News & Views

News & Views is published monthly by 180 Systems. Our objective is to provide recent articles to our readers on business technology topics. In some cases, our blog contains a title with a hyperlink to a source article, a quote from the article and our comments. In other cases, we have provided a blog without a hyperlink for original content by 180 Systems. We encourage you to post your own comments. You can also access our blog by topic.

ERP software survey 2013


September 2013 from CAmagazine and written by Michael Burns – “ERP systems have been evolving steadily since we first published this survey back in 1998. We have covered a lot of ground in that time, faithfully documenting all the new bells and whistles that emerged along the way.  Now, most systems are jam packed with features. That is why we are taking a slightly different approach this year. We are focusing on two criteria that are critical in the selection of a new system but can be difficult to evaluate: ease of use and underlying technology…”


Manage the Requirements, and Let the Project Manage Itself

Business Process Analysis, Project Management

August 19, 2013 from– “To be horribly, brutally frank, organizations don’t do a great job today about getting everyone to discuss—together–what a project would collectively mean. Instead, requirements typically get drafted by one person or a small core team who–in relative isolation–decide what will be good for everyone else. And while this looks awfully efficient on the front end, because it bypasses all those long, drawn-out, awkward and challenging meetings and debates, it gets awfully expensive on the back end…”

180 View – Defining requirements is not easy. We wrote an article about this that was published in 2010 but is still valid today. Click here for our take on Requirements Analysis.


The Difference Between BI And CPM

Business Intelligence, CPM

April 25, 2012 from CFO – “Enjoy this complimentary white paper built for non-IT professionals to learn about the differences between business intelligence (BI) and corporate performance management (CPM)…”

180 View – The report was written by Prophix, one of the leading CPM solutions which includes BI. We do like their definition of CPM (CPM consists of 1) Budgeting, planning and forecasting, 2) Software for financial, statutory and management reporting, 3) Applications used for formal financial consolidation, 4) Software used for profitability modelling and optimization and 5) strategy management software.) but have used a different and broader definition for BI. We define BI as transforming data into information useful to make decisions and it could include dashboards, OLAP, ad-hoc reporting, and report writers. Technology marketers are always trying to differentiate their products with new buzzwords and technology continues to evolve rapidly blurring the lines between products.


Larger Companies Lead SaaS Adoption

Cloud Computing, ERP

September, 2013 from computer economics – “Contrary to popular wisdom, the greatest adoption of software as a service is not in small companies. In fact, the opposite is true: the larger the organization, the more likely it is to have SaaS technology in place….”

180 View – We don’t have the stats to prove it, but we doubt very much that larger companies are using SaaS for ERP as much as smaller companies. Larger companies already have their own IT department and the business case for them is not as compelling as it would be for smaller companies.


Configuration vs. Customization in ERP


July 29, 2013 from – “ERP systems have to be flexible to meet the needs of companies installing them. It is a truism that no two companies are run exactly alike and hence their ERP systems aren’t going to be alike either…”

180 View – The writer points out that “Fortunately there is a middle ground: Templates. Templates are pre-written files that perform various jobs in implementing an ERP system…” We think the author missed the boat in the discussion about Configuration vs. Customization. Today’s modern systems provide a host of functionality that does not jeopardize software updates from the developer such as by adding user-defined fields that can be used anywhere in the system.


Are Robots Hurting Job Growth?


January 13, 2013 – from CBS News – “Technological advances, especially robotics, are revolutionizing the workplace, but not necessarily creating jobs….”

180 View – Great video and sounds convincing but there other points of view. See the next article.


Robots Taking All Our Jobs? Ridiculous


September 26, 2013 from Information Week – “…It is time to consign neo-Ludditism and its particular refrain that “technology costs jobs” once and for all to the dustbin of history. Robots, automation, machines and productivity are key enablers of human progress and absolutely no threat to overall employment. As such, economic policy should put the pedal to the metal, at every possible opportunity, for faster technological improvement, better use of that technology in the workplace, and higher productivity.”

180 View –We think jobs will be eliminated with robots. People without skills will suffer the most but hopefully they will be trained to do more meaningful and higher paying jobs in the future.


Gartner warns of vendor upheaval in technology shift


October 7, 2013 from Computerworld – “…Gartner analysts warned that a data explosion threatens to overwhelm, sensors will be everywhere, 3-D printing will change everything, and smart machines will replace people… sensors may automatically alert a vendor of a broken part, triggering a 3-D printer to produce a replacement…”

180 View – It was not that long ago that we heard that the internet would change everything… and it did. Then came the smart phone which is doing it again. Now Gartner is predicting other technologies are about to do the same along with killing jobs which is discussed in a follow up article “As the digital revolution kills jobs, social unrest will rise”. We also read in a recent article by CBC News that “Ontario’s youth unemployment among worst in Canada” but the article lays the blame on the older generation (the baby boomers) who are not ready to retire. We think that things will even out as the boomers eventually fade away and make room for the younger generation. We think that all those robots will be needed as there won’t be enough labour to do all the work when we (the boomers) are gone.


How A Tesla Is Made


From Devour – “Here’s a look inside the Fremont, California factory where an army of massive, robotic arms transform giant rolls of aluminum into a Tesla Model S.”

180 View – Fascinating – a must see video. Too bad the Tesla is still so expensive.


Three minutes and 30 years


180 View – if you’re at all sentimental, you will enjoy this one.

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