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Digital Services Playbook Blog Series Introduction

Today’s blog was written by Ryan Moore, Periscope’s Director of Product Management. It is the first in a series of blog posts about the Digital Services Playbook created by the U.S. Digital Service, a team focused on improving and simplifying the digital experience that people and businesses have with their government.

In 2013 the Federal government launched one of the cornerstone initiatives under President Obama, HealthCare.gov. The ambitious website was plagued with early technical problems, and it quickly became evident that the old-school practices for expensive development projects were not compatible with building highly technical digital systems in the ever evolving information technology landscape. As a result of these early stumbles, the Administration sought out those in the private sector that had the skills and experience to both turnaround HealthCare.gov, and to proactively lead the public sector in the fast paced digital services environment.

This new group of talented innovators formed what is now the U.S. Digital Service, a team with one core mission, to improve and simplify the digital experience that people and businesses have with their government by:

  • Establishing standards to bring the government’s digital services in line with the best private sector services;
  • Identifying common technology patterns that will help us scale services effectively;
  • Collaborating with agencies to identify and address gaps in their capacity to design, develop, deploy and operate excellent citizen-facing services; and
  • Providing accountability to ensure agencies see results.

In an effort to achieve this mission, in August the Administration released the Digital Services Playbook, a guidebook for agencies and developers that lays out 13 best practices that will help deliver more value from the digital products and services we all heavily rely upon today.

13 Plays in the Digital Services Playbook

  • Understand what people need
  • Address the whole experience, from start to finish
  • Make it simple and intuitive
  • Build the service using agile and iterative practices
  • Structure budgets and contracts to support delivery
  • Assign one leader and hold that person accountable
  • Bring in experienced teams
  • Choose a modern technology stack
  • Deploy in a flexible hosting environment
  • Automate testing and deployments
  • Manage security and privacy through reusable processes
  • Use data to drive decisions
  • Default to open

As thought leaders at the intersection between technology and public procurement, Periscope has been an early adopter in the move towards more agile and lean development practices. We were excited to see this acknowledgement that agile development and the government sector not only can be compatible, but are actually the best practice for building digital services that bring the most value for every dollar spent.

Over the next few months, Periscope will be highlighting some of the key plays in the Digital Services Playbook that help drive our day-to-day decision making. We hope to use this opportunity to educate our clients and partners on how these plays can be used to build better eProcurement solutions. We also want to establish a dialogue with other procurement professionals and to hear your feedback on how these plays are working, so we can continue to improve the products and processes you use every day.

Please check back in two weeks for the next blog in this series which will explore how Periscope is using these plays as we work with our clients and partners to eradicate waste and maximize the value of every dollar spent.


Skills & Capabilities of Successful Procurement Professionals

Earlier this year Andrew Bartolini, Publisher of CPORising.com published a fantastic blog series highlighting the key skills and capabilities that a successful procurement professional should have. His list included:

1. Data Analysis
2. Financial Analysis
3. The Sourcing Process
4. Category Management
5. Supply Market Knowledge
6. Cash Management
7. Contract Management
8. Business Consulting Skills
9. Leveraging Technology to Drive Business Value
10. Supplier Performance Management
11. Supply Risk Management
12. Operational Procurement
13. Project Management
14. Presentation Skills

You can click here to read all of the blogs in this series. When you think about your future as a procurement professional, which skills and capabilities will you focus on developing?

Periscope works with procurement professionals every day, and we are in awe of your diverse skills and expertise. We applaud your hard work and leadership, and we stand with you.


Periscope Ranked #12 on Austin Business Journal’s Fast 50 List

Last week the Austin Business Journal hosted the Fast 50 Reception & Awards Presentation. The ABJ Fast 50 list recognizes the fastest-growing private companies in Central Texas. In order to qualify for the Fast 50, companies must show dramatic revenue growth over the past three years. Revenue numbers are verified by a third party, and the companies are then ranked in 2 categories – above $10 million in revenue and under $10 million in revenue.

Periscope ranked #12 on the Fast 50 list of companies with more than $10 million in revenue, with an annual compounded growth rate of 56.3% between 2011 and 2013. Our raw growth rate during that timeframe was 144%. We are honored to be recognized as one of the fastest growing companies in the fastest growing U.S. economy.

How have we achieved this level of success after 13 years in business? The #1 key to Periscope’s growth is our steadfast focus on our purpose. Going through the process of understanding our purpose rapidly accelerated our growth. It was truly a turning point for our organization. We now grasp the power of what we do – we sell more than just eProcurement software and services that transform public procurement; we sell a reason to take action. We focus on helping our customers – states, counties, cities, school districts, special districts, non-profits, and institutions of higher education – recognize that the savings they realize from our solutions can be reinvested in achieving their organization’s purpose. Knowing your purpose is powerful, and it has profoundly impacted the way we approach our work.

Check out coverage of the Fast 50 in the online edition of the Austin Business Journal here.


Periscope Holdings Ranked 1 of Austin’s Fast 50!

The Austin Business Journal recently released its ‘Fast 50′ list of the Austin area’s fastest-growing private companies, and we’re honored that Periscope Holdings has made the list. In order to qualify for the Fast 50, companies must show dramatic revenue growth over the past three years. Revenue numbers are verified by a third party, and the companies are then ranked in 2 categories – above $10 million in revenue and under $10 million in revenue. Rankings will be released on October 16th at an event hosted by the Austin Business Journal and profiles of the Fast 50 winners will appear in the October 18th issue of the ABJ.

Join us on October 16th to celebrate this accomplishment and find out our ranking! Get the details about the 2014 Fast 50 Cocktail Reception & Awards here.


NIGP Forum: The Time Has Come!

The Annual NIGP Forum officially kicks off today in Philadelphia. All week we have been highlighting our list of MUST ATTEND sessions at Forum here on our blog. You can see our full list of recommended sessions here.

By now I’m sure you are either already in Philly, on your way to Philly, or getting ready to leave for Philly…here’s to safe travels, lots of networking, plenty of learning, and CONNECTING PROCUREMENT COMMUNITIES!

Remember to check out the 2014 NIGP Forum Program Guide here and/or download the 2014 NIGP Forum App here to make your Forum experience fantastic.

We hope to see you at the Products Expo on August 25-26 at the Pennsylvania Convention Center. Plan to stop by the Periscope Holdings Booth #506 to learn about how we transform public and higher education procurement with a focus on eradicating waste and maximizing the value of every dollar spent. You can show us your putting skills for a chance to win an iPad Mini or a personal delivery of delicious Philly Cheesesteaks to your home.

Also, please visit the NIGP Services Pavilion #501 to learn more about the NIGP Code and NIGP Consulting Services.

NIGP Forum 2014…let’s do this!


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