Blog

Our Blog

In the blog of Theandb (definition of blog), we share with our readers the personal view and insights we have on developments in the technology sector. And as that is nowadays quite a broad sector, we set our eyes on many diferent topics and questions facing society. We also post entries on recent developments of Theandb as a company. For us, it is a part of an ongoing collaboration and communication with colleagues, clients and friends.

Migration of server completed

Over the last couple of days, we have been quite busy on migrating our dedicated server to a new major operating system version. This was the reason - alongside being very busy on setting up a new agile outsourcing client - for the blog silence of the last week.

It has now been completed, all of the domains we host for our clients including all the different applications we support have been moved across, also in large parts thanks to the support of Warwick Hall whom we are indebted to for his wonderful Unix skills. Only transLucidonline remains to be set-up on the new instance (wish us well for it!).

Thanks to everyone for their understanding that we had some downtime even if only short during this period.

'Show the Loo' live in iTunes app store, providing directions to public toilets in Australia

After many days of waiting for Apple's approval, 'Show the Loo' can now be downloaded for free in the App store! We also launched a mini-site under showtheloo.com for product support.

More in the article itself...

Theandb becomes Pantha Corporation

From hereon and actually since the 23rd of June 2008, Theandb Pty Ltd has been renamed to Pantha Corporation Pty. Ltd (official certificate). There were many good reasons for this change.

There are now on a constant basis anywhere between twenty and thirty people working on Pantha's projects. A personal brand such as Theandb did not seem to make a lot of sense any longer for what is fast becoming a web-strategy and technology execution company to be reckoned with. Other factors contributing to the name change were questions such as how we could bring a third director on-board in the future and/or the ability to exit from the business at some point with a more easily pronounceable and well recognised brand name increasing the likelihood and success of a sale.

All taken together, it had to be done.

For now, given the fact that we are very busy on numerous client engagements, we have not yet had the time for a proper branding exercise. But we will... as soon as we can. Wait for a relaunch of theandb.biz as well as pantha.net which we hope to get through with beginning of next year 2009.

Now: Champagne and a toast to Pantha Corporation!!!

"Web technology provides consultant with global reach" feature in Australian Financial Review, role of collaboration in outsourcing

As a company that provides consulting and outsourcing services to medium-sized and corporate companies, we have to strike a balance between being on the cutting edge and not loosing the focus at the same time to translate new tools & methodologies into concrete benefits for our clients.

For quite a while now - as early as 2006 in fact - we have been posting on collaboration tools and how they can enhance interaction for distributed as well as local teams, including the possibilities of 3D virtual worlds such asSecondLife or Croquet.

At the same time, we have used many tools ourselves most of which we discarded as being not user-friendly, slow or not fitting to our requirements. Being in the same situation as other product development companies of having to co-ordinate people across three, sometimes four time-zones, we needed an application with a broad range of tools, the swiss army-knife of collaboration tools.

We were actually featured last year October in the Australian Financial Review and could only agree (yep, there was some shoulder tapping) that Theandb was "an example of globalisation at work and how the use of technology can compete with much larger companies". Some more quotes that i could not put any better:

"We could not have successfully moved the business to Australia and kept some of our longstanding, former clients without this technology," Ponthus says.

Theandb relies on the facility to consult with businesses across Europe and Australasia, helping them develop online strategies and implement web projects.

Theandb's work involves regular meetings to ensure everyone involved knows the stage a project has reached and what their responsibilities are."

The best thing about using this system is that there's no disagreement at the end of a meeting about what everyone needs to do for follow-up and what was said during the meeting because the project manager writes the notes directly into a whiteboard that everyone sees," Schliebitz says."

Back at that time we were using Marratech which was unfortunately bought up by Google.

Only last week we finally - after months of research and trying out way too many different web1.0 and 2.0 applications - we found the perfect replacement, an application that is even better than Marratech was and it goes by the name Elluminate. We will post more on this wonderful tool soon.

We have seen vast improvements in communication and the ability to collaborate with our clients since starting to have Elluminate. We can finally be literally on the same page again, share our desktops, write up meeting notes which everyone can read and comment on while the meeting is taking place, use the excellent whiteboarding features, paste in screenshots and doodle around on them; simply put it is like working together in the same office, only far more efficient because you can actually fully concentrate on what is at hand.

We are quite aware that using such tools gives us an advantage over other suppliers in the development outsourcing market and will continue to elaborate on our outsourcing framework and general set-up as we learn with our clients. We will post more on the framework we use and why we believe it to be unique shortly.

fair trade e-commerce site free2tradefair

Beginning of this year we published an entry on a "network of philantrophic, for-profit companies" and how we could take our initial slogan of "consultants of compassion" to a whole new level and create value by giving our work away for free to certain projects. In our quest for such a project, we have had the honour to meet many great and passionate people. We are also in the process to launch a website for our network of compassionate consultantsTM who will share similar values, ethics and work practices with us and whose services will be complementary to ours in web-strategy consulting and project-management.

