Blog

Getting to Grips with Gateway Services

 

Hugo Bernier shares his expertise in technology to explain how gateway services work and how to install one. 

When using cloud-based services like Office 365 and the Power Platform, it can be challenging to integrate with your on-premises resources. All of a sudden, your on-premises databases, APIs, file shares, and even your existing on-premises SharePoint infrastructure become impossible to reach. At least, not without making some giant holes in your firewall.

At our recent Toronto Citizen Developer User Group meeting, my good friend Luis Duran demonstrated how to use the on-premises data gateway to access a custom web API running on his workstation from Power Automate.

He had rehearsed the demo earlier that day from our offices. Still, he had changed many environmental variables by moving his demo to our meetup venue. Luis ran a web API from his workstation, over a different network (the guest wifi at the Microsoft office), using a new IP address.

Let’s say that if his demo didn’t work, no one would have blamed him. Heck, I tried to run a web API project using a static IP address on my workstation earlier in the day, and I had issues getting it to work.

But the demo worked!

 

Areas covered in this article include:

  • What is the on-premises data gateway
  • How the data gateway works
  • What the requirements are
  • How to install a gateway
  • How to use a gateway connection

 

Read the full article, Accessing Your On-Premises Data Using the On-Premises Data Gateway, on the Tahoe Ninja’s website. 

 

Automated Healthcare – Coming Sooner than You Think

 

Posted on Jim Price’s company blog is a downloadable white-paper that explores the role of automation in healthcare.

As discussed in Issue One, the future of medicine will be fundamentally reshaped by a fusion of three forces: Genetics, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and automation. The future of interventional and surgical capabilities has not been widely discussed. Demand for these services has risen dramatically in recent years and is forecast to increase significantly in the coming decades. As a result, demand is quickly overtaking supply in surgical and procedural services; however, current payment systems cannot support the labor intensive model. AI, advanced robotics, 5G Internet, 3D printing, miniaturization, and nano technology will eventually fuse together to dramatically automate surgical and procedural services, alleviating the manpower shortage.

 

Included in this paper are:

  • FDA approved AI applications
  • Reimagining the future of surgery
  • The performance of a pre-op robot

 

Download the full paper, Automated Medicine: The Future of Healthcare?, on the Progressive Healthcare Inc. website. 

 

Managing the Call to Change

 

Luiz Zorzella shares key points that can help leaders evaluate and address their approach to change to ensure better outcomes. 

Strategy & Value

For the past 10 years, financial services firms have publicly acknowledged that they needed to change.  Chances are, your organization was one of those.

Commoditization meant a systematic erosion of margins for banks; reduction in interest rates has been challenging both interest and non-interest income sources of banks and investment firms as well as the economics of insurance; and technology has posed a constant threat of disintermediation and radical value-adding substitutes.

However, just like the proverbial frog in the heating water, most business leaders have responded incrementally – aiming at matching the pace of change they observed in the market and improving their results within the parameters of their existing business model.

The problem is that change has arrived and it does not look like we expected.  While COVID-19 ravages lives, economies and markets, clients and stakeholders alike are looking at financial service firms and asking that they help them weather the storm. They are calling you to change with them.

 

Points covered in this article include:

  • Find you calling
  • Evolve and decommodotize
  • Reforge your ways of working
  • Take the technology plunge

 

Read the full article, Is this Crisis Your Strategy Crucible, on the Amquant website.

 

Welcoming new member Brett Pentz

Umbrex is pleased to welcome Brett Pentz. Brett has 12+ years of management consulting and client services experience, delivering a range of strategy engagements for corporate, private equity, and public sector clients across industry, mostly focused in Healthcare and Technology. Brett’s management consulting work spans formative skills and credentials developed at Bain & Company, followed by contributions to position Teneo’s management consulting capabilities to reflect its brand as the global CEO advisory firm. Brett also possesses strong implementation and value delivery credentials from his years as a healthcare software implementation specialist for leading electronic medical record vendor Epic.

