Concord recently purchased a Christmas gift that will keep on giving in 2014 and beyond…and we aren’t talking about Fruit of the Month Club either.

To learn more, we sat down with Jeff Northrup, CEO of Concord, to learn about the purchase of IBM PureData for Analytics (Netezza Striper) and who will reap its benefits.

_____________________________________________________________________________

> Hi Jeff ! Big Data seems to be a hot topic these days. What the heck is Big Data?

Jeff NorthrupIn general, Big Data is a collection of large and complex data sets that are difficult to process using traditional database management tools or data processing applications.

When Concord defines big data, we feel that at least two of three big data pillars need to be in play:
1. Large amounts of data,
2. Data in (near) real time, and
3. Different types of data.

> When did Concord realize its purchase of IBM PureData for Analytics
(Netezza Striper) would benefit clients?

When we took a close look into our current partnership with IBM, we felt there was a gap. This
gap was that clients want to “try” big data before they “buy” it. They aren’t 100% ready to jump in and make the purchase. Now they can “try” it using our platform first.

> Can you provide us with an explanation of what exactly this system does in 10 words or less and in layman terms?

It processes large volumes of data quickly.Concord's Netezza - PureData Analytics Box

Seven words…boom!

> Please explain how it is a gift that will keep on giving.

Once our clients try big data we believe they will buy it and that we will be a part of that solution. Clients here being multiple of course. It will be a repeat solution for
clients on a case by case basis.

> Will Concord be utilizing the system at all? If so, in what way?

More than likely, but we need to keep that top-secret right now.

> What made Concord the ideal fit for the purchase of PureData for Analytics?

A handful of things:
• Our Big Data track record (going on 5 years strong!)
• We have the resources to manage and put it into practice
• Our Premier IBM Business Partnership
• We have the money and are willing to take the risk.
• Our additional big data expertise such as Hadoop, Streams and Terracotta to name a few.

> Is it a system that can be utilized across the board, or will we cater to only one or two industry verticals?

This system can definitely be used across the board. We will not discriminate.

> Can system usage be modified to fit the needs of each client? Or is it a one-size-fits-all system?

For the most part, we have no idea what our clients will dream up. They can dream big and we can and WILL support even the craziest of ideas.

> Are there any other organizations out there doing what Concord is doing with PureData for Analytics or is Concord a stand out in the crowd?

IBM tells us that we are the first and only “vendor” to own a Netezza Striper.

So, all in all this is a pretty impressive gift for our clients and Concord alike.

> Speaking of gifts, what is your most memorable Christmas gift?

Jeff NorthrupWhen I was four I got a cowboy outfit complete with six shooters. It is still one of my favorites!

Thanks for your time Jeff . It will be great to follow along with Concord’s Big Data success in the future.

_____________________________________________________________________________

If you know of a company that would like to run a PoC (Proof of Concept) for Big Data using PureData for Analytics (Netezza), please email brea.marsh@concordusa.com.

To read a recent press release regarding Concord’s purchase of IBM PureData for Analytics (Netezza Striper) click here.

Concord has a lot of masterminds inside its walls, and one of those masterminds recently created Concord’s AccelerateTM product.

Bill-WolfBill Wolf, Director of Concord’s Data Management practice, came up with the concept and originally designed the solution so health care payers could work seamlessly with the world’s most recognizable health care administration system.

Let’s meet this mastermind!

Hi Bill. Before we ping you with serious questions, we can’t help but notice you have a wide variety of interests based on items in your office.

What’s the story behind the “bobcat” you have mounted and this Shoot for Hope bobshootplaque?

There is nothing quite as satisfying as the sound of gunshots and the smell of gun powder. Sometimes you just have to blow stuff up!

And the peonies on your desk?peonies

I grow them at home, aren’t they beautiful!

So…a serious hunter with a soft side. Thank goodness!

Now let’s cut to the chase. Can you tell us how you came up with the master plan behind Accelerate? CC_Accelerate_Logo_fin1

We were continuously seeing data security issues for a large number of our clients and wanted to develop a solution that could be used by all of them.

Is Accelerate specifically geared towards the healthcare industry?

Our first release targets specific, packaged applications currently in the healthcare world.

Could it eventually serve a purpose within other industry verticals?

Yes, we have plans to include additional offerings beyond our initial product deployment within the health payer and provider space. The same concept can be used for any packaged application.

