Welcome to part 5 of our company’s ‘story’, told through our many, many projects from over 20 years of business, dedicated to putting the ‘I” back in ‘IT’ and ‘GIS’. In the past two parts, we’ve introduced this concept to you all. Then, we told our story in geospatial data, and then open data, showcasing the variety of projects we’ve undertaken.
The Internet of things describes physical objects with sensors, processing ability, software, and other technologies that connect and exchange data with other devices and systems over the Internet or other communications networks.
The amount of sensors has grown so much that 20 years ago, computer scientists had to design a new internet protocol foreseeing that the previous would exhaust the amount of connected devices. This is the Internet of Things or IoT world – with sensors connected within the enterprise and publicly creating a wave of noisy, loud, fast, and voluminous data requiring new architectures and patterns in edge computing, cleaning algorithms, storage, notification triggers, and integration solutions. This is IoT & Sensor Data.
Beyond Big Data, sensor data – remote or IoT, big and/or fast, requires edge and centralized new data flow patterns to trigger the real-time monitoring to support operation and decision making at the data-driven organization.
Some of Our Past Projects
And so, with our routine made clear, we will now tell our story once again. This time, we will tell it through the perspective of IoT and sensor data. More specifically, Iot and sensor-related projects we have undertaken in 20 years of business.
Project 1 – BI ERP Data Mining & Ops
From 2014 to 2017, Xentity supported the Navy Southwest Regional Command Southwest (CNRSW) financial management office with data-mining, with the goal of increasing efficiency efforts. These goals relied upon Lean Six Sigma (LSS) principles to improve department performance by removing waste and reducing variation in the work process. Xentity also provided financial, system, process, data, technology, management and software analysis and design services. These support data employed in conjunction with efficiency efforts and contract consolidation proposals. The results of Xentity’s financial analysis, gap analysis, requirements analysis, and other feasibility studies were used to support integrating financial and HR data.
The CNRSW’s financial management office required contractor support for data-mining and data validation of efficiency efforts. Both of which included applying lean six sigma principles and contract consolidation. The CNRSW specifically needed support to validate the accuracy of manpower/labor systems used by decision-makers to evaluate opportunities for efficiency improvement. In response, Xentity maintained and retrieved archived data (data-mining) to support lean six sigma efforts. Also, to compare with financial and systems generated reports in response to data calls and other CNRSW requests for information. Xentity also provided an analysis of data employed in conjunction with efficiency efforts and contract consolidation proposals. Finally, they provided monthly status reports to the financial management office designated staff. Through their efforts, Xentity has validated financial and human resources systems reports. This includes participation in cross-functional teams and analysis associated with validation.
Project 2 – Agency-wide Enterprise Architecture Services
From 2002—2007, under Northrop-Grumman and later under Phase One Consulting Group from 2008 and on, Xentity staff were key enterprise, segment, and solution architect subcontractors. During this period, The Department of the Interior Enterprise Architecture (IEA) Program was recognized as a best practice in enterprise and segment architecture within both public and private sectors. DOI sought Xentity to continue as subcontractor on its highly successful support of geospatial blueprinting and architecture activities. Xentity supported all layers of the architecture for Geospatial business areas and sub-functions. Support services will cover definition of all architectural phases including as-is, target and the associated transition plan, architecture, and communications. Solutions included:
- Integrating the FEA Reference models and extending to the DOI context – Mapping in the DOI Strategic Plan, ABC Work Activities, extending to DOI Process Models, DOT Logical Data Models, Technical Specification Catalog
- Mapping the Systems, Investments, Security Boundaries to the References Models, Privacy, CPIC, and Security Metadata to support analysis, reporting, and legal responses
- Developed and revised a Methodology for Business Transformation. This methodology aligned executive goals, project planning, EA analysis and work products concepts. It is also an EA repository and integrated with annual budget formulation and CPIC cycles.
- Executed over 13 Segment based blueprints using MBT including Financial, HR, Law Enforcement, Recreation, Wildland Fire Management, Indian Trust and more.
Through solid customer leadership executing these approaches and partnering with Xentity and, DOI experienced the following:
- CPIC, C&A, PIA, and EA scorecards rated higher due to implementing best practices, including process, facilitation, advisory, and information management techniques.
- DOI was recognized as a federal leader in enterprise architecture. They also performed dozens of knowledge exchange with other agencies and countries
- Received the ‘Excellence in Enterprise Architecture’ award by the E-Gov Institute in September 2004 and September 2006
- Attained the highest score in the Federal Government for EA maturity by OMB in June 2005 and again in February 2006
- Ranked by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) as highest among federal agencies with regards to elements completed (97%) on GAO EA Maturity Framework.
