Category Archives: Services

Calendar 20-20

Here is an opening for a conversation. Calendar 20-20 is the name we have given to a new calendar project we are working on at TRI this month. We have used the calendar in Outlook for more than a decade and we have used the Google calendar for almost as long. These calendars are only moderately adequate. Here is a short requirements list of things we feel are missing from our Outlook or Google calendar. We intend to fix that problem.

  • Associate calendar entries to a project
  • Associate calendar entries to a client, associate or contact
  • Associate calendar entries to an employee or group member
  • Associate calendar entries to a task
  • Permit drag and drop editing
  • Grouping calendar entries by task within project, within client or contact within employee
  • Manage projects better by allowing all the tasks associated with a project to be rescheduled or cancelled as the project changes state
  • Prioritizing calendar entries
  • Adding comments to calendar entries
  • Add activities or requirements to calendar entries
  • Allow clients to see and/or manage calendar entries specific to them on the web
  • Allow employees to see and/or manage calendar entries specific to them on the web
  • Allow supervisors to review calendar entries for all employees
  • and clients Although Calendar 20-20 will replace the need to use the Outlook calendar, for those who wish, Calendar 20-20 can be downloaded and overlaid on top of an Outlook calendar.
  • Print or display calendars in special report formats
    • Listings by task by date
    • Listings by client and include tasks and dates
    • Listing by employee and include clients, tasks and dates
    • Daily task list for employees and supervisors
    • Special Monthly or Weekly calendars with avatars depicting employees, projects, clients and tasks
  • Interactive day view that allows a supervisor or employee to better manage a client

If you agree that we need to bring calendaring into the new millennium, please drop us a line and let us know what we are missing. How can a calendar be improved to help YOU in your business? Let us know!

Posted in Scheduling, Services, Technology. Tagged with .

Cloud Computing

What is it about the cloud? Why are we drawn to it? How do we use it? Is it good for us? Is it secure? Who can see it? What can we do with it, in it? Can we trust it?

Everyone is asking these questions. Why? Because the cloud offers some capabilities and features not possible within the confines of your own computer, network or workplace.

It offers scalability. That is, it can grow as big as you want. It can be comprised of hundreds of computers all working in harmony to delivery the power and information needed at any given time. It offers fault tolerance. That means that if one computer in the cloud breaks down, another computer in the cloud takes its place instantly. It offers global availability. Because it is in the cloud, you can reach it no matter where you are as long as you can connect to the Internet.

Here are some straight answers for you to consider when moving to the cloud. The cloud is a network of computers in unnamed locations around the world that have computing power and data storage and are interconnected via the Internet. These computers provide fault tolerant services because they are always watching out for themselves and take immediate action if a problem arises. That’s a good thing.

One of the concerns is the cloud might be a couple of computers in a dusty data center in Mexico City or an enormous datacenter in Virginia or a combination of datacenter’s around the world. You don’t really know. The computers might be connected to a single pair of copper wires or tied to the backbone of the Internet by multiple fiber connections. The computers might be protected by a power supply with a 30 minute life cycle if power goes out or it might be connected to million watt auto-fail-over generators that will last for 30 days without interruption. So the cloud can mean different things to different people. Lesson number one: you need to know where your cloud is located. You need to know what your cloud is made of. You need to know how your cloud is protected and you need to know how your cloud is connected.

Computers connect to the Internet and are generally protected by a firewall. The firewall watches over the connections to the computer from the outside world. It does that by watching the connections to certain ports (windows) into certain IP addresses. The firewall blocks unwanted access and permits approved access. Lesson number two: you need to know the capabilities of the firewall and how it secures your data.

The Internet is not a safe and secure place. Communication across the Internet occurs in packets of information. These packets are created by the sending computer transmitting information. These packets are received and assembled by the receiving computer. Anyone tapping into the connection between the sending and receiving computer can look at these packets. One question would be why. If the information is sensitive, that might be the answer. So in those cases, the packets need to be encrypted so even if the packets are captured, they are unintelligible. Lesson Number three: Be aware of the encryption used if any.

Harnessing the power of the cloud can be as simple as signing up for a Google account and using their cloud features of docs, email, groups, calendar, video and more or it can be a daunting task of configuring particular server instance on the Amazon EC2 backbone or arranging for fault tolerant blade servers in a hosted datacenter with custom fail-over protection. Lesson Number four: Have a clear idea of what you need before you move to the cloud.

If you are considering using the cloud or would like to know how it might benefit your organization, reach out to us at TRI. We understand how the cloud works and can help you venture safely into the cloud.

Posted in security issue, Services, Technology, travelling. Tagged with , , , .

Introducing WhiteboardMobile℠!!!

For years, we have been converting whiteboards to custom software applications.  Why? Because whiteboards are inefficient, ineffective, limited, available only when on site, prone to unintended erasure and generally ugly.  So it is our clients who have asked us to create software to eliminate the use of their whiteboard by creating something that is available at every workstation or remotely through a web site or remote access. 

Our latest project WhiteboardMobile provides our clients a custom Headline News whiteboard that is available to their intra-company subscribers (employees, salespeople, field workers, vendors, or even customers) which can be viewed on PC or mobile. It allows our clients to send alerts to the whiteboard simply by sending an email to with the headline as the subject and the message the body of the email.  Based on the senders email address, the news headline (almost like a tweet on Twitter) will automatically appear for all company subscribers to read no matter where in the world they happen to be.  Each subscriber authorized to publish headlines will have an avatar (picture or icon) which will identify the source.  You can set this web site as the default site in your browser.  You can also schedule the loading of the WhiteboardMobileperiodically so that you can be assured your staff is reviewing it frequently.  Need to let everyone know of an important visitor?  Post it to WhiteboardMobile.  Need to alert staff about an upcoming construction project?  Post it to WhiteboardMobile.  

When you (as a subscriber) login to WhiteboardMobilewith your security code WhiteboardMobileremembers the headlines you have read and displays those that you have not at the top of the list so you know you won’t miss out on important news.

For more information, email


Posted in Services.