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To be successful and compete in today’s marketplace, organizations need to focus on innovation. This track spotlights the role of architecture in driving innovation throughout the enterprise.

Social Media and Enterprise Architecture - Introduction and Implications

Mike Ellsworth

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Whether your organization officially supports it or not, social media is in your enterprise and will introduce changes in business processes on many levels. Even if the business sees adoption of social media in its future, stakeholders may regard social as something that is external to the enterprise, is unplanned, and is confined to functions such as marketing and public relations. This presentation examines some of the implications of social media adoption on business processes, knowledge management, and enterprise architecture, from the management of social conversations (unstructured data) to integration of social features into customer and employee-facing systems.

Speaker Biography: "Mike Ellsworth?s background includes experience as an IT Program Manager, Chief Technology Officer, and Vice President of Strategic Planning. During his 15-year career at the Nielsen Company in the marketing research business, he created Nielsen''s first eCommerce architecture and developed the vision that resulted in the consumer packaged goods industry''s first Web application in early 1995.

Mike has been using social networks since Prodigy and Compuserve in the ?80s, and USENET and The Well in the ?90s. He?s been a LinkedIn user since 2003 (member number 8893), a Facebook user since before old folks could join.

Selling Yourself and Your Ideas

Bill Goerdt

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A significant challenge in most organizations is getting support for new ideas, especially when those ideas represent significant changes to the organization. Given limited budgets and capacity, Architects are often faced with the need to ?sell? decision-makers to make the investments necessary to achieve long-term benefits.

In this session, we?ll discuss how to establish your own personal brand and how to leverage your personal strengths, your network and your experience to help build support for the adoption of your ideas.

Speaker Biography: Bill Goerdt is a Delivery Manager for Keyot, having worked in Technology for nearly 30 years in roles that range from Application Development, Project/Program Management and Technology executive. In these roles, he''s seen ideas and projects succeed and fail based on the ability of the champion to articulate and energize colleagues and decision-makers. Bill has a history of influencing organizations to make the tough decisions needed to achieve long-term business value and is excited to share his insights.

New and BIG data warehouse architecture

Luminita Vollmer

It is 2015. The year when Millennials and Gen X are in larger number than the Baby Boomers. The year when technology, social media, and the Internet of Things are changing faster than a baby is born. The time when the relational database is no longer the only database of choice d and the architecture includes components we didn?t have before. The vendors are many more and different, the designers require new skills and the expectations are let?s say more predictive. User Sandboxes, Virtual integration, Advanced Analytics - only a handful of the components that require a new architecture to meet business requirements. This session provides a framework for the architecture of the big data warehouse, the components and related technology. The attendees will get a good understanding of the following:

  • Architecture components of the big data warehouse
  • Benefits and capabilities of the components
  • Specific technologies and implementation alternatives
  • Top 10 important concepts about the new architecture

Speaker Biography: Luminita is an Information Management professional with extended experience in Information and Data Architecture. Luminita is a Sr. Information Architect at Thrivent Financial in Minneapolis MN. Her experience spans several industries - banking, insurance and finance, manufacturing, health care. S he holds an undergraduate degree in MIS/Business/Finance from Augsburg College in Minneapolis, and an MBA from St. Thomas College in St. Paul Minnesota. Luminita is an active member of the local DAMA Minnesota chapter; she speaks several foreign languages and is an active volunteer on the board of the Bloomington Izumi SisterCity organization in Bloomington, MN. Luminita is CDMP and CBIP certified.

Information Architecture -- Cinderella of Enterprise Family?

Semyon Axelrod

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All Enterprise Architecture (EA) methodologies call out Information Architecture as one of the main parts; however, very few companies are willing to invest in creation and maintenance of robust Information Architecture models. The problems are entrenched and many: lack of business ownership, complexity, overwhelming attention to Data -- the Enterprise family?s favorite step-sister of Information, just to name a few.

This presentation will zoom in on not-so-obvious differences between information and data, demonstrate that investment in Information Architecture owned by business as opposed to IT, is a necessary foundation for the overall success of any modern enterprise.

Speaker Biography: "Semyon Axelrod has more than 20 years of experience in various areas of software engineering and product development as well as IT management.

Mr. Axelrod currently specializes in strategic IT consulting with a particular interest in business and IT performance alignment and enterprise architecture. His other interests are IT governance and leadership, strategic business and IT alignment, service oriented architecture, business information management, big data, and legal and regulatory compliance challenges.

