While most of the country was experiencing one of the worst winter storms of the season and the Chicago area was suffering through the 3rd worst winter storm in its’ history, CPI was behaving like CPI always does – persevering! The big winter storm hit the Chicago area in earnest during the mid morning hours of Tuesday February 1st, 2011 with the snowfall rate reaching several inches per hour.
Also on February 1st, the NM DPS and CPI had scheduled to cutover the entire New Mexico law enforcement community to the OpenFox® product suite at 8:30 am mst (9:30 am cst), right while the storm was intensifying at CPI headquarters (Bolingbrook). Fortunately, the CPI installation team consisted of dedicated on-site personnel being assisted by home office personnel accessing the New Mexico systems via the Nlets network. By noon CPI was sending personnel home from the office while they could still get home safely. However, since CPI utilizes vpn from employee homes, the New Mexico on-site team was still getting assistance and problems discovered during cutover were being addressed.
"…. CPI was hands on during the cut-over and worked with us to resolve issues quickly and to our satisfaction…." said Mr. Stephen Tapke, Deputy Chief Information Officer, New Mexico Department of Public Safety Information Technology Division.
By 1:00 pm a decision was made that people manning the Help Desk were to stay for the duration of the storm and everyone else that hadn’t already left was told to do so immediately. Blankets and food were brought in by the Help Desk Supervisor (Rob Serio) and rooms were reserved at the Holiday Inn next door so people could rotate through and get some rest. To make matters worse, at approximately 3:00 pm many communities in the Chicago area including Bolingbrook lost power. The CPI generators kicked in and the entire office remained powered up with full climate controls being provided normally. The only noticeable effect was the hum of the generators.
All in all the storm dumped twenty two (22) inches of snow between the hours of 8:00 am on Tuesday the 1st until tapering off at midday Wednesday. The power came back on at approximately 10:30 am on Wednesday and activity began to once again occur. Many employees were not plowed out until well into the day Thursday and some took matters into their own hands by plowing their streets with snow blowers.
Meanwhile, in Santa Fe where temperatures reached negative 14 Fahrenheit, the Governor declared an energy emergency because of a lack of natural gas. The rolling blackouts occurring in Texas caused a problem with natural gas reaching New Mexico and all but essential employees were asked to stay home. On Friday the 4th only a handful of DPS employees were on hand.
During all of this CPI prevailed and the NM DPS system was brought online successfully and several members of the on-site installation team were able to travel home on Saturday. CPI is proud of our dedicated employees that day in and day out create excellent products, provide excellent maintenance support and keep our customers satisfied.
To learn more about CPI and our products and services contact:
Marc J. Smith, Senior Account Executive
Computer Projects of Illinois (CPI)
(630) 754-8820 X-149