Tuesday, September 9, 2014

DC, Northern Virginia Digital Strategy - for Businesses, Agencies, Nonprofits - Upcoming NVTC.org Committee Meetings 2014-2015

Thursday, Sept. 18th 7:30-9AM - Build Your Digital Strategy, for 2015

Mark your calendars and RSVP for this first rebranded NVTC "Digital Strategy" meeting of the new fiscal year - kicking off support and insight regarding building and evolving your Digital Strategy for 2015.

Or join the NVTC now to participate!

Hear from other #NVTC business and government members, sharing information regarding the approach to a Digital Strategy, executing and sustaining it for innovative business value.

This is an ongoing series, helping NVTC members through creation and use of their 2015 Digital Strategy, beginning with roles, resources and organizational challenges. Following meetings and forums will address digital business models, digital channels and communication, digital infrastructure and IT impact, plus analytics and value realization.  Mobile, Social, Cloud - these are key enablers, disruptors.

If you're an NVTC.org member engaged in Digital Strategy, as a leader or participant, be sure to regularly attend our committee sessions - let us know, as well, if you'd like to present, provide a speaker or otherwise help guide the committee dialogue!

Note that a “Digital Strategy” is not only public-facing, across the “Internet of Things and Personas”, but also enterprise-facing, enabling and impacting company systems and IT platforms (and therefore a critical Enterprise Architecture opportunity!). It’s also critical guidance, to building or using big/open/fast data capabilities.

What’s your Business Digital Strategy for 2015?



A Digital Strategy, coordinated with your Business Strategy and Roadmap, can cover a lot of ground, roles and responsibilities. It can be quite different by line of business, audience segment, or mission objectives, from healthcare to customer care, from online marketing to mobile gaming.

A methodical approach to building and discussing a Digital Strategy for 2015 will be followed, over the course of these monthly sessions:

1. People - "Who" - Internal; Create Right Mindset & Shared Understanding

  • Leaders, SMEs, Roles
  • Stakeholders, Partners
  • Authorities, Policies
  • Community of Interest, Expertise

2. Plan - "When, Where, Why, How" - (Business)

  • Business Case, Assessment (Research/Analysis)
  • Business Plan/Preparation, Scope/Priorities, Roadmap
  • Business Performance Measures

3. Capabilities, Offerings - "What"

  • Business Model, Processes
  • Brand, Personas
  • Product/Service Portfolio
  • Information as an Asset

4. Choose the Right Platforms - "How" (Technology)

  • Digital Technologies & Services, Deployment Methods
  • Digital Content, Media & Channels
  • Digital Engineering Plan
  • Digital Metrics

5. Engage and Cultivate - "Who" - (External)

  • Business Development/Lead Generation
  • Sales
  • Marketing/Advertising
  • Communications, PR
  • Collaboration

6. Measure & Evaluate - Results, Analytics

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Hand-held Motorola CP200 Radios vs. Cellphones Identified as Key to Safety & Reliable DR/Continuity of Operations, for Industry and Government

News reports and incidents regarding issues with reliance on cellphones for event, incident or other monitoring and operations activities requiring mobile communications continues to surface. In this context, those responsible for finding, purchasing and using critical hand-held communications devices are maintaining their use of advanced hand-held radios - including the extremely popular and durable Motorola CP200 handheld radio.

(This is a noteworthy industry perspective, from a KME client partner. Myself and other KME partners are satisfied, regular user of handheld two-way radios for many purposes, business and recreation, when cellphones are impractical or otherwise not designed for purpose.)

National Two-Way Radios, a leading provider of critical Motorola mobile hand-held radio technologies and services, provides current, key evidence for two-way radios vs. cellphones as a critical core or backup component for business and mission operations in all challenging environments.

National Two Way RadiosThis particular hand-held two-way radio, the Motorola CP200, is a long-time favorite of emergency departments, schools, corporate security, outdoor businesses and entertainment venues, marinas, golf courses, ski resorts - anywhere and everywhere reliable, safe, durable and well-tested direct communications across and between Land Mobile Radio (LMR) networks and devices. National Two-Way Radio is a trusted, reliable and well-known partner for Motorola CP200 buyers and users - providing two-way radio technologies and support from the Washington DC-Maryland area for many years.

