Robert Bogue: IT MVP

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What does it take to be a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional? Outside of the extensive writing that Robert Bogue does, it's engagements like the one in which he led a team of Crowe Chizek employees to create an e-commerce site for Nursing Knowledge International (www.nursingknowledge.org). The new group was founded by Sigma Theta Tau International, the Honor Society of Nursing, as a way of serving the global nursing community, which needs to find information and products of interest to nurses.

The Crowe team started from scratch and built a complete Web-based system that not only manages the organization's catalog, but also allows it to serve as a focal point for nurses everywhere.

"This engagement took roughly six months and used Crowe's exclusive .Net Accelerator (the basic building blocks for the Web site), Microsoft Commerce Server (the typical shopping cart), Microsoft BizTalk Server (the integration piece that allows all systems to integrate with the vendor who have the products), and Microsoft SQL Server. The organization can now manage content, sell products, manage orders, and calculate shipping fees," says Bogue. An average e-commerce engagement can range anywhere from $100,000 to $750,000.

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That's the kind of work performed by Bogue, a senior technical specialist in the Indianapolis office of Crowe Chizek & Co.

In each of the last two years, Bogue was named a Microsoft MVP for his work with servers and networking, one of only ten individuals in the country honored in that category. For the last three years, Bogue has been a part of the firm's technology consulting practice, creating systems that combine his server and networking expertise.

"I help them chart a course for their long term which is cognizant of technology changes and how technology can enable new business ideas," adds Bogue, who says about 75 percent of his time is spent on strategic projects.

Bogue advises clients about how to adopt and retire technologies, including how to connect new systems with old systems and when to retire them.

"I also help clients cut through the buzz of new industry terms like Web Services-oriented architecture, enterprise nervous systems, and extreme programming. Most of my clients are working with Microsoft SharePoint technologies," adds Bogue.

Although a part of Crowe's middle-market accounts group, he spends most of his time with enterprise clients and government agencies. "I would say that I rarely am dealing with clients who have less than 50 employees, but it does happen," he says. "The other services are very broad. I'm doing a SharePoint Architect role, and I'll be doing an IT Infrastructure assessment for a school system.

Bogue spends roughly 10 percent of his time writing articles, responding to newsgroup posts, and delivering presentations to a variety of Midwestern organizations.

In fact, Bogue is working with the Indiana Windows Users Group and the Indianapolis .NET Developers Association to help attract attention and attendees to the International Technology and Exposition Conference being held in Indiana in June. In particular, he is committed to developing the Indianapolis technology community. "Our objective with this conference is to bring training to the people that they would normally have to pay for and make it free," says Bogue.

Bogue started his career as a programmer and then switched over to networks and integration. He jumped back and forth between the two roles and spent some time working with project management. He later founded Thor Projects, a consulting firm focused on networking and systems development.

He also started a publishing career in 1991, and has now worked on more than 100 book projects, many relating to technology. He most recently is the author of "Mobilize Yourself: The Microsoft Guide to Mobile Technology."

Through the years, he's also picked up a shopping list of certification in systems and security, including the Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer and Microsoft Certified Systems Administrator Security designations.

Despite his technical background, he's out to make technology simple for his community. "Technology is too confusing and people make it more complicated than it needs to be," he says."

Carly Lombardo is Associate Editor of Accounting Technology and can be reached at carly.bohach@sourcemedia.com.

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