IT Project Case Studies & Consulting
Completed Project Case Studies from Southeast Wisconsin to Northern Illinois
SWICKtech provides a positive and outstanding experience with technology to our clients by guaranteeing stability of your business computer systems. We use a proven methodology to align technology with business objectives. We are proactive with our technical support and instead of reacting to network problems we prevent them.
When we approach a business with an IT solution, it’s always after a thorough assessment process and as part of an IT strategic plan designed to boost your business operations. Our solutions are designed to ensure your business runs as efficiently as possible, meaning your team operates at peak productivity, increasing company profits.
Cisco Unified Communications
Voice for Global Manufacturing Lab
A Manufacturing Lab who sells their product on a global scale was in need of improved telephony services both within their office telephones and opportunities for inter-office communication. They have utilized SWICKtech Professional Services Engineering Department for many projects in the past. Naturally, they inquired if SWICKtech also takes care of voice improvements – we do!
The manufacturing lab located in Franklin Wisconsin, had an extremely unstable existing phone system with inefficient support. SWICKtech’s CCNP Voice Certified Senior Network Systems Engineer recommended a Cisco Unified Communications solution as a replacement. SWICKtech Engineers were able to implement this new phone system of 75+ phones including video and pagers with NO phone outages. This was seamlessly accomplished by integrating the new phone system with the old system and migrating employees one at a time. SWICKtech also was able to increase the Manufacturing lab’s internal communication through Cisco Jabber and Cisco Webex for video conferencing.
Overall, the phone service now has increased stability and improved call quality being supported monthly through a Communications Agreement with their local IT Managed Service Provider, SWICKtech.
Virtual Server Improvements for LOB Upgrade
SWICKtech’s Managed Private Cloud
A leading Manufacturer of Custom Engineered Locomotive Equipment on a global level was in need of a server upgrade for their current ERP program, M2M. As a long standing client of SWICKtech’s with a monthly Full Stability Protection (FSA) Agreement, they reached out to our Engineers to ensure a smooth transition for the upgrade.
Upon review of this company’s current Server hardware in correlation with necessary specifications required for the latest version of M2M, SWICKtech recommended a hardware upgrade as well. The IT Project Consulting Team provided a plan to address both problems within a single project.
A seamless conversion to new virtualized servers from their older physical servers was completed to support the current operating systems. SWICKtech Engineers created new virtual machines and managed the project of migrating software configuration and SQL Databases to the new systems.
The end result provided this global company located in Milwaukee with a fully virtualized server infrastructure, improved backups to SWICKtech’s own Managed Private Cloud Data Center while running the modern versions of SQL licensing needed to move to latest version of M2M.
Assist in Design and Migration of Company Data
SWICKtech's Managed Private Cloud
A local Automation company located in Sussex was facing a challenge with sharing files reliably and securely across their multiple sites. This automation company utilized SWICKtech Help Desk through a monthly Essential Stability Protection (ESP) Agreement.
The IT Project Management Team of Engineers consulted through sales engineering to establish they had many several aging servers at the client’s headquarters. These servers were becoming increasingly unstable and failing without notice leading to emergency conditions needing to be addressed in a timely manner while also making sure the company had no downtime.
To ensure no loss of data and secure sharing of files, SWICKtech successfully migrated all client data off their on premise server onto SWICKtech’s Managed Private Cloud, held locally at our Data Center in Milwaukee. We added SWICKtech SafetyNET to their monthly Essential Stability Protection Agreement.
Since then, they have had no issues in secure and reliable file access across multiple sites on a VPN setup. This resulted in revamped file security to align more closely with the companies’ growing business needs.
The IT Jackpot - "Green Field”
Network Infrastructure & Mobile Workstation Improvements for Healthcare Organization
A Pediatrics facility located in Waukesha was unhappy with the monthly service they were receiving from their IT Managed Service Provider. Their current Managed Service Provider was renting all their equipment so updated equipment for purchase was a necessary item to tackle.
SWICKtech IT Business Consultants met with the Pediatrics facility, proposing a new Monthly Service Agreement along with updated network and mobile workstation equipment. A ‘green field’ environment allowed SWICKtech to provide top quality Enterprise Network Equipment and Dell touch screen laptops to the entire office.
With our Network Engineers leading the project, Cisco Network equipment including network switches and wireless access points were installed. Through Cisco’s Unified Wireless solution, SWICKtech was able to improve their poor quality wireless throughout the office. 26 New Dell laptops were prepared with data transferred over and training to all Doctors and Nurses to ensure a smooth transition.
