Real People, Real Stories
Our clients’ stories provide the “show me” factor when it comes to demonstrating the power of ShareTech’s single IT management solution. Each of the following ShareTech case studies demonstrates a unique circumstance or motivation associated with our relationship with our clients. We’ve changed a few of the names just in case any of the information we shared was sensitive.
Down, But Not For The Count
For over thirty years, Jim has been focused on providing the highest level of quality and service for close-tolerance, small to medium-sized injection molded components. His company, a full-service injection molder, offers a single source for molded plastic parts and assemblies. Jim’s commitment to high quality and excellent customer service has made his company a leading supplier to the Filtration, Electronics, Medical, Automotive, Industrial, Consumer and OEM markets.
Jim’s company is also one of ShareTech’s first clients. A couple years into our business relationship, our technicians recommended replacement of a server on Jim’s network as it was reaching the end of its five-year lifespan and would soon be out of warranty. It was not a risk worth taking.
Unfortunately, Jim’s company waited just a moment too long, and yes, the worst imaginable happened. Of the three drives in the server, two failed. One drive can be expected to fail at any time. It’s not that unusual. Two failures means data is most certainly lost, and to make matters worse, the server was now just a few days out of warranty. There would be no first aid or even sympathy from the manufacturer.
Things looked bleak, but fortunately, ShareTech had managed the network for sufficient time to build a foundation of redundancy and backup. All of Jim’s company data had been remotely backed up on a regular basis as part of our managed service. Data was safe, but the entire network was down, and a new server would take a week to order and be delivered. A quick solution was needed.
ShareTech responded with technological innovation and devised a temporary, virtual server at the ShareTech data center. All of the data was restored onto the new virtual server and Jim’s network was connected via internet. Now, Jim’s office would operate normally until their new server arrived.
They experienced minimal impact of time loss – only a few hours – and incurred no expense or added fees from ShareTech. Disaster recovery is part of our management service. And in one week when the new server arrived from Dell, ShareTech migrated the client’s data from the ShareTech data center to the new server with absolutely no interruption in business.
While we hate to see a crisis occur in the business of a client, we’re very glad that we have the privilege, knowledge and experience to help restore order, sanity and create great solutions. It’s that kind of commitment that bonds us to our clients.
Never Without a Solution
Barry is the Vice-president of a well-known, national fast food chain of restaurants. The company provides affordable, high quality food in clean, attractive and conveniently located restaurants under brands known and loved by all. Barry had been contracting with an IT management company for a number of years, however, when network issues developed, communication with his provider became a struggle. In the midst of the confusion, Barry recognized that there were actually several significant areas of the business relationship with his provider which lacked satisfactory solutions.
Chief among these issues was how to maintain the workstation in each of Barry’s 170 or so restaurants. Each of the PCs was locked down with very limited functionality in order to mitigate employee abuse. Consequently, the responsibility fell to the regional managers who were obligated to visit each restaurant every time maintenance, an update, patch or modification needed to be applied. In short, the client was shouldering a significant aspect of IT management itself. It wasn’t very convenient and it wasn’t a very good deal seeing they were supposedly “outsourcing IT”.
Barry came to ShareTech looking for help. While ShareTech’s monthly fee was slightly higher than the prior service company, ShareTech would handle all aspects of IT management and create innovative solutions for those aspects of Barry’s company that required them. Barry and his managers were freed from the burden of performing any further PC management and would be able to put concern out of their schedules and minds.
ShareTech understood their pain and responded with a time-saving, cost-saving, productivity-enhancing solution: use technology to manage technology. Now, ShareTech manages all of the clients PCs, no matter where they are, using efficient, remote network management and software delivery technology. We do what they expect us to do – manage their IT. It’s our pleasure.
Always A Better Way
Bruce, founder and owner of a major insurance provider serving the Twin Cities northern suburbs and outstate Minnesota, operates as a full-time insurance agency, selling an extensive spectrum of insurance to businesses, families, and individuals. His competitive advantage comes from the objective and professional service that he provides, his access to a wide range of carriers, and extensive knowledge of the insurance marketplace. Between his main office and satellite offices his network operates upward of forty PCs.
Bruce knew his network was aging, replacement was inevitable, and he was looking for creative solutions. Though he has a very progressive and successful business he has a conservative office staff cautious of change unless they’re convinced it means improvement. The challenge to ShareTech was to present them a clear, plain English presentation of ShareTech’s approach to IT management that is honest and attractive without sounding magic.
ShareTech’s story and solutions couldn’t help but inspire Bruce’s office staff. They knew that changes down the road were inevitable, but they needed the confidence to know that where this road was leading them there would be solutions, progress and productivity. Many business opportunities promise a bright future. Real results are often questionable. Bruce’s staff was wisely cautious. ShareTech appreciates that.
And they were right. This insurance company’s network was more than old. It was ancient and ready to crumble. There was no redundancy in the servers. If something failed, Bruce’s office staff and agents would simply not be able to function. Worse, though, were the employee complaints the company endured mostly due to the age and failure of supporting equipment.
ShareTech was mindful of the fact that the traditional solution – broad equipment replacement – would be met with discouragement and difficulty. A significant dollar investment in software, updated licensing and hardware purchases was necessary to get them what they needed and wanted. So, ShareTech engaged in some creative collaboration and strategic thinking.
An important part of the agency’s tools is an insurance industry software application. It was important that any solution integrate the application into the overall network strategy while also taking into consideration the company’s more than a dozen office locations.
ShareTech presented to Bruce ShareTech’s IT Express, a hosted solution which they would be able to implement over a period of time. It would provide them almost immediate ability to dispense with their old server and migrate their data to a virtual server at the ShareTech data center. Then as they were ready, they could replace aging machines with thin clients at nearly half the cost of full-size PCs.
Besides relieving the client of the impending threat of enormous hardware replacement costs, they enjoyed several immediate benefits of IT Express:
- Dramatically improved redundancy. If some element fails, there’s always another to take over;
- Reduced licensing expense as thin clients run on free Linux operating system rather than a Windows operating system;
- Immediately improved network reliability and efficiency with very little new to learn;
- Centrally stored data. It’s virtually impossible for an employee to inadvertently remove it;
- A remotely accessible network for agents and employees;
- Longer life. As they replace their PCs with new thin clients, they’ll realize a longer life of five to six years and longer as compared to three years with traditional PCs.
Bruce and his office staff and agents enjoy an innovative solution which is easy on their budget and yet provides immediate improvement.