Los Angeles, Ca — (December 25, 2007) Jenny Craig Inc. (JCI) has made a multimillion-dollar, multinational business of the healthy makeover. When JCI spokeswoman and former “Fat Actress” Kirstie Alley revealed her newly slimmed figure onOprah in Fall 2006, she embodied everything the company has done right. But behind the scene, outdated technology had been holding JCI back for far too long. All that was about to change. IGMAS Technologies, a national technology consultancy specializing in customized solutions for IT infrastructure projects, was giving Jenny Craig Inc. a major technological makeover.
Consider JCI’s technology “before” picture: computers running DOS applications and a WAN that “barely merited the name” in the words of CIO Decision’s Michael Ybarra. Individual Centres were disconnected from the company’s corporate IT resources, resulting in growing gaps of customer service; there was no connectivity fault-tolerance, so lost DSL connections meant lost productivity; the network was transferring only a portion of each Centre’s daily transaction information to the corporate offices, which meant JCI was missing valuable opportunities to look at customer-specific sales and marketing information; and the 3,500 users at JCI’s more than 600 Centres couldn’t communicate electronically, which slowed things down considerably for both staff and customers on a daily basis. It was time for the makeover experts to be made over themselves—and IGMAS promised to do the job with the kind of customized, flexible approach that JCI uses with its clients; understanding that to be effective and long-lasting, the makeover must be tailored to the individual.
IGMAS was brought on in March 2006 to provide a turnkey solution for handling design, acquisition, system integration, configuration, shipping, onsite installation and training for what became more than 10,000 pieces of equipment at more than 600 Centres throughout the continental United States, Hawaii, Puerto Rico and Canada. Their task: Develop and deploy a set of new enterprise solutions that would make JCI operationally more efficient, provide greater centralized management of resources and lower ongoing support and maintenance costs. After a thorough needs assessment — including extensive system documentation of existing systems, one-on-one meetings with key personnel throughout the organization, and numerous Centre site surveys—IGMAS made design and process recommendations to move JCI to a new IT environment that would exceed corporate objectives.
IGMAS recommended a new wide-area network (WAN) that would connect systems across the organization, allowing JCI to move more customer data in less time, with no real additional cost. The Igmas recommendations meant JCI would be able to process more clients each day without additional staff or valuable retail space. Additionally JCI would save on credit-card processing fees by authorizing over the high-speed WAN; and with a proposed telephone system modification in which Centre support calls could be routed across the network, the New Centre Infrastructure promised a substantial reduction in overall operating costs. Beyond all this, IGMAS proposed and integrated several fully automated failover and disaster-recovery technologies for the Centres. For the first time ever, Jenny Craig Inc. would have a reliable, streamlined, and fully connected network of Centres.
Together, JCI and IGMAS determined the best way to make such possibilities a reality, and by August 2006 IGMAS went live with beta testing at one Centre, followed by a pilot rollout of ten Centres in ten days later in November — just about the time Kirstie Alley was revealing her new bikini body on Oprah.
IGMAS’ project-management team worked closely with JCI’s staff and other business partners to ensure that the project ran smoothly and with minimal impact to JCI staff. They had one shot at each Centre to get the new infrastructure successfully deployed, and it had to be done after-hours so that JCI staff could keep serving customers during the day. IGMAS’ team of more than 30 trained engineers, project managers, and support staff worked quickly and efficiently in multiple cities at the same time, literally deploying new systems overnight — and catching a short nights sleep before training employees to use the new systems the next morning. IGMAS teams transformed on average of six Centres a night, five nights a week, with each team performing an intricate dance to smoothly coordinate vendors, products, JCI staff, and others. An IGMAS Help Desk was also made available from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily to make this a smooth transition for everyone involved.
Throughout the project, IGMAS responded quickly to unforeseen challenges, such as deploying last minute patches for the daylight-saving-time change, payroll application patches, updated User Training Material and others without delay. “Not being able to overcome these last minute obstacles in an effective and timely manner could derail an entire project,” notes IGMAS President Michael Breindel. But IGMAS’ national and international deployment experience and careful advance project planning allowed the IT staff at IGMAS to seamlessly navigate such challenges. “What sets us apart from most other vendors,” says Breindel, “is that planning, communication and execution is fully defined before implementation.” This Project Management approach reduces uncertainty, increases efficiency and minimizes negative impacts on the organization and the project.
By November 2007, the multi-million-dollar, multinational rollout was complete — on budget and on schedule! It may be a less flashy reveal than Kirstie Alley’s Oprah moment, but this behind-the-scenes makeover resulted in immediate cost savings at every JCI Centre in the network, and Jenny Craig now has a solid foundation in which to support both legacy and new custom applications in their rapidly expanding enterprise. With efficient, reliable, centralized IT now in place JCI has successfully completed the internal makeover of its Centre infrastructure.
IGMAS Technologies, Inc. is a professional consultancy specializing in high-quality products and services for Information Technology projects. IGMAS delivers consulting, design, integration, deployment, and support for business. IGMAS offers experienced technology and business consultants, project managers, engineers and support staff who understand that people, product, and services must come together seamlessly to meet each organization’s unique objectives.
Jenny Craig Inc., based in Carlsbad, CA, is one of the world’s leading weight-management companies, with more than 650 Centres in the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Puerto Rico. Developed by registered dietitians in consultation with a distinguished Medical Advisory Board, the Jenny Craig weight-loss program is a science-based, comprehensive Food-Body-Mind approach that helps clients manage their weight by creating a healthy relationship with food, building an active lifestyle and developing a balanced approach to living.