Business Truth!


Discovered Tom Fishburne’s website the other night. (I now see that he has been drawing since 2002!)

Tom is a cartoonist who draws cartoons that focus on business, and marketing. What first caught my attention was this cartoon:

If you don’t know about Tom Fishburne, you can read about him here.

He did a presentation called “Innovation: Lessons from Cartooning“. Really good to watch (although the camera work is a bit shaky).

If you haven’t seen it already – check out his site:

(I wish I had discovered him earlier! This guy really captures Business!)

  • “Growth Hackers” cartoon | Tom Fishburne: Marketoonist
  • Join me laughing at the mistakes made by marketers and advertisers!
  • “Pinterest Marketing” Cartoon
  • Latest Post by Tom Fishburne

Tom Fishburne – Cartooning & Innovation

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1st collector for Tom Fishburne – Cartooning & Innovation
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SharePoint 2010 Training/Certification – A comparison of the Microsoft & AIIM offerings

It’s always useful to have certification from a recognized “authority”. It gives you the ability to transfer your skills & experience into something quantifiable. (However, certification on its own, without some real-world scars, should be, in my opinion, considered as just an “intention” to learn more).

I’ve been working in the world of Document/Content Management for quite a few years now  and have worked with many document management, content publishing, search, static content storage, e-mail archiving, etc, applications from different vendors (PCDocs, Tower Software, FileNet, Documentum)

Then a new kid arrived on the block (SharePoint). Fortunately I was given a fantastic opportunity to work with this product in a few large, international, projects. The longest one took over two years, and definitely gave me some scars.

So I did the next logical thing and got my Microsoft certification for SharePoint 2007. Now that SharePoint 2010 is here, I’d like to get some meaningful certification for that.

My first instinct was to see what was required for the Microsoft certificate for SharePoint 2010. But I was also aware that AIIM had their own SharePoint 2010 training course/certification offering so I took a look at that.

It looked good, but I was curious how it stacked up against the Microsoft certification.

I made a list of comparison items and created a mind map (using Mind Manager)

Note – I’ve created an interactive flash file of this mind map. This can be viewed and downloaded from here.


Below, I give an overview of the two offerings:

AIIM SharePoint Certification

AIIM has three different levels of SharePoint certification – SharePoint Practitioner, SharePoint Specialist, and SharePoint Master. Each build on the previous.It was developed based on the requirements of 37 international companies. For a list of the companies refer to the Master Class Info Sheet (see Reference Links at the end of this post)

Each certification is accompanied by a corresponding training course

  • SharePoint Practitioner – covers concepts and technologies for SharePoint.
  • SharePoint Specialist – covers global best practices for implementing SharePoint and
    complementary solutions. Accomplishment of the Practitioner certificate is a prerequisite.
  • SharePoint Master – As well as the previous two levels of certification, the SharePoint Master level requires planning, designing and implementing a SharePoint project.

The AIIM certification is aimed at the Business Managers, IT Managers, Compliance Officers, Risk Managers, Records Management Professionals, as well as for solution integrators and providers, sales consultants, project managers, and technical staff.

Microsoft SharePoint Certification

Microsoft has four levels of certification – MCTS (Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist), Microsoft Professional (MCITP and MCDP), MCM (Microsoft Certified Master), and MCA (Microsoft Certified Architect. Each level builds on the previous one.

  • MCTS (Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist) – highlights area of expertise and helps validate the knowledge and skills working with an enterprise Office SharePoint Server environment
  • Microsoft Certified Professional – helps demonstrate the ability to use Microsoft SharePoint 2010 to excel in a specific, market-relevant job role.
  • Microsoft Certified Master (MCM) – This is more extensive with whiteboard discussions, demonstrations, and goal-based labs.
  • Microsoft Certified Architect – involves an interview with the MCA Review Board

The Microsoft certificates are aimed at people working with SharePoint either as Administrators, or as Developers.

