Blog

Release 2021-04

Every day smart360 is delivering value to customers from different industries around the world. It is exciting to see how our product team just added more features and enhancements to our SaaS no-code data collaboration platform – April release:

  1. Improved Performance, stability & updated technologies
  2. New Bubble Chart visualization
  3. New Org Chart visualization
  4. UX – Renaming to make data structure changes easier
    1. Data structure (formerly Meta Model)
    2. Table (formerly Element Type)
    3. Link Tables (Relationship)
    4. Column (formerly Property or Feature)
    5. Tab (formerly Feature Group)
    6. Lookup table (Enumeration) & Options (Literals)
  5. UX – new repository switcher & more tooltips
  6. Many small improvements & fixes

Check our release notes for screenshots and more: https://dev.smart360.biz/releasenotes

Enterprise Architecture, Cyber Security, GRC, Portfolio Management – we got you covered.

And if you also want to become part of our smart world, just contact us or trial with us:

Contact: https://smart360.biz/contact/

Trial: https://trial.smart360.biz/trial/signup

Browse OpenData: https://data.smart360.me/smart360/

Microsoft Partnership – smart360 on AppSource & Azure Marketplace

smart360, a global no-code data collaboration platform and Enterprise Architecture tool announces their official presence on Microsoft AppSource and the Microsoft Azure Marketplace, Microsoft’s global, online marketplaces for Azure cloud business applications. smart360 is a certified Microsoft Partner since 2020.

After successfully offering clients already Microsoft ActiveDirectory Integration for Single Sign-On we expanded this to Microsoft Azure AD and general login with Microsoft accounts.

So you can easily sign into our data collaboration platform with Microsoft:

Sign in with Microsoft

And for teams and enterprises we offer smart360 with Microsoft Single Sign-On.

Just contact us and we get you setup with a free trial!

With an official AppSource & Azure Marketplace listing and a plan to add more, smart360 is the only Enterprise Architecture Tool in AppSource and a highlight in the no-code data collaboration space. With this additional visibility and reputation smart360 clearly leads as a comprehensive yet accessible EA and data collaboration solution.

And if you want to partner with us to get smart360 integrated into your toolchain, just drop us a line as well.

Release 2021-02

Every day smart360 is delivering value to customers from different industries around the world. It is exciting to see how our product team just added more features and enhancements to our SaaS no-code data collaboration platform – Release 2021-02!

Check our release notes for release 2021-02 – our latest and greatest: https://dev.smart360.biz/releasenotes

Enterprise Architecture, Cyber Security, GRC, Portfolio Management – we got you covered.

And if you also want to become part of our smart world, just contact us or trial with us:

Contact: https://smart360.biz/contact/

Trial: https://repos.smart360.biz/trial/signup

Browse OpenData: https://data.smart360.me/smart360/

A Data Quality Framework

Your data’s quality and accuracy will directly affect the adoption, success, and usage of the smart360° platform. Without a common data management approach to acquire, manage, and sustain the metadata and data, the results may be random, unreliable, and can quickly diminish the value of your investment.

Jean Gehring from fi Architects Group put this guide together.

This guide outlines a 4 step Data Quality Assurance Framework to support the smart360° implementation and help you construct a data management function or program to ensure the metadata and data will be trustworthy and data decisions are grounded in fact.   The framework is condensed from multiple smart360° implementations and designed to be collaborative, transparent, accountable, and capable of eliminating bad data. It can be easily modified to meet your data quality requirements, fit your operational needs, serve as a stand-alone data management function, or integrate into your Data Quality or Enterprise Architecture Governance bodies.

4 step Data Quality framework

Buyers Kit – How to use reference calls in your tool decision?

Do reference calls really work?

This is the last in a three (3) part series discussing a Buyer’s Guide to help select the right Enterprise Architecture Management (EAM) tool for your organization.

Enterprise Architects have a wide range of stakeholders needs to satisfy in selecting an Enterprise Architecture Management tool (EAMS).  Stakeholders are unsure whether a tool will address their specific challenges.

