Situation: Touchstone Behavioral Health is a nonprofit organization that provides a range of youth behavioral health services, including anger management, crisis intervention, psychiatric evaluations, support groups, and parenting classes. The Glendale, Arizona–based organization has six sites throughout Arizona and employs 180 people.
Technology is critical in helping Touchstone meet ever-increasing healthcare regulations, empower its staff to be productive, and keep operating costs low. When Steven Porter arrived in mid-2006 to lead Touchstone’s IT department, the organization had already upgraded the company’s seven servers to the Windows Server 2003 operating system, installed Microsoft® Exchange Server 2003 as its messaging system, and standardized on Microsoft SQL Server 2000 data management software. The company’s desktop computers ran the Windows® 2000 and Windows XP operating systems. Keep Reading..
The Challenges: As a standard regulatory requirement, the bank needed to send frequent reports to the Financial Services Authority and to Jersey Financial Services Commission within an allocated timeframe. The process of liquidity monitoring and reporting was managed within an internal MS Access database and required half a day of employee time to complete, on a daily basis. Reporting to regulatory bodies was conducted when necessary by email.While the system provided adequate results, it was a stand-alone solution and so did not reconcile with other systems.
Our Solution: C5 designed and developed a Microsoft SQL Server based solution, to automate all of the bank’s Offshore liquidity monitoring and reporting requirements.The project was delivered in two phases, the first phase to address the issue in relation to London’s regulatory environment and the second phase to apply to Jersey’s. Each phase was completed successfully, well within the allocated timeframe and budget and provided internally consistent reporting for the first time…
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“It’s much easier to support our users now, because we only have one version of the software and the same drivers on each desktop.“
- Markos Speis, IT Director, Mitera.
Situation: In the early 1970s, a team of 30 obstetrician-gynecologists joined together to create a healthcare facility in Athens, Greece, that would offer the most advanced diagnostic technology and treatment options for people all over the country. The group committed to remaining on the leading edge of medical care…
Solution: In 2004, Mitera signed a three-year Microsoft Open Value Licensing Agreement with the Company–wide Option to simplify license management, gain greater control over the software upgrade cycle, and manage software costs more efficiently. The agreement covers Microsoft Office Professional Edition 2003, the Windows® XP Professional Service Pack 2 operating system, as well as CALs and server licenses for Microsoft SQL Server Enterprise Edition, Microsoft Exchange Server, and the Windows Server™ 2003 operating system… Learn more..
“After five years of successful datacenter virtualization, we knew that virtualizing our upgrade to Microsoft SharePoint 2010 would deliver high availability, lower cost and greater business agility.”
— Larry Bates, Senior Server Administrator, The Greenbrier Companies.
At The Greenbrier Companies, Microsoft SharePoint is a mission-critical application for employee collaboration, customer-service workflows and management communication. After five years of successful datacenter virtualization on the VMware platform, Greenbrier recently virtualized its SharePoint upgrade and related Microsoft SQL Server databases. On another front, the company also has virtualized expansion of its Microsoft Dynamics AX Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solution. Read more…
“Because we moved onto the Microsoft platform, users can perform their own analyses to evaluate how potential new products will perform. That capability is a real innovation for us.”
- Mark Underwood, Second Vice President, Protective Life Corporation.
Business Needs:Protective Life Corporation is a holding company whose subsidiaries offer investment products and life and specialty insurance. The company relies on Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 data management software for mission-critical systems such as policy underwriting, claims processing, and commission payments to its agents. Protective Life also uses a business-critical data warehousing and business intelligence solution based on SQL Server 2008 R2 and Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010. The solution extracts data from about 30 disparate systems at the company’s subsidiaries…
Solution: The project to eliminate the Teradata system was part of an ongoing plan at Protective Life to consolidate as much of its IT environment as possible onto the Microsoft platform. “In addition to providing the basis for a very robust enterprise architecture right now, Microsoft technology also supports the most compelling vision for where Protective Life wants to go over the next five to seven years,” says Underwood.The project, which began in mid-2009, included a six-month phase of migrating the Teradata processes and data-source connections to Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 Enterprise… View more..
“We are controlling costs. We also have across-the-company consistency in our pay practices now as a result of implementing Kronos on SQL Server.”
- Terri Wermter, Human Resources Systems Administrator, American Woodmark.
Situation: Based in Virginia, American Woodmark Corporation manufactures and distributes kitchen and bath cabinets. It sells more than 435 cabinet lines under four major brands: American Woodmark, Shenandoah Cabinetry, Timberlake Cabinetry, and Waypoint Living Spaces. With thousands of salaried and hourly workers spread across numerous facilities around the country, American Woodmark location managers set their own workforce policies, using whichever manual or automated tools were readily available and best suited their needs…
Solution: After researching possible workforce management solutions, the team chose the Kronos Workforce Central suite running on the company’s Microsoft SQL Server data management software for the flexibility, scalability, and value-for-cost benefits that the joint solution provides. Because American Woodmark has been using SQL Server for all of its applications since migrating from an IBM mainframe in 1995, the company already had the database platform it needed without a hefty IT investment… Find out more..
