Vision Architecture Feasibility Study: Convertible American Workforce

I want to share something with you...let me know what you think.

Back in 2005 I came up with an idea to provide business technology training to convert skillsets of large populations of American Military members for placement into business technology jobs on their return.

The U.S. recruits, trains, and deploys large populations to go a fight various battles for us and we enable this activity by paying taxes and voting one way or another. 

We invest in their becoming experts, via rapid response training initiatives, to face the biggest challenges and dangers they ever have.  We put our faith and lives at risk, with theirs, banking on their ability to use their skills, personal know-how, and experience to apply what they've learned to overcome challenges and excel under pressure.

Why don't we train them to prepare for their return home?

They're responsible for life and death situations, required to run projects on time and on budget, negotiate, build bridges between opposing agenda, understand complex individual and group goals then figure out how to accomplish shared objectives as a team.  They architect, strategize, plan, and orchestrate critical events and are driven to learn and update their skillsets to deal with new challenges.

Why don't we hire them into American jobs that require these skillsets?

I pitched my idea the other day while networking at an event in Oakland where Bay Area elected officials convened to discuss ideas and opportunities.

I expanded the story to include other large populations, because the more you think about it, we throw a lot of large populations who are willing to work off the cliff every day…

  • Active and returning military,
  • Department of Corrections,
  • Unemployed or underemployed,
  • Displaced or dislocated workers,
  • Welfare to Work,
  • Public Housing,
  • Homeless to Work,

Non-governmental groups:

  • Stay at home moms and dads,
  • People with disabilities,
  • Retirees,

Future workers:

  • Learners with disabilities,
  • High school students,
  • Why not junior high or elementary school kids?

Women and minorities experience serious hiring issues too as statistics and studies show. 

I’ll add a page with a bunch of links to studies for your reference and study because this topic in and of itself illustrates the need we have for a new approach to hiring Americans for Americans jobs.

I’m going to do a feasibility study to figure out how to make things work, and post what I find here.

Please let me know if you'd like me to include you on what we find.

More soon...stay tuned.




Vision Architecture is the new Innovation Architecture: Available Now for Future State technology strategy and Vision Storyboards

After spending a year working at Oracle, representing the Oracle WebCenter Product portfolio including their portal, enterprise content management (ECM), social media, and mobile interaction products covering Public Sector for the states, counties and cities in Alaska, Washington, Oregon, Idaho, California and Hawaii I've recenlty returned to running my consulting company which has expanded offerings and is named, "Vision Architecture."  

We worked on many interesting projects together at Oracle, in the West and South East regions, and agreed working alongside each other is a faster approach than fitting Vision Architecture® into a sales lifecycle within Oracle.  It makes sense because Vision Architecture® is an exploratory toolset used to spend time defining high-level ecosystem strategy including human and technology systems and business solutions, which doesn't always align sales quotas. So we continue to work closely with Oracle and their partner network to bring vision and future state strategy together for clients, as a separate service, while expanding services into private sector industries.

Vision Architecture is a future state technology and business management consultancy focused on discovering and designing executive strategy, technology, and business roadmaps for public and private sector clients. 

As we identify risks, and discover how to alleviate them, graphic novel storyboards help depict which technologies and processes will change to support a preferable Future State.

Contact Vision Architecture for a free one-hour consulting session to discover if future state technology and graphic novel storyboards might work for you and your audiences:

Vision Architecture, Inc.
510.698.9334 office 


Here are some examples of Vision Architecture® storyboards:


"School Shooter" was my response to a request from a collaborative group of state public sector agencies including a State Highway Patrol, a Department of Education, and a Department of Homeland Security who were working on some solution ideas to consider how centralized, live, recorded video could be used in a cross-functional, First Responder Strike Team to contain a live School Shooter:



This is a storyboard about something I've seen happen in a lot of places, public and private sector, that people seem to relate to...a pattern that repeats over and over when we don't truly understand who, what, where and why we're building something.  I created the Vision Architecture® formula and methodology as an option for leaders and inventors to combat this pattern upstream, so we don't waste time, money, resources, careers, and politics launching things that will fail...see if it rings a bell:



"Black Car" is a storyboard about a future state drunk driver who causes a collision and how technology systems, collaborative agencies, citizens, and policies mitigate the risk and outward damages caused by his choices.

