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CalRecycle Fraud Detection Project Awarded to M Corp

M Corp has won the CBCRP Disbursement Data Mining Project for Risk Assessment at CalRecycle. CalRecycle provides funding to the California Bureau of Investigation’s Environmental Crimes Unit, which investigates fraud cases, and the state attorney general’s office, which prosecutes the cases. The purpose of this project is to implement a statistically based anomaly detection model that utilizes an export of data from the client’s system to help identify recycling fraud. The reports generated by this system will be utilized by CalRecycle staff to narrow down potential fraud or abuse within the system and allow for investigators to focus on circumstances where there will be a higher propensity to identify illegal behavior. The objective is to not allow a bad-load to get into the claims process. M Corp is a SAS Silver Partner, and has the full support of SAS for this project. M Corp will be utilizing SAS Software as a part of the client solution. Recycling fraud cheats California consumers out of the money that they paid into the Recycling Fund, and undermines the entire recycling program itself. The program is funded by the deposits left over from the cans that Californians don’t redeem. When those funds are claimed fraudulently that reduces the surplus that funds the entire recycling program in California from the grants CalRecycle makes to support curbside recycling programs to the investigations of the agency’s fraud squad.

M Corp sponsors health care workshop featuring DHCS CIO Chris Cruz

California Department of Health Care Services CIO Chris Cruz will outline his executive team’s Enterprise Architecture Plan and how they will deliver next-generation health care services to residents under health care reform during an M Corp-sponsored workshop Friday, May 31. The department’s IT organization will oversee and interface with the major state projects being developed as part of the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. Cruz and his team will deploy new systems and embrace the latest technology — including the cloud, mobility and virtualization — to make sure the state meets the federal deadline and provides top-notch health care service to residents. DHCS executives Dr. Linette Scott, chief medical information officer, and enterprise architect Ben Word will join Cruz for the 10 a.m. workshop at the Sheraton Grand Hotel in Sacramento. M Corp is a cosponsor for the event, along with ENS and Techwire.net, which organized the workshop.

M Corp Sponsors Project Delivery Summit

M Corp is a major sponsor of the Project Delivery Summit on Aug. 28 in Sacramento, an opportunity for government and the private-sector to learn how to effectively work together and greatly increase the success of state projects. M Corp is sponsoring keynote speaker Holly Green, CEO and managing director of The Human Factor, who helps companies and their executives identify what success looks like – and how to build a winning team. She has a unique approach to strategic agility, alignment and engagement that provides the tools, techniques and skills companies need for effective projects. Green is often hired by well-known companies, including Microsoft Corp., Google Corp., Expedia and Hilton Worldwide. The one-day summit allows state government executives and private-sector leaders to discuss how to best develop on-time and under-budget projects compared to those that face constant challenges and sometimes even failure. Public Sector Partners is the organizer of the Project Delivery Summit 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Aug. 28 at the Sheraton Grand in downtown Sacramento. More information, including how to register, is available here.  

CalPERS hires M Corp for assessment and planning project

California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) has hired M Corp to look into a possible modernization project of its current system, critical to about 1.6 million current and retired public employees in the state. This project is the first step in a multi-phase effort to replace the existing Actuarial Valuation System. CalPERS Actuarial Office wants to ensure the most efficient and lowest-risk effort for the modernization project. M Corp will conduct an inventory of existing processes, practices, technology, architecture and interfaces. Then, M Corp – which has completed similar projects in recent years – will develop requirements, a gap analysis and findings report to present CalPERS officials. Finally, the company will establish an implementation estimate and plan for the new actuarial system, including development of the Request for Proposal for the new proposed system M Corp has completed similar projects for the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, California Department of Transportation (CalTrans), California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) and the California Department of Water Resources. The same team that handled the Department of Fish and Wildlife project will lead the latest effort for CalPERS. M Corp recently completed a successful data migration project for CalPERS, allowing the nation’s largest pension system to shut down a mainframe that will save millions of dollars per year. “We have the experience and the best team to handle these projects,” said Alex Castro, a founding partner of M Corp. “We’re able to effectively analyze projects and determine what needs to be done – including the cost and the timeline — in order to ensure success.” The Actuarial Office compiles extensive calculations and reports based on members, plan provisions and financial data from CalPERS’ data.

