Danielle Savoie aren’t fold very little into a pretzel or ” spin ” around on her behalf head. Although she taking walks a tightrope every day controlling the information systems that make it feasible for the Cirque du Soleil to entertain more persons each year compared to the Yankees and Red Sox combined. The circus, which will features surprising acrobatics and Broadway-caliber music and dance productions, started off as a originality in 1984 with one show and little fanfare. But this season, 11 several shows on four prude will amuse more than six million vistors paying up to $125 every to see a festival without pets or animals.

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Savoie, you’re able to send vice president of information technology, is definitely struggling to keep pace. Why?

Over the past five years, the amount of software applications employed by Cirque du Soleil workers has ballooned from around 40 to more than two hundred. Although these tools run a broad variety of operations”from handling human resources and finance to making costumes and scheduling performing artists”these applications could not reveal data.

This disadvantage threatened productivity or even the prospects for a demonstrate to go on devoid of major headaches if, for example , a limelight wasn’t delivered to the right place or a performer couldn’t end up being quickly discovered to replace someone who had bec0me sick.

Savoie realized the corporation needed to set up software that will give personnel access to these applications and databases with no completely upgrading the system’s setup, which usually she got pieced collectively on the fly. Consider the strategies that Savoie and the Cirque’s 3, three hundred employees must track: 6 of the 10 shows will be constantly in motion, touring North America, European countries, Asia and Australia. A lot more than 250 tractor-trailers haul seven hundred tons of products around the world each day. More than twenty, 000 artists must be slated, transported and tracked for the shows. So must costumes and level equipment. The database for just the changes of these halloween costumes has four, 000-plus entries and is growing every day. This juggling work, which combines acrobats, ballet dancers and trapeze artists with elaborate lamps and musical production, made Cirque man Soleil a $500 million corporation in just two decades.

All of which is great media for Guy Laliberte, the show’s co-founder and an ex fire-eating stilt-walker. But for Savoie and her staff, Cirque du Soleil’s fantastic expansion and one of a kind culture developed an information systems disarray not unusual to any organization that develops real big, real quickly with nor the luxury of your energy nor the advantage of experience to formulate an ideal decide to deploy software to manage the free-wheeling list. “When I acquired here in 2k, I was the sole I. T. person,  Savoie says. “Now we have 100 persons on personnel. Because of the way we’ve grown, we have to replace with lost period right now. 

During this increase, Cirque man Soleil added show management software used to make or order costumes and assign performers, as well as point-of-sale systems intended for merchandise. A lot of the applications were developed in-house because of Cirque du Soleil’s unique business. Where do Savoie begin? With simple applications to aid day-to-day procedures in the midst of the expansion spurt. The corporation implemented SAP software for human resources, strategies and financial in 2000 and, later on, installed a full-blown variation of SAP’s enterprise reference planning software program for purchase, costume production, and event and specialist scheduling. But it was employing Microsoft Windows 2000 and Office XP for most of its various other applications, such as the company’s Internet site, its intranet, the point-of-sale system, and myriad additional programs such as one to trail the performers’ medical documents. Most of these applications, however , could hardly communicate with each other.

Furthermore, the individual section traveling through North America or perhaps Europe were running their particular applications on different operating systems, and as a result, these troupes served more like self-employed businesses rather than parts of a greater organization. And the arrangement caused it to be difficult for workers around these distinct business units to collaborate, Savoie says. “We had data in lots of diverse places, but could simply combine this and assess or utilize it manually,  she recalls. As recently as six months ago, for example , production managers on virtually any traveling colonne arriving at it is destination could begin by conducting an inventory of all the equipment essential for a given performance.

The lighting, speakers, level, decorations and the posts needed to suspend the large tent were all monitored with conventional paper and dog pen. And when the manager recognized something was missing, he / she would have to pick up a mobile phone and call to company headquarters in Montreal to get a substitute. Usually, the item in require made it to the location in time for theperformance. When it failed to, the staff would possibly have to get a replacement nearby, scramble to get it by another section or just carry out without. Equipment’s one thing, yet performers are harder to replace within a pinch. We have a finite number of individuals on the planet that can pull off the acrobatic achievements that occur during a Cirque du Planète show.