It's inspired by a real-life event, where a drunk driver killed a friend of ours here in Oakland, and the massive set of system, technology, policy and system failures that made the catastrophe even worse for 100s of people impacted by her death.  

Bad things will continue to happen in the future, but we can make the blast radius smaller, if we decide to. In "Black Car" Michelle doesn't die, and the drunk driver is expeditiously taken off the streets, using video evidence collected live and managed throughout the justice system.



Oracle WebCenter Suite Future State Business Vision and Strategy

After many years working as an independent contractor consulting with Fortune 1 + corporations, Public Sector, and small businesses to imagine their future state, learn about current and future technologies, and come up with strategic plans to drive transformational change, I thought,

"You know what? I need more firepower."

The ecosystem of technologies that constitute Enterprise Information Management, or Enterprise Content Management, keeps getting broader and deeper and includes all technologies used to Capture, Manage, Store, Preserve, and Deliver all content to all people on all devices.  That includes portals, search, social media, mobility, business process management, business intelligence - pretty much any technology you can think of is part of this ecosystem so there's a lot to learn.  But my clients enjoyed learning and we discovered so much about what cross-functional groups can accomplish when they connect through this ecosystem.

What about Gamification, Data Visualization, System Thinking, Pattern Recognition, Sentiment Analysis, Semantic goes on and on...beautiful concepts to create amazing user experiences.

We came up with so many amazing abilities, at these client engagements, and I always found the right technologies to enable them, but after wrapping up Vision and Future State strategies, I would need to leave off there because I didn't have an army of implementers ready to pair up with my clients. They would end up finding resources on their own, but I always felt a bit of a let-down afterwards, wishing I could have helped things keep firing along and not had to walk away from my clients' journeys.

As you know, if you're reading my posts, I've been starkly anti-software sales over the years, primarily because the majority of traditional software vendors don't seem to care even a little bit about their clients once they buy software.  It's more about tricking clients into buying technology they don't understand and taking off as quickly as possible to close other sales.

I worked with clients to provide them with what they wished software vendors would do for them, getting to know them, their people, their challenges, and their culture in order to design a future with that everyone at their organization could buy into.  I also worked to help software vendors understand exactly what their clients needed to see from them to fully understand whether their software was a match for acquisition and to help vendors manage their time trying to understand their potential client. People liked that setup, because it saved everyone time and both sides had their concerns addressed and everyone could move forward quickly.

I tried five or six different approaches to expand my business through consortiums, production assistants, partnerships, and subcontractors, and it just never worked out.  The overall issue, I gathered, was I could not be in 10 places at once, fund everything personally, train team mates, acquire new business, and do client work simultaneously.  Hm.

So, a few months ago - no, I did not see this coming - it turns out, one of the vendors I put through the ringer, years ago, in Sacramento, reached out to ask if I would be interested in representing their full Enterprise and Information Management suite of software tools, actually selling software.

I thought they must've forgotten what I do, because I don't sell software. I help people figure out what they want their future to be, then we go back and pick up the right technologies for the job.  This approach is not the way you sell software...but it turns out they want to take an innovative approach and stick around to help clients understand what's possible first, how to make things real, and stick around as a partner to help drive client success. 

Weird.  I mean, that's the way it Should Be, sure.  But Oracle, of all the vendors? Wow.

So, after a bit of an existential crossroads, I decided this actually makes sense.  I could work with clients to understand all the hardware and databases they've been loading up on, in order to hoard content over many years, has led up to today...the day when we let the genie out of the bottle and discover the amazing knowledge and meaning we can derive from those gold mines of content so germane to their businesses.  We can create experiences on all eletronic devices that offer unprecedented context and even omniscient awareness of all you know wherever you go.

Plus, they have tons of resources to back up anything we can dream up.  What a concept...

I'm still settling in, but I wanted to update everyone and let you know, I'm here.  At Oracle.  Wow.

I'm also excited because, if you know me, you know I always tend toward large population solutions, and my region is the Public Sector clients along the full Left Coast + Idaho - that's Alaska, Washington, Oregon, Idaho, California, and Hawaii - 6 states!