At this recent fair event, for example, AT&T wireless services became problematic during the busiest time with the largest crowds - and both fair volunteer staff and the local Sheriff's department turned to hand-held radios and a mobile command center to maintain situational awareness, operational communications, and emergency monitoring.

I'll point out also, that reliance on Internet-centric communications including Twitter, email, or VOIP/text over IP as enabled by cellphone technologies and Apps are all subject to connection reliability risks - for industrial or commercial communications in the field, a COOP/DR strategy needs always to have radio backup.

Handheld, two-way radios are fundamentally recognized as a more disaster-proof, safer, reliable and useful tool in all applications where critical communications are a requirement, and safe use is a critical part of the context. The Miami Herald recently reported, for example, that a recent ban on handheld cellphones while driving in New Hampshire does not include the use of two-way radios, instrumental to the operations and safety of many industries and businesses - commercial, law-enforcement and other government. This exception appears common to all cellphone-while-driving bans - two-way radios are fully and appropriately allowed.

Organizations have different communications requirements based on the environments their employees and partners operate within. These include very noisy environments, outdoor assignments in both heat and cold, or in dangerous environments that intrinsically require devices that are safe to operate. Different use cases and operation scenarios may require devices that can be used with gloves, include bright displays or operate hands free. Most hand-held two-way radios designed for specific use cases, with their accessories, can meet all of these needs from extra loud speakers, noise-canceling microphones to glove friendly ergonomics, extreme temperature ratings, and ruggedized components (such as the "proven tough" Motorola two-way radio batteries).

Handheld Two-Way Radios for IndustryWhile cellphones benefit from smaller form-factors and "smart phone" applications, two-way radios necessarily tend to be a bit larger and bulkier - in order to accommodate higher power output levels for maximum "talk-in" coverage range. An interesting consequence of a higher power output level is that it also increases the reliability of a feature found in two-way radio that is not available in cellular – direct mode operation or repeater talk-around.

As described at this Motorola solution community, two-way radio systems have the "direct mode" feature as a last resort form of communications in case the portable radios lose connectivity with the infrastructure. This allows the users to communicate directly with each other without the use of the infrastructure. For industrial and government users talking in direct mode...having some limited communications is better than none at all. Higher power output levels increases the reliability of the communications between the radios since the higher power level overcomes the signal path loss better in many environments.

Take advantage of the long-tested, well-known features of this critical communications technology today - for current operational use, as well as backup and disaster operations and recovery scenarios, when cellphone use is likely to be unreliable or can't meet operational requirements. National Two-Way Radio is currently offering hand-held radios including the Motorola CP200 and accessories for the absolute lowest pricing online, free programming for life, and essential, experienced consumer use guidance and technical support. Consider and evaluate a handheld two-way radio right now, before your local or regional cellular network becomes unresponsive or otherwise inaccessible.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Northern Virginia Hire a US Veteran Information Campaign Kickoff - Lake Ridge, VA Wed Apr 30 10AM-2PM

Northern Virginia Business Center (NVABC) Hire a Vet Kickoff

Date: Wed 30 April 2014
Time: 10:00 AM - 2:00 PM (Networking Coffee 9-10am)
Location: Northern Virginia Business Center (NVABC), 3421 Commission Ct., Suite 100, Lake Ridge, VA 22192

Registration is required, at this registration link.

NVABC, in conjunction with a long list of sponsors, is proud to support our nation's veterans and their transition from military service to gainful employment and business opportunities.

Companies and supporters are invited to come to the NVABC "Hire A Vet" Kickoff, to meet military veteran job seekers in the Northern Virginia region, network with other Northern Virginia businesses, and to learn about the wide range of accessible, local programs and resources available to support veteran transitions. The event is designed to provide businesses with the most updated information and insights to maximize their veteran hiring goals.

This past week, The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported the Veteran Unemployment rate in 2013 was 9%. A few months ago, the Washington Post reported "The unemployment rate for recent veterans is incredibly high". Last week, McClatchy reported that young post 9-11 US veteran unemployment is a staggering 21.4%. Fox News this week suggests the Pentagon may be partially to blame, and says "...much of the problem lies in a failure to connect veterans to the right employment services in the right place at the right time." Yesterday, New Labor Department regulations went into effect that require federal contractors to take steps to hire minimum numbers of protected veterans and disabled workers. With the US out of Iraq, and soon out of Afghanistan, the DoD, as reported yesterday in the NY Times, plans further reduction the armed forces to levels preceding WW-II.

