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Case Study: Spalding University Grows and Expands with the Cloud


Spalding University is a private, co-educational institution located in Louisville, Kentucky. The 200-yearold university is affiliated with the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth and provides a small-college feel in an urban environment. The university offers more than two dozen degree programs at the bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral level. Spalding University has experienced growth in recent years due to the addition of more online coursework options and degree programs for working adults as well as traditional students.

The Challenge

Spalding University’s small, six-acre city campus has great student appeal, but also limits its options to accommodate growth. Information technology offers an avenue for expansion via online instruction and access to a wider student population, as well as increased learning flexibility. The sophistication of a university’s campus technology increasingly influences a student’s choice of schools. It is also essential to administration, on- and off-campus communication and student life. And, it all has to work 24/7 reliably and securely.

Dealing with 80-year old buildings and an inadequate IT infrastructure to support its opportunities for expansion, the university’s small IT team looked outside for assistance. To support the university’s evolving mission and expanding programs, the team knew that reducing routine IT operational demands and costs would be an essential first step.

“To support the university’s evolving mission and expanding programs, the team knew that reducing routine IT operational demands and costs would be an essential first step.”

The Peak 10 Solution

In 2006, the university’s IT Director Ezra Krumhansl and Peak 10 began discussing an IT outsourcing plan.

The university contracted with Peak 10 for colocation services at one of its Louisville data centers, entrusting Peak 10 to take care of backup power, monitoring, disaster recovery and security.

As time passed, the university’s expanded and diversified curriculum, as well as the increased expectations for more online services, required more support. Peak 10 was there with tailored solutions to meet Spalding University’s changing needs.

Peak 10 essentially functions as an extension of the Spalding University IT team and an active participant in back-and-forth collaboration on IT strategy, including the university’s move to cloud computing and storage in 2012. ”With what we were spending on hardware and software, VMware® licensing and maintenance contracts, moving to the cloud became more realistic and costeffective. It actually has saved us money,” said Krumhansl.

Today, Peak 10 cloud services power student registration and billing, the university’s accounting and enterprise software, its file servers, its SharePointpowered portal, domain name servers and the active university directory, among other things. Peak 10 also provides managed firewall service, which includes intrusion detection, access control and filtering.

The Results

Outsourcing many of its IT services to Peak 10 has enabled Spalding University to keep costs down, especially for staff expansion. At the same time, its students reap the benefits of Peak 10’s managed security services — even if they don’t realize it.

“In the eight years I have been at Spalding University, we have not increased our in-house staff despite the growth of our student body from 1700 students to over 2500 at present,” Krumhansl said. “This has meant more computers, more users, more servers and more data storage without an increase in inhouse support. Fortunately, Peak 10 has been by our side to help us scale our IT environment to accommodate the increased activity.”

The university’s IT team feels comfortable calling Peak 10’s experts to make requests, seek advice or just to bounce ideas off of them. Peak 10 understands Spalding University’s business, and offers advice as well as a rapid response to calls for assistance, especially with regards to security. In addition, Spalding University’s in-house IT team frequently takes advantage of Peak 10 webinars and lunch-n-learns to stay current on the latest technology trends and techniques.

“We all sleep much better at night and during weekends knowing that Peak 10 has our back,” said Krumhansl. He recalls Hurricane Ike in 2006 and the ice storms five months later that took down other colleges in the area. The lights stayed on and the network stayed up at Spalding University, thanks to Peak 10’s reliable back-up systems.

“If we ever had to bring this all back in-house — the systems, the back-up, security, infrastructure and staff — it would easily be a seven-figure proposition,” Krumhansl said.

“Fortunately, we have it covered with Peak 10.”

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