LMS Group, Lakeside House, Quarry Ln,
Chichester PO19 8NY
CASE STUDY – Cheesmur
IT TRANSFORMATION AND CISCO MERAKI INSTALLATIONFOR LEADING BUILDING CONTRACTORS
Approx 30 users
Working from a converted barn in Beddingham, Lewes and operating throughout Sussex and the South East, Cheesmur employ over 62 full-time staff, including management and administrative support from their Cobbe Barns offices, near Lewes.
Cheesmur undertakes projects from across a wide range of sectors, including residential, education, health, heritage, commercial, industrial and leisure, as well as a number of term planned and reactive maintenance contracts
• Reconfigured their network cabling
• Installation of a new, robust server
• Implementation of Cisco Meraki to mitigate any risks of cyber attacks and allow for flexible working
• Management of Cheesmur’s Leased Line
• Became an IT provider that Cheesmur could rely on
We first met Cheesmur through an exclusive networking group for managing directors. After building a relationship between the two companies, it became clear that Cheesmur were not happy with their existing IT provider as they were very slow to respond and were based extremely far away.
The distance between Cheesmur and their previous IT provider meant that site visits were rare and any new hardware had to be installed by Cheesmur employees and assisted over the phone.
Which lead to Cheesmur’s cabling being an absolute mess… Here is a quick before, during, and after.
When we began working with Cheesmur, what started as a simple project to migrate their working data and systems to Microsoft SharePoint, a task that their previous IT provider had been attempting for around 18 months, quickly developed into a full IT upgrade across the company.
The challenges started once we had performed an audit of their IT infrastructure and found a large quantity of issues that would require resolutions prior to Cheesmur being ready for the cloud migration to take place and the introduction of Cisco Meraki.
On their server, they had disk and fan errors, their cabling was a mess due to their previous provider refusing to perform onsite visits to Cheesmur and their Active Directory was incorrectly configured. All these issues would need to be mitigated before we could move any further with the original plan.
Perhaps the biggest challenge of all was organising the data that had already been moved on to SharePoint. We identified that, due to their previous IT provider attempting to migrate their data multiple times, they had created multiple clones of their files which caused issues for not only Cheesmur’s team, but also for our project delivery team as we could not start resolving the issue until each file had been checked and approved for secure removal.
“Whilst we were aware that we had some issues with our IT systems, the audit carried out by LMS and the subsequent report highlighted serious potential risks to our business. In reviewing and implementing the recommendations in the audit report, we now have a robust IT infrastructure that is future proofed and scalable. The LMS customer service teams are accessible, knowledgeable and explain things simply and the fact that the number of complaints and moans I get from my teams about IT have almost completely disappeared is testament to the work undertaken by LMS and the ongoing level of service provided.
In getting to know our business and understanding our requirements, LMS offered business solutions, such as Cisco Meraki, to assist in our sustainability and growth plans and, in implementing a robust and secure remote working capability, enabled us to deal efficiently and effectively with the current Covid-19 challenges.
As the relationship between the LMS and Cheesmur teams continues to develop, we consider LMS a valued partner and are delighted to have them as our IT partner“
Joint Managing Director
Cheesmur Building Contractors
The LMS Group Approach
Following thorough audits of Cheesmur’s IT systems and overall setup we were able to identify the areas that needed to be improved. Our initial investigation found a number of serious issues with their infrastructure, such as:
• 19 ex-employee accounts were still active and not blocked
• 8 ex-employee accounts still had Business Essentials Licenses that Cheesmur were still paying for
• Redundant server power supplies were left unplugged, offering no failsafe in the event of failure
• A hard drive in their server had failed, causing a warning light that had been ignored
• Netgear switch had a FAN failure, increased temperatures and could have resulted in hardware failure
• Two servers were running Windows Server 2008 R2, which was approaching it’s end of support at the time
• The warranty on one of their servers had expired approximately 6 months prior to LMS Group taking on the project
• Cheesmur’s data was also copied to another SharePoint site, which meant they had no control over this data
For LMS Group to continue Cheesmur’s project, all of the above would first need to be rectified. Without doing so, the very foundations of their working environment would be unreliable and likely to fail under increased workload.
LMS Group became Cheesmur’s dedicated IT partner is 2019 and have continued to provide them with an outstanding level of service that they had been missing with their previous IT provider.
Since our audit, we have completed a comprehensive overhaul of their IT infrastructure and systems, including:
• The planning, design, procurement and installation of a new server
• Their core working systems were migrated to the new server, which included Sage and Eque2
• Implementing a remote desktop server so their staff are able to work from anywhere, any time and on almost any device
• Restructured their network cabling so there is better clarity when installing new hardware
• Identified all working files and removed the cloned versions safely
• We repurposed one of their previous servers as a backup, so if their primary server fails, it switches to the backup and has little impact to their working
Since this work was completed, we have continued with the project of migrating their data to SharePoint. By prioritising the data of remote workers and contractors, we have been able to better manage this project and ensure the correct migration is completed.
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