The housing market at times can be ruthless; the economic downturn in early 2013 was exhibit number one. Those companies serving this market that made some tough, but smart decisions emerged the victors. Others, not so much. Enter Van Meter Inc. (VMI), a supplier of electrical and mechanical products, services and solutions. VMI took control of their own destiny, made strategic alliances and acquisitions and, if that wasn’t enough, undertook a complete transformation of their IT infrastructure.
Jason Sinclair, a systems engineer at VMI, recently spoke to us about the impact on VMI’s IT infrastructure once the company decided to turbo-charge sales growth, acquire new companies and expand into new markets. The VMI IT team faced serious challenges associated with data growth in their IBM storage environment. “Our IBM storage was running short on performance and capacity. Even more challenging was that our private cloud and virtualization strategy was held back—we couldn’t get beyond 20% virtualization.”
VMI decided to transform its storage environment. They removed IBM from their IT infrastructure and entrusted their mission-critical applications to EMC VNX unified storage. In only six months they moved from being only 20% to 100% virtualized. This new-found agility and efficiency is helping to drive VMI’s growth.
Hear Van Meter talk about why they selected EMC VNX:
The switch to EMC from IBM enabled VMI to innovate and deliver new services.
“Innovation is how we separate ourselves from the competition. For instance, harnessing the power of solar and wind power are gaining traction in Iowa with the state’s wide-open spaces and weather patterns. We were able to future-proof and offer new services around solar and wind power, positioning us to better service our customers. EMC and VMware enabled us to easily scale our private cloud to handle the extreme data growth spurred by our business expansion.”
VMI also improved their employee productivity with the move to EMC. Tight integration between EMC storage and VMware is also helping VMI to accelerate their rollout of VMware virtualized desktops to 150 employees that require instantaneous access from their smartphones, tablets and other devices. Jason projects that by the end of 2013, 250 of the firm’s 350 employees will be able to access virtual desktops remotely.
“EMC technology is a huge competitive advantage for us,” Jason told us. “It’s improving employee productivity. Sales reps no longer need to lug heavy laptops or deal with data loss, potential security risks, and slow access to information. Now our reps are totally self-reliant and able to fire up their iPad during a customer meeting to call-up orders, inventory, and quote pricing—in seconds. Customers have recognized the change—and love the new level of efficiency.”
VMI is feeling good about their private cloud now, noted Jason. “With VNX and VMware as our bedrock technologies, it’s easier to integrate new acquisitions and continue growing our business. At the end of the day, the biggest benefit to our business is that, with our ability to offer new services to our customers, we have increased our market share.”
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