Republic Title Agency wanted to refresh its computer systems to better safeguard customer financial data and give employees better after-hours access to files. It upgraded to Windows Server 2012 Essentials and used it to lock down desktops and
deliver security-enabled remote file access. Republic Title has enhanced data safety, improved employee productivity, and saved US$4,500 by moving to virtual desktops.
With just six employees, Republic Title Agency has closed more than 13,000 residential and commercial real estate transactions in Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, Tennessee, and Alabama since its founding in 2001. Republic Title computers are filled with customer
financial information, so data security is paramount. However, because the company’s older Windows Small Business Server 2003 software and Windows XP operating system lacked administrative controls, employees could install anything on their PCs, which often
became infected with viruses. When this happened, the company’s IT provider, Total Care Computer Consulting, had to dispatch a technician to repair.
“Infected PCs were becoming a regular occurrence, and it was costing us time and money,” says Matthew Anderson, President of Republic Title Agency.
Also, home closings often occur after regular business hours, and Republic Title employees sometimes need access to documents in the office. Employees either had to reschedule the closing or drive to the office to get the documents. “For instance, if an
FHA [US Federal Housing Administration] loan doesn’t close by a certain day of the month, the borrower can lose out on an entire month’s interest,” Anderson says. “Paperwork delays really hurt our business.”
Even though Total Care took care of the firm’s technology management, Anderson spent time installing security and application updates and dealing with computer failures, which took his focus away from running the business.
By 2012, Republic Title realized that it needed to replace its aged server and PCs. However, its business had contracted along with the US housing market, so it needed to contain spending.
Total Care recommended that Republic Title Agency upgrade to Windows Server 2012 Essentials, the successor to Windows Small Business Server, running on an HP ProLiant ML350 Gen8 server. Total Care deployed the Windows Server 2012 Standard operating system
and created a virtualization host server containing four virtual machines. It deployed Windows Server 2012 Essentials on one virtual machine, to provide core server administrative functions. Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 data management software runs in the
||Our customers place a tremendous amount of trust in us, and it would take only one data leak for our reputation to be destroyed. With Windows Server 2012 Essentials, our data is far more secure.
| Matthew Anderson
President, Republic Title Agency
second virtual machine, and Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 runs in the third. In the fourth, Total Care deployed Windows MultiPoint Server 2012 Premium, which hosts multiple virtual desktops. A virtual desktop is a desktop computer image stored on a server
and delivered to a thin-client device over a local network connection or the Internet. A thin client has limited functionality but costs much less than a PC.
Total Care recommended that Republic Title move to virtual desktops to reduce PC costs and gain greater flexibility. If a thin-client device is disabled, an employee can walk to any other thin-client device in the office, log on, and get back to work; he
or she does not have to wait until a new PC is set up. The virtual desktops run the Windows 8 operating system, which Republic Title likes for its clean, uncluttered interface.
By using the Remote Web Access feature in Windows Server 2012 Essentials, Republic Title employees can access files on the server when at a closing or at home. Windows Server 2012 Essentials provides central administrative controls that Republic Title uses
to lock down desktops and eliminate unauthorized downloads. Total Care also installed Trend Micro Worry-Free Business Security to provide protection for the server and desktops. The Trend Micro dashboard is integrated into the Windows Server 2012 Essentials
administrative console so that Total Care can ascertain computer health status at a glance.
By upgrading to Windows Server 2012 Essentials on the HP ProLiant platform, Republic Title Agency has realized a number of benefits:
Enhance and Simplify Data Security. By running its business on Windows Server 2012 Essentials with Trend Micro security software, Republic Title desktop systems are better protected from malware. “Our customers
place a tremendous amount of trust in us, and it would take only one data leak for our reputation to be destroyed,” Anderson says. “With Windows Server 2012 Essentials, our data is far more secure.” Security is also easy to manage using the Windows Server
2012 Essentials dashboard.
Improve Employee Productivity and Quality of Life. The firm realizes significant productivity gains from eliminating viruses and failed PCs. Better after-hours access also improves productivity and efficiency. All employees can access the
server to get the documents that they need, whenever they need them. There is no need to reschedule closings due to the inability to access a document.
“This is a huge quality-of-life improvement for our employees and enhances our reputation,” Anderson says. “Employees no longer have to drive into the office at night to pick up documents, and because there’s less computer downtime during the workday, they’re
not working late as much. I personally have gained about eight hours a month previously spent working on technology issues, which is time that I can use to focus on running and growing the business. Any extra time that I don’t have to be in the office is great
for my family.”
Save $4,500 by Using Virtual Desktops. Republic Title realized a savings of approximately US$4,500 by moving to virtual desktops: a $600 savings per thin-client device multiplied by seven systems, plus a $300 savings in related IT services.
“With the housing market down, we really have to watch expenses, and virtual desktops save us a lot of money versus PCs,” Anderson says. “Setup time is also much faster; it takes about 10 minutes to set up a thin client versus two hours to set up a PC—a $300
labor savings.” Plus, thin-client devices have a life span of 10 years versus four to five years for a PC, so Republic Title will avoid another $4,500 expense in five years.
Gain Technology Guidance from Trusted Partner. Republic Title considers Total Care a valuable business partner and depends on its guidance to ensure that the company has the technology it needs to grow and anticipate change. “I trust Total
Care implicitly,” Anderson says. “Its pros spend time looking at new technology that will help our business so I don’t have to. They also look at our business six months to a year out to make sure we have what we need as our business changes. With Windows
Server 2012 Essentials, the HP ProLiant platform, and Total Care, we’re in good hands.”
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