Why was this partnership formed?
The IT Infrastructure Partnership was created to foster creative approaches to governance and share the risks and rewards of IT transformation projects. Northrop Grumman submitted its proposal in 2004 that was accepted by the Commonwealth in November 2005 after extensive review by multiple stakeholders to ensure it met all criteria for technical components, opportunities for state IT employees, economic development and financial commitment. The IT Infrastructure Partnership brings innovative ideas to meeting the needs of the Commonwealth. Once fully implemented, customer agencies, regardless of size and budget, will see expanded offerings and reliable services at predictable prices as a result of the partnership's enterprise and integrated approach to IT service delivery. This will be accomplished without additional cost to taxpayers.
Who oversees the partnership?
The partnership is governed by VITA and the ITAC. The partnership is managed jointly by CIO of the Commonwealth Sam Nixon and Northrop Grumman Vice President Jim Kane.
What other investments is the partnership making?
Supporting higher education is a key part of the partnership. In addition to expanding its relationship with the state's community college system, Northrop Grumman will support technology education at the University of Virginia's College at Wise, including internships, student recruitment efforts and a satellite office for the Lebanon facility. A project support center in Dinwiddie County housing 34 employees will also be created as part of this project.
Human Resources & Benefits
What role do VITA employees play in the IT Infrastructure Partnership?
Under the IT Infrastructure Partnership framework, Northrop Grumman assumed responsibility for and made offers to more than 850 VITA employees who were performing infrastructure or operational functions for the agency. These employees, known as "in scope" personnel, were offered compensation of equal or better value and competitive benefits. Sixty-seven percent of these employees accepted Northrop Grumman's offer and became Northrop Grumman employees. The 33 percent of the in scope personnel who did not accept Northrop Grumman's offer remain as state employees performing Northrop Grumman's statement of work. They will continue to follow all current and applicable state and agency policies, procedures, and will receive the state's benefits.
Agency computer replacements and transformation - for agency employees
Why are the computers at my agency being replaced?
The computers at your agency are being replaced as part of a larger effort to transform the state's information technology (IT) infrastructure. The overall transformation will make the IT infrastructure more reliable, secure, efficient, and capable of supporting new technologies that will allow your agency to enhance its services to the citizens of the Commonwealth.
Updating personal computers - including desktops, laptops and tablets - is one part of the overall transformation. The benefits to you as an agency employee include common, up-to-date, industry-standard hardware and software, which will result in improved capabilities to share files internally and externally, increased speed and reliability, faster resolution when you report a problem with your computer, and better security. Benefits to your agency include a standardized computing environment, which will result in increased efficiencies and reduced costs.
In addition to updating personal computers, the overall transformation will address help desk services, e-mail and messaging, voice and data networks, information security, disaster recovery, mainframes, servers, and data center facilities. Ultimately, this effort will affect nearly 80 government agencies and 68,000 employees and represent a $270 million dollar investment in the Commonwealth of Virginia. The end result will be a reliable, high performance, state-wide IT infrastructure supporting improved delivery of government services.
Who will perform the replacements?
A team from the Virginia IT Infrastructure Partnership will be onsite at your agency to replace designated desktop, laptop, and tablet computers. The Virginia IT Infrastructure Partnership is a public-private partnership between the Virginia Information Technologies Agency (VITA) and Northrop Grumman. The Partnership is responsible for transforming the state's IT infrastructure and providing IT services to state government agencies.
Will all computers at my agency be replaced?
Not all computers at your agency will be replaced. Specific computers will be identified for replacement based on a set of criteria, including the age of the current equipment, the remaining warranty, future availability of parts, compliance with the Partnership's minimum standard hardware configuration, repair history, and future usability in terms of meeting your agency's business requirements (e.g., for performance, mobility, etc.)
How will information about my computer be collected?
To collect information on the age and configuration of your computer, a software tool called Altiris will be installed on your machine. Altiris is an asset data collection system. It will be installed manually by an onsite technician or automatically via remote delivery, depending on your agency's capabilities. Once installed, Altiris will collect and report technical information about the hardware and software currently in use on your computer. Altiris cannot access your personal files or data and will have no impact on the way you use your computer, though you may see a new icon in the system tray, usually located on the bottom right side of your screen.