Mr. Axelrod''s articles can be found in DM Review/Information Management, The Architecture Journal, and ComputerWorld magazines.

He can be reached at semyon@semanterprise.com


Architects, no matter the domain, need to understand strategic intention and be able to lead organizations and people. This track focuses on developing and enhancing leadership skills for architects, their managers, and other organizational leaders wishing to leverage architecture to deliver results.

Enterprise Architecture Value Chain

Chris Armstrong

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Value chains and capability models are emerging as industry standard best practices for planning, improving, and monitoring enterprise investments. If these things are good for the business enterprise, shouldn?t we be able to apply them to describing an architecture capability? As our profession advances and matures, understanding the common activities all architects perform becomes more important. Can we identify those things that we all do, at whatever level we are applying architecture, or in whichever domains? The speaker will present an architecture value chain and a supporting capability/service model that attempts to address these questions.

Speaker Biography: Mr. Chris Armstrong, President of Armstrong Process Group, Inc., is an internationally recognized thought leader in enterprise architecture, formal modeling, process improvement, systems and software engineering, requirements management, and agile development. Mr. Armstrong represents APG at The Open Group, the Object Management Group and the Eclipse Foundation. Mr. Armstrong is a co-chair of the TOGAF Certification Standing Committee (CSC) and EA Capability Improvement project, was a significant contributor to TOGAF 9, and is contributing to the next version of TOGAF, ArchiMate, and IT4IT. Mr. Armstrong is certified in TOGAF, ArchiMate, Open FAIR, UML, and SysML.

3 Things You Need to Know about Practicing Enterprise Architecture that TOGAF Doesn't Teach You

Michael Fulton

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In the field of Enterprise Architecture, TOGAF is the world''s leading industry framework. But there are several important considerations to the practice of Enterprise Architecture that TOGAF leaves out. In this session by Michael Fulton, President of CC&C Americas, you will learn from one of the world''s leading TOGAF Certification trainers 3 things that TOGAF doesn't teach you about practicing Enterprise Architecture.

Speaker Biography: Michael Fulton is an experienced enterprise architect with nearly 25 years of IT experience. He is both TOGAF Certified and a Cloud Certified Architect and has led IT4IT Architecture, Cloud Architecture, IT Strategic Planning, Disruptive Cost Innovation, IT Leadership Development, and EA Training Development at Fortune 50 Company. He has also spent time working across the entire IT Lifecycle. Mike is an experienced speaker and trainer, a practiced leadership and strategy coach and mentor and is well known across the industry. He brings a strategic viewpoint and the ability to communicate with all levels of the organization.

From strategy to action: Creating capability-based system roadmaps for an enterprise transformation

Todd Sicard

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Roadmaps describe how strategy translates into actions, and BCBSMN has created a coherent set of capability-based roadmaps to describe a multi-year, enterprise-level transformation. These are comprehensive, high-level, information rich, readable, and actionable. In this session, Todd will describe the creation, content, visualization, and usage of capability-based roadmaps. He will discuss the development of both the template and roadmaps from a pragmatic, hands-on, and lessons-learned perspective.

  • Initial conditions
  • Coordinating roadmaps
  • Approach
  • Visualization
  • Documentation
  • Translation into data
  • Next steps

Speaker Biography: Todd Sicard is currently a Principal Enterprise Architect at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota helping to achieve business and IT strategy via a planned evolution of IT systems. His experience includes over 20 years of health insurance and over 10 years of enterprise-level architecture. He can be found either playing 3rd trombone at the Wabasha Street Caves with Beasley's Big Band or on www.linkedin.com/in/toddsicard.

A Systems Alignment Model for Organization Architecture: Design, Diagnosis & Change

David Jamieson & Rachael Narel

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An easily understood model that can be used to help clients with organization design, issue diagnosis and organization change., building off of the systems nature and alignment needs for effective organizations. The session will discuss the model and how it has been useful in years of consulting (in design and change) and education of graduate students. The model highlights the relationship among environment, strategy, organization design components and resulting behavior. The system characteristics and alignment concepts will be explored. Participants can exchange their ideas and questions.

