Customer Success

For the past two decades, Twin Cities-based Blue Net has delivered a full range of IT services and solutions to local, regional, and national businesses of all sizes.

We wear each customer success story as a badge of honor. Read a few below and understand how Blue Net can transform your IT.

Managed Services and Business Solutions – Customer Success

Customer Profile and Industry 

Landform is a multi-disciplinary consulting firm that offers a full range of integrated site design services. They offer a unique SensiblyGreen® approach to site design and development challenges for Planning & Urban DesignRetail & Commercial Design and Residential Design

Project

Microsoft Office Teams Rollout, including Microsoft Phone System and conference calling implementation. Migration of calling queues and ring groups from a Mixie VoIP system to the Microsoft Office Phone System.

Technologies ​

Microsoft Office, including SharePoint, Teams, Audio Conference Calling, Microsoft Phone System, Domestic Calling Plan

The Challenge

Landform’s VoIP phone system was expensive and did not have the advanced collaboration features to meet Landform’s fast-paced environment. Mobile and remote staff wanted a VoIP solution that would integrate into Microsoft Teams and work on any of their mobile devices including mobile phones, tables, PCs, and notebooks.

Blue Net’s Solution

Blue Net analyzed their current phone system and recommended a plan to roll out Microsoft Teams using the Microsoft Phone System for VoIP communications. A pilot group was established to ensure the features in the Microsoft Phone system and Microsoft Teams would meet the company’s requirements. After a successful pilot, Blue Net configured the backend Microsoft Phone System for ring groups, business hour greetings, holiday greetings, and general voicemail box.

Summary

Landform now has a modern VoIP system fully integrated into Microsoft Teams as their main collaboration platform.

Customer Profile and Industry  

Matrix-NDI is a nation-wide leader providing Structured Cabling, Cloud and Hosted solutions, Voice and Contact Center Solutions, Telecom Choices, Facial Recognition, PoE Lighting, IT Networking Design and Deployment, IT Security, Premise Security, and Managed IT Services. 

The Challenge 

Matrix-NDI’s previous IT partner was not meeting their expectations. Matrix-NDI wanted a more proactive Managed Services partner with deeper technical expertise. Matrix-NDI faced challenging security and application delivery challenges and needed a comprehensive review of their entire technology infrastructure. 

 

Blue Net’s Solution 

Blue Net delivered a comprehensive Security Cross-Check Assessment ®, developing action items designed to secure Matrix-NDI’s IT infrastructure and reduce risk. Blue Net incorporated these action items into the managed services onboarding process and began to deliver secure and robust IT support. Matrix-NDI also engaged Blue Net’s Business Solutions team to develop a solutions roadmap leveraging Teams, SharePoint, and other Office 365 tools they owned but were not utilizing. As a Managed Service Provider, Blue Net was tapped to provide the IT support that Matrix-NDI needed. 

 

Summary 

Matrix NDI needed to upgrade to an IT partner with the knowledge and technical team to meet their IT security and operations challenges. Blue Net addressed these challenges and continues to provide ongoing IT strategy and support, so Matrix-NDI can focus on going their business. 

SharePoint – Customer Success

Customer Profile and Industry 

The mission of Gleaners Community Food Bank of Southeast Michigan is to provide households with access to sufficient, nutritious food, and related resources.  They accomplish this through collaboration, efficient operations, education, and innovative solutions to achieve a hunger-free community in southeast Michigan.

Project

Create a Delivery Management System to track the constituents who are enrolled in the program, along with deliveries, surveys, and call logs.

Technologies 

SharePoint Lists, PowerApps, and Power Automate.

The Challenge

Gleaners created a new food delivery program and were using Microsoft Excel spreadsheets to track all data points. This process was hard to manage and make visible to the right people. Automated processes were also virtually impossible to trigger and manage due to the static nature of Excel.

Blue Net’s Solution

We built a complete SharePoint solution using only out-of-the-box features and functionality. The solution has multiple components:

  • SharePoint library for constituent enrollments.
  • Healthcare partners provide Excel files with all constituent data, which Gleaners uploads and parses automatically and into SharePoint. All deliveries are then automatically created for each constituent.
  • SharePoint lists with custom views, formatting and forms are used to track constituent data, as well as related survey, call log, and delivery data.
  • Flows in Power Automate automatically create and schedule deliveries, record survey dates, and more.