Who will decide whether my computer is to be replaced?
The information collected by Altiris will be reviewed by the Partnership team. The team will identify computers that fit the criteria for replacement and make recommendations to your agency management. Your agency management will consider your agency's business requirements (e.g., for performance, mobility, etc.) and participate in the final decision on which computers to replace. If your computer is identified for replacement, you will be notified via e-mail.
For those computers that are replaced, what are the new models and standards?
Computers identified for replacement will be replaced with one of the following models found on the Desktops, Laptops and Tablets page.
For detailed specifications, please visit http://www.hp.com/.
All models come with the Microsoft Windows XP Professional operating system and Microsoft Office 2003, including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and Access. If you currently use applications specific to your agency or to your work group, these will be installed as well.
Which model will I get, if my computer is replaced?
In most cases, the specific model you receive will be based on what you have now. The partnership team and your agency management will review the hardware and software configuration of your current computer and select a model that matches or exceeds what you have now and what you need to do you job.
What's the process for replacing my computer and how long will it take?
If your computer is identified for replacement, you will be notified via e-mail. The subject line of the e-mail message will be "Your Computer is Scheduled for Replacement." Please follow the steps listed in the e-mail message, and repeated below in this FAQ document, to prepare for the replacement of your computer.
When the technician arrives to replace your computer, he or she will perform the following steps:
- The technician will shut down and remove your old equipment. You can assist by removing any personal items that may be displayed on or around your computer and its cabling.
- The technician will install and power up your new computer and connect it to your agency's local network.
- Once the computer is connected, the technician will access a backup copy of the files and data from your old computer and move them to your new computer. The technician will verify that a current backup exists before arriving at your work area to perform the replacement.
- The technician will then conduct a brief orientation with you to verify that you can log on successfully, access your files and data, and access the software applications you use to do your job. If you are licensed to use an application that is not already installed on your new computer, the technician will install it at this time. During the orientation, the technician will also answer any questions you may have.
- After the orientation, the technician will ask you to sign a Customer Acceptance Form. This form is used to verify that your new computer was installed, your files and applications are accessible, and you received the orientation. The form is also used to record any problems with your new computer that the technician could not fix immediately so that those issues can be tracked and resolved.
The process may vary based on your agency's needs and environment.
With your cooperation in completing the steps listed in the e-mail message, and repeated below in this FAQ document, it will take approximately an hour to replace your computer. Some computers may take longer, depending on how much data you have, how many applications you use, and local network speeds.
When the replacement process is complete, you may receive an e-mail message asking you to complete a brief questionnaire. Your participation would be greatly appreciated and will help the Partnership continually improve the replacement process.
What steps should I take to prepare for the removal of my old computer and installation of my new one?
Your preparation for the removal of your old computer and installation of a new one will help in making the process successful and will allow you to get back to work as soon as possible. Please follow the steps listed below.
- Make sure your work area will be accessible to the technicians performing the replacements. If your workspace is in a locked or secure area, verify that someone at your site will be able to provide the technicians with access to your area.
- Remove personal or work items displayed or stored on or around your computer and its cabling (e.g., picture frames, post-it notes, coffee mugs, papers, folders, CDs, etc.) This will allow the technician to get to your computer more easily.
- Centralize files stored on your computer's hard drive (usually the C: drive) by moving them into the "My Documents" folder on your computer. This includes all Word, Excel, PowerPoint and text files, and any other files you've created. Moving these files to the "My Documents" folder will help reduce the time required to locate your files for transfer to the new computer. You do not need to move files or data stored on a network drive (usually letters G: or higher).
- Have your computer available at your agency site. This applies to laptops and tablets in particular. If you work from home or another site, plan to bring your computer equipment to the designated agency location.
- Designate someone to sign your Customer Acceptance Form if you will not be available during the replacement process. The authorized person could be your local IT support person or your agency's designated point-of-contact for the replacement effort.
Completing these steps will facilitate the replacement process and reduce the amount of time required to remove your old computer and install your new one.