What are the most compelling reasons an organization should use Accelerate?

  1. It’s fast and efficient. A customized Accelerate solution can be delivered up to five times faster than it takes most companies to put a solution of their own in motion. Once installed, our solution is streamlined to reduce time spent provisioning data in non-production environments.
  2. It protects and optimizes investments in your health care administration system. You have investments in the health care administration system in two ways: monetary investment of software and the members you are entrusted to service. Keep them both protected with software that provides automated creation of data for non-production environments, while protecting member identity with obscured yet contextually accurate data.
  3. It can save you money by actually preventing the loss of money. Administrators will see reductions in storage consumption, IT costs and time to market – not to mention the legal fees involved with member identity exposure.

Are there different versions of Accelerate or is it a one size fits all deal?

There are two versions: A full Test Data Management & Data Privacy version and a version that only focuses on Data Privacy.

Can you provide details on the difference between these versions?

Sure, here is an outline:

– Test Data Management & Data Privacy –

  • Installation/Configuration of IBM InfoSphere Optim
  • Full sub-setting Templates for all tables in all subject areas
  • Framework and best practices for Integration with QA,Testing and Change Management teams
    – Includes full sub-setting selection routines and sub-setting framework optimized for performance during extracting
    – Includes starter set of regression use cases for sub-setting
    – Instruction for maintaining and adding use/test cases for client specific extracting
  • Custom configurable privatization routines for healthcare (PII/PHI)
  • Setup of jobs
    – Extract and Masking Cycle from production
    – Loading of one test environment for user testing

– Data Privacy –

  • Installation/Configuration of IBM InfoSphere Optim
  • Templates for tables with PHI/PII data elements only. Intended for “update in place” of masked elements.
  • Custom configurable privatization routines for healthcare (PII/PHI)
  • Does not include testing best practice, extract framework or sub-setting routines

Sounds like a pretty sweet product! Another thing that’s pretty sweet is the rumor you also have interest in classic, custom cars. Is there truth to this?

Yes, I do spend a fair amount of time in collecting, restoring and showing classic cars.

BillsCar-OnTheNews-PicByDon(1)What’s in your current collection and do you have a particular favorite?

So far I have a 1946 Chevy Pick-Up, a 1975 Corvette, a 1960 Plymouth Fury and my 1929 Ford Street Rod.

I have a lot of garage hours put into my 1929 Ford Street Rod so currently she’s my favorite.

Wow, she’s a beauty!

What accelerates faster, your Ford or the Accelerate product’s ability to securely capture, reuse and refresh test data?

It depends on the driver.

So when all is said and done, if an organization is worried about becoming another statistic within the world of data breaches, they should seriously consider investing in Accelerate?

Yes…because it’s the law to protect member data!

You heard it here folks, you may want to call Concord to learn more about and invest in Accelerate so you don’t become a news headline because of a security breach.

For more information email: accelerate@concordusa.com.

Concord Foundation recently welcomed five, new scholarship recipients into its nonprofit organization.

Simone Simpson - Will attend the U of M, Twin Cities this fall.

Simone Simpson – will attend the U of M, Twin Cities this fall.

Samantha Yang - Will attend the University of St. Thomas this fall.

Samantha Yang – will attend the University of St. Thomas this fall.

Jaelyn Arndt - Will attend Augsburg College this fall.

Jaelyn Arndt – will attend Augsburg College this fall.

Kanisha Howard - Will attend the College of St. Benedict this fall.

Kanisha Howard – will attend the College of St. Benedict this fall.

Ana Zembryki - Will attend the U of M, Twin Cities this fall.

Ana Zembryki – will attend the U of M, Twin Cities this fall.

These new recipients join nine other student scholarship recipients that we continue to be very proud of. To learn a bit more about these students and follow their collegiate journeys please take a look at their individual student blogs. Blogs for the new, 2013 recipients will be set up this September and you will then be able to follow their journeys on a monthly basis.

