Friday, 30 May, 2008

Becoming an architect in a system integrator

My colleague, Amit Unde, recently wrote an article, titled Becoming an architect in a system integrator, in the latest issue of The Architecture Journal. In this article, Amit has described variations of architect role, explained the architect competencies and has provided useful advice to aspiring architects.

Amit has captured following three variations of architect role by putting them on a two-by-two matrix with Technology Focus one one axis and Strategy Focus on the other axis:
  1. Technical Architect on higher side of Technology Focus (indicating technology depth) and on lower side of Strategy Focus (indicating project scope).
  2. Enterprise Architect on lower side of Technology Focus (indicating technology breadth) and on higher side of Strategy Focus (indicating organization scope).
  3. Solution Architect exactly at the center of matrix
While there could be varying opinions on this way of defining architect roles, I tend to agree with these definitions.

Amit has also explained the architecture competencies. He has constructed a pyramid in which the foundation consists of leadership, relationship management and variety of experience. The middle layer for skills consists of domain knowledge, project management, technical acumen and communication skills. Finally the top layer consists of strategic mindset.

The advice for aspiring architects contains pointers to educational resources, certifications and groups and forums. But what are more interesting are the tips on how to choose employer for availing desired development opportunities!

In all, it's a good read for any practicing or aspiring architect.

Wednesday, 28 May, 2008

Our SOA article got published in IT Professional magazine

I co-authored an article titled "Where do you want to go in SOA adoption journey?" some months back. It is now published in IT Professional, which is an IEEE magazine. If you have access to IEEE Digital Library then you can read the article at

Please share your feedback on the article with me.

Today is 125th jayanti of Swatantryaveer Savarkar

Today is 125th jayanti of Swatantryaveer Savarkar.

Today is the day to remember him for his patriotism and his sacrifice for the nation.

Monday, 26 May, 2008

What the CEO wants you to know

I recently read this book, "What the CEO wants you to know", which is authored by Prof Ramcharan. The sub-title of this book is "Using Business Acumen to understand how your company really works". IMHO, the sub-title is what correctly describes the content of the book though the title is the one which is more catchy!

In less than 150 pages, the author has provided time-tested advice to each one operating in the business. What I liked the most about this book is a list of eight questions that one should ask about a company to understand its total business. These eight questions are as follows:
  1. What were your company's sales during the last year?
  2. Is the company growing? Or is growth flat or declining? Is this growth picture good enough?
  3. What is your company's profit margin? Is it growing, declining or flat?
  4. How does your margin compare with your competitors? How does it compare wit those of other industries?
  5. Do you know your company's inventory velocity? its asset velocity?
  6. What is your company's return on assets? (ROA = After-tax margin * Asset Velocity)
  7. Is your company's cash generation increasing or decreasing? Why is it going one or the other?
  8. Is your company gaining or losing against the competition?

Saturday, 24 May, 2008

First Pardhi to clear UPSC (India) exam

It was heartening to read a news story about Sajjansingh Chavan, who is first in his pardhi community to clear Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) exam in India. The Pardhi community is (wrongly!) considered to be a criminal tribe though the Criminal Tribe Act was repealed in year 1949. Born in Mumbai's Aarey Milk Colony slum, Sajjansingh is son of Ramsingh who worked hard to make his son earn MTech from IIT Delhi.

My heartiest congratulation to Sajjansingh! And salute to his father, Ramsingh!!

Wednesday, 7 May, 2008

open source software guide for SMEs

Today I came across very good reading on open source software. FLOSSMETRICS/OpenTTT free/libre open source software guide for SMEs has following TOC:
  1. What's Free/Libre/Open Source Software?
  2. Ten myths about free/libre open source software
  3. Basic FLOSS adoption models
  4. Finding and selecting software
  5. Best practices for FLOSS adoption
  6. FLOSS-based business models
You may like to read it too!

Tuesday, 6 May, 2008

Competing with the Best

I just finished reading this book named, Competing with the Best. It is authored by Dr Rajnish Karki. Since he had taught us strategic transformation course in SJM School of Management of IIT Bombay, I found myself familiar with most of the contents of this book.

This book is quite well-written though it is definitely not a light reading. It provides both theoretical discussion as well as case studies. The students of strategic management in Indian context will find this book quite useful.

Sunday, 4 May, 2008

The Art of the start

After reading the sample chapter of this book in January, in the month of April, I got to read this book entirely. I needed to wait so long because a copy was not available in India. We imported it from USA, which took fairly long time. But it was worthwhile to wait!

While Guy Kawasaki has covered the essence of the book in its first chapter, he has provided more details in subsequent chapters. Some of my takeaways are as follows:
  • Positioning boils down to the answer for a simple question, "what do you do?".
  • 10/20/30 rule for pitch: 10 slides, 20 minutes and 30-point font.
  • Sales prospect pitch should contain following ten slides: title, problem, solution, sales model, technology, demo, competitive analysis, management team and next steps.
  • A bootstrappable business model is characterized by low up-front capital requirements, short (<>
  • Start as a service business.
  • Hire "infected" people.
  • A chart showing what you and your competition can and cannot do is useful to show how you are superior to the competition.
  • Define deliverables and objectives for partnerships. Put an "out" clause in the deal.
  • Top five lead generation methods include: conducting small-scale seminars, giving speeches, getting published, networking in a proactive way and participating in industry organizations.