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Testimonials and Case Studies

American Heritage Charter Schools

A large and expanding highly-acclaimed charter school, American Heritage Charter School hires the RS Technical Group to redesign and implement a new physical and logical network including a 1.5Gbps wireless microwave link, enhanced internet connectivity, advanced firewall and filtering solutions and a new Digium Switchvox VOIP phone solution that services five campuses.

Sunfood

One of the top natural food providers in the US, Sunfood hires The RS Technical Group to work with in-house IT staff on relocation of critical infrastructure to a data-center environment, new Untangle Firewall solutions and new Digium Asterisk based phone system.

Family Foreclosure Rescue

Family Foreclosure Rescue, one of the most reputable foreclosure solution providers in Southern California has partnered with The RS Technical Group to provide design assistance with their new office network infrastructure, internet connection, wireless connectivity, firewall and VOIP phone system.

Flight Crew Systems

LOFT partnered with The RS Technical Group (RSTG) to provide a comprehensive technology review and upgrade. RSTG implemented a new Digium Switchvox VOIP phone solution, new Untangle firewall and in-classroom Ubiquiti wireless networking.

Civic Helicopters

Civic Helicopters, a world-renowned helicopter flight training facility located at the Palomar Airport, partnered with the RS Technical Group to redesign their internal network, upgrade their internet connectivity, and implement new wireless and firewall solutions.

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American Heritage Charter Schools

The RS Technical Group, Inc. improves customer experience while simplifying communications for Thomas Brady & Associates.

Overview

In 1992, the California State Legislature passed the Charter Schools Act, which allowed for the formation of independent public schools that were free from many of the bureaucratic burdens placed on regular district schools. These schools were required to operate under a “charter” granted by a local school district and now are commonly referred to as “charter schools”.
Shortly thereafter, AHCS’s founder and CEO, Dennis “Coach” Snyder, decided to create a new type of public school. This school would focus on academic achievement, learning fundamentals (reading, writing , math and science) and character development based on our American heritage and its ideals of honesty, integrity, individual initiative and service to others. Coach Snyder had spent 30 years as a teacher and football coach in the Escondido High School District. In 1996, Coach Snyder founded Escondido Charter High School (ECHS), the first American Heritage Charter School.

Starting in a local-area business park with 60 students, ECHS has grown to become a highly-acclaimed and top-performing public high school, known for excellence in education and an emphasis on student’s character development. Today, ECHS operates at full capacity serving approximately 800 students. A close-knit school culture has emerged within ECHS, with teachers, students, and parents all working together to improve pupil learning. During its 16 years of service, ECHS has achieved some of the highest test scores in the State of California and has placed graduates into many of the nation’s top universities including Harvard, Stanford, MIT and Cal Poly.

Based on the success of EHCS, interest in its programs continued to increase and demand far exceeded the school’s capacity. As a result, in 2003, the organization expanded to a new and larger location as its primary campus. The school purchased a commercial complex adjacent to its original campus and built Phase One of its current campus, which included 40 classrooms, a library, modern computer labs, and athletic fields. Phase Two of this project was completed in 2006, by adding a 400-seat theater and gymnasium complex.

Following the completion of the new ECHS campus, ACHS expanded its academic programs and founded The Heritage K-8 Charter School (HK-8). Opened in 2004, it occupies a location adjacent to ECHS, on the prior ECHS campus. Since its inception, Heritage K-8 has grown steadily and now enrolls over 800 students. Like ECHS, HK-8 is committed to improving pupil learning by promoting academic excellence through a focus on fundamentals. The school also partners with parents to promote the student’s character development aligned with our national ideals of achievement, integrity and service to others. As a result of these efforts, Heritage K-8 was recently recognized as the #1 charter school in the State of California by an independent study commissioned by USC.

To better serve parents and students that are interested in a technology-focused and blended learning curriculum, American Heritage Charter Schools launched The Heritage Digital Academy Program in 2010. This program provides students grades 6-12 with a classroom-based, technology-focused, blended learning program. Since its inception, the program has grown rapidly, starting with 90 students and increasing to current enrollment of over 350 students.

In late 2013 American Heritage Charter Schools opened it’s fifth campus, The Heritage Digital Academy Middle School.

Challenges

One of the biggest challenges with American Heritage Charter Schools was to keep up with the fast paced expansion. Technology plays a large and important role in the day-to-day operation of the schools for both students and staff. Over the years, the technology in use has changed along with the demand on the systems, servers, and the internet. Campus interconnection technologies were reviewed often as were the firewall and filtering solutions necessary to keep students safe while online.

With five separate campuses spread out over three city blocks, interconnection and telecommunication costs were spiraling out of control. The network built in 1996 and upgraded with the new campus in 2003 was no longer meeting all of the needs of the students. Increased information draw from the internet, faster, smaller and more powerful computers, and the exponential increase in the number of students were all applying pressure on a network and topology not intended for the traffic load it was being asked to handle. Something needed to change!

