Category: Customer Story (page 1 of 3)

Customer Story: Healthy Kids

Healthy Kids LogoFlorida Healthy Kids offers health and dental insurance for children ages 5 through 18. The Corporation is one of four Florida KidCare partners and is run by a Board of Directors that includes doctors, a dentist, hospital representatives, advocates, and state agency representatives.

The mission for the Florida Healthy Kids Corporation is to ensure the availability of child-centered health plans that provide comprehensive, quality healthcare services. Healthy Kids coverage includes doctor visits, immunizations, dental care, emergency care, hospital stays and much more.

PROBLEM

Florida Healthy Kids required that the manageability and maintenance costs for their messaging, document management and collaboration infrastructure be reduced and functionality increased. In turn, they were also seeking better data security, reliability and availability for their professional services. Being in Florida hurricane disaster preparedness is a priority.

SOLUTION

Microsoft Office 365 is a cloud-based service that is designed to help meet your organization’s needs for robust security, reliability, and user productivity. Microsoft Office 365 delivers the power of cloud productivity to businesses of all sizes, helping save time, money, and free up valued resources. Office 365 combines the familiar Microsoft Office desktop suite with cloud-based versions of Microsoft’s next-generation communications and collaboration services—including Microsoft Exchange Online, Microsoft SharePoint Online, Office Online, and Microsoft Skype for Business Online—to help users be productive from virtually anywhere through the Internet.

Microsoft Exchange Online is a hosted messaging solution that delivers the capabilities of Microsoft Exchange Server as a cloud-based service. It gives users access to email, calendar, contacts, and tasks from PCs, the web, and mobile devices. It integrates fully with Active Directory, enabling administrators to use group policies, as well as other administration tools, to manage Exchange Online features across their environment.

Organizations that subscribe to Exchange Online retain control over the messaging services they offer to users, but they do not have the operational burden of on-premises hardware and software. With the Exchange Online, email is hosted on servers that support multiple customers simultaneously. These servers are housed in Microsoft data centers and are accessible to users on a wide range of devices from inside a corporate network or over the Internet. Additionally, Microsoft Exchange Online Protection (EOP) is a cloud-based email filtering service that helps protect your organization against spam and malware, and includes features to safeguard your organization from messaging-policy violations. EOP can simplify the management of your messaging environment and alleviate many of the burdens that come with maintaining on-premises hardware and software.

Microsoft SharePoint Online enables an organization to easily create and manage custom team-focused and project-focused sites for collaboration and document management. In addition, it’s possible to deploy an organization-wide intranet portal used to disseminate information and news across the organization. Include with SharePoint Online, OneDrive for Business is personal online storage space in the cloud, provided for employees by your company. Use it to store your work files across multiple devices with ease and security. Share your files with business colleagues as needed, and edit Office documents together in real time with Office Suite Online.

Skype for Business Online is a communications service that connects people for meetings and conversations anytime and from virtually anywhere. It gives users access to information about presence, and enables instant messaging, audio and video calling, rich online meetings, and extensive web conferencing capabilities.

RESULTS

The Florida Healthy Kids Corporation solution based on Microsoft Office 365 was implemented and the migration of historical messaging data (emails, calendaring, contacts and security) was achieved less than 2 months. After initial discovery meetings outlining the requirements for and specifics for configuration of Office 365, the implementation was completely successful.

The messaging and collaboration environment was up and running with production use. Florida Healthy Kids Corporation had confidence in the service delivery and reliability allowing them to move into a more modern future for their own health service delivery to the children of Florida.

Customer Story: FSU Credit Union

FSU CU Logo

Today, FSU Credit Union serves its more than 20,000 members with eight branch locations throughout Tallahassee and north Florida, secure online banking, a convenient mobile app and a complete suite of account types, loans and services to meet every financial need.

FSU Credit Union is committed to the communities it serves. They contribute to various charities, support local events and give back to the FSU Community through donations and scholarships. Membership with FSU Credit Union is open to alumni living anywhere in the U.S. and anyone who lives or works in Bay, Calhoun, Franklin, Gadsden, Gulf, Jackson, Leon, Liberty, Taylor or Wakulla counties.

