Wednesday, May 19

WordPress, Limited Only By Your Imagination

by Alex Repola

The philosophy of WordPress has been and always will be, keep the code light and fast all the while providing a rich framework for a huge community and expanding what WordPress can do.

WordPress, which first started in 2003 with a single bit of code and fewer users than I have fingers and toes, has grown to become the largest self-hosted blogging tool in the world, used on millions of sites and seen by tens of millions of people everyday ( From the documentation to the code, WordPress was created by the community for the community. It is an Open Source project, meaning there are literally hundreds of people working on it all over the word.

WordPress started as a simple blogging tool but has evolved into a full content management system and much more through the thousands of plugins, widgets, and themes; WordPress is only limited by your imagination.

If you would like to learn more about this revolutionary tool that is completely free, click here.

QeH2 has been implementing WordPress as a blogging tool and as complete content management systems for our Denver web development clients for a quite some time now (and by quite some time I mean the last 6-8 months). This has given our clients a number of helpful tools and capabilities to manage their site effectively and reach their target audience much more efficiently.

Friday, May 14

Purchases of New Technology Require Extra Consideration

by Mitch Bryant

It’s critical that your business continually leverages IT solutions to provide as sound of an ROI as advanced technology allows. New tech advances not only affect the way you do business but they will shape the way you’ll do business in the future.

At the same time, new IT support investments must be leveraged to ensure your company maintains the edge to stay competitive. The IT department needs to weigh all purchases to ensure that the proper usage of any new technology falls within pre-established guidelines and or polices.

Each purchase should provide as many of the following basic elements as possible:

Higher productivity

Greater efficiency

Increased profits

Reduced operational overhead cost

Improved IT infrastructure

Alignment of business practices and strategies

Increased competitiveness

Higher customer satisfaction (both internally and externally)

Of course, new introductions of technology into a system come with a degree of risk. That’s why one IT leader shies away from what’s considered cutting-edge technology.

Kathy J. Markham, VP of IS planning & architecture at Kindred Healthcare, explains that while her department doesn’t employ cutting-edge technology in a production mode, it does stay current with new hardware technology.

“Pursuing cutting-edge technology would mean that we are willing to risk the usual instability and interoperability problems…. Frankly, we can’t afford to jeopardize our production environment, which is critical to business performance, nor do we have the resources to exhaustively test such scenarios,” she said. She added that she relies on industry experience to overcome the early difficulties of cutting-edge solutions.

Staying current but avoiding risks

When it comes to bringing new technologies in-house, CIOs first need to examine several project-related questions and technology issues:

What are the pros and cons of purchasing a new application vs. modifying a current tool?

Will it be a standalone or integrated technology, and what are the implications of this status?

Should it be implemented in-house or with external support, and what does that mean for cost and staffing?

In addition, issues such as programming requirements, integration hurdles, and benefits in the short and long term must be evaluated. The key to avoiding risks is looking before you leap into a new technology.

“New technology should be routinely investigated and tested as it becomes generally available. It should not be employed in production environments until such time as the marketplace has ‘blessed’ its stability and interoperability,” said Markham. A product vendor’s stability also requires examination, she noted.

“New technology may be innovating and exciting; that is not sufficient reason to embrace it. Equally important, if not more, is determining whether the company is standing behind the product. If the company is poorly positioned to introduce and support the new technology, it is not worth the risk,” she said.

New technology, she said, must also be considered in the context of finding necessary skills to support the products. “If products are too ‘niche,’ then the best technology can falter due to lack of trained resources.”

Nothing worthwhile comes easy

The introduction of new technology brings with it new stress factors not only on the IT department but the end users, customers, and business managers. As well as identifying all the issues related to the introduction of a new technology into your current system, it is very important to identify the stress factors that can make or break the project. This aspect must be factored into the overall potential success of any project, because the most successfully integrated new technology must ultimately work for the end user that will use it every day.

