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Taking the Exam for Certification in the The Open Group Architecture Framework TOGAF

April 25, 2012

Team,

I took the TOGAF 9.1 exam 1 & 2 on 4/23 & 4/24/2012. I passed both exams and wanted to share the resources that helped me to create a successful study plan.

In my opinion the foundation test is a lot more challenging than the certification test. I believe this is because this due to the multiple choice questions requiring specific definitions, while the certification is all scenario based.

Prior to the class review the video material on YouTube from this provider, it preps you for the terms you may hear and got me warmed up. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3M4NKwoaLk4 Or Google for ‘Knotion TOGAF’, there are ten, nine min videos that provide a solid introduction.

During the course ask for specific examples of all terms and models used. If possible ask for a white paper write up. This is really helpful because the TOGAF material is very ‘meta’ it describes an empty box, it’s useful to conceptually understand what the full box looks like.

During the class ask questions and think about the internal company processes, products, tools etc. they apply to. If possible ask the instructor about them so that it makes sense.

Steps taken to review for the test:

           Understand what’s on the tests 1 Foundation & 2 Certification

o   http://www.opengroup.org/togaf9/cert/docs/indiv.tpl

           Read and outline the Study Guide 1 & 2 (allow 2-3 weeks) I wrote, then typed and finally drew all the major diagrams from memory, trust that you’ll need to be able to do this when you sit for the test.

o   
https://www.google.com/search?sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8&q=togaf+pocket+guide#hl=en&gs_nf=1&gs_mss=togaf%20studyguide&tok=QM6sliFGBy81rbjajFqOeg&pq=togaf%20pocket%20guide&cp=12&gs_id=w&xhr=t&q=togaf+study+guide&pf=p&sclient=psy-ab&oq=togaf+study+guide&aq=0&aqi=g4&aql=&gs_l=&pbx=1&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.,cf.osb&fp=cd009d88b87c88c0&biw=1440&bih=772

1-2 Weeks prior to the exam, take the sample tests here, be sure to review the chapters you miss questions on:

           These tests are not official but provide good review (Foundation):

o   
https://www.google.com/search?sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8&q=togaf+pocket+guide#sclient=psy-ab&hl=en&q=togaf+tests&oq=togaf+tests&aq=f&aqi=g-v1g-b2g-q1&aql=&gs_nf=1&gs_l=serp.3..0i15j0i8l2j0i22.73233.74196.2.74331.5.4.0.1.1.0.154.309.3j1.5.0.eKKv8PUmInk&pbx=1&tbo=1&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.,cf.osb&fp=cd009d88b87c88c0&biw=1440&bih=772

           This a sample scenario question (Certification):

o   https://www.google.com/search?sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8&q=togaf+pocket+guide#sclient=psy-ab&hl=en&q=togaf+tests&oq=togaf+tests&aq=f&aqi=g-v1g-b2g-q1&aql=&gs_nf=1&gs_l=serp.3..0i15j0i8l2j0i22.73233.74196.2.74331.5.4.0.1.1.0.154.309.3j1.5.0.eKKv8PUmInk&pbx=1&tbo=1&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.,cf.osb&fp=cd009d88b87c88c0&biw=1440&bih=772

           The official TOGAF sanctioned test (Foundation & Certification) is found in the study guide

1 Week prior to exam: Review the pocket guide here:

           https://www.google.com/search?sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8&q=togaf+pocket+guide#hl=en&gs_nf=1&gs_mss=togaf%20poc&tok=QM6sliFGBy81rbjajFqOeg&pq=togaf%20tests&cp=13&gs_id=3l&xhr=t&q=togaf+pocket+guide&pf=p&sclient=psy-ab&tbo=1&oq=togaf+pocket+&aq=0&aqi=g2g-v2&aql=&gs_l=&pbx=1&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.,cf.osb&fp=cd009d88b87c88c0&biw=1440&bih=772

2- Days prior to exam have someone quiz you using this power point:

1 – Day prior review the pocket guide:

Feel free to contact me with any questions

Mobile Outlook 2011

February 21, 2011

I was reading the GigaOm article on 2011 mobile and. It hit on some really important points that I think anyone who is in the enterprise application domain should be aware of.

  • Expect new policies that police network congestion and offload data to alternative networks such as Wi-Fi and FemtoCells.
    • Perhaps companies should consider installing both of these as cost saving measures?
  • Privacy concerns will finally be centerstage and more issues will arise with mobile data location services along with this comes new worries about spyware and virus attacks on mobile handsets.
    • Does your virus/security software provider cover mobile handsets and all platforms available? With the growing proliferations of applications available on handsets how do you manage your infrastructure?
  • More and more the Internet is becoming a place for things, not just computers and phones. The machine to machine market is increasingly viable and as a result we can only expect more products that transform platforms.
    • are you ready for the next change?

