How to improve efficiency in Finance by further automation.

March 4, 2018
You, as CFO, have increasing tasks to fulfil: next to your historic Finance activities, you are increasingly requested to be aligned with new regulations (financial or not), as well to participate in the analysis of ever growing amounts of data. All this requests an intelligent and efficient approach with a focus to increase efficiency by organising your activities and teams, but more especially by finding further ways to automate where possible.
This post highlights some specific possibilities to improve quality and efficiency by implementing further automation. The list of items below is clearly not an exhaustive list, but gives an indication of possible subjects. Your teams in your company are probably already working, with the CIO and ICT teams, on many of the below topics. However it is important to stay informed on new trends, as they have impacts on your efficiency and quality.

Accounting: as you are well aware, every financial department has to account for all asset and financial transactions.

  • Depending on the type of company, this can vary from a simple to a very complex way of accounting. Most companies these days have introduced various ways of automating these tasks, however there are still many topics which can be improved (non-exhaustive).

  • Invoice received: still many companies do add their invoices to pay manual into their systems. This causes delays and possible errors, with impacts on your company. Various solutions (from simple to complex) exist to solve this problem: mainly by a combination of scanning and automatic recognition (OCR).

  • Monthly closings: still many ‘manual’ entries are to be done just after closing. Avoid this! It will help you in the reporting (see below)

  • Book the costs in the month they are due: with using correct analytics you can better follow the costs. In some companies they book the costs in the month they receive the invoice.
Controlling: Your controlling team has to be efficient:
  • Often the controlling tem is very busy with making reports instead of doing the controlling itself. The last years however the focus shifted to understand the business in a better way, understand and act upon compliance and governance, and to execute effective controls. Automation can help with:

  • A common agreed data environment with a so-called BI (Business Intelligence) Datawarehouse. In many companies these days the Controlling teams are the guardians of the BI data, tools and reports.
Reporting: your teams are sometimes ‘always’ busy to create (and modify) reporting. This can be financial or tax reporting within the company, but off-course also to ‘mother’ companies, tax authorities or for investors.
  • Make sure that there is only one owner of data for a given topic.
  • Do you still use Excel? Microsoft Excel is still one of the most used tools on the market. Your teams struggle to align data with commercial, risk or other teams and spent many days to get it look nice. Solutions exists in many ways, with the first being: use a common set of data. I know, it is easy said, but this is the basis.
  • Use a Business Intelligence tool, and related reporting packages. And pack it nicely with tools like Qlik or Tableau.
Treasury and collections: this part of Finance contains not only cash management, payments, interest and FX risk transactions, but also all other aspects such as interest rates, fees, etc. There a are a huge number of topics and solutions, so let’s take a few:
  • Always use tools to upload data from your bank accounts. Since more than 20 years, incredible good cash management solution exists for big and small companies. PSD-2 impacts and solutions will improve this market even further in 2018.
  • Use advanced payment systems with your bank. Also have a look to other solutions, like Adyen or Ripple (via blockchain). Things are moving fast here.
  • FX management: the traditional world of Treasury systems is moving also. Various new integrated solutions, often directly linked with your accounting and controlling, are available on the market.
  • Collections and accounts receivables: involve a technology supplier to increase efficiency.
Procurement: An important activity, although not always found in Finance. What might be a topic which can be automated?
  • Contract management: solution exist these days to automate your contracts, and to link up to Finance.
  • Manage your accounts payables by managing purchase orders
Other important challenges:
  • Regulations: align your controlling team with the IT teams concerning PSD-2 (many new opportunities) and GDPR (ensure also that your ‘financial’ data do comply with regulations). The IT team can help in the creation and understanding of data within the company.
  • Big data: more and more date is available; either internally in various databases, but especially these days outside your company. Data can be used to inform your board better and enable faster forecasting. Open the discussion with your CIO to understand this better, and how it can be of use for yourselves and your team.
Next articles will go deeper into each of these topics, and also into how upcoming ICT trends will have strong impacts on you as CFO and your team.
This post was brought to you by “CFO meets CIO”, an initiative to help CFO’s and CIO’s to realise their common goals. We advise you to stay in contact (signup for more news at to have further explanations.
Take care,
Bas Eshuis
March 4, 2018

CFO meets CIO

February 26, 2018


I started a new initiative called CFO meets CIO.

The idea is to help CFO’s and CIO’s to realise common goals. CIOs and CFOs are often found at opposite ends in management. One has the task to manage financial activities and risks, while the other has to cope with all technological changes and an identified, often limited, technological budget.

​The current digital revolution has major impacts on both roles, being it on the contents of the roles, the budgets and the people.

