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Four new projects for M Corp!

SACRAMENTO — M Corp, a Sacramento-based information technology and management consulting firm that specializes in legacy modernization and analytics for government and commercial clients, has been hired to work on four new contracts with the State of California. The company – one of the fastest-growing firms in the Sacramento region — has new contracts with the California Employment Development Department, Department of Fish and Game, State Lands Commission and the Department of Motor Vehicles. Under the first contract, M Corp will fully test EDD’s Disability Insurance Application system during the next several months utilizing its automated Testing Center of Excellence (TCOE) framework, ensuring recent changes to the system will not break the existing code, which would be a major problem for the state agency and many residents. The company has a great deal of experience with EDD, most notably completing a massive migration of its DMS database containing more than 4 billion rows and 30 years of data, including unemployment and disability insurance claims, to a new DB2 database. M Corp completed the effort during Thanksgiving weekend last fall, utilizing its legacy roadmap process and automated conversion toolsets for combining 10 databases into a single database. M Corp also worked on EDD’s Alternate Base Period project, developing the Wage Tool that helps determine if out-of-work residents are eligible for unemployment benefits. M Corp developed the Wage Tool. The second new contract is with the Department of Fish and Game. M Corp will conduct a comprehensive business analysis study to determine the best solution for the department’s Automated License Data System when the current vendor contract ends in 2015. The third contract is for the Department of Motor Vehicles. M Corp is working with Premier IT Solutions to support the implementation of a Testing Center of Excellence by providing training to DMV staff, and implement testing best practices that have been developed in the implementation of TCOEs by M Corp and Premier IT at other California agencies and departments. The fourth contract is for the support of two systems that the California State Lands Commission uses for tracking invasive species through the ballasting practices of vessels entering California waters, and for the Oil Spill Prevention System to monitor the loading and off-loading of petroleum products from vessels and barges to onshore facilities.

M Corp raises a toast to Triumph Uncorked – and plays a role in the fundraiser

M Corp is a corporate sponsor of Triumph Uncorked, a large fundraiser that combines food, music and wine to help those recovering from cancer treatment. The annual fundraiser is for the Triumph Cancer Foundation, which provides a 12-week fitness program for adults fighting cancer to help them regain their strength and stamina after treatment. “It’s an excellent event that helps a great cause,” says Alex Castro, one of the three founding partners of M Corp. The company’s next-door neighbor Sage Architecture is connected to the Triumph Cancer Foundation. “It’s a grassroots community event that has become an annual tradition, with a very important goal of helping so many people recover from cancer.” The Sacramento-based company is the corkscrew sponsor for the 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. June 21 event at Helwig Winery in Plymouth. Tickets are $195 per couple or $125 per individual, plus an optional bus fare. The ticket includes a gourmet picnic dinner served in an insulated picnic tote with a bottle of wine, jazz concert featuring Utopian Dreams, a CD of the Bay Area band, dessert and a beach chair. Interested in attending the fundraiser? Get more information at www.triumphfound.org.

M Corp Lands at Sacramento International Airport

High-flying M Corp – one of the nation’s fastest-growing private companies – has landed at the Sacramento International Airport. The decade-old company, a leader in legacy transformation and business analytics, debuts its largest-ever ad campaign in Terminal B at the airport – at 16 feet by 6 feet, for M Corp. The ad is on the right side of the terminal once you pass through the security checkpoint in Terminal B, often referred by frequent-fliers to as the Southwest terminal. The billboard-type ad will remain in place for the next several months. M Corp, one of the fastest-growing companies in the Sacramento region, has been aggressively advertising its brand the past year, including ads on Techwire.net and its affiliated quarterly magazine as well as city public transit stops throughout downtown and midtown Sacramento.

