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IT Case Study: Multi-Office Company Based Across The UK

Manufacturing Company with several bases around the UK

 

Initial Enquiry

The customer came to us when their existing support provider was about to pull out of IT support and they needed a fast handover to a new service provider, who could quickly get to grips with their multi-site setup and recommend and implement improvements as needed.

 

Client Details

Number of Employees 100+
Number of Computers 85
Server Multiple
Network MultiSite VPN, Ethernet Circuits, Corporate Wi-Fi

 

Assessment

Upon visiting the headquarters and meeting the management team, it was clear that the first priority was to be in a position to support the business on a day-to-day basis as quickly as possible.

The existing infrastructure was in reasonable shape although in need of modernisation is some areas, so we agreed to recommend improvements along the way once the dust had settled, in order to concentrate on continuity of support.

 

Solution

We visited their four main sites, meeting with the main contacts at each site, documenting the IT infrastructure and installing our remote management software on all computers and servers, to ensure that we could connect and provide support as needed. We also met with the outgoing support provider to ensure we had all key information.

Once we had established a stable support arrangement, we started to work on improvements…

  1. The aging server infrastructure has been replaced gradually across all sites. The main site’s servers have been combined into one new physical server hosting two virtual servers for Domain, file storage and print management, and a second for email. The servers at the other sites have also been replaced over time.
  2. Backups had become unreliable on the old tapes and capacity was an issue. A new backup system was installed which looks after the virtual servers as well as the physical, using high capacity data cartridges.
  3. Desktops and laptops were of varying age are going through a programme of replacement as appropriate.
  4. Wi-Fi coverage was patchy on all sites so we have installed a centrally managed wifi system providing strong and fast WiFi where needed.
  5. One of the warehouses at the main site had no network cabling in place and no link to the main building. We installed a point to point wireless connection between the buildings in order to get the warehouse onto the network, without the high costs and inconvenience of laying cables in the ground.
  6. With sites scattered around the region, there was a need for a cost-effective video conferencing solution. We put together a package for the meeting rooms at each location using a large LCD screen on the wall with miniature PCs connected and hidden, high quality cameras and mics, all based around Skype which suits their needs perfectly.
  7. Mobile sales reps needed a simple way to manage emails and access files on the server while on the move. The solution was Android tablets with VPN connections. These were set up with remote management software, allowing us to deal with support issues on the tablets as well as desktop computers.

 

Outcome

  • With secure VPN links between the sites established and well-spec’d servers, the infrastructure is now extremely fast and reliable.
  • Multi-site meetings are now possible without the time and cost of travel.
  • Information is available quickly to those that need it, regardless of their location or device.

 

Ongoing Support

A Total Support agreement is in place which means that we constantly monitor and look after the servers across all sites, making sure that they’re performing as they should. In addition, all PCs and devices used by the organisation are covered by the agreement so that users can call whenever they have a problem, without any concerns over further costs.

See http://www.f5computing.co.uk/services/it-support for more details.

Our remote support software is installed on all PCs so that we can connect remotely when called upon to resolve any issues, and the users can log problems to us either with a couple of clicks on our software, by sending an email, or giving us a call.

 

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