Delegata has a unique ability to build custom solutions that go beyond standard enterprise needs. These award-winning solutions have allowed Delegata’s clients to differentiate themselves in the marketplace. Solutions include strategic communication, systems integration, web development, custom applications, and more.
Complex value chains and business models emerge from modern business as technology continues to converge with business. In many scenarios, historical implementations constrain the business through a lack of data availability, inability of technology to adapt to changes in business needs quickly, or failure to fully understand and meet the needs of business partners. Those who implement levels of integration often fail to empower the business as needed, lacking vision compatible with needs. The lack of discipline surrounding business enablement, and not just technology implementation, often leads to constraints rather than desired business capability.
Interfaces tie partners together with the intention to collaborate for effectiveness. When business integration does not accommodate required business flexibility and agility, the desired results cannot be achieved. It is important to define the business architecture from the relationships and required performance through to technology to ensure current and future interfaces can accommodate the most critical needs. With a focus on quality attributes like security, agility and other similar factors, the right solution can support both business and technology goals.
More and more business relationships are built, enjoyed and terminated based on the ability to integrate business models successfully. From initial relationship building and contract initiation through detailed process and application integration the key facet of integration becomes sharing the right information at the right time to serve very specific needs. Service Oriented Architecture introduces new opportunities and challenges that can heighten the importance of really understanding what two or more parties need as an integrated solution for the types of activity they need to perform operationally, tactically and strategically. Business changes comparable to mergers, acquisitions or changing strategic direction could be cause for significantly different and complex integration among value chain participants. Still, the business needs have to drive the requirements for integration. These need to be prioritized and the full lifecycle of interaction for critical relationships needs to be modeled to be sure that technology can support it. Integration strategy needs to include ways to plan for likely future changes to ensure that methods selected for integration do not constrain the enterprise if the potential for change is reasonably high.
Application of this solution has resulted in broader implementation of business relationships rather than technical interfaces that limit business potential. Through application of improved lead-time planning the value chain participants are all better prepared to support an integration strategy. When data needs are understood in context of the business, the options for satisfying needs become much more evident and simple. By avoiding technology developed in silos, the business is better positioned to interact with partners in the diverse ways required to support the business model. Business effectiveness increases and cost of integration is significantly reduced.
Data silos have made integration among business partners a nightmare. Full integration between many systems has become too costly and is rarely achievable. Commonly, implementation sets integration at technology layers not synchronized with what the business is trying to do. If not appropriately coordinated, interface partners often become the bottleneck for required exchanges. Events, data meaning and timing introduce significant barriers among partners except in exceptional cases where industry standards have broken through. Since data exchange is politically sensitive and carries liability, there is still significant momentum to avoid integration. Even once completed, business integrity can be interrupted by partner system reliability. There is ample room to improve on these challenges.
Integration is a business commitment that requires architectural forethought. By identifying the scope of problems and creating categories of solutions, many potential problems can be resolved with a few key solutions. A product or tool is never the answer. Each integration scenario needs to be fully understood for its immediate and downstream impact to allow for appropriate solutions to be defined in support of the business.
Businesses are inextricably tied to one another to effectively operate in every industry sector. Since every business is constantly changing there will be many opportunities to change systems in ways that impact how integration will be managed with partners, as well as opportunities where business agreements will change what the systems need to accommodate. Each integration initiative can continue to be a unique situation that has its challenges with the level of agreement for the change as well as the pace possible by the integrating partners. When standard patterns are introduced that cover the landscape of options, there is normally far more early alignment on what the possibilities are, as well as what it will take to get to the point where the change is possible to be implemented. It is not possible to plan a perfect change when multiple parties are involved. There needs to be accommodation for different pace as well as for the ability to achieve certain levels of technology sophistication in a multi-partner environment. None of these problems is insurmountable; the problem is generated arbitrarily by enforcing changes that are not reasonable. Plan for realistic integration that serves the mutual benefit of partners to help achieve desired outcomes.
