As some of you may have read by the recent press announcement, the company I founded in 1999 known as DPCI has reorganized into two companies. One, now called TrazerEdge, will be run by two long-time executives of the company – Tracy Gardner and Joozer Tohfafarosh and will be focused on software development and integration services. The second, still called DPCI, will continue to be run by me and will remain focused on Strategic Technology and Workflow Consulting.
Tracy Gardner is announced as the CEO of TrazerEdge. Tracy has worked at DPCI since 2001 and has been my “Number One” on the starship DPCI for all those years. I’ve known Tracy since our days together at IMAGE Inc. She is a caring, passionate advocate for customers, for doing what is right, and for making sure that the trains keep moving on multiple projects. The special superhuman skill Tracy seems to have is her attention to hundreds (thousands?) of details across multiple projects. I haven’t met a customer that hasn’t become addicted to Tracy’s concierge mindset in implementation services.
Joozer Tohfafarosh, announced as CTO of TrazerEdge, has been on staff at DPCI since 2001 and has been Vice President of Technology for well over a decade. Continuing the Star Trek analogy, Joozer has been like Scotty in engineering, with his unique gift in implementing innovative technologies as well as in solving problems that seem insurmountable. He has been instrumental in helping numerous organizations implement their technology vision. I have no doubt that under Tracy and Joozer’s leadership, TrazerEdge will continue the tradition of leadership in the area of content technology implementation services.
A Brief History
I started DPCI as a kind of personal technology playground, specifically as a way for me to experiment with the fascinating innovations happening in content technologies. The company name – DPCI – stands for Database Publishing Consultants, Inc. Back in 1999, the concept was to centralize content (images, text, video) in a single repository then to publish (or ‘deliver’) that content to print, Web, and even mobile devices. In fact, DPCI had implemented the earliest platforms in multichannel technology found anywhere, delivering content to the earliest of mobile devices that supported WAP/WML while supporting organizations’ needs to deliver content first to QuarkXPress, then later to InDesign templates.
Early in the 2000’s we designed a platform, first called AutoPOD, then JiffyPub, then finally Digital Flywheel, that would centralize content to offer a dynamic publishing engine to marketers and publishers that need to version content. We took the additional innovative step of connecting Digital Flywheel to a number of popular digital asset management systems of that day (circa 2004/2005) such as Artesia TEAMS, Telescope, MediaBank, QuarkDMS, and several others.
In the mid-2000’s we became exceedingly disillusioned with the rapacious business practices of software companies in the content management and digital asset management sector. The technologies were moving too slowly, the business units were becoming more aggressively competitive with professional services firms like DPCI, and there were limitations on what we could do with respect to enterprise application integration of these technologies with other technologies and with our customers’ internal business systems.
We took the innovative and somewhat daring step of converting our business from one focused on proprietary enterprise platforms to those of open source projects. In 2006/2007 I led an initiative at the company to select a best-of-breed open-source CMS alternative to the proprietary platforms – that initiative led us to Drupal. A couple of years later, we sought a best-of-breed open-source DAM alternative and came upon Entermedia. Shortly afterwards we built the integration module between Drupal and Entermedia, known as emBridge, which itself is open-sourced and readily available for download on drupal.org. We made these momentous decisions while also continuing to support our customers workflow technology needs with proprietary software companies like vjoon (K4) and Adobe Systems. In recent years, we established partnerships with open-source technology projects such as OpenKM and CiviCRM – all to support our customer base’s growing need to move more nimbly with the integration of interrelated content and business management technologies.
I could recount the many other innovations in technology and implementation best practices that we succeeded with over these past 20 years, but that would be more of a book than a personal narrative of what is happening right now in my life. In addition to all the successes, I’ve had my failures, but as Michael Jordan once said about failure: “I have missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I have lost almost 300 games. On 26 occasions I have been entrusted to take the game winning shot, and I missed. I have failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”
What’s Next For Joe
In recent years, my passion for helping organizations sort out their strategic technology issues has grown. Of all the projects I’ve done these decades, the ones that have been most satisfying are those where I’ve helped enterprises sort out why they keep falling short in their technology implementations, or minimally haven’t been getting the most out of their IT investments or staff resources.
I had many conversations with my colleagues at DPCI, principally Tracy Gardner and Joozer Tohfararosh, about my changing passion to focus on strategic technology advisory services. They both re-enforced to me their continued passion for enterprise technology implementations with software like Drupal, Entermedia, and OpenKM, to name just a few. Together, we decided it would make great sense to split the company in two so that each of us could focus on our passions, to the benefit of our customers.
TrazerEdge will continue to offer implementation services around technologies such as Drupal, Entermedia and OpenKM, among other development platforms. DPCI, in turn, will focus on fractional CTO-services, which include helping organizations map strategy to technology decisions, instituting best practices in the implementation and maintenance of technology(ies), and refining, then instituting, best practices in IT staff resource management and workflows. The two companies will continue to partner on behalf of customers on an ongoing basis.
I will appreciate hearing from you on your thoughts about what organizations could use DPCI's technology and workflow consulting services. As always feel free to reach out to me through the usual channels. Thank you for taking the time to read this personal message.