Tricerat ScrewDrivers – Transportation Industry Case Study
AREMA eliminates all printing issues for 6000+ attendees of their Annual Conference with ScrewDrivers.
The American Railway Engineers and Maintenance-of-Way Association (AREMA) is a professional association of civil, mechanical, and electrical engineers that design everything from bridges, tunnels, tracks, signal systems, maintenance, terminals, etc. globally. AREMA is made up of over 6000 members worldwide. Their headquarters are in Lanham, Maryland and have a staff of 9 full-time employees and 2 consultants. One of those consultants is Chip Emely, Technology Consultant. Chip handles every piece of technology that has a plug, workstations, servers, network infrastructure, website, mobile devices, photography, and printers. Chip has been with AREMA for 16 years and manages their “technology-heavy” office. For 11 employees, they run 12 servers and prefer to have ultimate control of their environment so they do not put anything in the Cloud. They locally host their website, email, server, terminal services, association database, applications, print servers and 17 printers. Printing is an extremely important feature for AREMA as there is still a strong need for printed materials.
One of the busiest times for AREMA is their Annual Conference in September or October. Their Special Projects Consultant is dedicated to putting together a program of over 65 presentations in 3 days given by the engineers in the association. Since their environment at headquarters is locally hosted, it is Chip’s responsibility to get an entire network onsite at the conference.
What does that look like? Chip usually ships 38-42 Pelican cases that contain 20 workstations, 20 flat panel displays, 4 printers, a multi-function fax, 9 laptops, 4 projectors, 2 print servers, 36 handheld radios, chargers for all of the above, 2-3 cases for 1000 feet of network cable, power cords, power strips, network switch, a router, and more. All of this is has to get set up in a day and a half to have the feeling of a complete office.
The 20 workstations would become kiosks with locally loaded apps for staff to use. However, over time Chip was finding that nobody was using local apps. Everyone was using virtual applications to have access to their big databases, avoiding having to switch back and forth from window-to-window. Relying heavily on Microsoft Terminal Services for total remote access to the resources at AREMA headquarters was ideal. Remote printing, however, was hit or miss.
Over time, printing became a much larger issue – between not being able to locate the right printer, to driver compatibility issues, to finding the right driver to download, to just plain unreliable printing. Printing is the last thing Chip needed to worry about during the Annual Conference – he had 65 presentations to make sure went off without a glitch.