Quinsam Coal Corporation in British Columbia, Canada is Advantage Technology’s first international customer. A team from Advantage Technology helped the underground mine by overseeing a conversion and implementation of new IT systems as well as migrating data from the old system to the new one.
Quinsam Coal is located on Vancouver Island, just off the coast of British Columbia. It mines steam coal primarily for use in power plants in the Pacific Northwest. A group of investors recently purchased the company and hired West Virginia native Matt Ashley to run the operation. The company has one underground mine operating now, and it plans to have a second one running soon.
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Ashley and some of the investors had a history with Advantage Technology and Executive Vice President B.J. Evans. Knowing Evans’ experience as a Chief Information Officer (CIO), Ashley knew he could reach out to his old friend when it was clear that Quinsam Coal needed a systems upgrade.
In October, Evans operating as a virtual CIO for Quinsam Coal, first visited the site to look at the IT situation and make recommendations. A few months later, an Advantage Technology team traveled back to Vancouver Island to do the installation. Quinsam Coal had been in bankruptcy, so many things – including the IT system – had lacked attention.
“BJ and I go back so long,” said Ashley, Quinsm’s Vice President and General Manager. “Anytime I need anything, BJ is right there. He’s always been very responsive, so I knew it would be a good move to work with Advantage Technology.
Replacing 20th Century Technology
“We needed help to get our technology out of the last century. Everything was so old. We were running one server on a USB drive. They were shutting the place down, so they didn’t take the time or money to invest in the system. When we opened back up, that old equipment was still there. It was very aged.”
The Advantage Technology team – that included Domenick LeRose and Kris Westfall – installed new equipment, transferred a lot of the company’s system from a data center in Vancouver to their offices and set up the system to provide Quinsam Coal with long-term support. Multiple systems were set up to take care of engineering, LAN, accounting and other needs. Evans said LeRose, the project manager, made sure all of the equipment got there safely and on time. Westfall served a systems engineer and server expert.
“We worked with our partner in Canada to get the equipment,” Evans said. “We partnered with Northern Shield Rugged Technologies. We’ve worked with them on several things in British Columbia. We provided the consulting expertise to carry out the project. Domenick and Kris went up in March to install and transfer everything.
“It’s been a few months now, and everything is going great. It’s working out smoothly.”
Ashley said the entire process of working with Advantage Technology was smooth from the very beginning.
“Everyone up here wasn’t used to working with this modern equipment,” said Ashley, a native of Sutton, W.Va. “It makes everything so much easier. The previous systems were so old that we were limited. Now, we have so much more capability… so many more options.”