Tim Blair White http://timblairwhite.com Fri, 30 Sep 2016 04:27:57 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Quote 3 http://timblairwhite.com/quote-3/ Mon, 30 Mar 2015 08:27:39 +0000 http://timblairwhite.com/?p=111 “The best CIOs are able to transform IT from an operational cost center that seems to block business expansion efforts to a valued business partner, enabling technology solutions.” ~ Tim Blair White

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Quote 2 http://timblairwhite.com/quote-2/ Mon, 30 Mar 2015 08:27:23 +0000 http://timblairwhite.com/?p=109 “Great CIOs are willing to be there keeping the infrastructure running while supporting the business with the confident demeanor of a superhero while simultaneously running multiple large scale IT projects.” ~ Tim Blair White

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Quote 1 http://timblairwhite.com/quote-1/ Mon, 30 Mar 2015 08:25:06 +0000 http://timblairwhite.com/?p=107 “Any Chief Information Officer worth their salt provides expert technology guidance which reduces operating costs and increases profit margins – CIOs are ultimately business consultants.” ~ Tim Blair White

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IT Strategic Planning http://timblairwhite.com/it-strategic-planning/ Mon, 30 Mar 2015 06:18:37 +0000 http://timblairwhite.com/?p=82 Crafting long and short-term IT strategic plans that fully align IT with the business in order to support cost reduction efforts, market expansion plans, business acquisitions, eCommerce projects, ERP adoptions, technology upgrades and Cloud initiatives.]]>
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“A well crafted and executed IT strategic plan is the key to success in enabling business expansion.”

Crafting long and short-term IT strategic plans that fully align IT with the business in order to support cost reduction efforts, market expansion plans, business acquisitions, eCommerce projects, ERP adoptions, technology upgrades and Cloud initiatives.

We live in a world of terrific change and the business landscape can change very quickly requiring fast action to keep up with a variety of factors: economic shifts, competitors, new technology, acquisitions, business process changes, etc.

Thus, businesses are not static things but are live organisms that are either dynamic and adapt to shifting environmental factors or stay static and perish.

Having and operating on long and short-term IT strategic plans are absolutely vital in today’s fast-paced technology driven business landscape. Such plans dovetail with the overall business initiatives and therefore accelerate and empower business to achieve it’s goals.

In essence, a well crafted and executed IT strategic plan is the key to success in enabling business expansion.

“I was impressed that as an “IT guy” Tim clearly understood that it’s not about the technology but enhancing the business objectives of the company. Tim always focused on solutions, making things happen within our budget and time requirements and effectively transitioned our company to a much more sophisticated tech platform.”

Dennis McKenna, CEO: eRepublic, Inc.

As a Consulting CIO, I have written and executed innumerable IT strategic plans much to the delight of upper management because they empower the business to succeed!

I would be happy to discuss your unique business situation and how a well crafted IT strategic plan coupled with implementation advice can empower your business to succeed.

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IT Transformational Audit http://timblairwhite.com/it-transformational-audit/ Mon, 30 Mar 2015 06:17:41 +0000 http://timblairwhite.com/?p=80
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“At the end of the day we just want IT to work and help us get our jobs done and support the business without any fuss.”

Wish your IT Department delivered great customer service? Is IT getting in your road rather than helping you expand the business? An IT Transformational Audit results in a step-by-step plan of action to transform IT into a service oriented group that gets results!

As a business executive, do you really know the state of technology in your enterprise? Would you like to know where it is weak, needing immediate attention, and where it is strong?

My IT Transformational Audit is a comprehensive analysis and evaluation of the State of Technology in your business and results in a step-by-step plan of action which will transform your IT Department into a valued business partner.

This is a powerful analysis that will give you a top-to-bottom view of your IT Department’s strengths and weaknesses covering 15 areas including:

  • Leadership & Business

  • Leadership & Business Partnership

  • Management, Organization & Staff

  • Project Management

  • Customer Service

  • Disaster Recovery

  • IT Security, Core Services & Systems

The audit is a fantastic service for zeroing in on the most critical areas to resolve and fix in order to open the door where the IT Department can be transformed beyond a mere service unit to a real business partner helping the company achieve its goals.

“Tim is an excellent IT executive with the rare skill of bridging between upper management and IT operations such that the business can focus on business initiatives with IT viewed as a business partner rather than a source of issues and barriers to expansion.”

