APPLICATION: TCG Enterprise -- Teleport
Communications Group (TCG), Staten Island, N.Y., is a telephone company
aggressively trying to stay ahead of the competition. Since 1989, TCG's
revenue has grown 50% to 60% each year -- from $25 million to $600 million
annually in less than 10 years. In an effort to maintain this growth rate
and offer services priced below the competition, Robert Annunziata, the
company's CEO, and John Scarpati, CFO, sponsored the development of an
enterprise system. The goal was to design an open system that would be
highly scalable and would require minimum I/S maintenance expense. This
would allow cost savings to be passed on to customers through low telephone
rates, in effect giving TCG a competitive advantage.
A development committee of system engineers, user administrators and
system administrators coordinated the development of functional requirements.
Using RAD techniques, system modules were prototyped and approved, finally
being passed on (with design documentation) to developers, where they
were completed and unit tested. Users performed acceptance testing prior
to implementing the production system. The project would have taken 20
person years to finish, but was completed in three calendar years.
TCG Enterprise, a Unix-based system, was built using PowerBuilder from
Sybase Inc., Emeryville Calif., and Passport from Passport Corp., Paramus,
N.J. Sybase is the database standard, but the system is designed to be
open to Oracle and Informix databases as well. Unix was selected for "its
immediate and long-term flexibility and scalability," according to
Patrick Socci, vice president of MIS at TCG.
The biggest challenge, according to Socci, was not technical but human.
For instance, TCG wanted to encourage end users to not only be proficient
with the new system but also to be creative in working with it. This requirement
was met by hiring creative power users to work with the telephone company's
departmental staff; they passed their "tricks-of-the-trade"
on to the end-user community within TCG.
- Rich Seeley
|PATRICK SOCCI vice
DOUG LIEU director of Olap development
YOUNG HAHN director of OLTP development
STEVE PAYNE director of in house systems engineering & process
MARTIN DENOIA director of third party systems engineering & process
Provides scalable enterprise system, which will allow rapid restructuring
with re-coding. Holds I/S costs below 5%, giving TCG a competitive advantage
by allowing it to beat competitors pricing by 10%.
APT Workbench (now discontinued) Sybase Inc., Emeryville, Calif.
Passport Corp. (formerly InSync Software) Ronkonkoma, N.Y.
Microsoft Project, Microsoft Corp., Redmond, Wash.
Open Plan, Welcom Software, Houston Texas
SERVERS: Integrated Sun, HP, IBM, DEC, NCR and Tandem in SMP Unix environment.
NETWORK: National frame relay WAN binding more than 60 LANs using PC NFS
Pro, NIS+ and DNS names services and 110-base T wiring. Area routing uses
CLIENTS: 15% RISC clients from Sun, HP, IBM, and DEC. 85% PCs (486s and