Ecessa Launches Construction IT Technology Driving Measurable ROI

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Egan Company estimates that by using Ecessa ShieldLink their savings at one remote site alone amount to more than $100,000 per year.

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“Essentially we can avoid buying expensive bandwidth like fiber or Metro-Ethernet like we had to historically...


The world is moving and connecting so quickly that this morning's instant coffee may now be the least instant part of the day.

Nowhere is this more apparent than in the construction industry which relies on communication with remote crews on location where even a minor interruption in exchanging information can be devastating.

Jim Nonn, the CIO of Egan Company ( in Minneapolis, Minnesota, oversees a number of remote sites for Egan, a $150 million dollar commercial construction specialty contractor.

Nonn knows the consequences of a breakdown in communications. He proclaims, “When a site can't communicate, we can lose the opportunity to bid on a job, we can't follow up on purchase orders or change orders, and we are unable to confirm changes or provide costs to customers and, of course, our project managers and field staff are frozen in place.”

“Just about everyone,” says Nonn, “is thinking about or already moving toward virtual PCs. In our case, we chose VMware View™ as our virtual desktop of choice. As great a product as it is, however, even a small communications dropout can cause the need to reconnect and a large dropout, of course, leaves users at remote sites without a functioning PC. Essentially all communication and work stops.”

Those situations would sound dire if it were not for the fact that, for Egan, those problems are all in the past.

The device providing the magic to power Egan’s VOIP and Virtual PC solution is courtesy of a small appliance called ShieldLink from Ecessa ( in Minneapolis, Minnesota. ShieldLink allows Egan to take different types of lines – for example, cable, DSL or T1 - and receive the best of each in a manner that there is no interruption if one should go down.

Says Nonn: “With Ecessa’s help our Virtual PCs and VOIP systems at our remote sites have far greater usability because ShieldLink merges the bandwidth from our two WAN links, and far greater reliability because even if one link goes down our ShieldLink instantly routes traffic across the available path. This means that I can be on a phone call across the T1, and if it goes down or is unplugged the traffic is immediately routed across our cable modem and the caller doesn’t notice a thing! The same is also true about using a Virtual PC across the cable connection; if the cable goes down our users keep working across the T1, and with most cable disruptions being less than 1 second they never even notice a slowdown. In the past we’ve had users disconnected 20-30 times in a day! The only way our systems would go down now is if we would lose both connections at the exact same time which is highly unlikely.”

"We were looking for the ability to combine multiple WAN links between our locations - some of which are permanent and others which are temporary job trailers that go to long term construction sites - and both require a reliable connection to our existing voice and data networks. Before Ecessa provided the stability and reliability for our virtual PC solution, that might mean having onsite servers, remote storage area networks (SANs) and the extra people to support and maintain the equipment on site. Ecessa said they could make our virtual PC infrastructure work well enough to completely eliminate all these costs and more. We didn't believe that at first so they gave us a one month trial on the equipment. After the trial, we were more than sold."

In fact, Nonn estimates that by using ShieldLink his savings at one remote site alone amount to more than $100,000 per year.

Jim says the high reliability of a T1 and the increased bandwidth of cable or DSL connections are now combined. “Essentially we can avoid buying expensive bandwidth like fiber or Metro-Ethernet like we had to historically because we couldn’t trust the cheaper, faster, best effort services like cable and DSL. Now we can combine the best of each service while getting more bandwidth and reliability at a fraction of the monthly cost that we used to pay, all thanks to our ShieldLink.”

And his thoughts on working with Ecessa’s staff? "They have been fantastic to work with," says Jim Nonn. "Once," he continues, "when we had a problem late on a week night they showed up on a far remote site and fixed it on the spot. In every way, they have delivered even more than they had promised.”

“It's been a win for us, that's for sure, and hopefully it is for Ecessa because I would like to buy a lot more for my other locations."


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