Brett primarily focuses on roles and projects where his experience and educational background can add the most value, often serving health and wellness-focused services and technology platform-focused companies, but he has demonstrated successful outcomes as a generalist at Bain and Teneo across a range of industries and project types. Specialties include corporate/BU strategy and planning, sales and marketing effectiveness, commercial due diligence and post-acquisition value creation, and target operating model and organizational design.

Brett lives in Montreal, Canada with his wife, after moving there two years ago from London, England – all part of his American expat adventures. He is happy to collaborate on any projects, particularly in the northeast (of the US and Canada).

Tough Time Strategies

 

In this timely post, David A. Fields provides ten strategies consulting firms can implement to help navigate through difficult times. 

You’re swimming in a vast sea of stressful news and, given today’s reality, you’re well within your rights to feel anxious, nervous and uncertain about how your consulting firm should proceed.

Clients are shutting down their operations; workshops and meetings are being called off; in fact, the entire economy appears to be headed for an abrupt, if temporary, halt. What does that mean for your consulting firm and how should you respond?

I pulled together a couple dozen “to dos” for my consulting firm clients. Nine of them are presented below, leaving a space for you to fill in your recommendation for your own consulting firm and for other readers.

 

Areas covered in this article include:

  • Client relations
  • Budget management
  • Partnership opportunities
  • Remote work and delivery

 

Read the full article, 10 Tough-times Strategies For Consulting Firms, on David’s website.

 

Welcoming new member Gennadiy Goldenshteyn

Umbrex is pleased to welcome Gennadiy Goldenshteyn with First Principles. Gennadiy Goldenshteyn is leveraging almost 20 years consulting and progressive line leadership experience to launch his own consulting firm, First Principles, in September 2019. First Principles breaks down seemingly complex strategy and operations problems down to their foundational basics (i.e., first principles) and creates implementation programs to systemically drive improvement. Areas of Gennadiy’s expertise include:

  • Product-driven and customer-focused innovation and growth strategy, based on principles of Design-to-Value and Design Thinking
  • End-to-end product development
  • Lean operations
  • Business process optimization
  • Transformational program design and implementation
  • Fractional/Interim C-suite services (Product, Operations, Innovation/Technology)

Gennadiy brings world class consulting experience from his years with McKinsey Operations practice, including helping build McKinsey’s Product Development sub-practice. Furthermore, he has held positions of increasing leadership responsibility with Ford Motor Company, United Technologies (UTC) Aerospace Systems, Yum! Brands, and Welbilt Corporation.

Gennadiy serves companies of all sizes and all life stages – from start-ups (both seed and growth stage) to small-and-medium-sized businesses in need of expert support, and established industry leaders looking to reinvigorate their operations. While Gennadiy has successfully served clients across multiple sectors, he has particularly deep expertise in Industrial Machinery, Consumer Durable Goods, Foodservice, CPG, and Automotive.

Welcoming new member Travis McElveen

Umbrex is pleased to welcome Travis McElveen with Matterhorn Advisors. Travis McElveen spent nearly 4 years at McKinsey & Company in a variety of roles, including Engagement Manager, where he served companies in the transportation, aerospace, and basic materials industries across multiple functions, including operations, pricing, advanced analytics, and growth strategy.  Additionally, Travis has extensive experience serving organizations in the federal and non-profit sectors.

After starting his career at McKinsey & Company as a Business Analyst, Travis joined the US Navy as a pilot, ultimately becoming a Tailhook qualified aviator landing on aircraft carriers. Travis rejoined McKinsey in the Charlotte office following his military service.

He lives in Charlotte, NC, with his wife and two children and is an avid skier and outdoorsman.

How to Attract and Retain Subscription Members

 

Robbie Kellman Baxter explains what a subscription business can do to mitigate customer loss and generate customer gain through attraction and retention strategies.

‘Millennials aren’t joiners.’ ‘Millennials don’t pay for news.’ ‘Our customers love us, but the average age is going up. It seems like millennials just aren’t interested.’

