The Perfect Co-Managed IT Match: How David Javaheri And His Team At Direct iT Has Stepped In To Support Aero Manufacturing’s IT Manager Greg Potcner With Their Ever-Evolving Technology Needs

The Perfect Co-Managed IT Match: How David Javaheri And His Team At Direct iT Has Stepped In To Support Aero Manufacturing’s IT Manager Greg Potcner With Their Ever-Evolving Technology Needs
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This article originally appeared in Direct iT's new magazine, New England Cyber Defender, which you can read for free here.

 

Company Name: Aero Manufacturing
Name & Title: Greg Potcner, IT Manager
Location: Beverly, MA
Website: AeroManufacturing.com
Industry: Manufacturing Aerospace/Power Generation

 

There’s no doubt that technology has changed rapidly over the last few decades. From the days before the widespread adoption of the internet to today where everything is digitized and online, this stark transformation has affected everyone and everything, including how businesses run and operate. Nobody knows this better than IT Manager Greg Potcner, who started with Aero Manufacturing over 30 years ago. However, as the organization’s technology needs became more complex, it became evident that some additional IT support might be necessary. Thankfully, he found David Javaheri and his team at Direct iT, who have since helped him get all their technology requirements together, updating things where needed, and attending to their ever-evolving technology needs.

Technology Transformation

At its core, Aero Manufacturing is a fabrication facility specifically for the turbine and aerospace industries, meaning there is a lot of welding, machining, and forming constantly going on in the workshop. Where technology comes in is on the other side of the wall where the office staff resides. “Our role in the office is to essentially support the shop guys,” Greg begins. “That’s always what the goal has been, but over the years, what that looks like has changed.” He continues, “When I started working here in the ’90s, we had a job shop application running on a mini computer system with ASCII terminals connected, and that’s how we would track inventory, complete accounting, and all those business functions. As the company grew, we became more involved with servers and PC workstations, and then we needed to start networking all these things together. Remember, we were doing this before emails were a standard thing!”

As the company entered the 21st century, Greg faced many new technological challenges. “I am the IT department,” Greg jokes. “During this time, about ten years ago, I had to start tackling things that I had no idea about, like networking and running exchange servers and things like that. I happened to come across a mailer from an IT company called Direct iT where they were promoting a spam filter application to put in front of your exchange server. I thought to myself, ‘We’re having troubles with that,’ so I called them up.” Upon successfully installing the filter and chatting further with David’s team, Greg realized that Direct iT could offer Aero Manufacturing so much more support than just the spam filter. “It first started out with us purchasing blocks of support hours,” Greg explains. “Eventually, we switched to their monthly plan, so they were there whenever I needed them, and we’ve been doing that for the last five years or so.”

An Eye-Opening Attack

Having Direct iT as a partner has come in handy more than once. For example, about seven or eight years ago, before a lot of today’s cybersecurity technology was available, Aero Manufacturing was hit with ransomware. “It happened on a weekend, and when we came in on Monday, we realized, ‘Uh oh, we’ve been hacked,’” says Greg, “My first call was to Direct iT to tell them that two out of my three servers and about six workstations had been compromised. Their team promptly came out and spent the next 2½ days retrieving data from our backups and rebuilding our servers. Come to find out that someone had found some type of backdoor hole we didn’t know about. Needless to say, I was thankful that David’s team immediately jumped into action to help me resolve the issue and get the company back up and running.” Greg adds, “I couldn’t have done it on my own.”

Now, with advancements in technology and this experiential knowledge, Greg works with Direct iT to implement robust solutions that are proactive rather than reactive. “One thing we have in place now is SentinelOne EDR antivirus software that will disconnect a workstation from the network if it detects a prohibited activity or imminent threat,” mentions Greg. “Since we don’t have any remote users, this has helped significantly, along with, of course, other firewalls and security protocols we’ve implemented over the years.”

“You Can’t Do It All on Your Own”

When asked what he would tell other IT managers who may need a little additional support, Greg simply states, “Don’t hesitate to look for outside help, because the truth is that technology is changing all the time, and you can’t do it all on your own.” He continues, “That’s why partnering with Direct iT has been so great because I can be the ‘boots on the ground’ person, and they can just pop in whenever I need them. Honestly, it’s been a fantastic feeling to have someone right at your fingertips and to get support immediately. Plus, if I ever want to take a vacation, I can get away knowing that Aero Manufacturing is still fully covered in my absence.”

Ultimately, by working with Greg to handle some of the more complex technology challenges that the organization has faced, Direct iT has helped them firmly step into the 21st century while leaving room to address their ever-changing needs. This support has allowed the Aero Manufacturing staff to continue servicing the world from New England as they produce precision metal fabricated and machined components for industrial and commercial applications. And if you’ve been searching for a knowledgeable, responsive IT firm that’s willing to work with you to support all your technology needs, look no further than David Javaheri and his team at Direct iT!