Microsoft Azure, InTune, Surface Pro and Office 365 Allow Anytime, Anywhere Access
Catapult Technology delivers information technology and strategic consulting services to federal civilian, defense, and intelligence agencies. Headquartered in Falls Church, Virginia, Catapult employs a significant mobile workforce, with about 200 of its 250 of its employees working remotely.
As a government contractor serving several different agencies, Catapult needed to ensure that each and every employee could work from anywhere at any time. The firm’s current on-prem infrastructure was limiting and inflexible – as well as expensive.
With a desire to fully enable its mobile workforce to work from anywhere at any time, Catapult approached Nortec to begin exploring moving its systems and services to the cloud.
After assessing Catapult’s needs, timeline, budget and goals, Nortec provided recommendations as well as a project implementation plan and estimate. “Catapult wanted to keep costs low, as well as make sure it could manage the environment after deployment, so we structured an agreement where Nortec would implement the infrastructure and training, and then we’d turn everything over to Catapult,” said Nortec consultant Paul Wismar. “This approach really simplifies everything. Catapult’s in-house IT team doesn’t need a new skill set to manage cloud-based servers with an Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) approach,” says Wismar.
Nortec began by replacing all mobile workers’ laptops and desktops with Windows Surface Pro Tablets. To facilitate device management, Nortec’s Floyd Hardy installed Microsoft Intune, as well as advised on licenses. “We included Windows 8 OS as well as software that would enable the centralized management of Bitlocker encryption key,” said Hardy.
Hardy then provided Catapult with all the necessary training and documentation and ensured that Catapult had access to the Intune admin portal to manage the devices.
For the cloud implementation, Nortec architected a Microsoft Azure environment for SSO to Office 365 via ADFS, establishing a VPN to Catapult’s HQ for seamless authentication for users both inside and outside the firewall. Once connectivity was established, Nortec deployed File Servers, Domain Controllers and Direct Access remote connectivity services in Azure.
Once all of the servers were moved to the cloud, then Notec moved mail and personal documents files to Office 365. “Using this approach to the cloud didn’t change the overall maintenance of Catapult’s environment, but it changed their approach,” says Wismar.
With all of its employees able to work from anywhere at anytime, Catapult and its clients are enjoying as much up time as possible and the firm’s SLAs can now guarantee a defined amount of up-time. Catapult is also seeing significant cost savings by moving to a subscription-based service model rather than maintaining servers. Case_Catapult