Sustained growth over a number of years at Haysmacintyre required a move to a larger office but the firm faced tough decisions about how to move its IT infrastructure.
The existing on-premise infrastructure was complex, burdensome and lacked a fast-acting form of disaster recovery.
CDW proposed a migration to a fully managed service, harnessing the power of ServiceWorks to ensure robust, reliable and scalable IT resources were available from the cloud.
Solution is cost neutral and IT team is now focused on project.
A firm of chartered accountants and tax advisers in the City of London.
Provides advice to entrepreneurs, fast growing and owner managed businesses, charities and not-for-profit organisations across the UK and internationally.
Formed in 2001 with the merger of Hays Allan and MacIntyre & Co, the firm has grown significantly and now has 33 partners, over 240 staff and a turnover in excess of £28m.
Nothing focuses attention on business vulnerabilities quite like a brush with disaster. In 2017, haysmacintyre experienced a loss of power to its comms room when flooding affected the office of another tenant in its multi-occupancy building.
The on-premise server environment had to be shut down and employees/ partners endured a full day of downtime before they could get back online.
For haysmacintyre CIO, Simon Bulleyment, the incident confirmed that the firm’s disaster recovery arrangements were insufficient, “Having only a single office made disaster recovery very difficult for us. We had a shared DR facility in which we could rebuild the servers and restore data but, due to the complexity of our infrastructure, the turnaround time was in days rather than hours.”
Additionally, management of the existing infrastructure was eating into expenditure and taking up IT staff time, “Despite offering good availability, the existing infrastructure was complex, requiring large amounts of technology to maintain fault free status and placing my team under significant strain,” says Simon. The tipping point came when the firm’s recent growth necessitated an office move, “We needed space to grow,” says Simon.
“And rather than simply opening an additional office it was culturally important to keep everyone together. Moving to new premises was an opportunity to either build a new comms room to accommodate the existing infrastructure on-premise, or create a more modern, IT environment that incorporated DR and leveraged the power of the cloud.”
In addition to its infrastructure challenges, the firm’s existing PBX phone system and laptops were in need of replacement.
However, with only six months in which to complete the migration, it was essential for haysmacintyre to identify a provider that could hit the ground running.
Having already held preliminary discussions with CDW about changes to the firm’s infrastructure, haysmacintyre was able to move quickly into project planning. Senior consultants from CDW began conversations about the potential solution, embracing infrastructure, connectivity and telephony.
The decision was to migrate to a fully managed service via CDW’s cloud platform, ServiceWorks, with full disaster recovery, back-up facilities and proactive monitoring.
Andy Eccles, GM and CTO, Services at CDW says, “We worked hard to put together a business case that was cost neutral by comparing the cost of building and running a new comms room with adopting our own managed service platform. As well as being cost neutral, ServiceWorks offered several benefits; access to a team with broader skills, SLAs that would not be possible to achieve internally, disaster recovery that resumes services within four hours and the ability to view and manage the network from a single web page.”
CDW implemented Cisco Meraki as the firm’s new network infrastructure to support the link between hardware and software and thereby reduce exposure to risk.
The cloud-based network management system enables both the wired and wireless estate to be controlled from a single dashboard, simplifying the complexity of managing the critical processes. Another key part of this solution is Citrix Virtual Desktops.
This customisable virtual desktop solution allows employees and partners at haysmacintyre to enjoy all of the trademark features of a traditional Windows desktop experience, whilst also providing secure access to sensitive data, efficient remote working and simplified infrastructure management.
To fully leverage the possibilities offered by the cloud, employees and partners were equipped with compact and powerful Lenovo devices to enable more flexible working. Featuring the Skype for Business app as well as a host of other collaboration tools, the new devices helped streamline internal communication and enabled better cooperation within the growing organisation.
CDW managed the entire migration, providing project management and consultancy to ensure a seamless transition. Following extensive planning and in-house testing by CDW, the infrastructure was put in place over the course of a weekend.
“Entrusting CDW with management of our infrastructure has enabled us to better explore the ways in which IT can serve as an enabler,” says Simon. “We are working on projects that will increase process efficiency, make data more accessible to the business and enhance the service offered to our clients.”
One outcome is that haysmacintyre has been able to introduce Windows 10 and proceed with the roll-out of lighter Lenovo laptops to staff and partners, which make better use of desk space. Landline telephones have also disappeared from 95% of employees desks, to be replaced by Skype for real time communication with the use of headsets.
The peace of mind provided by a robust disaster recovery platform has also been singled out as a key benefit of the migration, “It was a short amount of time and the challenges associated with testing added up to a challenging migration, but CDW’s project skills and consultancy gave us a huge amount of confidence. I see CDW as a trusted partner, never a supplier. The team understands how our business works,” says Simon.
Andy Eccles adds, “Our role has been to orchestrate technology and services from a preferred set of partners. The firm is now benefiting from a 24/7 managed service at a price that was cost neutral when compared to running their own comms room. The team are now well equipped for future growth and can quickly add capacity when required, without incurring capital expenditure.”
I see CDW as a trusted partner, never a supplier. The team understands how our business works
ACTIVATE Managed Services. When moving your apps and data to the cloud, choose a platform that you can design around your business — with a partner who understands your needs.