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The ACS Major Projects team works primarily on implementations and new business conversions. During these projects, we cover a lot of ground in a short period of time. For those of you who have worked on projects with my team, you're likely all too familiar with the long hours and tight deadlines we all frequently work through (with the help of plenty of caffeine).

We are less than halfway through 2008, and this year has already been a busy one for the Major Projects team. We've seen four large projects go live, and we're actively engaged in several other projects in varying stages of implementation. Additionally, several of my team members have either written or managed data conversion projects for their clients. After completing more than a dozen conversions over the past 18 months, several of our clients have found that it's better for them to have ACS do the data conversion programming and reconciliation rather than hiring and training resources. ACS experts can quickly dive into the data, understand it, and transfer it into Advantage much faster than internal programmers or external contractors who have to spend a lot of time learning the meanings of Advantage fields and conversion processes. Additionally, the programming, reconciliation, and management costs are often only slightly higher with ACS than when compared with the costs to train, assist, and manage this activity for the clients who have opted to work on the conversion programming themselves.

In addition to implementation, upgrade, and data conversion projects, the Major Projects team is also engaged in several other key initiatives, both internally and with some of our clients. This includes a Systems Analysis Audit program, in which an ACS systems analyst conducts a comprehensive systems analysis of a client's IT administration of the Advantage system. Together with the ACS Systems team, the Major Projects team plans to review progress during our annual training week in October. You'll also be hearing more from me regarding the Systems Analysis Audit program on the AdvantagePoint blog.

In order to keep up with all the changing technology and project management demands, the project managers on my team are working on their professional certifications and continuing education programs. This year, the Major Projects team members are wrapping up their intermediate-level Microsoft technical certifications and they have all either obtained, or are on track to obtain, the Project Management Professional (PMP) certification. Many congratulations to the team for their hard work and success on this professional development front!

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