PSC Tech Talk: AI in Action – Azure Cognitive Language Services

In this short but interesting presentation Mark Roden and Jalal Benali talked about how they had used Azure Cognitive Language Services (Translation API) to elegantly solve a client’s need to have their intranet available in multiple languages across multiple territories.

Background

One of PSC’s clients has sites in multiple countries and as part of their intranet consolidation they wanted to provide a manner by which their corporate messages could be translated for the various countries/languages. The intranet was hosted on DotNetNuke CMS system and needed to be configurable, flexible and above all easy to use for the business. The business had looked at publicly available services like Google translate, but determined that on a private intranet site, they did not want any corporate information being taken outside of their control.

Azure Cognitive Language Services Translation API was selected as the solution because it is secure, private, easy to use and surprisingly flexible when it comes to converting web based content.

Solution

PSC created a custom module for DotNetNuke (DNN) which allowed content managers to create translated versions of the data at the click of a button. The solution was tied into the out of the box language capabilities of DNN whereby the languages available to the user for translation were those enabled in the DNN core configuration. In this manner if a new site, in a new country was purchased, the administrators need only turn on the new language for it to become available.

Because the Azure translations need to be reviewed for accuracy by a local admin in-country, PSC created the ability to have the new message held back for administrative approval. Once approved it is then published on the appropriate language version of the intranet.

Once the translations were created the global administrators would be able to monitor which ones were then subsequently modified by the local content manager. In this manner content corrections from the original English would not necessarily be translated and overwritten onto the newly corrected translated versions.

Limitations

  • The number of characters which can be translated at any one time is 10,000
  • No automated translation will be perfect, but for normal conversational English we found it to be better than we expected. For technical documentation the results were not as successful.
  • Some languages were better than others on the accuracy when they were reviewed by the testing teams in-country

Pricing

Depending on which service you use and usage, the pricing varies from free to $4.50 per million characters translated (as of May 2018).

Retention of HTML formatting

One surprising, significant, benefit of using the Translation API what that when fed an HTML string, the HTML tags were ignored. This meant that the formatting of the translation returned was identical to the original. While this does increase the size and number of characters translated, this would not approach the limits necessary for this effort.

Conclusion

The solution PSC implemented allowed the client to securely translate sections of their intranet and then manage the translated pages once they were published. Overall our experience with the Translation API was a very good one. We found it very easy to set up and simple the implement.

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PSC Director of Technology Solutions

I am very humbled and excited to have been given the title of Director of Technology Solutions at PSC Group.

It has been a fascinating and varied 5 1/2 years since I joined PSC. I am very fortunate to have had the opportunity to work in almost every role at PSC and experience how client delivery excellence is achieved at all levels. I get to professionally hang out with some of the most talented people I have ever had the pleasure of working with. It’s so much fun!

I am really excited about what 2018 holds. PSC Labs is going strong and we continue to receive reassuringly positive feedback from clients who truely value our role as trusted technical advisors. In 2017 PSC successfully branched out into a number of new and challenging emerging technologies and we have plans a plenty to continue to learn, evolve and grow.

I love what I do and I am very grateful to have a job which gives me the opportunity to be the best I can be, and still challenge me to be better.

It’s going to be a fun year, but then it always is… 🙂

Speaking at SharePoint Chicago Dec 2017

I will be speaking at the 2017 SharePointFest Chicago conference December 8th, at McCormick Place, Chicago.

I will be talking about how O365 adoption can be made easier by having and internal emerging technologies team try and solve some simple business problems and lead to a broader adoption of the platform within an organization.

This will be the third time I have spoken about “the Labs team” this year and I am really honored to be able to speak at SharePointFest again this year 🙂

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BV 205 – Enabling O365 adoption from within – How an emerging technologies team can make a big difference

Too often when an organization makes major technology shifts, it is often not the technology change which causes problems, it’s the people and how they adapt to change. While we often associated this to end users, the same is just as true for developers. If we want to retain our best development talent then we have to give them a part in the transition. Allow them to understand it and own it.

With so many new technologies and capabilities being exposed within Office 365 and Azure, many business are frankly overwhelmed with the possibilities and often fall back on the bare minimum of mail, calendaring and SharePoint. This talk will demonstrate cost effective measures to keep developers engaged while providing benefit to the company in a mutually beneficial manner.

An internal research and development team can create a sustainable balance of creative knowledge growth for the individual, matched with a method to future proof the overall organization. How changes in technology affect the success of a company need to be understood, managed and the effects managed. With the unrestrained freedom to explore emerging technologies and without the constraints of today’s corporate development policies your best talent can achieve great things, stay engaged, and more importantly stay.

In this presentation Mark will discuss and demonstrate how a creative “labs” team can lead to short, medium and long term benefits for any business willing to invest in people and technology.

Speaking at Dreamforce 2016 – Unleashing the power with Salesforce and Microsoft Office 365 Add-ins

I am so SO excited to annouce that I have been accepted to speak at the largest technology conference in the world, Salesforce’s Dreamforce conference in San Francisco. I will be co-speaking with my very good friend old Winklebeard himself (RenĂ© Winkelmeyer). This opportunity is all down to him and I will be forever grateful. RenĂ© became a Salesforce Evangelist back in May 2016. While we were at Engage.ug back in March this year we hatched a far fetched plan to be able to speak together and who’d have thought our world would have come together outside of the IBM Bubble.

