Metric & Multistandard Components Case 3 Corp.:

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  • Topic: Network management, Computer network, Network monitoring
  • Pages : 14 (1179 words )
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  • Published : November 2, 2012
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With 22,000 customers, 48,800 cataloged parts, and 150 employees working in five U.S. locations and an office in Germany, the last thing John Bellnier needs is an unreliable network. Yet that’s exactly what he contended with for years as IT manager at Metric & Multistandard Components Corp. (MMCC). MMCC may still be classified as a small business by some standards, but this small-to-medium business (SMB) definitely has been a big-time success story in its industry. MMCC was founded in 1963 by three Czech immigrants in Yonkers, New York, and has grown into one of the largest U.S. distributors of metric industrial fasteners. In the last 10 years business has doubled, reaching $20 million in sales in 2005, and growing just as fast in 2006. However, the company’s growth overwhelmed its telecommunications network, which was managed by an outside telecom network management company. The network crashed frequently, interrupting e-mail communications and leaving customer service representatives unable to fulfill orders promptly. “We had locked ourselves into a three-year contract with our provider,” Bellnier says. “It was a managed system and therefore we didn’t have passwords to the routers. I experienced dozens of episodes of spending days on the phone trying to escalate job tickets to get the problems solved. It was a nightmare. “He recalls a particular challenge that occurred when the provider denied that its router had gone down: “Their network was broken, and we had to deal with the downtime consequences on top of spending time trying to convince someone 2,000 miles away that one of their routers needed repair. “Several months before MMCC’s contract with the provider was to expire, Bellnier began to seek a better network solution. He outlined five key requirements for a new network for the company: Reliability Provide maximum network uptime to sustain business operations Scalability Grow with MMCC’s increasing business demands Security Ensure confidentiality and integrity of company data. Economy Reduce costs for both initial outlay and ongoing administrative and maintenance overhead Responsibility “I wanted all the hardware from one vendor so when issues come up, I know who to turn to,” Bellnier adds. Bellnier met with MMCC executives in 2004 and told them that he believed he could manage a new companywide network internally, on a limited budget, and could recoup the upfront investment by lowering operating expenses. Company executives agreed that the current network situation was intolerable and gave Bellnier the go-ahead to research and select an experienced local IT consulting firm that was certified to build telecom networks by one of the top telecom hardware and software vendors. Bellnier selected HiLink Computer

Corp.,
a
Cisco
Systems
Premier
Certified
Partner
that
had
earned

Cisco
specializations
in
wireless
local
area
networks
(LANs)
and
virtual
private

network
(VPN)
security.
As
a
first
step,
HiLink
audited
MMCC’s
existing
network

and
interviewed
management
about
business
goals
and
requirements.
Company

management
was
impressed
with
Hi-Link
and
agreed
that
Bellnier
should
seek
a

formal
project
proposal
from
the
consultants.
HI-Link’s
consulting
engineers,
led

by
Business
Development
Manager
Jim
Gartner,
proposed
to
Bellnier
that

MMCC
build
a
secure
network
foundation
consisting
of
virtual
private
network

links
between
sites.
Using
Cisco
integrated
services
routers
and
security

appliances,
the
network
blueprint
was
designed
to
give
Bellnier
transparent

remote
access
to
all
necessary
devices,
increase
his
control
over
the
network,

and
improve
network
performance.
Hi-Link
showed
Bellnier
how
a
secure

network
foundation
works
to
automate
routine
maintenance,
monitor
the
network,

and
alert
IT
staff
of
security
or
performance
issues.
Bellnier...
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