Posted on: 30 Apr 15
Firetrace specialise in designing and manufacturing automatic fire suppression systems that detect fires at an early stage before they become more problematic. Developed to work in places such as electrical cabinets, data racks, mobile plant, CNC machines and laboratory equipment, their systems detect and extinguish the fires with little or no damage to the equipment.
An ageing server running Small Business 2006 and a network of Windows XP desktops needed to be replaced to meet the company’s growing needs. “The system worked but was a little dated,” outlines Andy Melton, managing director at Firetrace. “We purchased a new server, licenses and desktops ourselves but due increasing demands on our time we decided to outsource installation and support.”
Strident recommended a hybrid solution to take advantage of Firetrace’s Office 365 licenses. By moving its email to the cloud, Firetrace employees can more easily access and control their emails across a range of devices. “We have some colleagues that work from home and, of course, we are using more tablets and smartphones, so keeping the email online is ideal,” explains Andy.
Firetrace is fortunate to have access to a very fast 150Mbps broadband connection, however Andy does not expect to be using the cloud for document storage in the short term. “We have an online backup system through Strident, which works very well, and is complemented by an on-site system too.
“However, once you have 10 to 12 employees working on online, that speed has to be shared which reduces its effectiveness. In addition, individuals working on the cloud could cause problems with colleagues overwriting each others work, when a local copy replaces the cloud version.” An on-premise file server stores Firetrace’s data but as the cloud technology matures Andy hopes to make more use of it in the future.
The hybrid solution works well for Firetrace and puts them in a strong position to move systems to the cloud as and when they are ready. A staged migration of services top the cloud, such as starting with backups and email, allows each process to be assessed for speed, security and productivity.
“By using a file server for data, such as our quoting system, its easy for colleagues to search and create new files confident that they are all in one centralized system. This also means I can be confident that the backup is comprehensive. However, as the technology progresses I’m sure we’ll be able to use the cloud for more and more processes,” adds Andy.