Quantum Technologies and the YMCA: Building Strong Connections in the Door County Community

During the summer of 2018, Sherri Dantoin, Associate Executive working with Finance, Human Resources and Information Technology at the Door County YMCA, remembered being really frustrated with the IT services the YMCA was receiving from their managed service provider. “At the time,” she recalls, “our members were constantly reporting the Wi-Fi dropping out and slow speeds throughout our facilities.”

“Many of our board members suggested I check out Quantum,” Dantoin relates. “They’re local and they have a great reputation. Also,” she continues, “Nathan and Erin (Drager), along with much of the Quantum staff, were members of the Sturgeon Bay Y, and we knew their organization would find our member’s frustration unacceptable. We also had several large-scale projects on the horizon that we couldn’t imagine completing with our managed service provider at the time.”

One of the best decisions our organization has made

Beyond issues with internet speeds and Wi-Fi coverage, the Door County YMCA was about to find out that their managed service provider was behind with regard to maintaining a number of critical systems. “When we initially came on board,” Nathan Drager, owner of Quantum Technologies, relates, “we realized several really important aspects of their network were being neglected. Part of the reason you have a managed service provider is to keep your business software up to date—the latest versions, etc,” Drager notes. 

“When we first looked at their computers,” he remembers, “they were still running Windows 7, an operating system (OS) with an end-of-life that was 2 months out—meaning the OS would no longer be supported by Microsoft. When that happens,” he adds, “an organization’s network instantly becomes more vulnerable to cyber attacks and hacking. That organization also becomes liable if its network gets breached while using an out-of-date operating system, and as part of a larger, national organization, our local YMCA would have been open to a lot of liability if they didn’t upgrade. Unfortunately,” Drager continues, “the YMCA’s previous managed service provider hadn’t even alerted them to the fact that their operating system was about to become obsolete.”

“Perhaps the hardest part for the Y,” Drager says, “was the realization that they’d also need to replace about 40 of their computers, which were too old to run the most current operating system at the time—Windows 10. That was a big expense,” he adds, “but they also appreciated that we took a proactive approach.” 

“Nathan and his team came in to give us a quote on that project and really took the time to detail the full scope of work that was needed,” Dantoin remarks. “It ended up being one of the best decisions our organization has made—that initial project led us to switch to Quantum as our managed service provider, and allowed us complete several additional projects within the first couple years of the partnership.”

“Quantum always takes our budget into account”

“As an organization,” notes Dantoin, “the YMCA has typically been behind the curve when it comes to technology and upgrading systems due to financial resources. As an IT manager,” she adds, “Quantum’s team has really helped me understand when work is critical to operations—regardless of financial considerations—and when we have a bit more time to address an issue.”

“And, along similar lines,” she continues, “Quantum always takes our budget into account. For instance, they have made refurbished systems—like SmartBoards—available to us at a reasonable price when they knew it would help us achieve member service goals, and they have helped limp other systems along when replacement wasn’t feasible in the near term. Early on in our partnership,” she adds, “they even refurbished our old computers, which we made available as an affordable buyback for some of our employees.”

“When we replaced the computers that were running Windows 7, we put new solid state drives in them and cleaned them up—got them all prepped and ready,” Drager recalls. “For those staff members who had older systems, or no system available at home,” Dantoin adds, “these refurbished units—purchased at a minimal cost—really came in handy and in some cases, supported their remote work during the COVID-19 lockdown and transitions.”

Enabling their remote workforce during COVID

“One of our biggest accomplishments with the YMCA was enabling their remote workforce during COVID,” Drager says.  During the lockdown, Quantum Technologies helped the YMCA go remote in a number of ways, including:

  • Connecting staff to the YMCA network from their home offices
  • Increasing security so members could access the 24/7  fitness center during the pandemic’s reduced hours
  • Adopting hybrid classrooms via Zoom so the community could stay active during the lockdown
  • Installing SmartBoards in YMCA facilities to support Y360—an on-line platform for fitness classes that was offered when in-person classes were reduced due to the lockdown

“They have a hybrid workforce now,” Drager explains, “Employees now have laptops and docking stations—they can get up and move—take their laptop with them and work from home—it’s all integrated into the YMCA systems now.”

“Quantum is our first point of contact for anything we need in the data world”

Today, Quantum Technologies provides the YMCA with full managed service. “Quantum manages all of our IT systems across all branches of our operations,” says Dantoin, “They manage our network, Wi-Fi services for operations and our members, our television and our in-house music needs.” “Moreover,” Drager adds, “we secure, backup, and support all technological aspects for the YMCA on a daily basis.”

To date, Quantum Technologies has also replaced and upgraded most of the YMCA’s network systems, including:

  • Retiring Windows 7—upgrading the YMCA’s operating system and computers
  • Upgrading the server—to a HP Enterprise Proliant server while also setting up the business in a flexible Hybrid Cloud Environment
  • Replacing the legacy telephone system—upgrading to a VoIP (voice over internet protocol) phone system, saving the YMCA money, and allowing for complete flexibility when exchanging calls back and forth between employees and locations
  • Replacing the camera/security system—upgrading to a single dashboard camera system across sites.

“Quantum is our first point of contact for anything we need in the data world, and we feel they do an amazing job hearing our needs and investigating options and pricing for us” Dantoin says, adding, “We trust their guidance and know we are in good hands when they are involved.”

“A huge partner for our renovation project”

Toward the end of last year, the Sturgeon Bay YMCA began work on the large-scale Heart of the Community renovation. When completed, this $10 million dollar expansion will greatly increase the size of the facility—providing upgraded amenities, increased program space and additional, diversified fitness and wellness areas. 

Since its inception, Quantum has been directly involved in the renovation process. “Because we have installed the majority of their network systems, and because we manage their network,” Drager says, “now that the Y is quadrupling in size, we are able to easily scale everything up. On the construction end,” he continues, “we’re working directly with Boldt and installing all of the low voltage cabling, and expanding all of their systems—the Wi-Fi, security, phones, computers—anything technical and we’re expanding it for them.”

“Quantum has been a huge partner for our renovation project,” Dantoin says, adding, “Beyond helping with network expansion, they have helped us develop a temporary office space during the renovation stage, so that all of our employees have been able to continue their work during construction without missing a beat.”

“We truly have a partner that cares”

“With Quantum Technologies,” Dantoin remarks, “we truly have a partner that cares. They act quickly to ensure that we have an efficient and effective workplace,” adding, “the ticketing system they use for reporting issues is efficient and they turn things around quickly.” 

“Beyond that,” she continues, “Quantum is second to none in times of emergency—their team of professionals is always highly responsive, dedicated to creative thinking and detailed planning, and perhaps most importantly, they know our business inside and out. Moreover, they assist outside of normal operating times so we can continue to do business as our members expect.”

“Being able to work with the YMCA in such a close way,” Drager adds, “has been really great—it’s definitely more of a partnership than anything else. As a result, we have been able to do some really cool and fun things that go a little bit outside of normal IT management—we’ve fixed their swim team scoreboard, we’ve fixed their outdoor digital signage and have even helped put their American flag up with our bucket truck. The work we do with them,” he adds, “feels not only like a partnership with an organization, but with the Door County community as well.”