2009 Scholarship Recipients

Joey Johnson (2013 Augsburg College Grad) http://joeyjohnson09.wordpress.com
Emma Pratt (Concordia University)http://emmapratt09.wordpress.com
Halima Adan (2013 Augsburg College Grad)http://halima09.wordpress.com

2011 Scholarship Recipients

Jenny Ortiz  (St. Olaf College) – http://ortizjenny.wordpress.com
Stephanie Ortiz-Sanchez (U of M, Twin Cities)
http://stephanieortizs.wordpress.com

2012 Scholarship Recipients

Brandon Bogan (U of M, Twin Cities) – http://brandonbogan.wordpress.com
Rumyana Hulmequist (St. Olaf College) http://rumyanahulmequist.wordpress.com
Said Mohamed (Gustavus Adolphus College) http://saidmohamed2012.wordpress.com
Chaquanna Lattimore (IUPUI) http://chaquannalattimore.wordpress.com

Concord Foundation is a nonprofit organization generated to provide college scholarships and career growth opportunities to college-bound students who have demonstrated a commitment to academics, leadership development and community service.
We are dedicated to supporting and mentoring students in the local community who may not be able to attend the college of their choice due to life circumstances or current financial state.
Concord Foundation is a 501(c)(3), nonprofit organization located in Hopkins, Minn.
To learn more about Concord Foundation or to donate call Brea at 952.241.1029 or email brea.marsh@concordusa.com.

http://goo.gl/Wxl4U

BigMemory is everywhere these days. If you are interested in real-time Big Data performance you should learn more about it.

We’ve even heard your competitors can get seriously envious of it. Check out this video to see what we mean and give us a call to learn more!

Concord
Your BigMemory Expert
952.241.1090

Concord Knows TIBCO

December 21, 2012

Interview with David Stansberry, Concord’s Vice President of Business Alliances.

Stans

David Stansberry – U.S. Pond Hockey Tournament, 2012

We recently sat down with David in his office to learn more about Concord’s TIBCO partnership as well as their additional alliances that can bring you more bang for your buck.


Hi David! Based on your office décor, it’s apparent you’re a big sports fan. Where did you go to college?

University of Minnesota, Minneapolis

Go Gophers! Do you think you could take Goldy the Gopher in a hockey shootout?

Absolutely!

Goldy

Speaking of winning shootouts, you seem to be on a winning path in aligning Concord with business partners that add to the already existing value of working with Concord. Can you tell us more about these partnerships and what they bring to the table?

Our business partnerships are an integral part of our growth. We are partnering up with world-class organizations and selecting best-in-class tools that we are able to mesh with Concord’s core expertise and provide huge value to their clients as well as ours.

Let’s focus a little on Concord’s TIBCO partnership. What does the highlight reel look like?

Concord is one of North America’s leading TIBCO alliance partners (one of the top 3 to be exact). We help drive TIBCO solutions to our end-user clients as well as help TIBCO better deliver their solutions through our implementation and ongoing consulting services long past the initial sale.

TIBCO-logo

Do your TIBCO-partnered solutions benefit any one industry or are their multiple?

Due to the enormous change in Healthcare and Financial services, these industries have been very active in TIBCO-based solution deployment.  Industry-based EDI is a sweet spot for TIBCO solutions, which applies in a broad range of domains.

Can you provide us with some of the specific solutions you’ve provided to clients within these industries?

Healthpayer Industry
We have employed TIBCO software and the know-how to deliver a broad spectrum of solutions such as B2B EDI HIPAA gateways, ICD-9 to ICD-10 migrations, claims tracking infrastructure for a variety of health plans, claims system consolidations, benefits management systems, product and provider hubs, CMS compliant enrollment and eligibility workflow-driven applications.

Financial Services Industry
TIBCO solutions have been the center of key engagements we have completed in banking such as account master integration and reconciliation, wealth and trust applications, payment processing applications and customer service applications that require heavy integration with legacy banking infrastructure.

Are there any other TIBCO-centric solutions you’ve provided to clients that have given them a competitive advantage over others within their industry?

Concord has helped a number of clients in multiple industries through the implementation of consolidated order management for telecom, integrated merchandising for big box retail, analytics applications for oil and gas and underwriting composite applications for property and casualty insurance organizations.

Wow – those are some serious solutions! We have to imagine the list continues on if you were to include your other business partnerships.

Can you list out your other partnerships and which of Concord’s Practice areas focus on that relationship?

Concord Data Management

Concord Integration

Concord Management Consulting

IBM

IBM

Salesforce

EMC

EMC

 

Salesforce

Terracotta

 

 

Kofax

 

 

Software AG

 

 

Salesforce

 

 

Media Beacon

 

So in a nutshell if you want something done right you should partner with Concord?

