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ChallengeSince its beginnings in a 3200-square-foot building in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Van Meter, Inc. has continued to build on its rich tradition of innovation and service-first business culture to expand its footprint throughout the Midwestern United States. The company’s trademark has always been its best-in-class, comprehensive product offerings, from electrical and lighting to datacomm and automation, combined with quality support services.“We’re not a typical wholesale distributor,” says Dan Rammelsberg, network engineer at Van Meter, Inc. “One of the key differentiators for the company is our ability to provide greater value for our customers through energy auditing, design services, project estimation, and other advanced services that require employees to be more responsive and have instant access to business-critical tools.”Supporting the company’s expanding catalog of products and services, Van Meter historically took the approach of building out its physical network infrastructure, adding new servers as applications, staffing, and data grew. To combat data center sprawl and network obstructions, the company wanted to bring virtualization to its data center and adopt a more sustainable, scalable infrastructure.In addition to adding new applications and network services, Van Meter is growing through increased sales and acquisitions. After assuming a 50 percent stake in Werner Electric Supply of Minnesota, the company quickly realized how the added personnel and expanding network of offices would further stress its IT infrastructure. As a result, the company began seeing lapses in application performance and systems reliability. Also, dispersed offices without on-site IT support added to the challenge of managing an increasingly successful, growing business.
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