For IT organizations that have consolidated and are moving toward an outsourcing model, Georgia CIO Calvin Rhodes has some advice: Once you’re outsourced, having a great service integrator is a key component to continued maturation and adoption of new technologies.
The Georgia Technology Authority (GTA) announced earlier this year that Capgemini, a multisource service integrator would be coordinating and overseeing the integration of technology services for the Georgia Enterprise Technology Services (GETS) program. Rhodes told Government Technology that the integrator is vital to ensure the state follows the ITIL – Information Technology Infrastructure Library – best practices, which align IT services with the needs of business.
Capgemini will provide Georgia with service integration processes and systems, including billing, service desk work, risk and security management, and other services. Those services were previously held on separate contracts that were adjusted to accommodate the presence of the integrator. Georgia will continue its contracts with IBM and AT&T for infrastructure services and managed network services, respectively.
“We look at Capgemini to help make sure we’re following the process and that service providers are meeting the agencies’ needs,” Rhodes said. “An independent group that will measure and monitor the service providers, provide feedback, and make sure if something needs to work differently, they adopt a new technology. Or, if they’re not meeting some numbers, they make sure we have an effective plan put together to address issues and measure against it.”
Rhodes added that while Capgemini was selected through a competitive bidding process, individual state agencies were heavily involved in the procurement process. The way Georgia structured the procurement, vendors had the opportunity to go back and forth with the state on their proposals through an extended period, making changes based on the feedback they received.
Agencies would chime in on what they needed, or services they wanted in different ways. Randy Tucker, principal with Integris Applied, a subcontractor to the GTA that assisted with the implementation of the Capgemini agreement, explained the procurement method Georgia is using contains an intermediate step that helps the state qualify vendors as being able to provide the services it seeks.
“It allows a chance to have some more interactive sessions with the providers, and enabled a lot of participation from our evaluator team that includes a number of our agency partners who had developed the requirements, which was critical to insure we were meeting the needs from our business users,” Tucker said.
So how will Capgemini be evaluated on how well it connects agencies with multiple service providers? On how well it sticks to its transition plan, according to Tucker.
Tucker explained that the integrator is bringing in a toolset it has used successfully in the past for other customers, which will be tailored and customized for what’s needed in Georgia. It’s a deliverable-based model consistent with other types of transition work the state has been involved in.
“The state has a service level matrix and measurement model that has alignment with providers that allows for alignment with the metrics that are being measured on the quality of the performance that the state uses,” Tucker said. “Georgia can make adjustments to those metrics over time to insure we’re getting the quality of work that has been committed to for the state.”
Rhodes noted that there are 28 processes Capgemini will be held accountable for in its contract, based on needs listed by state agencies. The contract between the state and integrator can be stretched out to a 10-year period, provided Capgemini meets various checkpoints and goals.
“Capgemini really brings two elements – making sure all the parties are in sync on what we’re trying to accomplish, and also being the independent group that’s measuring all these different stakeholders are doing their piece effectively,” Rhodes said.
Brian Heaton was a writer for Government Technology magazine from 2011 to mid-2015.