The CTIE (Centre des Technologies de l’Information de l’Etat) is the IT service provider for the State of Luxembourg. Its mission is to provide centralised systems and processes for effective digital collaboration within the public sector. The CTIE therefore plays an important coordination and advisory role across all Luxembourg government institutions.
In common with public bodies everywhere, the CTIE has to carefully manage its limited headcount, work within tight annual budgets, and develop its own internal knowledge base. Within their IT Operations department, there was an urgent need to supplement the existing team to support core UNIX (Solaris) and Linux (Suse and Red Hat) based systems. The challenge was to simultaneously deliver "business as usual" mission critical operations while training the internal staff to become more knowledgeable on these systems.
Finding the most talented experts with rare skills and enormous experience is what Halian does on a regular basis. But to ensure a successful staff augmentation (or resourcing) service for the CTIE, it was not enough to select high-calibre technical experts in the UNIX and Linux environments. Given the client-facing role of the CTIE with other government organisations, Halian also had to focus on identifying consultants with the right soft-skills, who were able to communicate and coordinate IT issues to less experienced or non-technical stakeholders. This meant placing a high priority on both technical screening and our own assessment of consultants' ability to become internal mentors within the CTIE business culture. And all this within a fixed annual budget that was set for three years.
Since first working with CTIE in 2007, Halian has delivered a long-term staff augmentation service providing a core on-site UNIX and Linux Operations Assistance team. Our team provides a regular cycle of preventative maintenance, production support, and system upgrades and improvements. Specific activities undertaken have included a data-centre migration involving more than 150 servers and storage between two disaster recovery sites, high availability architecture installation and administration, and the provision of general troubleshooting and administration expertise. We also continue to deliver a stable and highly-robust operations service with an exceptionally low rate of attrition, thanks to our well-tuned selection model and HR management processes. Just as importantly, this service has delivered a high level of knowledge transfer to the CTIE IT Operations staff. Moreover, Halian's partnerships with vendors such as Red hat and Oracle have provided the CTIE team with access to training, resources, technical insights, and fast-track support. Together,CTIE and Halian have built a long-term and rewarding relationship, enhancing and growing the initial staff augmentation agreement.