Using this solution, clients have achieved benefits for effectiveness as well as efficiency. Business relationships improve through appropriate understanding for interface fulfillment. Relationships improve significantly based on alignment of technology with business needs. Security improves and protection of data is enhanced, improving the outlook or risk due to potential liability. Data is more available for business decisions, and integration costs begin to stabilize. Information is much more available to support architecture direction and alignment. System impacts on both sides of interfaces operate more consistently and are fully compliant with standards, laws and specifications. Extended integration is more supportable, creating greater opportunity for the organization.
Organizations often cannot keep pace with the level of resources manpower-heavy services require. Additionally, waiting lines for services is very discouraging for customers, and data captured manually within legacy systems generally has poor quality. Often, transactions cannot be completed in one event, causing waiting lines to be experienced multiple times. Costs for service delivery often begin to deny the ability to offer new services. Furthermore, businesses and individuals do not have access to see or correct errors. While paper processes are cumbersome and time consuming, the same amount of time can be placed in the hands of those who want the information to be correct.
The most important practice in delivering enterprise service in recent years is to ensure that those who have the greatest interest in obtaining the service become responsible for maintaining their data related to that service. This simple move toward self-service significantly improves data and releases any service organization from performing clerical work that is time-consuming and error-prone. Self-service calls for more automation of process and use of technologies that may need creative application to make them available to all those who need service. Automated workflow tends to keep actions moving and queued appropriately to speed service and reduce cost.
Companies continue to be challenged with higher demands for service and capability where systems continue to age, making enhancements difficult, expensive and less fulfilling. While not all those served have access to the Internet, being able to provide services to those who have access helps make more resources available to other channels. This solution will demonstrate how to reverse the trends where organizations cannot keep pace with the level of services required, where poor data within legacy systems lowers quality of service, where waiting lines for services are discouraging, where cumbersome paper processes frustrate customers, where transactions not completing in one event cause repeated waste, where costs for service delivery deny the ability to offer new services, and where businesses as well as individuals lack access to correct errors in their own data. By finding ways to leverage legacy investments and move new systems into solutions that provide greater flexibility and service levels, organizations can gradually shed the image of bureaucratic stalemate, replacing it with responsive access and results.
This solution commonly results in significant benefits. Service wait-time significantly lowers, improving image and reputation. Customers are more satisfied with services received; errors are reduced and provide for a higher level of warranted service. Cost of service is significantly lowered; process and paperwork time consumption is reduced significantly; and data entry has many fewer data errors since the service is done by individuals themselves. Service levels also improve and better support the number of required customers. Service is available through more than a single channel. As work is automated and data quality improves, service speed and accuracy increase and customer satisfaction rises. The investment that people make in their organizations through self-service has proven to be well worth the effort.
The typical enterprise suffers worse today than ten years ago from an inability to leverage its data. Often, customers cannot rapidly get answers to questions, data is not available to help make decisions or plan/budget for performance, data analysis capabilities are not available or accurate, and reporting is inconsistent and takes too long. In many organizations concurrent transactions are not possible across multiple legacy or desktop systems, and the dynamics of change make it almost impossible to provide information in support of role requirements for new or changing processes. Data privacy, external sharing of data, and service to internal and external customers of data become frustrating issues.
Once again, it is important to place data as a strategic asset within an Enterprise. From any current situation it is possible to establish an Enterprise-Level data system strategy to incrementally build a solution while avoiding common delays and funding issues. Be sure to incorporate resolution of data issues at the semantic level in addition to solving the movement of data through integration. Establish a strategy for developing applications from data models that are dependent upon the enterprise semantics. Also, provide for comprehensive analysis capability with tools usable by business people, not just technology people. Finally, provide capabilities to leverage installed investments with rapid, incremental proof of delivery.
