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KingGuinn Associates is a 20-person structural engineering firm located in Charlotte, North Carolina that provides design and engineering services throughout the eastern United States.

The Issues

KingGuinn was spending 15 to 30 hours a week dealing with network issues, including problems with e-mail and managing its hybrid network of seven Novell Netware-based servers and 15 Microsoft Windows-based desktop computers. Without an IT support staff to address the problems, the job fell to Brandon Johnson, one of King Guinn's structural engineers. With less time to devote to his core responsibilities as a CAD engineer, Brandon was accumulating significant overtime. There were also many network users who needed assistance, but there was no room in Brandon's schedule for any additional responsibilities.

In addition to IT issues consuming time that could be spent more profitably on engineering, the computer network at King Guinn had security problems. There were no centralized access policies in place and critical engineering applications ran on less-reliable desktops instead of server computers. Also, KingGuinn had no real group policy restrictions in place and this presented user security issues.


NetCom recommended conversion to an all-Microsoft Network, convinced that a Microsoft environment would be more functional, more secure and easier to manage. As a result, KingGuinn was able to replace its seven Novell servers with just two Windows Server-based servers, one running Windows Small Business Server 2003 and the other running Windows 2000 Server. In addition, NetCom set up a highly reliable, low-maintenance network that it monitors remotely for KingGuinn.


  • Engineering productivity increased as e-mail messaging became 15 percent faster and users spent less time waiting and more time working.
  • Productivity was also boosted from the use of the Remote Web Workplace, which gave KingGuinn's engineers and managers secure access to the company's network from home, airports, customer sites and hotels.
  • Reduced IT costs and increased business revenues because the network has fewer servers and is more reliable. As a result, CAD engineer Brandon Johnson is able to spend just 10 percent of his time-versus 60 percent-devoted to troubleshooting, leaving more time for revenue-generating engineering work.
  • Improved security provided by a secure firewall, antivirus software and Group Policy, which protects KingGuinn's entire network from spam, viruses and Spyware.
“Since NetCom installed Microsoft Windows Small Business Server 2003, overall application performance has probably risen by 30 percent. This boosts engineering productivity because users spend less time waiting and more time working.”

Brandon Johnson
King Guinn Associates
“There is a quality of life improvement her, as well as productivity. We can better manage our time, both in and out of the office”

Brandon Johnson
King Guinn Associates