There are still areas of deelopment as well..

  • what outcomes will mobile advertising drive, by and large dumb phones are still the bread-and-butter of the cell phone market
  • Increasingly specific technologies are being adopted by consumers and pushed by businesses. Think about mapping applications that allow you to see virtual “tags” or Mobile wallet solutions that allow for quick payments.
  • Consumers still get most of there equipment from carriers, and carriers have the largest market presence with the exception of Apple only the major carriers have a large physical presence.

All of these could play differently in specific business models from the corner store to the small software seller mobile will have an impact in 2011 what will it be for you?

How does the US Digital year in review impact you?

February 18, 2011

Based on the research provided by ComScore in its US Digital year in review publication there’s lots of interesting trends that businesses should take into consideration.

Facebook continues to utterly dominate the social networking industry in fact it consumes more of a US is user time than any other site. This means that sites like Google and Yahoo no longer command the lead and in what is sure to be a hotly contested battle audience size, frequency of usage, and page views speak to Facebook’s ability to reach users.

When it comes to numbers however some interesting trends emerge. (See the graph below)

It’s pretty clear with Google’s $28 billion in ad revenue that Facebook has a bit of a revenue shortfall in comparison. Giga-OM has an interesting thought on why that might be it appears that companies like Zynga and Groupon are more effective for acquiring new customers. It appears that Facebook is not commanding a high price for its ad’s. What’s more Giga-OM theorizes that communication based platforms are less effective than content based. This makes sense because when you start to look at works in the off-line world we don’t have advertisements on our phone calls we do in her magazines. One way to fight this is an increase in the lead content that Facebook provides, this would create an opportunity for users to spend more time with content and less time just communicating. Google has managed to accomplish this with their YouTube franchise where a few years ago you would never see an ad today you are regularly shown Ad‘s.

  • This year watch for a change in communication as the Facebook messaging platform gets fully underway with e-mail usage we may see a shift to this type of communication.
  • Look for a renewed focus on engagement measurement by this marketing organizations are being asked for specific objectives like awareness or intent, there will be munificence devise to measure how this is accomplished
  • e-commerce isn’t going anywhere with giants like Google Amazon and newcomers like Apple there will surely be a battlefield in 2011

Information Architecture and Business Models its not just for the Enterprise

February 14, 2011

As organizations continue to adapt to the changing technology landscape they are faced with many new decisions. The change in information architecture and business architecture is very similar to what’s happening in libraries around the world. Gone are the days of physical books stacked on shelves, microfiche is a thing of the past, and the Digital and multimedia offerings have expanded vastly. The ability of libraries to deal with the new reality of information sharing is very similar to what businesses have to deal with today.

Businesses large and small are now faced with decisions about in sourcing outsourcing and resourcing. the frameworks commonly available to help them think about how to design a business architecture are often incomplete and overly cumbersome. Most of the current enterprise architecture frameworks are designed for large enterprises national governments or specific lines of business. This leaves them largely incomplete and incomprehensible for most business owners.

the goal of any business architecture is below:

  • a focus on value delivery not just analysis, what makes the most sense to stakeholders involved thinking about sales operation marketing finance etc
  • a complete view of the business meeting business environment external and internal, business strategy, capabilities, operations and organizational culture
  • the business orientation describing the business fully in common business charts this is often a business service map of some type
  • having a clear outcome for designing a business architecture this means using terminology and relationships to help dry out simplicity in common business functions
  • finally with any model having practical meaningful examples is very important, being able to demonstrate how all and architecture can change the way a business functions

Taking a look broadly at the enterprise architecture frameworks available today there are four major models being used.

  1. The Open Group Architecture Framework (TOGAF)
  2. United States Government’s Business Reference Model (BRM)
  3. MIT Sloan School’s Center for Information Systems Research (CISR)
  4. Canadian Government’s Business Transformation Enablement Program (BTEP)

The very idea of business architecture is still newly minted in today information organizations. IT managers and business architects should expect changes from every direction including consultants, standard bodies, user communities, and vendors. As with any new developing idea focus should be given to the business value achieved. Today business architecture is focused on the correct model, that doesn’t mean much to the CXO trying to determine the most capable business execution strategy and the associated CIO who get to execute.