FSU Credit Union is a champion for our members, offering programs and services that maximize financial well-being. We are a champion for financial education, providing resources and tools to schools and underserved neighborhoods. We are a champion for our community, supporting local charities and giving back where it is needed most.

PROBLEM

FSU Credit Union required that data security and reliability took center stage as they looked forward to a modern Office communication solution. Manageability and maintenance for their messaging, document management and collaboration infrastructure to be simplified and functionality increased. FSU Credit Union additionally, wanted to leverage and position the credit union for future cloud hosted service and applications while not jeopardizing system security.

SOLUTION

Microsoft Office 365 and Windows Azure are cloud-based services that is designed to help meet your organization’s needs for robust security, reliability, and user productivity. Microsoft Azure is a growing collection of integrated cloud services that developers and IT professionals use to build, deploy, and manage applications through our global network of datacenters. With Azure, you get the freedom to build and deploy wherever you want, using the tools, applications, and frameworks of your choice.

FSU Credit Union is initially utilizing Windows Azure server hosting for on-premise Microsoft Active Directory integration with Microsoft Azure Active Directory through Windows Azure Active Directory Connect. This approach maintains the identity and security of FSU Credit Union’s existing on-premise management employee identity security.

Microsoft Office 365 delivers the power of cloud productivity to businesses of all sizes, helping save time, money, and free up valued resources. Office 365 combines the familiar Microsoft Office desktop suite with cloud-based versions of Microsoft’s next-generation communications and collaboration services—including Microsoft Exchange Online, Microsoft SharePoint Online, Office Online, and Microsoft Skype for Business Online—to help users be productive from virtually anywhere through the Internet.

Microsoft Exchange Online is a hosted messaging solution that delivers the capabilities of Microsoft Exchange Server as a cloud-based service. It gives users access to email, calendar, contacts, and tasks from PCs, the web, and mobile devices. It integrates fully with Active Directory, enabling administrators to use group policies, as well as other administration tools, to manage Exchange Online features across their environment.

Organizations that subscribe to Exchange Online retain control over the messaging services they offer to users, but they do not have the operational burden of on-premises hardware and software. With the Exchange Online, email is hosted on servers that support multiple customers simultaneously. These servers are housed in Microsoft data centers and are accessible to users on a wide range of devices from inside a corporate network or over the Internet. Additionally, Microsoft Exchange Online Protection (EOP) is a cloud-based email filtering service that helps protect your organization against spam and malware, and includes features to safeguard your organization from messaging-policy violations. EOP can simplify the management of your messaging environment and alleviate many of the burdens that come with maintaining on-premises hardware and software.

Microsoft SharePoint Online enables an organization to easily create and manage custom team-focused and project-focused sites for collaboration and document management. In addition, it’s possible to deploy an organization-wide intranet portal used to disseminate information and news across the organization. Include with SharePoint Online, OneDrive for Business is personal online storage space in the cloud, provided for employees by your company. Use it to store your work files across multiple devices with ease and security. Share your files with business colleagues as needed, and edit Office documents together in real time with Office Suite Online.

Skype for Business Online is a communications service that connects people for meetings and conversations anytime and from virtually anywhere. It gives users access to information about presence, and enables instant messaging, audio and video calling, rich online meetings, and extensive web conferencing capabilities.

RESULTS

The FSU Credit Union solution based on Microsoft Windows Azure Cloud Services and Office 365 was implemented and the migration of historical messaging data (emails, calendaring, contacts and security) was achieved in approximately than 1 month. After initial discovery meetings outlining the requirements for and specifics for configuration of Office 365, the implementation was completely successful.

The messaging and collaboration environment was up and running with production use. FSU Credit Union had confidence in the secure service delivery, and reliability allowing them to move into a more modern future for their own financial service delivery to its members.

Customer Story: Red Lobster

Red Lobster logo

Red Lobster, there was Bill Darden, a man passionate about making delicious, high-quality seafood available and affordable to everyone, including people who lived far from the coast. What was once a single, family-owned restaurant in Lakeland, Florida, now has over 700 locations.

