The Desert Botanical Garden tackles difficult budget & technology challenges to improve internal communication and external offering.
The Desert Botanical Garden (DBG) is a one of its kind, committed to helping maintain a nationally recognized museum and research center dedicated to better understanding and preserving the desert plants of the world. With permanent trailside exhibits, temporary art exhibitions, and constant seasonal events, the Desert Botanical Garden relies on technology to coordinate with hundreds of staff and volunteers knowing its reputation, viability, and service to the community ride on the quality of its programs and its contribution to research.
Jami Marlies, Director of Information Technology for the Desert Botanical Garden moved from the East Coast and joined the team to find DBG’s technology infrastructure functioned in limited capacity. “It was consistent at being inconsistent,” said Marlies. “Employees often could not access the shared drive or could not find the network printers. I really felt their pain and frustration when the simplest of requests was unable to be completed. With today’s technology, there is no reason for a network not to work—and ours didn’t. That was our biggest vulnerability. Our network had to be fixed.”
Not having lived in the Arizona for long, Marlies did what most business professionals do when they are looking for a new solution: she Googled her options. Finding Blue Fox Group on her internet search, Marlies and the Blue Fox team met. “Of all the vendors that contacted me from my search and I met with, and there were about 20, Blue Fox was by far the most attentive to my situation and needs,” said Marlies. “They really wanted to help me solve my problem by understanding where we were and where we wanted to go and architecting a solution that worked for us as opposed to just selling me some equipment and moving on.”
Knowing DBG’s network needed replaced, Blue Fox Group recommended a network audit to reveal key areas that were not being effectively managed such as back-up and storage. “The audit was eye opening and we really saw all our vulnerabilities. Its findings pointed us in the right direction.” With a brand new Meraki network in place, Marlies and Blue Fox Group leveraged their relationship further, and talked about Blue Fox Group’s IT Managed Services and Help Desk Support. Marlies soon signed on with Blue Fox to provide DBG with managed services and help desk support and states that she couldn’t be happier. “24/7 support via phone or chat for our employees is just outstanding. And we are very pleased with their customer service, response and ticket resolution time, ticket documentation, and overall level of attention and service.”
The outcome was exactly what the DBG team had hoped. DBG has a transparent view of their network that allowed the DBG IT team to pinpoint the effects, if any, on the network in the case of an electrical outage. DBG’s technology applications now run on a reliable, efficient, safe and secure network that is now “consistently consistent.” DBG now experiences faster speeds and performance and better utilization of fiber cabling and Internet connection.
The network upgrade now gives DBG the solid, stable platform to which it can add cloud services and applications (Office365, Canto’s Flight), leverage existing technologies (Rainbird’s wireless irrigation, ArcGIS), upgrade the phone system, and start to plan for DBG’s technology future.