Unimin Simplifies Their Network Audits


Unimin is a world leader in industrial minerals, and has global reach for its products that find applications in the manufacture of glass, fiberglass, ceramic, and semiconductors. Unimin provides customized solutions to meet the many production and product development challenges faced by their customers. Unimin also plays a major role in the plastics, rubber, paper, refractory, metallurgical and construction industries.

Unimin's rapid rise to a leadership position in their industry has been built through their relentless efforts to always put customers first. Their unique business proposition is that they build integrated systems of superior deposits, use the latest in production technologies, and continuously improve quality to achieve high levels of customer satisfaction.

The Challenge

The biggest issue faced by Unimin regarding IT management is the disparate nature of their networking and communication infrastructure. In order to ensure consistency in customer service, it is vital for them to have continuous feedback through the network from different centers at multiple geographic locations. This is especially complex in the case of Unimin, considering the fact that the company has roughly 50 sites that are widely spread out with no real corporate "backbone" to bring them all together. With no IT assets management system in place, it was becoming increasingly difficult for Unimin's Information Systems (IS) department to reliably gather the network audit information that is so critical to their day to day operations.

At Unimin, they lease desktops and laptops for different periods. In this environment, and without the proper structure as outlined above, it was an ordeal for the IS department to troubleshoot hardware failures and to carry out regular maintenance of the software packages running on these machines. This resulted in excessive costs and loss of man-hours owing to the time taken to collect the information needed to replace components or return malfunctioning systems in time.

In order to address the situation, the management at Unimin set out to find a sophisticated toolkit that would be flexible enough to be easily integrated into their current infrastructure while providing them with the reliable information they so desperately needed. After evaluating a number of expensive solutions that promised a lot but delivered too little, the IS department stumbled upon EVEREST Corporate Edition by Lavalys which made them realize that IT assets management and network audits don't have to be painful.

The Solution

The key features of EVEREST Corporate Edition that impressed Unimin as a product worthy of purchase were its capability for the capture of comprehensive and accurate network audit information, cost effectiveness, and compatibility with Unimin's communication infrastructure. In the last couple of years, EVEREST Corporate Edition went a long way not only to simplify IT management and operational procedures but to deliver Unimin significant financial and productivity benefits.

Unimin’s main objective was to use EVEREST Corporate Edition to simplify their IT procedures. This goal has been achieved with great success; Unimin has been running EVEREST daily on each of their machines since 2004. This process generates a custom report which includes all the information they require selected amongst more than 100 pages of information made available by EVEREST. These comprehensive reports enable Unimin to follow the evolution of their IT assets over time or during a given period. For example, it is now much easier for them to detect server restart times, or observe memory and storage devices usage. It also allows them to periodically track the list of software programs installed on their systems in order to ensure compliance with internal and external policies, and to identify the precise components that need replacement.

"We have been able to track our IT assets better. We have been able to troubleshoot malfunctioning computers better. And we have minimized costs for failing to return leased computers on time.", said Scott Miller, IT Manager at Unimin.

Unimin has relied on EVEREST Corporate Edition for their IT management and network audit needs for close to five years and the results have been there since day 1. The reports provided by EVEREST not only ensure better decision support but have simplified workflow in so many areas, Unimin management is confident that EVEREST has paid for itself many times over and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.