I have been thinking about how to describe and differentiate our 'McLaren Enterprise OnAir' (a private cloud implementation of McLaren Enterprise) launched in early October from our Software-as-a-Service collaboration platforms, Collaboration Workspace and Mclaren FusionLive. Sometimes, an analogy can be useful....
Imagine you are thinking about going on holiday. You know where you want to go to, but you're not sure what type of accommodation will best meet your requirements and your budget. The initial options might include staying at a hotel or renting your own villa.
The hotel offers lots of facilities. You will have your own room, of course, but you will share other facilities like the swimming pool, bar, restaurant and other communal areas, and the services of the hotel's staff, with other users – and these facilities and services may sometimes be heavily used.
The holiday villa may not offer such an extensive range of facilities, but for the duration of your holiday they are all your's, and you can use them pretty much as and when you please.
It's a simple analogy but SaaS multi-tenancy hosting is like the hotel option. You get a fairly standard service (perhaps with options to pay more for some extras), and the cost remains relatively modest as the expensive overheads are shared with other customers.
Dedicated private cloud hosting is more like the villa option. You can select the type of accommodation that bests suits you and your budget, and then enjoy the privacy of your own surroundings free of any compromises for other guests. Of course, the overheads of servicing such accommodation are higher, but you value the exclusivity, and you might even consider paying a little extra for some support staff.
Taking away the pains of ownership
Like any analogy, it's not perfect, but I think it starts to help explain what we offer to customers interested in McLaren Enterprise implemented 'OnAir'. (McLaren OnAir is our own secure cloud hosting infrastructure with data centers in the USA, UK and UAE). Think of us as the holiday accommodation provider. We have long experience of meeting customers' requirements, accommodating them in either shared or private facilties.
But we also have customers who have bought their own holiday accommodation (ie: customers who have bought McLaren Enterprise and run it on their own servers).
As owners they know they have to look after that accommodation (perhaps employing people to maintain it), but it's not always something they are expert in. Turning to someone like McLaren can mean the risks and responsibilities are transferred to a company with the requisite skills, experience and resources.
You could say McLaren are like a professional holiday business whose expertise has helped it build different types of holiday accommodation, from hotels to private villas for rental or for purchase. In the latter case, McLaren Enterprise OnAir takes the pains of ownership but let's the client relax and enjoy the benefits.
With the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic games well under way the legacy the games will leave behind starts to come into view.
Preparation for the London games has involved considerable re-development of the area where the Olympic Park now stands. Of the £9.4 billion ($14.46 billion) budget £7 billion was allocated to the building of the new Olympic venues and re-generation of parts of East London.
As the Beijing Olympics closed and the Olympic flag was handed over to Boris Johnson (the Major of London) not only did that start the rather odd spectacle of Jimmy Page (ex Led Zepplin) and Leona Lewis (ex X-Factor contestant) playing together on the top of a London Bus but so did the planning objections to the project. Unlike David Beckham (ex England Football / Soccer Captain) missing the goal (from the bus) the London Olympics and Paralympic developments have come in on time, to a revised budget having overcome any protestations.
The Olympic Park will be renamed the Queen Elizabeth Park after the Olympics have finished and the buildings sold, leased or managed by ODA (Olympic Delivery Authority) to a variety of organizations to provide affordable housing, schools, health centers, a power station, business centers, tourist attractions and, of course, state of the art sporting facilities.
Like any capital project the London Olympics has been through a planning, design, construction, handover & commissioning phases. Unlike many other projects however the “greatest show on earth” just happens to be taking pride of place between construction and eventual operation and maintenance phases.
McLaren places equal emphasis on the role of document control after a projects construction phase by providing application that cover the entire life cycle. Capital projects, as crucial as they are, are after all a means to an end. It is the result of the project that counts in the longer term.
If you are involved in the operation and maintenance of an asset you might like to take a look at our McLaren Enterprise – Assets which supports concurrent engineering to reduce the amount of shutdown time by coordinating documentation between teams enabling one or more projects to be run simultaneously.
For those of you waiting to see what the Olympics organizing committee have in store for the closing ceremony did any of you notice the continuity error in the “Happy and Glorious” film of James Bond escorting the Queen to the opening ceremony? If you missed it you can catch it on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xW5abat5NEU and is well worth watching. If you notice it please post your observations below.
July is a month for taking, or at least looking forward to a vacation. Portugal provided me with a weeks respite from the persistent UK rain and from thinking about document control. I have to confess reading a pump specification had not crossed my mind as I lay on the beach.
Curiously, document control, vacations and a pump came together just as I got back to my desk.
We are often asked by customers to help communicate the benefits of document control to their colleagues. Providing ROI analysis backed by spreadsheets and research into document control processes is part of the day job but one customer wanted something eye catching, something graphical, something different.
Looking for something new we worked with with one of our long term oil and gas customers who was able to recount a story of how a vacation added a significant cost to a capital project. I should point out of course this was before they became a McLaren customer.
Very simply the story revolves around the need for the Owner Operator to approve documentation within a contractual timescale for engineering deliverables received from an EPC Contractor as part of a construction project. In particluar the specification and installation of a pump.
All was going well until an engineer within Super Oil (not the real name) was assigned to approve a pump specification and housing takes a vacation. The contractual time for the approval for engineering deliverables was five days and the engineer in question has booked a vacation for 10 days. No fault of the engineer and we hope he had a great time.
The document contol department was unaware of the engineers' vacation and without a document control system whereby the engineer could have delegated approval tasks and set a flag to indicate he was away, the scene was set.
The story unfolds as you will see in the infographic link (above). As the contract timescale for document approval kicked in, the pump approval pack was deemed approved by the EPC Contractor. The pump was ordered based on the submitted (but unapproved) documentation.
The engineer returned from vacation to learn the installation team had attempted to install the pump only to discover the pump and the pump housing were incompatible.
The result was the project was delayed for weeks while the documentation was revised, a new pump ordered and fitted and the cost of delay amounted to 7 times the initial budget for the pump installation.
The good news is with the right system in place, future errors avoided and a good vacation can be enjoyed by all.
Happy Summer and don't forget the sunscreen!