Great news!

I have just completed the initial installation and design of my own Picture/Photos Gallery site at myPhotos on my site.

It is powered by Gallery2, a simple, yet powerful gallery software that provides easy upload of photos, and even videos and music. You can upload photos from your harddrive, from your mobile phones, from another website, from another Photo gallery site (such as Picasa, Multiply, Myspace, etc.).
You can select from different Themes for your album and/or photo pages based on your preference of design and colors, and you can set PERMISSIONS as to who can view, or add comments or give ratings. It also has a Random Image slideshow on the left sidebar, and you have an option whether you want your pictures included in the Random Photo slides (which can be viewed by all members) or not.

I am still currently working on the integration of myPhotos with myWorld (an online content management/collaboration site) that's also on my site.

With this latest addition, I hope to be able to provide a complete Online Community website with all the things that you need - Forum Board, Picture Gallery, Online Collaboration, Stories and Events sharing, among others.

Hope you guys support these sites, oh, by the way - of course, REGISTRATION is FREE. And reward points are also given everytime you use the sites.

Happy New Year everyone!

Hello everyone!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

This Christmas break (for a while, I thought I had a break), I was busy configuring my new website, It was hard, considering I don't know anything about web programming, much more with PHP, ASP, and other tech stuffs.

Anyways, I envisioned a site where I can provide the users (and registered members) a way to collaborate online - work on certain project, or articles and publish it for sharing to the general web public or for private groups. The basic idea is, have an online publishing tool/site to enable posting and archiving all discussions, communications of each members, and other document that may just be forgotten. And, oh, those lengthy email threads, which you, have to delete anyway as soon as your mailbox gets full. All these can be posted (optionally shared if you want) on myWorld Workspace and have it stored in our Archives.

Cool? It is, and if you have a term paper or thesis project, or any business project with lots of documents, and want to share your work with your Team wherever they are, then myWorld Workspace is your site.

But that's not all. To give the members more reason to participate and check back at the Site, I opted to put add-on features for Blogging (Journal), for Stories sharing, Downloads, Forum Board (my favorite!), start online Surveys, meet new online friends and start new connections, sell, buy, look for OJT, new jobs, think of it as a total content management site. And the sweetest feature? You get POINTS for each activity that you do at myWorld Workspace!!!

Points can be accumulated to qualify for the Site's POINTS & EARN rewards program. Yes! I thought this would be cool. No time wasted. You got the powerful Online Collaboration, Content Mangement system, and you get points for every post, story, news, event, topic, survey, link and many other activities that you do at myWorld Workspace.

So check this out (and your support to this Site will be greatly appreciated). Register for free now.

See you there.

Companies planning to implement an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software, or any business systems application should consider the following - before jumping into something that would led to lots of regrets later:

1. Requirements Definition

A good way to start a business systems project (like an ERP solution- Oracle, SAP, etc., or functional solutions like a Sales and Distribution software) is to clearly define your objectives, and specific requirements that you want to be addressed. Objectives and requirements should be specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-bound (S-M-A-R-T). Details on how to prepare a requirements definition document will be posted soon.

2. Readiness

A project is sure to fail, if readiness checking is not thoroughly done. I got a client who spent millions of pesos for a reputable software, including paying big time Consultants - only to realize they're stuck in a quagmire of issues, and it was hard to get out of there.

Readiness checking should be focused on the following areas:

  • Is your Organization ready?
  • Are your Business Processes ready?
  • Are your infrastructures ready?

Details of each of the above readiness check will be posted here soon.

3. Budget

Yeah, systems implementation will cost you an arm and a leg - if you don't manage it very well. Make sure your requirements definition also outlines the bound of your spending, and includes proven alternative ways to get the same results - but at a more competitive cost. The following can spell the difference between spending all your money or spending within your budget on a project:

  • Choice of software solutions
  • Choice of implementors
  • Choice of third-party providers

Tips on how to save on your implementation costs will also be posted here soon.

For information, leave your comments and will get back to you.

Today, we started on the roll-out of the last 4 sites for the Mindanao Roll-out project of my Client. Two from CDO Plant (Iligan City and Don Carlos, Bukidnon) and two from Davao Plant (Digos and General Santos).

