Almost a year ago, TeraThink and Dominion Consulting merged. It seems like a good time to look back on what we have achieved.
Just because this is going to be hard is not a reason to not do it.
While I know it’s a double negative, it turns out it was exactly the right statement to make early and often. We got here relatively innocently – a casual, almost easy, conversation between entrepreneurs about the future of our respective companies. However, accurately predicting how the next year or so would go would have been impossible. We knew the merger was going to be difficult and complicated, sure, but it played out to be much more than that.
The pursuit of a successful merger and integration is an exercise of incredible loads of work, constant distraction, some elation, occasional frustration (insert sarcastic emoji here), and every other emotion in between. I can genuinely state that the process of closing the deal and then integrating these two great companies was both – one of the most difficult, and one of the most rewarding achievements of my career. Recognizing that the merger trend in our industry is not slowing down, we wanted to share a few of our key lessons learned and critical success factors from our experience with this merger.
I’ve been speaking a lot about content services of late. At TeraThink, we are a big believer that good content services are a solid foundation for excellent user experience. This is why I’ve been focused on dispelling some of the hype around content services. One of the reasons I, and TeraThink, have been trying to push past the hype is because we are actively using content services to deliver solutions at scale.
Along the way, we’ve been trying to share some of our lessons. James Fintel shared what we’ve learned about building content services agilely using Kanban. What I wanted to share was some of our lessons on the delivery of content services to a government agency.
The Department of Defense (DoD) has awarded TeraThink a prime position on the Improved Dashboard Analytics and Workflow Support (IDAWS) Blanket Purchase Agreement (BPA). We are excited to apply our Information Management and Predictive Analytics expertise to enhance the tools used by DoD for decision support.
This award extends our long history providing financial management expertise to the DoD. Valued an estimated $140M over 5 years, winning this multi-award BPA is a testament to our team’s excellence supporting the DoD.
TeraThink had the pleasure of attending the 2018 Association of Government Accountants (AGA) Professional Development Training (PDT) in Orlando, FL. This massive event had over 2,000 attendees between July 22-25. Our small group included Jim Levitan, Howard Campbell, Leslie Hubbard-Darr, Matt Duffy, Rodney Taylor, Todd Barber, and myself.
This year, traveling to Orlando proved to be more challenging than planned. Many people, including myself, experienced several hours of delays. Even in the midst of a slow start, the AGA managed to pull off a spectacular event. Despite arriving at 2 a.m. due to delays, Gene Dodaro, Comptroller General, GAO demonstrated quick wit and amazing recall of stats throughout the opening plenary session.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) awarded TeraThink $10M for Organizational Change Management and Business Process Reengineering. Awarded as part of the USDA Shared Services Lines of Business Solutions (SSLOBS) Blanket Purchase Agreement (BPA), our expansive financial management and modernization experience is directly relevant to USDA objectives. This experience was key to our winning these task orders. (more…)
Here at Terathink, we are working with a large government agency constructing a content services platform. This platform allows content generated by benefit applications to be shared and reused across the organization’s disparate IT applications. We are doing this through the use of application programming interfaces, or APIs.
Our agile development team manages our work using a Kanban approach, from requirements gathering to the deployment of the API to a production environment. We have honed our use of Kanban to most effectively manage the work required to take a user request to functional reality. (more…)
I’ve been seeing an uptick in interest in digital preservation recently. We are a few decades into the digital age and even without the push to digitally transform everything, people are realizing that they have a lot of digital information. I am surrounded by people who are using a digital records system I put in place over a decade ago. This puts that system into the realm of digital preservation. As per AIIM in their 2017 Digital Preservation Market Research:
The capabilities to ensure the readability and usability of digital information that must be retained for longer than 10 years.
I used to think ten years was a long time. It isn’t. People are also realizing that while storing large volumes of electronic documents is easier than paper, you have to take greater care. I have books that are older than 100 years in my house. The only accessible, viable, digital content I have over 25 years old are some music compact discs.
As we create more and more digital information, we need to start thinking more about long-term preservation.
In 2014, the White House issued a Presidential Memorandum on Modernizing and Streamlining the U.S. Immigrant Visa System for the 21st Century. It called for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Department of State (DoS) to streamline and improve the legal immigration system. Specifically, it spells out the need to :
Modernize the information technology infrastructure underlying the visa processing system with the goal to reduce redundant systems, improve the experience of applicants, and enable better oversight.
As part of our ongoing support of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS), TeraThink was engaged to implement a digital solution to automate USCIS’ implementation. The solution required integration not only with USCIS’ own internal modernization program, but also that of other Federal agencies. We took an API first approach, using MuleSoft to orchestrate all the interactions between the different players. The end result was a successful launch and the creation of a new content services foundation for USCIS.
The Center for Urban Transportation Research has named TeraThink one of the Best Workplaces for Commuters for 2018! Best Workplaces for Commuters is an innovative membership program. It provides qualified employers with national recognition and an elite designation for offering outstanding commuter benefits.
TeraThink has over 200 employees located across Northern Virginia, Maryland, and the District of Columbia, who commute to client sites on daily basis. Many of our employees utilize the local metro and bus system or pay-for-parking lots. As a company, we felt the need to alleviate some of the stress associated with the daily commute. We are proud to be recognized for our efforts.
Starting at the crack of dawn on Monday, April 9th, TeraThink employees rallied together and took on their first company-wide challenge of the year, the Journey Through Asia. TeraThink kicked off the new year with our newly combined workforce with the launch of our FitBit Wellness Program. As part of this program, all employees received a generous stipend to purchase their very own FitBit device. Once the employees received their devices they had the ability to participate in our quarterly step challenges.