Organizations have a rich history of performance data trapped in legacy applications. Silos make that data difficult to leverage across the spectrum of business performance. Reducing silos and ensuring that the data can be used effectively for higher level purposes is critical to achieving organization goals and objectives. Decision Support and consistency of information need the ability to leverage source data with fidelity in semantic meaning as well as in data format. Solutions focused here can derive value from a number of sources: using data regardless of source, reducing delays for information at the point of need, optimizing availability of data or information, providing richer search to find pertinent data or information, protecting data, and customizing information views. Take steps now to re-establish data to the level of prominence it needs to release the capabilities of the enterprise.
Benefits of implementing this solution are broad and comprehensive. Gaining control of the data requirements and uses within an enterprise releases great energy to perform to business needs. Gradually, operating costs can be reduced in terms of time and people to resolve information needs. Requests for service can be completed much more accurately and quickly over time. Reporting regains momentum due to effective and efficient results. The enterprise image can be greatly enhanced through control and security of its information. Productivity grows incrementally creating greater energy and ability toward achieving required business results. Through a sound strategy and taking a steady course, data can, once again, establish itself as a valuable asset for the business.
Where there is a perceived responsibility for sustaining some level of relationship for communications, often the level of responsibility is not shared sufficiently for multiple parties to establish the required mechanisms to meet the implied “contract.” Constituents are frequently not satisfied with the responsiveness of those trying to serve generic needs without explicit contracts. In these cases even leaders cannot verify performance to requests for service, since there might be no established means to offer the service or to track requests. Broad topical problems may also have many interested parties that are not known at the time of an incident (natural disaster, for instance), yet there may still be an expectation for service in these situations. Without a system, documents are lost, communications are ineffective, priorities are not established, and materials may never be sufficient to meet unpredictable demands.
Communication is essential to establishing and maintaining a relationship that respects the rights of all parties. First determine what level of contact and responsibility exists in relationships, and then determine the means to support it. As implied contracts are understood, document them as services in a catalog and determine appropriate service levels. Automate processes for quality and speed improvements where possible. Use proven models of interaction to facilitate achievement to service levels required. Establish process fundamentals for lasting program success; and determine measures to predict outcomes for services that have priority. Maintain performance visibility to enhance effectiveness, particularly where topics or responsibilities have high political or financial impact. Finally, integrate performance in simple ways to facilitate service delivery.
When inbound communications can come from many sources and each communication needs to receive a response to ensure constituent support is maintained, there needs to be a way to ensure that each communication is tracked until responded to. If these responses need to be approved for any reason, the workflow needs to be controlled to a known state of being sent. When some communications must take priority, criteria for prioritization must be managed and used to direct execution. These situations are related to a business model where an organization’s existence is based on their ability to build and maintain a constituent community that believes in their cause. Then, communication with these constituents becomes critical to keep them informed and to respond to their concerns.
This solution becomes the mechanism to build more consistent relationships through communication with those who have expectations of each other. Constituents gain faith and maintain their allegiance based on the understanding and caring shown through appropriate responsiveness to issues, concerns and other topics. Organizations can demonstrate service levels and have records to facilitate improvement where appropriate for priority segments served. Constituent service results indicate higher trust and greater fidelity based on reductions in wait time and appropriateness of responses. The level of automation increases service volume significantly and helps to track topics that can benefit from mass information releases. Priority queues protect the most significant issues or individuals with appropriate service that cannot be ignored. In the end, relationships are managed with suitable communication and respect.
The State Controller’s Office (SCO) is responsible for distributing funds to local governments, agencies, and special district entities across California. In a typical year, SCO distributes over 30,000 payments totaling over $40B. Delegata designed, built, and managed an award-winning solution, the Agile Payment System (APS), to help SCO manage these distributions, along with the complex and dynamic business processes surrounding them. The APS brought SCO from outdated and unsupported technologies to newer and more reliable methods, tools, and systems.
