Author Archives: Staff

London Enterprise Tech Meetup Kicks Off

Bankers and Financial Services may grab most of the headlines when it comes to business in London, however London is a capital for many other industries, from the well known such as publishing, fashion and media, to smaller niches such as Hollywood films post-production that is done in the alleys of Soho, to high end tailoring on Saville row. However London is fast becoming a hub for the Technology Industry, spearheaded by Old Street’s “Silicon Roundabout”. However beyond the trendy cafes of Shoreditch, another industry brews, less flash yet more robust: Technology Companies for Enterprises.

Ian Ellis, ADMIS class of ’04 has recently returned to London after a few years in New York City. While in the Big Apple, Ian and his colleague, Jonathan Lehr, felt that there was a disconnect in the Technology sector. An ecosystem that lacked conversations amongst its practitioners, so Ellis and Lehr started the New York Enterprise Technology Meetup. A monthly forum for practitioners, enthusiasts, entrepreneurs and investors to present and discuss Technology for Enterprises, in a similar manner to the world’s largest Tech Meetup, the NY Tech Meetup.

When Ian relocated to London in September 2012, he extended the initiative and created the London Enterprise Technology Meetup, as an opportunity to bring together a community of like-minded people, the entrepreneurs of London and the UK, to talk about the latest trends and innovations in enterprise tech. With backing from the likes of Bloomberg Ventures, the LSE Department of Management and Aimar Capital, the LNETM hosts between three and four companies that vary from the newly founded startups, to the established emerging technology companies.

On October 17th, the LNETM launched at Bloomberg’s London HQ offices by hosting four companies : Amplience , a company that enables merchandisers and marketers to build device-optimised, rich and engaging customer experiences and channels for all channels and devices, Enterproid a company that helps organizations and individuals get the most out of mobile technology and corporate BYOD policies, Evolven, which redefines configuration management and change management with its groundbreaking Change & Configuration Monitoring solution, and Import.io: a data exchange connecting data suppliers with data users, large and small.

LSE’s Hong Kong Theatre, and under the auspices of LSE ISG Professor Carsten Sorensen, played host to the next four monthly LNETM meetups, hosting a suite of companies covering a range of topics and domains: Centrix Software (next generation workspace solutions for mobiles) JClarity (Java performance tuning products), Perspecsys (privacy, residency and security solutions for the cloud), Bromium (micro-virtualization security) , CipherCloud’s (cloud encryption) , iRise (creative iPhone apps design), Nexenta (core storage platform), Channel Mechanics (Channel Enablement as a Service), iMobMedia (mobile solutions).

Some of the more interesting presentations covering the hot topics in Information Systems studies and Innovation, were Digital Reasoning that has developed an automated understanding for Big Data, DataHug an information analysis software that builds up a dynamic database of company-wide connections and uses analytics to show who knows who. Cloud computing was featured in the likes of WaraTek who developed the first Java Virtual Machine (JVM) specifically designed for Cloud computing and Java-as-a-Service (JaaS). Cybersecurity was covered by Threatspike , a cloud service that allows you to build a secure network with built-in protection against malware, hackers and insider threats without requiring installation of any hardware or software.

Each company gets a fifteen minute slot to talk about what they do, and to give a short demo, with another ten minutes for questions and answers. A networking and drinks event follows each meetup, sponsored by the LNETM and Aimar Capital.

April’s LNETM event will feature demo presentations from Digital Shadows, who offer managed security services focused on preventing threat vectors from social media and Mobeelizer, that provides products to help with synchronising back end systems with mobile applications. In addition, there will be a panel discussion about how to grow high quality European enterprise tech companies, lead by partners from leading venture capital firms, Accel Partners, DFJ Esprit, Hoxton Square Ventures and Intel Capital.

For more information and how to attend visit the LNETM page at:

http://www.meetup.com/ln-enterprise-tech/
or contact Ian on ian@lnetm.com.

ADMIS Graduate Awarded Fulbright Scholarship

David Randall, an ADMIS’10 graduate has been awarded the highly regarded Fulbright Scholarship.
While studying abroad during his undergraduate degree, David stumbled upon the LSE Information Systems website, and its now retired ADMIS program. It caught his eye as a unique program at a predominantly social sciences university and he made it a top choice for his graduate studies. Prior to beginning his studies at the LSE, David spent a year at TNT, the parcel distribution company, working as a Service Assurance Analyst where he coordinated disaster recovery and business continuity
efforts.

For his Master’s thesis, David looked at a virtual team made up of members of an online community competing in a contest organised by the Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency
(DARPA) – the same organisation that was responsible for the ground breaking work in switching networks that laid the foundations for the internet infrastructure.

