What will Masterkey do for you?

Kings of the Computer, together on stage

Recently, the All Things Digital conference was held, which features interviews with prominent figures in the Digital Technology field. This years conference saw people such as George Lucas (famous for his Star Wars pictures and his Industrial Light and Magic / Skywalker Sound companies which are pioneers on the digital film front), Google CEO Eric Schmidt and YouTube Founders Chad Hurley and Steve Chen, among many others.

Even if the Digital entertainment industry isn’t your thing, there was one interview which has universal appeal, and that was the Steve Jobs and Bill Gates interview. These two men have been the impetus behind the computer industry as we know it today, from the concept of the personal computer to the familiar desktop/window GUI (graphical user interface) that we all use every day.

Of course what made it interesting was the is the perceived rivalry between the two of them (you’ve seen the Mac vs PC ad’s right?).

This interview (which i have linked below) covers such topics as how both men got into the industry, why they made the decisions they did and where they see the industry going. For those of you who like that sort of thing, it also involves a lot of reminiscing about the start of the modern computer industry.

Scroll down for the videos and my comments on them. Visit the web-page of the video’s and transcripts/comments to get a broader perspective on the interview.










Old guys in the room…

So, after having watched all of that, what do I think? It’s obvious that the two have contributed a great deal to the industry, and far from being bitter rivals seem to be quite friendly with one another. More obvious though was the difference in how the two view and tackle the computer industry.

Steve (we’re all on first name terms here :D) seems to be a born marketer. Looking at his language, he told stories, kept his words simple, and fell back on ‘you know whats interesting’, ‘you’ll be blown away’ and mentioning his own products as examples of how to innovate.

Bill on the other hand seems to use much more complicated language and likes to get into the details. His strategy of catering a universal software for all devices with partners, rather than building really good hardware/software yourself such as apple does, seems to be the principal difference between the two companies.

One company is small, contained and provides great user experience, the other is much larger, has great technology and provides superb enterprise solutions.

Design is king!

Despite these differences both these companies define themselves as a software company, and reading between the lines, as delivering a user experience.

And when I say user experience I am talking not only about how people interact with computers but what they do with it. Every company in the computer industry right now is looking at either one of two things:

  • Proving new things that people never knew they always needed (maps on their phone, YouTube videos),
  • Refining how people interact with existing systems (new browser applications such as YahooMail or Google Documents).

Apples success lies with its ability to craft excellent user experience, not only in its software, but in its hardware, from the packaging, to opening the box, to using the system for the first time, to the standard it sets for others developing for its systems. Buying an iPod is a right of passage, welcoming you into the world of Apple. Not to say that apple isn’t without it’s flaws, but their things are generally a lot less painful to use than products from other companies.

So, why all of this text? Because as a designer this makes me happy :) It shows that barring a monoply, good design can make or break a company. If the user experience isn’t there, if people can’t easily use your products, find what they need, get the responsiveness they want or otherwise don’t enjoy the experience, you really need to go back to the drawing board asap.

Anyway, what are your thoughts on the video’s? Leave a comment!


Office Branding!

I’d like to show you the new office branding :) It’s taken a while, but we got sick of people wondering whether they were in the MasterKey office.

So, to make sure they knew beyond a doubt where they were, we employed a little ingenuity and some elbow grease to give those coming through the door this:

Working Hard or Hardly Working

Working hard! I thought everyone might be interested to see what we have in the works.

Real Estate Bank – Al Maha Tower

First up is Al Maha Tower. The UAE based Real Estate Bank asked us to do a MasterPlan for one of their tower projects. Below are two samples of what that looks like:





MasterPlans are interactive maps of your properties. Built in flash, the 3D MasterPlan lets you browse your properties and your units with visual feedback on where you are.

MasterPlans with MasterKey

Our MasterPlans are getting popular. Why? These maps are an incredibly useful sales tool. Being shown a property visually, both its location and interior tends to be a lot more comforting than seeing a blue-print or an artists rending. The property becomes more real.

As an added bonus, if you are using the MasterKey service as well (mkSales for example) then the MasterPlan can be linked to your sales database and give you feedback on unit status.

