CASE STUDY: SIGNATURE COMPANIES TECHNOLOGY TURNAROUND
Introduction: Signature Companies is a manufacturing firm that provides three product lines, custom kitchens, stairways and railings, and built in cabinetry. In those three lines of business, the company exclusively services customer homebuilders like Ryan Homes. The corporate office in Virginia, a sales office in Maryland, and two adjacent manufacturing facilities in Pennsylvania need to be networked for the company’s operations to run smoothly.
Issues to be resolved: Signature Companies was having performance issues with their technology, which handled all aspects of their business including manufacturing. The company had two key applications, one an accounting package, and one an ordering package relied upon by the manufacturing process.
The company’s terminal server, application server, and SQL server were hosted with a colocation provider that provided limited in-house connectivity options and forced them to utilized aging Juniper firewalls. The provider limited Signature’s access to the data center floor to work on their own equipment.
Due to the limitations of the colocation provider and some sub-optimal equipment choices, Signature had general performance issues that slowed down all their processes. Odd, inexplicable things would happen on the network. The company desired for some redundancy to one-person IT staff, as the IT manager was too bogged down with handling service issues to properly handle the companies technology strategy moving forward.
First date: Brent Doherty, a founder and principal of Conscious Networks, met John Lombardozzi, the owner of Signature Companies, on the golf course. The conversation made its way from Brent’s constant flirtation with the out-of-bounds markers to Signature’s problems, with subpar technology slowing down their entire company, particularly manufacturing. Upon being contracted by Signature, Conscious Networks spent significant time on site both with the company’s management and staff in all locations, with much of that time spent on the manufacturing floor.
Solutions: Conscious Networks provided a customized suite of services to meet the needs of Signature Companies. The result was a hybrid cloud/colocation solution for the companies infrastructure needs. Applications in the cloud included anti-virus, anti-malware, patch management, monitoring, and hosted Exchange. Migrating the in house exchange platform to Conscious Network’s Exchange cluster eliminated the immediate problem of near daily email outages.
Conscious Networks provided data center management on site at Signature, making improvements to improve some configuration and power consumption issues. The company migrated their colocation, moving several racks in Conscious Networks’ data center. Immediate connectivity benefits were realized, with speeds 10 times faster at 1/8ththe previous cost. The company has continued to build upon the original infrastructure solution with technology refreshes and updated tools to optimize security and performance both on site and in Conscious Networks’ colocation environment.
Executive Quote: “Conscious Networks listens to what we’re trying to accomplish and asks all the right questions to get to the solutions Signature Companies desires. They have never tried to push something on us that we don’t need. The solutions they suggest are invariably correct and they do a great job implementing and supporting them. The Conscious Networks support team is tremendous, and the company is very quick on call backs when requested, even at the ownership level. Our manufacturing and overall operations have benefited greatly from our relationship with Conscious Networks and we look forward to continuing that relationship for years to come.” (John Lombardozzi)