Will all of my files and data be moved from my old computer to my new computer?
As part of the replacement process, all of your files and data will be copied from your old computer to your new one. To locate your files, the Partnership team will use a software tool to search your computer for pre-determined file extensions. Once all files with the specified extensions are located, a copy of these files will be created and moved to your new computer. The technician may also move some files manually, if necessary. After the move is complete, the technician will conduct a brief orientation to confirm that your files have been moved correctly and are accessible to you.
You can facilitate the process by moving the files and data stored on your computer's hard drive (usually the C: drive) to the "My Documents" folder before the technician arrives. This includes all Word, Excel, PowerPoint and text files, and any other files you've created. Taking this step in advance will not limit the files to be transferred to those in the "My Documents" folder only, but it will help reduce the time required to locate your files for transfer to the new computer.
To use my new computer, will I need a new user ID or login for my e-mail or other applications?
All user IDs and passwords will remain the same. When you use your new computer to access e-mail or other applications, you will enter the same user ID and password you used before your computer was replaced. If you currently access any applications with your user ID or password saved and pre-populated so that you don't have to enter it manually, you may need to enter it manually the first time you access the application using your new computer. So while your user IDs and passwords won't change, you will need to know what they are.
If I have applications on my old computer that are specific to my agency or my work group, how will these be handled?
If you currently use applications specific to your agency or to your work group, these will be installed on your new computer as part of the replacement process. These applications are identified ahead of time using a software tool called Altiris. Altiris is an asset data collection system that will be installed on your computer either manually by an onsite technician or automatically via remote delivery, depending on your agency's capabilities. Once installed, Altiris will collect and report technical information about the hardware and software currently in use on your computer, including all applications.
Once your new computer is installed, the technician will verify that applications specific to your agency or to your work group were loaded along with all standard applications. If you are licensed to use an application that was not identified ahead of time, or you use an application that is used by only a small number of people, this may be loaded by a technician after the rest of the replacement process is complete.
Will my administrative rights and privileges be impacted by the process?
Administrative rights for applications will not be impacted by the process. Administrative rights to your computer's operating system may be impacted. The Partnership team will work with your agency management to determine who requires administrative access. Employees whose job responsibilities do not require administrative rights to the operating system will default to a non-administrative level.
Will I be able to open files saved in a MS Office 2007 format?
Commonwealth machines will use MS Office 2003 for the foreseeable future. If you receive a file saved in a MS Office 2007 format, you may have trouble opening the file due to compatibility issues. The IT Partnership team plans to deploy a patch to allow MS Office 2003 users to open MS Office 2007 documents. Please look for future IT Partnership communications announcing the timing of this patch deployment. Until a patch is released, please ask the sender of the MS Office 2007 document to save the file in MS Office 2003 format and resend the document.
I currently have a desktop computer but prefer to have a laptop. Can I request this as part of the replacement process?
In most cases, the type of computer you receive will be similar to what you have now. The Partnership team and your agency management will review the hardware and software configuration of your current computer and select a model that matches or exceeds what you have now and what you need to do you job.
If you currently have a desktop computer, and your job requirements are such that a laptop would better suit your needs, you can submit a request using your agency's current process for requesting new or upgraded computer equipment. If you are unfamiliar with your agency's process for requesting computer equipment, contact your manager or supervisor.
Once my new computer is installed, what will happen to my old computer?
The partnership team will store your old computer in a secure location for two weeks in case there is a need to recover any data. Then, the partnership team will follow standards set by the Department of General Services (DGS) to permanently remove all data and sensitive information and prepare the machine for disposal. Steps taken to comply with DGS standards include removing all Commonwealth of Virginia (COV) indicators, degaussing (or demagnetizing) the hard drive, and flashing the BIOS (basic input/output system). Once all data and sensitive information are removed, the computer will be categorized as surplus or it will be destroyed.
Can I purchase my old computer, or re-allocate it to a co-worker whose computer was not replaced?