To that degree there are other frame works worth reviewing although not as fully though out they offer signf

  • The Business Motivation Model (BMM) provides an excellent model for describing the complete strategy landscape. The strategy component definitional work is excellent and provides a sound basis for establishing a standard vocabulary.
  • IBM has published a detailed paper on its view of capability maps, the Business Component Model (BCM) it also provides a good discussion of capability maps.
  • Motion Lite is a Microsoft methodology for applying a simplistic view of capabilities to prioritize the project portfolio. It provides a high-level view of the process, including examples of interim deliverables.

The present state is very fractured so choose carefully and consider a combination..

Questions to answer when determining your platform as a service provider (PaaS)

January 24, 2011

If your reading this I am sure your somewhat familiar with Service and Infrastructure offerings. In this post I take a look at what features and functions to look for in a platform. Think of the selection as similar to choosing the operating system for your next smart phone.

When considering the options in helps to condense your decision making factors.

  1. Extent of useable feature set (things that your organizational will want to do)- PaaS products fall into 2 general categories those designed to satisfy specific development scenarios. On the other hand there are others are designed as general-purpose development environments that compete with popular Java, .NET, and scripting platforms.
  2. Application Purpose – Some PaaS platforms are designed for content-oriented applications, while others are designed for transactional business applications. How will your application or service be used, is the platform selection designed for you?
  3. Programming Language – Some of the PaaS environments are designed for programmers who work in Java, C#, or similar third-generation languages , while others use dynamic scripting languages such as PHP, Python, and Rails. Some PaaS products provide visual tools appropriate for developers who are used to working in Visual Studio and other fourth-generation language environments, and others provide tools non technical business analysts.

What to review prior to making a platform choice

  • What kind of database services does the organization need? (platform provide)
  • What kind of application logic would you want to build or configure with the platform? ( I think the tree planting)
  • What kinds of development tools does the platform provide?
  • Does the platform allow on-premise deployment?
  • Does the platform provide application authentication?
  • Does the platform provide a detailed billing service for application usage?

There is of course one other option if you find that PaaS doesn’t meet your needs. Infrastructure-as-a-service vendors provide developers with access to virtual machines, storage, and network capacity, and most use a subscription-based billing model to charge developers based on the resources they consume. In most IaaS offerings, APIs exist but no programming model, lack of a development environment, and only basic application administration. Some common examples are below

  • The regaining vendor is Amazon Web Services. Amazon Web Services (AWS) includes the Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2), Simple Storage Service (S3), and Simple DB. These services are widely used by development groups creating custom “cloud” applications and by PaaS providers that don’t want to build and run their own data centers.
  • For those creating slick web 2.0 “shiny” web applications, Engine Yard is a hosting environment for Ruby on Rails applications. Engine Yard is a startup that provides “cloud,” managed hosting, and on-premise deployment options for applications built using the Ruby language and either the Rails or the Merb framework. The “cloud” options are subscription-based “slices” of Ruby on Rails clusters, with additional options for dedicated cluster resources; the on-premise option is a locally installed software image.
  • Want to implement a completely custom build check out IT Structures today runs a variety of applications, ranging from Zimbra’s office applications to Cisco’s IronPort and to SAP Business Suite 6.0. IT Structures’ value arises from a proprietary software layer that adapts existing applications to run in its Internet data center, including provisioning, WAN-latency compensation, usage and operations analytics, and backup and recovery.
  • Want to have both internal and external infrastructure options Joyent provides infrastructure and support for all the major frameworks. Their offering provides hosted infrastructure that developers and PaaS platforms can use to host their applications and provides built-in support for Ruby on Rails, PHP, Python, and Java applications. A secure option for virtual local area networks (VLANs). The offering can be be deployed in customer data centers. Joyent’s ability to easily bridge on-premise data centers and its own Internet data center lets customers create hybrid environments that use both.

Lots of choices.

How will SaaS affect your market? 5 Points to Ponder & Prosper!

January 21, 2011

SaaS will bring changes to many application, markets, services, and offerings. In this article I take a look at who will be impacted most.

First some thoughts on applications that, can prove difficult to move to SaaS:

  1. Industry based process specific applications
    1. Financials as accounting and financial reporting
    2. banking or securities transaction systems
    3. Utilities customer information systems
    4. Insurance claims management and underwriting systems
    5. Hospital management systems
  2. operating, database management systems
  3. Software for managing internal IT operations (such as job scheduling or change and configuration management) or internal data (extract, transformation, and loading tools; predictive analytics and data mining; or customer data management)

Next: areas that are beginning to erode: Companies that have large investments in Legacy “software” from vendors have applications that manage and follow processes. Supply chain management, product life-cycle management, Procurement in purchasing products, asset management, manufacturing materials management, electronic design automation, financial management, or human resource management. I would expect to see 30% growth in this segment over the next 3 years; however the lack of integration will continue to be an issue here, as companies are not willing to let data outside of the firewall.

