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We’re proud of our record of successful project work and satisfied clients. Here is a sample of our clients and our work:

Walnut Valley USD Logo Generic AmLaw 200 Law Firm Logo Pepperdine University Logo True Religion Brand Jeans Logo Corona-Norco USD Logo PSI Logo Pauls TV Logo Corazonas Logo The Leaders Dojo Logo

Walnut Valley Unified School District

California K12 school district with 15 schools and enrollment of 15,500 students. www.wvusd.k12.ca.us

Walnut Valley is one of our first clients (since 2002). We have completed a broad range of projects for them, including:

  • Participant in setting the strategic agenda for technology. Exciting initiatives include one-to-one programs (where every student receives a personal laptop) and Blackboard (for distance learning and curricular collaboration).
  • Led the selection and implementation of a district-wide student information system (Eagle Aeries), which provides a wide range of services to the District’s teachers, staff, students and parents.
  • Led the selection and implementation of a district-wide, fiber-based metropolitan area network.
  • Project manager to select and deploy the District’s email solution.
  • Led a major personal computer refresh, which involved touching every PC at the District and bringing up back-end management tools (e.g. Microsoft SMS, Active Directory, Sophos anti-virus).
  • Project portfolio management for the District’s technology projects, using our Master|Folio™ system.
  • Introduced higher levels of information security, by: introducing enterprise authentication and access control (i.e., Active Directory, RSA SecurID); ensuring security is part of selection and configuration; and performing security assessments.
  • Provide design and project management for infrastructure elements, such as networking, firewalls, backup & restore, and phone equipment.

An AmLaw 200 Law Firm (Identity Confidential)

American Lawyer 200 (and A-List) law firm.

We were engaged by this Firm to perform a comprehensive needs assessment of their productivity technologies. We recommended they proceed with four major, interdependent initiatives:

  1. Replace their document management system (with Interwoven).
  2. Upgrade or replace over 70 productivity applications (including Microsoft Office), and improve application integration.
  3. Introduce software configuration management (with Microsoft SMS).
  4. Refresh all personal computers (through replacement or reimaging).

The Firm agreed with our analysis, and retained us as the program manager. We also provided experts for change leadership, training, software engineering, and deployment support.

Since the program’s successful completion, we have been retained for a number of other projects, including:

  • Led several iterations to improve and test their IT business continuity plan.
  • Led and supported many information protection projects, such as for secure extranets, firewalls, access controls, monitoring, and meeting matter requirements.
  • Performed an assessment regarding data storage solutions, and provided guidance on information lifecycle management.
  • Assisted with several three-year strategic plans and budgets.

Pepperdine University

An independent, medium-sized university enrolling approximately 7,700 students in five colleges and schools. www.pepperdine.edu

We were engaged by an IT Director who was responsible for networking, telecommunications, and the server farm. He had joined Pepperdine about six months prior, and sought to make major improvements in regards to project control and output.

Using our Master|Folio™ product, we started by identifying and documenting active projects. Everyone was surprised by the number of concurrent projects (just under 50). Assessment of the project list produced a list of readily achievable improvements, which were adopted over several months by the department’s managers.

Our sponsor started using our project portfolio dashboards to more effectively manage his department’s priorities, and to communicate status with other directors and senior administrators.

We updated the project portfolio on a weekly basis. In addition to keeping the dashboard fresh, we used this as an opportunity to transfer knowledge and capability to the department’s project managers. Over a few months of coaching, we saw real improvement in their control over their projects. During this period, we also filled in as project managers on several, high priority projects.

Finally, we transitioned operation of the project portfolio to the department’s staff, and made our exit.

True Religion Brand Jeans (NASDAQ: TRLG)

Global apparel firm that designs, markets, distributes and sells premium denim and casual sportswear. www.truereligionbrandjeans.com

Facing explosive growth, True Religion needed to upgrade its core, enterprise systems. We were engaged by the CFO and CIO for program management of this major undertaking.

Initially, Oracle’s eBusiness Suite (EBS) was procured and the initial program scope included the financial, supply chain, business process support, and reporting modules. Early in the program (during the requirements and design phases), the scope was expanded to include warehouse management and we eventually selected Manhattan’s ILS product. Later, retail store management (and integration with EBS) was added to the scope, and KWI was the selected platform.

DAZ Systems provided integration consulting, which included staffing an outstanding project manager (with whom we worked closely). Ascendant provided project management for warehouse management and integration consulting for retail store management.

As program managers, we were responsible for facilitating the steering committee (which included a majority of the company’s officers), maintaining the master project plan, providing budget oversight, facilitating resolution of major issues, and proactively managing project risk.

Ascendant also provided change leadership services for all three initiatives, which involved facilitation, process reengineering, and coordination of training and testing activities.

Oracle EBS and Manhattan ILS were concurrently launched, and without impact on quarterly results. Further, this was accomplished on time and within budget. KWI was successfully launched some months later.

