South Carolina Farm Bureau Insurance Delivers a Better Desktop Experience to its Users
eGroup collaborates to replace SC Farm Bureau’s clunky and costly desktop PC environment with VMware View
MT. PLEASANT, S.C. – January 16, 2013 – eGroup, the Southeast’s leading provider of cloud, application and end-user computing services, today announced the South Carolina Farm Bureau Insurance Companies (SCFB Insurance) have successfully deployed their virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) program across the enterprise, saving time and money.
Given the initial success of the project and positive feedback from the first 100 users, SCFB Insurance plans to roll out its VDI program to the remainder of the company’s user base in 2013.
Facing the prospect of having to refresh several hundred desktops at an estimated cost of $300,000, SCFB Insurance’s information technology (IT) department decided it was finally time to adopt a VDI strategy.
With the consultation of eGroup’s End-User Computing team, SCFB Insurance identified administrative personnel and QuickBooks™ users as a good target group to replace their clunky desktops with Dell Wyse P20s. The benefits were instantaneous, according to Dave Riberdy, Infrastructure Architect, SCFB Insurance.
“Our administrative personnel were severely burdened by 30 minute log in times to QuickBooks and chronic latency issues given the amount of staff using the application. Moving QuickBooks to the cloud and having staff access through View on their Wyse P20s improved log in times to mere minutes and significantly improved application performance,” commented Riberdy.
The IT department also experienced immediate productivity benefits. For example, using View they no longer had to audit each and every machine for software versioning, nor did they have to push Adobe Reader updates out individually to each machine. Riberdy now has a golden version of the desktop that can be delivered with a press of a button.
“We were fortunate we had a few idle servers and some extra SAN space to get the pilot off the ground. Once we did, management witnessed just how powerful VDI can be and the impressive time and cost results that are realized almost immediately,” said Riberdy. “We were thrilled to have eGroup support us. Given View’s complexity, we needed experts to get it up and running quickly and successfully. There really was no margin for error in the eyes of management.”
SCFB Insurance even captured non-tangible metrics over the course of the project, such as a 90 percent reduction in help desk calls related to specific desktop PC hardware issues, or having to waste time removing harmful, non-business related software from individuals’ machines.
“One of the key validations that our VDI strategy is working is that employees who have yet to be converted keep asking when we’ll get to them,” commented Riberdy. “What IT team doesn’t like happy, productive and content users?”
The next phase of SCFB Insurance’s VDI strategy involves its field agents. In the near future, agents will be able to use View on their iPads to access claims applications while consulting with a client.
Mike Carter, Principal, eGroup, said: “Working with SCFB Insurance on their VDI transformation has been a wonderful experience. Living and breathing technology all day long, we understand the impact that comes from the deployment of innovative end user computing strategies that guarantee a defined outcome. Many times, customer leadership does not recognize the immediate value of enabling technologies like this until it’s ‘in production’, which is why we’re thrilled to ensure the project’s success from pre-planning, to rollout, to end-user education, and ultimately in the hands of the users and being effectively utilized.”
To hear Dave Riberdy detail the project in depth, you can listen to this recent eGroup Roundtable Webinar.
As the readers to this blog know, we’re big fans of Avamar. More importantly, our customers are big fans of Avamar. Just take a look at the recent successful implementations and immediate results. For example, one eGroup customer claimed “our weekend backup has shrunk from 48 hours to 1.5 hours.” Wow.
And be sure to read about how we helped Conway Medical Center in deploy Avamar and Data Domain solutions that to back up its data to a remote hot site.
So why are we talking up Avamar? Well, in case you missed it, EMC just announced a complete end-to-end, channel solution geared towards the midmarket user. This is EXCELLENT news for our mid sized business users who require all the enterprise class functionality but at a lower price and complexity point. Read more >>
eGroup’s Application Services team uses Microsoft’s SharePoint as the corporate information hub; ensures user success by outlining comprehensive adoption plan
MT. PLEASANT, S.C. – November 19, 2012 – eGroup, the Southeast’s leading provider of cloud, application and end-user computing services, today announced the success of its recent supply chain process improvement project at Dispenser Services, Inc. (DSI). DSI services over 25,000 beverage dispensers across 2,500 customer locations in the Southeast.