“As a growing company in an industry moved by rapidly changing political considerations, we needed the agility that only a fully managed cloud platform like Windows Azure can provide.”
- Luke Spikes, Chief Executive Officer, Spikes Cavell.
Business Needs: Government organizations worldwide are grappling with the need to reduce spending and introduce greater fiscal transparency into their operations. However, delivering on this mandate is easier said than done. Explains Luke Spikes, Chief Executive Officer of Spikes Cavell: “One major obstacle to reform is that many public sector entities use separate, nonintegrated systems to track purchases across different departments. This makes it difficult to measure procurement efficiency and drive the delivery of savings in any meaningful way…”
Solution: Beginning in September 2009, developers at Spikes Cavell used the Microsoft Visual Studio development system to create the solution that the company now markets as spotlightonspend. Based on Microsoft ASP.NET and Microsoft SQL Server, this online solution uses Microsoft Silverlight browser plug-in technology to render user interface components. Initially, the company used Amazon Elastic Cloud Compute (EC2) to host spotlightonspend. However, executives found that the need to continuously update and reconfigure servers inhibited developer productivity and the company’s responsiveness to new market opportunities…
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“With BizTalk Server 2006, we can perform as if we were a number one, two, or three company in our industry. That puts us on a level playing field.“
- Bob Oldrati, Controller and IT Director, Powell Electronics.
Situation: Powell Electronics assembles and distributes electronic components for use in equipment that is manufactured by other companies. Founded in 1946, the company is still owned by the Powell family. Including its New Jersey headquarters, Powell has 12 offices in North America, South America, and Europe, as well as Israel and China. Although the firm is relatively small (with 240 employees in 2007), its value-added services and precisely customized solutions have won Powell ongoing business relationships with major players in the aerospace and defense industries, including Caterpillar, Lockheed Martin, and Boeing…
Solution: Powell Electronics selected Activ Technologies—a Microsoft® Gold Certified Partner specializing in supply-chain infrastructure development—to help design a business process management (BPM) solution that would include the following components:
>Microsoft BizTalk® Server 2006 R2 to serve as the solution’s foundation,
>Microsoft SQL Server® 2005 database software to provide the BPM message storage,
>The Microsoft Visual Studio® 2005 development system to support custom programming,
>Microsoft Office SharePoint® Server 2007 to provide the user interface…
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Business Challenge: LendingTree is a relatively young and profitable company progressing at a rapid pace in a highly competitive, very dynamic economic environment. As the company matures, the need for tracking and measuring results becomes increasingly important in order to maintain the company’s competitive advantage. Lei Fu , Vice President of Business Applications summarizes by saying, “we are striving for quicker access to information that the business can act upon.” The Information Services team targeted two fundamental segments of the business, Operations and Sales, for their phase I implementation of the Microsoft and Decision Support Panel (DSP) Business Intelligence (BI) Solution…
Solution: Business Applications and Information Services looked at possible solutions considering both cost and effectiveness. LendingTree implemented a Microsoft solution that included Decision Support Panel’s DSP Portal Edition BI Portal Solution. The products included are as follows: Microsoft SQL Server 2005, SQL Server 2005 Analysis Services, SQL Server 2005 Integration Services, Microsoft SharePoint Portal Server 2003, Microsoft Office PerformancePoint Server 2007 and DSP Portal Edition 4.3, as well as, Microsoft Windows Server 2003 and Microsoft Office Professional Edition 2003. The Microsoft/DSP solution provides LendingTree with a secure, reliable BI platform. The DSP Portal and customizable Web Parts compliment Microsoft SharePoint Portal Server and enable LendingTree to leverage its existing Intranet portal…
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Situation: Puerto Rico’s credit unions play a significant role in the lives of their customers. Members of these credit unions are considered part owners, and ownership brings with it considerable security and a sense of belonging. The country’s credit unions range in size and have diverse clientele—urban credit unions typically have many offices to serve professionals in the country’s major cities, while rural credit unions have fewer branches but count tens of thousands of farmers and small business owners as clients. The majority of credit union members in Puerto Rico are over the age of 50…
Solution: Involvement in Microsoft early adoption programs helped Visuales Caribe to see the potential of new tools available in Windows Vista, such as the Windows Presentation Foundation, and innovative development tools like the Microsoft® .NET 3.0 Framework. Confident that these tools would help to create a more intelligent and user-friendly solution in less time, Visuales Caribe quickly made the decision to build its application on the Windows Vista platform.The development team at Visuales Caribe built its credit union operations software for use on Windows Vista, and based the solution on Microsoft technologies including Windows Server® 2003, Microsoft SQL Server™ 2005, Microsoft Office SharePoint® Server 2007, Microsoft Exchange Server 2007, and the 2007 Microsoft Office system…
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