When I started working with a large charity, they had no IT department and numerous computer issues. During my fourteen years as IT Manager the IT infrastructure grew from one small server at head office to a centralised data centre with over a hundred servers.
This centralisation as well as the initiatives I implemented, enabled the organisation to move from a five-million-dollar annual loss to a two-million-dollar annual profit in just two years.
These system upgrades and centralization also resulted in happier staff and more streamlined processes.
Just some of the projects that helped the business to grow so well included:
– Reviewing and centralising the IT infrastructure, business applications, and processes of more than 60 sites.
As the organisation was so diverse geographically with many different business streams, I implemented Citrix with thin client terminals.
• removed servers from all sites, which required constant backing up and maintenance.
• workstations could easily be swapped without requiring a rebuild
• enabled applications, files, and emails to be accessible from ANY workstation at any site OR from home
• ensured the operating system and applications were consistent across the organisation
This technology review and the introduction of quality business processes greatly facilitated the growth of the organisation from 60 sites to over 100 sites. When a new site was commissioned it would just require a WAN connection and all PCs replaced with terminals ensuring seamless integration. Any and all applications could be run on the central servers.
– Developing a foster care database to produce vital quarterly reports for the government department. Before my team and I created this database, it would take up to ten days for staff to produce the same reports from incomplete Access databases and Excel spreadsheets. The new database with .NET front-end meant that they could produce better and more accurate reports, including graphics, with just three clicks of the mouse.
– Developed an SQL SSIS ETL solution extracting Nurse call data from remote Aged Care facilities to a centralized database in the data centre. Daily automated email reports would be sent to each site Manager and other recipients with details such as the number of nurse calls not responded to with ten minutes. This information was also required for the Aged Care service accreditation.
– Linking SQL Server to Active Directory to produce daily reports detailing discrepancies, mistakes, and omissions in all system and application user accounts. Previously we would carry out exhaustive quarterly audits of user and security groups. Implementing daily reports resulted in only a small amount of work every day or two which significantly raised the accuracy of Active Directory and the application databases. Staff could immediately address any errors instead of waiting three months for the results of the audits.
I love flying—I’ve held a pilot’s licence since 1974. I also love BMW motorcycles. I currently own a classic 1975 R90S and a newer 2013 R1200RT.
After I finished school, I joined the air force and studied electronics, then worked on the F111s at Amberley for a number of years. After leaving the air force, I became a senior engineer, working on mainframes with the second largest computer company in the world (after IBM). Because of my passion for databases, I started providing my own clients with computer and database solutions in Microsoft Access and SQL 7.0.