Veteran unemployment is a major problem, and likely to get worse. The good news is that there are a lot of resources out there to help. Companies that want to help need these resources. That's where this event comes in. The NVABC Hire a Vet Kickoff is designed to provide Northern Virginia businesses and companies with the information/resources they need to comply with the new veteran employment regulations, and to help their businesses succeed and thrive by hiring veterans.

At the event, companies and veterans will learn about the resources designed to help veterans find jobs and start businesses as well as the programs in place designed to help employers find and hire veterans.

Speakers and topics at the event include:
Special Guests
Special thanks also to corporate sponsors of the Northern Virginia Business Center and its Hire a Vet initiative:
Date: Wed 30 April 2014
Time: 10:00 AM - 2:00 PM (Networking Coffee 9-10am)
Location: Northern Virginia Business Center (NVABC), 3421 Commission Ct., Suite 100, Lake Ridge, VA 22192

Registration is required, at this registration link.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Why Information Sharing Precedes Open Data - Coffee Talk

The Agency Deputy CIO (DCIO), Enterprise Architect (EA), IT System/Security Manager (ITSM) and the Open Data Community Evangelist (ODCE) – Over Cafeteria Coffee

The DCIO & ITSM at a table, talking about the annual IT budget status. The ODCE drifts over, recognizes the ITSM from a recent agency newsletter.

ODCE – "Can I sit here? I wanted to talk to you about opening up data, freeing it, from your system to my Github group. Want to join? It’s at ODCE.io., plus there will be an announcement soon on Sharepoint."

ITSM – "Um, sure. Do you have a badge? Who do you work for?"

DCIO (Thinking – this must be one of those social media risks. Can you twitter without using your hands? Maybe he’s got the new Google glasses thing. Need to check my email. This coffee is a bit stale.)

ODCE – "Oh, sorry (produces badge from pocket) – the lanyard felt like a tie. I’m not a clacker yet, you know, with all the badges, I mostly telecommute – but I work for the Outreach/PR office, I’m their Wordpress Content Administrator and SoMe Evangelist."

ITSM (Thinking – is clacking a bad thing? When did we get Wordpress, is it on MySQL? Can I telecommute?) "What data do you need? Where does your Github group sit, on the 3rd floor with Outreach?"

DCIO – "Yes, open data is a great thing, probably. But isn’t “io” a foreign country TLD? We can’t expose our data to them. Wait, isn’t that an ocean?"

ITSM – "Not our data, anyway – it’s sensitive. You’re a DBA? Do you know Bill, our DBA? He has the legacy and big data platforms. I think “io” is really British."

ODCE – "Bill? No, does he know Wordpress? It’s really easy, with all the plug-ins. ODCE.io isn’t really foreign, it’s all over, it’s crowdsourced development. Github is on the Internet, it’s really outside of work."

ITSM – "Bill’s our Oracle DB expert, he’d need to understand this – but is this a requirement from your office, a work thing, maybe a FOIA request or some new regulation? Who’s your manager?"

DCIO (Thinking – “crowdsourcing” can be cheaper, but it’s too much risk – when did we get Wordpress, is it part of the Portal? Is it better than Drupal?) – "Please ask your manager to check with our Enterprise Architect (Katie) on this."

ODCE – "Open Data is the new currency of the Internet, a public utility, it’s like free energy for everyone. It’s massive, but accessible. My manager is Scott, but you don’t really manage “evangelizing” or social media, it’s part of the new company DNA. What’s the Enterprise Architect, does she work for you?"

DCIO (Thinking – “massive” doesn’t mean “free” around here) – "Katie does work for me, she’s in the Directory (but she keeps telling me she belongs in the CFO’s office.). I have a Big Data conference call to attend – good luck with your DNA club, I think my daughter’s in one just like it, at school!" (He leaves, quickly).

ITSM (checking his phone – Wordpress? Maybe it costs less than the CMS platform we have, but isn’t it “freeware”? Drupal really isn't so free...) – "I have a meeting also, about our SOA Data Security status with Bill – I’ll let him know to expect a new system interface request, from the PR office? Use the help desk form, if you can access it – it would be an “enhancement”, probably, for next quarter earliest, especially if it’s using our new SOA platform. Thanks for introducing yourself." (He leaves, beelines across the cafeteria after spotting his Scrum Master).

