GARY SINISE FOUNDATION
Designing / Installing Systems for an Expansion
PLANNET was initially engaged to design and install technology in support of an office expansion at the Gary Sinise Foundation, which included audio-visual systems for a large conference room and an Exhibit Space in Woodland Hills, California. This mini-museum showcases historical and Foundation memorabilia and also functions as the Foundation’s event space. PLANNET designed and installed the wireless/wired network infrastructure, the telephone, and security systems as well as the audio-visual systems, which included a fully customized and controlled audio-video system throughout the area, including digital signage and an interactive touch table.
Enterprise Technology Assessment / Planning
Building upon the successful outcomes of the project, PLANNET was asked to review all technology for the Foundation. This is a familiar role for PLANNET, and one where we understand and respect the sensitivity and risk with existing service providers upon whom our clients depend.
A Turn of Events . . . COVID-19
As PLANNET and the Foundation co-developed processes and began making helpdesk and ticketing available to the Foundation, an additional variable surfaced – a stay-at-home order related to COVID-19 from the Governor of California. Focus had to shift rapidly to adapting the organization for teleworking. Within a week, PLANNET expanded VPN capacity and migrated users from an on-premise email system to Microsoft 365.
Over the following two weeks, a data migration strategy was developed and implemented to successfully migrate from on-premise file servers and Dropbox to Cloud-based services, specifically Microsoft 365 – OneDrive, SharePoint, and Teams. PLANNET also deployed Microsoft Teams for the Foundation’s workforce who preferred not to use personal phones. All of these efforts were coordinated while simultaneously implementing Microsoft Windows 10, Intune (mobile device and application management), Microsoft Defender (anti-malware), Microsoft BitLocker (drive encryption), Centralized Application Deployment, and remote desktop support to over 50 company computers distributed in user homes, despite the devices being physically inaccessible.
These compressed events were achieved within an extremely short time period with no disruption to the Foundation’s service requirements.
Activities were rapidly developed and approved through a partnership between PLANNET and the Foundation which encompassed a self-funding (within the calendar year) approach, as well as the development of a compelling business case and adapting to a rapidly changing set of “opportunities.”
Not Your Typical “IT Guys”
PLANNET’s IT professionals are not the typical “IT guys” that many organizations have come to expect. Their education and experience allow them to understand and take a consultative approach in order to improve the Foundation’s business tools and processes while imparting knowledge to make employees more productive. In addition to supporting all technology – networks, audio-visual, low voltage cabling, physical and virtual security, cloud computing, on-premise servers and applications, personal computers and mobile devices, and providing end-user support and training – we also included a periodic “CIO” service, where the Foundation has a seasoned IT executive who understands their mission available from the PLANNET team to help them make tactical and strategic improvements in order to improve their organization.
About the Gary Sinise Foundation
The Gary Sinise Foundation was established under the philanthropic direction of actor Gary Sinise, an advocate of our nation’s defenders for nearly forty years. Our mission is to serve our nation by honoring our defenders, veterans, first responders, their families, and those in need. We do this through a number of national and local programs, funded by the generosity of the Foundation’s 75,000+ donors. These programs—designed to entertain, educate, inspire, strengthen, and build communities—serve America’s heroes and their loved ones 365 days a year. Learn more: www.garysinisefoundation.org