The first project in what we intend to be a line of different ventures for us in the future is free2tradefair. It is an e-commerce site that connects artisans and producers in developing countries with consumers in Australia. The team is made up solely of volunteers who committed their precious time and energy to the launch of this producers marketplace. "The Free2TradeFair website provides an open marketplace that supports the buying and selling of fair trade products from around the globe. It seeks to assist producers overcome the many obstacles that can be faced in relation to access of developed markets such as Australia. As such, the website provides support for the selling of their products with the aim of returning all profit made directly to them."

This will represent a unique chance to Australians in supporting people in developing markets by purchasing products directly from the producers site and featured on free2tradefair. We look forward in continuing to work with the free2tradefair team in enhancing the website and making it even better going forward. On our personal wishlist are local payment methods and to keep as much as possible of the shopping experience on the free2tradefair site in general.

Theandb has worked with the free2tradefair team in creating the business website specifications for the project and giving general advise wherever necessary on a range of topics to ensure the projects overall success. We've come far from where we started out from and still have a way to go to the official launch of the site but it's looking very good indeed.

We feel truly blessed to have worked and continue to work with such wonderful people. Thanks to (in totally random order) Helen Burrows who pulled the often changing team together - never forgetting the end goal - Sean Torstensson for his inspired designs, Michael Vullings as web-developer for working his way through the at-times difficult to understand Catgen system, Michael Fuller as our biz-guy for lending focus on critical business issues, Andrew Eagle for coming up with just the right content based on his long years of experience in the NGO sector, Ewa Potaczala for managing all aspects relating to our producers, Ewa Potaczala and Christie Hall for the superb organisation of producers and... many others whose names i must have omitted from this list who should feel very welcome to complain to us. There have been a number of people involved earlier on in the project to get it off the ground that we have not interfaced with directly as we came in when things were already in quite high gear. A particular Thanks to them for lending their positive energy in shaping the free2tradefair project (then called JustTrade) from a simple idea to reality.

See it for yourself.! The link points to the current development site which will soon be replaced by our domain. In addition, the content is still in-progress and producers are still signing up to be part of this exciting new producers marketplace.

New hosting environment

Anticipating the launch of translucidonline.com, we have moved hosting environments in the last couple of days. As a result of the move, our site and e-mail services had to be taken down for a couple of hours. The new environment is a dedicated machine which we will expand on an as-needed basis.

All the Best,
The Directors@Theandb Pty. Ltd.

Consultants Of Compassion, Theandb @ CEO Symposium 27./28.03.2007

We are very happy to be present as sponsors of the CEO Symposium tomorrow and Wednesday (26th and 27th of March 2007). The speakers, attendees and other sponsors look super-charged and we feel that we can add something special and unique to the mix; consulting with compassion, passion, energy & heart combined with extensive experience in the online world and an outstanding network of partners.

Here a quote from our event-brochure that gives a good overview of our offer. Please also see the complete slides in our previous post further below.

"Consultants Of Compassion, Theandb is helping its clients to succeed in the initial concept, startup and planning phases of an online-product creation with a specialisation in e-commerce, portals and marketplaces. Supported by the directors 16+ years of experience in Fortune 100 companies, including managing Amazon.com’s online assets, we will help you to save valuable time & costs before the implementation commences and ensure that there will be no gaps between business’ expectations and the final online product.

Theandb further uses industry-recognized intangible intelligence analysis in their work - created and endorsed by the Intangible Management Standards Institute – to support companies in financially valuing intangible assets such as staff engagement/ disengagement levels, knowledge, collaboration, culture, and others on an activity-by-activity basis. This results in productivity improvements of 20+ percent and considerable increases in cost efficiency for project- and risk-management, engagement with (outsourcing) suppliers and selection of strategic technology platforms."

great day in the evolution of Theandb.biz

The 17th of October, 2006 marks as an important day in the history of our business.

We were awarded the status of Endorsed Supplier here in Australia under the Endorsed Supplier Arrangement (ESA). Once we'll find some spare time (difficult to find these days), we will of course give our site the badge of honour.

On that same day, we had two excellent meetings on creating partnerships that promise to bring in strong intellectual property and excellent growth potential for Theandb Pty. Ltd. More on these as we progress through them to a more final stage.

We also have our first corporate customer signed up for transLucid which is another piece of great news. There are concrete plans to merge our publishing-system with a serverless (=P2P) document sharing/ collaboration tool as well in the coming months.

As you can tell, many new developments that we hope will have a positive impact for our clients and users.

new website

As announced earlier last month, we relaunched theandb.biz with pages on our services, products and experience. An overview of our partner network might follow soon. Mostly we are going to iteratively work on the existing content throughout the coming weeks based on the feedback we will receive. The relaunched website will in particular allow us to better communicate to future and current clients down-under, our new residence.

launch of new color-scheme

Today we launched our new color-scheme and prepared the navigation for the content to come soon. This is a good step to the full relaunch of theandb.biz.
For now, the link "who we are" will point to the PDF version of our companies presentation. We feel that it represents better what we have to offer than the old html-page. That will of course change once we will have created content for the new sub-sections of our site.

Stay tuned for more.