Coentrepreneurs Week End Louvain-la-Neuve

This Sunday afternoon, I've been paying a visit to the Co Enterpreneurs Week End in Louvain-la-Neuve.

Coentrepreneurs Week End

This just happens to be next door. I've been invited by Ben Piquard and Roald Sieberath as a supercoach, whatever that means, to challenge the attendees on their business canvas/plan/ideas. It was pretty interesting and fun to do.

I hope that the people got a decent enough feedback on their proposals. This was a very early stage idea-shaping week-end for them.

So, as a summary of key points to take care of, here is what I'd like to have people to think about when coming up with a business idea:

  • Talk about the problem you solve or the opportunity you seize. Don't ramble about features upfront. Who are you helping with the solution? What's the problem? That's the engineering syndrome. When you know where you want to go, it is easier to know if you want to it by car, plane, or bicycle (not to mention the option of staying home because the trip makes no sense).

  • Have an idea on how you'll make money out of the system. Sinking energy, attention, care (and sacrificing quality family time) into something that isn't a business equates to having a very expensive and obsessive hobby. No issue with that if you can afford it. But that's not a business to me.

  • Can you draw a map of the ecosystem you are in? Who are your partners? Who is able to write you a check?

  • Have a couple of analogies to describe your offering. Investors aren't keen to invest in businesses they do not understand. Humans do like metaphors, easy to remember images.

  • Check if you are sold on your own idea. The first sale is always to yourself. So, are things clear in your mind eye? Next: how do you feel about it? Mind eye and gut should agree. Listen to your gut feeling. It appears that we do have more than a couple neurons wired in there. Listen.

  • Check if the opportunity you pursue is aligned with your core values. Even if an opportunity looks profitable, it may not be right for you to pursue. One can force him/herself to do stuff. But in the long run, it really matters to be aligned with your core values.

  • What process are you streamlining? Easy enough question, harder answer. And as an additional point: Who is your real customer in doing so?

Get these points right, and you'll be in a much better position to meet success. I wish the best to all attendees. We need such people in our country, one needs to be able to help him(her)self very well to be in order to help others. It is okay to make money, that's fuel for life. It will enable you to help others. If you are broke, well, you can't have an impact and the brain has a bad tendency to run in circles in that configuration.

L’intelligence Stratégique – Prolongation #aisbe

Voici une interview qu'à bien voulu m'accorder Marina Aubert d'Orchestraaa à la Rue du Web. Trente cinq minutes de réflexions, d'échanges sur le thème, ainsi que des prolongations sur la culture d'entreprise.  

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Microsoft Innovation Center Boostcamp: 15/10 – Mark the date

Next week, the MIC Boostcamp has another session. I have volunteered as one of the "experts" (well, listening to my advice usually helps in improving your strategic position, makes more money come your way, and reduces your labor intensity -- what's not to like in that?). See you there. As I'll be there all day, feel free to send me a tweet or two if you want to discuss matters (

Intro to Datapower at #IBM #ICTY

Datapower is the IBM Websphere Connectivity and Integration Appliance. Basically, this is full of custom ASICs and stuff and is fast, easy to configure and not prone to all crap that happens to standard boxes. Datapower was a company in its own right and was acquired by IBM.

How special is Datapower On the feature set, it is special:

  • Simple architecture: firmware and purpose built hardware. (firmware is often updated to keep up with novelties)
  • Delivered from the factory with everything you ned to connect to the network and start working
  • All computationally-significant components are sealed with temper proof casing (chips, memory, board and card, signed flash file system). Superfast parsing and crypto engines. Truly in a league of its own. Does TripleDES, AES, RSA1.5 etc.

How does Datapower fares on the market? Pretty well actually. " of the best selling Websphere products since the acquisition of Datapower inc in 2005."

Well, what's in a name? From 2002 to 2012.

XA35-XS50-Xi50-WTX-XB60-Blade-XI52/XB62/XE82-XG45 The firmware is developer since 10 years already. Hopefully, this is now pretty good. JSON is in there now. Phew, enough of XML 🙂

Usage areas and users Various patterns of usage where

sensitive information is transported over the internet. * Government (Defense, Agencies and ministries) * Banking (Encrypting card numbers) * Insurance * Retail, Utilities, Power, Oil and Gas Close to 1000 worldwide installations and growing.

What were the classical business cases? Classic SOA business case, with complex SOAP structures. And this means a huge computing effort... crypto, signing, auth, filtering, SLA checking, alerts... All in a single box. How sweet. So, it saves money and headaches. But messenging has evolved a lot (with mobile coming on the scene).

