder Zuckerberg mentioned at the launch is “Seamless Messaging”, “Conversation history”, “Social Inbox”. Users will be able to have @facebook.com email IDs and Facebook employees will be moved to FB.com. Apparently Facebook bought the FB.com domain from American Farm Bureau.

On the technology front Facebook moves from Cassandra to hBase for the database. Facebook has put its biggest engineering team for this new product (15 engineers).  To a post launch question about how will this impact competition with Google, Zuckerberg replied “Gmail is a great product”, and “email is still really important to a lot of people”.

With this new development it is going to be interesting to see how the email competition unfolds between biggies like Google, Yahoo, Microsoft etc.



OCTAWARE BLOGS: SUCCESS IN CAREER: "Why aren’t you succeeding in your career? It is heard from quite a few people who work for companies that just aren’t conducive to persona..."


Why aren’t you succeeding in your career?

It is heard from quite a few people who work for companies that just aren’t conducive to personal success, e.g., the leaders are brutally unsupportive, the company infrastructure is unfocused and on a fast train to nowhere, etc. We understand the hardship of that, so the following advice may or may not apply to you. But it applies to most people.

If you think that you’re not going nowhere in your career because you haven’t moved up in the company hierarchy as fast as you think you should have, then one of two things may be wrong:

1. You have the wrong definition for success.

2. You’re looking up so much that you don’t do your present job very well.

3. You’re afraid to do the one thing that will ensure success-take chances.

Wrong definition of success

If you define success as a corner office, then you’re going to be sorely disappointed throughout your career. After all, there are only four of those, right? To feel successful, you need to stop defining success from the outside.

Titles and a steaming bowl of alphabet certs mean nothing in the business world unless they can be used to solve problems or improve the business. Are you solving problems with your programming skills? Is the business profiting from your networking know-how?

You’re looking up too much.

Know the difference between ceremony and substance. In other words, do you want that promotion because of the “prestige” it will give you or do you really have something worthwhile to give at that level? So many people focus on that pie in the sky that they fail to fulfill their current responsibilities. Do your current job extraordinarily well, and attention will follow naturally. Don’t have the attitude that you’re too smart to be in the trenches and that you’re just biding your time until someone recognizes your genius.

The key driver for career growth isn’t a Microsoft/Cisco/Oracle certification or your personal agenda; it is the value you create for the business. If you don’t have the work ethic, people skills, or initiative to accompany that cert or MBA, then you may have just wasted a lot of money.

Fear of taking chances

If you never make waves, your boat will not go anywhere. Grumbling because the executives at your company can’t see through your skin, bones and associated ligaments to see your breathtaking potential, is a waste of time. You have to take action. No one wants to hear how smart you are-they want to see it.

If you’re that good, formulate a plan that will save your company money or help end-users produce more. Plan, do your research, do your homework and then take a shot. Too many people wait for perfect and when it never comes, as it won’t, they simply abandon the effort.

Don’t be afraid of mistakes. If you don’t make any mistakes, you’re not doing anything. If you’ve done your research and the effort doesn’t pay off, at least you have your research as an example of your preparation. And failure can teach you that much more than some of your more timid coworkers will ever learn.

If you don’t like leaving your comfort zone, then don’t seek out growth. You can’t have both.

Contributed By : Mr.Zakir Chougle
- Trainee Software Engineer

Thursday, December 2, 2010

How to communicate using your brand!!!

One needs to think about what it is that one wishes to communicate with the target audience. What are ones messages and why do they need to know these messages. Also how can one back these messages up, not only with evidence but also graphically in ones brand style, in the logo, the name of ones business, in ones typography and in ones copy.
All these things are a lot easier to make effective if they are proactive rather than reactive. By getting these things clear in ones head at the start can help one with everything else that follows. If one waist “to see how things go” then one may find that this simple process becomes a lot more complicated and expensive. Not only will getting these messages straight in someone’s head help one to sell ones service or product, but it will also help the employees and their motivation and behavior.

In terms of the design element of a brand – once one has got a solid style this needs to be implemented consistently across all marketing materials. Not only on the letter heads, business cards and compliment slips, but on the signage, leaflets, brochures, email signatures, PowerPoint presentations and website. Think MacDonald’s. It will cost you in money but not in respectability. There are so many businesses which have about 6 variations on their logo. This causes confusion in a target audience and gives one an unorganized persona.

One needs to make life easy for the target audience. If one can create consistency with the brand this leads to a comfort zone. Simplicity is the key. The messages may be complex but the way one communicates them needs to be simple.

When starting a company it’s important to start building brand identity. Reach potential customers through the use of logo products and create a favorable impression with fun freebies like stress balls and personalized travel mugs. The company logo is the most recognizable feature of ones business whether one has been in business for 2 days or 20 years. Take advantage of the benefits that promotional items can give you.

Next : Keeping own Employees in to confidence regarding Branding

Contribued by Najeeb

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

RFID Technology: Spectrum used for RFID…Sequel II

Nowadays we are hearing news about 2G SPECTRUM Ghotala (Fraud). The biggest fraud in the history of India. It is under investigation!!! For RFID also some of bands (Spectrum) are used for its usage J but there would no Ghotala as such.

Last week, basic operation of RFID application and usage were discussed. Many of us were thinking about the frequencies being used in RFID application.

Three frequency ranges are generally distinguished for RFID systems, low, intermediate (medium) and high. The following table summarizes these three frequency ranges, along with the typical system characteristics and examples of major areas of application.

Frequency Band
Typical Applications
Low 100-500kHz
  Short to medium read range
  low reading speed
  Access control
  Animal identification
  Inventory control
  Car immobiliser
HF 10-15MHz
  Short to medium read range
  Potentially inexpensive
  Medium reading speed
  Access control
  Smart cards
UHF 850-950MHz 
Ultra High Frequency
  Long read range
  High reading speed
  Line of sight required
  Railroad car monitoring
  Toll collection systems

Next week, I will give brief about LF, HF & UHF for better understanding and usage of these spectrums. So Not possible for any Ghotala in RFID usage as government has allocated for RFIDJ.