Solutions/Results

In mid 2013, engineers and staff from the RS Technical Group and the American Heritage Charter Schools began a large network and infrastructure expansion project. This project would address almost all areas of the technology that help drive the school.

A completely new physical and logical network was designed, but we had only the time the school was down over the summer to complete the project.

Starting with the core of the network, the small Cisco switches that had been used in the past were replaced with a series of three Cisco 6509 chassis switches running redundant power supplies and a mix of the 720GB and 10GE supervisor engines. Utilizing fiber that we had run between campuses where we could, and implementing a new 24Ghz 1.5 gigabit microwave link to our furthest campus, these 6509 switches were interconnected via trunk links to fifteen smaller Cisco gigabit switches that serviced the individual buildings throughout the various campuses. A new Layer 3 VLAN design was implemented on top of this new physical network.

The Layer 3 part of the network was designed so that each and every classroom would be a separate virtual network, which allows the IT staff greater security control over each classroom as well as between staff and student devices. Integrated tightly with the Untangle Firewall Education Solution, the new layer 3 network configuration allows extremely targeted configuration changes in the firewall. Certain classrooms would be allowed access to certain websites while other classrooms would be denied access to those same websites. Often times this is based on the age of the students. For instance, high school students required to complete studies in their science class that include reproductive issues need access to websites that a fourth grader does not. The combination of the new layer 3 network and the Untangle firewall solution allowed us to meet the needs of everyone on campus.

As the number of students grew, so too did the amount of internet traffic. The school had been using a DS3 for a number of years, but network monitoring utilizing InterMapper showed times of total saturation of the circuit leading to network slowness and issues with streaming videos and other services utilized campus wide. A new fiber circuit was installed and the amount of capacity available more than doubled with a total eventual capacity in excess of 10GB should it be needed. As part of the revamping of the internet connectivity, a new Cisco edge router with gig interfaces and a network caching appliance from ApplianSys was installed utilizing WCCP. Installation of the caching appliance reduced internet utilization by over 25%.

After the network and firewall solutions were in place, a new phone system needed to be installed. The old phone system was a NEC NEAX system with limited IP functionality. Parts were difficult to acquire, and the system was requiring onsite service and support on a regular and expensive basis. After reviewing the costs to attempt to expand the old system to include the new middle school campus, a decision was made to install a new phone system.

Many issues needed to be addressed concerning a new phone system. First, we did not want to have to deploy multiple phone systems across multiple campuses like what was done with the NEC phone system. The new system had to be 100% IP enabled. Next, American Heritage Charter Schools consists of five separate campuses, and each campus had different staff members, open and closing times, operators, addresses, and internal requirements (all page, staff DIDs, etc.). As a result, the front desk staff was spending a huge amount of time transferring calls, and the old NEC phones took up most of their desk space, so inbound call management was given high priority!

The Digium Switchvox solution was selected to address each of these issues. Utilizing the Switchvox Switch, the Switchvox G200 VOIP Gateway, and almost 200 Digium D70 and D40 Phones, RSTG Digium and Asterisk certified engineers implemented a multi-tenant, E911 capable phone system that included over 30 IVR menus, automated custom routing for incoming and outgoing calls based on time-of-day and individual campus schedules, outgoing DID manipulation, SIP trunking for decreased outbound call costs, and two PRIs via the G200 gateway for inbound calls. The front desk staff was introduced to and now utilizes the Switchvox Switchboard for call management.

No other phone system on the market could meet all of the unique needs of all five campuses with the features and pricing of the Digium Switchvox solution.

Sunfood

One of the top natural food providers in the US, Sunfood hires The RS Technical Group to work with in-house IT staff on relocation of critical infrastructure to a data-center environment, new Untangle Firewall solutions and new Digium Asterisk based phone system.

Overview

Years ago, a group of health minded individuals noticed an alarming trend in their towns and communities. They saw friends and family eating and drinking dead, processed foods full of chemicals. They knew that this was the path to obesity and disease, ultimately leading to western medicine’s suppression of symptoms with drugs and scalpels. This is not true healing.
Sunfood was born from their desire to create an alternative path to health. They believe that the secrets to health, energy and long life are found in nature through diet and nutrition. Building upon the wisdom of traditional and modern natural healing methods from all over the world, they are here to share powerful information and superfoods that help people heal and rejuvenate themselves naturally.

It is their quest to find the most nutrient dense, raw, organic, Non-GMO superfoods on the planet. Their search to uncover ancient and modern healing knowledge lost to our society has taken them all over the world, from the tropical regions of South America to the high mountains of Tibet.

