The following note was sent to several members of the NYS Governor's Executive Chamber on Friday November 3rd, 2017.
The note was passed around to other members and to ITS Executives. Apparently, the solution was to have an ITS attorney review this. Clearly, the corruption runs very deep to brush this aside and deem it to be a disgruntled employee. Sad state of affairs for New York! We now look to you to take action and question the actions and leadership of NYS ITS and Governor's Executive Chamber.
New York State Information Technology Services (ITS) has morphed into an echo chamber – naively no one is watching the store. The ITS Executive team actions convey the impression of a license to pilfer until snagged. The ITS executive team is bamboozling Mike Perrin who is the Deputy Director of State Operations. The ITS Executive team which includes Bob Samson (CIO), Brian Digman (Director ITS), Karen Geduldig (Deputy CIO), Theresa Papa (CFO ITS), and Ray Rose are shutting out all vendors and technologies except for IBM. The apparent goal of the ITS Executive team is to utilize IBM products and services in every Enterprise Modernization Project with IBM, Ex-IBM Employees, and IBM partners as contractors. Previously purchased software from other vendors is being put aside for no reason other than to buy similar products from IBM and install into the Zen Data Center on Fuller Road. For instance, many of the ELA’s with Oracle are being unused even though they are already paid for to make way for new purchases with IBM. Another example, the state has a VMWare ELA, yet the ITS Executives are looking for ways to use IBM’s cloud containers for hosting.
Since the new ITS executive team took over the following changes were made: Ray Rose was moved out of COO to a position under Karen Geduldig (Deputy CIO), and Leslie Brennan was made COO. Gary Kuchark and Ray Rose handle all of the IBM C68 contract purchases which shields Brian Digman who is running the show but is still an 180,000 a year on loan CIO from the Thruway Authority.
The ITS Executive Team has already spent $10,000,000 on data center consolidation and presently soliciting another $15,000,000 under the data center consolidation pretext. A proper audit of the overall cost for the data center including rent, hardware, software, networking, and the staff is probably close to a $250,000,00 price tag to the NYS taxpayer. NYS having its own data center is bleeding the state budget due to infrastructure, storage, network, resources, staff, and contracting expenses. True innovation would be to bring all of the large vendors in and ask them how can the state use the cloud to streamline costs and increase productivity.
Planned ITS Reorganization by Bob, Karen, Ray, and Brian is underway
In an attempt to increase efficiencies the executive team is taking 3 clusters Enterprise Business Solutions, Citizens Services, and Health and breaking them up into nine entities. This will increase the current executives from 8 all making $150,000 plus up to 24 with an additional three deputy CIOs reporting to Karen. In other words, five layers of management compared to two – this is obscene and not going to make things more efficient – just increase expenses and antagonize the unions. This was presented to Mike Perrin – seems unclear if he agreed or not, but the ITS Executives are moving forward with the plan and increasing expenses well over $1,000,000 per year.
Help Desk (IBM & nfrastructure)
ITS was directed by the Chamber to terminate the IBM Help Desk Contract (ASAP). As of 11/2/2017, the termination has not been executed. Apparently, doing so would decrease the revenue for both IBM and nfrastructure. August and September 2017 payments to IBM were made in full even though they have been handling considerably less work. There looks to be little effort being made to terminate which has the work for the state workforce while still paying IBM and nfrastructure. This help desk RFP was drafted by Ray Rose and Mahesh Nattanmai (former Deputy CIO) to ensure IBM was awarded the contract. Ultimately, the failure and extreme cost for the help desk is what prompted the termination of Maggie Miller and Mahesh Nattanmai the previous CIO and Deputy CIO for ITS. When initially asked, it was stated Ray Rose (former nfrastructure employee) was not involved in the RFP, but later it was discovered he was.
Previous CIO Maggie Miller
It was revealed that Maggie received over $41,000.00 in travel credits. She listed NYC as her primary address but typically stayed in her house in Columbia County. Thus, she was paid travel credits to come to Albany to work and was normally in Albany. She should be compelled to reimburse the state for these expenses.
Current CIO Bob Samson
Bob is apparently engrossed in numerous conflicts of interest as the NYS State CIO. Bob used his influence to have Michael Boyle the former VP for State, and Local Government of IBM redeployed to an less significant position as payback for terminating his son, Dan Samson. Bob then brought back an old friend Steve LaFleche to be the NYS Representative.
