Advantage has less than 200 employees, located both at its two offices and at several project
sites spread over three provinces. Its IT department has remained relatively small, ranging from
a one-person operation to a maximum of six people during the last seven years. Yet despite its
modest size, Advantage’s IT team plays a crucial role in virtually every facet of the company.
The firm conducts multi-million dollar investment and project capitalization transactions on an
almost daily basis. The firm’s engineering files, such as its seismic analytical and 3D modeling
files, which are vital to assessing and monitoring site activities, consume vast amounts of disk
storage space and network bandwidth. These financial and legal records and technical data are
all considered business-critical digital assets, requiring constant and immediate availability and
compliance-driven security measures.
Since joining Advantage in 2002 as manager of information services, Randy Allen has
successfully managed IT’s heavy technical and business support responsibilities using a
two-pronged strategy: First, to be able to “do more with less,” he has relied on increasingly
sophisticated, more powerful and efficient technologies. Second, he has filled a wide range
of temporary, mid- and long-term IT staffing needs by contracting technical and professional
services resources from Metafore. “Metafore has been involved with me from about the first
month of me getting into the company,” says Randy, “and at the time, I was the IT department.
Essentially, a Metafore consultant was there to help me, and we would work and grow the
company together. As the company has grown bigger, we’ve utilized Metafore in many different
ways. From firewalls to SANs to virtual to fibre – you name it – Metafore has been there every
step of the way.”
Metafore has worked with Advantage through periods of rapid growth and, more recently,
in a much tighter economic environment. In both situations, Metafore has filled key support
gaps to enable Randy and his team to meet their technology priorities and budgetary targets.
Another important benefit, particularly in a sluggish economy, has been Metafore’s ability and
willingness to transfer their technical skills to Advantage’s IT team across a wide spectrum of
technologies. “That is a true benefit that all the Professional Services people at Metafore have
provided,” Randy explains. “They have absolutely no problems with cross-training, and they