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ADM power up with Office 365 and Fusion5
“Collaboration, accessibility and security were our major goals.”Ummi Rahman-Bates, Office 365 Project Manager and IT Administrator
Established in 1986, ADM Instrument Engineering (ADM) is Australia's largest stockist of Mean Well power supplies, power transformers, industrial transducers & sensors, and test & measurement instrumentation. The staff of 23 is spread throughout the country, and their head office is housed in Melbourne.
Time to transform
ADM became frustrated by the limitations of their technology infrastructure.
For years they stored their data, email and accounting software on two on-site servers. Two IT staff, who are also technical engineers, were responsible for maintaining the servers and handling all IT issues.
ADM’s hardware and operating systems were a mixed bag. The Directors worked on Apple Macs, and the rest of the staff used an assortment of Windows 7, 10 Home and 10 Pro desktops and laptops. The Windows devices were purchased or built at various times, and each ran a different Microsoft Office suite.
Their email solutions were equally disparate. Most of the ADM team were using Mozilla Thunderbird, and only a few running Microsoft Outlook.
The only way that ADM’s off-site employees could connect and access information was through the company’s Virtual Private Network (VPN) run on the on-site servers.
But most importantly, ADM were concerned about the safety of their data should disaster strike. They knew that data should be backed up daily, stored off-site, and security patches diligently applied, but this wasn't always the case.
Collaboration, accessibility and security
It was obvious to ADM that their old ways weren’t going to move them forward. Luckily, they had a clear vision of their objectives.
“Collaboration, accessibility and security were our major goals,” says Ummi Rahman-Bates, ADM’s Office 365 Project Manager and IT Administrator. “We wanted the ability to have multiple users editing files simultaneously. No more waiting for someone to finish their bit before you can edit the file. No more multiple versions of the same document.”
“We wanted our staff to have easy access to information, regardless of their location. Because connecting via VPN was inconveniently slow for our interstate, work-from-home and on-the-road team members, its use was kept to a minimum. Our Sydney and Queensland staff would even call the receptionist at our Melbourne head office to ask for information in preference to using the VPN.”
ADM researched and shortlisted several solutions, including Microsoft Office 365 and G Suite, before settling on Office 365 as the most suitable (and lowest maintenance) solution.
The three-week roll out
ADM came to know and respect Fusion5 while considering a previous project, and they didn’t hesitate to reach out for help in rolling out Office 365.
ADM’s conversation with Fusion5 about migrating to Office 365 started in March 2017. The statement of work was signed off in mid-July, and just two days later, ADM’s first user group of six went live with the solution. Over a period of three weeks the rest of the users, again in groups of six, moved to the new solution.
Training was scheduled for each group as they went live, and Fusion5 was on call daily for technical support during the rollout period.
ADM installed Office 2016 on their Macs, and standardised the 21 Windows devices to run Windows 10 Enterprise, Office 2016 and Windows Defender.
ADM achieved their goals of collaboration and accessibility through SharePoint (Office 365's document repository). Now multiple users can edit the same online file concurrently, and SharePoint is fully accessible online. And as Office 365 is a cloud solution, data is always safe and backed up, fulfilling the company’s security goal.
ADM’s staff can now access their emails and files when they’re offsite. Their Office 2016 apps connect them to data via their smartphones - without using VPN. They can also log-in directly through their online Office 365 portal.
Office 365's Admin Centre feature make it easier for ADM’s IT Admin team to oversee IT administration. This includes mailbox management, checking the health status of each device, scheduling system updates and the bulk-install of applications.
ADM are enjoying the benefits of Office 365 and report that the migration project was a complete success.
“It was within budget, and it was definitely on time,” says Ummi. “Fusion5 were very proactive in offering advice and strategies while I was initially researching the solution. Once we were engaged on the project, their team were flexible, knowledgeable, thorough and very helpful.”
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