From how we source our fish and shellfish to finding new ways for you to enjoy it, everything we do is a celebration of seafood.
We pour passion and expertise into every dish.

PROBLEM

After years as one of many featured dining brands under the General Mills umbrella in 1995 Darden Restaurants spins-off from General Mills as a major national restaurant brand.

Then in 2014 Red Lobster stepped away from Darden Restaurant after Golden Gate Capital acquires the Red Lobster chain.  At this time Red Lobster had to totally divest itself from Darden Restaurants. This purchase produced a hard deadline for all of the Red Lobster assets to extricate from the Darden Restaurant networks.  As this timeline was drawing to a close, Cloud Navigator was called in to complete the job before Red Lobster would lose access completely.

SOLUTION

Cloud Navigator successfully migrated both environments, store computers and employees, to Office 365. Giving management staff the tools they needed to manage the new endeavor and avoided critical loss of data by meeting deadline and allowing for the divestiture to complete as scheduled.

Customer Story: Jackson Thornton

Jackson Thornton LogoJackson Thornton, a certified public accounting and consulting firm, was established in Montgomery, Alabama, on March 3, 1919. For nearly a century, Jackson Thornton has evolved and expanded to provide more of what businesses need, whether strategic planning, business consulting, technology consulting or specialized industry services.

In the early 1980s, Jackson Thornton Utilities, the first group to establish an industry specialization, was launched. Jackson Thornton’s Valuation and Litigation Consulting Group was created in the early 1990s in response to the growing need for experienced professionals trained in business valuation and litigation support services. Continuum Education + Training was developed in 2001 to support clients in conference environments by providing program and keynote speakers, conference entertainment and staff retreats.

Jackson Thornton Technologies LLC (JTT) was also founded in 2001 to support clients’ information technology needs. In 2008, Jackson Thornton opened its fifth office in Nashville, Tennessee. In 2016, the firm acquired Auburn/Opelika based Brantley Boucher & Farr LLP, expanding their reach into East Alabama. Jackson Thornton now serves more than 4,000 clients, in six locations, with a team of more than 200 professionals trained as both accountants and business consultants.

PROBLEM

Jackson Thornton uses Remote Desktop Services (RDS) to allow users to access a virtual desktop from inside and outside their corporate network. Their users access the RDS environment from mostly unmanaged devices including many different flavors of tablets. There is currently a risk of unmanaged devices being stolen or lost and potentially providing an intruder with access to their RDS environment. In addition, they need to extend additional levels of authentication and security to their Outlook Web Access and Citrix Netscalar systems. Internal users needed to bypass the MFA process through a list of trusted IP addresses that represent their internal network and remote locations.

SOLUTION

Cloud Navigator’s solution to this problem utilized Azure Multifactor Authentication (MFA) together with an on-premise Azure MFA server to create an authentication sequence that would require two forms of identification in order to gain access to the RDS environment:

  • Something only the user knows – his username/password combo
  • A one-time text or soft token that only the user has access to through their phone.

The solution uses Microsoft Azure Multifactor Authentication (Azure MFA) for three reasons.

  1. Jackson Thornton already owned the licenses of EMS through their MSFT partner benefits.
  2. Azure MFA can complete the second layer of authentication via cell phone or smart device (a device that most people already have) instead of requiring a hard token.
  3. Azure MFA can also be set to require a unique PIN that only the user knows. No matter what device is used to access the RDS deployment, the user will need more than his user credentials (which are often cached) to get in.

A Remote Desktop login request to RDS that includes Azure MFA looks like this:

  1. User logs into RD Web Access and double clicks a RemoteApp (or desktop connection)
  2. The user’ login credentials for the website are used to validate the user (Web SSO), so no need to give them again.
  3. The user then gets an SMS text message on their smart device that provides them a 6 digit numeric code (the one-time password).
  4. The user replies to the text message by inputting this 6 digit code. Azure MFA includes the option to require the user know a predefined unique PIN as well, so that replies to a text message have to come from the user.
  5. The user is authenticated, and the RemoteApp (or desktop connection) opens.

Note: SMS txt authentication isn’t the only way that Azure MFA can communicate with users, it can include authentication by phone call and also using an App on a smartphone.