You will find more than a dozen Olympic medalists in the firm. Scheduling performers based on the characters needed for each demonstrate is a a lot of the time job. Every single character offers specific outfit and cosmetic instructions, which are stored in a database. In that case there’s the matter of feeding the artists and support staff. In these traveling “cities,  more than 300 meals are prepared each day requiring a lot of money of various meats, seafood and fresh create. Getting on the Same Page

To give employees use of data and tools via more than 200 applications jogging on multiple operating systems, Savoie embarked on a year-long task to install IBM’s WebSphere Business Integration Machine Express Additionally software to connect her barbaridad systems. The goal: Organize all the application environments on to a single, standardised platform pertaining to access and development. “We wanted to [streamline] our in-house applications with the financial info we have with our SAP applications to create a single vision of all our data,  Savoie says. “We needed one common language for a lot of our applications.  The IBM WBI Express computer software was executed on IBM eServer xSeries 245 and 355 systems.

The task took just over a year via start to finish and cost around $175, 1000. Savoie and her crew, along with IBM consultants, broke up the project in to four distinct pieces. The first stage took place during 18 several weeks in which Cirque du Soleil’s information-technology personnel and APPLE consultants implemented the strategy of the job. They essentially determined what functions and applications they will wanted to combine into the SYSTEMS APPLICATIONS AND PRODUCTS planning system as well as that they wanted to accumulate, disseminate and access info from the various applications. “This is the most important a part of any the use software execution,  says Yefim Natis, an analyst at Gartner who tracks IBM WebSphere implementations. “You don’t simply plug this in.

You have to think through each of the processes and get each of the people involved in the same room to discuss what they wish and how they need to do it.  Savoie says this portion of the project was fairly easy. For example , they didn’t need to reconstruct existing contacts between applications used in the field simply by production managers.

They merely wanted to have the ability to gather all of the inventory, revenue and performer data as one field and also have it available to everybody from either a PC or a handheld gadget. Next, Cirque du Planète spent 4 months building the Web interface to the preparing system in order that information could possibly be accessed, edited and reviewed from the company intranet. The project was completed in May well. Under the five-month-long third phase, financial details was consolidated. Data about ticket sales, procurement, promoting and other monetary matters that were stored independently on both the House windows operating system and also the SAP program was now connected in order that executives could easily get a snapshot view of the entire firm. Finally, the developers spent the last a couple of 1/2 several weeks integrating the Cirque man Soleil intranet with its online help-desk program so artists, managers and other staff could resolve complications quicker instead of exchanging phone calls about arranging deliveries or other problems. Now that everybody had usage of the same information regardless of the software or main system from which it had originated, Cirque du Soleil could set out to make ideal business decisions with a global vision.

For instance , when a crucial performer was unavailable to work because of illness or injury, employees could sift through the database of all artists with that particular expertise by any computer system in the firm. Then they may find a replacement who was available and closest for the production in need. Simultaneously, they can pull up the performer’s job history, measurements and resource to aid the costume designers in making alterations, and the promoting staff who have create the programs and advertising components. All sales conducted in the fixed and mobile sites”T-shirts and the like”are now immediately downloaded for the system and available to professionals in real time, instead of an unforeseen and often late collection of manual documents coming from far-flung locations.

When new products are needed to stock the show in Sydney or perhaps Seattle, Cirque du Planète now is aware exactly how manyT-shirts it needs by simply size and elegance, and can purchase them in bulk for delivery the next day. “The operational efficiencies are important, but the flexibility our developers have is just as crucial,  Savoie says. “Now, when we install another best-of-breed application or develop among our own, all of us don’t have to worry about what works with which system. We know that all this can be modified to one common language.  Efficiency Concealed from the public view

Back around the streets, the availability managers are usually benefiting from the behind-the-scenes advancements made in Montreal. Now that the integration software continues to be implemented, production managers how to use entirely new system to develop an inventory of kit necessary for the newest mobile “city.  Instead of checking away a newspaper list of all the lights, cams, speakers and stage supplies needed for a production, every piece of equipment can be tagged which has a bar code that’s sought by a handheld device connected to the network.

Cirque du Planète says these types of mobile devices have cut in half the time it will take to products on hand an entire one hundred and eighty, 000-square-foot cellular city, and virtually eradicated errors. “It’s something that no person sees as it doesn’t impact the day-to-day efficiency,  Savoie points out. “It’s too early to state exactly how much money we’ve saved, but I understand that going forward, the time we’ll save just on the advancement side helps it be worthwhile.  [pic]

Cirque Du Soleil Base Circumstance

Hq: 8400 Second Ave., Montreal, Quebec, Canada H1Z 4M6

Phone: (514) 722-2324

Business: Provides live performances that combine crabbing, opera and traditional festival performers in 11 distinct production groups scattered around the world.

