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Case Studies: Company Merger / IT Consolidation

Proco Technologies and Westco Services are fictitious names for actual companies.  The company names and office locations have been changed to protect client confidentiality for the purpose of this case study.

Situation

Westco was a professional services company with 6 office locations in 3 states.  Proco is a professional services company with a single office location near Albany, NY, which had acquired Westco.  Proco had a need to integrate the business operations and IT infrastructures of the two companies.

Technologies Involved

  • Microsoft Windows Server 2003 / Active Directory
  • Microsoft Exchange Server 2003
  • TrendMicro NeatSuite (antivirus)
  • Symantec Brightmail (e-mail antivirus / spam filter)
  • IPSwitchWhatsUp Gold (network monitor)

The Process

We applied the following proven methodology to this project:

  • Reviewed Current Environment
  • Document Objectives / Solution Requirements
  • Create Solution Design and Obtain Client Approval
  • Create Detailed Implementation Plan
  • Perform Implementation
  • Provide As-Needed Ongoing Support

Current Environment

 

Proco

Westco

Office Locations and Users

1 Office Location / 30 Users

  • Albany, NY:  30

6 Office Locations / 70 Users

  • Buffalo, NY: 32
  • Pittsford, NY: 12
  • New Hartford, NY: 4
  • Harrisburg, PA: 6
  • Philadelphia, PA: 12
  • Alexandria, VA: 4

Primary Applications and Services

  • Active Directory
  • MS Exchange 2003
  • File & Printer Sharing
  • QuickBooks Accounting
  • Active Directory
  • MS Exchange 2003
  • File & Printer Sharing
  • MS Dynamics Great Plains
  • MS Dynamics CRM
  • MS BizTalk

Network Security

  • Cisco PIX Firewall
  • Symantec Brightmail spam filter
  • TrendMicro Antivirus
  • MS WSUS (patch management)
  • MS ISA Server (reverse proxy)
  • Symantec Backup Exec
  • IPSwitchWhatsUp Gold
  • Multiple network segments
  • WatchGuard Firewall
  • Outsourced spam filter
  • CA eTrust Antivirus
  • Symantec Backup Exec

Objectives / Solution Requirements

Establish standards for combined company and consolidate all network resources:

  • Windows Active Directory Domain
  • MS Exchange organization
  • Files shares
  • Accounting system
  • Security Defense-in-Depth Strategy for Network Security
    • Perimeter Security (Firewall)
    • Antivirus / Spam filter
    • Data Backup
    • Patch Management
    • Network Monitor

Because the name of the combined company would be Proco, it was determined that references to Westco would be replaced with references to Proco wherever feasible.

Solution Design

  • Single Active Directory Forest / Domain
  • Singled MS Exchange organization
  • Common shared folder hierarchy with replication across locations via DFS / FRS (Distributed File System / File Replication Service)
  • Standardize platforms to lower total cost of ownership
    • Accounting via MS Dynamics Great Plains
    • Perimeter security via Cisco PIX / ASA firewalls
    • Spam filter via Symantec Brightmail
    • AntiVirus via TrendMicro NeatSuite
      • Exchange Server(s)
      • Windows Servers
      • Windows Desktops
    • Data backup via Symantec BackupExec
    • Patch Management via MS WSUS
    • Network monitor via IPSwitchWhatsUp Gold

Implementation

In order to meet satisfy the solution requirements with the least possible disruption to end users and while minimizing costs, the following implementation plan was proposed and accepted by the client:

  • Rename Proco domain to Proco-HQ
  • Rename Westco domain to Proco
  • Create domain trust relationships between Proco and Proco-HQ
  • Migrate all network resources from Proco-HQ domain to Proco domain, including
    • User accounts
    • Exchange mailboxes
    • File shares
      • Single DFS tree
      • File replication across locations
      • Enabled Volume Shadow Copies
    • Consolidate all Single Active Directory Forest / Domain
  • Enabled network monitoring for all critical network components via IPSwitchWhatsUp Gold
  • Deployed TrendMicro antivirus client to all Windows servers and workstations
  • Routed all inbound internet e-mail via Symantec Brightmail spam filter
  • Decommissioned Proco-HQ domain

Benefits Summary

  • All work completed over a single weekend, allowing for a very efficient and cost-effective migration. 
  • No unplanned downtime and no disruption to business operations.
  • The consolidated IT infrastructure satisfied all client requirements and allowed the combined company to function as a single enterprise. 

 

 


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