​I have 4 clear offers to help and advise CFO’s and CIO’s :

  1. sharing daily News on financial and information technology, allowing you to stay up-to-date.
  2. sharing regular Articles on common topics, allowing for more in-depth focus.
  3. organising Events, such as workshops and webinars with focus on ‘hot’ topics, allowing you to make steps forward.
  4. supporting and finding Personalised Solutions for specific actions: such as :
    • supplying a personal support program increasing the common goals, or
    • delivering you, as a gift, free advice, or
    • delivering project and interim management if you need this for a specific topic.

My focus is to supply CFO’s and CIO’s, and their related Finance and IT teams, with the best advise possible to realise their goals.

The website is being constructed and will come live soon. I shared a first teaser today with a short GIF image:

CFO meets CIO 2018026 - coffee - link www.gif

A better quality image can be found at YouTube.

The future website can be found here: If you are interested in more info, please subscribe to the mailing list on the website.

Thanks for your interest.

Take care,


February 26, 2018

Digital in 2018 for dummies (and others).

January 25, 2018

This blogpost describes a list of Digital subjects which I think will become important and visible in 2018. It contains an overview of various IT and Digital related trends I see coming to the surface in 2018 and which will for sure change our life in the coming years.

The below list is based on elements I read, discovered and discussed over the last weeks and months with impacts on private people and businesses.  It is no way a full list – I highlight some of the most obvious.

Becoming “Digital” is not an option anymore: it is there and it is mandatory. To get there, and to involve everyone, that’s a different story. That is why I do not use the words ‘Digital Transformation’, ‘Digital Revolution’ etcetera, as they indicate to me the path to get to be more Digital. Not always easy, I know, but it is not a target in itself.

So what are the elements which may come to your eyes these days, and where will you see this? It has become a longer list than I originally thought, but Ok, let’s start. By the way, I refer often to Wikipedia explanations and hyperlinks are included for further  reading.

Generic topics

  • Augmented reality (AR) is a live direct or indirect view of a physical, real-world environment whose elements are “augmented” by computer-generated perceptual information. You will use it to add or delete real things and replace them by digital representations of your choice.
    • The list of possible applications is long: think of architecture, design, medical, military or tourism. Several hundreds of “apps” are available already.
    • Latest examples are Ikea (showing your furniture) and some very exciting games.
    • Many exciting things to come in 2018/2019.
  • Artificial intelligence (AI), is intelligence displayed by machines, in contrast with the natural intelligence (NI) displayed by humans (or animals). Intelligence can be described here as a device that perceives its environment and takes actions that maximise its chance of success at some goals.
    • In fact, machines are learning based on their actions and tasks, so often we also speak in this matter on ‘Machine Learning’.
    • AI is not new, but it becomes more and more visible: the latest examples could be seen in January 2018 at the yearly Computer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, with more and more autonomous driving cars.
    • Further elements can be expected in HealthCare, Finance or in your House (intelligent fridges for example).
  • Machine learning is a field of computer science that gives computers the ability to learn without being explicitly programmed. This is closely linked to AI.
    • The latest example I saw this month is that Google is opening its Google Cloud Machine Learning Engine. Companies and Business can use Google Power to create models for analysing and predicting all sorts of data, such as predicting weather, credit scores, or other. 
    • IBM has created an interesting document on ‘Machine Learning for dummies‘. You must register to download the e-book.
  • A blockchain is a digital ledger in which transactions made in bitcoin or another cryptocurrency are recorded chronologically. It is in fact a continuously growing list of records, called blocks, which are linked and secured using cryptography.
    • Blockchains are secure by design and are examples of distributed computing systems with high Byzantine fault tolerance. Decentralised consensus has therefore been achieved with a blockchain.
    • One of the most known is off course the Bitcoin, the first cryptocurrency (a cryptocurrency  is a digital asset designed to work as a medium of exchange that uses cryptography to secure its transactions).
    • Another well know cryptocurrency is Ether, with its own blockchain called Ethereum. Ethereum was proposed in late 2013, and the Ethereum ‘language’ is now being included in several other software solutions.
    • Various courses to train you into BitCoin or Ethereum exist. I followed a first introduction lately given by Sebastien Arbogast from ChainSkills, and distributed online via their Udemy Online Courses.
    • The blockchain is first of all a technical solution to deliver to everyone the same view, ensuring that nothing could be modified, without a 3rd part acting as a trusted partner. As an example: today we all use notaries to ensure that he property of our house is well noted, and that someone can not sell his/her house twice. With blockchain, everyone can check the technical validity of such transactions.
    • Blockchain technology is much more complicated than that, so please have a look to other websites for details, such as smart contracts. Banks, consulting firms, insurances and governments are all looking into this technology.  Real world higher visibility, outside bitcoin, can be expected in 2018 and 2019.
  • The Internet of things (IoT) is the network of physical devices, vehicles, home appliances and other items embedded with electronics, software, sensors, actuators, and network connectivity which enables these objects to connect and exchange data.
    • This is not new. IoT is a buzzword for several years now, and it still has to kick off on a large scale for public usage.
    • For 2018, the most interesting thing I see happening is the rollout of SigFox. This is a French company founded in 2009 that builds wireless networks to connect low-energy objects such as electricity meters, smartwatches, and washing machines, which need to be continuously on and emitting small amounts of data. They partnered with many local an international companies (in Belgium with Engie for example) and covered already a large part of Europe and rolling out the US and other continents. I am confident that this will become a big thing in 2018 or 2019.

