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To achieve and sustain market leadership in From: A

any vertical, corporate information To: B


technology (IT) departments must do more Date: 5/2/2018
than just maintain existing platforms, Subject: Take our IT to a whole new level
toolsets, and workflows. Growth-oriented
firms with established business goals and Bill,
financial objectives must be intentional
about leveraging new technology as a I know that you have been doing a great job
means to achieving them. maintaining the technology that we have,
but it is time to do more - a lot more. Here
is a list of what I'd like to see by the end of
the year:

1. One Email server. Why are we paying for


3 Exchange Servers? I had lunch with a guy
who said they had 6 offices and 1 email
server. We only have 3 offices. Also, can
Time for Change we just host our email in the Cloud? Is this
an option for us? What are the advantages
Bill is the IT Manager at Sanford, Sons & and disadvantages? I'm concerned about
Associates (“SS&A”), a prestigious security and privacy, and keeping backups
Architecture firm headquartered in Atlanta, of our company information. We can't
Georgia. SS&A has company offices in compromise client confidentiality.
Atlanta, Nashville, and Miami.
2. Speaking of clouds, I hear a lot about
SS&A offices currently operate cloud computing. Can we just move
autonomously. Each office has its own email everything to the cloud? Is it possible to do
setup, file server, and network. There are this while keeping our data private and
no leased-line or persistent VPN connection secure? We will need to maintain control.
between offices. Projects are completed
independently in each office, and on rare 3. Virtualization. I read somewhere on NPR
occasions personnel are assigned to that a company called VMWare lets you
projects in other offices. This either virtualize your servers so you can save
involves travel and extended hotel stays, or money on hardware and make IT easier to
lots of inter-office emails with drawing file manage. Can we just virtualize everything
(DWG) attachments. and save some money? You know, a penny
saved is a penny earned.
The Chairman of SS&A, Rick, has asked Bill to
take SS&A’s IT to a "whole new level". Rick 4. A better way to share resources between
gleaned plenty of ideas from NPR Technology offices. The inflexibility of our employee
podcasts, Wired, and the WSJ Tech section, resources is killing us, and so are the travel
and shared them with Bill in the following costs. Yes, I know that some people are
email: sending drawing files through email, but
Revit/BIM files can be 200 megabytes or
more. Plus, there have been too many times between the offices or to a cloud? I saw a
where so and so will change a file attached commercial on MSNBC for Carbonite, can
to an email while the original file in the we just backup the office to Carbonite?
originating office continues to be worked
on. Then when the file in the email gets 8. One company name. The Board has
sent back, the original file gets over-written decided that we should use one firm-wide
and people end up re-doing work. This domain name for website and email. We
seems like a nonsense cluster you know were thinking ssa-group.com. Thoughts?
what! We need to be able to quickly assign
employees in Atlanta to projects in The SS&A Board of Directors has approved
Nashville and Miami, and vice-versa. $50,000 for the IT upgrades. Hopefully this
Employees need to be able to quickly access is enough, but if not then we will consider
all files and printers across all offices. Our increasing upon request. Please submit a
G: drive in Atlanta maps to our project project report that includes your
folders. Why can't we have a drive, like N: recommendations, including all costs, and
for Nashville projects and M: for Miami savings, and benefits to the firm.
projects? Of course, data integrity is
important too, so just make sure that Thanks,
architects in Atlanta can’t delete
engineering data in Nashville, etc. etc. Rick

5. Of course, security is important too, so


how can we protect people from viruses
and malware when they are working from
home on company laptops? Does everyone
need a portable firewall?

6. Fast Remote access. Employees should


have the option to work on their work
computers from home on their home
laptops and desktops. Also, some people
have work laptops that they take home, but
they can't access network drives and
printers. And I saw an ad for software that
lets you remote desktop from an iPad. I’ve
been using my iPad more and may like to try
that.

7. No more tapes. Every month we spend


$1,500 on backup tapes, and $1,000 for Iron
Mountain to pickup the tapes in each office.
Tapes are old school. Why can't we just
backup to hard drives? Is there anything to
be concerned about? Or better yet, backup
Time to Advise TW Telecom fiber DIA and Metro-E services
are both in the building)
SS&A may be prestigious, but they are not Network: 192.168.1.0/24 - Fortigate 80d
“high tech.” In fact, Bill joined the firm as a Firewall (public IP: 32.66.214.31)
draftsman and was the first person to touch
a computer at the firm (back in 1986). He Nashville Office
has been the IT manager for 20 years. While 20 Employees
his title may say IT Manager, you are the 3 Dell servers ($3,600/year Dell warranty
actual talent the firm depends on for and support costs)
technology decisions. 1. Domain Controller (ssa-
nashville.local)
Provide Bill with a Project Proposal that 2. Exchange Server (mx record =
includes your recommendations, project mail.ssa-nashville.com)
costs (recurring and non-recurring), and 3. File Server
potential savings (recurring and non-
recurring). A general overview of your 1.5 Mbps AT&T T1 ($1,200/month - no
recommendations would be an appropriate contract, Cogent and TW Telecom 10Mb
introduction, followed by projected costs and 100 Mb fiber and Metro-E services
and savings of each recommendation in are both in the building)
line-item format. Be sure to include your Network: 10.10.2.0/24 - Fortigate 60d
fee, and estimated project hours (unless Firewall (public IP: 12.24.34.122)
you want to do it for free!) Alternatives are
encouraged, but be careful - you know from Miami Office
past experience that too many options may 25 Employees
lead to indecision. 4 Dell servers ($4,800/year Dell warranty
and support costs)
Additional Info 1. Domain Controller (ssa-miami.int)
2. Exchange Server (mx record =
Atlanta Office mail.ssa-miami.com)
50 Employees 3. File Server
6 Dell servers ($7,200/year Dell warranty 4. New Dell R740 PowerEdge, Dual
and support costs) 8-core xeon 3.2Ghz processors, 256 GB
1. Domain Controller (ssa- Ram, 8 TB all-flash storage (RAID 6). not
atlanta.int) used for anything at the moment.
2. Exchange Server (mx record =
mail.ssa-atlanta.com) 5 Mbps AT&T Managed Ethernet DIA
3. File Server ($1,600/month - no contract, Cogent and
4. FTP Server (ftp.ssa-atlanta.com) TW Telecom fiber DIA and Metro-E services
5. Accounting Server are both in the building)
6. 8 year old Dell PowerEdge - (used Network: 1.1.1.0/24 - Fortigate 90d Firewall
for project archives, very old) (public IP: 22.31.125.144)

10 Mbps AT&T Managed Ethernet DIA


($1,400/month - no contract, Cogent and