RESULTS

Cloud Navigator initially setup a proof of concept of the involved technologies utilizing cloned test version of the RDS servers to avoid impacting production. Once the RD Gateway / Azure MFA solution met Jackson Thornton’s requirements in the test lab, they decided to run a test pilot in production. This started with a small group of early adopter users to test the process and develop documentation, and then it expanded to be rolled out throughout the entire company in less than a month.

MFA was also implemented on their current Outlook Web Access server and also on the Citrix Netscalar using RADIUS authentication to the Azure MFA server. Today Jackson Thornton digital access is protected by layers of authentication to prevent external attackers from obtaining user credentials.

Customer Story: MARTA

Marta Logo

For over a quarter of a century, MARTA has moved over 3.5 billion people throughout Atlanta and the surrounding cities. They have been a staple to the community and a great economic driver for the city. Today, they are one of the top 10 transportation agencies in the United States.

 

Their story began in the 1950s when people first started to recognize the importance of Atlanta’s public transportation. They saw it as more than just a way to get people from point A to point B. They saw it as a vital part of the city’s future growth. Conversations changed to action in the 1960s when the Metropolitan Atlanta Transit Study Commission released its report recommending a five-county bus and rail system.

The report prompted a wave proposals for a revamped transit system. And in 1965, those proposals led to the passing of the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority Act — or as we know it today: MARTA. In 1972, they purchased the Atlanta Transit System, giving them full ownership of Atlanta’s main bus system. Within a year they saw ridership increase more than 20 percent across the board. Since then they have put up 48 miles of rail and 740 bus stops.

PROBLEM

MARTA had purchased their Office 365 licenses in 2015, but had not initially deployed the technologies to their users. In addition, they needed to upgrade the version of Office on the desktops to avoid end-of-life support issues and help mitigate security concerns.

Other projects depended on the newest technologies to be deployed to the desktops, and they were on hold waiting for the upgrades to start implementation and allow MARTA employees to realize their full potential,

SOLUTION

Cloud Navigator delivered two related projects included implementation and configuration for the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) Microsoft Exchange Server migration to Office 365 and included Hybrid Identity Access Management and certification-based validation of users logging into the system. The system provides MARTA’s users with email and calendaring services.

Project work included managed Active Directory Federated Services that allow interface applications to the hosted service to act as its identity authentication agent and validate application users or subscribers as they attempt to log in to the agency application.

The MARTA Hybrid Identity project also include the managed services to allow interface applications to the hosted service to act as identity authentication agent(s) and validate application users/subscribers at login, as well as planning, assessment, implementation/deployment, and integration of Identity and Access Management (IAM) with customer agency applications via certificates.

RESULTS

In less than 8 weeks over 5,000 users were deployed to Office 365 and their desktops upgraded to Office 2016 with a low percentage of user reported issues. In the follow-on project ISC deployed highly available virtual machines in Azure running Azure AD connect and ADFS to provide MARTA with failover and BCDR capabilities they currently did not have on-premise.

  • Methodologies – Project Management Professional (PMP) project management strategies, Organizational Change Management (OCM) strategies, IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL) Service
  • Management Best Practices Tools –Microsoft Office Suite 2007-2016, Microsoft SCCM Server, Microsoft Windows Server 2008 – 2012, Microsoft Exchange 2010 and 2013, Microsoft Active Directory, Microsoft AD FS, Microsoft Azure Active Directory Connect, Microsoft Office 365, Microsoft PowerShell
  • Processes – Weekly status meetings, change management process

Customer Story: Mainline

mainline logoWith more than 28 years of experience, Mainline is a true veteran in the IT solutions industry. Mainline works with companies from across the country and across industries. When its disaster recovery solution was failing, it decided to look at The Cloud.  Even though Mainline is one of the largest IBM mainframe resellers in the world, The Microsoft Cloud had clear benefits.

PROBLEM

Mainline was invested heavily in the Lotus Notes platform, which is no longer supported by IBM.  The disaster recovery solution that involved replication to a secondary physical data center was not working.  Mainline did not want to expand its physical IT footprint as the need for new applications became apparent to support its large sales force.