Companies and Business topics

  • DevOps (“development” and “operations”) is a software engineering culture and practice that aims at unifying software development (Dev) and software operation (Ops).
    • The main characteristic of the DevOps movement is to strongly advocate automation and monitoring at all steps of software construction, from integration, testing, releasing to deployment and infrastructure management.
    • DevOps aims at shorter development cycles, increased deployment frequency, more dependable releases, in close alignment with business objectives. Cooperation “Business-IT” is key. This is particularly important in the current world with regularly updated “Apps”.
    • IBM has created an interesting document “DevOps for dummies“. You must register to download the e-book.
  • Continuous delivery (CD) is an increasing visible software engineering approach in which teams produce software in short cycles, ensuring that the software can be reliably released at any time.
    • This is often related to a structured DevOps organisation, but DevOps is much broader.
    • Continuous delivery is different than continuous deployment. Continuous deployment means that every change is automatically deployed to production. Continuous delivery means that the team ensures every change can be deployed to production but may choose not to do it, usually due to business reasons.
    • Specific tools (such as IBM) are on the market to support this operational mode.
  • The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) (Regulation (EU) 2016/679) is a regulation by which the European Parliament, the Council of the European Union and the European Commission intend to strengthen and unify data protection for all individuals within the European Union (EU).
    • GDPR is the most important change in data privacy regulation in 20 years. The starting date for GDPR is May 25, 2018.
    • From this date onward, every institution must be able to confirm to any person  how and why his personal data is processed. Ane every institution means here any organisation, from a profit-seeking company to a charity or government.
    • Especially in the world of increased digitalisation where data is stored everywhere and becomes the source of all information, this new rule is highly important to implement.
  • The Payment Services Directive (PSD, 2007/64/EC) is an EU Directive, administered by the European Commission (Directorate General Internal Market) to regulate payment services and payment service providers throughout the European Union (EU) and European Economic Area (EEA).
    • On October 8, 2015, the European Parliament adopted the European Commission proposal to create safer and more innovative European payments (PSD2). The new rules aim to better protect consumers when they pay online, promote the development and use of innovative online and mobile payments such as through open banking, and make cross-border European payment services safer.
    • PSD2 will break down the banks monopoly on their user’s data. It will allow ‘merchants’, businesses like Amazon, to retrieve your account data from your bank – with your permission. That means when you buy something they can make a payment for you, without having to redirect you to another service (like PayPal or Visa).
    • For consumers who hold more than one bank account, the changes would also allow businesses, known in the legislation as Account Information Service Providers, to display all their account information in one place for them. Attention however to data ownership (see also GDPR).
    • Banks are currently still struggling to find the business model. I expect to see a lot happening from mid 2018 onwards, and impacting many customers in the way that manage their digital bank relationships.

For some of us

  • Smart speakers and personal assistants are coming to us in full speed. Next to the existing Google Home and Amazon Echo products (both companies showed further products at the CES), also Apple will launch its own new product, called Apple HomePod, in a few days (Feb 9 in some countries).
    • At Apple, it starts with Music and the Siri assistant, but this will grow to further integration in your home in the coming future. Important in 2018 !
    • Prices vary from 50 EUR at Amazon to 350 EUR at Apple, depending on size,  functionalities and quality.
  • What3words is a geocoding system for the communication of locations with a resolution of three metres. What3words encodes geographic coordinates into three dictionary words. For example, the torch of the Statue of Liberty is located at “toned.melt.ship”. This differs from most other location encoding systems in that it displays three words rather than long strings of numbers or letters.
    • It is developed by What3Words, and an announcement was made last week that Mercedes Benz is not just integrating this into their cars, but also invest in this company.
    • I am pretty sure we will see much more of this company and solution in 2018.

I trust you better understand that many things are happening around “Digital” and you are slightly more knowledgeable now.

If you are young or old, a simple handcrafting company or a highly industrialised company, or whatever you are or do on planet Earth, you must step into the Digital World now. It is our future.

