It’s been a wild year for all of us, and the Information Technology (IT) department is rolling with it. A majority of the corporate office staff began to work remotely very quickly and our team adjusted to help those transitions go as smoothly as possible. On top of the changes made due to COVID-19 this year, we’ve restructured our growing department and have been working on major projects.
Adjustments Due to COVID
After the pandemic began, within a few short days over 95% of Wright Service Corp. (WSC) employees were working remotely with minimal business impact. Much of this was attributed to aggressive efforts towards increasing WSC’s network and security posture as well as moving critical infrastructure to the cloud. This included the entire Office 365 suite netting big benefits to all employees, particularly document access via OneDrive, email via Outlook and Teams for virtual collaboration. The phone system was also migrated to the cloud earlier in the year allowing for access to phones via MiCollab and a strong VPN backbone enabled access to eCMS, which was also moved to the cloud over the past year. The business maintained its perfect record of not missing a billing or payroll cycle – a testament to everyone at WSC.
With the continued growth we have seen over the last few years, we have reorganized the information technology (IT) department – specifically our infrastructure and help desk functions to provide increased customer service to our employees while ensuring a solid infrastructure to build upon. With that in mind, Sarah Leonardi was promoted to manager help desk which includes telephony, audio video, printing, device fulfillment and help desk phone support. James Taffae serves as the manager infrastructure and focuses solely on our infrastructure as this area continues to grow and requires additional attention. This includes all network hardware and software, system software, monitoring, network connectivity for the corporate office, all satellite offices across the United States and Canada, as well as future acquisitions. As we continue to expand and grow our family of companies, a looming issue that plagues companies big and small grows as well – the threat of cyberattacks and breaches of data. With safety being our number one value, we want to ensure our digital assets are secure. Taylor Erickson was promoted to a newly established role within the company, information security assurance analyst. Taylor has been building out and executing an aggressive two-year security roadmap to enhance our security posture.
Project Management Office (PMO) Update
The IT PMO has kicked off the new fiscal year with several initiatives, including a couple that are continuing from last fiscal year. The Workday Human Capital Management (HCM)
was recently introduced as “HR at your fingertips.” Workday HCM is a cloud-based platform set to launch in February 2021 that moves the hiring practice from the field to online, digitizes the applications process and allows employees access to personal employment information. The Enterprise System Integration (ESI) program began in 2018 with the implementation of Gridline, a new global positioning system for our fleet. This year we build on that service platform with Fleetio, which offers digitized forms for field use and a comprehensive maintenance scheduling and repairs program. And finally, we have a couple of small, short-term projects including off-site storage and the digitization of employee records, and just getting underway is a new accounting structure for expense distribution.
There are a number of major projects the information technology department is working on, one being the building remodel. The corporate office will have a refreshed security system covering all aspects of the campus with additional cameras scanning the café areas and the parking lot. Touchpad schedulers will be added outside of each conference room, making it simple to locate and book the right meeting space. New Wi-Fi systems with the latest WiF16 standards will offer increased speed, reliability and coverage. Employees will be able to work virtually anywhere within the campus and take advantage of the new collaboration spaces such as the building connector and café. Prior to the demolition stage, storage for PC and mobile devices was very limited as was space to configure devices, and shipping and receiving. Upon completion of the remodel, we will have a dedicated IT storage and configuration room to house equipment and space for new PC and mobile device
configuration. A larger server room will house all the core infrastructure, including new network cabling to all new work locations terminating at new Cisco infrastructure.
By Loren Klein, Chief Information Officer
This article was published in “Executive Excerpts,” a section of the Wright Service Corp. biannual newsletter, The Wright Perspective.