Advocacy Organization Representing Over 150,000 Professionals

Boosting Productivity with a 16x Increase in Network Speed and Infrastructure & Network Improvements

Background:

The advocacy organization works closely with the federal sector to represent over 150,000 federal employees. It has a Washington, D.C. office and seven field offices across the nation. The organization has an in-house IT team who is in charge of all IT operations at the main and branch offices.

Challenges:

The team saw an opportunity to modernize the organization’s network infrastructure and increase productivity of its staff and external users by addressing these challenges:

  • The organization was running a multi-site network system with no wireless infrastructure, prohibiting employees from accessing the Internet from their own devices or away from their desks.
  • The organization’s wide area network topology depended on Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) to connect the Washington, D.C. office and other remote sites, putting pressure on the D.C. office’s MPLS and Internet connections and affecting its business operations.
  • Its IT team was seeking more effective tools and procedures to help manage, analyze, detect, and resolve network problems so that IT performance and security could be optimized.

Goal:

The organization needed a non-biased IT assessment partner to evaluate the entire network (at the main Washington, D.C. and other remote sites) and make recommendations on appropriate changes to innovate its IT operations.

Solutions:

ATS collaborated closely with the organization’s IT team to do a complete assessment of its IT infrastructure, equipment, Internet bandwidth, MPLS bandwidth, Active Directory, security, network applications, backup, and disaster recovery. The assessment methodology followed a logical sequence:

  • Gathering data from IT staff;
  • Visually inspecting equipment and systems at all sites; and
  • Installing assessment tools for performance and security inspection.

Exinda, Pathview Cloud, Microsoft Software Inventory Analyzer, and Microsoft Group Policy Results were utilized in addition to other built-in tools for detailed analysis.

After the thorough assessment, ATS provided detailed findings, analysis, and recommendations for each element assessed. ATS also identified opportunities for improvement in other areas, including administration policies and procedures. ATS presented long-term and short-term action items for improvements with assigned priorities for each and also suggested metrics for improvements across different areas, including:

  • Network speed
  • Security
  • Hardware
  • Backup speed and frequency
  • Bandwidth management

Results:

The organization has been actively implementing ATS’ recommendations for the network overhaul and saw the following enhancements:

  • It cleaned up Active Directory and group policies, and improved Internet connection speed at all sites by moving away from MPLS.
  • The main office and remote branches saw a 16x increase in connection speed.
  • Any network disruptions at the main D.C. office will no longer affect branch operations.

The organization continues to develop new strategy and projects based on ATS’ assessment to boost physical environment’s efficiency as well as reduce the complexity of the network, number of components, and dependencies on human attention to details.