Max Garcia

Atlanta, Georgia, US

Senior IT Executive (CTO/CIO/CISO Certified) with 20+ Years Experience Solving Business Problems & Delivering Solutions
Max's Skills
Business Development
Fundraising
Product Management
Design
Technical
Background

About Max

Organization Structure:
Dolex Dollar Express, Inc.
Roles – Senior Vice President of IT, very hands-on
Reporting Manager – COO, Laybaa Hernandez
Responsibilities –
1) IT Leadership, Management and Strategy (Application development – team of 15, Infrastructure – team of 4 plus outsourced vendors, IT operations – team of 5, Helpdesk – team of 25, DBAs team of 4, telephony – team of 2) in US, Spain, Dominican Republic and Mexico. Total team of 56
2) M&A Due Diligence (reviewed 10 companies and supported final selection and acquisition of Dolex Dollar Express)
3) IT Audit and Compliance – Supported state and compliance audits for 25 states and federal agencies. Led DOJ investigation and forensics with no penalties to the company
4) IT Budget Management and Tracking (CAPEX and OPEX)
5) Financial reporting both internal and external
6) Security and Operational Controls (network, data, systems, and retail locations)
7) Risk Management (systems, database, personnel, disaster recovery)
8) Special Business Projects and Initiatives – Senior Management Sponsor for special projects (CRM, Business Intelligence and Data Warehouse, business integrations, new payer partner integrations)
9) Board Level Presentations – quarterly IT updates in board meetings
10) Vendor Management – All purchasing, outsourcing (onshore/offshore) and external services selection and contract negotiations
11) PMO

iKobo, Inc.
Roles – Chief Technology Officer, very hands-on
Reporting Manager – CEO/President, Blake Patton
Responsibilities –
1) IT Leadership, Management and Strategy (Application development – team of 5, Infrastructure – team of 2 plus outsourced vendors, IT operations – team of 1, DBAs team of 1, Telephony – team of 1). Total team of 10
2) IT Budget Management and Tracking (CAPEX and OPEX)
3) Financial reporting both internal and external
4) Security and Operational Controls (PCI compliance, network, data, systems, and retail locations)
5) Risk Management (systems, database, personnel, disaster recovery)
6) Board Level Presentations – quarterly IT updates in board meetings, supported and closed series B funding round
7) Vendor Management – All purchasing, outsourcing and external services selection and contract negotiations
8) PMO

Technical Environment:
Dolex Dollar Express, Inc. (merged with Quisqueyana, Inc.)
3 Transaction Processing Systems
1) Agent Transaction Processing (core product money transfer)
a. Retail POS – FoxPro 9/Browser-based
b. Database – FoxPro 9 and SQL 2005 (clustered and mirroring to disaster recovery
c. Back Office – FoxPro
d. 3 Tier Architecture
e. Highly available with disaster recovery
f. Deployed in 3rd party datacenters
g. Integration with payers via FTP, SFTP, customer APIs, web services
h. Windows-based HP servers
i. Network infrastructure is Cisco based
j. Fiber Connected Storage – HP MSAs
k. 3rd party integrated compliance engine (AML Compass)

2) Retail Store Transaction Processing (core product money transfer and money orders)
a. Retail POS – Gupta/Browser-based
b. Database – Sybase 15.5 (warm-standby, and real-time replication to disaster recovery)
c. Back Office – Gupta
d. 2-Tier Architecture
e. Highly available with disaster recovery
f. Deployed in 3rd party datacenters
g. Integration with payers via FTP, SFTP, customer APIs, web services
h. Windows and Linux-based HP servers
i. Network infrastructure is Cisco and Juniper-based
j. Fiber Connected Storage – NetApp in production and disaster recovery
k. Custom built compliance engine

3) Ancillary Product Transaction Processing (sold through stores and agents)
a. Retail POS – Java-based with web services
b. Database – Sybase 15.5 (warm-standby, and real-time replication to disaster recovery)
c. Back Office – Java/Apache
d. 3-Tier Architecture
e. Highly available with disaster recovery
f. Deployed in 3rd party datacenters
g. Integration with payers via FTP, SFTP, customer APIs, web services
h. Linux-based HP servers
i. Network infrastructure is Cisco and Juniper-based
j. Fiber Connected Storage – NetApp in production and disaster recovery
k. Horizontally scalable with managed load balancing

600 Retail Stores
1) Windows-based POS with cash management
2) Connectivity – DSL, cable, MPLS
3) Centrally managed alarm system
4) Centrally managed video surveillance
5) Remotely managed using NetOp
6) Inventory Management using internal resources and imaged POS system through external vendor

