2008 InfoWorld 100 Awards

This year's recipients of InfoWorld's highest honor are shining examples of IT projects undertaken by tech leaders committed to pushing their organizations forward

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Project description: Elavon IT transformed the financial services firm's approach to network management, adopting ITIL best practices and automating and integrating workflows based on multiple IT management technologies from CA.

Industry: Financial services Electromagnetic Geoservices ASA www.emgs.com

I/O Optimization Project

Project lead: Helge Stranden, IT Manager

Project description: EMGS integrated file serving software from iBrix and 1,300 new Dell PowerEdge blade servers with its original 500 PowerEdge cluster and EMC storage system to support a 300 percent increase in demand for processing electromagnetic data surveys, more complex 3-D modeling, and fast data throughput with no system downtime.

Industry: Resources ETrade Financial www.etrade.com

Mobile Trading Platform

Project lead: Paul Vienick, Senior VP

Project description: ETrade developed ETrade Mobile Pro to provide customers real-time access to accounts on BlackBerry devices, using mobile software technology from Vaultus and J2ME.

Industry: Financial services

Fannie Mae www.fanniemae.com

Server Consolidatation and Virtualization

Project lead: Chris Lewis, VP, Networks and End-User Systems

Project description: Fannie Mae reduced its server footprint by 31 percent and increased its asset utilization by 37 percent as the result of a virtualization and consolidation initiative based on EMC SAN and VMware ESX clusters.

Industry: Financial services

GE Energy www.ge-energy.com

Nuclear Plant Collaborative Information Management System

Project lead: George Scott, Information Management Leader, Nuclear Plant Projects

Project description: GE developed an information management system to facilitate collaboration among engineers, suppliers, and customers, including customized engineering software, remote desktop and real-time work share functionality, and dedicated connectivity between six partner sites in three countries.

Industry: Energy Geokinetics www.geokinetics.com

IT Consolidation Initiative

Project lead: John Lewis, IS Director

Project description: Geokinetics integrated the IT operations of five independently managed entities with offices in six continents to be Sarbanes-Oxley compliant as part of an expansive acquisitions process that included archiving technology from Iron Mountain.

Industry: Resources German Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources www.bgr.bund.de

Open Source Infrastructure

Project lead: Markus Dohmann, Geophysicist

Project description: The institute switched its entire infrastructure of its seismic activity monitoring operations to open source, adapting 100 programs to a new data-collecting and monitoring environment centered on Ingres.

Industry: Government GXS www.gxs.com

Datacenter Build-Out

Project lead: Gary Randolph, VP, Asset Management & Sourcing

Project description: GXS modernized its outdated datacenter operations, consolidating five legacy platforms onto one network and tapping energy-efficient blade frame servers with dual-continent fail-over capabilities.

Industry: Technology Healthways www.healthways.com

Self-Service e-Fulfillment Portal

Project lead: David Jarmoluk, Director of Enterprise Architecture

Project description: Healthways' C# development team built its IBM WebSphere-based self-service e-fulfillment portal using Mainsoft for WebSphere, ASP.Net 2.0, .Net Framework 2.0, and C# generics. The resultant portal integrates a custom .Net-based call center and document fulfillment functionality, Juniper load balancing, and more than 1TB of patient data.

Industry: Health care Hire a Hero www.hireahero.org

Services-Based Architecture

Project lead: Rob Barr, CEO

Project description: Hire A Hero integrated software from Salesforce.com, Your Membership.com, and XAware to create a services-based Web 2.0 platform for helping returning veterans find work in the United States.

Industry: Services HomeAway www.homeaway.com

Data Distribution Framework

Project lead: Ross Buhrdorf, CTO

Project description: To efficiently manage multiple Web sites and applications written in a variety of programming languages, HomeAway developed AtomServer, tapping Abdera from Apache and incorporating ideas from the Atom community. The data distribution framework has since been open-sourced under the Apache Software License.

