Community College of Allegheny County
Pittsburgh, PA

Dear Ron:

Please accept this assessment of the projects that you and Jay Hoogerbrugge have been involved in for the past 5 years for the Community College of Allegheny County

Project Size

Approximately $6 million project to upgrade the Local Area Networks of 4 major campuses, focusing on re-cabling to a CAT 6 standard. Project goal is to complete a new high speed technical infrastructure that would support 100 Mbps Ethernet capacity to the desktop of all employees and students.

Project Parameters for WTCI

  • Meet with teams of stakeholders and Information Technology Services staff to redesign, modify and update the cabling schematics which you originated in 2001 as well as the voice and data port numbering syntax.

  • Develop cable construction specifications and Request For Proposals (RFPs).

  • Design TRs and MDFs to accommodate communications gear.

  • Review vendor responses, check vendor references and make recommendations for awarding contracts.

  • Conduct Project oversight activities which included daily inspections and problem reporting; problem-solving; daily progress reports posted electronically; capturing issues, problems and change order requests for decision-making purposes.

  • Conduct weekly in-person meetings, capturing minutes and action items for all parties which included telecommunications and communications gear vendors.
    Orchestrate smooth cut-overs, cable removal, and resolve any resulting employee complaints.

  • Conduct final inspections and punch-lists.

  • Complete as-built drawings.

  • For the one campus that is comprised of multiple facilities, design external fiber routes; oversee conduit audit and clean-up.

Assessment of Aforementioned Projects

The projects were very complex from several perspectives: coordinating the work of multiple vendors, working within the confines of difficult physical structures, and communicating in person and electronically with diverse groups of employees. An assessment follows.

Communication: electronic and in-person communication was efficient, comprehensive and always focused on task. The degree of professionalism in the face of at times, adversity was outstanding. This in and of itself speaks highly of your firm, since in my estimation, this is the area where most projects of an IT nature fail. Employee comments were extremely complimentary honing in on the “invisibility” of re-cabling offices, classrooms, etc.

Problem-Solving: careful analysis of issues and situations gave rise to good decision-making and offered us flexibility in determining the best solutions.

Deliverables: there are two categories to be addressed – concrete and intangible. Cabling schematics, as-builts, and port syntax were as perfect as you can get. These products now form the basis of tracking all changes in our network. That was probably the easiest part of these projects – it was in the intangible realm that WTCI demonstrated excellence: riding herd on vendors, keeping the projects on track, keeping communication and project archiving succinct and comprehensive; conducting detailed inspections especially at the conclusion of all locations.

The most appropriate compliment we can make is to invite you back to participate in as many projects as fall within the expertise of WTCI. And we have per the following: designing and overseeing the implementation of a new cabling infrastructure for the newly-acquired West Hills Center; conducting a wireless survey of the 4 campuses and central administration building of the College.

Affectively we can say that we trust your firm because you have demonstrated honesty and integrity. It is and continues to be a pleasure to do business with you.

Sincerely,

Christina Russell, Ph.D.
Director of Information Technology Services
 

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