Cisco faced a requirement to staff up a team of project managers with data center and IT infrastructure experts in order to operate as an integral part of the Release Management Office on-site. The Release Management Office’s main responsibility is to work with internal customers to define and deploy global IT projects into the data center environment. The initial solution offering for CH Reynolds was to provide four technology project managers with a combination of experts in network implementation, hosting, virtualization and storage on a staff augmentation basis. The team was deployed into the customer environment, becoming immersed in the tools, processes, technology and culture of the larger team. Subsequently, customer requirements necessitated an increase in the CH Reynolds team to build out a presence in both the Philippines and India.

CH Reynolds had to be very flexible and adaptable because the project kept growing and expanding in geographic scope as well. To properly service Cisco’s evolving needs, CH Reynolds’ solution offering had to shift from a staff augmentation model to a fully managed service within the customer environment.

Starting with a staff augmentation model gave Cisco the opportunity to test its resources with a relatively small team. As the team became immersed in the customer environment, deployments of critical, revenue-impacting technology projects into the data center space increased customer confidence and allowed the team to impart their knowledge to the new project managers joining the team.

Providing an international presence in the Philippines (and Bangalore soon thereafter) enabled the team to work more effectively during critical releases by assigning escalations according to a ‘follow-the-sun’ approach. Moreover, the flexibility to choose a staff augmentation model and then gradually transition to a managed service solution built customer confidence and allowed for organic growth within the team, thereby reducing overall risk of the solution.

“The managed service solution allows us to focus more on core aspects of our business while holding CH Reynolds accountable for their results. This is much easier for us than managing a group of individual contributors staffed by other companies”. – Cisco Systems

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