- Development of modernization blueprints for key Interior lines of businesses. These define a roadmap for minimizing redundant systems, enhancing data sharing, and incorporating proven state-of-the-art technologies. They accomplish this while reducing costs and improving services to the end citizen and Interior’s business partners.
- MBT was lifted also the core base for the OMB’s (More info at: Developing a Transformation Approach
- DOI’s EA metadata repository effort became a best practice. Xentity supported the information sharing and training of over 200 practitioners and managers. Also, multiple agencies and other countries implemented the effort.
Project 3 – GTAC Data Center Migration
The Geospatial Technology and Applications Center (GTAC) required support to coordinate the migration of their data center data, physical assets, applications and services to the US Department of Agriculture’s (USDA). In parallel, they also looked to achieve moving GTAC facilities based on a hard move data prior to congruent GTAC local facility move in early January of 2019.
At the time, the USDA would require GTAC migrate applications to what had been a yet-to-be-identified AWS.gov cloud. Or, instead, another cloud environment destination. They would identify applications to migrate to this cloud destined environment. They also required major architecture modifications and scripting enhancements in order to run properly within this environment. To accomplish this, they required a partner to help facilitate the successful GTRAC data center and applications migration. Also, help with the migration of all hardware (e.g. data processing and storage servers).
Xentity helped migrate the GTAC data center’s applications and hardware. Furthermore, they migrated all geospatial applications to ensure their functionality at the National Information Technology Center. They identified necessary re-architecture (e.g. adjusting scripts due to changing technical environment or IT infrastructure and/or network changes such as IP addresses and/or optimize applications to work efficiently in the new environment). They analyzed the feasibility of moving some applications and associated data to a cloud environment. And even made suggestions as to which applications should migrate to partner agencies instead. The major outcome here is that their data center, applications and hardware underwent a successful migration to far more appropriate locations (be it a cloud-based application or more appropriate partner locations).
Project 4 – BLM Aquatic Data Modeling
The Aquatic Information Management’s data modeling initiative developed a process/workflow and data model for the Assessment, Inventory and Monitoring (AIM) program of ecosystem scientists. These scientists collect, QA, and make accessible all AIM data collected by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and its contractors. The program required improvements in information sharing from disparate organizations and physical datastores to improve program delivery. More specifically, BLM and AIM required a review of existing data management solutions. After evaluating the many data management solutions already in use, the team developed a single, complete and business architecture. This included the workflows with business rules and the supporting logical data model.
The models met BLM modeling standards and were designed for XML exchange standards. This created a single logical data model, complete with data documentation. It also included the ability to identify key fields for relationships, business rules and definitions of entities and attributes. We also included an entity relationship diagram, physical data model(s) in both diagram(s) and in XML format. Also included were schemas for implementation of the actual database(s), and any crosswalks or reporting models.
Project 5 – HHS Site Management
HHS is a vast department with a number of dynamic operating divisions dispersed throughout the country. Furthermore, almost every form of communications technology is utilized by HHS. Consequently, the Department’s website is critical to the communication of timely, effective and efficient Health and Human Services information and ensuring that the public is well-informed and can easily access vital health information in times of crisis.
In order to provide essential communications for the public, website management is critical. To create the most robust digital presence, HHS required contractor support for its content management system. Consequently, per the HHS Atlassian Website Management RFQ, HHS sought to evaluate existing management practices and the current use of Atlassian products. They wanted to highlight potential gaps and help the program to develop a strategic roadmap for implementing an Enterprise Lifecycle Management tool. They would use existing Atlassian products and/or making recommendation for the addition or removal of products. HHS also sought to help the program implement automated processes. These processes support their existing project management methodology and automate phases within the HHS Enterprise Performance Lifecycle Process. This includes and is not limited to the development, tracking, and decomposing of user stories. Also, scheduling of iterations and releases, tracking bugs, enhancements, risk and issues, test and script/scenario management.
Our efforts helped support HHS’s agile project management methodology to become more efficient. Also, our assessment recommendations gave them recommendations on best practices and improvements. Furthermore, we helped update JIRA-related applications to support the service desk customer portal. Consequently, these design and support efforts ultimately helped the HHS improve in efficiency.
On behalf of Xentity corporation, we would like to thank you for indulging us on this long nostalgia trip. After 20 years of business, it was great to look back on some wonderful projects and accomplishments. We hope you enjoyed this as much as we did. And, we look forward to more years of service in data consulting.