Monthly Archives: December 2014

2015 R&D Agenda

2015 is set to be very industrious for my Research and Development Team.

On the development side we have ambitious plans for a substantial amount of distributed, cloud based automation and integration. It’s exciting but at the same time a little frustrating as so much of the code will have to be written as opposed to being available in existing libraries. Our first distributed, cloud platform, Synthesis, has lived up to expectations and delivered cost and time savings, scalability and reliability. The new event and action rules engine will provide powerful and flexible real-time configuration. This has set a high bar for the new systems but I am optimistic and enthusiastic to get started.

From a research perspective, in addition to a targeted project with the new ADAPT Centre, we will kick off a European Commission Horizon 2020 project code named “FREME” (Open Framework of E-Services for Multilingual and Semantic Enrichment of Digital Content). This is an exciting opportunity to work again with the Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Künstliche Intelligenz (DFKI), the Instituts für Angewandte Informatik (InfAI)and Tilde as well as some new collaborators.

Ocelot will restate its commitment to industry standards and interoperability by supporting XLIFF 2.0. It will also form a prototype client for some of the envisioned FREME services.

Before that however, is a well earned break and the chance to play with some tools and books Santa got for me: JetBrains’ WebStorm, “Python 3 Text Processing with NLTK 3 Cookbook”, and “AngularJS UI Development” from Packtpub.

If you celebrate Christmas, have a wonderful one!

In anticipation of a Spring Clean

The last two months can be characterized as “re-evaluation”: technologies, processes, business models. It takes a lot of effort. In some cases we were able to give an individual dedicated focus to a topic whilst the remainder were taken on by people in addition to their existing workload.

It is a very worthwhile activity. We run continuous improvement plans with all of our customers which are driven by, and monitored at, Quarterly Business Reviews. However, this has been much more of a corporate “stand back and look at the landscape” exercise. Here’s a synopsis of what we found:

  • Many competing services and technologies are 80% comparable, 20% differentiated: which means it’s down to specializations. On the one hand this makes deciding upon a single product or service difficult, on the other it gives you opportunities to apply the best solution for a given situation.
  • The available choice is exciting. Also, as so much is now cloud based, adoption, deployment and purchase are so much easier.
  • It’s about API’s. Many years ago, Autodesk adopted a model of allowing re-sellers and users to enhance the product through plug-ins. Now everyone of note has a powerful RESTful API.
  • Getting people to make a small change to their processes can bring possibilities of inserting more automation and removing vast amounts of human work.

We’ve been carrying out this exercise with a view to significantly improving our corporate “punching weight” and I’m really looking forward to announcing some of the results in the New Year.