The top 100 IT projects of 2009

2009 InfoWorld 100 Awards: IT remains the lifeblood of forward-thinking organizations, as this year's recipients of InfoWorld's highest honor attest

If it ever was a question, 2009 put an end to any doubts about the resiliency of IT.

Navigating severe budget cuts, unanticipated reorganizations, and quickly evaporating revenue opportunities across most markets in the wake of financial turmoil, IT retrenched, pushed ahead, and launched new endeavors to advance company prospects despite the near historic odds stacked against it. And it is in this spirit that we at InfoWorld salute those who continue to drive IT forward.

[ For tips on how to make your IT operations more successful, see "16 ways IT can do less with less" and "20 more IT mistakes to avoid" ]

Every year, the InfoWorld 100 Awards celebrate 100 IT organizations that have implemented and integrated technologies in innovative ways in pursuit of concrete business goals. These 100 real-world projects stand as proof that striking a new path in IT can reap deep organizational rewards. This year has been no exception -- especially in light of widespread layoffs and limited resources.

For some, resiliency has meant moving forward with long-range initiatives aimed at overhauling essential operations. Shifts toward SOA, end-to-end ERP implementations, projects geared at extending the value of IT to the shop floor -- each demonstrates the value of IT when it comes to modernizing business.

For others, retrenchment has spurred efficiency initiatives, with server virtualization, datacenter automation, and green IT projects streamlining operations while ensuring IT is making headway against the permanent energy crisis.

For still others, financial uncertainty has meant doubling down on existing assets, with initiatives geared toward collaboration, knowledge management, and customer relations leading the way.

Open source made further inroads at some organizations, while others brought essential business operations in-house or launched projects aimed at leveraging the potential of cloud computing. Overall, the variety of projects highlighted as part of the InfoWorld 100 Awards testifies to the fact that today’s IT underlies every facet of business, and that those leading the charge are doing far more than keeping the lights on -- they're redefining their organizations.

View the winners of the 2009 InfoWorld 100 Awards

More InfoWorld awards2009 InfoWorld Technology of the Year Awards2009 InfoWorld Bossies: Best of Open Source Software2009 CTO 25 Awards2009 Green 15 Awards

Accenture www.accenture.com Unified Collaboration Initiative Project lead: Frank B. Modruson, CIO Project description: Accenture developed Accenture Client Exchange, a communications and collaboration platform that provides employees and clients presence, secure IM, voice and videoconferencing, virtual desktop sharing, and network-enabled phone functionality based on technology from Microsoft and Cisco. Industry: Services

Activision Blizzard www.activision.com WAN-Optimized Development Initiative Project lead: Thomas Fenady, Senior Director of IT Project description: Activision Blizzard increased the efficiency of its worldwide development efforts by revamping its network and moving away from MPLS (multiprotocol label switching) and DS3s (Digital Signal 3) in favor of WAN optimization technology from Riverbed. Industry: Entertainment

ADP www.adp.com Client Service Initiative Project lead: Jeff Mullins, Vice President, Field Automation Engineering Project description: ADP developed Workspace Manager, a unified customer service agent desktop built on Microsoft .Net and integrating Web, Java, Win32, mainframe, and legacy applications within a single user interface, while supporting the development of new composite application interfaces and eliminating the need for client service agents to individually log into 17 Citrix Presentation Server infrastructures. Industry: Services

ADP Dealer Services www.adpdealerservices.com Mobile Field Service Initiative Project lead: Doug Karlson, Vice President and General Manager, Field Services Engineering Project description: ADP Dealer Services launched a mobile field service initiative centered around technology from Antenna Software to provide its field engineers access to legacy data and the company’s Clarify CRM app. Industry: Services

Advance Auto Parts www.advanceautoparts.com Energy Management Initiative Project lead: James Curry, Energy and Systems Manager Project description: Advance Auto Parts launched an energy management initiative, integrating technology from Teletrol Systems into its IT infrastructure at more than 500 of its 3,300 auto parts stores, reducing its per-store energy consumption by as much as 30 percent. Industry: Retail

Aflac www.aflac.com Distributed Call Center Support Initiative Project lead: Dominic Cols, Senior Project Manager Project description: Aflac developed a .Net-based rich-client call center application, integrating the IVR-initiated system to several information systems via an SOA. Industry: Insurance

Alvarado Independent School District www.alvaradoisd.net Disaster Recovery Consortium Project lead: Kyle Berger, Executive Director of Technology Services Project description: Alvarado overhauled its educational network, installing LCD projects and Smart Board technology in classrooms, equipping students with hosted electronic portfolios, and establishing a Compellent SAN-based disaster-recovery consortium for allocating backup space to both Alvarado and neighboring school districts. Industry: Education

AmerisourceBergen Specialty Group www.absg.com Rapid Call Center Integration Project lead: Greg Glaser, Program Manager for CRM solutions Project description: AmerisourceBergen Specialty Group overhauled its call center operations, replacing six legacy systems in eight business units with a new platform based on technology from Salesforce and Cast Iron. Industry: Pharmaceuticals

Apptix www.apptix.com Unified Hosted Services Delivery Platform Project lead: John Kersse, CTO Project description: Apptix consolidated numerous service delivery platforms accumulated via acquisitions into a unified provisioning, billing, and management platform for all its hosted services. Industry: Service provider

Arrow Electronics www.arrow.com ERP Initiative Project lead: Ash Brooks, Vice President of IT, Enterprise Computing Solutions Project description: Arrow launched an Oracle-based ERP initiative within its Enterprise Computing Solutions business unit, implementing 34 modules, including functionality for CRM, lead management, finance, order processing, and SCM, integrating the SOA platform with several internal warehouse management and export compliance systems, as well as external partner interfaces via EDI and RosettaNet. Industry: Retail