You will not be allowed to purchase your old computer from your agency or re-allocate it to someone else within your agency. However, some surplus equipment may be put up for sale by the Department of General Services. For auction information, please visit the following web site: http://vbo.dgs.state.va.us/VBO/Docs/Auction_Bid_Schedule.asp.
What resources are available to help me get started in using my new computer?
A number of resources are available to help you get started with your new computer.
First, as part of the replacement process, the technician will provide you with a brief orientation to verify that you can log on and access your files, confirm that your applications are functioning, and answer questions you may have
In addition, your new computer comes with locally installed computer based training (CBT). You can access this training by using a link on your desktop. This training provides an introduction to the Windows XP Operating System and Microsoft Office 2003.
To assist you with the hardware layout of your new computer, including the location of the DVD drive, USB port, printer port, headphone jack, and other common hardware elements, your new computer comes with a locally installed hardware diagram. Like the CBT, you can access this diagram by using a link on your desktop.
For additional assistance, you can also access the Microsoft web site for "tips and tricks" on operating in the Windows XP environment: http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/using/setup/tips/default.mspx.
If I have IT-related problems I haven't yet reported, can the technician who replaces my computer help with these as well?
The "refresh" technician assigned to replace your computer can fix only those issues directly related to your new machine. While it may seem reasonable to ask for the technician's help with other issues, such as a problem with your phone or a printer, please refer all issues not directly related to the replacement process to your existing help desk or local IT support. Reporting these problems through the proper channel will allow the refresh technician to focus on your computer replacement and complete the job more quickly and accurately.
Who should I contact if I have problems with my new computer after it's replaced?
For any problems with your computer discovered immediately after it's replaced, please alert the technician. If there are problems the technician cannot address immediately, those issues should be recorded on your Customer Acceptance Form so that they can be tracked and resolved. For any questions or problems discovered after the process is complete and the technician leaves your work area, please contact your existing help desk or local IT support.
Where can I get for more information?
For more information on the overall IT infrastructure transformation, including the replacement of agency computers, please visit the VITA web site at http://www.vita.virginia.gov/itpartnership/ or send your questions to email@example.com. You may also contact your local IT support or your designated agency point-of-contact.
Mainframe Relocation Project
What is the purpose of the mainframe relocation project?
The Virginia IT Infrastructure Partnership between VITA and Northrop Grumman was formed to build a transformed, consistent IT infrastructure for in-scope state agencies. Part of this transformation involves the relocation of the mainframe data center to the new Commonwealth Enterprise Solutions Center (CESC) located in Chesterfield, Virginia.
When will the mainframe environment move to the CESC?
The first phase of this project will relocate the mainframe processing infrastructure from the RPB data center to the recently constructed Commonwealth Enterprise Solutions Center (CESC). This relocation project will begin in the second half of 2007 for all agencies with mainframe infrastructure at the Richmond Plaza Building. Cutover tests and the final cut over will take place on weekends at the end of 2007 in order to minimize disruption.
Who will perform the mainframe relocation?
Mainframe specialists from the IT Infrastructure Partnership Transformation Team will coordinate and execute the physical move and related activities.
When will I be contacted regarding my agency's move?
Kickoff meetings with agency managers have already taken place in order to collaborate and ensure a smooth transition during the Mainframe relocation. A Northrop Grumman Transformation POC will stay in scheduled contact as the cut-over time approaches. Mainframe specialists have also started important dialogues with agency technical staff to make sure that all of their questions are answered and that there is adequate time for testing. Please note, your Transformation POC is available at any time to help address any concerns specific to your agency.
What is my agency's role?
The IT Infrastructure Partnership Transformation Team would like to work in tandem with each agency to ensure a smooth transition. While agencies have different internal mechanisms, the relocation process is dependent on their commitment to and execution of timely communications throughout relocation process. Specifically:
- Agencies are responsible for informing their internal support personnel and their end user populations of mainframe relocation details, including (as appropriate) change freezes on hardware, dates and duration of outages for relocation, and any network changes as a result of the move.
- Agencies are responsible for performing pre-move user acceptance testing (UAT), and for informing the relocation team of completion of that testing.
- Agencies are responsible for performing post-move UAT, and for communicating the results of that testing in a timely manner to the relocation team.