YES! As a trusted advisor for our clients it is a priority for us to know about and seek the best tools around that will only benefit our clients.

There are a lot of great collaborations out there – what is your favorite cartoon duo?

Batman & Robin

batman-robin

How about musical group collaboration?

Dave Mathews Band – their simultaneous use of multiple instruments is amazing. There is certainly a lot of talent within that group.

dmb

What’s on the dock for 2013? Can we expect to hear about new partnerships or will you focus on strengthening the current business alliances you have?

At Concord we are always looking for the next big thing. While a large portion of our focus will be on our existing partnerships we are expecting to add one or two more to the table. Especially those within the Big Data space.

big-data

Well there you have it folks. Sounds like if you really want to drive your business value you need to learn more about Concord!

If you have interest or want to be included on communication about partnership seminars, webinars and other events email david.stansberry@concordusa.com to be included in communication updates.

On Thursday, November 15, 2012 Concord and Terracotta are partnering to host an event and educate attendees on how we are collectively driving the future of Ehcache-based, in-memory software solutions for Big Data. The event will be held from 7:30 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. at Hotel Sofitel in Bloomington, Minnesota.

Agenda:

7:30 a.m.              Registration & Breakfast
8:00 a.m.              Welcome and Concord Big Data Overview
8:15 a.m.              Terracotta Presentation

                                Presenter: Karthik Lalithraj
                                Solutions Architect, Terracotta

         Learn About:

  • The Challenges of Big Data
  • Game Changer: The In-Memory Revolution
  • Performance at Any Scale: Improved SLAs and Operational Simplicity
  • Supporting Massive Amounts of Rich Data
  • Real World Use Cases

9:00 a.m.              Wrap-Up/Q&A

“This event will help IT professionals define data storage solutions as well as understand how to better process and manage Big Data”, said David Stansberry, Vice President of Alliances at Concord. “Additionally, it will provide information on using Big Data to reduce developmental and operational costs, speed up mission critical applications and achieve multiple application services levels.”

To learn more or to RSVP email brea.marsh@concordusa.com.

Concord_Terracotta Invite

For more information on Concord visit http://www.concordusa.com/.
For more information on Terracotta visit http://terracotta.org

If you are at IOD 2012 come and join us at our 3rd Annual Business Collaboration Happy Hour tonight!

– Exchange experiences and ideas on how to drive business value using IBM Optim, Guardium and Big Data solutions

– Learn about Concord’s expertise and best practices for IBM software implementations

– Explore the possibilities of Concord’s FacetsTM Test Data Management Accelerator product and how it can improve standardized processes and reduce IT administration costs

– Recommend and discuss beneficial sessions and other conference
events to attend

When:                  Monday, October 22 @ 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. (PST)

Where:                 Concord’s Executive Media Suite
Suite #22001- Mandalay Bay Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas

Details:                 Please visit the link below for more details.

Concord Business Collaboration Happy Hour_IOD

Concord is at TUCON 2012

September 24, 2012

Concord is currently attending TUCON 2012, the largest gathering of TIBCO customers, partners and experts, at ARIA Resort & Casino in Las Vegas.

As a valued-member of TIBCO’s Partner Network, we are hosting Happy Hour tonight (September 24 from 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.) in our hospitality suite at ARIA.

If you are attending TUCON, stop by to:

– Exchange experiences and ideas on how to drive business value using TIBCO solutions

– Learn about best practices and accelerators for TIBCO implementations with emphasis on Concord’s complETE suite for TIBCO solution lifecycle management

– Clarify TIBCO’s vision from a customers perspective

– Recommend and discuss beneficial sessions and other conference events to attend

 Click the link below to see the invite and don’t forget to RSVP (brea.marsh@concordusa.com) so we can send you our Suite # at ARIA upon check-in.

Concord – TUCON Happy Hour Invite

Concord and IBM can help you and your organization learn more about building your information strategy to gain competitive advantage through analytics.

When:   Thursday, September 20
7:45 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Where:  Graves 601 Hotel – Wyndham Grand
601 North 1st Avenue
Minneapolis, MN 55403

Check it out! http://goo.gl/g1xU4

Hi David, thanks for taking the time to sit down for this interview! Let’s get right into it.