We’re Just Different.

As the year wraps up, the leadership team at M Corp is, of course, reflecting upon what we’ve done well over the past year and what we can do better next year. Our focus is singularly on how we will create MORE market value each day, each month and each year. How will we further enhance our reputation as a top-notch delivery organization that is laser-focused on the success of our clients? In order to really understand how to drive that continuous improvement, it is important that we understand what drives our success. WHO are we and WHY do we thrive in a market space that is pretty crowded? We’ve spent past articles describing our approach, our deliberate focus on the readiness and the needs of our clients – but we’d be terribly mistaken if we didn’t take a look at the true head and heart of a consulting organization: Its culture. I used to find us quirky, because each month we highlight one of our employees in our newsletter, not relative to their achievements but relative to WHO they really are; WHY they joined us; WHAT their interests are. After a year with M Corp, it is clear why we make this a priority. Simply put, it is WHO our people are that makes them so good at WHAT they do – not the reverse. We hire people based on the person they are and how this, in combination with their skill sets and experience, empowers them to grow their market value, and the value of M Corp in general, through their work with us. Get enough authentically amazing people on our team, people who operate individually like we do as a company, and M Corp becomes unstoppable. That is our goal. Our corporate culture mirrors our market vision. We seek to eliminate dysfunction. In the client environment and within our own office, this means relentlessly finding ways to neutralize barriers and inefficiencies that prevent forward progress and results. The secret to working with highly bureaucratic organizations – and I think we’d agree that government often falls into this category – is to think creatively, every day, about how to solve problems in new ways. This takes passion, a lack of fear, a willingness to take risks, and a complete commitment to a successful outcome. None of these things has to do with the number of years of experience an employee has – though we are not suggesting that these characteristics can compensate for a lack of technical skill – but they have everything to do with an individual’s ability to turn that capability into value. There’s been a lot of discussion about the “creative class” and how this group of thinkers, characterized by their interest and ability to find new ways of doing things, will ultimately drive global change. This perfectly aligns with M Corp’s focus on legacy modernization. We turn old into new – often under very trying circumstances with very little baseline information. Sure, we get paid to translate code, convert data, extract business rules, and test new functionality. But ultimately, our value lies in our ability to THINK, so we must create a culture that gets rewarded for doing so. We care about the value that each of our team members generates every hour – not how many hours they bill. The result is that we have teams that go the distance, that truly partner with our clients, and that eschew a risk-avoidant approach for a near fanatical focus on outcomes. If you visit our office, it will look oddly un-like a consulting organization’s space. The light, the layout, the lack of hierarchy and ego – think more Google and less Citibank. Give people the space, the time, the freedom and the encouragement to make a real contribution and they will, in fact, do so. At the end of the day, everyone wants to know that they did exactly that. Our team members are willing to go to the mat for their beliefs about how our clients can be most successful and how our company can continue to evolve to be better tomorrow than it is today. We expect them to do exactly that. We expect them to challenge our leadership team, one another, and even our clients to do the “right” thing, to focus less on a narrowly defined scope and more on the actions that will deliver the project’s intended benefits. These aren’t always easy conversations, but our culture is one that accepts and rewards – even expects – the type of productive conflict that leads to meaningful change. People come to our organization because it’s a place where they fit, a place unlike some of our competitors, where they might have felt out of place, being asked to perform under certain constraints and boundaries. We proudly refer to ourselves as a band of misfits at times; we treat one another as smart friends with whom we are lucky to work, day in and day out. At the end of the day, we use our methodologies and our processes to define WHAT we do. But we accomplish this work through a culture, and a corresponding team of players, who do whatever need to be done. We don’t even “think” about it, it is just WHO our people are, how their minds work. You can’t train this, you can’t grow it – you must hire for it. But when you have the team that we have, working the way that it does – you can’t help but deliver more value today than you did the day before. It’s a winning culture that benefits our clients and the market – and that will drive further value in 2015.

EDD’s Legacy Systems Testing Project Awarded to M Corp!

