Nearly 30 years ago when he worked as a high school-age bagger at a Sentry Foods store in Waukesha, Will Tesch probably never imagined that one day he’d end up helping international banks and large governments solve some of their toughest operational issues.
From those humble beginnings, Tesch has leveraged the supermarket chain experience into his current position as the leader of a team of business integration consultants who work with clients as varied as the Mexican federal government to Exxon Mobil.
Tesch started Tesch Consulting LLC in Grafton four years ago, and for the past two years has been building a team of integration and database specialists. With two offices, the Grafton headquarters and another in the Houston area, Tesch’s growing team of 20 seasoned IT professionals specializes in enterprise integration software.
“We glue big systems to big systems,” Tesch said. “There’s an art and a science to it. We are using newer techniques called web services technologies, and service oriented architecture. These projects connect systems on a massive scale in ways that have not really been done before.”
Tesch’s group is currently working with the Mexican government in a large-scale project. The project includes integrating disparate technologies and messaging mediums using iWay software to connect to a central hub.
With a combination of more than 20 employees and contractors spread out over Michigan, North Carolina, Spokane, Chicago and Texas, Tesch Consulting is about to open an office in Mexico City.
“At this point, our only competitor is the economy,” Tesch said. “We’re going to grow.”
“We work with government opportunities because they are such large-scale problems,” Tesch said. “Often, companies call on us because they don’t want to deal with how complex the problem is. They call on us when they have to have the toughest integration needs met.”
Tesch partners with Brookfield-based RedPrairie Corp.; Alpharetta, Ga.-based Infor Global Solutions Inc., a software company; and New York-based Information Builders Inc. (IBI), which has the largest business integration product in the world.
Tesch’s relationship with IBI has positioned the company to deliver expertise for their enterprise integration product offering, called iWay software. As a result of an initial successful deployment, Tesch chose to develop a team around that product offering. Now Tesch’s team consists of several former IBI iWay professionals who are seasoned on implementing the product. Tesch Consulting is often asked to support IBI’s professional services organization for work efforts around the world.
“We are a group of seasoned consultants who have worked through the pains of how companies implement technology,” Tesch said. “I like to say that we have lived there and bled there.”
According to Tesch, the point-to-point integration was cumbersome, and required moving a field from one file to another. The programming that was required to do that was done every time it was needed. Today’s techniques that Tesch and his far-flung group of consultants specialize in allow information to be packaged so that it can be used in many different programs without creating point-to-point integrations. Companies that have legacy systems can keep those legacy assets and integrate those assets to new programs to improve their overall business efficiency.
Tesch is proud of his Wisconsin roots, and points to his early experience at the Fleming Cos., where he rose from grocery store bagger at Sentry to a corporate position where he was director of retail pricing for the Supersaver chain.
“I fell into technology, and that allowed me to do things at a very young age,” he said. Tesch is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater who refers to himself as an, “old, backwoods Wisconsinite.”
After leading an SAP project for Fleming, Tesch was asked to become chief information officer of a competing company in Michigan, where he lived for seven years. When his parents became ill, he moved back to Wisconsin and started Tesch Consulting soon after.
In addition to the project with the Mexican government, other notable projects Tesch Consulting has been involved with include:
Global manufacturing EDI gateway integration – In partnership with Information Builders and iWay Software, Tesch is leading the evolution of a global manufacturer in the integration of SAP to the trading partner community of a large fragrance company.
Lloyds Trust Savings Bank (London) – In support of the IBI-UK, Tesch is working with one of the largest banks in the world on improving massive volume processing with iWay software.
Bank fraud detection – Tesch Consulting has worked with one of the leading bank fraud management companies in the implementation of a high-volume integration and reporting solution used in many of the world’s largest banks.
Enterprise integration – Within the IT realm, the service oriented architecture (SOA) era has begun and is likely to dramatically transform business processes inside both companies and governments, Tesch said. “SOA is to the IT department what enterprise resource planning (ERP) has been to the larger enterprise.”
Once implemented, SOA is effective in reducing costs to the business, improves application integration timelines and spreads information throughout the organization in ways that haven’t been possible until recent years, he said.
“While it may seem threatening and intimidating, once implemented, service oriented architectures enable businesses to change and are having a significant impact in the agility of any business,” Tesch said, adding that his company has developed a proven approach for SOA implementation.
Tesch Consulting also specializes in the implementation of enterprise business intelligence, which is the ability to understand how the business is functioning through various reporting techniques. Tools are available to display any number of business activities in summarized fashion so that interpretation of the results can be followed by a prompt response.
“The increasingly competitive landscape is requiring companies to be more understanding of the affairs they conduct, and to respond more quickly,” Tesch said.