IT Infrastructure of the St. Agostina Health Center (Sister of Charity of St. Jeanne Antida, Shire, Ethiopia)

Role: IT Professional, Project Manager, 8 months duration

The St. Agostina Health Center is managed by the Sister of Charity and serves an average of more than 200 patients per day (increasing). The main goal of the project is to  provide the health center with a IT infrastructure in order to take advantace of modern Hospital Management applications and so simplify the workflow which is actually based on manual procedures with paper.

In the first phase I planned and deployed the IT network (Wired Ethernet Gigabit with WIFI access point in some areas) and the internet access, shared and managed..I delivered the server infrastructure to host the application;  it's based on Windows Server 2012R2 onboard with Hyper-V hosting a virtual machine with the Hospital Application and few other services (file services, networl services). The hardware is a client with SSD disk subsistem, to improve the reliability at high temperatures. The server infrastructure, in case of hardware failure, can be fully exported in few minutes on a laptop (restoring from backup) properly configured in advance; in case of need this laptop can used as well by the Health Center personnel since it has onboard the Hospital Client Application. Clients have been configured reusing existing old desktops from the mission and buying few new laptops, more energy efficient and indipendent in case of power outage. All hardware and material have been chosen carefully within what was available locally, including main replacement parts (like hard disks, power supplies, UPS, WIFI, cables); this was crucial, considering that in case of emergency the Health Center must be able to quickly react and fix any issue.
I then reviewed,  several free hospital applications; we choose Open Hospital, a free application developed by an Italian NGO ( and used in other hospitals in Ethiopia; this gave the Health Center the possibility of reusing existing experience with that application in similar scenario and to get free remote support (best effort) from Informatici Senza Frontiere.

I analyzed the Hospital Workflow process and planned the new workflow according to the Hospital Management Application; first department deployed was Registration, then Drugs Store, then the whole Drugs management/distribution system in the wards (Dispensary, Emergency, Maternity, Laboratories), last is the main Cashier. I started planning the workflow for Laboratories and OPD, planned for 2018.

I delivered all the work together with a local IT resource to whom I tought all skills and experience necessary to become the IT manager and manage daily activities of proactive and reactive support, including backup, restore, new client installation, application support. In case of need it would be possible to get support via internet using remote control tool.

IT Professional Training Program (Kidane Mehret Integrated Project, Adwa, Ethiopia)

Role: Teacher, Project Manager, 12 months duration

Main goal was to create an IT Professional team with local candidates who ideally had to become in the future the IT Professionals team  managing the IT Infrastructure of the Mission and Hospital (work in progress, planned for 2017). The program had to be based on the official Ministry of Education TVET  competencies which can be found in this  and this document.

I prepared a training program based on the required competencies adding as well competencies not included in the TVET program but in my opinion necessary to reach our goal. I agreed and signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Axum University, Dept. of Computer Science, to be supported in interviewing graduating students. In total, including also other Ethiopian professional schools and other local candidates, I condicted more than 100 interviews. At the end of the process the program started officially with candidates who passed the selection process.

Training was not only formal but as well on the job, for which we used the IT Infrastructure of the Kidane Mehret Mission in Adwa as a live IT lab. I prepared an IT Operations Manual (more than 100 pages with step-by-step procedures and screen shots) to describe  most common operations for that IT Infrastructure. I as well delivered a series of upgrades of services (described in this section, later on) together with the local candidates to introduce them to the IT Service Management concept and to the technology I wanted them to become familiar with. As a result, actually some of the candidates are running most common operational tasks of the Kidane Mehret Mission IT infrastructure in Adwa

Infrastructure upgrade: Internet Connection, Active Directory Domain, Internet Traffic Shaping and management (Kidane Mehret Integrated Project, Adwa, Ethiopia)

Role: IT Professional, Project Manager, Teacher, 6 months duration

As soon as I started in the Kidane Mehret Mission in Adwa I assessed the existing IT infrastructure and planned some IT services deployment and upgrade to provide a better experience to the users and a simplest and smarter management procedure for the IT personnel.

One of the main issues was the Internet Connection: very slow (15 users on average sharing 1 Mbs on average), unmonitored (users could abuse the internet connection without control), unmanaged (no policies, either formal or technical, established to manage the network). First of all I established some basic usage policies for the users, as a second step I  deployed a monitoring system to find out which user was not following the policies and a management system to shape internet traffic properly and block users not respecting the policies. After that I discovered that the Optical Fiber internet connection had just arrived in Adwa, so I visited a local company (Almeda Textile) which already had it to understand their overall experience. After a careful evaluation of all aspects we decided to upgrade to Optical Fiber. Actually we have a 4 Mbs internet connection and we are able to provide a better and fair navigation experience to all users and to provide internet as well to some users (like teachers of the school or student computer rooms) which did not have internet before.

Ideployed as well Microsoft Active Directory Services to provide authentication/Authorization framework and a simplest way to manage computers configuration in the network. In this way now users have their own secure space daily backup in a file server where to store their personal data, they can logon on every computer receiving automatiacally the resources they need (like file shares) and computer configuration can be easily managed centrally reducing the amount of time required and the risk of errors in doing operations manually.

Migration from Windows XP to Windows 7, new System Management tools and new application delivery and management model (Microsoft Switzerland for Cantone Ticino, 6000 + users, public sector)

Role: Senior Consultant, Technical Leader and coordination, Technical Project Manager, 24 months duration

Cantone Ticino is one of the 26 Cantons (Regions) in which Switzerland is divided into. Its Public Administration, (Public Sector) has thousands of computers spread in several geographical sites in the region.
Cantone Ticino asked Microsoft Switzerland (for which I was working at that time) to help them define a proper migration procedure from Windows XP to Windows 7 for all their computer clients. In almost 24 months of work together with their local team we planned, developed and deployed in a pilot in production testing all scenarios a comprehensive solution that includes the following:

  • Application compatibility analysis and remediation: process to test all application on Windows 7 and fix non working application (either with remediation techniques or with new version)
  • Windows 7 customized image: define a standard core image of Windows 7 customized with collected requirements;
  • Windows 7 Deployment Methods: using System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM 2012 R2), Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT) and System Center Orchestrator, define a procedure to cover all possible scenarios, including bare metal deployment, upgrade of existing clients managing backup/restore of user data, pre-staging of new hardware, deployment in scenarios without network connection.
  • Application Delivery and Profiling: using Microsoft Application Virtualization and System Center Configuration Manager, application are now deployed automatically based on Active Directory group membership of users that logon on the computer. Application installation takes few seconds and users receives only the application they need. Application are not tied anymore to a computer but to users, making easier to manage them, especially in terms of licensing management and user profiling.