Our Founder, Bill Dickenson, has been involved with application development for the majority of his career. While our CEO, Chris brags that his first semester of computer science used teletypes, paper tape and punch cards, he also asserts that Bill began his computing career on an abacus. Whatever the genesis of their careers, both are noted for using technology to significantly improve operational efficiency.
In Bill’s case, his focus has been on greater productivity and quality in application development. Chris has always applied technology to the improvement of business processes. It could be said that Bill has been focused on the supply end of technology while Chris was on the demand side. Bill’s career DNA includes software science and development at Dupont, PwC, and IBM. Chris has bounced back and forth between pure technology and business operations at GE, Citi, PwC, and IBM. At PwC and IBM their customers have been members of the top 100 corporations in the world.
Bill and Chris were colleagues at PricewaterhouseCoopers Consulting which was acquired by IBM in 2002. At IBM, Bill continued on the technology development track being a key contributor to the Smarter ADM service offering in Global Business Services. At the time of Bill’s departure from IBM in 2013 he was Vice President Application Management Services for the Communications Sector which included Energy and Utilities, Media and Entertainment, and Telecommunications.
Chris meanwhile pursued outsourcing governance becoming the senior point of contact for some of IBM’s largest customers. He was responsible for contracts encompassing IBM’s entire outsourcing offering including Business Process Services, Application Management Services, Global Technology Services, and Global Business Services. In this role he ensured delivery of the financial and operational results promised in outsourcing contracts, while at the same time optimizing IBM’s own internal operations to be as high quality, efficient, and profitable as possible. Bill recruited him to come over to the consulting organization where Chris ultimately retired in 2014 as Industry Leader for Energy and Utilities AMS.
After IBM, Bill served briefly in a senior capacity at Ciber and then joined CAST Software with the idea of satisfying his personal quest for software quality. While at CAST, Bill applied his decades of operational knowledge and technical experience to helping customers improve the quality of their code base. He also worked with CAST developers to translate customer requirements into product enhancements. While CAST holds a leadership position in software quality measurement, Bill had a passion to create something more which would directly impact delivered code quality to improve DevOps results.
With Bill’s quest for better DevOps performance lying well outside the mission statement of CAST, and his son Bill showing an interest in the idea, father and son started working together in their spare time to experiment with the elder Bill’s ideas. Over the span of several months they explored methods and tested theories. It quickly became apparent that the time proven methods of scanning code for errors and weaknesses took too long and often resulted in false or incomplete results. Eventually the pair stopped trying to get old methods to perform better and invented a completely new paradigm in code scanning.
Along the way Chris, who was now semi-retired, acquired an MBA with an I.T. Management focus, a M.S. in Management and Leadership, and a M.Ed. in Learning and Technology. His plan was to “retire into teaching” while still doing management consulting as an independent. Bill was sharing his DevOps quality ideas and Chris kept thinking about how much easier his job at IBM would have been if this sort of tool had been available to support outsourcing governance. Becoming interested in the possibilities emerging from the Dickensons’ work, Chris spent more and more time brainstorming with Bill. In 2020 Bill asked Chris to come on board to create the commercial delivery model for the product now called VeriPrism.
We like to say that VeriPrism was formed during unprecedented times to deliver unparalleled results. Early on, before the pandemic, Bill and Chris decided that whatever they built it would not be a mini-IBM or PwC. There are several overarching principles in the formation of VeriPrism:
– produce results implying clear action items without the need for consulting
– stay off airplanes if possible (they both have been there, done that, and the t-shirts are now rags)
– results produced should be comprehensive, comprehensible, and competent
– value of output should be indisputable (you shouldn’t have to hire consultants to explain the value of your purchase!)
– shared services or outsourcing governance should be supported
One of the lucky early decisions was including Bill’s son in the process. As a mathematician, inventor, programmer of IoT devices, and devotee of engineering – with no ingrained programming background – he was able to look at the goals without preconception of the methods to achieve the goals. Statements like “Why does it have to be this way?” and “That seems dumb” have often been included in the (printable) content of design and development sessions. VeriPrism was truly designed on a clean slate without the burden of decades of legacy code and absolutely no “it’s always been done this way” thinking.
Once the pandemic hit, the true value of the early design principles became apparent. As Bill’s son required additional expertise to complete specific product aspects, he utilized contractors from around the world. Contributors from Germany, Italy, Argentina, India, France, Australia, and of course the United States have provided components of the product. The entire project was bootstrapped by Bill and Chris so they were free to utilize the best resources regardless of location. Traditional venture capital investment would have had us hiring geographically convenient resources to fill up centrally located space and attempting to deliver results under those burdens and constraints. VeriPrism has been developed with the best input available from around the world, at the moment it was needed, and only for as long as needed.
While at PwC Consulting, Chris had the privilege of being acknowledged in the preface of “Place to Space” a 2001 book by Dr. Peter Weill (now Senior Research Scientist and Chair of CISR at MIT) and Dr. Michael Vitale. Almost 20 years ago they posited that business would move more and more away from physical concentrations and toward virtual connections. Almost 20 years later a global pandemic is both proving their points and forcing the issue. Their book which was prophetic in 2001 is today prescriptive and still worth a read. Businesses which had moved to the cloud with more distributed delivery and support methods are continuing to function while those tied to geography and physical plant have been struggling. VeriPrism was designed to be effective, supportable, and successful in all operating environments.
VeriPrism includes something else – practicality. Both in the maintenance of our own product and its application in your environment, 80 years of practical experience with some of the best, biggest, and smartest companies in the world is included in its design. There are no “gee whiz” features in our product. Every output has a useful application. We do not give you mounds of data to confuse and confound then send in our consultants to shoehorn and explain. While we designed our product to do most of the work for you – and us – Bill and/or Chris will perform operational consulting as available. We do not at present plan to build out a consulting organization which would then require us to find ways to keep them billable.
The VeriPrism name is indicative of what the product does. Like a prism, it splits component parts of software code into analysis units and then verifies those analysis units against globally-acknowledged standards. VeriPrism simply and quickly helps you get on with the business of producing solid, secure, optimally functioning code with no smoke and mirrors – by design.
VeriPrism is About You and Your Code. For clients who want to know more About Us you will find our LinkedIn profiles below.