Architect Summit

Allow me to begin by saying our first ever Architect Summit was a huge success.  Some of the topics we covered focused on managing security around user and account management, multiple third-party vendor fulfillments, custom catalog fulfillment by contracts, search based navigation and support of social media and marketing initiatives, as seen here: http://bit.ly/p3PyKG. We strive to facilitate the functional business objectives of eCommerce solutions to provide value for all parties.  From the concept’s very inception, I spoke to a large number of customers; the genuinely enthusiastic responses I received were the sparks that truly ignited this idea. With the help of our talented staff, peers and customers, Briteskies hopes to continue to be trail blazers, and I think the story of how we arrived at this point should be shared. Wikipedia defines wisdom as “…a deep understanding and realizing of people, things, events or situations, which results in the ability to choose, act or inspire to consistently produce the optimum results with a minimum of time, energy or thought”. During a discussion among our internal leadership team, we realized the breadth of expertise we have in architecting solutions for our customers.  As someone who cares deeply about delivering value to everyone I interact with, customer and colleague, I wanted the ability to say that not only is our team knowledgeable, but they are wise; I wanted our team to feel empowered.  The challenge then became:  How do we obtain wisdom and promote it among team members?  Confucius suggests: “By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; second, by imitation, which is easiest; and...

Briteskies Delivers WebSphere Commerce Solution for B2B Application

As the technology world continues to increase in complexity, some companies have opted to offer a simplified product that appeals to key markets. Playaway, based in Solon, Ohio, is one such company. A division of Findaway World, Playaway has created the first preloaded, digital audiobook that comes with its own earphones and batteries. These pocket-sized, easy to use devices are being purchased and utilized by libraries, schools, hospitals and the military throughout North America.  Since the company’s inception in 2005, Playaway has experienced considerable growth, especially within the library sector and the military. By the end of 2008, over one million Playaway devices had been sold. To support the expanding business, the Playaway team decided to redesign their website so that ordering Playaway devices would be as easy as playing them. The Challenge: Develop a full featured eCommerce solution to support future business growth and opportunities. For several years, Playaway had been using a custom developed eCommerce platform with limited functionality. To help promote its business-to-business initiative, the company decided to replace the existing eCommerce website with one that would support Playaway’s long-term business growth while meeting its online marketing demands. After several months of strategic planning, Playaway contacted Briteskies, a trusted IT consulting firm with deep local IBM WebSphere Commerce experience and knowledge of comparable open source solutions. Our team was equipped to handle development challenges that proved to be roadblocks for other eCommerce companies. The Solution: IBM WebSphere Commerce, Enterprise Edition, Version 7.0: advanced capabilities and improved design. Our team helped Playaway select the newly released WebSphere Commerce Enterprise Edition, Version 7.0 as the ideal platform to meet the company’s needs. The Briteskies team was...

Project Leadership Blog Part 1 – Testing

How do you know that the software product released into production is virtually defect-free? The one-word answer is simple, but definitely not easy: “testing”. Testing is often the single most overlooked aspect of a project. One of the most well known facts about software defects is that the longer they go undiscovered, the more expensive they are to fix when discovered. Testing allows for the identification of issues and defects before implementation. General Rule The cost of correcting a software defect grows exponentially for each downstream phase of the development lifecycle in which it remains undiscovered. A simple ratio to consider is 1:10:100. If a defect costs one unit (hour or dollar) to correct in the Define and Design phases, it costs approximately 10 units to fix in the Development and Testing phases, and over 100 times to fix in production, after the Deploy phase. Increasing Cost of Defect Correction – Based on Historic Data The preceding diagram describes in more detail the relative cost of a defect at different times in the life cycle of a software project, based on historic data. Initially, the cost of fixing a defect at the Requirements stage, when everything is on paper only is somewhat irrelevant. However, as the project moves along in its life cycle the cost of fixing a defect increases exponentially. At the initial Requirements stage, when a defect is no more than a change in thought, the relative cost is times 1. During Design phase, the relative cost is times 5 what it was when compared to the Requirements phase, and then times 10 what it was when...

Bay Furnace Website Redesign

As a well-established business, Bay Furnace recognized the need to refresh its website to include easy content management as well as functionality which would allow customers to send inquiries or request information. After only two weeks, Briteskies was able to provide Bay Furnace with a revamped WordPress site that allowed them to manage their own content and stay in constant contact with customers. View the full Bay Furnace case...

What Is A Graphic Designer?

Two people at a party meet and introduce themselves as Graphic Designers. At first glance, you would assume their line of work would be the same; art, form, line, color, etc. Yet the more they reveal about their profession, the more you realize they are speaking different languages. The first Designer uses terms like typesetting, pantone colors, identity and bleed. The second speaks of content management systems, image optimization and user centric design. Today’s digital media has created a broad spectrum for Graphic Designers enabling them each to claim their own niche in the design world. This is my attempt at sorting out the different areas of Graphic Design and how they relate to one another. Definition The Bureau of Labor Statistics simply defines a Graphic Designer as someone who will plan, analyze, and create visual solutions to communication problems. The media used dictates what type of Graphic Designer is best suited for the job. The following organizational chart will help you visualize the general areas of graphic design while also highlighting Briteskies’ areas of expertise.   Illustration Illustration is a broad category that including services such as t-shirt design, typography, informational graphics, painting and drawing. Within the area of Illustration, some artists specialize in Identity and Branding projects. This can include anything from a logo redesign for a growing company to bottle label design for a new brand of wine. Others, in the area of Illustration specialize in Typesetting. These designers know the ins and outs of print material such as newspapers, magazines and brochures. The intended output for most of these projects is different print material. Frequent...