Asset Finance Client

Background

The client offers bespoke structured finance solutions for businesses.

They have arranged and procured a variety of different finance solutions over the years and believe in creating bespoke solutions for a client’s needs, which may be on or off balance sheet. They work closely with clients from the outset, understanding their needs and requirements. They then tailor a solution and work with them throughout the process ensuring they receive the best possible finance and customer service.

The client has been arranging finance for over 35 years during which time it has developed long standing, vital relationships with many key lenders, as well as an intrinsic knowledge of smaller, less well known but equally as competitive lenders. They work seamlessly with both sides to deliver the best possible results. One of the main ways they achieve strong levels of competitive funding is by employing a tender panel approach. By doing this it allows them to constantly test the market with a variety of lenders quoting on an ongoing basis.

Challenge

The client had a single server running Microsoft Small Business Server. Staff often worked away from the office and had a need to be able to access documents and emails from airport lounges, trains, at client’s offices or from home as well as their office and a secure stable connection to their emails and data was essential at all times.

Access to all electronic documentation at any time was paramount for the Directors and with Microsoft Small Business Server Operating System being phased out, it was seen as an opportunity to review the IT infrastructure and design a system to cope with the demands now and into the future.

An audit of their IT formulated an IT strategy to provide an expandable manageable cost effective solution.

Solution

HostingIT4U Ltd tailored the new infrastructure to meet all their needs ensuring there was no disruption to their working day.

It was agreed to migrate emails first. This was achieved with no disruption to emails and no change to the way the user sees and accesses their emails. As some of the users maintain very large mailboxes, the move to a Hosted Solution did take a while due to the volume of emails. However the client had access to all current and achieved emails for the duration of the migration.

The email migration to a Hosted environment was completed successfully and a period of “bedding down” was allowed to allow users time to familiarise themselves on the new features, such as accessing emails from iPads, iPhones, and laptops.

Confidence in the new Hosted email system was quickly established and a date was then chosen for the final part of the migration.

Stage 2 was then started for the migration to hosted desktops. The new infrastructure was made up of 1 server running Windows server 2008 with the server mirrored to a second data centre. Two hourly snapshots were taken of the server and kept for 3 days with an additional automatic backup of the data taken every night and stored in a different location.

Each user’s Hosted Desktop was then created and the data migrated. User applications installed and tested. A visit over several days by the HostingIT4U migration engineer allowed time for each user to see their new hosted desktop prior to going live. This allowed HostingIT4U to ensure that each user had access to everything they needed when the switch over occurred.

A final data transfer was run the night before and the following morning all users logged onto their new Hosted Desktop. HostingIT4U staff were onsite to support client employee’s logging onto the new system which went very smoothly with no disruption to the working day.

A year later a new version of the server operating system, Windows Server 2012R2, became available and it was agreed to migrate across to this new Operating System to benefit from the better facilities for Hosted Desktop Service.

This did not affect the emails as they were managed by the Exchange Server in a different Data Centre. The same process was followed as before resulting in a smooth upgrade and an improved performance and experience by the users.

The client also recently moved to new offices and through having Hosted Desktops, there was minimal work required from an IT perspective meaning the move went smoothly with no disruption to IT services.

 

Client Testimonial:

“We have been using Hosting IT 4U for many years now and can thoroughly recommend their service and dedicated approach for keeping a business’s IT up to date and operational. They have saved us money through their advice and experience and have allowed our business to expand over the years with minimal disruption. We are very much enjoying the new Hosted solution they have implemented for us, allowing us to be more mobile and secure.”

Testimonial-Avatar-2  Simon Jones, Managing Director, First Asset Finance PLC