All data points are now tracked individually, making automation and reporting a breeze. The flexible nature of SharePoint allowed Gleaners to make multiple enhancements after going live without any impact to their process.

Summary

Gleaners Delivery Management System created a flexible and efficient platform to track all information in one place. They can now spend more time serving people and working towards their mission of ending hunger in southeast Michigan instead of spending time and energy trying to manage backend data.

Customer Profile and Industry 

Our customer is a specialty law firm specializing in many different loan transactions, including real estate acquisition, real estate development, asset-based loans, and constructions loans.

Project

Create a Loan Package Generator that automates and streamlines the process of creating and manipulating legal documents for certain loan packages

Technologies 

SharePoint and Power Automate

The Challenge

Johnson Bealka PLLC had a labor-intensive process for copying legal document template files and populating customer-specific data in many dozens of places in each file. The process was tedious to perform and susceptible to mistakes.

Blue Net’s Solution

  • We built a complete SharePoint solution using only out-of-the-box features and functionality. The solution has multiple components:
    • SharePoint library with Document Sets
    • SharePoint Library for finalized PDFs
    • Flow available to start manually to auto-convert all files in selected folder to PDF

    Every task in the process is now automated with one central form to fill out. Once filled out, the form is used to generate all the documents for that specific loan package. This populates documents that used to be filled out manually.

Summary

Our Customer’s Loan Package Generator allows for much greater efficiency in process, quicker turnaround time for the production of documents, and cost savings to the law firm and its clients.

Customer Profile and Industry 

Turck USA is a specialty manufacturer in sensor, fieldbus, and connectivity products, as well as interface technology, human-machine interfaces (HMI), and RFID systems. Turck offers efficient solutions for factory and process automation applications.

Project

Create a tracking system to monitor and manage ISO trainings completed by employees.

Technologies 

SharePoint and SharePoint Workflow

The Challenge

Turck did not have an effective method of keeping track of who completed trainings for their ISO 9001 certification. Trainings were tracked in a master Excel list, and the process was completely manual. They were looking for a solution that automates the process and is more efficient and effective.

Blue Net’s Solution

  • We built a complete SharePoint solution using only out-of-the-box features and functionality. The solution has multiple components:
    • Document library that stores ISO documents
    • List that keeps track of Items that needed training
    • Employee list that keeps track of the employee and their current job title
    • Lists that store trainings that are currently outstanding and a list of the history of all trainings completed
    • Workflows that use web services to loop through other lists to schedule new trainings and auto-assign to employees
  • Every task in the system is now automated. When a document changes, a workflow will start and check to see if trainings are required. If so, it automatically creates Trainings Due tasks for each employee with a job roles that requires training related to the document.
  • All documents are tagged with Job Titles so that the workflow can loop through the employee list and auto-assign trainings.
  • Dashboards were created for Supervisors and Managers, so they can log in and see at a glance what trainings are required for the employees they manage. They are able to mark off and complete trainings in bulk and when trainings are completed they are moved to the employees history for auditing purposes.

Summary

Turck now has an automated way to keep track of and assign trainings to all employees. Audits can be completed in a fraction of the time now that everything is stored and organized more efficiently than in the previous master Excel spreadsheet. Built-in time stamps are used to keep track of completion dates, and managers can save time by going to their dashboard to get quick views of what is outstanding vs trying to have to make sense of a possibly outdated spreadsheet.

Customer Profile and Industry 

Impact Innovations, Inc. was founded in 1968 in Maynard, Minnesota. The company provides seasonal wholesale décor, fabric, and paper products to retailers. The company also provides custom marketing and merchandising products, in-store signage, merchandising displays, and loyalty card production for customers throughout North America.

Project

Develop an Internal/External portal for Impact Innovations to manage jobs and, at the same time, allow clients into the portal, so they can collaborate on documents, images, and the production process.