SOLUTION

Cloud Navigator worked with Mainline to implement a virtual network and virtual machines connected securely to its local area network at its headquarters location.  A secondary Lotus Notes environment was built in Azure, and replication between production Notes servers and new servers in Azure was configured and tested.

As confidence grew in the disaster recovery solution for Lotus Notes, a plan emerged for eventually retiring the Notes system.  Lotus Notes was not only their email messaging platform, but an application environment hosting a number of important internal custom apps.

We migrated their email to Office 365 and Mainline began to re-develop custom apps as Azure Web Apps so that the plan for retiring Lotus Notes could move forward.

RESULTS

Mainline is making steady progress towards retiring Lotus Notes.  The current system has a confirmed operational disaster recovery plan.  Apps are being migrated to the Azure platform onto Platform as a Service (PaaS) apps using the Azure App Service.

Customer Story: F4 Tech

F4 LogoF4 aims to be the leading provider of technical forest and natural resource management services and products through the use of the latest and best available technology, a highly experienced, diverse workforce, a well developed network of strategic partners, and a wealth of applied knowledge in natural resources management.

PROBLEM

F4 operated its internal IT systems from aging hardware.  Email, website and tracking systems were difficult to maintain as customer project demands experienced bursts and new requirements.  As a technology company, F4 desired to modernize IT around emerging cloud based solutions.  Special concerns revolved around large GIS data sets and the need for distributed analysis.

SOLUTION

Cloud Navigator migrated F4 to Office 365 for email and SharePoint.  We established a virtual network in Azure and migrated a server to Azure.  We then engaged with F4 technical staff to explain new and emerging technologies and explore concepts that might apply to their business.

F4 embraced cloud based technologies in The Microsoft Cloud.  They deployed Power BI and developed dashboards in SharePoint so that their customers could monitor resource management activities in real time.

F4 deploys new GIS servers and databases regularly in Azure to respond to ever changing customer project requirements.

RESULTS

F4 embraced the cloud to demonstrate its position as a leader in technical services to the forestry industry.  Its business operates largely from the cloud.  Its customers now enjoy a higher level of visibility into their projects.

Customer Story: Medicaid Program Integrity

ahca logoThe Office of Medicaid Program Integrity (MPI) serves as the primary office within AHCA to fulfill the federal law requirements to operate a fraud, abuse, and waste prevention and detection program within the single state agency responsible for the administration of the Medicaid program.

State law requires the Agency to operate a program to oversee Medicaid provider activities to ensure that fraudulent and abusive behavior occurs to the minimum extent possible in the Medicaid program, and to recover Medicaid overpayments, and impose sanctions for violations against the Medicaid program. MPI also identifies and refers to the appropriate investigatory or regulatory agency, those activities of recipients engaged in potentially fraudulent or abusive behavior, as well as instances of potential neglect of Medicaid recipients.

 

PROBLEM

The MPI unit was operating a decade-old legacy web application (FACTS) to track and manage investigative cases. This application was utilizing outdated technology and was not meeting their current needs. Leadership at MPI desired a system that was more flexible, cloud-hosted, and allowed investigators more options when managing cases.

SOLUTION

Cloud Navigator, in conjunction with Column Technologies, proposed a cloud-based case management tool based on the BMC Remedy platform. This solution is hosted in Microsoft Azure’s Government Cloud. The benefits of using the Government Cloud are numerous and include:

  • Strict validation program to determine eligibility before organizations can move their workloads
  • Complete data, applications, and hardware residency in the continental United States
  • Geo-replication between datacenters 500 miles apart supporting business continuity
  • Specially constructed datacenters with 24×7 monitoring
  • Physical separation within the continental US, operated by screened US citizens

The new cloud-hosted FACTS system is an n-tiered platform with Development, Testing, and Production environments. All servers are joined to the AHCA network via a site-to-site VPN. ISC manages and maintains all cloud resources, while still allowing access by AHCA IT administrators.mpi architecture

RESULTS

The solution implemented by ISC is both flexible and scalable. In the event that more computing power is needed, any of the Virtual Machines (VM) that host the FACTS system can be upgraded immediately. If a VM is no longer needed, it can be deallocated to save resources. Geo-redundant storage (GRS) replicates MPI’s data to a secondary region that is hundreds of miles away from the primary region. This makes their data durable even in the case of a complete regional outage or a disaster in which the primary region is not recoverable. Additionally, SQL Server Managed Backup to Microsoft Azure allow for recovery from any database failure.

