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Tomi Itkonen

Hmm, thingamy is very fresh, bold and interesting concept. I'm very eager to see it succeed. Actually, it sounds too good to be true. ;)

I'm working in an IT department of a global company. IT's role is to make the core business flourish. Due partly to the complicated and rigid systems, the purpose does not materialize.

IMHO, SAP R/3 is carrying too much history and old sins with it. It should be rewritten from scratch.

User rights are a very large challenge in a big organization. SOX is not helping; it makes the life in IT a lot more ineffective - well, at least at the moment. What is the thingamy way of handling access rights and other security issues?


"With management theory when the Roman army established that ten subordinates per boss was the right number (decurions, centurions..), and now 2,000 years later, 100 years of management schools and 40,000 management handbooks in print we believe the right number is eight."

That is the right number of subordinates. However that is not (I'm picking a nit on a very fine rant of course) the same as 'number of units' for span of control.

The armed forces get that right. Span of control for a unit commander is four, which is usually three maneuver units plus a support element. More than four subordinate units then the average commanding officer is swamped in detail.

Which is why you see three fireteams in a squad, three squads in a platoon, three platoons in a company, three companies in a battalion and on up, with support elements added as required by the mission. The squad might get a machine gun team, the company a mortor section and so on.

Anyway. Fine post, truly.


Thanks Tomi!

You almost uttered one of my favourites - "unbelievable, bollocks!" - I like those as it is as they mean what you say; "too good to be true" leaving us a very simple task, to prove it!

And that's the fun part of it :)

Access right and security: Just now we rely only on HTTP Basic Auth, but will be able to add ssl and public key. In addition all data is delivered from "templates" set in the system - workorders (display and fillout fields) as well as all reports - all set to show per user (or group if need be).

Roughly speaking...

SOX etc is much more fun - as all input are direct results of actual events - invoice is a result of what details the orderer and supplier added to the system and can be set to be "captured" as a payable-invoice only after the chap on the dock actually says he moved the part to warehouse B, row 16... and so forth. And of course the system captures exactly what and who and when everything happens for whatever reports or historical browsing you want. Transparency delivers ethics I say ;)

Thus little chance to cheat the system, section 404 of SOX becomes moot as the only way is to order a lot then break into warehouse B, row 16 and sell out of your trunk :)


And thanks Brian!

You're onto something interesting there about the military and four people - think it was last Business Week(?) talking about effcient teams:

Seems the perfect team-size is about four or five - and teams are OK - and perhaps the groupings we'll see if we ever get rid of the organisational hierarchies!

Reminded me that, there is one place some sort of "command and control", one person having last say, is needed: In a military task force, a captain on a ship, a pilot on a plane - but not for the usual organisational reasons, rather that you really need one brain when you need split-second decisions!

But you need that seldom for a 100,000 people organisation!

Tomi Itkonen

Ok, Sig.

This is very interesting indeed, not only on a technological level. You are burning down tons of business practices and structures, and starting a totally new culture. And the book will follow in year 2008, or? ;)


Hehe, well, my thinking was - about six years ago I told myself "shut up, stop talking, do something about it!" and started the thingamy project.

As my real interest is rather to change things, then making thingamy into the practical tool to make change possible could be the best - hopefully more efficient than a book :)

Or even better, if in use the current ways might simply not be so important any more and perhaps wither away... sneaky but more efficient?

He said optimistically :D

Still, cannot shut up all the time either... need to point out why I'm doing this, right or wrong... time will show etc.!

Daryl Kulak

YKSIW with our perception of software, when companies are proposing that one software program can run an entire business. People run businesses, and software must adapt to the people.

SAP is a glaring example of this flawed logic, thus their 7% success rate in implementation.

Does Thingamy avoid this trap? Reading the front page of your Website, so far, I'm concerned it falls prey to the same SAP thinking.

Thomas Otter

not sure where your 7% comes from. If SAP didn't work, people wouldn't buy it. Sure, not all projects are perfect, and there are lots of things SAP could do much better but...

Over 13 33,000 customers, a retention rate second to none, and licence sales growing at close to 20%.



"YKSIW with our perception of software, when companies are proposing that one software program can run an entire business. People run businesses, and software must adapt to the people."

Hehe, yep may have walked into that trap! Of course you're right if I ever used those words - but in fact I tend to stick to "You can run your entire business with it"!

And that entails that this is merely a tool, and a flexible one to boot - like a spreadsheet, build your model, the model that works for you and your people. So that should answer your question perhaps... not much preset thinking, not much preset models, not much "software running the business"...

And that's where SAP (and others) are good of course, makes things easier if you have pre-made models and ways (to a certain degree).

A degree of freedom in exchange for difficulty I guess being the philosophical difference.

(Will not mention the practical differences, hey SAP et al has been there for ages and do have a slightly bigger budget than mine...)

And Thomas (was that 13 million?) gracioulsy sets the benchmark for my sales goals :D

Thomas Otter

sorry typo 33,000 customers, over 13 million users.

looking foward to van2.0

Dominic Sayers

"With the whole system when on average I pay at least 50 percent for broadly defined information (think over what you pay for the actual product, it be a shirt, car or a good story) that could easily be replaced with cheap information and communication technology."

How about:

"With the whole system when a product costs more because I have to pay for all the things that separate me from the producer"


Dominic, not bad, not bad at all!

A twist that got me thinking that...

Daryl Kulak

7% is the number of ERP projects that complete successfully, meaning that they are on time, within budget and meeting user expectations. This statistic came from a consultant who specializes in studying ERP failures. I should not have singled out SAP, because it applies to all ERP implementations.

The thought that "everyone is doing it, so it must be fine" seems okay, but there is a problem there too. I believe there are many things that "everyone is doing" that are not helping us succeed.

You could have used the same logic for CASE tool like IEF and ADW in the early 1990s. Everyone was doing them, sales were skyrocketing. But were the tools helpful? Almost completely not. They were a tremendous waste of money and they would often grind an IT department to a halt when people tried to use them in the way they were intended.

I don't mean to be so critical of ERP in general. It is something that seems like it should work, but in implementation it often doesn't.

Thanks for your comments, Thomas and sig.

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