This healthcare organization invests in a SWICKtech Full Stability Monthly Agreement with unlimited help desk support as needed. Since they transitioned to our platform, little extra help has been needed based off their increased wireless stability and continued service.
Telepresence Cisco Deployment
Video Conference Calling
A local Manufacturing client was utilizing GoTo Meetings for Video Conference Calling to meet regularly with their second business site. The quality of the video and audio between the two sites was poor. They reached out to their local Managed Service Provider in Milwaukee, SWICKtech, for further assistance.
SWICKtech has certified Cisco Voice Engineers on staff. Our Cisco Voice Engineers recommended and implemented a new Cisco Telepresence solution to fix the poor audio / video. The solution as comprised of a 55-inch 1080p video conferencing unit at each site.
The manufacturing client is now able to have high quality crystal clear video meetings multiple times a week between their two sites in Manitowoc and Wauwatosa. Sharing content from laptop screens is as easy as connecting an HDMI cable and pressing “Share.” They are very pleased with their Cisco Voice solution paired with their GoTo Meetings.
Internet Edge Improvements
Cisco Networking Equipment for Manufacturing
A Global Leading Manufacturer and marketer of quality sailboat hardware with multiple sites around the world was having issues at their local headquarters in Pewaukee. Their headquarters was the only site which did not have a Cisco ASA Internet-edge firewall. As a result, site-to-site VPN compatibility was troublesome causing unstable connectivity between sites.
SWICKtech IT Project Consultants proposed and executed on a plan to migrate operational configuration from their existing firewall to a Cisco ASA. The reliability of site-to-site VPN’s improved greatly upon installation of the Cisco ASA Firewall.
Network Infrastructure Improvements
Global Manufacturing Lab
A Manufacturing Lab who sells their product on a global scale was in need of improved network infrastructure. They have utilized SWICKtech Professional Services IT Project Consultants for many projects in the past. Increasing stability and allowing room for growth as well as reducing risk and complexity of existing network were key areas of improvement.
With a mixture of Cisco, HP, and Vyatta network infrastructure, the previous infrastructure did not meet many design best practices for an environment of that size. SWICKtech deployed Cisco Catalyst switching with “layer 3” routing capabilities using industry standards and best practices replacing both HP and Vyatta. A single vendor approach ensures maximum performance, compatibility, and stability.
Cisco Catalyst switches are the industry’s standard access switches with high reliability, long service life, and provide the highest ROI. As a benefit to our clients, SWICKtech keeps identical spares of Cisco Catalyst switches in stock at all times providing specific clients with same day replacement without needing to purchase same day replacement from the manufacturer.
There were eight individual points of management in the switched infrastructure across five distribution frames. Many network changes needed to be made at each point. SWICKtechSWICKtech reduced from eight to four points of management and from five to four distribution frames halving the support requirements through the use of Cisco FlexStack+. Cisco Catalyst greatly simplifies the network while providing the requisite features to reliably support data, voice, and wireless services while reducing support costs.
The Cisco Catalyst switch has 48 next generation Power over Ethernet Plus (PoE+) ports supporting switch-powered phones, wireless access points, IP cameras, and other security devices. PoE+ was now available on all copper switch ports.
The multi-strand fiber passed between their buildings was not configured in a redundant manner. This resulted into several single points of failure. To build interconnect capacity and redundancy, SWICKtech built a “cross-stack Ether Channel” on both sides.
The Cisco Unified Wireless system was at capacity (25 access points maximum), with only a single controller presenting a single point of failure. SWICKtech capitalized on the existing investment keeping existing access points while installing replacement controllers with added capacity (up to 75 access points with licensing) and high availability while applying best practices.
Lastly, the set up for Remote Access VPN was creating significant problems. The PPTP VPN technology used to provide remote access VPN is known to have issues traversing firewalls commonly found in hotels, coffee shops, and homes making it undesirable. Additionally, the user database for VPN access was separate from the user database used to login to computers adding unneeded support overhead and confusion. SWICKtech deployed Cisco AnyConnect Secure Mobility Client for easy to use, reliable VPN based on SSL with Active Directory integrated authentication.
WAN Improvements for Manufacturing
Third Site Turn up for Network Access
A Global Manufacturing Company with two local sites was planning on turning up a third site with needed network access capabilities.