The aim of the contest (known as the DARPA Network Challenge) was to utilise online communities to find 10 red balloons that were placed around the continental US for 10 hours on one day in December 2009. The team David investigated was comprised of a dozen or so people – located all around the world – who acted as a nerve centre for organising the rest of a 30,000 strong community and about 2,000 core participants. His thesis looked at the media synchronicity theory and with his collected data he was able to show that some key elements of the theory faltered when applied to the DARPA project team. David was a member of the team thus had primary source access to data from Google Wave (now a defunct project) and Skype.  Unsurprisingly, the thesis entitled “Ten Red Balloons: Virtual Teams and Online Communities – a Test of Media Synchronicity Theory” was awarded a distinction, the same honour that would apply to his overall degree. David swiftly followed up his work with a paper to be published in the upcoming edition of iSChannel.

With a background in computing and soon to be an ADMIS graduate, David was hunting for a PhD program, and applied for the Fulbright Scholarship in May 2010. With the outcome of his work at LSE still unknown, he did not give it much thought after applying and was instead focused on his research. He was then pleasantly surprised when he was invited for an interview the following August. David found the interview process to be somewhat rigorous, and was not overly optimistic about his chances, yet to his delight a month later he received the letter offering him a confirmed award for 2011-12. It later emerged during a reception with the US Ambassador at Fulbright’s pre-departure orientation, that one of the things that impressed the Director of the UK Commission so much during David’s interview was that the panel saw a Tweet he made about it after leaving – something he said he would do when being questioned about social networking during his interview.

The Fulbright Scholarship, of up to $25,000 towards tuition and living expenses for one year, also pays for GRE & application fees and comes with the invaluable support of the Fulbright commission through the application process, admission and beyond. After several months of applications and interviews David accepted an offer to study towards a PhD in Information Science at the University of Washington, in Seattle. At the University of Washington he plans to be working with a faculty member on Wiki Projects under a National Science Foundation grant and in the future hopes to get involved in NASA research on communications and the logistics of coordinating teams on the ground and those in space.

LISA wishes David the best of luck, in hope that one of our graduates would be partly behind the first tweet from the Moon: “@LISA Zero Gravity Information Systems”.

LSE Bids Farewell to the ADMIS Program


By Mariya Dimova

On the evening of September 6th 2011, the London School of Economics Honk Kong Theatre hosted a nostalgic audience of graduates, who had come to bid farewell to the renowned Analysis, Design and
Management of Information Systems (ADMIS) program at the LSE. The prestigious course ran for over 30 years and had graduated many experts in the field of Information Systems. The program became
famous through the years for its different outlook on the position of technology in modern life and on how to optimize the use of IT and the implementation of information systems with minimum destructive
impact.

The farewell event was hosted by Professor Steve Smithson who welcomed back some of the founding fathers of the Information Systems department in a memorial journey back through the history of
the program, going back as far as 1969. The first speaker, Professor Frank Land shared with the crowd his personal adventures in the computer world and how ADMIS was born from his dream for a
research led program, fully recognized as an academic discipline, a field in its infancy at the time. Backed up by a few major projects and cooperation between various institutions ADMIS has undergone
“considerable changes over the decades, but in many ways remained true to the founding ideals rooted both in practice and sociotechnical notions” according to Professor Land.

The second speaker, and distinguished guest who had travelled especially for this event, Professor Bob Galliers, reminded the audience that when you get in touch with the ADMIS world you remain an
ADMISer for the rest of your life. He talked about how he has spread the ideas he developed in London while at the IS Department to places as far as Australia and has made a huge impact on the direction and
development of IS research. Despite his short tenure at LSE, its effect was long lasting.

The third speaker, one of the most esteemed and long standing members of the ADMIS faculty remained true to his style and entertained the audience with some of his most famous slides shown through the years. Professor Ian Angell subtly reminded the audience of the dangers of IT and that “even women and gambling can’t ruin a man as thoroughly as technology can” he quoted Georges Pompidou.

In a series of comic cartoons and famous words, the audience was reminded that the world of technology should not be romanticized but approached with care and a good dosage of humour.
Throughout the speeches, where the presentation was structured in a sequential manner with each of the speakers covering a period in the journey of “The Good Ship ADMIS” the term coined by Professor Smithson, who showed a set of pictures to remind everyone that ADMIS remains a “work hard , party hard” place . With a handful of social events strong friendships were forged through the years and ADMIS has become a family for many of its graduates. Births were celebrated and deaths were mourned but
graduations and reunions always bring a smile to people’s faces.

Before giving the floor to Professor Chrisanthi Avgerou, Smithson walked through the many changes of the curriculum and eventually to the retirement of ADMIS. Avgerou then introduced MISI, “the phoenix rising from the ashes of ADMIS and the future of the Information Systems and Innovations Group. The new
program remains true to the core principles of informing future generations by avoiding polemics and teaching critical judgment.The aim is to “develop capabilities for making sense of continuous innovation and its consequences for business, work, and society and therefore for taking informed decisions and actions.” as she described it.