For example, one of our clients, The Wave, Muscat, put the MasterPlan up on a wide-screen TV in their sales hall. Connected to the MasterKey software and refreshing automatically, the MasterPlan showed prospective buyers which units were still available, and just how fast they were selling out. More importantly it gave buyers a feeling of confidence signing the contract, as they could see their chosen unit turn from vacant to sold right then and there.

Have a look at some more examples of the 3D MasterPlan.

Dubai Industrial City


I’ll let DIC describe themselves. Quoting directly from the site:

Dubai Industrial City is one of Dubai Holding’s projects that adressess the industrial sector. Dubai Holding consolidates the various large scale infrastructure and investment projects in Dubai that were created over the past five years as well as research, identify and execute future major projects that will benefit the UAE and the region.

The company has been created with the goal of providing a better future for all - across the range of life-improving industries it is involved in. Each of the Dubai Holding operating companies focuses on key areas which will dynamically support the development of Dubai as a world leading hub for commerce, leisure and finance, in turn driving these companies to become leaders in their respective fields in the Middle East and beyond.

Making use of both the MasterKey software as well as the MasterPlan, DIC is in for a pleasant surprise when they see how much easier their life will be with MasterKey.

A look at their MasterPlan:






Some folks from a rather colder place then here have seen the wisdom of MasterKey as well. Scandia is a special case, as they already had a website and a retail management software package which they found …less than satisfactory shall we say.

Having shown them the mk way of doing things, we are now working on updating their site and integrating it with MasterKey.

Who are Scandia? From their current site:

Nordic in sizzling Dubai. Why not?

Nordic Real Estate is founded by Scandinavians and has is domicile in Dubai. Nordic Real Estate can offer a wide selection of developments from buzzing beachside apartments, a home on the Palm to a luxurious golf estate.

Nordic Real Estate can help you as an individual or as an investment company in buying long term investments such as offices, residential building or employee accommodations.

So who else is new to the mk family?

Unfortunately if i went into a long description of all our new clients this post would become rather long, so i’ll leave you with a list and and some links if you want to find out more about them.



DIRC is persuing office development, warehouse complexes and residential developments in Dubai Investments park. Their first open project is Ritaj, with over 2,200 housing units being managed using MasterKey.


Al Fattan Properties


Using mkSales and the mkMaster Plan.

One of our MasterPlan’s for Al Fattan:

You can see more of them here: http://www.alfattan.ae/projects.html#. Click on the view 3D animation to see the MasterPlans in action.

Conqueror Real Estate


Dubai Property Link


They are using the mkSales module.

Cayman Estates


Cayman are also using the mkSales module.

Empire International


…and so is Empire International. Using mkSales i mean.


Hey! What’s going on with the beta?

Well, we went and checked, and the programmers haven’t disappeared, sucked into some horrible elder dimension.

Instead they have been working hard to get beta 1 out the door for our valiant group of beta testers to run through for us. Right now the development team is working on optimizing the database back-end and getting the actual widgets (buttons and so on) set up for all the modules. As soon as there is something you can put properly through its paces - we’ll let you know!

Planned new features

Just so you are not completely deflated by lack of things to test, we thought we’d take this time to give you a quick run down of the kinds of features which we are building into the software.

Feature Improvements

  • Streamlining of tasks (requirements, units, clients, reminders)
  • All information tied to 1 file (‘a requirement’) – no more clicking around for information

User Interface

  • New color scheme and buttons - easier on the eyes
  • Customizable – don’t like a field name? Change it.
  • Dashboard – Personal information and useful functions at your fingers
  • More accessible layout – everything is easier to find


  • New AJAX technologies – no long page refreshes anymore
  • Less calls to the database – things load faster
  • Database structures updated an optimized – things load a lot faster

We’re taking our time to do this and making sure that we do it right first time round, so be patient with us!

So when do the rest of us see it?

The only answer I can give you: when it’s ready. As things progress we’ll be posting features, explanations and screen shots of the new system here for wider feedback from you all. So check in regularly for more!

Google Empire, Part 2

Google Calendar

Google’s calendar offering is both the hardest and easiest sell, strange as it may seem, and this is mainly due to the fact that it’s competition in this arena is incredibly robust, namely the Microsoft Exchange / Outlook combo.

