Your IT business partner
“We’ve worked with Computer Business for so long, and they know our computer systems so well, and respond so quickly, that it’s like having our own dedicated IT Department.”
– Tamera Figueroa, Accounts Payable Manager, Feltrim Group
Computer Business Moves Feltrim Group’s IT Infrastructure to New Headquarters in Less than a Day
Feltrim Group, a Central Florida residential and commercial developer, was founded in the Orlando area in 1996 by Irish entrepreneur Garrett Kenny to build and manage homes for international buyers and investors.
Over the last 20 years the firm has built and sold over $800 million worth of property. Feltrim’s business extends beyond property development and property management to also include leisure, education, and hospitality.
The company’s Balmoral Resort is a $125 million gated community with some 245 homes and amenities spread across 115 acres, located in the Orlando area between Disney World and Lego Land. The development includes natural lakes, plus many parks and gardens, as well as pools, a clubhouse, and other amenities.
Recently Feltrim built an events center located at its Balmoral Resort. The building was designed with the first floor as a beautiful and versatile events space, and with the second floor to serve as Feltrim Group’s new corporate headquarters.
An essential part of planning for the new structure included coordinating the move of IT resources from the company’s existing offices to the new events center—while minimizing downtime and disruption to business.
Fortunately, Feltrim Group had long relied on Computer Business Consultants to serve as its IT Managed Services Provider. So Feltrim involved Computer Business early in the planning process to ensure a smooth and timely transfer of IT resources from the old location to the new.
The Computer Business team was led by Jeff Matthews, who worked closely with Lorcan Claffey, Feltrim’s Chief Financial Officer, who is based in Ireland, and with Tamera Figueroa, Accounts Payable Manager at Feltrim Group, who carried local responsibility for ensuring the move went smoothly.
“There was a lot of pressure on everything getting moved, set up, and ready to go on time,” says Figueroa. “But Computer Business has been our managed services provider for several years and from past experience we knew they would come through completely and that everything would be done on time.”
Project Planning and Execution
The move required extensive planning, including working with Feltrim and its vendors during construction to ensure network cabling, wiring, and other infrastructural elements were in place before drywall went up.
Throughout the project Matthews worked closely with Feltrim’s other vendors, taking a leadership role to ensure that vendor dependencies were coordinated so the work of one vendor was complete, enabling work by the next. For instance, the installing cables in the walls needed to complete work before the internet service provider (ISP) could arrive, and the ISP work needed to be complete before the IP phones were installed.
This project management was complicated by natural delays in the building process, as well as by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Deadlines can change when building something,” Figueroa says. “Sometimes permits can’t get pulled when expected, or there can be rain delays. We were impressed by the flexibility that Computer Business demonstrated. They would be standing by, ready to jump into action whenever needed.”
On the day of the move, key elements for Computer Business included:
- Ensuring the ISP was working properly and ready to go.
- Installing several Wi-Fi access devices to ensure coverage throughout both floors of the building.
- Shutting down computers at the old site, transferring the firewall to the new site, and configuring the firewall with a suite of security services.
- Bringing the Feltrim server over, install it in the new server room, connecting it to the newly configured firewall, and bringing it up to confirm all resources were connected and available, including network resources.
- Connecting employee desktops to cable runs that Computer Business had managed from the wall connections to the office desktop floorplan.
- Connecting and checking scanners, printers, and other network-connected devices.
In addition to the three-person Computer Business team onsite, additional personnel at the Computer Business office assisted with configurations, security settings, network connectivity, and multi-mode backup and disaster recovery systems.
“The Computer Business team came in on a Friday morning, and we were up and running later that day,” Figueroa says. “Our employees were impressed that our systems were only down for a few hours.”
For the superstitious, there might have been some pressure as all of this occurred on a Friday the 13th. But the real pressure was a grand opening party for the new event center—set for that Friday evening. The team completed its work, packed up ladders and equipment, and were gone before the party started.
Feltrim Group has enjoyed a number of benefits from working with Computer Business, including dependability to meet tight deadlines, great project management, deep knowledge of the Feltrim computer systems, and providing tight IT security.
Providing the Dependability Required to Meet Tight Deadlines
Computer Business has a long track record of out-performing expectations for Feltrim Group, which made it easy to depend on them to meet the tight deadline for the IT infrastructure move to the new office.
“Computer Business always comes through on our short deadlines,” Figueroa says. “It seems like all of our deadlines are short.”
Feltrim Group appreciates the quick-response availability that Computer Business provided for the move.
“This project required special flexibility from them because the move couldn’t be made until the building was finished,” Figueroa says. “They were kind of on hold for us, and then were ready to go with their team when we called to say we wanted to begin the move beginning on a Friday morning, and that we needed it complete before our grand opening party on Friday evening.”
Great Project Management and Leadership
Feltrim Group appreciates the project management and leadership role that Computer Business brought to coordinating the move of the company’s IT infrastructure.
“Jeff was involved in planning the move from the very beginning,” Figueroa says. “He acted as the liaison with the other vendors. Not only did Computer Business have to work with the internet service provider and the IP phone provider, they also had to work with the builders to get everything in before the drywall went up. After the drywall was up, the next step was placing data ports into the drywall and a lot of related tasks.”
Computer Business also designed the layout for the rack in the computer room, specifying placement for the ISP, server, firewall, router, IP phone controllers, and other elements and cabling.
“There are a number of players in a project like this,” Figueroa says. “We were glad to have Computer Business making sure everything came together in the right order and on time.”
Deep Knowledge: “Like Having Our Own IT Department”
Computer Business supports Feltrim Group’s onsite computer infrastructure, as well as employee equipment and connectivity used from home.
“Computer Business has a deep knowledge of our systems,” Figueroa says. “They know how our entire networking between departments works, all of our applications, and they ensure secure VPN connections for remote workers, and they know it is crucial to keep our Wi-Fi up and running. They know our systems from top to bottom.”
Figueroa notes that the company appreciates the rapid response when issues arise.
“We’ve worked with Computer Business for so long, and they know our computer systems so well, and respond so quickly, that it’s like having our own dedicated IT Department,” Figueroa says. “Their dependability and rapid response keep our business running, because without our computer systems working properly, we would be severely limited in what we could do.”
Providing Tight IT Security
As managed services provider to Feltrim Group, Computer Business helps ensure the company’s IT infrastructure is protected with tight security.
“Internet security is very important to us because of all the financial transactions involved in operating a resort,” Figueroa says. “We need to make it easy for our clients to make their payments through our website. We have a restaurant, so we run our clients’ credit cards through merchant services. So, internet security is very important to us, and Computer Business helps keep us secure and in compliance.”
Figueroa says Computer Business has developed a robust backup process for the company, and credits it with helping to ensure employees could work from home while securely connecting to the back-end services required for their work.
“Knowing that Computer Business is monitoring our systems around the clock and keeping everything secure helps ease the worry,” Figueroa says.