Take care,


Sensing the Tech future

October 22, 2017

Hello to all,

As you may know, my interest for new, interesting and useful technology is large. I had the chance to get a further look into the technology (‘tech’) future the last 2 weeks. As part of my work, I was able to meet earlier this month the future of tech companies in France (via Station F) and a get a glimpse of what is actually happening in Silicon Valley and San Francisco.

As you may know, start-up companies are hot since many years. Several of this companies made it into the top players of their sector, and every day new players enter into this ‘world’.

Station F in Paris

In France, the initiative was taken by Xavier Niel (one of the richest people in France, and the big boss of Free – a large French telecom provider) to launch the biggest startup campus in the world, called Station F. Station F occupies a building designed by French engineer Eugène Freyssinet, originally  opened in 1929 as a rail depot, located in Paris 13th district.

Station F

Station F in Paris

The building contains 3,000 desk spaces,  private meeting facilities, a 370-seat auditorium and dining facilities open to the public. Big companies, such as MicroSoft and FaceBook, are also having office here to make connections with startup companies easily possible.

Even L’Oreal, a large French cosmetics group, will be present to link real customers with the digital world, such as new apps and Augmented Reality (a hot topic for the coming years), thus opening new opportunities and new markets.

BNP Paribas, a large French Bank, is also strongly present via their partnership with Plug and Play, a global innovation platform supporting startups around the world. BNP Paribas, as a reliable partner to startups, with its own strong innovation culture, will lend its banking expertise to the InsurTechs and FinTech companies.

BNP Paribas at Station F

BNP Paribas at Station F

As part of an innovate project within the BNP Paribas Group, I had the chance to spend this month some time in this vibrating world with many enthusiastic people, from various international startups and BNP Paribas teams, delivering new solutions (such  as artificial intelligence or machine learning) for the Bank’s private and corporate customers. I found it difficult not to get excited when walking around in the building and ‘to sense the future‘.

Around the world, several incubation and innovation centres exist. Almost every country has its own centre, while the largest countries do have several or multiple accelerator centres. In almost every case, these centres bring together small companies, offer them ways to meet other companies, and to get funding for growth.

San Francisco and Silicon Valley

These incubation centres exist even more in Silicon Valley, with examples like Y-Combinator, Matter or 500 startups. But there are much more solutions, often founded by people coming themselves from startups with money gained from their previous companies (existing, or sold for a good price).

Last week, I had the chance to spend a few days in Silicon Valley and in San Francisco to see and sense the latest evolutions in the tech world, on both startups and the big companies. I noted down some of my observations.

San Francisco view from Mission Dolores Park

San Francisco view from Mission Dolores Park

San Francisco: a lot has been written on this town. Of course, everybody knows the many touristic elements of the city, such as the Golden Gate bridge, or the well-known cable cars. But San Francisco is also housing many important big companies in the CRM, Health, Search, Financial and Solutions world, and takes part in many tech evolutions.

When taking a coffee in the morning in one of the many StarBucks around town, in my eyes San Francisco is still very hot (as the coffee).

Coffee at StarBucks

Coffee at StarBucks

As an example, on an early Sunday morning, at a table next to me, in one of these Starbucks, a young person was explaining in detail his technical solution and business plans to a business angel (a private investor). Interesting conversation (even when I tried very much not to listen :-)).

Even with the competition on startups around the world, the city is still highly involved in the traditional business (Banking as an example) and New Businesses (especially the Tech Industries, both hardware and software). Also for example Automattic, the maker of WordPress in which this blog is written in, is located in San Francisco.

San Francisco is also very expensive, especially due to many expats, and due to many people who made fortune in Silicon Valley.

Silicon Valley

At 1 hour by car or train from San Francisco, Palo Alto, Mountainview or Cupertino are well-known cities. Even when Silicon Valley is already ‘old’, opportunities and ideas are still everywhere, from the university campuses (Stanford for example) to the campuses of the big companies like Google, Facebook or Apple.

The mentioned cities were home to many IT companies, such as Hewlett-Packard and Apple for example. Also Borland, the creator of my so much used Delphi program, was located here. Also Stripe, a very promising and high growing payment solution provider, founded by 2 Irish brothers, is located here.

The Stanford University was, and still is, home to many startup companies. The strong links between the university and the companies helps to create a vibrating environment. Many other universities, with examples like Harvard in the US, or Leuven in Belgium, create and maintain these links as this is a ‘win-win’ situation. Money flows in to study more, and the results of the studies flow back to the companies.

Uber car is coming

Uber car is coming

Getting around these days in the Valley is done either by driving with a Tesla, or just using Uber or Lyft. I personally used Uber last week to go the various HQ’s and campuses. I was again impressed by the ease of use of Uber: flexible and without any hassle of payments, so much simpler than renting a car.

Spending some time at Facebook HQ, it was impressive to see the number of young people discussing between them, using all kind of smartphones, tablets and portable PC’s to develop ideas. The number of people walking and driving around was incredible. So much activity.