Technologies 

SharePoint and SharePoint Workflow

The Challenge

Impact Innovations needed a way to effectively track and store data related to each job and order that a client placed.

Blue Net’s Solution

  • We developed a portal using SharePoint Online that allowed access by Impact Innovation’s clients.
    • The portal contains a list for Jobs, a library for artwork, a library for accounting files, and a list to manage inventory.
    • There are several approval workflows that automatically route new orders for approval and will automatically adjust inventory when orders are finalized. Alerts are sent when inventory gets low.
  • The base site was saved as a template and a new subsite gets created for each client, so it can be customized with the clients logo and handle other unique needs.

Summary

Impact Innovations now has a one-stop-shop for orders, artwork files, and accounting files for their clients. It provides both Impact Innovations and their clients with a flexible and portable platform to collaborate and transfer data. This solution has eliminated hundreds of emails with attachments and potentially secure information. Impact Innovations and their clients now get alerts when key events happen and can visit their portal daily to see new information that needs their attention.

Customer and Industry

The City of Burnsville.

Project

Create a new Intranet platform​.

Technologies

Office 365 and SharePoint.

Customer Profile

The City of Burnsville’s goal is to provide quality services and amenities for residents and visitors to enjoy.​

The Challenge

  • Burnsville previously had an HTML-based “Employee Intranet” that could only be updated by a select group of people who knew HTML and understood how the Intranet was configured. It was managed and changed via Microsoft Expressions, another product that only a few people had access to and knowledge to use. This made their intranet “stale” very quickly, as time to make updates was limited and the entire site could not be appropriately maintained.
  • The old Intranet did not have any document management functionality.
  • The old Intranet did not have a usable “search” function and was messy and hard to navigate by end users. Employees stopped using it.

Blue Net’s Solution

  • ​Use Office 365 – SharePoint to serve as the new Intranet platform. Blue Net helped create a new Intranet from the ground up.
  • A new home page with content that was relevant to everyone in the organization. There is now a rotating news banner, featured links, dynamically changing “What’s Popular” and “What’s New” sections. These sections display popular and new documents from across the Intranet. There is also a section to display YouTube videos and feeds from social networks such as Facebook. Departmental sub sites – Each department will get a subsite to contain work and information related to their area.
  • Multiple libraries were created to house documents that were before housed on a server and linked to from the intranet. These documents are now in a common area, able to be searched, modified, and more easily accessed by all users.
    • Additional metadata was used to further categorize the documents to enhance the visibility of each document, making them easier to find and interact with.
  • A common calendar was implemented to allow employees to put things on the company calendar.
    • This calendar has a custom workflow attached to it, so managers can approve/reject items before they appear on the calendar for everyone to see.

Search and Usability:

  • Blue Net created a custom employee directory. The employee directory by default lists all the employees in the organization with refinements to filter by Department, Job Title, Ask me About, etc. This directory utilizes full search, as well as search keywords that might be in that person’s profile.

Summary

  • ​The City of Burnsville now has an organization-wide intranet that is more dynamic, more appealing, and much easier to manage. It offers document management, workflow processes, and much more.

Customer and Industry

Medtronic medical technologies.​

Project

Customize the Home page and a sub-site for the Neuromodulation Sales Training department at Medtronic.​

Technologies

SharePoint

Customer Profile

Medtronic’s medical technologies help make it possible for millions of people to resume everyday activities, return to work, and live better, longer. We’re able to do this with the help of some very special people around the world: 38,000 dedicated employees who share a passionate purpose to improve lives, thousands of medical professionals who share their insights and ideas, and hundreds of advocacy associations that help us share information so people with debilitating diseases know relief is possible.

Business Challenge

Blue Net was asked to customize the Home page and a sub-site for the Neuromodulation Sales Training department at Medtronic.

Blue Net’s Solution

  • ​Blue Net worked alongside the client to arrive at a design plan and layout for the Home page and sub-site pages.
  • Details such as image to be used, fonts, colors, and placement of web parts including Search were defined.
  • The placements as well as look and feel of the top and side navigation bars were defined.​​​​​​​​​​​​​

Custom Development – Customer Success

Customer and Industry

Dakota Provisions is a state-of-the-art turkey processing plant that produces homegrown, world-class products.

