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Technological Advances at Ace

In the past year, ACE has made quite a few advancements in the technology department. In May of 2015, we decided to make the switch from a contracted IT consultant to a full-time IT director. Our new IT director, Lucas, provides us with 24/7 support and handles everything related to systems and network administration at ACE. Along with the addition of a full-time IT director came many new changes.

One of the biggest projects that was done this year was the moving of our servers from one room in our building to another. This server move required a complete and total rewiring of the building, but allowed us to update our hardware using the latest CAT6 wiring as well as to reduce our network infrastructure. This move was made because the server’s old location was unsuitable for proper and safe functioning. It was also loud and inconvenient, impeding on the agents’ work environment. The server was moved to a more suitable location, with new hardwood flooring and plenty of air to breath.

The implementation of a regular cleaning and update schedule followed closely behind the server move. The cleaning schedule would cover all IT hardware, including the servers and agent workstations, and would help to improve the longevity and performance of the machines. Scheduled updates help to ensure that we are always up-to-date to the latest and greatest software, allowing us to increase our security and better our overall function.

Active directory, a database used for account and password organization, was implemented to provide centralized management and configuration of our operating systems, applications, and user settings. The addition of active directory enabled ACE to have more security and accountability within the company.

Several other changes were made to advance our operations, including the implementation of virtual server backups, Google Docs, and electronic faxing. Virtual backups of our servers were employed to create redundancy within the system. This is especially substantial as it allows us to maintain our integrity if our system were to ever go down. We switched from Basecamp to Google Docs, which allows us to have similar web-based project management, but at a lower cost and with easier use. Our faxing system was updated to electronic faxing, a process that is more economical, more easily documented, and more efficient.

To make sure our systems are well understood and cared for, we sent Lucas to Startel training in September 2015 where he went through system specific training. In March 2016, both Lucas and Kristal attended the SNUG conference that covered the most current telecommunications practices. We are constantly looking for new ways to better our functioning here at ACE, and these few changes are just the beginning.