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April 2014

How SharePoint Can Help Your Business

SharePoint is not just a program or individual solution; it’s a massive platform that provides secure places to store, organize, share, and access information from almost any device.  Able to be deployed within a server environment or used in the cloud, SharePoint is highly scalable, extensible, flexible and cost effective. As versatile as it is ubiquitous, SharePoint can be used to access or create solutions that provide:

Big Data – What are the Tradeoffs?

by Jay Gardner You cannot open a business or IT trade magazine these days without seeing a major article about the impact of “Big Data” on the Enterprise. There is often a lack of discussion of what constitutes Big Data with the unstated assumption that any mass of Enterprise data constitutes Big Data. The “Three V’s” of Big Data are often cited as its defining characteristics: Volume, Velocity, and Variety. But Big Data systems should also be examined and compared to RDBMSs and other systems in relation to another three letter acronym, the CAP theorem, proposed in 2000 by Eric Brewer. The “CAP” of Brewer’s theorem stands for Consistency, Availability, and Partition Tolerance. Brewer proposed that networked systems can have two of these three attributes, but trade-offs prevent a system from having all three characteristics.

Business Solutions Case Study: Build vs. Buy Software Solution Assesment

by Plaster Group’s Business Solutions Team Challenge Our client, a large local nonprofit, was struggling to manage its priorities and goals. Teams that needed to coordinate their work were using disparate tools to capture and report data, often using different terms with the same meaning. Additionally, the same data was being entered multiple times into different tools. Staff was frustrated with the inability to measure progress against goals. Plaster Group’s Business Solutions team was asked to assess build vs. buy software solution options for managing our client’s strategic objectives.

Which Microsoft Dynamics Solution is the Best Fit for your business?

Microsoft Dynamics is a series of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and Customer Relationship Management (CRM) applications with more than 350,000 customers. It consists of four products: Microsoft Dynamics AX Microsoft Dynamics NAV Microsoft Dynamics GP Microsoft Dynamics SL With varying capabilities, which of these products is the best fit for your business? Here’s a quick guide to the differences between Microsoft’s ERP products.

BI Case Study: Custom BI Application Development

by Bob Vogt Challenge Our  Seattle-based client began an initiative to improve data access, collaboration, and critical analysis, and to better harvest and aggregate relevant data from external sources – with the aim of eventually integrating this data with internal systems. Additionally, they desired to streamline reporting processes which previously relied on business analysts to gather their own non-standardized data and build custom reports for various business needs. Analysts prepared briefing materials, strategy review, and development while aligning with partners and investors on key indicators and metrics. The client’s goal was to reduce the time spent in collecting and utilizing relevant statistics, leverage previous investments in data collection, reduce repetition of gathering by different stakeholders, and increase consistency in the use of data enterprise wide.