Global address list (GAL) expansion - for agency employees
How many Commonwealth employees will be included in the expanded global address list (GAL)? When will expansion of the GAL be complete?
Ultimately, the global address list (GAL) will include approximately 67,000 employees from 50+ executive branch agencies across the state. The expansion is scheduled to be complete by mid 2007. Until then, the global address list available to you will continue to grow as individual agencies are added.
Will the expansion of the global address list change the way I send e-mail to others within my agency?
The expansion of the global address list will not change the way you send e-mail to others within your agency. The steps you perform to create, address, and send an e-mail message will remain exactly the same as they are today. What will change, is the number of names available to you in addressing an e-mail message. The expanded GAL will include many more names than the list you use today. This expansion will not change the way you search for or select names when addressing an e-mail message, though it will offer you many more names to choose from and improve your capability to reach employees across the Commonwealth.
When I select names from the GAL now, I can see each person's phone number, office location, and agency name. Will I be able to see this information for all new employees added to the GAL?
At minimum, you will see each person's name, their agency name in parentheses, and their e-mail address. People's names will display in the same format they do today - that is, if you currently see last name then first name (e.g., "Smith John") you will continue to see names in this format. For some people, you will see additional information, such as phone number and office location. The variation in information displayed for each person is due to differing standards across agencies - in creating the expanded GAL, we take each agency's existing address list, synchronize it with those of other agencies, and display the composite information. If an agency includes fields such as phone number and office location in its existing address list, you will see that information in the GAL; if an agency does not include these fields in its address list today, you will not see the information in the GAL. Eventually, there will be a standard set of information displayed for each person, but the initial GAL will have some variation.
How will duplicate names be handled? In other words, if there are two people named John Smith on the GAL, how will I distinguish between them?
When you view or search for names on the GAL, you will see each person's name and their agency name in parentheses. So to distinguish two people with the same name from different agencies, you can use the agency name. For two people with the same name within an agency, the information used to distinguish one from the other will be consistent with that used today. For example, if an agency has two people named John Smith, and the agency currently uses a middle initial to distinguish one John Smith from the other, the middle initial will appear on the expanded GAL.
How will distribution lists be handled?
Distribution lists will not be affected by the GAL expansion. You will continue to see your agency's distribution lists on the GAL, but you will not see those for other agencies. For employees who use or maintain distribution lists, you can continue to follow your agency's existing procedures. Agencies will continue to create, view, modify and update distribution lists in the same way they do today. The same is true for calendars, contact lists, and task lists - these tools will not be affected by the GAL expansion.
Will people who serve the Commonwealth in an undercover capacity be included on the GAL? What about those who are exempt from the state directory other reasons?
Employees who are not included on their agency's global address list today, will not be included on the expanded GAL. Other exemptions from the GAL will be handled on an agency-by-agency basis. VITA will work with your Agency IT Resources (AITRs) or their delegates to ensure that special needs to safeguard employee identity are addressed.
Will other address lists be available, in addition to the global address list? In other words, will I be able to select names from an agency-specific list, as opposed to using the expanded GAL?
In addition to using the expanded GAL to search for and select names when addressing an e-mail message, you will have the option to use a local agency view, provided that your e-mail system supports this capability (see note below). The local agency view of the address list includes only the people within a particular agency. To use this view on a regular basis, as opposed to using the expanded GAL, you can set the local view as your default. Instructions on how to set the local view as your default will be provided in follow-up communications, as they are specific to each agency's e-mail system.
Note: If you currently use the Microsoft Exchange system, you will have the capability to use a local agency view of the address list. If you use another e-mail system, you may or may not have this capability immediately depending on your specific system configuration. If you do not have this capability immediately, you will have when your e-mail environment is transformed to meet the Exchange standard.
VITA provides content in several formats that require plug-ins, or separate browser components, to properly view.
All required plug-ins (except the non-trial version of WinZip) are free to use.
Peregrine - Incident Management System
What is the Peregrine Incident Management System?
It will be the backbone for a centralized and single point of contact for help desk staff to report, log, track, and resolve incident tickets and