The Global Information Systems Division of Interpublic Group
With nearly 40,000 employees worldwide, Interpublic Group (IPG) is one of the largest global providers of advertising and marketing services for many of the world’s largest advertising clients. As a holding company, IPG has a number of agencies under its umbrella. These agencies create marketing programs through advertising, promotions, media planning and buying, public relations, sports marketing, live events, digital marketing and many other specialized marketing services. With offices in over 100 countries and 2008 revenues of $ 6.9 billion, IPG is a market leader in the media and communications world.
In today’s technology-driven world, a company like IPG needs reliable IT infrastructure and support to communicate with its clients, and also with each other. Making this happen is no easy task. In 2007, IPG realized the need to replace aging IT infrastructure and to consolidate its IT footprint into a cost-effective solution and location. After a lengthy national search, IPG sighted Omaha, and in particular, the Scott Technology Center (STC) for its IT infrastructure location needs. In 2008, IPG began to build a three phase build-out of IT infrastructure at the STC, which concluded in 2009. With the conclusion of this project the STC is now home for a number of IPG IT services.
The largest and most complicated segment of the IPG build-out was the relocation and consolidation of its datacenters to the Scott Data Center. This project involved relocating hundreds of servers and terabytes of data without any interruption to operations. For instance, IPG’s e-mail system alone moves 1.5 million business related e-mails daily and any outage of this service was unacceptable. Through cutting-edge virtualization, energy friendly system selection, and extensive planning with the STC, IPG consolidated multiple datacenter locations into a reduced footprint at Scott Data Center within a very small timeframe without interruptions to the company’s business operations.
To service this footprint, as well as the rest of the IPG network, IPG established the Global Operations Center, or GOC, at the STC. This 24/7 operation, manned by IT technicians and security experts, monitors the health of the global network and systems supporting systems via a large control room complete with large projection screens indicating the health of the network. A key component to the GOC is its intern program. Utilizing the STC’s proximity to the Peter Kiewit Institute, IPG employs a number of students to help with its IT operations. These students are exposed to the elements involved with running and maintaining a global IT network – a truly rare educational experience.
Beyond the hardware element, there is also the user to think of when discussing IT operations. To support its end users, IPG relocated its employee IT support call center to the STC as well. A group of 20 employees currently handles the issues that users experience during the day and helps to resolve them in a timely manner. These staff members are at the front lines of making sure that IPG employees are able to conduct their business and interact effectively with the technology that supports them.
IPG’s commitment to the Scott Technology Center – and the Omaha are – is a result of a long-term relationship with the community and is an excellent example how STC’s facilities and personnel can work to support the IT needs of Fortune 500 companies. By 2010, over 50 IPG personnel will be working out of the STC.
As a true business partner, STC worked with us to design and implement our plans to centralize IT operations in Omaha. They supported IPG through each phase of implementation and now ensure that we have consistently stable production operations. STC has enabled IPG to continuously achieve its goal to provide reliable, scalable, and sustainable infrastructure services.
-Tom Sivo, Chief Technology Officer