With a tagline that states: “We set ideas in motion”, Hydradyne is a leader in North America’s motion control industry. The company manufactures, distributes, and repairs hydraulic, pneumatic, and electromechanical products from 33 locations spread across the Southeast. Both Hydradyne’s corporate headquarters and factory are housed in a 170,000-square-foot facility located in Fort Worth, Texas. Founded in 1968, the company’s revenues topped $200 million in 2015.
Support BYOD for a growing sales team and an increasingly mobile workforce
During the past 10 years, Hydradyne has undergone a significant transformation. Thanks in part to a highly successful acquisition strategy, this formerly small, regional company has grown into one of North America’s largest motion control firms. Acquiring an average of two companies per year, Hydradyne has doubled in size, from 16 to 33 locations across the Southeast. As a result, its workforce has grown from 100 to upwards of 550 employees.
To support the company’s expansion efforts, Hydradyne’s 150-person sales team are frequently on the road working to grow revenue. Every day from hotels and customer sites, team members login to company resources to access customer information, check order status, and enter new orders into the system. However, remotely accessing the corporate system is a lengthy process that involves logging into a VPN, then into the ARP solution infrastructure, and then into numerous ancillary sites. It’s a process that sales team members performed numerous times every day, costing significant time and dragging down productivity.
While sales personnel primarily used corporate-owned devices, more recent use of personal laptops, tablets, and smartphones to access customer information and corporate resources began to rise. As Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) became a productivity imperative for the sales team, Hydradyne’s four-person IT team found it almost impossible to support secure access to corporate apps and data on so many different devices. Making matters worse, the IT team was battling outdated IT infrastructure fraught with performance issues, which further impacted productivity.
Meanwhile, BYOD at Hydradyne was going mainstream, with executives and remote workers also demanding access to corporate resources via their personal devices. As a result, the support overhead for IT became overwhelming, leaving little time to research possible solutions. As an added challenge, they understood that a mid-sized firm like Hydradyne had limited budget and IT personnel, which meant solutions from big mobility vendors like Citrix were out of reach.
Scale’s hyper converged infrastructure significantly speeds up performance
Hydradyne’s IT team began working on a fix to one of its growing IT issues in 2013 when it switched from traditional three tier infrastructure to Scale Computing’s hyper converged infrastructure. This change gave them increased performance and reduced overall complexity, finally allowing them to grow the infrastructure gracefully with the company. The change also enabled Hydradyne to realize significant cost savings compared to traditional legacy infrastructure. By migrating to Scale’s hyper converged platform, they cut costs in half, saving $65,000. “The savings we have been able to realize from moving to Scale have been astronomical. Scale offers a hypervisor that doesn’t require any additional investment from a CapEx standpoint other than your Microsoft licensing,” said Mike O’Neill, Hydradyne’s Director of IT.
To start, the company purchased four nodes from Scale’s mid-line product range. Within a year, they added two additional nodes. By 2016 they had upgraded to a redundant cluster and added a second matching set of nodes for a total of eight. When Scale came out with its hybrid solution in 2016—which combined the SSD function for faster and more efficient data speeds—Hydradyne upgraded again. As a result, they saw an immediate increase in device data speed because their RAM footprint and processers were running at higher capacity with the newer nodes.
Workspot powers secure mobile access to apps and data from any device
Over the next several years, Scale and Hydradyne’s teams built a strong working relationship. When Scale heard about Hydradyne’s mobility challenges and their budget constraints, they suggested a demo of Workspot VDI 2.0. Hydradyne’s IT team immediately took Scale’s advice. A few days later, they spent less than 1 day setting up a Workspot account and rolling out virtual desktops to a select group of IT team members. Soon after, Hydradyne’s team realized that with Workspot they’d found an affordable solution to supporting BYOD for their growing mobile workforce.
Initially, Hydradyne’s IT team decided to use Workspot to provide sales team members with mobile access to corporate apps through their existing servers and published application infrastructure. At that point, they had a setup of 25+ virtual servers. Workspot enabled Hydradyne to pick which apps they wanted to publish, allowing users to easily access the corporate apps and data they needed to be productive. With a few clicks, sales team members were up and running. “What’s great about Workspot is that it makes everything secure and it can all be accessed at a moment’s notice,” said O’Neill.
VDI 2.0 provides long-term cost-savings for a growing remote workforce
When Hydradyne looked ahead at rolling out Workspot to the rest of the company, they knew that Workspot VDI 2.0 paired with Scale’s hyper converged infrastructure would be the best solution. “VDI 2.0 is so easy to use. You tell Workspot Control where your Scale environment is. Then you spin up a virtual machine to be used as a template in your VDI infrastructure. And then you run some scripts. Next thing you know you have something ready to go that can be multiplied and spun up as needed for all of your users,” said O’Neill.
Through Workspot, corporate employees have access to 15 apps, including the MS Office suite, network file shares, ancillary websites for CRM and analytics, and payroll administration websites. Apps are grouped according to teams.
Thanks to their ability now to support the growing popularity of BYOD, Hydradyne anticipates being able to phase out purchasing corporate-owned devices. This will save the company between $500 – $700 per employee. Additionally, Workspot streamlines employee onboarding. When a new employee starts, they simply download the Workspot app, login, and then click into apps and data. By providing instant access to corporate apps and data, time-to-productivity is accelerated, and the IT team can reallocate precious time and resources to high-value projects.
• Costs are tailored for every budget thanks to Workspot’s subscription model. “The challenge we had when we were looking at mobility solutions is that the big players just didn’t make sense for our mid-sized firm. When you’re looking at hundreds versus thousands of users, it’s not cost-effective. With Workspot, we could decide exactly how many users needed mobility apps and get exactly what we needed at a price that made sense. Workspot is priced in our sweet spot,” said O’Neill.
• Scalability is built-in. Says O’Neill: “Workspot allows us to add users and scale at the time when we need them for the growth patterns we’re experiencing as we manage our new acquisitions periodically throughout the year.”
• Managing users is quick and easy. “Because Workspot is cloud native, it is offered as a software-as-a-service solution. This means Workspot control is in the cloud where you can manage it, while your desktop, app and data infrastructure is kept on your local servers, and it’s all securely available to you and your IT team at any time, from any place.”