MERIT Award Winners 2008
By Lisa Leahy, OIT
2008 Maine Excellence Recognition In Technology awards were given out at the Maine Digital Government Summit on October 6th.
MERIT Individual Award: Jason Tourtelotte
Jason Tourtelotte's hard work, dedication with a pro-active approach on the development and implementation of the Core Status and News (CSNwebsite) is but one example of his leadership and dedication .
The actual CSN website was the fruit of Jason's labor. Jason compiled all the web pages, the layout, and wrote scripts that would gather the input of sources. The CSN site draws its information from the following areas:
- WebNM3 (the WAN maps)
- Scripts that are utilized to query the Enterprise SQL status
- Oracle status screen is from the Oracle group
- CSC Status
- The OIT admin staff enter the attendance list
- RFCs are coming from FootPrints and the work of the CAB group
Over the last several months, Jason has received valuable feedback from many people within the Core Technology Services that have assisted him in the development of a robust tool above and beyond what management ever expected.
Jason is also responsible for the Loadrunner performance software that Core Technology Services utilizes for deployment certifications. Jason has grasped the complexity of the system and coordination that is required by all Core Technology Services areas without any issues. He is a self motivator within the Windows Server support group and exceeds the expectations set by his peers and manager.
MERIT Team Award: Client Technologies Call Center
The Call Center within Client Technologies has undergone a series of necessary but unsettling relocations and rearrangements over the last two years. The purpose of these changes has been to build a team capable of handling the IT needs of the enterprise that is Maine State government. The percentage of calls answered on a monthly basis had climbed from the 70% range to around an average of 95%. This is a huge commitment and dedication on everyone's part to ensure that a constant is maintained. With a gross number of calls at about 4500 this translates to an additional 700 calls answered per month. On a recent day the team actually achieved a call rate of 100%.
The Call Center continues to raise the bar for themselves and are not satisfied with maintaining the status quo. While continuing to increase the calls answered, they are also providing a better customer service by fixing a higher percentage of calls remotely. Over the last 5 months they have increased the number of first call resolution drastically and continue to increase these numbers.
MERIT Honorable Mention Individuals:
Steve Conary – Runner Up
The Client Technologies Call Center has made tremendous progress which has become particularly evident with the addition of Steve Conary to that team.
The truth of the matter is that excellent Customer Service performance is only possible through the efforts of the people that do the work, the staff. When asked how to credit the dramatic improvements the call center staff themselves uniformly credited their manager Steve Conary and his leadership in making the difference. They said that Steve converted a dispirited group of people into a highly effective team composed of engaged well motivated staff.
It is magical thing to see a team where the staff is both fiercely loyal to their manager and in the bargain throw their hearts into their jobs with a gusto that turns the seemingly impossible into the probable. People naturally need to be able to view their efforts a meaningful. Steve's little bit a magic has been to connect with each member of his staff to demonstrate to them that as individuals they are appreciated and indeed essential to the ultimate success of the whole and then to create a competitive environment where success is rewarded and failure is treated as a learning opportunity.
Craig is involved in keeping us going, on billing, finances, resolution of financing, budgets inventory of assets and is now leading the OIT team on replacing the major data center and office locations.
Henry took over management of ADAM shortly after the move of ADAM from EDOC to CMCC. Though Henry knew very little about ADAM, he immediately rose to the occasion addressing the many challenges facing ADAM as we continue to integrate ourselves within a newly reorganized OIT.
Henry's most challenging success has been dealing with the crisis created when our colleague David Ellis was severely injured last June. Henry took on David's workload in addition to his own, juggling several on-going projects as well as upcoming ones, all the while dealing with the usual responsibilities of managing a group of IT professionals. Henry has continued to keep the ADAM mission alive and has the gratitude of its members for keeping ADAM relevant to OIT as well as being a great place to work.
Bill has been with this Department for nearly 29 years and, with all the name changes (CCS to BDP to BIS to OIT), has continuously demonstrated a level of dedication rarely ever seen.