We are going to talk about using Office Add-Ins to integrate with Salesforce. We are going to go well beyond the out of the box Office Add-Ins which Salesforce make available and show developers how to create their own from scratch. There will be lots of cool demonstrations, and hopefully we will both make it off stage without killing each other 🙂

I am really excited !!

https://success.salesforce.com/Sessions?eventId=a1Q3000000qQOd9#/session/a2q3A000000LBjBQAW

Title
Unleashing the power with Salesforce and Microsoft Office 365 Add-ins

Abstract
Salesforce has created great out-of-the box integrations for Office 365. But have you ever thought about creating your own integrations for maximising your Salesforce and Office investments? That’s where Office 365 Add-ins and Lightning come to the rescue. Based on real-world scenarios you’ll learn in this session all about the “how” and “where” of connecting Office and Salesforce. After starting with needed authentication setups between the systems we’ll quickly dive deep into the programmatic aspects. Be it RESTful or Lightning Out, we’ll get you covered! Come and see the session where Mark and René will demonstrate custom integration between Salesforce and Office applications on all platforms. Source code will be provided for all examples shown.

PSC is hiring: XPages Senior Architect/Developer position

PSC is hiring – we are looking to add to our existing team of 10 XPages developers. The ideal candidate will be able to work directly on client engagements and interface with sales, marketing and consulting managers internally. The position is a great opportunity to work with and help to grow the largest XPage consultancy team in North America.

Please apply online: http://www.psclistens.com/careers/open-positions/

Due to the nature of some of the work, candidates must be situated within the United States.

Job Details
XPages Senior Architect (000782)
Job Number:  000782
Job Title:  XPages Senior Architect
Number of Openings:  1
Country:  United States
State/Province:  Illinois
City:  Chicago/Schaumburg
Salary Interval:  Per Year
Job Schedule:  Full Time
Job Category:  Computers/Information Technology
Position Description
PSC Group is an Information Technology and Business consulting firm that helps companies withstand the challenge of change. We specialize in the development of solutions that help our clients achieve their strategic business objectives.

We offer Full-Time opportunities for people who thrive in both a challenging and rewarding environment. With our world class Five Points of Excellence program, we set the foundation for success for our consultants by providing a clear vision. Whether that is from the technical standpoint, the consulting side of the business, or on the management side, we help our consultants achieve their goals. If you want to be part of an exciting opportunity with a company that is both an IBM Premier Partner and a Microsoft Gold Partner, contact us!

We are working, not only with cutting-edge technologies, but with some of the brightest, most talented consultants as well.

Candidates will be familiar with the oversight and implementation of enterprise XPages application deployments.  The successful applicant will interface with PSC Solution Directors and Sales Directors to provide analysis, insight and estimates for upcoming projects. Candidates must demonstrate experience and a broad understanding of customer relationship management.

 

Candidates outside of the Chicago area will be considered, however must be located in the United States of America.

Position Requirements
Required Skills

  • Broad experience in architecting, developing and delivering solutions utilizing IBM XPages
  • Experience with XPages extension library
  • Strong web development skills and experience utilizing Javascript libraries, JSON and Ajax
  • Take part in the full lifecycle of software development including; analysis, design, development, testing, documentation, and implementation.
  • Ability to effectively communicate to both technical and non-technical individuals at all levels throughout the organization.
  • Strong attention to detail with a focus on quality of work
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills
  • Ability to work well in a team or independently

 

Desired Skills:

  • Strong knowledge of Java and Java Server Faces (JSF)
  • Knowledge of responsive design and Twitter Bootstrap
  • Proven track record of success in consulting engagements

 

Benefits:

  • Full-time salaried position commensurate with experience
  • Comprehensive Benefit package, including 401(k) match
  • Paid Vacation, Sick Time, and Holidays
  • Tuition Reimbursement
  • Opportunity to develop your career with our Five Points of Excellence Program
  • Company Dinner Meetings, Recreational Activities, and Rewards Programs
  • Billable Hours Bonus Program

 

IBM is a platinum sponsor of the new node.js foundation

Take a look at the video from Angel Diaz IBM VP Cloud it is only 90 seconds – IBM’s now big behind Node.js

Angel also wrote this article on node explaining is some more detail about the foundation and IBM’s involvement

http://www.thoughtsoncloud.com/2015/06/node-js-embarks-on-open-governance-journey/

IBM are a platinum sponsor of the new node.js foundation.

Here’s a quote from the linux foundation press release

http://www.linuxfoundation.org/news-media/announcements/2015/06/nodejs-foundation-advances-community-collaboration-announces-new?utm_source=nodeweekly&utm_medium=email

IBM

“An independent Node.js Foundation built on open governance is a major industry wide event as it ensures the continued adoption and growth of one of the world’s most ubiquitous programming languages. The Node.js foundation will provide developers with a top development platform that when combined with the power of IBM Cloud and Mobile will accelerate time to application concept, deployment, and refinement.  As a platinum member of the foundation, IBM looks forward to continued partnership in developing and promoting Node.js and the inevitable expansion of this vibrant community,” said Angel Diaz, Vice President, Cloud Architecture & Technology, IBM.