As experienced in the past (and this is an area of improvement to be focused on the remaining 3 Plants early next year), data preparation is still the biggest stumbling block - especially for Don Carlos, Bukidnon site.

We hope to conclude the Mindanao leg by next week, before the team take a few days rest and vacation.

Early next year, we will commence the roll-out to the three (3) remaining plants in Leyte, Bicol Region and North Luzon.

We were billeted at Crown Regency Residences in Davao. It's one of the nice places to stay here I guess. It has lots of rooms in its main hotel - although, sound-proofing have to be done, as you could hear noises outside and along the hallways.

The hotel also has clusters of Mediterranean style villas around its tropical garden swimming pool. We stayed in two of those villas - one for the boys and one for the girls.

The villa unit we stayed has two floors. The ground floor is fully furnished with ref, stoves, tables and other appliances. This is ideal for a family who prefers to cook their own food - hmmm, you're in a hotel and you cook your food. The second floor has two rooms, a masters bedroom with one huge bed, and the other room with two beds and extra bed pull-outs.

It's a nice place to stay if you want to have good relaxing weekend. The hotel has a spa, a fitness gym, a wi-fi, the 24-hour Fabulous Fifties Cafe, a jacuzzi in its poolside and a host of other facilities. But not for us - we leave the place at 8:00 - 9:00 am and back at 2:00-4:00am the next day.

Haha, still, a cool place to stay.


I was in Davao since Thursday, and both the Consulting Team and the Technical Team are busy preparing for the last roll-out activities for Digos (Davao del Sur) and General Santos City (South Cotabato) sites.

Some minor issues were encountered, as experienced in the past, the static data have to be re-checked and updated due to changes and updates, despite the set cut-off guidelines. Good thing the Technical Team was able to create several utilities that can update Customer Information, discounts and pricing, and other static information using an upload script into the Sales and Distribution database.

However, Accounts Receivable and Sales Volume migration activities will be delayed for a day or two - the remaining sites were supposed to do their legacy system closing last Saturday but data from these off-sites were not immediately sent to the Plant in Davao for encoding.

This is how information were updated prior to installing the new System. Transactions from different Sales offices are brought into the Plant (some sites may be as far as 10 hours drive). Some are encoded in batch weekly into the Client's legacy system. The new system captures the transactions at the source locations - which made it very beneficial in making sure information are current/real-time.

Hopefully, we can already dispatch the Teams and the databases with migrated AR and Sales volume by Wednesday - for General Santos City and Digos.

For several years already, I have been collaborating with different Oracle Partners in the Philippines for the Pre-Sales, Implementation and Post-Sales activities through my RAJ IT Consulting group.

On top of it, I managed to get some clients of my own, and mostly, I referred these clients back to any available partner.

Important criteria are the Partner's ability to complete the project, and the availability of resources most especially Consultants who will be implementing the enterprise applications systems. I also provide complementary services such as Project Management, Client Champion, or even as Implementation Consultant for Oracle Distribution, Manufacturing and Financial modules. I have also established a niche expertise in one of Oracle's many complex solutions, the Oracle Process Manufacturing (OPM).

I also facilitate pooling in additional Consultants and Project Managers when needed. My friends and associates have maintained good contacts with me just in case short-term and even long term engagements are required.

My top list of Philippine Oracle Partners:

  • Philippine-Services.Org - formerly KPMG Consulting c/o Greg Martin, CEO
  • iOM Philippines c/o Kumar Rasaratnam, Country General Manager
  • e-Business Tech Solutions c/o Albert Manlulu, President
  • ABS Solutions c/o Abby Yap, CEO

Without the help of the Team that my Client (let's call this client CLIENT ABC) agreed to help me out, rolling out CLIENT ABC's new Sales and Distribution system at the speed we are currently doing, would be almost impossible.

The 12 were pluck out from a selection of more than a dozen candidates, and were experts in their own fields, young, and full of energy.

After a month of bootcamp and workshop, including actual exposure to a roll-out in one of the biggest sites in Metro Manila towards the end of their training program, all passed with very satisfactory results.

We grouped them into 3 Teams, each Team assigned to a Plant and it's Sales Offices sites. Starting last July, the group have already completed 5 plants in Luzon and Visayas, and currently working on Mindanao Plants in CDO, Davao and Zamboanga, with over 12 sites to cover.