Speaker Biography: Dr. Jamieson is Professor & Department Chair, Organization Learning & Development, College of Education, Leadership & Counseling at the University of St. Thomas. He is also President of the Jamieson Consulting Group, Inc. and a Distinguished Visiting Scholar in other OD programs. He has 40 years of experience consulting to organizations on leadership, change, strategy, design and human resource issues. He is a Past National President of the American Society for Training and Development (1984) and Past Chair of the Management Consultation Division (1996) and Practice Theme Committee (2000-03) of the Academy of Management. He was the recent recipient of the 2015 Distinguished Scholar-Practitioner Career Achievement Award from the Academy of Management and The Lifetime Achievement Award from the Organization Development Network. He currently Chairs the Organization Development Education Association.

Dave is co-author of Managing Workforce 2000: Gaining the Diversity Advantage (Jossey-Bass, 1991), co-author of The Facilitator’s Fieldbook, 3rd Edition (AMACOM, 2012), co-author of Consultation for Organizational Change (IAP, 2010) and Consultation for Organization Change, Revisited (2016) and co-author of Handbook for Strategic HR: Best Practices in Organization Development from the OD Network (AMACOM, 2012). In addition he has published 16 chapters and numerous articles in journals and newsletters. He serves as Editor of Seasonings, an OD Network on-line journal; Associate Editor for the Reflections on Experience Section of the Journal of Management Inquiry and on the Editorial Boards for the Journal of Applied Behavioral Science, Journal of Organization Change Management and Organization Development Practitioner.

Speaker Biography: Rachael L. Narel, CISA is currently an Engagement Manager at an IT consulting company leading their Business Intelligence practice area. Prior to this position, Rachael spent over 13 years in various leadership, product development, customer development, marketing and operational roles at a controls and analytics software company working closely with customers and team members on several of their product lines.  Narel is currently pursuing a PhD in Organization Development at Benedictine University where she also earned her Master of Science in Management and Organization Behavior.  She has a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology and Biology from Saint Xavier University and is also a Certified Technical Trainer.  She can be reached at rlnarel@hotmail.com.

You are a failure...if you succeed in business, but fail in life

Richard Anderson

HTG Peer Groups

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You are a failure...if you succeed in business, but fail in life. Join me for a walk through the power of the four plans: Business Plan, Leadership Plan, Life Plan, and Legacy Plan. There will be a special emphasis on strategic life planning and the power of a peer group to help you drive business and personal growth by execution through accountability.

Speaker Biography: Rich is a peer group facilitator and executive coach with HTG Peer Groups where he walks with leaders in life and business to help them reach their desired growth and legacy. Energized by helping people organize and execute around their priorities he consults on understanding personality, conflict resolution, judgment assessment and strategic life planning.

Rich is a retired private practice attorney where he advised business owners from startup through succession, estate planning, and conflict resolution. Rich also served as a judicial law clerk for the Iowa Supreme Court and served four terms in the Iowa House of Representatives.


If the architecture is to create readiness for future organizational success, the architect needs to be on top of what’s new out there. What is the role of architecture in helping organizations discover and adapt disruptive technologies? What’s exciting and new on the horizon?

NoSQL and Agility: Why Document and Graph Stores Rock

Dan McCreary

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We have all heard about how NoSQL databases are being adopted by companies such as Google, LinkedIn, Twitter, Yahoo and Amazon. Many data architects are told that the primary reason for abandoning RDBMS systems is the inability to scale to hundreds of nodes in a data center. This presentation will focus on how Document Stores and Graph stores also offer another compelling reason to leave RDBMS systems: the need for increased agility. We will look at some typical use cases and success stories from a local organization. We will also address some of the challenges of measuring agility.

Speaker Biography: "Dan is an enterprise data architect with a focus on NoSQL database architectures. He?s worked at Bell Labs and Steve Job''s NeXT Computer as well as founding his own consulting firm of over 75 people. His interests include topics such as high performance computing, programming languages, databases and XML standards. He has published articles on the semantic web, metadata registries, US Federal XML standards, XForms, XQuery and XRX. He is co-founder of the ""NoSQL Now!"" conference and is a co-author of the book ""Making Sense of NoSQL"" by Manning Publications. Dan is currently a Principal Consultant for MarkLogic.

Finding Meaning in Big Data: Converged Semantic Modeling

Joe Roushar

Chief Technology Officer: Epacca, Inc.

