The Cabin by the Woods (2011)

The Cabin in the Woods PosterThis was surely “one for the ages”.  The wifey and I decided to order a pay-per-view ‘horror’ movie tonight and just relax.  Cool and cool, and horrific is absolutely what we got!

This movie started with no clear plot that I could figure out what-so-ever.  It was just plain gratuitous violence.  Blood and guts, severed heads, screaming and yelling and all the typical things you’d see at the END of one of these types of movies.  So, I must admit, this movie had me intrigued to being with.

Okay, I can deal with the silly, and totally ridiculous violence since that is what we bargained for, but through-out the movie they would include intermittent scenes of some type of Command Center/Control Center.  We were thinking like “what the hell is this for?”, because it seemed so random but it appeared they were building a plot of some sort.  It turns out that the Command Center wanted people for being “young”.  Five young people had to die according to Sigourney Weaver.  Yep, she stooped to a new low for sure with this bomb of a flick!  She made about a five minute on-screen appearance and that was the most true insight to any sort of plot I could find in the movie.

All I could figure out with this movie (or that I cared about) was that the mega-pot smoking dope-head was somehow immune to the effects that this Command Center was infecting people with.  That minor detail went unexplained as I recall also.

Anyhow, there were some good things in this 1 ½ hours of yuck though.  Namely, it made the wifey jump out of her skin several times which was quite hilarious.  It left her cuddlier with yours-truly (or at least I would like to think so).

In the end, I just quizzed her on if she understood the plot anymore or any less than I did.  She said she was as confused as me so I will leave it at that.  It’s unfortunate because at about one hour into the movie it looked like the movie was building to be something interesting.  I assure you – NOT!

This movie is a true stinker and gets only three Steelers Stars.

The world’s largest scanning device event ever – Dreamforce 2012

If you had to select from the list below what the world’s largest gathering of scanning technology would be, what would be your guess?

    1. The AIIM conference
    2. The ARMA conference
    3. The CES tradeshow
    4. The Macworld conference
    5. None of the above

The answer is not as obvious as most of us would have guessed such as the AIIM conference.  After all, AIIM is known as a leading organization in ‘image management’ so of course this would be the world’s largest collection of scanning devices ever.  The correct answer is “None of the above”.  I would strongly argue, and have plenty of evidence, that’s recent Dreamforce 2012 conference in San Francisco was by far-and-away the largest collection of scanning technology to ever be assembled at one conference.  Specifically I’m referring to the number of camera-enabled devices at this conference and creating images from smart phones instead of document feed paper scanners.  There were 90,000 registered attendees and each attendee probably averaged two devices whether they were iPhone’s, Andriod’s, iPads, Galaxy’s or whatever.  These devices were in abundance, that’s for sure!

Therefore, conservative estimates of around 180,000 camera-enabled mobile devices plus all the devices in the vendor’s booths themselves probably puts the number of “capture” devices at around 200,000!  This is a remarkable opportunity to leverage the fact that most of the devices these days include high-quality cameras.


 Of course I’m not talking about large production-type scanners typically seen at the annual AIIM conference where you would capture a stack of 100 or 500 pages at a single time, for example.  I’m talking about ‘transactional’ capture where the use case is to capture one, or just a few, documents at a time.


Education and awareness – Old habits die hard

Even with all these devices readily available to all attendees, and all this revolutionary software on display I witnessed utter failure, not because any of these people or technologies were bad, but because people were not aware of the incredible advances in Mobile Data Capture.  Let me clearly explain what I mean by utter failure with specific examples.


1.  Mobile Data Capture Use Case # 1:  Business Card with recognition on device

First, I had several people hand me their business cards.  Why?  Why not just take a picture of the card and automatically put in to Salesforce as a contact?  Yes, the technology does exist!


