Case Studies

Business Architecture and  SOA Analysis Consulting for Midsized Enterprise

Zinncorp is providing Business Architecture services to a midsize enterprise that supports several customer centric business lines and locations, and processes big data into complex outputs.  Workflow automation was needed to lower costs to remain competitive and Zinncorp is playing a key role in identifying the business services that are flexible enough to support multiple business lines with the same enterprise resources, thus untangling unsustainable legacy applications and minimizing risk.  The services solved quality problems that were hounding the manually intensive processes, alienating customers, and requiring extensive and costly business impact analysis for even small changes.  The client’s existing technical architecture was leveraged for the implementing the services without the cost or complexity of introducing an expensive Enterprise Service Bus (ESB).

The methods used to find and implement the business services emphasized the recognition and detailed specification of reusable service components by first applying pragmatic business architecture.  The analysis resulted in irreducibly small units of business logic that were then captured into executable templates.  These small units of business logic made the engineering and the business model convergent again and broke up the business analysis log jam. Existing software applications and desktop tools were wrapped up into loosely coupled services. But above all else, expert business rules abstraction resulted in small components and services with thin processes and flexible rules that can be updated in real time by business experts without programming support.  This method of fast escape from the tangled web of systems architecture which most firms have been weaving for decades, is described in the book “Cheap SOA” authored in 2013 by Tom Dahlberg and Morris Oslin, Zinncorp’s Business Architecture Practice Director.

Application Architecture Consulting

Zinncorp’s Application Architecture Practice provided Architecture direction and governance to a large financial institution’s new Brokerage Program Clearing program, which included improvements to a Clearing Data Store and preparation for upcoming conversions.  Our team analyzed project requirements and determined both the technology and business impacts, and created detailed designs including external vendor specifications, internal file or service specs, etc. We assisted in translating user requirements to system requirements for internal impacts.  We also identified non-functional requirements related to balance & controls, performance, scalability, availability, and so on.  UML modeling tools such as Rational Software Modeler were used to define the process.

By utilizing significant knowledge of the Microsoft BI stack, data stack, and SharePoint integration techniques, this work effort produced a very effective and efficient Brokerage Program Clearing application, complete with well-designed end-user reporting.  Zinncorp made sure that Financial Industry Best Practices were integrated into the end-to-end design to help assure compliance with all legal reporting requirements.

Business Architecture and Analysis Consulting for State Government

Zinncorp’s Business Architecture and Analysis Practice performed work for a large State Agency by participating in the planning, development, and on-going enhancement of an enterprise-wide system, that includes business integration standards, technical integration standards, schemas, reference models, data model and plan collaboration with the State Agency and local stakeholders.  Our team works closely with the Agency’s project teams to define and communicate technical and business architecture direction, standards, policies, etc., consistent with the Agency’s information technology (IT) and business strategic goals.

Additionally, our staff conducted detailed analysis of security, reliability, performance, and maintainability of the Agency’s applications while working with the project teams to ensure properly deploy applications, aligned within the technical architecture. Our consulting team developed and documented XML standards and exchange documents for interfacing systems and applications.

Data / Systems Analysis Consulting

Zinncorp’s Data and Systems Analysis Team assisted a large Financial Services firm’s PMO and Data Warehousing Team with a Master Data Management (MDM) Project.  Our SME helped the team determine the real root-cause of their issues, identified and assessed potential solutions, and implemented the selected solution.  We planned and participated in activities such as: Planning and Scoping (creating big picture project plan, organizing the approach / methodology, breaking the project down into manageable and actionable pieces) and Analysis and Definition (interviewing business user areas, aggregating information, framing what was to be added, and creating a better definition).

The qualitative benefit of our consulting work was significant.  The client’s Data Warehousing team has been tasked with assessing Master Data Management issues, such as determining internal ownership and the single source of truth for various data components, but, because they were not empowered to address the business issues involved, they were struggling to make any progress.  Zinncorp’s DSA Team worked with the DW team and the client’s business community to properly determine data ownership using MDM principles.  Our group provided a framework for future success by developing comprehensive documentation of the analysis, data ownership rules, data definitions, etc.  Our team then demonstrated and mentored the client team in the proper utilization of these principles ensuring a smooth transition and project hand off after our primary work was completed.