Lisa Bernard, CAO: eRepublic, Inc.

I would be happy to discuss the challenges you may be having with your IT Department and how my IT Transformational Audit service could be used to help your business!

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Web Design & Development http://timblairwhite.com/web-design-development/ Mon, 30 Mar 2015 06:16:55 +0000 http://timblairwhite.com/?p=78
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“Is your web presence a destination for your new and existing customers or just another Internet address?”

Designing and producing fantastic eCommerce and corporate web sites seamlessly tied to back-end systems giving your business a professional, inviting and lucrative presence on the internet. Comprehensive SEO and web marketing services also available.

Designing and implementing a great web site or eCommerce site is akin to building a custom jet liner intended to transport the business to an elevated marketing position that will drive new business and customers to your gangway.

With over 12 years of experience designing, building and managing web development projects, my team and I can help your business envision that custom jet liner and get it airborne!

Web projects are fantastically creative and collaborative efforts where all members on the team bring to bear their unique perspectives in order to create an amazing online experience for new or existing customers.

“Tim was fantastic to work with and someone whom I highly recommend. His attention to detail and strategic overview made it easier to deliver a fairly complex infrastructure platform online to be used by a large audience. Tim, met or beat every estimate on time and quality of delivery.”

Wendy Haig, Partner: Iron Horse Ventures

Do you need a corporate web site? Or, a 50,000+ item eCommerce site? Or, a custom portal for your customers? Whatever web needs you may have, my team and I will help realize your web goals including SEO and web advertising needs.

To see my portfolio of web projects: click here.

I would be happy to discuss your particular web project and how my team and I can help you achieve your web goals!

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CIO Consulting http://timblairwhite.com/cio-consulting/ Mon, 30 Mar 2015 06:16:03 +0000 http://timblairwhite.com/?p=76
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“Is IT just not understandable or even aligned with the business?”

At the end of the day we just want IT to work and help us get our jobs done and support the business without any fuss.

All too often this is not the case and IT is a problem, like a mad scientist who proudly rolls out the latest electronic Pop Tart; fascinating but inedible and rather useless!

As an IT professional in the trenches for 20+ years, I have seen how a troublesome IT Department negatively affects the business:

  • Upper management frustrated and ready to outsource the IT Department;

  • Critical computer systems not reliable;

  • Poor internal IT customer service; Constant headaches from IT;

  • IT staff just not understandable;

  • IT being a barrier to expansion rather than a business partner.

IT Just Not Delivering?

You’ve heard IT pros explain how IT will do this and how IT will do that, but, at the end of the day was it delivered? Or, was it late, buggy with unhappy end-users lining up outside your door gleefully filling you in on the latest IT snafu? Well, perhaps it wasn’t that bad but maybe it was worse!

IT is really just like any other business unit: organized and managed well, then IT can run smoothly and deliver on the IT promise. If not then IT becomes the veritable Piñata with everyone taking a good whack at it!

Let’s see how IT can deliver on the IT promise:

100M Leading Retailer Goes eCommerce after 82 Years!

A 100M leading retailer having been in business for 82 years had no eCommerce site and was in desperate need of one tied to their ERP. The project had been stalled for three years with no end in sight and only 20% complete. I arrived on the scene, immediately put best practices in place which resulted in live ERP integration ahead of the predicted schedule. Yahoo!

Here’s what the CEO of that company had to say:

“I was just telling [senior exec] how much I appreciate working with you [Tim] because I can wave my arms, talk about what we envision and then you get it done! Having a PRO on our team is a very good thing.” – CEO P.C.
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IT Leading the Business Nowhere?

Think this is a fairytale? Pulling your leg? Nope, it has been done and I have done it again and again. Such a feat appears magical but it can be done much to the relief of upper management and the IT staff themselves.

This depends in a large measure on the caliber of the IT pro at the helm. Is he or she just a nerd in a suit or can they actually translate IT into business terms, and vice versa, translate business goals and plans into tangible technical plans that IT can implement?

A real IT pro operates as the bridge between IT operations and Business Management. He can operate at the tactical level within IT circles and at the strategic level within business management. A hybrid, if you will, of technical savviness combined with that rare ability to make IT understandable and aligned with the business.

