Senior Global Business Consultant
Visionary business systems architect, designer and developer who solves complex problems and maximizes ROI by implementing technology-driven solutions. World-renowned as a top-tier Enterprise Systems Management (ESM) authority.
Mike Schleif delivers more than 30 years experience in technical consulting, problem solving, project management and knowledge transfer. His distinguished career has taken him to the inner circles of World Class companies spanning multiple industries, countries and continents.
Schleif's extensive client base ranges from organizations as small as one person to multinational firms operating numerous facilities. He has served each client by solving critical business problems through better Systems Management. Schleif draws on his wealth of experience, innovative spirit and expert technology skills to architect, design and implement cutting-edge solutions.
This vast exposure informs his down-to-earth, real-world perspectives on Best Practices and intimate knowledge of the systems and processes companies utilize to achieve and retain leadership positions. Hands-on practice honed his ability to mentor and direct cross-functional teams to interface with key operations.
Schleif is widely recognized for his command of the Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) and the five basic principles for managing Information Technology (IT) services, operations and development:
Strategy ♦ Design ♦ Transition ♦ Operation ♦♦ Continual Service Improvement
Schleif is considered a Subject Matter Expert in multiple disciplines:
IT Infrastructure ♦ Network and Systems Architecture ♦ Enterprise Security
ESM ♦ ITIL ♦ Worldwide Web ♦ Internet ♦ Email
Programming ♦ Scripting ♦ Automation ♦ Disaster Recovery
Schleif is the founder and manager of MDS Resource (MDS), a firm chosen by some of the most recognized companies in the world to solve complex business problems. His impressive client list includes IBM, an MDS customer since 1992. Sister affiliates, Ameritech, SBC and AT&T, have benefited from Schleif's exemplary guidance since 1994. Other long-term customers include UnitedHealth Group (UHG), Target Corporation, Health Care Services Corporation (HCSC) and Platinum Systems Specialists, Inc. (PSSI).
Schleif is a graduate of Northwestern University where he earned a BA in Mathematics and Philosophy. He is multilingual and a student of German, Russian, Spanish and Mandarin.
Target Corporation, Minneapolis, MN
Schleif was selected from more than 20 candidates to architect, design and implement a custom solution to enhance the value of the company's IBM / Tivoli Systems Management software.
The software could not accommodate a multimillion dollar system that had become unmanageable after 13 years of operation, multitudinous customizations and the addition of proprietary programs. The number of legacy scripts had grown to more than 4,000; each of which had unique functionality, and required access by multiple users to add, modify and delete information at will. The new system required new architecture to accommodate 10,000 to 30,000 specific conditions. Managing and administering this high volume of configuration data was a formidable challenge. The project was further complicated by a paradigm shift between the design of the legacy system and that of the new systems.
Specific requirements were sparsely documented, difficult to identify, and the basic IBM / Tivoli software was being deployed by a third party. The design and deployment process was variable and in a state of flux throughout the last hours of deployment; therefore, the new design had to remain fluid, flexible and changeable until the end.
Schleif developed a database-driven configuration management system to incorporate the entire legacy, script-based system functionality. It was three times more efficient and the user interface required no special programming skills; therefore, the new system could be accessed by a broader range of administrators.
This transformation required intense concentration, meticulous pattern detection in order to recognize and transform similar scripts, mastery of Perl and shell scripts, SQL database design, and exhaustive knowledge of the IBM / Tivoli Systems Management software.
UnitedHealth Group (UHG), Plymouth, MN
Schleif was contracted for this project by iTech Solutions, a staffing and recruiting company specializing in the healthcare and insurance industries.
Moving to a Managed Services model, IT systems had to be re-engineered in three major areas: Data Center consolidation, application consumption control and system refresh at end-of-life. New systems had to serve four Data Centers as well as hundreds of remote corporate and customer sites throughout the United States. Due to the diversity of UHG's requirements, implementation teams varied by size and subproject: typically five to 15 people at different stages of the processes.
Schleif determined the final destination of each system and device; and if it would operate in a cluster environment, be virtualized into one large system side-by-side with other applications, or remain a standalone product in its own physical server. He also specified SAN disc location and configuration, network security specifics, and user interface methods.
Schleif implemented a Managed Services Model that facilitates UHG's quantification of its elusive IT costs. UHG expects to eliminate expensive practices of providing excessive capacity to application owners (too many Data Centers, expensive power consumption and more personnel.) Managed Services will reduce the number of Data Centers more than 50% and increase application density per unit of space fivefold. It will also cut average power usage by a factor of at least two and average disk space by one third.
