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1/31/2011
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IBM Tapped For NYC Data-Center Consolidation

Big Blue will build a cloud computing infrastructure to merge IT operations for 14 New York City agencies.

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IBM has gotten the call from New York to lead the first phase of a sweeping data-center consolidation project the city ordered last March.

The company will develop a modern cloud computing environment for the first 14 city agencies to be affected by the consolidation plan under New York's CITIServ IT modernization program, according to the vendor, which said it will be paid about $10 million for the project. IBM's work will focus on streamlining help desk, hosting, storage, e-mail, virtualization, and network functionality for the agencies, which were not specified by the vendor.

IBM will consolidate and update outdated and incompatible IT resources for the agencies in an effort to reduce energy consumption, improve security, and modernize the technology city workers use to do their jobs, according to the vendor.

The vendor's work is part of an operations consolidation and modernization program that the city's IT and telecommunications commissioner, Carole Post, ordered after less than two months on the job. The mandate was based on a review of the city's 1,200-person IT department that Mayor Michael Bloomberg appointed Post to conduct upon her appointment in January 2010.

Ultimately, New York City plans to consolidate data centers for more than 50 city agencies, a plan that is expected to save the city up to $100 million over five years. The city's IT department has an annual budget of about $375 million.

Consolidation is just one part of a broad technology-driven strategy enacted by Mayor Bloomberg to drastically improve not only New York's IT operations but also how the city serves its employees, residents, and constituents. Just last week, as part of his State of the City address, the mayor unveiled two new crowdsourcing efforts to solicit ideas from city workers and residents about how to improve the day-to-day life and business of the Big Apple.

In October the city signed a technology partnership with Microsoft to consolidate multiple software contracts, tailor software licensing to suit employee roles, and enable the city to leverage cloud computing.

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