Facebook HQ Like Sign

Facebook HQ Like Sign

At Google, it feels more Android than ever. However, as there are so many Google campuses around, it is almost impossible to see what is really going on. On the photo you see little bikes, because everyone was (really !) cycling around between the buildings. It is however difficult to get into the buildings: secrecy is key.

Google HeadQuarters - Googleplex

Google HeadQuarters – Googleplex

At Apple, I spent some time at their ‘old’ HQ at 1, Infinite Loop in Cupertino. Same feelings again as with Google and Facebook: busy, young people everywhere, vibrating. Many ideas, and high quality. And good marketing of course :-).

I also visited the special Apple Store ‘next door’, where I was given specialised support for my own little company (GPI). Service was really good, including App Store support, showing real interest in what the company was about, my views, and taking my picture :-).

I was just ‘too early’ to see a glimpse of the upcoming iPhone X, which will be commercialised in a few days. Would have been nice.

Apple HQ at 1, Infinite Loop, Cupertino

Apple HQ at 1, Infinite Loop, Cupertino

I also hoped to visit at the inside their new Apple Park: the incredibly newly designed Apple HQ in the form of a spaceship. The cost of the new HQ is more than 4 billion USD, however it creates an impressive message of sustainability, cooperation and continuous evolution. And that is also important.

I was able to see a glimpse of the new HQ outside, and even that was already impressive. Landscaping is still in progress, and finalisation of roads and pavements is ongoing. It will open probably still fully in 2017. Meetings in the new building were, to my regret, not yet possible.

Apple Future HQ at Apple Park

Apple Future HQ at Apple Park

Back in San Francisco later that week, tourists and business people continued to occupy together a large part of the city. On every corner though, I felt the vibes and the future of technology coming. With Tech HQ’s of Twitter, Uber and others in the same streets, combined with the Californian values such sea and surfing, and start-ups and new ideas everywhere, makes this city always feeling special.

Sensing the Tech future in Belgium

Back at home in Belgium, and after such strong impressions on sensing the Tech future the last 2 weeks, the difference between the status of start-ups, business innovations, incubators in Belgium compared to France and the US feels big.

The country, and especially Brussels, Leuven and Gent, do have some incubators, but not yet at sizes seen in the other countries. Banks, investors and Belgian government must be able to put their hands together to offer greater opportunities to our local start-ups.


Some universities have taken initiatives already, and a further innovative Belgian Tech Day is announced for this week in Antwerp. But so much more needs to happen if Belgium wants to be a real part of the Tech future. The environment is ready, and we do have some really good start-ups, so let’s go for it !

Thanks for reading, and take care,


October 22, 2017

Octyx 2017

June 3, 2017

Hello to all,

A new blog. It has been a while, but I was a bit busy …

We released today our fully new Octyx 2017 products, both on Windows and on the iPhone. The 2017 versions do have many new functionalities which are useful to all our customers (and we have already more than 100.000 downloads).

Octyx on Windows can be found here, while Octyx for the iPhone can be found here. Several other languages do exist as well. Please check it out.

We are also very proud on our new company website which went live today, which can be reached here.

More details on our Octyx Products and our Website can be found below.

Octyx on Windows


Our team has done a great job in delivering many new functionalities to the Octyx PC and the Octyx iOS mobile applications:

Octyx Cloud : we added components, wines, stamps and your collection. We added also Documents and Passwords, and last but not least, we added Contacts.

All Octyx Cloud functionalities are now available in the fully updated Octyx iOS mobile version, which you can download in the iOS App Store.

The Octyx iOS mobile application (version 3.0) is completely renewed with many new functionalities. We mention for example scanning functionalities for your books, calling contacts directly from the Octyx application, new parameters, copying and pasting passwords, encrypted passwords, and much more.

The Octyx PC application has new functionalities for ISBN checking, and we added end dates for Medications.

We updated the Search functions, and we optimized the Messages overviews. This was also done for the Octyx iOS mobile application.

Capture1Octyx is now much faster as we optimized many elements. The Octyx color scheme has been slightly impoved, and the colors of the logos have been adapted.

We have corrected some errors and improved several detailed functionalities. Many improvements throughout Octyx and many improvements in all languages.

Octyx development has been updated to work even better on Windows 10, and still continue to work on Windows 8 and 7. You can now also start Octyx from the Start menu in ‘full’ color.

Octyx on the iPhone

This is the latest up-to-date version of Mobile Octyx with a huge number of new functionalities. This version is dated June 3, 2017.

