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IT and Business Architecture/BBS or Forum-style communications system for Business


Hi Royden,
I am an AE expert in the category of Exporting & Importing goods.

In my company, we use email to communicate but this is a very inefficient form of communication for the sort of collaborative work we do. I would like to replace email communications with a bulletin board (BBS) style or Forum-style communications system in which all communications take place through the forum/board. I will be the moderator or sysop, as it were.  Interestingly, quick searches on line failed to find any companies offering forums or bbs platforms for businesses that want to use these as their collaborative communications system in place of emails. What is your advice and recommendation for how to go about setting up such a system for my business?  Thank you, Hank


I am the global Enterprise Architect for DHL Express, so we live this regularly.  Structured Messages are the best form of message transfer as the various segments can be validated for structure, codes and valid conditions.  The use of a BBS is probably NOT the best (20 y/o technology).  I would suggest a web-forum, with some structured forms backed by a light portal where people could be guided through the completion of the forms.  The forms would basically be nothing more than a front end to form XML messages which then could be transmitted to a "receiver or process handler" form with intelligent processing on it.  The various customs, TSA, (known Shipper) rules could all be managed back-end based on the data collected.  The cost of such a system depends on whether you go to an overblown development hours or a niche developer.  I recommend the later.  The total cost of something that could handle a 10,000 messages a day would be about 40-60K USD, with a monthly run cost of about 2K (if hosted externally) or 300 a month is self supported.  I am not sure of the size of your business.

To facilitate the transfer of your current customers, you could have a VBA developer generate a Outlook form which would be similar to the portal for about 3K

I hope this helps.

Royden Akerley

IT and Business Architecture

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Royden Akerley


Any architectural question relating to the business change, requirements, and solution design activities as a part of the business/IT development process. I can discuss SOA, and traditional development, design patterns, architectural paradigms, and professional accreditation (or associations).


1974 began as a system operator in SHL Atlantic. 1978 worked as developer and data base anlyst. 1986 became a software designer. 1989 became an enterprise level Technical Director and Architect for Blue Chip company. Ardent adherent to the ISO and CMM standards for process standardization and improvement since 1988 Concentrated on the design or re-engineering of large complex applications since 1989 (majority of projects were over $10M USD and 2 were over $100M USD) High-performance strategist focusing on optimizing efficiency and creating competitive advantage Respected professional, repeatedly recruited to build start-up IT infrastructures that bolster profitable growth, manage quality development/delivery activities, turnaround poorly performing programs, and architect solutions to maximize ROI. Thought leader and industry recognized expert in Service Oriented Architect, lecturing and consulting to industry and government globally. Contributes regularly and participates as speaker in 2-3 conferences a year around the globe. Led the architecture and integration of hardware, firmware and software relating to large-scale intranets and data inter/exchange using everything from EDI through FTP to XML for financial institutions, telecommunications firms and governments Exceptional communicator, who combines solid business and technical acumen while building consensus and creates synergy among diverse groups. Experience with Banking, Logistics, Telecommunications, Government Currently one of 5 Enterprise Architects for the worlds largest logistics and express company.

International Association of System Architects | Canadian Information Processing Society | World Wide Institute of Software Architects | Open group - Architecture Forum | Data Processing Management Association | International Programmers Guild

B Comm - Major: Data Processing Management, Minor: Accounting | Certificate - Scientific Computer Programming | M Sc - Information Science | DCS - Thesis - "Business Alignment, Change and IT Requirements Management"

Awards and Honors
CIPPA Award (1992, 2005) SIAAA Award (2008)

Past/Present Clients
Aliant Communications | Atlantic Kidney Transplant Clinic | BC Workers Compensation Board | Brascan Power | CARIS | Corkette McConnell | DFA Philippines | DHL Express | DHL Global Forwarding | DHL SPL Asia | ESA | Globe Telecom | GTE | Hong Kong Government | LRA Philippines | LTO Philippines | Malaysia Government | Ministerio de la Salud Pública – Chile | NB Tel | NSO Philippines | PCI – Equitable Bank | PharmaCare | Phil Health | Rural Health Administration – Uganda | Smart Communications | World Health Organization

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