“I love software. I love development. I did not want to work with the hardware.”
“Heck, the day after we went live we had a power failure in Baton Rouge. Our office went down, but our other 18 offices kept right on running.”
Acme Refrigeration (Acme) is a full-service wholesale supplier of heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and refrigeration products. Adrian E. Kaiser, Sr. founded Acme in 1945 with the first location on North Street in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
Acme has 18 branches serving the state of Louisiana and Mississippi.
As a family business, Manny Kaiser started out managing the company’s information system. Eventually, Manny became President of Acme Refrigeration but he never lost his interest in the company’s technology.
IS Manager Loves Software – Not Hardware
Beth Orillion is the Information Systems Manager. She has worked with Acme for many years as an employee and a consultant. Beth came back to Acme full-time in 2012.
“I had worked with Acme for 10 years. Then I had my own consulting business. I came back onboard full-time with Acme about 2012. I love software. I love development. I did not want to work with the hardware.
“This is a family-run business. I don’t see anyone in the family that would move into managing the IBM server. I also see a lack of knowledge for OS400.”
Expiring IBM Support Starts Cloud Research
When the IBM support agreement for the on premise 8202-E4B came up for renewal, Beth began to check out cloud hosting as an alternative.
“Initially, when I did the research to go to a hosting solution, I checked with about four vendors. I had some reservation about hosting because I had to get up to speed on networking. I just don’t have the depth of knowledge of networking that I do with OS400.
“Of course, Manny had been looking into cloud hosting. Cloud400™ offers in-depth OS400 expertise as well as managing the server for us. I think Cloud400 is the best fit for the long-term goals of Acme.”
Newsletter Testimonies and References Check Out
Beth continues, “I had faith that Cloud400 would work after reading so many of The Insider newsletters. I followed up with phone calls to Cloud400 references. Of the eight to ten references, all had positives things to say about going to Cloud400; they rave how much they like Cloud400.”
Cloud400 Technical Team Very Competent
“If I had any reservation, it was solved seeing everything come together. I found the Cloud400 technical team was very competent with networking as well as OS400.
“Cloud400 Senior Technician Darren did an awesome job. He stayed in touch with me over the weekend. Even though I personally had a full weekend, working with Darren I was able to manage what I needed to do for the Cloud400 cutover and still take care of everything else I had planned for the weekend with my family.”
Beth also raves, “I monitored our end of day process last night and I could tell that Cloud400 ran faster than our on premise 8202-E4B.”
First Day Concerns
Manny laughs, “Before we went live, I had some concerns when we went live that I would be getting calls. Like from my son Ryan just down the street. He’s very techy and customer-service oriented. So speed of operations is critical. I just knew I was going to hear him say, ‘Oh, gosh, it’s slow.’
“The first day I got back I messaged Ryan, ‘What do you think of Cloud400? What’s the speed look like?’ He said, ‘It’s fine. Doing great.’ It was like, ‘Whew, if he’s happy, then I am good. Thank goodness.’”
Headquarters Loses Power – 18 Branch Offices Continue To Run
Manny is particularly excited about Cloud400, “Heck, the day after we went live we had a power failure in Baton Rouge. Our office went down, but our other 18 offices kept right on running connected to Cloud400. If we were still on our old server our whole system would have gone down. So would the branches. Everybody is very happy. I love it.
“For me the value of going to this setup is my system is safe on the Cloud400 server in a secure data center with redundancy in a bomb-proof bank vault with 4-foot thick walls. We joke that sometime in the next century Baton Rouge will be a coastal city, the way Louisiana is sinking. I take comfort that my system is safe no matter what happens.”
Manny Remembers When He First Heard About Cloud400
“I remember when Bob Losey sat in my office in 2010. I had been hearing about the cloud and I thought, you know, we had been here before. The old computer service bureaus back in the ‘60’s and ‘70’s. The only people that could afford them were banks and insurance companies that could afford the doggone communications. We were not able to even consider something like that back then.
“Cloud400 made a lot of sense. I was thinking ‘Aw, shucks! I just bought a new IBM 8202-E4B 720.’”
Security Concerns Addressed
Manny recalls, “I remember when we talked back in 2010, one of my major concerns was security. VPN is a secure, encrypted tunnel between each of my offices and Cloud400. I don’t know how much more secure you can get.
“I understand Cloud400 backs my system up with a Virtual Tape Library. You call it a VTL. It resides in the same facility as the POWER i that has my system. I can backup faster because it is disk to disk instead of tape. I can restore a file way faster because I don’t have to find a tape, mount and hunt for the file – I can go right to it like a file on a disk drive. Sweet!”
IBM Hardware and Software Costs Go Away
“Now that we are on Cloud400 we don’t have to buy another machine. Don’t get me wrong, the 8202-E4B 720 has been a dynamite machine. But the invoice was $53,424. As much as I love that machine, I don’t want to have to buy another one.
“My cost for IBM hardware and software support goes away, too.
“One of the biggest draws for Cloud400 for us is Beth not having to worry about PTFs and new software releases. There is just a whole realm of things we don’t have to deal with because we can rely on Cloud400 to handle them for us. So we are really tickled.”
Cloud400 Offers More Unexpected Savings
Manny continues, “Here’s another thing. I’ve got a room full of old tapes, just sitting in there; probably going back to our System/38, the AS400’s we’ve had and the iSeries. We don’t have to worry about the tapes anymore. That is big, big, big. I was talking to Lisa and Beth this week and asked, ‘Can you imagine the money we have spent over the years just on tapes? I think they run $100 a piece.’ All that is out of our concern at this point.”
Professional Cloud400 Techs
“And the Cloud400 technical people are professionals. That’s what they do. God bless them. I am glad they’re the ones constantly reading the technical announcements and staying current. It makes me feel safe. It allows us to do what we do – which is selling heating and air conditioning. I just feel real good about it. Beth has been very pleased. She tells me they know their stuff.”
Beth says, “I’ve got to tell you, I can’t give enough accolades about moving to Cloud400. I am ecstatic about it. The only issues we had were with some of the PCs that had older versions of Windows, so we had some minor Client Access connectivity issues. We were able to get around it easily. Let me say this, right now I am just so happy.
“I would recommend Cloud400. For the disaster recovery aspect alone I am extremely comfortable. It is a huge relief to me. I feel we are in very good hands.”
Manny Recommends Cloud400
Manny peacefully shares, “I’m doing great. A little less stress in my life…because of Cloud400.
“I would certainly recommend Cloud400. I would tell folks that everything in the Insider Newsletter about Cloud400 is true. It is just too easy. I can’t say that about all technical vendors, but Cloud400 guys are honest, transparent and knowledgeable. I can highly recommend Cloud400.”