May 2009 – March 2011

Proposed on May 19, 2009 a top secret project was introduced by an outside source one Mr Charles G Watson for Verizon Wireless call centers to save money by building their own operating system utilizing free and open source programming. This solution for IT sprawl would have created a paradigm shift of power away from Microsoft and into the company adopting this strategy. Verizon Wireless is a subsidiary of VodaPhone of London, England and this project was allegedly followed by a small team from a branch in Germany. A test was conducted using spare computers at call centers in New York and Columbia, SC. The test proved itself on more than one occasion when Microsoft Updates crashed every computer in all of their 26 call centers nationwide save for the few test computers in Rochester New York and Columbia South Carolina. The test was put on hold and eventually dropped due to lack of interest by VZW Executives. If this project had succeeded it would have saved VZW some annually in Microsoft licensing and contracts alone. Other ways this project would have saved money would have been through security, increased longevity of equipment, and ideally a reduction in changing operating systems every few years. Instead VZW Executives decided that Windows XP running on thin clients was a better option. The project was operational for over one year although the exact date and time the test computers were shut down is unknown at this time. During the course of the testing many promises were made to Mr Watson about meeting and working out a contract. To this date no one from Verizon Wireless has met with Mr Watson to talk about this project on any level. All information received indicates that the project did work and very well at that. Verizon Wireless employees that worked on this project include but are not limited to Crystal Parker Boone, Bryan Warren, Michael Tarlton, Eileen Creeden, and Lowell McAdam. Two of these employees are no longer with VZW. One of them promised to give Mr Watson the files from inside the company that would have shown where they had issues (if any) and proof that they had done what Mr Watson was suggesting. However, this person decided they would not divulge the information at the last minute. Mr Watson is certain that any issues that made the project unfeasible would have been resolved if they had come to the source of the information given to them. There are many places that have built their own Linux distributions for internal use among them are the city of Munich, Germany with its distribution called LiMux and Google with its internal distribution called Goobuntu.  Currently looking for a newspaper or magazine to print an article about this story. If you would like more information please contact the web-master by clicking the link above.
* unconfirmed correction: the desktop computers in the New York call center.*

The proposed outline

The following information has been edited for ease of reading The dilemma. This corporation has too many different computer systems causing massive delays when something goes wrong. Too many of Verizon Wireless’s system contracts are out sourced increasing the delay time. Highly priced products, service, and poor support have caused the company’s computers to crash
at peak times. Develop a standard software configuration with full help desk. Utilize free and open source products to cut down on price and speed the development so that Verizon Wireless does not re-invent the wheel. In house programming will decrease costs while increasing productivity and security.

Phase One – The desktop OS (Red Streak)

Debian based Ubuntu is an easy to use and easy to set up desktop environment that is fully capable of running any applications for call centers. The use of Ubuntu would be only a starting point for putting together a corporate operating system. Canonical support could be used for initial training if an outside source is needed. There are many database programs that work in Linux kernel based systems and Verizon would need to find out which one or ones will work best for them. There are also replacement programs for Crystal reports (Jasper Reports) and QuickBooks (GNUcash). Fully supported applications include but are not limited to a web browser, office suite, photo editor and many more. This OS requires no anti-virus and can be customized for the company’s needs. It has been tested and out performed Microsoft Windows in many areas. As VZW works with it more they will be able to improve on it as well. Finishing touches to this portion of the project include things like reducing the boot time by decreasing the amount of services turned on during boot up and standardizing the user interface with permission settings for all user types.

Phase Two – Server migration

This may be more involved because of the range of products Verizon Wireless supports. Many of the vendors VZW works with already use and support Linux in some form or fashion. Verizon Wireless is currently figuring out which programs are supported and which ones are not. Mr Watson knows that IBM works with Linux so that will not be an issue. Blackberry and Microsoft both have services that are currently unsupported in Linux but with the right programmers and a little time we will be able to support those services our selves. Google has already developed their own software to talk with Blackberry and VZW should be able to do the same. VZW will not limit their Linux kernel based OS to any given distribution but will make it compatible with both Debian and Red Hat packages so that they can utilize more services and applications as quickly as possible. It may be cost effective to reduce VZW server licenses while implementing servers with custom programming on them as develop the solution for services not currently supported in a Linux kernel based OS.

Phase Three – Future Development and Support

This company should have its own development department (programmers) to work in conjunction with IT support. If any IT member finds a programming bug or even has a question they should be able to have direct contact with the developers of the program so that is issue can be resolved in as short amount of time as possible. The Verizon Wireless operating system and programs should each be customized to the end users needs to simplify training and save time. The free and open source communities have many free resources for programming which will also save on costs. Mr Watson does understand that some programs will remain paid and out sourced but as VZW works with those companies more closely they could find a way to reduce that cost as well.

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