I get to work with agencies that support millions of people in every aspect of their lives, as residents of states, counties, cities, and local neighborhoods.  Can you believe that??

I'll post more on this soon, because I'm alreayd having the most amazing conversations with Public Sector visionsaries who want to change the world...and we get to work on it together.  It's profound, and I'm thankful things come around - I wouldn't have thought giving someone a hard time five years ago would inspire them to put in this spot now. Thank you.




Consultant, Enterprise Content Management Product Selection Thomson Reuters

My new project will be in Silicon Valley, with Thomson Reuters, supporting their legal business offerings. I’ll be working with Thomson Reuters to review and confirm enterprise business objectives will be addressed with their current and future technologies and processes. 

There will be an evaluation of commercial Enterprise Content Management systems, a socialization effort to feature the breadth and depth of ECM vendor systems, a reevaluation of existing systems, and design and development of various prototypes to present business and technology solution recommendations. A Pros and Cons-type recommendation will also be made presenting the risks and benefits associated with choosing Commercial Off the Shelf solutions, vs. Open Source solutions, vs. the option to build custom solutions in-house. 


Consultant, Portal/ECM/Search Lead for a Large, Multinational Manufacturing Company

A $35 Billion year company who engages in building efficiency, automotive experience, and power solutions business worldwide.

Shared future technology capabilities and business strategies to create a Social Enterprise environment loaded with competitive advantage capabilities for the company’s globally disperse business interests and workforce. Concepted and designed a set of futuristic solution prototypes and an enterprise roadmap for business solutions and innovations.

  • Led vision and technology education for company leaders covering Unified Information Access, Rich Internet Application design and development strategies, Pattern Recognition, Sentiment Analysis, Interaction Analysis, Implicit and Explicit profiling for Enterprise Content Management, and solution prototyping using iRise modeling tools
  • Concepted, designed, and created future solution prototypes including four future roadmap applications to automatically manage enterprise content and subject matter experts in a social and formal environment.
    • Global Public Sentiment Analysis tool to be used by internal strategist
    • Global Social Expertise Network to connect all corporate intelligence with subject matter experts in context of real-time business transactions
    • Global Collaboration Network that enables geographically disperse workforces to immediately assemble germane intelligence and subject matter experts on a regional basis to respond to global business challenges
    • Global Innovation Network that features all corporate employee innovations in a socially rated environment to immediately respond to global opportunities and create focused global solutions using employee contributions

Board Member, Women's Initiative, Alameda County, CA Chapter

I'm very excited and honored to be given a Board Member position with the Alameda County chapter of Women's Initiative, a Bay-Area non-profit agency whose mission is to build the entrepreneurial capacity of women to overcome economic and social barriers and achieve self-sufficiency.  

I've been watching and engaging with WI's events, activities, and entrepreneurs for a little while now, and it's so inspiring and successful I can't wait to pitch in in a more formal capacity.

Please check out Women's Initiative ( and learn how they're using micro-financing, a huge womens' expertise network, and a very purpose-driven effort to propel women into business ownership and success.  Check out one of their statistics: 

"By assisting women-owned businesses throughout the San Francisco Bay Area at our seven training sites, Women's Initiative directly contributes to the economic growth of communities. Our graduates have started and expanded over 1,600 businesses from photography studios to catering companies and mechanic shops. In 2006, 301 new jobs created by our graduates."


Consultant, Presentation Layer and Visual Requirements Management Capabilities Investigation - Pacific, Gas & Electric CA

Elicit, align, and converge Enterprise Application Strategic Planning and Architecture vision with Portal Center of Excellence Development Team vision to define and select a single presentation layer technology to support rapid development of business solutions for the enterprise.

The new technology will need to be user-friendly for developers, utilize programming languages for which there are many resources available, and require little to no architecture changes of existing frameworks or systems. 

The tool should provide Ideation, Design, Development, and automatic Code Deployment tools for Rich Internet Applications (RIAs) to support solution development for the general public, customers, employees, partners, vendors and regulatory agencies.  


