Massive growth requires a special kind of support that’s flexible, functional and fast.
When this household brand name advertising company was sold and needed to decouple from its behemoth telecommunications parent company, they required premium, experienced, reliable IT support–and fast. They needed to both change their internal infrastructure and roll out sales campaign offices across the country.
The company didn’t have nearly enough technical operations staff to support the hot and fast growth requirements. They initially considered hiring a project manager who would be charged with managing the sales campaign office project including coordinating multiple vendors for everything from internet services to warehousing hardware to field services support. But before the project even kicked off, the vice president of infrastructure and technical operations had second thoughts about the arrangement.
“Since our PM would also be a vendor, I would have been responsible for all the contractors,” said the vice president of Infrastructure and technical operations. “It would have been impossible to keep up based on my other responsibilities, especially during this critical transition period.”
Instead, they turned to VIMRO to provide the whole package.
Tight Turn-Around, Minimal Oversight
Although the company had permanent offices around the country, they were identifying smaller territories as ripe for targeted sales campaigns as part of their growth plan. They wanted to quickly set up temporary regional campaign offices that could act as home base for a small sales team for anywhere from 3 weeks to 3 months and then, just as quickly, be torn down when the intense campaign period was over. But they wanted the same services the employees would have at a permanent office including equipment, network access, all internal sales tools, printing, etc.
They had chosen a hardware solution that allowed full access to the new corporate WAN resources, but they needed assistance with the logistical challenges of managing the hardware deployments, configurations and testing. Additionally, the company lacked the staff to organize and implement both setup and tear down, and to provide on-going support for hundreds of new and constantly moving offices. They were looking for a partner that could deliver:
- Predictable and manageable maintenance costs to satisfy financial and business units
- Scalable on-demand resources to handle the nationwide work with extremely short notice
- Logistics and project management with minimal oversight
The VIMRO team had already proven themselves an invaluable partner to this company during build-out of a data center and had been providing professional services to their former parent company for a number of years. Additionally, VIMRO was willing (and able) to take on the sales campaign office project despite very little lead time and a fairly fluid scope.
“Within just a few weeks, VIMRO was rapidly deploying remote offices,” the vice president of Infrastructure and technical operations said. “We would give them a date and an address, and they would take care of everything.”
Making Regional Sales Deployment Quick and Easy
For new locations, the VIMRO team organized the schedule, ordered and configured internet connectivity and deployed a consistent hardware solution which included Cisco Connected Branch-Office-in-a-Box with Cisco IP phones, Cisco Wireless APs and printers. Finally, VIMRO arranged internal staff to go out and do the actual work–build out the infrastructure and networking, as well as troubleshoot and provide ongoing support.
Initially, the company was only able to provide VIMRO 1- to 2-weeks’ notice when they needed a new campaign office completed, and many of the locations were in rural areas far from major airports. Furthermore, the company was migrating employees from one organization to the other, and there was no time for hand-holding or oversight.
Despite the challenges, VIMRO rolled out more than 130 offices for the company that first year including complete network infrastructure and completed 91 tear-downs.
“VIMRO was in the trenches with us during a pretty intense transition and their commitment to quality was exceptional,” said the vice president of Infrastructure and technical operations. “All their people are high performers and they don’t leave a job site until they feel they can put their name on it with confidence and pride.”
The VIMRO team also independently provided the kind of ongoing support that was essential to keeping the campaign sales teams up and running. One of the biggest problems with maintaining remote offices is there is always something unexpected to deal with. From construction issues, to building access, to chipmunks destroying critical infrastructure cabling and a broken bathroom on a higher floor leaking onto the racks, VIMRO handled it all.
“Having a contract agency that’s flexible enough to adapt and work around those external factors is amazing. It means I can prioritize my teams on critical revenue generation rather than having them spending their time on office network issues.”
A Long-Term Partnership with a Creative Service Partner
In Year Two, VIMRO began warehousing the inventory required to service the company’s ongoing regional sales deployment model, developing a custom asset tracking system and secure shipping logistics protocol. Today, the company opens approximately 80 offices a year with VIMRO’s expert assistance and has managed to shorten set up and tear-down time from multiple days to just one.
In total, VIMRO works with the company on everything from asset management to project management and from field tech to network support including:
- Asset tracking, shipping and receiving, device pre-configuration and quality control
- Bandwidth circuit management, serving as primary POC for technical issue resolution and escalation
- Logistics management for shipments, repairs of broken or failed devices and field engineer travel
- Coordination of cross-team collaboration during installation as well as well as post-install technical issues
- Ongoing hardware and connectivity maintenance
- Receiving, processing and responding to trouble tickets and escalations
The fact that there is very little churn at VIMRO has meant they’ve built relationships with other teams across the organization, keeping the lines of communication open to move individual tasks and large projects to completion faster and with less friction.
“It’s unique in this industry for a service partner to be that transparent, but it has made all the difference,” said the vice president of Infrastructure and technical operations. “They’re comfortable flagging issues with us and vice versa. And they’re not binary; they know how to handle a lot of moving parts. I know that when VIMRO is on a project–no matter what it is–the work will get done and it will be done well.”