At the heart of Baumueller's sales and support operations are three critical applications:
A record two feet of snow was dumped across the northeast United States that month, knocking out power and disrupting everything along the northeast seaboard. For Baumueller, the storm's repercussions were devastating. Their entire US operations were completely shut down because their application servers were located in their Hartford, CT office, which was without power or staff for 10 days. And because it happened at the worst possible time - month end - they couldn't sell their services or close their books. It was a mess.
After the disaster, the President for Baumueller's North American operations, Brad Fowler, vowed that the company would never be made vulnerable to a single location outage like that again. "We needed a solution that would allow all of our employees, no matter where they are, to securely access the systems and information they need to do their job. And we needed it to be managed by a company that has the same one-stop shop culture that we do for our customers."
Baumueller started searching for a solution provider who could deliver both the continuous access and the security that they needed. "We didn't want public cloud-based services - our German parent company was concerned about the security of a public access system. But our servers were getting old and we knew we needed a better approach," Fowler said.
Baumueller began talks with several IT providers, describing their operations, their IT needs and their budget. Each company was asked to propose a solution and demonstrate how that provider would ensure Baumueller's operations stay up and running, no matter what. These service providers were asked to illustrate their customer service and their total value as well, as those were two critical factors in the selection process.
"We chose DataCentric for a number of reasons, but in the end, it was Bob and Joe and the guys who convinced me that they had the best technical solution and that they would really take care of us. And they have."
DataCentric proposed Virtual Command - a new SaaS platform that combines secure remote access to an organization's range of IT resources, with fail-safe redundancy and complete service management to ensure all of their employees are connected to whatever they need, when they need it, no matter where they are or what device they're using.
"With Virtual Command, we are able to put all of Baumueller's applications like Microsoft Office, Exchange, Sage - essentially everything - in our state-of-the-
"Since we did a thorough system analysis early in the process, we had a good understanding of what they needed for each employee at each location. We were able to configure the Virtual Command platform so that it did not negatively impact their existing processes. We also worked with their current application vendors for MAS 200 and AYS to configure each system with the secure access they needed. We even upgraded AYS to the newest version during the transition.
"Because we were able to see all of their systems remotely, we could configure them as needed, and if any issues came up, we could address them ASAP. And we proactively managed all of their PCs, making sure that everything had all of the necessary patches and updates before going live to the new platform. This avoided a lot of potential problems during the switch."
The transition to the Virtual Command platform took a few weeks. "I wanted to experience the system first, before my employees were transitioned, and I wanted to know how it was going to impact them and be sure that any disruptions were minimized," Baumueller's President said.
"The transition wasn't invisible, and there were a couple of hiccups," he continued. "The upgrade of our service tracking system created some printer configuration issues, but the guys and gals at DataCentric were just awesome. They were fast and responsive.
"Plus we had some internal training to do. In the past, our employees were all trained to never call IT. Before DataCentric, we were billed for every single support call, so folks would try to figure it out themselves - or just put up with the problems. For example, I was in the Chicago office and noticed they were having a minor problem, but hadn't reported it. I sent an email to DataCentric, and the problem was fixed in 15 minutes. Plus, I get email notifications for every support ticket my employees open. So, instead of waiting for a month-end report, I know in real-time what's going on and I really like that.
"DataCentric and the Virtual Command platform is a great combination. As a service and as a team they get high marks across the board. I rarely recommend companies," Fowler said, "but they have won our business and our praises."