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CEO Gets Jump on Competitor with IT Makeover

November 29, 2007

Summary

Portwell is in a dogfight. “We’re in a tight competition with another Taiwan-based company,” says Allen Lee, CEO of American Portwell Technology, Inc.

Introduction

Portwell is in a dogfight. “We’re in a tight competition with another Taiwan-based company,” says Allen Lee, CEO of American Portwell Technology, Inc. His company is a subsidiary of Portwell Inc., a Taiwan-based supplier of components used in ATMs, medical imaging devices, mobile telecom towers, and other specialty computing platforms.

Right now, Lee is winning: Between 2003 and 2006, Portwell has grown by 25-100% annually—faster than its competitor.

To stay ahead, Lee has an ambitious goal: $1 million in annual revenue per employee. Since 2006’s mark was $600,000 for each of his 52 employees, he was targeting almost double the productivity. Efficiency—and automation—would be key.

Makeover makes money

One solution had demonstrated great ability to contribute value: Symantec Ghost Solution Suite 2.0. Lee’s team uses it to multicast disk images during testing and production, an essential step in making custom systems for its clients.

Image deployment, which would take hours if done manually, is now accomplished in minutes, saving more than $900,000 in staff time annually. “We can deliver on contracts faster,” Lee says, “and that gives us a competitive edge.”

Pleased with Ghost, in 2006 Lee approved a full IT makeover using a suite of Symantec solutions. Advanced Internet Security, Inc. (www.advintsec.com), a Symantec Platinum Business Partner based in Colorado Springs, Colorado, led the effort.

“Symantec solutions now protect our data,” Lee says. “They manage our email growth, help us use instant messaging effectively, and protect us against malicious code.”

And they free up IT staff time. “Before our makeover, two employees spent 30% of their time on IT,” Lee says. “That’s down to 10% for just one person. We’ve got more time now for customer service and pre-sales support.”

Automation lowers costs

Backups are more efficient, too. A Microsoft-based backup solution at Portwell took eight hours a week of staff time and had a 50% success rate. Symantec Backup Exec 11d now automates data backup, requiring just five minutes a week of staff time and delivering a near-100% success rate—and saving $30,000.

PST killer

Email volume at Portwell was growing rapidly, and employees were forced to create PST archive files to keep mail box sizes manageable. PST files are easily lost, and can’t be quickly searched. Lee wanted to eliminate them entirely.

Symantec Enterprise Vault did it. Portwell used this software-based intelligent archiving platform to automatically locate 80 gigabytes of PST archives spread out on the network. These files now reside in a secure, central repository, and users can search the full text of their messages and attachments for the first time.

“Our email messages include mechanical drawings and plans—our most important intellectual property. All this data is now protected and easily retrievable by our staff,” Lee says.

Instantly more productive

In the face of intense competition, Lee is always looking for another edge. Instant messaging is a new tool at Portwell used by sales and marketing teams to respond faster to customer inquiries.

Now it’s protected, too. “Symantec IM Manager allows us to log and monitor IM traffic, block potential malware and ensure that the IM channel is used for business only and stays productive,” says Lee.

Slamming spam

Portwell had an antispam solution in the past, but it wasn’t effective enough. No one knew this better than Lee.

“I got 200 to 300 email messages a day and 70% were spam,” he says. “We switched to Symantec Mail Security and Premium AntiSpam software, and my inbox dropped to 80 messages a day. Only a few are spam. I’m more productive—and so is everyone else.”

In the makeover, Portwell replaced an ineffective antivirus solution with Symantec AntiVirus Corporate Edition. “During its first enterprise-wide sweep, 12 instances of viruses and spyware showed up,” Lee says. “Our previous solution missed them.”

“From email to instant messages, from sales contracts to plans, Symantec solutions back up and protect our most important information,” Lee says. “Our IT makeover has been essential in keeping us ahead of our competition. And Advanced Internet Security helped ensure a successful makeover.”

For more details on gains produced at Lee’s company, read the Customer Success Story here.

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