Papers, White Papers, and Special Reports

Written or co-authored by Joe McKendrick | E-mail: | Home page: McKendrick & Associates

Prescriptive Intelligence: Going Beyond BI to Drive Agility and Results
For ColdLight Solutions, Manasco Marketing Associates, May 2007

In today’s fiercely competitive business environment, it is the ability to smartly act on information – not the information itself – that delivers a competitive advantage. Many business intelligence solutions have appeared on the market over the years that attempt to provide in-depth analysis. However, the information produced by these tools generally has been static, meaning it provided no guidance on what courses of action decision makers should take. These tools also have historically required extensive human analysis to make any of the data actionable. By employing prescriptive intelligence, executives can quickly act to decide what items need to be shipped through the supply chain weeks before demand hits; what pricing changes will have the optimal impact on the sales of a product line before it’s enacted; and determine if, when and what kinds of incentives to extend to customers to improve their experience with the company. Not only can prescriptive intelligence solutions help predict the thrust of a marketing promotion before money is invested in it, they can help decision-makers refine their strategies based on prior experience and expert input. Automated decision-making solutions such as prescriptive intelligence frameworks can draw on dynamic data to provide actionable insight -- guiding strategic decision-makers in their efforts to deliver growth, innovation and operational excellence.

From Database Administrator to Data Steward: Why Companies Need To Upgrade Their In-House Operational DBAs
For dbaDirect, Manasco Marketing Associates, April 2007

Companies can no longer afford to maintain staffs of operational DBAs that are forced to spend their time mired in the under-the-cover technical aspects of database maintenance, troubleshooting, and patching. Now, data is recognized as perhaps the most important strategic asset within the enterprise, and is expected to be available and accessible 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The business needs the skills and know-how of DBAs to perform higher-level tasks, such as consulting with end-users to design new applications and leverage information in new ways. Businesses need DBAs that take on the roles of data “stewards” that function as subject matter experts for the data, rather than managing relatively mundane tasks that could be automated. That’s why many CIOs and executives are now turning to third-party data infrastructure management (data IM) services that can offload much of the repetitive and onerous low-level tasks that still consume much of the time of DBAs, such as database monitoring and patching. Data IM services offer a proven path which not only enable enterprises to continue to manage and enhance their own IT operations, but also free up resources to invest in higher value activities that represent strategic differentiation.

Ascending the Data Infrastructure Hierarchy: The Five Stages of Data Infrastructure Management Maturity
For dbaDirect, Manasco Marketing Associates, July 2007

How does an organization advance from a relative state of immediacy to a higher-value operation? There are five essential stages that an organization moves through as it becomes increasingly proficient at Data IM. The hierarchy starts with the most basic, Tribal status, moving up the continuum to an Enforced stage, on to Standardization, and up from there to an Actualized phase. Finally, an organization achieves Peak Performance. (For purposes of this paper, we take organizations to a higher level than Abraham Maslow’s realization of “Actualization.”) At the highest point, members of the organization no longer wrestles with fundamental Data IM issues, because best practices have been embedded into all pertinent processes. Many companies may be still in the lower stages of Data IM, as they struggle with better ways to develop more streamlined and systematic ways to manage their data assets. With today’s increasing competition, along with government mandates, it’s not too soon to make the move up the continuum.

Powerful Servers for Simplified Infrastructures
For IBM Corp., April 2007

Enterprises rely on information technology to maintain a competitive edge in their markets, build customer relationships, and manage operations. They require an on-demand, 24x7 infrastructure, resulting in an insatiable appetite for more capacity, security, scalability, and reliability. Can a single system help manage all these requirements, without breaking IT budgets and adding even more complexity? The answer is yes - with IBM's System z9 server family, security and simplicity is within reach for even the most demanding enterprise environments.

