Outsourcing keeps Genesis' costs down

Rigorous desktop management helped Genesis Power achieve one of the best scores ever recorded in the Asia-Pacific region using Gartner Group's total cost of ownership evaluation.

Rigorous desktop management helped Genesis Power achieve one of the best scores ever recorded in the Asia-Pacific region using Gartner Group’s total cost of ownership evaluation.

Genesis Power commissioned Hewlett-Packard to conduct the evaluation using the Gartner TCO model for distributed computing because it wanted to independently evaluate its decision to outsource its desktop infrastructure. The model looks at what is theoretically possible and measures the shortfall against a perfect score. Typically companies score 30% to 40% below what is theoretically possible but Genesis was only 10% off the top score.

Genesis chief executive Murray Jackson attributes much of the result to a strategic commitment to best practices adopted by the power company when it was formed in 1999. These include closely managing software version control, desktop configurations and standardised applications.

“A managed environment imposes constraints on what software can be loaded, for example, or the way hardware is introduced to the network. Staff can’t always do or buy exactly what they want.”

The IT environment consists of 375 workstations running Microsoft Windows 2000 and Windows XP, with 40, mainly Compaq, servers running Windows NT and some Unix applications. The network backbone is based on a frame relay link from Telecom.

The entire infrastructure, from the desktop to firewall to LAN and WAN, is supported by Axon. The decision to outsource to Axon was made using a request-for-proposals tender when the company was set up.

“As well as the standard RFP-type of questions we used a set of scenarios to test how the possible providers might resolve a situation,” Jackson says. Application support is with various parties but the company is investigating appointing a single service provider.

Using the Gartner tool HP measured lifecycle costs of hardware and software, operations, administration, end-user operations and down-time. It asked more than 150 questions, taking a snapshot of time of the company and benchmarking it against best possible TCO.

HP compared Genesis with other companies of a similar size, complexity and business in the region. The results showed that Genesis had one of the best TCO assessments that HP had seen in Asia-Pacific. HP even re-ran the test to make sure that there was no data skewing the result.

One of the key indicators of the research model is the percentage of direct versus indirect costs. The energy sector standard is 48% direct costs versus 52% indirect costs. Genesis had 74% direct costs versus 26% indirect costs.

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