Meet Sara – Operations

Sara – Operations Non-Profit

Backup to One Internal IT Person

The Problem

Sara is an efficiency expert.  She has spent the last 30 years working for the same company and watched them grow from a small local firm to one of the largest financial advisors in the Southeast.  To her, the leadership team is like a second family and she truly cares about all of them.  That is one of the reasons why it is so hard to see Mike retire.  Mike has been with the company for close to 20 years and he recently let management know he will be retiring next year.  He is getting up in age and is experiencing new health problems.   Mike has given them ample notice of almost a year but will need extra time for doctors’ appointments until then.  Within a few days after giving notice, Mike was admitted to the hospital.  During that time the electricity went out at the main office causing the servers to go down.  Nobody at corporate could work and they had a huge proposal that needed to be ready by the next morning.  They have a very complex network with 40 servers and 300 users spread out over 34 locations.  All seemed lost and several questions came to mind:


  • How do we get up and running fast?


  • Do we outsource or hire another fulltime person?
  • Can any one person be able to do what Mike does?
  • When should we get someone else, now or closer to Mike’s retirement date?
  • What does the transition look like?
  • How long will the transition take?
  • How are we going to transfer all of Mikes 20 years of their network knowledge to someone else?


Customized IT Solution:

The INSI team realized there was a sense of urgency and needed to act quickly.  They also realized that this was a very sensitive situation and they needed to be highly respectful of Mike’s work.  The first thing they did was send Sara an ad hoc agreement to bring the servers up.  Once signed, they dispatched a senior engineer onsite.  The engineer got them up and running quickly.

Next, they met with Sara to discuss her concerns and come up with a plan of action.  After finding they had 40 servers, ranging in age, over 34 locations, they realized there was a good possibility they could simplify the infrastructure to save them money.  Sara agreed to sign a server agreement and have Mike continue to support the desktops.  The plan was to thoroughly document the environment, work with Mike on any inherent knowledge, and put together a 5-year plan to slowly move the servers to a cloud infrastructure as they aged out.   In addition, Sara wanted a backup to Mike for when he was out of the office on doctors’ appointments or out sick.  INSI realized they had to be nimble and used the thin client pricing to allow for .5 calls per month to backup Mike.  (Note: the average user calls in to the helpdesk 1.5X per month.)  Sara agreed to increase to full desktop support once the call volume exceeded .5 calls per month.   This would allow for an easy transition while being completely respectful of Mike and his capabilities.