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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:

  1. Operating two long-term care facilities for a total of 225 beds in the Toronto area.
  2. 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
  3. Managed two in-house servers (one at each location) which hosted Active Directory but no other applications or data.
  4. 75 employees across both locations who use desktop PCs and mobile devices.
  5. Paid over $800 per month for SQL Server hosting fees for Sage 300 databases.
  6. Email hosted by private hosted Microsoft Exchange services.
  7. Client had relatively high carrying costs for communication links to the hosted environment.
  8. Paid over $2,000 per month to an Internet partner for Internet and infrastructure as a service (IaaS) services
  9. Client uses a number of web-based applications such as Point Click Care.
  10. Client complained of periodic performance problems of both their Internet connectivity and hosted applications.
  11. 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.

Recommended Solution

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:

  1. Email moved to Office 365.
  2. Shared files and Sage 300 ERP databases moved to their existing on-premises servers; the servers were upgraded to handle the extra workload.
  3. Server operating systems on existing hardware were virtualized to ensure environments can quickly be moved to new hardware in case of hardware failure.
  4. DFS (Distributed File System) services were enabled on the servers to ensure documents are available in both locations.
  5. Remote desktop licensing purchased on Location 1’s server to ensure Sage 300 users from Location 2 can access the application.
  6. Office 365 subscription upgraded to include Microsoft Office applications and installed locally across all desktop computers.
  7. SQL Server was licensed through Sage’s runtime license program. Costs went from $800 per month to $56 per month.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.

Final Results

  • 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