Project Updates

"Big Bang" Adds EJCH and St. Joe

EUH IT in the "Command Center" that was set up at Emory Johns Creek Hospital.

Last month, OIT completed one of the largest fiber network projects in Emory's history. A two-year effort, the project culminated in the "Big Bang" weekend (August 17 - 20), when the entire system would be activated for the first time. A timeline:

July 2010 - Emory Healthcare purchased HCA's ownership interest of the Emory Johns Creek Hospital. At that time, Emory had a Heart Clinic located in the Physicians Building, which is attached to Emory Johns Creek Hospital, as well as a recently added OB/GYN practice. Emory PACS/Radiology had a presence on a small Emory network located inside the hospital and all shared an Internet uplink. The two practices located in the Physicians Building had wireless and VoIP services provided by Emory as well as their network connectivity.

Fall 2010 - Plans were made to transition all of the current data connections that were on the HCA network to a network fully supported by Emory UTS. EJCH IT worked with UTS to perform a survey of the HCA current network equipment and network wiring. Emory UTS Field Services agreed to inherit and provide support for the current wiring infrastructure with the understanding that some modifications were needed.

Emory UTS Data Operations inherited and support the current fiber cabling infrastructure, which consists of single mode fiber. Since the current data networking equipment was at end of life or end of support, plans were made to install a new network comprised of Cisco data switches that offer 10/100/1000M connectivity to the desktop as well as POE. The network design provides for redundant fiber connections for the data switches as well as the uplinks to two routers. The redundant connections were configured in an active/passive format so as to provide a primary and secondary connection to increase reliability.

Spring 2011 - The new network equipment was purchased. James Crosby and Zack Wade (both of Infrastructure) installed the equipment with the current uplinks to the Emory Network. Some connections were transitioned to the new network with the bulk of the connections waiting for the new higher speed uplinks to be in place.

Plans were in the making for procurement and installation of two DWDM fiber circuits, traversing over 90 miles, to connect Emory Johns Creek Hospital and St Joseph Hospital along with the Perimeter Clinic to the Emory network. Norman Butler, Perry Eidson, and David Topper (all of Infrastructure) completed the DWDM installation in February, providing two 10G uplinks from Johns Creek to the Emory Network. To provide as much redundancy as possible, one DWDM link terminates at Emory University Midtown and the other at North Decatur Building. There are currently 15 different virtual networks (Vlans) at Emory Johns Creek Hospital, with half of them using the DWDM link to EUHM as primary and the other half using the link to Emory NDB as the primary uplink.

Chad Street (Infrastructure) and Norman Butler researched and implemented converting the wireless network and Spectralink phone connectivity from the current HCS system to the Emory system. Stephon Clayton, Chris Gonzalez, and Jesse Sehorn (all of Enterprise Services) swapped out the exiting APs with the new ones. Emory UTS will now provide support for the wireless network at Emory Johns Creek Hospital.

August 2012 - With everything in place it was decided to transition the majority of network connections from the HCA network to the Emory Network during the weekend of August 17th – 20th. People worked around the clock to make this transition and as of now the majority of connections are now on the Emory network.

Another thing to note is that during the "Big Bang" cut-over weekend, EUH IT had 150+ employees (according to Doug Allen, EHU IS) working from a command center and a configuration/staging room set up at EJCH. UTS Field Services transitioned approximately 1000 connections while coordinating with the UTS TOC and DataOps to have the switch ports activated in the proper vlan as EUH IS installed the new equipment; all while maintaining daily service to the rest of Emory.

- James Crosby, Network Engineer II, Infrastructure

Kronos Project Completed

"Workforce Management Simplified"

The Kronos Project, which is the upgraded time and attendance software for all Emory Healthcare employees  and hourly Emory University employees, is complete. The Phase 2 go-live date was on August 8. During the phase 2 rollout only time keepers were affected, while employees continued to record their time uninterrupted.

The justification for the project was to take advantage of the latest release of the product from the vendor to utilize any new technology, features and functionality delivered since version 5.2. this included improvements to the Timekeeper function, such as enhanced error tracking and correction, and increased Timekeeper efficiency.

The two-phase project involved an initial Time entry upgrade in June and an application upgrade in August. During implementation users experienced 2 issues: system slowness and a loss of reporting function. The team worked closely with Kronos to resolve these issues. The timing on the resolution could not have been more welcome on September 4th as the payroll teams were under a tight deadline to complete payroll in a shortened Labor Day week. System performance was excellent and full reporting functionality was restored to all timekeepers.

The upgraded Kronos application’s Innovative user interface takes another major step forward with enhancements to the user experience. The software also provides ease-of-use functionality.

The core team comprised of James Alston, Mike Davidson, Kavan Moodley, Rob Vannah (all of Enterprise Applications) and Trisha Wilson (PMO). Also on the team were Rhonda Foster and Joleen Mitchell from University Payroll, Kathy Charles and Marion Oglesby from Emory Healthcare Payroll, and Keith Gadd and Roshana Montford from Wesley Senior Living Payroll.

The working group for the project also included (from OIT): Sheldon Anderson (Infrastructure), Zed Brooks (Enterprise Services), Derek Cox (Infrastructure), Evan Ehrenhalt (Infrastructure), Dana Haggas (Project Sponsor - Enterprise Applications), Jon Helsel (Infrastructure), Lamar Kelly (Enterprise Services), Mary Kinney (Enterprise Services), Steve Siegelman (Infrastructure), and Ramona Tucker (Infrastructure).

- Kaven Moodley, Manager, Enterprise Applications

Woodruff Circle Emergency Light Tower Installed

Roland Farrar has been a champion for student safety.

This emergency light tower was installed in August as a portion of UTS' involvement in the Woodruff Circle redevelopment underway all summer. It was coordinated and managed by Roland Farrar (PMO), installed by (CCS) Communication Cabling Specialists, and phone activated by Tracy Jones (Enterprise Field Services).

The area will look a lot better several months from now as they begin work on the bus shelters, landscaping, etc. Here's a PDF map of Emory's Campus Emergency Phones locations.