Since it’s initial introduction in April 2006, the google team have added many of features and tightened integration with their other products, so that the choice between Exchange or Google is no longer as clear cut as it once was. Lets take a look at the calendar features (taken from google):

  • Sharing is built-in — Invite others to meetings and track responses, share entire calendars with your contacts, or make your public event information available to the world.
  • Responsive, intuitive interface — Drag-and-drop capabilities make it feel like a desktop application.
  • Integrated contact list — Your contact list in Google Calendar is always in sync with Gmail, so you’ll never need to look someone up in Gmail to send an invitation.
  • Integrated into Gmail – Gmail recognizes incoming meeting requests and invitations, and helps you RSVP without ever leaving your inbox.
  • Mobile access — You can get event reminders, check your calendar and even add new events to your agenda with SMS commands from your mobile phone.
  • Support for shared resources — With Google Apps Premier and Education editions, you can let people reserve conference rooms and other shared resources from their calendars.
  • Security and privacy — You choose who can view your calendar, when. Other users can only access your calendar if you add them to the list of authorized viewers, or if you decide to publish your events.
  • Integration — Data APIs let you integrate Google Calendar with other calendar-based programs so you can seamlessly transfer from an existing calendar system, or use a client application to access your calendaring functions.
  • Built on open standards — Import from other common calendar formats, and share calendars in the popular iCal format.
  • Supported languages — US English, UK English, French, Italian, German, Spanish, Danish, Dutch, Norwegian, Finnish, Swedish, Russian, Chinese-Simplified, Chinese-Traditional, Korean, Japanese, Brazilian Portuguese, Turkish and Polish.

Going through that list you can see that many of the important features that make Microsoft Exchange so attractive are there; calendar sharing and email/event integration. So what else sets the app apart?

Google Interface

Once again we come to the google interface as one of the main attractors of the suite. Google does brilliant things like letting you press ‘q’ for ‘quick add’, where you can then enter a normal language string like ‘Meeting with bob on Tuesday at 11′. Google will look at this sentence, and create a new event for you on the calendar, on the correct date, starting at 11am with the description ‘Meeting with bob’. How great is that?

You can easily set reminders to: send you an e-mail / pop up a window / send you an SMS (!!). You can check resource availability of others so you can plan meetings (see below screen-shot). You can set up multiple calendars, and share certain ones while makeing others private. Each calendar has an RSS feed, so you can subscribe to other peoples calendars.

To give you an example of how cool this is: some people have set up public calendars (i.e. shared with everyone) with a listing of TV Episode show times. If you add that public calendar to your Google Calendar (a 1 click operation), you can set yourself an SMS reminder to turn on the TV half an hour before you favorite show starts! How you employ that in a business or personal setting is up to your own ingenuity.

Because the interface is what really sells it for me, I’ll leave you with a few screen-shots, but you really have to try it for yourself to see how well done it is. Note: these screenshots were taken on a Macintosh, excuse the unfamiliar buttons.

Click on a time, and drag to set your event

Detailed Event Options

Agenda for the day

One last thing i will mention are the search abilities, powered by Google’s powerful search engine, so you can easily find something on your calendar if you need to.

Google Reader / Google Talk

These last two Google apps are less on the productivity side and more on the fun side of things. Never-the-less they do making wandering around the web a more fulfilling experience, so let’s take a look.

Google Reader

Google reader lets us subscribe to and read RSS feeds: it is a ‘feed reader’. Just in case you have no idea what RSS is I’ll quote you wikipedia (link):

RSS is a family of web feed formats used to publish frequently updated digital content, such as blogs, news feeds or podcasts.

Users of RSS content use software programs called “feed readers” or “feed aggregators”. The user subscribes to a feed by entering a link of the feed into the reader program. The reader can then check the user’s subscribed feeds to see if any of those feeds have new content since the last time it was checked, and, if so, retrieve that content and present it to the user.

This blog has an RSS feed as well. We’ve tried to keep the layout as simple as possible so there is no direct link the the RSS feed, but in general your browser will tell you if a website has an RSS feed:

If you subscribe to the MasterKey Blog with a feed reader, every time we post something new it will automatically tell you there is a new article, and show you the preview text! Most websites now have RSS feeds, and it is a great way to stay up-to-date with new content, without checking all your favorite sites every day.