Industry: Hospitality Indiana Office of Technology iot.in.gov

Desktop Modernization Project

Project lead: Gerry Weaver, CIO; Paul Baltzell, Director

Project description: The Indiana Office of Technology standardized, consolidated, and refreshed its IT desktop environment, upgrading the majority of the state's 25,000 PCs and implementing a statewide network security system to enable remote shutdown of machines exhibiting infected behaviors.

Industry: Government Indianapolis Motor Speedway www.indycar.com

Traveling Wireless Mesh Network

Project lead: Chuck Ferguson, Senior Director of IS and Telecom

Project description: Indianapolis Motor Speedway built a traveling mesh network based on BelAir Networks wireless technology to support multiple communications applications, including enterprise VoIP and data connectivity.

Industry: Entertainment Infosys Technologies www.infosys.com

Green IT Implementation

Project lead: Pritam Kumar Sinha, Senior Project Manager

Project description: Infosys initiated a sustainable IT overhaul based on server consolidation, storage consolidation, blade server rollouts, and virtualization.

Industry: Services InnerWorkings www.inwk.com

ERP and Analytics Initiative

Project lead: Jan Sevcik, Senior Vice President, Technology

Project description: The managed print and promotional solutions provider redeveloped its in-house production management app, tapping development tools such as Eclipse, Junit, Rake, Spring, Hibernate, and CruiseControl to serve the needs of 290 users at 21 locations.

Industry: Services Interactive Data Corp. www.interactivedata.com

Network Optimization

Project lead: David Brukman, VP of Technology, Interactive Data Real-Time Services

Project description: The financial market data delivery service overhauled its client site processing infrastructure to meet the growing demands for global market data, tapping 10 Gigabit Ethernet and Dell servers to optimize the efficiency of its market data feeds.

Industry: Financial services Inverness Medical Innovations www.invernessmedical.com

Human Resource Management Project

Project lead: Kristin Ferrara, HRIS Specialist

Project description: Having acquired several companies in the past year, Inverness sought to consolidate the disparate HR approaches and practices of more than 20 different companies into a single HRM platform, cleansing data across each company and integrating Workday HRM with several payroll, benefits, and candidate management apps.

Industry: Health care IPAC www.ipac.caltech.edu

HPC Storage Platform Project

Project lead: Eugean Hacopians, Senior Systems Engineer

Project description: IPAC has designed and is building out its multinode Exanode cluster for processing and extracting images of up to 30 million objects captured each evening as part of its Palomar Transient Factory project for identifying undiscovered objects in the night sky.

Industry: Aerospace iRobot www.irobot.com

On-Demand Customer Service Platform

Project lead: Maryellen Abreu, Director of Global Technical Support

Project description: iRobot, maker of the Roomba vacuum cleaning robot, brought its previously outsourced customer service program in-house, integrating the RightNow CRM suite with the company's order management, e-commerce, and registration systems and incorporating multimedia content to improve self-service instructions for less tech-savvy customers.

Industry: Retail JasperSoft www.jaspersoft.com

Community Collaboration Portal

Project lead: Brian Gentile, CEO

Project description: JasperSoft partnered with Essentia to develop an open source community collaboration platform to support the company's growing stable of BI developers and customers.

Industry: Retail Kansas Spine Hospital www.ksspine.com

Storage and Server Virtualization

Project lead: Mike Knocke, CIO

Project description: Kansas Spine modernized its IT infrastructure, consolidating server operations in a virtualized VMware environment, while increasing the performance of its storage architecture using the thin provisioning, tiered storage, and storage virtualization functionality of Compellent SANs.

Industry: Health care Konica Minolta Business Solutions U.S.A. www.kmbs.konicaminolta.us

My Konica Minolta 2.0 Portal Initiative

Project lead: Nelson T. Lin, VP of IT and CIO

Project description: Konica Minolta Business Solutions integrated open source portal technology from Jetspeed with enterprise CMS and ERP applications to create a common employee/b-to-b platform that has aided in the development of customized apps for new business channels.

