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Quick glance summary.
- The client was still using POP for their email accounts.
- They were looking for an experienced IT Professional to help them make the transition from on-premise hardware to one or more cloud-based services.
- The client’s existing wireless network was unreliable and greatly hindering their day-to-day activities and administration.
- Their existing Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) was failing because the battery needed to be replaced.
- None of the client’s data was being backed up correctly, including essential Sage accounting data that must be retained.
- Migrate all of the client’s email accounts to Microsoft 365.
- Retire the on-premise NAS device and move any existing data to Microsoft SharePoint.
- Decommission the redundant UPS.
- Replace the inadequate Wireless Access Point with a Ubiquiti UniFi enterprise-grade Wireless solution.
- Implement a dedicated cloud-based Microsoft 365 backup solution, in addition to an offsite backup solution to retain the clients Sage data.
- The client now has an ultra-fast and reliable wireless internet connection across multiple floors throughout their premises.
- All of the staff and volunteers are now using Microsoft 365 for email, with the latest version of Outlook installed on their machines and smartphones.
- Individual mailboxes are being backed up daily and retained for 30 days, with snapshots of entire accounts backed up indefinitely.
- Up-to 100GB of Sage data is being backed up in the Cloud, with up to 3-months of data retention available.
- Any documents and files that were kept on the on-premise NAS device are now stored and accessed from Microsoft SharePoint.
- The client’s UPS has now been decommissioned because it is no longer required.
Continue reading the full case study below…
Our client was recently looking for a new IT Services professional to help upgrade their existing infrastructure because their existing IT Manager had decided to retire. We were recommended to the client by a mutual contact who we have worked with on many projects in the past. After a successful presentation to the trustees, we were chosen to complete this project within somewhat limited time constraints. Luckily for the client, we like a challenge!
Although relatively simplistic, the IT network was heavily outdated and in dire need of investment. Most of the client’s data was being stored and accessed from a NAS device (Network Attached Storage) that was becoming unreliable with age, with recent hard disk failures and a lack of a backup solution causing unrecoverable data loss.
The NAS device was connected to a UPS but the battery had expired quite some time ago and because of this, the UPS was no longer serving its purpose.
The client was still using POP for their emails. POP is a highly outdated email solution that simply isn’t practical for use in a commercial environment because email messages are downloaded once, and then permanently deleted from the email service. This means that emails can only be accessed from the same computer once they are downloaded and if the emails are accidently deleted or lost, they are unrecoverable.
Most of the staff in the office were using the wireless connection to access the network and the Internet. The Internet speed coming into the building was fine but the wireless access point was more suited to home use and not for use in an office environment. For this reason, the Internet connection was regularly dropping when a large number of devices were connected to the network at one time.
The project scope.
Following a number of discovery meetings, we presented the trustees with a project scope of works that included a timeline for the work to be completed and a breakdown of costs. Once the scope of works was approved, we then completed the project during a weekend period in order to minimise the disruption to the client’s busy schedule!
Making a transition to Microsoft 365.
Our first task was to migrate all of the clients existing email accounts to Microsoft 365. This included any existing calendar entries and task lists. Once the initial migration to 365 was completed, we then checked and tested all of the accounts in a sandbox environment before completing the rollout.
Next, we uninstalled the old version of Outlook from all of the computers onsite and then installed the latest version via Microsoft 365. We then rolled out and tested all of the new email accounts on each user’s machine, ensuring that all of the emails were up-to-date and no data had been lost during the transition.
Replacing the NAS device with SharePoint Online.
Our next task was to retire the client’s ageing Network Attached Storage device and replace this with Microsoft SharePoint Online, which is part of the client’s chosen Microsoft 365 subscription. A member of our Project Management team built a new SharePoint site that was configured to the client’s exact requirements. We then copied over all of their business-critical data onto SharePoint and took a separate backup of all of the data before decommissioning the NAS device.
What about the UPS?
The client no longer required an Uninterruptable Power Supply because their NAS device was no longer in use. We arranged for all of the retired hardware to be safely disposed of by a reputable WEEE compliant IT recycling professional who also provided our client with a certificate of disposal.
Implementing the online backup solutions.
Once the client’s data and emails were migrated onto Microsoft 365, our next task was to setup and configure a scheduled backup solution for our their email and data.
For the client’s emails, we setup and configured a dedicated cloud-based backup service that is specifically intended for organisations that wish to back up their Microsoft 365 email accounts. This was configured to run an incremental daily backup of each user’s individual mailboxes, in addition to their calendars and other data such as task lists for example. The service retains up to 30 days of backups and emails can be restored individually, or entire mailboxes can also be restored.
For the client’s other data, we setup and configured an additional Cloud-based backup solution that also takes an incremental backup of any files and folders stored on SharePoint, in addition to the client’s Sage accounts database. All of this data is backed up in the cloud and retained for up to 3 months.
Updating the wireless network.
Our final task was to replace the client’s ailing Wireless Access Point with a Ubiquiti UniFi Indoor Wireless solution, which we consider to be one of the most robust and cost-effective wireless connectivity solutions currently available. We installed and configured two access points, one on the first floor and then another upstairs. We then tethered both access points together – allowing them to act as a single wireless network across both floors without losing any wireless coverage!
The entire project was successfully completed over a weekend period. Our Project Manager attended site on the following Monday to address any post project issues and ensure that everything on the network was working correctly.
- Thanks to the implementation of the latest generation Ubiquiti Wireless hardware, the client is now enjoying ultra-fast and reliable wireless network connectivity throughout the entire building, with no wireless dead spots present.
- All of the staff are now using Microsoft 365 for emails, which means they don’t have to download their emails locally every time they access Outlook. In addition, there is no danger of any emails being lost due to human error or hardware failure because all of the client’s emails are stored within Microsoft Exchange Online, in addition to being backed up daily by a dedicated Microsoft 365 backup solution.
- All of the users have the latest version of Microsoft Outlook installed on their machines. Outlook is included with every Microsoft 365 Business subscription and is automatically upgraded to the latest version at no extra charge.
- All users can now access company data securely from any location with an Internet connection via Microsoft SharePoint online.
- Any data that is stored on SharePoint is now backed up daily to a secure Cloud Backup solution, with up to 3 months historical data always available. In addition, we configured the backup solution to take a daily copy of the client’s Sage accounting database from the accounts Computer that is used on-premise.