Customer Story: Florida Governor’s Office

eog logoThe Executive Office of the Governor (EOG) is responsible for responding to the citizens of Florida in a timely manner. The Office is responsible for executing more than a dozen distinct business functions including event management, victim’s rights advocacy and others.  An integrated tracking solution was sorely needed.

PROBLEM

EOG implemented a CRM 2011 on-premise solution a number of years ago. This solution proved difficult to maintain due to lack of integrated modules. A primary concern was duplication of Contact records by different business units. Additionally, the on-premise system was difficult to upgrade so the system fell out of date. These problems led EOG leadership to seek out a new solution.

SOLUTION

Cloud Navigator proposed a Microsoft Dynamics Online SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) solution. We believe this is the top choice for any organization that wants a low-overhead, scalable and always up-to-date replacement for traditional software. Dynamics Online is easily configured and extended to meet customer needs.

We redesigned the existing CRM 2011 modules for each business unit. The functionality was extended using various ASP.net web forms so that citizens could directly interact with the system. These interactions include requesting meetings with the Governor, responding to event invitations, applying for state board seats, and making public records requests. In addition, we converted a legacy investigative case management application to Dynamics Online, including importing all data, for the Chief Inspector General.

The new EOG system is a complete Cloud SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) solution. There are no on-premise resources. EOG IT staff have the capability to manage the system, including user licenses, through the Office 365 admin portal.

RESULTS

The following business units/programs all now use Dynamics 365 to manage those interactions:

  • Citizen Services
  • Scheduling
  • RSVP/Events
  • Executive Correspondence
  • State Board Appointments
  • Public Records Requests
  • Victim’s Rights Advocacy
  • Chief Inspector General Case Management

EOG has been very pleased with their Dynamics Online solution so far. Contact redundancies have been reduced, business units have visibility into one another, and citizens can more efficiently contact EOG using the new ASP.net web forms. In addition, the system is updated twice a year, so EOG always has the latest version of Dynamics 365.

 

Customer Story: Florida Department of Education, Division of Vocational Rehabilitation

fl doe logoThe foundation for the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) began in 1920. The first public rehabilitation program providing training, prosthetics, and placement services for persons with disabilities began with the passing of the Smith-Fess Act.

Vocational Rehabilitation’s mission is “To help people with disabilities find and maintain employment and enhance their independence.”

Vocational Rehabilitation has 931 employees with staff in a Tallahassee headquarters office, six area offices, and 80 field locations where VR customers can get services across Florida State.

PROBLEM

VR’s email messaging environment was running on Windows Server 2003 with Exchange 2003 providing the mail services.  With support for Exchange 2003 coming to an end, VR wanted to migrate to a modern system.  Additional desired features included journaling and personal user archives and the consolidation of 3 TB of local Personal Storage Template .PST mail archive files into a single searchable and recoverable archive.

SOLUTION

Cloud Navigator implemented a multi-server Exchange 2010 messaging system with manual failover in a Database Availability Group (DAG). The configuration was accomplished with virtual servers on SAN storage located at the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation primary data center in Northwest Regional Data Center (NWRDC). This provided the components necessary to provide e-mail migration from Exchange 2003 to Exchange 2010. The project included the planning, preparation, and migration of approximately 1,200 active mailboxes from more than 80 locations and approximately 3 TB of .PST files located on desktops to the Barracuda archive device.  Additional tasks included implementation of Barracuda Message Archiver for Journaling and User Archiving with search and retrieval functionality. Cloud Navigator also provided administrative training for Exchange 2010 and Barracuda Message Archiver.

RESULTS

VR has reduced costs, improved collaboration and enhanced operations with Exchange 2010. And by choosing Cloud Navigator, a Microsoft Gold Partner, all of their needs and expectations were met.

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