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IT Support Case Study – Dealing With Our Customers: Overseas Satellite Office

ICU is based in the Midlands and we specialise in supporting the IT infrastructures of our clients who are also based in the Midlands. But due to our flexible approach, we were delighted to assist one of our clients with their South African based satellite offices.

One of our long established clients with operations across three sites in South Africa asked us to conduct a complete IT refresh due to the aging systems and huge downtime which was massively affecting the business.

Due to the infrastructure in place, downtime could be anything from 10-25% per month.

The Challenge

To provide an entirely new infrastructure to link three offices spread over three geographically different locations. To create a brand new Active Directory Forrest, setup a new Exchange server for the entire operation and provide Terminal Server access for South African and UK users to operate the corporate accounting system.

Coupled with this, we had to work with numerous third party suppliers in South Africa to ensure that when our staff flew out to Africa, everything was in place for the work to be carried out over a weekend.

The goals for ICU were:

  • Reduce downtime down massively
  • Replace the Active Directory and Exchange platforms , then migrate the users to these new systems
  • Provide a new Terminal Services platform for UK and SA use
  • Replace existing communications lines with more resilient technologies
  • Train staff how to use the new infrastructure
  • Partner with an in country 3rd party IT company in place to assist ICU with ‘hands on’ work / projects
  • Provide hardware warranties for existing equipment
  • Project manage and deliver the entire program of works
  • Link the production warehouse to the head office systems

The solution

As Dell partners, ICU supplied business class PowerEdge servers which were pre-configured in the UK and then dispatched to site, with the final setup being undertaken whist in South Africa. The new lines (DIA) were installed the week before the visit and thoroughly tested before the new systems were migrated to them.

Over the weekend the new servers were installed and the smallest branch office was connected to the new infrastructure remotely, whilst ICU staff attended the second satellite office to complete the switch over. Working with the 3rd party suppliers and over the next day or so, any small snagging issues were ironed out and training provided to the users at all three sites.

The outcome

Downtime dropped to less than 1% and with our in country partner who adopted our Planned Preventative Maintenance, the users continued to benefit from a level of service they had not experienced before. All members of the South African operation can now work together collaboratively and share information with the UK.

Over to you

Have you been left in a similar situation with your current IT support  company? We can help – call us now on 01332 513333. 

Photo Credit: zen via Compfight cc

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