June 24, 2013 Issue
The Most Powerful Name In Corporate News and Information
Optimizing Business Performance for Fortune 500 Clients through Two Pronged Enterprise Business Transformation Programs, 4Xor Provides Real Time, Total Solutions by Leveraging a Diverse, Patented Template Methodology
About 4Xor Corporation:
4Xor is an Enterprise Business Transformation consulting services organization focused on providing a total solution to our clients. The company was created by combining the expertise of four individuals with a long, diverse history in IT business implementations.
The founders believe
true transformation happens when we can optimize the customer’s performance
in real-time with real results. Success is achieved using modern
technologies to inspire and enable Enterprise Business Transformation. Our
approach is to understand the business challenges and, through our years of
experience, implement a Program Portfolio Management system leveraging our
diverse template driven methodology and tools to provide a comprehensive
road map and total solution. Since inception, we have developed a highly
skilled team to help our clients find the right mix of people, process and
technology delivering performance optimization.
“Transcending the Power of All of Us.”
Enterprise Business Transformation
Interview conducted by:
Lynn Fosse, Senior Editor, CEOCFO Magazine, Published – June 24, 2013
CEOCFO: Ms. Wharton, would you tell us about 4Xor and what you do?
Ms. Wharton: We are an Enterprise Business Transformation organization. For us that is optimizing business performance in real-time with real results.
4Xor is an Enterprise
Business Transformation consulting services organization focused on
providing a total solution to our clients.
As President and Chief Executive Officer, I provide the strategic vision for the organization and the leadership to make it happen. I spend most of my time focusing on growing client relationships and developing partnerships across the industry.
CEOCFO: For whom do you typically provide this service?
Ms. Wharton: Services are typically provided to firms that are growing at a rapid pace either merging with other companies or acquiring other companies. During this time, there is a need to integrate them, get them streamlined in order to turn a profit, Return on Investment (ROI). We really focus on building the business case with the ROI and developing the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) so that we can measure along the way as we are integrating the company. This is primarily where our large programs come from. Other customers can be any size business that is in growth mode; typically businesses that are pretty stagnant or just staying status quo would not really need our services. Another area that we are seeing a great deal of growth in is working with equity firms that are looking for companies for their customers to purchase. We look at the condition of the company from a strategy, people, process and technology alignment before it is purchased, not just financially. In the past the big accounting firms would do a financial assessment of the company but they do not really look at it from a functional perspective. We look at the strategic objectives of that company and if it is operationally aligned to meet those objectives and how are they working today operationally. That gives a good view of the company before it is purchased and then post acquisition we have a plan to integrate the company or to set it on a new path with a new set of objectives, depending upon what the new ownership is looking to do. Helping companies through the M & A process is an area where our company is seeing substantial growth.
CEOCFO: When you look at a company what do you look at that might be different; how do you assess a company? What is the secret sauce?
Ms. Wharton: I think the secret sauce is our newly patented methodology, 4X, it is a two prong approach, top down/bottom up in making sure that they match; that is our key differentiator. If I use my own company as an example as CEO, I know what the strategic objectives of the company are and I need to be able to push those down so that operationally every department and their operating plans align to meet those strategic objectives. When we look at a company one of the first things we want to know from the leadership is what the strategic objectives are and then, operationally, if they think they are aligned. From the top down we try to see where the leadership thinks things are. We go down to the bottom and look at the current state process and the operational plans. We look at people, process and technology to see if they are really aligned against the strategic objectives or are they really trying to solve some other problem that is not really the objective of the company. The second step, if they are aligned against the strategic objectives, is helping them to optimize business performance. Are they organizationally effective? Are their processes efficient and is the technology supporting those objectives? Rather than acting as a system integrator where they always think that technology is the solution to everything, we do not necessarily think that at all. We believe that strategic alignment comes first, then a good mix of people, process and technology.
CEOCFO: Do you find that most of the companies you work with believe you when you tell them what is wrong?