Corona-Norco Unified School District

Eighth largest K12 school district in California, with 48 schools and enrollment of over 52,000 students. www.cnusd.k12.ca.us

Some of our largest scale work has been with Corona-Norco. We were retained when a confluence of events placed their launch of a new Student Information System (SIS) - and their IT Director was retiring within days of the launch.

Our team rapidly filled a number of functions for this critical program: program management; change leadership; application architecture and configuration; database administration; and training. We achieved a successful, on-time deployment of the SIS; 49 sites were cut-over to the new system in just eight weeks, with as many as 19 concurrently making the switch.

We provided post-launch support until the system met all operational objectives. We also deployed new functionality, such as a Parent Portal, and Online Learning enhancements.

Our success factors included:

  • Staffing qualified, smart, communicative and hard working professionals.
  • Immediately integrating with the District’s IT staff, so we worked as one team.
  • Using Master|Folio™ for program management.
  • Initiating a change leadership program, led by a very senior change leadership committee (which we chaired).

Concurrent with our efforts to launch the SIS, we worked closely with senior administrators regarding the: organization of IT; selection and qualification of the incoming IT Director, and smooth transition to the new Director during a period of peak stress.

PSI

Provider of licensure testing and talent assessments, from its Internet-based testing platform (ATLAS™) and hundreds of testing centers. www.psionline.com

We were engaged to provide program and project management for migration to NetSuite, a cloud-based Financials/ERP system. We provided end-to-end services, including:

  • Assisting with contract negotiations.
  • Acting as the internal project manager for configuration, testing and launch.
  • Data migration design, testing and execution.
  • Managing integration with third party applications, (e.g., Salesforce).
  • Managing conversion, cut-over, and the post-launch “hangover”.
  • Designing and managing the off-shore development of middleware to provide real-time integration between NetSuite and ATLAS™.
  • Using Master|Folio™ for program management.

Pleased with our services, PSI engaged us for additional projects, including:

  • Assisting, from a financials/accounting perspective, with the integration of an acquired competitor, LaserGrade.
  • Migrating their on-line store to the NetSuite platform.
  • Leading a business process reengineering initiative for the accounting department.
  • Assisting a new CIO to instantiate IT governance and project portfolio tracking processes.

Pauls TV

Iconoclastic (“I am the King”) retailer of large screen televisions. www.paulstv.com

The founder of Paul's TV sold his business to the current owners who requested an assessment of their business and marketing strategies. After that assignment was successfully completed, Deborah Mitchell was then asked to be the Interim Chief Marketing Officer for Paul's TV, the largest single store retailer of big screen TVs in the United States.

Deborah ran all the day-to-day marketing (including production) for the television, radio and weekly print advertising. Additionally, Deborah was integral in helping formulate the current Paul's TV business strategy.

During her tenure, Paul's TV underwent a massive strategic transformation, which led to the company expanding from one store to over 60 stores via a new "store within a store" concept. Today, Paul's TV is a profitable and very viable player in a very challenging category where large retailers are struggling to succeed.

Corazonas

A small food company specializing in heart healthy snacks, proven in over 140 clinical studies to lower cholesterol. www.corazonas.com

As a small company, Corazonas is a "David" in an industry filled with "Goliaths." Figuring how to make small budgets work harder for Corazonas is an ongoing challenge.

When the founder sold the company to the current management in April 2012, Corazonas needed an assessment of their current marketing efforts and subsequently needed help positioning their brand. The process:

  • Began with identifying a dual target positioning (confirming it via research);
  • Proceeded to crafting the communication messages (and again confirming appeal via research);
  • Concluded with advertising, both online and in print.

Corazonas has benefited from a cohesive and focused strategy. The D2C website realized business gains close to 800% in subsequent weeks after the advertising broke.

Additionally, the management asked for an annual marketing plan and budget, product portfolio analysis and new product launch plan. Being able to focus on just these projects (and not the day to day work that often bogs fulltime employees down) enabled our "superheroes" Debbie & Darrell to complete the work in considerably less time than expected.

the Leaders Dojo

An executive leadership group of CEOs from small to midsize companies.

The Leaders Dojo's leadership group meets monthly to discuss issues of relevance, and an important part of these meetings are the guest speakers. Deborah Mitchell was selected to customize and lead a four hour interactive seminar on marketing for this esteemed group.

Topics covered included:

Services Lines:

  • Marketing lessons learned over 20+ years.
  • Addressing participants most critical marketing issues.
  • Discussing participants biggest competitive threats.
  • Discussing the role of market research in strategic marketing and sales.

Watt Commercial Properties

National developer and property manager of commercial properties. www.wattcommercial.com

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Stephen S. Wise Temple & Schools

One of the Nation’s largest reform synagogues, with three campuses and four schools. www.wisela.org

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Newport Mesa Unified School District

California K12 school district with 32 schools and enrollment of 21,500 students. www.nmusd.k12.ca.us

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