A utility cooperative enlists Matrix Integration to develop a disaster recovery plan to keep the lights on.
More than 23,000 customers in five counties depend on Harrison REMC (the REMC) to supply their energy needs without a hitch. So when the utilities provider found itself in need of a security upgrade as well as a robust disaster recovery plan, business managers and IT leaders at the company engaged Matrix Integration as a partner.
“We were looking for a consultant to provide proactive, forward-thinking solutions to resolve business issues,” said Steve Moore, Business Manager at Harrison REMC. “We wanted someone with both a local presence and attention to detail.”
Matrix Integration made a priority to understand the REMC’s business needs and goals, which included deep discovery meetings and interviews with a wide variety of staff members. Then, Matrix Integration brought in technical expertise from its own ranks as well as from vendor partners like Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Cisco, Microsoft, Veeam, and VMware. The resulting plan included building a new data center, security architecture (firewalls), and local area network (LAN).
Then, Matrix Integration’s staff worked with the team from the REMC to implement and optimize each phase of the project. The first step included refreshing all of the cooperative’s servers and storage with the primary goal of achieving business continuity and disaster recovery. This included installing HPE servers and storage along with Cisco Meraki switches, and moving to enterprise versions of VMware, Veeam, as well as Microsoft Office 365. The final phase of the disaster recovery solution consisted of designing and deploying an off-site data center using Veeam Backup and Replication, which could get the REMC back online within hours of a true catastrophe.
Today, the technology at the REMC operates with optimal efficiency. Matrix Integration continues to provide managed services and help-desk remote support on all the technologies that were deployed.
The management team at the REMC has seen multiple benefits from its partnership with Matrix Integration.
Right away, the REMC leveraged the solutions from Matrix Integration to grow its business by deploying new services and applications for customers.
The improved network performance increased network uptime. Before the solution, downtime in applications could cause 2-3 days of lost productivity and wages for 30 office employees. Company employees have the peace of mind that they have trustworthy support in the case of an emergency.
The IT team at the REMC has increased visibility to easily survey the entire network, including security status, analytics about network use, whether the network is updated and backed up, and where maintenance is needed.
The most significant achievement, however, is the establishment of the backup data center. “If we were to lose the building due to a disaster, there are systems and process in place now to allow the REMC to continue to function and provide for our member needs,” said Moore. “Before, we probably would have been down for weeks and would have lost days of important data. Now, we can recover within a few hours.”
Matrix Integration invested a lot of time learning Harrison REMC’s business and helping craft solutions to exactly meet our needs. The previous IT solution provider was good, however, they seemed to lose interest in showing up consistently. Matrix Integration is deeply invested in helping Harrison REMC succeed.”
Steve Moore Harrison REMC
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