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Popeye’s Supplements

Powering Up the Private Cloud

How NeoLore Networks Won a Client’s Comment – “The Best in the Industry”

The history of Popeye’s Supplements is one of growth (over and above muscular expansion). Founded in 1989, Canada’s leading sports nutrition company has flourished, with over 90 retail locations, coast to coast. Success, and not just hardship, may occasion special challenges.

“I found that as the business prospered, we were spending more and more time ironing out IT issues,” says Aaron Labarre, President / Owner, Popeye’s Supplements Ottawa, Southern Ontario & Tri-City Area. “It was really inefficient, often just little things, but a poor way to spend resources, and had to stop.”

Aaron began searching for an IT Support Service that would give him “an honest evaluation of our IT systems, what had to be done, how we could grow with it, and how much to budget.” Frustrated by firms that couldn’t “give a straight answer,” Aaron discovered NeoLore Networks. “They offered creative solutions and were upfront about costs and expectations. We discussed cloud computing, and I can say that we made the right choice.”

Considering ‘The Cloud’

Over the past few years, much has been written about cloud computing (simply known as ‘the cloud’). Although cloud techniques and technologies are not necessarily new, what is new is the approach to computing. There are endless definitions of the cloud. It can be thought of as a network of servers—with each server having a different function. Some servers use computing power to run applications or deliver a service while others servers store data. Or viewed from a different angle, cloud computing can take applications and data, detach them from being dedicated solely to any single piece of computer hardware, and access them through an Internet browser.

Typically, a business uses cloud computing to streamline operations and raise efficiencies. In terms of enterprise management, the cloud model makes it simple to quickly scale use up or down.

The Cloud goes private.

Private cloud (also called internal cloud or corporate cloud) is a marketing term for a proprietary computing architecture that provides hosted services to a limited number of people behind a fi rewall.1 (According to a CSO Cloud Computing Survey in 2012, 23-percent of respondents reported that their organization has information residing in a private cloud, making private clouds the most popular cloud-computing mode.2 ) As well, private clouds are often the choice of companies who want the benefits of cloud computing, but don’t want their data held in a public environment.

“Without question, the private cloud solution helped us improve productivity. That’s what I focus on. We have unique business needs, such as many point-of-sale systems and inventories and a lot of stores covering large distances,” says Aaron. Private clouds enable enterprises to customize applications and services for specific requirements. Issues such as security and compliance—currently unavailable from public cloud providers—can be established.

“NeoLore made the transition to a private cloud very easy,” says Aaron. The company provided strategy, design, testing, a hands-on transition education, plus follow-up monitoring and a disaster-recovery plan.

“I think an important aspect of dealing with NeoLore is one of security,” says Aaron. “That security is knowing you have a dedicated IT group backing you up. Aside from our own internal IT resources, we have NeoLore, 24/7—we can always contact them, and that is worth a lot.”


The NeoLore Team: “Easily the best in the Ottawa market for your industry”

Reflecting on Popeye’s relationship with NeoLore, in light of the transition to a private cloud, Aaron notes, “They did a very good job, easily the best in the Ottawa market for their industry.” He and his staff appreciated the way NeoLore demystified the transition process, explaining that the company “seems to fi nd a way to make a topic that is usually a source of frustration for business owners and make it a bit of fun. Good hires are also something they have done well with. Even if a client gets frustrated, their team always rises to the occasion…there is a real sense that they care.”

NeoLore developed a robust, scalable solution for a company that knows a lot about getting in shape.