Cloud Virtual Desktops Redefining Big River Steel — the First Steel Flex Mill™

cloud virtual desktop - big river steel A case study on Big River Steel building the world’s first Flex Mill™, bringing together superior capabilities of a major steel producer with the tech advancements of a fully-managed cloud virtual desktop infrastructure to operate more effectively. Big River Steel focuses on the production of advanced automotive and electrical steels. The mega-facility, located on 1,300 acres in Osceola, Arkansas, uses the latest thin slab casting and rolling technologies from SMS Group AG to produce the largest range of hot strip dimensions available in the market.

Challenge: Enable Startup to Build a Secure Technology Infrastructure to Centralize and Manage its Operations

cloud virtual desktop - big river steel

With fierce global competition, Big River Steel knew it was time for American steel to drive innovation again. To bring the first Flex Mill to full throttle, Big River Steel had to find a way to competitively produce the most-challenging steels. But building a smart-mill that could produce the wide mix of lightweight high-strength steels to the most complex electrical steels, energy pipe grades and coiled plate dimensions was quite the challenge. It took about five years and a team of technology experts, engineers and scientists to bring this mill to fruition. The end result is a company that delivers the following message to their constituents:

Big River Steel is really a technology company that just-so-happens to make steel. This technology company needed to build an IT infrastructure that could support the innovative plant technology, equipment, custom logistics and casting process, as well as infrastructure to support and manage business operations securely and efficiently. Among the many components, Big River Steel turned to IBIS Technology to help build a full-scale cloud IT infrastructure.

Solution: Managed Cloud Virtual Desktop Infrastructure

IBIS Technology worked with Big River Steel to develop a strategy to address the mill’s technology needs. To improve security, productivity and accessibility, IBIS Technology helped plan, design and build a complete cloud-based IT environment with cloud-hosted virtual desktops and servers to get them up and running with the ability to scale as they grow. Below are some of the solutions IBIS Technology provided:

  • Technology Consulting: Planning and building the entire cloud virtual desktop infrastructure and roadmap for a fully productive operation that could scale and grow with them.
  • Security: Creation of a private network infrastructure with geographically independent data centers and single-tenancy to provide higher levels of security and compliance, while proactively addressing any system vulnerabilities to avoid risk.
  • Productivity: Fully-managed cloud services with 100%, around-the-clock IT Support to manage upgrades, backup and disaster recovery, business continuity, help desk, and remote monitoring to optimize processes without taxing valuable internal resources.
  • Accessibility: Private cloud network to house all business applications with virtualization to make it easier for employees to gain anytime, anywhere access, on any compatible device.
Since their inception, Big River Steel has grown from one location with just a few staff members to more than 250 workstations with plans to continue to expand and grow. 
Cody Hore, Technology Director at Big River Steel, had this to say about IBIS Technology and their partners at onthenetOffice: “They are one of the best in business. They helped us plan, build and scale our Cloud Infrastructure quickly and efficiently, better than trying to do it all in-house. There is no one else I would entrust my entire Cloud network to than these guys. Worth every dollar.” 

Watch the video below: Rebels Wanted - Big River Steel's Grand Opening.


cloud virtual desktop - big river steel

Pictured here: On March 1, 2017, the American steel producer Big River Steel (BRS) officially opened its new steelmaking plant in Osceola, Arkansas. Guests from the steel industry and government officials attended the grand opening, among them Asa Hutchinson, Governor of the State of Arkansas.




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