CASE STUDY: HYBRID CLOUD SOLUTION FOR ACCOUNTANCY PRACTICE
Long & Company, founded in the early 1980s by Declan Long, is an accountancy practice in Newbridge, Co. Kildare. Some time ago they made the decision to move all their data to the cloud. They decided on that course of action having been advised by their previ-ous IT provider that their old server was no longer fit for purpose.
The choice Long and Company had been offered by that IT provider was extremely lim-ited – move completely to a cloud solution OR purchase a very expensive new server for their own premises. They ended up making the decision to move fully to the cloud – not because it was the best solution for them but mainly because the alternative was too expensive. At the time Declan was uneasy about a full cloud solution – he didn’t like his clients’ data being in the cloud on some server somewhere – a server owned and/or managed by another company whose prudence, confidentiality and financial well-being Long and Company had no control over. But they proceeded with the change.
Unfortunately, within a year of making the move to the cloud, Declan noticed that both performance and efficiency were suffering. When he and his staff were logged into the cloud server—be that from the office or from home or elsewhere, they were finding that the responsiveness of the system was very slow. The effect? In spite of the office’s own internet connection being robust, the efficiency of Declan and his staff was being adversely affected. The persistence of these per-formance issues was disappointing so Declan decided to engage with a new provider to re-examine the previous decision to move to the cloud.
Declan had no firm view of what the end solution would be – but he was under-standably apprehensive about another full cloud solution. BITS had previously been on Declan’s radar so, after speaking with other accounting practices that spoke well of the BITS approach, Declan made contact.
BITS quickly determined that the choice that Declan had been offered – between moving to the cloud or purchasing an expensive new server, had been flawed. A middle road was possible – and that’s precisely what was recommended to him after BITS car-ried out an in-depth audit. That recommendation, accepted by Declan, was for a hybrid-solution – a combination of email in the cloud and data on a newer but more modestly-priced server. This approach fitted the BITS philosophy and policy of getting an in-depth view of a prospective customer’s situation before prescribing a solution. No two situa-tions are ever the same and, correspondingly, a recommendation from BITS is always specific to a particular situation.
“We had moved everything to the cloud but I knew it wasn’t working. I wanted better performance. I wanted my client data back in-house. BITS listened carefully, educated me about the variables we needed to consider, explained anything that I needed help with, and only then prescribed a hybrid solution. Once we engaged BITS there was a seamless transition to working on the actual implementation with Gavin and his team. There was none of the sales guy saying one thing and then the techies saying something different! Smooth & painless is how I’d describe the whole project. BITS even took care of all the communications needed with the providers of the software tools we’d need. And we got the peace of mind of a period of free after-sales service. Basically, BITS gave me the confidence that they would take care of everything! There was no over-promising and under-delivery – they simply did everything that they said they would do.”
Declan Long, Managing Partner & Founder
THE SOLUTION – OFFICE 365 HOSTED EXCHANGE
- Complete project management from start to finish.
- Upgrade of internal network and Firewall Router to ensure security.
- Provision and installation of new modestly-priced yet ultra-solid new server to hold all client data
- Migration of data from the cloud to the new server.
- Migration of email to a new MS Hosted Exchange cloud solution.
- 4 weeks of after-sales service to monitor for and iron out any chinks – before the support contract kicked in.
- Liaison with 3rd party software providers
- Implementation of remote desktop solution allowing Long & Company person-nel, when out of the office, to easily access the company network as required.
- Ensured any data being transmitted between clients and Long & Company was encrypted – not just on machines but also during transmission.
- Excellent Network Performance
- Absolute Data Security
- Superb Employee Efficiency Levels