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www.jeffblock.com - Career


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Capstone Consulting

My current life: April 2008 to Present

Capstone is a boutique consulting firm based in Omaha, Nebraska. I joined in early 2008 as a Principal Consultant to help build a new office in Chicago. I am currently serving as Director of both the Chicago practice and the BI/EDW practice, engage customers in our Strategic IT and Business Intelligence lines of business, and handle much of the marketing for the firm.

Capstone focuses on three lines of business: Strategic IT, Business Intelligence / Enterprise Data Warehousing, and Customer Application Development and Integration. We are also currently exporing a fourth specialization in State Legislative Systems. Here's a little more information about Capstone's various services...

Capstone's Strategic IT Consulting Practice
Director: Jim Richards, Owner
Goal: To promote innovation, drive growth, and deliver measurable results.

Capstone meets with executive leadership to assist in the development of effective IT strategy, focusing on alignment and cooperation between IT and the business. Capstone specializes in assisting CIOs and directors to plan effectively, avoid landmines, and maximize their return on IT investment. We make IT Directors and Program Managers look good in front of customers and colleagues by delivering large- or small programs effectively, on time, and on budget.

Capstone's Business Intelligence / Enterprise Data Warehousing Practice
Director: Jeff Block, Principal
Goal: To gain valuable insight from customers' data to facilitate better strategic and operational business decisions.

Capstone’s business intelligence and enterprise data warehousing (BI/EDW) services address the need at all levels of the business to put the right information in the right hands to make critical business decisions. We help businesses effectively gather, integrate, store, and analyze information from multiple, disparate data sources. From sophisticated enterprise data warehouses to dynamic web-based dashboards, our BI solutions help all areas of the business make fast, informed decisions.

Capstone's Custom Application Development and Integration Practice
Director: Randy Ott, Owner
Goal: To increase the functionality and performance of customers' technology without compromising their current priorities or resources.

Capstone assists customers plan, architect, deploy, and integrate enterprise applications using a broad range of technology- and software development process expertise. Capstone specializes in managing custom software development projects on- or off-site, as well as implementing critical processes as part of a larger project team.

For more information about Capstone Consulting, visit our website: Capstone Consulting - Building Solid Enterprise Solutions.

Capable Networks LLC

January 2007 to March 2008

Capable Networks was started in 2004 to create communities on-line and make it a generally easier process to find what you're looking for on the web. The company focuses on coming up with new and inventive ways to filter out the noise and help you find value in the exponentially-growing Internet. I joined the company in January, 2006 and moved on just over two years later. The first community built by CN was a general Consumer Electronics community called TechLore. If you're into gadgets or want to be, then this site is for you -- a place to learn and share about consumer electronics with people like yourself all over the world. TechLore was followed by a whole raft of product-specific communities for products like Sling Media's Slingbox, HP's MediaSmart Server, the legendary TiVo, and WowWee's line of robotic toys. Capable also recently launched their Home Technology Advertising Network, which "hosts the largest conversation among the most active technology purchase intenders in the Consumer Electronics and Personal Computer marketplace." Their network generates about 60 million pageviews/month, so that's worth checking out too. And for a more complete list of Capable Communities, check out their showcase page on their website.

BEA Systems, Bauhaus Technologies and Crowe Chizek & Company

August 1996 to December 2005

Prior to joining Capable Networks, I was an internal trainer for BEA Systems, a large international software company, since purchased by Oracle. I was one of seven people responsible for worldwide internal training efforts, focusing on our technology, on architectural principals, and on the "softer skills" required for consulting, sales, etc. Prior to that, I worked as a consultant for several years, doing work for such notable companies as Trane, McDonalds, GE Financial, Ford, MasterCard, and many others. At Capable Networks, my title was Vice President of Community Development. I am also the co-inventor, along with the CTO of the organization, Steven Jones, of our Content Valuation Engine (or CVE). The CVE is the heart of Capable's community platform. It is the engine that does the work of "Intelligent Scoring", a concept Capable considered bringing to the web in an attempt to provide members of online communities with "More value. Less noise. Every day." However, this effort seems to have lost some steam since I left the organization. Still an interesting concept, though, which you can read more about via the Intelligent Scoring blog I used to maintain.

The Gabriel Management Group LLC

From the website...

The Gabriel Management Group (TGMG) is a private equity firm that offers business owners immediate liquidity through the purchase of their business. TGMG invests primarily in acquisitions of controlling interest in established, privately held companies, and thereby seeks to build a diversified portfolio of well managed, cash producing companies.

By offering business owners immediate liquidity, management expertise and resources, The Gabriel Management Group protects the value and legacy created by the owner, and builds on the foundation established by the previous leadership and ensure the long-term viability of the business.

TGMG understands that the current owners have a high degree of dedication and loyalty to their current staff. Our goal is to retain effective employees and maintain congruity in operations. Our goal is not to purchase a company for the quick sale, but rather to acquire companies and cultivate their business over the long term.

TGMG retains and recruits the most effective leaders by offering the opportunity to earn equity positions in the company by obtaining financial and/or other benchmarks. We believe that success is achieved by empowering our managers with operational control over their respective companies, thereby allowing them to grow their business and in turn, increasing value for TGMG and our investors.

What this means...

TGMG makes businesses more successful. Whether they just need an extra shot in the arm to make it over the perverbial hump, or they need to be completely turned back from the equally-perverbial brink, TGMG provides capital, expertise and creativity to make existing businesses more successful. I am a member of the group as an advisor on technology. Check out our website at www.gabrielmanagement.com.

Independent Consulting

As I have throughout my career, I continue to provide software consulting services for a small set of companies that I helped to create or for whom I've provided services through their formidable years. Two companies I'd like to mention are:

The Fidelity Advisory Network

The Fidelity Advisory Network is a professional services firm specializing in expert consulting and litigation support. We offer litigators, insurance companies, corporations and government entities access to premier industry professionals to help resolve complex issues. By combining the experience and expertise of specialists in medicine, economics, finance and business, we have the capability to utilize our vast network of resources to create collaborative, multi-disciplinary teams capable of constructing innovative solutions to the complex issues facing our clients. Through our unique network of resources we provide targeted solutions for every client ... for the strongest possible case.

Palmer Leasing, Inc.

My friend Bob is the president of a mid-sized mobile storage / trailer leasing company in St. Louis called Palmer Leasing. It's a great company, not only for the quality of service they provide to their customers, but for the unique investment they've made in technology which is giving them a significant competitive advantage.