Transforming IT, Two Sites at a Time
As a fast-growing business with two showrooms 70 miles apart, Total Business Furniture turned to Shackleton to overhaul an outdated IT system suffering from many weaknesses, inflexible architecture and a set-up that inhibited collaboration and document sharing.
With offices in Dundee and Aberdeen, intra-site connectivity is crucial. However due to the infrastructure design, if the internet connection in Dundee went down, neither showroom could access new email; similarly, any issue with the connection between the two offices would have a similar impact. Added to this, users in Aberdeen could not access documents such proposals or sales materials prepared in Dundee and vice versa. The business owners acted, bringing in the Shackleton team.
Our plan was simple but designed for maximum benefit. Firstly, the ageing Microsoft Small Business 2003 Server in the Dundee office would be replaced with a modern main server.
Secondly, a duplicate server was to be located in Aberdeen, and data across the two synchronised in realtime using Microsoft’s Distributed File system, ensuring everyone could access each others’ proposals, sales documents and reports, wherever they were.
Thirdly, to reduce the impact of internet connectivity issues at the Dundee office, we recommended migrating the company’s email to Hosted Exchange, thereby allowing email access from any device should an internet connection drop.
With a plan in place and fully equipped, the Shackleton team set to work. Our first step was to build, configure and deploy the two replacement servers, which also required us to migrate over a considerable amount of data.
Email was next, and we worked to migrate all users’ accounts and data to Hosted Exchange - following that we set up email clients to access the new platform. No redundant system would be complete without backup, which was installed and tested before deployment. Last but certainly not least we trained end users on the new systems, ensuring everyone was up to speed.
Communication was critical to success and everyone involved in the project at both sites was kept fully informed of progress along the way.
The Shackleton team set out to transform an IT system that was holding Total Business Furniture back, and by that measure the project was a major success.
The client now enjoys a highly flexible and cost-effective Hosted Exchange email system, with the added benefit that users can access their email from a mobile device or from home if an internet connection goes down.
Collaboration across the business is greatly improved thanks to the improved server set-up and the internal infrastructure is vastly better. Disaster recovery processes are now in place, giving the business owners peace of mind. As a result, IT now plays a key role in supporting the business as it moves to the next level.
"We were very happy with the solution the Shackleton team proposed as it met our requirements exactly as we had envisaged. From the planning stage all the way through to implementation, we were delighted with the service and it's reassuring to know that we now have a system that we can totally rely on as we grow our business."
Eddie Lee – Director