Blog: All Things Nortec

Pennsylvania Engineering Firm Selects Nortec for Network Upgrade

The Background

Monaloh Basin Engineers is a 30-year-old, minority-owned business located outside of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Monaloh provides consulting on civil engineering, field surveying services, and construction monitoring to government and private industry. The company does a great deal of work for the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation in addition to preparing Right-of-Way plans for clients. About 25 employees work for the firm.

The Challenge

Pennsylvania-based Monaloh Basin Engineers was encountering serious network challenges, including a rudimentary to non-existent backup solution and failing storage. Brian Pitcher, Monaloh’s Network Administrator and the company’s one person In-House IT Department spent most of his time on CAD work. Not only did he not have time to upgrade the network, but the system would have been down for too long had he done so himself.

Pitcher knew the network needed to be upgraded and that doing so was most likely beyond his expertise. Having formerly worked with Eric Williams of Nortec in the past, Pitcher found it natural to again turn to Williams and Nortec for expertise and assistance.

The Solution

Monaloh’s priority was the immediate upgrade of its network, but it needed increased functionality as well. Nortec began by meeting with Monaloh’s management and staff to develop a solution, and, discuss its implementation plan, challenges and priorities. Nortec assessed the current systems’ capabilities and determined the best course of action for the design, implementation, maintenance, security, and training.

Williams noted that Monaloh’s current network infrastructure included de-centralized account management, no current data backups or backup solution, an email server that was not to industry standards, and antiquated network protection, including a legacy firewall. Williams streamlined the company’s user account and data management efforts and set up two different automated backup strategies for the company. The new solution incorporated Windows Small Business Server 2008, new firewall and anti-spam appliances, unified threat management software and backup software. “It used to be very cumbersome to add a new desktop, and now it’s fast and simple to add a new seat,” says Pitcher. Monaloh’s new backup solution now provides two distinct comprehensive backups of the server, as opposed to the antiquated and selective backups with the old network.

In addition, Nortec assisted with the company’s transition from one T1 provider to another. Before the switch, one of Pitcher’s biggest challenges was switching the T1 providers. Now that Monaloh’s T1 transition is complete, the costs are cheaper and the speed is consistently faster. Pitcher notes that Eric Williams was a tremendous asset to the upgrade process.


Since its network upgrade earlier this year, Monaloh Basin Engineers now has a streamlined and automated network. “Prior to the upgrade, we had just a basic network, but now that Nortec came in and implemented Active Directory, account management is now much more simplified,” says Pitcher.

In addition, Monaloh’s accounting department is looking to acquire new accounting software and now that the system has been upgraded, the server can easily accommodate the new software. And the new anti-spam filter is doing its job: Pitcher notes their spam is virtual nil.

Monaloh is now seeing a major improvement in all its processes and the company is ready for the future — and beyond.

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