SCO administers apportionment programs that process, allocate and disburse billions of dollars in payments to local governments, agencies and special district entities. The apportionment support systems developed in the early 1990’s were maintained using antiquated and, in some instances, unsupported technologies. State and local government agencies receiving apportionment payments were at risk due to the possible failure of aging payment processing systems. Not only was the technology itself obsolete, the SCO found it difficult to recruit technical resources with skillsets to perform new apportionment programming or system maintenance functions. Legislative demands for flexibility continually exceeded the old apportionment payment system’s ability to adapt to new business rules and requirements. Therefore, SCO’s financial analysts were forced to create complex system ‘work-arounds’ and perform labor-intensive paper-based processes to ensure payment integrity and timely distribution. Concerns regarding modifications to an unsupported system also began to hold back important infrastructure upgrades which placed even more burden on the small support staff. SCO’s system and process inflexibility caused challenges to the state and local government agencies that received the apportionment payment services.
SCO selected Delegata to manage, design, develop, and implement the Agile Payment System (APS), a custom web-based application, with the corresponding business processes and technical infrastructure. Utilizing the Diamond methodology and a teambased commitment to finish the project on time and on budget, Delegata delivered an ‘interpretive’ solution that enables SCO to quickly and easily model their new and changing business processes. The flexible solution interprets business models and enables business owners to define and enter business rules directly into the APS application. Since business rules and processes are stored as data (not implemented in code), the solution does not require new programming to accommodate changes.
In addition to managing and implementing APS utilizing proven methodologies from the Project Management Body of Knowledge
(PMBOK) and the Rational Unified Process (RUP), Delegata employed its proprietary Organizational Change Management (OCM) and Business Process Reengineering (BPR) methods and tools from their best practices-based Diamond Methodology to help ensure the new processes and system were quickly and effectively adopted by SCO’s business users. At the outset of the APS initiative, SCO leadership recognized that impacts on their organization and business processes would be just as significant as the changes to their technology environment. They requested that OCM be a component of delivery and consider it one of the keys of their success.
Delegata and SCO received the 2007 Best Solutions Award at the Government Technology Conference for the Agile Payment System.
The Attorney General also assists district attorneys, local law enforcement, and federal and international criminal justice agencies in the administration of justice. To support California’s law enforcement community, the Attorney General coordinates statewide narcotics enforcement efforts, participates in criminal investigations and provides forensic science services, identification and information services and telecommunication support.
In addition, the Attorney General establishes and operates projects and programs to protect Californians from fraudulent, unfair, and illegal activities that victimize consumers or threaten public safety. The Attorney General also enforces laws that safeguard the environment and natural resources.
Under the state Constitution, the Attorney General is elected to a four-year term in the same statewide election as the Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Controller, Secretary of State, Treasurer, Superintendent of Public Instruction and Insurance Commissioner. In 1990, voters imposed a two-term limit on these statewide offices.
Amongst many other public safety responsibilities, the California Department of Justice (DOJ) is tasked with the oversight of firearms purchases and eligibility clearance processing. To enforce laws that prohibit certain persons from possessing firearms, Senate Bill (SB) 950 mandated that DOJ establish a Prohibited Armed Persons File. DOJ partnered with Delegata to develop the Armed Prohibited Persons System (APPS) making California the nation’s first state to build an automated system for tracking handgun and assault weapon owners who pose a threat to public safety.
APPS is a database of persons who have been, or will become, prohibited from possessing a firearm subsequent to the legal acquisition or registration of a firearm or an assault weapon. Authorized law enforcement agencies will have inquiry access into APPS to determine the prohibition status of a person of interest.
DOJ will populate APPS with all handgun and assault weapon owners across the state and match them up against criminal history records to determine who might fall into a prohibited status. Automatic notifications from State and Federal criminal history systems will be received daily to determine if there is a match for a current California gun owner. When a match is found, the system automatically raises a flag to Firearms Division staff which triggers an investigation into the person’s status.
Utilizing the Diamond methodology and a team-based commitment to finish the project on time and on budget, DOJ and Delegata completed the development and implementation of the new system in fewer than 7 months. Now agencies committed to public safety will have an automated tool to increase efficiency and accuracy as well as enhance collaboration and cross-departmental communication. DOJ and Delegata established a foundation for collaboration within internal departments and across external organizations by utilizing data from internal DOJ databases as well as from the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI.) DOJ and Delegata were honored to win the “Best Solutions Award” for APPS at the Government Technology Conference (GTC) West 2006.
