Using specialized knowledge and expertise to manage a $100 million IT project – and bring it in on time and within budget

When the Department of Finance for a major U.S. city embarked on a $100 million project to revamp and upgrade its entire IT infrastructure, it needed specialized knowledge and skills in a number of critical areas.

For one, it needed a company that had the smarts, expertise and breadth of experience to supervise the entire project as the Project Management and Quality Assurance (PMQA) vendor. Beyond that, the department needed a vendor with deep subject-matter expertise in IBM solutions in order to ensure the successful integration of DB2 and WebSphere with IBM pSeries hardware and a wide range of applications.

The project was so challenging, in fact, that the first vendor hired to handle PMQA wasn’t up to the task. That’s when the department turned to Vicom Infinity.

The result? The project was not only completed successfully, it was completed on time and within budget. Considering all that can potentially go wrong on a project as massive and complex as this one, the department was naturally quite pleased with the results.

The $100 million project was implemented over a two-and-a-half year period. IBM was engaged to revamp the infrastructure and install the hardware and CDI managed the upgrading of the applications. Successful completion of the project on time was absolutely vital to the city’s health: The system is a prime source of revenue for the city, including all tax collections and revenue from parking violations, among other revenue streams.

The project included an entire revamping of the infrastructure across multiple departments and at least a dozen separate offices. It also involved a relocation of the data center and a requirement to add PCI compliance for credit card data. Needless to say, security was also a major issue.

The Vicom Infinity IT Project Management Services team worked side by side with the client, IBM and CDI, participating in all project meetings during the duration of the project. The team reviewed detailed project plans and assessed potential risks. Each risk was categorized by the likelihood of occurrence and potential impact on the project and the business. The Vicom Infinity team recommended fixes and either implemented or oversaw remedial action.

In one instance, the Vicom Infinity team saved 18 hours in mission-critical system downtime and prevented an extended disruption of services. The Vicom Infinity team identified the risk, ran benchmark assessments and worked with IBM’s labs to reduce downtime to half, well within the client’s threshold. In another instance, Vicom Infinity uncovered a potential security risk, brought in security experts, ran penetration tests and resolved the problem before it could impact the system.

Throughout the process, Vicom Infinity served as a liaison between the implementation team and senior management. The team worked closely with its client and partners, providing reports that translated technical jargon and clearly explained the issues, risk factors, and their potential impact on the project. Vicom Infinity offered options for remedy and recommended the most effective solution.

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