Their family-operated business is located in San Diego, where they prepare superfoods in their certified organic facility and package them for you with care. They are passionate about empowering their Sunfood family through education, from their superfood specialists on the phones, to their newsletters filled with the latest health information, to recipes made with love from their kitchen to yours.

Challenges

As Sunfood grew and expanded so did the needs of their staff and customers. Having completely rebuilt their online store, Sunfood wanted to guarantee maximum uptime for their customer facing website and online store. Hosting it internally on their local network was no longer an option.

In addition to outsourcing certain aspects of their IT infrastructure, Sunfood needed to move into the 21st Century with Unified Communications, the ability to converge phones from multiple locations, increased visibility into inbound call statics and better management of their telecommunications overall.

Lastly Sunfood wanted to make sure their internal network was secure while providing executives and sales staff the necessary access to internal resources. This access included both the home office as well as systems located in the data center.

Solutions/Results

Engineers from The RS Technical Group worked with Sunfood to design and project manage a gradual move of critical infrastructure to a cabinet in a local data center. This move included management of multiple DNS servers to prevent website outages or downtime, negotiation with a local data center provider on space, power and connectivity, IP allocation and overall physical and logical network and security design and implementation. Utilizing an Untangle firewall solution and Cisco networking hardware, the move was a success.

The local network at Sunfood was in great shape and far less complicated with most of the customer facing infrastructure moved offsite. To integrate the locations RSTG deployed an Untangle VPN solution at the corporate office as well as at several smaller outlying offices. These Untangle firewalls allowed the staff and executives at Sunfood secure access to their data regardless of where they were located.

Lastly, Sunfood wanted to move into the world of Unified Communications. RSTG deployed a Digium Asterisk Solution utilizing Digium D70, D50 and D40 phones. Combined with the Untangle firewall and VPN deployment, Sunfood executives and sales personnel we able to make and receive calls anywhere they were at as if they were sitting at their desk. OpenVPN connect and Bria on their smart phones enabled converged extensions no matter where they happened to be at the time.

Flight Crew Systems, Inc dba LOFT


Flight Crew Systems, Inc. DBA LOFT located at the Palomar Airport in Carlsbad California provides in-aircraft and simulator based flight training for the Citation CE-525 and CE-500 jets. In 2010 LOFT became the first and only FAA Part 142 certified full flight simulator training facility in San Diego County. LOFT partnered with The RS Technical Group (RSTG) to provide a comprehensive technology review and upgrade. RSTG implemented a new Digium Switchvox VOIP phone solution, new Untangle firewall and in-classroom Ubiquiti wireless networking.

Overview

Drawing from their rich history of in-aircraft flight training that has spanned decades, in 2010 LOFT became the first and only Part 142 certified full flight simulator training facility in San Diego. In 2009 their CJ1 full flight simulator was the very first simulator in the country to be awarded certification under the new FAR Part 60 standards allowing LOFT the ability to provide an unprecedented level of personalized training utilizing both our simulator and the aircraft.

Every pilot is different and at LOFT they approach pilot training keeping the individual needs of the pilot in mind. They capitalize on the pilot’s experience by employing seasoned veteran pilots who are current and qualified in the airplanes in which they teach. Their broad backgrounds include private, military, airline, and charter operations with tens of thousands of hours of experience flying everything from fighter jets to commercial airliners and everything from CitationJets to Gulfstreams.

To better serve the piloting community and their clients, LOFT expanded their corporate offices and classrooms located at Palomar Airport.

Challenge

One of the main challenges that LOFT was having was old technology. This included slow internet connectivity, an old KSU style phone system that did little to meet their current needs, an off-the-shelf wireless device that allowed client internet access and a generic NAT based firewall with no filtering or VPN capabilities.

With corporate offices and a flight simulation center, it was important to try and consolidate resources and transition to simplified voice and data communications while interconnecting both locations seamlessly. A full review of the sites revealed that the new technologies available today would go a long way to meeting these goals.

Solutions/Results

In mid 2011, engineers and staff from the RS Technical Group began a technology upgrade and replacement project at both the LOFT corporate offices as well as their flight simulation center.

RSTG engineers replaced the current internal switch with a Cisco POE switch that would be instrumental in powering the new phones. New internal CAT6 wiring was completed utilizing one of RSTG’s partners and a new internet service provider was selected and installed.

To address client access and BYOD employee and instructor access, RSTG deployed Ubiquiti UniFi AP AC wireless access points. These access points provided high-speed connectivity for instructional use as well as Internet connectivity for LOFT’s clients.

Because there were multiple locations, RSTG selected and installed two Untangle Firewall Appliances, one at the corporate offices and one at the flight simulation center. Once in place, a secure VPN was created between the two facilities and both location now behaved as one network.

