Innovation through IT business process enhancement and re-engineering. Ascendum Solutions builds stronger business-IT alignments through an analysis of current strategy and the creation of a roadmap to achieve the corporate vision within the IT enterprise. We assist our clients in the process innovation of their IT business, project management, and business analysis processes. We provide the interim professional staff with the experience in Enterprise Package and Custom Application Solutions to guide you through the business requirements analysis and package selection process, ensuring an affordable solution that meets business and long-term goals.
Our offerings include:

STRATEGIC INFORMATION SYSTEMS PLAN (SISP)

Strategic Information Systems Planning (SISP)

  • Current-state business process definition and analysis
  • Current-state architectural analysis
  • Future-state business strategy understanding
  • Develop/refine future-state IT mission, vision, processes, architecture, and business processes

Solution

Ascendum's Strategic Information Systems Planning (SISP) is a comprehensive solution offering bringing together a complete analysis of an organization's people, processes, and technologies, as aligned to support a company's business strategy all with a focus  relevant to Information Technology. These elements are reviewed against current and future strategic business objectives as well as considering the industry and technology's best practices to develop a comprehensive future-state view of Information Technology. Gaps between the current-state and future-state environments are identified and presented in a Roadmap format. The Roadmap is part of a 3-5 year Transformation Plan that provides a prioritized series of projects that will "transform" the client organization into the recommended future-state.

Client Challenges

If you are experiencing any of these business challenges, Ascendum's SISP Solution can help:

  • A rapidly growing organization
  • A change in IT leadership
  • A new IT leader looking for external assistance in conducting a comprehensive analysis of the state of his/her organization within the context of the company's business objectives
  • An organization's executive management is looking for third party validation or suggestions to their IT strategic plans considering technology and industry best practice

Business Value

The key deliverable of the SISP is the 3-5 year Transformation Plan that includes a Roadmap that provides a prioritized series of projects that will "transform" the client organization into the recommended future-state. The Roadmap provides an actionable plan to guide the management of the Information Technology organization towards a future state that will effectively support the company's business objectives.

BUILD/BUY ASSESSMENT (BBA)

Build/Buy Assessment (BBA)

  • Requirements development
  • Commercial package identification and high-level assessment
  • Custom-applied high-level design and cost estimation
  • Cost/benefit analysis and recommendation (80/20)

Solution 

A perennial question that many IT organizations are faced with is, "should we build an application that serves our business needs or is there a commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) application available that will support our needs?" The answer to this question often requires an approach that provides an objective analysis of the application requirements to support the business need, overlaid with the current IT architecture, environment, and culture. Ascendum's BBA provides that melded approach to determining the "best" course of action based on client-specific criteria. Our process reviews and numerically assesses the degree of fit of a number of packages to our clients' business requirements. Following are the areas that are considered in detail through the course of a typical BBA:

  • Identification of vendors that should be considered
    • Top tier
    • Point solutions
  • Fit of applications to business requirements - high level
  • Fit of applications to technical requirements and existing environment - high level
  • Vendor fit - high level
    • Alignment of software vendor's strategic direction for the product with that of the client
    • Vendor's current client base
    • Vendor's financial standing
  • Numerical scoring of vendors' solution degree of fit to the business requirements

We can flexibly engage with our clients through the entire process or for assistance in specific steps of the selection process.

Client Challenges

  • An organization seeking a replacement for a home-grown application from an enterprise-wide scope to point solution and needs a formal methodology to making an objective selection
  • A client being pressured to upgrade to a major new release of COTS software and wants to make an informed decision of upgrading to the current vendor's new release or changing to another package altogether 

Business Value

With the help of Ascendum's BBA process, our clients are provided the objective information to determine which approach will prove most advantageous.

BUSINESS PROCESS INNOVATION

Business Process Innovation

  • Process re-engineering
  • Process optimization
  • Continuous process optimization
  • Process outsourcing assessment 

Solution

Ascendum's Business Process Innovation solutions provide clients with business process expertise across all functional areas within an organization in any industry including:

  • Financial Services
  • Manufacturing
  • Retail
  • High-Tech
  • Commercial Print 

Client Challenges

  • An organization seeking process excellence within a single functional area or across multiple functions
  • A significant reorganization or staff change has created a situation of uncertainty and lack of understanding of how things should be done and why they should be done that way
  • An organization experiencing rapid growth with processes that are not keeping up
  • An organization whose business processes have grown organically with very little design, planning, or documentation of such processes
  • An organization experiencing a large amount of process rework in a given area

Business Value

Ascendum provides the greatest value in situations where the client has undergone a significant reorganization or staff change. Our consultants are also very skilled at ascertaining the "why" of each process activity, getting through the "we've always done it that way" or "so-and-so needs that report" in a way that allows the process participants to point out the areas of inefficiencies and recommended solutions. This type of drill-down allows for a collaborative re-building of the business processes resulting in a purposeful inclusion or exclusion of each process activity and/or process control point and promotes participant buy-in.

COMMERCIAL PACKAGE EVALUATION & SELECTION (COTS)

Commercial Package Evaluation & Selection (COTS)

  • Current and future-state process definition and prioritized requirements development (must-have, high, medium, low priority)
  • Commercial package identification and RFI/RFP development
  • Demo scripts development, demo coordination and evaluation
  • Fit assessment (based on proposal and demos)
  • Objective package recommendation 

Solution

The Commercial Off-The-Shelf (COTS) Package Selection solution (also commonly called Package Evaluation and Selection or PES) provides an objective approach to selecting a software package solution that best fits the requirements of the client from all dimensions. Our process reviews numerically score the fit of a number of packages to our clients' needs. The following are the areas that are considered in detail through the course of a typical end-to-end COTS-PS:

  • Identification of vendors that should be considered
    • Top Tier
    • Point Solutions
  • Fit of applications to business requirements
  • Fit of applications to technical requirements and existing environment
  • Vendor Fit
    • Alignment of software vendor's strategic direction for the product with that of the client
    • Vendor's current client base
    • Vendor reference validation
    • Vendor's financial standing
  • Evaluation (numerical scoring) of vendors' proposals
  • Vendor Software Demos
    • Coordination and creation of demo scripts
    • Evaluation (numeric scoring) of software demos
  • Develop ROI for selected solution
  • Develop high-level implementation plan for selected solution

We can flexibly engage with our clients through the entire process or for assistance in specific steps of the selection process.

Client Challenges

  • Need to replace a home-grown application, from enterprise-wide scope to point solution, and need a formal methodology to making an objective selection
  • Being pressured to upgrade to major new release of COTS software and want to make an informed decision of upgrading to the current vendor's new release or changing to another package altogether

Business Value

Objective evaluation of the degree of fit of multiple vendors' solutions is key to making an informed package selection. Ascendum's COTS-PS has been developed and adapted over many years to provide the most direct "path to value".

RETURN ON INVESTMENT ANALYSIS (ROI)

Return on Investment Analysis (ROI)

  • Hard/soft cost identification/quantification
  • Hard/soft benefit identification/quantification
  • Formal ROI report with recommendations based on specific client metrics

Solution

The ROI Analysis solution provides a cost-benefit analysis to a client seeking outside counsel to review a project, program, or major technology acquisition. Often the client is seeking to make a decision from among multiple competing ideas/options and wants to have an external, unbiased assessment tempered with an understanding of the best technology practices.

Client Challenges

Assessing technology options and seeking to make an informed, unbiased, and cost-effective decision.

Business Value

Our clients realize value by having the data to support critical business decisions with limited resources.