Success Story: How The Bible Chapel's IT Prayers Were Answered
Simon James may depend on divine intervention to solve many challenges, but he draws the line when it comes to his IT network.
“Let's not get carried away,” James joked.
James is the Director of Technical Arts at The Bible Chapel, a non-denominational Bible-teaching church with five locations in Western Pennsylvania and one in Central Florida. The Bible Chapel opens its doors to kids, students and adults who want to share stories and questions, struggles and triumphs, relationships and conflicts that run the gamut of life's issues.
James has been on staff with The Bible Chapel at the McMurray, PA location for more than 22 years. He has the dual role of managing the organization's IT and AV networks, encompassing a host of critical components that plug in, fire up, connect and communicate the message of the Christian faith well beyond the USA's borders.
As the AV director, James had no problem managing the audio, video, lighting and projection services for the chapel. But as the IT director, well, he needed a bit more than faith when managing a mixed network of Mac® and PC computers and an onsite server that scaled across The Bible Chapel's multiple campuses, ministries, events and administration.
Communication was less than… seamless.
“We depend on our systems to run smoothly, particularly during our weekend activities and when we live stream our services,” James said. “We just can't take a chance our technology won't cooperate when we need it most.”
Concerned, James called CranstonIT in 2018.
“We wanted to move from a 50/50 multi-platform IT structure with an onsite server to a cloud-based primarily Mac system,” he recalled. “We needed support from a company with expertise not only in the Mac environment, but with a knowledge of cloud-based systems. That was CranstonIT.”
The transition was swift.
Senior Network Administrator Marshall Lewis and System Administrator Tom Brannen led a CranstonIT team that moved The Bible Chapel to a cloud-based system. New desktops and mobile CPUs were connected, and a number of new and upgraded applications were installed. The WiFi network was upgraded and a firewall system was installed to protect against cyberattacks. Security cameras were also added.
Soon, The Bible Chapel was running an Apple®-based network with 90% MacBook® and iMac® computers and just a few PCs to drive financial administration.
Today, in addition to providing ongoing Mac, Windows and network support, CranstonIT manages onboarding and offboarding of users, and configures user accounts, email, software, licensing and computer assignments when needed. Plus, CranstonIT also helps The Bible Chapel makes strategic, cost-effective IT decisions that prepare for the growth of the network and the organization.
“Essentially, Cranston IT helped us expand our options,” James said. “Now each campus is interconnected through our network, configured and protected to always keep us connected and communicating.”
Over the years, The Bible Chapel has grown to be one of CranstonIT's largest clients. The partners meet on a regular basis to review operations, security and future upgrades.
James has worked with several IT companies in his career, but sees a clear distinction in this collaboration. While CranstonIT has offered multiple
options and recommendations through the years, he said, it was always James who drove the final decisions.
“They always have our best interest at heart,” he said. “It's a team effort, and one that truly cares that we're designed for future success. That's why I would highly recommend CranstonIT to provide support to any organization that needs an IT roadmap to make the most of its technology investment.”
Cranston IT is a professional IT services company based in Pittsburgh, PA. The organization provides certified consultants, technicians and developers for IT solutions serving SMB and enterprise customers in the tri-state area and beyond.