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The Arizona Supreme Court creates the ultimate outsource and insource simultaneously!

The Supreme Court has “outsourced” its software development to Visible's automated code generator, which allows it to keep all its development in house and preserve the jobs of its programmers. The first “good government” initiative that I was aware of was the IBM web portal known as Service Arizona the online site for ordering car registrations and drivers' licenses that put an end to the long lines at the Motor Vehicle Division. Read more

 

 

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Strategy Briefings

Contents:

Applications Management

Change Management

Data Management

Infrastructure Management

IT Management

Lifecycle Management

Quality Management

Sarbanes-Oxley Compliance

 

Enterprise Application Integration

The biggest problem facing CIO's today is their existing applications. This paper describes the problem and describes our permanent solution, Enterprise Application Integration.

Enterprise Application Integration reduces maintenance overhead while providing better customer service and quality information systems. The ultimate goals of Enterprise Application Integration are shared, non-redundant data, trusted strategic information, and shared reusable software components.

Visible's tools and services help organizations do the hard work necessary to meet these goals. Our method and tools are flexible enough to work in any Information Technology environment, yet rigorous and disciplined enough to produce results consistently.

Visible has pioneered a method and developed a tool set that unifies various best practices and techniques, including:

• Implementing integrated commercial packages
• Developing data warehouses
• Reengineering all applications to a single architecture
• Implementing software component development methods

Visible's Enterprise Application Integration really works! It not only solves today's problems but also helps prepare our clients for the new millennium.

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Business Rules Are Meta-Data

By capturing their business rules as meta-data, enterprises consistently deliver effective strategic information – on demand, to the right people, in the right format. They also control the only constant in enterprise management – Change.

This paper describes methods and tools for discovering, documenting, and using business rules as meta-data.

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Enterprise Change Management

The only constant in American enterprises is change. Even the most stable enterprise changes. There are external changes in politics, climate, laws, markets, competition, and customer desires. There are internal changes of ownership, products, services, process, technology and measures of effectiveness. Today's enterprise must be able to react quickly and correctly to external change, while managing internal change effectively.

This paper describes the need for change management, effective change management practices, an infrastructure that facilitates change, and the role of the Chief Executive Officer in creating and using an infrastructure to manage change.

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Strategic Data Warehousing

Information is a valuable resource. A well-defined Data Warehouse, properly implemented, can be a valuable tool for managing and using that resource. It translates the vast volumes of detailed, unorganized data an enterprise captures via its operational systems into useful feedback, predictors, and warnings that help Data Warehouse users at every organizational level make informed decisions.

"Data Warehouse" and "Data Warehouse Architecture" are relatively new terms that describe the methods and concepts Visible and its clients have used for almost twenty years to develop and implement Executive Information Systems (EIS), Decision Support Systems (DSS), and Management Information Systems (MIS). These years of practical experience have allowed Visible to perfect our approach to data warehouse architecture and warehouse development

The business-driven, information-centric methodology pioneered by Visible provides an effective, productive, common sense approach to developing strategic Data Warehouses. A Data Warehouse, which should be called more correctly an "Information Warehouse," is a collection of computer-based information that is critical to successful execution of enterprise initiatives. This paper describes the characteristics and benefits of an information warehouse and our approach and special-purpose tools for designing, developing, and implementing a true strategic Data Warehouse.

Visible's approach and tools for data warehousing will help you deliver effective strategic information that exactly meets the needs of your enterprise -- public or private, large or small -- to the right people, in the right place, at the right time, in the right format.

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Data Warehouse Architecture

This paper describes tools and methods for developing and documenting a data warehouse architecture for strategic information management.

"Engineering" a data warehouse is a lot like "engineering" a physical warehouse. Both involve a rigorous development cycle and require the right tools. A building is constructed using architectural diagrams (blueprints) that clearly depict the building's infrastructure (structural elements, walls, electrical wiring, plumbing, etc.). Visible builds data warehouses from architectural models of enterprise infrastructure (policies, goals, measures, critical success factors, etc.).

Blueprints are also used to enlarge a building or make any significant modifications. Without a diagram of the infrastructure, such changes are quite difficult and very costly and can even be dangerous. It is the same with data warehouses. Visible first updates an enterprise's data warehouse architecture model so that it reflects changes (e.g., new performance measures, product lines, or services) and then modifies the data warehouse to support the changed enterprise.

