Dominion Consulting stays in the forefront of Federal IT modernization efforts by encouraging our employees to hone skills and stay current on issues and initiatives impacting government agencies. We are active in several organizations that promote fiscal accountability and technology through government and industry collaboration. One of these organizations is the Association of Government Accountants (AGA). Dominion is very active in the AGA, attending conferences, training events, and providing expert advice on advisory committees.
In July, the 2017 AGA Professional Development Training (PDT) conference brought over 1900 participants, 50 exhibitors, and almost 200 speakers from both industry and government to Boston to discuss emerging issues, initiatives, and technology solutions. Conferences such as this serve as an excellent training platform and allows Dominion to showcase its broad range of services and capabilities. We are able network with former colleagues, clients, and prospective clients, catching up on the latest developments. Representing us at the AGA PDT conference were Todd Barber, Jim Levitan, Howard Campbell, Matt Duffy, Ted Kozlow, and Megan Powers.
The lineup of speakers at the conference is always impressive. This year, they included Massachusetts governor Charlie Baker, Comptroller General of the United States Gene Dodaro, and Deputy Controller at OMB Mark Reger. Topics included finance, accounting, and technology initiatives.
IT departments are continually being asked to do more with less. They’re also working to meet the increasing demands of their customers. Clients who are accustomed to Amazon-like IT interactions outside of the workplace.
The IT Service Management arena is no exception. In an effort to continue to improve our ability to meet the needs of our clients, Dominion Consulting is now a ServiceNow partner. Our partnership with ServiceNow strengthens our ability to bring best-in-class solutions to our clients looking to overcome these challenges.
To further our partnership, last week I attended Knowledge17, ServiceNow’s annual conference in Orlando, FL. Over 15,000 ServiceNow customers, partners, and associates gathered together to exchange ideas, experiences, and advice. The mixture of keynotes, labs, customer success stories, and demos ensured a little something for everyone.
It is hard to believe that Dominion Consulting is approaching its 14th year as an organization. It all started for some of us in 2003, when two Enterprise Resource Planning experts decided to build a company based on SAP, and its rapid growth in the Federal Government. Fast forward to 2013, a core capability was our SAP expertise and rapid growth into the Momentum Financials arena. Now, as 2017 begins, our Enterprise Applications solution area is at a crossroads. We are excited about the new direction it is taking us.
As part of our recent rebranding effort, we agreed our website had become stale. It needed a new, fresh look focusing on our future, exactly like our rebrand. We wanted to take a chance to look at things from a new perspective and create a site that would evolve with our company as we grow.
A key question we asked ourselves was “How do we highlight our capabilities, and most importantly what our people bring to our clients?”. Like many emerging large consulting firms, we perform a lot of different activities to meet the needs of our clients, reflecting the skills of our people. When we looked at what makes Dominion successful, it isn’t just our approach to delivering. Our people bring solution area expertise to make each project a success.
What is Dominion’s role in Shared Services and how do we apply it to our solution areas?
I found myself thinking about this question while I attended the AGA/IAC Shared Services Summit last week. Within the industry, most agree with the long term vision of this most recent Shared Services initiative, which is consolidating Financial Management to four approved Federal Shared Service Providers. I listened to a number of excellent speakers talk about the importance of moving to Shared Services, the benefits with respect to minimizing Total Cost of Ownership, bringing efficiencies in how the government operates financial management, and most importantly allowing an agency to “focus on its mission”.
I agree with all of those principles, but I also found a common theme amongst the speakers…the need and want for agencies to do something that is often lost in government…and that is build trust. Trust is something I have often heard from my clients when discussing Shared Services. The thought that “we have been doing this so long, no one else does it like us”, so how can we trust another Federal Agency successful manage our financial management system in a Shared Service environment.
It starts simply enough. Your company needs a system for managing its contracts process. The finance department goes out and purchases a contracts system. Being forward thinking, they pick one that is cloud-based so they don’t have to maintain the infrastructure. Things are going well until…
- The ability to track supporting documents from within the system is identified shortly after launch
- After finance loads supporting documents, those documents are now stored in multiple locations
- Nobody knows which version is the current version any longer
- Groups outside of finance need access to the contracts but licenses are limited
- Contracts need to be linked to their CRM and ERP records but nobody can figure out how
The contracts process may be working well but information is trapped in a system that is closed-off from the rest of the organization. The only way to have information everywhere it is needed is to duplicate it which leads to complications in managing information.
This is a common problem in organizations. Whether it is contracts, FOIA processing, investigations, or team collaboration, there are a multiple systems containing content and information needed by other business processes. The existence of shared information conflicts with the reality that many processes are best solved with different solutions.
Reston, VA – January 12, 2016 – At the end of last year, IBC was awarded a new contract by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to provide complementary financial management services to the Office of the Chief Financial Officer (OCFO), Associate Chief Financial Officer for Financial Systems (ACFO-FS). IBC will be providing expert level support for incident management as well as SAP-specific training with the ultimate goal of creating operational improvements and efficiencies within the Financial Management Modernization Initiative (FMMI) environment. The IBC team will deliver superior software development and effective training resources with proven implementation methods including SAP ASAP, Agile, and traditional waterfall programs. Todd Barber, Managing Principal with IBC said, “This award is a testament to the excellent value brought to USDA by the IBC Team over the last few years. We are extremely proud to continue our ongoing support at OCFO and look forward to the further development of their people and systems.”
Enterprise Architecture (EA) has developed a reputation. We’re often reminded of this when in a meeting with senior business leadership and someone explicitly mentions the EA program. Eyes roll back in heads, quick loaded glances are exchanged, an audible exhale is heard as if to say, “Ugh. Not this again.” If you’ve seen one of these reactions or maybe even all three simultaneously (unofficially known as the EA Trifecta), unfortunately you are not alone. EA programs in all corners of business and government are struggling to demonstrate substantial organizational value and achieve true enterprise buy-in and acceptance.
It is not for a lack of trying. Organizations that have decided to invest in EA programs are usually making substantial personnel (both internal resources and external consultants) as well as software investments in support of their EA programs. In addition, organizations typically incur significant indirect EA costs in the form of stakeholder meetings and presentations. Many enterprises have started to take a hard look at their EA program to assess whether the EA program is worth the investment. It has left organizations asking themselves, “What’s wrong with our architecture?”, a question that Frank Lloyd Wright most certainly asked himself more than once.
As IT professionals, we see organizations experiencing a variety of challenges with their enterprise architecture programs. There are many potential pitfalls when it comes to establishing a value-driven EA capability. If you find yourself struggling to comprehend what’s wrong with your architecture, consider the following questions that might uncover some of the issues preventing your EA program from providing real enterprise value.
IBC is excited to announce the roll out of the IBC Education Store which can be found at https://store.ibcdbs.com/. Through our close partnership with the SAP Authorized Education Partner program, IBC offers the highest quality educational experience to our customers. Whether a customer is looking for a public class, virtual class or computer based product, the IBC Education Store is the place to get it all. The store offers educational products for all of SAP’s solutions including the SAP Business Suite, Business Objects, HANA and Sybase. There are six primary education offerings: classroom, virtual classroom, eLearning, Subscriptions, eAcademy and Online Knowledge Products.
“We are incredibly proud of what has been accomplished to bring this vision to reality. Many months of hard work went into the creation of this new channel. While IBC has been providing most of these products for years, the Education Store will provide our customers a simple and user friendly mechanism for identifying and purchasing the education they need.” Todd Barber, Managing Principal, IBC.
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