Business career: What I've done

Major consultancy projects while working at I.T. Works

As a senior IT market analyst at I.T. Works, specializing in XML and related open standards, most of my efforts went into contributing to their XML seminars and into giving in-house technical workshops and hands-on courses on XML. This meant keeping myself informed about the latest developments in the XML world, through desktop research, market studies and company visits. As my reputation as a leading authority on XML and related standards grew, I was also asked to provide companies with strategic advice on the use of XML for document & content management and application integration. During my final months at I.T. Works I spent most of my time in these consultancy missions.

Scia Group
function: independent XML technology consultant (XML-based application development)
advice on where and how XML can best be used to make the product portfolio of SCIA (technical consulting software) more extensible and future proof, and advice on the product strategy to be adopted
2001, a strategic XML consultancy mission for the SCIA Group, Herk-de-Stad (Belgium)
European Commission - Directorate-General for Informatics (DIGIT)
function: independent XML technology consultant (XML product review)
examining and testing a whole range of commercial XML products (editors, renderers, databases, document management and content managements tools, application integration tools, ...) in order to provide sound advice on the appropriateness of these products for the tasks of the EU administration
2001, a strategic XML consultancy mission for the European Commission - Directorate-General for Informatics (DIGIT), Brussels (Belgium)
NDM
function: independent XML technology consultant (XML-based application integration)
formulating a series of detailed design guidelines for XML messages that were to be used in a very ambitious bank-wide enterprise application integration project, through a series of interactive workshops and brainstorming sessions with the key analysts and developers involved in this project
2000, a strategic XML consultancy mission for the KBC, Leuven (Belgium), in co-operation with Cronos (Belgium)
Read also: presentation XML message design guidelines [PDF 263 KB]
DatEdge
function: independent XML technology consultant (XML-based e-catalog management)
advice on where and how XML can best be introduced into the set of DatEdge solutions for advanced electronic catalog management and B2B integration, and advice on the product strategy to be adopted
2000, a strategic XML consultancy mission for DatEdge, Alken (Belgium)
Unilab4i
function: independent XML system architect (Internet-based application development)
an in-depth feature evaluation of the existing version of Unilab4 (a state-of-the-art LIMS), design of the system architecture of the new XML-based Web-enabled version Unilab4i, and practical advice on how to train and coach the existing software developers to become effective XML developers
2000, a strategic XML consultancy mission for Compex, Ninove (Belgium)
Kennisbank
function: independent XML solutions reviewer (XML-based document management)
an exhaustive feature review and in-depth technical evaluation of best-of-breed XML solutions and technologies for the implementation of the Kennisbank document management system of the KBC
2000, a strategic XML consultancy mission for the KBC, Leuven (Belgium), in co-operation with Evisor (acquired by PricewaterhouseCoopers) (Belgium)

Major consultancy projects while working at OFFIS

As a senior consultant networked information systems at OFFIS (now part of the Aubay Group), most of my time and efforts went into pre-sales activities, helping our "Electronic document engineering" department to sell its document management solutions (consultancy & development services and commercial software products). This was a pretty tough sell, since most companies at that time didn't even understand that they needed such solutions to handle their business-critical electronic documents. I was also hired as a senior consultant by a number of Belgian companies and government institutions.

AP-software (Administratie der Pensioenen software suite)
function: system re-engineering consultant (database management)
an audit of the software design and development processes, the project management and planning activities within the different IT services which support the federal Administratie der Pensioenen
1999, a client/server development audit mission for the federal Ministry of Finance, Brussels (Belgium)
Eureka
function: system re-engineering consultant (document management)
a feasibility study to evaluate the possibilities and problems associated with using an intranet to distribute electronic product information between the bank's central office and the branch offices
1996, an electronic document engineering feasibility study for the Generale Bank (now BNP Paribas Fortis), Brussels (Belgium)

Major development projects while working at OFFIS

As a senior consultant networked information systems at OFFIS (now part of the Aubay Group), I was also involved in the design and development of advanced electronic document management systems. At first, these systems were SGML-based, only accessible over local area networks, later these systems were increasingly HTML-based, accessible over the Internet. When I became director projects & consultancy for Flanders, I succeeded in getting OFFIS involved in the design and development of some of the very first intranet-based information solutions for the Belgian federal and regional governments.

Région Wallonne DGEE
function: senior system architect
a new public Internet site for the DGEE offering to companies, institutions and citizens a continuously updated source of information on the Walloon economy, by integrating factual data in 3 different databases with frequently changing paper documentation about the corresponding financial support measures
1999, an internet project for the Ministère de la Région Wallonne, Direction Génerale de l'Économie et de l'Emploi, Namur (Belgium)
Read also: leaflet OFFIS DGEE case study [PDF 23 KB]
Fedenet
function: head system engineer (Web client-side and server-side)
a large-scale secure intranet system for the internet-based consultation of a variety of heterogeneous information sources of the Belgian federal government. This included FVD/SFI, the publicly accessible database of press releases about the decisions of the Belgian Council of Ministers (now called the International Press Centre), and Regedoc (now called E-premier), the higly-secure database which stores all the official documents of the meetings of the Belgian Council of Ministers
1997 - 1999, an intranet project for the Services of the Prime Minister in co-operation with Siemens Business Services (later called Siemens IT Solutions and Services, and merged with Atos Origin to become Atos), Brussels (Belgium)
Read also: leaflet OFFIS Fedenet case study [PDF 23 KB]
HDMS (Hermes Document Management System)
function: electronic document analyst and system designer
an on-line networked information system based on SGML technology, for the fast retrieval and consultation of mission critical help documents in the Hermes Network Operations Center
1996 - 1997, an electronic document engineering project for Hermes Europe Railtel (acquired by GTS Group), Brussels (Belgium)
Read also: leaflet OFFIS Hermes case study [PDF 23 KB]

Major development projects while still working at the university

During my final years as a researcher at the university, I've worked on a number of commercial projects, where my insights into the effective use of hypertext and hypermedia were used by our MIPS research group to develop novel information systems for materials selection and corrosion prevention. The Active Library® on Corrosion CD-ROM became a major commercial success, selling hundreds of copies. I was also involved in the design of the new, much improved second edition (Elsevier Science Publishers, ISBN 978-0444829429), published in 1998.

IKEM™ (Interaktief kennissysteem voor materiaaleigenschappen)
function: head researcher hypermedia knowledge representation
a knowledge-based hypermedia document management and annotation system, supporting intelligent navigation & retrieval of knowledge and tight co-operation between groups of materials experts working within a company
1994 - 1995, an IWT applied research project in co-operation with Laboratorium Metallurgie and BIKIT (Babbage Institute for Knowledge and Information Technology, Universiteit Gent)
Read also: document IKEM project beschrijving [PDF 48 KB] and presentation IKEM onderzoeksresultaten [PDF 54 KB]
See also: document IKEM Toolkit [PDF 619 KB]
CAMS™ (Computer-Aided Materials Selection)
function: head researcher systems design
an on-line hypertext information system for materials selection by expert corrosion engineers, designed as a client-server system with continuously updated materials and product data
1993 - 1994, an IWT applied research project in co-operation with METALogic n.v., Heverlee (Belgium)
ALC (Active Library® on Corrosion)
function: head researcher hypertext architecture
a commercial CD-ROM-based hypermedia information system for corrosion engineers, designed as a reference library with background information, case studies and guidelines for prevention
1988 - 1991, a European ESPRIT applied research project in co-operation with Elsevier Science Publishers b.v., Amsterdam (The Netherlands)
Read also: presentation Intelligent hypermedia corrosion information tools [PDF 730 KB]
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