PeopleNet, a Chaska, MN based fleet management solution provider.
Due to growth, the company needed to move its data center to a third party data location.
PeopleNet moved their mission-critical applications into VISI’s data center.
PeopleNet’s critical services are now safely housed within VISI’s state-of-the-art data center and are able to continue to support PeopleNet’s high uptime requirements and growth going forward.
PeopleNet, a technology company based in Chaska, MN, offers trucking firms a wireless messaging service allowing them to stay in touch with and keep track of their fleet. The company began in 1994 with the sole focus of improving fleet management through technology.
The company’s network connects truckers to their employers and clients through an onboard computer that tracks their movements and serves as a communication device. The technology allows for 100 percent wireless and paperless electronic driver logs and automated messaging through the G3 onboard computer. The G3 also provides second-by-second details of a truck’s movement during an accident, allowing for accident reconstruction.
PeopleNet employs more than 100 people.
PeopleNet began its relationship with VISI in 2000 as a T1 connectivity customer. Since PeopleNet is a technology company it has – not surprisingly – its own talented information technology staff. Unlike other clients, VISI’s primary role was only to provide connectivity to the Internet.
As PeopleNet has grown, however, the burden of maintaining its own data center in Chaska proved both expensive and daunting. With a space squeeze brought on by a recent surge in business, the company made the decision to relocate its Network Operations Center to VISI’s St. Paul data center.
Led by Vice-President of Software Jim Lowell, PeopleNet contacted VISI in 2006 to inquire about moving its eight server racks to VISI’s St. Paul data center. "Our customer base needs the technology 24/7," says Lowell. "We can’t afford to be down even for a couple of minutes. We wanted a sophisticated data center with excellent cooling, power, Internet and security operations."
The decision to have VISI house its data operation was not difficult since the ISP already provided Internet connectivity for PeopleNet and had an excellent reputation as a good data partner to many firms in the Twin Cities. "I liked what I saw and they had an openness to our ideas that I don’t always find in vendors," says Lowell.
Prior to the move, PeopleNet’s technical team and VISI staffers met several times to plan the transition. "VISI helped us a lot in planning the move of the data center and was very supportive of our strategy and how we wanted to handle things," says Lowell. "That’s what differentiates them from other data centers in town. They work with you and allow you to do it your way. And that’s what makes them exceptional."
On an August weekend in 2006, PeopleNet moved its servers and the racks which house them to VISI’s data center. Mike Sowada, VISI’s Chief Executive Officer, was on hand for the entire move. "I was impressed that Mike came that Saturday night to work with us and we didn’t finish till 8 a.m. Sunday morning," says Lowell. "Mike gave up a weekend of his own time to be on hand and he certainly didn’t have to."
The arrangement has worked well. VISI takes care of PeopleNet’s servers through world class cooling, power, Internet connectivity and physical security. VISI is the equivalent of a luxury apartment owner, providing utilities and a structure for clients who need to off-load data operations.
"Our Network Operations Center has been running smoothly in VISI’s data center for two and a half months now and I couldn’t be happier," says Lowell. "I would recommend VISI to anyone who has a 24/7 service they need to provide."
Lowell has been pleased with VISI’s data center service and attention to detail. He came away impressed by VISI’s expert team and the amount of work they put into making PeopleNet’s operations successful. During the project he found VISI’s open-minded approach and attention to detail laudable. "They’ve done an excellent job in every respect," says Lowell. "They’ve been a great partner in every way. The kind of attention to detail they pay was very much appreciated."
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