ReM Score™ Exhibits at Corporate Performance Management Summit, 2016

ReM Score™ is a proud exhibitor at the Corporate Performance Management Summit held at the San Diego Marriott La Jolla from June 8-9, 2016. Visit booth #2 to learn more about how the credit score for strategic investment decision making identifies areas of vulnerability in client operations and delivery capabilities before initiatives are executed. In conjunction with ReM Score™, M Corp will also introduce Engine, its new mobile application designed to help pinpoint the root causes of issues that could interfere with successful delivery of business initiatives. About M Corp: M Corp is the industry leader in delivering corporate strategies using roadmaps and frameworks established over more than a decade of successful high-risk projects. The company, a member of the Inc. 5000 and listed as one of the fastest-growing firms by Inc. Magazine, offers specialized products and services to public sector, financial services, agriculture, energy, and health care. Founded in 2003, M Corp supports projects across the United States with a focus on eliminating dysfunction and increasing the economic benefit to our clients through ReM Score, M Corp’s tool which measures your company’s ability to deliver on projects before you invest. For more information please visit www.the-mcorp.com and www.rem-score.com. About Innovation Enterprise: Innovation Enterprise is a business media company specializing in enterprise innovation. They bring their exceptional cross-industry knowledge to the business community through a combination of digital media and live summits, providing organizations with cutting-edge insights to drive growth in the constantly changing business environment. Through their key channels – Big Data, Analytics, Strategy, Innovation, Digital, Finance, & Operations – they connect industry leaders across the business spectrum, from leading Fortune 500 companies to disruptive and exciting new startups, facilitating the sharing of ideas through webinars, articles, white papers, and on-demand video content. Download Full Press Release

Sacramento County Chooses M Corp as IT Contractor

M Corp, a leader in legacy migration and business analytics, has been awarded an information technology contract with Sacramento County. The Sacramento-based company, one of the fastest-growing firms in the region, is an approved county IT contractor in 13 categories – including project management, database base administrator, Geographic Information System Group, electronic data interchange, data warehouse group and special projects. M Corp has numerous contracts with the State of California, including for the California Employment Development Department and California Public Employees’ Retirement System. M Corp has about 100 staff and was recently honored as one of the fastest-growing privately owned firms in the nation, according to Inc. magazine.

Fast-growing M Corp exits Fi$Cal contract, cites increase in revenue for the move

M Corp has left the building – and the Financial Information System for California (Fi$Cal) project. The Sacramento-based company has exited the high-profile state contract simply because of its success. M Corp — one of the fastest-growing IT firms in the nation during the past three years, according to Inc. magazine – now fails to meet the Small Business Certification, losing the designation after the contract was issued. “We are deeply disappointed, especially after being awarded the contract and working hard on the project for the past several months,” says M Corp CEO Alex Castro. “But, we completely understand the situation.” M Corp was hired as a subcontractor to CherryRoad Technologies Inc. “M Corp provided high-quality work and we greatly appreciate their effort and support,” said CherryRoad Technologies Inc. President Jeremy Gulban. “It’s an unfortunate situation, where M Corp’s growth would affect our ability to meet the requirements of the small business program.” The Sacramento Business Journal and Techwire.net had stories on M Corp leaving the project. M Corp currently has several major projects under way, including those for CalPERS and the State of Texas, as well as one for the California Department of Justice, according to information released by the Department of General Services and reported by Techwire.net.

Open House, open doors, friends and a ton of fun

Let’s be clear, we like to throw parties. And we enjoyed a great open house Oct. 17 in our new headquarters in downtown Sacramento. We want to thank everyone, from our clients and employees to our insurance agent (yes, she made a cameo appearance), who attended the evening event. Free drinks – many thanks to those who kept them flowing – excellent food and great conversations were definitely the highlights. And we got to show off the new headquarters in the top floor of the historic Regis building, corner of 11th and K Streets, a block from the Capitol and near many of our clients (we’re also across the light-rail tracks from the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament). The 5,000-square-foot office allows us to expand and meet our needs, while also ensuring more wall space to place cool art. In fact, some pieces were hung hours before the Open House (hey, everyone waits to the last minute on some things, right?). Now, if you weren’t able to attend, you really missed out. We know life happens and sometimes crazy things like family or other obligations delay – or even destroy – fun plans. So, if you’re disappointed in missing the opportunity to check it out, just give us a call and stop by sometime. We’re always glad to show off our new digs, where we master legacy modernization, business analytics – and enjoy a great time.

