Mary C. Lagge made a startling discovery last week in an IT storage room while looking for spare T1/E1 WIC cards.
“I was rummaging around for parts and underneath an entire shelf of new Nortel equipment, I came across the coveted red change binder that’s been missing for 17 years. Nobody thought it really existed it’s been lost for so long” she explained. The documents Lagge refers to are titled “!!! Change Control Manual – do not lose this !!! " and kept in a red binder that describes the procedures for submitting a change request to management for the network and other systems. Lagge goes on to say: “This is huge for us because nobody has been able to make changes to the network for 17 years. I’ve only been with the company for a year and all management allows us to do is look on eBay for more spare parts to keep the network running as is. This changes everything – we lost a 6509 due to power supply failure just the other day.”

nortel stack

For years, company leaders danced around questions from auditors when asked for the change control binder. Pape Ercut, a senior IT manager recalls the stressful audits. “We always sent auditors over to the security department to read the binder and sign our compliance requirements for change control. The security department refused to let them in and examine the documents - citing a breach of security and risking failed compliance. This worked pretty well for about 15 years or so, but people have started asking questions. Mary is a hero for saving the company like this.”

Lagge told JFI the company has authorized her to make an extra copy of the binder to prevent this from ever happening again. When she asked about the possibility of 3 copies, her manager declined the request citing budget shortfalls. Even so, Lagge is optimistic about the future of the company network. “We can finally change the spanning tree root to be the core switch. For the last 17 years, the STP root has been a switch in the closet of the cafeteria and every time they cook fried pickles, the breakers reset and we respond to a P1 outage.”

Management has since laid out a plan to modernize the network with the Nortel equipment she found that’s still new and doesn’t require any money for licensing. Lagge says the network engineering team was not consulted on the design change.