The Corporation has recognized that its IT resources are among the most valuable assets available in fulfilling its corporate mission. In today's rapidly changing business environment, technology is frequently the foundation for achieving many of FDIC's business goals, especially those addressing efficiency and effectiveness in an industry in which timely and accurate communication and data are paramount for supervising institutions, resolving institution failures, and monitoring associated risks in the marketplace.
From an information technology perspective, amidst the heightened activity in the financial industry and economy in general, the FDIC is engaging in massive amounts of information sharing, both internally and with external partners. FDIC systems contain voluminous amounts of critical data. The Corporation needs to ensure the integrity, availability, and appropriate confidentiality of bank data, personally identifiable information, and other sensitive information in an environment of increasingly sophisticated security threats and global connectivity. With signs of recovery in the economy and the financial services industry, the FDIC and other regulators have turned a corner in restoring and maintaining public confidence and stability in the financial system, but much work remains to be done.
The Elicere team is proud to have been the first team to implement Clearwell E-Discovery identity management technology within the FDIC.
Implementing Mission-Critical Solutions: A Work In Progress
In October of 2009, during the height of the financial crisis, Elicere, Inc. was hired as a subcontractor to provide IT and Application Development services for FDIC's InformationTechnology Application Services (ITAS) Line of Business 3 (LOB3). The FDIC contract will run through March 31, 2015. Specified contractual services include but are not limited to: Architecture Operations, Maintenance, Enhancement, User Support, Training, Identity Management, Service Oriented Architecture, and Configuration and Release Management in support of FDIC lines of business.
At the outset, Elicere assumed performance ownership of various systems at the FDIC that were in late development or had entered the O&M phases. With most of these systems, the integrity of the legacy systems had been compromised and there were significant latent defects and serious design flaws requiring incremental mitigation. Additionally, maintenance requirements typically involve building in scalability and allowing for extended functionality well beyond the previously existing system's concept of operations. Often these extensions are driven by high priority Congressional mandates with very short deadlines for compliance.
Keeping existing mission-critical systems working while engineering better solutions, advancing technology, and modernizing code bases is truly an artful "IT dance" at which the Elicere team excels. Systems which were previously operating in a stand-alone or stove- piped environment must be carefully integrated into the constantly changing enterprise environment. The Elicere team terms this approach "good maintenance" and remains constantly vigilant and responsive to perceived needs that have yet to materialize. As ongoing solutions are forged, they must be both environmentally and architecturally acceptable while achieving a high return on customer investment.
A Model of Success: Seamless Enterprise Application Integration
Enterprise Application Integration (EAI) is a process by which many different existing databases and software applications are consolidated and coordinated into a modernized, integrated enterprise system, making use of an assortment of plans, methods and tools. At the outset of the FDIC/ITAS project, Elicere relied on its extensive experience in multi-developer environments, providing support which utilized a wide array of tools including SUN IDM, PEGA, Visual Basic, ASP, Microsoft.NET, Java, SQL Server, ORACLE, and Ajax. Elicere is proud of its role as a key player in the skillful and seamless transition and integration of over 60 different software applications at FDIC. The transition took less than three months and was 100% successful with no downtime for the user community. FDIC refers to the ITAS enterprise application integration process as a model of a successful integration project.
As part of the transition process, the Elicere team was involved in developing the standard operating procedures for the program, capture of incumbent personnel, and all phases of the technical transition and integration of the applications. As part of the on-going activities at ITAS, Elicere is responsible for creating project plans, cost estimates, risk management plans, status reports, as well as personnel management. Elicere's project management activities include meeting with clients and stakeholders, maintaining accurate minutes of meetings for proper tracking of decisions made during the course of each project to ensure compliance with CMMI Level 3.
Project Snapshot: Elicere on the Current Edge of Identity Management
Approximately 18 months into the 5-year contract, the Elicere team is proud to have been the first team to implement Clearwell E-Discovery identity management technology within the FDIC. The Clearwell E-Discovery platform was purpose-built for identification, preservation, collection, processing, analysis, review, and production in a single integrated product. Clearwell is used to streamline collection, accelerate early case assessments, intelligently cull-down data, increase reviewer productivity, and ensure the defensibility of the entire e-discovery process.
Elicere takes great pride in keeping on the most current edge of technology and providing highly trained personnel, and its team of Certified Clearwell Administrators is but one example of this dedication. Additional progress at the 18-month point includes the migration of legacy software applications from ASP Visual Basic to APEX .Net technologies. This allows similar applications—which were originally designed for a single purpose— to be easily re-purposed in the future for many uses. The ongoing COTS release management work includes moving SUN IDM version 8.1 to Oracle Identity Management, and upgrading Pega and Documentum to the latest versions. As with all the software development, integration, migration and upgrades, after implementation the Elicere team performs tests and demonstrations for management and develops online manuals to train the trainers going forward.
As shown on this project, Elicere personnel have the depth and breadth to be successful in challenging enterprise- wide environments that require a variety of technical knowledge as well as being able to adapt to the current needs of the client. Our skill sets currently ensure ultimate success in both integration and modernizing of FDIC's legacy systems.