Managed IT Services for Engineering Company

The Context

Over the past few decades the affordability of powerful computer systems radically changed the design and production processes for several industries involved in graphic design or use of graphics in their service offerings. Case in point, structural and civil engineers who understood that the days of drafting boards and protractors were numbered and that computer-aided design (CAD) software was becoming the new standard tool. Their customers and related industries that would need their drawings would need them in soft format rather than huge rolls of paper. The technology would allow them to receive and respond more efficiently to RFPs and become more productive.

But how could smaller firms afford to benefit from technology and be competitive in their own market space, and hope to grow and compete with the larger engineering companies? How could their systems and software stay secure, up to date while allowing portability of their product to customers and other contractors?

The Situation

In the 1970s Larry Thomasen joined with Frank Goldbaum to form Anacapa Engineering, named for one of the Southern California`s Channel Islands where the two enjoyed kayaking and SCUBA diving together. At the time the drafting board was the primary tool for those in their field and CAD was relatively unheard of. Long hours with rulers, pencils and electric erasers produced hard copy drawings of sewer and water systems, roads, retaining walls and the structural engineering for homes and commercial buildings. Over the last 20 years, however, they have adapted their businesses to use products like AutoCAD and TurboCAD including investing in powerful computer systems and large format network printers.

The Problem

The investment in modernizationcame with an inherent need for support from various “computer guys” they called on an as-needed basis. Unfortunately, while skilled, their availability did not always align with Anacapa`s needs, especially in emergencies. The spotty computer help was leading to cascading problems. A computer down could mean no one could access the files they needed to work. The network down meant no one could print or email a drawing to an anxious customer and there was no assurance that their data was getting backed up. If someone broke in and stole all of their computers, their years of work would be lost in the blink of an eye. Indeed, their existing peer-to-peer network was vulnerable and fragile on several levels and needed a comprehensive overhaul.

The Selection

It happened that a Plexus employee had engaged Anacapa for a personal project and had developed a rapport with some of their staff and discovered that they were in dire need of skilled IT support. Anacapa quickly realized that such support was closer than they realized and quickly hired Plexus to care for their computing environment.

The Results

After a brief but thorough onsite assessment of their network, Plexus was able to identify their needs and prioritize how each should be addressed. Within a day new stability was brought to their computers and an automated backup routine implemented to safeguard their data. Within a week all computers were optimized, cleaned of malware and updated with the latest software and security patches. Within a month, a new server running Microsoft`s Small Business Server was deployed to bring even greater stability and control of their entire network. This new system included file sharing with security to protect their data while making it available to designated personnel, print services to keep their network printers online, remote access so they could work from home and the field, plus much, much more at little cost.

Wanting to continue to enjoy this new found stability, Anacapa signed up for Plexus` managed services program to maintain their computers regularly for a very low rate. Through regular updates of software and monitoring of the computers, Plexus is able to head off trouble before it even starts. If Plexus gets an important alert on Sunday, the problem is fixed before Anacapa staff show up for work on Monday.

Wouldn’t you enjoy that level of peace of mind for your business? Give us a call today and learn just how easy an affordable it is! (310) 853-8822.