The final speaker was Adnan Naseem, chairperson of the LISA committee, who thanked everyone for attending, as without the Alumni, this event would have not been possible. Naseem then gave a short overview of LISA’s activities and the road ahead, in hope of growing the Alumni family, and reconnecting with over 2,300 graduates over the years.

After the presentation the farewell party moved to the senior common room at the Old Building, where food and drinks were just an excuse for lengthy discussions and many nostalgic conversations. LISA members, made sure that people were enjoying themselves and had the chance to talk to former
professors as well as meet students graduated from ADMIS years earlier or later. The event was great success and in an old ADMIS tradition finished with more laughter at George, the beloved LSE
pub.

Pictures courtesy of Heemanshu Jain

JP Morgan Executive: Networking is Vital

By Nasheeta Sarwar

As part of an effort to bring professionals from industry closer to students at the ISIG Group, LISA hosted Ms. Christiane Macedo, Managing Director and Global Head of Operations for Futures & Options and FX Prime Brokerage at J.P. Morgan, a leading global investment bank. The presentation, held as part of the IS490 classes and in collaboration with the Alumni group, took place at the LSE New Academic Building in which Ms. Macedo talked to students about the current financial landscape
in the context of J.P. Morgan and her role. Herself an LSE graduate, she touched on the factors of success and making the most of one’s career and how the LSE experience influenced her.
Steve Smithson, Professor of Information Systems at the LSE, introduced Ms. Macedo, on a gratifying note for taking the time to speak to the students, and for the LISA committee for organising the event.

Taking the floor, Ms. Macedo discussed the various projects she has worked on in her career and how her roles have evolved with changes in the global economy, be it the Euro introduction, the Y2K preparation or the recent financial crisis. She stressed on the need to be open and flexible and to embrace changes gracefully for a successful career. Macedo mentioned the importance of constantly challenging ourselves to avoid becoming complacent and stuck within our comfort zones. She emphasized that it is crucial to be able to differentiate ourselves and to acquire skills that make us the expert in a particular subject matter, even if it is something as simple as learning to effectively present projects or summarise complex topics, in order to gain a competitive edge in the workplace. Macedo suggested that networking is of paramount importance, and success in a dynamic work environment is shaped by not only by “what you know, but also how you leverage your network”, and initiatives such as Alumni relations do make a difference.

The talk was thought-provoking in its own right and also served as a launch pad for an interesting discussion between the students and Ms. Macedo, with her playing the role of a discussion leader for a variety of topics ranging from email etiquette, dress code and training/career development opportunities all the way to high frequency trading (HFT). With the strong background of skills in technology and business that the ISIG students garner, the talk was engaging at an intellectual and professional level. Macedo stressed that it is becoming increasingly important to take charge of your career, plan ahead and steer it in the direction you aspire to be in. “If no one notices your work, you have to make yourself noticed”.

A strong believer in diversity, Macedo strongly encouraged the female students to “make their mark” and fully embrace the workforce, to make the most of what they are learning at the LSE both inside and outside the classrooms. Women make a bigger contribution today than ever before, and it is only getting stronger.

Ms. Macedo defined the word “talk” with the session being more focused on discussions than a presentation- which was capturing to the extent that students followed her outside the classroom for more. LISA promised the students more of the same, and hopes that Ms. Macedo would like to return to the department for another exciting discussion.

LISA Hosts Senior SAP Professional

By Adnan Naseem

LISA hosted Mr. Norman Marks, a high-ranking Vice President at SAP for a talk, on 18 February 2011, to give students a view from a practitioner into industry.

The lecture, entitled “The Future of Information: Challenges and Opportunities” began with Professor Steve Smithson giving a short introduction and thanking LISA’s Adnan Naseem who had invited Mr. Marks, and Nasheeta Sarwar from the committee for taking time from their busy schedules to organize and attend this event.

Mr. Marks, an LSE graduate of 1972, currently leads the Governance, Risk and Compliance (GRC) effort at SAP in San Francisco and has held many other senior positions at a number of global companies. Taking the floor, Mr. Marks, gave a short presentation, before opening the floor for discussion with
students, in which Dr. Natalie Mitev from the ISI Group coordinated, and acted as discussion leader.

Over running the time scheduled for the talk, students were eager to discuss SAP’s business model and other issues that are of relevance to their current program of study.

Mr. Naseem, chair of LISA, promised the attendees that the series of talks by industry professionals will
continue with the alumni effort, and will be of significant value to next year’s new Management Information Systems and Innovation (MISI) program, and thanked Dr. Mitev, Dr. Smithson and Mr. Marks for their time.