Category Archives: Interviews

MEET THE TQUILA TEAM: Tim Davies


Tim Davies, UI / UX Practice DirectorMeet Tim Davies, Practice Director UI / UX. Tim joined Tquila in July 2012.

A design geek at heart, if you don’t see him engrossed in the latest online design gallery then, as a big gamer, you will find him playing military airsoft! Why not challenge him to a game…

Here’s what Tim has to say about his role at Tquila:

What I do

“User Interface concept and designs for mobile apps. Mapping a user journey and creating sales concepts and pitch materials to present to clients. I take part in client consultation and workshops to help clients get maximum impact from their applications and interfaces. I also deal with project management and oversee road mapping.”

Why I love my job

“It sounds like a cliche, but no two days are the same. This role has opened my eyes to a whole new way of working, I work fast, I work agile and I work fast again! Alongside some of the most talented people in the industry. Every day brings a new challenge with diverse projects.”

Why I love Tquila

“Tquila is a fun and creative brand that pushes the boundaries of traditional technology and helps customers achieve more from their Salesforce solution. We get to help customers see the bigger picture – and for me in particular – get to convince them of the importance of mobile! There is such a great culture here and the atmosphere is electric.”

Follow Tim on twitter @RandomTrashy

Want to be part of this? Check out our job openings or send your CV to careers@tquila.com

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Meet the Tquila Team: Alfredo Bianco


Meet Alfredo Bianco, Senior Salesforce Consultant. Alfredo joined Tquila in September 2011.

An avid table tennis player he recently dragged many of the team out to play some ping pong and show off his skills!

Here’s what Alfredo has to say about his role at Tquila:

What I do

“I implement business solutions using the salesforce.com platform. Mostly using declarative configuration but I also give myself the chance to ‘get my hands dirty’ and write little bits of Apex code.”

Why I love my job

“It’s incredibly rewarding to help clients bridge the gap between what they explain to you, what the business analyst describes, what marketing advertises and what they really needed from the start. Sometimes this journey leads you through turbulent waters but the final outcome and the clients satisfaction makes it worth it.”

Why I love Tquila

“It’s fun working amongst such smart people and with some great clients. The team come from all around the world with such diverse work and life experiences. It makes you interested in learning more and developing both personally and professionally.”

Want to be part of this? Check out our current roles or send your CV to careers@tquila.com

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Build vs. Buy for Football fans


Only 5 days left until the final match for UEFA 2012.

4 teams remaining, Germany, Spain, Portugal, and Italy. According to the public bets, Germany and Spain (57%) are more than 3 1/2 times more like to face off each other than against Portugal or Italy (~16%).

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The pressure is on for both coaches and players! Making good decisions separates between winning or losing.

In software development cycles, one comes across the decision between “Buy” and/or “Build”. Which approach is the right one? Should one just toss an coin in the air? Or, is there a rigorous process guiding through that decision making process?

A few days ago, I had to advise a potential client on whether they should buy a software package or build in-house their integration tools. Before making the recommendation, I researched online. Even through there exist many industry research firms, such as Meta Group, Gartner, Forrester, … Many of them are paid by their sponsoring companies;, hence, heavily tipped toward buying one or a few products. Other sites from Internet told me that they are

  • Balancing act between risk / reward
  • Number of users
  • Proprietary vs. Standard technologies

They are also a little too vague for me. Hence, I decided to make a little flowchart to guide me through that process.

Build vs. Buy Flow Chart

Despite the pressure to make decisions immediately, one really should look at the problem from a more strategic POV. In the Euro 2012 playoff, the Russian Coach had to quit, despite an early 4 to 1 win against the Czech Republic. http://www.rt.com/sport/football/fursenko-resignation-footbal-rfu-putin-euro2012-mutko-706/   And, the Portugal is still around after losing to Germany in their first game.