1500 Agents
1) Windows-based POS
2) Connectivity – owned and managed by agent
3) Remotely managed using LogMeIn
4) Inventory Management using internal resources and imaged POS system through external vendor

Corporate Systems
1) Email – clustered Exchange 2003
2) Telephone systems – Intertel/Mitel (GA) and Avaya (Arlington TX, Mexico City MX, and Monterrey MX) with VOIP and digital handsets
3) Supported 400 users (laptops and desktops) with VPN access running Microsoft Office
4) Laptops backed-up using cloud-based services
5) All key locations connected via MPLS (GA, Arlington TX, Mexico City MX, Monterrey MX, Madrid Spain). Secondary connectivity via Internet-based VPNs
6) Corporate cell phones – Blackberry (internal Blackberry server) and some BYOD (only approved users)
7) Multiple accounting systems – Sage, Quickbooks
8) Data warehouse/BI – SQL 2013 and Microsoft BI stack
9) Custom built reports and delivery using BIRT, Microsoft
10) Responsible for infrastructure for two call centers (Dominican Republic and Monterrey MX)

Infrastructure
1) Management, monitoring, security and alerting centrally managed and fully outsourced
2) 40% of servers virtualized using VMWare
3) Juniper and Cisco networking, VPN, IPS
4) Forensics capabilities using Encase
5) Internet filtering using Cisco ScanSafe
6) HP servers
7) Daily system backups using CA ARCServe using 48 tape libraries and tapes sent offsite (Recall)

iKobo, Inc
E-Commerce Transaction Processing System (online based money transfer services direct to consumer with delivery of payment through a prepaid card)
1) LAMP Architecture – Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP
2) Highly available with disaster recovery
3) Back office – PHP
4) Integrated to prepaid card issuer (FISERV)
5) Custom built credit card fraud engine
6) User focused and friendly GUI for customer acquisition with workflow tracking for continuous analysis and improvements
7) Dell servers
8) Site search engine optimized and with analytics

Corporate Systems
1) Email – Exchange 2003
2) Telephone systems – VOIP using cloud services
3) Supported 25 users (laptops and desktops) with VPN access running Microsoft Office
4) Corporate cell phones – Blackberry (internal Blackberry server)
5) Accounting system – White Plains

Solutions Delivery:
Dolex Dollar Express, Inc. (merged with Quisqueyana, Inc.)
Initially Dolex and Quisqueyana were family owned businesses with their focus on growth. Ownership/management did not focus resources on technology. This left their systems to be non-redundant and not highly available and poorly architected. System availability was below business expectations. I was tasked with solidifying these systems and applications. Due to multiple legacy systems, poor monitoring, and complexity, this required a phased approach to meet fixed budgetary constraints. I built an IT roadmap with estimated costs and delivery times. This enterprise had negative revenue trends of 35% per year and many on these initiatives contributed to a current positive growth trends of 20% per year.

This required understanding the business priorities and aligning IT’s initiatives. Required meetings with the business and IT to document, align and execute. Even with a plan in place the business was frequently requesting other initiatives that required constant project and resource re-prioritization. These projects required close coordination with the business and IT for successful deliveries. A sample of projects/initiatives:

1) Move critical transaction processing systems from within their offices (NY, TX, MX) to data centers in GA without impacting the business and customers.
a. Built from the ground up new processing systems and upgraded/re-architected infrastructure (networking, servers, and databases)
b. Required full data migration to new production systems and disaster recovery sites to data centers
c. Coordinated and project managed all resources and final cutover
d. Centralized all critical system monitoring, alerting, and management
e. There was no team dedicated to ensuring system availability and built a IT Operations team with a 7/24/365 NOC
f. System availability went from 82% to 99.9%
2) Improved IT operating costs by consolidating and re-negotiating all infrastructure, outsourced services and telecommunication contracts
a. Savings of 35%-40% in monthly costs and internal IT support by 40%
3) Company was losing over $600K a year on retail store fraud and theft (internal and external)
a. Required analyzing current retail store environment and detailing a plan for improved oversight
b. Centralized alarm systems under one vendor and improved policies on events. Also ensured alarms had cell-backup capabilities.
c. Deployed video surveillance to stores with cloud based video capture and remote management/monitoring
d. These efforts reduced fraud/theft to under $50K per year

4) With 600 retail stores with a single connection to corporate for processing, outages impacted processing, revenues and customers. Needed a cost effective way of having a backup connection.
a. Researched technology solutions and presented to management 3 options with costs and ROI.
b. Piloted selected solution in 10 stores.
c. Solution was a device with an air card backup that auto-failed over and back when the primary connection was down.
d. This required negotiating with a wireless carrier for a pooled plan and with service plans only $8 a month for each location
e. Solution reduced retail store connectivity loss from 20% a month to 0%.

