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Commercial Real Estate: Integrated Properties Moves to the Prosper Cloud Service!
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Prosper-IT Case Study: Integrated Properties

“Moving to the cloud makes perfect sense for any small company. You don’t have to worry about hardware installations, warranty renewals, upgrades to software, patches or hardware parts replacements. Prosper-IT takes care of all this automatically—we never have to worry about any of it.”

Robert Prendergast, Principal Partner, Integrated Properties

The Challenge

As the computer network servers at Integrated Properties approached end-of-life and the company faced the expensive prospect of purchasing new server hardware, Principal Partner Robert Prendergast decided to consider a new approach for delivering applications and data to employees. In addition to eliminating the need to purchase new server hardware, Prendergast also sought a model that would streamline technical support and system backups to protect the company in the event of a disaster.

“We essentially wanted to eliminate having to worry about our computer network infrastructure, maintenance and support,” Prendergast explained. “We knew that moving our servers into the cloud would achieve this. We also knew it would be a big change, but processes such as system backups, hardware upgrades, software patches and general support would all be taken care of. This would allow us focus more resource time on running our business and servicing customers.”

The Solution

 Prosper-IT, the technology partner for Integrated Properties, had previously suggested Prendergast consider the cloud-computing model. “They have provided technology consultation and have supported our computer network since 2006, and I began working with them at another firm in 2001,” Prendergast said. “So I trusted their recommendation that cloud computing could meet our needs cost-effectively.”

Prosper-IT specifically recommended that Integrated Properties rely on the Prosper-IT Network in the Cloud solution. The cloud-based service eliminates the headaches of maintaining computer networks while also reducing the cost of providing IT services to end users. Prosper-IT achieves this by deploying the latest cloud-computing technologies from a secure data center.

Within the data center, Prosper-IT provides built-in redundancy to ensure continuous application up-time. Network in the Cloud thus provides easy access to all applications and data from any Internet connection—whether employees work from the main office, at a remote office, at home, or on the road.

 Prendergast was initially concerned about data security in the cloud, but Prosper-IT demonstrated how cloud technology essentially offers even more encryption and a greater level of security than on-premise systems. Prosper-IT also advised Integrated Properties on how to clean up user e-mail and application files in advance of the cutover. This decreased storage requirements and helped accelerate the transition.

The transition to the cloud then went smoothly. Users continued to use their same desktop and laptop systems, and they could easily access applications and files. “We did not experience any interruptions as Prosper-IT made the cut-over during a weekend,” Prendergast added. “Users just had to learn a new way to log-in, and after that, their desktop view was the same. Prosper-IT walked us through the process and made it simple to understand.”

The Benefits

“Network in the Cloud makes it much easier for us to operate the business since we do not rely on our own equipment and power, and we do not have to worry about backups,” Prendergast said. “Prosper-IT takes care of all of this, and when issues arise, they can work on resolutions remotely. Thus, if something goes down, they can address it immediately rather than losing time while traveling to our location.”

From a cost standpoint, Prendergast said the switch to cloud services saved his company significantly in upfront capital expenditures since it did not need to purchase new hardware, which likely would have cost $20K per server. And the increase in the existing monthly support contract with Prosper-IT has been modest.

“It’s much easier from a financial-management standpoint to simply pay a flat monthly fee, which we can expense rather than having to absorb large capital expenses up front and expensing them over several years,” Prendergast said. “If we purchased in-house servers, we also would not be sure of what costs we would incur down the road as far as replacing parts or applying software patches. All of that is now part of the monthly service that Prosper-IT provides, and we know our exact monthly cost. We can also easily add or subtract users as business needs change.”

Prendergast adds that system performance for end users has been solid when accessing the cloud service and expects the connection speeds will improve even more once they cut over to cable Internet access. For users in the company’s Virginia office, accessing applications in the cloud has improved noticeably compared to the speeds they experienced when accessing files on company servers via Citrix connections under the previous infrastructure.

“Moving to the cloud makes perfect sense for any small company,” Prendergast said. “You don’t have to worry about hardware installations, warranty renewals, upgrades to software, patches or hardware parts replacements. Prosper-IT takes care of all this automatically—we never have to worry about any of it.”

In assessing long-term his partnership with Prosper-IT, Prendergast concluded, “When it comes to discussing technology, they are always straight to the point and clearly mark out our alternatives—providing both the pros and the cons. And their experience in the real estate sector allows them to understand exactly what our users need and which industry issues we need to be aware of. Their expertise ultimately helps our users operate more efficiently.”

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