Who Is eGroup?

eGroup combines unmatched technical skills, strategic partnerships and a collaborative approach to help customers optimize their IT infrastructures.

At a time when many technology providers are struggling to stay even, eGroup continues to enjoy strong growth. The firm was recently honored at the Charleston Regional Business Journal’s annual “Roaring 20” event as the region’s fourth fastest-growing company, in front of a sold-out crowd of business and community leaders. Spurring this growth is eGroup’s continued geographic expansion throughout the Carolinas, building upon the same proven approach that began in Charleston. As of January 2009, eGroup has a dedicated presence in Charleston, Columbia, Greenville, Myrtle Beach and Charlotte, NC. Carolinas Sales Manager Chris Hogan attributes this success to eGroup’s thoughtful approach to both business and technology. eGroup has built its reputation by establishing strong collaborative relationships with its customers as well as delivering leading expertise in key business-enabling technologies. “If I had to sum up what eGroup does in a simple term, I would say it’s IT infrastructure optimization. To eGroup, that means virtualization, enterprise storage, Microsoft infrastructure solutions and network communication architectures,” Hogan said. “Expertise in those four core competencies allows us to design IT infrastructures that enable a business’s success rather than limiting what it can do. “We work with organizations’ top executives to understand their vision and true business needs so that we can translate that into the technical aspects of the data center, and ensure that their IT infrastructure will be always available, secure, provide flexible access to data, and scale with the growth of the business. For that reason, our sales reps and engineers understand not only technology, but more importantly how the work they’re doing helps support the overall mission of a company.”

Strong Partnerships

Server virtualization has been a core focus of eGroup for more than five years. eGroup was one of the first VMware partners in South Carolina and still is one of the few VMware Authorized Consulting Partners in the Carolinas, a title conveying the highest levels of VMware Services expertise. The firm is also a Citrix Gold Partner — their #1 reseller in the region for two of the past three years — and has strong expertise in the Citrix XenServer product. “Server virtualization optimizes your environment in several important ways, from management, to power and cooling efficiencies, to reduced hardware requirements and the ability to scale rapidly and efficiently. It does that by greatly reducing the need for server hardware that is almost always underutilized,” said Hogan.“We can install software in a customer’s server environment and analyze key performance data to determine which servers are good candidates for virtualization. Most of them are — very seldom do we see a server environment that averages higher than 10 percent utilization. We can then design a virtual infrastructure that will exceed the customer’s performance requirements while consolidating their hardware footprint and providing a remarkably fast ROI.” eGroup also specializes in state-of-the-art enterprise storage solutions that provide the performance necessary for primary transactional data as well as highly efficient backup, recovery and archival. EMC, eGroup’s go-to partner for storage, continues to build upon its mature enterprise storage product lines with energy-efficient technologies that reduce power and cooling requirements. “And because EMC is the majority stakeholder in VMware, its enterprise storage systems are built to leverage everything VMware can do. It’s been a tremendous partnership that underscores most of the enterprise storage and virtualization projects we do,” Hogan said. “It also dovetails beautifully with our ‘green IT’ focus — we’ve been green for many years out of concern for the energy resources consumed by IT environments. We want to work with technology providers like VMware and EMC that share that commitment.”

Key Certifications

eGroup also brings customers strong expertise in optimizing data storage. According to Hogan, many customers have large amounts of static or rarely accessed data on primary storage systems that are expensive, built for speed and backed up daily. Moving that data to less expensive, high-capacity storage, or an archive solution applies strategy to the situation, saves money, and streamlines backup and recovery processes. “It doesn’t matter how fast you back something up-it’s how fast you recover if you have a failure. So it’s important to make sure that your Tier One storage is dedicated to your primary transactional data that’s constantly changing,” said Hogan. “Data that’s seldom changed can move to lower-cost Tier Two, while rarely accessed data moves to an archive, or Tier Three. Backup strategies then follow this model. That way, you’re not spending gobs of time and money backing up data that you’ve already backed up countless times. Combined with the data replication and de-duplication technologies we use, we provide our customers with exactly what they need to be supremely confident in the scalability and security of their data platforms.” eGroup is an EMC Authorized Services Network Partner, which means eGroup engineers are fully authorized to conduct professional services engagements on behalf of EMC. eGroup also frequently performs various types of storage system assessments by installing software that provides perspective into every characteristic of the data in the client’s environment. This insight allows eGroup to design optimal systems. To maintain its Microsoft Gold partner designation, eGroup must regularly provide customer references that exhibit successful projects in clustering, Active Directory, Exchange and other Microsoft infrastructure disciplines. eGroup is also a Cisco partner with CCNA or higher certifications throughout its engineering team.