Finally, RSTG installed and configured a Digium Switchvox phone system. By designing a completely new IVR system around the needs of the client and deploying D70 phones at both locations, LOFT was able to leverage from new technology and completely change the way they interacted with client on the phone. Call cascading, after-hours find-me support, time-based call forwarding and management, single button system and time overrides and integration with LOFT’s SugarCRM platform radically changed the way LOFT was able to interact with their clients. No other solution would have been able to meet the needs of LOFT.

Civic Helicopters

Civic Helicopters, a world-renowned helicopter flight training facility located at the Palomar Airport, partnered with the RS Technical Group to redesign their internal network, upgrade their internet connectivity, and implement new wireless and firewall solutions.

Overview

Civic Helicopters, located at the Palomar Airport in Carlsbad, California, is a world-renowned helicopter flight training facility. Over the last quarter century, they have trained pilots from over 35 countries and various agencies at the municipal, state, and federal levels, both domestic and foreign.

Civic provides an excellent training environment and premium facility for their pilot candidates that enhance their learning experience, based on a deep understanding of the expectations of professional helicopter pilots and private helicopter owners.

In addition, Civic, founded by a United States veteran, is proud to serve those who have served our country!

Challenge

As Civic Helicopters grew, internal network systems and hardware were getting older and harder to maintain, and they also had increased demands for stable internal network access, increased security, and segregated client and employee network access.

Solutions/Results

Engineers and staff from the RS Technical Group met with the staff from Civic to design a new network and recommend hardware and software upgrades and replacements.

To address segregated client and employee access and BYOD employee and instructor access, RSTG deployed Cisco wireless access points. These access points provided high-speed connectivity for instructional use as well as Internet connectivity for Civic’s clients.

A new Internet connection with faster service was required, and as part of the installation process, RSTG installed and configured an Untangle firewall appliance.

Family Foreclosure Rescue

Family Foreclosure Rescue, one of the most reputable foreclosure solution providers in Southern California has partnered with The RS Technical Group to provide design assistance with their new office network infrastructure, internet connection, wireless connectivity, firewall and VOIP phone system.

Overview

Family Foreclosure Rescue is one of the most reputable, compassionate and professional teams of certified and licensed foreclosure experts. With many years of experience and unparalleled knowledge of the real estate industry, Family Foreclosure Rescue understands why foreclosures happen. And with access to support from real estate executives, attorneys, accountants and negotiators, we can find the perfect solution to help prevent this nightmare.

Not only do they fight for their clients and their families, but they can also assist them during the loss of a loved one, loss of a job or other hardship by providing relocation and moving assistance if needed. They assess their client’s unique situation and offer a personalized and equitable solution designed to benefit them both financially and emotionally. Since 2007, Family Foreclosure Rescue has helped countless people find equitable alternatives to foreclosure with expert knowledge and integrity that has made us the number one provider of foreclosure solutions in Southern California.

Challenge

As the housing markets collapsed, Family Foreclosure Rescue’s unique services were in great demand. As a result of this demand, they had outgrown their office space as well as their network and Internet infrastructure. They needed more space, more reliable Internet connectivity, greater VPN and security flexibility and a new phone system capable of handling inbound and outbound calls, call center activities and on the fly call cascading.

Solutions/Results

Working with the team at Family Foreclosure Rescue, the engineers and staff at The RS Technical Group (RSTG) brought together a technology improvement plan that included CAT6 cabling infrastructure, high-speed Internet connectivity, secure wireless connectivity, an on-the-fly as well as full-time VPN enabled firewall solution and the new phone system. Several services were outsourced to a local data center for maximum uptime and redundancy.

Utilizing a long-time solution partner, the new office space was pre-wired with CAT6 cabling and jacks to insure the best possible connectivity to the client desktops. Installation of the cabling plant was completed on time and under budget and tested 100% the first time around without having to correct for any installation errors.

New Cisco gigabit switches were installed to provide desktop connectivity as well as Layer3 VLAN capabilities. The new VOIP phone system utilized gigabit connected handsets and the network was broken up into different VLANs to address dissimilar types of network traffic and to ensure quality-of-service to the handsets in the event of high network loads.

RSTG installed Ubiquiti’s wireless UniFi AP AC wireless access points throughout the new office space. The UniFi units are capable of 1300Mbps which provided even the heaviest wireless network users outstanding coverage and network performance.

A new RGST security appliance running Untangle’s firewall software was deployed at the edge of the new network. Running Untangle V10, RSTG implemented several site-to-site VPN connections and configured on-demand VPN connections for Family Foreclosure Rescue remote employees. Untangle’s Spam prevention, content filtering, application monitoring and reporting services were all installed, configured and implemented as well.

Finally, RSTG installed a new Digium Switchvox VOIP phone system and Digium D70 gigabit High Definition VOIP handsets. A new IVR system was designed, installed and tested and a new call center was created utilizing the same new phone system. The phone system was configured to make and receive calls from both traditional phone lines and one of our SIP provider partners.