WHEN ACCESS TO WIRED LINES IS LIMITED, PCSI UTILIZES CRADLEPOINT 4G LTE SOLUTIONS
Professional Contract Services Inc. (PCSI) needed connectivity for its offices located in areas without access to broadband. With Cradlepoint’s COR Series routers and NetCloud Manager, PCSI’s small IT team is able to provide connectivity quickly and cost-effectively — with limited man-hours and simple configuration, deployment, and remote management.
Headquartered in Austin, Texas, PCSI is a nonprofit that recruits, trains, and manages teams of workers nationally — a majority of whom have disabilities — who provide 12 different lines of support services including: facilities management, food and dining, fleet management, janitorial, grounds and landscaping, and much more. PCSI has more than 40 contracts with more than 1,400 employees, and has an annual revenue upwards of $120 million. PCSI recruits, hires, and trains people with physical and intellectual disabilities, while giving priority to U.S. veterans. The organization’s mission is to create employment opportunities for people with every type of disability.
In 2015, PCSI was preparing to reorganize its contract office in Fort Hood, Texas. The lone user at the office needed connectivity for a time clock. This was challenging because the time clock required connectivity through a cable port, but the area lacked cable or DSL access. For this office and any similar pop-up networking/Day-1 Internet situations at future PCSI offices, the company’s three-person IT team knew they would need a solution that:
- Is simple to configure and deploy
- Allows for quick firmware upgrades
- Is cost-effective enough to enable deployment of additional devices as needed
After a successful test run, PCSI chose Cradlepoint’s COR Series wireless broadband routers and NetCloud Manager to solve its connectivity barrier at this remote office location. The results were overwhelmingly positive, leading PCSI to deploy 14 more Cradlepoint solutions within the next year.
“I was overwhelmingly impressed with how simple, quick, and easy it was to deploy the Cradlepoint solutions,” said Nathan Matarazzo, systems analyst at PCSI.
Easy to Configure & Deploy: Cradlepoint’s COR Series router was simple to configure with a static IP address and then deploy, which allowed PCSI’s IT team to spend minimal time preparing the devices at headquarters before mailing them to the offices and having a PCSI worker at each site handle installation.
“If someone at the location has a screwdriver, they can mount and deploy the Cradlepoint in minutes,” said Matarazzo. No contracted on-site IT support is required, which yields substantial savings for the organization. This process also allows PCSI to get new offices up and running much quicker than it would with broadband connectivity, which usually takes up to six months to implement on government sites.
Fast, Efficient Firmware Upgrades From Central Location: From headquarters, PCSI’s IT professionals use NetCloud Manager to push firmware upgrades, security patches, and more to its Cradlepoint devices at various locations simultaneously.
“With other devices that we manage, upgrades require remoting in or buying a plane ticket to visit the locations in person,” said Matarazzo. “With Cradlepoint solutions, we can upgrade all the offices together in 15 to 20 minutes.”
Cost-Effective: At first PCSI used Cradlepoint solutions only where broadband service hadn’t been provisioned. Now, after experiencing the solutions’ reliable connectivity, cost-effectiveness, and ease of use — especially with NetCloud Manager’s ability to reduce IT staff hours — the IT team considers using Cradlepoint even in areas where broadband is available.
“In many cases, we can achieve significant cost savings with cellular broadband solutions through Cradlepoint. Data pools also make it really easy to add devices to our plans,” said Matarazzo.