Systems IT uses Microsoft Azure & Office 365 to deliver highly secure IT solution for Anchor Bay


Anchor Bay Construction


Multi-site – UK based


Provide construction products

The Business

Anchor Bay Construction Ltd is a multi-site leading distributor of Formwork, Chemicals, Waterproofing, Brick Support and Concrete Accessories to the construction industry across the country.

They asked Systems IT to help. Why? Because their Finance Director, Paul Jeal, had worked with us before and he knows just how good we are.

The Challenge

Originally owned by Plaka Group, a management buyout meant that Anchor Bay Construction Products Ltd needed to move their data, email and SAGE 300 applications from their hosted servers in Belgium to their own IT infrastructure in the UK.

Anchor Bay’s IT infrastructure was Citrix based, with access to servers hosted in Belgium. Their IT experience wasn’t great:

  • They experienced slow response times from the IT support team
  • Slow access to SAGE 300, and
  • A poor overall user experience; their employees were unhappy and frustrated

This had to all happen in less than 3 months, all in a “business as usual” working environment. The role they play in their clients’ construction projects means downtime simply wasn’t an option.

“Systems IT worked across two weekends before the “go-live” weekend to minimise any risk so the business was fully up and running at 6 am Monday morning. Two members of the implementation team were on site to support users as well as a member of the team at their offices."

Paul Jeal, Finance Director

Our Solution

A three-stage project, whilst implementing a complete IT Security stack across the network.

Stage 1 – Email
Starting with an Email migration, we moved their in-house hosted Exchange server to a Microsoft Office 365 Solution,

Stage 2 – Files & Folders
For file storage that allows access, subject to user permissions, across a multi-site network, it made complete sense to use Office 365 SharePoint.

Stage 3 – Sage30 migration
Sage300 is used by 50 people across the business and so needed to be hosted in a way that allowed them to use it, no matter what site they were working on. For this reason, we implemented a Microsoft Azure Hosted Server Solution.

The Security Stack, designed to keep their data safe, included:

  • Sophos Next-Generation Firewall Solution, including Intrusion Prevention
  • Mimecast anti-spam
  • Multi-form Authentication to protect all hosted applications
  • Sophos firewalls on all sites
  • Secure Wireless Access Points, allowing users to work efficiently and from wherever they need to on-site

To do all of this, we need to liaise with Plaka Group’s IT team, with their ISP and, of course, the Office Managers on each site over a single weekend to ensure zero downtime.

Migrating such delicate data can be risky, security is a necessity in these cases. We implemented a security strategy across the new IT network to protect the transferring of data – Sophos Next-Generation Firewall Solution, including an Intrusion Prevention System (IPS). An IPS works to detect and prevent threats, whilst continuously monitoring networks for possible malicious incidents.

"The team has continued to support us and has even being available over weekends to support our key senior staff. Systems IT are also supporting the business in reviewing and selecting a new Sage partner as part of their USP. I would have no hesitation in recommending Systems IT for IT requirements/solutions including full migrations.”

The Result

Zero downtime over all four sites, in London, Birmingham, Leeds and Dublin. Users that know exactly how the new network works, meaning no productivity loss.

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