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  • Founder and Managing Director of ACROSS & AHEAD

    How long have you been involved with The Open Group?

    I first got in touch with the work of The Open Group somewhere around 2007. I earned my first certification in 2009 and first attended a conference of The Open Group in 2010, contributing a talk about business architecture. During the years that followed, I stayed involved with The Open Group given my affiliations with member organizations. Specifically, I was a speaker at various events of The Open Group and a reviewer in the process that led to the ArchiMate® 3.0 release.

    After a short time off from The Open Group, I recently became re-involved when ACROSS & AHEAD – the company that I run – joined the ArchiMate® Forum.


    What do you do, and how long have you been doing it?

    I am the Founder and Managing Director of ACROSS & AHEAD – a specialist advisory and training firm based in Cologne (Germany), with a focus on enterprise architecture, business architecture, business design, and digital transformation. I have been dealing with those topics in various roles for far more than a decade, most of that time as a consultant and trainer.


    Why did your organization become a Member of The Open Group ArchiMate® Forum and what does/will your involvement look like?

    I have been using the ArchiMate® language for many years. I learned about how the use of the language can help shape effective architecture practices. At the same time, ArchiMate® adoption in the industry at large seems to be rising.

    Based on that, it should not come as a surprise that we made ArchiMate®-related services a definite part of our offering at ACROSS & AHEAD. With membership in the ArchiMate® Forum, we aim to underpin our commitment to the ArchiMate® language. In addition, we hope we will able to help advance the language for the best use in practice, addressing the prevalent needs and concerns in the overall community of practitioners. As part of this, we will particularly listen to the issues raised in the German-speaking community.


    How has/will membership in The Open Group benefit you, your organization, and the industry at large?

    Personally, I gained a lot from the exchange with fellow members and architecture practitioners in the past. Conference attendance is what I found particularly valuable. It helped me build a network of practitioners from all around the world. This is something that I hope I can keep benefiting from in the future, and the same goes for ACROSS & AHEAD.

    As to the industry at large, I think a main benefit is the opportunity to build upon and leverage The Open Group’s resources and the global perspectives on topics that they typically come with. They are usually not meant to be prescriptive as a whole, so if you take them as a source of inspiration, pick those things that are relevant to your organization, and tailor these to the organization’s needs, you can get a lot out of them.


    What contributions do you hope to bring to The Open Group?

    As pointed out before, I have personally used ArchiMate® in several organizations. I hope I can share what I found to be good practices so that others can benefit from my learnings for their organizations.

    My first-hand experience is also what will hopefully allow me to make relevant contributions in discussions about the further evolution of the ArchiMate® standard. I believe this should be much about the language’s fitness for purpose, and this is what I aim to keep a particular eye on.


    Why is it important for other organizations to join The Open Group?

    This is something that other organizations ultimately have to determine for themselves. However, I think a key benefit is the opportunity to interact with and learn from a community of open-minded and bright people from all around the world. It is much about sharing experiences.

    In addition to that, membership gives you access to a rich library of knowledge that can save you a lot of time. Finally, not to forget: you will have a say in how certain standards are going to evolve. In other words, you can make a real impact. 


    What are your hobbies?

    I like reading, listening to music, and doing sports. I used to play tennis a lot. I am passionate about exploring foreign countries and cultures. Most importantly, I love spending time with my family.


    What book are you currently reading?

     “Measuring the World” by Daniel Kehlmann. In addition to that, I am jumping back and forth between several specialist business books.


    What social networks do you belong to?

    I spend most of my social network time on LinkedIn. I am also on Twitter.


    Any last thoughts?

    I am always open to exchanging views and experiences and interacting with one another, so please do not hesitate to get in touch. I am looking forward to fruitful discussions.


    Brief Bio - Daniel Simon is the Founder and Managing Director of ACROSS & AHEAD. His passion is to guide enterprises on their business design and transformation journeys. He has extensive experience in establishing architecture practices, developing architecture blueprints, and facilitating business design and transformation activities. He is also a long-time trainer in the field. Daniel holds a Ph.D. from the University of Cologne. He is the co-author of several publications on enterprise architecture and business architecture. He also regularly speaks at conferences and events.


    March 2021