Saturday, May 8

Sales Projections Drive Me Nuts

by Eric Pratt

Does your company do projections? QeH2 does, and I hate it.

Don't get me wrong, I completely understand the value and necessity of accurately projecting sales, expenses, and profits. If your company isn't doing projections you should, it's the only way I've been taught to uncover and address issues before they get out of hand. Plus when you're growing they're fun to look at and dream right?

What I don't understand is how anyone can reasonably expect me to forecast how many new clients our sales department will bring on this month or next week.

Long term forecasting is much more realistic in my opinion as you can use trends and history to forecast your average number of new clients, dollar volume average, routed hour average, etc. It's no different than gambling odds, over the long term the law of averages plays out but in the short term huge variance is possible. Probable actually.

What drives me nuts is figuring out how to answer..."How many clients can you sign in May?" I usually don't give the answer being sought because I kinda have a smart mouth. Here's a short recollection of a recent conversation we had in our weekly executive meeting while going through our financial.

"How many hours are you going to sign in May?"

My Mind: "What a ridiculous question"
My Mouth: "Why do you keep asking me that?"

"We need to know for the projections

Mind: "If I knew who was going to sign the line and when my life would be easy"
Mouth: "I can guess if you'd like, but that's all it would be"

"Well, what did you sell last month?"

Mind: "What the hell does that have to do with this month?"
Mouth: "More than you thought I would sucker"

With a hint of frustration....."Help me out here Eric"

Mind: "Oops, I did it again"
Mouth: "How many hours do you need?"

"Well we have some open route to fill, I think 12 hours is a good number"

Mind: "Piece of cake, they should of asked for more"
Mouth: "That would be great, I'll get it done"

Another Partner: "Don't you two think we could be more accurate with these projections?"


Mouth: "No"

After some research at this point we determined that our average was nearly 9 hours per month over a reasonable period, projection adjusted from 12 to 9 moving forward...

Other Partner: "So 9 is the projection but we should try 12"

Mind: "Why stop at 12 if you're dreaming?"
Mouth: "My goal is 30, while we're setting goals let's aim high"

What was really accomplished here? Actually something good came out of it for the sales department (monthly projections at 9 instead of 12) but the point remains I have no idea which clients in my sales pipeline are ready to come on, which will drag it out a few weeks, and which will never sign. I think I know, I'm actually pretty sure about a couple.

Bottom line is you never know until they take the cap off their pen. Some months we will blow those numbers away and some months we'll miss badly. Over time the numbers will average out and my guess is we will actually average 12 or more moving forward as factors have changed vs the period we built that average over. From that perspective something bad came out of the discussion, our projections could actually be less accurate. Best part of that meeting for me, expectations went down and our ability to exceed expectations went up. If you're in sales you know well that exceeding expectation is what it's all about.

Friday, May 7

Colorado's 2010 Best Large Community for Economic Growth Awarded to the Town of Castle Rock

by Alex Repola

This past week, the Economic Development Council of Colorado awarded the Town of Castle Rock an annual award presented to a "community with more than 20,000 people in population in population demonstrating the best support for economic development through an organized economic development program and strong leadership."

Organizations that played key roles in attaining this honor include the Castle Rock Economic Development Council (Castle Rock EDC), the Town of Castle Rock, the Castle Rock Chamber of Commerce, and the Castle Rock Downtown Development Authority (DDA). These organizations together form the Castle Rock Economic Partnership.

When I sat down with Frank Gray, CEO of the Castle Rock EDC, a month or so ago, he spoke a little about the importance of not only being a point of contact for new businesses, but also sustaining relationships with current businesses in the local market. One of many unique things about the Castle Rock Economic Partnership is the developer round table concept, allowing dialogue to take place between key Town of Castle Rock officials and the partnership between the development community.

Read more about the partnership that the Castle Rock EDC and Denver's leading IT support provider - QeH2 have created to continue to bring new and innovative ideas the the workplace, helping in growing the local economy.