1. It’s been noticed that you have a very trendy shirt collection. Where can one purchase some of these shirts?

I kind of got tired of looking like a grocery bag and wanted some updates to my wardrobe. Coincidentally, I ran into a vendor from Amazon.com and was introduced to the Joe Browns clothing line. I fell in love with it and went on a serious shopping spree. Currently, I own most everything from the exiting season’s line and don’t have any plans to change my shopping habits or location anytime soon.

David Cyr – Concord Integration Architect and complETE Software Guru

Excellent – now we all know your shopping secrets.

2. Now onto more important matters, is it true that Concord has created a sweet software product called complETE? If so, can you please give us your most technical description of the product?

It is a tool that supports end-to-end transaction trending and transaction analytics with add-on capability for logging, error handling and payload analysis.

3. Woah…Now how about if you were Dr. Seuss?

Okay, that’s a quirky question that merits some careful thought… how about:

If a transaction is running and it needs to do a sort;
And it calls out to a service but it cannot hit the port;
And the workflow is corrupted and the server goes ABORT!
Then complETE and its rule engine has an error to report.

4. How about in one word?

It’s a tie between visibility and insight.

ComplETE is all about letting you see what’s actually going on within your business transaction infrastructure. A lot of times, you suspect there’s a problem somewhere… or somebody calls and tells you something is slow (with varying degrees of accuracy in their description). It’s great to actually be able to look at your critical transaction types and see which ones are having SLA problems, as well as where (within the flow from request to fulfillment) the problem actually is.

5. What’s the deal with the capital “ETE” on the end of complETE?

The ETE is meant to emphasize the end-to-end nature of the tool which is what complETE uniquely brings to this niche.

 

6. Who would benefit from using the complETE software product and how?

In my mind, it is really something that benefits solution architects and application owners. These individuals really need visibility into the transactions they are responsible for and complETE gives an end-to-end/node-by -node breakdown of what is going on in the day in the life of their transactions.

7. You mention the word transactions a lot – what do you mean by that?

In the context of complETE these are business transactions. Not ACID or BASE transactions but actual ‘business meaningful‘ transactions.

For example: an inquiry to retrieve a 360 degree portrayal of a customer-related process that might span multiple systems across the entire enterprise.

8. Can complETE be used across multiple industries or are there specific industries it benefits more than others?

The problem space is cross-industry. Over the years systems have gotten more complex with more moving parts, and complETE really helps see individual contributions to the fulfillment of a transaction.

Industries such as finance, retail banking, health payer/provider, retail, manufacturing, etc. would all benefit greatly from the complETE tool.

9. What do you think the coolest feature of complETE is?

I love the drill down of the trending graph to the instance tab that actually shows individual transactions that make up that point on the graph.

10. Does complETE have any UI (User Interface) driven components?

Yes, the complETE dashboard itself as well as its sister products – the SOA Tester/Workbench and Deployment Manager.

11. Those sound pretty impressive; can you shed some more light on them?

i. SOA Tester/Workbench – this is somewhat similar to soapUI (an Open Source Functional Testing tool) but it supports a much wider range of transports including FTP, JMS, MQ Series and a whole lot more. This can benefit ANY development effort.

ii. Deployment Manager – this is a tool designed to aid in the administrative burden of managing a large TIBCO deployment infrastructure.

12. You mention TIBCO, is the Deployment Manager specific to only this space?

Currently yes, it is TIBCO-centric. Concord is a business partner that has strong plays within the Integration space and fairly deep market penetration.

But that’s not to say we will always be limited to this space.

13. What would the main benefit of complETE be to an organization?

It provides the organization with an end-to-end perspective on business transactions and their performance. You can literally see every component of a transaction and pinpoint where it goes awry.

To really know what is going on is a lot better than flying blind and guessing what the problem is. If an organization cannot quantify the problem then they don’t really understand it to begin with.

14. If complETE were a superhero what one would it be?

How about a super power instead? X-Ray vision all the way!

15. Concord seems like a pretty smart company. Do you think it will come up with any cool, new products in the future?

Being that we are a company filled with field practitioners dealing with real problems on the client side, I think it’s inevitable that we will find more pain points within these organizations that need to be addressed with reusable solutions.

Oh Concord, the Places You’ll Go!