Engineering Focus

eGroup has developed a four-phase methodology that encompasses consultation, design, deployment and support. Each phase incorporates industry best practices along with the real-world experience of eGroup’s engineers. “We can handle any project from start to finish or take on just those components that the customer needs help with,” said Hogan. “Whatever the scope of the engagement, our goal is to be indispensible to our customers in terms of the information we provide. We are dedicated to knowledge transfer so that when we walk away, the customer is able to manage their systems efficiently.” While the right technical skills are essential, eGroup also takes the time to recruit engineers and account managers who are professional, personable and able to effectively collaborate with customers. “We’re very keen on making sure that our engineers can build a rapport with our customers. At the end of the day we’re a services company and these are the folks who are interacting with customers every day,” Hogan said. How does a technology company continue to grow when others are facing difficult times? For eGroup, the answer lies in strong engineering skills, uncommon vision, a keen eye for technologies that are truly valuable, and a collaborative approach to customer relationships.

WHAT THEY’RE SAYING ABOUT eGROUP

“eGroup has provided tremendous benefits to our IT Department here at Conway Medical Center, from our planned strategies of virtualization to our data center and disaster recovery planning.” (MICKEY WATERS, CIO, CONWAY MEDICAL CENTER)

“Quite simply these guys understand complex technology in a manner that is comforting. I have complete confidence in their ability to implement the right technology that will deliver on the strategic goals we have outlined." (NOLAN HENNESSEE, CIO, LEXINGTON MEDICAL CENTER)

“From consultation to design to deployment to support, I know our organization is in excellent hands with eGroup.” (MICHAEL BRANNEN, DIRECTOR OF IT, PIEDMONT HEALTHCARE)

“Being a small IT shop presents many challenges. For several years now, we’ve used the expertise of eGroup to augment our in-house capabilities. We’ve found them to be extremely competent. One of our recent projects was to develop a long range strategic IT plan, and eGroup helped us assess our current infrastructure and gave us the guidance we needed to develop a long range plan we can be confident in.” (MIKE WITTE, CIO, LUTHERAN HOMES)

“We chose eGroup simply because they are the best at what they do.” (DOUG CAMBURN, DIRECTOR OF INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY, RICHARDSON, PATRICK,WESTBROOK & BRICKMAN)

“We needed more than just a systems integrator — we needed a technologysavvy business partner that we could establish a sole-source, on-going relationship with to meet our current and future business needs. With eGroup, we immediately gained a high degree of comfort that they possessed the business competency and the enterprise technical expertise required to elevate our IT infrastructure to the next level.” (MIKE FOWLER, PRESIDENT, ROGERS & BROWN CUSTOM BROKERS)

“We chose eGroup for their technical experience and because they had a sincere appreciation for our needs. Since converting to the new system, about 95% of our technical problems have vanished. Our down-time has basically disappeared, leaving remarkable improvement in our operating efficiency. In addition to the peace of mind we have knowing our system will cooperate, the amount of money spent on support issues and emergency service calls will be minimal."

“eGroup has once again helped put Dunes Properties in an ideal position for optimal productivity and business continuity,”…”Thank you so much for supporting us. I hope you realize you have been the biggest contributor to our success over the years. I look forward to our future as business partners.” (NINA MCCURDY, CFO, DUNES PROPERTIES OF CHARLESTON)

See 29 other posts submitted by Liz Mitchum. Find articles, people, and videos related to: Charleston, Charlotte, Citrix, Columbia, eGroup, EMC, Enterprise Storage, Greenville, IT Infrastructure Optimization, Microsoft, Myrtle Beach, network communication architectures, Roaring 20, Virtualization, Vmware