About Us


Our vision is to be an innovative, quality provider of IT and support center training and consulting


Our mission is to deliver quality, cost-effective IT best-practice training and consulting services to organizations that boost support center and IT performance, enable optimized connections with employees and customers, and result in a high return on investment.  We do this by providing:

  • Informative and results-oriented IT and support center training services
  • Professional IT and support center assessments
  • HDI support center audit services
  • IT and support center consulting services

Service and Support Team

Paul M. Dooley, MBA

ITIL Service Manager, ITIL Expert
Certified ITIL Instructor, Consultant and Author

President and Founder – Optimal Connections, LLC

With over 30 years of experience in the high technology and software development industry, Paul has held numerous positions in customer service, technical support and marketing.  Experience includes front line technical support (levels 1, 2 paulsmland 3), support team lead, international support manager, manager of service business development, marketing manager and director of solutions marketing.

Experience and expertise includes development of support center strategy, policies and procedures; consolidating multiple support centers from company acquisitions; one of the first case study implementations of Knowledge Centered Support (KCS); selection & implementation of sophisticated Service Management Systems; service  marketing strategy and implementation; guiding the development and launch of new service offerings; and implementing support centers globally for both FileNet and QAD.

Paul has held positions with leading high technology companies, notably Motorola, FileNet, and most recently with QAD, Inc.  Recent clients have included the California Franchise Tax Board (FTB), Oregon Software Association, MCTSSA (Marine Corps. Support Center), Department of Homeland Security (DHS) – National Help Desk, and many others (see our Testimonial page for recent quotes). Paul’s qualifications and expertise include:

AXELOS Affiliate and ITIL Expert – Paul is a Member and Affiliate of AXELOS, the organization which owns and promotes IT Service Management, and the ITIL (R) framework.   Paul has been trained and certified in ITIL Foundation, most ITIL Intermediate levels, and is a certified ITIL Expert. Paul has delivered literally hundreds of ITIL courses across the U.S., and internationally, with high student ratings and reviews.

PeopleCert Affiliate – Also an Affiliate of PeopleCert, Paul is a certified proctor for ITIL exams which are processed by PeoplCert, the official exam agency of AXELOS.

Member – ITSMF USA, Los Angeles Chapter.  Paul was previously the Membership Chair, and the Communications Chair of the itSMF USA Los Angeles Local Interest Group (LIG).  He is active in the LA ITSMF chapter, contributing to ITSMF events and publications.

Faculty Instructor – Help Desk Institute (HDI).  Paul was a team leader in updating the HDI Support Center Certification (SCC) standards in 2004, and continues to help maintain this industry standard for support centers. In 2005, Paul also led the team to update the HDI Customer Support Specialist (CSS) and Help Desk Analyst (HDA) Standards. Paul also teaches most of the HDI courses, including Support Center Analyst (SCA), Support Center Manage (SCM), and Support Center Team Lead (SCTL).  Paul is also a consultant, service provider and Auditor for HDI.

Past President and Advisor to the Help Desk Institute (HDI), Orange County Chapter
Paul acts as Advisor to the local chapter of HDI, as well as Newsletter Editor.  For more information please visit the Orange County HDI web site at http://www.hdioc.org.

Certified HDI Auditor.  Paul is one of the few individuals certified by HDI as a Support Center Auditor.  Recent organizations certified by HDI through Paul’s efforts include Aramco, Saudi Basic Industries (SABIC), T-Systems, The National Help Desk (U.S. Customs and Border Protection), MCTSSA (Marine Corps. Support Center), and QAD – HDI’s first Global Support Center Certification. See HDI’s web site for a list of some of the centers audited by Paul.

Author of industry publications.  Paul has authored a number of articles and white papers, including “How to Market the Value of Your Support”, “7 Steps to Exceptional Customer Service”, and others.  His latest book, published through HDI in Dec. 2007, is entitled “Building a Web Support Portal: Keys to Success”.  Recent articles in popular IT/support center publications include:

Regular speaker at Industry Events.  Paul has been a featured speaker at industry and local service & support events:

  • BrighTALK presentation: “Making the Most of Your Metrics via an Effective Reporting Framework“, May 9th, 2018.  Over 90 attendees, with a rating of 4.5 out of 5.
  • BrighTALK presentation: “The Case for Swarming: An Intelligent Alternative to Tiered Support”, May 17th, 2017. Well attended, with a mot of interest.  Get the White Paper on Swarming – a 2 part series.
  • itSMF USA Los Angeles presentation, 2016- “Building a Knowledge Management Culture
  • CA ITSM Summit 2015, held as a global “Virtual Event” by CA.  Paul delivered a keynote presentation for itSMF USA entitled “ITIL 2015: Six Trends Driving Transformational Change in IT Best-Practices”.  The presentation received great reviews, and scored a 4.7/5.0 in survey feedback!
  • SoTEC 2014 – Southern California Technology Conference: Panel Moderator “Continual Service Improvement”
  • itSMF Los Angeles 2012 conference, Aug 3, 2012.
  • ITSMF 2010 ‘Fusion’ Conference in Louisville, Kentucky: “Transforming Resources: A Continual Learning Approach”
  • ITSMF 2009 ‘Fusion’ Conference: “Transitioning to a Knowledge-Powered Service Desk”, part of “Track 3 – Service Operations with a Side of Change”.
  • HDI 2008 Conference, Dallas Texas:  “Building a Web Self-Service Portal-Keys to Success”, and “Easy to Use Financial Tools for Effective Decision Making”
  • ITSMF 2008 ‘Fusion’ Conference, San Francisco – Sept 2008.  “Building a Web Self-Service Portal-Keys to Success”.
  • HDI’s 2005 Conference in Las Vegas, presenting on two topics: “HDI’s Support Center Certification (SCC) Program”, and “How to Market the Value of Your Support”.
  • HDI 2006 Conference:  panel speaker on Support Center Certification

Paul also speaks regularly at local itSMF meetings, HDI local chapter meetings, and at related industry events.

Advanced Education:  Paul hold’s a Bachelors in International Relations (BA) from California State University in Fullerton, and a Masters of Business Administration (MBA) degree from National University, San Diego.

ITIL 4 Foundation – Trainer:  Certified by PeopleCert in ITIL 4 Foundation training.

ITIL V3 Certifications:

  • ITIL V3 Foundations, and ITIL Intermediate certifications in:
  • Service Life-cycle Stream:  Service Strategy (SS), Service Design (SD), Service Transition (ST), Service Operations (SO), and Continual Service Improvement (CSI)
  • Service Capability Stream:  Planning, Protection & Optimization (PPO); Release, Control and Validation (RC&V); and Operational Support and Analysis (OS&A)

ITIL V3 Expert:  Advanced certification as an ITIL V3 Expert

ITIL V2 Certifications:  Paul has achieved a number of ITIL V2 certifications, including ITIL Foundations certification, ITIL Practitioner in Service Desk and Incident Management, and ITIL Service Manager.

ITIL Training Instructor Certification:  Paul is a Certified ITpreneurs Trainer, and Optimal Connections, LLC is an ITpreneurs Partner. Paul is also a certified instructor for HDI, as well as for Global Knowledge, Phoenix TS, Train Up, and several other ATOs.

ISO Certifications:  Information Security Foundation, based on ISO/IEC 27002

HDI Certifications:  From the Help Desk Institute (HDI), certifications include Support Center Analyst (SCA), Support Center Team Lead (SCTL), Support Center Manager (SCM), Certified HDI Instructor, and Certified HDI Auditor of Help Desk and Customer Support Operations. The newest certification includes Technical Support Professional (TSP), a specialization for tier 2 and 3 support specialists.

RESILIA Foundation Certification:  Received the Foundation Certification for RESILIA in August 2015, in preparation for offering both in-person and online courses in RESILIA cyber resilience best-practices. For more information on RESILIA best-practices, please visit https://www.axelos.com/best-practice-solutions/resilia

DevOps Fundamentals Certification:  Awarded 30 August 2016 a certification in DevOps Fundamentals from the DevOps Agile Skills Association (DASA), after reviewing course material and passing the certification exam.  Optimal Connections, LLC has been named a DASA Training Partner, and is now offering a certification training course in DevOps Fundamentals.  Check our DevOps Training Services page for details.

SECRET security clearance, December 2016 – U.S. Department of Defense.

Paul specializes in the following areas of service delivery:

  • ITIL Foundations Certification Training classes – public and on-site classes
  • ITIL Intermediate Certification Training classes – both Lifecycle and Capability courses
  • HDI Certified Instructor Training classes – Support Center Analyst, Support Center Team Lead, Support Center Manager
  • RESILIA Certification Training – end user IT security training
  • DevOps and Agile Skills Training
  • ITIL Maturity Assessments, based on the ITIL Maturity Model
  • Help Desk and Support Center Assessments – identifying opportunities for improvement
  • HDI Support Center Certification Audits – Certified Auditor for HDI
  • General IT and Support Center Consulting Services

Tim Causgrove

Consultant, Service Management

With over 30 years of experience in the IT service and support business, Tim is able to draw on a wealth of technical and management experience to help you make your project or program a resounding success!  Tim’s experience tim_causgrovestarted in the early 80’s as a programmer analyst, designing, developing, and supporting banking systems and application.  From there his career took him into consulting services with General Electric, and a an account manager working for Tentek.