Ms. Wharton: They are usually in shock. Typically the C levels are so busy running a company they do not realize that they are not really communicating down to the lowest levels. They are often very surprised how misaligned the organization actually is against the strategic objectives. They find they are spending money on many things that have nothing to do with where they are strategically headed. First and foremost, getting the organization refocused and strategically aligned with their objectives is a big competitive advantage and then we can focus on the rest.
CEOCFO: Do they believe you?
Ms. Wharton: Yes they do because we are able to show them. The first assessment top down looks at the strategic objectives and the operational alignment; from the bottom up we are looking at the current state, so we are quickly able to show them the alignment or misalignment and that is where we build the business case for changes. As we understand their KPIs we can help to ensure they are measuring the right things and then give them a process to keep measuring against their objectives. This is just the beginning but it is typically enough for Executive Management to understand the value proposition.
CEOCFO: Are there particular verticals you focus on and does it matter what the industry is or is your approach agnostic?
Ms. Wharton: Yes, we have our own patented methodology to do this so what we tell people is that it is situation and application agnostic. It can be any size company or any vertical. All companies regardless of the business they are in whether they are hauling trash or they are a hospital all have some strategic objectives and they all have that they measure the success or failure of what they are doing. They all have things that need to be improved. The method that we have created is actually agnostic so it can work across all verticals.
CEOCFO: What have you changed most if anything in your approach from the time you first started and what have you learned as you have developed the process?
Ms. Wharton: I spent most of my years in technology as a systems integrator. One of the things I learned about being a system integrator is that our only goal was give them whatever software they want as quickly as possible. Most of our customers, while the software worked, did not gain any advantage of having it. They often were not very happy because they expected some magical result that things were all going to be better. It really was not possible without all the pieces: strategy, people, process and technology. What we have done and what I have changed most is I have gone from just a methodology and approach that is about technology to a methodology that expands strategy, people, process and technology. I do not actually believe there is a method in the market today that starts where we start with the strategic objectives. I think that is our biggest leap. There are little companies that focus on organizational alignment (people) and companies that focus on process and some focus on just technology; however there are a very few, if any that focus on strategy, people, process and technology. It takes all the pieces to deliver a total solution. We’ve pulled all of those together in our methodology so we have a really fluid approach, which is our key, from beginning to end. Our customers can see the difference.
CEOCFO: How do your customers find you and how do you reach out?
Ms. Wharton: We have received many customers via word-of-mouth. We attend tradeshows. I do a great deal of speaking and I do a lot of educational engagements. To give you an example of a speaking engagement, there is an organization for Chief of Information Officers (CIO) that holds regional forums. The only way you can speak to them is to get invited by the CIOs. I travel around the country, regionally, speaking to CIOs about different issues they have. It is more of an educational event, so they give a list of topics that they would like to hear about and I pick one of those as my topic. It is not a really sales-type event but it builds relationships and it certainly opens many doors for us. We are also an Oracle partner and attend several major Oracle tradeshows throughout the year. We stay very busy.
CEOCFO: When you bring people into the company, what are the intangibles you look for so that they will understand your corporate culture?
Ms. Wharton: Largely our company looks for folks that have been in the industry for a longtime; we find they are more like minded in discovering the missing pieces. The second thing we look for are leadership and team skills and we look for skills that are unique in each of our own backgrounds. When I look at my senior team, they run the gamut. I have experts in process engineering, technology, enterprise architecture and cloud computing; we cover a broad spectrum including business strategy. That layering just flows down into the teams and we do that within each of those business units as we call them so that we always have the expert in our field. It is about leadership and team building. The key thing is that they have an open mind and then we can train them because we want them to learn and embrace our methodology. That is key to being successful here because, with everything we do, we follow our patented method every time.
CEOCFO: Why should the business and investment community pay attention to 4Xor and what makes 4Xor special?
Our patented methodology
and its two prong; top down/bottom up approach continues to set us apart in
“Our patented methodology and its two prong; top down/bottom up approach continues to set us apart in the industry.”- Terry Wharton
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