Health Care Service Corporation (HCSC), Waukegan, IL
Forbes Technical Consulting, a recruiting and staffing firm, contracted Schleif to provide numerous technology-based services to HCSC which owns and operates four Blue Cross / Blue Shield operations. He was asked to examine the IBM / Tivoli Systems Management software already owned by HCSC and to determine its value in solving a major problem.
The company's IT infrastructure had grown so large that it was unmanageable. Operating problems occurred frequently and were not understood until after customers complained about system failures and service interruptions.
Utilizing obsolete equipment, Schleif architected, designed and customized monitoring and metrics gathering systems that alerted administrators in real time of faults and errors, as well as determined the root causes of those problems. This demonstrated the enormous value of tools the company already owned, but had not deployed. He taught HCSC personnel how to use them to respond to problems as they occurred and before they generated complaints from customers. As systems evolved and became more sophisticated, and as the collected metrics data grew, HCSC became proactive: predicting and acting on problems before they occurred and before they negatively impacted revenue.
The second phase of this project was to direct the transition of HCSC from IBM to HP Systems Management products. This comprehensive endeavor involved assessment, architecture, design, budgeting, installation, configuration, customization, testing and release to production across the entire Enterprise.
Platinum Systems Specialists, Inc. (PSSI), Lisle, IL
For 15 years, Schleif has been retained by PSSI as a technology consultant and joint venture partner. PSSI is a Systems Integrator, Value Added Reseller (VAR) and provides Professional Services throughout North America. Schleif provides solutions architecture, systems design, programming, project management and general systems configuration and administration.
The duration of individual projects ranges from a few weeks to several years. The complexity of projects undertaken is remarkably varied, from extremely intricate, cutting-edge technology to basic redesigns of existing software and systems.
Ameritech / SBC, Hoffman Estates, IL
Schleif entered a joint venture with IBM / Tivoli to customize its Systems Management software to meet the specific needs of Ameritech. This initial involvement became a three-year commitment as a technology consultant for preferred vendors serving Ameritech.
Ameritech owned several million dollars worth of IBM / Tivoli ESM, and contracted with IBM for services such as mainframe, database and network support. Ameritech used hundreds of different technology-driven techniques to manage its varied and complex computer networks.
The company had asked other technology consultants to demonstrate comprehensive and optimal tool performance according to its specific ESM requirements, but was dissatisfied with poor results.
Schleif conducted proof of concept projects to demonstrate the value of IBM / Tivoli ESM in supporting Ameritech's Enterprise Data Centers. He architected, designed and implemented the IBM / Tivoli ESM to communicate and share data with other third-party point products. Schleif leveraged the company's investment in non-IBM / Tivoli tools, as well as integrated them into the IBM / Tivoli software systems. Custom programs were written to interface between software systems and to fully automate manual tasks.
Schleif also joined the Y2K Flow Through Testing team to architect, design and build a microcosm of the entire Ameritech Enterprise. It spanned multiple Data Centers, a complete network secured and isolated from Enterprise production, systems from numerous mainframes, UNIX and Windows servers to desktops and every Enterprise application, system and process. Schleif integrated applications testing with this infrastructure, supported it and demonstrated full Y2K functionality.
Databases: SQL configuration, administration, programming; DB2, Oracle, MSSQL, MySQL
Business Software: Microsoft Office, SharePoint; all Internet browsers, email servers and clients; Open Source Solutions
Enterprise software: IBM / Tivoli, HP, CA, BMC, Apache
Hardware: Most platforms (e.g., mainframe, midrange, desktop, embedded systems); SAN, NAS, gateways, routers, switches
Programming Languages: Perl, Shell, PHP, (x)HTML, XML, Java, Prolog, WSH, Python, C/C++/C#, Assembler
Middleware: MQ/Series, WebSphere, Apache, J2EE, .NET, SOA
Networks: Internet, DNS, SNMP, TCP/IP, VoIP, Wireless, OSPF, RMON
Security: Firewall, SSH, SSL, VPN, AntiVirus, AntiSpam, encryption, GPG/PGP, Intrusion Detection, NMap, Snort
Systems: ITIL, UNIX, z/OS, Linux, Microsoft, Netware, Apple OS/X, various legacy
250 Turners Crossroad, Suite 317 ♦ Golden Valley, MN 55416
877.596.8237 ♦ email@example.com ♦ http://www.linkedin.com/in/schleif