IBM infrastructure including Bladecenter H chassis, HS21 and JS22 blade servers, DS4700 SANs, fibre channel disks, IBM Open fabric manager, and TS3200 tape libraries.
Microsoft operating systems and applications
Cisco switching, routing, and firewalls
APC power, racking, and environmental
Symantec security and backup
Citrix application delivery
As a finalist in four categories, including the new People’s Choice award, Maclean Computing was fairly confident of not leaving the IBM Business Partner awards ceremony empty handed.
“We were very hopeful to come away with something, but there was some pretty stiff competition, so we were quietly nervous and confident,” says sales and marketing director Chris Maclean.
Maclean was also reasonably confident that if the company was going to win an award, it would be in the Best Growth Driven Solution category for its project to implement a smart meter platform for start-up client Advanced Metering Services (AMS). “I was pretty sure it was going to be AMS – it was just such a strong story.”
AMS is a new joint venture set up by Vector and Siemens to run a system for automated metering services, by developing intelligent meters to gather metering information that is sent back to a base over the mobile phone network. AMS intends to market this technology to other utility providers, allowing them to provide additional value added services to end users.
According to Maclean, remote electronic communication with intelligent meters opens a range of possibilities, such as providing detailed per appliance/per hour usage statistics and even remotely controlling power availability to individual appliances.
The project was very exciting to be involved in, as the AMS system has the potential to be used globally, says Maclean. “It is the beginning of an enormous initiative that will change the game in terms of metering worldwide. They are piloting the concept of remote meter reading in New Zealand. If that is proven to be a successful and robust model, the intention is to take that worldwide.”
As AMS had no legacy infrastructure or historical ways of delivering its services, Maclean Computing was given carte blanche to design a best of breed technology solution from the ground up, says Maclean. “Designing something from scratch is quite unique – certainly on that scale.”
An existing relationship with AMS CIO Deane Johns, who was previously at existing Maclean client Siemens, helped the company secure the project, says Maclean. “He [Johns] had the faith in us to be the trusted provider in this new project.”
The project came with tight timelines, says Maclean. “There was no room for error or delay. It took an extraordinary amount of dedication from the implementation team and we saw plenty of all nighters.”
Another feature of the project was that Maclean partnered with division and JDE specialist Fusion5. “The IBM services division has been fantastic. We are a big fan of best of breed partnering.”
Maclean also gives credit to AMS CIO Johns and his team for the success of the project. “They were outstanding.”