Audits & Assessments
Confluence performs strategic technology assessments as a core part of our business. For smaller organizations, we offer an affordable, fixed price project that can be completed within one or two weeks. For larger organizations, we will create a custom assessment project based on the number of staff and other variables.
Our approach has been validated in the hundreds of assessments we have done over the years. We conduct focused interviews with functionally-similar staff.
This input is combined with a comprehensive inventory of equipment, and inspection of many other "artifacts" — forms, spreadsheets, the website, and organizational background information. From all these sources of input, we create a unique consolidated report that contains, in one place, a description of how each organization is set up from a technical perspective, what services are in use, and how much they cost. With turnover in some organizations, this presents a common understanding that is very appreciated of what technology is in use and why.
For each area of technology, we provide a clear explanation of the options available, their pros and cons, and our recommendations when appropriate. All the recommendations are consolidated into an "action plan" — a clear summary of everything that should be done, with cost, priority, who is responsible and schedule detailed. The action plan is completed with the client. It is instrumental in ensuring that recommendations are clear, complete and actionable. Too often, a strategic technology assessment provides general guidance, but not specific enough for an organization with limited internal technical expertise to easily move forward. We seek to eliminate barriers to action — so that our work results in lasting, real and sustainable impact.
We usually find savings (sometimes significant) in services our clients are over-paying for, don't need, or should be replaced with more appropriate solutions. Our action plans for custom assessment projects often have 50-100 specific recommendations — some easy and low cost, others more substantial and long-term. The breadth is startling — from a complete assessment of the public website and social networking strategy, to appropriateness and use of fundraising software, replacement plan for computers, and long-distance calling plans — we leave no technology stone unturned.
We are very proud of the quality of our work in this area. It draws on breadth of experience, seeing what kinds of setups work well and what doesn't, what types of organizational issues can interfere with optimum technology usage, and our sensitivity to the internal capacity of each organization for change. Our pragmatic approach and excellent writing skills produce real value — returning the investment in the assessment process many times over.
Our technology consulting services incorporate support that doesn't fit into one of our other service offerings. Examples of technology consulting engagements include:
- Providing advice on applications of social networking platforms
- Help choosing a Voice over IP Solution
- Testing of software applications
- Training on Microsoft Office 2010 and Windows 7
- Mapping of information system needs to one or more types of software products for a systems architecture
- Creating job descriptions, reviewing resumes and interviewing potential candidates for technology positions
What Our Clients Say
"We are very excited by how the new site looks! You have a wonderful team in all the work you do—[…], […], and all others!"
The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals
Assistance with hiring a new CTO; ad-hoc consulting on IT organization and a wide variety of other tasks
Association of Corporate Council
For the ACC, Confluence has provided a variety of IT consulting services, including independent testing of their custom-built software system(s), creating easy to follow documentation of systems, an audit of their website for ADA compliance, and outsourced IT project management for various internal initiatives.
Bipartisan Policy Center
Confluence performed a comprehensive strategic technology assessment for the BPC. The BPC is the only Washington, DC-based think tank that actively promotes bipartisanship, working to address the key challenges facing the nation. We interviewed over 60 staff in small groups, compiling their feedback into the primary issue areas and opportunities facing the organization. A 100+ page report included over 100 individual recommendations, large and small, which were reviewed by a smaller stakeholder group, prioritized, and compiled into an action plan. The BPC was able to move forward with the action plan on their own, making striking changes in a number of key technology areas resulting in real and positive improvements.
American Gear Manufacturers Association
Confluence assisted with improvements to their website which uses the CMS ExpressionEngine (EE). We also upgraded their website from EE 1.x to EE 2.x
Adoption Exchange Association
Confluence carried out a comprehensive information technology assessment along with migration of POP emails accounts to hosted Microsoft Exchange provided by Apptix (formerly Mi8). Confluence also assists AEA with routine technical support and other ad-hoc requests.
National Alliance to End Homelessness
Requirements analysis and assessment for CRM
St. Mark’s Episcopal Church
Confluence provided a comprehensive strategic technology assessment with recommendations. We provide ad-hoc and routine technical support.
Confluence assisted with an analysis of the performance of First Book's MySQL server (community version). We did various stress tests on the application and reviewed the structure of the database with optimization in mind, for example, looking for indices and also analyzed the programming for best practices, such as modularization and the appropriate use of stored procedures.