Moving on to Disney, Tim managed a team that provided the financial systems design, development and support for Buena Vista Home Video. Under Tim’s guidance, the department improved their reporting and data analytics capabilities, streamlined their processes, and improved time to market for new products and services.

A rare individual, Tim has both the technical background and skills to communicate and work effectively with developers; but also the high-level strategic insight and communication skills needed to communicate with and provide effective guidance to senior management.

Tim’s background is comprised of:

Management Consultant – Effective Technology Consultants (ETC) – Tim provides consulting services on various projects for a leader in the retail consulting arena. The company specializes in supermarket, department, restaurant, chain drug, general merchandise, specialty, and mass retailing areas.

IT Manager – Verizon Wireless – Held several IT management positions, including Unix systems and LAN./WAN support; systems planning; and manager of production systems program management; Chosen to spearhead development of newly created Production Services PMO team comprised of 16 program managers. Led joint venture project to completion on time and within budget requiring integration between Vodafone, Bell Atlantic, GTE and PrimeCo.

IT Manager – Buena Vista Home Video – Managed talented staff of 30 employees charged with managing Financial Systems Department providing IT support for Accounting, Strategic Planning, and Finance Departments. Used valuable insight at Disney-BVHD to enhance product analytics as well as assist with the improvement of time to market for this retail based firm.

Account Manager – Tentek – Managed Consumer Finance team of 20 employees (plus consultants) chartered to manage 125 concurrent projects. In addition, conducted consultant marketing, interviews, placement, monitoring and direction. Conferred with Transamerica management team regarding staff management, direction and assignment as a senior management consultant,

Senior Consultant at General Electric – Provided IT senior consulting services for companies such as Southern California Edison (1986 – 1987), Blue Cross Insurance (1987 – 1988), and Transamerica Financial (1988 – 1990).

Senior Programmer/Analyst at Great Western Bank – successful completion of structured design, coding, implementation and documentation of a Financial Fixed Asset system. Additionally developed a Credit Card Tracking system from analysis through implementation. Provided system troubleshooting land support.

Tim earned his bachelor’s degree in Business from California State University, Northridge. Tim specializes in the following areas of service delivery:

  • Consulting services required for strategic and tactical planning of IT Service Management improvement projects
  • Carrying out project management of various IT service and support improvement activities
  • Consulting services to help you grow your IT services management business
    Support center leadership consulting and training

Ron Freedman

Technical Support Services

A principal consultant and partner in the company, Ron has over 25 years of experience in high technology service and support.  Ron is a seasoned customer service and support professional in the high tech large systems r_freedman_smmarketplace, with many years of experience with such firms as Lucent Technologies, Stratus Computer, and Prime Computer. Ron’s most recent experience is with EMC, initially as a hands-on field support expert; and later, as an area manager and then regional customer service manager.  Like our other associates, Ron has an unusual mix of technical and management experience, bringing high value to any projects we consult on.

Ron’s skills cover a broad range, from supporting sophisticated hardware to large scale mission critical software systems.  And its not only the delivery of technical support Ron has become an expert at – he’s been responsible for maintaining high customer satisfaction and optimal customer relationships at some of the largest private and governmental organizations.

Ron’s background includes experience in the following areas:

  • Years of technical support experience with Lucent Technologies, Stratus Computer, and Prime Computer
  • Service and support management with EMC Corporation.  Ron’s experience with this leading computer storage company includes years of experience as a field support technician, but also as an area and regional manager – demonstrating not only effective technical skills, but also considerable experience in IT service and support leadership and management.

Certifications include:

  • Microsoft Network Specialist Certification, 1999
  • Certified for all Microsoft OS networking, protocols, and network configurations
    Certified DNCP Engineer – Lucent Technologies
  • Search Engine Marketing certification – 2004

Ron specializes in the following areas of service delivery:

  • General Technical Support Services
  • Search Engine Marketing Consulting
  • Search Engine Optimization Services
  • Field support workshops and training

Industry Organizations

IT Service and Support Industry associations we’re a member of nd support include:

  • AXELOS – Optimal Connections, LLC is an affiliate of AXELOS.
  • ITpreneurs – Certified Training Partner
  • PeopleCert – Affiliate
  • The Help Desk Institute (HDI) – Faculty Member, Auditor
  • The Association of Support Professionals – Member
  • IT Service Management Forum (itSMF), and the itSMF Los Angeles LIG
  • DevOps Agile Skills Association (DASA) – Training Partner