RGPC’s CIO talks technology behind the remote worker revolution with BizTech’s Wylie Wong
Rio Grande Pacific Corp. (RGPC), in Fort Worth, Texas, has expanded over the years. Today, CIO Jason Brown supports 26 offices and 350 employees across six states.
The holding company, which owns four railroads and a railroad signal engineering and design business, launched a hosted dispatch center in January 2015, providing 24/7 dispatch services for other small railroads.
To simplify IT management, Brown standardized on two configurations of HP EliteDesk desktop computers and two configurations of HP EliteBook notebooks.
When a remote office needs new hardware, the IT staff doesn’t need to travel to the onsite location for setup.
Instead, Brown gave technology provider CDW a standard computer image with Microsoft Office, Adobe and other software. When new computer needs arise, he places the order, and CDW installs the image and ships the computers to the remote office with monitors, keyboards and mice.
“Our users unbox their own equipment, boot it up, and it’s ready to go,” he says. “It saves a lot of money.”
For communication, RGPC installed Lifesize video conferencing equipment in five locations, so employees can have face-to-face meetings without traveling. The company also standardized on a VoIP system, installing IP PBX systems in three locations where it has the largest concentration of employee users.
RGPC also virtualized its servers using VMware solutions to improve uptime and disaster recovery. If the main data center goes down, backup sites can keep IT operations running. Brown also installed Barracuda Networks appliances to replicate data across sites.