New use cases

  • Provide secure data communication across channels and protect them (who uses our services, to what extent, limit this leeches, limit traffic to guarantee QoS)
  • Protection from SQL injection (don't be sub-optimal in its performance), XSS
  • Consolidate (Transformation, Protocol mediation, Routing, Caching)
  • Manage (simple configuration, policy driven setup, centralized governance with WSRR links) It also is very suited to the Internet of Things era. It can swallow the storm. Without blinking an eye. Well, a led or two... Support for mobile devices call for special care on security. Datapower to the rescue here. The Datapower is then living in the DMZ. In the DMZ here are the rolls to take:
  1. Secure gateway (web services, web apps)
  2. B2B gateway (EDI aware)
  3. Edge optimization
  4. Side cache In the trusted domain, here are some more:

  5. Internal security point

  6. Enterprise Service Bus
  7. Runtime SOA governance
  8. Web Service Management
  9. Legacy integration Each of these roles are best served with a special flavor of the Datapower brand. Let's say that the next feature will be to brew coffee and sing God Save the Queen. Quite a few things in there indeed.

And ideal beast for deployment into less than fully trusted network (savage gardens, I'd say) Useful due to:

  1. Common criteria compliance to EAL4 and FIPS 140-2 Level 3
  2. Tamper proof box
  3. Signed and encrypted file system

As a secure gateway

Some physical characteristics 1 U form factor, 4x1Gbps Ethernet port, 2x10Gbps ports.

Feature set focus Proxying and enforcement Protocol support: HTTP(S), WMQ, Websphere JMS, FTP(S) Format support: XML, SOAP, JSON, PKCS7 (option) Transformation engines: XSLT, DataGlue - WTX/FFD (option) (use Validation maps and Transformation maps) Using WTX Design Studio (Eclipse based) Does things like:

  • JSON outside, SOAP inside.
  • Disallow some countries to see some content before they are allowed to

As a B2B gateway

Some physical characteristics 2U form factor 8x1Gbps 2x10Gbps More memory, more storage

Feature set focus

  • Partner management functions
  • Enhanced QoS
  • Additonal protocols
  • Addition formats
  • Additional transformation engines
  • And including all of the Security Gateway base

Popular uses in the internal side of business as well... Simplified lower-touch maintenance (1-2 upgrades of firmware per year) Fast, less expensive deployment (config only, delivery to production in less than a month)

As an ESB and Legacy enablement point

  • A drop-in ESB. Less headaches!
  • Easily service-enable legacy apps
  • ...

As an elastic caching within infrastructure Meaning? Meaning it offloads processing from the backend side.

How to do this?

  • Optimize response time (cache response data)
  • Reduce server load (cache response data)

There are other form factors as well In the blade form, in need of fitting that in chassis (XI50b "blade") And for Systemz. XI50z

What's new in 2012? Datapower Firmware V5.0 highlights:

  • OAuth support
  • OAuth scenarios (3-legged, 2-legged)
  • SLA Enforcement and SLDs (Service Level Defintions, synchronized with WSRR) New WS-Proxy feature with WS-Mediation Policy. Configuration only. Great! Works! (We have integrated this, with V5 and WSRR 8, alerts also go to ITCAM for SOA in Tivoli with the Datapower agent).

  • Application optimization options, allowing to self balance across a cluster of appliances.

  • Application aware intelligent load distribution

The Websphere Applicance Management Center (WAMC)

  • multi box management in a single place.

Check the resources

  • (
  • youtube has some


  • Appliance architectural paterns
  • The programmatic management interface Good presentation on the features. A bid sad to have had to rush at the end on the new feature set.

The future of #SOA at #ibm #icty 2012 with Gerry Keilly

The content in here is my own set of notes and not Gerry's words Back to the four trends. Mobile. Cloud. Big data. Social.
  • SOA is built upon clean design principles.
  • All workloads are not created equally.
  • Historical workloads are pretty much predictable.
Social and mobile are different beasts! Snowstorms! Reactions! Checks! Fast! Often! Kill the API. Need some cache and policy in here... Volume and speed of interactions are impredcitable events. Peak management and buffering are the new skills. Yeah! Sweet. Bare metal and instrumentation are coming back! Expose your enterprise. Expose your flaws. And the crowd is not going to let you breathe for long. As we do have hybrid deploypment, cloud and on premises, new skills are needed too.

