Blog: All Things Nortec

Organization Centralizes IT Services to Support Current & Future Growth

Nortec Restructures Active Directory, Email, Security – and Provides 24/7 Support

The Background

National Lutheran Communities & Services (NLCS) is a faith-based, not-for-profit ministry of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America’s (ELCA) Delaware-Maryland, Metropolitan Washington, D.C. and Virginia Synods serving people of all beliefs. NLCS provides seniors with a variety of lifestyle, residential and health care options through retirement communities in Maryland and Virginia.

What once started as a small cottage for seniors in Washington, D.C. is now a family of retirement communities and services. Since its founding in 1890, the organization has continued to expand in order to meet the needs of seniors in its region.

The Challenge

NLCS’ IT systems had initially been set up when it was just a single entity, but with the creation of a corporate parent in 2008, as well the acquisition and development of additional communities, the organization’s IT systems needed to move to a centralized functionality. Camille Roussel, Chief Information Officer of NLCS says, “We needed to organize our IT infrastructure so that it could support the new acquisitions as well as future growth.”

This meant a lot of changes to Active Directory, the way the organization handled emails, and of course, security. NLCS’ IT department had a lot of internal expertise, but due to time pressures, the organization needed to execute the changes faster than its IT staff could realistically implement.

In order to meet the demands of a new sales office coming online, and to enhance its in-house IT skills, NLCS decided to engage with a partner. “We also wanted to have an expert review our plans and make sure we were approaching this project in the right way and not missing anything,” Roussel explains.

NLCS issued an RFP to several different companies, and based on its proposed plan, pricing and capabilities, Nortec was awarded the contract.

The Solution

Nortec began by reviewing the goals and challenges NLCS had outlined. Nortec then created a project plan, timeline, and implementation team. Additionally, Nortec developed a schedule for NLCS’s in-house IT staff to use so they would know what to expect and how to plan.

As the project came to completion, NLCS engaged Nortec to provide additional support to all of its communities. Since each community operates on a 24/7 basis, its IT operations also needed to be available 24/7 to its customers. Nortec’s 24/7 support offering was far more cost effective than if NLCS provided the same functionality in-house. “We wanted the same resources in place to handle any issues that might come up,” says Roussel. “Now we have tier 2 24/7 Helpdesk support system augmenting our internal resources.” Due to the reliability of Nortec’s 24/7 support services, NLCS’ in-house IT team’s time is spent on more strategic IT roles to provide better solutions to its customers.

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