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Case study Strategic Planning Case Study with Nathan Burkholder from KITEWIRE


"When I use SharpCloud, I feel much more confident that I have my head around all of the different elements, resources, and influencers that could affect the long-term success of an activity. Additionally, I have found myself much more successful in communicating that confidence to my customers in a way that has increased my value to them and established trust in the decisions I put before them."

Nathan Burkholder,
Director for Science & Technology at KITEWIRE Inc.

Nathan talks about how SharpCloud is helping to solve his customers business problems and why it is giving him more confidence to do so. 


The business problem

Our customers were challenged by the ability to capture the complete picture by integrating all of their existing information (portfolios, strategies, requirements, analysis, trends, lessons learned, etc…) into a single cohesive strategic landscape.  The process of collecting, sorting, and maintaining data was cumbersome, fragmented, and labour intensive. 

Our customers were struggling to maintain accountability and track communication across portfolios, to provide the confidence that they had real-time awareness of program status, to support early risk identification and risk reduction activities.  Projects were often looked at as isolated activities and decision makers were not able to visualize multiple courses of action or the cascading affects caused by changes to all of the various piece parts in the enterprise.

Why did this problem exist?

Other tools and software systems try to solve pieces of the problem, focusing on just one functional area but never holistically bring all of these elements together in a manner that preserves the integrity of the data or visualizes the relationship mapping between all of the parts. 

Those tools that do attempt to create data-driven products become overly prescriptive, forcing customers to adopt sub-optimal workflows and processes hard coded into the software solution.

"SharpCloud’s flexibility and 100% customizability enables our customers to create very tailored, optimized solutions that can shift and change over time as the needs of the organization change or processes become more refined."

How does SharpCloud solve the problem?

SharpCloud provides the digital canvas that enables our customers, who are not developers, to create beautiful, rich, interactive, web-based experiences that empower them to both consume and create content to support decisive decision making. 

By enabling our customers to visually explore their data, SharpCloud is the catalyst often needed to create the dialog that is necessary to understand the context behind the data, ensuring a comprehensive picture of their strategic landscape. 

Historically, we have found that collecting and maintaining data systems can be challenging to execute, and are often inaccurate when the data producers are not benefiting in the exchange or don’t see the full picture of how their content fits into the larger strategy. 

By facilitating the communication and collaboration process needed by the data producers, SharpCloud brings together a constructive environment that solves the human element that is necessary for the long term success of business management systems.

What makes SharpCloud unique?

  • Flexibility, customization

  • Open architecture, works with many of the tools already supported by our customers

  • Creates visually stunning end products

  • Supports creativity

  • Seamless transitions between different views preserves connection with content and flow

  • Incredible customer service

  • Constant improvement and refinement of the product based on real user feedback

  • Globally accessible products that can be accessed almost anywhere

  • Supports enterprise and government requirements for data/cloud systems

Personal benefits

I personally find that SharpCloud’s goal driven, structured framework is the perfect way for me to think about breaking down a project or a problem into its foundational elements. Often when I’m starting something new I will use SharpCloud to help me walk through a process of going from a blank canvas to having a strategic landscape, that allows me to better understand my project/problem from a variety of different views. 

When I use SharpCloud, I feel much more confident that I have my head around all of the different elements, resources, and influencers that could affect the long-term success of the activity. Additionally, I have found myself much more successful in communicating that confidence to my customers in a way that has increased my value to them, and established trust in the decisions I put before them.

Quantifiable results

The ROI for SharpCloud isn't straightforward to determine because it allows me to do something I could not do before, in other ways. Ultimately though it enables better decisions to be made and wastes a lot less time. The best measure is simply in watching the response of the audience when I give a SharpCloud presentation. I’ve never been stopped in the middle of a PowerPoint brief by the audience to have someone exclaim, “This is the best presentation I have ever seen. I don’t want to see another presentation that doesn’t look like this.” I have had this happen of several occasions when using SharpCloud. (The above quote was offered by the Head of Innovation for DHS’s Custom and Border Protection, a senior government official.) 

The full value in the SharpCloud ROI is when an entire organization and enterprise is using the capability. Developing and maintaining roadmaps in PowerPoint which is what traditionally has been done for many of my Department of Defence (DoD) and Government customers, is an incredibly laborious process, costing millions of dollars in personnel time. Based on my experience as an expert in developing these strategic products, both at the Army Headquarters and the Research Labs and Centers, using both the traditional method as well as with SharpCloud, I envision the DoD to save well over 75% in both time and money for every department and organization that implements SharpCloud for Enterprise and fully adopts its capabilities for supporting data calls.

KITEWIRE is a full service SharpCloud business partner providing SharpCloud software, technical support, professional services and systems integration for customers at the US Federal Government an North American companies. In addition to SharpCloud SaaS, KITEWIRE can also provide SharpCloud On-Premises or as a private cloud installation, they are GSA approved and manage SharpCloud for Federal Government from the US Amazon GovCloud.

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