Hoping for the Best on a Billion Dollar Bet

Billion dollar projects and strategic initiatives are becoming the norm. It wasn’t too long ago that a ‘big’ project was somewhere in the $100MM range. What remains a curiosity is that there is more involved in getting a home loan for $500k than there is in getting executive or board approval for a billion-dollar initiative. Getting a loan for a house applicant is scored based on three different items; the application score, personal revenue score, and an all-encompassing credit score. Decisions are driven on math, not opinion. Strategic initiatives, on the other hand, remain being evaluated more heavily on the cost benefit and political capital of the sponsor. The net result is that well over 40 percent of all strategic initiatives generate zero value to the business, and executive decision making has the same risk profile as a venture capital firm. The bottom line is that in a climate where the majority of S&P 500 companies are missing their earnings expectations, executives continue to apply industrial era management theories, which are generating massive waste. Market velocity is outpacing the approval process. Many structured processes are out of sync with the changes in market need, resulting in low value efforts and frustration in operating units. Current metrics show that while many companies are building 3-5 year plans, strategy is being altered or adjusted every 4-6 months. That means there are 2-3 strategic shifts per year. Every time the market shifts, it diminishes the value of any initiative that is in flight. Current metrics show that product launches fail at a rate of 12:1, and that approximately 80% of re-engineering initiatives fail. For those that are leveraging a ‘save-to-grow’ strategy to increase purchasing power, many are finding that the projected ROI is well below target (58% failure rate). Initiatives to meet strategy need to be harvested faster. The next generation of strategy execution will be driven by harvesting employee initiative concepts immediately through ideation platforms, such as Engine™. In the vast majority of initiatives, by the time that a strategy is released and employees have gone through the rigorous and formal write-up process to get funding approval, up to 9 months have passed. By that time, the window for execution has shifted, creating a ‘seat of the pants’ approval process that is not metric driven. Capturing data in real-time and identifying the most effective path to execution can give companies 6 months back in their process, which allows them to stay in sync with market movement and velocities. In addition, it informs companies of the specific initiatives that have no chance of ever succeeding, regardless of how good the ideas behind them seem. Adding an execution capability score to the process, such as ReM Score™, can build out a healthier pool of initiatives that focus the business on initiatives that can generate targeted returns. What is most interesting of all is that among a group of risk-measuring and analytical personalities, decisions are not being made based on specific data. This is similar to the time when getting a loan was based on someone doing reference checks, evaluating how long they have known the applicant, and subjectively assessing the potential for risk. The primary cause for this is that institutions do not measure their readiness accurately, with data driven metrics. Data driven metrics, rather than conjecture, can clearly identify if the initiative is ready to go, has to be delayed, or needs to be terminated all together. Making decisions based on business cases and financial forecasts only tell the part of the picture that addresses value, and do not address capability and capacity to deliver on the promise. The management theory for the 21st century is about measuring execution capability against the value proposition. Agility and speed to market, based on precise decision making will eliminate waste from the corporate profile, and will quickly become the new norm for executive decision making. What needs to be kept front of mind is that when a decision to fund a strategic initiative is made, that the funding decision is a ‘loan’ into operations. Calculating the ability to repay the loan is the new metric of execution capability. For every dollar wasted on bad initiatives, eight dollars in top line must be generated to create that dollar to waste. With companies missing earnings expectations, recovering 20%-40% of those dollars by not funding bad initiatives can have a significant positive impact on market perception, management perception, and acceleration.

Lessons Learned #1: How to Get the Answers for Success Within Your Organization

I was speaking to a Fortune 500 VP of Innovation a few weeks ago, and he shared the following story with me: FY2017 kicked off with a lot of momentum, and they had 30 projects in their digital omnichannel portfolio which received funding, and a project team/vendors had been recruited by IT. Six months into the projects, the business side of the organization cancelled over 7 of the projects, and said they were “too busy.” Obviously, this equated to wasted time, money, and the ever-expensive question arose: What other opportunities had they missed? How can the business know and understand if they have the capacity and expertise to execute? Those answers should already be within the organization. Here are some suggestions on getting answers and creating transparency before projects are funded: Create a transparent communication process which is a two-way street: A continuous internal communication process and feed-back loop will help to give you the answers needed for effective project engagement, and will give your organization the ability to think outside of the box. Before green lighting a project: Create a formal process to score risk and assess execution capabilities. These should go into your project use case and business plan. Communicate these metrics with everyone for cross functional transparency. Don’t follow the standard, one size doesn’t fit all: The same playbook for delivering innovation services and technology can fall short. To execute, find out what is unique about your business rules and processes, and survey your non-IT staff to uncover any hidden processes and issues. Know who you work with: Do you have enough subject matter experts to address your project? Spend extra time performing your due diligence on the people who will actually be doing the work, and engaging with your teams. Create a good mix of external/internal “A” players. You can’t artificial intelligence (AI) your way to success or drop everything onto your services vendor and expect great results. For any company to be successful, it takes people, not machines. Organizations must continuously think about how best to structure and deploy the right resources at the right time to get everything done. Asking your team for answers will bring about continuous development of talent, improve individual behaviors, and nurture the right cultural. The answers already exist within your organization, so as leaders, we need to seek the answers. Want to see more lessons learned? Check them out here.