Navigating the Challenges of Outdated Infrastructure

by | Jul 19, 2016 | News

As industry challenges and competition escalate, businesses need to constantly evaluate their systems and infrastructure to improve efficiency and productivity. A competitive advantage means staying on top of technological advancements that impact your industry and implementing technologies, not just as a way to improve internal processes, but also as a driving force for business growth.

Efficient use of data can help companies become more agile and better equipped to respond to ever-changing markets. This means scalability and systems that communicate with one another throughout the organization from operations to production to supply chain.

Enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems can provide these benefits including real-time capabilities, seamless communication and an overall increase in efficiency. However, since ERP implementation affects the entire organizational process, there are a number of challenges that companies may encounter when upgrading their network.

Our team of consultants, architects and integrators were brought in on a consulting engagement to help one of our clients navigate the technology upgrade options best suited for their particular business and environment.

One of the challenges we encountered was outdated infrastructure—a common issue today as technology continues to evolve rapidly and companies face a multitude of options as they plan for growth.

This client was a well-established company with multiple locations and business units across the USA. The company’s current systems that orchestrated every step in the production and operational process were either home-grown or stand-alone disparate systems acquired through acquisition. This led to a difficult environment where systems did not communicate with one another and the supply chain itself was not integrated.

The company wanted to consolidate all aspects of the supply chain and production into a single platform that would deliver shorter lead and production times, and a more consistent product at a lower cost to produce.

This manufacturing company was growing fast and needed to move beyond their home-grown systems with a new datacenter that was scalable, flexible and could support innovation and future growth.

Our initial approach was to assess the client’s current environment and growing corporate needs. We first delivered a series ZAG TechTalk workshops to educate the company on their options including hardware and servers, software upgrades, integration of new systems, and cloud services versus on-premise deployment platforms.

Cloud can be a great solution for some companies. Other company’s business needs lead to a more traditional on-premise solution. As experienced integrators, we are well versed in both, and we guide our clients to the best solution for their needs. In this case, based on the customer’s business requirements, it was decided to keep the infrastructure in-house.

We recommended new servers and deployed Cisco Nexus® datacenter switches, a fast and reliable switching infrastructure designed for high performance and increased data center efficiency. We also deployed a Nimble Storage Array that would allow for future scalability.

It took six weeks to get the new systems up and running—a fast transition for such an environment. To assure a smooth transition and in-house management, we trained an on-site engineer and continued to provide level 3 support.

The company realized immediate benefits through the automation of the supply chain, which lead to more transparency, less waste, better quality control, and ultimately a more profitable business.

The company was able to capitalize on the new integrated system efficiencies with improved product margins in every business unit, while differentiating itself from their competition by providing a streamlined process and continued high quality product delivery.

The challenges presented by the company were common issues in a unique environment but the solutions are ever-changing. New vendors, platforms and services are being introduced almost weekly.

As experts in IT integration, ZAG Technical Services, along with the support of our vendor partners, brings the latest options to every client. Our goal as experts in technology, is to be a reliable partner that enables our clients to succeed.

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