When Ed Glenning assumed the role of CTO at CAP COM Federal Credit Union, a New York-based, member-owned financial services company, he joined a business that had experienced tremendous growth during tumultuous times.
- In five short but economically turbulent years, CAP COM grew 47 percent, from a $717 million credit union to one with $1 billion in serviced and managed assets.
- Despite the growth and success, technology was still somewhat of an inhibitor rather than an enabler.
“I wanted to take our existing infrastructure, which was rigid and met our immediate needs, and move to an infrastructure that is more of a business-enabling technology footprint,” says Glenning. “As we grow linearly or exponentially, we’ll have the scalability to remove any technology barriers to business growth.”
A new approach to IT investment
Glenning inherited an IT investment culture that focused on a project-by-project approach rather than a long-term vision dedicated to sustainable business enablement and growth. He was determined to change that, and found the perfect opportunity.
- With an impending headquarters relocation, Glenning pitched a vision of a new, modular IT infrastructure.
- He wanted the investment to pay dividends, rather than be just another expensive IT project.
“The rigidity and lack of modernization in the former infrastructure meant that there was significant IT investment required to support every instance of business change or growth,” says Glenning. “My vision was to architect a modular, scalable platform that can evolve dynamically as the business evolves dynamically.”
Resilience, reliability, and availability
Ask Glenning the key factors driving his vision and he doesn’t miss a beat: resilience, reliability, and availability. With those requirements front and center, it was clear to Glenning that it would take a collaborative effort with strong, symbiotic partners to deliver on his IT objectives.
- Presidio, a leading provider of professional and managed services for advanced IT solutions, was his first point of engagement.
- The Presidio team came back with a strong technical solution, in collaboration with Cisco and EMC, designed to give Glenning data-center-class core infrastructure components in a scalable, cost-effective architecture.
- The architecture can support organic, acquisition, or service-driven growth.
“By rightsizing our investment in technology and the technology itself, we’re getting the maximum bang for our buck, meeting our current needs, and ensuring headroom for the future,” says Glenning.
Driving competitive differentiation
Glenning sees many differentiation opportunities arising from this technology investment. The first is in the area of disaster recovery:
- Previously, keeping cloud-hosted applications, the virtualized storage area network, and on-site servers in sync meant significant time and manual intervention for failover, with the threat of downtime.
- With the Cisco, Intel, and EMC-based architecture, failover becomes simpler, with significantly less downtime.
Mobility and collaboration are also differentiating capabilities that Glenning can pursue with the strength of the new architecture:
- With the move to the new headquarters, previously dispersed business units will be centralized, which will create new types of interaction internally.
- Glenning is exploring telepresence to address that need, as well as mobility and wireless guest access to improve the overall member experience.
“This isn’t just another IT project where we’re moving our data center from point A to point B,” says Glenning. “There is vision involved. We’re uncovering the opportunities for competitive differentiation and laying a foundation that will put CAP COM IT in a position to enable the business going forward.”