The distress call from this IT Manager came in the Autumn of 2010. He had just been recruited by one of the largest Solar Photovoltaic (PV) companies in the UK and the realisation of “The Job” was beginning to settle in.

“Trying to manage the IT Department is really like herding cats through treacle” was his reply when asked about how he was finding his job. The company was growing at an exponential rate and because IT played an integral role in how it conducted its business – the IT Department was constantly under scrutiny.

Our brief was simple. “IT is key. We stand to lose £50,000 per day if our systems are down – so system failures are out of the question”

The Challenge

1. Design and Implement a disaster recovery solution that would see the company’s systems up and running within 2hrs if there was a system failure (hardware or application failure)

2. Look for a solution that would allow for better access of the company’s data from its Regional Office.

3. Reduce the time taken to configure new PCs with all necessary software and applications. In light of how fast the company was growing the time taken to configure new PCs had to be drastically reduced.

4. The company was spending a small fortune on travel and subsistence fees due to weekly meetings held at its Head Office in Nottingham. We were challenged to look for a solution to reduce this spend.

The Solution

With RTO & RPO (Return Time of Service and Return Point of Service times of just 2hrs we implemented a disaster recovery solution using virtualisation. This meant that in the event of a system failure the company could be back up and running in less than 1 hr.

We implemented Terminal Services which allowed its remote offices to access data seamlessly from one central location. Utilising Microsoft’s System Centre Configuration Manager, we were able to deploy imaging and software deployment solutions that would simply allow the company to install software and applications on new PCs in minutes. It also meant we could easily apply patches and updates in a more systematic and timely fashion.

We also introduced Microsoft Live Meeting which would allow the company to conduct meetings from its head office but also allow employees from regional offices to participate remotely in meetings as if in person. This significantly reduced travel and subsistence expenditure.

“We decided to name this case study – Herding Cats Through Treacle, because not only do we love the analogy used by the IT Manager it also best describes the wonderfully challenging relationship we have with this client” says Client Services Manager Angela Hart. “Everything has to be done in such a short space of time – if you ever asked what the timeframe for completing a project was – the stock answer is always “yesterday”!

But the Supreme Team were able to rise to the task and passed all tests with flying colours! As testament by this email we received recently from the IT Manager “At the end of the day we went with Supreme because you understand how we work, our Ethos and Culture. We see you as an extension of our in-house team. You do the job when you say you will do it and nothing is too small or below you. You’re getting no more or you won’t be able to get your collective heads through the door!”