Tallan Blog

Tallan’s Experts Share Their Knowledge on Technology, Trends and Solutions to Business Challenges

Tallan Attends Its First ALM LegalWeek Conference

A couple of weeks ago, Tallan attended its first ALM LegalWeek conference in New York City. With over 4,000 attorneys, c-suite executives, marketing and business development staff, exhibitors, and vendors registered, our team was looking forward to networking and the educational panels we had the opportunity to attend.
The event was divided into three separate ‘conferences,’ Legal CIO, Legal Tech, and Legal Business Strategy. We divided and conquered, and after day 1, one thing became clear: LegalTech has become mainstream. Firms are looking for out-of-the-box products and platforms to enhance processes, time-keep for ease of billing, foster eDiscovery, and generally optimize operations. There are vendors for nearly every ‘LegalTech’ you could imagine or need.
For the most part, they are internal. Save time by digitizing records, but if a firm cannot bill that time saved (not that attorneys perform administrative tasks anyway), then how…

QA is the foundation for UX Evolvement

As a UX designer, I was tasked with a QA assignment that required me to change hats. QA needs direction, and it is essential that UX delivers designs that have a story in the form of journey maps and sitemaps so QA can create test cases with useful sample data for effective interactive testing. It is important to have visual workflows and explicit instructions that can be easily followed by developers, which in turn provides QA with a clear direction in testing efforts.
Walking through test cases as a QA with a UX background allowed me to see what most developers may not recognize including simple usability issues that may not have been thought of:

Visibility of system status
Match between system and the real world
User control and freedom
Consistency and standards
Error prevention
Recognition rather than recall
Flexibility and efficiency of use
Aesthetic and minimalist design
Help users…

Parsing Delimited Strings in a SQL Database

I often receive requests from colleagues needing to solve particularly thorny problems from within a SQL database. This article is intended for those who might find themselves needing to parse a delimited string inside a SQL database, those who find themselves in a position to provide solutions to this particular issue and those liking SQL challenges.
Recently a colleague posed a problem where the value in one column was a list of user property metadata. Each user property was a list of the information required to extract values from a second column in the same table, a list within a list with a common delimiter throughout. A key-value pairs table is a suitable design for this application; the designer chose a different path. The data and the metadata about that data were denormalized into separate columns. Our goal is to determine a solution…

Azure Governance

The speed at which companies are moving to the cloud continues to accelerate. When the cloud-first came to be, the question was, why? Why should we relinquish control of our infrastructure? Once there was a reasonable answer to why, it became a matter of if, if we are going to move to the cloud.  Now it’s a matter of when.  And now that we’re there, the question has become, how do we organize everything and maintain control? In short, Governance. Governance enables you to; (i) establish control by implementing policies with real-time enforcement, compliance assessment, and remediation, (ii) deploy and update cloud environments in a repeatable manner using composable artifacts, (iii) query, explore, and analyze cloud resources at scale, (iv) define an organizational hierarchy, and (v) monitor cloud spend and optimize resources. Next week, we will begin a four-part mini-series on…

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Implementing Directives on Angular Form Inputs

What is a Directive?
Now we know how to make custom validators, which can significantly enhance user experience with more specific error messages that can pop up before submission. However, sometimes the answer that the user inputted is not quite what you are expecting, but not necessarily wrong. In these cases, you need to decide if it is better to leave the result as is, display a (hopefully descriptive) error message, or adjust the response. In this blog post, we’re going to focus on the third option, utilizing Angular directives to change the user response slightly as a gentle alert to the user that we will be saving their response in a different format than what they had originally inputted.
What exactly is a directive? Attribute directives, which is what we will be working with, are responsible for changing the appearance or…

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Making More Readable Custom Validators for Angular Forms

What are Angular Forms?
Angular has become a powerful tool in application development over the years. Companies in every field utilize this framework to create powerful websites that provide a clear and fast user experience. In many cases, there is a need to collect information from the user, for everything from gauging user experience to collecting vital documents and information when a claim is being filed. Angular has two different types of forms that are optimized for effective data collection from the user. Template-driven forms are asynchronous in nature and known for having most of their logic driven by the template. Reactive driven forms are known for being mostly synchronous and having logic that primarily resides in the component. In this blog, we will be tackling reactive forms, and more specifically, how to make your life easier with more readable validators.
How…

Integrating Cloud Services: Azure Service Bus

What is Azure Service Bus?
Azure Service Bus is an integration message broker used as a reliable platform for asynchronous data transfer between different applications and services. Data is transferred using messages which can contain JSON, XML, or simply text. These messages are either transferred over queues or topics. In short, queues are used for point-to-point communication between one sender and one receiver, and topics are used in publisher/subscriber scenarios, with one sender and multiple, subscribing receivers. This Microsoft document provides a more detailed explanation of the Service Bus, Queues, and Topics, as well as some advanced features to solve more complex messaging problems.
This article will provide an example implementation of an Azure Service Bus connecting two .NET Applications.
Implementing Azure Service Bus
Azure Portal
               Setting up a Service Bus through the Azure portal is a very simple process,…

How Automated Reporting Saved 96 Days Per Year for a Non-Emergency Medical Transport Broker

One of the most common goals in business is improving efficiency while maintaining high-quality work. As a consulting company, Tallan has worked with hundreds of clients on thousands of projects all across the US, so we are no stranger to the common expectation that our services will increase the quality of technology, and improve operations. 
Recently, we engaged with a local non-emergency medical transportation (NEMT) broker on a Data & Analytics project. NEMT brokers serve as a liaison between health plan providers, patients, and transportation vendors. Their mission is to coordinate transportation services for disadvantaged patients who are unable to make it to health care appointments. Providing this service both improves wellness and reduces costs for insurers.
Problem
NEMT Brokers are responsible for, among other things, tracking interactions and reporting data to the insurers with whom they hold contracts. These contracted relationships now…

Western & Southern Financial Group Innovation Jam: Building Innovative Solutions for the Insurance Industry

Recently, Tallan had the pleasure of planning and delivering an Innovation Jam for Western & Southern Financial Group, Inc.  Our journey with Western & Southern began this September when we first connected thanks to an Azure AppDev Hackfest opportunity that turned into their Innovation Jam. First things first, we started with identifying what they were looking to accomplish for their business.
From the first conversation with Craig Spencer, Assistant Vice President of Application Development, and Bonnie Wathen, Talent Acquisition Manager, IT, it was clear that their organization was very excited about this opportunity and their future transition to a cloud-based infrastructure.  Over the two months of planning leading up to the event, we worked closely with Craig, Bonnie, and the rest of the planning committee to:

Define the groups that would be participating,
Assemble groups and collect ideas and solutions each group wanted…

CBIA Employment Law Conference: AI for HR Panel Recap

Last week, the Connecticut Business & Industry Association held its annual Employment Law Conference. Tallan’s SVP of Client Delivery, Doug Smith, spoke on a panel with Dan Schwartz, a Partner at Shipman & Goodwin and author of the CT Employment Law Blog.
Rather than pose questions to the panelists, Moderator Mark Soycher opted to poll the audience, and allow Doug and Dan to provide color commentary on Artificial Intelligence & Analytics for HR: Recruiting, Retention & Engagement.
This style panel allowed for continued audience engagement for a topic many seem to shy away from. I was pleasantly surprised by some of the answers I saw, and not all that surprised by others. The first two questions created a Word Cloud, so the audience was able to visualize what their peers were thinking. The very first question asked was, “What loathed HR task or responsibility would you love…

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