Case Study

J. Knipper and Company, Inc.

Stratus enables always-on marketing solutions for the healthcare industry

Since 1986, J. Knipper and Company, Inc. has been known throughout the pharmaceutical industry for developing and delivering smart, effective, and efficient commercial solutions. The company offers a broad array of health marketing services that range from direct marketing and sampling to data analytics and web-based applications. Beyond its roots in direct marketing and sample distribution, Knipper’s MyPharmaSuite™ also offers innovative solutions to sales and marketing challenges, including MyPharmaRep.com™ (an online solution for non-personal brand promotion and vacant territory coverage), MySampleCloset.com™ (an online paperless sample ordering system), and MyRepCenter. com™ (a web-based ordering system for the sales force).

Located in Lakewood, New Jersey, Knipper has invested heavily in its physical and data infrastructure to provide its pharmaceutical clients with the same level of FDA facility, procedures, verifications, and quality that they devote to the production of their products. The company currently has 270,000 square feet of space, 12,000 of which is dedicated to refrigerated items and 7,500 for controlled substances, along with an advanced data center. With its new infrastructure and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) product suite, it was critical for Knipper to have a solution that would deliver the 24/7/365 availability required for the safe handling of application hosting, database management, and enterprise services.

Quick Facts

Solution Profile

  • Health marketing services ranging from direct marketing and sampling to data analytics and web-based applications
  • Ensures that warehouse management system and web applications are available and operational at all times, with a lower overhead and higher ROI
  • Meets FDA compliance to prevent loss of refrigerated samples
  • Assures high level of customer service and prevents loss of revenue if doctors or sales reps can’t place orders because the web applications are unavailable

Products

  • Stratus® everRun® software
  • Dell PowerEdge R900 servers
  • Microsoft® SQL Server™

The Situation

Working with some of the largest pharmaceutical and biotech companies in the industry, Knipper’s web applications, MyRepCenter.com™, MyPharmaRep.com™, and MySampleCloset.com™, must deliver 24/7/365 availability to facilitate customer orders, process information, and generate reports for sales representatives and physicians, including samples for over the counter, prescription, and controlled substances.

“We have several client-facing web applications designed to enable physicians to order products and provide sales representatives with a means to order samples and access product literature. It’s extremely important that these web applications are available 24/7/365. Many of the reps and physicians that our products serve are ordering in the middle of the night, early in the morning, at all times of the day,” says Marc Gerardi, Knipper’s web systems engineer.

Knipper successfully manages two specific high-level risks that require a more cost-effective, less time-consuming technical solution:

  1. FDA noncompliance and loss of refrigerated samples if the management system experiences downtime.
  2. Customer service headaches and loss of revenue if doctors or sales reps can’t place orders because the web applications are unavailable.

Previously, Knipper was using automatic system health checks with third-party tools to control these downtime risks. “It was a time-consuming manual process of systems recovery requiring dedicated monitoring personnel, and rapid group response to mitigate issues when they occurred,” says Tony Quintenz, Knipper’s Director of Network Services.

Therefore, the new solution required the highest degrees of automation, dependability, and ease of use.

The Solution

After evaluating various high-availability solutions, Knipper IT managers agreed that Stratus® everRun® software was simpler to implement and would provide a higher level of efficiency.

Knipper chose Stratus everRun software, running on standard Dell servers, to guarantee that its critical applications, including the warehouse management system and web applications, would be available and operational at all times with a lower overhead and higher ROI. Stratus everRun is used to protect many of Knipper’s enterprise production environments from downtime, including several Dell PowerEdge R900 servers with Microsoft SQL Server. Knipper purchased, installed, and configured the everRun software quickly and easily.

“We chose everRun because it offered the best package overall. everRun offered real-time synchronization, which is key for our 24/7/365 operations, it’s cost effective, and required minimal training for our employees. Another winning factor was the simple implementation; we were set up within a matter of hours, not days,” says Quintenz.

It’s a great product. We are now able to maintain our high level of redundancy, reliability, and web-based products and enterprise services in the most cost effective and efficient manner.”
Tony Quintenz
Director of Network Services J.Knipper Company, Inc.

The Results

Since Knipper finished the Stratus everRun implementation, its enterprise environments, including warehouse management system and client facing web applications, have maintained the highest level of availability in spite of planned and unplanned events.

“It’s a great product, we are now able to maintain our high level of redundancy, reliability, and web-based products and enterprise services in the most cost effective and efficient manner,” adds Gerardi.

After realizing the disaster recovery and data protection benefits of supporting its critical applications with everRun, Knipper plans to expand its use for additional web applications and other solutions. “As we expand more of our services on the web and offer additional options for customers, we will look to everRun for the continued protection we need.”

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