Aspect www.aspect.com Unified Communications Initiative Project lead: Jamie Ryan, Senior VP of IT/CIO Project description: Aspect completed an enterprise-wide Microsoft OCS-based unified communications implementation, integrating voice, voice mail, audioconferencing, Web conferencing, IM, and presence technologies online. Industry: Manufacturing

AT&T www.att.com Knowledge Management Initiative Project lead: Pam Parisian, Senior Vice President, Consumer IT Project description: AT&T developed the Atlas Knowledge Management system for call center representatives, replacing several regional KMSes with a unified, AJAX-derived Web app, based on a flexible in-house built architecture and third-party search. Industry: Service provider

Avnet www.avnet.com Supply Chain Automation and Inventory Management Project lead: Bob Pischke, Vice President of IT Applications Project description: Avnet overhauled its supply chain and inventory management operations, integrating seven systems, including BI, quoting, and ERP, into its Software AG-based SOA. Industry: Distribution

Batesville Casket www.batesville.com Quality Improvement Initiative Project lead: Robert Shane, Programmer/Analyst Project description: Batesville Casket automated its metal fabrication operations, integrating its ERP and manufacturing systems and implementing touch screens and scanning technology to reduce human intervention with manufacturing equipment. Industry: Manufacturing

BMC Software www.bmc.com Datacenter Process Automation Project lead: Mahendra Durai, Vice President, Infrastructure & Operations Project description: BMC Software automated its server rebooting and certification processes, integrating automated system alerts generated by monitoring tools with Run Book Automation scripts employed to manage and remediate server degradation and outages. Industry: Technology

Booz Allen Hamilton www.boozallen.com Enterprise 2.0 Implementation Project lead: Walton Smith, Sr. Associate Project description: Booz Allen Hamilton developed an enterprise 2.0 platform, integrating open source, commercial packaged, and custom-developed applications, including Confluence, B2evolution, Scuttle, and Simple Machines, to serve more than 23,000 employees. Industry: Services

Central Iowa Power Cooperative www.cipco.net Smart Metering Initiative Project lead: Don Chaon, Manager of Data Systems Project description: CIPCO rolled out a smart metering system to 13 rural electric cooperatives based on technology from Wilson, Sierra Wireless, and Verizon Wireless. Industry: Utilities

Chapdelaine & Co. www.chapdelaine.com SOA Initiative Project lead: Ken Torres, CIO Project description: Chapdelaine built an SOA infrastructure for its trading data exchange based on WSO2 middleware. Industry: Financial services

Choctaw Casinos www.choctawcasinos.com Large-Scale Video Surveillance Initiative Project lead: Jason Pritchard, Integration Manager Project description: Choctaw Casinos completed a large-scale video surveillance project tapping cameras from Axis Communications, video management software from Genetec, and Pivot3 severless clustered storage. Industry: Entertainment

Cisco Systems www.cisco.com Operational Security Oversight Dashboard Project lead: Michael Machado, Manager of Security Engineering and Operations, Cisco Collaboration Software Group (WebEx) Project description: Cisco built a RedSeal software-based security oversight dashboard to continuously analyze the configurations of its Cisco Collaboration Cloud firewalls and routers, as well as the results of daily vulnerability scans, identifying patching priorities, validating the enforcement of corporate network security polices, and ensuring compliance with PCI and other regulations. Industry: Technology

City of Richland www.ci.richland.wa.us Enterprise Content Management Initiative Project lead: Jon Amundson, Assistant City Manager Project description: The City of Richland, Wash., streamlined its operations, launching an ECM initiative in partnership with ImageSource, integrating technology from Oracle, Abbyy, Cardiff, and Ilinx to automate workflow and transitioning the city away from paper-based processes. Industry: Government

Clearent www.clearent.com Cloud-Based Development Project Project lead: Mark Peck, Senior Vice President of Technical Operations Project description: Clearant built a .Net-based credit card payment processing system tapping high-performance cloud-based services from Appistry. Industry: Financial services

Cleveland Indians www.indians.com Video Capture and Archiving Platform Project lead: Whitney Kuszmaul, Network Manager Project description: The Cleveland Indians established an advanced video capture and archiving platform to serve at-bat video clips of nearly 2,600 games per year via touch-screen systems, expanding the system to its spring training facility, while upgrading its datacenter and adding a disaster recovery site, leveraging technology from Microsoft, VMware, CommVault, and NetApp. Industry: Entertainment

Cognizant www.cognizant.com Web 2.0 Collaboration Platform Project lead: Sukumar Rajagopal, Senior Vice President/Chief Knowledge Officer Project description: Cognizant developed a Web 2.0-based collaboration and knowledge management platform based on Microsoft SharePoint, combining structured and unstructured data in the form of blogs and wikis to service more than 5,000 projects among its 64,000-plus employees, clients, and business partners. Industry: Services

Con-way www.con-way.com Freight Network Rationalization Using Network Simulation Tool Project lead: Jackie Barretta, VP/CIO Project description: Con-way developed a Web-based simulation tool for analyzing the effects of proposed changes to its existing linehaul network, based on C++, PL/SQL, and Access. Industry: Transportation

ConvergEx www.bnyconvergex.com Complex Event Processing for Trading Intelligence Project lead: Joseph Weisbord, Managing Director Project description: ConvergEx launched a complex event processing initiative for its financial trading operations centered around technology from StreamBase. Industry: Financial services

Credit Solutions www.creditsolutions.com Enterprise CRM Project Project lead: David Janecek, Vice President of IT Project description: Credit Solutions developed a customized CRM solution using .Net technologies such as DevExpress, Plinqo, and ASP.Net, as well as Cisco VoIP integration, SQL Server, and Faxcore. Industry: Financial services

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