2.  Mobile Data Capture Use Case # 2:  Marketing materials with recognition hosted

The next utter failure was when I was handed some marketing materials.  What typically happens with these items?  That’s right; they often get filed right into the circular file cabinet (a.k.a. trash bin) to never be found again.  Why not just snap a photo with a smart phone and have the document made into a fully Searchable PDF image and then stored in some system?  Then I can quickly, and easily, retrieve it in the future based on some keyword related to the material that I was looking for.  This functionality is not only very useful for retrieval purposes but also general organizational purposes.  For example, at a typical tradeshow you will meet many people and get introduced to new companies that you probably hadn’t known of before.  In these cases you will most likely only remember something vague about the company, person and/or product but not the actual name of the person, company or product.  Therefore, you can easily search for a term such as “consulting” to retrieve all the documents with that particular word contained in them.


3.  Mobile Capture Use Case # 3:  Batching and document collections

Then one of the last utter failures I would like to share is a personal story but it just goes to illustrate that capture from mobile devices is not top-of-mind like it should be because the technology is so new.  Like most of us returning to our offices after a business trip, we will have acquired various documents during our travels such as meal receipts, contracts or just environmental photos to save and share with our fellow colleagues.  While the types of documents themselves could be vastly different, the collection of these documents will most likely have something similar such as the location or name of the event.  In my case the similarity between these documents was ‘Dreamforce 2012’.  So what I did was whip out my handy iPhone and snapped several photos at once to create a collection of documents.  This was a very different user experience that I was used to where I would take a picture of one image, and then uploaded.  Then take a picture of a second image, then uploaded, and repeat the process until I was finished.  This was simply a horrible experience and I would delay getting this information saved electronically because I dreaded the time wasted doing this activity.  With the ability to capture many images at once, it allowed me to get these images uploaded quickly without much effort at all.  Next, since the documents were different sizes, I used the auto crop feature to automatically resize the images to the proper size.  Then, to make my stored images really smart I added ‘tags’ so that I can type a search term such as ‘biz card’ and find all the business cards stored on my phone.  I then had the option to send to a wide variety of popular cloud storage destinations, send via e-mail or even print.


Batch capture

Capture several items at once instead of one at a time.  Greatly saves time when gathering a collection of related images.

Enhance Image

Auto binarization, auto cropping, page rotation and other useful features to create excellent image quality.


Easily add tags, or metadata, to each image to make them searchable or better organized.  Custom tags can be added at anytime.

Batch Collections

Your smart phone can now be a simple version of a mobile document management system with the ability to save collections of images on the phone itself.


So the question begs, with this great capture technology literally at people’s fingertips why is it that we seem so naïve about this amazing technology?  I think there probably are several viable reasons including, but not limited, to the following:

    • Awareness that this type of technology exists in the first place.  More education is needed.
    • As a society we are on “mobile application overload” so we have a difficult time weeding through all the available applications and try and find the most useful ones.  There’s an app for that!
    • We are still in the early days of mobile application development.  Companies rush to get an application to market first, then will gradually add business productivity capability such as mobile data capture.
    • Use case scenarios need to be clearly defined and return on investment needs to definitively articulated.


Therefore if, as an industry, if we can provide more overall education and bring awareness to this type of technology, then the greater likelihood there is that everyone can benefit from the tremendous potential of Mobile Capture.  When we truly consider all the great possibilities of using mobile devices to contribute content, instead of just purely information consumption, then we can absolutely achieve the next major milestone in achieving the ultimate in business efficiency.

Fujitsu fi-6010N network scanner Job Menus

This was a video that I wrote the script and narrated about the Fujitsu fi-6010N network scanner Job Menu functionality.  This was a feature that we incorporated into the device after the initial product launch based directly on customer feedback.  This was a very popular feature because it allowed for an easy level of customization on the touch screen.  The screens could be configured based on user login credentials.  This customization could be on the device itself, or it could be configured on the Central Administration Server and then pushed out to all the scanners on a network.

Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003)

Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003)We started watching this movie…….ummmm, late…not sure how much we missed then I got distracted and can’t fairly evaluate the movie.  Therefore, I forgo the review for now and will update later.

It was, however, good “background noise” and the goriness was awesome from the few moments I watched.  Looking forward to a complete viewage!

Governance Gone! Wild!