Due to limitations with DSI’s enterprise resource planning (ERP) system, the company relied on various manual processes which delayed communication between customers and the field service team regarding the availability of equipment needed at customer sites. The existing system lacked the capability to track detailed movement through the refurbishment workflow, and therefore required staff to enter data manually into ad hoc spreadsheets. As a result, DSI began experiencing heavier call load to service centers, delays in processing and ultimately some unhappy customers.
Based on Microsoft’s SharePoint, eGroup quickly designed, developed and rolled out a central site which embedded the existing service delivery processes into the collaboration platform. Instead of DSI staff having to print 100 page reports each day, eGroup built a dashboard which allowed for easy viewing, as well as provided the capability to perform movement updates from one screen thereby reducing the time to process by more than 50 percent. The new Equipment Movement Tracking (EMT) process enabled a significant cost savings, allowing growth without requiring additional people. Without the new EMT process a new full time position would have been required.
Rick Fowler, Application Consultant, eGroup, said: “At eGroup, we believe each and every SharePoint project is unique to the specific requirements of the business. For example, during the discovery and interview process at DSI, we noticed the large number of emails that were sent and received during a typical request. After doing some fact finding, the pattern of communication was documented and the automatic sending of emails was integrated into the workflow to alert appropriate internal and external contacts of the updated status. This one automated step keeps all constituents coordinated and aware. Similar email processes were used to send alerts when delays occurred. These alerts improved the company’s SLA performance, thereby improving customer satisfaction. As we believe that SharePoint is about collaboration, we set out to ensure it served as an integral part of DSI’s workflow, not a peripheral added task or added step.”
Over the course of the implementation, eGroup closely interacted with DSI staff performing the process to spot these opportunities for improving the entire plan which magnified the benefits. In addition, eGroup instituted a formal user adoption plan which incorporated best-practices around internal training and communications, content migrations, user support, empowering feedback loops, and user incentives.
Fowler continued: “These types of wins for users are paramount for creating a successful SharePoint site – one that is truly collaborative and integrated into the enterprise. When daily tasks are part of the SharePoint environment, then all of the information becomes more valuable. It becomes a true information hub, as it is intended.”
eGroup’s very own Tim Wisard was quoted in the following Dice.com article on IT certifications and obtaining skill sets to further your career. So what’s one of Tim’s key pieces of advice for job seekers and entry-level IT professionals?Be proactive and willing to ‘wear many hats’ to prove your value.
Give it a read to learn more.
More great news on the hiring front. Welcome to the team Rick, Brian and Jesus!
Oh, and eGroup continues to hire. Check out our careers page for details.
eGroup Strengthens Team with Accomplished Technology Professionals
MT. PLEASANT, S.C. – October 30, 2012 – eGroup, the Southeast’s leading provider of cloud, application and end-user computing services, today announced the addition of several new accomplished technology professionals to its expanding team. They strengthen an already impressive team of data center, infrastructure, cloud and application services professionals.
Rick Fowler, based out of eGroup’s Mt. Pleasant headquarters, joins as an Application / Data Services Consultant. As a former eGroup customer executive, Rick has held various C-level positions in operations and finance, and has an MBA from Duke University. Rick’s focus is to design optimal Application and Data Services solutions for southeastern based companies. His background in working closely with portals and collaboration, management and automation, business intelligence, and big data platforms will provide immediate benefits to eGroup’s growing customer base.
Brian Beaty, based in Charlotte, NC, joins as a Technical Consultant supporting eGroup’s western North Carolina team. Brian brings technical leadership with a wealth of experience in enterprise infrastructure architecture, unified communication and collaboration systems design and project delivery. His diverse background includes experience as a Cisco Systems Engineer, principal of a managed services datacenter business (sold to SunGard), and as an Infrastructure Architect for one of the top 25 financial institutions in the world (top 5 in the US).
Jesus Shelby, based out of eGroup’s Mt. Pleasant headquarters, joins as an Application Services Engineer. He has an MBA from Southern Wesleyan University and holds multiple technical certifications including CISSP and MCITP SharePoint. During the past seven years, Jesus has led technical teams in the government contracting sector. At eGroup, he will work with customers on designing, delivering, and supporting solutions based on Microsoft technologies with an emphasis on SharePoint.
“We’re thrilled that Rick, Brian and Jesus have joined our growing team,” said Mike Carter, Principal, eGroup. “They each bring a unique and impressive skill set, from core infrastructure expertise all the way up to the application and data level. Most importantly, given their past leadership roles, they understand what customers and the customers’ constituents truly require in a solution.”
Page 2 of 28«12345...1020...»Last »