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Reduce downtime, increase performance with blueAPACHE’s hosted services

Mon 26 Oct 2015
FYI, this story is more than a year old

Accountancy firm DFK Hirn Newey reduce downtime, increase performance with blueAPACHE’s hosted services.

The story

When accounting and business services firm DFK Hirn Newey realised they were devoting more and more time to an increasingly complex virtual server environment, they found that migrating to a fully hosted platform saved time, increased speed and performance, and provided a more stable IT infrastructure with significantly less downtime.

The challenge

As the demands on their IT environment became increasingly complex, DFK Hirn Newey found themselves spending an increasing amount of time, energy and money on maintaining servers and applications. With a staff of more than 30 and several thousand clients relying on fast and efficient information for critical business processes, a stable and reliable service delivery platform is crucial to the company’s success.

Partner and Director of IT services, Paul Fiumara, was devoting a lot of his own time on managing the ageing computer resources in a virtualised server environment, with dedicated staff spending an increasing number of hours maintaining essential services. The environment was growing in complexity as more services were added, and an increasing number of customers came to rely on the company’s accounting applications.

Economic modelling proved that adding more redundancy to the network was not economically viable in an organisation of around 30 people. From a resource and redundancy point of view, it made better economic sense to outsource. Rather than invest more time and staff hours on the network internally, the decision was made to move all the company’s IT resources to a hosted platform.

“We were our own IT providers for many years, having to keep services running and maintain our own arrangements with suppliers,” said Paul. “Rather than us invest all our own time and resources into running our systems, it made sense to have somebody do it who had the skills and know-how. Employing the services of an organisation who invest all their skills and capital into an IT service, they will HAVE to do it better than an organisation like us, who do something else for a living.”

The blueAPACHE solution

DFK Hirn Newey employed managed service providers blueAPACHE to host all the company’s platforms and provide services across all desktops. The company performed stringent economic modelling to gauge the best solution for the company, and decided that a hosted platform would provide better services, as well as free up time for the staff to get on with what they do best rather than invest more effort into running their own IT solutions.

Moving to a specialist IT-as-a-Service (ITaaS) provider has stabilised the company’s IT environment, providing better services with much less work. Data storage, networking, applications and replication are now managed by blueAPACHE, with all IT functions hosted at the service provider’s data center in Melbourne.

A hosted platform allows DFK Hirn Newey to be more flexible, expanding or contracting their services as needs arise. New staff can be added to the network with a minimum of fuss, and have full functionality almost straight away. Hosted services are also ultimately scalable, so the company is future-proofed and in a strong position to respond to increased demand. Introducing new services or adding extra capacity is as simple as making a phone call or sending an email to blueAPACHE.

“Scalability and flexibility were all factors to consider,” said Paul.  “As an accountancy and business services firm, we tend to be very good at handling our workflow and forecasting. Being with a managed service provider allows us to move things around to better suit our needs, and adjust our systems to get the most benefit out of them.”

The results

The most significant benefit for Paul and his team has been the reduction in IT downtime, as so much of the work they perform is IT dependant.  DFK Hirn Newey staff keep time records of their hours worked and also keep track of time “unable to work” due to any IT downtime.

“This is the truest measure of how much our downtime has decreased,” said Paul. “The amount of downtime is actually recorded by our users through our time sheet records and these records prove a significant reduction in IT downtime since we moved to a hosted platform.”

The company reports that speed and performance have improved across all services, with staff noticing a faster, more stable workplace experience.

“It doesn’t matter whether we have a bunch of boxes sitting here in our office or in a data center in another city churning away providing an IT solution, from a user perspective it’s irrelevant. The stable performance and reduced downtime is the true measure of what our company has gained by moving to a hosted platform,” said Paul.

Since the onus falls on a service provider to produce an excellent user and client experience, Paul feels that DFK Hirn Newey get maximum value for money from their managed IT services.

“With blueAPACHE, I feel that they are grateful for our business, so I feel valued – something that is very important in this kind of business relationship. Another important factor is that I know where I stand within their business, which helps me get the level of service that I want.”

Return on investment

Paul likens his experience with blueAPACHE to choosing a premium airline over a budget carrier. While both forms of travel will hopefully get the user to their destination, travelling with the premium airline makes the journey so much more comfortable with more convenient schedules, a better range of options and strong incentives to entice repeat business.

“The same applies to my IT host - I stay loyal to my provider of choice, and am rewarded with the benefits of that premium relationship,” he explains.

Freeing up Paul and his team’s time allows them to be more productive for their clients, who are able to benefit from more face-time and get better value from DFK Hirn Newey.

Moving to a hosted platform has enabled DFK Hirn Newey to improve essential systems for internal staff, as well as provide better business services for customers.

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