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Case Study June 25, 2020

Case Study: Maintaining Momentum for CTSI-Global

Since 1955, CTSI-Global has assisted companies in every aspect of their supply chain process through innovative use of logistics technology. After decades spent building and managing their physical infrastructure and inhouse data center operations, CTSI needed to make critical upgrades to their aging infrastructure using the IBM i Power7 platform. CTSI needed a service provider to help modernize and upgrade its infrastructure and software while also focusing on security improvements. Connectria fortified CTSI’s ability to help customers plan for the future.

Selection Criteria

• Native IBM i operational background
• Expert experience in private cloud infrastructure
• Inhouse disaster recovery solution with replication

Platform

IBM i

Results

• Improved monitoring and upgrading
• Broad and economic operational support
• Overall simplification of the process with an all in one monthly solution
• Transformed an immense capital expense into a more manageable operation

For over 60 years, CTSI-Global has been assisting companies in every aspect of their supply chain process through innovative use of logistics technology. CTSI believes in balancing experience with inquisitiveness, an outlook that has allowed them to stay ahead of the technology curve and on top of industry developments. From superior SaaS solutions to their 20,000-strong carrier network, CTSI Global helps customers expand capacity, boost efficiency, and save money.

The Challenge

CTSI is well known for its advanced logistics capabilities and is headquartered in America’s aerotropolis of Memphis, Tennessee; largely considered one of the greatest logistics hubs in the world. With the four R’s of rail, river, road, and runway, Memphis secures CTSI’s foothold geographically while Connectria stabilizes their need for improved infrastructure. Previously the core of CTSI’s business, about 70 percent, was running on the IBM i platform. With limited availability of qualified systems administration and operational experts, CTSI turned to Connectria who could supplement CTSI’s existing staff.

As CTSI’s operations continued to expand, their business leadership knew it was time to make fundamental infrastructure upgrades targeting a normal cycle of software upgrades. General patching and maintenance were hard to keep up with due to the size of their internal infrastructure team. What they did not know was how to do it, at what cost, and if they had the right people. “What I would call the typical reasons you consider moving to a managed IT services provider were all very present. I come from a managed IT services background, having worked for these services for 15 years before joining CTSI-Global. The model that Connectria uses, the types of service they offer were all very familiar to me,” said Trey Willis, Chief Technology Officer.

Willis further explained, “There aren’t very many options that still have a native IBM i (formerly iSeries) platform support and a more modern dedicated cloud type of service. What initially jumped off the page in terms of Connectria was just that. There are a lot of folks that can do one or the other, and others partnering to deliver a hybrid IT solution, but not very many that can do what Connectria can natively with their full-time staff onsite.”

The Solution

CTSI Global wanted to work with a managed IT services provider to help them upgrade their aging infrastructure. “Connectria was a pretty clear winner and stood out for the majority of the process. During the last few weeks of the RFP they made a very strong presentation both commercially and operationally,” said Willis. The organization selected Connectria to manage their IBM i environment after heavily entertaining six different possible vendors.

Connectria replaced CTSI’s on-site IBM i and Intel environments with an IBM i Cloud and VMware/Intel environment combined with a Disaster Recovery environment with replication and support for recovery time and recovery point objectives. According to Willis, “Connectria was able to identify ownership and responsibility, simplifying the overall process with an all in one monthly solution that provides infrastructure, operating systems, and operational support.” With Connectria managing CTSI’s infrastructure, its internal infrastructure team was able to focus on sharpening skills and finding areas of opportunity to modernize platforms rather than simply managing the system day-to-day.

The Results

Ultimately, Connectria helped CTSI-Global save $15,000 per month in overall capital costs including hardware, software, and operational expenses. Connectria’s team of seasoned system admins and operational experts provided broad and high-value operational support. Without Connectria, CTSI would have had to hire another team internally or to remotely manage their infrastructure, a more challenging and cumbersome process in terms of maintaining consistency.

For success, the project needed to be rooted in a strong relationship and required an expert team with dogged determination. “My favorite part about Connectria is the relationship. I know that when I need something to be done for my business, Connectria is always happy to help; and they sincerely mean that,” said Willis. “Operationally Connectria is like a dog with a bone. They’ve been with us, side by side, solving any problems until they are done.”

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