See how Mode5 dramatically decreased network downtime, improved employee confidence in technology, and enabled staff to go to mobile to better serve their customers


Great AtlanticCompany Profile

Great Atlantic Pool, Spa, Patio, & Fireplace was established in 1978 and is one of Hot Spring Spas oldest, largest and most award winning dealers. Over the years, their product offerings have expanded to provide customers a full range of relaxation and leisure products including pools, saunas, swim spas, patio furniture and hearth. Visit their website here to see more.

Business Situation

Great Atlantic Pool, Spa, Patio, & Fireplace has multiple locations in the Mid-Atlantic region. Due to an aging network infrastructure, network downtime was creating major hassles for employees and customers. Owner, Rich Werber, described the situation. “You have a customer standing there in front of you and you have a register and you’re at a remote location and the register’s not connected.” According to Werber, “The age of our servers were way beyond a useful age so that caused almost weekly outages and reboots.”

To further complicate things, by the time of Great Atlantic Pool, Spa, Patio, & Fireplace’s first meeting with Mode5, their application server had completely failed. “At the very end the Citrix Server finally just kicked the dust and we had to create a workaround network ourselves for our point-of-sale system.” Because of this change, functionality was impacted such as access to email and how many remote users could log in at one time.

Technical Situation

Great Atlantic Pool, Spa, Patio, & Fireplace’s network consisted of a Windows 2003 Small Business server and a Windows Server 2003 Citrix Application server. Windows workstations were used as thin clients to connect to published applications from the Citrix server. Remote users connected to the application server via a virtual private network. When the server was down or rebooting, the remote locations had no applications to help customers with. In addition, when the Citrix server completely failed, Mode5 discovered a backup system had not been in place on the application server. While no data was present on it, not being able to restore the Citrix server created a major inconvenience.


Mode5’s first course of action to help Great Atlantic Pool, Spa, Patio, & Fireplace was to help get their existing Citrix server back online. While no backup of the server was present, we were able to remove the hard drives from the server and place them in one of our spare servers. This restored the full functionality of Great Atlantic Pool, Spa, Patio, & Fireplace’s network prior to migration.

Mode5 offered two options for Great Atlantic Pool, Spa, Patio, & Fireplace. The first was to keep an on-premises server solution by upgraded the existing Small Business Server to the 2011 Premium version and virtualize an application server. The second option was to migrate Great Atlantic Pool, Spa, Patio, & Fireplace to our Mode5 Cloud solution and get rid of local servers from the equation altogether.

After evaluating the costs and benefits of each solution, Great Atlantic Pool, Spa, Patio, & Fireplace chose to go with the Mode5 Cloud. Werber said, “I would be surprised if somebody worked out the economics and it didn’t go in favor of the cloud based on what I went through and I didn’t have to spend a lot of time at it. It was a back-of-the-envelope calculation. I saw that it was actually more economical, prepared us for the future, and it has other benefits as well.”

One concern that Rich had with the Mode5 Cloud was that his Point-of-Sale vendor, Evosus, was unsure whether their application would function properly. After several conversations and testing, Mode5 was able to prove that the application worked just as well in the Mode5 Cloud as it did on the local network. Werber said, “I would advise folks that have similar legacy software systems to really talk through it with their vendor and see why or why not moving to the Cloud would work for them instead of just assuming that it won’t.”

Once Mode5 stabilized the existing network, they began provisioning the Mode5 Cloud for Great Atlantic Pool, Spa, Patio, & Fireplace. This included Mode5 apps, Mode5 user accounts, Mode5 mailboxes, files shares, and more. Mode5 worked with Great Atlantic Pool, Spa, Patio, & Fireplace’s software vendor Evosus. Once the cloud network was provisioned, Mode5 tested the Evosus application, peripherals such as printers and bar code scanners, and more. Once provisioning was completed, data was transferred to the Mode5 Data Center and Great Atlantic Pool, Spa, Patio, & Fireplace went live with Mode5. The final step was performing a test of the environment with a live customer during a transaction which worked perfectly.


Rich Werber said there were several benefits to migrating to Mode5 Cloud. “Preparing for the future and to me that means not having all those other issues so that my staff will start to get more confidence in our system. That’s number one. Number two is the only downtime that we should experience is when we have internet down time and not related to our system or your system,” according to Werber. “We were so upside down with the old server that we had. We had work to do that we could not get to and it’s not just the downtime that is the problem, it’s the time we had to spend rebooting and trying to figure things out that we didn’t’ have any idea about. We don’t have any of that now.”

Mobility is another benefit of Mode5 Cloud. “I wanted to be able to have my staff move devices away from the office to do their work. That work needed to be secure as well as fast and user-friendly so they could do the same work home or in their car or in a customer’s backyard that they could do here. The benefit from a customer standpoint is that we can stand with our devices and create an estimate right there. Before, we had the ability to do some remote work but it was clunky. I’ve got employees that are working from home, seamlessly, without any issues so that’s been a project accomplished.”

“In addition, we will be moving [one of the offices] in the future and the Cloud will make that tremendously easier,” said Werber.

Additional Client Comments

“The interaction with each person in your business was professional and worked toward accomplishing the particular task at hand so I think everybody here believes that we chose the right company and there’s just added a layer of confidence.”

Technologies and Services Utilized

Mode5 Data Center
Mode5 Cloud powered by Microsoft Windows Server
Mode5 Mail powered by Microsoft Exchange
Mode5 Apps powered by Citrix XenApp, and Microsoft Office
Mode5 Support powered by the best support team in the business
Mode5 Easy Migration Service powered by the best implementation team in the business
Evosus Point of Sale Software
Zebra receipt printers