We plan to complete the Mindanao leg this December, and, Pre-work is already in place for the last 3 Plants in Leyte, Naga and Northern Luzon. Roll-Out at these sites should commence early January and completed before March, 2008.

I had a great time showing off to my colleagues the amazing service that my favorite Telecommunications company provides - a free Samsung Z560 3G with HSDPA phone and the ability to browse the internet with my laptop using the said phone as broadband modem - and, for a very select/few locations, it indeed provided blazing broadband speed.

In fact, my Client signed-up for the Globe Visibility service for its 8 remote Sales Offices in Central Luzon, Philippines - a product of my recommendation that they subscribe to the service and be able to put connectivity to these remote locations. Thus the said sales offices were able to use e-mails, and regularly received software updates and reports from Manila Headoffice.

And then the Php 14,000.00 plus bill!!! I could not believe I'm being charged that much for only a few hours of usage - which mostly just accessing e-mails at very slow speed since I was mobile most of the time - driving and going around the different Sales Offices in Central Luzon, Philippines.

I called up Globe Customer Service - which later best called Customer de-Service and complained about the "exorbitant, out-of-this-world, excessive, abusive" charging of Globe. I explained I have been using the service for several months and I was never billed that much. I stressed I can't accept such billing as it's not fair - and outrageously excessive! I got a broadband/dsl plan at home, I can browse the internet at a very comfortable speed - yet I am only paying Php700.00+ a month!

Then there's Globe Visibility - where for Php2,000.00 monthly subscription, you can use the same service as I have in my phone, and at more reliable connection. But Php14,000.00 for a few hours??? It's insane if anyone could accept that. I was even challenging the Customer de-Service Agent that they can go with me where I used the service and see for themselves if its worth paying that much...

Then the Customer Service guy explained about per kilobyte charging - which, I don't really understand, and they were already charging. I complained that there was not enough campaign to inform everyone about it, unfortunately, the guy was being sarcastic and that he told me there's nothing Globe can do.

I told him I won't be paying that until my complaint is addressed. However, after a few weeks, Globe just disconnected my phone line, even if I don't have an outstanding balance for my regular calls (I was on Php3,500.00/month subscription). What was disappointing is - after all those years I have been a good paying customer, and after even marketing their service to my Clients, without even a consideration, I get to endure the difficulty in having my phone line disconnected. The inconvenience was unbearable, unable to make long calls - the luxury of having a subscription plan, just because my line was disconnected just like that.

Now, I am still using a Globe prepaid sim card, but sooner, I will be switching to Smart. I have already signed for 3 Sun Lines, and will soon give up the three other Globe lines I have with my family.

As for the connectivity service, my Client have just procured 30 units of PLDT/Smart We-Roam, and is still planning to get 50units more. And I have already proposed not to renew the 9 Globe Visibility units that we deployed in Central Luzon last year - all to be replaced by a much better Customer Service of Smart/PLDT We-Roam.

I am still a Globe fan, however, I will not ever again be their customer.

Its disappointing that as a great Company becomes bigger, its basic customer service and reaching out fades away...

Today, I'm back in Davao to check on the status of the roll-out in the Sales Offices. We are to roll-out the Client's new Sales and Distribution (S&D) system to five (5) sales offices located in Davao City, in Tagum, Digos, Panabo and General Santos City.

My Davao team is now currently on their third Sales Office - simultaneously doing two sales offices at the same time.

As usual, bad habits die hard as they said - and exceptions were encountered. These exceptions are activities done not within the policies and procedures mandated by my Client's operating standards.

The new S&D system became the catalyst to Change - a great tool to Change Management, which my Client hopes, their very key to sustained growth and eventual dominance in the market.

The team here is doing very well.

I am not going to badmouth or slander some company here, but maybe I am allowed to voice out in my blog a bad experience with Globe Telecoms.

Honestly, I loved this company, its cutting edge, pioneering technology and services with regards to Mobile communications. Being the first company to introduce digital mobile solutions, most specifically the SMS (Short Messaging System) or "TEXTING" to most Filipinos, it became a leader in this business for some time.

