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Top Center Goals‘IT’s’ the personal touch

September 16, 2016

Solving your Information Technology (IT) problems has never been this friendly.

Annette Moore, the Chief Information Officer (CIO) and director of the Information Resources Directorate (IRD) at Johnson Space Center, manages the organization that provides IT infrastructure solutions for the center. Within the past year-and-a-half she sat down with team members in IRD to come up with a new way of doing business.

“We needed to do things differently,” Moore said. “Customers were coming to us, saying, ‘But I can get this done cheaper and faster if I go somewhere else,’ even though we in IRD have the responsibility for the IT infrastructure at the center and we understand the full cost of providing those services. So we needed to change the way we do business for our customers.”

After hearing JSC Director Dr. Ellen Ochoa talk about the future of JSC and what it could look like 20 years down the road, Moore got together with leaders across IRD to discuss how the organization could best position itself to support the dynamically changing landscape of human space exploration. To revamp their business model, they came up with the idea to engage with JSC organizations as business partners and put the customer first. These change efforts, resulting in increased collaboration throughout the center, align perfectly with JSC 2.016 goals.

“The idea is to intimately understand the business of the customer,” Moore said.

One way IRD is enacting this plan is through Customer Relationship Managers, or CRMs.

“Every org at JSC has a CRM assigned to them,” Moore said. “They sit down with customers and ask, ‘What do you need?’”

Moore explained how CRMs establish relationships with their customers and make solving problems easy for them.

“One of the key areas in which the CRMs will work with customers is to explain how services are charged by unit price and make sure all requirements are met, all through that one person,” Moore said. “That’s how Natalie Saiz solved her laptop issues overseas.”

Natalie Saiz, special assistant to the Center Director for Organizational Change, was working remotely from Aberdeen, Scotland, as she traveled with her husband. She plugged in her laptop with a U.K. adapter and, in less than a minute, there were crackling sounds and smoke coming from the power converter on her laptop cord. She called her CRM, Kelly Foote, for help. Foote discovered that the cord had been recalled due to overheating issues. While Saiz slept in Scotland, Foote worked with Cody Whitener, an IRD CRM, to find the store nearest to Saiz’s location with the power cord needed, and then provided a map with walking directions to the location.

“There are still some growing pains that come with change, but we’re getting there,” Moore said. “IRD is currently in the implementation phase of the Business Services Assessment and looking into how we deliver services, provision services, even possibly broker services and identify areas where the center can avoid duplication.”

The Business Services Assessment is an initiative within NASA assess its operating model and identify ways to operate more efficiently.

“Organizations don’t necessarily feel they have to use my business, but I want them to, and I want them to have a good experience,” Moore said. “It’s truly that personal touch. The individuals serving as CRMs are the right people with the right aptitude and appreciation for the customer experience, and they are going the extra mile.”

You can find the CRM for your organization by visiting the IRD homepage through the JSC internal website, or by visiting

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Gary Jordan
NASA Johnson Space Center
Annette Moore, Chief Information Officer and director of the Information Resources Directorate at Johnson Space Center. Image Credit: NASA
Annette Moore, Chief Information Officer and director of the Information Resources Directorate at Johnson Space Center. Image Credit: NASA