Execution Excellence

Robert Blackwell, Chairman, Killerspin/EKI-Digital

From BizCast HQ

A technology industry leader with a career spanning nearly 30 years, Robert Blackwell Jr. has cultivated Electronic Knowledge Interchange (EKI) into a leading management and technology consulting firm well-known for its ability to respond to complex business challenges with efficient, intelligent and innovative solutions. Today he oversees the company, which currently employs more than 100 technology and business consulting experts.

Starting at IBM in 1981, Blackwell began his long career in building innovative systems that improve business operations. With a keen passion for entrepreneurship, he then went on to found several Chicago-based companies, including Urban Fishing Development, Bytewise International and Blackwell Consulting Services. A former professional table tennis player, Blackwell also founded Killerspin, the leading table tennis equipment, apparel and promotion company.

Blackwell is currently an active member of the Alliance of Business Leaders and Entrepreneurs (ABLE), Executive’s Club of Chicago and Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce, and in 2010 was selected as Chair of the Business Development Committee of the National Black Chamber of Commerce. He has also been a member of the Chicago Board of Trade and the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. Blackwell also services on the board of several civic organizations including After School Matters, The Belle Center in Chicago and Autism Speaks.

By |June 19th, 2017|Execution Excellence, Information Management, Information Transformation, Process Modernization, Technology Modernization|Comments Off on Robert Blackwell, Chairman, Killerspin/EKI-Digital|

EKI Invests in Cloud Mine Consulting, Expands Salesforce and Digital Marketing Footprint

EKI Digital is pleased to announce we have invested in Cloud Mine Consulting, a leading Salesforce.com and digital marketing professional services firm.   Headquartered in El Segundo, CA, Cloud Mine Consulting assists enterprises of all sizes in developing, customizing, and deploying custom applications on Salesforce.com to strategically grow their businesses.  Cloud Mine Consulting is made up of consultants who have both deep technical and programming experience as well an MBA or other proven business management experience.

“We are incredibly optimistic about our investment in Cloud Mine,” said Robert Blackwell, Jr., founder and CEO of EKI Digital. “We expect the combination of EKI Digital’s agile, business-first approach to integrate seamlessly with Cloud Mine’s deeply specialized Salesforce.com team.  Cloud Mine’s success in the private and public sectors matches perfectly with EKI Digital’s diverse client base, which includes the City of Chicago, Cook County, the State of Illinois, and several notable private-sector companies.   Together, EKI Digital and Cloud Mine Consulting will establish a new level of excellence in exploiting the many benefits to be gained from Salesforce.com technology.”

“We are thrilled about EKI Digital’s investment in our company,” said Jason Sun, Co-Founder and CRM Architect at Cloud Mine Consulting.  “EKI Digital’s proven leadership in Lean Digital businesses, their technical depth and their incredible reputation for excellence complement our Salesforce.com knowledge and help position us to do greater things faster than we ever could have imagined.“

“When we founded Cloud Mine Consulting, we wanted to make waves with our unique consulting model of talented people with blended business and technology backgrounds,” said Adam Zuckerman, Co-Founder at Cloud Mine Consulting.  “And with EKI Digital, we’ll be making those waves bigger and sooner.”

For more information on Cloud Mine Consulting, visit their website: http://www.cloudmineconsulting.com

By |February 1st, 2017|Execution Excellence, Information Management, Information Transformation, Process Modernization, Technology Modernization|Comments Off on EKI Invests in Cloud Mine Consulting, Expands Salesforce and Digital Marketing Footprint|

OpenGrid: Geospatial Data Application for the City of Chicago

By |January 26th, 2016|Execution Excellence, Information Management, Information Transformation, Technology Modernization|Comments Off on OpenGrid: Geospatial Data Application for the City of Chicago|

The Importance of Executive Sponsorship

Making changes and transformation within a business can be challenging. When organizational leadership takes a passive stance, changes can be almost impossible to implement. Statistics abound on corporate failures every year. One of the main reasons for these failures is the lack of involvement from executive leaders. Executive sponsorship can take your ideas much further than expected simultaneously reducing the occurrence of failures and increasing productivity.
By |October 1st, 2015|Execution Excellence|Comments Off on The Importance of Executive Sponsorship|

10 Key Principles To Agile Development

No matter where you are in the process of executing a digital workplace initiative, these eight building blocks are vital to its success Employees want to be connected across devices and withtheir colleagues and processes during their workdays. The digital workplace offers companies tremendous potential if they are strategically prepared to take advantage of interconnected trendslike the consumerization of technology, digital dexterity, changing work models, informationintensity and the desire to share and collaborate.

