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Successful Migration to Cloud Services for Northamptonshire SME

Fuse CS revolutionised IT for Impact Recruitment.

Watch the video for an explanation and endorsements, after Fuse's successful migration to cloud services, and deployment of managed services, for a Northamptonshire SME. 

A fantastic example of a good relationship between IT provider and SME is with Fuse CS and Impact Recruitment. Here we're sharing insights into the projects Fuse worked on to future-proof Impact and enable their business to thrive securely, including:

  • Impact's same struggle with IT issues that many SME's have,
  • All the bespoke solutions Fuse developed and deployed,
  • The successful end result of migration to Microsoft 365,
  • Testimonials from the two Directors of Impact,
  • Video explanation from our Head of Infrastructure Andrew Walman,
  • In-depth details of the actual problems Fuse tackled and solved in a case study. 

We completely made the right decision to work with Fuse Collaboration Services. Their team has been brilliant, and Andy’s knowledge base was excellent.

It has been a massive improvement on what we had previously, and the cloud storage and data management packages that Fuse has tailored for us is something which should be adopted by SMEs similar in size to ourselves.

I would wholeheartedly recommend working with Fuse, and that you have a conversation with them sooner rather than later!

Neil Kitchener, Managing Director, Impact Recruitment Services

About Impact Recruitment

Founded in 2002, Impact Recruitment Services prides itself on being different from other agencies. The company lives by its core principles every day, ensuring that every client and candidate experience is positive and consistent with the Impact values. Impact supplies permanent and technical staff to the commercial, industrial, supply chain and technical and engineering sectors and is a rapidly growing business, with turnover increasingly rapidly thanks to the securing of two major new clients. Impact has two main offices in Northampton and Wellingborough, and has account managers embedded with a number of major clients.

Project background

Over a period of time Impact’s IT infrastructure and support provision had fallen below the standards required by an expanding and busy multi-site company.

Here were some of the issues they had.

Infrastructure

  • Traditional on-premises server model
  • Computers updated infrequently
  • No consistency in what versions of packages were being used by whom

Access to documents

  • Off-site access via VPN connection
  • Slow and unreliable
  • Often required using multiple devices, flash drives, email, etc
  • Increased time and reduced efficiency

Support provision

  • Technical staff required on site to resolve issues
  • Loss of productivity while waiting for solutions
  • Could provoke vicious circle of further issues, then further work, then further issues, and so on

Solutions for an outdated IT model

Fuse’s team worked with Impact’s management to build a sustainable plan within a timeframe that introduced a consistent and secure platform for the business to work from, with fully aligned and up-to-date operating systems and identities

Audit

  • Interrogation of previous provision
  • Assessment of priorities 
  • Investigation of server and existing licences

Licences

  • Stripped out licences which were paid for but not needed
  • Frees up investment for other areas
  • Office 365 upgraded to Microsoft 365, giving Impact more relevant apps and software

Cloud migration

  • Migration of files from server to SharePoint
  • All users migrated to OneDrive to access their documents from the cloud
  • Once all users migrated onto the cloud the server was de-commissioned

Benefits of our professional IT managed services

  • Saved employee hours due to less time needed to access and transfer documents
  • Access to documents whenever and wherever employees need them via a single sign-on, plus editing by multiple users in real time
  • Better data security for confidential information and full GDPR compliance
  • All users now have the same packages and apps, reducing training time for new employees and streamlining processes within the office
  • Remote support from Fuse's technical experts, reducing time to resolve any IT issues that may arise

Successful migration to Microsoft 365 for Northamptonshire SME

Fuse CS worked Impact Recruitment on a multi-stage project to revolutionise the company’s IT provision and support. The project started in 2018 with a migration from an on-premises server and was completed in only a few months, despite the scale of the project. The relationship continues today with Fuse providing daily IT management.  

Audit and discovery phase 

As with every client, Fuse’s team conducted a full audit of Impact’s existing IT provision. It was clear that improvements were essential – staff were using a mixture of operating systems and software based on when the computer had been bought, not what the user needed. This made it difficult when new staff joined as they were not able to be trained on the same software as the rest of the team and made security levels inconsistent.  