Here’s a real-world example:

70M Leading Research Group Gets New
SaaS Portals for 6,000+ Users

A 50M leading research group had an outdated SaaS (software-as-a-service) portal servicing 6,000+ users that desperately needed an overhaul as competition was looming and users were disgruntled. I aligned IT as a business partner and delivered on the IT promise:

  • Single largest IT project in the history of the company.

  • Over 4,000 man hours of effort over 10 months.

  • 336,000+ database items migrated or created.

  • Integration with a leading CRM system for the management of customer accounts and users.

  • Real-World Information Systems Management.

  • Integration with a leading ticketing solution for handling all user support requests and custom research requests.

  • Integration with a cutting edge web publishing platform for displaying relevant news, blogs and other content on corporate web sites.

  • Integration with a 3rd party database for the display of grant information.


If this project had been out-sourced, the cost would have topped $500,000.

Here is what the CEO of that company had to say:

“Tim was good at getting projects clearly defined and aligned between the business and technology groups within the company and ensured that development and deployment of some very complicated projects stayed on time and on track. He is a very effective communicator, understanding the “language” of both the technology and business folks.
I was impressed that as an ‘IT guy’ he clearly understood that it’s not about the technology but enhancing the business objectives of the company. Tim always focused on solutions, making things happen within our budget and time requirements and effectively transitioned our company to a much more sophisticated tech platform.” – CEO D.M.

image“A top notch Consulting CIO can take your business from its current scene to an ideal technology scene.”

The IT Superhero

Who is such a pro? Who can leap tall IT projects in a single bound? That would be an excellent Chief Information Officer (CIO) who acts as the bridge between IT operations and Business Management and gets those strategic IT initiatives completed!

Many medium sized or larger companies do not have a CIO. What to do? A viable option is to hire and retain a Consulting CIO:

A Consulting CIO can be engaged on a long-term retainer, on key strategic projects or on an Urgent Care for IT basis.

Think of a Consulting CIO as your IT Superhero.

A top notch Consulting CIO can quickly evaluate and analyze the State of Technology in your enterprise top-to-bottom, along with the IT Department, and provide a workable and written Strategic Technology Plan to take your business from its current scene to an ideal technology scene.

Are you ready for a Consulting CIO who can:

  1. Fix your IT for Real?

  2. Organize IT such that it can deliver on the IT promise?

  3. Translate IT such that it can be understood?

  4. Transform IT into a trusted Business Partner?

  5. Manage IT to empower the enterprise in achieving its business goals?

 

image“Transforming IT Departments and truly unlocking enterprise technology is my purpose.”

Enter the Consulting CIO

With 20+ years of experience in the trenches from programmer to CIO, I have transformed a number of IT Departments and truly unlocked enterprise technology much to the delight of upper management, end-users and the IT staff themselves.

My experience is broad from:

  • Enterprise Email to Advanced Digital Telephony systems;

  • Full-blown Enterprise eCommerce web sites to SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) Platforms;

  • Customer Service Desks to In-house Data Centers;

  • Full service Web Development Teams to outsourced Cloud Services;

  • Enterprise CRM Solutions to Comprehensive Technical Training.

I am positive I can help your enterprise achieve everything that you need and want regarding IT.

Here’s a real world example:

50M Leading Publisher Gets a New IT Dept in 12 Months

A 50M leading publisher with 180 employees had an IT Department that was not trusted, computers failing too often, end-users constantly joking about IT being incompetent and the IT staff themselves feeling dejected with morale out the bottom. Arriving on the scene, I put in place an organized and smoothly running IT Dept and within 12 months all of these negative points were completely turned around.

Here’s what the Chief Administrative Officer of that business had to say:

“He [Tim] rebuilt and organized the IT dept into a highly customer service oriented team delivering excellent Help Desk services and an in-house web development team that maintained our nine web sites including two SaaS products supporting over 6,000 customers.
Tim is an excellent IT executive with the rare skill of bridging between upper management and IT operations such that the business can focus on business initiatives with IT viewed as a business partner rather than a source of issues and barriers to expansion. I highly recommend Tim as a CIO for any organization.” – CAO L.B.

Would you like similar results within your organization?

I can do the same for your business as a Consulting CIO.

