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CUSTOMER’S BUSINESS: Computer networking and technology guidance to a large roster of clients in industries including finance, law, healthcare, Windows NT network installation and maintenance, accounting software selection and installation and custom programming. CHALLENGES: Apply technology to solve clients’ business problems in a cost-effective, streamlined, and intelligent manner. RACKSPACE® SOLUTION: Managed Cloud, Hosted Exchange, Rackspace Email, and Email archiving BUSINESS OUTCOME: Greater focus on ensuring that customers are able to concentrate on core business, not on technology. Delivering more flexible infrastructure, access to key expertise, and lower cost.

The Devastation of Sandy Propels MCG’s Efforts to Deliver Flexible, High-Performance Cloud Infrastructure Rackspace and MCG deliver reliable, scalable performance even in extremes. Microcomputer Consulting Group, Inc. (MCG) is an organization of business- savvy technology experts. Since its founding in 1984, MCG has become trusted partners of New York area businesses in a variety of industries. Like many managed service providers, Microcomputer Consulting Group (MCG) found early success supporting the needs of a single vertical, and then extending its expertise to other types of businesses. Based in New York’s legendary Garment District, MCG focused initially on meeting the needs of clients in the apparel industry. MCG has since expanded to serve the IT needs of companies in many industries, including financial services, distributors and professional services. A typical MCG client employs between 5 and 500, with annual revenues ranging between $1 million and $500 million.

A SUPERSTORM THREATENS Addressing downtime threats became paramount as Sandy made landfall in the New York/New Jersey area. In late October 2012, as people first began learning of the possibility of Superstorm Sandy striking the New York/New Jersey area, IT staffs began rethinking infrastructure and disaster recovery plans. This was the second hurricane in two years to an area that rarely receives them. Well before, during, and after the devastation unfolded, with the storm surge flooding tunnels and damaging electrical equipment, IT pros in the area were working long hours to minimize downtime. Some areas of the city were left without electrical power for days and without lights or elevators, many buildings that housed

“At Rackspace, we get greater access to the control panel, so we can get in there and quickly make any changes. That translates to a lower overall cost of support and dramatically reduces the response time our clients see.” Ken Goldberg President, Microcomputer Consulting Group

servers were inaccessible to occupants and technicians. After battery backups were exhausted and servers came down, even employees who had power at home could no longer access their mail servers, contact databases or other critical business applications.

“This was the second hurricane in two years to an area that rarely receives them. Disaster recovery was taken seriously by all, and Sandy demonstrated how IT pros and the cloud can help organizations mobilize infrastructure.” Ken Goldberg President, Microcomputer Consulting Group

“When disaster strikes, you can’t afford to be caught off guard,” said Ken Goldberg, President, Microcomputer Consulting Group. “Disaster recovery was taken seriously by all, and Sandy demonstrated how IT pros and the cloud can help organizations mobilize infrastructure.” The Sandy aftermath led many, including MCG and its clients, to rethink the on-premises model, especially for email services. “A considerable number of our clients already were debating an upgrade to Exchange 2013, to enjoy simplified server management, improved search functionality, and larger mailbox quotas. Upgrade costs are not insignificant. Yet in the aftermath of Sandy, more clients than ever before were asking about hosted or cloud services.”

SEEKING A NEW SUPPORT MODEL – BUILDING AN IDEAL TECHNOLOGY PARTNERSHIP, NOW AND IN THE FUTURE At the time, MCG happened also to be studying alternatives to the costly on-site support model. To maximize margins and reduce perclient support costs, MCG was already investigating hosted mail services. The tumult of Hurricane Sandy only accelerated efforts. To get the flexibility it needed, MCG looked toward a managed cloud provider who could provide scale and flexibility to serve any capability. “We wanted a partner similar to us in that they grow through innovation, and they value support as much as the technology,” said Goldberg. “The breadth and depth of support drove our decision to go with Rackspace, and the knowledgeable counsel, the tools, and the personable service provided by of our Rackspace Business Development Consultant was key to our making this decision.”

EMAIL MANAGEMENT IN THE CLOUD Many of MCG’s clients, particularly in healthcare, law firms and many public companies, share data management concerns, chiefly among them Sarbanes-Oxley compliance. These wide-ranging regulations, among other things, stipulate retention periods for electronic communications.

Goldberg recounts his experience at the Rackspace Partner Conference in the spring of 2014: “I attended a presentation that opened my eyes to the potential of email archiving — including powering internal investigations or expediting audits — made possible by the massive processing power of the cloud. “I learned that email archiving solutions can be part of good governance when important information is contained within emails, such as IP. I have since used this to explain the value to clients and new employees. The experience opened my eyes to the archive as a facility for real business advantage.” Email archiving is a simple, inexpensive and effective way to help protect and preserve communications and data, search and recover documents and more. “Our experience has been that archiving is truly a ‘set it and forget it’ solution, one which affordably protects and preserves data,” said Goldberg.

TO PROTECT AND PRESERVE Happy with their decision to migrate many of their clients to a Rackspace-hosted solution and impressed with the ease of use and business value of archiving, MCG stands ready to serve more clients and ready to weather any future storms. From archiving to the cloud, Rackspace is helping ensure MCG delivers reliable and scalable performance. Although the relationship is only in the beginning stages, Goldberg sees the fit between the two organizations extending across several key factors. Fixed and predictable costs, no hardware or upgrade costs – these are all great reasons to go to the cloud, but when compared to the risk of not being able to make changes or disappointing our clients because we can’t get the provider to act, well, that made our decision easy. We chose Rackspace. We share their devotion to Fanatical Support® and it’s been really pleasant to be on the receiving end.”

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