Data warehouse engineering is easier and less costly when based upon an accurate architectural model of the enterprise. Further, a data warehouse is easier to use and consistently produces desired outcomes when decision-makers have access to an enterprise architecture (metadata) that accurately reflects enterprise infrastructure. This paper describes Visible's unique tools and methods for data warehouse architecture development, implementation, and management.

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Enterprise Metadata Management

XML (eXtensible Markup Language) is becoming the new standard language for building Corporate Portals, integrating legacy databases, and facilitating E2E (Enterprise to Enterprise) and B2B (Business to Business) data communication.

The single most important factor in successfully using XML is metadata management: definition, documentation, and deployment. Visible's tools provide the means to do this easily and effectively. We also provide education and mentoring that ensures that our clients and partners are able to fully benefit from the enormous potential of XML.

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Enterprise Architecture Engineering Critical Success Factors

This paper describes critical success factors for developing, implementing, and managing (engineering) an enterprise architecture for strategic information management, operational information quality, and effective software component development and management. Every enterprise has an architecture. Most organizations simply let their architecture grow and evolve uncontrolled. It is always undocumented and is most often characterized by high maintenance costs, long development cycles, poor quality software, non-interoperable applications, lack of data sharing, limited strategic information, and difficult change management. Those organizations that engineer their enterprise architecture are able to avoid and/or overcome the problems experienced by organizations that are controlled by their out-of-control architectures. Enteprise Architecture Engineering means adopting rigorous and disciplined processes for effectively defining, documenting, and managing their enterprise architecture. Effectively accomplishing enterprise architecture engineering requires that the critical success factors described in this paper are addressed.

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Enterprise Engineering

This paper describes Enterprise Engineering, the Enterprise Engineering life cycle, and the Visible Enterprise Engineering "tool set."

Enterprise Engineering involves all the activities that organizations ("enterprises") perform to improve productivity, gain and maintain competitive advantage, optimize resources, deliver quality products and services, and meet customer expectations and demand. These can include traditional activities such as reorganization, concentration on core products and competencies, niche marketing, acquisition, merger, and new technologies. Enterprise Engineering also includes new techniques and methods such as business process re-engineering, continuous process improvement, total quality management, enterprise architecture, and enterprise integration.

Enterprise Engineering, which applies equally to well-established and newly-forming enterprises, responds to the fundamental business drivers of the 1990's: migration to "agile" production, globalization of markets, changing labor pools, and volatile political and business environments.

Visible's state-of-the-art products and proven, comprehensive methodology facilitate implementing results-oriented, customer-focused management in any enterprise. Basically, Visible's methodology provides guidance and a flexible framework that allow an enterprise to establish effective, management practices that, at the same time, reflect the enterprise's unique culture and requirements.

In today's enterprises, knowledge and information are key resources on a par with capital, personnel, equipment and plant. Information systems are tightly interwoven within today's enterprises, requiring close coordination between information systems professionals and business engineers. The impact of business engineering requires significant change in how information is processed in an enterprise, which means that systems supporting changed processes must also be changed. Visible's Enterprise Engineering methodology and tools not only make effective change management possible, they make it easy.

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Enterprise Systems Modernization

This white paper describes a permanent solution that reduces maintenance overhead while providing better customer service and quality information systems. The ultimate results of Enterprise System Modernization are shared, non-redundant data, trusted strategic information, and shared reusable software components.

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Federal IT Management Reform

More than ever, federal agencies are finding it necessary to reform and improve their internal management practices. This paper briefly describes mandated requirements for management reform and explains how e-Engineering methods and best practices can ensure agencies consistency, rigorously, effectively and successfully implement necessary reforms.

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IT Critical Success Factors

This paper describes what your enterprise needs to do to guarantee survival. Your twenty-first century systems need to meet your future information needs. They should be developed using state-of-the-art technologies and languages. They should be designed to allow rapid response to changing requirements. Your in-house development staff should be appropriately skilled and your processes and infrastructure should allow for quality rapid application development.