In the first post we reviewed sample use cases to accelerate discussions with stakeholders to help define their requirements and express the value to be realized. In the second post we provided a list of critical questions every EAMS demonstration needs to address.

Reference Checks

Reference checks do work and they are a fundamental part of selecting the right Enterprise Architecture Management tool. Don’t assign this activity out; you know what the tool must do to justify its value to merit the investment.

The reference check helps you to speak with peers who use the tool, enables you to go beyond the sales pitch, and to reveal the true nature of the tool and vendor. Use this list of valuable questions to help gain the best insights and quickly ascertain if the tool is right for you.

  1. Were you the decision maker responsible for purchasing the tool? If so, what made you choose the tool?
  2. Are you the primary user of the EA Tool? If not, ask if you may speak with that person as well.
  3. How long did it take you to populate the tool repository? Do basic functions like editing data or generating a report?
  4. What other stakeholders use the tool? How long did it take them to learn to add and edit data or generate reports and visualizations?
  5. How long was the adoption process (the tool implementation) at your organization?
  6. What’s the single best thing about the tool? What is the worst thing?
  7. How complete is the integration with other systems? How hard was it to set up and maintain?
  8. Have you seen an increase in EA awareness since you implemented the tool?
  9. Can you tell me about your experience with the vendor, implementation and support?
  10. When implementing, did you incur any costs in addition to the price of the tool?
  11. If you went to another company, would you purchase this tool again?

This last post of a 3-part Buyers Kit focused on the importance of reference checks. We hope this Buyers Kit helps you to select the best tool for your Enterprise Architecture organization.

Send your comments and suggestions to Jean Gehring or comment below.

CIO Review spotlights smart360

CIO Review featured smart360 among the 20 Most Promising Enterprise Architecture Technology Providers – 2016!

cioreviewcoverThe role of Enterprise Architecture (EA) has steadily grown over the last two decades. Although, many EA teams operate as part of their IT departments, others are taking a more active approach in strategic planning, investment, and transformation at the enterprise-level.
EA, as a discipline, has reached a stage where it is well established within many enterprises as a core capability. But, more importantly, the reach of EA is today extending beyond organizational boundaries. Leading companies use EA to recognize, evaluate, recommend, and resolve their architectural problems. To drive the digital transformation, companies are on the lookout for modern EA tools and software that bridge the gap between business strategy and execution. Meanwhile, today’s enterprise architects need high-level skills on analyzing information, building architectural models, and implementing integrated EA solutions.

A distinguished panel comprising of CTOs, CIOs, analysts, and the CIOReview editorial board has selected the top players from the competitive field of EA. The listing provides a look into how these solutions work in the real world, so that you can gain a comprehensive understanding of what technologies are available and right for you.

We are proud to be among the 20 Most Promising Enterprise Architecture Technology Providers 2016!

cioreviewteaser

Check out the latest article in CIO Review on smart360’s EAMS solution.

5 Steps to Ensure a Successful Enterprise Architecture Management Tool Adoption

This is the last in a three (3) part series discussing a Buyer’s Guide to help select the right Enterprise Architecture Management (EAM) tool for your organization.

Once you purchase and install your tool, you still need to ensure your EA organization and relevant stakeholders adopt it to realize its myriad of benefits. Tool adoptions can quickly get stuck or outright fail due to some common pitfalls, for example:

  • Absence of a proper communication and an implementation plan
  • Misalignment of the tools capabilities to stakeholder strategy and operational needs
  • Over customizing the metamodel
  • Lack of the specialized talent needed to drive the implementation and adoption
  • Fully understanding this is a critical technology and a operational process change activity.

Avoiding these challenges isn’t easy, but they are critical to the successful implementation of an EAM tool. In this post, we’ll focus on five key activities that will help you push beyond these obstacles and ensure a successful EAM tool adoption:

  1. UNDERSTAND YOUR ENVIRONEMENT: By understanding your day-to-day processes and how architecture metadata is used to support your EA organization, you will see where and how to use the tool to accelerate productivity, increase quality, and support more stakeholder demands.  
  2. CONVERT CAPABILITIES TO SERVICE TAXONOMY: The EAM tool should provide you with the core capabilities to perform your work.  By classifying the tool’s capabilities into Service Taxonomy your implementation stays focused on its value proposition. Here is a list of capabilities every EAM tool should have. If you have others please drop me an email jgehring@smart360.biz

Administration covers the capabilities to organize and manage the lifecycle of the architecture content (metadata), to manage the user roles and their access to content in the EAM tool repository.

