CASE STUDY

Welding together four remote sites

WN Thomas & Sons needed to modernise & secure their multi-site IT network

Customer

WN Thomas & Sons Ltd

Location

Slough

Business

Metal Recycling

The Business

WN Thomas & Sons Ltd has been recycling metal since 1850, from having just a horse and cart, to now managing a fleet of specialist vehicles across four sites – one each in Reading and Acton and two in Slough.

The Challenge

As the business grew, the IT infrastructure grew too, but not in a planned way. This resulted in a local IT infrastructure with a number of issues, including Windows 7 workstations and laptops. With Microsoft support for Windows 7 stopping in early 2020 this was a security risk they didn’t want to take.

One key issue was the accountancy software. With large numbers of transactions taking place, they needed the right package to control these. Software compatibility issues necessitated a change from Linux to Microsoft. The addition of a new site in Slough added complications as the team there needed to access the IT network too. The Scrap Metal Dealers Act of 2013 meant they have compliance issues regarding the recording of sellers’ identity information too.

Our Solution

Systems IT concentrated on two key issues:

  • Providing access to the whole team.
  • Delivering the IT security the business needs.

 

A simultaneous 4-stage project was implemented:

 

1. Upgrade or replace Windows 7 devices

Where the specification made it possible, we migrated devices to Windows 10 Pro. Where not, they were replaced, again with devices running Windows 10 Pro.

2. Migrating into the Cloud

Their Sage 50 server was migrated on Microsoft Azure, with Azure backup for business continuity. All files were moved to Sharepoint, from a local ReadyNAS server. All user accounts are now on Office 365, with Intune licenses to enable to business to control access.

3. Multi-Factor Authentication

MFA was implemented to improve security for email and Sharepoint. Nobody can access their network with just a single username and password now. 4. Third-Party Backup All data is now backed up to a third party provider, ensuring business continuity in the event of a problem.

“Upgrading our IT systems was quite a daunting thought for us as we relied
on our systems to trade on a daily basis. Systems IT, right from the first sales meeting, were great. We were allocated a project engineer from the start who planned our migration and kept us in the loop at every stage, which included a trial migration allowing us to see how everything will be on go-live day. On migration day Systems IT engineers were on our sites and the migration went ahead with no problems at all. After the migration day they were always on the end of a phone, via their IT help desk, for any issues we had. We would have no hesitation in recommending Systems IT to anyone.”

Daniel Wood, General Manager

The Result

WN Thomas & Sons now has an IT network that delivers IT across all sites and enables staff to work remotely, from wherever they want to work. They know their data is secure and is protected. They went live in May 2019.

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