@ODCE (Drifting away, tweeting) - #opendatarising #Agency CIO all over Open Big Data 4 next qtr, share via ODCE.io – #opensource #dontcomehereforthecoffee.

@DCIO (Locked) - @KatieEA, are you finished with our “As-Is” data models? I think the PR office has a new database. Also, please check http://www...(text truncated)

KatieEA (Thinking – I thought we were skipping the “as-is”, and focusing on the “to-be” – that’s what the new OMB 300 guys really want this year, part of the “Open Government” mandate or something. But we don’t have any new “major investments” to report, beyond the new Open Data catalogue, BPM and SOA software just purchased by the GIS department. I’ll check with Bill.) – To DCIO (via email) – "DCIO, let’s talk via email, my twitter is really just for home stuff."


Outcome – “Information Sharing” will/should always precede “Open Data”, so plan for it - plus, always include your EA.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Project Management, PMP, ITIL, Cost Estimating Business Training & Certification in Virginia

If you're in any way associated with Government contracting, project or program management, project or system cost estimating or resourcing, whether on the job or during acquisition processes and proposal preparation - you may need PMP, ITIL or Cost Estimation Certification and/or training. This is important not only from the business manager perspective, but also from the Enterprise and Solution Architect perspective - it comes in very handy.

Here's a shout-out to some respected professionals at Trio-Consulting and the Northern Virginia Business Center, for an upcoming PMP certification preparation course - as well as many other professional, Federal and DoD contract-focused training and certifications.

Trio Consulting at 3421 Commission Ct, Suite 100, Lake Ridge, VA (Prince William County, near Woodbridge) is offering a 4-day intensive PMI-PMP Bootcamp March 31-April 3 in preparation for PMP Certification in Northern Virginia. Visit the website or call 571-267-1445 for discounted rates today, using promo code "PMPMAR".

Working with the government can be difficult. There is a vast bureaucracy filled with red tape, legal caveats, and rules to navigate once you’ve entered the contract, project or program management role. To be fully prepared, it’s important that you have the training and knowledge to function effectively, for the government or your company. To be truly competitive, and deliver high value work on government programs - managers need to be qualified and even better, certified in standardized project management methodologies. A PMI PMP Certification will put you ahead of your competitors, and make you confident operating under government rules and regulations.

As a source of information for small businesses in Woodbridge, Lake Ridge, Prince William County, and the rest of Northern Virginia, the Northern Virginia Business Center (NVABC) is happy to bring this necessity and training opportunity to your attention. The NVABC, a business incubation and startup facility for Northern Virginia, offers new or expanding businesses help with federal contracting, legal assistance, DC-area digital marketing and information technology, business strategies and planning, and many other advisory services for members. The NVABC's proximity to the nation’s capital makes it a significant, effective source for business training and certification required to address most government programs and contracts.

Trio Consulting, located in Lake Ridge VA, offers Project Management Professional (PMP) Certification training, based on guidance and training requirements of the Project Management Institute (PMI.) The Trio Consulting PMI PMP "Bootcamp" is a 4 day in-depth training course from March 31 to April 3 at the NVABC, that fulfills PMI's 35-hour project management training requirement, and leverages the PMP Exam Simulator for real-time, in class test preparation.

According to Trio, the training is for “Professionals seeking certification to meet contract requirements, organizational staff development goals or personal enrichment.” The course itself is geared not only towards learning the information needed to pass the PMI Exam, but also investigates each of the Project Management Framework’s 47 processes. By the end of this four-day program, you’ll be ready for the test and to move forward with your business.

Additional professional development and certification training is available via Trio Consulting and the Northern Virginia Business Center, in Woodbridge (Lake Ridge) Northern Virginia - contact them as soon as possible to register for the PMP Boot Camp and other professional development classes.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Government Open Data Success Via Information Sharing, Enterprise Architecture and Data Assets

