Voice of Experience: Mike Meinz, General MillsBy Steven Vonder Haar | Posted 2002-07-10 Print
A 35-year veteran of General Mills, he started as a computer operator working with punch cards and paper tape.
Director, Information Technology
Manager's Profile: A 35-year veteran of General Mills, he started as a computer operator working with punch cards and paper tape. He now fashions the overall architecture of the company's corporate computing system.
Project Particulars: Using software bundled into existing Microsoft Windows NT servers, Meinz's team in 2000 launched a corporate broadcast network that now transmits programming 24 hours a day and reaches nearly two-thirds of the company's 14,000 employees with computers. Hardware server upgrades for the project totaled less than $100,000.
Managing the Network Burden: General Mills uses multicast technology, which can extend distribution of a single video stream to thousands of machines with minimal additional strain on network resources.
Potential Trouble Spots: Network managers must be sure that routers are configured to pass along multicast video streams, Meinz says. Some General Mills locations did not have sufficient bandwidth to support the video. "You have to make sure your backbone can handle multicasting."
What's On: Executive presentations, sales meetings, training videos, business updates.
Justifying the Cost: "Just the fact that the chairman doesn't have to make the same presentation at two different company sites in the same day can be enough to justify the cost of this."
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