Governors Highway Safety Association
Requirements analysis and assessment for member management system.
Confluence assisted with an initial technology assessment followed by routine maintenance and support. We also implemented a new online survey to replace a previous paper survey, connecting to a legacy FileMaker database. We made enhancements to the legacy FileMaker database as well.
National Organization for Women
Confluence carried out a top to bottom technology assessment covering infrastructure and software, servers and desktops, network and website. Confluence assisted in setting up a new Virtual Private Server (VPS) solution and the migration of all website files and databases from the old server to the new VPS.
Our team performed technical support to help the organization transition from the DIA Salsa system to the Donor Perfect and Capwiz, including data manipulation, data mapping, and data export/import
Reproductive Health Technologies Project
Confluence assisted in improving and enhancing a legacy FileMaker database. We carried out an initial, comprehensive technology assessment. This was followed by routine infrastructure maintenance and support services.
International Student House - DC
Confluence assisted with a redesign and implementation of ISH DC's web site, and integration with on-line forms. The website connects to a resident application and management system.
Jewish Council for Public Affairs
For the JCPA, Confluence documented their use of Salsa and developed a set of targetted improvements.
Confluence was contracted by the JCPA to perform a comprehensive, strategic technology assessment. We met with all staff in small groups in Washington DC as well as at the New York City headquarters. Our engagement resulted in the organization selecting a new IT services provider, and the finalization of changes to the basic infrastructure in use. The JCPA went on to contract with Confluence to document requirements to replace the Sage FR 100 Fundraising system no longer supported by Sage. The JCPA works with Confluence as their trusted partner and go to / can do technology resource in many IT areas. We have performed ad-hoc website support for a number of different sites, provided consulting on the requirements and approach to a wholesale redesign of the site, and assisted with the implementation of the Salsa platform, walked over / installed hardware in the DC office, and so forth.
Confluence also performed a requirements analysis and assessment for an integrated contact management to replace the organization's obsolete legacy system, FR100.
St. John’s Church Lafayette Square
Confluence assisted with redesign and restructuring of web site, reimplementation in CMS. We implement weekly website updates.
Carl Vogel Center
Confluence carried out an initial technology assessment of their entire network including servers and desktops and later upgraded their email and file servers. Confluence also undertakes routine maintenance and support of their systems.
National Center for Victims of Crime
Confluence provided stop-gap infrastructure support after IT staff departure and now we provide permanent part-time IT support
Requirements analysis and assessment for CRM to decide if should replace or upgrade iMIS.
D.C. Cancer Consortium
Confluence carried out an initial technology assessment followed by deploying a new server running Microsoft's Small Business Server. We provide ad-hoc strategic technology consulting and technical assistance to end users who have trouble with the infrastructure.
Confluence was so pleased to have an opportunity to provide support to the Studio Theatre, co-founder Lisa Rau's favorite local theatre (with many close seconds). For this reknowned institution, we provided expert server support when the technical skills exceeded those of the in-house staff. We also performed a review of current the organization's telephone system and provided options for replacement - we wouldn't want them to miss any calls.
Bright Beginnings, Inc.
Confluence provided a technology plan for an organization-wide infrastructure upgrade. We later executed the upgrade, including segregated network, new machines, and new software and provide routine support and ad-hoc technology consulting.
Bridges public charter school
Confluence carried out an initial evaluation of their entire technology environment and organization and proposed recommendations. We provide routine technical support, website updates, and training as needed.
International Budget Partnership
Requirements analysis and assessment for CRM
Piedmont Environmental Council
Confluence provided a technology assessment, including an inventory of all equipment – including servers, desktops, networking equipment, and peripherals. We provide routine and ad-hoc technical support.
Oyster Recovery Partnership
Confluence carried out an initial assessment followed by routine technical support to end users who have trouble with the infrastructure.
St. Augustine's Episcopal Church
For this parish, part of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington DC (also a Confluence client), we provided training on Office 2007, helping staff to be more productive using Word and Excel. It can be hard and/or frustruating when you don't know where a function has been moved to - a general overview with some pointers goes a long way to moving fear of change to enthusiasm. We are currently offering Office 2010 training - a highlly recommended Confluence offering.