Google reader is one of the most popular online RSS readers, and provides a great interface and tight integration with other services. You can add a website URL and Google Reader will automatically scan for an RSS feed, show you whats available, and let you add it. It also keeps a record of all feeds other users have added, so you can search for a term (News, Books, Videos, etc) and see links to of relevant feeds that might interest you (CNN, Arthur C. Clark Award, YouTube, etc).

There are robust tagging features (labels and the by now familiar ’star’ system), you can email stories directly from the reader (your recipient will get the full article in their email as it appears in Google Reader), and then there is the amazing ’share’ feature.


Sharing basically creates an RSS feed of articles that you have shared (an RSS feed of articles from RSS feeds - hah!). This lets you share your own personal RSS feed with your friends and family, and introduce them to interesting articles or items on the web.

And if for some reason people don’t have an RSS reader (tell them to read this!) you can even link them directly to a web page which Google Reader automatically generates for you with all your shared articles!


In the context of other google services which have RSS, you can use Google reader to keep updated on:

  • Changes made to documents in Google Docs
  • New Events added to Google Calendar

Google Talk

Google Talk is a instant messenger like MSN Messenger, ICQ and Yahoo Chat. You can use the messenger by either downloading their client and running it like you would MSN, or clicking on the launch button which will open the messenger in a browser window.

The ‘browser window’ client has some cool features such as playing YouTube/Google Video content directly in the window when you paste a link and letting you browse picasa and flickr slide-shows in the window when you paste the link.

You can even access Google Talk from Gmail in a pinch!

Have a look at the Google talk information page to see all that it can do.


Well, this has been a long article in the writing, but now we arrive at the final coup de grâce: iGoogle. iGoogle is Google’s answer to personalized home-pages in the same vein as PageFlakes or Netvibes.

What it iGoogle lets you do is customize a home-page with various bits and pieces, whatever you are interested in. You do this with things Google calls ‘gadgets’ which equate to boxes with content you can place anywhere on the page. For example, you could have:

  • a CNN gadget, with the CNN Breaking News RSS feed contents in there
  • or a Wikipedia search gadget, which has a search box that searches Wikipedia directly and takes you to the results
  • a World Clock gadget which does what it says
  • the Google Talk gadget with the Google talk window
  • the Google Reader gadget, with all your RSS feeds
  • a YouTube gadget with the most popular video to watch
  • the Gmail / Google Docs gadgets, with an overview of your inbox and documents

…and so on and so forth. Sign in, and click on Add Stuff in the top right and get to customizing. There are thousands of user created gadgets with everything you could want, and if it’s not there, you can make your own!


With a theme:

Search Gadgets:

In conclusion

As you can see Google has a large number of services which can help make your day more productive and your time looking for information on the net easier. What Google has managed to do is design to the principal ‘less is more’. It’s what makes using their products so appealing: incredibly simple applications which just do what they need to and no more. There’s no going through endless menu trees, calling support and other aimless clicking around. And of course, and perhaps most importantly, the basic packages are all free.

Go to the Google home page, make a Google account, and try all of their services out. If you don’t like it, you haven’t lost anything but some time.

Google Apps for your domain

If you are a corporation you may want to look into Google Apps for Your Domain. Their page contains a thorough explanation of what it entails, but it comes down to having support, and easy integration of all the apps with a website (www.yourdomain.com). You can use an email like bob@yourdomain.com and have them all go via gmail and do other neat things like have a start page customized with messages from the company.


Theres more! I haven’t been able to cover all of it, but have a look at these as well:

  • Google News - All the news from the web in one place
  • Google Bookmarks - Add pages to your Google bookmarks page, so you can visit them later from any computer
  • Google Mars - A map of mars. Find your way to the famous face.
  • Google Moon - A map of the moon. Not as exotic as mars but easier to get to.
  • Google Video - Online videos. Sort of like YouTube.
  • Picasa - Picture storage, editing, and browsing. Includes free online gallery
  • Google Desktop - Indexes all the stuff on your computer so you can find it with Google (emails, documents, programs). Lets you use gadgets on the desktop as well


All of Google’s stuff in one place: Simply Google

This concludes our two part series on Google and its applications. I hope you got some use out of it.

