Newhall Klein solves a major server upgrade and finds longterm support

“In the end, our biggest need was to have a *group* like Newmind, who can come in and help with higher-level tasks like this. Like what Newhall Klein does for our clients: providing an entire company with a breadth of resources, rather than relying on a single person to do it all.”

—Randon Chisnell, Web Designer

Newhall Klein is a marketing agency based out of Kalamazoo, Michigan
Randon Chisnell, Web Designer

Meet Randon

Randon Chisnell is the de facto “IT guy” at Newhall Klein, but he wouldn’t exactly consider himself that. He’s been with NK for 15 years, and while he can recall serving in an IT role for as long as he can remember, that’s never been the job formally assigned to him:

 

“Really I’m the web designer—not quite the same. I can set up a Mac server, or an Office 365 account—that’s not so complicated. If you needed someone to look for server bottlenecks or track ports, though, that’s a little outside my wheelhouse.”

 

Newhall Klein: 25 years of creative excellence

Newhall Klein has served clients across North America for over 25 years, as a full-service marketing agency including website development, packaging design, branding and marketing strategy. Their mission statement, “Building Brands by Design,” has led them to numerous awards.

In 2014, they received the Best Food Industry Mobile Application award by the Internet Advertising Competition and their work on Kellogg Community College’s website earned the college a Bronze Medal with the National Council for Marketing and Public Relations.

“Our client partnerships span the decades! Not only do clients expect us to do great work today—they rely on us to access and reference a long history of brand assets. Digital backup is absolutely essential to our business.”

Sandy Klein, President

Staying ahead of the curve

Fortunately, for Randon and NK, the personal computers in their office are new and pretty low maintenance. In the Autumn of 2015, however, they saw that their file server—the home to many of Newhall Klein’s digital assets—was beginning to age, and NK saw an opportunity to innovate.

“Backup is a very important piece of Newhall Klein. We’re basically an entirely digital company, all our assets, all our work, everything exists in an immaterial way.” —Randon Chisnell, Web Designer

The file server is the powerhouse that provides NK with peace of mind that their projects (and their backup files) are always exactly as they left them. To keep the team equipped with the best possible tools for managing that digital content, Randon, with support from NK leadership, chose to take a proactive step and investigate a new solution to grow alongside them.

“Our client partnerships span the decades! Not only do clients expect us to do great work today—they rely on us to access and reference a long history of brand assets. Digital backup is absolutely essential to our business.” –Sandy Klein, President

Finding peace of mind with a hybrid cloud backup solution

While evaluating platforms, they reached out to Newmind Group to understand the strategic benefits of onsite/offsite backup. There were many questions. They were already familiar with NAS solutions,  but cloud and offsite backup was unfamiliar territory.

Newmind Group shared insight from working with similar creative design clients, who use a Datto NAS hybrid cloud server, which handles the backups automatically, both on & off-site, while still handling network file storage. Working with that information, NK elected to go with the Datto NAS.

Deployment and Benefits

As they approached deployment, there was some anxiety about migrating the data. The original server had a lot of sensitive data on it—would the transfer be quick and painless?

“Due to the nature of the task, it took a while to transfer our data to the new unit, but all in all, it was a smooth and transparent process.”

With the hybrid cloud server in place, NK’s entire file server now backs itself up automatically, and to two locations—onsite, in the built-in backup, as well as regularly saving a snapshot of the entire system to the cloud. In the event data is temporarily lost on their server, NK can revert to a recent backup state in minutes.

Randon was given access to the NAS admin controls, and Newmind provided him training on day-to-day functions, such as adding new shares and adjusting user properties, so that he has the freedom to tackle basic tasks independently.

With a Newmind Group engineer assigned to regularly monitor their server and handle onsite maintenance, NK no longer needs to spend additional resources on keeping their digital assets safe, protecting their workflow as well as their trust with clients.

 

Mapping New Strategies

The success of the project prompted Newhall Klein’s leadership team to bring Newmind Group on board as a full IT support team, and passing those responsibilities on to Newmind has allowed Randon to focus on his formal role as a web designer.

“In the end, our biggest need was to have a *group* like Newmind, who can come in and help with higher-level tasks like this. Like what Newhall Klein does for our clients: providing an entire company with a breadth of resources, rather than relying on a single person to do it all."

Today, NK has the Newmind Group helpdesk at their disposal for any minor IT support issues, an engineer, Luke, appointed to handle any on-site needs, and a place to turn to for advice on any future strategy for their technology. “It’s a huge time and energy saver to have Luke come in to set up devices, transfer accounts and help out with other things,” says Randon. “Having that expertise available is invaluable.”

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