AWW Architects are master planners and interior designers. They have been in business for over 25 years, with offices in London, Plymouth and Bristol. AWW are a Director led, design-focused practise. They work across all sectors, both commercial, educational, industrial and residential.
With a trend in construction towards greater delivery through IT platforms, AWW wanted to put themselves in the best possible position as a company. The Director at AWW was concerned about the capacity of their IT infrastructure and so decided to act preemptively.
AWW were facing a series of potential infrastructure issues. With interdependent legacy systems, network issues can arise. A major failure in the mail server had already prompted our client to move across to Office 365, but this had to be done very quickly. As a result, there were certain leftover issues that needed to be addressed.
The requirements included:
- Migrate from VMware to Hyper V
- Resolve authentication systems and align with Office 365
- Work closely with new IT manager to improve several key issues, including:
– Improve network security
– Facilitate more flexible ways of working and remote device usage
– Update communications protocol
– Develop new backup systems
– Support transition to new server
– Update any legacy systems
We were delighted to be working with such a forward-thinking client, and had the benefit of working closely with an on-site IT manager with a clear vision.
What we did
Computer Geeks team worked alongside the brilliant IT Manager, Mark. At first, we conducted an overall audit of the systems and infrastructure. From this detailed analysis, we put together a 2 year programme of works, with the aim to provide a stable, secure network infrastructure for AWW.
AWW wanted to incorporate a greater usage of mobile technologies and remote access to systems through VPNs. This would enable their internal team to move freely around the office with Wifi to support them. We worked to reduce AWW’s reliance on third-party suppliers, so IT became a managed in-house process. This brought the leadership team and the IT Manager peace of mind, because backup information was held and managed on site.
Our solution included:
- Full audit of existing networks and systems
- 2 year programme of works laid out, including full costings
- Collaborating with in house IT manager
- AD authentication and integration with 365
- Server migration on three sites migrating four host servers and 20 virtual servers
- Staging hardware provided along with server and disk space, provided on-site by Geeks team (out of hours, with no business disruption)
- Reconfiguration of firewall
- Streamline VPN configuration
- Emergency IT support when needed
As a result of our work together, AWW has a more robust in-house backup regime. This enabled the IT Manager to focus on the most important aspects of his job. It meant that the internal team had smoother IT infrastructure to support their work. The benefits included: needing to log in less, an uplift in productivity and greater usage of flexible and remote working.
The new Hyper V server was included in the licensing from Windows, which meant AWW was no longer paying additional costs. We rationalised several virtual machines on their server, reducing the number of in-house machines from 20 to 12. These represented substantial cost savings for the business and provided better data security across all three sites. AWW is currently working towards a much more stable and competitive footing, in which they’re able to capitalise on new technologies.
- Efficient IT infrastructure with cross-site data security
- Any hardware failures can be dealt with quickly
- Reduction of risk of data loss
- Visibility of server, without need to ask third party
- Allowed in-house IT manager to focus on strategic aspects of his role
- No disruption to business
- Reduction of number of in house machines
- Substantial server cost saving
We’ve been delighted with the progress Geeks made. We’re seeing benefits in speed enhancements, stability and less crisis management. It gives everyone more time to be strategic and plan for the future.
I’d absolutely recommend Geeks. They’re dedicated, a personable and fantastic team. They’re people you can get on with.
Charles Jordan, Director, AWW
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