Trip Report: Cityscape Abu Dhabi

Well, Cityscape Abu Dhabi has ended, and the team is back in Dubai after 4 hectic days. We spoke to some interesting people and companies while we were there, saw some fantastic stands (the amount of money spent on those things, wow) and are now in the process of going through the enormous stack of inquiries we got - expect a phone call soon!

Time to get ready for Cityscape Dubai!



Google Empire, Part 1

This will be a 2 part series taking you through the free tools that Google offers, with the hopes that it will help you make your life more productive.

Not just a search engine

You guys know what Google is right? The company / brand has become so entrenched with daily life that the term Google has managed to turn verb (hey, I googled you yesterday!) and gained itself the honor of an entry in the dictionary. But did you know that Google offers a host of other useful services that are by turn’s fun, practical and productive?

If you have a Google account, you have access to:

  • Gmail
  • Google Reader
  • Google Docs
  • Google Talk
  • Google Bookmarks
  • Google Calendar
  • iGoogle

The Google Advantage

The main advantage of these applications – much like MasterKey – is that they are online. This means you can access them anywhere, you have robust data backup, you are not restricted to one computer to find your data again, and your things are secure.

Example Workflow

Using Google’s services you get an excellent integrated service for a lot of your daily tasks. For example, while abroad you can access your email archives and directly export a number of attached documents to Google Docs.

In Google Docs you can save the document, invite other people in your Gmail contact list to edit the document, and then via Google calendar set a time to work on the document with colleagues. Send them an email with the set date from Google calendar, and wait for confirmations.

When the day arrives everyone can log into Google docs and edit the same document together and at the same time.

If you make mistakes, you can revert to older versions of the same document which are automatically saved and archived, chat with your co-editors using Google Talk and agree on changes, export the document to different formats and email it to whomever.

It’s easy, comprehensive and accessible.

Typically Google

Those words are things that are typically associated with Google. They seem to go to great lengths to make their applications easy to use. As such they are often missing a lot of the user interface glitz and glamour that you see with other applications.

Google likes to keep its interfaces simple and accessible, making sure that first and foremost they are useable, and you can get done what you need to do, which is something that you will come to appreciate.

Let’s go through each one and see what it can do.


Gmail is Google’s online email solution. Gmail’s claim to fame is its 2 gigabytes of online storage (and growing! – there is a little counter on the bottom of the page that goes up slowly).

What Google mail has to recommend it is its simplicity (you’ll hear that a lot about Google applications). Gmail features two systems to help you find and organize your mail: the archive system, and the star/ label system.


Gmail Inbox 

The archive system works on the principal that you don’t need to delete your mail, unless it is spam. Once you have read your mail, just hit the archive button and it will take the email out of your inbox.

In conjunction with the label system, this makes Gmail very powerful. Labels are basically words that you can tag an email with. So for example, you could create Important, Family, Friends, Projects, Documents etc etc labels. Tag your emails with one or more of these labels before you archive it, and you can easily retrieve them later using the Labels box.

The Star system tags emails with the ‘star’ label: how you want to use that is up to you. Emails which are very important and you always want to find easily, or emails which you need to go back to soon and read but don’t necessarily want in your inbox, whatever.

Gmail Labels

What Gmail does for you is simply and easily organize your inbox. That’s not all however.


Gmail also includes a robust filtering system, allowing you to create rules to automatically tag / move / archive emails before they are displayed in your inbox, based on whatever criteria that you want: from, to, subject and keyword,

Included with this is a constantly updated spam filter, updated in part by users – you! This means that Gmails spam filter is one of the most effective in the world.

Conversation Display

Another feature of Gmail is its conversation threading. All replies to an email are grouped together, so you can easily look back and see the thread of the conversation, who replied to who and what was said.

Gamil Conversation 


This can take some getting used to but is an incredibly useful feature that you will grow to appreciate.


Along with these great features Gmail has some fantastic integrated features.

Virus Scanning

Most important for the security conscious is the built in virus scanner, which strips executables from emails (even in archives) making sure that you can run potentially problematic and virus laden attachments.

