Outsourced colocation eliminates need to build own infrastructure

In 2006, International Paper sold part of its business to KapStone Paper and Packaging Corporation, a company designed to buy pulp and paper assets. This acquisition was the first for KapStone and was the catalyst for seeking a reliable IT partner. With no previous IT infrastructure in place, KapStone utilized International Paper’s legacy infrastructure through a transitional services agreement while it began planning its own infrastructure.

Recognizing the tremendous time and effort it would take its IT team to define and build its own IT infrastructure from the ground up, as well as the sheer volume of work that would be needed to automate and maintain KapStone’s financial and human resources applications, IT systems, etc., Kapstone decided to utilize a third-party IT provider.

“After learning of Flexential, we visited its local team and data center and were impressed by the senior managers and network administrators we met. They were clearly proud of their company and their facility, which had all of the state- of-the art components we were looking for,” said Danny Tomlinson, director of IT infrastructure and security at KapStone. “Our experience at Flexential and the level of comfort we felt after meeting its experts made our choice an easy one. We knew we could trust them as an extension of our own internal team.”

Tailored colocation solution secures business operations and easily integrates acquisition

Alongside KapStone’s internal IT team, Flexential began working to build the company’s intricate IT infrastructure to support its enterprise resource planning system and production environment, which serves as the backbone of the company’s operations. Flexential implemented network management and support services to ensure the system’s redundancy, as well as protect its integrity. The team worked around the clock to ensure KapStone’s implementation was seamless and all migration deadlines were met.

After engaging Flexential, KapStone continued its track record of expansion through a major strategic acquisition, which required that the company migrate the new company’s IT environment into KapStone’s environment. This called for infrastructure and bandwidth upgrades that were readily performed by the Flexential staff.

To further safeguard its mission-critical data and protect the longevity of the company, KapStone leveraged the Flexential geographic footprint and redundant network by implementing a disaster recovery site within one of its facilities in the Charlotte, N.C. market. This secondary location, where KapStone stores regular data backups, serves as a failover site to prevent an interruption should its production environment experience an anomaly.

Ongoing collaboration delivers performance and reliability as expansion continues

KapStone has grown through acquisition since signing with Flexential and was named fifth on Fortune magazine’s annual list of the 100 fastest growing companies in 2010 and 2011. It also experienced significant cost savings by relying on Flexential experts, thus eliminating the need to hire additional IT staff during its periods of growth.

After three years, KapStone’s contract came up for renewal and as the company assessed its relationship with Flexential, Tomlinson stated. “The Flexential team understands our business. A lot of companies say they will work as an extension of your IT team, but Flexential demonstrates its commitment to our business with its actions. Its team has consistently been proactive by monitoring our IT systems, providing suggestions for streamlining our infrastructure and creating a more efficient, redundant production network. We are more than happy to continue growing with Flexential.”

Today, KapStone Paper is an industry leader in unbleached paper and packaging industry, and positioned for significant future development. The company is working with Flexential to implement virtualization solutions and additional application support as they continue to gain momentum.