Incident versus Problem Management

Years back when I was still earning a living through writing and maintaining codes, I’d a colleague, a System Engineer who is looking after the servers that our application was running on. As with any application, ours had bugs too. And, occasionally, the bugs surfaced, bring about a service disruption. This affected quite a lot of users, and naturally our first response was to restore the service (incident management).

Our colleague, however, was more focused on problem resolution. A scheduled weekly restart at off-peak hours were not acceptable. Likewise, we cannot be always increasing the heap size to address OOM issue. He would insist on fixing the problem instead of having quick fixes. At that point of time, these did frustrate me.

Back then, I was still green and lacked ITIL knowledge. Now, I begin to appreciate that our quick fix or workarounds were not wrong, our intention was to quickly restore the service so that business continues as usual. My colleague was not wrong either, for insisting on problem resolution.

Through the hard way of learning, I come to realize that not all problems have a solution and sometimes, a workaround could actually become the permanent fix to a problem. Not to mention that problem resolution takes time, and while searching for the answer, business must continue and hence, a workaround if available can provide the required time.

Perhaps what was missing at that time was the ITIL training for both the application teams and our system engineers. If we knew what were incident and problem management, perhaps both teams could have worked together with better synergy.


Theatres cutting down on movies listing ads

Take a good look at this Sunday, one-third page movie listing ad. Spot any difference?

There’re three key interesting things to take note. Firstly, it’s only one-third page. Well, one could argue it’s Sunday. But really, is it a sign that cinemas are cutting down on their movie listing ads budget?

Secondly, the largest cinema chain, Golden Village (GV) is conspicuously missing from the ad. What does this mean? Are they relying on their website and smartphone/tablet apps to reach out to audiences instead?

Lastly, notice that Cathay smartly relies on the QR code to have readers go to their website for the full listing. Perhaps they still wish to reach out to newspaper reading folks while cutting down on advertising costs and also appearing cool and using new technology.

Whatever the case is, this doesn’t sound good to our MSM that relies heavily on the advertising dollar!

Sony Mobile still missing the point in selling


While BlackBerry seems to have gotten it in their recent product launch. Sony seems to struggle with it.

Looking at this front page ad, seriously they’re still in the era of selling specifications instead of benefits that consumers care.

“The highest level of water resistance in a smartphone”
Why should I care? What does this means to me? Tell me that I can bring to take beautiful photos on my next snorkeling trip. Or tell me it will survive my washing machine trip. That’s something that will make me feel connected.

If they continue to miss the boat, I wonder how much longer can they stay in the race for the market pie.

Happy New Year 2013!!!


2012 Top 50 Most Overused Words in Press Releases by SHIFT Communications


For more information, please refer to SHIFT Communications.

Review of the new iOS Google Map

Did a 3-days test on the new iOS Google Maps. My verdict in short – beats the old iOS Google Map, new Apple Map & online Google map.
Here’s what I like about it:

  • Auto re-routing: don’t have to worry if I did a wrong turn
  • Voice guided turn-by-turn: concentrate on the road, not the screen
  • Accurate & decent routes
  • Here’s what I thought could have been better:

  • The weird pronunciation of Malay street names – had a good laugh, but also hard time in mapping into the correct names
  • Didn’t warn me about tolls – my 1st trip had 3 ERPs! Luckily, they were not operational during the time
  • Used up quite a fair bit of battery life over a short time
  • So where did I go? My destinations include: Punggol, Sengkang, Buangkok, Zion Road, Jurong, Turf Club Road, Fairways Drive, & Raffles Boulevard. Quite a good mix, I would say.

    Overall, it’s a good companion for the driver.

    Merry Christmas!