Spell Checking

A built in spell checker lets you make sure your emails are perfect. The google spell checker includes a number of languages, so you can write your emails in your native language as well as the more common English.

PDF Display

Gmail includes PDF display online, so you can view the text contents in a window without having to open the often slow and cumbersome Adobe PDF reader (this is a really cool feature that I enjoy, I really hate the Adobe reader)

Service Integration

Naturally Gmail has fantastic integration with its other services, such as Google Talk and Google Docs. Google Talk in particular is built right into the email window, letting you chat with any of your other Gmail-using contacts, and if you want, save your conversations automatically to Gmail, so you can look over anything you discussed and retrieve any links etc.


The final wining feature of Gmail are its POP and email forwarding features. You can set up Gmail so that you can use desktop clients like Outlook to read and send email, with Gmail. This allows you to use a home or office computer to send emails, and leaves a backup copy of every email you send and receive on Gmail’s servers for when you are on the road.

Google Docs

Google docs is goggle’s online document and spreadsheet editing software. This is almost exactly as it sounds: a Microsoft word or Excel, but online.

Google Documents

While the Google offerings are not as fully featured as the equivalent desktop offerings from Microsoft, the functionally they do offer are the things we use 90% of the time. As such these Google’s online document editing tools are incredibly useful.

You can upload any current word, PDF or excel documents you have straight into Google docs and get started.

So what can you do?

All the expected tools are there: document formatting; colored text, lists and bullets, tables, text highlighting, undo and redo, inserting images and link and so on


Probably more interesting are the collaboration features. You can share your documents with other Google docs users and let them read and edit (if you enable it) your documents. Revisions to the document are automatically saved, so you can go back through a history of changes and revert to an older copy if you need to. You can even set up an RSS feed of changes to the document, so you can keep up-to-date without having to look at the document itself! (Integrates with goggle’s RSS tool, Google Reader)




The collaboration feature has been given a lot of attention, specifically for corporations and the like to ensure that people can work on a single document simultaneously: you can see who else is reading the document, who is editing it and lock sections you are working on so people don’t inadvertently change something you are updating. You can even set up a chat window on the side you can instant message everyone working on the document and organize what you are doing! (Integration with Google Talk)

Getting the document to others

Google Docs actually has a large number of options in this area. Format wise you can print pages, or save the file in RTF, Word, Open Office and PDF to you local computer if you need to. You can even save it as a zipped HTML page, allowing you to make in-document links, bookmarks and indexes.

Google docs also has an interesting Publish feature, which lets you put the document online, either in a blog or just as a regular web page, so you can share the link with whoever you want.


Lastly, Google has implemented Tags here also, letting you easily organize and retrieve your documents if you tend to have a lot (for example, tag a document company_X, proposal and unfinished, and you can easily find the document again by changing your filtering criteria: sort by company, or by proposals you’ve drafted, or by unfinished documents. Tagging is incredibly powerful)



Part two will go over the Google calendar for organizing yourself; keep track of appointments, birthdays and events, as well as coordinate with friends and colleagues for meetings, and the various Google utility tools (talk, reader and bookmarks), and the app that unites them all: iGoogle


You’ve got mail! (on your phone)

You’re on the road, disconnected from your e-mail, not up to date and missing all sorts of important e-mails. What do you do? Well, if you have a mobile phone you can ask someone at the office to sit with your inbox open and read you all your e-mails, or you can use a Push e-mail service.

Push e-mail eh? Tell me more!

Ok! Push e-mail boils down to this: as soon as someone sends you an e-mail, your phone downloads it and goes beep! or brrring! or something to let you know you have a new e-mail. Sounds a little too simple to be revolutionary right?

Well, what you save is the time needed to go through a laborious process of connecting your GPRS, dialing into your email server, downloading the emails if you have any and so on and so forth.

(This would be ‘pull e-mail’ – user initiated checking in with the e-mail server to pull any new e-mails off it and onto the phone.)

What you gain is the ability to read and respond to important emails straight away while traveling, and stay up to date on what’s happening back at the office.

Ok, and it works how?

For Push e-mail to work you need to have a service which will monitor your mail server for new email and ‘push’ them to your phone for you. The Blackberry phones which you can buy come with this service bundled for example.