Industry: Technology Lehman Brothers www.lehman.com

Configuration Management and VoIP Migration

Project lead: Jisoo Lee, VP of Performance Management

Project description: Lehman merged Clarus Systems integrated voice service management software and dozens of Cisco VoIP apps as part of a systemwide VoIP infrastructure overhaul. [Ed: Jisoo Lee and team have since been acquired by Barclays Capital.]

Industry: Financial services MacadamianTechnologies www.macadamian.com

Project Management Initiative

Project lead: Sylvan St. Germain, Director of Process Improvement IT

Project description: To give its project managers an objective view of project health, and to increase knowledge sharing across its global workforce, Macadamian launched a project management implementation to interface with issue tracking, wiki, communications, source control, and time management apps.

Industry: Technology Malin www.malinusa.com

Field Service Optimization Initiative

Project lead: Justin Schmid, VP of Mobile and M2M

Project description: The electric forklift dealership integrated technology from Sierra Wireless, OnTerra Systems, Verizon, and Microsoft to create an automated vehicle locating and monitoring solution geared toward improved field service efficiency.

Industry: Technology Management Council - Ohio Education Computer Network www.mcoecn.org

Storage Backup and Virtualization Standardization

Project lead: Duane Baker, COO, Technology Solutions Group

Project description: The Ohio Education Computer Network standardized the backup, archive, and disaster recovery of 14 of its 23 IT centers using VMware Virtual Infrastructure 3 and STORServer, protecting the data and continuity of IT operations of more than 400 Ohio school districts.

Industry: Education MasterCard Worldwide www.mastercard.com

Debit and Prepaid Platform for Financial Institutions

Project lead: George Spies, Group Executive, Global Debit Operations, MasterCard Global Technology and Operations

Project description: MasterCard brought previously outsourced debit capabilities in-house, integrating approximately 50 applications for debit and prepaid processing, ATM offerings, and a customer-facing interface into its Integrated Processing Solutions platform for providing a debit network and card issuer payment processing services to financial institutions.

Industry: Financial services Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics (Albert Einstein Institute) www.aei.mpg.de

Ethernet Compute Cluster

Project lead: Prof. Dr. Bruce Allen, Director

Project description: The Max Planck Institute built a 5,000-CPU Ethernet cluster, comprising 1,342 compute nodes, each with its own dedicated Ethernet connection to a Woven Ethernet switch. The Planck Institute's Atlas is the fastest Gigabit Ethernet cluster in the world, with a performance rating of 32.8 teraflops per second.

Industry: R&D Miami-Dade County Public School District www2.dadeschools.net

Power Management Initiative

Project lead: Tom Sims, Director of Network Services

Project description: Miami-Dade Schools implemented BigFix power management technology to maximize the energy efficiency of 80,000 computers across 370 sites in its school system. Working together with the facilities group, Miami-Dade Schools IT also coordinated computer and HVAC electricity conservation programs to reduce the use of air conditioning during computer shutdown cycles.

Industry: Education Midland Memorial Hospital www.midland-memorial.com

Open Source E-Health Record System

Project lead: David Whiles, Director of IS

Project description: Midland Memorial implemented the Medsphere-backed open source OpenVista e-health records platform, integrating more than 10 critical health applications on a fully open source technology stack, resulting in a near-paperless operation, as well as an 88 percent reduction in infection rates and a 59 percent reduction in medication errors.

[ Read the full Midland Memorial finalist profile | see Top 10 Finalists slideshow ]

Industry: Health care

Monsanto www.monsanto.com

Seed Chipping Technology

Project lead: Paul Skroch, Bioinformatics Scientist

Project description: Monsato developed extensive in-house software as part of its seed-chipping initiative to extract genetic information from plants prior to planting and thereby allow breeders to select seeds based on desired traits.

Industry: Agriculture Morgan Keegan www.morgankeegan.com

Ultra High-Resiliency Infrastructure

Project lead: John Threadgill, CIO

Project description: Using a combination of Microsoft clustering, Veritas storage, and MAN fibre-ring connectivity, Morgan Keegan constructed a stretch-cluster, high-speed MAN infrastructure for replicating data transactions between the brokerage's primary trading facility and its secondary datacenter to ensure resiliency and redundancy.

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