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Sales CRM http://timblairwhite.com/sales-crm/ Mon, 30 Mar 2015 06:14:35 +0000 http://timblairwhite.com/?p=74
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“A well designed and implemented Sales CRM solution with thorough user training will deliver on the promise of CRM.”

Delivering custom, tailored CRM solutions for your sales teams on Salesforce.com and NetSuite CRM. Salesforce solutions are typically 30-40% less costly than Enterprise Edition. Comprehensive CRM sales training and user guides guarantee adoption and success.

A Sales CRM system can either be a real boon to sales performance and management or become the veritable albatross around the neck of every sales person in the company! CRM systems have two purposes: a) help sales managers manage their territories, customers and teams; b) empower sales people to stay on the top of their game in juggling the innumerable tasks, activities and opportunities.

A poorly designed and implemented CRM solution is a recipe for sales team revolt with management souring on the whole scene altogether.

On the flip side, a well thought out and implemented CRM solution with customized and thorough user training truly delivers on all the hype surrounding Sales CRM solutions!

Technology is only as good as it is well designed, implemented and with users fully trained to smoothly utilize the new system. With these points in place, a customized Sales CRM solution truly does delivery on the Sales CRM promise.

My team and I have successfully implemented custom Salesforce and NetSuite CRM solutions for 100s of sales staff with great results!

Here is what one National Sales Director had to say about his custom solution:

“Tim and his team built a custom Salesforce CRM solution which fit exactly how we envisioned the system to be and then prepared custom role based training materials followed by on-site training such that all users became very familiar with the new system and could start using it immediately.”

Mark Dolim: Globe Manufacturing, LLC

I would be happy to discuss your Sales CRM project to see how a customized Salesforce or NetSuite CRM solution for your business can truly deliver on the promise of CRM!

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ERP Selection http://timblairwhite.com/erp-selection/ Mon, 30 Mar 2015 06:13:48 +0000 http://timblairwhite.com/?p=72
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“Will your new ERP solution provide a quantum leap for the business or only modest improvements in certain areas?”

Providing expert guidance on your ERP selection for best fit and long-term growth without vendor bias. Attend a free ERP Selection Webinar or participate in a paid half-day virtual workshop to equip yourself with the knowledge to safely navigate the ERP technology maze.

Selecting an ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) solution to run your business is akin to navigating a technology maze and hoping that one does not end up in the sticky dark wondering what went wrong and whom do I sue?

Once one enters the ERP evaluation and selection process – the “maze” – then the ERP vendor song and dance begins in earnest any many a business owner is lured by the sales pitch into a dead-end: a solution that may or may not meet the immediate needs of the business but is a poor long-term choice.

There is nothing worse than that gut wrenching realization that the selected ERP solution was a mistake after having spent over $1,000,000 in company cash: there is no easy “out” when running into that dead-end!

Most business owners know the existing pain points and can evaluate a new ERP from those but looking long-term is the key to making the best decision. Why? ERPs tend to stay in play for a long, long time (8-12 years) because of the initial cost and massive change the organization must go through when adopting a new solution.

ERP systems are complex beasts, have innumerable features and any ERP sales person worth their salt can dazzle a business owner into assuming they are making the right choice when signing the contract. One can just hear the swan song, “but it all looked so great during the demos!”

The first and foremost criteria during any ERP evaluation is: will the new ERP solution provide a quantum leap for the business or only modest improvements in certain areas? Why put your organization through the utter agony of implementing a new ERP solution unless it really can deliver a quantum leap? A new ERP should deliver on strategic initiatives that boost the company and profits! Otherwise, there will be no ROI and a lot of wasted effort.

Achieving that quantum leap depends on selecting the right ERP solution for the long-term and that depends on having the right ERP evaluation and selection team in place who can evaluate solutions and options for your business!

Having a Consulting CIO on your team is your best insurance for selecting the right ERP for the long-term.

I would be happy to discuss your ERP selection project to see how I could add value to your team!

In the meantime, you are welcome to attend my free webinar:

Free Webinar: How You Can Avoid the ERP Technology Maze and Select the Right ERP Solution for the Long-term!

Learn the six most important elements when selecting an ERP solution for the long-term and avoid the technology maze!

