Customer Stories

Platte River Associates

Securing a Software Company’s Future Against Disaster

In Brief

INDUSTRY

Oil & Gas/Software

Location

North America/Global

Use Case

Disaster Recovery

Organization

Since 1985, Platte River Associates has been a leading provider of petroleum systems modeling software and premium consulting services for the oil and gas industry.

Challenge

When historic floods again swept Boulder, Colorado, in 2014, Mallory Phillips saw many neighboring businesses disappear for good. Phillips manages PRA’s Client Relations and said she realized the software company could easily have been one of the victims. “We’re a small software company of 12 employees with no need for a full time IT person in-house. Our source code is our livelihood and it wasn’t backed up anywhere that could withstand a flood or a fire.”

Back then PRA hired an IT consulting company to eliminate that risk and to provide general IT support. Six months later they’d made little progress towards that goal. To make matters worse, the consultants were proving untrustworthy and unreliable, often not even showing up for work.

“They kept saying they were building us a new server to consolidate everything, but with no specifics and no timeline,” recalls Phillips.

“Meanwhile we were afraid we’d lose everything if the old machines crashed.” It was time for a change.

The BNC Difference

Platte River Associates Experienced:
  • Immediate completion of backup / recovery solution for software source code and build environments
  • Better software build repeatability leading to improved customer satisfaction
  • Reliable, responsive IT support, including network, printers, laptops and mobile devices

Solution

On recommendation from a nearby business, PRA contacted Jeff Lingle at BNC’s Denver offices. LIngle dispatched two consultants to assess and triage the situation. Within a week they’d drafted a plan to address the disaster recovery concerns. They also had specific suggestions to rein in server sprawl and streamline operations.

The BNC team immediately completed build-out of the new on-site server, then consolidated many of the physical and virtual servers. BNC chose to install VEEAM Backup and Replication for disaster recovery, since PRA used VMware for its virtual servers. This provided continuous backups of PRA’s source code, build and test environments and other IT systems. After verifying the backup and recovery solution, BNC eliminated unneeded servers, cleaning up an out-of-control Active Directory and more. They now provide monthly onsite visits and a help desk to address ongoing IT support issues.

Results

Phillips reports BNC’s solution has performed as expected from over a year. She is also relieved to know a critical business asset—PRA’s software source code—is now secure against data loss and natural disaster. That’s critical given almost 85 percent of the company’s revenues come from software sales and license renewals. It also reassures prospective customers PRA can maintain future software support even if a disaster occurs. Both domestic and international customers are enjoying heightened technical support. That’s because BNC took over support for PRA’s ancillary applications like FLEXlm.

“BNC also maintains our office network, printers, laptops and mobile devices. If we ever need anything I just call or email. They usually get back to me within 15 minutes.”

The most valuable benefit? According to Phillips, it’s knowing that BNC has secured Platte River’s future, should it ever face a real data disaster.


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