Matt Strippelhoff, Partner, Red Hawk Technologies, was recently interviewed by “the circuit,” the information technology association of the Cincinnati region. Matt expresses his Company’s philosophy regarding utilizing Red Hawk’s unique 4D process to support successful systems integration.
Creating structure to support service offerings is critical to any company’s success. However, many find the current state of their enterprise applications do not integrate with other systems, either creating manual work for the company or preventing them from accessing key data that could help improve decisionmaking.
Matt Strippelhoff, Partner at Red Hawk Technologies, believes ALL projects are developed to support processes. Because of this, Red Hawk approaches each and every project from the perspectiveof workflows. This philosophy, the Red Hawk 4D Development Process, is a key business differentiator.
Matt feels each “D,” Discover (define), Design, Develop, and Deliver, are integral to an effective process that forces all participants to carefully consider the actions required by various types of users to support each business process.
“Existing companies have a vision for a new way to do something, or start-ups a vision for a service not currently provided. This always requires different users who need to work together to get something accomplished. Our process brings all stakeholders in at the start of the project, ensuring systems willwork together to provide the workflow and information the company needs.”
He describes 4D as a method of work the Company has adhered to since its start in 2008. “At first, it wasn’t quite so structured. Then we realized that what we were doing was developing workflows – and what better process to employ than business process management tools. At that point, we embraced the vision and formalized the approach."
When Red Hawk opened its doors, the Company immediately saw the need for system integration. Matt notes, “Clients usually house data in different silos – for instance, they may have information in a CRM platform that we need to be able to leverage to support a component on the website. To generate that component, we need to integrate the data. We soon realized this was true across the board. Often, clients had to use manual processes to move data from one area to another."
This is often true when working with a company that is not a data or process expert. “For instance, take the case of an interactive marketing program where you want to capture leads. Full service marketing agencies are not tech companies, so they are likely to create a program that stores data in a new silo. The lead is sent through to a database and stored. Moving data from the new silo to the clients’ CRM is now a manual process.”
Red Hawk solves this by identifying all the people that will interact with a given solution, as well as systems that may need to share data. “We then plan a solution to integrate the various systems.”
Much of this can be done by leveraging clients’ existing data sources as opposed to creating new ones. “We use back-end programming to tie systems together,” he explains. “Oftentimes, depending on how well defined the program or vision is, we’ll produce a prototype. We carve off the first step in the 4D process and go through the exercise. This allows us to see where we are with third-party apps or proprietary software. Sometimes we develop a middleware application with an Application Programming Interface (API), between the website and the client’s data sources. It all depends on what they have.”
This makes the proposition fairly simple for clients, and removes some of the risk. “Our proposals are based on the technology of where they are today and where they want to go tomorrow.”
And, as more and more companies realize how beneficial this approach can be, they are using the approach up-front as they create new systems. Matt explains that interactive agencies are now a good portion ofthe client base. “We are asked to come in and do high-end integration work. Clients are so much more sophisticated than they were 10 years ago. Marketing Directors are more tech-savvy than ever before, and IT Directors understand the need to support efforts on the marketing side.”At the end of the day, Red Hawk’s goal is to create systems that Matt says, “come together and are able to speak to each other very well. We want to make it all work for you.”
The Name, Red Hawk
When Matt and his business partner, Ron Dunlevy, decided to start their company in 2008, they wanted a unique name. Why Red Hawk?
Matt explains, “I thought about the red hawk as a symbol of speed, power, and extraordinary vision. We feel we bring those qualities to the table while providing unparalleled value to our clients.”