M Corp has been awarded the Legacy Systems Testing (LST) contract at the Employment Development Department. M Corp staff will augment EDD’s IT Branch workforce to concurrently test a number of high priority Unemployment Insurance (UI) and Disability Insurance (DI), projects. M Corp will have over 20 testing professionals on-site at EDD including a test manager, automated test engineers, performance engineers, lead testers and testers. M Corp will provide testing services for the Single Client Data Base (SCDB) and Alternative Base Period (ABP) projects. Our objective for the Legacy Systems Project is to validate that the data in the converted system is the same as the data in the legacy system after performing the same function in both environments and to validate reasonable levels of system performance.

M Corp’s Nashville Journey: 2014 NASCIO Conference

In addition to taking place in a fabulously fun city, this year’s National Association of State CIO’s (NASCIO) conference in Nashville was a terrific opportunity to hear first hand thoughts about what is and what isn’t working in State IT. Additionally, NASCIO released its annual report, Charting the Course – Leading Collaboration During Uncertain Times. The survey, now in its fourth year, strives to understand state CIO priorities, concerns and interests. It’s a great way to start the dialogue about what’s important in state government from an IT perspective. Large IT Project failures are under more scrutiny than ever, so it is not surprising that one section of the survey sought to understand how states are managing their portfolio of critical projects. There’s a large degree of variability across the states as to what constitutes a critical project, with most focusing on cost as the primary metric. States indicated that the effectiveness of governance and project management drive critical project success, yet project tracking itself focuses more on symptomatic metrics such as schedule variance, budget variance and overall perception of risk. While some rating systems evaluate the achievement of business objectives, states acknowledge that this can be a moving target and can be somewhat subjective, focused more on stakeholder acceptance than originally defined criteria. First and foremost, this suggests a disconnect between what really drives success and what gets measured. What is more interesting is something, stated indirectly, that is entirely consistent with M Corp’s point of view: The single best way to increase the probability of a successful IT project is to reduce the number of unknowns. These unknowns include everything from organizational alignment, resource capacity, department capability, level of understanding of business operations, rules and requirements, and data quality and completeness. All of these factors, and several more, determine the success of a project and optimizing each by understanding and addressing weaknesses prior to a project’s start is critical. M Corp’s solutions, including our Readiness Measurement, Business Rules Mining Framework, Data Quality and Conversion Framework, and Analytics Roadmap all focus on exposing information so that it can be used for successful planning and management. The survey presents this a bit differently, focusing on the indicators of complete knowledge instead of the knowledge itself. For example, CIOs who were surveyed identified the four factors having the greatest impact on critical project success are: effective sponsorship; effective project management; effective vendor and contract oversight; and effective procurement. The quality of each of these factors is both influenced by and influences the quality of information in use by the project. The more complete the information, the more able the stakeholders are able to manage the projects issues and risks. This drives success. Further, when asked for advice about how to make projects successful, respondents stated that having a single body focused on portfolio management from project selection to scheduling to evaluation to post-production value assessment – supports project success. This is because such a group has an enterprise view across the programs, with greater insight into capability, resource sufficiency, potential conflicting projects and organizational impact. M Corp’s mission is to eliminate dysfunction. A great deal of dysfunction comes from a lack of information, as this lack results in swirl, delays and the ultimate need for rework and resultant schedule protraction. Budget insufficiency, a decline in stakeholder confidence, and ultimately, a reduction in the scope required to declare success soon follow – and, before you know it, another critical project has delivered far less than its intended value. It has failed. We look forward to supporting states as they further evolve their thinking about project success; we look forward to closing the information gaps and eliminating dysfunction through our services.