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Getting Through the ERP Technology Maze and Selecting the Right ERP for the Long-term: Part 1 – Dynamic Businesses Succeed, Static Ones Perish http://timblairwhite.com/getting-through-the-erp-technology-maze-and-selecting-the-right-erp-for-the-longterm/ Tue, 05 Aug 2014 10:41:30 +0000 http://timblairwhite.com/?p=1422 Selecting an ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) solution to run your business is akin to navigating a technology maze and hoping that one does not end up in the sticky dark wondering what went wrong and whom do I sue?

Once one enters the ERP evaluation and selection process – the “maze” – then the ERP vendor song and dance begins in earnest any many a business owner is lured by the sales pitch into a dead-end: a solution that may or may not meet the immediate needs of the business but is a poor long-term choice.

There is nothing worse than that gut wrenching realization that the selected ERP solution was a mistake after having spent over $1,000,000 in company cash: there is no easy “out” when running into that dead-end!

Most business owners know the existing pain points and can evaluate a new ERP from those but looking long-term is the key to making the best decision. Why? ERPs tend to stay in play for a long, long time (8-12 years) because of the initial cost and massive change the organization must go through when adopting a new solution.

ERP systems are complex beasts, have innumerable features and any ERP sales person worth their salt can dazzle a business owner into assuming they are making the right choice when signing the contract. One can just hear the swan song, “but it all looked so great during the demos!”

This post could dive into all the mechanics of how to do a proper ERP evaluation and selection process for immediate ends but the focal point being stressed here is making the best long-term choice.

The first and foremost criteria is: will the new ERP solution provide a quantum leap for the business or only modest improvements in certain areas? Why put your organization through the utter agony of implementing a new ERP solution unless it really can deliver a quantum leap? A new ERP should deliver on strategic initiatives that boost the company and profits! Otherwise, there will be no ROI and a lot of wasted effort.

What is the one critical feature a new ERP must then deliver on?

DYNAMIC BUSINESSES SUCCEED, STATIC ONES PERISH

Dynamic Business Growth
Dynamic Business Growth

We live in a world of terrific change and the business landscape can change very quickly requiring fast action to keep up with a variety of factors: economic shifts, competitors, new technology, acquisitions, business process changes, etc. Thus, businesses are not static things but are live organisms that are either dynamic and adapt to shifting environmental factors or stay static and perish.

ERP systems are notorious for being inflexible and a serious drain on IT resources in order to make necessary changes. If those resources are even available it can take weeks or months or even years to get those changes implemented. This situation has caused many businesses to simply clamp down on ERP modifications and mandating that the “company must adhere to how the ERP works!”

Now, when rapid environmental changes occur how well will that attitude fare for the company?

It is absolutely vital that a new ERP be flexible, easily configurable and swiftly modified without heavy IT resources such that the ERP is molded to how the company does business. Otherwise, the ERP “solution” will become the veritable oxen yoke around the company’s neck: ever restricting business expansion and its ability to quickly respond to market demands.

Let’s consider a significant example to underline the point: a large business merger and acquisition which brings major issues to be solved –

  • Merging the target business’ financials;
  • Incorporating the existing target business’ processes;
  • Integrating with an existing large and successful eCommerce website without re-platforming.

Most ERPs handle financials well so that part should be relatively straightforward.

Handling the unique business processes is another matter altogether: traditional ERPs will take significant, expensive and lengthy timelines to deal with the new processes. It actually may take years before the two companies are successfully merged. This all depends on the type of company being acquired but you can count on all kinds of “unique” business processes that you had never thought of before!

Here are some questions to ask to ensure the new ERP is flexible, configurable and swiftly modified which empowers a dynamic business:

  • Can your existing IT staff make all the custom modifications to the ERP or will it require external professional services?
  • What caliber of IT staffer is needed to make custom modifications? Do you need a $100,000+ per year Microsoft C# or Java developer? Or, does your existing staff need some basic training to make them?
  • How fast can modifications be made? Days or weeks or months? Using internal or external staff?
  • How expensive are these modifications to make?
  • What are the limitations regarding modifications to the base system? Can entirely new functionality be built into the system or must one “wait” for potential upgrades by the vendor?

These points, especially the last one, are critical to understand and a very sharp IT person on your side of the table is your best ally to assess and bring clarity to what is possible with the new system.

Now, what about that eCommerce website that needs to be integrated with the existing ERP?

Read Part 2 – Blurring The Lines Between Web and ERP

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