SWICKtech IT Project Consultants (i.e. Network Engineers) designed a WAN network using point-to-point wireless bridges between all three sites as they were all within line-of-sight of each other.
The new site also required new network equipment both wired and wireless. Our New Berlin Network Engineers purchased, configured and implemented all network equipment. This included changing network addressing at one existing site.
Overall, this resulted in successful network communication between all three sites with functional dynamic redundancy.
Cisco Unified Communications
Investment Company needs Voice Solution
A Mequon financial investment company was in need of a new phone system due to unresolvable issues, missing features, and poor support with their existing phone system.
Our Cisco Voice Certified Engineers recommended a new Cisco Unified Communications solution. Our Engineers purchased, configured, installed, and trained all employees on the new features of their Cisco phone system.
The new Cisco phone system has not only resolved their issues, it also allowed the owner of the company to work remotely from his vacation home for several months out of the year.
Data Backup Improvements
Manufacturing Company Seeking Decreased Physical Footprint
A global Yacht Manufacturing Company was housing outdated IT virtual and server infrastructure, which posed significant risk to global operations. Multiple single points of failure were present in the compute, storage, and network layers causing extended production delay if a failure were to occur.
Upon SWICKtech IT Project Consultant’s recommendations, we moved them to a highly available VMware cluster, utilizing shared storage to accommodate entire production workload, allowing the environment to continue functioning in the event of multiple hardware failures.
IT management overhead and operational cost was reduced by deploying VMware vCenter to monitor and manage the environment. Physical servers were reduced from fourteen to two, saving significant operational costs on power, cooling, warranty renewal, asset tracking, and management.
Backup system reliability and speed was greatly increased by moving away from tape to an on-premises disk-backed Barracuda Backup system that provided management synergies with their location in Europe. This system alleviated the performance impact experienced by New Zealand and Australia locations by greatly reducing the backup windows.
Data Conversion Improvements
for Line of Business Application
A nationwide Calibration Laboratory with headquarters based in Milwaukee requested assistance to improve their Data Conversion Process. The process to move data between two Line of Business applications was taking over 24 hours to complete.
SWICKtech investigated, documented and made upgrades to the process. Improvements to the scripts which ran the process as well as upgrading the hardware it was running were completed.
The process to convert data now runs in 6-8 hours and can be completed nightly instead of taking days and slowing down daily work. With the assistance of our IT Consultants, we also were able to automate much of the data conversion, minimizing overhead costs.
Microsoft Office 365 Migration
From a Server Failure Problem
A Milwaukee Law Firm experienced a server crash. For a quick and safe solution, SWICKtech migrated the firm’s email and files to Microsoft Office 365 by configuring each desktop.
All of the first critical emails and files were recovered and migrated to the new Office 365 platform. In addition, the firm is now able to access their files remotely on the Office 365 platform whereas before they would only access them within the office.
New Site Headquarters Building Move
for Nationwide Manufacturing Company
Specializing in electrical motion control products and headquartered in Germantown, this nationwide company was ready to move to a larger building for growth.
SWICKtech Engineers provided IT consulting services during the design phase of the new headquarters to ensure the IT Needs of the client would be met by the new facility.
SWICKtech coordinated and met with the builders. Electrician, A/V Installation company, low voltage cabling vendor, HVAC vendor and more. IT Project consulting services from start to finish led to a successful move to new headquarters.
Microsoft Office 365 Migration
for over 175 Mailboxes
A local company who designs, installs and sells office furniture throughout Southeastern Wisconsin was using a combination of different versions of older, unsupported Microsoft Office software. They reached out to SWICKtech for assistance in upgrading and consolidating their Office package to the latest version companywide, Office 365.
With the help of the Milwaukee business IT providers at SWICKtech, we were able to successfully migrate over 175 email boxes, 100 home drives to OneDrive and 100 installations of Microsoft Office throughout the entire company.
We also migrated the company off the older Microsoft Exchange 2010 on-site email server, so they could take advantage of a 50 GB mailbox, plus better business backup and guaranteed up-time with email.
Office 365 for Business also has a built-in Anti-Spam, which eliminated the company’s need to pay for separate monthly Anti-Spam licenses.
Finally, our Milwaukee business IT providers aided in the implementation of a centrally-managed “Cloud” version, which delivered a company-wide email signature solution.
Our SWICKtech Professional Services Project Consulting Team can address any IT Business need you throw our way!