Enterprise Architecture Experience

For a leading provider of telemedicine, created company’s next generation reporting DataMart. Primary focus was on the underlying data model.  Workspaces were defined by reporting area such as (a) consultations, (b) eligibility, (c) call center activities, (d) billing, (e) and others.  All workspaces are designed as a star schema with either a fact or summary table in the middle, surrounded by confirmed dimensions. Mappings were created from new OLTP database to this database for ETL development. Conformed dimension tables are feed by both static reference tables such as products and slowly changing tables such as member, group, and organization. Fact tables are fed by transaction tables and summary tables from fact tables. The Kimble model was highly leveraged with the following decisions (a) conformed dimensions, (b) surrogate primary keys on all tables, especially dimension tables, (c) inclusion of natural keys on all tables, but as attributes, and (d) support for slowly changing dimensions (SCD) type II, whereby the data model can support by "as-is" and "as-was" reporting queries.

For a leading provider of health management services, defined, designed, and developed initial set of business intelligence OLAP reports. Prior to this batch Crystal reports were produced in mass for very large population management. With the introduction of OLAP, the organization was able to extend this further into multidimensional analysis with full drill down and drill around functionality. Work included (a) logical and physical data modeling of star schemas and conformed dimensions, (b) development of PL/SQL scripts to pull data incrementally into the fact, sum, and dimension tables, (c) development of Business Objects universes, including meta data definitions of shared confirmed dimensions, (d) development of Business Objects OLAP reports, all with multiple reporting tabs, many with complex metrics and visuals, (e) implementation of cron and CMS scheduling for daily data updates and report refresh, and (f) implementation of security groups to define which users can access which reports.

For a leading provider of health management services, architected companies second generation database, known as ODS, which has grown into a 35 terabyte VLDB Oracle OLTP database. Architecture including creation of a service layer (SOA) for OLTP access via web and data services, as well as a batch (ETL) layer for high volume loads. Mr. Hochron also was involved in maintaining initial logical data model for the company, which includes a central set of party tables for maximum extensibility. Core to the SOA architecture were principles for how to define web services and corresponding stored procedures for data manipulation. This included (a) standard request and response columns, (b) framework for reuse vs creating new services, (c) use of logging files and debugging tables, and (d) framework for performance monitoring. For ETL, Mr. Hochron helped define (a) batch controls, (b) processing framework for load, stage, and error tables, (c) method of upsetting slowly changing data, and (d) commit frequency.  Work also included creation of back end support of the companies personal health record (member portal) which consists of over 50 web services for data interaction such as (a) get member information, (b) get/set assessment responses, (c) get/set medications, (d) get/set program participation, and (e) many more.

For a global money center retail and investment bank, as part of an enterprise architecture team, Mr. Hochron developed an architecture for a service excellence dashboard (SED).  The purpose of SED is to provide IT and line of business management visibility into the operational effectiveness of IT systems and network performance.  Architectural requirements included (a) correlation of system, network, and application events (from source manager of managers) together and with problem and change transactions, (b) integration and correlation in realtime and against a historical Data Mart, (c) independence of source data formats, (d) ability to “plug and play” tools (minimally presentation layer), (e) ability to determine root cause and, ultimately, business impact.  Highlights of the resulting architecture included a realtime rules engine, historical Data Mart (ultimately be fed by a Data Warehouse), a canonical model for consistent source data transformations, a semantic model for representing related devices and applications, and a deployment strategy that minimized WAN traffic.

For an international reinsurance, insurance, and financial services conglomerate, Mr. Hochron developed a framework for compiling the company’s applications architecture. The driver was that this company had grown from acquisition, over the years, to the point of becoming too decentralized and somewhat redundant.  The company formed a global IT group whose role was to support infrastructure/common IT functions.  The purpose of this project was to create a repository for housing current state facts on (a) Web Content Management, (b) Portal, (c) E-Commerce, (d) EAI, (d) Data Warehousing, and (e) Information Delivery. The resulting repository will be used to confirm the target architecture state and assess the gaps/tactics for ultimate migration and conformance. It is expected that infrastructure reuse will significantly allow them to contain both development and maintenance costs.

For a leading provider of health and fitness programs, Mr. Hochron led the creation of an enterprise architecture whose overall goals were to support the company’s aggressive acquisition model. The architecture, therefore, had to be highly scaleable, maintainable, extensible, without compromising performance. The project defined an information architecture that shared core reference files (e.g., customer), thin client applications architecture, a DSL centric network architecture, Microsoft-based ASP hosted technology architecture, and an organizational architecture that leveraged strategic outsourced partners. The deliverable met all client expectations and has since begun making planned acquisitions.