The title of this article is quite a mouthful, and three very complex and broadly-scoped disciplines mashed together. But that's what's happening all over, isn't it, driven by consumer demand on their iPhones - mashing and manipulating information that's managed to leak through the risk-adverse, highly-regulated mantle of the government's secure data cocoon, and instantly sharing it for further rendering, visualization or actual, productive use. Mostly a "pull" style information flow, at best constrained or abstracted by public sector Enterprise Architecture (EA) methods and models - at worst, simply denied.
This demand for open data, however, is rapidly exposing both opportunities and challenges within government information-sharing environments, behind the firewall - in turn a fantastic opportunity and challenge for the Enterprise Architects and Data Management organizations.
The recent "Open Data Policy" compels US Federal agencies to make as much non-sensitive, government-generated data as possible available to the public, via open standards in data structures (for humans and machine-readable), APIs (application programming interfaces) and browser-accessible functions. The public (including commercial entities) in turn can use this data to create new information packages and applications for all kinds of interesting and sometimes critical uses - from monitoring the health of public parks to predicting the arrival of city buses, or failure of city lights.
But there isn't an "easy" button. And, given the highly-regulated and tremendously complex nature of integrated, older government systems and their maintenance contracts - significant internal change is very difficult, to meet what amounts to a "suggested" and unfunded (but with long-term ROI) mandate, without much in the way of clear and measurable value objectives.
That doesn't mean there aren't whole bunches of citizens and government employees ready, willing and enthusiastic about sharing information and ideas that clearly deliver tangible, touchable public benefit. Witness the recent "Open Data Day DC", a yearly hackathon in the District of Columbia for collaborating on using open data to solve local DC issues, world poverty, and other open government challenges. Simply sharing information in ways that weren't part of the original systems integration requirements or objectives has become a very popular - and in fact expected behavior - of the more progressive and (by necessity) collaborative agencies - such as the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).  

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Monetizing Wellness, to Drive Value-Driven, Outcomes-Based #Healthcare Transformation in the U.S. #NVTC #NVTCBEA

Thanks very much go to John Teeter - Managing Director, Federal Advisory at KPMG, Global Center of Excellence for Health and former HHS CIO - for his presentation and discussion leadership at today's #nvtc joint committee meeting (Health Technology and Business & Enterprise Architecture #nvtcbea ).

The dialogue revolved around a principle challenge and opportunity in the Global and particularly the US healthcare transformation debate - bending the cost curve of US healthcare through better health outcomes - driven in part by use of the rapidly-growing and effective availability of health performance data analytics. Decreasing costs, by focusing on quality - upfront and often.


Also, overall costs and payments can (now with advanced analytics technology) be more accurately and effectively "bundled" by integrated outcomes that cross provider boundaries - not just by service, by episode, by event, by facility.  The better outcomes are dependent on care investment at every stage, particularly at the Primary Care level.

By focusing attention on and funding regulatory, technology and organizational process improvement initiatives in the primary care/wellness phase of the healthcare services continuum (vs. so much in the secondary/tertiary phases, i.e. the "reactive" phases), outcome quality measures (by person, by population, by case segment) can be dramatically improved, thereby lowering "fee for services" costs and also lowering the overall expense of patient-centered health delivery.

This is "optimization of the gatekeeper function" of the Primary Care provider. The patient becomes the unit of measurement - i.e. their overall status, their engagement metrics, their behaviors. The patient, and the provider, also are more likely to participate in a "value-based benefits" system - where cost-effective (healthwise) behavior is rewarded with better health outcomes and opportunities for the patient, and more business for the provider, in essence "monetizing" the wellness activities.

This is in stark contrast to the status quo, which as Mr. Teeter put it, is usually a "perpetual revenue stream", from specialist visit, to referral/consult, to lab, to pharmacy - and repeated, the more cycles, the more revenue, but each cycle focused only on a particular condition and associated services.

Actual outcome quality initiatives the transformed healthcare industry require, would need to be built on foundations (already underway) aligned with standard Enterprise Architecture models.  The base includes informed, applied regulatory enablers (i.e. legislative mandate and governance); on top of which transformed healthcare payment and delivery business operating models would rest (i.e. the "Business Architecture"); run on modernized information technology platforms (including robust, big data-aware analytics and "Internet of Things" - IoT - platforms); ultimately enabling interoperable, standards-based health data services ecosystems.

The Big Data/IoT platforms are particularly promising, as regulators and healthcare IT professionals wrestle with the question of how, when and why to insert additional data attributes (from everything from social media to ingestible sensors) into personal health records - in a safe, secure, standard manner.

This dialogue will obviously continue in government and industry - and also within the NVTC Business & Enterprise Architecture and Healthcare Technology upcoming committee meetings and presentations.  Check NVTC.org for the next events...