Big Data technologies can support converged structured data and unstructured content, opening the door to qualitative analyses that complement and add depth to traditional quantitative reporting and analytics. To consistently deliver actionable insights, however, contextually aware semantic models, such as ontologies or concept graphs are essential. In this presentation, I will describe successful implementations of these ideas in Health Care, Manufacturing (chemical compliance), Search and e-Commerce to show the components and strategies needed to get the most value out of big data implementations. I will also discuss how business process models and rules can use semantics and context.

Speaker Biography: Joe Roushar is an enterprise business systems and information architect with experience in information and systems governance, architecting knowledge frameworks and automating knowledge tasks. With graduate level education in Natural Language Processing at Tokyo Institute of Technology and in artificial intelligence at the University of Minnesota, Joe has spent the last few decades working in health insurance and financial services, manufacturing, retail and government to improve outcomes through traditional architectures, hosted and XaaS strategies, advanced, model-based technologies, big data and content convergence. Currently a business technology architect at Medtronic, Joe has been at H.B. Fuller, Optum, Thrivent, Ameriprise, Scott County, Procter and Gamble, GoGo Inflight, Blue Cross and Regis. He holds a patent for an ontological approach to natural language understanding and translation. He lives with his wife, Ann, on the Rum River north of Minneapolis, where he enjoys canoeing, kayaking, camping, nordic skiing and photography. When inside, he can be found performing music and genealogy research. Joe’s blog is http://understandingcontext.com/.

Microservices Architecture

Somasundram Balakrushnan

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Microservice Architecture (MSA) is a relatively new concept attracting lot of interest and adoption across the IT industry. The Open Group SOA Workgroup has formed a team, comprising of technologists from various member companies, to analyze and reflect on MSA both from industry observation and professional experiences. Som (Somasundram Balakrushnan) will present the following:

  1. MSA Defined: Key defining characteristics that make up MSA
  2. Industry themes of MSA implementations in-practice
  3. Update on current work on MSA @ The Open Group

Key takeaways:

  1. Clear understanding of characteristics that make up a Microservice Architecture (MSA),
  2. Real-world Industry themes of MSA implementation - that one can use to solution for your own enterprise.
  3. An idea about MSA related work going on within The Open Group and what can be excepted.

Speaker Biography: Somasundram Balakrushnan (Som) is a TOGAF 9 Certified Enterprise Architecture practitioner. With his global IT industry experience, he provides Thought Leadership to his clients in the Financial Services industry. Som is a professional consultant with a proven track record in Enterprise Architecture and SOA consulting engagements. He has led key transformational change programs within complex IT landscapes. Som is involved with many of The Open Group activities, and is well known within the work groups. His association with The Open Group includes: SOA WG, Microservice Architecture (MSA), TOGAF Next, Open Platform 3.0 (SMAC). He is leading the Microservice Architecture (MSA) group in the capacity of Co-Chair. He has authored/co-authored many whitepapers, including The Open Group's "Business Scenario: Open Platform 3.0". Som is also an active member of AEA-MN (Association of Enterprise Architects - Minnesota Chapter).

An Unfair Advantage: IoT Meets CRM

Paul Selway

President & Co-Founder at Redpath Consulting Group

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From cars, toothbrushes, security systems and fitness bands the Internet of Things (IoT) is rapidly expanding . Now IoT is entering business, where the potential for an unfair advantage is further amplified when IoT devices are connected to modern cloud based Customer Relationship Management (CRM) architectures.

This talk will briefly describe IoT, discuss IoT trends from a business context, then follow with real examples of value when IoT meets CRM. This will be an interactive session.

Speaker Biography: A picture of Paul Selway Paul brings to Redpath Consulting Group over 30 years of experience in the consulting industry. His extensive background and career progression through the roles of Quality Management Consultant, Managing Consultant, Technology Director and Managing Partner began from a solid foundation as a Software Engineer. Paul is a Certified Salesforce Sales Cloud consultant. His experience was gained from numerous management consulting engagements for clients in both Europe and North America with a focus on the financial, banking, brokerage, and capital markets industries. Paul holds an Electronics Degree, B.Sc. Hons Computer Science Degree and an International MBA from Henley Management College in England.


Architecture must be on the forefront to help organizations respond rapidly to change at an ever-increasing velocity. The time horizon for adapting to change is shifting from months and years to days and weeks. Architects too must embrace new methods and seek out ways to guide the enterprise in the context of competitive environments, rapid change, and ever-shrinking delivery cycles.

