Care & Independence

Case Study

The Project

Care & Independence were previously four separate companies, which were purchased by an acquisition company and merged into one larger organisation to take on competitors in their industry. With offices in Ringwood, Bicester, Wigan and Glasgow the challenge was to combine the four business IT into one big system accessible for either of the sites and by remote staff. They required a new phone system that supported calls into multiple sites at once, due to having multiple team departments located in different areas. Some of their key requirements were:

  • Easy access to legacy systems to support honoured contracts, under the old company systems.
  • Ensuring 150 staff email accounts we’re moved to one platform, ensuring they still had access to old emails and retained mailboxes.
  • Data storage from multiple locations such as: local servers, NAS drives, Dropbox etc, needed to be consolidated to allow easy access.
  • Introduction of a new ERP (include definition of ERP)

Initial Stages

The first step of the project was to analyse what the customer currently has, this ensures nothing is missed in the migration process. Oh-Tech worked with Care & Independence to review multiple avenues that best fit their requirements as a business as their main priorities, but also the plans for future growth.

Business areas we reviewed in the first stage:

  • What ERP solution is best suitable for their needs– Sage200, Microsoft Dynamics Nav, Goldmine (a legacy system being used by ¾ of the businesses)
  • Reviewing site changeover and downtime, ensuring it has the least impact on business activity.
  • Disaster Recovery as part of the future planning, including backups to best secure their data.
  • Review of core network devices that needed replacing due to age / compatibility.

A major discussion and the central focus point for the businesses was hosting. The initial in-house idea was to have the company’s main server at one of the larger sites. However, Oh-Tech raised potential issues of the site including loss of power or the internet which would have an overall knock-on effect to the 3 other sites and remote users. The business decided that the potential downtime was not worth the risk and that a new strategy was needed to make sure the system was robust and reliable.

Project Implementation / Actions Taken

Oh-Tech proposed a full cloud solution that would allow Care & Independence’s staff to work from anywhere with an internet connection. Oh-Tech also worked closely with Pinnacle who were chosen to be Care & Independence’s sage 200 Provider. Together we deployed the full sage200 suite to the hosted servers with multiple terminal servers for the staff to access.

Due to the sheer size of the ERP and merging all the data from four sites into one, the hosted server needed to be adequately scoped to make sure it could handle the day-to-day requirements of the 100+ users.

Failover of the cloud system was introduced. This meant that if the cloud server goes down for more than 15 minutes due to a power cut or internet outage, and the datacentre and redundancy machine which was on constant replication was introduced. Although very belt and bracers the business requested Oh-Tech to make sure that downtime was kept to a minimum due to the urgency of care to their customers.

The following was also completed as part of the merge:

  • All Email domains migrated to office 365. Primary domain set for all users with old emails set as aliases. Old mailbox data was then transferred into the new mailboxes for all staff.
  • All data was merged into a single location for access. We worked with management team to make sure to lockdown important and key folders. This also allowed for a data cleanse and archiving of data.
  • Deployment of new site hardware such as switches and WIFI access points. New Firewalls at each site to provide secure access to certain cloud servers hosting the company’s payroll and accounts.
  • New cloud VOIP system and deployment of new handsets for all staff. Including a mobile app for remote users to use as if working from the office receiving and making calls. Allowed for call routing for departments with failover to other sites if required.
  • New Microsoft Surface Tablets for the sales team and engineers, that supported SIM card usage to allow them to access the systems on the go.

Conclusion

After working closely with Care & Independence during this project, we ensured we were there every step of the way to make sure they were kept up to date and in the loop with every major change. Downtime was avoided where possible with weekend and evening work to reduce impact. Staff were given training on the new remote working system, this helped staff adapt to the new way of working whilst giving them that reassurance Oh-Tech was there if needed.

The business has now been successfully working on the cloud system for 4 years. The cloud platform has allowed them to expand their requirements for new users / data storage with ease.

Testimonial

We appointed Oh-Tech to carry out a complex upgrade and merger of our servers and computer systems. This work was carried out with a seamless transition and completed in the timescale set by Oh-Tech. Oh-Tech were onsite on the first live day for any teething problems. Since the system changeover Oh-Tech have continued to support our IT Systems day and night, and the level of service provided remains to be above and beyond what we could have expected. Excellent service

Ian Jones – Managing Director, Care & Independence

Request a callback

Do you have questions about IT Services and what they can do for your company? Fill out this simple form with your questions and our team respond promptly!