Background and Current Solution
This case study describes how Indusflow transitioned a new Long Term Care (LTC) client from an expensive hosting-heavy IT relationship to a more economical and better performing solution that balanced both on-premise server technology and cloud applications. The Client’s profile was as follows:
- Operating two long-term care facilities for a total of 225 beds in the Toronto area.
- Subscribed to a hosted environment which provided the Client access to the following applications through Remote Desktop (RDP):
- Microsoft Office 2013
- Sage ERP 300 (Accpac)
- Shared file repository
- Managed two in-house servers (one at each location) which hosted Active Directory but no other applications or data.
- 75 employees across both locations who use desktop PCs and mobile devices.
- Paid over $800 per month for SQL Server hosting fees for Sage 300 databases.
- Email hosted by private hosted Microsoft Exchange services.
- Client had relatively high carrying costs for communication links to the hosted environment.
- Paid over $2,000 per month to an Internet partner for Internet and infrastructure as a service (IaaS) services
- Client uses a number of web-based applications such as Point Click Care.
- Client complained of periodic performance problems of both their Internet connectivity and hosted applications.
- Client was looking for an IT partner that is more responsive than their current partner, has a proactive approach to IT management and has a strong customer service ethic.
The Client’s internal IT setup was sloppy. For instance a 100 Mbps switch was used to direct both video-conferencing traffic and user data. This partially explains their performance problems. We have also observed that managed service providers (MSPs) that are focused on hosting, often under-resource their on-premise support capabilities.
Indusflow reorganized and simplified the Client’s IT environment. We accomplished this by moving some of their data from a high-cost private hosted platform to a low-cost cloud platform, while moving other data to in-house servers. This approach also reduced their reliance on high-cost dedicated internet links. Details of our solution included:
- Email moved to Office 365.
- Shared files and Sage 300 ERP databases moved to their existing on-premises servers; the servers were upgraded to handle the extra workload.
- Server operating systems on existing hardware were virtualized to ensure environments can quickly be moved to new hardware in case of hardware failure.
- DFS (Distributed File System) services were enabled on the servers to ensure documents are available in both locations.
- Remote desktop licensing purchased on Location 1’s server to ensure Sage 300 users from Location 2 can access the application.
- Office 365 subscription upgraded to include Microsoft Office applications and installed locally across all desktop computers.
- SQL Server was licensed through Sage’s runtime license program. Costs went from $800 per month to $56 per month.
- Internet connectivity switched to low-cost broadband connections. Two separate connections from different vendors used for redundancy. Costs went from $2,000 per month to $400 per month.
- The two locations connected through site-to-site VPN secured by Cisco Meraki routers.
Indusflow also bundled in security and data protection services including:
- Managed endpoint security (antivirus) for all computers
- Patch management for all computers
- MSP backup services that ensure images of all operating systems and data are available both locally and stored offsite in the cloud
- Managed email security to ensure all incoming email is filtered for malicious content and spam
Finally, Indusflow provided the Client with 24/7 management and monitoring of their IT infrastructure and a responsiveness service desk support for all end-user inquiries.
- Indusflow was able to cut the Client’s monthly costs by almost half
- Upgrading routers improved Internet access speeds
- Using dedicated server hardware that we can control, allowed each location to have high-speed access to their applications and documents
- A single point of contact (SPOC) allows the Client to have a trustworthy partner handle all technology needs