My take on the two Certificates

The Microsoft offerings, are world-recognized (for good or bad). They are quite in-depth, and there is a plethora of training support material, as well as a large community of Microsoft certified people. It is very technical, and gives a person a great opportunity to get down to the “nuts and bolts” level of the technology, as well as the architecture level.

The AIIM training and certification, is not quite so technical, and focuses more on the use of SharePoint in the business, as well as industry best practices. It is also not quite so well-known as the Microsoft Certification. This may be considered a disadvantage, but at the same time, it may also be seen as an advantage. (Thanks to a deluge of paper-only “certified MS” people, the Microsoft certification lost a bit of credibility for awhile there – something that Microsoft have worked on/are working on to rectify.)

So – different courses for different horses. For a side-by-side comparison of the two, have a look at the mind map that I put together (

Reference Material

Microsoft SharePoint Server Certifications

AIIM SharePoint Certification Program

Discussion on the “value” of AIIM certification (from LinkedIn group)

Unique SharePoint Training Program to Focus on Practical Reality of SharePoint






Act like you're in a Bar with Twitter

Image via Wikipedia

Steven Van Belleghem wrote a post the other day on the SocialMediaToday blog that is really on the mark.

In it he describes a typical bar scenario. People talking in groups about all sorts of things. The topics change frequently, and every now and then one particular subject of discussion goes through the whole bar.

And like any bar, there is usually a diverse bunch of people.

At one end of the spectrum, there are the regulars at the bar, are those people who are seen frequently, and have something useful, or interesting to offer to the conversation. They easily move between groups.

Then there are the people who come in trying to sell you something. When you are having a nice drink, and are chatting with friends, getting disturbed by these people is never nice.

And then, there are the people who stroll into the bar every three months or so, and just try to promote themselves. Then they are gone.

Anyway – really recommend reading Steven’s post: When on Twitter, Act Like You’re in a Bar

Steven Van Belleghem
  • When on Twitter, Act Like You’re in a Bar (
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Calculated columns in SharePoint

Investigating an interesting, and unexpected, result from indexing a calculated column in SharePoint at the moment.

My research led me to a Microsoft site with examples of formulas used in Calculated columns.

The link to the site is:

  • Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 Business Intelligence Insights Training (
  • A Tips Spreadsheet for SharePoint Columns (
  • SharePoint: On Premises and in the Cloud (
  • AIIM White Paper on SharePoint Deployment (

Understand the two different faces of search

Here’s a great post that discusses two different search “goals”

Understand the two different faces of search: exploratory search and focalized search (eDiscovery & Information Management)

Killa Hertz & The Case of the Missing Documents – Part 7

An ECM Detective story - Killa Hertz and the case of the Missing Documents

… continued from Part 6  —  [Other Episodes]

Killa Hertz’ friend Mike Budrewski had analysed the logs and had determined that there was a Java memory error. Killa was investigating further.


Killa Hertz & The Case of the Missing Documents – Part 7

“Trudy – I need to look at the web server.”

Trudy looked up with a puppy dog look in her eyes. She quickly opened up a new remote session and logged me onto the web server.

“OK”, I said to myself, “somehow this thing is throwing a memory error.” I fired up the task manager. The thing was using a little more memory than normal, but it looked OK.

Suddenly my mobile phone rang. Trudy jumped. The girl was skittery.

I answered the phone and heard Mike’s voice. “Killa, I was able to find some documentation about this eResults application. There’s nothing explicit about the error, but it clearly states  that it requires 2Gigabytes RAM. How much is that thing running?” “1 gig” I replied. I was happy. It looked like an open and  closed case.

At the same time, I was annoyed. Why the hell was a law firm skimping on things like memory?

I looked over at Trudy – she was busy staring at numbers in a spreadsheet. “Trudy – this server doesn’t have enough memory. What you can you do to get another gig installed?”. She looked up. She wrinkled her nose, and trundled her chair next to mine. Her perfume was clearly set on “Kill” this morning..