It includes a full connectivity with the collections from your Octyx Windows solution. Now with full coverage of:

  • Books (view on- and offline your book collection including images)
  • Music (view on- and offline your music collection including images)
  • Films (view on- and offline your film collection including images)
  • Components (view on- and offline your component collection including images)
  • Wines (view on- and offline your wine collection including images)
  • Stamps (view on- and offline your stamp collection including imOverviewages)
  • Your collection (view on- and offline your personal collection (more than 60 categories available) including images

  • Contacts (view on- and offline all your contacts including images, write emails, call them)
  • Documents (view on- and offline all your documents, check expiry dates, and check login information)
  • Passwords (view on- and offline all your passwords, fully secured, and use them everywhere in iOS)
  • To-do items (view on- and offline all your to-do items, check expiry dates)
  • Medications (be informed on- and offline on the medications you used and on the exact time you need to take your medications)

Other improvements:


  • Increased speed throughout the Octyx Mobile solution: loading and searching have been dramatically improved by new Web Service ‘REST’ techniques.
  • Many new functionalities in the Octyx Mobile Data menu on detailed level : copy and paste data, links with other iOS elements, and other improvements.
  • Many new functionalities in the Octyx Mobile Messages menu : new sorting, more information, faster lookup, and other improvements.
  • Many new functionalities in the Octyx Mobile Search menu : new detailed search functionalities with filters, and we included a new option to scan the barcode of your books for faster search.
  • Many new functionalities in the Octyx Mobile Information menu : direct links with your iPhone settings, new parameters, new menus, and many other improvements.
  • This version has a default setting, which can be modified, to hide your data when Octyx Mobile is not the active App on your iPhone. This hides sensitive data for third parties.

Our website and other information

Screen Shot 2017-06-03 at 21.05.03Our company, Gallieni Productions International, has also a new website. This was made via wix. A modern website with responsive design, so very good visible on iPad, iPhone, Mac and PC.

In the near future, we foresee to update also our Octyx website to this new design, and to bring Octyx also to the iPad. Next to these developments, we continue to serve our corporate customers with our well-known and pro-active consultancy and management.

Finally, we are currently working on a new breakthrough mobile application, built again with the Embarcadero Delphi and TMS Software products.

Let’s see also what the new announcements from Apple Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), which starts on June 5th, will bring to us.

Thanks again for reading, and wishing everyone a good weekend.

Bas Eshuis


Fitness tracking, me too ?

October 23, 2016


No, it is not ‘me too’, but ‘Mi 2’. I decided last week to jump into the fitness tracking world by buying myself a fitness tracker. And it is called the Mi 2 Band, from Xiaomi.

First of all: me doing fitness ? Ehh, yes, because  we all get older, and sitting behind my desk writing emails, organise meetings, developing software and typing blogs does apparently not increase my fitness.

But going out for a walk, or biking around Brussels, without any compensation is quite difficult. So I bought myself a fitness tracker. I add my targets, and the first 4 days I managed to reach my goals. Except today, because I released Octyx and wrote this blog.

So what is this fitness tracking business about ? First of all, it is about health tracking. All big companies, Apple included, are jumping on this type of business, because they say, and think, they can predict my future health (and hopefully do not share my data with any pharmaceutical companies).

Already the iPhone today, and other Android phones as well, without you knowing it, measure your sleep and walking data while being in your pocket or next to your bed.

Before buying my fitness tracker, I did some research. Which one would fit best? My first choice of course was to look to the Apple Watch, but, with a price over 350 EUR, in my opinion it is still too expensive for daily usage, even if it brings more than fitness measurements.

I also had a look to the FitBit Charge 2 tracker and similar solutions at Garmin and Misfit. Straightforward heart and fitness trackers, but mostly with prices above 100 Euro.

As I don’t know if such fitness tracking device will really help me moving around more, I found a solution at Xiaomi. As you may know, Xiaomi is sometimes called, the ‘Apple’ from China. Xiaomi is a large company, selling many devices, including smartphones, fitness trackers, and other solutions, sold under the brand name ‘Mi’. Have a look at their website here.

The product I found is called Mi Band 2. They use to sell the original MiBand for less than 15 Euro, and the latest MiBand 2 can be found on some websites in China for less than 20 Euro, but could I trust them? Several Amazon sites also sell them, but impossible to export to Belgium, where I live. So I decided to buy one in Prague at an Alza shop, as I am still regularly in Prague for my work.

The price was about 55 Euro, higher than on most mentioned websites, but at least I got one directly in my hands.  At home, unboxed directly, I started first with charging the device. Easy. In the mean time, I downloaded the accompanying app called MiFit from the Apple AppStore (it exists off course also for Android).

Finding the band and syncing was a peace of cake. At its first usage, the Mi Band 2 installed its latest firmware automatically. Data from my Mi Band 2 are visible on the band itself, in the miFit app, and in Apple Health (if you authorise this). Finding the options took some time, as the app is not totally logic.

