Infrastructure Upgrades and Office 365
Industry: Energy Consultants
Indigo Swan are an independent energy consultancy based in the heart of Norwich that place integrity over profit. Established in 2009, Indigo Swan help businesses make quick, easy and well-informed decisions about their energy.
For more information please visit www.indigoswan.co.uk
Growing in both size and reputation, and with a recent refresh of its vision and values, the time was right for Indigo Swan to modernise their IT infrastructure and make a move to the cloud.
As new team members came on board, the ageing Small Business Server Indigo Swan relied on was no longer the most effective way of supporting the network. The equipment within the network also required updating so users could continue to work efficiently and securely.
With the end of support for PCs running on Windows 7 after January 14 2020, now was the time to look at upgrading workstations to Windows 10. Without this, PCs would become vulnerable to security risks and viruses as there would be no technical assistance, software or security updates.
With the necessary move to Windows 10 came a reason to consider the company’s current email solution. In a business that promotes a modern workplace, there was a growing requirement that emails should be accessed from anywhere and on any device.
Security is a key concern for the business, along-with a commitment to protecting clients’ data and being fully prepared for any cyberattack. Indigo Swan asked Breakwater to review their current security provision and advise on ways to enhance the solutions in place.
The natural solution to an ageing server was virtualisation. By virtualising the existing server, cost savings were made through the reduction of physical infrastructure required.
In making the move to a virtual server, Indigo Swan had the reassurance that full data backups could be performed quickly and efficiently. If the system crashed, then a virtual server would redeploy with minimal interruption to service.
Breakwater undertook an assessment of the network equipment, advising on the solutions that should be either upgraded or replaced. The introduction of cloud-managed Wireless Access Points and Switches meant that all network users and devices could be centrally managed. It offered total visibility and flexibility to deploy, manage, make changes, resolve issues and keep users happy – from anywhere.
Cloud-managed IT enabled a clear picture of what was going on within the network, keeping security definitions and device firmware up-to-date. If a security threat arose, there would be confidence that the latest updates had automatically been pushed to firewall devices.
All workstations were upgraded to Windows 10, to ensure ongoing compliance and support post January 2020.
The implementation of Windows 10 offered the ideal time to migrate emails to Office 365. With Office 365, all users had web-enabled access to their emails, documents, contacts and calendars – regardless of which device or browser they are using. All contacts were synchronised, so if a user updated a contact on their mobile, it automatically updates across all other devices.
Office 365 has built-in security and continuous compliance, but a comprehensive backup of data is not part of its package. To protect Indigo Swan from any data loss, backup for Office 365 was installed, removing the risk of losing access and control of data – keeping it protected and accessible.
Multi-Factor Authentication was enabled across Indigo Swan’s new Office 365 environment, securing them with a second level of authentication. Also known as 2FA, this is a security process in which the user provides two different authentication factors to verify themselves. When users log into their Office 365 account they are now required to approve their sign-in request using the Microsoft Authenticator app.
Indigo Swan are now working within a predominately cloud-based environment, supporting the agile nature of their business – users can work securely from any device or location whilst collaborating on shared documents and projects with their colleagues or clients.
The network they rely upon is managed in the cloud, making it a clear and easy process to manage devices, integrate updates, scale the network and stay secure.
“Breakwater IT have been instrumental in upgrading our old infrastructure to a more secure system. Where we used to rely on local based servers and ageing technology, we now utilise the power of the cloud and have implemented multi factor authentication which is all down to their expertise. They have helped us vastly improve our cyber security and consistently work with us to improve our systems to make sure the technology we use meets the needs of the business and our staff. The level of service they provide us with is always outstanding.”
Andy Kindleysides, Head of Innovation
My role as a Trainee Junior Systems Engineer enables me to work with our varied client base, providing help and guidance and gaining valuable technical skills along the way.View my profile >
Elevating a charity to the cloud