“We’re a small organisation but have offices and staff located across Britain so a Cloud Computing system was an appropriate alternative to our slow VPN and unreliable on-premise server. I was immediately impressed by Axon’s responsiveness, their detailed knowledge of Microsoft cloud systems and their ability to quickly assess its suitability to meet the IT needs of our organisation. We are very satisfied customers.”
Chief Executive, Irish in Britain
The Irish in Britain is a national umbrella organisation which draws together Irish clubs and societies in Britain. With offices in London and Birmingham as well as home-based workers in Leeds, across Yorkshire and in Ireland, Irish in Britain needed an up-to-date and reliable solution that would let all workers communicate and share data effectively and efficiently.
The organisation had previously worked from a traditional on-premise solution which included a server in the London office running Microsoft Small Business Server (SBS) which eight users connected to via a LAN. A further four users in the Birmingham office connected to the server via a VPN (Virtual Private Network) connection to share emails and company data.
This VPN solution was becoming out-dated and slow, and Irish in Britain wanted a more reliable and modern approach to IT that would enable them to increase their business productivity.
Axon introduced Irish in Britain to Microsoft Office 365. A cloud-based solution, Office 365 lets businesses store all of their company data, emails and business applications on Microsoft servers and access it remotely via a secure internet connection.
The software offers Microsoft Office Professional Plus – which provides the latest versions of the Office applications including Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote; Exchange Online which gives access to email, calendar and contacts; SharePoint Online – a product that enables users to access and share documents from a single location; and Lync Online – a communication tool offering instant messaging, audio and video calling, live web conferencing and online meetings.
Our engineers set about moving all of the organisations current company data into SharePoint and then decommissioned the old on-premise SBS server, rebuilding it as a file server to store archived data. With the old server shut down, all users were set up to connect to their emails and data in the cloud through Microsoft Office 365 and there was no longer any need for the Birmingham office to connect directly to the London office.
The new solution has allowed Irish in Britain to take a more flexible approach to business. All company data and emails are now stored centrally on Microsoft’s servers and users connect via a remote internet session meaning that staff can log on and work from almost any location around the world – so long as the internet connection is reliable.
The cloud-based solution also helps to cut costs. Office 365 is paid for on a monthly basis meaning the capital costs required to replace an on-premise server are removed and turned into a running cost. Maintenance costs are also significantly reduced with no on-site server to look after.
In addition, the Lync Online product available through Microsoft Office 365 enables the London and Birmingham offices to connect via video conference, reducing the need for business travel.
Microsoft’s highly secured data centres – located strategically around the world – guarantee 99.9% uptime with information securely backed up in different centres across the globe, meaning that Irish in Britain now has round the clock access to its business critical services and all data is safe and accessible 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Business information can accessed quickly from any location in the case that offices become unusable through disaster or emergency, contributing to the organisation’s disaster recover and business continuity plans.
“Axon’s friendly and efficient team have tackled usual teething problems swiftly and effectively. As a result of the new system and the support of Axon, we have significantly reduced the number of hours wasted by staff unable to work while waiting for VPN or server repairs. Microsoft Office 365 and Axon’s support contract gives us security, flexibility and value for money, all of which are essential in these tough and uncertain economic times.”
Chief Executive, Irish in Britain