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Dyntek, RSolutions and Arctiq have merged to transform infrastructure, security, and platform solutions

Dyntek, RSolutions and Arctiq have merged to transform infrastructure, security, and platform solutions

Dyntek, RSolutions and Arctiq have merged to transform infrastructure, security, and platform solutions





VP of IT David Harris is helping to turn Legends into an agile company with a single guiding principle: let others do what they do best so Legends can concentrate on what it does best. To ensure Legends delivers superior customer service and experiences to sports and entertainment franchises around the world, Harris turned to Arctiq (formerly DynTek) as his national IT partner.

Legends transformed into an agile powerhouse with the help of Arctiq, enabling rapid scaling across the national sports industry.

When VP of IT David Harris joined Legends Inc. two years ago from JetBlue, his game plan for IT was simple-turn Legends into an agile company.

His strategy: let others do what they do best, so Legends can concentrate on what it does best.

That's no small feat when you consider Harris is responsible for keeping the technology infrastructure in peak condition at 27 sports and hospitality venues around the country. The Legends Hospitality and Global Sales divisions are constantly on the move, scaling up on game days and for events, and frequently need technology solutions provisioned for sales projects.

Rather than building a huge IT organization, Harris has partnered with national systems integrator Arctiq. to be his IT provider and support team.

Harris inherited an IT team of five focused on organizational support when he arrived at Legends. The company operated largely on consumer technology and lacked many of the processes that a growing enterprise company needs.

"We were having trouble keeping up with the demands the growth was generating," Harris said. "Those problems ranged from 'I need a PC in this city' to installing systems to support existing platforms and all the demands rapid growth brings."

"There were a number of offices using consumer type technologies and it was clear that was becoming an inhibitor to growth because the technology was not designed for the size enterprise Legends’ was becoming," he added. Additionally, the team was not adequately prepared or staffed to manage the disparate solutions and support a fast growing enterprise.

The lack of infrastructure and proper processes strained Legends' ability to support its core tenet: offering superior customer service and experiences to its clients - sports and entertainment franchises around the world.

Legends Rapid Growth Requires National Partner

Founded in 2008 and owned by two of the most revered sports brands in the nation – the Dallas Cowboys and New York Yankees as well as the Checketts Partner Investment Fund - Legends‘ largest division, Legends Hospitality, is the premier provider of general concessions, premium food & beverage, catering, retail merchandise and tours at over 60 locations around the world.

Legends‘ mission is to offer impeccable customer service and experiences for fans of the New York Yankees, Dallas Cowboys, Manchester City FC soccer, Los Angeles Angels and INDYCAR, among many others. The company's other two divisions, Legends Global Planning and Global Sales, plan, build and offer consulting to athletic departments, professional teams and municipalities, to grow revenue through proven sponsorship and specialized ticket sales, planning and execution strategies.

In the past two years, Legends has more than doubled in size through acquisitions and winning business from competitors. To facilitate continued growth, Harris knew he needed a game plan, one that would allow him to rapidly scale when needed, and one that would give him the instant technological expertise he needs to provide the hallmark customer service Legends banks on every day.

"I had a vision to leverage a partner to help Legends IT scale," he said. "I wanted someone to help us with that growth and to give us nationwide reach. Our customers are located around the country but our IT folks are not. We needed to partner with boots on the ground in all the places where we needed them, giving us additional hands for a project in one market or to help tackle routine IT issues."

Further, he wanted IT to be one of Legends’ competitive advantages, not just a utility keeping the network running. "One of the cornerstones of the IT strategy – wherever we can and whenever it makes sense – we're looking to leverage cloud based solutions," Harris said.

Leveraging IT to Support Business for Competitive Advantage

"I want IT's special sauce and focus to be having a unique understanding of Legends' business and to help leverage that understanding for competitive advantage in the use of technology where we can add value." he added.

Harris turned to Arctiq as his technology partner due to its nationwide reach and its deep expertise in advanced network infrastructure, security, Microsoft technologies and more. From virtualization and cloud computing to unified communications and collaboration, Arctiq provides professional technology solutions across the three core areas of its customers' technical environment: Infrastructure/Data Center, Microsoft Platforms, End Point Computing. The company's multidisciplinary approach allows clients to turn to a single source for their most critical technology requirements.

"We don't have the size of organization or budget to warrant bringing in and keeping on a full time basis all the specialist expertise we really need these days for a well-functioning IT organization," Harris said. "So I very much lean on Arctiq for those specializations when I need them."

Arctiq Brings Deep, Specialized Technical Expertise

"I may need a quarter or third of a network architect, and obviously I can't hire fractions of a person, but I can partner with great providers and bring them to the table as and when we need them. It gives me great flexibility and allows me to avoid having to go, find, and hire expensive resources I wouldn't be able to keep busy. Partnering with Arctiq saves me the headache (of hiring specialists) and gives me great flexibility.”