5) The sales team was receiving daily reports with limited performance metrics and it was difficult to hold the sales team accountable. Due to security concerns, the Sales team did not have access to any back office systems. This required a cost effect and quick delivery of a CRM system.
a. Researched cloud based CRM solutions (salesforce.com, SugarCRM, Microsoft Dynamics, or internally hosted)
b. Presented solutions and recommendation
c. Delivered solution in 8 weeks allowing management to ensure the Sales accountability and track their metrics for only $32 per month per user in portal that could be accessed at anytime.

6) Dolex had a very poor reporting system, which required a lot of IT resources to deliver reports via email and customizations. Business wanted a data warehouse built from the ground up and with 27 reports and the ability to customize without much IT involvement. With no data warehouse or business intelligence resources in house, research third party vendors to support this effort and delivery. Analyzing business and initiatives took weeks of data pulls, which eventually went stale, needed a more enterprise solution.
a. Researched market for data warehouse/business intelligence experts we could partner with.
b. Gathered detailed requirements from business and IT
c. Selected partner to execute project, Intellinet
d. This was a Microsoft BI stack on clustered SQL 2013 servers
e. Due to budgetary constraints, had to scale back and reconfigure solution (no disaster recovery, less storage and memory). Delivered late due to report iterations due to poor business requirements which execeeded the consulting pool of funds. Had to fiunish the reports internally but only delivered 4 weeks late
f. Delivered enterprise solution to business that meets their requirements and allows power users to customize their data pulls, which now take less than a day (rather more than two weeks).


iKobo, Inc.
iKobo was an early stage company delivering a disruptive technology for the money transfer business. The typical model was for customers to physically go to retail locations to initiate transfers and for their beneficiaries to physically pick up the funds. The initial release of the solution was not on enterprise systems and with very little functionality to analyze its effectiveness in capturing customers. This required very hands-on and wearing multiple hats for their successful execution.

This solution allowed customers to initiate transactions online in the comfort of their homes and for their beneficiaries to receive their money on a prepaid card anywhere in the world. The following are some projects/initiatives:

1) Being a web based online processing system; uptime is critical to customer satisfaction and trust. Initial systems were not highly available and were run in their corporate office (no backup power, connectivity, or infrastructure, etc).
a. Worked with the business move all processing systems to a data center with high available power and connectivity.
b. This required building out new high available infrastructure with plans to also build a disaster recovery site.
c. These upgrades improved system uptime and stability from 70% to 98% within 6 months.

2) With the delivery of funds to a prepaid card, required the company to be PCI level 1 complaint. It was operating under a PCI self-assessment model, which did not meet the prepaid card issuer’s requirement and possible shutdown of the program.
a. Worked with the business and issuer to understand scope.
b. Selected 3rd party provider to support an assessment of what needed to be done to accomplish PCI compliance.
c. Remediation plan built with costs.
d. Executed plan and received ROC (Record of Compliance)

3) Customer online activity and acquisition requires effective search engine optimization (SEO) to drive those costs down. Company had spent over $1M over 12 months with a poor ROI (less than 5%).
a. Worked with the business and marketing to develop plan to improve our customer acquisition costs.
b. This required constant improvements in the GUI and workflow to reduce user abandonment.
c. Also worked closely with marketing on the various programs they ran to ensure systems could easily track and support a coupon system
d. These changes improved the customer acquisition ROI by 70% over six months.

Relationship/Service Management:
My most recent two roles were with companies with very little enterprise experience and successful project deliveries. Some of the reasons for this were:
1) No formal project management resources or management
2) Lack of accountability (management and IT)
3) Poor IT alignment with business objectives
4) No IT management transparency

This dynamic at times can be very complex due to team experience, poor communication and unclear expectations. My goal is to always align IT with the business priorities since one cannot survive without the other. Once this is clear, a roadmap is built to breakdown the tasks and initiative to meet these needs.

This requires the business to understand the true costs, provide detailed requirements and delivery time expectation. This also requires transparency on my part to gain the trust of the business when things are going well and to communicate when they are not. The successful implementation of the projects above built trust and accountability on both sides. They required close collaboration in all phases. A measure of my success is to always ensure the organization has improved in the areas I was responsible for and build great long-term relationships.

Work Experience

VP Technical Operations & Enterprise Systems

Prime Revenue

March 2014 - December 2016