Leader in enhanced oil and natural gas development in western Canada active in oil sands projects in Northern Alberta with established conventional production in Alberta and Saskatchewan. With a 5,000-plus employee base, this organization focuses on developing top-quality oil resources, strong project execution, progressive environmental performance, expansion of markets and sustained financial strength.
Groundswell began working with this client in 2007 when a lack of process and central oversight began to impede the organization’s ability to operate efficiently; a hindrance which also led to strategic business issues. Since then, Groundswell has provided the company with local project consulting and delivery services in the areas of Integration and Data Management.
As the client’s business has grown, so has its relationship with Groundswell. In 2012, we effectively delivered over 45 projects ranging from smaller enhancements to large enterprise-wide programs through a Co-Source delivery model.
The client, looking to leverage integration technologies, sought a partner who would bring an established level of expertise in technology and best practice. They chose Groundswell, a small niche player whose entire business was built upon integration services.
Groundswell began by providing niche expertise on a staff augmentation basis. In 2008 we evolved the service into a managed service, initially around TIBCO. This has since grown into a managed service which now incorporates not only the administrative services but Integration Development services as well. In 2015, to achieve further efficiencies the managed service was converted to a Managed Resource Pool resourcing model.
Groundswell has been able to successfully transition our service over the years and maintain our status as a key vendor with the client because we understand there is no such thing as a “one size fits all” service. In addition to Groundswell’s technology expertise we have also accumulated and taken on a thought leadership role around managed services and how to tailor them to each client to best match their environment and successfully focus on delivering value to support and enable the client’s strategic direction.
The service delivery diagram below illustrates the various delivery models clients can choose from. What is important to note on this diagram is, as you move from the lower left hand corner to the more mature service delivery offerings toward the upper right corner, Groundswell assumes an increasing responsibility around the tools, processes and the reporting as well as more accountability for continuous improvement.
While the five service delivery models provide the basis for our service offerings the key to a successful managed service lays with Groundswell’s ability to fine tune these delivery models to meet the exact specifications of each client. As with most vendors we have levers that the client can use to control:
• Resourcing Options
• Service Scope
• Service Levels
• Service Maturity
Groundswell has developed a five level maturity model for support and maintenance of information management assets such as integrations, Business Objects Reports, Data Warehouses and has developed operational ITIL based processes that are based on this maturity model. By establishing the client’s maturity level Groundswell can implement a service that not only matches the client’s maturity but can co-mingle with the client’s own processes and tools. That is to say that while Groundswell is ready and prepared to come to the table with a full methodology suite, the delivery of our service is not tied to our methodology and tools. We can utilize the clients processes and tools and if need be augment with our own.
With respect to this case study the client understood once executed, this service model approach would enable business users and IT to focus on core competencies, while leaving their operational and tactical Information Management responsibilities to Groundswell consultants who could deliver the efficiency, quality, and level of knowledge required for such specialized areas.
The results of a managed service can be dramatic as the figure above attests to. In this particular case study we can see Groundswell provided our client with an overall cost savings of 66.7% while simultaneously providing a 61.7% efficiency gain.
For purposes of this case study cost savings were based on actual invoice amounts while efficiencies were calculated based on the number of FTEs required to support the growing scope of services. You may also note that over the same period of time the scope of the service with respect to supported technologies increased by 600%. What the figure does not represent is that also over this same period of time:
• The user base increased by 50%
• TIBCO environment doubled
• Business Objects servers tripled
• Data stores increased from 200GB to 900GB due to increased reporting requirements The services provided by Groundswell for this client include:
• Project services / development services
• Support services & administrative services for the middleware
• Management as a service (the management component of all the services)
Since moving to the new model, Groundswell has assumed more support responsibility and established standardized processes, tools and reporting. This has considerably opened the client’s management team to focus more on strategy and tactics as Groundswell assumes day-to- day operational responsibility.
Where Are We Now?
Groundswell is now in its eighth year supporting this client and we have recently implemented a proposal to leverage a new resource model service offering, Groundswell’s Managed Resource Pool. This pool of resources will include:
• Dedicated resources for the client
• Pooled resources for the client
◦ On shore
◦ Near shore
◦ Off shore
While the inner workings of the Managed Resource Pool might be a subject of a future paper, in essence it allows Groundswell to utilize resources multiple clients helping. The combination of efficiencies gained through a pool model and cost savings from the offshore model has led to an additional double digit cost saving for this client.