Manufacturing Client IT Case Study
Successful business in the rubber moulding industry, based in Hampshire.
Based in Hampshire, The client is three generations strong. The client were referred to LMS Group by the Finance Manager who had previously worked at a company who are supported by LMS. The primary objective was to assist with the IT handover, following the departure of an employee who managed the day-to-day IT Support and systems in-house as part of their role. After an initial investigation, it was evidentially clear that there could be significant improvements to the IT and an entire overhaul was required.
Understanding the business needs were imperative in order to deliver a first class IT system that would align with the day-to-day operations and growth plan of the business. Our focus areas were around business continuity, backup, disaster recovery planning and scalability.
Following a two day audit of the IT system carried out in December 2015, where every element was assessed under the microscope, our findings included:
- The primary server was running Windows Server 2003. The server was under-resourced, and was running Exchange 2003 which handled the businesses emails. Backup of the server was questionable, and support from Microsoft had ended 5 months prior to our audit. The server was vulnerable.
- The central business application (based on Microsoft SQL Server) was running on a fairly new Lenovo ThinkServer, along with the accounting package, however this was misconfigured and was displaying various warnings.
- Power protection on both servers was inadequate, with only the Lenovo running a UPS battery backup, however even this was under-spec’d.
- The core network was haphazard, running at a speed of 100mbps with various bottlenecks on causing packet loss and latency when files were transferred across the network.
- The business only had one ADSL internet connection, the speed was extremely slow and this often timed out causing email delivery failures and mail queues. Because of this internet connection, there was no online backup in place.
- Due to the way mail was routed, there was no cloud based AntiSPAM solution in place. The business was receiving large volumes of spam mail which was clogging inboxes, server resource and internet bandwidth.
- Some PCs were running Windows XP, support for this operating system had stopped in April 2014. Other PCs on the network were passed their replacement date and were extremely slow.
- WiFi around the site had both poor coverage and speed- this was restricting.
There had to be a better way. Along came LMS…
The solution suggested by LMS Group was that of a phased approach, consisting of the following steps:
- Migrate the business emails over to Office 365 and utilise LMS MailProtect to reduce Spam email volumes and protect against dangerous/infected mail.
- Improve short-term backups, running daily backups of both flat file data and SQL applications. These were taken offsite using portable USB hard drives.
- Instruct the installation of a new line with a business-grade FTTC connection provided directly by LMS Group.
- Replace the server’s with a new HP ProLiant with 2x RAID5 arrays for greater redundancy along with greater power protection from a new UPS. The server ran Windows Server 2012 R2; there were then various Virtual Machines running within Microsoft Hyper-V. All data and applications were migrated over to this new server. The HP server was supplied with a 36 month HP CarePack.
- Greater backups with an overall backups strategy were implemented, with both on-site and offsite backups using fully-managed Online Backup.
- The Lenovo server was then re-utilised as a failover in the other building on-site.
- Core switches and the router was replaced, and PoE Wireless Access Points are installed around the buildings and factory units.
- Various PCs were replaced, with the majority upgraded as this was the best and most cost effective way to utilise existing assets.
The project was carried out over a phased two week period from start to finish, with 3 days on-site whilst hardware was replaced and server’s migrated. LMS Group managed the liaison between third parties and software vendors meaning the client had one point of contact. The system was provided on-time, on budget without fuss.
The new IT system that the client now has in place has provided both peace of mind that both data and day-to-day operations are fully managed by LMS Group. Butser Rubber had never worked alongside a Managed Service Provider before, as IT was always managed in-house by an IT resource. Tangible improvements include:
- Increased network speeds, data transfer speeds have improved tenfold along with the elimination of packet loss and latency.
- Spam has been reduced, with a whopping 91.1% of all email being held back by MailProtect.
- Internet speeds and bandwidth has been improved due to the new FTTC connection provided by LMS Group.
- The business now has fully-functional and automated backups running both on-site and off-site.
- Peace of mind from 24/7 proactive monitoring by LMS Group.
- Significant reduction in IT downtime.
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Service Delivery KPIs December 2018
Average Waiting Time
Reactive Tickets Closed
Same Day Fix (Calls)
Same Day Fix (All Sources)
Overall SLAs Met