The miBand 2 tracks my daily steps, tracks my sleep times, and shows my heart rate (via the sensor, but only manual for the moment). And it shows all this in the apps, but also on its little screen. And it shows the time when I want to see it by lifting my hand.

The Mi Band 2 has also options to  vibrate for alarms, sms messages, or several other notifications. It has an interesting notification called ‘idle alert’, with vibrates the band when I do not move for 1 hour during the day. I am trying to implement also notifications for my program Octyx and contacted Xiaomi already for this. I got a nice email reply from them, in Chinese language :-), so I am optimistic on the future.

Battery life is said to be several weeks: I use it since 5 days now, and it used 3% only, so it will probably be true.

And now, what do I do with this? I track my sleep (the data show light sleep and deep sleep), I track my heart rate (looks ok), and I walked a bit more than in the last weeks. Yes, indeed I did !

It gives indeed a boost to make me walk and do more. I am not ready yet to share this with friends (which is also an option), but my target is to loose some kilo’s and be even more in shape than before. And, as an IT guy, I will check out the Bluetooth connectivity,  the quality of the various apps, and the Xiaomi Mi account which I created on their website.

After a few days, I must say I am quite positive for ‘me too’ for fitness, and on the Mi Band 2. I will keep you updated in the future on this topic.

Take care, and have a nice day.



Octyx 2016/2 launched

October 23, 2016

Hello to all,

As you may know, one of my hobbies is to maintain a software program, called Octyx, since 2004. Octyx is, by storing data on your local PC, capable of supporting you in managing and organizing your daily life.

You can enter your book collection, disc or film collections, as well as several other collections. Next to that, you can manage your daily medications, your to-do’s, and even your documents, passwords and your various bank accounts.

All this in a secure way, and since April 2016, also available on your iPhone to have your data with you, all the time. I wrote several pages about the previous release, end of April. See here for the April overview.

Today I released the latest update, Octyx version 2016/2, which you can download for free from If you decide to keep using it after 30 days, you just pay 10 Euro, and that only once to use it forever. Almost for free, you will say. At indeed it is.


This latest update brings again several new functionalities, and mainly to see more data on the iPhone. Added are todo’s, books, music and films. Stored images on your PC can be transferred as well. All available via a secure cloud environment and the updated iOS Octyx App (see Octyx 2.0.2 on the Apple Appstore for more information).

The developments on Octyx are not yet finished. Still to do is to make the other data available on the iPhone in a secure way, and to develop also the same info on the iPad. But that is for the year 2017.

Take care, and have a nice day,



60 ID

September 4, 2016

Een engelse en franse versie van deze blog bestaat ook. This blog is also available in English and French. Cet article est également disponible en anglais et français.

Dromen zijn geen bedrog – 60 ideeën.

Het idee achter deze blog komt uit gewone diverse ‘dagelijkse ergernissen’. Deze ‘ergernissen’ hebben te maken met diverse elementen zoals financiën, economie, infrastructuur, gezondheid, milieu, telecommunicatie, onderwijs, justitie, enzovoort. Maar ook ‘ergernissen’ wegens het ontbreken van een duidelijke visie op de toekomst van Nederland, België, Frankrijk of Europa na de ‘Brexit’.

We komen allemaal wel eens op een punt waarbij je denkt: dit zou toch allemaal eenvoudiger en beter moeten kunnen. U kent ook vast wel de situatie waarin U met vrienden en familie over allerlei aspecten discussieert en veel zaken zou veranderen, zoals samenleving, economie, verkeer, enzovoort, indien U de leiding zou hebben.

Ik heb gewoon besloten een aantal van die kleine ‘ergernissen’ in een ’60 ideeën lijst’ samen te vatten, waarbij eigenlijk al snel het woord ‘politiek’ is gevallen. Dit was te verwachten, omdat de ideeën eigenlijk allemaal zaken zijn die de politiek zou moeten kunnen regelen en organiseren. De ’60 ideeën lijst’ kunt U hier lezen. De lijst is vooralsnog helaas alleen in de Nederlandse taal beschikbaar.

Helaas zijn onze lokale, landelijke en vaak ook onze Europese politieke vertegenwoordigers teveel bezig met zichzelf en u politieke carrière, of met het klagen over hun politieke collega’s in hun eigen of andere partijen. Of met het indoctrineren van de ‘burger’ zoals de kiezers graag genoemd worden.

Politiek is niet mijn beroep: in mijn dagelijkse leven houd ik mij bezig met het leiden van teams en projecten, waarbij logica, informatica en financiële aspecten een grote rol spelen. Ik heb het geluk gehad al bijna 40 jaar in de financiële sector te kunnen werken, en daarbij ook, gewoon door hard werken, in meerdere landen heb mogen werken en wonen.