M Corp Makes Inc. 5000 List for 2012

SACRAMENTO — M Corp, a Sacramento-based company that provides legacy migration/conversion and analytics solutions, for government and private-sector clients, was named one of the nation’s fastest-growing private firms today. Inc. magazine, in its annual ranking of fast-growing companies, ranked M Corp No. 637 on its closely watched Inc. 5000 list. M Corp enjoyed an impressive 569% increase in revenue during the past three years, with revenue of $15.3 million in 2011, more than quintuple the $2.3 million in revenue in 2008. “Year-over-year we reinvest our earnings into growing and maturing our proven frameworks and methodologies that leverage our intellectual capital gained from years of successful projects,” said Alex Castro, one of the three founding partners of M Corp. “Being named to the Inc. 5000 list for our recognized growth is an affirmation that our approach has generated very positive results.” The company started in one of the partner’s garages in 2003, and has since moved to a loft on Enterprise Drive in Sacramento. M Corp has more than 100 consultants with a large majority living in the Sacramento region. You can learn more about M Corp at /inc. “We are proud to be a local, home-grown Sacramento company and we strive to be a great and fun place to work,” said fellow founding partner Hung Lee. ‘` Our culture of quality and results driven focus is embodied in our employees and in every project we deliver.” About a half-dozen companies in the Sacramento region have ranked higher on the Inc. list than M Corp at No. 637 since 2009. “It is a tribute to the hard work of our talented consultants who transformed experiences gained on successful projects into our industry leading roadmaps, frameworks and tool sets” said M Corp founding partner Chuck Czajkowski. “Our clients have recognized that we have an outstanding team working hard to support the delivery of their vision for modernized operating environments and data-driven decision making, which is why our business continues to grow through both strong and weak economic cycles.” About M Corp M Corp is the industry leader in delivering structured and proven legacy modernization and analytics services and solutions through its established roadmaps and frameworks. The company offers integrated services and products to the public sector, financial services, agriculture, oil and gas, and health and life sciences sectors. Founded in 2003, M Corp employs more than 100 people with projects across the western region of the United States. For more information on M Corp, please visit www.the-mcorp.com

M Corp presentation at Public Sector Partner’s conference focuses on selecting projects with the highest chance of success

A few months ago, we wrote about our excitement regarding the Public Sector Partner’s Government Transformation Conference, which will be held Feb. 4 at the Sacramento Convention Center. In early meetings of the Advisory Board (M Corp is a member), we established that this conference was different, it was focused on the future of state government and there was tremendous sponsorship for change. This conference has brought together a great group of government and private-sector representatives who are committed to working together to create not only tremendous content for the conference, but to create energy and sustainable enthusiasm for the transformation of key areas including government workforce, customer service, procurement and performance ic outcomes. Secretary of Government Operations Marybel Batjer spoke at the recent Advisory Board reception and was able to provide insights, as well as to confirm the level of interest and support for this conference, to the group.  It was inspiring to learn of the many transformation projects by state and local government organizations that have been submitted for award consideration during the conference. People are taking the need for change seriously and truly working to make government more efficient, responsive and effective. With less than 10 days to go until the conference, we are thrilled with how the event has been shaped, and delighted that the commitment from partners is as strong as ever. We’re also excited and proud to be finalizing our presentation, which CEO Alex Castro will deliver. The presentation is aimed at helping state organizations improve organizational outcomes by selecting projects that have the highest chance of success – which can be done through using an innovative, metrics-driven approach to determining organizational capability and capacity. With the Brown Administration and the media becoming increasingly intolerant of negative outcomes, as well as the increases in government transparency and accountability, it’s critical that organizations change the way that they make such decisions. The current approach is falling short and increasing organizational exposure to increased risks, costs and public scrutiny. We are ecstatic that more than 100 participants have signed up for our session, and we look forward to helping the state continue its momentum toward transformation. Private-sector companies have the potential to add true value when they put aside egos and stove-piped agendas and truly partner with government. This in itself is transformative, and we are thrilled to be a part of creating this Administration’s legacy of innovation and improvement.

M Corp Helps Power California Public Utilities Commission Project

M Corp has successfully completed an integral project for the California Public Utilities Commission, which oversees utility companies – such as energy and telecommunications providers – in the state. The company assisted with developing a module for capturing new business rules that integrate with the CPUC’s existing Consumer Information Management System (CIMS). The system went live, and error-free, in late 2013. The CPUC – which handles consumer complaints about utilities – needed a new Business Rule Manager that allows for quick changes and eliminates user errors. “The whole idea was data integrity,” says Steve Allen, IT project manager for CPUC. “If there is any error, the system will inform the user about that error and provide direction on how to correct it.” The commission collects massive data and regulates how utilities – such as AT&T to Pacific Gas & Electric Co. – deal with the issues. “M Corp helped us with the requirements and the design,” Allen says. CPUC built the system; M Corp handled the test scripts and test plans, which helped make the user acceptance testing by the CPUC a smooth process. M Corp completed the six-month project on time. “It was a very short turnaround,” says M Corp project manager Carrie Czajkowski.