What Are White Snippets?

White Snippets are encapsulations of business situations and cases that illustrate the application of a process, product or service.  They are highly summarized, in contrast to traditional White Papers used throughout the industry.  Snippets make up in volume what White Papers provide in detail, offering a view into a larger variety of applications and contexts. 

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The Snippets in this section were taken from situations and engagements where one or more of our team have been personally involved and from research conducted by SDS into areas such as threat assessments and mitigation.  These cases played a part in the development and testing of the Compete-Protect-Perform contextual framework.

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Snippet One:  Telecommunications Industry

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Description

A national telecommunications company launched a major initiative to capture and upgrade networks across the United States.  Systems were developed, prototyped and tested to validate the technical model, while marketing initiatives were tested among various consumer groups.  Pilot deployments proceeded in parallel with the development of financial/cash-flow analysis to identify break-even and positive profitability.

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The Problem

The logistics of the deployment model and the actual hardware upgrade cycle did not support projections for the number of systems and thus paying customers that would be coming on line.  This could not be disputed and was mathematically demonstrable.  Ultimately, the project ran into long delays in deployments, costs, customer base and cash flows, as could and should have been seen much earlier in the cycle.

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Key Lessons

Critical initiatives must be understood across the three contextual frameworks of Compete-Protect-Perform.  While the leadership put forth a powerful vision, that vision had to be translated into actual paying customers, within a sustainable, measurably demonstrable approach.  The problems outlined above were evident just a few levels under the corporation’s top leadership and yet were not visible to the leaders.

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Summary

The vision was powerful and designed to transform the organization into one of the top three market leaders.  Thus, it met the Compete test within the framework. 

The risks associated with the implementation strategy were not clearly understood and did not receive sufficient attention from top management.  As a result, risks were too high and were not sufficiently mitigated in time to avoid delays and higher costs, which undermined the financial model.  Thus, this critically important project failed the Protect test within the framework.

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Carrying out the vision under the defined strategic plan proved untenable.  More importantly, the measures were not in place to focus the attention of key corporate players in time to make adjustments in the strategy and financial models.  The logistics aspects of the project did not receive sufficient attention to verify the viability of the deployment schedules, which in turn undermined the viability of the financial projections.

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Snippet Two:  Security

Description

A security center had faced a variety of problems with its alarm systems, which were located at facilities throughout a multi-state area in the United States and monitored from a central location. Problems ranged from numerous false alarms to accidental openings of security doors during off-hours, compounded by communication problems. Budgets were being prepared to accelerate system upgrades in an effort to mitigate security risks. The assumption was made that the age of the alarm systems at various facilities, some of which were quite old, was responsible for the problem. Bringing it in line with newer monitoring systems at the security center, it was thought, would address these problems.

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Problem

Making assumptions in the absence of hard data can lead to significant expenses and sometimes make matters worse.  In this case, a causal analysis system had been added to the problem tracking software and security center analysts had been trained in how to conduct initial causal diagnosis with the assistance of field technicians.    When the data was analyzed, it turned out that over fifty percent of the reported problems were due to end user error, out of date procedures, poor training and other factors not related to hardware.  [Next Page]

Snippet Listing
  1. Telecommunications Industry - Deployment of new technologies,
  2. Security - Analysis of failure mechanisms,
  3. Manufacturing - Effects of global competition and costs on market performance,
  4. Aftermath of 9/11 - Response to a major disruption in the economy, social and political fabric of the nation,
  5. Government Policy - Security background checks,