While to some the acronym, ‘GGW’ might conjure up beautiful visions of fancy tour buses traveling the country capturing everything in sight on video for the whole world to see (as long as you pay the $9.99 per DVD, or opt for the $19.99 for full-DVD collection, or get their online subscription for $9.95 per month — or whatever it costs), I have just witnessed a different version of ‘GGW’ that is anything but beautiful.  In fact, ‘Governance Gone! Wild!’ is down-right scary!

I just attended several days of the Dreamforce 2012 conference in San Francisco and, as always, I was impressed with the innovation, which is clearly evident at these events.  I was impressed with the creativity of all the Software as a Service (SaaS) applications available built upon the Force.comheroku and/or other Salesforce platform services.  There were apps for this, and apps for that, and apps that work with other apps, and integrated apps.  In fact I’m on “app-overload” right now and tonight, instead of sweet sugar plums dancing through my head, I will most likely have a nightmare about all the possible lack of governance issues that are not being addressed in this quickly-evolving ‘cloud’ environment.  It’s truly like the Wild West!

This is not to say that these SaaS application vendors have overlooked governance issues completely.  In fact I suspect many of them take these items seriously and have built their respective solutions accordingly.  However, I can tell you what is an obvious generalization is the main pitch-points in these solutions is (1) easy user experience with a simple, familiar web-interface and (2) ability for organizations to self-manage or re-configure solutions without the need for costly professional services or software development.  These are not bad pitch-points in the least but what I must say is that conversations seem to rarely dig too much deeper than the surface of some point-and-click functionality and a demonstration or two.  I admire these vendors for their passion to solve very specific needs for enterprise customers and I’m invigorated with their energy to quickly have their Killer SaaS app deployed and being utilized by their customers to improve operational efficiency.

Yet, as I put myself in the shoes of the SaaS vendor the last thing I would want to do is possibly slow down the sales cycle by bringing up governance and organizational readiness topics such as policies, processes or people that wasn’t directly related to my particular technology.  These topics are somewhat related to the technology but it’s more about the organizational readiness by the customers themselves.  We must remember that these applications are promoting their solutions to enterprise organizations, not consumer.  Therefore, I would like to give one specific example of what caused my “Governance Gone!” nightmare.


As seen below in the photo below (not to the left), introduced their new “marketing cloud”.  At the Dreamforce conference they setup an example of the ‘Dreamforce Social Media Command Center’.  They had a full-time agent at each of several work stations.  Each of these work stations was monitoring a different social media feed.  One each for Facebook, Chatter, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and maybe even a few other social networks to provide an example of a Social Media Command Center and how this could be a reality within your particular organization.  As I saw this incredible activity of feeds, tweets, #hashtags, likes, posts and other real-time social interaction – this is where it really struck me about Governance (or lack thereof in this scenario).  It was Wild!

These are the types of things I was thinking to myself, not from a technology perspective itself, but rather ‘are these people considering the following types of items’ before going buck-wild to immediately implement this type of Command Center within their own organizations:

  • People:
    • Since these are mostly real-time conversations and, naturally, the business wants to represent themselves professionally, what type of special training will be required for this new type of social media command center operator?
  • Policy:
    • As we all know, social networks are filled with people that sometimes spew nasty, disgusting or plain hateful messages because they think they are completely anonymous to the world.  In these cases what is the organizations policy about any responses, deletion of messages or any other action?
  • Process:
    • With this gluttony of electronic information overload from such a wide ranging variety of sources, in different formats and with such a diverse contextually meaning, what is the process to accurately analyze the data?  After all, I would imagine that video-’gamers’ are quite active on these types of social networks and “rad”, “bad” or “bitchin’” don’t quite translate into the true meaning if you just consider the official dictionary definition of a word or phrase.

In summary, in our zeal to innovate and offer powerful, useful, as well as, truly remarkable technology, which is going to revolutionize the way we do business, we should not be in such a rush to not consider and overlook an organizations preparedness from a governance standpoint.  Great technology is not always good enough.  If your organization decides to not consider well-thought out governance plans then the “Governance Gone!  Wild!” bus may be paying you a visit sooner than expected!