Facts at a glance
Meet aggressive timelines for unified collaboration system migration and SD-WAN enablement simultaneously.
Two independent, expert-managed workstreams executed in close collaboration with internal client teams
- Collaboration migration services for 8 locations
- Cisco Unified Communications Manager configuration and deployment
- Design and implementation of Fortinet SD-WAN technology suite at 12 sites
- Implementation of FortiGate firewalls and FortiManager
- Help navigating major changes in business operations
- Consulting services
- Professional services
Download the client story
- 640 users’ data migrated
- $200K late fee avoided
- $350K estimated savings in hardware refresh and support costs
- Guidance, training and documentation for SD-WAN and Cisco Unified
- Full scope of work on tie and under budget
- Manageable client-owned infrastructure
When a U.S.-based architectural manufacturing company found itself in the middle of a divestiture from its Canadian parent company, finding help was nonnegotiable. The company faced a tight deadline to get all-new IT systems up and running but lacked the internal resources needed to get it done in time. Luckily, the equity firm managing its divestiture knew just where to send the company.
The equity firm had completed multiple projects with Insight in the past and had been pleased with the quality and consistency of our work and project management, so leadership referred the company to Insight for the full scope of its IT needs.
In the scope of this engagement, the client required help setting up its own Cisco® Unified Communications and Collaboration architecture and Software-Defined Wide Area Network (SD-WAN) fabric. Its phone system and IT environment were still tied to the Canadian parent company — both needed to be completely migrated in under nine weeks.
Failure to achieve total IT independence by the deadline would result in fees of well over $200,000 a month. Additionally, were the project to surpass the deadline, the client would be entirely cut off from parent company support.
According to Insight’s project manager for this initiative, “It was essential that we met the client’s deadline, and it was an aggressive date for us to hit.
To deliver against this tight timeline, Insight proposed two workstreams to be handled by two Insight teams — one to complete the Cisco collaboration migration and the other to manage the SD-WAN enablement. We aimed to have both workstreams complete within two months.
At the start of the project, the client’s collaboration services were still being managed by the parent company in Canada. Insight provided Consulting Services to plan, design, implement and support its collaboration migration for eight locations.
The locations had existing Cisco Unified Communications and Collaboration architecture, but each needed to be upgraded to the latest stable version (11.5 to 12.5). Data for 640 users also needed to be migrated to the Insight cloud data center. Altogether, Insight teammates introduced the following new apps and services:
The client had existing Fortinet® firewalls and wanted to add SD-WAN fabric on top of what it already had. It also had no documentation from the parent company, so Insight provided operational turnover documentation at the close of the engagement.
We delivered the following services to complete this workstream:
While Insight teams originally planned to execute the SD-WAN work prior to the collaboration initiative, licensing restrictions unexpectedly pushed out the SD-WAN timeline, forcing us to execute both projects concurrently — all within the same three weeks.
Adding to the challenge, the parent company disallowed Insight technicians access to its systems. Without the ability to log in to the collaboration environment, firewalls, VoIP servers, routers or expressways, Insight technicians had to set up screen shares for over-the-shoulder work with client teams.
To reduce IT costs, the client chose to use existing Cisco switches and routers wherever possible. However, much of the hardware was at or near end of life and was no longer supported.
Based on client goals, we recommended upgrading hardware rather than extending support, resulting in a move from legacy Cisco gear to all Fortinet switches as each device reaches end of support.
The client will maintain a mixed environment between Cisco and Fortinet switches while investing in modernization over time. By facilitating a gradual upgrade, our team is helping the business save an estimated $350,000 in hardware refresh and support costs.
Despite some challenges to the timeline, the project scope, budget and schedule remained on track throughout. This was thanks not only to Insight’s expert project management, but also the client’s willingness to work with our team.
In addition to avoiding a potential $200,000 late fee, the client also benefitted from a major knowledge transfer. Since the parent company had always maintained the IT environment, the client faced a big learning curve and appreciated having Insight’s technical guidance and knowledge of best practices for both SD-WAN and Cisco Unified Communications and Collaboration.
The client was very pleased with the outcome of this initiative, praising the Insight team’s level of organization and commitment to customer service. The Insight account executive on the project summed it up best: “There were definitely hiccups, internally as well as externally, that weren't in our control, but our team exceeded all expectations to get this done with flawless timing and execution."
The real proof of excellent service delivery, however, lies in the fact that the client isn’t done with us yet — there are more projects on the horizon to get excited about. Since our initial referral, the client has worked with Insight on multiple initiatives, including one completed for IBM Cloud Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and Insight Disaster Recovery (DR) and High Availability (HA) services.
Our teams look forward to continuing our work together in the future.