Company Meets Six-Month IT Migration Deadline

By Maggie O'Neill Print this article Print
IT migration deadline

After it was divested from its parent company last year, Cole Parmer turned to a solutions provider to help it migrate its IT infrastructure within six months.

It took six months, but Cole Parmer, a Vernon Hills, Ill.-based company that provides more than 85,000 manufactured parts to clients around the world, successfully separated its IT infrastructure from that of its parent company, Thermo Fisher, following a divestiture in August 2014.

Under an established Transition Services Agreement (TSA), Cole Parmer had six months to separate its IT infrastructure from that of its Fortune 500 parent. This was a difficult challenge because many of Cole Parmer's HR applications were provided through the corporate entity and it outsourced much of its IT infrastructure to the parent company, according to Bill Berry, director of information technology.

Instead of trying to build its own IT infrastructure, Cole Parmer decided to look for outside help in designing and expediting a new IT infrastructure. "I knew I didn't have a lot of time to figure out who was going to help us," he said.

Berry selected TriCore Solutions from among several solutions providers due to its competitive pricing and the flexibility it offered. The vendor's management understood the urgency that came with a six-month migration deadline, and, once selected, it began immediate work on a design and transition plan.

"That's why we chose TriCore," Berry said. "Time was of the essence, and they were ready to get going right away."

The solution provider came up with a variety of systems and services that ranged from server and storage provisioning to hosting of email applications and end-user support.

In addition to being left with a small IT staff, the separation from Thermo Fisher also required Cole Parmer to say goodbye to some IT employees who had overseen HR-related applications or IT infrastructure, but were staying with the parent company. TriCore Solutions helped fill in the personnel gaps by providing a three-pronged solution.

First, the company provided server and storage solutions, primarily through its two data warehouses located outside of Chicago and Boston. This meant that Cole Parmer didn't have to build its own solutions—either using its own team or hiring staff to manage and oversee them.

Second, TriCore devised a plan to provide a help desk--a business solution that continued after the six-month migration deadline ended and extends the partnership. The help desk, which is located in India and can be reached through a toll-free number, provides assistance to users from all over the world.

Third, the solutions provider offered hosting of a few of its essential applications, including Microsoft Exchange for email and Microsoft Link for instant messaging. Berry described this as a convenience since he didn't want to manage some of the commodity applications.

In addition, the new IT platform has been specifically architected to support growth at Cole Parmer. The company has built on its array of manufactured products and will likely acquire related companies down the road. In fact, according to Berry, TriCore already helped Cole Parmer onboard and integrate a newly acquired company, Environmental Express.

"I am tremendously impressed by TriCore's flexibility," Berry said. "We paid a one-time fee for the overall effort to do all of the separation. We never talked about hours. They have really hardworking people."

This article was originally published on 2015-04-06

Maggie O'Neill, a Baseline contributor, has worked as a  news reporter for more than 10 years.

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