Successful, SaaS inroads have been made SaaS, is unseating licensed software vendors is sales force automation and CRM applications, salesforce.com has captured market share from licensed software vendors like Oracle, SAP, Microsoft and others. Other areas include: Human Resources, governance, risk, and compliance, application development, Payments & Risk Management, security products like identity management and security operations or IT management products like server management, service desk, and IT asset management

SaaS is the emerging standard in other application market areas:

  • Content management document management, blogging, and wikis
  • Purchasing applications for electronic invoice presentment and payment (EIPP), Sourcing, and automated spend analysis
  • Travel & entertainment (T&E) expense reporting
  • Time & attendance tracking products as SaaS solutions

SaaS is the dominant model in

  • Web conferencing
  • Services procurement, supplier risk and performance management, and supplier network services in the ePurchasing market
  • Talent management, compensation management, and recruitment management in human resource management systems (HRMS)
  • Application security
  • Global trade management

What does this mean for your every day run of the mill software vendor?

  1. Most vendors have taken a singular approach either “all-SaaS” or “no-SaaS” stance on the offering. Large software vendors position that SaaS has only limited relevance. Small vendors are trying to offer both licensed, on-premises solutions for some clients and SaaS for others. Both of these views are inaccurate looking at the data to support, 45% of 2010 software revenues, where in fact SaaS for the next three years at least will have little or no role. While that still leaves more than half the software market in which SaaS will compete with (or complement) licensed software, in most cases, SaaS will grow into a minority position or is already headed for dominance.
  2. As a software vendor focus on products with low barriers, You can overcome the SaaS challenges of integration, security, customization, and migration from existing systems, those are barriers of perception rather than reality. If you already carved out a leading role in a product category where these challenges exist, it may be worth the effort to overcome these barriers to expand SaaS’ share. However for a SaaS vendor looking for other products to go after, it is much more cost-effective to focus on products where those barriers are low.
  3. Legacy or incumbent licensed software vendors have more decisions and more complexity involved with selecting a SaaS offerings. For instance there is no reason for a major enterprise supply chain or vertical industry application vendor to replicate their produ. After two or three years, what started as a single product will become in effect two (or more) products requiring their own development and support teams.ct portfolio on a SaaS. Because there is a SaaS vendor like NetSuite offering a SaaS counterpart.
  4. Each company should have a product portfolio and profitability approach to decide where to offer licensed vs. SaaS.
  5. Vendors with licensed software products are starting to offer SaaS as an alternative. This is not a good idea vendors need to understand the longer-term challenges of maintaining two products that will quickly be on two development tracks and cycles. The SaaS product lends itself to frequent, incremental updates and enhancements. However the licensed product will have longer version releases. It is better in my view to have purely licensed software offerings for some products and purely SaaS for others, rather than trying to support both versions for one product.

4 Thoughts for SaaS Partner Enablement

January 17, 2011

When thinking about the way that companies go to market with a SaaS offerings via partners and 3rd party provider channels there are several items that come to mind. Finding the answers to these questions really helps to support the healthy growth and partnership.

  • Have you identified the supporting business model and marketing education for your SaaS offering?
    • Many channel marketers will need shift some of their product and sales training & certification resources to business model and marketing ‘enablement’ are they willing to make this investment in staff
  • Do you have existing partner networks and communication?
    • Social networks like Yammer or Ning that go beyond online user forums are a great idea.  Collaboration with channel partner companies, works best with partners when they are able to see  project lifecycles, share common service challenges, and understand winning platform themes and capabilities that service each vertical/ industry. (BaseCamp, SharePoint and Others)
  • Have you considered common online and offline marketing and interactive design offerings?
    • Often partners lack the resources to produce a capable brand and message statement.  Marketing brand and design is a service most SaaS providers provide as a service for there partners. This helps to keep the brand consistent while serving the dual purpose of understanding strategic partner value.
  • Do you have a plan for “pushing” interactive and print marketing content?  Content sharing represents a marketers shovel as partners get brand and message consistency pushed to them. Content sharing via marketing tools from vendors include Marketto, Eloqua, Marketing Advocate, TreeHouse Interactive, WebCollage, and Ethofy.

More to come

-sco

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