“Umm, let’s have a look.” The web service server was a virtual one. That meant that, in principle, it should be easy to increase the memory. “Yes,” she said, in that excited voice of hers. “However, I’ll have to let the boss know. We’ll probably need to take the server off-line.” I went and grabbed a coffee while she called her boss.

After 5 minutes, she came into the coffee room. “Sure thing Killa, we can do it tonight.” I put down my cup. “Trudy – how long does it take to crawl all the documents in the docbase?” “Well…” she started. “The last time we did it, it took about a week.”

Suddenly, I had the urge to be sitting on a stool at O’Learys with a glass of Jack.

“A week is a long time to see if this is going to work.” Even though I was getting paid by the day, there were still limits.

“Let’s see if we can split up the load.” Trudy’s eyes opened wide. She was a good kid.

“Look – you’ve got over 800,000 documents in there. We’ll split up the documents into smaller groups. Then we start a crawl on each group of documents. If this memory increase doesn’t help, and a crawl doesn’t work properly, then it doesn’t mean we have to recrawl all the documents.”

An ECM Detective story - Killa Hertz and the case of the Missing Documents

Trudy ran over to her desk and grabbed a pad of paper (it had roses in the corner of each pad) and a pen. “Let me get this down,” she said.

“Ok Trudy, let me show you what needs to be done.”

to be continued…

Part 8


Recommended Content on Amazon

Captain Kirk is killing Innovation

Through one means or another (I think I saw a Tweet about it). I “discovered” a presentation on Innovation. It was given by Scott Berkun at the Carnegie Mellon University.

I was really inspired by Berkun’s presentation. I watched it once, and then again, and then tried to make notes of what he was saying during the presentation.

Berkun talks about how much of what we know about innovation is wrong as he explored the history of innovation and creative thinking.

The notes I took take up eight pages. These are available via the links below. However, in a nutshell, Berkun points out that innovation is not some magical thing that just happens. It requires a lot of hard work, and a lot of failure. Often when we look at someone/something successful, we don’t see the work that was put in to get to that point.

Berkun gives many examples of people famous in history for their discoveries, and points out that it is the “mythology” surrounding that discovery that we actually remember without being aware of the hours put in to get to that it. Two examples he gives are Newton who is remembered for discovering gravity when he got hit on the head by an apple, Archimedes who cried Eureka! when he was in the bath.

He goes onto to illustrate how failure is also a part of innovation. The Colloseum in Rome is lauded as being an amazing piece of architecture, and shows what great builders the Roman’s were. However, we don’t get to see the attempts that failed. They don’t exist any more. We just have remaining the attempt that was successful. There are several modern examples also that include Google, Apple, Flickr.

At one point in the presentation, Berkun claims that James T Kirk is responsible for killing innovation. Why? Because, James T Kirk is the only modern day icon for exploration that we have today. The main story of exploration that is widely known is that of Captain Kirk, and the Enterprise and it’s ongoing mission to seek out new life, etc, etc.

The problem with this is that within the first few opening minutes of the program Star Trek, a new planet has been discovered. And then with the next few minutes, something exciting has happened. And so it goes on. We don’t get to see the boring bits. We don’t get to see the time spent just trying to find a new planet. And this is what happens a lot in real life . A new “discovery” is being made. There is a lot of excitement, and then…nothing. This is because it usually takes years, and years, and years before the new discovery is something useful, viable, or commercially profitable.

As I mentioned, Scott Berkun’s presentation really caught my attention. He had a very dynamic way of presenting this information. I recommend you follow the links below to learn more.

My Notes from Berkun’s presentation

Scott Berkun’s presentation on YouTube

Scott Berkun’s Homepage.

  • O’Reilly Releases “The Myths of Innovation” in Paperback (
  • Assumptions About Innovation And Greatness (
  • Be innovative, but don’t use that word (
  • The Myths of Innovation (
  • Technical writers and public speaking (