AwamiMarkaz.com: Welcome to the interview session. Could you tell us in brief about yourself and your educational and professional background?
Adnan Shamim: I have graduated from FAST â€“ NU in the year 2004. Since then, I have worked with a number of software houses as a system analyst / programmer on applications related to tactical simulations, product development facilitating RAD and collaboration solutions using Microsoft server side products primarily MOSS 2007 and Business Intelligence Development Studio 2005. I have earned my MCTS certification in MOSS 2007 configuration and application development areas. I am currently working at Abbott Laboratories as SharePoint Web Developer in the Area IT team, facilitating portal envisioning, deployment, support, training and development of web parts and related components related to collaboration requirements of different affiliate countries where Abbott is situated.
AwamiMarkaz.com:Â What are the proven document management and collaboration systems in the Industry and which is the best?
Adnan Shamim:Â There are quite a few document management solutions that are being used in industries of various domains to track and centralize their documents. Hummingbird DM, IBM Filenet, IBM Websphere, Documentum and OmniDocs were commonly used before Microsoft launched its Windows SharePoint Services 2.0 (currently 3.0 is available), which is a free product. Any document management which supports indexing, storing, structuring, versioning, audit trail on the documents that are stored in it, security of the documents, easy retrieval and adheres to compliance standards is termed as a good document management system. WSS 3.0 alone has established itself to be a very good product. SharePoint 2007 offers more advantages and is built on top of WSS 3.0. Being web based, user friendliness and support from Microsoft Partner companies WSS 3.0 and MOSS 2007 has gained a lot of popularity in the last 2 years.
AwamiMarkaz.com:Â How big are MOSS implementations at corporations and what other systems are being used to facilitate collaboration?
Adnan Shamim:Â This relates to the number of users any organization has. Usually a 5 server farm, 2 database and 3 MOSS / WSS servers, can accommodate 25,000 users easily.
AwamiMarkaz.com: How does collaboration systems handle time difference between branches in various companies, if they have a central installation of IT systems?
Adnan Shamim: It all depends upon the topology that is planned. A single centralized installation can also serve the purpose. Each document management site can be configured for specific time zone. Distributed topology can be established as well and synchronization jobs can be scheduled. However, a central topology not only promises lesser administrative tasks like backup and recovery, It also saves a lot of licencing costs.
AwamiMarkaz.com: Where do you see the IT sector and industry in the next 10 years in terms of Vendors and Corporate Companies?
Adnan Shamim: Well, nothing can be said during these tough times. Companies such as Microsoft rely on investments of their partner companies to market their products in the region. Since the stability of such vendors is a question mark now, Corporate companies are again going back to the trend of hiring, though not as large, in-house teams to evaluate and implement solutions specific to their needs. I am not sure about IBM and Oracle. There are not many partners marketing their products, but they have their presence in corporations like Abbott, PSO, Shell and Unilever.
AwamiMarkaz.com: Any guidelines that you would like to propose for graduates of Computer Universities?
Adnan Shamim: In the past few years, things have changed a lot.Â Various sectors in the IT industry have matured, which is good news for fresh graduates. Some of these areas are Software Quality Assurance, Business Development, Software Sales and even Project Management. If an individual with less experience has good communication and management skills, then they are allowed to perform in management capacity as well. These young professionals can then facilitate their career path by pursuing an MBA degree from any reputable institute.
My recommendation is however to stick with the software development side. Any computer science graduate, who intends to be in the development field should stay in programming for at least 3 years. One should improve his knowledge in industry verticals such as Finance or FMCGs. People with a programming background are best when placed in the roles of Business Analysts, Project Managers and for that matter Software Sales.