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THE NEWS INFORMATION FOR THE PUBLIC SECTOR
Managed Advantage: The Market is Moving – and CGI has you Covered
Today’s government executives require a comprehensive strategy for not only modernizing their Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems, but establishing a program that provides operational stability and financial predictability over the long term. As a result, state and local governments are now expressing unprecedented levels of interest in hosting services, including request for proposal requirements from the State of Alaska, State of West Virginia, Sonoma County, California and City of Richmond, Virginia.
Larry Honarvar, CGI's Vice President of Managed Services for State and Local Solutions, is a 20-year veteran of the IT industry with 12 patents in information technology to his credit. Before assuming his current role encompassing the AMS Advantage® Managed Services program, he spent 10 years of his career leading similar initiatives that advanced CGI’s offerings to provide our clients with full service offerings over the entire solution lifecycle. This included launching the managed services practice in CGI’s banking and credit solutions industry while overseeing the development, support and maintenance of these applications.
Larry joined us to discuss why state and local governments are now expressing unprecedented levels of interest in Managed Advantage.
What is Managed Advantage?
With CGI and our Managed Advantage solution, state and local governments have a single point of accountability for ERP software, services, hosting and application management. The solution is scalable based on our client’s needs—from support of client-site environments to full production management of the AMS Advantage ERP solution at CGI delivery centers.
Managed Advantage also offers services above CGI’s Standard Support and Maintenance Program once a client is in production, providing a client with continual application management and operational improvement. It is delivered based on CGI’s best practices and unparalleled experience in deploying and maintaining AMS Advantage environments across our client base.
As an ERP leader for federal, state and local governments for more than 35 years, CGI offers a unique combination of qualifications backed by a commitment to delivery excellence. When clients want to quickly advance their ERP capabilities, CGI has the built-for-government solutions, unrivaled domain expertise and proven track record of success to deliver results and maximize value.
Why Managed Advantage?
Managed Advantage offers government organizations ready access to ERP expertise and software enhancements at predictable levels of spend. CGI assumes the risk and effort of staffing, upgrades and ongoing operations, which allows for improved system reliability and performance as well as reduced total cost of ownership (TCO). With CGI managing day-to-day AMS Advantage operations, clients retain overall strategic direction for their ERP platform while gaining single-party accountability and freeing internal resources for core business initiatives.
Clients work with CGI to define the scope of their Managed Advantage service. Greater efficiencies are available as more service elements are added to each client’s Managed Advantage engagement. Standardization, governance, economies of scale and coordinated management are collectively applied to the benefit of our clients. Whatever the desired scope, CGI provides greater predictability with respect to both cost and quality across the lifecycle of the application.
How will a hosted ERP system reduce total cost of ownership?
Managed Advantage improves performance, achieves predictable spend, and delivers timely software release upgrades to reduce TCO. Service Level Agreements (SLA) document and report on quantified metrics aligned to the organization’s priorities and objectives. TCO is reduced through a standardized application environment, leveraged workforce, and continuous improvements in technology and process.
What happens to my current workforce?
Often, retirement, attrition, and/or potential staffing freezes hinder a government organization’s ability to hire and maintain the staff necessary to support new technologies. Yet, organizations are challenged to do more for less and to meet the ever-increasing demands of the constituent base. With Managed Advantage, our clients are able to redirect their scarce resources to focus upon untended IT needs and to deliver citizen-centric services.
What other benefits come with engaging CGI as a managed services provider for AMS Advantage?
Upgrades and maintenance are often bundled under Managed Advantage to defer capital costs through amortization over the contract term. A managed service approach reduces both the risk and cost of deploying a new ERP solution as well as shortening the timeline between subsequent necessary upgrades and thereby keeping the organization on the forefront of ERP technologies.
Client data centers are often aging and continued reliability is a concern. In addition, backup facilities to mitigate against a catastrophic event can become cost prohibitive, particularly given the continued investment these facilities require. A Managed Advantage contract hosted at a CGI data center can provide failover options with committed recovery times.
What is the advantage of a single-party provider for the software and for hosting the solution?
As the only single-party provider of built-for-government ERP, we provide a single point of accountability for software, services, hosting and application management. CGI has built our deep domain expertise, process knowledge and best practices through more than 35 years of delivering ERP software and services for complex government organizations. Clients receive superior functionality, controlled scope, reduced risk and rapid value.
Are there alternatives to a fully hosted Managed Advantage solution?
Yes. For example, a client can elect to have CGI manage their application in their own data center. Each client has differing needs, and our Managed Advantage solution responds to each client’s unique business problems. Typically, CGI and the client reach agreement on who will take responsibility for a combination of the following:
- Data center facilities (hosting) and hardware management/replacement
- Production operations (1st level support)
- Maintaining the core ERP software/code (2nd level support)
- Management of independent 3rd party (non-CGI) software
- Updates (non-critical) and upgrades
- Disaster recovery
Who in state and local government are taking this managed services approach?
Several organizations enjoy the benefits of CGI’s Managed Advantage solution, including the State of Maine and Maricopa County, Arizona. A Western state with more than 9,500 employees and more than $3 billion in general budget has stated, “With Managed Advantage, CGI is committed to our schedule and holds itself accountable to response times and tasks. They are dedicated to meeting our goals.” CGI also supports several large federal government agencies with hosted solutions and a managed service approach.
Have a question for Larry? Contact him at email@example.com.