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Case Study

  • Client: Menta Group
  • Project: Upgrading a Decades-Old Information System for a National Network of Schools
  • Country/Region:

The Menta Group of schools for children who need special education services or intensive intervention has been in operation since 1973. Their mission is to never give up on a child, and they support children with mental and behavioral challenges in their numerous schools across the country. However, their IT infrastructure had not been updated since the 1990s, and they sorely needed someone to bring their systems and databases up to date.

Technologies Used

  • SQL Server
  • ASP.NET

Customer Quote

We’re delighted with the work Intertech has done to upgrade our IT infrastructure and add much needed functionality to our tracking and reporting. Partnering with Intertech took much of the stress and headache out of working with and improving our systems. Intertech’s consultant was clearly an expert, and his depth of experience and ability to collaborate made the process easy for us. The improvements represent a big step forward for our schools, helping us to better serve our students across our network.

Challenge

The Menta Group is a nonprofit operating sixteen specialized schools for special education services. These schools rely on a central database and web app for tracking attendance, federal school lunch subsidies, transportation management, and behavior reporting, among other functionalities. However, in recent years they’ve faced challenges operating their IT systems as they age. Support for their older SQL servers had ended, and they needed new functionality added to their existing applications.

A third party software consultancy developed the original database and application in the early 1990s. They delivered the completed product but did not provide ongoing maintenance or support. Over the years, Menta’s internal IT team made some successful changes to the database. However, for the most part, attempts to upgrade or change things caused the application to become unusable. As a result, the status quo prevailed for nearly three decades.

Over those three decades, a lot changed about how the Menta Group operated their schools. However, the database and application didn’t change to reflect those new processes. Menta approached Intertech in the hopes that our consultants could upgrade their systems and add some much-needed functionalities.

Process

Intertech’s relationship with Menta began in 2016. Initially, Menta needed help with SQL reporting, updating existing reports and investigating the database to give new insights and drive reporting for government programs. Intertech consultant Kyle Libbert worked to track down and update each of these reports. However, the reporting engine that Menta was using was no longer supported.

Over the course of an eight-month engagement, our expert consultant moved Menta’s SQL server and reporting engine to the latest version of each. This required a large data migration and the conversion of 150 different reports to the new engine and database. The consultant worked remotely on the project from Intertech’s Minnesota offices, saving the cost and overhead of travel and working in the same office. However, he was available to visit Chicago as needed to meet key individuals at Menta.

In addition to the server and reporting migration, Intertech’s consultant also implemented several fixes to existing issues and new features. Attendance policies and processes had changed since the initial development of the application as had busing and transportation management. Our consultant helped update the server and application to reflect those changes. In addition, government reporting on behavioral issues, incident escalation, and lunch/breakfast funding needed to meet updated criteria for tracking and compliance.

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Result

Intertech’s consulting allowed Menta to upgrade a system that had been stuck in the past for decades. The consultant’s expertise and experience with Microsoft products kept delivery on track and allowed for new features to be added. These upgrades greatly increase the efficiency and usability of Menta’s internal systems nationwide. It also makes maintenance and support much easier on their internal IT department.

Our Story: Intertech

From the day it was founded in 1991 by local entrepreneur Tom Salonek, Intertech has been a company with an important difference: unwavering commitment to customers, employees and the broader community through excellent work, smart workplace and financial management, and creative philanthropic involvement.

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