Contract Sweepers Story

From fires to ransomware,
Contract Sweepers has overcome it all

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At a Glance

  • Small employee-owned business with no IT staff
  • IT infrastructure was deployed with no provisions for resiliency
  • Lacked a true backup and disaster recovery plan

  • Gained access to IT expertise and "Virtual CIO" services when they need it
  • Moved business-critical IT infrastructure and applications to a more secure environment
  • Deployed a robust backup and disaster recovery program that ultimately thwarted a ransomware attack

Racksquared gives local business the technology and IT expertise and resilience to keep trucks on the road and grow the business.

A branch fire sparks a cloud conversion

A day after getting the call that one of his branches had suffered a major fire, Bill Miller had an unconventional reaction. As the CFO of Contract Sweepers and Equipment surveyed the still-smoking wreckage of his branch location, Miller says he was feeling…lucky.

“Things were looking very bleak. But as bad as it was, I thought how lucky we were that the fire wasn’t at our main office in Columbus, where we had all our business data stored,” he said. If the fire had been at Contract Sweepers’ headquarters in Columbus, things would have been devastating. That was where Sweepers had been keeping all its essential business data, including accounts payable and critical client scheduling information.

“You think you have a disaster recovery plan until something like this happens,” he said. “If the fire had been in our main branch, I don’t know if we could have recovered. To recreate the lost data would have been impossible.”

Nearly a decade later, Bill says the fire was a turning point in how his company embraced offsite storage in the cloud. And it was the beginning of a long, loyal and powerful strategic relationship with Racksquared.

“We know sweepers. We know the sweeping business. We rely on Racksquared to provide their cloud and IT expertise. They’ve helped us over the years by providing new technology solutions and showing us how to use it to grow our business.”

- Bill Miller,
  CFO, Contract Sweepers

From zero IT, to hero IT

It was soon after the fire that Sweepers decided to partner with Racksquared to get a resilient backup and disaster recovery solution in the cloud, and—perhaps more importantly—get access to IT expertise.

“We are a small company, and we don’t have an IT department. Racksquared has provided us with access to the IT expertise and technologies that companies like ours can’t readily afford,” he said.

What began as a data center migration to Racksquared’s public cloud has evolved into a comprehensive IT partnership. Not only does Racksquared provide goldstandard 3-2-1 backup services and five-nines of uptime, but they have become Sweeper’s defacto CIO and IT department. Racksquared experts are on call 24x7 and regularly hold planning meetings with Sweepers to advise, design, deliver and manage a full range of IT services.

No matter what Miller’s team needs, he says he knows Racksquared is just a phone call away. It’s this hands-on, personal relationship he says he wouldn’t get with any of the ”big” cloud service providers.

Peace of mind and IT proficiency in a digital landscape

While it was a fire in 2009 that started Sweepers on the path to cloud, it was a ransomware attack years later that validated their decision. As Miller explains, in the early morning hours an employee called to report he was locked out of his workstation—everything was shut down. They had been hit by a ransomware attack and with all systems down, they would be unable to get their trucks on the road to service clients.

“Our business runs on IT,” said Miller. “If we can’t create the routing and schedules, our trucks can’t go out. I don’t think we could tolerate an outage of more than four to six hours, especially if we were hit before our schedules got out to the trucks.”

With the ransomware attack first spotted around 5 AM, that tightly choreographed dance was put at risk. This time Miller didn’t feel so lucky. Quite understandably he was looking for reassurance when he called Racksquared to ask, “what can we do?”

Not only did Racksquared pick up the phone that Saturday morning, but they also gave Miller the peace of mind he needed. And then they went to work. Racksquared had backed up all of Sweeper’s data at 10 PM the night before, so it was just a few clicks to start putting them back online and back in business.

A few hours later, much to the dismay of the ransom-seeking criminals, Sweepers crews were hitting the road as if nothing had ever happened. And the company didn’t have to cough up a single penny to do so.

Reflecting on the strength of the relationship with Racksquared, Miller couldn’t be more enthusiastic.

Find out how Racksquared can help clean up your IT challenges.

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