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In an interview with CIO Applications, Michael Cesino, CEO of Visible, shares his valuable insight on how Visible’s solutions enable clients to measure the efficacy of their business strategy in near real-time.
Please give us an overview of Visible and the conception story behind the company.
Visible helps organizations get on the correct path and take corrective action towards aligning their strategy and its performance with their goals and objectives. We do this by enabling organizations to quickly compose/ recompose new business designs by looking beyond the well prescribed data typically found inside the enterprise to that which is discoverable beyond (outside) the enterprise. By bringing a fresh perspective that looks beyond the enterprise, we thereby facilitate a strategy and more importantly its execution that reflects the new realities of a changing landscape.
We started as a boutique IT company specializing in a framework-based type of discipline called Information Engineering, a methodology that was developed by the late Clive Finkelstein. Utilizing the methodology developed by Clive, we put together a playbook on how to improve the overall software engineering process which led to our data, process and object modeling software called Visible Analyst, a low-to-no code solution called Visible Developer and an integrated software change tracking and management toolset referred to as Razor. The business grew and we eventually went on to apply the methodology to include enterprise strategy to give our clients a competitive edge. Today, we refer to this as a connected planning strategy framework for using reusable and reconfigurable business model components of an enterprise strategy. It is implemented using our strategy mapping and analytics platform called Visible Advantage. The platform is designed to drive strategy to execution and provide insight into how the strategy is performing. As one might imagine, the platform is also instrumental in more focused strategies that deal with specific market, customer, product, or production related issues. For example, our first install was with a battery manufacturer who needed to identify production run issues in real time. The problem was exacerbated by a highly distributed production process. Because our platform embeds a massive parallel processor and query technology from Starburst Data, the client was able to effectively aggregate data across distributed data sources and get insights into their production issues in near real time.
What are the challenges your clients face when effectuating an agile-based enterprise strategy?
The challenges in this space often stem from clients’ lack of expertise in defining their business requirements. Though some organizations excel at explaining needs, they don’t necessarily execute them well and fail to implement what is required. On the contrary, some other companies may be good in implementation or operations, but they fail to script a sound strategy. This is where we step into the picture.
Visible narrows the gap between planning and execution. Using the concept of “connect planning”, we enable companies to develop a comprehensive business strategy that links to their goals and objectives and as equally important, their measures or KPI’s. The visualization aspects of the Visible Advantage platform enables the client to see the logical data relationships and the underlying business processes that are needed to support the business strategy. We like to refer to this as a composable business model because our clients can compose, reconfigure, and recompose business models based on shifting landscapes.
In a nutshell, Visible helps organizations quickly reorganize themselves and align to shifting landscapes – as previously mentioned albeit market, customer, product or production related issues which is the whole idea behind the business agility.
Please shed some light on how your platform helps clients mitigate challenges and unlock the true potential of their enterprise strategy?
First and foremost, our platform holds a functionality in which clients can plan and execute a strategy or policy. Once a client decides upon a project to get started with, they are able to set up elements that are relevant to the project strategy. Our platform supports many underlying models, including for example, use case diagrams intended to facilitate understanding of how users will interact with the strategy, its execution, and implementation. More specifically, here is how it works.
1. Planning Statements: Using planning statements, one can develop a comprehensive strategy that addresses a project’s goals, objectives, activities, and KPIs (metrics)
2. Knowledge Models: This is where one gets to create, visualize and link various knowledge models to the planning statements.
3. Metaverse-to-Physical Mapping: Map the project metadata defined in steps 1 and 2 to the physical world. This is done by connecting the knowledge models to the relevant data whether they be distributed or disparate data sources.
4. Content Discovery: Built into our platform is Starburst Galaxy. Using our graphical query builder and the power of Starburst Galaxy, non-technical users are able to discover near real time insights into how your strategy is doing.
Could you share a customer story to substantiate the unique value proposition of your solution?
As mentioned, one of our first pilots, a battery manufacturer, had a problem identifying defects in a timely manner due to their geographically distributed production process. To this end, they needed to set up a strategy that would allow them to identify problems with different articles of inspection during the setup and production of manufacturing these batteries. They used Visible Advantage to view data collected across a distributed production process. Due to their ability to aggregate data across distributed and disparate data sources, they are able to spot defects in an inspection article in near real-time. Previously, they had to extract, load and transform the data on spreadsheets taking weeks to identify defects. Now, working with the data directly at the source, they are able to identify defects and take corrective action within minutes instead of weeks.
Visible enables new business designs by bringing a fresh perspective that looks beyond the enterprise strategy, thereby facilitating a strategy that reflects this new reality
Apart from our strategy mapping and analytics platform, Visible also offers point solutions like Razor. It enables a company to configure a process by which they want to deliver a high-quality outcome and is predominantly used in a software environment. For instance, this solution can track multiple versions of different software modules until the point of release. It integrates with Git repositories and supports both the waterfall and agile development methodologies. It also supports a high level of data encryption and is therefore a favorite configuration management tool of companies like Lockheed Martin, Northrup Grumman, and General Dynamics. In addition, during the process, Razor provides insight into the quality of the software. Organizations like NASA and NOAA leverage Razor in their complex processes to understand the quality of their software delivery.
How does Visible System differentiate itself from its competitors in this landscape?
We enable our clients to make better decisions, faster. We believe delivering near real-time data is a unique differentiator that sets us apart from the crowd. Again, I would like to cite our partnership with Starburst as it enables us to offer such extensive functionality to our clients. We also have sponsored a capstone project to bring AI/ ML models into our internal mapping feature. We are open to taking on pliot projects, especially where the ROI is not well understood. We have found this is a good way for prospective clients to “see” whether there is a good fit before committing resources.