A system outage during a business meeting changed the focus from how Robins Accountants could help us to how Surety IT could help them. At the time, on average, Robins Accountants was having at least three hours of downtime a week. This was seriously impacting on profitability and productivity. It was also costing the business upwards of $500k per year in lost revenue.
System outages weren’t the only problems they were facing, others included:
- slow and unreliable systems
- inconsistent backups
- inability to work remotely
- old, problematic PCs
- a slow and arduous process for updating software which caused severe disruption
- slow office connections impacting the call quality of the VOIP telephone system
- a large investment in IT support for little benefit
- reactive instead of proactive support from their current provider.
Robins Accountants was receiving their support from a provider who they selected when Robins employed less than 10 staff. The business had since grown to around 40 employees, with over 30 of them accountants.
To address the challenges and issues, we implemented our solutions path, which is a proven process of insight and action: understand, plan, build, maintain, enhance (Repeatable).
This process allowed us to clearly understand the issues and challenges that Robins Accountants were facing before planning and building a solution. The process also allowed us to clearly explain our approach to Lex and the other senior managers in a way that they understood and could visualise.
The solution we built was tailored specifically for Robins Accountants. After an in-depth investigation, we recommended they move to a virtual desktop solution and replace their old and struggling PCs with thin clients. The virtual desktop solution simplified software roll-outs, making them pain-free and efficient. It was also reliable and flexible, allowing users to easily work from home or when on-the-go.
We ensured that backups were consistently taken, both on and off-site, and that regular test restores were performed so that, in the event of any data loss, Robins was protected.
We leveraged the use of some Cloud services as they were more cost effective for the size of their business and provided high flexibility and reliability. These services included off-site Cloud backup and Cloud-based email anti-spam services.
One of the main challenges Robins Accountants faced was their poor inter-office connectivity and the impact that the slow connections were having on the profitability of the business. We addressed this by joining with our communications partner, Cloud Plus, and with their expertise and assistance, designed a cost-effective, best-fit communications solution that provided Robins Accountants with the services they needed.
We also recommended Robins Accountants subscribe to a personalised IT support program, Sure[Net], in order to allow us to proactively manage the environment, ensure that everything was running consistently and reliably, and that there was an engineer available to quickly respond if any issues arose.
Today, as part of this managed services program, we still help Robins Accountants with technology strategy, we provide advice on any technology-related projects and are Robins Accountants’ “one number to call” for issues, including logging calls for MYOB and Handisoft.
- Robins Accountants has experienced a maximum downtime of two hours per year for the last five years, saving the company around $2.5 million.
- All of the accountants have high utilisation because the system is no longer slow, it is more reliable and they have the flexibiltiy to work remotely.
- Automated softare roll-outs are now scheduled out of hours. This means no disruption for staff and no downtime for critical applications.
- Robins Accountants has been able to reduce their annual IT spend and now focus on technologies that provide value-add to their customers.
- There has been a big improvement in VOIP call quality and the IT systems' performance in other offices.
- The business owner has been able to focus on building his business and look towards improving processes and introducing new technologies and value-add services for his customers rather than constantly worrying about IT-related issues and outages.
- Today, all Robins Accountants staff are using the virtual desktop solution and accountants use their virtual desktop via iPads when visiting customers.
Not only have Surety IT provided us with an excellent virtual desktop solution that suits our company needs but also provide a first-class, pro-active managed service, which is extremely customer focused. They have helped us set up new offices and expand without the usual headaches.
They provide me as the business owner with the confidence I need to have in my IT support and technology strategy partner. I know I can trust them to provide me with the best advice for my business as they have taken the time to understand what the business drivers and critical aspects are."
Lex Robins, Owner - Robins Accountants