The purpose of IT projects are to generate values for the implementing organizations. Therefore, project managers should start by examining whether a proposed project makes business sense, i.e. the business value > the implementation + maintenance cost. Business values come in many different forms, reducing operation costs, streamlining business process, enhancing customers interactions, … Costs also have many different factors, development expense, time consumed, training & upkeep, etc.

When a project shows good value proposition, it should move to next steps. In spite many industry analysts preach, a project can easily become a legacy application with wrong selection / implementation process, even with most advanced & state-of-art technologies. A better approach to make decisions is examining the fit from organization’s business process angle. IT technologies evolve at a rapid pace. The costs of maintaining applications, training, integration would sometimes exceed the initial implementation cost. Hence, non-core IT projects, ones that are outside of organization’s core business competencies would be best implemented by partners (consulting firms). They are experts in those area and can make excellent decisions between using COTS (Commercial Off The Shelve software), SAAS (Software As A Service), or building a custom solutions. Furthermore, the cost of developing and maintaining technical expertise would be spread across multiple projects.

On the other hand, when organization have projects that are integral components of their overall business processes and strategies, they should further examine whether they have the necessary internal resources for completing and maintaining those projects. Outside of budget constraints, the project manager could take several different approaches.

  1. Solution approach – I know exactly what I want and have developed a set of criterions (objectives for success / failure)  With this approach, the main focuses are developing the timeline, resource selection, cost estimation (i.e. how much it costs to buy & subscribe something vs. building something), …
  2. Analytic approach – I have a vision of where I want to be, (for example, I want to integrate one or several platforms, i.e. Supply Chain, CRM, Portal). This will be a good time to think through different possibilities, whether it be using one platform, a mix of platforms, build, or all of above. The strategy here will be addressing multiple issues and develop a roadmap for the future.
  3. Not all projects need to come to a Buy/Build decision. Sometimes, it’s better rethinking the Go/No-Go decision. For example, the game between England and Italy was decided by penalty kicks.

To summarize, even though Buy vs. Build are easy choices, there really exist alternatives. That is to examine the Go/No-Go decision, understand the overall business processes and project value propositions, and consult with partners who have subject matter expertise. It is best to well manage one’s core competencies and leverage partner’s knowledge.

OK, there are still a few days to the Euro 2012 Football final. All the teams are busy training & formulating strategies. While the public opinions decidedly favor Germany and Spain, the outcome is still uncertain. So, remember, Jean de La Fontaine’s Quote: “All roads lead to Rome, but …  think we should choose different paths. [Fr., Tous les chemins mènent à Rome; ainsi nos concurrents crurent pouvoir choisir des sentiers différents.]

There are many different ways to making good decisions, as long as they are good. 🙂

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Across the pond with Jeff Douglas


“Across the Pond” is a series of Q&A blog posts where I interview some of the salesforce.com and Force.com Platform‘s brightest stars. Most recently I interviewed Jeff Douglas, a Force.com MVP, Force.com Hero, Blogger, Author, Open-source developer and all-around nice guy. He’s a senior consultant for Appirio and most recently started in the role of Developer Evangelist at Cloudspokes (which is incredibly awesome). You can find him on twitter @jeffdonthemic.

Q: Tell us a bit about your career. Where did you start, and how did you get to where you are today?

I was actually the teacher’s assistant in computer class in high school writing BASIC and Pascal. I would have never guessed that I’d be where I am right now! I actually went into sales right after college because I “wanted to be rich” but absolutely hated it. I quit shortly thereafter and started doing web design which is funny ‘cuz I can’t even draw a crooked line. I soon landed a job with a multi-national company managing their global website development shop while doing my own biz on the side. That introduced me to a guy and we subsequently started a business doing Java development for SAP R/3. Actually… this is getting too damn long…. just go check out my LinkedIn profile for details but I eventually took a Salesforce.com class from someone at Appirio and joined them about a year and a half later. Love the company, love the industry and love the people at Appirio! Continue reading
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