Sapling, Inc.

Precision Clock Manufacturer Keeps Network in Sync with Support from IT Solutions

Background

Sapling, Inc. is one of the world leaders in the manufacturing of synchronized clock systems. The need for precise, synchronized timekeeping is critical in a number of industries including education, healthcare, corporate, government, and transportation. Sapling offers reliable and advanced lines of wired, wireless, and IP clocks to accommodate the diverse needs of their clients. Sapling clock systems are built and assembled at their headquarters located in Huntingdon Valley, PA, and distributed worldwide.

The Challenge

Sapling first reached out to IT Solutions because their previous IT provider's response times were becoming increasingly too slow. The provider was relatively small and lacked the depth necessary for a company of Sapling's size and growth goals. Staff productivity at Sapling was being negatively affected by this poor response. There was no sign of a "paper trail" of work performed or status of current issues, leaving management and users unaware of when issues would be resolved and how much it would cost. Because the previous provider had been less responsive, Sapling staff was forced to pick up the slack. One individual in particular was required to manage the Sapling internal infrastructure including PCs, laptops, mobile devices, printers, and scanners as well as the relationship with the vendor. This individual was not officially the IT director, but had been performing this role in addition to other responsibilities unrelated to IT.

Prior to IT Solutions' involvement, Sapling had 5 servers at its main location. The management of the network was mostly reactive, pushing out automatic, never-reviewed patching to a network of workstations and laptops that were generally not standardized nor optimized for performance. Backups were going to tape, which can be unreliable, and were exceeding the backup window, often taking too long to complete.

The Solution

After IT Solutions' thorough examination of Sapling's network infrastructure as well as business objectives and technology needs, Sapling was certain that ITS would provide superior service to their previous IT consultant. IT Solutions implemented the SharedVision Advanced Plan, a network management service which provides complete support for servers, firewalls, routers, and other network devices as well as all monitoring and maintenance support for PCs and laptops.

From the beginning, IT Solutions took a proactive approach to Sapling's network as with all clients, with a goal to prevent any possible problems before they begin. As part of the discovery and documentation process, many best practices were implemented, including several standard security procedures and equipment patching protocols. Patches are reviewed manually by a team of engineers prior to deployment. The ITS DataVault, standardizes Sapling's backups and allows for true quick restores in the event of data loss or a natural disaster, as well as the ability to bring up a damaged server while a new server or part is procured. The ITS DataVault is a strong safeguard for Sapling and is a critical component of any client's disaster recovery plan.

With more than 30 technicians and administrators available 24x7, the ITS help desk provides a knowledgeable and fast-responding team to cover a wide range of issues - from complex back-end infrastructure troubleshooting to individual user guidance on specific applications. The ITS help desk has taken over the day-to-day support the Sapling staff was handling, allowing them to spend more time on primary company revenue-generating responsibilities and less on IT issues.

Also, the ITS help desk management software has provided Sapling's executive staff with well-documented, easily accessible information on all IT issues and projects. A dedicated Virtual Chief Information Officer (VCIO) is assigned to Sapling's account and provides overall leadership and strategic guidance for the client as well as acts in a liaison capacity between Sapling's staff and the ITS help desk.

The Return

The higher level of more proactive services and more structured IT planning processes implemented at Sapling has dramatically reduced the number of overall user complaints and service issues. The fast response by the help desk has increased productivity for end users. The VCIO role and the more personal approach it offers is an intangible but noticeable change from the previous provider, improving communications and user satisfaction as well as providing long-term strategic advising, areas that were sorely lacking with the previous firm.

"We needed a full-service IT provider to handle our expanding company, and we felt IT Solutions provided the right fit for us."

Mitch Gobetz, IT and Marketing Manager

Solutions Applied

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