The mission of the California Department of Insurance (CDI) is to oversee the vast majority of the insurance industry in California. This involves regulating over 1,500 insurance companies and more than 300,000 agents and brokers in California, as well as approving insurance products before they reach the market. As the largest consumer protection agency in California, CDI is responsible to protect insurance consumers by regulating the industry’s practices and encouraging a healthy marketplace.
CDI’s Mission is to:
The mission of the California Department of Insurance (CDI) is to oversee the vast majority of the insurance industry in California. This involves regulating over 1,500 insurance companies and more than 300,000 agents and brokers in California, as well as approving insurance products before they reach the market. CDI is the largest consumer protection agency in California.
Within CDI, the Corporate Affairs Bureau (CAB) protects California consumers by ensuring that insurers are licensed to do business in California, remain solvent and conduct their affairs in accordance with the law. Insurance companies must submit applications to operate in California, and these documents historically have been paper and payments have been made by check. These applications are reviewed by attorneys in CAB as well other staff in the department. Over 1,200 applications are processed through the department yearly, and thousands of pages of documents are handled by staff. The sheer volume of paper leads to handling, review, distribution and storage issues for the department as well as related issues for Insurance companies that submit the applications.
CDI partnered with Delegata to implement a business transaction and payment system called OASIS (Online Assistance System for Insurer Submittals). OASIS enables the CAB to accept electronic delivery of documents, receive payments by credit card, and in-house online sharing & processing of documents through automated workflows.
In addition to managing and implementing OASIS, Delegata utilized its Insourcing approach and partnered with CDI to conduct thorough transfer of knowledge and ownership so that new processes and systems are effectively integrated and managed by the CDI team.
The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) Safety and Enforcement Division had accumulated many spreadsheet and database systems to track inventories of rail crossing records, incident records, and many other records required to improve the safety and security of rail operations and transportation in the State of California. The proliferation of systems was gradual as new requirements for reporting and management of improvements changed over time. With gradual system changes also came the common adjustment to the meaning of data within organizations conducting business operations. As requirements began to incorporate the need for greater integration and collaboration across business lines, the differences in data and reporting caused difficulty in sharing data and record-keeping responsibilities due to data differences.
Several projects had been attempted to improve data definitions and internal systems grew in number to support required control agency reporting, as well as activity to evaluate, inspect, and analyze rail assets or incidents. The growing interdependency upon information in the disparate systems in use by field and office staff made the independent systems appear more as obstacles to consistent reporting, forcing individuals to spend many hours to compile reports or make appropriate recommendations. Furthermore, data requirements continued to increase and changes to some support systems became very time consuming. The CPUC solicited for a Commercial-Off-The-Shelf (COTS) solution to resolve their combination of challenges.
Since no COTS solutions were available for this problem domain, Delegata worked with the CPUC to define a solution based on another flexible solution that allowed business users to change system functionality and results over time without the aid of technology staff. The solution allowed the CPUC to reuse the architecture to accommodate the required future flexibility, and to customize the specific ways that the system interacted with users to perform mission requirements. By reviewing the work processes and data requirements, the Rail Safety and Security Information Management System (RSSIMS) took shape as a system that could collect data in nearly twice as many record types as originally understood and ensure that business super users would be able to add new data or change the functionality on each record type to accommodate changes to operations based on the accommodating architecture.
Now, CPUC staff members capture data, generate reports across all record types, make decisions about changes to system capability and manage the business processes that have proven to make rail operations in the State of California more safe and secure – all within one integrated system.
The CPUC rail safety and enforcement operations collect information in one system that allows individual teams to capture appropriate data and information to facilitate results. Reports are generated in seconds rather than requiring external compilations that, at times, took days or weeks and often included significant uncertainty about completeness or accuracy. Formulas are built into the system to industry standards that allow calculations to prioritize upgrades to rail crossings to improve safety.