Consultant, ECM/Portal/Search Strategy & Program Management for NetApp

After a brief break, a few advisory projects, and better weather in the Bay Area, I will be joining NetApp in Sunnyvale to build strategy and programs to support their ECM, Search, and Portal initiatives for their Extranet, Internet, and Intranet properties. I'll be joining them late June after wrapping up a few smaller projects and look forward to being part of a great project that's starting from the ground up with Oracle's 11g Suite.


Genentech/Roche - Consultant, Commercial Drug Portal & iPhone Applications for Mobility

Worked with Genentech’s Commercial Portal Team to determine vision, strategy, information access and search, content integration requirements, business collaboration opportunities, and social media tools to drive secure, profiled content through the portal and iPhone applications. Prepared for Proofs of Concept, vendor pilots and demos, technology reviews, and determined a methodology for proving cost benefits associated with adoption of Web 2.0 technologies.  Vendors included Vignette portal and Content Management systems, Autonomy’s IDOL Pan-enterprise Search and Web2.0 and Social Media Services, OpenText’s LiveLink, Jive’s Social Business Software, and the iPhone Application framework.


Cisco Systems - Consultant, Enterprise Content Management & Collaboration

Working in the Collaboration Business Technology Delivery Team, collaborating with Enterprise Collaboration Platform (The New Collaboration Platform ™) product teams, User Experience Design, ECM IT, to determine vision, strategy, and business transition options to the new collaboration platform. The objective being the ability to surface contextually relevant social and enterprise content, to individual users, deriving actionable information transactions using semantic web, social networking, and rich presence.


VMWare - Consultant, Portal Strategy

My recent contract was with VMWare in Palo Alto, CA working to assess architecture, security, business, and content state of 29 separate, business-critical portals, then gather executive, business leader, vendor/partner, and customer requirements for the Next Generation ECM intelligence platform utilizing Oracle’s 11g E2.0 WebSuite, in a virtualized environment. Conduct gap analysis, and define implementation strategy to migrate optimized content, business process and services, into a single, Oracle 11g WebCenter Interaction (WCI) instance.

The project was put on hold soon after I arrived, so I am looking and interviewing for a new project again to begin the first week of September 2009.  Please contact me to discuss opportunities.


CalPERS - Consultant, Enterprise Portal, Content Management, Information Access and Search Strategy

CalPERS (California Public Employees' Retirement System) is the largest public pension system in the country, with $244 billion to invest on behalf of current and future retirees in the state of California, providing retirement and health benefits to approximately 1.6 million public employees, retirees, and their families and more than 2,500 employers.


*Assignments: Define and design overarching strategy and implementation plan for agency portal, Enterprise Content Management, information access, and enterprise secure search services for; a) 1.6 Million customers providing health coverage, insurance, pension, and investment service tools; b) 2500 internal employees offering self service HR, administrative, IT, and operational services; c) 3500+ partners and vendors enabling complex transactions between agency and external customer information systems; and d) services connecting State of CA government agencies with CalPERS for financial transactions.

Part of this effort will include vendor product stack reviews with leading Commercial-Off-the-Shelf (COTS) vendors including Adobe, Attivio, Autonomy, EMC Documentum, EMC, Endeca, Fast Search, Google Search Appliance, IBM WebSphere, Interwoven, Microsoft MOSS, OpenText LiveLink, Oracle WebCenter, SAP, SUN, and Vignette to provide the business and Enterprise Architecture Teams with vendor selection recommendations.

*Contract update: I will be available for full time contract work in the Northern CA Bay Area beginning March 2009.

Click here for more detail on the CalPERS project.


Genentech - Consultant, Enterprise Content Management


Working in the Corporate Information Technology department at Genentech, I lead a team of about 40 cross-functional business owners, technologists, and information managers in DNA's (NASDAQ) effort to migrate out of an older enterprise document management system into a new knowledge management system using OpenText's LiveLink EDMS. 

Go here to read more about the project at Genentech


Electronic Arts - Consultant, Intellectual Property Security


I just wrapped up a 15 month contract at Electronic Arts in Redwood Shores, and enjoying the work very much.  I worked with the Director of Piracy Protection, the CIO's office, Project Management Office, and Worldwide Mastering Labs to discover, design, and deploy new functionality into their custom Java IP Security and game distribution system.

Go here to read more about the project at  Electronic Arts