Analysis covers all the capabilities to actively understand and analyze the architecture content. This capability can span a gamut of services, such as:  

  • Browse, search, and query content in the repository to provide targeted information.
  • Structural analysis to identify gaps, redundancies, and the impacts and interrelationships of making a change to a business capability, a project, an application, or technology in the architecture.
  • Quantitative analysis to compare measurable attributes or properties of the architecture content, like health, criticality, cost, and utilization.

Decision Support covers all the capabilities to aggregate architecture content and create visualizations, reports, and dashboards for different stakeholders and support decision-making. This includes monitoring and viewing the architecture from different perspectives and to increase collaboration and communications to certain stakeholders.

Governance covers the capabilities to govern the architecture, such as:

  • Quality management ensures the completeness and consistency of the architecture content. This includes the sources of entry and the population of the architecture repository from automated population (XML or CMDB) or manual entry and structure of content according to a framework (e.g., TOGAF) or both.
  • Change management to define architecture content and execute requests to alter, retire or eliminate content, such as compliance and technical standards, blueprints, assets, etc.
  • Usage management traces and monitors the architecture content by users and can provide architecture management metrics to establish trends, show cost and risk reductions, etc.
  1. BUILD A COMMUNITY: You provide services so be a good service manager.  Track the highs and lows experienced by your user community and eengage with end-users early and often.  Use a social media approach (internal Facebook or similar platform) to establish a community of users (and power users).  You can deal with problems quickly and users feel a sense of ownership, commitment and accountability helping you achieve high adoption rates.
  2. PLAN, COMMUNICATE and MANGE EXPECTATIONS: Implementing and adopting any new technology requires and a strong communications plan and change management across all relevant stakeholders.  Use a disciplined approach to plan, communicate, and manage the implementation and expectations.  Help users understand how the tool and new business processes will enable them to take full advantage of the tool and realize specific benefits related to their architecture roles.
  3. BUILD the BEST TEAM: It’s no secret that a really successful implementation often lies within the human elements of a good team.  The most successful adoptions are companies who build a small Center of Excellence (CoE) with a team of architecture expertise around the tool.  Also providing for on-demand support helps to meet short-term capacity needs as stakeholders begin seeing the value of the tool.  A dedicated team of tool experts helps you manage business, financial, and technical risk over the short and long-term for your tool adoption.

The benefits of and EAM tool are attainable if the implementation is linked to its value proposition and is properly planned for and expectations are clearly set and managed. Following these steps will help put you on the road to a successful adoption. Enjoy the journey!

Giving something back – we support FEAPO

Giving something back to the EA community is a large part of what smart360 is all about. We are pleased to actively support The Federation of Enterprise Architecture Professional Organizations (FEAPO) at the Open Group Event.

Jean Gehring, FEAPO President, will speak on A Career Path Model for Enterprise Architecture.  Jean provides an abstract of The Guide to Careers in Enterprise Architecture to be published late this year.  The Guide is a result of eighteen global professional organizations collaborating together. The Guide does not describe what an EA does, but rather what skills are expected to have along with advice on how to hire and develop them.

Use the code PAR1610-SMART to get 30% off a non-member pass at the event!

Join us at Open Group Paris 2016 for New Product Launch

SMART360 is a proud sponsor of the Open Group Event ‘Making Standards Work’ this October 24th-27th in Paris, France. Sign up for a demo of smart360, the next evolution of Enterprise Architecture and IT Portfolio Management tools. Holistically view all of your architecture domains and manage your components, processes and services on any device, anywhere, at any time. Contact us to learn, how smart360 can be leveraged to support your ArchiMate, TOGAF or IT4IT based projects!

And get a 30% discount – use the code PAR1610-SMART for 30% off a non member pass!

We hope to see you in Paris!