Over the years George Tillmann has tried many times, in many different ways,
to see things from his constituent’s perspective. But, for the most part,
those efforts have been only partially successful at best.
As the chief information officer of consulting giant Booz Allen Hamilton,
Tillmann’s main job is keeping the company’s thousands of consultants (i.e.
its revenue generators) around the globe in touch and working. To do this,
he and his staff have to keep a worldwide email system functioning smoothly
night and day, 24/7. Without email there is no project collaboration, and
without collaboration deadlines are missed and revenues dip.
As with most IT departments, Tillmann has infrastructure visibility tools at
his disposal. But none of them can give him a view into how BAH’s email
system is working from a user’s perspective. Sure, he could see that the
routers, servers and lines connecting Milan to Moscow were working properly,
but he couldn’t see if there were log-on troubles in either place or if the
system was running frustratingly slow.
“Like everybody else I have that plethora downstairs,” he said. “The
difficulty was pulling a lot of it together.”
To help solve this problem they placed laptops in strategic places around the globe
that would ping the network every few minutes and report back to the
IT department. But even this idea, although better, wasn’t enough to obtain
a good user’s perspective on how BAH’s entire network was functioning as a
That’s why, when BAH’s long-time infrastructure tools provider Concord
Communications approached him about being part of a beta trial for its new,
Web-based dashboard product, the Business Service Console (BSC), Tillmann
decided the opportunity couldn’t have come at a better time. (As of April
26, the BSC, the newest part of Concord’s eHealth suite of infrastructure
tools, became generally available.)
He and his staff had already embarked on a project to consolidate all
infrastructure-reporting data onto one Oracle database so that everyone
working on the system would have the same information. As it happens,
Concord’s BSC relies on the same Oracle database for its information.
A product that could finally give Tillmann the real-time, user-level
perspective he had been looking for and one that easily integrated into his
existing infrastructure? This made the decision, basically, a no-brainer.
“I had HP hording their data and CA’s tools hording their data and Concord
horded their data and I’m in a better position now of pulling that
together,” said Tillmann. “I’m not saying we’re there, but we’re getting
there, where there’s an opportunity to integrate these things together with
one wrapper around it so I can sort of see what exactly is occurring with
email in Europe. It was very difficult to do that in the past. It was a game
of 20 questions.”