The Rollout: Bringing Technology Improvements to our Customer

Many of us of have seen the classic technology lifecycle:

Design - Build - Support

Design-Build-SupportFor larger customers, the rollout is essential to the Build part of the cycle. In the rollout, our customer brings new technologies and infrastructure to their user base. In today's organizations, those users will be in many locations and have different missions, creating some unique challenges.

Since the founding of Vision in 2000, we have rolled out new IT services and infrastructure at hundreds of federal government locations and thousands of commercial locations nationwide. We understand that any new service rollout or improvement to existing services must ensure that changes are completed on time and on budget, with minimal impact to ongoing operations.

Challenge: Standards-Based Performance for Diverse Customer Locations

A customer could, in theory, hire a different contractor for every location. However, there are good reasons to go with a single contractor for the rollout.

  • The customer locations have common equipment and similar technical requirements.
  • The customer has uniform standards for their facilities. A single contractor supports the standards with uniform performance.
  • The customer requires standard documentation packages for all their facilities.
  • The customer prefers to receive schedule and status reports from a single source, who is familiar with the entire rollout.
  • The customer desires a simple and reliable interface with manufacturers for warranty and technical support.

Experience shows that every new contractor has a learning curve, with the potential for surprise change orders and avoidable rework. By selecting a single contractor for the rollout, lessons are learned early – which promotes consistency in performance and lower cost for the customer. Customers with this concern generally require the rollout contractor to assign a single program manager responsible for all locations.

The Vision Program Manager serves as the single POC for the customer and for our teams in the field. This enables consistent performance from project to project and site to site. Because Vision is an experienced cabling and audiovisual contractor, we have standard methodologies which reflect industry best practices. We have experienced and certified field staff, which – together with our In-Process Quality Control – means that the work will be performed according to those best practices. With every rollout, we...

  • Learn, establish, and quantify the needs of our customer.
  • Adhere to industry and customer standards.
  • Measure our work to maintain and improve service delivery.

Vision carries, and is certified to install, multiple lines of infrastructure so we can match the infrastructure standards of any government agency or commercial customer.

Some rollouts are scheduled in conjunction with a move from one facility to another. For infrastructure moves, cabling, and provisioning support, Vision maintains a nationwide practice with OEM and BICSI certified technicians to assure that warranties will not be voided during moves.

Case Study: Federal Government Office Renovations and Office Moves

Vision received a multi-year infrastructure support effort for a federal government agency. This agency had leased offices in the central business districts in cities across the country. As each lease ended, the agency would either renegotiate the lease and renovate or move to new premises to obtain best value for the government. As part of a renovation or office move, the agency required that the office space receive upgrades to support agency operations. The agency's network appliances, video conference bridges, and other equipment were installed in equipment racks, in offices, and in systems furniture as needed. This work also required coordination between Vision, the agency, and others – such as the Public Buildings Service, building trades, general contractor, and commercial landlord. The scope of work involved multiple business units at Vision.

Vision assigned a single program manager to serve as the lead for the entire nationwide effort who held qualifications in multiple disciplines, holding PMP®, RCDD®, and CTS® credentials. PMP is the Project Management Professional credential from the Project Management Institute; RCDD is the credential for a Registered Communications Distribution Designer; and CTS is the Certified Technology Specialist credential for audiovisual solutions.

At each office location, the work was divided into phases:

  • Planning and Design;
  • Installation; and
  • Formal Acceptance.

Vision utilized a variety of tools for developing schedules, one of which is a Gantt chart. Once a schedule was developed, it and all relevant changes were managed to reflect actual progress. Once the work was complete and all items were accepted, the warranty period for that location began.

Case Study: Servers and IT Infrastructure at Retail Service Branch Locations

Vision supported a rollout of turnkey client/server business systems to over 500 retail locations with site survey, installation, and cutover services. In this effort, Vision provided a project manager, project coordinator, and multiple lead technicians and cable technicians.

The deployment at each location included a rack-mounted server with a network switch and an uninterruptible power supply (UPS). Other items deployed included wireless access points (WAP), thin clients (TC), and network workgroup printers.

Case Study: Federal Government Network Upgrade

A part of this agency's local area networking (LAN), infrastructure had become obsolete and was longer supported by the manufacturer. Vision executed a 90-day replacement project with surge staff. We acquired and managed the distribution of replacement network equipment to agency locations across the country, including labeling and tracking of agency property and the return of trade-in equipment as needed.

Vision provided frequent progress reports to the agency. Vision also coordinated equipment configuration and installation with agency staff and support contractor staff to bring the new equipment into production use.

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