Measuring Success, One User Group at a Time: Building the Case for a Linux Desktop Migration
For IBM Corp. and Novell Corp., January 2005 (jointly sponsored white paper)

Linux is taking the world by storm, proving to be one of the most compelling and reliable value propositions to sweep information technology in years. Linux now powers some of the world's largest supercomputers, leading e-commerce Web sites, and even the Mars Rover. Enterprises are discovering that the open-source operating system has plenty to offer the desktop computing space as well. The open-source operating system's arrival hasn't come a moment too soon for IT managers who need to manage hundreds, if not thousands, of client machines in an environment beleaguered by restrictive and punitive licensing practices, rapid hardware turnover, security threats, and a bewildering and endless string of patches, bug fixes, and upgrades. Linux, in contrast, is an open platform, free of single vendor control, capable of running on any type hardware device, and relatively easy to manage. This is good news for companies that have been seeking better ways to control costs, improve reliability, and ensure security on their enterprise desktop computers. However, no two organizations are alike, and the benefits one company may gain through a migration to Linux desktops may differ from those of another. That's because every company has a different mix of user types. Some have large departments of technical users (e.g., application developers, engineers) that want fully loaded high-performance workstations. Others have sizable concentrations of knowledge workers (e.g., market research analysts, scientists). Then, of course, there are innumerable workforces heavily laden with transactional workers (e.g., customer service reps) who perform repetitive tasks and may only require a zero-footprint thin client, unencumbered by all the bells and whistles that may be on their desktop computers. A desktop Linux migration strategy needs to be planned on the basis of end-user segments because each segment will deliver different levels of value to the business. This paper discusses how IT and business executives can build a business case for each end user segment in deploying Linux across desktops and clients within their enterprises. Practical examples are also included.

Is Your Enterprise Data Warehouse Ready for the Future? (Link is downloadable PDF file.)
For Teradata Corp., November 2004

Seven ways to ensure the survival and success of your EDW through proper guidance

Get More Bang for Your EDW Buck (Link is downloadable PDF file.)
For Teradata Corp., April 2004

Seven practical tips for an enterprise data warehouse.

A Fresh New Look at Enterprise Data Warehousing (Link is downloadable PDF file.)
For Teradata Corp., January 2004

10 reasons why you need an enterprise data warehouse.

The Bottom Line of CRM: Know Your Customer
(Link to downloadable PDF file.). For Silvon Software, April 2001

Customer relationship analytics is part of a growing effort to apply measurable and actionable analytics to key parts of the business. Business performance management applications now cover a range of key performance indicators, including sales, marketing, finance, and manufacturing. The ability to apply analytics to customer relationship management opens up opportunities to dramatically improve these relationships. In today’s highly competitive environment, businesses need to better understand their customers, which ones are the most profitable, and how to best retain those customers. Though companies are investing millions of dollars in CRM systems, they are only generating data, and failing to tell the company what the data means. Customer relationship analytics help companies make sense of customer needs, help companies manage these relationships more intelligently and help predict the future. Such knowledge provides a crucial competitive differentiation for companies seeking to gain market share and reduce operational costs. The bottom line is if you are not measuring it, you’re not managing it.

Rise of the Intelligent Supply Chain
(Link is to downloadable PDF file.) For Silvon Software, June 2001

As analytics tools are fully implemented and exploited, manufacturers will be able to shift more easily to view their business from the supply chain side. Manufacturers can then consider vendor-managed inventory, CPFR, and shift relationships within the supply chain to more effectively assign supply chain tasks—even assigning tasks to supply chain partners that used to be performed by the manufacturer. This will allow manufacturers to decrease the cost structure of their businesses to enable quick reactions to unanticipated demands. Supply chain planning/collaboration would leverage supply chain metrics into models for predicting end-user demand. It would also help manufacturers collaborate on and plan for demand forecasts with supply chain partners. In addition, it will help with monitoring and adjusting plans with partners on an ongoing basis.

Line of Business Migrations
For Sanchez Computer Associates (

Enterprise Services
For Sanchez Computer Associates (

Database Security
For Infosystems Technology Inc. (

Insurance Company Builds e-Business Presence with COOL:Plex Environment
For CA (

Project Management in Website Development
For Robbins-Gioia Inc./PM (

CMII Configuration Management
For Robbins-Gioia Inc./PM (

Increasing System Performance with Storage Arrays
For Decision Data Inc., March 1998

Examining how high- speed access to storage disks can make processor upgrades unnecessary.