Home Sep

Call us on: 0203 008 2489

Sep RSS feed Twitter Facebook Google Email Linkedin Linkedin

Case Study 01

Technology Infrastructure Separation

  • The client: 
    • Industry: Technology
    • Location: Global project centred in London
    • Employees: >1000

The background
Following the sale by another major internet brand the client had to set up their own corporate IT infrastructure, support resources and processes from scratch. As a globally recognised technology brand they could not afford to risk interrupting the service they provided, however the transition services agreement meant that there were significant costs associated with failure to meet the scheduled completion date. Oomri consultants were engaged to manage the overall IT programme of work, as well as to deliver specific workstreams.

The challenge

Within an 11-month period it was necessary to enable a well-known internet brand to operate as a stand-alone company, without impacting any of its daily operations. As part of an overall separation programme Oomri was engaged to manage the IT separation projects, including complete IT fit-out of several new offices. Considering the broad categories of people, processes and technology, the programme required:

People

  • The identification of required IT support resources, and hiring of those people.
  • Training programmes to ensure staff were able to use new tools, and that those tools could be supported by the appropriate staff.
  • Training in new processes where necessary to accommodate changes resulting from independence.

Processes

  • Creation of IT, network and application support processes with associated tools (helpdesk etc)
  • Implementation of escalation procedures and controls to ensure adequate controls for SOx and fiscal prudence
  • Processes to ensure desktop software and mobile telephony costs were properly controlled

Technology

  • New email system (with data migration)
  • VPN and remote access solutions
  • Physical security and access control solutions
  • File sharing and collaboration tools
  • Re-imaging of laptops/desktops to remove the former parent’s software/configuration, without losing data
  • Customer service tools, and their integration with back office and reporting systems
  • Decommissioning of the former parent’s networks and creation of the new corporate network

The solution

The defined time scale (with significant costs accruing for overrun) meant that it was necessary to be extremely pragmatic in the prioritisation and delivery of tasks associated with this project. Very early on a plan was created that showed clearly what had to be delivered within the 11 months, and what could, if needed, be deferred. This clarity enabled the entire project team to focus on the most complex and difficult tasks first to remove a significant amount of risk from the programme whilst there was still a lot of time left.

In a programme of this scale and complexity it is impossible to capture all of the reasons for success in one short case study. Here are some of the critical success factors:

  • Refusal to compromise on critically important dimensions such as security or on the service quality delivered back into the business, regardless of the delivery model (insourced/outsourced/mixed)
  • Early identification of SaaS tools and tasks that could be outsourced. This enabled the project team to work on delivering the end result rather than get bogged down in significant application customisation or training staff to perform non-core functions.
  • Good mix of inhouse and external expertise on each workstream. The external experts worked as part of the project team, collocated where possible.
  • Solid project and programme management throughout the workstreams, coupled with a management team with significant expertise in bridging business and technical worlds. Stakeholder management and communication was vital, particularly when compromises were required in order to meet the deadlines.

The results

Perhaps the most satisfying aspect of this project was that on the day the transition services agreement expired, no-one noticed. Business carried on as normal, and only the project team celebrated their success. The project was delivered within budget but most importantly on time. As a result of the success of this project, Oomri consultants were subsequently engaged to plan and deliver projects associated with preparation for public listing and subsequent post-acquisition integration.