Vice President of Information Technology: Danielle Savoie

Financial records in 2005: Reported product sales of more than 500 usd million.

Challenge: Implement APPLE WebSphere Business Integration software program to connect all of its barbaridad systems and applications.


¢ Increase revenue by 8% to $540 million in 2005, from $250 million in 2004.

¢ Reduce creation time for application connecting organization and performance-related applications coming from eight to six weeks.

¢ Trim time spent connecting business software applications to company intranet by 20 to 16 several weeks. “””””””””””””””””””””””- Cirque du Soleil performs managing act with CGI [pic][pic][pic][pic][pic] Integrator takes over IT features for Montreal-based entertainment firm [pic] [pic]4/11/2006 5: 00: 00 PM HOURS [pic][pic]by simply Vawn Himmelsbach, www.itbusiness.ca

| | |Cirque du Planète has fixed a 10-year IT outsourcing techniques contract with CGI, appreciated at $130 million. Montreal’s world-renowned| |entertainment company, which combines circus and theatre, wanted to offload some of it is less proper IT capabilities as | |its procedures expand around the globe. | |”We have incredibly rapid progress and we desired to leverage the infrastructure offered by CGI,  said Danielle Savoie, CIO of | |Cirque ni Soleil. | |As portion of the contract agreed upon last week, CGI is in charge of rendering IT procedures, help table and software | |evolution of Cirque’s global infrastructure, including the Montreal head office, four long term shows in Las Vegas and | |one permanent display in Orlando, florida. | |This involves moving 84 THAT positions to CGI via Cirque ni Soleil in Montreal, Las Vegas and Orlando, florida. A certain | |number of technicians possess stayed about with Cirque to perform more strategic THAT roles. | |

SPECIAL is also responsible for the THAT infrastructure in back of Cirque’s travelling shows. On tours, only 1 technician is usually |

|required to set up the THAT infrastructure, such as point-of-sale and ticketing applications (since Cirque runs a | |centralized IT facilities out of Montreal). | |Cirque helps keep IT technique and way in-house, along with global organizing and architecture design. “We didn’t wish | |to lose this strategic expertise,  explained Savoie. “When we want to re-engineer some a part of our business processes, it can | |important to have this knowledge.  | |CGI will deal with its Computers, servers plus the help desk, said Normand Paradis, vice-president of business engineering with CGI| |Group Inc. in Montreal. “We will also take over support and evolution with the portfolio of applications.  This includes a | |wide range of applications, from administrative functions like payroll to tour tools, costumes and merchandise. | |

Throughout the lifecycle of these applications, modifications are manufactured respond to new company requirements, | |said Savoie. “Every 12 months we have to produce some development in this profile,  she said, adding CGI is currently responsible for | |these alterations. | |”They have above 100 applications of various forms we will be keeping for them from strictly management to | |(costumes),  said Paradis. | |”They design and build these costumes (and) we provide the IT support behind that,  this individual said. “But it’s just one of the | |things they do ” for them it’s really everything regarding intellectual house.  This consists of costumes, music, even the serves | |themselves ” all of which are section of the intellectual house they’re handling. And they need to use a large amount of systems | |to do that, he explained, in order to protect it properly.

In its marine show “O in Las Vegas, for example , outfits | |deteriorate quickly in water, thus CGI could keep track of items like costumes, diving equipment and maintenance. | |”On top rated of that they will run a huge financial system and enormous payroll program,  he said. “For a festival, doing the payroll is| |not accurately their key activity, but it better have completed because if the guys don’t get paid you’re not going to find too | |many reveals.  | |This may be the beginning of CGI’s despoliation into the entertainment and showing off event areas, which that began recently with the| |World Aquatic Championships in Montreal. CGI expects the partnership with Cirque i Soleil to strengthen its experience | |within these areas. “For all of us it’s dealing with a major gamer,  explained Paradis. “They have a very strategic brand [and] they| |are well known on a global basis.  | |The transition process to outsource these kinds of IT capabilities started the other day and will happen over the approaching 12 months. |

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