Beattie Matheson had an ageing file server and the domain controller hardware was coming to the end of its lifespan. The resilience of the setup was also in question, with backups often failing and reliant on one person to monitor. Office software was also out of date and there was no capability to scale up or down.
As there was no suitable server storage on premises (no physical space, and current spaces occupied were actually taking up valuable showroom space), a new solution was required. In fact, on one occasion, the CFO had actually tripped over the server power supply cable and pulled it out – fortunately a UPS had recently been added in as a temporary improvement…
During the discovery process, one of the issues was a limited ability to see the state of the IT infrastructure. On top of this, the hosted email services were costing too much and there was a high level of intervention required. Travelling users also needed a shared and synchronised repository for key shared documents.
The project objectives were to:
Designertech built two new servers in Microsoft Azure. One was designed to support the company's day to day operations and another one to host a legacy application.
An Office 365 tenancy was created and a range of Office 365 subscriptions was established, suiting users' different needs. As part of the project, all email data was also migrated from the previous provider. Finally, an automated backup to Azure was also implemented.
Beattie Matheson now have a fast, flexible, massively scalable, secure and highly available IT infrastructure.
The improved ability to scale up and down means that additional servers or storage can be added and removed as demand changes e.g. when legacy applications are no longer required and the cost is reduced. The number of Office 365 users can also be flexed up or down to meet changes in the number of employees so as usage needs change, consumption can now be mapped to actual demand dynamically.
Beattie Matheson will no longer be at risk of losing data and reputation through failure or loss of on-premises servers.
"On 9th May at 3:55pm the company was subject to a malware attack and all data was encrypted. Due to the new system and back up processes (and some long hours from the DT Engineers) it meant that the company was up and running by 10:00am the following morning with all data recovered. I shudder to think what shape we would have been in had we still been on our old setup…."
Continuous development within Azure means Beattie Matheson’s own digital growth will never outpace the platform.
Emails are now provided securely and economically with Exchange Online and Office 365.
"Calendars and Meeting features now work properly. We can easily set up new email addresses as required for specific purposes."
Using SharePoint and OneDrive within Office 365, shared documents can be edited in one place and new versions made continuously available through file syncing.
As current installations of Microsoft Office on Beattie Matheson’s computers fall behind, they can be upgraded to current versions by changing Office 365 licenses from Business Essentials to Business Premium, reducing capital expenditure on new software.
"Sharepoint has been used for the budgeting process for the next financial year. The sales team were able to work on shared documents to develop the sales and marketing plans (without the hell of multiple document copies and versions)."
Both the Azure and Office 365 subscriptions will be continually maintained, monitored and patched and Beattie Matheson can now enjoy a new level of transparency needed to trust their IT infrastructure.
"The move to Office 365 has allowed us to start transforming our reporting by moving from spreadsheets to PowerBI. Historically reporting was through updating spreadsheets and involved time consuming processes with a high potential for error. Combined with a PowerBI web portal on our server, which seamlessly collects our sales data from Accredo and publishes it to our new PowerBI Sales Reports on Sharepoint, the information is now always up to date and available for the team. This is a major step forward for our company."
"This is the springboard to Digital Transformation. Moving to Azure ensures Beattie Matheson will always be able to evolve without the need for considerable capital expenditure while significantly de-risking growth and cutting the enterprise loose from the office."
John Way, Designertech
"It makes me happy that we were able to take a customer from an environment where he told me to instruct our team 'be very careful about touching anything to do with our server because it's prone to crashing' to one that is reliable, stable and trusted."
Nathan Gracie-Raitt, Designertech
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