Het aanpassen aan andere culturen en het leren en spreken van diverse talen hoort daar ook bij. Maar vooral heb ik daarbij een waardering voor verschillende culturen en personen leren opbrengen. Iedereen is anders, en iedereen heeft zijn eigen normen en waarden.

Respect hiervoor opbrengen was niet altijd makkelijk, maar bleek een noodzaak voor een goede samenwerking. En respect is iets wat ik de laatste tijd veel mis.

Ik zou ook zeker geen goede politieke vertegenwoordiger kunnen zijn omdat mijn opinies en uitgangspunten al meer dan 50 jaar dezelfde zijn: wees eerlijk, wees aardig, en respecteer anderen zoveel als mogelijk. Het ‘draaien met de wind mee’ om er beter van te worden is niet iets wat bi mij past.

Indien U de tijd neemt om de ’60 ideeën lijst’ te lezen zult U zien dat ik niet ‘rechts’ of ‘links’ ben, en ook niet ‘extreem’. De ’60 ideeën lijst’ geeft gewoon aan hoe ik in het leven sta en hoe ik soms erover droom dat het beter zou kunnen.

Dromen zijn bedrog wordt wel eens gezegd, maar laat mij maar dromen dat, indien onze politieke vertegenwoordigers een aantal van mijn ideeën zouden lezen en deze in hun eigen plannen zouden opnemen, de wereld er misschien iets eerlijker en beter door wordt.

Bas Eshuis

4 september 2016

Flash Mobs

June 23, 2016


Welcome back to my blog. Instead of writing ‘boring’ IT stuff as I did some weeks ago, today I propose to you something completely different.

At the end of the season, everybody starts to think of the upcoming summer break. Too much work, too much rain (or too much sun maybe). And what’s better to celebrate a summer break with some nice music surprises. My personal favourites are the so-called flashmobs.

Flashmobs are defined, according to Wikipedia, as a group of people who assemble suddenly in a public place, perform an unusual act for a short time. Today I will focus on musical flashmobs.

My favourites are the flashmobs with real music and small orchestras. But you will see also some surprising ones. I selected 10 of them, but off course you can always go to Google and YouTube, and search for flashmob.

Click on the links, take your time and enjoy.

  1. Vietnames : based on Avinci ‘Wake Me up’ : nice music and a flash of Ha-Noi : Listen and see it here on Youtube. This one I like most.
  2. Spain Catalonia: in the beginning of the evening. It starts with 1 musician and it ends with many more. Click here.
  3. Another flashmob in Spain : I like this one in the library : check it here.
  4. From Sydney in Australia an Irish surprise. Enjoy it here.
  5. And from Ireland: a short one, but nice. Click here.
  6. From Austria, in Vienna Central Station : listen here.
  7. And from Argentina also a nice part of Verdi: check here.
  8. In Holland, a bit shorter as usual, but focusing on an event : see it here.
  9. From Moscow in the winter, it helps to warm you up: click here.
  10. And the last in the list is from Belgium. Searching for Maria in Antwerp Central station with music and dance : click here.

And as extra the Bolero song, again from Spain. A nice one to listen too in the evening: click here.

Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed this blog,

Take care, and have good holidays,


The Octyx 2016 story – 5 – The languages in Octyx

April 30, 2016

firebrickred - 64-64 roundedHello, this blog is part 5 of the series ‘The Octyx 2016 Story’. See for the overview (part 1), full background and a list all related blogs the link here.

This specific blog describes in more detail the languages I use in Octyx, and what is needed to build them.

Octyx is available in 11 languages: in English, French (Français), Dutch (Nederlands), German (Deutsch),  Hungarian (Magyar), Polish (Polski), Czech (Český), Italian (Italiano), Spanish (Español), Portuguese (Português) and in Romanian (Românesc). Real-time change of the language is included in the package.

The languages are made with help of many people. You can see this below. I owe many thanks to all these people.


The Romanian language is new in Octyx 2016, and Simona Sandu from Romania helped me realising this new language. So what had to be done :

  • Adding all texts which are used in Octyx and Octyx Mobile : these are almost 3000 different records which had to be created
  • Next to these detailed texts, all help texts had to be created also. You have to think on more than 10 different pages, including the screen with new elements.
  • And finally, the Octyx system had to be prepared to be able to receive the 11th language. Due to the architecture, this was a quite straightforward task to change a screen, and to open the language to be available.
  • The user can define or change his language whenever needed. On the mobile version, the language used is the langage chosen in the Windows Octyx version.


The website is currently available in 3 languages: English, French and Dutch. Including all help texts.

Enjoy the Octyx blogs, and take care. Go back here to the overview. Octyx manages your life!

Bas Eshuis, Belgium.

April 30, 2016