By |September 15th, 2015|Execution Excellence|Comments Off on 10 Key Principles To Agile Development|

The Gap in Workplace Productivity

More than 200M adults in the US are part of the digital workforce, yet only 1-in-10 rate themselves as very proficient with the digital tools they use every day at work. Training has not kept pace with technology, and workers, businesses and the entire economy are paying the price.

Digital products and topics are rapidly proliferating and evolving, and yet there is virtually no professional development focused on these 21st century skills. For instance, organizations are using Dropbox and Box for file storage and sharing, Twitter and Facebook to connect with customers, and Google Docs and Analytics to run their businesses. These tools serve essential functions but they can only improve productivity with the right training.

A recent study by Deloitte, states that the rapid pace of technological change in the workplace is leading to a skills half-life of only 2.5 years. Organizations are failing to adapt their training programs quickly enough.

EKI-Digital has worked with businesses of all sizes, and in various industries to help them address the digital skills gap by designing, and deploying digital business solutions as a tool to improve how their business, run, grow and transform.

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Digital Governance & Digital Ecosystems

Understanding digital ecosystems is crucial to your ability to succeed in digital and online environments and how you can go about achieving an effective management of your company’s digital ecosystems.

Digital Governance: Digital governance is a set of policies, roles, responsibilities, and processes designed to guide, direct, and control how content management, digital asset management, and eCommerce systems are used to satisfy business objectives.

After providing this useful definition, the introduction ensures the reader of the importance digital governance practices have in regards to both your ROI and general engagement on the web. There is a call to action about the responsibility of the company to support their IT staff by adopting effective digital governance practices.

The Value of a Digital Governance Strategy

By educating business and IT organizations of the potential pitfalls of a poor governance strategy. Ultimately, this discussion comes down to a demonstration of how a poor strategy leads to brand inconsistencies across platforms and an unfocused marketing strategy.

Three primary benefits of an effective governance strategy are presented in this section. Firstly, your company will be able to have a quicker ability to communicate with the market. Secondly, your brand will gain a more thorough consistency across the internet. Finally, your operational efficiency for both your workforce and your IT staff will receive a massive boost.

Choosing a Digital Governance Model That’s Right For You

Governance is never a “one-size-fits-all” approach, so it is important that you take into account both industry-specific, and company specific concerns before beginning the implementation of a strategy. Ultimately, you will want to both identify and engage with the primary stakeholders involved with your strategy: channel partners, internal teams, customers, and any others that are impacted by the [...]

Six Core Capabilities of a DevOps Practice

DevOps is a term that reflects what happens when seeming disparate concepts are blended. Combining developers and operations into one concept creates a new dynamic that changes the way people think about IT and the role of the developer in the organization.

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7 Software Development Roadblocks Frustrating IT Leaders

It’s an important time for IT Leaders. In the face of many new developments, trends and yes, pressures, this year will increase demand for big decisions—decisions that challenge the organization to stop accepting the status quo.

Don’t let these 7 software roadblocks undermine the big changes you’re expected to deliver this year. It’s time to make project failures, missed deadlines, rework and overruns a thing of the past with EKI-Digital—requirements definition and management software that’s purpose built to de-risk and accelerate your IT projects.

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    The Rise Of Creativity As A Key Quality In Modern Leadership

The Rise Of Creativity As A Key Quality In Modern Leadership

Creativity and leadership have long been considered antonyms. Leadership is seen as something orderly – leaders have to know how their department or company operates, who is in charge of what, and how everything comes together. They have to make decisions that are safe for the company; risk-taking is done in a much more logical and thoughtful manner, because the entire fate of the company rests in the leader’s hands.

Creativity seems to be the exact opposite, because it is all about spontaneity and taking risks. Creativity leads to the formation of something new, which can’t happen without at least a small amount of risk, because even diverging from the norm is a risk in and of itself. Furthermore, the process of creativity is often seen as antithetical to the logic-driven decision-making process that leaders take part in; creativity, many say, comes from a different part of the brain. It’s spontaneous, rash and sometimes illogical.

However, the focus of David Slocum’s article “The Rise Of Creativity As A Key Quality In Modern Leadership”, which appeared in Forbes’ online edition in January 2015, says the seemingly impossible – that leadership and creativity are not only compatible, but inevitably intertwined. Slocum starts off by bringing up two famous examples of leaders that made history through their creativity – Henry Ford, who invented the assembly line, and Thomas Edison, who is most famously credited with the invention of the light bulb.

Two examples to not only show the benefits of creativity for business, but to illustrate the idea that creativity can also be orderly and logical – qualities that are typically seen as pertaining to leaders, not necessarily creative thinkers. Ford’s conception of the assembly line revolutionized manufacturing in the [...]