A seamless transition to the Cloud
Kent-based Chartered Accountants
This Chartered Accountants was founded in 1983, with the underlying ethos ‘Exceptional As Standard’. This successful and well-respected practice has built a reputation for providing a robust and effective accountancy and tax planning service to clients of all sizes, and from all sectors.
Its growth has been underpinned by recommendations from happy and successful Clients. The practice now has seven established branches in London’s Mayfair and The City, as well as across Kent.
- Unreliable and inefficient ICT system
- Repeated system outages
- Migration to Utilizes private Cloud
- Connectivity upgrade and Managed Firewalls rolled out
- Dedicated security suite
Before engaging with Utilize PLC, the Accounting Firm’s ICT systems were based on a private Cloud provided by their incumbent IT provider. Our initial assessment concluded that the existing solution was not configured in the most efficient manner and that the platform itself suffered from reliability issues. Outages were a common occurrence during key busy periods. Email services were also run locally rather than via a more resilient cloud-based platform in Office 365.
DISCOVERY – UNDERSTANDING THEIR BUSINESS
Utilize conducted an audit to gain a greater understanding of the Clients’ daily IT operational needs within the limitations set by the incumbent supplier. This audit was also key to understanding the parameters of the existing exit strategy. We would urge any organisation regardless of their industry to ensure that their incumbent IT provider, has a clear exit strategy in place should they decide to move away from said provider/solution in the future.
It was clear from the audit undertaken at this firm that the incumbent had no clear exit strategy in place and that performance issues were affecting business efficiency and productivity. It was also apparent that a platform upgrade was necessary to allow the practice to move forward.
Accountancy practices are built on billable time, so the migration needed to be carried out with as little impact on staff and workflows as possible.
A migration to Utilizes private Cloud which also offered a migration of email services to Office 365 was the chosen solution. This would ensure continuity and familiarity for the users with further enhancements being made to the systems at key milestones in the future.
THE TECH BIT
The firm’s core infrastructure is now hosted in the Utilize Private Cloud and is delivered to all users from multiple locations or remotely via a dedicated RDS farm. The only exception is their e-mail, which now sits in Office 365 and has allowed us to take the first steps into the Microsoft Cloud platform.
Ignite Managed Firewalls were rolled out across all remote sites and connectivity was upgraded where needed. Finally, a dedicated security suite in SOPHOS with both anti-virus and anti-ransomware protection was implemented practice-wide to protect all endpoints and servers.
The migration was carried out ahead of time, over a final changeover weekend. Dual VPN connectivity was preconfigured on all managed firewalls, delivering a seamless transition across all sites.
Efficiencies: Reduced downtime with a more resilient and reliable platform. The ability to easily increase resources with little impact on the practice.
Mobility: Employees now have secure access to their data and applications whilst out of the office and on the move.
Security: The entire network is protected via a dedicated security suite with on-going enhancements.
Predictable Pricing: We have introduced predictable monthly pricing models to allow for long term budgeting.
Ongoing support: Utilize continue to support the firm to ensure resiliency, particularly during busy times of the year. The latest versions of required applications are installed and running upon release via planned out of hours maintenance windows.
Client Quote: “For the first time this year, no staff member has cited ‘computing and IT Issues’ as a cause of increased frustration or as a barrier to productivity, in their annual appraisal. This is testament to the expert delivery, effective IT solutions and ongoing support that we receive through our partnership with Utilize”
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