Driving Business Transformation with Business Architecture

Whynde Kuehn

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Many large organizations are in the midst of major transformational change to meet customer and market demands as well as operational needs. No matter what the size though, all organizations need to continue innovating and move their strategies and ideas into action quickly and well.

In this session we will look at an enterprise transformation case study and explore key topics such as:

  • How can business architecture be the driver for and foundation of enterprise transformation?
  • What does this significant role require of a business architect?
  • What can business architects do now to prepare themselves to meet this challenge?

Speaker Biography: Whynde is Principal of S2E Consulting Inc. She is a long-time business architecture practitioner, educator and industry thought leader. She is a former practice leader and has developed business architecture for some of the largest business transformations in the world. Whynde also has extensive experience helping clients to build their own business architecture practices. Whynde is a Co-Founder, Board Member and Editorial Board Member of the Business Architecture Guild. Passionate about using business as a force for good and systematic change, she also founded Metanoia Global Inc., which helps social entrepreneurs to start, scale and sustain successful businesses.

How to Survive and Thrive in an Agile World

Alex Randell

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The rapid shift to agile for technical and business solutions requires architects to consider a more agile approach. Architects must first learn to survive in an agile world, but then can learn to leverage this new delivery model for better results. In this session, architects will receive foundational insight to melding agile and architecture, learn strategies to adapt to an agile world, and better understand how they can work with agile teams in order to mutually build success for business partners.

Speaker Biography: Alex Randell is a Consulting Business Architect at Principal Financial Group, where he facilitates the translation of business strategy and capabilities, including the strategy-to-execution framework and business/technology alignment. Alex is a member of the Business Architecture Guild''s Advisory and Editorial Boards, Collaborative Team Leader, and co-founder of the Business Architecture Des Moines group. He has over 15 years of experience in marketing and technology and holds an MBA with a Marketing emphasis from the University of Iowa. Alex is a Certified Business Architect (CBA) (R) via the Business Architecture Guild.

The Art of Acceleration

Rich Thomsen & Amitav Singh

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"Does your business want to reduce the time-to-market of technology projects, experience predictable costs, and cultivate an innovation mindset in your IT organization? Amitav Singh and Rich Thomsen will share the story and lessons learned from Blue Cross and Blue Shield’s development of the ‘accelerator’ team concept. You will receive examples of how IT and business collaboration, automation, cloud services and agile concepts can create positive outcomes. In addition, they will provide real-world insight into how Blue Cross’s accelerator team is working with traditional IT teams to provide long-term architectural value and supportability."

Speaker Biography: Rich Thomsen has influenced IT operations as a hosted services engineer, technical delivery lead, and solution architect for 18 years. Rich is currently a Solution Architect within the Technology Consulting Group at Blue Cross. In his role as cloud architect, Rich promotes the use of public and private cloud services to accelerate new business initiatives.

Speaker Biography: Amitav has nineteen years of experience in IT and has been at various levels of responsibility from being a Programmer/Analyst to managing and providing leadership to IT delivery teams . Currently Amitav is leading the Technology Consulting Group at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota and reports to the Chief Enterprise Architect. He has played a key role in building accelerator teams and development of innovation capability at BlueCross.

The Agile challenge to Enterprise Architecture

Charles Betz

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The Agile movement is one of the most significant movements in the history of information technology and computing. Agile and enterprise architecture are sometimes in conflict; this talk proposes some reconciliation approaches:

  • Current topics in Agile enterprise transformation
  • Finding common ground in systems thinking
  • Making the case for architecture standards, in Agile terms
  • The OODA (Observe, Orient, Decide, Act) loop as EA motivation
  • The importance of the Kanban movement
  • Understanding the importance of visual communication
  • How EA techniques can be used to ?unblock? obstacles to Agile
  • The IT4IT Agile scenario

Speaker Biography: Charlie Betz is the founder of Digital Management Academy LLC, a training, advisory, and consulting firm focused on Lean and Agile approaches to managing the "business of IT." He has held product owner and architect positions for Wells Fargo, AT&T, Best Buy, Target, and Accenture, specializing in IT management, Cloud, and enterprise architecture. He is author of The Architecture of IT Management and co-author of works with Lean collaborators and for ISACA's COBIT. He is a founding member of the IT4IT Forum, developing a new reference architecture for IT management. Charlie is an instructor at the University of St. Thomas.

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