About OPEN MINDS
As IT director for OPEN MINDS, a market intelligence and consulting company, Casey Miller feels the pressure of keeping their 75 consultants working smoothly. They need constant updates and reliable communication with colleagues and clients, because their work affects the well-being of countless people in the health and human services industry.
“In a company this size, I am the IT department,” she says. “I’m responsible for updating all software and hardware, plus network and server maintenance, database and website troubleshooting, and e-mail administration.”
From company headquarters in Gettysburg, PA, Casey also maintains satellite offices in nine other states. To collaborate across the miles, the consultants and staff of OPEN MINDS use Novell GroupWise.
“We’ve been using Novell GroupWise® since January of 2008,” she says. “For remote employees, GroupWise is their lifeline to the company.”
When Casey’s servers started showing their age in late 2011, she began investigating hosted IT services. She knew her company wanted to stay with GroupWise, so she looked on the Novell website for a cloud services provider. That’s where she found DigeTekS, LLC.
In fact, DigeTekS, located near Denver, CO, was one of the first hosted services providers to offer GroupWise in the cloud. But Casey wondered if a company so far away would be able to meet her support and response time requirements.
As it turned out, DigeTekS, LLC not only met all of Casey’s requirements, they exceeded them. From their first phone conversation, Teresa Cole, director of hosting services at DigeTekS, seemed to know exactly what Casey needed.
“OPEN MINDS wanted to get out of the business of hosting their own e-mail. They were very happy with Novell GroupWise, and saw all the benefits of not having to train users on new software,” says Teresa. “They knew GroupWise met their business needs, but it didn’t make financial sense to upgrade their servers. It was a TCO and workload management situation.”
When Casey got the proposal from Teresa, she got the first of many pleasant surprises. “The cost of hosting GroupWise ourselves on premise was the equivalent of more than four years of fees to DigeTekS,” Casey says. The second surprise? How short the migration process turned out to be.
“E-mail is such a core part of our business, we wanted to eliminate as much downtime as possible. That’s where I had the most concerns about the migration,” she says. So Casey cleared a 24-hour window over a weekend for the e-mail migration.
But migrating to GroupWise in the cloud only took 12 hours—half the time Casey expected. And the surprises kept getting better. An unexpected result of the migration—and probably the best for Casey—was free time.
With DigeTekS taking care of server issues and technical issues, she has time to be a consultant for OPEN MINDS clients. “I’m building and managing databases and creating SQL server reports for our clients. In other words, I’m posting billable hours now,” Casey says.
“The migration to the cloud has made my company more profitable because they can use me as a consultant.” And, the IT department is no longer viewed as a cost center. “Now, I can sustain two to four hours of consulting services per week.”
While DigeTekS does the heavy lifting, Casey chose to retain control of her e-mail administration. “I can create new users and do other admin functions,” she says. “I also have access to all of my own backups. I can do as much as I did before, or I can let DigeTekS do all the work. It’s my choice.”
According to Teresa, that’s by design. “DigeTekS wants to give customers peace of mind and reassure them they’re not turning their data over to a big unknown world that they don’t have a part of,” she says. “So we offer our customers a hosted option with admin access.”
As a Novell GroupWise partner since 2005, the DigeTekS team is excited about what Novell is doing with collaboration. “Hosting is huge, of course,” Teresa says. “And GroupWise 2012 and Novell Vibe® allow us to deliver vital collaboration and social tools in a private, secure environment—improving productivity, reducing costs and ultimately driving success for our clients.”