Bob has been attempting to get his son a job by soliciting a few vendors he awards business. First Oracle, but their attorney said no – this would be a conflict of interest. According to an executive from nfrastructure, they are hiring Dan Samson to work on a few projects – an extreme conflict of interest being Bob has been awarding work to nfrastructure. Google gave Dan Samson an interview, and then for the first time, Google now has an upcoming meeting with the ITS executive team.
Bob claims he is not an IBM shareholder. However, he is a pension holder. Bob receives regular income from IBM. This is a conflict of interest as he is a decision maker in awarding contracts to IBM.
Bob is also a member of several boards that are receiving contracts and money from the state. Bob is the chairman of Fort Schuyler Board of directors (http://www.ftsmc.org/boardofdirectors/) (Bob may now be a former chair). Bob is on the board (Bob may now be a former member) of Fuller Road Management Corp which owns the Data Center - a private company paid by OGS via ITS funds. Bob is also on the global advisory board for the center for technology in government (CTG). Apparently, Bob personally instructed Terri Papa to pay CTG $250,000 for a data governance project.
Current Deputy CIO Karen
As mentioned above Karen is spearheading the entire reorganization of the ITS clusters. The word is, she is striving to position herself in line to become the next CIO when Bob leaves. Karen is an attorney by trade with negligible information technology experience. When at the recent NASCIO conference Karen touted innovations such as Chatbots and Alexa skills, yet she is recommending with the rest of the executives to:
• Purchase more mainframes (2 IBM Z-14s – Cost of $5,000,000)
• Avoid using the Cloud – except for IBM’s
• Convert Databases to DB2
Her actions are not demonstrating aptitude as an innovator. Apparently, she was too embarrassed, to tell the truth at NASCIO about her real recommendations.
Terri was terminated by the previous CIO Maggie Miller. When Maggie was dismissed, and Bob and Brian were hired in, they insisted that Terri be rehired. Terri is over 65 and is double dipping - receiving a full salary and a pension. The role for Terri is intended to be an independent voice for budgetary decisions, but she is merely a pawn for Bob and Brian. Bob directed her to give $250,000 to CTG for data governance of which Bob is on the board of directors.
IBM Employee Bill Hogan – IBM End User Services Negotiator
Bill Hogan (IBM Employee) been rehired back by the ITS executive team at a yearly cost of $600,000. This is a tremendous waste of taxpayer funds. This position is not needed. Bill was part of the ITSM and Release Management Project. From January 2017 to March of 2017, over $8,000,000 was spent on Release Management alone. The entire ITSM and Release Management for ITSM have cost the state in upwards of $15,000,000. Also, the money spent was not an enterprise implementation. In other words, only the department of taxation and finance and Human services cluster were included. What was all this taxpayer money used for? MS PowerPoints and Process flows?
OGS paid 500,000 for warehouse space for printing. Bob had now directed all printing to go to Infrastructure – another example of wasting taxpayer funds and diverting work to Infrastructure.
Microsoft Power BI
The state had a deal with Microsoft for business intelligence software which included fraud detection for $600,000. Instead, the ITS executive team decided to work with Ron Greenburg, a lobbyist for Tableau and pay $6,000,000. This does not include all costs due to the fact retraining employees and rewriting the current applications in Tableau from Power BI. The license with Tableau which is under scrutiny with the department of budget is a perpetual license. In other words, this license requires a full payment of $2,000,000 per year. Typically the state buys a vendors product license and then pays maintenance each year for upgrades and support – the perpetual license is an extremely poor deal for the state and its taxpayers.
Some members of the executive team were provided a demo using Microsoft .NET technologies with Microsoft LUIS AI (mainly a free service), but instead are looking to pay millions to IBM for a similar technology with no in-house knowledge or experts to implement.
Brian Digman is leading the charge on converting all databases to IBM DB2 – which is nothing the industry is doing – simply to rationalize purchasing more IBM infrastructure and diverting work to IBM.
The executive team is now looking to use the IBM cloud as a container for hosting. The state has already paid for an unlimited ELA with VMWare. Another example of wasting what has already been paid for and then directing more taxpayer money to IBM. Ironically, IBM is recommending the state use p-series Z-Linux, yet they do not use in their cloud but use commodity Linux (cheaper). So IBM is directing the state to do something they do not at a much higher cost to the state. This has been voiced to the executives, but they do not care and are moving forward.
Bob directed the EISO Deb Synder to include in her budget the need to buy two new mainframes from IBM and state it is necessary due to an urgent Cyber risk – complete BS and a waste of Taxpayer funds. Two new IBM Z-14’s at the cost of 5,000,000 dollars. No organization is buying mainframes; they are moving to the cloud. These executives are not following the market; they are going down their path of all IBM or nothing.