If you don’t want to be tied to a blackberry phone, you can use various other services which have sprung up around push e-mail such as the Dubai based Productiva or a free service like emoze.

Still don’t understand, it works how?

Ok it boils down to this:

Pull e-mail
[Mail server] / *new mail* <--- user checks in --- [phone]. New emails downloaded.

Push e-mail
[Mail server] / *new mail* —- mail sent —-> [phone]. Phone beeps with new email.

Right, ok. Those services you mentioned, got a recommendation?


Well, I haven’t used a blackberry phone personally but from everything I hear they are pretty neat. The downside is that you will be tied to the blackberry phone, because right now the blackberry push e-mail works only with blackberry phones. However, there is some news floating around that pretty soon windows mobile 6 users will be able to use the blackberry push e-mail service on their phones too, so you may want to wait for that to happen.


Daniel has tried the Productiva services so he can give you a good account of how that works for him. Leave a comment Daniel!


For the free services, there are only two things to be worried about: security and how they work. Security wise you need to inform yourself about what happens with your e-mails in between them being taken off the mail server and sent to your phone, who has the rights to the emails, etc. If you are dealing with alot of sensitive information, you need to check up on these things beforehand.
How-it-works-wise, we will take emoze as an example. For emoze to function, you need to download a program from them and have it running on your home computer. The program will basically check your email from your computer, and then send it to your phone. Remember that secretary reading your emails to you which I mentioned? This is basically like that, which is a serviceable low cost solution if you care to leave your computer on 24 hours a day and you can have someone reboot it when the inevitable windows error strikes.

As always, use the all knowing power of Google to do some research.

Closing words?

Well Productiva had some interesting statistics (and i quote):

  • users can add upto 60 minutes of productive time to their workday (data from aberdeen group)
  • Increased productive time can total upto 6 weeks anually (an increase of 12.5% in productivity

So it may be worth it to you to find out some more. What it boils down to is this:

If you have sensitive information and need things to just work: you will need to pay for it. This means either a blackberry phone & their bundled service, or Productiva depending on how Daniel rates them.

If you just want access to your emails and you can handle the occasional glitch and down time, check out a free service like emoze.

Why would you like to help out with the Beta?

Finally got around to putting up a list of why people wanted to help out with the beta. Here’s the reasons, some are quite funny actually. ‘Why not?’ is especially inspiring, be warned, this is raw user feedback!

Q: Why would you like to help out with the Beta?

  • Why not?
  • To see if the differences would really benfit us as agents, and out of pure interest.
  • Because I think the concept is very good but it is not user friendly at all. If it gets more user friendly, I think there is no other s/w with such features available in the market so far
  • Because I want the best system to be avalaible to all. Any improbements are welcomed. (like spelling?)
  • Time to time we come across suggestion, concerns, that could be beneficial for masterkey implementation. Besides i am curious of how the new system looks like.
  • I would like to input my comments
  • (Because I) helped design it!
  • I think I have worked on masterkey long enough to give valuble input
  • ya

Congratulations The Wave: Successful launch

I’d just like to congratulate The Wave Sales Team, they did a wonderful job at the Kempinski Hotel, Mall of the Emirates and sold out the phase in just 48 hours. That’s virtually unheard of now in Dubai, and reminds me of 3 years ago.


Of course, I’d love to highlight that they had 2 sales centers running concurrently, and this wouldn’t have been possible without MasterKey. They also used a MasterPlan to help sell the townhouses, but of course I forgot to take a picture of the thing. Perhaps the Wave would be kind enough to send me a picture?


Anyway, you can just make it out, half of it, in the corner on the right. The full MasterPlan is on their website.


The Wave on launch day


They’ve also started construction of their first phase, and I had a chance to go down to Muscat and see it first hand. It’s a little strange driving around in a Range Rover crossing mounds of carefully carved sand and hearing ‘Here’s the boulevard, starting at that stick right… there… see it… the one with the orange ribbon. Here’s where the lake starts, yes we’re in the middle of the lake now.’ Great feeling to be at the start of a project this size, and to see how it all comes together.

Other links:Read the press release, or take a look at The Wave’s website, or The Wave’s MasterPlan built by MasterKey.