Project

Convert Flash-based website into a HTML5, CSS3, jQuery, and PHP5 off the CMS called WordPress. (https://www.dakotaprovisions.com/)

Technologies

Apache web server, MySQL, HTML5, CSS3, jQuery, and PHP5

Customer Profile

Dakota Provisions manufactures and produces poultry and protein products that are specially designed for retail and food service partners. Located just east of the James River, Dakota Provisions was founded by a co-op of growers, most of whom are members of Hutterite communities.

The Challenge

  • Dakota Provisions wanted to quickly transition from their existing website created with Flash to a new platform that would work on all browsers and preferably be responsive and mobile friendly too.
  • Since their old site was made completely with Flash, changing content was costly and time consuming. Dakota Provisions wanted to be able to easily change the content on the website on their own.
  • Dakota Provisions wanted to keep the cost of designing and developing their new website within a tight budget.

Blue Net’s Solution

  • Blue Net built the website quickly and efficiently using WordPress as the platform.
  • Blue Net used new techniques to create a completely responsive website that works on all browsers and devices.
  • Since WordPress has easy to use content tools, Dakota Provisions team was able to quickly learn how to add new content as well as modify existing content.
  • Blue Net incorporated existing media, graphics, and content into the new site.
  • Blue Net’s SEO experts laid the groundwork for a more powerful SEO that will help Dakota Provisions reach more companies on the web.
  • Blue Net setup web analytics, so Dakota Provisions could monitor page hits and develop a better understanding of their visitor demographics.

Summary

Upgrading Dakota Provisions website from Flash to a more stable platform proved to be a simple and fast transition. The cost-effective result is a cutting-edge website utilizing best practices which provides a backbone for easy use and growth. Dakota Provisions now has control of their website, and we’re excited to see them grow.

Customer and Industry

Local Government Information Systems (LOGIS) is a consortium of Minnesota local government units.

Project

The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) had developed a new database, schema set, and several interfaces to gather data from law enforcement agencies across the state and provide centralized reporting services on this data, but its users were encountering difficulty navigating the database.

Customer Profile

The purpose of LOGIS is to provide effective, reliable, and adaptable technology solutions to Minnesota public agencies through the sharing of ideas, risks, resources, and costs in a cooperative partnership that evolves with agencies’ needs.​​

The Challenge

Adoption by local law enforcement agencies of the new data sharing technologies developed for CIBRS had been very slow due to the complexity of the project. The team that developed the database and schemas may have underestimated the difficulty local agencies would have finding technical resources with the necessary skills to meet the requirements of the new system.

Blue Net’s Solution

  • One of the information systems LOGIS maintains is a law enforcement records management system. LOGIS partnered with Blue Net Consulting & Training on the project.
  • The CIBRS submission includes extraction of specified police records from the Motorola LRMS system for a portion (3-5) of the 24 LOGIS police agencies and send the records to a designated host server at the BCA. Qualifying records will be transmitted but segregated for each of the police agencies, and every record will be tracked and audited within the LOGIS CIBRS interface, then flagged as one of the following: initial send, modification send, or deletion. The extract/send process will take place automatically without user intervention and will occur at least every seven days, but probably daily.​​
  • The transferred data will include items required by CIBRS, eCharging, and Name Event Index Services (NEIS) that are currently collected by the Motorola LRMS. The data will comply in format to the MCJEC2C schema. The data will be submitted as standard XML documents and comply with the MCJE-C2C schema as published. All documents will be validated against this schema before submission.
  • LOGIS computing environment will also comply with the current enterprise technologies, including Microsoft SQL Server, Microsoft BizTalk Server, and the Microsoft .Net framework, and will comply with the Department of Public Safety’s Security Architecture standards and data privacy practices.
  • ​LOGIS was successful by partnering with Blue Net Consulting and Training to design the data interchange system and assist with the system development.

Customer and Industry

US Bank is a diversified financial services company with headquarters in Minneapolis, Minnesota. US Bank offers a comprehensive range of financial solutions to meet the needs of individuals, businesses, institutions, and government entities.