His keen insight of Operations has allowed him to cross into other areas and contribute in the planning and implementation of many projects. Bill has the ability to identify ‘weak' areas of a plan as they might relate to Operations, propose alternatives, and be prepared to support them. He's willing to drop whatever he may be doing to head to another site to assist with issues that may have cropped up, sometimes travelling an additional 15 to 20 miles daily above his already 80 miles or so to and from work. He's never been known to complain unnecessarily nor ask for anything specifically for himself.
He is, however, tenacious with requests when it involves the betterment of his workers.
MERIT Honorable Mention Teams:
Enterprise Operations & Monitoring – Runner Up
Tthe staff of Enterprise Operations & Monitoring for their total support, loyalty and dedication to the State of Maine.
EOM consists of 4 sections currently;
Data Center Facility
High Speed Print
As is evident, this EOM work group has tasks virtually covering every area conceivable within an IT organization. Every member of EOM can be counted on to fulfill their assigned tasks and many go above and beyond normal expectations during times of limited resources.
The group is made up of hard working, conscientious, dedicated and, yes, very tired people.
Yet, in spite of lacking numbers, sometimes feeling ‘forgotten' and occasionally having to deal with some less than pleasant off-hour calls, they always seem to pull through and provide the support necessary and expected by Agencies throughout State Government.
To have such a large number of workers relate so well, not only on assigned shifts but across shifts and locations, is simply phenomenal!!!
Steve Conary/Greg McNeal
Greg McNeal and Steve Conary are recognized, for their efforts to improve technology services to client agencies within State Government. Agencies appreciated the invitation to participate in Mr. McNeal's Listening Tours in which he and his staff opened up their processes and procedures to the comments and criticism of state agency representatives who are intense users of the services of the Office of Information Technology. Greg and his staff were commended for their ability not to take comments personally, but rather, to regroup, acknowledge that services need improvement and then to quickly address the needs of state agencies.
Mr. McNeal and Steve Conary, worked together to address unique issues.
Greg and Steve acted quickly to change the working relationship between agencies and the Office of Information Technology. Since the Listening Tours, department staff has noted that service from OIT is consistently more timely and is provided with noticeable commitment to the work and success of our department. An effective, respectful working relationship with our technology partners is critically important to the department.
Ann Saban and Dan Feeney work together to support and make available the FORTIS document management application to a very large number of State agencies. Ann and Dan have worked endless hours to insure the stability of such a huge document management tool. They regularly work their scheduled work load and then they donate much of their after-hour time to insure system availability. They work late into the evenings and spend many week-end hours testing and tweaking to insure customers have access to their important documents during work hours and beyond. They do this simply because they recognize the importance of good strong customer support and they both take pride in treating their customers with the upmost care and respect.
The OIT ADAM Group exemplifies the word teamwork. Over the past year, the team has stuck together through numerous challenges, including reassignment to a different unit, relocation to a new building, adjusting to a new manager, and the temporary loss of their only team leader for several months due to a serious motorcycle accident.
Through all of these changes, ADAM has continued to successfully provide applications development services to customers spanning multiple state agencies. Additionally, ADAM has helped promote knowledge sharing within OIT through presentations at Devcon forums, sponsoring developer brown bag lunches, and participation in various committees including OIT Accessibility and OIT Bricks. ADAM team members have also helped strengthen OIT infrastructure by providing a lead architect role in the migration to subversion that is taking place in multiple agencies, and by working collaboratively with other OIT units to make effective technology solutions available to customers.
The ADAM Group may be small in size, but it consists of many talented individuals who have skills that are in high demand. Given the series of events that occurred over the past year, many groups would have suffered attrition, would have settled for a lower level of customer service, and/or would have communicated/participated less in important internal OIT efforts. The fact that none of these happened illustrates the strength of the ADAM team and their commitment to their customers and to OIT.