Maintaining our operational services with offices spread all around Toronto, the importance of remote access for such a big non-profit organization cannot be over-emphasized. The organization had over time made use of local server hosting with a virtual desktop solution, precisely Citrix Horizon view. But a lot of issues were associated with this particular solution which made the experiences of the local users and also the remote users to be very frustrating. Some of the issues that were associated with this solution included problems with connectivity, data center management issues, and also the issue of performance. In addition to this, the services were very expensive to manage, there was also the problem of aging and the viewing environment was not configured optimally. With all of these, most clients were no longer satisfied with what was offered by the solution as it was no longer commensurate with their business needs.
This made the organization realize that they needed a change in their solution as regards core technology. The organization's core technology was very large with 28 virtual machines, 6 physical servers, and several applications highly resource-intensive in nature that required major hardware and infrastructural investment this includes exchange DAG server for availability and redundancy and also Exchange server.
Along with the Exchange DAG solution, to show the importance of uptime, a backup and disaster recovery solution that is robust was brought into place. At first, one of the internal IT staff was in charge of the management of the system but this was met with serious challenges as regards the maintenance and management of their system.
SunTel Technology in February 2018 was opportune to take over the affairs and management of the organization and without wasting any further time they immediately assisted in developing a strategic and robust plan to help consolidate their system and see to the migration of their system to "cloud". At first, most of the conceptual designs were reviewed with the company to bring out an outline of a resemblance of the next system. As SunTel Technology gained more knowledge about the organization, objectives, client's workflow, and their challenges, these designs were better advanced, better refined, and finalized.
After this was done, the next thing was to overhaul the client's technology by executing a strategic plan. At the start, the Exchange solution was moved to office 365. To further enhance this project, OneDrive was used to change the user’s home drives. This helped to bring down the amount of stored data that was in the servers and enable the remote users to easily and immediately access their user data. Microsoft's public cloud solution was the suitable channel used to achieve this.
Together with the OneDrive that was already being used, Office 365 EMS was made use of to implement multi-factor authentication (MFA) and mobile Device Management (MDM) that worked very well around acceptable use with the policies of the human resource (HR) and also vital standards of security. In addition to this, specific access controls were executed and implemented to protect the Office 365 platform from access that was not wanted and necessary.
As incorporated into the strategic plan, SunTel recommended to the client to evaluate several Cloud Saas options as regards application for Line of Business as this was very vital for raising of funds, accounting, and other important functions of work of the organization. An authorized Application Saas provider that focuses on their primary line of business was then settled for.
SunTel worked in partnership with the SaaS provider to move the data to their platform and also migrated it far away from the environment of the server. As the Saas system was tested before the relocation to a live production system, the impact that was experienced by the staff was very little. As this change was effected, Suntel technology designed and thereafter deployed an Azure Cloud environment that was used to host the local domain for clients, file and print services. In the Azure Cloud, a web and reporting server virtual machine was also developed.
Suntel collaborated with the client to commensurate and work with their past six file and their datacenter servers and reduced them to two. This assisted in bringing down the amount of data that is being stored on these servers. Suntel Technology also ensured that the environment of the Azure was designed in such a way to accommodate suitable backups and solutions for disaster recovery since it was still very important to make use of these backup solutions even though it is in a different manner. The relocation to the Azure cloud was implemented successfully mainly because the environment of the Azure was properly developed and tested still allowing the client's staff to keep utilizing their on-premise system.
Before these changes occurred as regards the utility of the Cloud, Suntel developed and restructured the Wide Area Network (WAN) and the client’s core local network infrastructure to make sure that the Cloud system is well supported by their network. In addition to this, a new phone system was introduced to substitute an old, problematic and aging system.
Finally, so many new workstations and new laptops were bought and configured with these recently adopted security controls and this includes point-to-site VPNs to guarantee private, simple, consistent connection to the environment of the cloud.
The new system was introduced and was tested throughout the company. This new implementation of the Cloud system took well over a year.
Suntel Technology gave the staff a better experience with technology to continually enjoy as they migrated to the Cloud. They now enjoy the agility to do their work from any location and this guaranteed an increase in production. Those that are been employed are very happy and positive with their experience with the new technology as against the frustrating experiences they were having with connectivity and speed. In furtherance to this, their ability to raise funds and manage the organization’s accounts is no longer frustrating with obsolete technology that is no longer needed for the welfare and wellbeing of the organization.
With not just the relocation, clients now enjoy a better work from home policy experience as this new system is better secured and more flexible. In addition to this, the leadership with this new technology are better confident of their work and of things to come for their organization. They are very certain of the productivity of their staff as they work from home.
With perfect timing despite the crisis in 2020, the client still was able to navigate things around with the entire staff working from home and not the office. Clients enjoyed a very stable connection and had good access to all their emails, applications, and data.
When you consider all of these changes from the aspect of budgeting, clients would have had to pay more trying to relocate to another locally hosted solution that was quite similar to Suntel. The capital investment expenditure would have been very high to be able to change, configure and then deploy the hardware. In terms of design, it wouldn't have been the best decision and it still would have been very expensive.
The client appraises the new technological successes of Suntel’s strategic planning and massive innovative move to the Cloud. They are appreciative of the all-important improvements they have received from the new technology as it matches the mission and vision of their organization. As a partner with them on IT, SunTel is grateful for the willingness of the organization to undergo these changes that reflect how exactly their organization should work.
Do you want to learn more about the client and the Managed IT service we provided? Reach out to us today.