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Cannabis Industry: Business Expansion Drives IT Needs

Challenge

A Massachusetts-based medicinal cannabis grower was expanding their operations from a single site location (roughly 10,000 square feet) that housed a grow, processing, and medical sales operation under one roof, to a second 30,000-square-foot facility, with a third location focused on retail aiming to open in 2021. Without an in-house IT staff and having utilized a local 8×5 IT outsourced firm when they were a single site, they needed to transition to a 24x7x365 MSP who could deliver the type of SLA’s and resources their business requires and who also has a proven track record working with an expanding business.

Background

Opening its doors in February of 2018, this company became the first medical cannabis dispensary on the South Coast of Massachusetts. The founders are experienced medical cannabis cultivators and advocates who came together over a shared vision to create a safe haven where patients could learn and have safe access to quality products. They cultivate more than 20 strains of medicinal marijuana that are grown onsite and lab tested to ensure patients are matched with the right product for their symptoms.

Through discovery, the BCS365 account management team learned the Client was looking for a new IT solution that could support them 24×7 and provide guidance as they expanded to new locations. They became a BCS365 client approximately one year after they opened their first facility in 2019.

Discovery

A cannabis facility operating in Massachusetts is heavily reliant on:

  • Strong ISP connectivity
  • Uptime and business continuity due to highly compliant databases governed by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts that track seed through sale
  • End-users need reliable access to key applications that run major functions of the business:
    • Environmental systems
    • Point-of-sale systems
    • Seed through sale
    • Inventory
    • Mobility
    • Key users being able to easily and securely work in-office and remotely
      Robust security and best practices across all areas of support
  • Strong onboarding / offboarding policies for management and staff
  • Integration with their other key vendors to ensure project timelines
    • General contractors
    • Internet Service Providers (ISP)
    • Physical security company / cameras
    • Software companies

Solution

  • 24×7 support desk services
  • Network management support (24×7)
  • Server / computing management (24×7)
  • MS Office 365 licensing packages managed by BCS365
    • Layered Barracuda Spam filtering and Sentinel (AI) packages for email users
    • Full suite of Microsoft products
    • OneDrive – replacing premise server / single point of failure
    • Email backup to the MS cloud
  • MS Azure AD
  • Low voltage cabling and termination for 30,000-square-foot facility, data rack installation
  • Cisco Meraki switching, firewalls, and WiFi hardware / software deployment
  • Lenovo workstations and laptop procurement of more than a dozen machines

Results

Now, with the 24x7x365 support of BCS365, this cannabis producing company can focus on their expanding business and internal processes. They were able to adopt and build policies around BCS365’s ticketing system – procurement, onboarding / offboarding, documentation, overall consistency. In addition, they saved nearly 20% in their monthly fees for helpdesk support and nearly 50% for their server maintenance fees. They also transitioned all of their workstations to Office 365 giving them a more robust suite of capabilities.
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