The Company: Ruland Manufacturing
Established in 1937, Ruland Manufacturing designs and manufactures high-performing shaft collars and couplings. Innovation is a hallmark of the company as Ruland continuously refines its proprietary processes such as special surface treatments, anti-vibration coupling hardware and precision honing. In recent years, the company expanded its product line and added metric rigid couplings, step bore rigid couplings, and motion control couplings. All products are carefully manufactured under strict controls in Ruland’s Marlboro, Massachusetts factory.
The Challenge: Staffing Sufficient Expertise to Manage IT
The transition started when the internal IT administrator supporting the Ruland Manufacturing IT network and end users decided to pursue another job opportunity. That’s when company president William Hewitson decided to consider a whole new model for managing and maintaining IT systems.
“We traditionally handled IT in-house, but with all the ever-evolving technologies, it was challenging to hire and retain people with the experience to properly maintain our systems,” Hewitson says. “It’s difficult for a company of our size to attract high-end technical resources and keep them interested in supporting our environment.”
Over the years, Ruland typically hired mid-level or low-level technical resources, but Hewitson found they usually could not properly support the company’s servers and high-end networking devices. New solutions Ruland deployed tended to fall short in meeting business requirements.
“For the vital applications we run on our servers to keep our business operating efficiently, we need an IT support resource with solid knowledge of technologies such as Microsoft SQL as well as security measures to protect against website and email intrusions,” Hewitson says. “Those skill sets are typically found in senior-level IT resources.”
The Solution: Bryley Managed IT Services
Hewitson began analyzing the use of an external service provider to manage and support his company’s IT systems by comparing the cost of outsourcing to the cost of hiring a senior IT resource. After determining an outside service provider could reduce the support costs considerably, he then spoke to colleagues at other similar companies.
“We discovered many other companies our size have also made the transition to an outside service provider,” Hewitson reveals. “For us, the decision came down to feeling comfortable with turning over support to an outside firm and knowing we would receive fast responses when we need help. We were skeptical about the level of service we would receive.”
While conducting research of service providers, Hewitson hoped to find a local company with broad IT expertise and a diverse pool of technical resources. “We need someone local who can get here quickly when necessary,” Hewitson says. “We also wanted to strike a balance between a service provider that’s so large that they won’t value our partnership—and one that’s so small that they can’t always be here when needed .”
Bryley Systems turned out to be one of the few companies that met all the criteria Hewitson had established. And based on his research, the IT solution provider was the only one he invited in for a discussion—to hear about the Bryley Managed IT Services offering.
The Deployment: An Increasingly-Expanded Role
Upon meeting with Hewitson, a Bryley systems engineer conducted an initial site survey to understand the Ruland IT infrastructure. He immediately identified some maintenance services that needed to be applied to the servers. “The entire Bryley team is personable and quick to react to our requests,” Hewitson says. “We were impressed by their technical knowledge and the initial assessment of our IT infrastructure—this gave us the comfort level we needed to change to an outsourced IT model.”
“We chose to partner with Bryley because we appreciate their level of professionalism and that they provide services to other customers of similar size,” Hewitson adds. “They also offer a technical staff that gives us all the coverage we need, and they provide all information we need to understand their pricing and the various services they offer.”
After initially providing managed services for the Ruland servers, Bryley System deployed new hardware to replace three servers reaching end-of-life status. By applying server virtualization technology, Bryley was able to replace the three servers with just one new server to reduce initial hardware costs as well as on-going power/cooling and maintenance costs.
Bryley then refreshed Ruland’s networking equipment and the backup server. After all the aging gear was replaced, Ruland expanded the managed IT services contract with Bryley to include the company’s 40 desktop computers. “Over time, as we have grown more-and-more comfortable with Bryley, we have expanded their role,” Hewitson says.
The Benefits: Sharply Reduced IT Costs and No Down Time
As for the ROI of Bryley’s Managed IT Services offering, Hewitson estimates the cost is about 60% less than the cost of the salary and benefits of a full-time senior IT resource. “But more importantly, placing the management of our servers in the hands of experienced professionals from Bryley has probably prevented significant outages,” Hewitson points out. “As is the case with every business, the cost of downtime is big, but we have yet to go down since Bryley replaced our aging hardware.”
Bryley also came through in a big way before the aging servers were replaced when one of the systems crashed. “At that time, we were entitled to a response within 24 hours, but Bryley sent a team over right away,” Hewitson says. “They cloned the server onto a loaner so we could get up-and-running quickly while they fixed the server that crashed. Bryley had that server back on-line the next day.”
Since that incident, the virtualization technology along with the new backup server Bryley deployed now make it possible for Ruland to failover even faster to a backup system should any server problems occur. Bryley also deployed a new firewall to give Ruland added protection against malware and viruses.
“In addition to the more reliable IT network and the great technical support we receive by partnering with Bryley, they also save a lot more time for me in leading the company,” Hewitson says. “I no longer have to manage an IT person and can take a hands-off approach—knowing things are getting done and receiving regular reports from Bryley that show us everything is in good shape. There’s also no fear of our IT guy leaving the company or having sick days. Bryley is always there when we need them.”
Major Benefits—Managed IT Services Provided by Bryley Systems:
- Reduces cost of IT support 60% compared to hiring an internal resource.
- Prevents servers from crashing so company can maintain business operations.
- Frees up senior management from having to hire, train and manage internal IT resources.
- Ensures fast responses when IT service incidents occur.
- Provides the latest infrastructure technologies to keep critical business applications functioning at peak performance.