• 713.520.6200
  • ydonohoe@astoundry.com

Frequently Asked Questions

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  • How do we grow the Astoundry business?

    We research the markets, and source client opportunities that match our core capabilities and services. We conduct in-depth analysis of the target client and project opportunities and high grade them. We prepare strategy sessions, technology briefings, and presentations for clients to show the results of our analysis. Our project management office is involved throughout the process, so they are prepared to take on projects as they are approved. We follow the same playbooks we recommend to our clients.

  • What types of client projects do we undertake?

    We focus on an organization’s mission critical projects in the following areas: marketing, sales, mergers, acquisitions, asset sales, organization change, portfolio, program, project management, new product and service commercialization, expanding operations within the U.S. or globally, workforce and talent management, asset and inventory management, new technology assessment and implementation, cost reduction projects, and new regulation implementation.

  • What are our most important capabilities?

    Our most important capabilities include: sales and marketing, research, innovation, digital transformation, strategy to execution, portfolio, program, project management, talent management, change management, training, process improvement, technology management, and software design, configuration and development.

  • What business functions do we cover?

    We cover business functions supporting customer facing services and internal functional processes. A summary includes: business planning, budgeting, marketing, sales, customer experience, finance, legal, revenue management, accounting, spend management, customer service, human resources, payroll, talent management, supply chain, inventory, project management, document management, technology management, change management, education and training.

  • What does an engagement with us look like?

    A typical engagement with us starts by creating a shared understanding of the potential benefits, costs and delivery responsibilities of a proposed project collaboration. An engagement letter is signed to confirm the understanding and the planning begins. We work as a high-performance collaborative team with clients and partners. We live our values in everything we do: teamwork, honesty, transparency, value for money and most important – living by the golden rule every day. We strongly believe in project management to ensure delivery excellence and we use it for everything we do. This means, we maintain a detailed analysis for all aspects of the project. As issues arise, we manage them openly and honestly, in keeping with our values.

  • How do we source our talent?

    We source talent for client projects from our proprietary talent community that we have developed over many years. Our experience shows that while clients can be in the same industry their needs are often very specific to their situation and that requires specific talent capabilities. Over the years, we have developed our own unique capability to match client project needs with talent capabilities. We also oversee the project to ensure a quality deliverable.

  • What is an intelligent enterprise?

    Intelligent enterprises today are being shaped by two distinct forces. The first is the growing power of computers and big data, which provide the foundation for operations research, forecasting models, and artificial intelligence (AI). The second is our growing understanding of human judgment, reasoning, and choice. In coming years, the most intelligent organizations will need to blend technology-enabled insights with a sophisticated understanding of human judgment, reasoning, and choice. Those that do this successfully, will have an advantage over their rivals.

  • What is design thinking?

    Design Thinking is an approach to development that goes beyond the outward appearance of a product and focuses on creating a user enabled experience. Design Thinking in business uses the designer’s sensibility and methods to match people’s needs with: (a) what is technologically feasible, and (b) what a viable business strategy can convert into customer value and market opportunity. We bring Design Thinking together with Agile to create digital innovation.

  • What are software platforms?

    Software platforms are creating new ecosystems of advertisers, developers, merchants, suppliers and more. The very big players: Microsoft, Salesforce, Oracle, Adobe, Amazon, (and others) are growing explosively and reshaping the global economy in the process. The start-ups and larger incumbents are growing rapidly in an effort to get noticed by customers and perhaps get purchased by the bigger players. We take the view that the power of the customer (the software community) will ensure the software works as it should. So we have developed a unique capability to apply the software offered by these platforms in the most effective way. We do this by deeply analyzing the design of  the software offered on a particular platform, and then using design-thinking to apply that software (as it has been designed) to meet business requirements.

  • What software platforms do we prefer?

    The answer is – it depends on the business requirement. There are different types of software platforms designed for different purposes – and they are changing all the time as they compete with one another. As a result, we monitor the market on a continuous basis so we can quickly match a practical solution with a client’s needs. However, having said that, we have our favorites for all the basic functions. We are happy to discuss that with you in more detail when we review your needs.

  • How do we manage software costs?

    We manage software costs by putting a focus on data quality. First, we analyze the business processes for data input and output and we look for the best way to automate them to increase data quality. In this way we can avoid purchasing unnecessary software licenses.

  • How do we manage data quality?

    We take the time to clearly define business processes and analyze how to manage data quality for each one. This process streamlines processes, increases data quality, reduces errors and decreases the cost of data management long term.

  • How do we train people?

    We have learned that there are three key approaches to train people well and provide ongoing support. First, a complete overview of the subject(s) including the: why, what, where, how, and who, provided in a clear concise way with real life examples. Second, a list of ‘how-to’ courses for each subject with short projects or exercises that answer the question of why and shows people how company wants the work done. Third, a just-in-time online quick access to questions, answers and tips that learns as it is used. Our training is online and can be supplemented by in class instructors and coaching.

  • How do we support systems?

    Our experience has shown us that supporting systems is central to ensuring companies get the highest return on their software, process improvement, training investment. As a result, we have a well-developed playbook for supporting systems. We highly recommend that systems are supported on a monthly subscription basis, so the job gets done with the right attention and focus. Once systems start to have issues they might not be obvious to the users. And no matter what they are, they can quickly escalate into problems that cost money to repair. Money that far exceeds what the monthly support cost would have been.

  • What is our #1 recommendation?

    Our #1 recommendation is to focus on the people first. Companies should focus on the human-design of solutions and provide high quality development and training to create the right culture and develop the right capabilities to support the digital business. We have seen this done well with amazing results. We have also witnessed the reverse which is why this is our #1 recommendation.

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