Everything was based on site with no external access, and the issues brought by single point failure were exacerbated by problems with downtime and slow responsiveness from Impact’s previous IT provider. Impact Recruitment was based in two offices, one in Northampton and one in Wellingborough. The two separate sites and servers meant that sharing information efficiently was difficult. The account management teams in particular, struggled with updating spreadsheets they shared across the two sites and faced constant issues with multiple versions of important documents. This was also a problem for the staff who worked onsite with clients; they relied on an external hard drive that they updated when they went back to the office, in order to access the documents they needed.  

Furthermore, there was a lack of compliance with licenses and an over-paying for packages that Impact either did not need or were not making the most of. 

 

Moving from ‘traditional’ IT to cloud computing 

The move to cloud computing ensured that every member of the team had the latest version of their software packages, operating system and applications, regardless of what device they were using. This meant that if a machine breaks, is lost, or stolen, another one can be brought out of a box and be used immediately without having to wait for it to be personalised to the user. Migrating data to cloud computing was accompanied by the introduction of new security features and a single sign-on for a user, regardless of whether they were using a computer, tablet or smartphone. With Fuse’s help, Impact moved more staff over to laptops and introduced multi-factor authentication to protect devices users.  

The move to SharePoint enabled several account managers to work on payroll spreadsheets simultaneously without incorrect duplicates being created. This saved time and supported a more efficient start to the weekly payroll process.  

Collaboration across the two offices was made more efficient and fostered an improvement in relationships. This, and the move to laptops, eventually led to the teams choosing to spend a day a week at the other site so they could get to know each other better. With cloud computing, there was no logistical issues over accessing what they needed to do their job from a different site. This also had a positive impact on the client onsite staff who no longer needed to update an external hard drive and could use a laptop each instead of sharing a desktop computer.  

When the global pandemic in 2020 forced Impact to work from home, the whole company was already set-up to work remotely, and consequently experienced very little disruption to their processes. This success has given them a much stronger position among competitors despite the economic uncertainty post-pandemic.  

 

Securing the future of an SME with managed IT services 

Thanks to Fuse, Impact’s team is now working more efficiently. Staff who work on-site at clients can now access all their data and documents as they would in the office and still collaborate with their teammates. New solutions and applications are being introduced in a controlled manner when it is appropriate to do so, and Fuse is now helping to improve Impact's processes.  

For example, as the team became more remote, the need for mobile smartphones was recognised. Staff wanted to be able to securely message their workers and clients, get emails and access worker registers from their phones. Fuse implemented managed mobile phone policies, installing Office365 and making it easy for staff to access what they needed on the move. 

The move to cloud computing has freed Impact Recruitment from location-based working and enabled them to thrive through access from anywhere and an improved culture of collaboration and innovation.  

 

We’ve been very impressed by Fuse. The whole team has a very forward-thinking approach which has taken our IT systems into modern times.

What particularly struck us was that they immediately thought about what our future needs would be and built that into their plans for increasing our IT capacity; they were not interested in just patching up what we had when they came on board but in future-proofing our organisation.

What they have put in place has improved our business efficiency in our working practices, and we now have a robust disaster recovery programme for the data which we need to operate our business.

Their service levels are also excellent, which is refreshing in our experience, and I have no hesitation in recommending Fuse for anyone considering upgrading their IT provision.

Paul Hooper, Director, Impact Recruitment Services

Fuse is committed to ensuring that businesses similar to Impact have proactive support that ensures devices and applications are kept up-to-date and secure. We also empower your employees so that when problems occur they have the understanding to be able to fix the issue themselves, while Fuse’s team engineers a process to make sure that the problem cannot reoccur. 

If you have any questions about the migration from an onsite server to cloud services, or any other related topic contact give us a call on 01604 797979 or email fuse@fusecollaboration.com

Click here to download the details of this case study in PDF format

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