For a leading convergent provider, Mr. Hochron led the assessment of the components of their new platform infrastructure. This company manages one of the largest private voice networks (utilizing interactive voice response units) without regulatory restrictions. The company had retained our services to validate their 3-5 year strategy for both meeting their investor budget and internal growth objectives. Mr. Hochron’s involvement was to assist in (a) assessing the selected technology, architecture, partners, and operational readiness, (b) developing a high-level project plan, and (c) validating the investor budget. The project concluded with a detailed presentation to the board of directors and the investor's due diligence team.

For a leading convergent provider, Mr. Hochron was a key technical advisor to the program management office for the design and implementation of a $30MM infrastructure improvement project; and ran day-to-day activities. Acted as lead architect for information, applications, and technology architectures. Scope of the project included process reengineering, systems development, creation of a centralized call center, integration testing, and customer conversion. Mr. Hochron also defined numerous operational procedures and helped management define the necessary organizational structure to support the new infrastructure.

For a leading convergent provider, Mr. Hochron was the acting CIO, managing 70+ developers, and was the primary liaison with the business. Development projects included a customer relationship management project developed in Vantive, a custom (in-house) developed IVR product, a content management project developed in Visual Basic and C, and a data warehousing project that utilized Informatica for data transformation. All transactional systems interfaced with Tibco middleware and all but the IVR project used Sybase as the database. Mr. Hochron, also transitioned all CIO functions back to the organization before all development was complete.

For an international manufacturer of medical diagnostic equipment and supplies, Mr. Hochron assisted in the development of a Worldwide Information Technology Plan. As a result of many factors, including globalization, this firm’s IT organization, systems, and information delivery were not aligned with the business. Particular involvement on this project was to help the company prepare for growth by defining their target technical architecture. This included definition of an information architecture, applications architecture, and technology (infrastructure) architecture.

For a leading university, Mr. Hochron led the development of an end-state architecture for one of the universities most central systems (one that is affected many business processes).  The system’s scope included support for the Registrar’s, Bursar’s, and Financial Aid offices. The architecture, based on Vital (methodology), was defined as a function of newly defined business processes. Architectural issues include support for the Web, authentication, authorization, version control, software distribution, digital signatures, and e-mail.  Each business function was defined as a three-tiered, architecturally compliant, application service.  In addition, the project included a mobilization plan, organizational assessment, and a definition of an architectural evergreen process.

For a regional Bell operating company, Mr. Hochron assisted them in assessing their operational readiness for a mission-critical provisioning system that was in development. The system was in-house developed as a high transaction system (over 1,000,000 transactions per day) with Motif clients, Tuxedo transaction monitor, and a Sybase back-end. Multiple areas were assessed including network, database, architecture, operations, quality assurance/testing, performance, client-value analysis, and the organization. Mr. Hochron’s specific area of responsibility was computer operations.

For a regional Bell operating company, Mr. Hochron led an assessment of two competing systems for Corporate Services (Finance and HR). The project was formed as a result of a merger, whereby on company was in the process of implementing a mainframe-based solution, while the other was in the throws of a client/server implementation. Ironically, they were both implementing the same ERP solution (PeopleSoft).  The major difference (in addition to HW platform), was the impact on process change, one fostered major process change in favor of accepting out of the box processes, while the other favored significant customization in an effort to minimize process change.  The final recommendation was the client/server solution that favored standard processes with contained ongoing maintenance changes.

For a regional bell operating company, Mr. Hochron assisted a crossdepartmental IS management team to develop a transformation plan towards integrated architectures. The members of this team represent four IS Portfolios that form the infrastructure support areas of the company. They include marketing, engineering and construction, procurement and logistics, finance, and human resources. The challenge was that Portfolios systems support their businesses differently. As a result of a corporate reengineering effort, the newly defined end-to-end processes cut through these application systems. The charter of this team is to create an information architecture, applications architecture, technology architecture, approach to data warehousing, approach to decision support, and approach toward deploying integrated applications. These project categories have multiple projects--for example, the information architecture category includes an approach toward “singleimage reference” and deployment of a pilot. Mr. Hochron’s involvement was to assist in project definition, creation of the work plans, facilitation of some sessions, and mobilization of the proposed architecture projects. Expected benefits include radical decrease in application development and maintenance costs and cycle times, while improving flexibility in responding to business needs, and better aligning to the business.