The ITS Executive team is directing the staff to migrate the Oracle workload from IBM P-Series to IBM Z-Linux. This is in no way a cost-cutting exercise. In fact, two clear issues come about:
• Oracle on Z-Linux gets the lowest level of support tier from Oracle – this can have a negative impact on being able to respond to problems quickly.
• Using Z-Linux will necessitate IBM support staff. This is a win-win for IBM and could be exclusively outsourced to IBM which would be very costly for the NYS Taxpayer.
New York Business Express (NYBE)
This project has been an Oracle product solution. Oracle Service Cloud and Oracle Policy Automation. Brian has now directed NYBE to use an IBM solution including IBM Process Server which will require more licensing at a cost between $300,000 - $500,000. The state is already invested into an Oracle ELA. There are no additional costs to keep an Oracle-based solution. No other training is required due to the fact staff have already been trained and are incredibly competent with the technologies. Changing technologies will create the need for training, support, and a rewrite of applications.
Innovation Lab & Analytics in the IBM Buffalo Office
This one takes the cake for sure. IBM has been directed by Brian Digman to be the liaison between two state entities – SUNY and ITS – which is a total waste of taxpayer funds. Two state entities should be able to work directly together! Brian Digman is diverting funds to IBM to build the Lab and apparently IBM will own it? What kind of deal is this?
The chamber preferred a cloud solution for this $25,000,000 plus RFP. Since the new ITS executive came aboard, all vendors have come with on-premise solutions due to the ITS executives stating no cloud solution is desired. This is contrary to what the rest of the market is doing.
Rowanne, the commissioner of OGS, was promised a system using PeopleSoft technologies in 2012, but Karen and Brian are ignoring it to terminate it and look to a different solution.
Bob is still trying to move the executives from the State-Owned Swan Street to pay rent at CNSE. This idea was agreed to by Mike Perrin but squashed by Joe Rabito. It is a waste of taxpayer money to pay rent at a location when the state already has one for the executives.
There has been much mishandling of the Data Center. In 2016, the state did not need more than the allotted 10,000 SQFT. Most of the state assets are virtualized, so the 10,000 SQFT was more than sufficient. With a proper container strategy, the state could avoid a vendor lock. Non-Critical public data should be stored in the cloud – waste of money on premise for this classification of data. Instead, the current ITS executive team is attempting to run everything in the data center and giving all of the work to IBM and Infrastructure.
NFX – Nano Fax X – this is the original 10,000 SQFT mentioned above. There is currently nothing in this space, and the state is paying rent for it. Instead, the state decided to purchase an additional 30,000 more SQFT – termed ZEN in which the state could have terminated and stopped the cost of 6 million dollars per year. Now everything in the Zen is being been hardwired to make it almost impossible to get out of.
Vicom, the largest regional IBM Premier Partner in the Northeast, has been awarded a contract as part of the app dev modernization to convert VSAM to DB2. This was done via a contract named C68 which has no oversight – basically, a blank check that Brian Digman and Gary Kuchark control. The C68 was supposed to be canceled and brought to open bid by OGS last year – but was extended for one year. This project begs the questions: why move off this technology? what are you moving to? what are the cost savings and ROI for the NYS taxpayer?
In 2016, the state purchased $750,000 worth of Azure credits. To this day very little has been used and they will soon run out and have been an entire waste of taxpayer dollars. Brian has been instructing not to use and let them expire.
Department of Transportation
Bob Malitz and Ex-IBM Employee with Infinite Blue an IBM Partner has been tasked to migrate DOT applications to the Z-Linux platform. Bob is also one of the leads for Brian Digman to migrate as much as possible to Z-Linux.
Integrated Eligibility System (IES)
Paul Francis has directed ITS to stay the course with the IES initiative. However, the new ITS executive team has rewritten the draft to use IBM products instead of Oracle.
DMV / WCB
Brian is directing both agencies to stay away from Microsoft.NET and use IBM. Even though the agency skills and many systems currently utilize .NET. They are being directed to get everything off .NET and rewrite and run on the IBM Mainframe with a Linux OS. This is obscene.
DEC Air Monitoring System Project
In another colossal waste of taxpayer funds, Brian is directing DEC not to use Oracle Document Cloud at the cost of $80,000 but to use ITS systems at the price of $500,000. Another way to fill the data center and rationalize the expenses to IBM to purchase their Mainframes and Infrastructure.