Java Development Consulting

The Zinncorp Java Development Team is helping a large Federal government bank rewrite its mainframe Automated Clearing House (ACH) Payment System as a distributed Java application.  Our Team is migrating the system to a complex, WebSphere/Eclipse J2EE high-volume transactional application using a mix of Agile, iterative and RUP programming methodologies.   Additionally, the team did collaborative J2EE development on the core payment processing applications, including instrumentation for performance and monitoring for event-driven transaction processing software.  Emphasis was placed on high performance of the high-volume transaction processing code.  Our team worked closely with the entire project community to define business and technical requirements for the enterprise-level J2EE compliant applications.

Our Java team performed research activities with a focus on complex business systems, automated systems development, enterprise information systems, and/or project enhancements with Bank and System-wide impact.  We identified and analyzed operational impacts of new projects, services, infrastructure, enterprise information systems, and automated systems.  Our consultants provided technical leadership and addressed moderately complex customer problems and/or issues as necessary.  Our Java Team also participated in on-call rotation for after-hours support.

Senior Project Management Practice Team

Zinncorp’s Senior Project Management Team provided leadership in the management, execution, and administration of key projects for our client’s defined strategic and operational plans.  Our primary responsibilities included leading cross-functional manufacturing, operations, sales and customer service teams to support operational plans, using project management methodology and processes.  We identified project champions and implemented process, business, and organizational changes to improve customer satisfaction, introduce new products to market, drive revenue growth, reduce costs, improve quality, increase product flexibility and reduce cycle time via technical expertise and project management skills. These projects which were multi dimensional and cross functional in scope and we provided leadership to other project managers as well.

SQL Data Control

For an Agency of the State of South Dakota, Zinncorp’s SQL Team participated in the design and development of a client-server data management system to track and report information for the Unified Judicial System.    User screens were developed using Visual Basic 6.0 accessing data through Natural/Adabas.  Our team developed a server application using VB.NET to import data from SQL Server, merge it with customizable Word documents and batch print the completed documents to the individual workstations.  Our team created reports using SQL Server Reporting Service (SSRS) along with complex SQL Server stored procedures and functions.    This project was performed remotely using a Citrix application to access a development environment.

Web Application Team

Zinncorp’s Web Application Team provided JAVA/JSP/Servlets (JEE Developer) for a large State Agency’s website which allows criminal justice professionals to query many databases from one place and determine the information available about each individual. Prior to this system being in place, many data sources were not connected electronically and had to be accessed individually.  Our team worked closely with Agency staff to add databases to the service, performing development work to specifically replace the previous interface with Court Web Services (CWS) with the new Courts Integration Service (CIS).  Our responsibilities also included a) the development and integration of the Name Event Index Service into ISS and b) enhancement of the data available from the Predatory Offender Registration (POR) system and the Minnesota Repository of Arrest Photos (MRAP) through ISS.

QA Consulting Team

For a large State Agency, Zinncorp’s Quality Assurance Team performed manual testing and QA work for a large Java migration project, including the following:  1.) Analyzing business requirements, specifications, user documentation and other project documentation to assure quality of the products and tests to be developed.  2.) Executing, documenting, tracking and managing testing results and application defects to ensure the quality of the software application code.  3.) Ensuring that new and existing applications and services met standards and business requirements by working closely with Agency Business Analysts, software development, and production support and proactively communicating with team members and management.

UNIX Consulting Team

Zinncorp’s UNIX IS Team performed security hardening of systems and served as a troubleshooter for the IT infrastructure. We implemented Sun Solaris and Red Hat Linux OS instances using SOX, PCI, and HIPPA standards, including the design of security and integrity controls. Our team designed and analyzed distributed computing policies, procedures, and standards.  We evaluated and researched new information technologies and, when appropriate, recommended the implementation of new technologies to management.  We also created and updated written documentation according to the client’s project and information security standards. Our UNIX IS Team provided management with written status reports for projects and tasks.  Additionally, we provided 24×7 on-call administration and support for Solaris and Red Hat Linux.

ITIL Operations Team

Using ITIL processes as a foundation, Zinncorp Operations Team lead a team in providing IT Operations for a large loyalty marketing company by: developing and implementing operational strategies and processes, leading cross-functional teams, communicating effectively with all levels of the organization and supporting customer relationships.  The responsibilities included: ensuring availability and peak performance of internal and customer facing applications; proactively monitoring and ensuring all components operated in accordance with company standards; providing management, maintenance and operation of middleware services; interfacing with Project Managers, Quality Assurance, and Developers to ensure all new projects adhered to  company operational needs; determining IT operations service requirements by analyzing needs of company customers and users/departments; resolving organizational conflict; and developing and implementing documentation requirements for problem resolution.

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