Project

Redesign the U​S Bank treasury department​ system centered on a modular task execution engine with a standard interface that made adding, moving, modifying, and deleting functionality faster and less prone to side effects.

Technologies

  • VB.NET (2003 version)
  • QL Reporting Services
  • SQL Server 2000​​​​​​​​​​​​​

Customer Profile​

With assets of $207 billion, US Bank is the 6th largest financial services holding company in the United States. The company operates 2,411 banking offices and 4,999 ATMs, providing a full line of banking, brokerage, insurance, investment, mortgage, trust, and payment services products to consumers, businesses, and institutions. Their premier Five Star Service Guarantee assures customers of key valuable banking benefits and services; if the guarantee is not met, customers will be paid for their inconvenience. U.S. Bancorp is the parent company of U.S. Bank.

The Challenge

The ​U​S Bank treasury department had been relying on several Microsoft Access databases (97 version) and applications to manage accounting, payments, and reporting for a large portion of their derivative and debt transactions. These transactions represent billions of dollars in securities. The MS Access databases and applications had evolved over 10 years time as new transaction types were added, new accounting demands arose, and regulatory reporting requirements multiplied. The applications have been in constant flux, and that situation is expected to continue.

The applications and data required constant maintenance, and the IT support team was being overwhelmed while trying to meet the support needs, as well as trying to implement new features requested by the users. Business logic and processes had become increasingly complex and intertwined while spread over many objects (code modules, code behind forms and code behind reports, Access queries, stored procedures, and user documentation). This evolution created a system that was difficult to understand, easily broken, and time consuming (i.e. costly) to troubleshoot and extend. In addition, these critical business applications did not meet the basic security and audit requirements implemented by the bank’s regulatory teams.

Blue Net’s Solution

  • Blue Net recommended that the debt and derivatives systems undergo detailed analysis in preparation for a redesign in a .NET platform against a set of SQL Server 2000 databases. A planned upgrade to Access 2003 would not alleviate the support and maintenance problems discussed above. Many of these problems were exacerbated by using Access as the platform. The detailed analysis was also necessary to untangle the complex web of dependencies that made the old systems so fragile and hard to change. Once the current system was fully understood, a new application could be built from the ground up to meet the following requirements
  • ​Consolidate business logic and documentation into discrete processes that can be more easily changed, added, or removed with minimal impact on the system as a whole.
  • Design these processes so they have at least a minimal awareness of their own dependencies (i.e. a process knows it can’t run if it depends on another process that has not completed successfully).
  • Create standardized testing procedures for new processes or for significant changes to existing processes.​
  • Design the data store so daily and month-end transformations are saved and automatically archived after a certain amount of time.
  • Design the development and test environment so changes can be fully tested before implementation.
  • Improve data security.
  • Increase control over data integrity so critical data entry errors or omissions are caught at the database level.
  • Increase auditing and logging of user data changes to meet regulatory requirements and as an aide to troubleshooting and support.
  • Increase logging of automated processes to meet regulatory requirements as an  aide to troubleshooting and support.
  • ​The redesigned system centered on a modular task execution engine with a standard interface that made adding, moving, modifying, and deleting functionality faster and less prone to side effects.
  • Development on the new system has been done with Blue Net developers in partnership with the US Bank Treasury IT support team. This means that those tasked with supporting and extending the new application have an understanding of how and why it’s built the way it is.
  • The redesigned system exceeds the new regulatory requirements being implemented throughout the bank and is far easier to extend and support. All data generated and maintained in the new system has a full audit trail so US Bank Treasury management can sign off their reporting numbers with greater confidence and peace of mind.
  • Troubleshooting problems takes far less time and guesswork because of the extensive logging in the new system and because of the careful compartmentalization inherent in the new design. New functionality can be developed and tested without disrupting the existing system. Once accepted, this functionality is simply plugged into the open architecture of the new system. New features that have been in the development queue for years can now be implemented in days or weeks.
  • ​Standardized and professional development practices are now in place. A phased approach had been taken, so all developers involved have gathered a great deal of experience with the full life cycle of software development. The IT support team now has proven processes for continuing to extend the application.​​​​

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