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Case Study: Milwaukee Electric Tool outsources administration of IBM infrastructure and cuts admin costs by more than 30%



A Woodwork Tools on White Surface



Milwaukee Electric Tool’s leadership team wanted to outsource some of their IT so they could shift their focus to more strategic initiatives. They started by looking for a vendor qualified to help them with their Lotus Notes and IBM System i applications.

Selection Criteria

• IBM technical expertise
• Customer references supporting IBM i competency
• Datacenter quality in case they decide to move to an IBM cloud




Connectria’s initial engagement provided remote support of Milwaukee Electric Tool’s Lotus Notes environment, but they have since expanded to include full remote support responsibilities for their entire System i environment. Admin costs are now a third of what they were, and the company has invested those savings in hiring IT staff with competencies in new technologies.

Milwaukee Electric Tool is an industry-leading manufacturer and marketer of heavy-duty power tools, hand tools, and accessories, with a focus on professional users globally. Supporting the IT needs of its 1,000 employees all over the world is a daunting task, particularly in a dynamic, evolving IT landscape. Find out why Milwaukee Electric Tool chose Connectria to help support their IT operations and why they’re glad they did.

The Challenge

With headquarters in Brookfield, Wisconsin, 1,000 global employees, two manufacturing facilities in the U.S., a shared manufacturing facility with TTI in China, a major distribution center in Mississippi and offices around the world, Milwaukee Electric Tool places high demands upon its IT department to deliver on key objectives and strategies.

So when a new IT leadership team was put in place, they had to take a hard look at its operations and make some tough technology decisions regarding its future. For years, Milwaukee Electric Tool was an “IBM shop,” running all its applications on the IBM System i platform. This included Lotus Notes as their primary email application platform, which was supporting approximately 800 users.

The new leadership team decided to divest of certain technologies, platforms, or services so they could shift their focus to more strategic outcomes. Milwaukee Electric Tool determined Lotus Notes and certain IBM System i applications as areas where it made sense for them to remove their internal focus and trust a third party to manage it, allowing them to focus on things that were more pertinent to their success.

The Solution

Milwaukee Electric Tool’s search for a remote service provider began with online research that identified several candidates, including Connectria.
They evaluated vendors across key criteria:
• Technical competency
• Customer References
• The quality of the data center since hosting was viewed as a possible requirement in the future.

Given its extensive experience providing remote and hosted managed services on IBM Lotus and System i technologies, Connectria quickly emerged as the frontrunner. After several discussions and a visit to meet the Connectria team, Milwaukee Electric Tool had a sense that Connectria was the right fit. According to Eric Hanson, Milwaukee Electric Tool’s Director of IT Services, “We felt Connectria was an organization we could trust. It really came down to one thing that made our decision easy…their integrity. And when we met the rest of the team in St. Louis, we could see that integrity permeated across the organization. Connectria really won us over early in the process. They gave us a level of trust that’s hard to find in a partner. That sealed the deal and we’ve not been disappointed.” Connectria’s initial engagement provided remote support of Milwaukee Electric Tool’s Lotus Notes environment. Viewed originally as a trial, Milwaukee Electric Tool has since expanded Connectria’s scope to include full remote support responsibilities for their entire System i environment, with Connectria now managing hardware across several different System i LPARs (Logical Partitions), as well as the Lotus Notes platform. As Eric Hanson attests, Connectria has delivered: “In terms of our experience, Connectria provides our expert guidance. They’ve uncovered areas of opportunity and helped us streamline and automate some of our operations. Connectria’s influence has even had a compound effect on other things that we do here unrelated to their services. They’ve really contributed to the improvement of our overall processes.”

Connectria’s support has also been top-notch. When there is a problem, Milwaukee Electric Tool values the fact that anyone on their staff can pick up the phone and expect a quick response. “What’s truly unique and appreciated is that we’re going to get someone who’s sincere and wants to help make things better rather than someone who assumes a defensive posture. From my
perspective, that’s all you can ask for…and it’s because of that we’ve had a very positive experience.” Hanson further added, “We anticipated several results in Choosing Connectria. First, we expected to lower the costs of administration, which we achieved. Additionally, we had hoped to refocus our attention on more strategic objectives and outcomes, which we also accomplished. As a result, our relevant admin costs are a third of what they were before and we’ve been able to invest those savings into hiring IT staff with competencies in the new technologies we’ve adopted. This has been key to our success. Connectria has certainly exceeded our expectations.”



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