Growing More Dynamic with iWorkstation and Hosted SOC

When COCC introduced their new infrastructure-as-a-service offering, iWorkstation, BankGloucester willingly agreed to become a beta client. The Gloucester, MA based bank has been a COCC client since 1990 and trusted COCC’s direction, but the idea of moving the bulk of their equipment offsite was radical at first.

“We were cautious at first about losing control,” said Patricia Natti, Assistant Vice President and Information Technology Systems Officer. “But we talked with the COCC team and learned that we could relieve a lot of our worry about pipes bursting, flooding, and other disasters if we didn’t have our physical computers onsite.”

“For two years we were having strategic discussions about the technology we were using and what we were going to need to do to provide speed and efficiency to our employees, to better monitor and protect our customers’ information and our systems, and to make it easier and more efficient to manage our growing organization,” said Patrick B. Thorpe, BankGloucester President and Chief Executive Officer. “We spoke with COCC about these issues and they told us about their plans for IaaS, Baas and SOC. Needless to say we were very interested from that first conversation.”

COCC’s new iWorkstation is a hosted service that provides secure, resizable computing capacity within COCC’s data centers. iWorkstation enables bank staff to work off of virtual machines—which are much smaller, faster, and more flexible than traditional PCs—that are hosted in COCC’s secure computing environment, while allowing for immense control over workstation configuration. “The virtual machines are much quicker than the physical PCs we were used to,” said Ms. Natti, “and now we have everyone on these dynamic machines.”

To prepare for the transition, COCC’s team made a handful of visits to Gloucester. Darren Wilkes, Network Services Manager, personally walked Ms. Natti and bank staff through the move itself. When COCC’s team came to make the move, there were a few challenges. “Our accounting department has many different peripherals that we had to coordinate and adapt into this virtual world,” said Ms. Natti. “But the team who worked with Darren was fantastic. They worked directly with my staff and got everyone up and running. We’ve been successful in moving everyone in the production floor onto the dynamic machines.”

BankGloucester also chose to utilize COCC’s Security Operations Center, or SOC, while migrating to iWorkstation. COCC’s Hosted SOC offers continuous security monitoring – which collects logs from the financial institution’s environment and searches for threats and suspicious behavior. “SOC is incredible because we have actually gone through several different event logging software options,” said Ms. Natti. “COCC’s SOC manages all of the events happening in our environment. The SOC group is great: they explain the reports, give us test reports, and join us for sessions to talk about what’s happening in the environment.”

PatchPlus and backup-as-a-service (BaaS) are also key parts of COCC’s suite of services. “Backup-as-a-service has been like a dream come true!” said Ms. Natti. “Back in the day, we would put a tape in, and hope for the best. Today, with COCC’s BaaS, it’s nice to have a service as opposed to having to manage backups ourselves.”

As a beta site, BankGloucester has been immensely helpful for COCC to see better ways to implement the iWorkstation service in the future. “It was great to have an institution take a chance on our dream of hosted computing,” said Mr. Wilkes. “It was a real win for both organizations, and BankGloucester continues to help us improve the platform with new services.”

“The thing that stands out the most is that the support is there,” said Ms. Natti. “I am confident that any problems that come up will be resolved. And Darren is great: anytime we call, he is able to get back to us right away and even come out to Gloucester to help!”

“We have been up and running on these systems for almost nine months now and we are happy with the decision we made,” added Mr. Thorpe. “COCC has provided tools and resources to us, such as enterprise servers, enterprise backup, and Security Operations Center, that would have been cost prohibitive if we were to try and bring these tools into the bank independent of COCC. They have been working closely with our staff to make sure the systems operate as intended and have been there for us every step of the way helping us work through the conflicts and issues that are typically experienced whenever changes occur and something new is introduced.”

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