I have been a loyal customer, ever since, I have been a Globe Plan subsriber. It's competitor, Smart Communications, slowly took the lead in the recent years in terms of subscriber base and other services offered. But I was never a plan subsriber with Smart. For almost 10 years, I stayed with Globe, because Globe is simply the best mobile solution for me.

Not until they launched the 3G service - the ability to browse the internet using your 3G phone. Globe was the first to commercially launched 3G with HSDPA, and me, being a little techie-savvy guy, I took the initial offer at that time to use the service at big big discount.

I tried it, although, it was not satisfactory in some locations, but the ability to browse anywhere - the idea of accessing the internet anywhere to be exact, became the focus of my fanatic following at that time. In fact, when we rolled out a new Sales and Distribution system with my Client's Central Luzon operations, I strongly recommended that they invest in Globe connectivity - for it's 8 remote sites connecting to the Plant in San Fernando, Pampanga.

I didn't have any idea that one day - to my surprise, all of a sudden after months of using the service, I was billed Php14,000.00 plus for a few hours of usage that month!!! (it was sometime April or May).

- To be continued....

Today, my CDO Team Leader reported that the Sales Volume report problem was fixed and the Plant's Finance Manager confirmed it in his email to my Client's Executive Committee.

As usual, the Technical Team was reliable as ever, and the Consultants at site worked on the diagnosis and testing the whole day yesterday. This provided our Technical Team, which remotely fixed the errors based on the submitted screenshots and sample reports by the Consultants.

This also tested and confirmed our infrastructure solution to remotely access any Server/Databases using Wide Area Network (WAN) for Plant-base sites, powered by fiber optics provided by PLDT, a giant telecoms provider in the Philippines. Also, we used PLDT's We-Roam services in the remotes Sales Offices to provide connectivity - to enable sending of regular program and reports updates, as well as in making remote support activities. We-Roam provides 3G internet connection with HSDPA in major cities, while it can provide EDGE or GPRS connection to remote towns and municipalities.

We-Roam utilizes the network coverage of SMART, a leading mobile telecoms provider in the Philippines. As long as there's a SMART mobile phone signal, you can get a connection.

For more information on SMART and PLDT We-Roam, visit the following links:

>>> SMART Communications
>>> Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company (PLDT)

"It seems a misfortune to use the same business strategy today."

After 2 weeks of handholding support at my client's Cagayan de Oro (CDO) Plant-base, my team have rolled-out the new S&D system in Surigao City, about 8 to 10 hours by bus ride from Cagayan de Oro.

Also, the other group is supposed to start roll-out in another Sales Office in Butuan City (4 hours travelling by bus from CDO, or one hour air travel form Manila), however, some problems with unreconciled Sales Volume for the month of October derailed the transition.

It should take another day or two before we can fix the problem, fortunately quickly diagnosed by our Site Consultants as a bug in the records updating. They have transferred a Salesman's customers using new Sales Routes and it looked okay when looking at the Salesman's day's call schedule, however, the Customer attributes were not updated. The Sales Volume report categorizes the Sales Volume of each Salesman using the values in the Customer Profile, which gets populated upon assigning a customer to a Salesman's Sales Route.

A fix has to be done to rectify the problem. Hopefully, the Technical Team can do it in time as my Client's Head Office in Manila is consolidating all Sales Volume of all plants all over the Philippines for its incentives programs.

More to this in the coming days.

Next phase of the project, once all sites of my FMCG client are installed with the new Sales & Distribution system, is to automate the Order capture process, as well as the credit information of the Customers via hand-help devices, or a portable device such as a mobile phone or palm device.

This will shorten the time from which all orders from customers are captured, until the time orders are processed in the system. Currently, orders are documented using a form, signed by the Customer, and submitted for order entry after a day's route visits. The time elapsed makes for some hourse wasted when it could have been processed immediately and stocks are prepared much earlier.

With this sub-project, it is expected to dramatically shorten the order to delivery preparations cycle, and ensure efficiency in inventory planning by getting the stocks requirements early, and accurately.

I will have to go through the process of evaluating solutions for this, from handheld hardware requirements to software interfaces, including connectivity especially on real-time, online, remote connection from the Salesman to the new S&D system database.