Connectivity and integration technologies

Universal connectivity. We are back to not so reliable connections. In fact, back to the same kind of problems of the good old days, only larger and more acute. scale matters.

Websphere MQ 7.5

Integration with MFT. Build an integrated capability for a rich capability layer that will stand the requirements for the upcoming wave! Ture indeed. I am now working with that tech. It rules, period. WMQ telemetry. Millions of connections. Price lowered. WMQ AMS. MQTT brings MQ into the mobile space. TT for telemetry transport. So, moving to open source for MQTT for ensring adoption. Good idea Gerry. Gain reliable delivery over fragile connections. 3G anyone? Leverage information provided by mobile devices. Ease of integration with enterprise applications. Build a smarter planet with messaging optimized for smart sensors and telemetry devices. ... With MQ Telemetry. Monitor a peacemaker over the network! Cool use case. Put a lightweight MQTT client on any device. Smartmeters, gas pumps, fridges... Exciting!

Cloud connectivity deployments spanning on and off premise

  • connecting to cloud
  • connectivity between clouds
  • Location independance. Switch where the connection is goig under the covers.

a word on APIs

Businesses opening up APIs is a game changer if you do it right. And kill your business if you get it wrong. Damn right! Apigee is cool btw, check it out! Connect to a broad application developer community. Extend your core services with an ability to build capability internally. BTW Salesforce has a huge event these days. And a huge huge huge attendance! not having an API today is like not having a website in the 90's I love that line! Your API is an extension of your brand. You can ruin your brand by having this wrong. Your API extends the value of your brand.

Websphere CastIron Live.

Enabling rapid and trusted entry into the web economy. Expose, manage, control, run analytics on your services. Create > Socialize > Manage 90 day trial. Gotta give it a shot! Too bad it doesnt lists Belgium in the country list...

Websphere Message Broker v8

Powerful beast. I testify from real world exposure. This thing pumps out an awesome amount of messages per second with an incredibly small number of CPUs. Extreme scale in WMB: cross broker caching. Agregation. Well, a killer. Period.

Every project and everyprocess needs a proven platform

Yeah sure. But startups go node.js on V8.

A new breed of systems

Systems with integrated expertiseand built for cloud. Okay, that is the integrated capability. Great but the string attached is vendor lock in. No matter how good the vendor. That is where you'll need people understanding all of this in you company. Who is pointing at me here? Just joking. Half joking that is... Well, IBM has the ability to deliver for sure. Are clients going to be up to the reauired maturity level to exploit the tech properly? Will the culture be able to swallow that huge pill? And nit feel obsolete in the process? People are what makes or breaks things indeed! Extend > Transact > Optimize

Things do change. But fundamentals do not.

  1. Right design practices
  2. Well managed, well governed services
Embarking with IBM may be the smarter choice. provided you have the money of course.

Mobile strategy for #ibm at #icty

Mobile strategy

  • Extend and transform for mobile
  • Mananage and secure
  • Build and connect

Top challenges

Fragmentation Speed of dev Connect backend Securely


IBM Worklight! Acquired by IBM.

Why cross platform?

The mobile world is in flux. What about 2015?

Spectrum of choices: dimensions

Richness, portability, TCO Hybrid apps with nativemodules. Hey, Monkey is right! HTML5, JQuery, dojo, Cordova, Sencha Ability to track all of your stores at once: worklight starter and catalog, also ability to disable versions. Asking for upgrades. Ability to have a grip on how apps are used by the users.
  • Protecting data on the device
  • Enforce security updates
  • Robust auth*
  • App security
Open technologies: skills are available.


Websphere cast iron hypervisor edition appliance

Create fast integrations with business back end systems. TTM is important indeed.

The mobile worker movement

Mobile workers get more done. ROWE. The interesting device sharing situation. Amgry birds meets your banking account... Corporate data leakage. Dropbox anyone?

Device management

Policies and enforcmemt. Black and white listing of appa Ibm endpoint manager to the recue.

Ibm mobile foundation v5.0

All of the above products. Plus some services of course!

Horizon : IOT - internet of things

Dogs and cows have an IP. Trash the manuals with NFC and your mobile phone. Neat! Update your coffee machine, get a virus in the process,yay! The story of mobile will turn into the story of everyhing everywhere all the time!

Mobile as a differentiator

Faster time to value


  • Open
  • Governed
  • Integral
Pretty cool prez. Bringing some key points home about the monile channel.