First on the agenda was reviewing the health and configuration of Legends' internal network, upgrading software, correcting firewall rules and putting the proper network underpinning and configurations in place to make sure everything worked properly, consistently and would provide a strong foundation for growth.

"There's definitely been some adjustments to get everything where it needs to be," Harris said. "We relied on Arctiq for that specialization."

Concurrently, Arctiq and Harris hammered out a plan to address technology needs throughout the organization and for its customers. The starting point was "how do we architect a solution for the unique business problems our business has," Harris said.

For example, when selling merchandise or operating a retail store in a stadium, a customer may want to give a discount to season ticketholders when they buy merchandise, but the client needs to understand who bought what and offer a follow up coupon if they didn't redeem it at the game. "So our customers say here's the type of experience we want to create and we have to build a solution from a technology perspective," Harris said. "That's the kind of team we're building."

"Technology is an enabler for Legends. If you look at the core of our business in our hospitality operating division, technology has to work during the events. It has to be ready and operating during prime time and it's absolutely essential to be able to handle sharp spikes in usage from 10,000 to 30,000 to 80,000 people all needing to interact with our Point of Sale (POS) systems," Harris said. "And all the server technology they sit on and the back office PCs and systems we rely on to help keep everything running smoothly."

Deploying Wireless Networks Quickly and with Agility at Indy Motor Speedway

Legends provides a broad range of retail services at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the highest-capacity sports venue in the world with seating capacity of 400,000.

Legends tapped Arctiq to perform the initial office network set-up and deployment for their presence at the Speedway, which included an airport and museum store, management building and warehouse located onsite at the Speedway. Arctiq’s team of network engineers architected a cloud-managed Meraki wireless network and deployed the access points locally, which could be configured remotely through the cloud.

“In our business, we need the flexibility to set up wireless networks at remote locations to support our field operations,” said Harris. “We have standardized on Meraki as our go-to solution because their real-time cloud management enables administrators to manage the network from the cloud, which minimizes on-site configuration time and expense without sacrificing performance.”

"It was a great example of when I need to scale and have resources at a specific place at a specific time," he said. "I only have so many people, and sometimes we have things going on at more places than we can cover, or in places we can't cover, so having a partner who can provide flexibility and resources when we need them, at places we need them, is tremendously valuable."

Stabilizing Servers, Setting up Sales Offices

Arctiq worked with Legends to deploy new POS equipment, tablets and software needed for the Prudential Center in Newark, NJ, to get a new operation up and running quickly. "We have strong results so far and were ready to expand Arctiq's role because everything has gone so well," Harris said.

Arctiq also helped solve server stability issues at MLB's Angel and Yankee stadiums. "We needed Arctiq to help us correctly configure those servers, which support our food and beverage programs, to prevent problems," Harris said. "We're trying to go from being reactive to proactive and we want to make sure IT is meeting the business' needs."

"We operate in high stress environments where the spotlight is on Legends for a specific and finite period of time," he said. "We can't hold up an event until something gets fixed. It just has to work."

If problems arise, Legends has to send people out and quickly solve a problem. "It's very difficult to tell your staff to go and have a look at a PC problem at some random place," he added. "We're working together to think about how to make this model successful, because stuff breaks all over the country. That's why I needed someone with national breadth, and a partner that understood our business and could easily dispatch people to different projects when we needed them."

Tapping Cloud Services for Applications

Provisioning resources when needed extends to the company's applications, "Wherever possible, I like to consume applications as a service,” Harris added.

“Partners can be much more effective running their applications than we could ever be. If I have to run the application, it's hard to have all the skill sets needed today and the specialists to run them effectively."

"We don't want to build, but buy," continued Harris. “Legends' IT differentiator is about how these cost-effective systems and strategies are used to the company’s advantage, especially in light of the tremendous growth we have recently underwent. Over the past year, we have doubled the number of Office 365 users, If I was handling that myself, I'd be worried about storage, CPU capacity, and capacity management problems, and I don't have the time, money or skills to worry about those things."

"We love Office 365. It's flexible, scalable and, most important, it works extremely well," Harris said. "Since we went to Office 365, we haven't had a single complaint. And the Arctiq team made sure the migration was completely seamless, with no down time. Strategically, we are looking to move as much as our infrastructure and applications to the cloud as we can – the cost/benefit justification is clearly there."

Partnering with Arctiq gives Legends "a fleet-of-foot advantage," he said. "We can go into a new customer quickly and have the opportunity to be up and running in a very small window, which requires a responsive partner like Arctiq."