It's not too late. But you should start now. The longer you wait to begin, the harder (and more expensive) it will be. In any case, it won't be easy. It will take resources and hard work, but it will be worth it. Being able to determine and document your future information needs—and armed with improved processes, skills and infrastructure—you will be ready meet the challenges of the new century.

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Enterprise Architecture Lifecycle

This paper describes the Enterprise Architecture Lifecycle and the Visible Enterprise Lifecycle "tool set." The Enterprise Lifecycle involves all the activities that organizations ("enterprises") perform to improve productivity, gain and maintain competitive advantage, optimize resources, deliver quality products and services, and meet customer expectations and demand. The impact of change on the Enterprise requires that systems supporting lifecycle processes must also be changed. This paper details how Visible's Enterprise Lifecycle methodology and tools, not only make effective change management throughout the lifecycle possible, they make it easy.

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Enterprise Portals Lifecycle

The latest "silver bullet" for IT is the Enterprise Portal. It has many names: Enterprise Portal, Enterprise Information Portal, Corporate Portal, Web Portal, and just plain Portal. Whatever it's called, portals promise to provide necessary information from any source to anyone who needs it. This has the potential for significant productivity and competitive gains. While Enterprise Portals may have this potential, it is not easy to deliver— even with new tools and technologies and single point access to heterogeneous information, in multiple formats, from multiple sources. In order to be truly effective, Enterprise Portals cannot just happen -- they must be "engineered." This paper provides a simple definition for Enterprise Portals, describes their benefits, and outlines a method and tools for easily and efficiently engineering them.

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Zachman Framework for Enterprise Architecture

Visible's relationship with John Zachman goes back to the early 70`s when John and Clive Finkelstein, our Chief Scientist, were with IBM. Clive's belief that data models should be "business event driven" and "model based" paralleled John's belief in the need for a business-driven Enterprise Information Architecture which would provide an organization with an organization-scale blueprint -- or architecture --for their information infrastructure. This paper describes how Visible tools, training and services help "populate" the cells of the framework.

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Software Quality Assurance

This paper describes the benefits of using a strategically driven, model-based approach for developing and managing software components. The approach is based upon a rigorous and repeatable, unified methodology that allows organizations to realize the full potential of component development and refactoring. The approach features technology independence and tightly defined links between business requirements, logical component models and physical component designs. The approach results in consistently, superior quality software.

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Software Process Improvement

Enterprises that wish to world-class software develops must improve processes and procedures until they are able to consistently develop quality information systems that exactly meet informational needs. Visible's Process Improvement Methodology helps organizations consistently improve software development processes and achieve even higher levels of the Software Engineering Institute's Capability Maturity Model (CMM). The CMM is the most widely used benchmark for software process improvement. This paper briefly describes the levels of the CMM and explains certain techniques can help organizations achieve each level of CMM.

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Sarbanes-Oxley Compliance

Sarbanes-Oxley represents a federal mandate for change in the areas of corporate accountability, control, audit, and reporting. The purpose of this legislation derives itself from post-mortems of corrupt corporate giants like Enron and WorldCom where internal controls and audits were completely frustrated. The legislation aims to make America 's corporate leaders more accountable to law, ethics, and generally accepted accounting principles. As companies woke up to the fact that time was running out to correct potential problems with the date change in all of their programs, there was nearly a panic in the months before Y2K. Many think the Sarbanes mandates will dwarf that of Y2K, due to the broad implications and size of the problems that need to get addressed. Companies will have to change the way they develop and manage software. Furthermore, this problem is not a one-time problem like Y2K where the change is made and the problem is corrected. This problem's roots are in the very nature of how software is developed, and will be a permanent fact of life going forward. Visible Systems' enterprise solutions will help companies comply with Sarbanes-Oxley throughout the application development lifecycle.

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Using Enterprise Architecture for IT and Business Governance Requirements - Part 1

This White Paper describes a practical approach for rapid enterprise compliance with Sarbanes-Oxley driven IT and business governance requirements. It shows how internal controls can be established by senior management using a Governance Analysis Framework (GAF). This is used to document the relationships within an enterprise that support financial and other reporting requirements. It is based on a comprehensive organizing framework using the Zachman Framework for Enterprise Architecture, as well as proven Enterprise Architecture methods and tools for the documentation and management of the GAF. It ensures that senior management is able to comply with the internal control reporting requirements of Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002.

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