Many of you I’m sure will have cast votes in the UK-wide local and mayoral elections last week. If you live in London, your ballot paper will have been scanned, viewed and counted electronically in one of 3 Count Venues, with results calculated and published centrally from London’s City Hall.
CGI, as lead technology partner to the GLA, selected Hamilton Rentals as provider of hardware and services to support this undertaking back in 2018 – CGI wins prestigious contract to deliver electronic vote counting solution for 2020 London elections | CGI UK
With the pandemic putting the elections back to 2021, the design, testing and execution has been a long time in the planning, however I’m delighted and extremely proud that those efforts paid off in a brilliantly executed deployment.
This success is a testament not only to Hamilton Rentals but also to the approach and engagement of ‘our’ CGI Project Team, who has been so great to work with throughout.
Referencing another of last weekend’s events, CGI specified and designed the world beating Formula1 car – Hamilton Rentals then built and acted as “pit crew” for delivery and support through the e-Counting process.
Between 0600 and mid-afternoon on Wednesday, 5th May, teams of 25+ logistics, engineers and network cablers converged on each site for deployment. From Wednesday through to Saturday evening, we remained embedded with the CGI site teams to provide support to the GLA count process. This included first line support, plus moves and changes activity to enable flexibility and agility, according to individual count centre progress. Finally, once the election results were called, we stripped, audited, repacked, including shock palletising servers in time for removal first thing on Sunday morning.
Whilst it took a bit longer than a typical F1 pit stop – race engineers don’t work on three cars simultaneously. Neither do they lay 30Km of Ethernet across 15 sub networks attaching 550 PCs connected to 600 displays and 75 Scanners…plus 15 compute and storage servers, Comms’ Cabinets and Large Format Displays. This was complicated by the requirement that each and every device, and attached peripherals, by serial number, had to land on a particular desk location that didn’t physically exist 12 hours before we arrived.
Many people to thank from within and outside of Hamilton Rentals and CGI.
With a bit of practice we could nail a tyre change, no problem….