Aurora® maintains customer loyalty. Performs “Seamless” Encryption Upgrade at OurKids of Miami-Dade / Monroe, Inc.
• Wanted to strengthen encryption on servers and software by upgrading to the most current versions
• Needed to solve specific compatibility issues that arise with new technology upgrades
• Needed to complete the transition without impacting end users
• Needed knowledge transfer and training on encryption best-practices
• Contacted Symantec encryption consulting partner, Aurora
• All necessary upgrades, plus update training and knowledge transfer, were completed in less than one week
• Expanded functionality eliminates compatibility issues
• No service or availability interruptions
“It was a very good project from start to finish..”
– Trina Hayes, OurKids
Based in Miami, Florida, OurKids of Miami-Dade / Monroe, Inc. creates safe havens for children and families through adoption and foster care. It is a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping at-risk children grow up in safe, permanent families.
The organization has used the same PGP servers for several years; but when new laptops were purchased, OurKids discovered that their Sandy Bridge chipset would not work with the older version of PGP. “We found out that the resolution was to upgrade,” said Trina Hayes, the organization’s IT customer support manager. “So that took us from a situation of already wanting to upgrade, to now having to do this.”
As a nonprofit agency contracted with the state of Florida, OurKids was bound by specific rules and regulations when working with outside vendors. While obtaining quotes from different companies, they also took some time to explore other IT options besides PGP, to see if their needs could be better served.
Ultimately, however, OurKids opted to remain with PGP, and to hire Aurora to handle the upgrade. “We found that Aurora was really one of the few companies that provided the PGP support we needed,” Hayes explained. “The information we got back from them was comforting, because they had been down this road before. We learned that they had already done more than 50 of these upgrades, so this wasn’t something they were going to have to read the manual on – their engineers already knew how to do it well.”
“Aurora upgraded the existing PGP Universal Servers from an older version to the most current version. While we were there we were able to go over some of the newer features of PGP, such as PDF Messenger and Web Messenger,” said Vu Nguyen, Professional Services Engineer at Aurora. “They said that both features could be heavily utilized in their company because they are always sending and receiving confidential information to potential adopters and other physicians.”
These new features, as well as consistent and reliable performance, also convinced Hayes that it was best to stay with PGP. “We believe strongly in having efficient, secure and effective technology for our organization and our caseworkers – our end goal is to make their lives easier so they can have more time with the families and children,” Hayes said. “So we looked at other options but in the long run PGP has done what we needed it to do for a very long time. Plus, thanks to the knowledge transfer and training we received from Aurora, we learned that the new software offered a lot of potential for expanded capabilities and efficiencies that we were really excited about. ”
The upgrade was initiated onsite, following planning conversations between Aurora and the OurKids IT team. By reviewing the logistics and the needs of the client, Aurora was able to complete the upgrade and testing within a week, without any downtime. “It did not affect our end users at all, which is really important, because we have people in the field 24/7 who need that availability,” Hayes said.
The updates have now been rolled out to more than 300 laptops within the organization. The issues with the Sandy Bridge chipset have been addressed, and with the training and support Aurora provided both during and after the upgrade, OurKids can continue to provide their valuable services knowing that all sensitive data is secure.
“It was a relatively seamless operation with Aurora, and a good project from start to finish,” Hayes said. “Familiar name, familiar company, they had the experience, and it was a really good fit for our needs.”