Case Study – D.R.E. & Co
Established in 1957, D.R.E. & Co is an independent firm of chartered accounts, with six offices across Shropshire and North Wales.
With 11 Partners & Directors, their experienced team are able to provide a rich array of services to varying client types, including individuals, companies, charities and trusts.
When we first spoke with D.R.E. & Co back in 2016, they were no strangers to Managed Hosting. In fact they had been with their previous hosting supplier since 2013.
However this supplier, whilst a specialist within the accounting sector, was falling short of the service levels which D.R.E. were hoping for. Some of the shortcomings consisted of;
• Slow response times for support requests, such as new starters or leavers
• Servers which were inconsistent in performance. For example slowdowns in the afternoons
• The inability to “load balance” end users across multiple servers. For example if one server failed, all 80 staff would lose access to the system
• Application updates, for example IRIS, Virtual Cabinet or Sage, could often fail, rendering these key software titles offline the following day
Whilst D.R.E. had been patient with their provider, they themselves didn’t wish to become the definition of insanity!
D.R.E. had been referred to Cloud2Me from a mutual connection, who vouched for the very different approach that Cloud2Me take. For example the way in which we place customer service at the heart of our business.
But also because of our steadfast specialism within the accounting sector, which ensures things like application updates are completed successfully, every time.
With that, we went about building D.R.E. a new hosting platform, which was built in a much more resilient fashion, better suited for as many as 80 end users that would access the system.
Furthermore we ensured that the latest remote technologies, operating systems and security methodologies were baked into their solution.
Given that D.R.E. were already in a comparable Managed Hosting environment, the migration was more straightforward than if we were migrating them from an on-premise server.
The above said, the usual process was adhered to which always starts off with a friendly project “kick-off” call, whereby our Cloud2Me staff conducts an audit to discover items such as data, printers and applications.
From there, we were able to draw up our project plan which we then shared with D.R.E. so that they could easily track progress throughout the project lifecycle.
Then as the new server platform neared build completion, we presented the solution to D.R.E. so that key personnel were able to run through some key checks and familiarisation.
During this exciting part of the process, they were able to test programs such as IRIS, Sage and Virtual Cabinet, whilst also checking Microsoft Outlook and file/folder data, ensuring it all looked as it should.
After a successful testing phase, there was nothing left but to switch from the previous hosting platform, to the new Cloud2Me platform.
This was carried out on a Monday morning, which allowed the prior weekend for Cloud2Me to carry out the final data synchronisations and system checks.
Fortunately our preparations were such, that all key applications and data were online and ready for D.R.E. the morning of the go-live. This said, we closely supported D.R.E. throughout the first few days, to ensure their every technical need was tended to, from databases to printers.
Then a few days after the Go-Live, both D.R.E. and ourselves considered the project ready to transition to our business-as-usual support service.
“Cloud2Me have always been very helpful and accommodating to any issues or requirements we have.”
Simon Biggs – Director
Post Go-Live and Reflections
As we write this case study, D.R.E. has now been within our Managed Hosting for five years! (How time flies). We have in that time assisted with and overseen some fairly major software system enhancements, such as a migration from IRIS Docs to Virtual Cabinet for their document management system.
We have also upgraded their underlying servers a couple of times over now, from Windows Server 2012 R2, to Windows Server 2016, to Windows Server 2019. We have also rolled out Office 365 and Duo 2-Factor authentication. It’s true that a good IT solution is like the Forth Bridge!
But upon reflection, we believe that D.R.E. has remained with us, thanks to the fact that we keep them abreast of new technologies. As well as keeping them safe from internet threats, providing quick & reliable servers and of course, 1st class technical support!
There’s no getting around that fact that D.R.E. are a large accountancy firm, but they never come across as such. They’ve always had a certain warmth to them, making them approachable and an absolute pleasure to work with. We’re now five years in and we can only hope that we keep wowing them with our services, for another five years!