Robert J. Gonnella, III

Major: BBA MIS
Graduation: January 2019


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Flash Research Paper 1 – Building a Tier III Data Center

Would saving $13.2 million be something of interest to the company? The way in which we would do this is by minimizing the downtime of our system through the installation of a Tier III data center that will vastly improve the availability of our systems and make sure that outages are far more infrequent.

A Tier III data center is one that minimizes downtime through redundancy. This means that every part of the data center has a backup part in place to pick up the slack in the event of a planned outage. This means that the operation of the ERP system will become far less likely to be disrupted by routine maintenance. Every piece of IT equipment will be dual powered meaning that any fault in a power system running to a device will be negated by a secondary power source. These improvements alone will take improve our uptime from 99.67% to 99.98%.

An improval of 0.31% may not sound like much, but that is a 1,629.36 minute difference over the course of a year that the ERP system will not be down. As you are aware, downtime costs our company $14,800 per minute. This reduction of downtime equates to a difference of $24,114,528 per year, dropping our cost of downtime from $25,670,304 to just $1,555,776 annually. The cost of construction of this new data center is estimated to be $35,000,000. In year one, that cost will be on top of the current cost of downtime that the Company experiences due to the fact that it will take one year to complete the construction of the new data center. In total, the cost of building the data center and operating as we currently do will amount to $60,670,304. In years two and three though, the only costs we will have to pay are that of the down time. The net benefit will be $13.2 million.



Kudritzki, Julian S, and Kenneth G Brill, editors. “2.3 Tier III – Concurrently Maintainable Site Infrastructure.” Data

Center Site Infrastructure Tier Standard: Topology, by W Pitt Turner et al., Uptime Institute Professional

Services, LLC, 2009, pp. 2–3.

Ovh. “Understanding Tier 3 and Tier 4.” Tier 3/Tier 4: Datacentre Classification – OVH Canada,

“What Is a Tier III Data Center?” Vault Networks, 25 Mar. 2016,


Flash Research Paper 2 – Virtualization and Cloud Computing

What if there was a way that a lot of money could be saved while getting rid of 80% of the physical machines in the data center? These virtual machines take the place of physical servers that require a lot of space to house and a lot of money to maintain. By converting many of the company’s servers, the company can save millions.

A virtual machine has all the benefits of a physical machine without having to actually exist on-site. Fully malleable to meet the needs of the company, the operating systems and applications can be configured to company standards.These virtual machines are created and live within servers that run more efficiently than the previous servers used by the company. This process of moving servers to virtual machines is called virtualization and it has some great benefits. These benefits include disaster recovery, and the ability to consolidate servers. Disaster recovery is a feature of virtualization because of the ability to create backups of virtual machines on other servers. Virtualization also gives the company the ability to consolidate servers at a 10:1 ratio.

On average, 80% of the machines in the company’s data center can be replaced by virtual machines. Of those 800 machines that can be replaced, only one virtual machine would be needed for every ten physical machines. While operating these virtual machines comes at a slightly higher cost of $3,000 to run and $16,000 to purchase, in the long run, the savings will more than make up for the higher cost. Given the consolidation, operating 80 virtual machines at $3,000 a year and 200 physical machines at $2,000 a year will result in a total yearly cost of $640,000. This will be the cost in years two and three. In the first year, there will be the added cost of purchasing 80 virtual machines at $16,000 each and 200 physical machines at $8,000 each for a total of $3,520,000. Through three years the net benefit achieved through the utilization of these virtual machines will amount to $9,200,000.



VSphere Documentation Center,


“The Advantages of Using Virtualization Technology in the Enterprise.” Intel, 5 Mar. 2012,


Phelps, John R. “Server Consolidation: Benefits and Challenges.” Gartner, 28 Mar. 2002,


Flash Research Paper 3 – SharePoint

Through the use of SharePoint we can get more billable hours out of each of our PMPs. SharePoint comes with features that will allow for better sharing and collaboration, as well as communication between the PMPs and clients. The usage of this platform will have a net benefit of $1,846,250 over three years.

SharePoint includes features like discussion boards and document workspace sites. These all allow for better sharing, collaboration, and communication between PMPs and potential clients. An example of how discussion boards in SharePoint can reduce delays is PMPs can discuss things through the platform for which they would otherwise need to set up meetings. Document workspace sites will help reduce delays caused by the difficulty of going back and forth between clients and managing the documents. There is are 3,810 hours a year that can be saved through the use of SharePoint that can be used to put the PMPs to work.

We will be able to increase the number of billable hours for nine of our ten PMPs by 400 over the course of the year. The tenth PMP will have an increase of 210 hours as (s)he will need 190 hours a year for administration and support of the system. This total increase across the ten PMPs of 3,810 hours per year will generate $2,000,250 over three years. The cost of buying the system and making sure that the hardware and software are annually maintained will be  $154,000. In total, over the next three years, we will see a net benefit of $1,846,250.



Bertolucci, Jeff. “10 Great Social Features For Microsoft SharePoint 2013.” InformationWeek, 8 Oct. 2012, sharepoint-2013/d/


Horwitz, Lauren. “SharePoint 2013 Collaboration Features Enhance Enterprise Decision Making.”

SearchContentManagement, Aug. 2013,


Wheeler, Ashley. “SharePoint Collaboration Features | TechRoots.” Phoenix TS, 23 Nov. 2016,


Flash Research Paper 4 – WordPress

By adopting the WordPress platform, we can improve efficiency by 77.8% for 75% of our web developers which will lead to a headcount reduction. This platform will give our web development team a base to build off of when doing their work. Through the headcount reduction that we will see, we can realize a net benefit of $2,451,000.

WordPress is a web development platform that makes the design and functionality of web pages easier to implement. Whereas in the past, our web developers would have to write code for web pages from scratch, WordPress allows for the usage of widgets and plugins to reduce the amount of time it takes to get similar functionality from coding. For example, it takes a member of our web development team 100 hours to build a blog site from scratch; that time could be reduced to just 22 hours and 12 minutes through the usage of the WordPress platform.

The 77.8% increase in efficiency that we will realize through the adoption of WordPress will allow for a reduction of labor. Since 77.8% more work can be done in a smaller time frame, we will need only 22.2% of the workforce to do the work, so we could reduce our team from 9 to 2. By reducing our labor by 7 people, we will save $2,625,000 over three years. The cost of implementing WordPress would be $174,000 and includes purchasing the software, hardware and software maintenance, and training. When all is said and done, we will see a net benefit of $2,451,000 after the third year.



Cousins, Carrie. “10 Key Features of Popular WordPress Themes.” Design Shack, Design Shack, 1 July 2013,

Wolfe, Lahle. “Learn About the Five Key Benefits of Using WordPress for Your Website.” The Balance, 17 July 2017,

“” WordPress Codex,

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