These are statements I hear all the time from membership organizations that have been around for a few decades or more: professional associations and trade groups, religious institutions, newspapers, gyms, and country clubs. Having some success under your belt is both a blessing and a curse. What you’re doing seems to be working, so you keep doing it. But let complacency take hold and you’re doomed. When businesses can’t attract new members, they die a slow death as old members age out.

The problem is two-fold. One, if you don’t evolve your offerings and communication strategy, new prospects will find your company ‘old fashioned’ or ‘not for me.’ Two, you might mistake inertia for loyalty: those members are still with you out of habit, and when new competitors come along they suddenly realize someone else can better meet their needs.

 

Points covered in this article: 

  • Common mistakes made by old and new subscription businesses
  • Tips to reinvention
  • Self-disruption as a strategy
  • The benefits of paranoia

 

Read the full article, Walking the Generational Tightrope: How To Keep Older Members Happy and Also Draw In Younger Ones, on LinkedIn.

 

Contagion Dynamics and the Economic Impact of COVID-19

 

Martin Pergler shares a couple of files on understanding COVID-19 contagion dynamics, and some of the tradeoffs of managing spread vs long term social/economic impact.

People seem to be increasingly internalizing and accepting efforts prudentially required to slow down COVID-19s exponential infection rates. And hopefully we’ll converge even more from the poles of “barricade ourselves behind hoarded toilet paper” and “what me worry, I don’t see a problem yet” behaviour. However, given differences in, and evolution over time of, testing and reporting around the world, we also need to get ahead of monitoring the evolution of the outbreak and its containment in different geographies. We’ve all seen the “buy time to flatten the curve” graphic many times by now, but I think we all hope we can minimize the area under the curve, not just flatten it.

With this in mind, I’m happy to see a paper on statistical time series modeling applied to localized contagion dynamics cross my desk, from Italy no less! Pretty technical in nature, and frankly there isn’t truly enough data to draw any actionable conclusions yet, but we’re going to need analysis of this type to be able to extrapolate sensibly going forward, and to judge to what extent containment approaches — including different intensities of social distancing — are working.

 

Read the full article, Coronavirus: monitoring change in contagion dynamics, and access links to the files on the Balanced Risk Strategies website. 

 

Competitive Intelligence Firms

Last week I asked for recommendations in intelligence firms. Here are firms recommended by members of the community:

Tough Time Strategies

 

In this timely post, David A. Fields provides ten strategies consulting firms can implement to help navigate through difficult times. 

You’re swimming in a vast sea of stressful news and, given today’s reality, you’re well within your rights to feel anxious, nervous and uncertain about how your consulting firm should proceed.

Clients are shutting down their operations; workshops and meetings are being called off; in fact, the entire economy appears to be headed for an abrupt, if temporary, halt. What does that mean for your consulting firm and how should you respond?

I pulled together a couple dozen “to dos” for my consulting firm clients. Nine of them are presented below, leaving a space for you to fill in your recommendation for your own consulting firm and for other readers.

 

Areas covered in this article include:

  • Client relations
  • Budget management
  • Partnership opportunities
  • Remote work and delivery

 

Read the full article, 10 Tough-times Strategies For Consulting Firms, on David’s website.

 

Life after COVID-19

 

Surbhee Grover takes a moment to think about the future and how the Coronavirus will change the way we work and live.

 

Our lives, as we’ve known them, have come to a grinding halt. What will the world look like when the music starts again?

In the time we are not obsessing with COVID-19 updates, or trying to revive the business; ensure availability of dog food (and wine), and survive homeschooling, some of us are starting to wonder what the future holds. Here’s my initial take on what comes after. These are not analytical forecasts, nor predictions – it is too soon for that, the data is too sparse, things are still too raw, and emotions too fickle. These are merely anecdote and observation-inspired musings, intended as stimulus to spark a discussion.

 

Key areas covered in this article:

  • Work from home culture
  • Education
  • Relationships
  • The benefits for dogs, the drawback for cats

 

Read the full article on LinkedIn.